From a hormonal Labrador to rabbit teeth – your pet queries answered

HE is on a mission to help our pets  . . . and is here to answer YOUR questions.
Sean, who is the head vet at tailored pet food firm, has helped with owners’ queries for ten years.


Sean McCormack, head vet at, promises he can ‘help keep pets happy and healthy’Credit: Supplied


Today, Sean helps a very hormonal LabradorCredit: Getty

He says: “If your pet is acting funny or is under the weather, or you want to know about nutrition or exercise, just ask. I can help keep pets happy and healthy.”
Q) CHOCOLATE, my one-year-old Labrador, is a “humper”.
He humps other dogs, his bed and his blanket.
He’s an embarrassment in the park at times.

How can I curb his amorous ways?
Sara Cooke, Barnstaple, Devon
A) Oh dear, hormones are on the rise, it seems, and at a typical time for a lab like Chocolate.
He’s becoming a teenager — enough said.

Most read in Money

One way to rein in this behaviour is neutering, as it removes much of the hormonal drive to act out sexual urges.
But the timing of neutering is crucial.
Larger breeds, or those that can be prone to skeletal problems, really benefit from completing their teenage and young adult growth spurt with the testosterone in their system.

So in Labradors, I would recommend holding out until he’s at least 18 months of age if possible, or even a little bit longer — unless, of course, there are any behaviours that are problematic and exacerbated by being intact.
Secondly, some of these behaviours can become learned or an important social tool, so castration does not always resolve them fully.
Every dog is different. So I would speak to your vet and a behaviourist to work out what’s best in your circumstances.
On balance, though, if Chocolate is not intended to be a breeding animal, it’s probably less frustrating for him to be neutered, just at the right time.

Got a question for Sean?

SEND your queries to [email protected]

Q)MY cat Bob has arthritis.
He’s 13 and has painkillers, but is there anything else I can do?
Are there any supplements that could make his twilight years a bit better?
Sean Harris, Tewkesbury, Gloucs
A) Poor Bob. Arthritis is indeed painful, even though our pets can be so stoic — especially cats.
The first thing to do is keep him trim, as excess weight can place more pressure on the already painful joints and make things worse.
Secondly, you can add a cat-fr …