Paw Prints

Question: Gumbo, our longhaired kitty, gets matted tufts of hair on his body. I try to pull them out or clip them with scissors. How can I stop these from developing? 

Answer: Longhaired kitties require extra maintenance to keep them comfortable, especially during seasonal changes when the shedding doubles! I always recommend clients purchase a brush and start getting their kitties used to it. Incorporating treats during their brushing sessions or doing it before meal times can help train your kitty to enjoy the experience even more. 

If Gumbo is set in his ways and won’t let you come near him with a brush, then leaving it to a professional may be your only option. “Lion cuts” are adorable and can help Gumbo stay tuft free! Be careful using scissors on the matted clumps of hair since it is very easy to nick the skin underneath.

We sometimes see kitties that are unable to groom well. These can have arthritis; can be overweight or just sick and unable to muster the energy to clean them selves. If Gumbo fits in this group then you should have him seen by your vet for help and treatment. 

Question: I sometimes see a pink/white membrane in the corner of my dog’s eye. I haven’t taken him to the vet because I don’t see it there all the time. Should I be worried? 

Answer: What you are seeing is something called a third eyelid, or nictitans membrane. It creates an added layer of protection for your pup’s eye. It’s completely normal to see this membrane, especially when your pooch is sleepy. When awake, the membrane retracts behind the bottom inner corner of the eyelid and should not be seen.

If the third eyelid is visible while your pooch is awake there could be a problem with the eye and a trip to the vet would be necessary. 

The gland associated with the membrane can also become swollen and protrude from the corner of the eye. This condition is referred to as “cherry eye” and can also require a vet visit for treatment. 

Please send your questions to Dr. Marina Shepelev at

Dr. Marina Shepelev is an associate veterinarian practicing medicine at Owego Veterinary Hospital. She welcomes weekly questions concerning your furry friends.

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