By Fiona Mullan BSc (Hons) VPAC RVN
These days it is a sad and familiar sight on social media to see missing pet photographs, stolen posters and rewards offered for beloved furry family members who have been stolen from home.
Pet thefts are increasingly on the rise, and it is not just dogs that are regular targets.
Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, fish, birds and other exotic pets all have a profit and purpose for the opportunist and organised pet thief.
The Blue Cross reports an alarming 40% increase in thefts over the last three years, and sadly 54% of owners will never see their pet again.
Some reasons they are stolen is for breeding, dog fighting, sale profit and for the reward profit.
Cats - Pedigree breeds such as Bengals, Maine Coons, Persians, and Siamese
Dogs - Staffordshire bull terriers, Labradors, Spaniels, Chihuahuas/toy breeds
How can we reduce the risk of pet theft?
Despite vigilant efforts, there is no way to guarantee your pet is safe from theft, and in the worst case scenario it is important to remain calm and act quickly.
If the worst happens; Contact the police immediately, Register your pet as stolen with your Microchip Company, Alert local vets, dog wardens and rescue centres, Generate a profile for your pet on a lost pet website, Distribute posters, Use SOCIAL MEDIA-Thousands of people could potentially see your posts all across the country free of charge.
Lastly stay positive and please don’t give up hope!
Dr. Kathryn Miller MRCVS
As the weather gets warmer and your pets are outside enjoying walks on the lovely trails and in the woods and parks it is time to consider tick season. We encourage you to start thinking about protecting your pets from these pesky pests.
You can see in this picture how the head is burrowed under the skin.
Ticks are small parasites that attach to your animal's skin and feed from their blood. Often animals will not show many signs of being bothered by ticks, but a large tick infestation can cause anaemia and some ticks carry potentially fatal diseases which they can transmit to a pet as they feed.
How to prevent tick diseases:
We stock top quality products and will be able to advise you on what products are right for your pet. We know the history of your pet(s) and will be happy to help provide the best solution to keep them healthy.
Dr. Kathryn Miller
With so much information available it can be hard to know what is best for your pets! We hear many ‘urban legends’ and ‘old wives tales’ with regards to pet health care – some of these are genuinely good ideas whereas others are downright dangerous!
Here are some useful home tips and some common myths:
The best advice is always to call us and one of our vets will be happy to give you guidance that is safe and tailored your beloved pet’s specific needs.
Spring is finally here and the beautiful spring flowers are beginning to bloom.
Did you know that daffodils are toxic to cats and dogs!
Please remember to be vigilant with your pets and watch what they may eat as some plants are very toxic to pets.
Even a small amount may be dangerous so it is best not to take any chances.Symptoms to watch for include:
ALWAYS SEEK VETERINARY ADVICE URGENTLY WHEN YOUR PET HAS INGESTED ANY PART OF A TOXIC PLANT.
As part of the primary vaccination course, your puppy will be vaccinated against Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis and Leptospirosis at 8 weeks old; followed by a Parvovirus, Distemper and Hepatitis booster at 10 weeks and a Leptospirosis booster at 12 weeks.
Technically, your puppy will not be fully immunised against those disease until 2 weeks after their final puppy vaccine; that is at 14 weeks old. However, it is also vitally important to socialise your puppy during this time.
Socialisation is a vital process during which a puppy learns how to interact with other dogs, with people and with their environment. The key sensitive period for socialisation occurs between 3 and 16 weeks of age. As we live in a relatively low risk area for the diseases that we vaccinate dogs against, we therefore recommend waiting 48 hours after their first vaccine, then starting 'lead walking' on pavements and in wooded areas.
It is safe for your puppy to socialise with other vaccinated dogs, and we strongly encourage attending our puppy parties during which they will learn to interact and play with other vaccinated puppies of a similar age. It is advised however to stay away from waterways, farmyards and marshland areas until two weeks after the final Leptospirosis vaccine has been given, as this disease is known to be transmitted via waterways and rodent urine.
Please feel free to talk to one of our vets or nurses if you have any questions.
As summer arrives, we look forward to being outside enjoying the sunshine and travelling around to pretty summer locations. Our pets enjoy it too - but let us not forget the impact of the sun on our furry friends as we all enjoy a pet safe summertime!
If your pet is showing any signs of heat stroke, take your pet inside, offer them water, use wet towels with cool water and apply it to their skin (do not submerge them). Heat stroke can progress quickly and be fatal to your pet should immediate attention not be sought.
CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY!
By Dr. Kat Miller MRCVS
We hear so many ‘urban myths’ and ‘old-wives-tales’ at work; many of them are not detrimental to a pets’ health but others can be extremely dangerous!
Below are some common myths busted as well as some of our best home care tips:
Dr. Kathryn Miller
It is never too late to organise your pet’s annual ‘M.O.T.’ and ensure their vaccinations are up to date.
A routine check-up is a great way to ensure your pet is in optimum health and can allow your vet to detect signs of problems that are on the horizon, possibly sparing you the trauma of an emergency visit later on. It is also a great time to ensure that your pet’s preventative health plan is up to date, including vaccines and anti-parasite treatment.
Vaccinations help protect your pet from potentially fatal diseases. Kittens & puppies require a ‘primary course’ when they are young which involves multiple injections at specific timings to prime their immune system – talk to your vet to see what schedule they recommend. Puppies are routinely vaccinated against: distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis and canine hepatitis. Kittens are routinely vaccinated against: cat flu, feline enteritis and feline leukaemia virus. Talk to us about our Puppy and Kitten Packages to save some money for your new addition.
Following the primary course your pet will require annual ‘booster’ vaccines to keep their immunity at a safe level. Without boosters their immunity will wane and they are at risk of contracting diseases. We are very careful to avoid over vaccination – we give a slightly different vaccine each year to ensure that your pets schedule is tailored to exactly what they require and nothing more. That’s why your vet always checks your pet’s records to see what has been given over the last few years.
Rabies and kennel cough vaccinations are not ‘routine’ but speak to us to see if your pet could benefit from these additional vaccines.
Dr. Kathryn Miller
You love your pets and want what is best for them while also saving money. Prevention and good nutrition is the key!
Pets today can live longer healthier lives than ever before largely due to the advances in veterinary medicine, diagnostics and vaccines that help protect them from deadly infectious diseases. Many infectious diseases still pose a threat to dogs and cats that aren’t vaccinated but not every pet needs every available vaccine. Your pet’s unique circumstances are considered when determining which vaccines are best for your pet.
Like people, pets need a good diet and regular exercise to live healthy longer lives. Good nutrition is vital throughout their life from enabling them to grow and develop when young to preventing and fighting disease when older. Many serious health conditions can develop as a result of poor weight control, some being: joint strain, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing difficulties and generally a poor quality of life.
Pet weight management must be done carefully. If weight reduction is too rapid, conditions such as hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) or diabetes may occur, requiring aggressive and expensive medical treatment.
Let our vets help you establish a preventative health and nutrition plan just right for you and your pet!
Summer is a popular time to take holidays away from home but you might find it stressful considering being away because you want your pets to enjoy this time with you. The PETS travel scheme makes it easy for your dog (or cat) to come along on vacation with you - so long as they meet certain criteria.
Your pet will need to be issued a passport, a microchip and a rabies vaccination. Your pet will then need to wait 21 days until he or she can travel, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of planning time! In order to re-enter the UK at the end of the holiday your dog will need to see a vet to have a tapeworm tablet administered.
Although not a legal requirement, it is recommended that your pet is up to date with their annual vaccinations as well as flea and tick treatments to protect them from catching exotic diseases. Extra protection against diseases that are not within the UK may also be required, for example leishmania and heartworm. Speak to one of our vets for advice.
If you are travelling outside of the EU the process of preparing your pet can take longer and a blood test after the rabies vaccination may be required. A health certificate may be required and a vet may need to certify that your animal is fit to travel.
If you are thinking of taking your pet abroad talk to us as soon as possible to ensure you leave yourself enough time to prepare your pet for travel. We are happy to help prepare your pet for travel and wish you happy travelling!
As with people, obesity is a growing problem and a serious health risk facing our pets!
Of course this is not intentional. We are a nation of animal lovers, and we would not knowingly put them at risk of conditions such as Arthritis, Diabetes, Respiratory distress or Heart disease. However, overfeeding and i nadequate exercise means these issues are common and we are shortening our pet's lifespan.
In most cases, owners just aren't sure how much to feed. It is easy to 'guestimate' food portions with a 'handful' here and a 'bowlful' there, but unless we check and adhere to feeding guidelines on the food packaging, there is no way of knowing how much they are getting and the pounds will soon pile on!
It is also too easy to give the 'odd biscuit' or 'slither' from the table when we see those 'puppy eyes', but all these extra treats, combined with their main allowance is just adding extra calories they don't need.
We recommend speaking to one of our vets or veterinary nurses as they will be able to look at your pets history and very importantly they will know about your pets medical condition. They will assess your pet as an individual-checking their shape and body condition to give you a healthy target weight. We hold Free Nurse clinics so our nurses can guide you through a weight loss programme if required at no cost to you.
Together we can help your pets, big and small, life healthier longer lives.
As we head out of the summer months, most owners will be relaxing their pet's parasite preventatives since they believe parasites to be a summer problem - unfortunately this is FALSE!
Whilst it is true that parasites, such as fleas, thrive in warmer conditions they also love warm and cosy houses and can lay dormant in the environment - in carpets, floor boards and anywhere else they are left undisturbed.
Therefore if you want a parasite free home, treatment needs to be regularly applied ALL year round.
The best advice is to speak to one of our Vets or Veterinary nurses who will assess your animal as an individual, and then devise a protection plan based on their lifestyle. We will carefully consider any parasite risk currently in your area.
There are so many products available on the market, from 'spot ons' and tablets to collars and injections, and to make life more complicated no one product treats all parasites, so a particular combination is required.
It may seem more expensive but going to the vets first off will save you a fortune on ineffective and unreliable products bought from pet shops or supermarkets.
It is important to remember that 95% of your flea problem is in your pet's environment, only 5% of the problem is on your pet, so just because you can't see them doesn't mean they aren't there!
Well, firstly it depends on the product you are using. Generally most treatments do not treat the environment, so you will require an additional household spray.
In addition to this, you will need to make sure your carpets are thoroughly vacuumed and your pet's bedding is regularly washed at a minimum of 60 degrees.
In cases of an infestation, it can take months to get on top of the problem. If you are doubting the efficacy of the product talk to us and we will check your pet for any other skin conditions that could be causing the problem, and will advise you what will be best should changing products be required.
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