Tag Archives: Health

Veterinary Poisons Information Service: Fabric Washing Capsules and e-cigarettes.

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The Veterinary Poisons Information Service has highlighted two products which may be a risk to your pet; fabric washing capsules and e-cigarettes/ENDS (Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems).

Fabric Washing Capsules/liquitabs

These may be eaten by pets if dropped on the floor or visible in kitchen cupboards. The jelly-like presentation may encourage curious animals to play with the liquitabs until they eventually burst in the animals mouth.

Recently the VPIS was contacted about a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who had bit through a liquitab. He became depressed and started vomiting over night. When he presented at the vets the next morning, he was severely dehydrated with pale gums and aspiration pneumonia. He developed renal failure and had convulsions. He died 2 hours after presentation, approximately 24 hours after ingestion.

e-cigarettes/ENDS

The liquids in e-cigarettes have been shown to be serious or fatal to both humans and dogs. E-cigarettes and their refills contain large doses of nicotine (up to 36mg per ml). Nicotine in all forms is highly toxic.

If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at http://www.tiptreevets.co.uk or http://www.willows-vets.co.uk

Heatstroke

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Dogs expel heat by panting; however, this is ineffective if the environment is too humid or hot. In cases of heat-stroke, a dog’s body temperature can rise over 42°c (normal body temperature is around 38°c).

Signs of heat-stroke

Signs of heat-stroke include panting excessively, anxious behaviour, very red gums (turning blue in extreme circumstances), salivating, very rapid heart rate, collapse, convulsions or shock.
Heat-stroke must be treated IMMEDIATELY otherwise it can be fatal.

What to do if your dog is suffering from heat-stroke:

Remove the dog from the hot environment.
Reduce the body temperature GRADUALLY by using a shower spray and fan (to increase air flow). Then douse the dog in cool water, especially the head and neck (DO NOT USE ICE COLD WATER) or cover your dog in wet sheets. Continue until his breathing starts to settle.
Allow your dog to drink as much as he wants in small quantities at a time.
Seek veterinary advice immediately as it can be difficult to be sure how serious the situation is and urgent treatment may be needed.

If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at http://www.tiptreevets.co.uk or http://www.willows-vets.co.uk

The Yellow Dog Project: Some Dogs Need Space

The Official Yellow Dog UK poster

The Yellow Dog Project was created to bring awareness to dogs who need space while training, recovering from surgery, or being rehabilitated.

If you see a dog with a YELLOW ribbon, bandanna or similar on the leash or on the dog, this is a dog which needs some space. Please, do not approach this dog or its people with your dog. They are indicating that their dog cannot be close to other dogs. How close is too close? Only the dog or his people know, so maintain distance and give them time to move out of your way.

You can read more here: http://www.yellowdoguk.co.uk/

Lungworm

Lungworm dog and bone

The larvae of the lungworm parasite are carried by slugs, snails and frogs. They can cause a problem if the dog eats them either purposefully or accidently (by eating grass, drinking from puddles, etc). Dogs or foxes infected with lungworm can spread the parasite into the environment as the larvae are expelled in the animal’s poo.

Symptoms

After infection, you may see worsening signs of cardiac and respiratory disease. This can include a chronic cough that gets worse over time, exercise intolerance, difficulty breathing and weight loss. Initially symptoms are only seen at extremes of exercise, gradually becoming more obvious as the disease progresses. Affected dogs can develop a diarrhoea that rapidly becomes bloody. They may also bleed from the nose or elsewhere. Infection can cause serious health problems and even be fatal if untreated, so seek veterinary advice if you have any concerns.

Your vet may be able to diagnose lungworm by looking at your pets faeces under a microscope, examining their history, compatible clinical signs and response to treatment.

Prevention and treatment of lungworm

Dealing with the health problems caused by lung worm can be very difficult but killing the actual worm is relatively simple and cheap. We therefore recommend that you include lungworm treatment into your normal worming routine. Your vet will be able to advise you of the best product for your pet.

 

If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at http://www.tiptreevets.co.uk or http://www.willows-vets.co.uk

A guide to first vaccinations

Don with two kittens

Immunity and vaccination

Immunity is the body’s natural ability to fight infection. Puppies and kittens are usually protected during the first few weeks, thanks to immunity passed through the mother’s first milk. However this immunity fades rapidly, leaving them suseptible to disease. Vaccinations increase the likelihood of immunity by exposing the body to a small, harmless dose of the disease.

Initial vaccinations

Puppies need 2 injections at 8 and 10 weeks of age. Breeds susceptible to Parvovirus should get a third vaccination at 16 weeks of age. The first annual vaccination at 15 months is critical.

Kittens need 2 injections at 9 and 12 weeks of age. The first annual vaccination is very important.

Rabbits need 2 injections at 6 and 8 weeks of age.

When your pet has their vaccinations, the vet will also give them a general health check.

Meeting other pets

It is important that puppies and kittens learn to socialise with other animals. It is important to wait a couple of weeks after the vaccinations for immunity to develop. The vet will then let you know that your pet is ready to meet others.

Vaccinations in Adult Animals

Immunity to diseases may fade. It’s therefore necessary for your pet to have booster vaccinations.

Dogs should be vaccinated every 2 years against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza and every year against Leptospirosis and Bordetella. They should also be vaccinated against Rabies every 2 years if travelling.

Cats should be vaccinated yearly against Rhinotracheitis, Leukemia and Calici virus. They should also be vaccinated every 2 years against Rabies if travelling and Parvovirus. We also recommend vaccinations against Bordetella and Chlamydia in breeding colonies.

Rabbits should be vaccinated against Myxomatosis every 6 months and VHD every year. Ferrets should be vaccinated against Distemper every year.

Vaccination records

You’ll be given a certificate that contains a record of the vaccination and tells your when your next booster is due. You will need this certificate when attending boarding kennels, training classes and your vet, so make sure you keep it in a safe place.

 

If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at www.tiptreevets.co.uk or www.willows-vets.co.uk.

Endoscopy

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Endoscopy is a way of looking into the body without doing surgery. It uses fibre optics to shine a light into organs such as the stomach, to see if there is anything abnormal. It is possible to see foreign objects or we can see if there is any pathology such as growths.

Small objects can be retrieved using the forceps in the endoscope. A computer screen can be used to visualise all that is going on.

We have rigid endoscopy and flexible endoscopy which gives us a good choice of treatments. Rigid endoscopy is one where the endoscope cannot bend and this can be used in the ear or colon. The flexible endoscope can be manipulated so that the end part can move. This would be used behind the soft palate or around the stomach.

Endoscopy usually requires an anaesthetic but can be very helpful in working out what is going on without using very invasive techniques.

If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at www.tiptreevets.co.uk or www.willows-vets.co.uk

Ultrasounds

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Ultrasonography is a mechanism using high frequency waves to identify different structures in the body. The high frequency waves bounce off the tissues. The scans they produce depend on the different density of the tissues of the body.

X-Rays are different to ultrasound pictures. Where as fluids can be difficult to see with x-rays they can be easily diagnosed with ultrasound. Also ultrasound is a moving picture and x-rays are static. This enables us to see hearts beating in pregnant animals.

Ultrasound can also be performed without a general anaesthetic if the patient is co-operative but it usually entails some shaving as the fur can interfere with the ultrasound pictures. We would usually use ultrasound in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures to decide what is wrong with our patients.

We would usually recommend a pregnancy ultrasound for your pet if they are 4 weeks pregnant or more. Ultrasounds cannot identify how many there will be in a litter but an x-ray at 6 weeks gestation can be more helpful if a more accurate number is required.

If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at www.tiptreevets.co.uk or www.willows-vets.co.uk

Pet Insurance

Prep room

As medicine advances, costs go up. Ten years ago we wouldn’t have considered doing MRI scans but now these are done quite routinely at referral practices. Chemotherapy protocols have advanced and we can do much more now in treating and diagnosing illnesses for our pets. These advancements in medical science have made some modern treatments more costly, so having Pet Insurance is one of the ways of providing the best care for your patients. It also covers Third-party liability so if your pet injures someone or damages their property you will be covered.

Types of Pet Insurance

Lifetime Cover

This policy will cover any condition (as long as it occurred after taking out the policy) for the life of your pet. This may be one of the more expensive options but it gives the best protection. There is usually a maximum amount allowable for vets’ fees. This amount depends on the policy.

Annual Cover

The annual insurance is cheaper and will only cover new conditions for one year. If your pet was limping on one leg and you did not put in a claim but the next year you decided to claim, this would probably not be covered as it existed the year before you renewed the policy. This is not as comprehensive as Life cover but maybe affordable or adequate for your needs.

Per Condition

Cover for vets’ fees up to a specified maximum, with no time limit as long as you pay your premiums.

Accident only

This policy only covers for injuries caused by accidents.

We would recommend a Life policy but if you cannot afford it one of the other policies would be worth considering depending on your needs. Consider looking at excesses and the extra costs that may be incurred as the pets get older when deciding which company and policy to use.

Please speak to us if you are unsure. We are happy to explain and help you to make the best choice for your pets. You can call us on 01621 818282 (Tiptree) or 01206 561407 (Willows). You can also visit our websites at www.tiptreevets.co.uk or www.willows-vets.co.uk

Worming

Roundworms and Tapeworms

Worms are parasites that live inside the body. Roundworms and tapeworms are the ones that most commonly affect animals. They can cause poor health such as a dull hair coat, vomiting, diarrhoea, intestinal blockage or lung damage and death in animals. These worms can be passed on to people, especially the young, elderly and the unwell. Roundworm, Toxocara canis, that affects dogs can cause blindness in people and some forms of tapeworm can also infect people and can result in death.

Worm eggs can last for years in the ground so it is easy for your pet to pick up worms from the soil. Tapeworms can be passed on by fleas and lungworm is spread by pets eating pests such as slugs and snails.

Worming

Generally we would recommend worming every 3 months but as puppies and kittens can be born with worms we would advise worming monthly for little ones or pets that hunt more. Good hygiene such as washing hands and disposing of faeces will help prevent worm infections.

As we feel very strongly about preventative healthcare, we are very careful about the wormers we sell. We sell broad spectrum wormers that cover almost all the major round and tapeworms. A lot of worming products available over the counter (for example pet shops or supermarkets) only cover a few of the worms and not all the species of worms.

We also run a healthcare plan for our pets. This is a budgeted monthly scheme that covers the cost of the vaccinations, worming and flea treatments. It is aimed to cover the costs of medications and some of the procedures not covered by insurance, such as nail clipping and anal gland emptying and discounted dentals. Please ask reception about our “VIP” Very Important Pet Health Plan to find out more.

If you would like any more information then phone 01621 818282 (Tiptree Veterinary Centre) or 01206 561407 (Willows Veterinary Centre) to book an appointment with one of our vets. You can also visit our websites at www.tiptreevets.co.uk or www.willows-vets.co.uk

Wildlife News

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Someone recently brought this beautiful owl into our practice with a broken leg. Don has operated to fix the leg and hopefully, after a couple of weeks of recovery, he will be released back into the wild.