Duncan's London to Paris Bike Ride for Dog's Trust

 Duncan bike with logo

This September, I will be getting on my bike and cycling 300 miles from London to Paris.  At the same time, I am hoping to raise money to help the local Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre near Canterbury.

Having been forced to retire from the other sports I used to enjoy, I have now donned the Lycra, spent far too much money on a new bike and now cycle as often as I can.  Having successfully done a few local long distance events, I am training hard for this next challenge.

On the first day I will pedal from London down to Dover, hop on the ferry to Calais then continue for another 3 days through the French countryside until I reach the finish point under the Eiffel Tower.  Each leg of the ride will be around 75 miles, meaning 6-7 hours in the saddle every day; thankfully, I have a good pair of padded shorts!

Earlier this year we re-homed a dog from Dogs Trust; Maisie came to the Canterbury centre from Ireland and as soon my wife and daughters went to see her they knew she was ‘the one’.  She was described by the staff as ‘a live wire’ and certainly lives up to that reputation, but she charms everyone she meets and has proved to be an excellent companion to our other dog Dougal, a black Labrador, and very quickly established herself as part of the family.


I was very impressed with the way the Canterbury centre was run, the staff who we dealt with and also how the whole ‘adoption’ process was organised so am delighted to have the opportunity to help them out in this way.  I am paying for the trip out of my own pocket so every pound raised will go direct to Dogs Trust Canterbury.

I will be posting regular updates on the Wigmore Veterinary Centre Facebook page so you can follow firstly how the training is going, then more importantly keep up-to-date with my progress on the ride itself from 13th to 16th September.

If you would like to support me and the Dogs Trust Canterbury you can do so in 3 ways:

  1. Write your details on a sponsor form and leave your donation with the reception staff at the Wigmore surgery.
  2. Make an anonymous donation in the collection box at reception.
  3. Visit www.justgiving.com/duncanrossl2p and make your donation online.  Thank you very much for your support.

Thank you for your support.

Here is Maisie with her housemate Dougal and also showing just how comfortable she is in her new home! 

Maisie Dougal

Maisie in bed

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New Heart Disease Screening

dobermanpinschersf1Certain large and giant breed dogs over the age of two to three are at an increased risk of developing a heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).

If dogs can be diagnosed in the early stage of this disease, medication can significantly prolong healthy life but as dogs in this first phase of the disease appear outwardly normal, we can only diagnose dogs by performing specific tests to assess the heart.

Our screening programme is now available – one of our vets will thoroughly examine your dog, and take a BLOOD SAMPLE to run a specific HEART TEST.  This test measures the levels of a substance called pro-BNP, which is released into the blood stream when the heart muscle stretches excessively, such as in dogs with DCM.

dalmationThe breeds considered to be 'at risk' are DOBERMAN, GREAT DANE, IRISH WOLFHOUND, NEWFOUNDLAND, ST BERNARD, BOXER, DALMATIAN and PORTUGESE WATER DOG.  If you own one of these breeds we strongly recommend you arrange for their heart to be screened.

For a limited period the cost of the initial screening (Vet examination and Heart Blood Test) will be our usual consultation fee of £33.50 plus a 33% discounted Blood Test Fee £65.45 = Total £98.95.

This is a saving of £32.24. Please mention you have seen this article on the website to get the discount.

Please call us on 01634 388045 to arrange an appointment.


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New strain of killer rabbit disease

ip33861 Stuart EdwardsRabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) is a highly fatal disease of rabbits which arrived in the United Kingdom in 1992.  It is caused by a virus and is widespread in the wild rabbit population.  The virus can be carried in the air and so pet rabbits can become infected even if they do not have direct contact with their wild cousins.

In order to protect our patients, we advise annual vaccination - this is included with myxomatosis in our single injection combined vaccine.

Recently a new strain of the RHD virus, known as RHD2, has been identified and is now widespread in parts of France and Italy and spreading.  As of August 2016 there has been one confirmed and a growing number of suspected cases in the United Kingdom.

The current combined vaccine does not offer protection against this new strain, but we can import from France a separate vaccine which is effective against RHD2.  This vaccine can be given in addition to the normal vaccine but at least three weeks apart.

At the moment the risk for pet rabbits in the UK is low, but the virus could rapidly become widespread here and the results of infection are devastating.  So we think all rabbit owners should give serious consideration to protecting their pets.

If you wish to have this vaccine please contact the surgery on 01634 388045.  As the vaccine is specially imported there may sometimes be a delay in getting your appointment  - so please book early.

The cost per rabbit is £37.50

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NEW!!! Medication and food collection service

AK Pet Service

If you have difficulty collecting medication or food from us we can arrange for Adrian at AK Pet Service to collect and deliver to you for a charge of just


Delivered within 48hrs of regular collection days


Please call us on 01634 388045 when you next need to order your medication or food and we will simply arrange for Adrian to collect it from us.

Adrian also offers a Pet Taxi Service (call him direct on 07772 589511)

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Babesiosis - A new disease in dogs

As you may be aware from recent news coverage, a veterinary practice in Essex has recently diagnosed and treated four local dogs with Babesiosis, a disease new to dogs in the United Kingdom.

Babesia parasiteWhat is Babesiosis? Babesiosis in dogs is an infection caused by the single-celled parasite Babesia. This parasite infects red blood cells, both directly damaging the cells but also causing the body's own immune cells to attack red blood cells. This leads to an anaemia which can be life threatening.

How is it transmitted? The main mode of transmission is through tick bites. A tick typically needs to be attached to a dog for 24-48 hours to successfully transmit the disease. Until recently, ticks in the UK were very unlikely to be carrying Babesia, however, with the increase in pet travel since passports were introduced the risks may now be higher.

What are the symptoms of Babesiosis? The symptoms of infection relate to the destruction of red blood cells. They can be non-specific and vary widely from dog to dog. The main symptoms are: lethargy, weakness, pale gums, jaundice, red/brown urine and fever. Diagnosis is made by examining a blood sample under the microscope or using specialised genetic tests to detect the parasite's presence.

How can it be treated? Treatment is focused on killing the parasite and stopping the body's immune system from destroying more red blood cells. Dogs may need to be hospitalised to give them supportive care and close monitoring and in severe cases, may need blood transfusions. It can be fatal if left untreated.

Dermacentor reticulatus 2How can it be prevented? There are no vaccines for Babesia available in the UK. Prevention is based on routine use of anti-tick medication and being vigilant in removing ticks from the coat as soon as they are seen. Please speak to us regarding our current recommendations for tick prevention. Particular care should be taken if your pet is travelling outside the UK, however all of the cases that have been seen in Essex involved dogs that had not travelled, suggesting ticks in the UK were responsible for transmitting the disease

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