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Bird Flu Prevention Zone Extended to Cover Whole of England

Beautiful Flying Pigeons wild birds 20659719 2560 1640The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has extended the bird flu prevention zone declared in Dorset last week to cover the whole of England, requiring all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures.

The decision comes after 13 dead wild birds were confirmed to have the virus in Warwickshire.

Last week 17 wild birds were tested positive in Dorset and 31 infected birds have now been identified at the Dorset site. At that time Defra responded by putting a local prevention zone in place and, now it is known the disease is not isolated to the Dorset site, the prevention zone has been extended across the country as a precautionary measure.

The prevention zone means bird keepers across the country must:

  • Make areas where birds are kept unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds and by removing wild bird food sources;
  • Feed and water birds in enclosed areas;
  • Minimise movement in and out of bird enclosures;
  • Clean and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy;
  • Reduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, and fencing off wet or boggy areas.

Those keepers who have more than 500 birds will need to take extra biosecurity measures that include restricting access to non-essential people, changing clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and cleaning and disinfecting vehicles.

The birds in Warwickshire are still being tested but it is expected that it will be the same H5N6 strain of bird flu that was found in the wild birds in Dorset and has been circulating wild birds across Europe. Public Health England have advised the risk to public health is very low with the Food Standards Agency also offering reassurance that bird flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers. Defra has confirmed that the H5N6 strain is different to the strains which affected people in China last year. 

Although it does not represent a threat to public, it is highly infectious and deadly to birds. 

British Veterinary Association (BVA) President John Fishwick said: "I’d encourage vets to reassure their clients that this strain of Avian Influenza poses a very low risk to public health and the food chain. However, there is clearly a need to try to contain further spread of the disease, which has almost certainly come from migratory birds, and vets and poultry owners should follow the new prevention zone measures and remain vigilant for signs of bird flu."

British Veterinary Poultry Association (BVPA) President Phil Hammond added: "It’s really important that all bird keepers heed biosecurity advice issued by Defra, and maintain the highest biosecurity standards. Any suspicion of Avian Influenza should be reported to the APHA as soon as possible."

Up-to-date advice and guidance on Avian Influenza is available on the Gov.UK website, including how to spot it, what to do if you suspect it, and measures to prevent it:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#about-avian-influenza

For further advice on Avian Influenza contact the Defra Helpline on 03459 33 55 77.

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"100 Mile an Hour Couch Potato" Slows Down

Jim on sofaJim, also known as ‘Slim Jim’, is a Lurcher who was found 7 years ago tied to a tree in a wood in the middle of winter.  He was severely malnourished and it was touch and go whether he survived or not.  Happily, he was successfully nursed back to health by a Rescue Centre and was then adopted by Jo Graham.  After demolishing 2 doors and a settee, he eventually became calmer and settled well into the family.

Jim came to us at Wigmore Vets just before Christmas, as he had gone off his food and started vomiting.  Despite medication his condition deteriorated so the next day our vet, Duncan Ross, advised that we take some X-rays to investigate.  The X-rays showed that he had a large mass inside his abdomen, which appeared to be part of his spleen, and was most likely a tumour.

In the adult dog, the spleen has 2 main functions.  Firstly, it stores red blood cells – these can be released into the blood stream if needed.  Secondly, the spleen is part of the body’s immune system filtering toxins and waste products from the blood.  These functions are not essential for life and adult dogs can live happily without a spleen.  Therefore, removal of the organ – splenectomy – can be done for serious diseases of the spleen.

Tumours are quite common in the spleen.  Many are benign - called haemangioma - but some are malignant - called haemangiosarcoma.  In the case of a haemangioma, which doesn’t usually spread elsewhere, then splenectomy is normally a successful treatment, resulting in complete cure.  The malignant form, haemangiosarcoma, is a very aggressive cancer and by the time it is diagnosed has usually already spread. Therefore, removing the spleen in these cases usually only buys some time before the secondary growths eat away at other organs.

After discussion with Duncan, Mrs Graham agreed that Jim should undergo an Exploratory Laparotomy to open up his abdomen and examine all the contents.

During the anaesthesia and surgery, Duncan confirmed that there was a large mass present on the spleen, but happily there was no evidence of any spread to other parts of the abdomen, so a tentative diagnosis of benign haemangioma was made.  Duncan then removed the whole spleen, being very careful to thoroughly ligate (tie-off) all the multiple large blood vessels to prevent haemorrhage.  After the spleen was removed, his abdomen was flushed with warm fluids to reduce development of adhesions and then the abdomen was closed with layers of sutures.  This is major surgery and there are many possible complications, but all went well.

It took Jim a few days to recover from his illness and the surgery, but within a week he was back to his normal cheeky self.  He loves to steal anything, but especially food that is not his own!  He loves to run although he is not as fast these days.  He has been described as a '100 mile an hour couch potato' as he spends a lot of the day sleeping.

Here is another beautiful photo of Jim enjoying the bluebells, and a picture of his very enlarged spleen (look away if you're squeamish!)

jim in woods

Jim Graham spleen

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New Food Range for Cats & Dogs - Veterinary HPM

Veterinary HPMWe have recently changed our Life Stage diets for cats and dogs to VETERINARY HPM™ (HyperPreMium).

VETERINARY HPM™ is an advanced low-carb, high-protein formulation specifically designed to support the long-term health and well-being of cats and dogs, the highly evolved carnivores in our own homes. 

DOGS AND CATS ARE CARNIVORES!

Dogs and cats have an amazing ancestry. Shaped by tens of thousands of years of evolution, they possess the speed, agility and finely honed senses of an expert predator.

Although your pet dog or cat might seem a long way from their wild ancestors, their nutritional need remain fundamentally unchanged.

Dogs and cats are carnivores. They require the low-carb, high-protein diet of meat-eaters.

SO, WHY DOES COMMERCIAL DOG AND CAT FOOD CONTAIN SO MUCH GRAIN?

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Grain (maize, wheat...) is listed as the main ingredient in 66% of dog food and 46% of adult cat food along with a very high starch content.

 

 

 

*Average protein and carbohydrate amounts in maintenance adult cat and dog dry food, comercialized in Europe. Internal analysis carried out in France, September 2015 - Comparison data collected via official product websites.

VETERINARY HPM™: NEW GENERATION FOOD DESIGNED FOR CARNIVORES

VETERINARY HPM™ is formulated to satisfy the nutritional needs of dogs and cats.

A LOW-CARBOHYDRATE, HIGH-PROTEIN DIET

All VETERINARY HPM™ food is formulated around animal protein as the main source of energy, reducing the proportion of carbohydrates as much as possible.

Compared to main adult dog and cat life stage products sold in the vet channel*:

HIGH-QUALITY ANIMAL PROTEIN SOURCE

VETERINARY HPM™ is formulated with high-quality pork and poultry animal protein, which is sourced from within Europe, and produced in our own factory in the South of France.

LOW STARCH CONTENT

Only the minimum starch content necessary is used in making this pet food to achieve an appealing texture.

NATURALLY APPEALING...*

In just a few decades, dogs and cats, both of which are natural carnivores, have had to adapt to diets increasingly rich in starch. Recent studies show, however, that when given the choice, dogs and cats clearly prefer foods which contain very little carbohydrates and are richer in animal protein.

All VETERINARY HPM™ products were trialled by cat and dog owners in order to validate the quality and acceptance of every product. The tests were conducted at home, in real conditions over one month.

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94%
ACCEPTANCE
WITH LARGE AND MEDIUM DOGS

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92%
ACCEPTANCE
WITH SMALL AND TOY DOGS

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84%
ACCEPTANCE
WITH CATS

We're so confident that your pet will love Veterinary HPM that, if they won't eat it, we'll provide a full replacement or refund!

*Palatability studies carried out in between 2013-2014 by Technisens, with pet owners at home. 

GIVING YOUR PET A BALANCED DIET MEANS KEEPING IT IN GOOD HEALTH

Discover how VETERINARY HPM™ supports the long-term health and well-being of your pet. Thanks to its low-carb, high-protein nutritional profile and carefully selected dietary supplements, VETERINARY HPM™ is more than just a dog and cat food.

VETERINARY HPM™ provides perfectly tailored nutrition for the specific health challenges at each stage of your dog or cat's life, helping to keep them in optimal health.

You can head over to https://www.virbac.co.uk/home/veterinary-hpm.html for more information.

There are two lovely videos below for cats and dogs.

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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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Bunny Package

 

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3 years on borrowed time!!

ip27978 Jasmine GilbertJasmine is a delightful 6-year-old Tortoisehell cat who enjoys a life of luxury with her owner Miss Gilbert.

Early in January she appeared to lose her normal ‘joie de vivre’, so Miss Gilbert took her to Vets Now, who provide out-of-hours emergency cover for Wigmore.  Their vets examined her, but were unable to make a diagnosis so gave her some supportive treatment and referred her back to us for further investigation.

Whilst Jasmine was certainly ‘not right’, her symptoms remained vague.  Andrew and Duncan, with a combined 50 years veterinary experience, were initially baffled.  BLOOD TESTS DID NOT HELP. Despite continuing to eat, she had not passed any faeces for almost a week so Duncan advised exploratory surgery to open up her abdomen for a thorough internal examination.  As soon as he made the incision into her tummy, Duncan recognised that something was very odd indeed - neither her small or large intestines were where they should have been!

Further exploration was needed so the incision was enlarged and Duncan went searching for those missing abdominal organs and found them in Jasmine’s chest!  Duncan discovered a tear in her diaphragm, the sheet of muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest and is largely responsible for breathing.  Her intestines had passed through this tear and were sitting in her chest next to her lungs.  Amazingly they had still been functioning normally and filling up with faeces, but this meant there was no way the intestines could fit back through the tear and so they had become very swollen.  By enlarging the tear in the diaphragm, Duncan was able to manipulate the intestines back into the abdomen and inspect them fully.  They had suffered some damage due to stretching, but Duncan was happy that there was no serious problems and he was able to successfully patch this up.

He then repaired the diaphragmatic tear and after a final check Jasmine’s incision was sewn up and she went into recovery.  Access to operate on the diaphragm can be very awkward and fiddly and the repair is prone to break down as the diaphragm muscle is already badly damaged.

A further severe risk with surgery into the chest or into the abdomen when the diaphragm is ruptured, is that the near vacuum in the chest which allows the lungs to expand is lost and the pet has to be artificially ventilated to breathe.  AND AFTER SURGERY IS COMPLETED AIR HAS TO BE SUCKED OUT OF THE CHEST TO ALLOW SPONTANEOUS BREATHING - ALWAYS A WORRYING TIME WAITING FOR IT TO RE-START.

Jasmine post opAmazingly within less than an hour Jasmine was sitting up, had passed some faeces and was already looking more comfortable - a testament to her incredible toughness.  She continued to make a good recovery and is now completely back to normal.

But the mystery was still not completely solved!  Tears in the diaphragm only occur in cats as a result of major trauma, most commonly when they are hit by a car.  Jasmine had absolutely no signs of any trauma at all, no scuffed nails, no cuts or grazes and most significantly no bruising either externally or internally.  ALSO THE DIAPHRAGMATIC TEAR DID NOT LOOK RECENT TO DUNCAN.  So how had the tear been caused?  A further check through her medical records showed that she came to us in December 2013 after possibly being hit by a car.  At the time she was thoroughly checked over but showed no signs of any major problems and was given treatment after which she very quickly made a full recovery.  She has enjoyed good health ever since.

It is clear now that the diaphragm must have sustained a tear then.  This injury can be life threatening and a severe emergency especially if enough of the abdominal contents PASS INTO THE CHEST TO COLLAPSE THE LUNGS.  In this case it seems just the intestines very recently moved through the tear into the chest cavity, resulting in the onset of Jasmine becoming unwell.  But quite why this happened now, more than 3 years since the accident still remains a mystery!

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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

£7

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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Alabama Rot

Alabama Rot is a serious disease which has only recently been recognised in dogs in the UK.  It causes lesions on the skin and occasionally on the mouth, which can look like sores, wounds or stings.  Some dogs go on to develop life-threatening kidney failure. Any age, sex or breed of dog can be affected.

Recently there have been reports of two cases in Kent.  As the cause of the disease is unknown,  it is very difficult to give specific advice about prevention.  Although an environmental cause is considered possible, it has not been proven and we are not currently advising dog owners to avoid any particular locations.

The disease has been under investigation by Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists for almost 3 years.  They have a very informative website with the latest news and information about the disease.

http://www.andersonmoores.com/about/article.php?u=RGK33G6A7DDBSJDV6F65

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Itchy Jess

IMG 0978A few months ago Jess, a delightful 7 year old Chocolate Labrador, belonging to our clients Mr & Mrs Menditta, developed patches of sore, inflamed and very itchy skin on her head.  Our vet, Duncan, examined her and was suspicious that it could be a type of mange, a disease of the skin caused by mites.  So he performed a test known as a Skin Scrape - a quick and painless procedure using a scalpel blade to collect some skin cells which are then examined under a microscope.

The test revealed no mites.  Whilst this did not completely rule out mites, as sometimes they can be hard to find, it did mean that other possible causes of Jess's skin complaint had to be considered.  Other treatments were tried but these did not help and the condition began to spread further over her head and to her body and legs.  Duncan was still concerned the disease might be mites, and having the experience to know the skin scrape is not foolproof, he anaesthetised Jess and took full-thickness skin biopsies which were sent to a specialist for histopathology (preparation and examination under a high-powered microscope).

There are four types of mites common in dogs in the UK, all of which can cause skin problems.  Otodectes - usually found in the ears and lead to head-shaking; Cheylietella - these mites live on the fur and cause itchiness and severe dandruff; Demodex - normally passed down from a mum to her pups when they are still suckling and often symptomless but can cause severe dermatitis even months or years later; Sarcoptes - normally picked up from contact with foxes and cause eczema-like symptoms similar to scabies in people.

At the lab, the pathologists carefully examined all Jess's samples and eventually found a fragment of one mite in one sample!  This was enough for Duncan and he prescribed a powerful parasiticidal lotion which Mr & Mrs Menditta owners were to apply carefully to her skin weekly for six weeks.

Jess 2After only two weeks of treatment Jess had stopped scratching and her skin was looking much better.  She has now had her final bath and her skin has completely recovered.  This case illustrates how complex the diagnosis of animal diseases can be and how the knowledge and experience of a veterinary surgeon in general practice can combine with the expertise of laboratory specialists to reach the correct answer.

Here are some before and after treatment photos - 

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Got a problem with Fleas? Flea treatments not working?

Flea picSuccessive mild winters in the UK and persistence of fleas in the household environment, helped by centrally heated houses, has seen booming flea populations.

Currently there are a lot of cats and dogs suffering from fleas and flea related diseases, despite being treated with flea control products. Remember, if there are adult fleas on your pet there will already be 1000s of eggs, larvae and pupae in the house.  

Many of the non-prescription and older flea products are no longer as effective and it is best to use the newer generation products.

YOUR PET WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE FLEAS IF:

• You don’t use one of the latest generation products.

• You don’t treat the household environment thoroughly with a suitable product. Even with proper treatment, in heavy infestations it may take at least 3 months to eliminate the fleas and all their life stages.

• You don’t treat all the animals in the house at the same time.

• You don’t apply the flea treatment at the correct intervals consistently. Many products need strict 4 weekly applications.

 

flea head picFAD pictureFleas are a huge nuisance for pets and their owners causing itchiness and sore, irritated skin. Some pets will also develop Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD). Once this common allergy has developed it is lifelong. Each time your dog or cat is exposed to flea bites in the future the allergy will be re-triggered leading to a miserable itchy pet.

Flea control is a challenge so it is vital to treat your pets adequately and regularly and with suitable products.

We can advise you and supply the best products that will kill adult fleas on your pet and treat the flea life cycle stages in your home to eradicate the problem.

 FLEAS ALSO CARRY TAPEWORMS

Tapeworm picIt is also important to realise that cat and dog fleas invariably carry the TAPEWORM Dipylidium caninum. So pets with fleas will usually have this tapeworm too. So it is vital they are also treated for this. The usual roundworm treatments do NOT kill this type of tapeworm.

Please ask us for appropriate tapeworm medication.

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Chocolate's Bladder Stone

Chocolate is a 3 year old Guinea Pig with a glossy brown coat.  Mr & Mrs Coomber brought him to us as they had noticed he was often damp around his nether regions and he was leaving blood spots on the floor.  Our vet, Duncan, immediately considered the possibility of one or more bladder stones but initially decided to try treatment for cystitis which shows similar signs.  This initial treatment with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and pain relieving drugs did not help and Chocolate continued passing more blood so Duncan advised an X-ray to check for stones.

chocolate xray

As you can see the X-ray revealed one large stone and Chocolate was booked in for surgery to remove it.  This operation is called a cystotomy and involves making an incision into the bladder to remove the stone, whilst being very careful not to allow any urine to leak into the rest of the abdomen.  It is delicate surgery in any species, but even more tricky because of the small size of a guinea-pig's bladder!

A bladder stone is an accumulation of chemicals that deposit out of the urine, gradually developing from sand-grain size to often quite large stones.  In Guinea-pigs they are usually composed of Calcium carbonate.

The cause is not well understood but there appear to be genetic and dietary factors.  Being overweight is another contributory cause.  Unfortunately recurrence is common.  To reduce the chances of further stones guinea-pigs should be encouraged to drink more water (try filtered - they may prefer the chemical-free taste and filtered water reduces the level of calcium), and have a relatively low calcium diet - unlimited high quality grass hay along with leafy greens and limited (or no) low-calcium pellets should be the cornerstone of his food.

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Chocolate’s surgery was very successful and he was soon back home and went on to make a full recovery back to his squeaky self!  Let’s hope he doesn't get another stone!

chocolate at home

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5 Week Free Pet Insurance!!

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WIGMORE VETS ARE NOW ABLE TO OFFER 5 WEEKS FREE WITH VETSURE PET INSURANCE

As a fully accredited Vetsure practice we are able to offer our clients an exclusive offer with Vetsure Pet Insurance - 5 weeks cover free of charge*.  In order to benefit from this offer, you can follow the link on our website or pop into our practice and we will arrange for Vetsure to contact you and put your cover in place today!

At the point of contact Vetsure will help you understand the different levels of cover available. Whatever level of cover you choose, Vetsure will then give you the first 5 weeks free of charge.  You can cancel at any time during this period without obligation.  At the end of the 5 week period (provided you have not chosen to cancel) Vetsure will collect your first monthly instalment – this way, your pet will not have any potential ‘gaps’ in cover.

For more information call the Vetsure team on: 0800 050 2022 or visit our vetsure page HERE to learn more about the policies on offer.

*Terms and conditions apply – visit vetsure.com for details on cover available.

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New Hyperthyroid Treatment for Cats

b2ap3_thumbnail_sad-cat.jpgIf your cat has hyperthyroidism then he or she is probably having to take tablets every day.  We know how stressful this can be for both you and your cat so in order to try and make things easier we have sourced a new medicine.  This medicine comes in the form of a gel, a small volume of which is applied to the inside of your cat’s ear just once a day.  This is a very simple procedure which is easily learned and which most cats will tolerate very well.  We can explain and demonstrate how to apply the gel and you can also watch a short video (see link below).


b2ap3_thumbnail_cat-ear.jpgThe active ingredient is the same as the one we prescribe in tablet form so we know that it will be effective, but we will need to monitor your cat’s thyroid level with blood tests for the first few months after you switch over from the tablets.  The medicine costs slightly more than the tablets but most owners are happy to pay a little extra for the added convenience.

 

 

 

b2ap3_thumbnail_METHIMAZOLE.JPGIf your cat is currently taking tablets for hyperthyroidism (eg Vidalta, Thiafeline/Felimazole) and you are interested in this new medicine, please book an appointment and we will be happy to discuss the treatment in further detail.

 

 

 

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Happy Ending!!!!!!

This is Rocky!

Last year Rocky was brought into us by a client who could no longer look after him as her other duck had sadly passed away and Rocky was lonely.  One of our nurses kindly took him to her mums house, who regularly takes in and rehabilitates injured birds.  

Amazingly, Rocky met a girlfriend, and he has recently become a daddy!!  Below are the latest sneaky snaps taken of his new little family

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Milo's Mystery Pain

Milo's Mystery Pain

Milo is a very handsome and, although only 9 months old, already very large White German Shepherd.  His owners became concerned a couple of weeks ago when he started to limp on his front left leg.  This steadily got worse and after a few days he was reluctant to bear any weight at all.  Although he was still eating and keen to go for his walks, it was clear he was not happy.

Our vet Duncan carefully examined his front legs but could not find any swellings or any obvious signs of pain, so he booked Milo in for further investigation.  Two days later we anaesthetised Milo and took X-rays which are shown below.  These showed changes in his left radius and ulna bones.  The inside of these bones, known as the medulla, were much more radio-opaque (whiter) than on the right fore-arm, as you can see from the photos.  These changes are typical of a condition known as PANOSTEITIS.

Panosteitis is an inflammation of the limb bones and causes acute pain in the affected legs.  It affects young growing dogs of larger breeds, and is especially prevalent in German Shepherds.  Unfortunately nobody knows what causes it but, fortunately, it normally responds well to anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication.  Although relapses can sometimes occur, there are no long term effects and once these dogs stop growing at about 1 year of age the condition usually resolves.

As expected, once he was on his medication, Milo was soon back to his normal self and enjoying lots of exercise and play. 

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