Our trained veterinary nurses hold regular clinics to advise on many aspects of pet health care. If any problems are found during a consultation our nurses will advise you on treatment and control, or if appropriate an appointment with a Veterinary Surgeon will be arranged.
Our Nursing Clinics
Nurse clinics include:
- Weight clinics
- Dental checks and advice
- Puppy and kitten advice
- Nutritional advice
- Worming and flea advice
- Junior health check
- Senior Pet clinics
- Behavioural advice
Vaccinations and general healthcare
Immunity from primary vaccinations as a puppy or kitten does not last for life. Booster vaccinations are necessary to maintain immunity and protect your pet. The annual booster is also an opportunity for a thorough health check, and an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns you may have about your pet.
Parasite. par-a-site [par-uh-sahyt]. – noun. An organism that lives off or in another organism, obtaining nourishment and protection while offering no benefit in return.
Parasites exist in a huge variety of forms. They can live on the surface of their host (ectoparasites) or within the host (endoparasites). All parasites cause varying degrees of damage and disease to the host. The control of parasites is vital to maintain the health of your pet.
Fleas are the most common parasite to be found on dogs and cats, most are likely to pick them up at some stage in their life.
Only the adult flea lives on your pet, a reddish-brown insect can be seen running through their fur. Fleas do have preferred hosts, but casual feeding is common on any warm-blooded animal, including humans! Cat fleas are so numerous that they are the most common flea to be found on dogs. Fleas feed on your pet’s blood and will then go on to lay eggs, hundreds at a time! The eggs will drop off into the enviroment, which includes your carpets. Immature larvae hatch from the eggs and develop into adult fleas. In ideal conditions , such as warm summer months or centrally heated homes, this can take as little as three weeks. The young adults will then jump back on to your pet and the cycle continues.
WHAT PROBLEMS DO FLEA CAUSE?
Fleas feed on your pet’s blood. Most pets will experience some skin irritation from flea bites. However, if your pet is allergic to flea bites they will experience a severe reaction, causing intense itching, inflammed and possibly infected skin and hair loss.
Fleas are also an intermediate host for some tapeworms. Grooming results in fleas being accidentally swallowed and your pet can become infected with tapeworms.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CONTROL FLEAS?
Not all flea control product are equally effective. A good flea control product needs to be easy to apply and kill fleas quickly. Many products advise monthly application but will not last for the full month. This allows a window of opportunity for the fleas to build up again. We have a range of veterinary licensed flea control products, all of which are easy to apply and proven to be effective.
You will need to treat all pets in your household, not just those where flea have been seen or those that have skin problems.
With heavy infestation large numbers of fleas can be found in the environment. If this is the case you may experience flea bites yourself, particularly on the lower legs. A good carpet spray will help tackle the environmental problem.
The Royal Veterinary College have produced fact sheets for further information:
All about fleas – DOGS
All about fleas – CATS
Monthly flea treatments are included in our Pet Health Plan.
Should you require advice on flea control please contact the surgery.
All dogs and cats are affected by worms at some stage in their life, and many will be re-infected without regular worming treatments. The two main types of worms encountered by dogs and cats in the UK are roundworms (like string) and tapeworms (flat and ribbon like).
Both types of worms live in the intestines, where they help themselves to your pets food and can damage the gut causing loss of blood. This can result in diarrhoea, vomiting, anaemia, poor coat and weight loss. In puppies and kittens worms can be a serious problem affecting growth and sometimes resulting in death.
Roundworms growing in the intestines lay eggs which pass out in the faeces and take up to 4 weeks to become infective. The eggs are microscopic and can survive in soil for years. These eggs are passed to another dog/cat either by being eaten directly or indirectly when eaten by other animals, such as rodents, which are then eaten by the dog/cat. Immature worms can be transferred in the mothers milk to both puppies and kittens, leading to roundworm infections in the very young. In dogs the immature worms can also cross the placenta and so puppies can be born already infected! For this reason regular worming of puppies and kittens is recommended from 2 weeks of age and repeated every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the product used, until 12 weeks of age.
The roundworms of dogs (Toxocara canis) and cats (Toxocara cati) present a rare, although potential serious, threat to human health. Children playing in an environment contaminated with infective egg can pick up the tiny microscopic eggs on their hands and then accidently ingest them. Once ingested the eggs hatch in the stomach and migrate in to tissues in an attempt to develop. Often this goes unnoticed and no symptoms or illness occurs. However, it can lead to problems ranging from mild flu like symptoms to impaired vision or blindness. There is increasing evidence that the dog roundworm may also be implicated in epilepsy, reduced cognitive function / learning difficulties, asthma and other allergies. Read more
There are approximately 120 cases of toxocariasis per year in humans. But given the vague, non-specific symptoms and the fact that it is not a notifiable disease, toxocariasis is probably under reported and the figure could be much higher.
For this reason you should encourage children to wash their hands after playing in areas which may have been used as a toilet by dogs and cats, and especially before eating. Cleaning up after you dog will help reduce environmental contamination. However this is not practical with cats and many will bury their faeces. For this reason we recommend that children’s sandpits are covered to prevent cats having access and also that any food that may have been in contact with soil, such as fruit and vegetables, are washed. If you have children it is especially important to make sure you administer regular worming treatments to your dog or cat.
Tapeworms are made up of segments, each filled with eggs. These segments break off and are passed in the faeces. They are about the size of a grain of rice and can sometimes be seen wriggling in the fur near to the anus. In the case of the most common type of tapeworm these segments are eaten by fleas, which then move between animals. When grooming the fleas, containing the eggs, are accidentally swallowed. Flea control obviously plays an important role in the control of these tapeworms.
With other tapeworms the eggs are passed in faeces and can be found in soil or on vegetation. These eggs can then eaten by animals such as mice and rabbits. Your pet then becomes infected if they eat these animals. Discouraging hunting can help reduce the risk
HOW FREQUENTLY SHOULD I WORM?
For adult dogs and cats treating against round and tapeworm every 3 months is the recommended best practice. Not all worming products are equally as good, and some will not treat all types of worms. We recommend Drontal® tablets. Drontal® gives you the peace of mind that you are worming with a veterinary licensed product that is proven to be effect against round and tapeworms.
WHAT CAN I DO IF I CAN’T GIVE MY CAT WORMING PILLS?
Many cats won’t swallow a tablet without putting up a fight. There is now a new simple spot-on product our vets can prescribe that is effective against both round and tapeworms.
Worming treatments are covered in our Health Care Plan
If you are thinking of neutering your pet, here are a few thing to consider:
- On average a bitch is in season (on-heat) for 3 weeks once every six months. Not only is it messy, but when in season a bitch can become difficult to control and may try to escape.
- Female cats can be very vocal when in season.
- Neutered male cats tend to be less aggressive. The potentially fatal diseases Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) are transfered in cat bites.
- Neutered animals are less likely to stray. Once the scent of a female in season has been picked up by a dog or tom cat they will wander over considerable distances. Stray dogs and cats are often injured or involved in road traffic accidents.
- Neutering male dogs reduces sex drive and will help with certain behavioural problems.
- Neutering reduces territorial marking around the home. Tom cat urine has a particularly unpleasant odour.
- There are health advantages too. Early neutering of females significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer and prevents the potentially life threatening condition Pyometra, a womb infection. Neutered males are at a reduced risk of testicular cancers, anal adenomas and prostate problems.
From that date owners will need to:
- Have their dog microchipped and registered on one of the authorised commercial databases available;
- Register the details of any new owner before they sell or give the dog away;
- Keep their contact details up-to-date on the microchip databases.
If your dog is already microchipped:
How do I know if my details are correct?
To check your details on the database you will need to know the microchip number and the database your pet is registered on.
If you do not have a record of your pet’s microchip, simply bring them along to us and we will scan the microchip for you. Once you have the microchip number you can use the “chip checker” on the ANIBASE® (www.anibase.com) homepage to find out which database your pet is registered on along with contact details to get in touch with them.
How do I change my details on the database?
The following link will give you full instructions on how to quickly and easily make the changes on ANIBASE®:
To update details that are registered with PETLOG please visit their website:
If your dog is not microchipped:
To help our clients comply with these laws coming into force we are offering microchips at £12.50. Our Pet Health Care Clients will still get their 10% discount making their price £11.25.
Have you thought about how worrying it would be if you were to lose your pet? It is a sad fact that more than 300,000 pets get lost or go missing every year in the UK. There is a solution – you can have your pet microchipped with an idENTICHIP® microchip. Not only for your peace of mind but also because you NEED to ensure your dog is microchipped to comply with legislation.
How does it work?
Your vet or nurse injects the idENTICHIP® microchip into the animal – if it’s a dog, cat or rabbit, this will be placed just under the loose skin between the shoulder blades as this is best practice. After that there’s nothing else to do – unless your pet goes missing. If it does, most vets, animal charities and local authorities have microchip readers, so when someone hands your pet in it can be quickly identified on the ANIBASE pet secure database using the microchip’s unique ID number. Then it’s just a case of reuniting you with your pet as soon as possible.
What is a idENTICHIP® microchip?
Hardly bigger than a grain of rice, idENTICHIP® has a unique 15-digit code that is the key to all your pet’s details. idENTICHIP® are an ISO standard microchip and approved for the PET’s travel scheme.
Please visit http://www.identichip.co.uk/ for further details.
Contact us to to arrange for your pet to be microchipped.
For When The Time Comes
There is never a good time to say farewell to a much loved pet. Sadly their life spans are all too short and as pet owners this is something all of us will have to face.
Sometimes a much loved pet will die in its sleep at home, sometimes as the result of an accident. But for many owners a decision has to be reached and euthanasia is considered as the kindest release for a pet who is suffering and failing to respond to any treatment.
When the time comes our vets and nurses are here to help you make the right, informed decision.
Understandably a lot of clients choose to have a home visit. If this was to be your choice once you have phoned the surgery we feel it is only appropriate to arrange the visit as soon as we have a vet and a nurse available, as we understand waiting for our arrival will be an extremely difficult time.
We understand that all clients’ situations at this time can differ so we will try our best to accommodate your needs when the time comes. If you have decided to leave everything in our hands, we would like to make you familiar with the different types of cremation service available.
We can arrange for your pet to be individually cremated and return the ashes to you. If you would like to scatter the ashes in your garden, or even on a favourite walk you shared with your pet, we will arrange for your pets ashes to be returned in a cardboard scatter box. Should you wish to keep your pets ashes you can choose a sealed wooden casket at no extra cost.
The standard service is available if you do not wish to have you pet individually cremated. Your pets ashes will not be returned to you with this service.
Grieving for the loss of a pet can be a sad and difficult time. Sometimes sharing your thoughts and feelings can help. The Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS) is dedicated to offering support and understanding to bereaved pet owners though a network of trained volunteer telephone and e-mail befrienders. All calls and e-mails are treated confidentially.
Support Line Tel: 0800 096 6606 (8:30am to 8:30pm)
e-mail support: firstname.lastname@example.org
Write to : PBSS, The Blue Cross, Shilton Road, Burford, Oxfordshire, OX18 4PF.
We work very closely with the Samaritans and there is always someone there you can talk to… call free on 116 123.
Compassion Understood is also a very good website for advice and support for owners
at their companion’s end-of-life.