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Pets

Take a look at the great services and facilities we can offer your pet

Pet Facilities Include:

Learn more about our facilities

Pet Services

  • Fleas and Ticks
  • Microchipping
  • Neutering
  • Vaccinations
  • Worms
  • Time to Say Goodbye
  • Pet Passports

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas

Fleas are the most common of the external parasites. They are around all year round and can be the underlying cause of many skin problems.

Although you may only see adult fleas or their droppings on your pet, they are continually shedding eggs into the environment (your home!). This is how flea infestations take hold in your house. Remember, for every adult flea on your pet, there are up to 500 developing in your carpets. If your pet swallows a flea whilst grooming it can then infest itself with a type of tapeworm that lives part of its lifecycle inside the flea. Very effective products are available in spot-on and spray form that can be used for the treatment and prevention of fleas. Fleas are also capable of transmitting myxomatosis to rabbits. Rabbit fleas are happy to hitch a lift on your cat or dog so treating them can be a vital part of your rabbit’s healthcare.

Ticks

Ticks are oval shaped insects that attach firmly to your pet’s skin in order to feed. They can resemble a grayish wart-like lump and get bigger as they swell with your pet's blood. Never attempt to pull a tick off as this can leave the mouthparts embedded in your pet's skin and lead to infection. Some of the flea products also kill ticks – please ask us for advice on the best treatment and prevention. Ticks can also be carefully removed by unscrewing the mouthparts with a specially designed tick hook. Ticks can transmit disease to your pets and your family.

Microchipping

Microchipping

A microchip provides permanent identification with one quick injection of an implant. The microchip is approximately the size of a LARGE grain of rice and is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades (in cats and dogs). This procedure can be carried out during a normal consultation.

Each microchip has its own unique number that is then linked with your contact details on a national database. Should your pet go missing it may end up in a rescue centre, at a veterinary surgery, with the dog warden or the police. If your pet is microchipped it can be easily scanned to find the number which will then allow it to be identified and quickly reunited with you.

Please remember that if you change your phone numbers/contact details it is essential that you update your information with the Petlog National Database. Without this information there would be no way to contact you in the event of your pet being found. If you acquire a new pet that is already microchipped to a previous owner you will also need to update the owner information at Petlog.

It has been compulsory to have your dogs microchipped since 2016.

Neutering

Neutering

Dogs

We recommend neutering your pet if you have no intention of breeding from him or her. For female dogs, this means they would no longer come into season or be capable of having puppies. Neutering protects them against mammary tumours if done early on in life and a condition called pyometra that is a life threatening uterine (womb) infection. We recommend neutering female dogs 2-3 months after they have had a season

Neutered male dogs are less likely to stray and will be incapable of fathering puppies. Castration has medical benefits for later life – it prevents prostate problems, testicular tumours, anal adenomas and perineal hernias. All of these conditions can be uncomfortable or painful, and some are life threatening and need surgery. We neuter male dogs from 6-9 months depending on the size of the dog.

It is a myth that neutered animals get fat! Neutered animals may have different energy requirements pre and post op. This means they may need less food once they are neutered. Dogs only get fat if they are overfed and/or under exercised, not because they are castrated or spayed!

Cats

Female cats, once neutered will not come into season so will not “call” – this can be rather alarming behaviour when witnessed and they often appear as if in pain - yowling, rolling about and adopting an odd looking crouching stance. There are many unwanted and uncared for kittens and an entire female cat is capable of producing a huge number of offspring in a very short space of time. Neutered female cats are also protected against uterine (womb) and ovarian conditions including pyometra, cysts and tumours.

Neutered male cats are unable to father kittens and are less likely to stray, get involved in fights and suffer road traffic accidents. Fighting and mating in entire male cats increases their risk of contracting the Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) and Feline AIDs (FIV) viruses. Both of these are incurable and fatal.

We neuter male and female cats from the age of six months.

Neutered cats can be kept trim and fit with appropriate feeding. Some pet food manufacturers are now making diets specifically for neutered animals to prevent weight gain.

Rabbits

Neutered male and female rabbits are usually easier to handle, calmer and make better hutch mates if kept in pairs. A high percentage of uneutered female rabbits suffer from uterine or ovarian cancers. Male and female rabbits can be neutered from the age of four months.

We would not normally recommend neutering of Guinea Pigs and smaller rodents as the anaesthetic risks are far greater than for dogs, cats and rabbits and outweigh any possible benefits.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations

A number of dangerous diseases can affect dogs and cats in the UK. Vaccination is the only safe way to provide immunity against all these diseases. If carried out regularly according to your vet’s advice, it can protect your pet for life.

Puppy Vaccinations

We recommend that puppies start their primary vaccination course from the age of eight weeks. Your puppy will be given a thorough examination by the vet at this time. The first vaccination will be followed by a second injection two to four weeks later. Your puppy will not be fully protected until 14 days after the second injection and should not be exposed to the possibility of infection until then.

The diseases we routinely vaccinate dogs against are:

  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Canine Distemper
  • Infectious Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza virus
  • Leptospirosis

Annual boosters are needed to maintain protection against these diseases.

We can provide additional protection against Kennel Cough (infectious tracheo-bronchitis) through a separate intra-nasal vaccine and also offer rabies vaccinations for those dogs traveling abroad.

Kitten Vaccinations

Kittens can start their primary vaccination course from nine weeks of age. Your kitten will be given a thorough examination at the initial injection. Three to four weeks later your kitten will be given a second injection and will be fully protected seven days after this.

The diseases we routinely vaccinate cats against are:

  • Cat 'flu (Feline Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus)
  • Enteritis (Feline Panleucopaenia)
  • We also provide a separate vaccination against Feline Leukaemia (FeLV). Annual boosters are needed to maintain a good level of protection.

Rabbit Vaccinations

Rabbits can begin a vaccination program from the age of six weeks.

The diseases we routinely vaccinate rabbits against are:

  • Myxomatosis
  • Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)

We recommend vaccinating rabbits every year with a combined vaccine against both Myxomatosis and VHD.

Booster Vaccinations

Immunity to disease does not last indefinitely and annual booster vaccinations are essential to maintain protection. We follow the vaccine manufacturers’ recommendations with regard to which diseases we vaccinate against at each of your pet’s annual health check. This yearly check up can be very helpful for monitoring the general health and weight of your pet. Early signs of disease can be picked up and investigated and treated appropriately.

Worms

Worms

Puppies and kittens can be infected with worms through their mother’s milk and should be wormed at the breeders or rescue centre before you bring them home. They should then be treated once a month until they are six months old after which time worming can be carried out a minimum of four times a year. The frequency of worming depends on your pet's lifestyle and product used and your vet will advise you on the best regime for your adult pet. Remember that there may not be any visible signs to indicate that your pet is harbouring worms.

The worms we routinely treat for are:

  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms

Rabbits and other small mammals can be wormed with appropriate products if necessary.

We can provide additional protection against Heartworm for dogs travelling abroad.

Time to Say Goodbye

Time to Say Goodbye

The definition of euthanasia is the act or practice of putting, painlessly, to death, especially in cases of incurable suffering. Sadly, the decision to euthanase our pets is something that many of us will face but we may take comfort in knowing that it is the last kind thing we can do for them.
Our pets give us companionship and non-judgemental love and often accompany us through many years of our lives that may include changes in personal circumstance, relationships and health.
For these reasons, we try never to underestimate the sense of bereavement associated with the loss of a pet and the pain of having to make this difficult decision.

When?

This is always a difficult question to answer and some of the reasons for euthanasia would include intractable pain, debilitating disease with no hope of recovery, unacceptable decrease in quality of life. Quality of life may be judged by the pet's ability to perform normal behaviours such as eating, toileting and interacting with family members. We all would like our pets to live longer and to be untouched by the ageing process but need to recognise when it is the right time to say goodbye.

Where?

At the surgery - we often try to arrange an appointment either at the beginning or the end of surgery or at times outside normal consulting hours during the day to allow for some privacy and to try and avoid a very busy waiting room.
At home - we can normally arrange this during the working day if we have sufficient notice. A vet will often be accompanied by a nurse on a house visit.

How?

We use an injection of an overdose of anaesthetic agent into one of the main veins on the front leg. The area to be used will have some hair clipped from it and will be wiped with a swab to allow the vein to be more easily seen. If a veterinary nurse is assisting the vet, she will now hold the leg around the elbow and give a gentle squeeze to make the vein rise from the surrounding tissues.

The injection results in a rapid loss of consciousness followed by the cessation of heartbeat and breathing. In older dogs whose circulation is not so good, this process may take a little longer and it may be harder for the vet to find a vein. Occasionally animals may take a few gasping breaths or twitch. Although this does look not look very pleasant, be assured that your pet is unaware of these actions. Most animals do not react to the injection as it is. Most dogs will pass urine or faeces at the point of death because the body relaxes completely. This is normal and we expect it to happen.

Who?

A vet will usually be assisted by a nurse and will ask if you wish to be with your pet when he or she is euthanased. This is a very personal decision and is entirely up to the individual. If you do not wish to be present, we are happy for you to spend some time with your pet before and after he or she has been euthanased. We would recommend that small children are not present for euthanasia.

What happens after?

We are happy for you to take your pet home or we can take care of his or her body for you. We can arrange cremation - either routine or individual with many options for return of ashes from a scatter box or casket to individual memorials such as statues and urns.

Pet Passports

Pet Passports

Since its introduction in 2000, the PETS Travel Scheme has allowed relatively free movement of pet dogs, cats and ferrets within the qualifying countries once the PETS Scheme criteria are met.

Requirements

  • Your pet must be micro chipped. This has to be done BEFORE they have a rabies vaccination
  • Your pet needs to have an up to date rabies vaccination. Our practice currently uses a rabies vaccine with three year duration of immunity. This means your pet must have a rabies vaccination every 3 years. Currently, we do not send out reminders for this vaccine
  • You must have a Pet Passport completed by your vet
  • You must wait 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination before your pet can re-enter the UK
  • Your dog (dogs only) must be treated for tapeworm 1-5 days (24 to 120 hours) before re-entering the UK by a vet using an approved product. This will be noted in your pet’s Passport.

So far, this seems quite straightforward. Please consider fully the implications of taking your pet abroad before you go and plan accordingly.

Please read on for further vital information.

The aim of the Pets Travel Scheme is to reduce the risk of importing rabies, Echinococcus multilocularis (a tapeworm that can cause potentially fatal illness in humans as well as their pets) and ticks that can carry diseases not currently present in the UK.

Since January 2012, the criteria for the Pets Travel Scheme have been relaxed. One of the requirements used to be a blood test taken to ensure that each pet had responded appropriately to the rabies vaccine. Rabies vaccine gives extremely good protection against the disease but as with any vaccine, a small number of animals do not mount an adequate response to be protected from the disease. There is no way of telling which animals these are without a blood test. Some animals require a second vaccination to respond adequately to rabies. Please talk to your vet if you would like to have a blood test to confirm your pet’s response to the vaccine.

As previously stated, the main aim of the Pets Travel Scheme is to prevent certain zoonotic diseases entering the UK. (A zoonotic disease is one that can be transmitted between animals and humans.) It does NOT reduce the exposure of your pets to disease that are currently not present in the UK. The diseases that your pet may be exposed to depend on the area you are travelling to on holiday.

A few of the main diseases to be concerned about or take precautions to avoid are discussed below:

Babesia

This disease is carried by ticks. It is found in most of mainland Europe and particularly in the south of France (particularly south of the Loire valley). A tick needs to feed for a minimum of 48-72 hours for transmission of the disease to occur so prompt removal of ticks or use of tick repellent or tick killing products should help to prevent this. The disease can cause severe and life threatening anaemia that can result in multiple organ failure.

Leishmania

This disease is carried by the sand fly. These are found around the Mediterranean basin. The risk of infection passing to humans is low but children are particularly susceptible and dog to dog transmission is possible. The course of the disease is protracted and signs include, weight loss, lameness, enlarged lymph nodes and skin problems. Treatment takes a long time and is not always successful.

Ehrlichia

This disease is carried by ticks and found in southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Some dogs once infected can clear the organism from their bodies and recover spontaneously but others will develop chronic infection which can lead to problems with severe bleeding.

Dirofilaria

This heartworm is prevalent in North America and southern Europe and is transmitted by mosquitoes. It can cause pulmonary thromboembolism and increased blood pressure leading to signs of coughing, breathing problems and exercise intolerance due to the presence of adult worms in one of the chambers of the heart. The severity of the disease depends on the number of worms present, the amount of time they have been there and the immune response of the infected animal.

Climate change may affect the ability of some of the carriers of these diseases (ticks, sand flies, mosquitoes) to be able to survive in the UK and transmit these diseases so vigilance is necessary to stop them from becoming endemic in the UK.

So, the check list for travelling lengthens considerably when the possibility of exposure to these diseases is factored in:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccine – think about a blood test to ensure adequate response from your pet. A single injection may not give adequate cover.
  • Travel documentation – a Pet Passport, any additional documentation (check with DEFRA for countries outside the PETS Scheme) and you must use an approved route or approved transport company
  • Tapeworm treatment not less than 24 hours and not more than 5 days before arrival time in the UK
  • Tick control - appropriate tick killing preparations, remove ticks immediately with tick hook.
  • Heartworm prevention for the duration of the trip and for a month after return
  • Sand flies - limit exposure by keeping pets inside at dusk and dawn, consider fly repellent collars.
  • Check pet insurance details for cover whilst outside the UK
  • Speak to microchip company about where you are going on holiday, changing contact details whilst away, consider holiday tags on collars
  • Temperature – may be a lot higher than your pet is used to so take adequate measures with water, shade and not over exercising at hot times of the day 

Speak to us if you have any worries or queries about travelling with your pet. Please check DEFRA website for up to date information and any changes to procedure.

Useful links:

www.defra.gov.uk click on Wildlife and Pets section

PET Travel Scheme Helpline - 0870 241 1710 - pettravel@ahvla.gsi.gov.uk

Monday to Friday - 8:00am to 6:00pm UK time (closed Bank Holidays)