Micro Chipping your pet

January 25, 2017

Micro chipping

From 6th April 2016 all dogs in the UK must be micro-chipped with the owner’s details and placed on an approved database.
Every year 100,000 dogs are abandoned which costs the tax payer and animal welfare charities 57 million pounds, some dogs are reunited with their owners, some are re-homed but many are also put to sleep. Many people already voluntarily have their pet micro-chipped, but from 6th April 2016 it will become compulsory to do so, if not already done a notice will be served on dog owners to comply within 21 days, and if not carried out they risk a £500 fine.
All new puppies must be chipped and details put on a national database by 8 weeks old.
A micro-chip has a unique code with the details of owner registered on a national database so that in the event of loss or a pet being stolen, a scanner can be used to identify the owner’s details.
When moving house or changing telephone numbers, the owner needs to remember to contact the database to change the details.
The Animal Welfare Act is expected to be amended to include compulsory micro-chipping.
At present it is not compulsory to chip cats, but it is advisable, so that lost or stolen pets can be reunited with their owner. If owners have a problem with strange cats trying to enter their cat door, it is possible to buy a door which can be programmed with you pet’s chip detail so that only they are able to enter the door.


Articles in Dogs Today magazines

January 25, 2017

Dogs Today Magazine

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September issue – using Chase’n ‘Tug to distract pets from chewing
C&T mag article


Fleas and Ticks

January 21, 2017

Fleas can be a problem even in the best kept house or on the cleanest pet.

Flea treatment
You need to treat both your pet and your home, as fleas can survive without a host for many months. Clean bedding regularly and vacuum furniture, floors and skirting boards to help destroy fleas, spray bedding, carpets etc with a good spray if you have an infestation.
Only give your pet flea treatment that has been recommended for it, ideally as prescribed by a vet, and usually every 4 weeks. Products suitable for one species may not be suitable for another e.g. some dog flea treatments contain permethrin, an insecticide that is safe for dogs but highly toxic to cats.
How can you tell if your pet has fleas?
Is it scratching?
Can you see tiny dark specks in its fur, or small brownish black insects scurrying about?
Do you have any insect bites yourself?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions – it could mean fleas.

Flea bites can make your pet uncomfortable and itchy but they can also bring other problems…
Pets can be hypersensitive to flea saliva and suffer an allergic reaction.
Fleas feed on blood, so young or frail animals can become weak and even die as a result of blood loss.
Flea larvae can become infected with tapeworm eggs. If your pet eats an infected flea it can become host to this parasite. If your pet has fleas you should also make sure your pet is treated for worms.
Fleas can also pass diseases to your pets. For example, myxomatosis is a serious disease in rabbits which can be spread by fleas.

It is estimated that 95 per cent of flea eggs, larvae and pupae live in the environment, not on your pet.
Prevent fleas becoming a problem by regularly treating both your pet and your home. This may need to be done all year round if your home is centrally heated.

Ticks are a big hazard if you live in wooded areas or forests or long grass, or have sheep, rabbits or deer roaming near you. They are blood sucking parasites which swell up as they suck blood and can cause soreness, lethargy and discomfort to your pets, and if they are infected can transmit Lyme disease to both pets and people. You can obtain preventative treatment from your vets which should be applied every 4 weeks under their guidance.
It is important to remove ticks which become attached immediately using a special tool which can be purchased from your Vets or pet shop.
Follow instructions for use, but usually you slide the tool sideways under the tick, twist anti-clockwise until the whole thing comes away, do not turn the other way as you may risk leaving part of the tick embedded, and do not pull or squeeze as it may force infection into the wound. Carefully clean the area of the tick bite with antiseptic and wash your hands thoroughly.
Seek veterinary help if you are worried about infection or swollen areas


Travelling with your dog

January 21, 2017

The Holiday season is fast approaching, and whether you are staying in the UK or going abroad, there are some sensible precautions to take for your dog.

Car Travel

If you have a new puppy, try to acclimatise them to car travel early on. Decide on a secure way to travel, a crate the right size for your dog is the safest way, but for bigger dogs, perhaps a harness which attaches to your car on the back seat would work best.

Always be prepared for your journey ;-

Take a water bowl and fresh water, offer frequently

Stop for breaks,  it is good for people to stretch their legs as well as dogs

Carry a good supply of poo bags, pick up and dispose of sensibly

Search in advance for dog friendly hotels, bed and breakfast or self- catering. Many companies realise how important it is for people to take their pet on holiday as part of the family. If you need to, give written instructions in advance to hotels to make sure there are no misunderstandings

If self-catering, ask about gardens- are they dog proof or have available pet walking areas

Ensure you take your pet’s bed, throws  or an old sheet for beds  in case your dog climbs up, hotels are not very pleased if they end up with wet paw marks on the bed linen

Take toys, Kongs, balls, games to provide mental and physical stimulation to ensure they feel at home

Travel Abroad

Ask your Vet what the requirements are for pet travel abroad, you can also look on the DEFRA Website http://www.defra.gov.uk
for current vaccinations and Parasitic control guidelines for the country you are travelling to

Make sure you start arrangements in enough time to get vaccinations done for the required Pet Passport – ask your Vet for schedule

If you need to use a pet container for air travel, acclimatise your dog well in advance, leave the door open and put bedding and treats in so your dog can go in and out as wanted

Your pet should be micro-chipped whichever way you travel, it is expected to become law in 2016

If you decide not to travel with your pet, it may be better to leave them with a responsible dog sitter or kennel. If you have not used one before, ask friends or your vet for recommendations, and always visit them first. If your pet has any special dietary requirements or takes medication, leave written instructions to avoid misunderstandings.
So enjoy your holiday ……


Christmas – What to avoid for your pets

January 21, 2017

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Happy Christmas 2016 from my our two little Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Sapphire and Sadie

 

We all want our pets to be healthy and happy over the Christmas period, so here are some tips to keep them  way.

Turkey in small amounts is fine for most pets except for those with sensitive constitutions, but do not feed chicken or  turkey bones as these splinter. All  items such as Christmas pudding, mince pies, cake, contain currants, sultanas, raisins which are toxic to pets as are grapes, and are also high in fat and alcohol. Anything with sweeteners are also toxic. Some nuts especially macadamia can cause seizures or choking. Chocolate is toxic, the darker- the worse it is, so do not leave any on surfaces pets can reach or put chocolate decorations on trees and keep coffee ,tea and alcohol out of reach.  Other toxic items are wax candles, silica gel (usually in with shoes or bags) holly and  mistletoe. Tinsel and ribbons are attractive to cats and kittens, but can strangle if caught around the neck and trees have been known to fall over with the help of these inquisitive creatures. Glass tree ornaments are also attractive as they shine in the light so it may be best to stick to unbreakable ones as they can cause nasty cuts or huge problems if swallowed. Electric cables should be secured, a puppy chewing would get a nasty shock. When buying toys for your pets, choose good quality ones which suit your dog or cat’s needs, and ask your children or visitors children to keep toys with small parts away from pets to avoid them swallowing and choking. If you have any problems contact your on-call vet.

Most of all, give your pet a quiet place to go to away from all the noise and do not let small children follow them, they need their afternoon snooze just like the rest of us. Enjoy your Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.

 

 


Bitch Spays – There is another way

April 23, 2013

Ovariectomy Vs Ovariohysterectomy

Every responsible dog owner inevitably has to make the decision to neuter their canine companion.

When you are making the decision about when to spay your bitch, there is an alternative surgical procedure in the UK which not many people are aware of, called an Ovariectomy.

Most of us know about Laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery for people which has been carried out for years. So, why not do it for our pets. The benefits include shorter surgery time, reduced anaesthetic time and dose, reduced need for pain relief and the procedure involves less trauma to the body tissues resulting in faster recovery. Laparoscopic Ovariectomy involves removing the ovaries as opposed to the traditional spay method of removing both the uterus and ovaries. Research has shown that the benefits are the same, by reducing risk of pyometra and mammary tumours. There is also anecdotal evidence that leaving the uterus alone may also reduce the risk of urinary incontinence later in life.

We have recently had our two Cavalier Kings Charles spayed using this method. Like most people it is a hard decision to have them spayed, so we wanted it to be as painless as possible with quick recovery. After some research we discovered that Aniwell Veterinary Surgery in Poole, Dorset was the nearest surgery to us that perform the keyhole surgery. We took them in at 8.30am and collected them at 4pm. They walked out just a little quiet and had already eaten a little food whilst in the vets. We were given a post-operative care sheet and asked to go back in 5-7 days for a check- up.

When we arrived home, they were hungry so we fed them some fresh chicken then took them outside on a lead to make sure they stayed quiet and let them settle down. The next day we expected them to be quiet and lethargic. However, they were happy to go outside and were bright and responsive. When we looked at the surgical wounds on their abdomen, there were two tiny holes which did not even require sutures, the veterinary surgeon used surgical glue instead. They did not require further pain relief and the result was two very happy little dogs and owners.