How to keep your pet cool this summer

cat on sunny day

keep dogs cool in summerIf you have a Dog……….

Dogs are not very good at keeping themselves cool so they will need your help. Ensure they have plenty of water, whether they are in the house or out on a walk. If you are at home keep the water in a heavy bowl so it can’t be easily knocked over

Don’t keep your dog in a car. You may think it’s ok to do this as you are leaving the window open, however, it’s not enough to keep the car cool. According to the RSPCA if it’s 22C outside, within an hour it can be 47C inside the car. Dogs die this way every year, please don’t let this happen to your dog.

Take your dog for a walk at cooler times of the day. Go in the morning and the evening instead.

If your dog is outside all day make sure there is plenty of shade as well as lots of water.

Regularly groom your dog. If you have a long haired breed, have the hair trimmed to help keep it cool.

Do you know the signs of heatstroke? Here is a checklist of what to look out for. Heavy panting, very red gums/tongue, excessive salivation, a rapid pulse, lack of co-ordination, lethargy, reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing, vomiting, diarrhoea and in extreme cases loss of consciousness.  If you see your dog displaying any of these symptoms ensure you take immediate action. Try to cool your dog down gradually as heatstroke can be fatal.  Douse your dog in cool water (not cold or iced water) and let it drink small amounts of cool water (again not cold or iced) until their breathing is more normal.  Then take your dog to the vets to be checked to make sure everything is ok.

cat on sunny dayIf you have a cat……….

Cats love the warm weather and are a lot better at keeping themselves cool. However, if it is excessively hot here are a few things you can do.

If you have a cat that likes to go outside, try not to let it out between 10am and 3pm so it avoids the hottest times of the day. If they are indoor cats keep blinds shut and curtains closed as this helps to keep the house cool.

Make sure your cat has access to plenty of water.

If you notice your cat is sleeping more it’s probably nothing to worry about. Cats are sensible and will nap more on a hot dayrather than spend their time running around. Maybe they are the more intelligent than dogs?

Pay attention to your cat’s feet. Cats and dogs have sweat glands in their paws. If you notice your cat is leaving wet paw prints it will need to have more water to replenish its fluids. You could try cooling your cat down by dipping its paws in water but it may not be pleased with you doing that.

If you see your cat panting, it doesn’t automatically mean it has heatstroke. Cats do pant but they rarely do it. However, if you think your cat is panting excessively check for other signs of heatstroke and take immediate action.

keep your rabbit coolIf you have a small furry pet……….

As always, make sure they have access to lots of clean water

Make sure you keep them clean.  When the weather is hot it results in more flies and maggots. This can lead to flystrike. This can fatally affect rabbits.

Keep your pet groomed and if it’s a long haired breed, have it trimmed to help keep it cool.

Keep hutches in the shade. It may mean you have to move it around during the day of you don’t have a permanently shaded spot.  Make sure the hutch is off the ground as this improves ventilation and can help to keep it cool.

Give small animals food that contains lots of water such as celery and apple. This will help keep them hydrated.

Spraying a water mist on larger animals such as rabbits is a good way to keep them cool.  Remember not to spray them in the face as they will not like it.

There are many other ways to keep your pet cool and a lot of them are common sense. A good way to look at it is if you are uncomfortable because of the heat there is a good chance your pet will be too.  If you need any extra information and advice please contact us  and we will be happy to have a chat.

Heat Stroke in pets

heat stroke warning for pets

heat stroke warning for petsHeat Stroke in Pets

With temperatures soaring it is important to know about the effects of heat on your pets. With their thick coats they can find it very hard to regulate their temperature and this can lead to heat stroke.

A dog was brought in to us recently suffering heat stroke after going on a little walk on a warm but overcast day. The dog was overweight and had a dark coloured coat (which absorbs more heat) and these contributed to the dog developing heat stroke.

It can occur if an animal is exercised during warm temperatures, locked in a car or conservatory and is more likely in brachycephalic breeds such as pugs or bulldogs. Dogs can only sweat through their paws and lose most of their body heat by panting.

If you have a dog with heat stroke, often the first signs are panting and lethargy or collapse. It is important NOT to place the dog into cold water or put wet towels over them. The cold water can send them into shock and the towels can warm up and act as a barrier, making the animal even hotter. It is also difficult to prevent the temperature from dropping too low once the animal is wet.

Veterinary treatment should be sought immediately but there are first aid measures that can help….

· Wetting the paws and the ears with cool water

· Placing ice packs wrapped in a towel in the armpits and the groin area (large blood vessels run along these areas so it helps to cool the blood more effectively but the towel prevents cold burns)

· Using a fan or air conditioning.

Dogs with heat stroke can develop swelling of the brain if untreated, which may lead to seizures and death. If brought to a vets promptly, they will be placed on a drip, have ice packs placed in the armpits and groin, given medication to prevent intestinal damage, which commonly occurs with heat stroke and sometimes, oxygen therapy, particularly with bulldog type breeds.

Dogs recover quickly if there has been no permanent damage and often go home the next day. They commonly have diarrhoea, so will be given medication for this.

Prevention is better than cure so avoid exercising dogs in the heat of the day, take particular care with brachycephalic breeds and those with heart conditions. Make sure there is always access to water. NEVER shut your dog in the car, as even with the window open, the temperature can quickly rise. Keeping some long haired breeds closely groomed may be appropriate in warm weather. Products such as Kool coats can also help to keep your dogs temperature more comfortable.


DOG HEAT STROKE – Take Immediate Action

· Get into the shade

· Apply cool water to the inner thighs, stomache and foot pads

· Use running water

· Never submerge your dog in water – this could cool him too rapidly leading to further complications

· Use cool – not cold water – cold water causes blood vessels to constrict slowing the process

· Don’t cover the dog

· Offer small amounts of cool water to drink


ID Tags

david-schap-128015As you already know, if you have a dog it should be microchipped. This is because on 6th April 2016 it became compulsory for all dogs to be have a microchip implanted (you can read more about the regulation change HERE). We were recently asked if a dog needs a chip if it already has a collar and ID tag on. This has come up a few times so we thought it would be a good idea to write a blog on the subject as it seems to be a little confusing to some people.

All dogs need to have a microchip, unless a vet certifies it can’t for health reasons. Also, the Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the owner’s name and address (with postcode) engraved or written on it. It can be on the collar itself or the details can be added to a tag. A telephone number is optional; however, it might be a good idea to have that on there as well. If your dog is in a public place and doesn’t have an ID tag on you could be fined up to £5000.

There are exceptions to this:

  • Any pack of hounds,
  • Any dog while being used for sporting purposes,
  • Any dog while being used for the capture or destruction of vermin,
  • Any dog while being used for the driving or tending of cattle or sheep,
  • Any dog while being used on official duties by a member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces or Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise or the police force for any area,
  • Any dog while being used in emergency rescue work, or
  • Any dog registered with the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

If your dog isn’t microchipped, please make an appointment to see us.

You can read more about the Control of Dogs Order 1992 by clicking HERE and if you have any questions regarding microchipping your pet please contact the clinic or leave a question on our Facebook page



Do you remember the John Lewis advert featuring Buster the Boxer. If you hadn’t seen it over Christmas the clip showed a boxer jumping around on a trampoline and having lots of fun. Figures released by the Kennel Club showed that searches for Boxer puppies on its Find a Puppy website rose by 160 per cent on the day following the release of the advert. This is an increase which has continued to grow.

Boxer Dogs

The information has raised concerns that people are impulse buying boxer puppies without properly researching the breed. They think many boxers will end up in rescue centres because there will be those who can’t handle them.

Do you want a Boxer? Do your research!!!

Here is a brief overview of a Boxer dog to give you an idea of what having one will be like.

As the John Lewis advert suggests, Boxers are fun and playful. This is true. Watching a Boxer play and bounce is great to watch. Sometimes you see them and think they are complete nutcases because of how they are behaving. It is pure joy.

Boxers don’t need a lot of grooming. They have lovely short hair. If you are looking for a dog that doesn’t need a lot of brushing, then Boxers could be a good choice.

Also, they are great around other pets and children which makes them ideal family dogs. Although they will need socialising from an early age to ensure they are friendly with other animals.

They can make great guard dogs as they look quite imposing. They can be quick to stand up and bark at strangers. Although there is a good chance if a stranger came into the house they are more likely to want to play with them

So far it’s not looking too bad, a Boxer sounds ideal. However……….

Boxers slobber and drool. If you are not a fan of this, you should cross this breed off your list.  They suffer with flatulence, they wheeze, snort and snore loudly.  The breathing and snoring is down to the shape of their face and nose. You can read more about this on our blog called Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) – Click HERE

Boxers can be stubborn and very head strong.  An owner will need to be very confident in taking charge or else the dog will be disobedient and hard to control.

They need lots of exercise and mental stimulation or else you may find holes in the garden, chewed furniture and other destructive behaviour.

Whilst Boxers jump and bounce around for fun they can go over the top especially when they are young. Many new owners may find their rowdiness difficult to handle.

If Boxers are not socialised at an early age they could become aggressive around other animals.

Finally, A boxer’s lifespan isn’t very long and they can suffer from many health problems such as:

Eye Diseases
Hip Dysplasia – Read our blogs on the subject HERE for part 1 and HERE for part 2
Heart Disease

We also have a blog detailing further issues with Boxers. You can read it HERE
Hopefully this has given you an insight to what is involved in owning a Boxer.  If you still want to buy one ensure you do more research into the breed and in to the breeders to make sure you are not buying one from a puppy farm. See our blogs about buying a puppy – Click HERE for Part 1, HERE for part 2 and HERE for part 3. Alternatively, visit your local rescue centre and adopt

boxer dog

Heatstroke – Mannie’s Story

A few days ago I picked up my dog from Cherrydown Basildon Veterinary Hospital where he had been for 4 days following a frightening attack of heatstroke.  Although I have many years experience with dogs I had not been faced with having to deal with this condition before and, had I not known the basic procedures to follow, I am quite sure my boy, a 70 kg Bullmastiff, wouldn’t be alive today.  Even so, without the treatment he received at Cherrydown over the next few days, without doubt he would not have survived.

It was an excessively hot day and Mannie, the Bullmastiff in question, appeared to be panting more than usual so I brought him inside so that he could lay on the cool tiles in the kitchen.  He was restless and went into the garden and lay in the shade of the bushes where he was violently sick.  I ran to help him and he walked towards me, staggered, then collapsed.

Picture1So, recognising the signs of heatstroke, I immediately drenched him with cool water, lifting his legs so that the water played on his groin and under his front legs.  I also fetched bags of frozen vegetables from the freezer and placed them on his head and under his armpits.  I was on my own and it was impossible for me to move him even an inch so I brought the phone from the house to ring for assistance.  I also took his temperature, which was an alarming 42.2.  All this time I had the hose playing on him constantly, concentrating on his groin, under arms and feet.  I took his temperature again, which was now 41.5, still dangerously high.  Cherrydown tried to find an ambulance service to come out to me but, as there was none available, they sent 2 nurses who eventually, with the help of my husband, who had arrived home at the same time, carried him into their vehicle to transport him to their surgery in Basildon.  Once at the surgery, they immediately placed him on a drip and injected him to rehydrate him.  Over the next 48 hours it was feared he wouldn’t survive the damage that severe overheating can cause to the internal organs but eventually he was returned home to us and is still recovering now.  We shall be eternally grateful to Cherrydown for the 24 hour care they gave to our boy.  I hope this information might act as a warning to the dangers of heatstroke in hot weather, as my boy was not in a confined space, he was free in the garden and had access to plenty of water so it can happen at any time.

Our Vet Kim looked after Mannie……

On 24th August we were called to say that Mannie had collapsed after lying in the garden and despite  efforts to cool him, his temperature and distress had increased. Due to his size, Cherrydown had to attend to help bring Mannie into the practice. Heat stroke is not confined to dogs being left in hot cars and many dogs, particularly brachycephalic breeds of a dark colour, are susceptible to heat stroke if they lie in the sun for too long on hot humid days and unfortunately, dogs will often preferentially lie in the sun but once develop the increased temperature, are less likely to move themselves to a cooler area.

Mannie was immediately placed on fluids and covered ice packs placed in his groin and armpits to cool him. It is important not to submerge them in cold water as this can send them into shock and wet blankets can actually trap a heat layer between the dog and the blanket, and is best avoided as can actually increase their temperature. Mannie was showing signs of aggression, very unlike him, intermittently, due to the swelling of his brain caused by the heat stroke. Some dogs may develop seizures, which can become impossible to control and warrant euthanasia, so he was monitored closely for any signs of deterioration. He was given pain relief, for likely head pain associated with the brain swelling and antibiotics. In dogs with heat stroke, damage can occur to the gut leaving them prone to bacteria leaking from the gut to the abdomen, which can be a potentially fatal complication. He was also started on drugs to reduce inflammation within the bowel.

Mannie’s temperature came down in kennels but he vomited blood and developed bloody diarrhoea, typical of a dog with heat stroke. Blood work showed his muscles were starting to break down due to overheating, which can lead to kidney failure. Amazingly, Mannie has recovered fully, was neurologically normal after a few hours and able to walk around unaided 12 hours later and went home within a week. We will still be monitoring him for signs of kidney damage in the immediate future but so far, he has recovered spectacularly, thanks to the rapid intervention by his owner and is back to his usual gentle giant self.

We would like to thank Janet for allowing us to use this story to highlight the dangers. Please leave any questions on our facebook page.


Why do dogs eat poo?

Why do dogs eat poo?

This might be a fairly unpleasant subject but it is a question we get asked a lot in the clinic and on Facebook.  There are many reasons why this happens and it could depend on their age, their training, their living conditions or their diet. Here are some of them.

Dogs are born to eat it

Thousands of years ago, before dogs were domesticated, they ate everything and anything even the waste of other animals (including other dogs). In a pack, if one of the dogs was unwell, the other dogs would eat the poo of the sick animal so it would hide the fact they had a weak member of the group. Also, a mother with pups would regularly eat the stools of her little ones to keep the den clean and to ensure no smells were left around to attract predators.


Learned behaviour

Dogs are quick learners and will often learn things you don’t want them to do.  Puppies, for example, learn by putting anything that appears in front of their face in their mouth.  Generally, puppies that eat poo will grow out of the habit very quickly. Ensure you clean any mess up as soon as possible so they don’t have the chance to pick it up

If you come home and find a little surprise package on the kitchen floor, shouting at your dog could cause them to eat their own mess. They will associate you telling them off and cleaning it up with what they have done so next time it happens they will eat it to cover their tracks.


Dogs might eat poo to get the nutrients it is not currently getting. This could be because the food they eat is low quality or they are not being fed enough.  Also, if they are being over fed, their body can’t absorb all it needs from the food the first time, so the dog recycles their nutrient rich waste. If a dog is lacking in certain vitamins they could eat feaces to get what their body needs.


Other reasons

If a dog spends a lot of time on their own, they could eat it out of boredom. They could use it as a way to get attention from their owner. Any attention is better than none. Stress and anxiety can cause a dog to eat animal waste, and finally they are just copying what they have seen another dog do.

Is it bad for my dog?

If you have a healthy, vaccinated dog then it shouldn’t cause them any harm if it’s a once in a blue moon event. However, if your dog is eating poo regularly you should take your dog to the vet as there may be an underlying issue such as:

  • Diabetes, Cushing’s, thyroid disease, and other conditions that might cause an increase in appetite
  • malabsorption syndromes
  • A diet deficient in nutrients and calories
  • Parasites

How do I stop my dog eating poo?

Firstly, as mentioned above, if they are doing it on a regular basis, take them to the vet to be checked.

  • Look at their diet. Does it need to change? Speak to your vet for advice
  • Make sure you pick up your dog’s waste at home and when out for a walk so they are not tempted to eat it.
  • Keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Allow plenty of play time, walks and toys etc.
  • If they leave a mess in the home don’t shout at them.
  • Ensure you have a solid recall or rock solid response to a cue meaning “leave that alone”

These are just a few reasons and solutions on why dogs do it and how you can prevent it. If you have any further questions, please call the clinic or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Bulldogs – What you need to know

Bulldogs look grumpy. However, ask anyone who owns one and grumpy is one of the last things you would call them.  They may be short, stocky dogs and have a fairly mean look, but they are sweet, playful and loving.

The Old English Bulldogs were originally bred to fight bulls (bullbaiting) and over the years, dogs that were used for this developed stocky bodies, large heads and jaws as well as a ferocious and savage temperament. However, once the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835 was introduced it became illegal and the Bulldogs were no longer useful.  Years later the original Old English Bulldog was crossed with a pug which made them shorter and wider with a brachycephalic skull. It also resulted in a much friendlier and less aggressive dog that made for a loyal companion and great choice as a family pet.

untitled-design-14Bulldogs may look intimidating but they are loyal, gentle and tolerant dogs which makes them a great family pet. They are not really ideal for first time dog owners due to the fact they can be stubborn and determined.  Unless you are able to show them you’re the boss they can walk all over you and it will be difficult to train them. When it comes to training they respond well to voice commands. However, if you shout at them or sound harsh they can suddenly develop selective hearing. They will be more likely to walk off and leave you to it.  Bulldogs love people and hate being on their own.  If Bulldogs are left for long periods, they could develop destructive behavioural problems. Another trait of a Bulldog is the snoring. They are one of the worst snorers in the canine world. If you get a Bulldog, you might want to invest in some earplugs.

Health and wellbeing

Bulldogs have short muzzles and a fairly flat face which makes them a brachycephalic breed (read our blog HERE). Because of this, owners will need to be careful when it comes to exercising their Bulldog especially in the summer months.  If they are over excited or over heat it can cause breathing problems. Also, they are more susceptible to heat stroke as they are not able to cool themselves down efficiently through panting.

With regard to exercise, the one thing I have in common with a Bulldog is that we are both happy lounging on a sofa and we are not in a rush to get up and move around.  Owners will need to keep an eye on this and ensure their Bulldog has enough exercise. Failure to do so will mean the dog piles on the pounds which can lead to complications further down the line. Exercise and good quality food will help to keep them in tip top condition. Speak to your vet if you need advice regarding this

Out of all the dog breeds, Bulldogs have some of the worst Hip Dysplasia (read our 2 part blog HERE and HERE) scores when tested against the Kennel Club’s scoring system. Other health issues include:

  • Cherry Eye
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Allergies and skin infections
  • Cleft Palate and Cleft lip / hare lip
  • Cataracts
  • Brachycephalic upper-airway syndrome
  • Breathing difficulties (due to their elongated soft – palate which can block the airways.

untitled-design-15Cleaning a Bulldog’s face is something that should be done daily. The folds in the skin can collect dirt and moisture which can lead to infections.  It’s best to use a damp cloth then towel dry the folds. They have short coats so grooming them once a week will be sufficient.

Overall, if you can put the time and effort into training and caring for a Bulldog you will have a pet that will bring you many years of joy.

As always, if you have any questions regarding your pet’s health feel free to call us at the clinic or leave a question on our Facebook page.

Why do dogs eat grass?

We regularly receive questions from our clients, either by phone or via our Facebook page, asking about issues relating to their pet. However, every now and again we get asked general questions just because people are interested in knowing the answer. We thought we would write a blog about this very popular question.

why do dogs eat grass?

So, why do dogs eat grass?

The honest answer is we don’t know. No one really knows, but there are various theories.

  1. The most popular theory is to make themselves sick. If a dog feels ill, they may ask to be let out and munch on the nearest patch of grass they can find. As the grass goes down it tickles their throat and makes them vomit. Also, dogs may find temporary relief from eating grass if they have an upset stomach or are a bit gassy.  This sort of behaviour doesn’t happen often so if your dog starts eating more grass than a Jersey Cow and vomit on a regular basis it might be worth you taking a trip to the vets to make sure there isn’t an underlying issue.
  1. Some people believe that dogs will eat grass because they are trying to improve their own digestion. It could be they are lacking fibre in their diet and are trying to add more. If you think your dog is lacking in fibre you could give them supplements or change their food.  If you plan on doing this, you should speak to your vet beforehand so they can recommend the best food/supplements and make sure there are no other issues.

why do dogs eat grass?

  1. Dogs might eat grass because they are bored or are seeking attention. If this is the case take them for regular walks or play with them more often to see if the grass eating stops. If they are stuck in the back garden with nothing to do, then they might turn to chewing the cud just for something to do.
  1. A dog might eat grass because it’s a natural instinct dating back to the days when dogs were wild and free and not pets. Dogs are not natural meat eaters. They are omnivores and before they became pets they would eat anything and everything from berries and grass to prey they had caught. They would also eat every part of the prey such as meat, bones, organs and the contents of the stomach which contained greenery and plants. This ensured they had a balanced diet. Even today, wild dogs will eat vegetation so it could be just animal instinct to eat grass
  1. It could be down to the fact your dog loves the taste and texture of grass. When I was young my dog would eat grass regularly. Not just any old grass either. He would find the greenest and thickest patches of grass and just eat and enjoy it like he was at a free salad bar. At the time he was checked out and no issues were found. It’s just something he did and didn’t cause him any harm.

why do dogs eat grass?

Overall it’s not dangerous for your dog to eat grass. Whilst it might not do them much good in terms or nutrition it won’t do them any harm either. However, one thing to point out is that gardens nowadays may have been sprayed with weed killer or other pesticides. In large quantities it can be dangerous to animals so keep that in mind.

If you notice your dog is eating unusual amounts of grass and you are concerned take them to your vet for a check-up. It might be nothing serious but it’s always best to check.

If you have any questions about this subject or anything pet health related feel free to leave a comment or send a private message via our Facebook page

Blue Green Algae – What you need to know

Blue Green Algae

iStock_000057909916_Large (1)In the news recently there were reports of several dogs dying in Dartford, with many other dogs found to be very ill.  The common link was a particular lake they may have drank water from. At the time vets were unsure what could have caused the problem and the lake was closed to the public by the Environment Agency so tests could be made.  It is now thought that poisonous blue-green algae may have caused the death of the dogs.

What is blue-green algae?

The blue-green algae are microscopic bacteria and can be found in freshwater lakes, streams and ponds. They produce toxins that can affect animals and humans who drink the water or swim in it.  Blooms of algae normally occur when the weather is hot so you would expect to see it mid to late summer. However, as the British weather is unpredictable blooms could appear sooner if we have had a warm Spring.

What does blue-green algae look like?

As the name suggests the water will look fairly green but in worse cases it can look like pea soup or as if someone has painted a thick coat of green paint on top of the water

What are the symptoms and can it be treated?

The common symptoms are:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Blood in stool
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Shock
  • Excessive secretions
  • Neurological signs such as muscle tremors, paralysis
  • Difficulty breathing

Whether or not it can be treated depends on how quickly the animal is brought to us. Water is absorbed by the body quickly including the toxins. The faster you get to a vet the better chance the dog has of survival. However, even if they do pull through there could be further health repercussions for the rest of their lives


Sometimes it can be obvious there is blue-green algae on the water, however there will be bodies of water that look clean but are either just starting to bloom or the algae is dying off.  It is advisable not to let your dog swim or drink from unknown water sources. Also, be careful with lakes/ponds/streams that you know and have let your dog swim in or drink from before. If they have been for a swim, we suggest you wash them thoroughly afterwards and keep an eye on their health. If there are any changes, no matter how small take them to a vet as soon as possible.

If you have any questions about this subject feel free to either call the clinic on 01268 533636 or leave a comment on our Facebook page. Someone will get back to you asap.

Cannabis Poisoning – Marley and Tula

Picture2Marley and Tula are lovely chocolate brown Labs, and as with most labs they love to forage whilst out on walks. Marley is 9 years old while Tula is smaller and just over a year old. On Tuesday they were out being walked by Chloe in Stanford Le Hope and were off rummaging about as they often do.

After their walk they come home and the family sat down for dinner. Shortly afterwards they noticed Tula was acting strangely. She started nodding her head, knocked over the water bowl stand and then slumped and collapsed. She was rushed in to see us at Cherrydown and our duty vet Josh examined her. She was fitting, barely able to stand, her pupils were dilating and constricting independently and she appeared to be under the influence of a toxic substance.

She was admitted into the hospital and put on to fluids while we did blood tests. The family went home and by the time they got there Marley was displaying similar symptoms so was brought in to Cherrydown as well. As her symptoms weren’t as bad Josh was able to make her sick to try to reduce the absorption of toxicity. Both dogs were put onto fluids, closely monitored and symptomatic treatment given.

A search was conducted of the area where the dogs had been foraging and a black bin liner was found with rotted down cannabis plants. This was disposed of so no other animals could be affected and the information put onto the Stanford-Le-Hope Facebook page.

We do occasionally see dogs that have been affected by cannabis. The most common signs that a pet has ingested cannabis are depression and listlessness, loss of motor coordination including loss of balance, vomiting and hypothermia. The eyes may dilate and constrict (sometimes independently) and they may suffer thirst and loss of appetite.

In addition the heart can be affected so it either slows (bradycardia) or races (tachycardia), the animal may be agitated, suffer diarrhea, vomitting, urinary incontinence and seizures. In very severe cases it can lead to coma and death.

The effects of cannabis do not occur immediately after ingestion but usually come on an hour or two afterwards. The effects can last 12 to 24 hours but getting the correct treatment as soon as possible will speed the recovery and the pet can be made safe and comfortable.

If you are aware your pet has ingested cannabis or displays any of the above signs then you need to get your pet to the vet as quickly as possible. Be honest with your vet and tell them if you know your vet has ingested cannabis so they can give the best possible treatment. Getting your pet well again is all that really matters to them and you can guarantee it’s probably not the first case the vet will have seen.

Tula and Marley have both recovered well enough to go home and they will be monitored for any further signs of illness.

If you have any questions about this subject please leave a comment or send a private message via our Facebook page