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.

Julie & Oscar – a real tale of unscrupulous breeders and the dangers when buying a puppy

Getting a new puppy should be a wonderful time. Sadly there are some unscrupulous breeders who are only out to make money and are not interested in the welfare of the animals. This is a real story of what happened when one of our clients got her pup Oscar. We have had to remove names and locations but the rest of the story is as Julie wrote it …………………

oscar1We first saw the advert for “Stunning shih Tzu Puppies – Boys and Girls”  in an online magazine advert. I was particularly interested as it advertised boys and girls , ready to leave mum , £350,  Kennel Club Registered, Wormed and Vaccinated

Most other Shihs are usually about £400+ if they are KC  registered so I telephoned to find out more as we wanted a male pup.

The lady  I phoned said that she was new to breeding, and that the pups were her own dogs babies and that it was the first time that she had done anything like this and it was going to break her heart to see them go. I asked about the KC papers and asked about the vet vaccinations. She said that all the paperwork would be provided when we went to view.

We arranged to go and see the pups the following Monday , but then she phoned back later that night and asked if we wanted to go on Thursday instead as there were only 2 dogs left.

I agreed , and arranged to visit at 7.30 on Thurs 31st Oct. We got stuck in traffic , we had to travel to get there, and she only gave her postcode , no door number…and the Breeder kept texting constantly – How long will you be , are you near … How far away are you …

oscar2We text her when we arrived and she gave us the door number. It was in a block of flats. The flat was cold , the pups were gorgeous – fluffy – quiet – bloated. The lady explained that they had not long eaten and were sleepy. My husband noticed a room with a concrete floor with  lots of scraps of food all over it and the window open. There was no bedding and no sign of any of the Girl Pups either!!!

We picked our pup…we were kind of taken with him, we picked the quieter, as we had a quiet Shih at home already. We all went into the kitchen , she offered no toy or blanket material smelling of mum. I had brought my own , but she did not seem bothered to put it near the mum dog. Mum dog did not interact with the Pups at all, she seemed quiet and was scavenging round the floor.

I gave my name and address , for the Pet Plan insurance …Picked up the Folder with what I could see as lots of official looking papers and handed over £350. I didn’t  get a receipt, I did not even think about it, I just wanted to take Oscar home and I  felt uncomfortable.

I asked for some food for him , what was he eating. Oh ..Royal Canin she said , and bought out an empty “Adult” packet of Royal Canin

The door went, and it was some other people coming to look at another puppy. I wrapped Oscar up in our blanket (which i had rubbed all over the mum dog) and we left.  Both my husband and son remarked how cold the flat was, and how cold the lady seemed, no emotion at the pup leaving.

oscar3We got Oscar home, he was so bloated  that he could not walk. He was crying and whimpering, as if he had a tummy ache. He was crying all night, the blanket did not help him and he moved away from it every time we put it near him. He tried to suckle from our other male Shih tzu and he did not want to drink and seemed constipated. I stayed up with him nearly all night , he did not want to be held, he just lay on our cold wood floor.

Next morning , he was still seemingly in pain , he pooed and it was full of worms …he was so bloated and cried when pooing. His nose was running, he was sneezing and he was struggling to breathe so I phoned Cherrydown. I  phoned the Breeder and she seemed slightly concerned and asked to be kept informed. I told her he was so bloated and  I was worried about that  and  she said  “oh, just give him a Drontal tablet, he is due one on Monday.

After Oscar became ill with pnuemonia we found out he had never been vaccinated or wormed. His papers and birth certificate I got from the breeder all turned out to be fake. I telephoned the Kennel Club and they confirmed that they had never heard of the breeder or the pups, and it was then that we realised that in fact he was about 6 weeks old we think.

The breeder gave me a false vets name, I followed the details up, and found that it was all lies. In the meantime Oscar became more and more ill and passed it on to our other Shih Tzu, Buddy

Looking back – a cold house, no bedding for dogs, no interaction between mum and pups, so it probably wasnt even her pup, bad food advice, all documents fake, no door number given until we arrived at location, no trace of the pups at the vets where they were allegedly vaccinated. Petplan was in place, but she said we bought him on the 7th November when we in fact  bought him on 31st October. No receipt given , all doors in the flat shut, only allowed in the hallway and kitchen, bad advice about the worming and drontal tablet , I knew then that she was a fake.

I informed the Trading Standards and RSPCA  and they have visited the breeder. The flat is clear of all animals  and the guy who answered the door said that he did not keep animals. I did take a photo of Oscar outside the flat on my phone so have that as proof of where we got him.

Coincidentally one week later one of my friends was getting a puppy as well.  She travelled to a house in a street and she too was not given the house number just the postcode.

She was met by a child, who directed her to a long driveway , where she entered the house, viewed some puppies and bought a little girl pup that was approx 7 weeks old – infact , she was the main pic on the advert that we had seen when we were looking for Oscar …..

There was the same thing with my friend – no interaction with mum and pups, no receipt, fake papers  and according to her birth certificate Poppy was born a week later than Oscar to the same mum and dad as Oscar. Poppy has been unwell but we are lucky  as the RSPCA have told us that 2 other of the pups have died.

oscar4Oscar is still poorly, and Cherrydown’s “Curly Kev” (Kevin Wood) has been amazing. He has shown care and compassion with both my two dogs and they love him. I don’t think Oscar had ever been held or handled before and its taken a while. He will need a nasal operation to help his breathing, as i’m still giving him steam inhalation and nebulisers, he has a weak chest too and will probably suffer in the future.

The RSPCA say that the pups were shipped in to England.  We are lucky that they are now healthy(ish) and happy. Looking back I cannot believe that I let all these things slip by me, and feel guilty that I should have noticed earlier what kind of things were going on, but it seems I was besotted with our new pup and completely oblivious to all the errors being made.

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As Julie says in her story, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it is easy to get caught up in the emotion when getting a new puppy and unscrupulous breeders count on this. We have put together a FREE guide to getting a puppy which you can download by clicking HERE. It also contains special offer vouchers which can save you money.  With our puppy package your pup can get :

1st and 2nd Vaccinations
One month of flea and worm treatment (inc Lungworm)
A microchip
An invitation to our puppy party

All this for £30 saving you £45 – Download your guide HERE to learn all you need to know about getting a pup and to take advantage of our special offers

Alternatively, if you know someone who is getting a puppy and might find our guide and offers useful please pass on the link to our website so they can download their own copy

Also, if you have a friend who is getting a puppy, refer them to us and if they take advantage of the £30 puppy package you will get £10 credit added to your Cherrydown account. You can download a referral form by clicking HERE

If you have any questions about any of this please contact us at the clinic or leave a comment on our Facebook page

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Mysterious Illness in Dogs

Yesterday the BBC reported about a Mysterious Illness in Dogs, that had killed 13 dogs across Britain in recent months.  We passed the article to our vet, Jonathan Nurse, to get his view.

Jonathan Nurse

A poorly understood condition in dogs has been seen in the New Forest area. There have also been possible cases in Worcestershire, County Durham, Cornwall and Surrey. Dogs present with skin wounds/lesions and acute kidney failure. We have not seen cases in Basildon and the surrounding areas.

Despite extensive tests being run on affected dogs, the cause of the problem is still unclear. One theory is that it is caused by a toxin from the bacteria E.coli and that dogs have been exposed to the toxin when walking/swimming in flooded areas. However, this is only a theory and has not been confirmed

There is some evidence that shampooing your dog after exercising in flooded areas may reduce the risk of exposure but again this is by no means certain.

Although we have not seen any cases at Cherrydown, we recommend checking your dogs over daily for any skin wounds or sores on the leg. If any sores are found we recommend that they are checked by us and that the dog is not exercised where any skin lesions may get wet. A real challenge at the moment!

Also, if they go off their food or are sick we would recommend a prompt blood test in case of kidney problems.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this blog please contact us at the clinic.  Alternatively, you can add your question to our Facebook pageand someone will get back to you

How do I stop my cat from scratching?

When we talk about “cat scratching” we don’t mean this

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What we mean is this

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A question we get asked a lot is “how do I stop my cat from scratching?”  We have spoken to many owners over the years who have told us their cats have wrecked sofas, tables, curtains, wallpaper and even window and door frames.  It is a common problem and there could be many reasons for it.

So how do I stop my cat from scratching?

Well, the first thing you should NOT do is stop them from doing it.  Claw scratching is perfectly normal cat behaviour.  They scratch to keep their claws in tip top condition and also to leave a message to other cats.  When it drags its claws down a surface it will leave a smell which is unique to that cat.  The visual sign of scratching, any discarded claw husks and the smell will send a message to other cats.  Basically, they are marking their territory.  Also, cats love to scratch things as it feels good and they get to stretch their legs and muscles.

Another thing you should NOT do is punish your cat.  Whilst it can be frustrating to come home and find your brand new leather sofa scratched to pieces, your cat will not understand.  Shouting at your cat could even make their scratching habit worse. You need to be patient and teach them to scratch other things.

Scratching posts are a great idea.  They have a nice sturdy base so cats will be able to stretch and lean against it without it falling over, the cat will be able to keep it’s nails looking healthy and your house will not be covered in claw marks.  If you have space you could also consider a scratch tree as this will give your cat the opportunity to stretch, scratch, climb and perch.

If your cat is scratching wallpaper or furniture you should cover the scratched surface with thick plastic sheeting to prevent the cat scratching there.  Then place a scratch post directly next to the scratched area.  Whenever your cat uses the post make sure you praise them or you could even leave little treats on it.  In time your cat will learn to use the post rather than your wall or furniture. When this happens you will be able to remove the plastic and move the post to a more convenient place in your home.

What if that doesn’t work?

Under normal circumstances a cat will have one or two places it likes to scratch.  By trying the above you can make sure there are scratching posts available in those areas.  However, if your cat feels anxious or insecure it could scratch various places around the home.  If this happens you may need to look at what could be causing the anxiety and insecurity.

  • Is there more than one cat in the household?
  • Is there a large cat population in your area?
  • Is your cat not getting enough attention?
  • Is your cat under-stimulated?

By working out what’s causing your cats anxieties you can put things in place to ensure it feels more secure in its surroundings so it is less inclined to scratch everywhere.

If you have a serious problem with your cat scratching our vet will be able to talk through the issues and offer help and advice. They may also be able to prescribe something which could calm them down and alleviate some of the anxiety.  In some cases our vet may need to refer the cat to a behavioural specialist who will be able to give your cat a more in-depth review and find the root of the problem.

As we are not behavioural specialists there will be many questions we would not be able to answer. Each cat would have to be seen by the vet and advice would be given on a case by case basis.  However, if you have a general query regarding this subject please call the clinic and someone will be able to help you.  Alternatively, you can leave a post on our Facebook page and someone will respond

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What is Glaucoma?

Chai Cahill came to see us so his eyes could be checked. Chai’s owners had noticed redness to the whites of eyes and had very sensibly asked for them to be looked at. A previous test showed they weren’t responding as quickly as expected and we needed to assess for glaucoma. Glaucoma  can be very painful and rapidly lead to blindness so it is important to spot the signs as early as possible and to treat.

Glaucoma is caused by inadequate drainage of the eye usually brought on by increased pressure. So what is Glaucoma? There are two kinds of glaucoma – Primary and Secondary

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Kevin O’Leary prepares the tonometer

Signs of  Primary Glaucoma 

  • Eyeball may recede back into the head
  • Redness of blood vessels in the whites of the eye
  • Loss of vision
  • Cloudy appearance to eyes
  • Blinking
  • High pressure within the eye

 

chai2
Kevin is assisted by locum nurse Faye Hanshaw

Signs of Secondary Glaucoma

  • Redness of the blood levels in the whites of the eyes
  • Cloudy appearance to eye
  • High pressure within the eye
  • Inflamatory debris may be visible infont of the eye
  • Possible constriction of the pupil
  • Possible headaches, loss of appetite and change in behaviour as a result.

High pressure in the eye is caused when the normal outflow of fluid in the eye is impaired due to a primary eye disease such as the improper development of the eye’s filtration, or secondary to other eye diseases, inflammation of the tissues of the eye, eye tumor(s), or blood collection in the front of the eye from injury.

If you visit your opticians they will do a test where a puff of air is blown directly at the eye. This measures the pressure of the eye. Vets use an instrument called a tonometer which is gently touched onto the eye after a local anaesthetic eye drop. The level of ‘bounce’ of the tonometer gives a reading.

Fortunately Chai’s readings were within normal parameters.  If you have any worries that your dog may have glaucoma then please consult your vet as soon as possible.

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Kevin touches the tonometer onto Chai’s eye

Shaun Plunkett – Practice Manager

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I was brought up in West London not too far from Heathrow and always wanted to be a pilot. Sadly I didn’t apply myself at school so my dream ended prematurely and I left college wondering what to do. In 1980 I joined the Metropolitan Police and spent my first 17 years in uniform on the response teams. In 1996 I transferred to CID and later worked on one of the murder teams where I was responsible for investigating cases and preparing them for trial at the Old Bailey.

In April 2011 I was looking to retire from the police and saw Cherrydown was advertising for a trainee practice manager with a view to taking over the Practice Manager position 2 years later. The job sounded interesting and although I had no need to work full time, I wanted a job that was new, interesting, challenging and around people. Although I knew nothing about veterinary work I thought I’d apply. Two interviews and a powerpoint presentation later I’d got the job – much to my surprise.

On a more personal level, in 1981 I met my first wife and we married the following year. Friends and family reckoned it would last 6 months but we nearly made it to 25 years before becoming yet another divorce statistic. In that time we were fortunate to have two children who are both now in their mid twenties and making their own way in the world. In 2007 I met my fiancee Sue and we live in Billericay with her two daughters and their cat Sam who is 14 and ALWAYS trying it on for more food.

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Moving back to Cherrydown, working here has definitely been a challenge, especially as I had no knowledge of the veterinary world or private business. To help me, Jonathan set a goal of qualifying for the Certificate of Veterinary Management. This is a nationally recognised qualification in the industry held by about 40 practice managers. To get this I needed to pass a level 5 diploma in business management and I achieved this in 2012. In 2013 I passed the CVPM but I’m still learning every day.

My job is to try to make sure the three practices run smoothly. As much of a challenge as this is, perhaps the hardest part is managing the team and trying to make sure each member is able to give of their best. They are a fantastic bunch of people who really do care very passionately about what they do. If I can try to ensure they are happy and motivated then hopefully they will provide the best possible service.

When I retire (again) I hope for two things. Firstly that retiring the second time isn’t as much hard work as the first time. And secondly, that I have made a positive difference in my time at Cherrydown.

Loves: music – especially the soul/dance music of the late 70’s and early 80’s, trying to put a smile on someones face, and socialising with friends. 

Regrets: not being the best dad in the world and not being home enough. Changing my regular lottery numbers once and missing out on 5 plus the bonus. 

Hopes: To get to see more of the world and finally getting to drag my fiancee up the aisle before she sees sense, or I’m too old to manage it. 

Pets – A rabbit when very young and a cat through most of my married life. Whilst I love dogs, my job has never allowed the time I think they need and deserve

Dont mess with the chef

 

The dangers of dogs and sticks

Ask any vet and they will tell you not to throw sticks for your dogs.  Whilst you may see it in pictures and films, it can be incredibly dangerous.  There have been occasions where sticks have splintered and have got stuck in an animal’s throat with tragic consequences.

On this occasion a stick wasn’t thrown but it does highlight the danger.  Jess Mallott is a gorgeous 12 year old Staffy, and though she’s getting on in years she still loves her walks and to play. Unfortunately when she was out yesterday she decided to play with a stick and part of it split in her mouth and got lodged between each side of her jaw. She tried to paw at it but she was unable to get it out, and her owners were naturally worried about trying themselves and hurting her more. She was brought in to us and had to undergo an anesthetic so we could remove the stick and clean the gums around where it had been lodged. The stick was about 3 inches long and is clearly visible in the photo.

Stick

Following the operation she recovered well and was able to go home late yesterday evening. There should be no lasting effect but she was in considerable discomfort when brought in and needed pain killers afterwards. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope she is back out on her favourite walks again very soon.

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Sticks and bones can both be dangerous for dogs and we recommend that when out for walks you have purpose made toys to throw and play with.

If you have any questions regarding this subject please call us at the clinic and someone will be able to help you.  Alternatively, leave a question on our Facebook page and you one of our staff members will answer it for you

Looking after an older dog

olderdog3Owning a dog is great. Ask any dog owner and they will tell you this is true, even after they have just devoured the Sunday joint you left thawing on the kitchen worktop.  Whilst there may be challenges the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  Dogs bring a lot of love and happiness into a home and once you have a furry companion welcoming you home every day with a big smile, a paw on your chest or an upturned tummy,  you will wonder how you lived without one.

One of the downsides is your dog will age a lot quicker than you and having an older pet has its own challenges. However, by making small changes, being more patient, understanding and making sure your dog has regular check-ups there is no reason why they won’t have a long and healthy life.

How do I know if my dog is old?

Like a lot of men, some dogs go grey really early.  It doesn’t mean they are old. They are just distinguished – at least in the view of the slightly greying male author of this blog.  In truth there is no exact age when dogs are considered old.   As a rule of thumb, dogs will become senior between the ages of 5-9. However, this depends on what size and breed they are.  At our Basildon branch we run FREE senior health clinics for pets aged 8 or more.

Food

Just like older people, senior dogs will slow down. They won’t run as fast, they may not want to go out as much and they will take things nice and slow.  They may also want to hog the remote for the TV, turn into a grinch at Christmas and become a lot more fussy and stubborn if they are male. Seriously though,  when this happens they won’t burn off as many calories so you will need to think about their diet.  If your dog starts to put on weight you may want to cut back on what you give them.  However, some dogs can lose weight. This could be down to needing more food or it could be the start of an illness.   If you notice either weight gain or loss bring them in to see the nurse or a vet who can give your pet a health check and offer advice on the best diet for your dog as there are many foods available specially formulated for older pets.

Exercise

As we have already mentioned, older dogs may not be as active as they once were.  Some will be more than happy to spend all day in bed fast asleep.  Make sure they get some sort of exercise as this will help control their weight.  They may not be able to go on long walks but shorter, less strenuous trips will be good for them.  Just be aware of issues they may have so you don’t put unnecessary stress on joints and muscles.  If you have any concerns or questions, our vets and nurses will be able to help you.

Dental care

Tooth and gum disease is a common problem so it is important to regularly clean their teeth to keep your dog’s mouth healthy.

Home comforts

Older dogs may suffer with arthritis, muscle problems or joint issues.  To help keep them comfortable make sure they have a nice soft bed. Put it somewhere warm and draft free and make sure their food and drink bowls are in easy reach. As they get older they may not be able to jump as well as they once could so they may need help climbing stairs or getting into cars.

Possible health problems

As the human body gets older it starts to work less efficiently – the same is true for dogs. Your dog’s heart or kidneys may not work as well as they once did, or your dog may develop growths on the skin or inside his body. There could also be problems with their hearing or eyesight.  Look out for tell-tale signs such as walking into things which could indicate failing eyesight or not reacting when you call them which could be an issue with their hearing.

A common problem in older dogs is Arthritis, especially in bigger dogs.  Whilst it may not be completely obvious at first look out for signs of discomfort such as changes in the way they lie down or get up.  Is there hesitation or stiffness?

If you notice anything at all make sure you bring them in to see a vet so steps can be taken to help manage any issues.

Those are just a few things to think about for when your dog gets older.  If you have a dog that is 8 years old or above, book them in to see our nurse at the Basildon Clinic.  It is completely free.  The nurse will examine your pet and check to see if he/she is in good health. Information and advice will be given on different illnesses and ailments and medications that can be used. If the nurse notices your pet has a condition requiring veterinary treatment she can discuss this with you and make an appointment with a vet if necessary

If you have any questions regarding this subject please call us at the clinic and someone will be able to help.  Alternatively, you can leave a non-urgent question on our Facebook page and one of the nurses or vets will respond

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Minnie’s Story – Ruptured Diaphragm

The owners tale…..

On Friday 29th November Minnie was last seen around 4.30pm and we realised she was missing at about 8.30pm. That’s not generally a long time for a cat to be missing but for Minnie this was unusual. We got up in the middle of the night to call her but to no avail. On Saturday morning I put notes through neighbours doors asking them to check their sheds & garages etc. On Sunday afternoon we told our children & they were devastated but we all tried to stay positive. My husband & I both felt something dreadful had happened because it was so unlike her not to come home. On Monday morning however I found Minnie sitting on the front doorstep looking poorly. She was covered from her chest to her bottom in poo,  so I cleaned her up and left her to rest.  Later I realised she wasn’t taking any food or water and had maggots around her tail and bottom so I brought her to Cherrydown where Minnie was seen by vet Hayley Giles.

Minnie

Vet Hayley Giles takes over……

Minnie came in as an emergency and during the clinical exam it was quite clear that her respiratory rate was increased and it was taking a lot of effort for her to draw in each breath. She was also very dehydrated from being missing and was covered in tiny maggots. I admitted her and she was cleaned and rehydrated with intravenous fluids. The next day she was a little more stable and we were able to xray her so we took xrays of her whole body as we had no idea what had happened while she was missing.

The x-rays showed she was suffering from a ruptured diaphragm and the hole was allowing abdominal organs into her chest cavity which was causing the breathing difficulties.  These sort of injuries are common secondary to blunt trauma such as in a road traffic accident. She was taken to surgery and we pulled her stomache, liver and intestines gently back into her abdominal cavity before suturing the hole in her diaphragm.

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Cursor shows approx furthest extent abdominal organs should extend to.

Since the surgery Minnie has recovered well and her breathing has returned to normal. I saw her again recently for a check up and to have her stitches out and she looked wonderful. I’m so pleased for Minnie and her family that she has made an excellent recovery from what could have been quite a serious situation had she not returned home.

Cherrydown hope that she continues to improve and we look forward to seeing her again soon.

Ask the Vet Q&A – 21/11/2013 – Part 2

Each month our vet, Jonathan Nurse, holds an “Ask the Vet” session LIVE on our Facebook page.  This gives people the opportunity to ask him anything regarding their own pets, pet health in general or questions regarding Cherrydown Vets as a whole. Unfortunately, not everyone can make the session so we decided to put all of the questions onto a blog so others can read at a later date.  Hopefully you find it useful and it answers any similar questions you may have. If you haven’t seen it already, you can read part one by clicking HERE

Question:

My Staffordshire Bull Terrier who has just recently turned a year of ago has also recently been diagnosed with elbow dysplasia in both legs, and complete elbow replacements have been mentioned in the condition starts to put too much strain on other joints and causes him too much pain. I was wondering how this sort of procedure may affect his day to day routine and his general quality of life? He is otherwise healthy and very active as he enjoys farm/country life! He does not climb any stairs or jump often (if at all) as he does not go on the furniture! I am hoping that as he is still young he will cope well. I was also wondering if it would be a good idea for me to consider hydrotherapy for him? The stiffness, pain & limping comes and goes and he has pain meds to use as and when he needs them.

Answer:

Elbow Dyplasia varies a lot in severity from case to case so I am unable to give you specific advice but hope the following helps. Firstly diagnosis can be a challenge so Xrays or sometimes CT scan is needed. The common treatment we perform would be an elbow arthroscopy-our Orthopaedic Specialist looks inside the joint with a camera via a keyhole procedure and assesses the degree of damage in the joint. If the cartilage is badly damaged he will remove the diseased cartilage at the same time. Elbow replacements are rarely done and, in my limited experience of them, have a long way to go to match hip replacements in their efficiency. Benefits of swimming have to be assessed on case by case basis.

Question:

my dog is not him self. He had his glands done he will not jump.up onto sofa when he use to plus he sleeping more than he use to.

Answer:

I would definitely recommend a vet check. Lethargy as you describe could be caused by literally 100s of different problems and some can be serious.

What’s the best treatment for fleas in kittens? I have 4 x 10 week old kittens and discovered fleas about 2 weeks ago (not loads but a few on each kitten).  I’ve bathed them and used spot on and also tried flea tablets.  Got rid of most but have a few that still linger around. HELP!!!

Answer: 

Best to make an appointment. If you bring them in the nurse can check them over. You also need to de-flea the house with flea spray. You can also take a look at our blog on the subject by clicking HERE

Question: 

I have a 2 and a half year old cat and she is starting to lose her hair. I looked online and it said about litter and food change but she has always had the same. Can you advise what it could be??

Answer: 

Hair loss in cats is most commonly caused by skin allergies, although ringworm, stress over-grooming etc can also present like this. Really needs a vet check and start a logical treatment plan because there are lots of different causes and potential treatments

Question:

What can I do for my dog who, since firework night,  shakes and cowers in the corner of the room? She still eats well and drinks well during the day.

Answer:

Firework phobias are common in dogs. In the short term the quickest solution are prescription tranquilisers that we can provide after a vet check. There are some more natural things you can try but generally only work if anxiety is mild. Longer term there are noise desensitisation programs you can get for your dog to attempt to “cure” the problem. Also in the short term-dark hiding places they feel safe in can help and you can use things like DAP diffusers in these areas.

Question:

I noticed this week that the top of my dog’s nose has gone bald. It’s only a small area on the bridge of his nose. Looking back at photo’s it was covered in hair before. On closer inspection some hair seems to be growing back. It’s not bothering him and it’s not red, cut or itching. I was wondering if he has rubbed the hair off when looking under our shed and fence. Should I be worried? He is 4 years old and very healthy.

Answer:

The lesions you are describing could be rub lesions. If so, the hair should regrow and new lesions should not appear. However, if the hair does not regrow or similar bald lesions appear elsewhere definitely need a vet check.

Question:

Any tips for giving cats tablets please?

Answer:

Try wrapping the cat in a towel with only the head exposed. Hold the cat close to your body and prevent it wriggling and trying to escape. Someone else to then try and get the tablet in the mouth. Stroking the chin with the mouth closed often makes them swallow it. An easier way is put in food but you need to make sure it has been eaten.

Question:

We have a 14wk German Shepherd puppy who has been to you and had all boosters etc However since we got her at 11 wks her stools have been very loose, we were told it was the unsettling of moving etc but weeks later she still is bad with it. Food is James WellBeloved puppy and she eats, drinks and plays all fine but I can’t seem to settle the tummy, tried the rice and chicken root etc.  Do you have any ideas?

Answer:

You are right, she should be over the move now. She needs a vet check to start an investigation. This will often involve stool samples as infectious problems such as Giardia and Campylobacter are very common causes of diarrhoea in pups. Other possibilities include dietary intolerances, pancreatic insufficiency etc so definitely need to start investigation and treatment

Question:

What is the ideal weight for a 4 week old hand reared female staffy?

Answer:

Body condition score is more important than body weight. There are no definitive weight charts/ideal weight charts for pups as they grow at such varying rates. Therefore, you need to ensure pup is gaining weight and that there is sufficient lean body tissue and fat on the pup. Best option, if you are worried we run FREE nurse checks and they can advise.

If you have any questions you do not need to wait for an Ask the Vet session.  You can either call us at the clinic or you can leave a message on our Facebook page and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.