Don’t forget your pet in holiday plans

The summer holiday season is about to go into overdrive and we’re urging people not to forget about their pets in the rush to get away.

Kevin Wood, our clinical director, has issued a timely reminder of what needs to be done if you’re planning to take your pet abroad with you.

Top of the list is making sure your animal is microchipped, has an up-to-date pet passport and the necessary vaccinations to go with it.

Kevin said: “If you’re taking your pet abroad with you this summer then don’t leave it until the last minute to make all the arrangements as it could be too late.

“For instance, the required rabies vaccination has to be carried out 21 days before departure.

“Pets should also be treated against the threat of tapeworm before they go away so, again, my advice is don’t delay.

“Similarly, if you need a pet passport, or you need to renew an existing passport, you need to start the application process now, as there’s sure to be a huge spike in applications at this time of year.”

The full rules and regulations for pets travelling abroad can be complicated, as they differ depending on your destination and whether it is an EU country or outside the EU.

Kevin is advising pet owners to check with their vets to make sure they have everything up to date and covered in order to avoid having the heartbreak of leaving their beloved dogs and cats behind.

He added: “For pets travelling abroad, there are numerous factors to be taken into consideration and the situation can be complex, depending on which country, or countries, will be visited, so it’s important to get professional advice well in advance.”

Pet Blood Donors Urgently Needed

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Can You Help Save a Pets Life? – Pet Blood Donors Urgently Needed

Every day, dogs like yours need blood transfusions and for many procedures a transfusion is a clinical necessity. Without blood donors veterinary surgeons could not undertake important and often life saving operations.

An ideal donor has a very calm temperament, is fully vaccinated, over 25kg and under 8 years old.

Your dog may feel a small scratch as the needle is inserted, but after this, the procedure is painless. Your dog will get lots of cuddles & attention from our nurses who will be with your dog through the whole process. The amount of blood taken is small so as not to cause an adverse affect on their health. After the procedure your dog will be given fresh chicken as a reward.

Donating only takes about 20 minutes and we will add a £35 credit to your account.

After donating blood a small dressing will be applied, just like when we have blood tests at the doctors. This can be removed after about an hour. We would recommend that your dog take it easy for the rest of the day after his good deed – but only as a precaution not a necessity.

RikkiIf you are interested in helping, please email with your details or call us on 01268 533636 and ask to speak to our nurse Rikki.



Conkers, Acorns and Your Dog

Autumn……for some it’s a great time of year. Harvest festivals, the changing colours of the trees and kicking through piles of leaves while walking through the park. For others Autumn means the summer is over, the nights are getting longer, the days are getting shorter and it’s cold and wet. 

Autumn also means there will be a lot of conkers (chestnuts) and acorns on the ground in parks,  wooded areas  or even in your garden which can cause problems for your dog if they are swallowed.  Below are the the symptoms and problems that could occur.

Credit - JustWamm
Credit – JustWamm

Conkers – Many people think the only danger from a conker is bruised knuckles from having one bashed against your hand when one is placed on the end of a string.  However, should a dog swallow them it can cause sickness and diarrhoea and in rare cases severe poisoning.  If you believe your dog has eaten a conker look out for the following symptoms – drooling, retching, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Also, if they are ingested they can cause blockages which can lead to further problems.

Credit HappyToast

Acorns – Acorns contain tannic acid that can damage the liver and kidneys. Also they can cause vomiting and diarrhoea and inappetence (loss of appetite). Again,  if lots are eaten they can cause an obstruction can lead to further issues.

Just remember, whenever you take your pooch for a stroll just be aware of what’s on the ground to ensure they don’t swallow anything that could do them harm.

As always, if you have any questions about this subject you can call us at the clinic and speak to someone directly or you can leave a message on our Facebook page and someone will get back to you. 


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When deciding on what sort of dog you are looking for there are certain things you should think about such as size, cost, behaviour, needs of the pet etc. If you are looking for a dog that’s BIG, very hairy, loves the outdoors and activities such as swimming, hiking, sled pulling, and is dependable and protective then Leonbergers may be for you.

These are big dogs but they are known as gentle giants.  They are more than happy just sitting on your feet and laying their full weight against you. When this happens you may notice your shoe size increase as your dainty little size 5s will become size 10s after they have dropped their weight on them.

According to Wikipedia the breed’s name derives from the city of Leonberg in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Legend has it the dogs were bred in the mid 1800s by crossing a Newfoundland, a St Bernard and a Great Pyrenees as the resulting dog would mimic the lion on the town crest. Leonbergers, like a lot of other breeds, almost died out during the second world war. However, the breed was saved and grew in popularity all over Europe. Leonbergers have been successful at guarding livestock, search and rescue dogs, tracking dogs and, of course, family pets.

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Leonbergers are great family dogs.  They have an excellent temperament and a well trained and socialised dog will be a great addition to your household.  They will be confident, friendly with children (although it would be a good idea to supervise them around smaller children in case they get knocked down), well behaved around other people and can be taken anywhere without any issues, including mixing with other dogs. When growing up make sure you keep them active and entertained. A bored Leonberger can be quite destructive, especially as a pup. All dogs go through a chewing stage, but these dogs are bigger so rather than a slipper being chewed, you might end up with bits of furniture, a sofa or your wardrobe strewn around the house! Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean.

Leonbergers are big, muscular dogs and have a lot of fur. This is due to them having a double layered coat.  They have this as it helps insulate them against both heat and cold.  Never shave a Leonbergers coat as this can affect the dog’s natural temperature regulation.  They shed their fur heavily so it is important to regularly brush them. Once a week is a minimum, however if the undercoat is being shed it would be wise to brush them daily.

Health wise, Leonbergers are pretty healthy. This is partly due to  many of the respectable and careful breeders screening for genetic diseases and breed only the healthiest specimens.  However, if your Leonberger has not come from a breeder that does this the dog may have possible issues such as:

Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia – You can read more about this problem by clicking the following links

Hip Dysplasia – Part 1

Hip Dysplasia – Part 2

Elbow Dysplasia

Eye diseases such as cataracts, entropion and ectropion

Cancer inc osteosarcoma (bone cancer)

Polyneuropathy (a neurological disease)

Addison’s Disease


Bloat / gastric torsion

There is a good chance your Leonberger won’t suffer with all, or any of these, but its always good to know what could happen so you can be prepared. If you bring your Leonberger along to see our vet they can answer all of your questions regarding the above issues and any other health concerns you have.

If you have a Leonberger, feel free to post a picture on our Facebook page. We would love to see them. Also, if you have any questions or queries leave a comment on Facebook or call us at the clinic on 01268 533636


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One of the most popular breeds of dog we see at Cherrydown Vets is Pugs.  They are lovely little things. They look cute with their wrinkly face and curled tail and they are fun and mischievous dogs.  However, one thing we picked up on is some of the owners, particularly those who are new to owning pugs, don’t realise about some of the issues pugs can have. So if you are thinking of getting one hopefully our blog will help you decide whether they are the right breed for you.

According to the London Zoological Society, the Pug is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world.  They were brought from China to Europe in the 16thCentury

Pug Puppy
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Pugs love to be around people and thrive on human companionship. They are great family dogs and are good around children.  These dogs are playful and affectionate and you are guaranteed to have a smile on your face whenever they are around. Make sure you do not leave them for long periods as they can become bored and destructive.  Pugs can be quite stubborn so, when training, you will need to be more patient with them.  Make sure you have the time to invest in them as you will be highly rewarded with a loving, happy pug.

Pugs are not the sort of dog to take to the park and play fetch with.  If you throw a ball for them they will stare at you with those big bulging eyes and wait for you to fetch it yourself.  If you are after a dog that is going to be active pugs are not for you. However, if you are looking for a lap dog then these are perfect.  Make sure you do exercise them. Pugs will happily spend their days eating and sleeping so are more prone to weight gain. Keeping them in shape and fit is very important as they can suffer from breathing problems.  Don’t exercise them during hot or humid weather as their conformation makes them very prone to heatstroke.

Talking of sleeping, if you get a pug you may need to invest in some ear plugs. These dogs can snore VERY LOUDLY!!!

pugs snore

If you look at some of the paintings from the 18thcentury that include pugs their bodies look long and lean.  However, nowadays they have a more compact form with a deep chest and well developed muscles. Pugs have smooth and glossy coats that can be fawn, apricot fawn, silver fawn or black.  One thing that surprises a lot of owners is how much fur they shed. The hair will be everywhere. We suggest investing in a good vacuum, lint rollers, and a good dog brush.  If you get a black pug ensure all of your own clothing is black so the fur isn’t as visible.  In all seriousness, most dogs shed hair but for something so small there does seem to be a lot.

Pugs need a fair amount of grooming and general maintenance.  As we have already mentioned, they shed a lot of fur so will need regular brushing.  Also, their face will need to be cleaned.  A pug’s facial folds will need to be attended to on a regular basis. The wrinkles can hold all manner of gunk such as food, mucus to dry tears and general bits of dirt.  If the face isn’t cleaned very often it could lead to skin infections or could cause bad odours  It won’t take long to do so make the effort to ensure your pugs face is fresh.

Health Issues

Below are some of the health issues that can affect pugs. It’s not a comprehensive list but it will give you an idea of issues affect pugs

Dry eye – very common in pugs and can be serious

Corneal Ulcers – These can be caused by scratches to the eyeballs. Their prominent eyes make them very prone to this

Elbow / Hip Dysplasia – Pugs are susceptible to bone and joint problems.  You can read more about Elbow and Hip Dysplasia by looking at our other blogs

Hip Dysplasia – Part 1 – What is it and what causes it? – Click HERE

Hip Dysplasia – Part 2 – Diagnosis and treatment – Click HERE

Elbow Dysplasia – Click HERE

Luxating Patella – also known as “trick knees” is a fairly common problem in pugs and other small dogs.  It is the dislocation of the small movable bone in the knee called the patella from the femur where it is normally held in place by ligaments.  In mild cases the patella will fall back into place on its own. However, in severe cases surgery is needed to correct it

As with people, some orthopaedic surgery requires the surgical skills of an expert. Fortunately at Cherrydown Vets we have that expert in  J.B. Lefebvre,  a recognised  European specialist. He regularly visits to consult and operate on a variety of cases including fractures, hip and elbow dysplasia, arthroscopy of shoulder, elbow & stifle as well as  cruciate ligament surgery including TPLO.  You can read more about J.B and his work by clicking HERE

Progressive Retinal Atrophy – This is a degeneration of the vessels around the retina.  It normally starts with night blindness in younger dogs and their vision will deteriorate leading to blindness

Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome – Due to a combination of small nostrils, an elongated soft palate, an oversized tongue and a small windpipe Pugs can have difficulty breathing. This makes them snore and very prone to heatstroke. If severely affected, surgery can be done help the problem

Those are just a few of the health issues that can affect a pug. As we have mentioned pugs can lead a happy and healthy life and not experience any of the above problems, but it is always best to be informed.

If you have any questions or want to know of other health problems you can call us at the clinic or pop in and speak to a vet.  Alternatively you can leave a non-urgent comment on our Facebook page and someone will get back to you

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