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

· GET TO YOUR VET

Puppy Awareness Week

pupsPuppy Awareness Week (PAW) starts today and part of the aim is to educate people on buying a pup so they don’t get one that may have come from a puppy farm.  A recent survey was done by the Kennel Club and they asked how and where owners bought their pups and if the puppy had experienced any health issues.

The figures showed 17% of people who bought their puppy online, particularly from social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, said it died within 6 months of being purchased.  Also, 12% claimed their puppy was in poor health and needed substantial medical treatment.

The figures are quite shocking and with more people buying pups online it is thought as many as 1 in 3 puppies are being bought over the internet.  The Kennel Club are asking for people to not buy from people selling pups on social networking sites and to use rescue centres or reputable breeders.

pupppsAt Cherrydown we have seen young pups that have serious health issues and in most cases it has stemmed from the poor treatment they, and their mother, received while with puppy farmers.

Typically, puppy farmers will separate the pup from its mother too early and it will not be socialised with other puppies.  They won’t follow guidelines regarding the maximum frequency of litters and won’t follow breed specific health schemes.  The pups are not wormed or immunised and in a lot of cases they are kept in poor conditions.   Also, the puppy farmer will meet you somewhere and will not invite you to their home so you can see where it was born.  If you are in the process of getting a puppy and the breeder wants to meet you in a car park or somewhere that isn’t their home, alarm bells should ring as it is more likely you will be buying a dog from a puppy farm.

If you intend on getting a puppy for yourself or as a gift, please use a reputable breeder. Alternatively, pop along to a local rescue centre as they will have lots of dogs looking for a forever home.

If you are going to go through a reputable breeder here are a few pointers:

Always go to a reputable breeder. Look for reviews,recommendations from others people or ask your vet for advice

When you speak to a breeder ask to see the puppy’s mother.  Also, take a look at the conditions of the kennels if the dogs and pups are not kept in the breeder’s home.

Ask the breeder for any certificates or documentation regarding the health of the puppy and its parents.

You may be put on a waiting list.  It will be worth it if you want a healthy puppy.

If you take the puppy home and things don’t work out a responsible breeder will let you return it.  It’s always best to check with them before you take the puppy away.

Overall, if something doesn’t ring true or feel right, don’t buy the puppy.

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.

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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Bull Mastiffs

The Bull Mastiff is a big, strong, intelligent dog that was originally bred from an English Mastiff and an Old English Bulldog in the 19th Century. Gamekeepers used them on large estates to help keep them free of poachers.

Even though Bull Mastiffs are big dogs they are sensitive, loving and can make good family pets because they are very loyal and protective.  They are great with children and will watch over them as well as being an excellent guardian of the home.  Bull Mastiffs are generally quiet and rarely bark, however, if they sense a possible threat they will make a lot of noise and will raise the alarm.  They are very territorial so will make natural guard dogs and they will protect you with their life.

When you read about Bull Mastiffs they sound wonderful. They are laid back, unless there is danger, faithful, eager to please, fearless and have unconditional love for people. However, there is one BIG messy downside………………SLOBBER!

These dogs are well known for their drool and slobber so you will need to have an old towel or rag in every room of the house. Also, have a few spare ones near the front door so you can give them to visitors who enter your home.  They do not discriminate when it comes to sharing the slobber.

Due to their size and stubborn nature, Bull Mastiffs need training from early on before they get too big. They need to be trained not to pull on the lead.  Also, it is good to socialise it with other dogs at an early age so it develops into a reliable and well behaved dog.

bull mastiff dog

Health Issues

As with most dogs there are certain types of hereditary problems associated with this breed such as Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Entropion, Hypothyroidism, Lymphoma Cancer, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Arthritis and Bloat.

For more information on some of these issues we have other blogs on our website and also our health advice pages. The links are below.  Also, as well as our main Facebook page we have a sister page which relates to our Orthopaedic Services and covers issues such as Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia.  Click here and it will take you directly to the page. Please click the “like” button so you can keep up to date with information about the subject.

If you have any questions about this please give us a call at the clinic where someone will be able to help you. Alternatively, you can leave a question on our Facebook page

Blog Links

Hyp Dysplasia Part 1 – Click HERE

Hyp Dysplasia Part 2 – Click HERE

Elbow Dysplasia – Click HERE

Cruciate Ligament Rupture – Click HERE

Arthritis – Click HERE

Bloat – Click HERE

Dogs and Car Travel

If you own a dog then you may, at some point, have to put him/her in a car. Whether it’s a trip to the vets or a longer journey there are several things to consider when it comes to the safety and comfort of your best friend.

Harnesses, Guards and Crates

We wear seatbelts and we make sure our kids are safely secured too. The same should apply to your dog.  They might be well behaved and sit quietly on the back seat. However, if you need to brake suddenly or if you bump your car, they could be thrown forward and get injured.  In a more serious bumb they could become a missile that will shoot forward and injure any of the people in the front of the car.

When deciding how to secure your dog, there are several choices available:

Dog Guard – This is a mesh which can be fitted between the boot and the back seat. This stops the dog from climbing over the seats. However, it doesn’t offer as much protection as your dog will not be protected from impact with the rear or side windows.  They need to be sturdy and properly secured in place to be effective as protection in case of accidents.

Crate – If you are going to put your dog in a crate you need to ensure, firstly, your car is big enough to hold it and secondly, the crate is big enough for your dog.  You need to make sure your dog is able to stand at full height and there is room for them to turn around and lie down in a normal position.  Make sure the dog can see out of the container and there is enough ventilation.  Also, by adding bedding to the crate it will help prevent the dog from slipping around.

Harness – If your dog is too big for a crate or you would prefer another option, then it’s worth considering a padded car harness that secures your dog by linking in with the seat belt system. Make sure to measure your dog to make sure you get the right size.  We have read these are not entirely safe as the straps can dig into the dog’s skin during an accident.

By choosing one of these options, it will ensure your pet has a safer journey. However, there are still other things to consider if you are going on a long journey:

Before putting the dog into the car, make sure they have exercised beforehand. This will help them settle as they will have burned off some excess energy.

Some dogs get motion sickness/car sick. If you know you are going on a long journey, don’t feed them before you travel. Leave it a couple of hours. Also, don’t give them food whilst travelling.  Keep them calm and give them a new toy to play with so it takes their mind off being in the car. If this is a problem then we do have medications that can assist with travel sickness and ease their stress.

Make sure you have plenty of water and take regular stops so your dog can stretch its legs.

Don’t let your dog stick its head out of the window.  It could result in injury. We have had dogs at the clinic that have done this and have had particles or small stones flicked up by tyres  that shoot into their eyes.  Also, some dogs may try to jump out.

Very Importantly, do not leave your dog in the car, especially on a hot day.  Whilst in the car, ensure the dog is not in direct sunlight.  Leaving a window open a crack is not sufficient as the inside of the car can get very hot and every year dogs die unnecessarily because they have overheated in cars.

These are a few hints and tips which we hope you will find useful. If you want more information, please call us at the clinic or leave a message on our Facebook page and someone will get back to you.

Top Reasons to Let Us Look After Your Pet

1) We guarantee to be there for you 24 hours a day 365 days a year. That means our own vets and nurses are on site caring for your pet when they need it most. Some practices outsource their care overnight or have no one on duty at the premises. We passionately believe in 24/7 continuity of care by our team to give your pet the best possible treatment.

2) A top European Orthopaedic and Heart Specialist available for consultations and operations. Having our own consulting specialists means your pet can get specialised treatment without having to travel to distant referral centres. Any post operative aftercare is also carried out here at Cherrydown making it easier for you to visit your pets.

3) We are one of the few surgeries in Essex to offer Laporascopic (Keyhole) Spays. The benefits are less trauma, faster recovery times, small skin wounds with no stitc

4) Direct Insurance – Let us take the pain out of paying for treatment. We can hold your bill until your insurance company pays us directly.*

5) Free Nurse Checks – you can book an appointment or just turn up. We also offer Free Nurse Clinics – Get advice on diet, dental care, diabetes, travel, rabbits & other small furries.

6) Three modern operating theatres with digital Xray facilities. Our modern sterile theatres greatly reduce the risk of infection and allow us to perform complicated procedures in-house. Digital Xrays allow us to quickly get specialist advice from anywhere in the world, they are quicker than conventional Xrays (so there is less radiation exposure to your pet) and the image is much better for more accurate diagnosis.

7) Air conditioned kenneling and waiting areas for the comfort of your pet. Keeping your pet comfortable reduces stress and makes for easier treatment.

8) We are really proud of our facilities and our staff really care. Why not come and let us show you round so you can see for yourself that to us, your pet is one of the family.

9) Over 11,500 people trusted us to look after their pets last year. We have an active Facebook site with nearly 6000 likes where we post information and answer your questions on pet health related subjects throughout the day. Why not visit it by pressing the button on our home page.

* Terms and conditions apply.

For more info see https://www.cherrydownvets.co.uk/pet-care

1 Blue Pattle crop Holly Nicholls crop

 

General health check for dogs

We were recently asked for hints and tips on checking a dogs general health. Whilst we are unable to give specific information we have listed below a few basic things you can look for to ensure your pooch is in good condition. Prevention is always better than cure and doing these basic checks monthly will help to keep your pet  a healthy and happy family member.

  • Body condition- running your hands over your dog you should be able to feel, and sometimes see the ribs with a slight covering of fat, see an hour glass shape at the waist and see the chest slope upwards towards the hind legs. By regularly checking your dog you will be able to notice any changes sooner rather than later
  • Ears- your dog’s ears should always be clean without any thick or discoloured discharge.  Make sure there are no signs of itchiness, redness or any odd smells.
  • Eyes- The eyes should be bright and clear without any signs of runniness, redness or soreness. If you notice your dog walking into things you should get them to the vets as soon as possible as there could be a more serious problem.
  • Nose- If the nose is healthy there shouldn’t be any signs of crusting and there should be no runny or thickened discharge.  Also, it’s worth noting that a healthy nose does not have to be cold and wet.
  • Mouth- bad breath can indicate underlying problems from digestive, kidney or bacterial infection. However, in a lot cases it could be a build of tartar or plaque which, if left, can build up and cause tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Skin and coat- your dog’s coat should be free of crusting, itching, scaling, infection, hot or inflamed areas. There should be no bald patches, dandruff or fleas.
  • Nails-should be smooth – if brittle and break easily they may need attention. Remember their dew claws if they have them
  • Digestion- always keep an eye on your dog’s appetite and what you are feeding them.
  • Waste – If you notice your dog’s toilet habits change or the consistency, this may indicate a problem.
  • Thirst- if your dog starts showing signs of increased thirst without exercise it may suggest an underlying problem.
  • Attitude- your dog’s general attitude and behaviour is always a sure sign as to how they are feeling.  If their head and tail are low and they seem quieter than normal then it could mean they are not feeling 100%

If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health please call us at the clinic or leave us a message on our Facebook page.

Micro-chipping

In the news recently there was an item regarding the compulsory micro-chipping of all dogs in England. The government are hoping it will help cut the growing number of strays.  Every dog owner will need to comply with this by 6th April 2016 and anyone that doesn’t could face fines of up to £500.

At Cherrydown we think it’s important for cats and dogs to be chipped so if you haven’t already done so you should seriously consider it.  If your pet gets lost they could end up in an animal welfare shelter. Normally the staff at the centre will scan the animal to check for a microchip. If they find one the owner will be contacted and will be reunitedwith their pet.

What is Micro-chipping?

The microchip (geek fact – also known as a RFID – Radio Frequency Identification Device) was introduced in 1989 and is the most effective way of permanently identifying a pet.  It’s about the size of a grain of rice and contains your information about your pet and your contact details.  The chip is inserted between the shoulder blades of a dog using a sterile needle.  The procedure only takes a few seconds and the dog doesn’t need to be anesthetised as it is no more painful than having a vaccination. Once inside the chip fuses with the dog’s bodily tissue to ensure it doesn’t move around.

At Cherrydown vets we choose to use Petlog, the UK’s largest Microchip Registration and Reunification Database, as we want to ensure our Clients and their pets get the best possible service.

After 6th April 2016 it will be down to the local authority and the police to enforce the law and vets will no doubt be regularly reminding dog owners to get their pet chipped. 

As always, if you have any questions about this subject or if you would like to get your pet micro-chipped please call us at the clinic. Alternatively, you can post your question on our Facebook page. 

Breaks and Fractures

At Cherrydown Vets one of the reasons pets are bought in to us is because of breaks or fractures to their bones.  It could be because of a car accident, a high fall, fighting, over exuberance or something more serious like bone cancer. There are two types of fractures, open and closed. An open fracture is when the bone breaks and pierces through the skin. A closed fracture is where the bone has broken but does not break the skin.

If your pet has had a heavy fall or an accident there are some things you can look out for to see if there is anything broken.

  • Your pet may hold the broken limb in an abnormal position
  • The limb will become very swollen
  • There may be an open wound with bone sticking through it.
  • You pet may be limping or is reluctant to put any weight on a particular limb
  • Your pet may hold up their limb and not put any weight on it at all
  • Your pet may not want the limb touched by anyone

Bones consist of an outer, hard portion known as the cortex and an inner area known as the marrow.  A fracture can range from a simple hairline fracture with little displacement of the bone to complex fractures where the bone has shattered into many pieces. If a fracture has taken place at a joint it can be even more serious.

If you believe your pet has fractured a bone you should take them to the vets immediately so they can be x-rayed. When the vet can see how serious the break is they can advise on the best course of action.

When it comes to transporting the animal, try to minimise movement of the affected area. If the bone is exposed cover with a clean, damp towel to protect the wound.  Also, be careful when moving your pet. No matter how friendly and soft they are, when animals are scared or in pain they may bite. If you have a dog it may be worth putting a muzzle on them.

The vet will do a thorough examination of the fracture and will also check for any other injuries. Once they have all the relevant information they will be able to decide what to do next. Each fracture is different but generally there are two types of treatment, depending on the fracture. The vet may recommend internal or external stabilisation.

External stabilisation – If your pet has a hairline fracture or something minor, the vet may choose to use splints, casts or padded bandages to keep everything in place.

Internal stabilisation – This involves surgery and your pet will be anesthetised It can be anything from inserting a metal pin lengthwise into the centre of the bone (like an internal splint) to metal plates, pins, screws and wires to hold together various pieces of bone or to fix a joint.  If it is a serious fracture your vet may refer you to an Orthopaedic Specialist.

There is no strict rule on the amount of time it can take to heal a fracture but generally, the younger the animal the sooner it will take.  You need to make sure you limit the amount of exercise your pet does during the healing process to ensure the bones stay aligned. If your pet has too much activity it could refracture the bone and delay the healing or your pet could have a deformed limb due to stress on a weakened bone.  During the healing period your vet may take further x-rays to ensure it’s healing properly and let you know when your pet’s limb is back to normal.

If you have any questions about this subject please call us at the clinic and someone will be able to discuss this with you. Alternatively, you can post your question on our Facebook page.

The Siberian Husky

 The Siberian Husky (also known as the Arctic Husky) is a beautiful looking dog and they have lovely piercing eyes.  Huskies are thought to originate from Eastern Siberia where they were used to pull sleds over long distances by the Chukchi. They were exported to Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and later spread into Canada and America. Once there they were used as sled dogs but over the years they became more popular as pets.

We have seen quite a few huskies at Cherrydown and know how popular they are as pets.  If properly trained they can be very good with people, children and other dogs. Huskies are commonly known for their friendliness toward people.

However, one thing that does upset us is there are many people who take on huskies without doing the proper research and end up dumping them or putting them in homes because they can’t handle them anymore.

In this blog we will go through a few things which are useful to know before getting a husky.

A Husky will shed A LOT!  You will have hair EVERYWHERE! We have heard from long term Husky owners that they shed from September to February and March to August. So basically, they will shed hair all year round.  Also Huskies will “blow their coat”. This means their hair will literally come out in chunks.  You are going to have to make sure you have Henry the Hoover on high alert when that happens. 

Huskies need A LOT of exercise as they extremely energetic and athletic. These dogs were bred to run for long distances and pull sleds so they will most likely leave you tired while they still have lots of energy.  However, use some common sense in the height of summer. These dogs are very hairy so if it’s really hot outside don’t let them over do it. Huskies are very intelligent and will need things to keep them occupied or entertained. If they are bored they can become very unhappy. They can also be very destructive if they are bored and left alone. You could come home and find your best shoes or the kids toys in tatters. Be prepared to give a husky a lot of mental and physical stimulation.

Huskies are very stubborn so can be harder to train than other dogs. That’s not to say it’s impossible but they will need a bit of extra work to get them to do as they are told.

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These dogs have been bred to run and pull so if you are walking one on a lead you will definitely need a good arm to keep them from tugging you. These dogs are strong.  You will need a lot of patience to train them to behave on a lead.  As long as you are firm and consistent about the no-pulling rule and reward good behaviour you should get good results.  However this is not a guarantee.  Unless a husky has had good training from an early age, letting one of the lead is not a good idea unless it’s in an enclosed area. These dogs are natural hunters so if they are off the leash and spot a small animal they may be off without considering its surroundings and will ignore your commands. This could result to them being lost or injured.

Huskies like to dig. If you have a well kept garden you might find it full of holes. Be aware that Huskies might end up digging a hole under the fence and escaping.

Huskies have sensitive stomachs and can be fussy eaters. Speak to your vet for advice on feeding them.

Huskies are generally healthy dogs and could live to a ripe old age. However, as with a lot of breeds there are specific problems.  Many of the problems with Huskies are genetic such as seizures and eye disorders (such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy, canine glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy) and congenital laryngeal paralysis. Hyp Dysplasia isn’t common with this breed. However, as with all medium to large breeds, it can occur. If you want to know more about Hyp Dysplasia, the links to our blogs on the subject can be found at following links:

 

Hyp Dysplasia Part one – Click HERE

Hyp Dysplasia Part two – Click HERE

 

As with all pets, the more you put in, the more you will get out of it. Huskies can be hard work but the rewards will be great.

If you have any questions about this or any about any of our blogs please call us at the clinic or leave a message on our Facebook page.

Cute Huskies 3