Thursday, 25 August 2016

Pet of the month Hall of Fame - Mimi

Gorgeous Mimi was rushed into our Ruislip hospital after being hit by a car one Thursday morning. Vet Rachel examined her and found that she was in shock and in pain around her back end. She was admitted to the hospital, placed onto a drip and given pain relief.
Concerned that Mimi's pelvis might be broken, she was scheduled for an x-ray the following day once we were happy that she was stable from the accident itself. Brave Mimi was given a general anaesthetic so that we could take the x-rays and the results revealed that she had broken her pelvis in several places. The good news was that Mimi was able to walk ok and go to the toilet normally. We sent her x-rays to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon for their opinion and it was concluded that the best course of action for Mimi was rest, with restricted and controlled movement. 

Mimi stayed in hospital with us for a few days so that we could manage her pain and she soon started to feel more comfortable, showing us her adorable, happy personality. Mimi is now back home with her owners and we are continuing to monitor her progress.

She is doing very well and despite all that she has been through, she remains a beautiful bubbly Bichon!

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Feeling the heat!

While people regulate their body temperatures by sweating, a dog goes about it in a different way! Dogs do not sweat in the same way that people do, although they do produce very small amounts of sweat from the pads of their paws (as do cats). The main way in which dogs regulate their body temperature is by panting, which draws cooling air into the body to drop the core temperature, and also by drinking water, which again hydrates and cools the body. 

What is Heat Stroke?
Heat Stroke (hyperthermia) is a condition that occurs at a point where an animal can no longer regulate their body temperature or cool themselves down. Their temperature becomes dangerously raised. It generally occurs in the summer months when the outside temperatures are high. Dogs that are overweight or ones that have a thick coat are particularly vulnerable as are short nosed breeds such as a Pug, Boxer, Pekingese and Bulldog.

Situations that can quickly lead to heat stroke;

  • Too much exercise or vigorous play during the hotter parts of the day.
  • Not drinking enough water or lack of access to drinking water. 
  • Being out in direct sunlight and unable to find shade. 
  • Being enclosed in a car, shed or other overheated enclosure where the temperature is hot and there is not enough fresh air.

Preventing heat stroke

It is vital to monitor your pet closely when it is hot to see how they are coping with the heat. Some of the precautions to take during the summer include:

Not walking your dog or encouraging vigorous play during the hottest part of the day;  walk in the early morning and the evening when the weather is cooler.
Ensuring that your pet has access to clean, fresh water at all times. Take water out on dog walks with you so that you can give them a drink.
  •  NEVER leaving your pet shut in a car, shed or other small space for any amount of time, even for just a few minutes.
  • Making sure that your pet can get out of direct sunlight if needed, ensuring that they have access to cooler, shaded areas - some dogs insist on lying in the sun, discourage this!
  • Groom your pet regularly. A healthy, groomed coat helps your pet to regulate their body temperature and cope with the heat in summer.
  •  Remember that some dogs, particularly those with white fur or pink skin may be prone to sunburn -  take this into account when taking them out in the sun. Cats with white ears are also prone to getting sunburn on the ear tips.  You can buy pet safe sun cream - always read the label.
  • Keeping your pet indoors in a cool well ventilated room or providing shade for them to retreat into during the hottest part of the day is advised.

Identifying heatstroke in dogs;

Even if you take all possible precautions and do what you can to help your dog keep cool, it is important to be able to identify the symptoms of heatstroke in the early stages in order to take prompt action. Heatstroke can quickly progress to become a life-threatening emergency.

During the early stages of heatstroke your dog may appear restless and generally unhappy, but can appear listless and lethargic too. They will also be panting excessively and for a prolonged period of time, or panting recurrently without apparently getting any relief. As heatstroke progresses, their gums will become red and tacky, and they might be foaming at the mouth or salivating excessively. A high body temperature and elevated heart rate also accompany heatstroke in dogs. Heatstroke often progresses very quickly, and can soon advance to confusion and disorientation, collapse and fitting. The dog may also vomit or lose control of their bowels and bladder.
     Heatstroke is a veterinary emergency, and not a condition that can be left to resolve itself.

     What to do;
  •      Immediately move your dog to the shade or indoors to a cool area.
  •      Apply cool or tepid water (not ice cold as this can be counterproductive), either directly or with wet towels to the stomach, inner thighs, head and footpads.(Do not cover the dog with the towel as this can cause them to warm up).
  •      If a hose pipe is available, use a fine, gentle spray to wet your dog.
  •      Offer your dog water to drink but don't let them drink too much at once. Small sips are ideal.
  •      If you have a fan, direct it onto your dog.
  •      CALL YOUR VET for further advice and to arrange for your pet to be checked, (even if they appear to be recovering). 


     Cats and the heat

     Cats will generally cope better with hot temperatures. They usually seek out somewhere cool to rest. Cat paw pads have sweat glands and this is how they cool down. Cats also lick the fur over their bodies to distribute saliva that will evaporate to cool them, much like sweat would do. A heat stressed cat will pant and this should not be ignored.

A cat can succumb to heatstroke and show similar symptoms to a dog. Again it is vital that you move them to a shady, cool area and apply a cool wet towel/flannel to the groin, paws and neck. Offer small amounts of water to drink. CALL YOUR VET.

      Rabbits and Guinea pigs

      Don't forget your small furries! Rabbits and Guinea pigs are unable to sweat! They must have plenty of shade and good airflow. Position enclosures /hutches in a cool place out of the direct sun such as under a tree and create more shade by adding tarpaulin or a towel. Provide more shady spots within the enclosure using a cardboard box with a couple of openings cut into it for added ventilation. Provide fresh water at all times in both a drinking bottle and ceramic dish.

 Signs that a rabbit or guinea pig is hot include lethargy, breathing heavily, puffing, a wet nose, drooling, weakness, reluctance to move.
 Immediately move them to a cool area and apply cool water to their ears, groin and feet.
Offer them water to drink. CALL YOUR VET.

Click the link below for some tips on summer outdoor bunny care
(courtesy of www.rabbit

How to keep you rabbit cool in summer

Lastly, ensure that rodent cages and bird cages are kept out of direct sunlight and are not left in a conservatory.

     The contents of the Arden House Animal Hospital website are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Veterinary Surgeon with any questions you may have regarding your animal’s medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.




Monday, 20 June 2016

The footballer's injury

Cruciate ligament rupture is the famous knee
injury of professional footballers. Dogs (rarely cats) can damage this ligament too but the nature of this injury in dogs is very different to that of humans. 

What are cruciate ligaments? 

The knee (stifle) is a complex joint comprised of the patella (kneecap), cartilage called the menisci that cushions the knee, cartilage lining the joint and a series of ligaments connecting the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). Together, these components enable the joint to function properly. The knee has two essential stabilising ligaments that cross over one another inside the knee joint. They are called the cranial cruciate ligament and the caudal cruciate ligament.

The cranial cruciate ligament is most commonly ruptured (torn).


Causes and signs of knee ligament damage; 

1. Ageing of the ligament (degeneration); - Cranial cruciate ligament disease.
This is the most common cause in dogs. As the ligament weakens over time, the dog will slowly become lame as a result of  the disease. They may be reluctant to get up, run or climb stairs and the limp may worsen after exercise and improve after rest. The knee is often swollen with varying degrees of pain, and muscle wastage can occur where the dog is not using the affected leg properly.

Factors that may contribute to degeneration and failure of the ligament include;
  • Obesity- excessive weight puts an extra strain on the knee joints.
  • Individual conformation - The shape/structure of a dog's legs.
  • Genetic factor - Some breeds of dog are particularly prone to cruciate injury (including Rottweilers, Labradors, Boxers, West Highland White Terriers, Newfoundlands).

2. Trauma;
Rupture of a healthy ligament (like in people) is rare in dogs.
This is usually as a result of a sudden twist of the hind leg or over-extension of the knee. This could occur if a dog suddenly changes direction whilst running for example.
Following trauma to the knee, a dog will have a sudden onset of lameness and usually hold the foot of the affected leg off the ground.

Diagnosis: The vet will carry out a thorough examination of your dog, looking at how they walk, and manipulate the knee joint to test for instability and looseness. In some cases, examination of the joint is necessary under sedation to enable the detection of more subtle instability of the knee as occurs with a partial tear of the ligament. Secondarily, an x-ray will be taken to provide additional information -  to see if there is fluid accumulation in the joint, the degree of arthritis and to rule out other possible causes.

Surgery is generally recommended for cruciate ligament rupture since it is the only way to permanently control the instability in the stifle joint & to evaluate the structures within the joint. There are different surgical options - stabilising the knee using an artificial replacement ligament, essentially mimicking the action of the original cruciate ligament, and techniques that involve cutting and re-positioning the Tibia (shin bone) to alter the mechanics of the knee joint to improve functionality. Referral to a specialist is required for the latter. The best option for your pet depends on many factors such as your pet’s activity level, size, age, conformation, and the degree of knee instability. Sometimes small dogs can be managed satisfactorily with out the need for surgery, depending on the severity of the injury. Recovery from cruciate surgery can take anything from 4-6 months and it is vital that you work closely with your vet and follow the rehabilitation plan. 

While prevention of injuries is difficult, there are some factors that can decrease the likelihood of cruciate ligament damage. First and foremost is avoiding obesity and secondly a good fitness level of regular (but not excessive) exercise is advised. Please speak to your vet or nurse!

In conclusion, cranial cruciate ligament disease is a common condition affecting the knee joints of dogs. There is no one perfect solution and unfortunately arthritis will gradually progress whatever the treatment. However, with carefully selected management, most patients can continue to enjoy a good quality of life.


The contents of the Arden House Animal Hospital website are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Veterinary Surgeon with any questions you may have regarding your animal’s medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Friday, 17 June 2016

FREE rabbit checks!

Hop on in with your rabbits for a FREE health check with a vet! - We'll weigh them and look at their body condition, check their teeth, fur, claws, ears, eyes, and bottom! The vet will listen to their heart and lungs with a stethoscope. Our nurses and vets are available to discuss all aspects of your bunny health care including vaccination, worming, diet and neutering. Call & book an appointment!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Charity bake sale raises £84.04 for our local RSPCA

We had a lovely day celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday.

Thank you for all your donations and to those that put their baking skills to the test...they were delicious! We raised £84.04 for our local RSPCA re-homing centre.


Monday, 6 June 2016

CHARITY CAKE SALE! - Friday 10th June




To celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday and to raise money for our local RSPCA, we are putting our baking skills to good use and hosting a cake sale! Pop in for a treat or 2 or 3!