Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Charity Canoe Challenge!

Our head vet Cathy Siddle and her daughter Alison are embarking on a four day charity canoe trip along the Zambezi River! This water-safari challenge will take place between 2–10 September 2017. They'll be paddling 12–24km a day, but will have plenty of opportunity to marvel at the stunning landscapes of Zambia and get up close (but not too close!) to the incredible wildlife, whilst raising money for the worldwide veterinary service (WVS). They will also get to spend a day at an elephant orphanage in Lusaka that WVS supports, where many of these animals are rehabilitated, ready for their eventual release back to the wild. 

About the charity;

The Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) is a UK based charity which works to promote the welfare of animals on a global scale, as well as providing disaster emergency response. By collating veterinary resources and funds and helping with training and education of vets, they are able to provide a sustainable resource for deprived areas. They help to support over 800 smaller worldwide charities dealing with domesticated, feral and wild animals. In an average year around 150,000 animals are treated, 100 teams are deployed, 850 aid parcels are sent, 500 vets are trained and 250 charities are supported. 

From dog shelters in Thailand, to the welfare of donkeys in India, WVS are in action worldwide, running neutering and vaccination programmes, sending veterinary supplies out to animals in need as well as providing a fast action emergency response to animals affected by natural disasters or other life-changing situations.
If you would like to support both Cathy and Alison and their chosen charity, you can donate via their 'Just Giving' page  - simply click on the link below or drop into the practice. The money raised will go towards the charity's continued work in animal welfare.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!    

  'thank-you for your support, every donation is greatly appreciated '- Cathy & Alison xx



Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Spring and Easter pet safety.

As we celebrate the joys of spring we mustn't forget the potential hazards that our pets can encounter during the season.


With lots of chocolate around the house, we'd like to remind pet owners, especially those with dogs, of the dangers of chocolate and the importance of keeping it out of reach.

The concentration of theobromine varies depending on the type of chocolate. For example, cocoa powder, baking chocolate and dark chocolate contain higher levels of theobromine compared to milk chocolate. The toxicity of theobromine is dose-related, meaning that the overall effect of chocolate ingestion on the dog depends on the size of the dog, the amount of chocolate eaten and the type of chocolate eaten.
The symptoms of theobromine ingestion may include restlessness, excitement, hyperactivity, nervousness, trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased drinking and increased urination, increased heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures and possibly death.

If your dog or pet has ingested chocolate (even a small amount) you should contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible for advice.


It is unknown exactly why these foods are toxic to dogs, but it has been found that some dogs develop acute kidney failure following consumption of these fruits, even from eating a  small amount. Hot cross buns are popular at Easter time, ensure that you keep them out of reach.

It is important to contact your vet straight away should you suspect that your dog might have eaten any foods containing these fruits.


Cocoa mulch - This is often used in flower beds by gardeners but, as with chocolate, this contains theobromine which is poisonous to pets. Tree bark is a safer alternative.

Gardening tools/equipment - Keep pets away from equipment during use. All gardening tools should be returned to the shed or garage once they have finished being used, so that a pet doesn’t accidentally injure itself on their sharp points and edges. 
Remember to check for wildlife such as hedgehogs and frogs before starting up the lawn mower or strimmer. Use a soft broom to brush through long grass and check under bushes on the edge of borders.

Flowers/plants - Many plants can pose a risk to pets if eaten. Some plants are more poisonous than others. You can find lists on the internet of pet-safe plants and those that are toxic and best avoided.

While some pets aren't interested in nibbling plants, others are notorious for it. Puppies and kittens can be particularly prone to chewing - be sure to choose pet-safe plants with these pets. Supervision is also important.
Fencing flower borders can help to stop dogs wandering into them.

Bulbs can look especially tempting, keep them out of reach.


Keep garden chemicals stored securely and out of reach of pets and children.
Ensure that they are used according to label instructions and keep your pet off of treated areas.
When selecting a product for purchase, and when using a product, read the label carefully as it will give clear and precise instructions regarding children and pets.

Slug bait - With showers and warm weather bringing out the slugs and snails, some gardeners are tempted to reach for the slug bait to protect their plants from these pests. 
Metaldehyde is a common ingredient of slug pellets and is extremely poisonous. Pets are attracted to the cereal based pellets and will eat them. Pets that have consumed metaldehyde may become unsteady on their feet and become twitchy, this can then progress to convulsions and respiratory failure. If you have any concerns that your pet may have consumed any slug and snail pellets, call your vet ( or nearest vet to you) immediately - even if they appear well.The best thing for a household with pets is to avoid using these products. 
There are some newer slug and snail pellets available that do not contain metaldehyde. It is important to follow instructions on the packet and take precautions when using them. We would advise that if your pet was to accidentally eat them to contact your vet immediately for advice.
There are alternatives to using slug pellets such as crushed egg shells, sand paper, slug pubs and copper tape/rings. 

Rat bait - If using rodent poisons discuss their use with a professional, use pet friendly alternatives where possible and ensure that any bait is completely inaccessible to any pets. If accidental ingestion is at all expected contact your vet immediately.


      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, 10 April 2017

Easter opening hours

  • Good Friday (14th April ) - Emergency service only
  • Saturday 15th April  - 9:00am - 2:00pm for appointments and enquiries
  • Easter Sunday 16th April  - Emergency service only
  • Easter Monday ( 17th April)  - Emergency service only
  • Good Friday (14th April)  - Emergency service only
  • Saturday 15th April  - 9:00am - 12:00 noon for appointments and enquiries
  • Easter Sunday 16th April - Emergency service only
  • Easter Monday (17th April) - Emergency service only

  • Good Friday (14th April ):  Emergency service only
  • Saturday 15th April : 9:00am-11:00am  for appointments - reception open until 12noon.
  • Easter Sunday 16th April : Emergency service only
  • Easter Monday (17th April ): Emergency service only

Our 24 hour emergency service is available throughout Easter-

telephone 01895 633600

 ( Based at our Ruislip hospital)

Wishing you all a Happy Easter from
 everyone at Arden House x

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Indie, Pet of the month Feb 2017 - in memory of Indie

Indie who was our February pet of the month has sadly lost his battle with cancer. He was such a brave and happy boy and his story serves as a tribute to him.

Little Indie has been a regular visitor to our Ruislip hospital over the last couple of years. Back in July 2015, his owners were concerned to hear Indie wheezing as he was breathing so brought him in to see us. He required some tests to investigate his symptoms and he was diagnosed with feline asthma. He was given some treatment and to assess his progress, Indie needed to have some further chest x-rays taken. He was such a good patient throughout these visits. He responded well to the treatment that he continues to take daily. Then in Feb 2016, Indie was brought in for an urgent appointment as he was listless and howling as if uncomfortable. His owners had noticed that he’d been in and out of his litter tray a few times in the night. Indie was diagnosed with a blocked urethra (the tube that drains urine from the bladder out of the penis) resulting in him being unable to pass urine. This is a life threatening condition as the bladder becomes very full. Indie needed emergency treatment that involved blood tests to check for kidney function and other systemic imbalances, intravenous fluid therapy and placement of a urinary catheter to flush the urethra and remove the obstruction (inflammatory material/ crystals). We needed to sew the urinary catheter in place for a few days to allow Indie to pass urine whilst the inflammation in the urethra settled down. After we removed the catheter we were pleased to see that Indie was able to go to the toilet by himself and he was allowed home. Indie was again a super patient.  About a month ago, Indie came in for his routine check up but his owner mentioned that he seemed to be sleeping more than usual and they were concerned that he might be getting a cataract in his left eye. Vet Louise examined him and identified that Indie’s eye had an abnormal appearance. An ophthalmic examination identified a tumour to be the cause. Indie required surgery to have his eye removed, a procedure called enucleation. Before Indie was prepared   for surgery,  Louise carried out an ultrasound scan of his abdomen and x-rays of his chest to see if the tumour had spread to other organs. With the diagnostic imaging complete, Louise could see no definite signs of spread and Indie's owners elected to proceed with the operation. 
Indie's operation went well and he was soon up and about looking for cuddles (above). He recently came in to have his stitches removed and we are pleased to see that he is a happy boy. Sadly the results from the laboratory have told us that the type of tumour that Indie had removed is likely to spread. Louise is speaking to an oncologist to see if there are any other treatment options, but keeping Indie happy and enjoying life is most important.

Indie, a brave and affectionate, loving boy.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

All you need is love - and a healthy heart!

With Valentine's day here, it is a good time to talk about heart health. We would also like to invite our clients to bring their pet in for a
 FREE heart check with a vet.

The check up includes a complete physical examination. The vet will use a stethoscope to listen to your pet's heart and evaluate the sound and rhythm, strength and heart rate. Your pet's pulse will be assessed. The vet will also listen to your pet's lung sounds and breathing rate. 
Should  the vet detect any abnormalities such as a heart murmur or abnormal rhythm, they may recommend further tests. It is important to identify the cause.

Tests commonly used to identify the cause of symptoms are:
💜 Blood tests 
💜Echocardiogram - (ultrasound scan of the heart )
💜 Chest x-rays
💜 Electrocardiograph - ( ECG)
💜 Blood pressure monitoring

Should your pet require any of the above heart related tests, this will be at a 10% discounted rate.

The offer is available until 31st March - please book an appointment!

The science part.

Just like humans, a dog's heart acts like a pump to push blood around the body. The heart's pumping power lies in its muscles. These are normally thick and powerful, helping the blood reach as far as the outer extremities of the body. The right side of the heart sends blood to the lungs where it picks up oxygen. The left side of the heart pumps the blood around the bodyInside, the heart is divided into four chambers. In between the upper and lower chambers are the heart valves, which open and close in sequence to make sure that the blood flows in the right direction.

Matters of the heart!

💖The normal heart rate of a dog is between 60 – 140 beats per minute. The smaller the dog, the higher the heart rate!

💖A cat’s heart rate is between 110-180 beats per minute.

💖The heart is part of the circulatory system, along with the lungs and blood vessels. 

💖The heart acts like a pump to drive the blood around the body. With each heart beat, it delivers blood rich in oxygen and nutrients to all the vital organs and tissues, keeping our pet's fit and healthy.

Heart disease
It is estimated that heart disease can affect up to 10% of dog and cats in the UK. Some heart diseases may be present when the animal is born (congenital), however the majority develop in adulthood (acquired). Heart disease can also be secondary to another condition such as high blood pressure, thyroid disease, infection and anaemia.

Dogs and cats are most commonly diagnosed with one of three heart conditions:

*Degenerative valve disease (Endocardiosis) -

This is the most common heart disease of dogs.
This leads to degeneration and thickening of the heart valves. The mitral valve is mostly affected and as such the condition is also known as mitral valve disease. The heart valve becomes leaky and allows blood to flow in the wrong direction through the heart. It most commonly affects small breeds as they reach middle-older age, however it may be detected in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel at a younger age.

*Dilated cardiomyopathy -

The heart muscle becomes weak and stretched, decreasing the heart’s ability to pump blood through the body. It typically affects medium - large breed dogs.

*Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy -

This is more common in cats. The heart becomes thickened, making it difficult to pump the blood properly through the body.     

Heart disease can be present in our pets for a long period of time before they show any signs of a problem. The body is good at compensating for any slight changes to blood flow and heart contraction early on, until eventually clinical signs develop. This is why it is important that your pet has regular visits to the vet, at least annually, as early detection of heart disease will help make it easier to manage.

It is important to remember that some heart diseases are mild and not all pets with heart disease will go on to develop heart failure.

Some of the signs of heart failure you could see at home may include:
*A decrease or reluctance to play or exercise
*Lethargy, being more tired than usual
*Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, especially with exercise or excitement

*Rapid/fast breathing  - often noticeable when the animal is resting.
*Poor appetite
*Restlessness - taking several attempts to get comfortable.
*Weight loss (Spine is more prominent as are the bones of shoulders and hips)
* Swelling of the abdomen - becoming 'pot-bellied' in appearance. This is due fluid build up as the heart begins to fail.
* Pale gums rather than the normal pink.

(These symptoms can also be seen in other diseases, which is why it is important that if you notice any changes in your pet's health or behaviour,  you bring them in for a health check).

While there is not a cure for heart disease, the aims of treatment are to slow down the progression of the disease, manage the symptoms and help maintain the pet's  normal quality of life;  the earlier this treatment is started the better. 

Regular check- up appointments are essential to ensure that any changes in the animal's condition are identified early and medication adjusted or introduced accordingly.                          

    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

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Lula - Pet of the Month hall of fame

Over 2016 we have treated many lovely pets and sadly some very ill animals too, but we've had some happy endings and one such case is that of 3 year old Lula.

This super little dog has survived the odds after needing two major operations. Lula was diagnosed with a condition called a portosystemic shunt or liver shunt. This is where the normal flow of blood through the liver does not occur due to an abnormal connection between blood vessels. This means that the liver is prevented from doing its normal job of breaking down toxins. The toxins build up in the blood stream making the dog very ill. In Lula's case she was born with this. Medication can be given to support the liver, but the best solution is to surgically tie off the abnormal blood vessel, thus removing the shunt and restoring normal blood flow to the liver.Little Lula had the operation in August back in her owner's home country and was recovering well, but a few weeks later she was brought in to see vet Rachel after she lost her appetite and was very quiet.

Rachel carried out some tests and diagnosed that Lula had a uterus (womb) infection called Pyometra. This is a very serious condition that requires surgery but the risk of anaesthetic complications for Lula were high. Little Lula took a turn for the worse and collapsed. She was showing signs of shock and vet Katie suspected that Lula’s uterus had ruptured and pus was leaking out into her abdomen causing peritonitis.

Katie and the nursing team needed to work quickly and Lula was given a general anaesthetic and prepared for emergency surgery. Supported with intravenous fluids and antibiotics, Lula was taken into theatre. The nurses monitored Lula closely, ensuring that her heart rate, rhythm and breathing remained within a certain range as Katie carried out an ovariohysterectomy (removal of the uterus and ovaries). Katie then flushed Lula’s abdomen with a sterile saline solution in order to remove the infective material. Once out of surgery, the nurses continuously monitored Lula as she began to wake from the anaesthetic. Lula was still seriously ill but she gave us some encouraging signs, not least a little wag of her tail! Over the next few days, Lula continued to improve and was able to take a few steps around the garden. She was quite enjoying all the attention and deservedly-so. The day came for this brave, happy little girl to go home. We were so glad to see Lula back with her owners.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Arthritis Awareness

With the colder winter weather some of us will be noticing our joints are feeling more achy and the same will be true of our dogs and cats. Cool weather can leave joints especially stiff and tender, meaning an increase in discomfort for pets suffering from arthritis or even highlight that you pet is suffering from the condition.

What is it?

Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is the inflammation of the joints caused by wear and tear of the cartilage and the other associated tissues. Cartilage covers and protects the ends of the bones in a movable (synovial) joint. The cartilage has no nerves so when it touches the cartilage of another bone, there is no pain.

When the cartilage wears away, the bone is exposed. The bone does have nerves so when the two bone ends in a joint touch each other it results in pain and inflammation – signals that arthritis is present. In degenerative joint disease we also see small bony projections (osteophytes) form on the bone that is close to the joint. This adds to the pain. This type of arthritis is progressive, meaning it continues to get worse. 

What causes it?

Osteoarthritis is either age related as a result of wear and tear on the joint, or secondary to another problem within the joint, such as hip dysplasia, a ruptured cruciate ligament or trauma.

Signs of arthritis

Arthritis by its nature develops gradually so animals tend to learn to cope with the discomfort without showing any obvious pain. As a result some dogs and cats can appear to be very stoical about the pain from arthritis- often it is only once the pain has been treated that owners realise how much their pet was suffering.

Signs of arthritis in dogs include;

🐶Sitting down on walks.                                 
🐶Slowing down on walks
🐶Stiffness, especially getting up after rest 
🐶Reduced activity
🐶Hesitancy to climb steps
🐶Difficulty jumping into the car
🐶Change in character (restless, anxious withdrawn, clingy, grumpiness)
🐶Quiet - spending less time playing with family; which can be mistaken for a sign of 'aging'
🐶Excessively licking over a joint
🐶 Swollen joints
🐶Painful joints                                                                   

Signs of arthritis in cats include;


🙀Reluctance to play and exercise
🙀 Lose ability to jump up to, or down from heights.
🙀Sleeping more                              
🙀No longer grooming themselves
🙀 Irritable/grumpy when stroke
🙀 Grumpiness
🙀 Crying when picked up
🙀Difficulty stepping into litter tray
🙀Difficulty stepping through the cat flap

We recommend a visit to see one of our vets if any of these signs (or other changes) are noticed in your pet.

How is arthritis diagnosed?

Your vet may suspect that your pet has arthritis from the signs you describe and by performing a thorough health check. The vet will manipulate the joints gently to check for swellings, heat, evidence of pain, range of movement and crepitus (a grating feeling when the joint is manipulated). Sometimes it is necessary to take an x-ray to find out what is going on in the joints. This usually requires a sedation or general anaesthesia and a separate day appointment is arranged for this.

How is osteoarthritis treated?

The goal of treatment is to decrease pain, minimise lameness, improve mobility and provide a good quality of life for affected patients. Arthritis cannot be cured.

Weight control: Dogs and cats that suffer from chronic pain caused by conditions like osteoarthritis often become inactive, which can result in obesity. Controlling your pet’s weight will lighten the load on arthritic joints and make it easier for them to move around. We appreciate that reducing the weight of an animal that finds exercise painful is not easy. Please speak to a member of staff about our weight clinics which are run free of charge. We will be happy to give ideas regarding diet, weight targets and design exercise strategies to suit your pet, as well as providing help and support whenever required.

Exercise is essential because it contributes to strengthening the muscles that support joints. Moderate amounts of low-impact exercise each day will improve joint mobility and can help get a lethargic, arthritic pet active again. Dogs will benefit from such activities as walking and swimming (hydrotherapy) ; cats can profit from play that keeps them moving without excessive jumping. Consult your veterinary surgeon about what amount and type of exercise would be best for your pet. Also, be aware that your dog or cat’s arthritis pain may be more severe at certain times than others. If this is the case, let your pet take a break from his or her exercise routine for a few days, until the painful flare-up subsides.

Medications known as non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, (NSAID), are often prescribed to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Their efficacy is well documented. Any reduction in pain at the lowest possible dose will allow for an improved quality of life and limit any possible unwanted side effects. Before use, your pet will be assessed for their general health and regularly monitored whilst on any medication. Please ask your veterinary surgeon for more information. Please note: It is NOT safe to give your pet human anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicines.

Diet and Nutraceuticals.

There are particular diets such as the Royal Canin Mobility that can really improve the signs of arthritis. It contains both nutrients that help with the inflammation, including anti-oxidants, and helps with weight management. Do speak to your vet.

Joint supplements (nutraceuticals) are also found to be very good in some cases. These nutritional supplements are especially useful in the early stages of the disease or when recovering from a joint trauma (including surgery). They can be used solely as a preventative measure too. These supplements often include ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin that are useful in supporting the health of the cartilage and surrounding structures.

The regulation of such supplements is limited and as such the quality may vary greatly from one manufacturer to another. One should always use those recommended by your vet.

Making a few adjustments to your pet’s environment can help to keep them more comfortable and mobile. A few suggestions are;

  • Make sure that you provide a well padded cosy bed, out of draughts. Ensure that it can be readily accessed.
  • Allow your cat to reach their favourite places easily by placing a box or item of furniture as a launch pad.
  • Make sure that your cat can reach their litter tray easily and check that the sides aren't too tall; that they are able to step into it comfortably.
  • Reduce the need for your pet to have to climb the stairs.
  • Allow easy access to food and water without the need for your cat to jump up.
  • If your dog appears unsteady when out walking or has difficulty on uneven surfaces, a harness may offer them additional support by distributing any pressure from the lead over a larger area. This means that you may be able to assist them in keeping their balance making it easier for them to walk on uneven surfaces or going up or down stairs.
  • If you have laminate, wood or vinyl flooring that your dog is slipping or sliding on, you could consider the use of rubber backed mats, particularly where your dog would lie down, turn or stand to eat, to help them grip the floor.
  • If your dog is having difficulty reaching their bowls on the floor, you could consider raising the bowls a little off the floor or there are a variety of raised bowls on the market, to find a more comfortable height for them to eat and drink at.
  • Consider a ramp to aid your dog getting into and out of the car.

Your pet's well-being

Spend some time cleaning and grooming your pet. Check their claws to see that they aren't becoming overgrown. Encourage play and interaction to provide exercise and mental stimulation. 
Have regular check up's; it's important to maintain communication with your vet to ensure that your pet is enjoying their senior years.

Consider alternative therapies

Hydrotherapy (which involves your dog swimming in a purpose-built pool) helps to build muscle mass to better support joints. Swimming is low impact and so tends to be more comfortable for dogs with stiff joints. Other therapies, such as acupuncture, could be considered.

Your vet will be able to discuss which therapies will be most appropriate for your pet and where you will be able to find them locally.


In conclusion; 

Once arthritis has started, it cannot be cured, but if we notice the signs early and manage it carefully, we can slow down the progression of the disease, greatly reduce the symptoms and so improve your pet's 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.