Monday, 17 February 2020

All you need is love ... and a healthy heart!

With February being the month of love we think 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 breathing rate and lung sounds. Should the vet detect any abnormalities such as a heart murmur or abnormal rhythm, they may recommend further tests.

The offer is available until 3rd April - please book an appointment!

Tests commonly used to identify the cause of symptoms are:

πŸ’œEcho-cardiogram (ultrasound scan of the heart )
πŸ’œ Chest x-rays
πŸ’œ Electrocardiograph  ( ECG)
πŸ’œ Blood pressure monitoring
πŸ’œ Blood tests.

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

The science part.

Just like humans, an animal'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!

πŸ’–The normal heart rate of a dog is between 60 – 140 beats per minute. The smaller the dog, the higher the heart rate!
πŸ’–A cat’s heart rate is between 110-180 beats per minute.

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

πŸ’–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.

DCM is characterised by two phases, a long and ‘silent’ pre-clinical phase where the dog will appear normal and healthy and then a shorter clinical phase, i.e. heart failure, when the dog appears ill. 

New studies have shown, in some cases, starting heart medication before the signs of heart disease develop can delay the onset of symptoms.

Please click on the link below for further information on heart disease in dogs;

*Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy -

This is more common in cats. The heart becomes thickened, making it difficult to pump the blood properly through the body. In the initial phase of disease, cats may show no signs at all and appear completely normal. In fact a number of cats with cardiomyopathy may never actually develop clinical disease. However, while in some cats progression of the underlying disease is slow, in others it can be quite rapid.

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.

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

     Disclaimer: 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, 30 December 2019

Tips for a pet-safe New Year's Eve

While New Year's Eve celebrations are fun for us, our pets can easily be scared by the hullabaloo that comes with it. Here are some tips for a pet-safe New Year's eve;
  • Exercise pets during the day- take dogs on a long walk. For cats, play with them for half an hour or more. If they are tired, pets are more likely settle down and rest later in the evening. 
  • With fireworks going off through the evening, it is best to keep cats indoors (provide a litter tray). When taking your dog out for a toilet break, do so in your garden and keep them on a lead so that you can stay close to them. Ensure that their collar is fitted correctly so that there is no chance of escape should they become frightened.
  • Keep the curtains closed, lights on and turn up the radio or TV to help muffle out the sounds of the fireworks. 
  • A little calm reassurance from you, should they seek it, will go along way. Don't fuss though as this can make the behaviour worse.
  • Try and ignore any fearful behaviour such as panting, pacing and whining. Continue to stay relaxed and carry on as if nothing has happened. 
  • Behave normally and praise your dog if they are relaxed with cuddles and a treat.

Party animal!

  • When guests are arriving and leaving, keep your pet away from the front door to reduce the risk of them escaping or becoming overexcited and jumping up. 
  • Provide a safe, cosy 'pet- zone' for your pet to retreat to, with water, their bedding and a favourite toy. Shut the curtains and leave a light on. Play some soothing music at low level. Be sure to check on them frequently as the celebrations get into full swing, but remind guests to give them space and leave them in peace. 
  • If your pets do interact with party guests, make sure that everyone knows not to feed your pet food or alcohol and be mindful of where leaving your plate and glass. This may seem self-explanatory, but some people may not be aware of the dangers of such behaviour.
  • Take care not to leave objects lying around that your pet could chew and swallow such as wine corks, cracker toys, corn on cob and kebab skewers. 
  • Party poppers and crackers can cause a fright - ensure that pets are in their safe area and away from the noise before they are pulled. 

Cats will tend to hide if scared. Do not try to coax them out if they are hiding. Before your party guests arrive make sure that your cat has some safe hideaway areas where they won't be bothered. Ensure that they can access their litter tray and food should they wish.

We wish you all a safe

 & happy New Year!

     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, 23 December 2019

Christmas and New Year opening times


In order to provide 24 hour care throughout the festive period, we are working with Vets Now to ensure your pets have the best possible care. We will continue to provide our own emergency service up until 4:00 pm on Tuesday 24th December, returning at 8:00 am on Friday 27th December. Vets Now will also provide all emergency care from 7:00 pm  on Tuesday 31st December until 8:00 am on Thursday 2nd January. 

If you need to access any emergency care throughout the festive period please telephone the usual clinic number on 01895 633 600 and listen carefully to the instructions on the answerphone message.

Vets Now are a dedicated emergency care provider based in Harrow;

Image result for pet christmas cartoons

Here are our opening hours;(consultation by appointment)


    • Monday 23rd Dec: 9:00 am - 7:30 pm
    • Christmas Eve : 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    • Christmas Day: Closed (emergencies only)
    • Boxing Day: Closed (emergencies only)
    • Friday 27th Dec: 9:00 am -7:30 pm
    • Saturday 28th Dec: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
    • Sunday 29th Dec: Closed (emergencies only)
    • Monday 30th Dec: 9:00 am - 7:30 pm
    • New Year's Eve: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    • New Year's Day: Closed (emergencies only)
    • Thursday 2nd January - 9:00 am - 7:30 pm
    • Friday 3rd January: 9:00 am - 7:30 pm


      • Monday 23rd Dec: 9:00 am -7:00 pm
      • Christmas Eve : 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      • Christmas Day: Closed (emergencies only)
      • Boxing Day: Closed (emergencies only)
      • Friday 27th Dec: 9:00 am -7:00 pm
      • Saturday 28th Dec: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
      • Sunday 29th Dec: Closed (emergencies only)
      • Monday 30th Dec: 9:00 am -7:00 pm
      • New Year's Eve: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      • New Year's Day: Closed (emergencies only) 
      • Thursday 2nd January - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
      • Friday 3rd January - 9:00 am - 7:00 pm


        • Monday 23rd Dec: 9:00 am -12:00 noon and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
        • Christmas Eve: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
        • Christmas Day: Closed (emergencies only)
        • Boxing Day: Closed (emergencies only)
        • Friday 27th Dec: 9:00 am -12 noon & 2:00 pm -6:00 pm
        • Saturday 28th Dec: 9:00 am -12 noon 
        • Sunday 29th Dec: Closed ( emergencies only)
        • Monday 30th Dec: 9:00 am -12:00 noon & 2:00 pm -5:00 pm
        • New Year's Eve: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
        • New Year's Day: Closed (emergencies only)
        • Thursday 2nd January: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
        • Friday 3rd January: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm -6:00 pm
        Image result for christmas pet cartoons

        We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

        Further Information on Vets Now

        Vets Now are the leading provider of out of hours veterinary care in the UK. Vets Now works alongside your daytime practices to ensure pet owners have access to a vet whenever they need one regardless of the time. Their clinics are open when your daytime practice is closed.

        • Please always call your usual surgery telephone number and if they are closed please listen carefully to the instructions on the answerphone message about how to contact the duty veterinary surgeon.

        Who works in the Vets Now clinics?

        Fully qualified vets, nurses and receptionists are based in the clinic for the full duration of their shift.
        All staff receive regular training with a particular emphasis on emergency and critical care of small animals.
        How do you get in touch with Vets Now if you need to use the service?
        You can call the usual clinic number (01895 633 600) and listen to an answer machine message giving the number of your local Vets Now clinic. Call the clinic with details of the problem and qualified staff will give you advice on what do.
        All telephone calls are logged and recorded for reference purposes.

        Can you just phone for advice and how much will that cost?

        We have subscribed on your behalf to the Vets Now Out of Hours service. Their trained staff can offer advice over the phone and although an appointment is always offered it is not always necessary. In fact only around 20% of calls result in an appointment. Telephone advice is provided free of charge as part of the complete service.

        If your pet needs to be treated, how do you pay?

        Vets Now is an independent company so you will be asked to pay at the time of treatment. Vets Now accept all major debit and credit cards or cash payments. Details of Vets Now fees are available from the practice.

        Are Vets Now fees covered by pet insurance?

        Vets Now fees should be covered in the same way as any other veterinary fees by your insurance company. If you are in any doubt, check the detail of your policy with your provider.

        Saturday, 7 December 2019

        Pet safety during the festive period

        December is a busy time of year with Christmas preparations underway and celebrations in full swing. Below are some tips to help your pet stay safe during this festive season.

        Festive food and drink

        Remember to keep food and drink out of the reach of pets and remind your guests to do the same! Some foods that are commonly found in the household at this time of year that pose a risk to our pets are;

        🍫Chocolate. Chocolate toxicity is more common around this time of year as there is more chocolate around the home. Keep it out of the reach of pets, not forgetting Christmas tree chocolates, advent calendars or chocolates wrapped and left under the Christmas tree! 

        🍬Xylitol. Some sweets contain the artificial sweetener, Xylitol that is harmful if eaten by our pets. It causes low blood sugar and seizures.

        πŸ‡Grapes and dried fruits such as sultanas, raisins and currants including Christmas cakes, mince pies and Christmas cake can be toxic to pets if ingested.The active toxin present in grapes and raisins is not fully understood and whilst one pet may be unaffected by eating multiple grapes or raisins, another pet could suffer from acute kidney failure from eating as little as one grape or raisin. The difficulty is not knowing which pets might be affected to a more serious degree, therefore the best thing is to avoid your pets having access to grapes or raisins at any time.

        🌰Nuts. With nut consumption peaking at Christmas times, there are associated risks for pets. The nuts and shells can be a choking hazard and can also cause intestinal problems. Macadamia nuts present an additional risk to dogs as ingestion has been associated with vomiting and weakness.
        Onion (including gravy). Onions and products containing onions, such as gravy and stuffing, can cause gastrointestinal upset and lead to red blood cell damage and anaemia in cats and dogs. The related vegetables leeks, garlic and spring onions can also have the same effects.
        🍷Alcohol. Ingestion of alcohol can make a pet ill. Make sure that drinks glasses are kept off the floor to reduce the risk of your pet accidentally consuming alcohol. 

        If you think that your pet may have eaten something they shouldn't have, call your vet immediately. 


        Bones from meat, poultry or fish present a dangerous threat to pets. Cooked bones are brittle and therefore can splinter when chewed. This can lead to the digestive tract being pierced or an obstruction. As well as not feeding scraps with cooked bones in, ensure pets do not tear open bin bags or scavenge bones from bins. 
        It is also important to keep food caddies sealed and out of reach. Mouldy food in bins start to produce a poisonous substance called mycotoxins. Most food will begin to produce mycotoxins as it goes mouldy but common examples include:

        • Bread
        • Cheese
        • Cooked pasta
        • Nuts
        • Fruit (from rubbish bins or fruit that has fallen from trees)
        • Dog food
        • Compost heaps
        If you throw away a large amount of pasta, bread or another food that’s prone to going mouldy, think about emptying the waste bin there and then or later that night so it doesn’t have time to grow mouldy in your kitchen.
        Wash indoor and outdoor food caddies to stop any build up of mouldy residue. Make sure lids are locked in place and bins are sheltered if it's windy outside to stop them blowing over and exposing their contents.

        Tinsel and ribbons

        Given the chance, cats and kittens will play with ribbons used to wrap presents. These can be accidentally swallowed and become entangled in the cat’s intestines, causing life-threatening blockages. Playing with tinsel can cause the same problems in cats and other animals, including ferrets. Avoid this decoration.

        Christmas trees, baubles and fairy lights

        Many cats and kittens will feel compelled to climb Christmas trees, endangering themselves.

        It is advisable to ensure trees are securely based so that they are less likely to be felled by a curious cat. Limiting access to rooms containing a tree when unsupervised is a good idea. 

        Baubles are of particular fascination to cats. Glass baubles can shatter, creating sharp shards dangerous to animals and children. Dogs have been known to chew baubles and other decorations. This can lead to lacerations in the mouth or intestinal blockages.
        Fairy lights pose the possibility of pets getting tangled up in wires, which can cause an animal to panic and injure themselves, or they may be tempted to chew on them. Be aware of this hazard. Keep cables tidied out of reach or get a cable guard.

        Christmas plants

        Plants such as amaryllis, mistletoe, poinsettia, holly and ivy are popular at this time of year, but if nibbled by our pets, can be poisonous ( in varying degrees). Keep plants out of reach or move them to a secure room away from your pet, especially if you are not at home.

        Lilies (even small amounts of pollen) are very dangerous to cats – whether they are brushed against, licked or drink the water the flowers are kept in.
        Seek urgent advice from your vet should you suspect your pet has eaten any plants.

        Other hazards;

        πŸŽ„Bottle corks, corn on the cob, cocktail sticks and cracker toys. Ensure that they are tidied away or kept out of reach of pets. 

        πŸŽ„Ingestion of batteries is more common at this time of year. If the battery is chewed it can cause chemical burns and heavy metal poisoning. If they are swallowed whole it is possible they will cause an obstruction. Call your vet if you suspect that your pet has chewed or swallowed a battery.


        If you think that your pet may have eaten something that they shouldn't have then swift action is necessary.

        Follow these four simple steps:

        Step 1Prevent your pet from eating any more.
        Step 2 - Phone your vet immediately!
        Step 3 - Stay calm and follow your vet's instructions.
        Step 4 - Collect the relevant wrapping and packaging.

             Make a note of our phone number and call us immediately - 01895 633600

        Further advice

        Christmas time often means a busy home, with friends and family coming together in seasonal spirit. Remember that new faces and more noise can be scary for your pet, so it's a good idea to provide them with a room in which they can retreat into for some peace without being disturbed.
        Be mindful of the front door opening with guests arriving and leaving. Make sure that dogs can't run out! Try to maintain your pet's normal routine, especially with feeding and exercise, to avoid them becoming too unsettled.

        Our poem summarises our Christmas message;

        Curiosity at Christmas

        Look at all the food to eat, with our paws we can just reach; 
        mince pies, chocolates, Christmas cake, and sausage rolls recently baked.
        So tempting to eat a little treat...sniff...lick…gobble…now we’re sick!

        A Christmas tree! Let’s climb to the top! It’s beginning to wobble, down we drop!
        Shiny glass baubles to swat with a paw, sees them shatter as they drop to the floor.

        Sparkly tinsel to pounce on and chase and presents tied up with colourful lace.
         So tempting to play with, lots of fun, until oops they’ve ended up in our tums!

        Sneak off to the kitchen so not to be heard.
        Raid the bin for the bones from the cooked Christmas bird.
        Excitable guests wanting to play, we need a quiet space out of the way.

        The moral of this poem goes, is
        whilst you’re having a festive doze,
        don’t forget to watch your pets
        so they don’t end up needing a trip to the vets!


            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.