Sunday, 29 October 2017

Take the fright out of Halloween - Tips for keeping your pet safe.


Halloween has become more popular each year with parties being held, fireworks being let off and children out trick or treating. Here are a few reminders to ensure that your pet stays safe.

  • All the noise and excitement of Halloween can be distressing for animals so provide them with a safe, quiet area in which to retreat, complete with their favourite toys.
  • Take your dog out for a walk before the evening activities get under way.
  • Keep your cat indoors.
  • Keep all edibles out of reach of your pet , especially chocolate and treats that contain the natural sweetener xylitol.
  • Keep pets away from the front door. Children in costumes can scare a pet and with the door opening and closing frequently, you don't want them escaping.
  • Do not dress your pet up unless they are completely comfortable with this and ensure that the accessories are kept simple. Supervise your pet at all times.
  • Take care if you are using candles - wagging tails and swatting paws can knock them over.
  • Keep glow sticks and glow accessories well away from pets. Even though they aren’t necessarily toxic, if chewed on they can cause your pet to salivate excessively and act abnormally - seek advice from your vet.
And remember, 




Thursday, 12 October 2017

Pet of the month hall of fame - Suggsy (August)

SUGGSY    

At the end of June Suggsy was brought in by her owners after falling ill after a walk.




On the day of the walk, Suggsy was her usual happy, bouncy self and was enjoying running around when she suddenly appeared out of some bushes and vomited a large amount of a white substance. The following day it was apparent that Suggsy was not feeling very well so her owner brought her in to see vet Melanie. Her abdomen was very sore and she was very lethargic. Suggsy was admitted to the hospital for blood tests and supportive treatment which involved intravenous fluid therapy and injections that provided pain relief, a medicine to stop her feeling nauseous and an antibiotic.


We ran the blood test in our in-house laboratory and the results were quickly available. Suggsy was suffering from acute kidney failure and she was gravely ill. It was important that she remained on intravenous fluids. The fluids ensured that Suggsy stayed well hydrated and they helped to dilute and flush out the excess toxins in her blood. Following the history given by Suggsy’s owner of how quickly she’d become ill and analysing the results of her examination, blood test, and abdominal ultrasound, Melanie concluded that Suggsy had quite possibly eaten something toxic. 
Over the next few days, Suggsy remained on supportive treatment. Our aim was to keep Suggsy as comfortable as possible and to continue to support her kidneys to give them a chance to recover. She was unable to stand so we needed to frequently change her resting position to reduce the risk of bed sores and pneumonia.
 
After four days in the hospital we were encouraged to see a little improvement with Suggsy. She was showing more interest in her surroundings and even managed a little potter around the garden.

Vet Cathy repeated some blood tests and her kidney measurements were improving. Further test results showed that Suggsy’s liver was not functioning properly. An ultrasound scan revealed that her liver was enlarged and swollen (hepatomegaly). The liver is a highly regenerative organ and in some cases a dog can recover from acute liver disease, so supportive treatment for both her liver and kidneys was continued. After 8 days in the hospital we were delighted when Suggsy began to eat some chicken and we could see a little sparkle in her eyes. By day 12 of her hospital stay, Suggsy was well enough to go home. Her owners have been  bringing her in regularly for check ups so that the vets can assess her response to the treatment. Suggsy's liver is less swollen and her abdomen is more comfortable. Her appetite is slowly improving and her blood test results have shown an improvement in both her liver and kidney function.

We are over the moon to see that the beautiful Suggsy is a happy little dog again, she has been such a brave, sweet girl throughout her stay with us.💚

Friday, 6 October 2017

Fireworks are no fun.

With many pets anxious and fearful of loud noises, the firework season can result in some stressful evenings for pets and owners alike.


Signs to look out for in your pet include panting, trembling, pacing, seeking people, hiding or trying to escape, refusal to eat, inappropriate urination or defaecation, vocalisation,  as well as changes in facial expression and body language indicative of stress.

To help your pet cope with this time of year, here are some helpful steps you can take at home. It's important to be prepared, so now is the time to act.

  • Provide your dog with a safe retreat or denMany people will create a den by using a dog crate covered with a blanket but a space under a piece of furniture could do the job equally well. Allow them freedom to access and leave the den at all times and provide positive experiences whilst they are using it, like a favourite toy or treat and give lots of praise. Provide a cosy bed or blankets in which they can hide and feel secure. Cats tend to find their own safe haven such as under a bed.    
  • Take your dog for a walk early in the evening before the fireworks start.
  • Ensure your pet is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps.Cats will need a litter tray.
  • Is your pet  micro-chipped in case they do escape and are your details up-to-date 
  • Try not to leave your pet alone when fireworks are going off. Pets may hurt themselves or cause damage if they are not supervised. Having you there provides reassurance and comfort.
  • Shut curtains, keep lights on and switch on the radio or TV to help muffle out the sounds of the fireworks.
  • Behave normally and praise your dog if they are relaxed with cuddles and a treat.
  • Should your dog need to go into the garden to the toilet, keep them close to you on a lead.
  • Ignore any fearful behaviour such as panting, pacing and whining. Continue to stay relaxed and carry on as if nothing has happened. 
  • Don’t get cross or punish your pet, regardless of their behaviour, as it will only make them more distressed.
  • Cats prefer to be left to cope on their own - let them find a hiding place and leave them undisturbed.

Calming products;      
There are some excellent natural calming products available to help manage stress in dogs and cats.  Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs are some of the best known – they mimic the comforting pheromones, which are naturally produced by the animals.
     
We stock a product called Pet Remedy which is a blend of essential oils that can help to calm anxious and stressed animals. It is available in a diffuser or spray format and starts to help immediately. 
Cost:

  • Pet calming plug-in diffuser - £18.72
  • Pet remedy refills (2 pack) - £18.72
  • Pet calming spray 15ml - £5.26
  • Pet calming spray 200ml -  £16.20


There are also natural herbal remedies available in the form of tablets (and liquid for cats) - please ask us for more information.



Prescribed medication

There are drugs that can be prescribed for particularly stressed pets. 
Also, for those dogs that get particularly worried by fireworks, a product is now available to help those dogs with noise phobias. It provides a calming effect without sedating them. It is a gel that is applied to the gums, so it can be administered at home. Your dog should be able to function normally, and of course, be less concerned about the noises.

Your pet will require a  health check with a vet before any medication can be prescribed.

Please ask us today about the best option for your pet.

Behaviour modification

Other than changes to the home environment, or medication, you can try behaviour modification to ease your pet's fear. This is more of a long-term management option which can be very effective. A process called 'de-sensitisation' teaches your pet not to react to the fear stimulus and then eventually to associate it with something positive.Ask your vet about sound therapy and for further advice on behaviour modification.



Tips for outdoor rabbits and guinea pigs;
  • If the hutch is attached to a run, make sure that your pet is back in their hutch before it gets dark and close off access to the run.
  • Provide plenty of extra hay in which they can burrow and hide. A cardboard box ,with a hole cut in the side for access and filled with hay, makes a good hiding place.
  • Turn the hutch to face a wall or fence to help block out the flashes,  or cover the hutch. Do however ensure that there is enough ventilation.
  • If you can, move the hutch indoors to a cool part of the house or into a shed for example.
  • You could always bring them inside for a cuddle (if they are used to this) or pop them in a pet carrier indoors with plenty of hay during the worst period of the fireworks.



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, 21 August 2017

Pet of the month hall of fame - Tigger (June)

TIGGER

Our June pet of the month is the lovely Tigger who unfortunately got hit by a car about six weeks ago.  During a busy Friday evening we received a phone call from a lady who’d seen a cat get hit by a car. She’d managed to pick the cat up and came straight down to the surgery. Our nurses carried out an initial assessment. He was breathing rapidly and was very sore around his back end.Student nurse Avril checked him for a micro-chip and we were delighted when the scanner detected one. We found out his name was Tigger and we were able to get in touch with his owners.
Vet Joanna examined Tigger and concluded that he would need some x-rays taken as he was unable to stand on his hind legs. He would also need an x-ray of his chest and abdomen to check for internal injuries. Tigger’s condition was stable and with some pain relief he had a comfortable night. The following day vet Karolina sedated Tigger in order to take the x-rays. His chest x-ray was clear and importantly she could see that his bladder was intact.  Looking at the bones of his pelvis and hips, Karolina detected a pelvis fracture and a partial dislocation to the sacroiliac joint; this is where the pelvis attaches to the lower part of the spine (sacrum). 


Treatment for this type of injury depends on a number of factors. In Tigger's case we opted to treat him conservatively with confinement and rest. The pelvic bones are completely surrounded by large muscle masses which act as a natural splint to help keep the bones in place.The first most important step was to ensure that the nerves that run through the pelvis had not been damaged so that Tigger could still pass urine and faeces. Tigger was a very worried boy when in the hospital so we sent him home with strict cage rest,  with his owner's monitoring his toileting. We were pleased to hear that he'd managed to pass urine at home. Tigger came back in for a check up two days later and had been much happier out of the clinic, but he still required regular careful monitoring as he was having a bit of trouble passing motions and he was still not using his left leg. The vet was suspicious that Tigger's sciatic nerve might be damaged, but after discussing Tigger's injuries with a specialist orthopaedic surgeon it was decided to give Tigger more time rather than consider surgery. Often these types of injuries will improve on their own with just supportive treatment.





After 6 weeks of rest and TLC, Tigger is on the mend and doing really well, albeit still a little wobbly!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Rabbit awareness fortnight!

Calling all rabbit owners!


We are supporting rabbit awareness week by offering two weeks of free rabbit checks with a vet between Monday 19th June - Saturday 1st July.


Please call and book an appointment! 

This year's campaign is focusing on the importance of feeding hay - rabbits need 85 - 90% of good quality hay and fresh grass every day, that's equal to their body size every day!

    • HAY is high in fibre that promotes digestive health
    • HAY stimulates chewing which is good for dental health  
    • HAY encourages bunnies to forage for emotional health 
#hoptohay


Click on the link below for lots of bunny care advice and tips!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Friday, 16 June 2017

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 welfare.co.uk)


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.



      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.




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Friday, 9 June 2017

Pet of the Month Hall of Fame - Toby ( April)

Toby was first brought in to see vet Akvile because he had been sick and was not quite himself. After an examination, Toby was given some medication to settle his tummy and antibiotics to combat any infection. Toby also had a blood sample taken to help determine the potential causes of his symptoms. The blood test results gave Akvile an indication of how well Toby's organs were functioning and ruled out some conditions that can be present with the symptoms that Toby was showing. Toby was brought back in for check ups over the next few days. He was quite bright and alert and was no longer being sick although his appetite had not completely returned.  Toby then took a step backwards in his recovery and started to be sick again, so he was admitted to the hospital to be placed onto an intravenous drip and to have an x-ray taken of his abdomen.

Akvile was looking for signs of a foreign body or tumour in the gastrointestinal tract.  With nothing obvious detected from this, Toby remained in hospital on supportive treatment. Although no signs of an obstruction were seen on the x-ray, some foreign objects do not show up, so this could not be ruled out completely at this stage. Toby was gradually improving, he was no longer being sick and was eating more readily. He was happy to sit having cuddles with the nurses. Head vet Cathy reassessed Toby and although she was pleased with his progress, Cathy was still concerned that his tummy was a little tender when touched. After a chat with Toby's owner, Cathy decided to allow Toby home for a day to see how he got on but if he started to deteriorate again then he would need an exploratory operation to check for the cause.

Poor Toby was back in the next morning having been sick again so Cathy admitted him for the exploratory operation. Toby was given a general anaesthetic and taken into theatre where Cathy discovered a small corn on the cob in his stomach! The size of the cob meant that it was freely moving about in the stomach, causing a partial obstruction of the stomach outlet to the small intestines. This is why Toby's symptoms waxed and waned. 
Within a few hours of waking up from his operation to remove the foreign body, Toby was already a much happier boy and ate some chicken. One more night in hospital and Toby was ready to go home. Back at home, Toby continued to improve and he recently had his final check up with Cathy. We are so pleased that this lovely boy is all better. 

For being such a brave and sweet boy, Toby is our pet of the month!  



With the BBQ season not too far away, Toby's story is a reminder of the hazards that our pets can encounter if they eat something they shouldn't. Whether you are in the back garden, out on a picnic or indoors because of the weather, remind guests not to leave corn cobs and cooked bones sitting on their plates and ensure that you bag up leftovers and store them out of reach before disposal.