Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Mittens - Our Christmas star!

When 9 month old Mittens started being sick his worried owners brought him in to see vet Rachel. He was admitted to the hospital for further investigation. Whilst in, Mittens was sick again and student nurse Jazmin spotted a shiny item that he'd brought up - about a 3cm long piece of gold braid.
Suspecting that Mittens might well have eaten more, the decision was made to operate on him. Vet Katie carried out the surgery and discovered that indeed Mittens had eaten more.....in fact nearly 6metres!

This particularly dangerous foreign body had made it's way along his small intestines where it began to bunch up causing a blockage. Katie had to make several incisions into the small intestines in order to remove it all.
The braid removed from
With a bit of detective work from his owner Amanda, we found out what happened. She was preparing to decorate the house and had placed a reel of gold braid under the Christmas tree to be used at a later date. When she came to use it, it couldn't be found and Amanda thought she'd simply misplaced it. Unbeknown to her, Amanda's husband had found an empty reel under the sofa and thrown it away, thinking nothing of it.
Mittens must have been playing with the reel & managed to get the end of the braid in his mouth. A cat's tongue is rough & covered in tiny barbs called papillae which help direct food to the back of the mouth. Material like cotton, string & braid can become caught on the papillae and the cat can't spit it out, and instead begins to swallow it

Mittens has recovered well and is now back home for Christmas.
Thank-you to his owners for allowing us to share his story in order to raise awareness.



Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Pet Hall of Fame

Sooty - October 2015 ( Pet of Month)

Sooty required emergency surgery after vet Rachel diagnosed him with a condition called Intussusception.This is where a section of the intestines (the small intestines in Sooty's case) slides into another (like pieces on a telescope). When this happens, the blood supply to that section is greatly reduced & the tissue begins to swell and die.

Sooty was in alot of pain and without immediate treatment the condition can be fatal,  so he was prepared for an emergency operation.Rachel discovered that the trapped part of Sooty's intestine was too badly damaged to be saved so she needed to perform a procedure called an intestinal anastomosis, where the damaged intestine is removed and healthy intestine is reconnected.
Following this operation, Sooty was not doing as well as we'd hoped, so head vet Cathy needed to carry out a second operation to assess the health of Sooty's intestines and check for signs of peritonitis which can be a complication of this operation.
24hours after his second operation, Sooty started to show signs of improving. He was much more comfortable and happy to have cuddles with the nurses. He also started to eat which is always a good sign that an animal is feeling better.

This brave boy is now recuperating at home with his owner and we are pleased to say that he is slowly getting better each day. Well done Sooty!

Friday, 30 October 2015

Take the fright out of Halloween and firework night.


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.

  • Keep all edibles out of reach of your pet , especially chocolate.
  • 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.
  • Keep your cat indoors.
  • Take care if you are using candles - wagging tails and swatting paws can knock them over.

We're ready for the fireworks!

So, you've set up a safe area in which your pet can retreat to, plugged in a diffuser to help your pet feel more relaxed (or chosen a natural calming product to suit your pet.)

Now for some tips for on the night(s);
  • 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 dog or cat micro-chipped in case they do escape?
  • Try not to leave your pet alone when fireworks are going off. Pets may hurt themselves or cause damage if they are not supervised.
  • 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.
  • Ignore any fearful behaviour.
  • 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.
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.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Pet Remedy - reduce stress the natural way

We now 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. 

  • Pet calming plug-in diffuser - £18.72
  • Pet calming spray 15ml - £5.26
  • Pet calming spray 200ml -  £16.20

Friday, 18 September 2015

Thyroid disease

The thyroid gland consists of two lobes and is situated in the neck - one each side of the trachea (windpipe). It produces thyroid hormones that are essential for growth and development of cells in the body along with a wide range of metabolic processes including the process of turning food into energy.

Hyperthyroidism is a common disease in middle aged to older cats in which there is an overproduction of thyroid hormones. This is most commonly due to a benign (non-cancerous) enlargement of one or both thyroid lobes called an adenoma.

An owner may think that their cat’s symptoms are down to them ‘just being old’ but on examination by the vet, they often have an increased heart rate and the thyroid gland can be felt due to it being enlarged.

Following a clinical examination where hyperthyroidism is suspected, a blood test is required to confirm this. The test measures the concentration of thyroxine in the blood and a raised result indicates an overactive thyroid.

This common disease, in most cases, can be successfully treated and your vet will discuss the best option for your cat. The aim of the treatment is to bring the levels of thyroid hormones in the blood back to normal. The options are medication, a prescription diet, surgical removal of the enlarged gland/glands or radioactive iodine therapy.

Hyperthyroidism is a treatable disease. Without medication or surgery an affected cat deteriorates, becoming extremely thin and weak and may eventually develop heart failure.

Hypothyroidism is a condition seen in middle-aged - older dogs which results from an underproduction of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland. This leads to a decrease in the metabolic rate, usually leading to weight gain (with no increased appetite), generalised lethargy and weakness and loss of interest in playing and interaction with their owners. Other signs often include coat problems (patchy hair loss or excessive shedding) and recurrent skin / ear infections. The condition is usually diagnosed by a combination of clinical signs and blood tests. Finding a lower than normal level of thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in the blood can point towards hypothyroidism although additional tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis as some other conditions can affect thyroid hormone level. Once diagnosed the good news is that it is easily treated. Treatment consists of putting the dog onto tablets of a synthetic thyroid hormone called thyroxine (levothyroxine). This will be a lifelong medication. Response to the medication is gradual, with some signs such as activity and attitude improving as soon as 7-10 days after treatment begins. Other signs, such as improvement in skin and coat condition may take 6-8 weeks. Thyroid hormone levels are re-evaluated periodically by a blood test and the dose may need to be adjusted.

Hypothyroidism is not life-threatening, but if left untreated dogs can become overweight & lethargic, with a poor quality of life.