Thursday, 29 March 2018

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 cat) has ingested any chocolate (even a small amount) you should contact your vet 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.


A popular plant at this time of year, these beautiful flowers are best avoided if you have a cat in the household or you are giving flowers as a gift to a cat owner.
Lilies are poisonous to cats and can cause kidney failure. All parts of the plant are poisonous, even a small exposure to the pollen can be potentially very dangerous.
Contact us immediately if you suspect that your cat has come into contact with these flowers.


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. Not all rodenticides are the same so it is important to provide the vet with information on what was used.


      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, 27 March 2018

Competition time!

We are running a children's rabbit themed competition this Easter!

The competition is open for children aged 4-12 years. 

Simply hop along to our Ruislip practice to pick up a bunny activity sheet - children can either complete it in the waiting room or take it home to do.
The sheet can also be downloaded here:

Completed sheets need to be received by Friday 13th April and will be entered into a draw to win some Easter goodies.  Each child bringing in their completed sheet will also receive a chocolate!

Don't forget to write your name and contact number on the back of the entry.
 Good luck!

Monday, 26 March 2018

Easter opening hours

  • Good Friday ( 30th March ) - Emergency service only
  • Saturday 31st March  - 9:00am - 2:00pm for appointments and enquiries
  • Easter Sunday 1st April  - Emergency service only
  • Easter Monday ( 2nd April )  - Emergency service only
  • Good Friday (30th March)  - Emergency service only
  • Saturday 31st March  - 9:00am - 12:00 noon for appointments and enquiries
  • Easter Sunday 1st April - Emergency service only
  • Easter Monday ( 2nd April) - Emergency service only

  • Good Friday (30th March ):  Emergency service only
  • Saturday 31st March: 9:00am-11:00am for appointments - reception open until 12noon.
  • Easter Sunday 1st April : Emergency service only
  • Easter Monday (2nd 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

Monday, 5 March 2018

Pet of the Month hall of fame - Colin ( Jan 2018)

Colin is a polish dwarf rabbit owned by vet Joanna. He recently had to come in for dental work.
Colin had been eating less food than normal, but otherwise appeared well. An examination of his teeth with a small scope inserted into the side of his mouth showed long overgrown and uneven teeth - some with sharp spurs where they had worn unevenly. Colin underwent a general anaesthetic and his overgrown molar teeth were rasped down using a metal tool rather like a nail file. A special drill was used to cut off his long incisors at the front of the mouth. Colin also needed to have his tear ducts flushed. In a healthy eye, tears are constantly produced to bathe and protect the eye, and are drained away via the nasolacrimal canal (tear duct), a tiny, mucous-membrane-lined tube. If the tears are unable to drain, they 'overflow' resulting in constantly wet fur and skin on the face. This can cause irritation and lead to skin infections. There are a number of things that can cause the tear ducts to block and in Colin's case it is related to his dental problems.

Following the procedure the nurses observed him closely and kept him warm. As soon as Colin was awake they syringe fed him some special liquid feed (above picture) to encourage him to start eating by himself and to help keep his digestive system moving. Colin went home later the same evening and is now back to enjoying his favourite food - raspberries!

The best way to keep your bunny's teeth healthy is to offer plenty of fresh hay each day - this should make up the largest part of their diet. It helps the teeth to wear down in an even fashion as they constantly grow. Unfortunately, Colin won't eat hay- even though he's been offered all the different varieties! Every 6 weeks we have to use the specialist drill to trim his front incisor teeth, which he tolerates very well (you can even look to have these permanently removed). We also have a look at his cheek teeth (molars) so that we can monitor their growth and catch any signs of problems early.

Well done Colin!

A note on gut stasis;

Rabbits have a delicate digestive system that requires large volumes of coarse fibre to ensure contast gut motility. When that motility slows down, the rabbit is vulnerable to digestive upsets in the caecum, and complete stasis of the gut - called gastrointestinal stasis ( GI Stasis). It is often associated with another problem i.e something makes your rabbit feel unwell (pain, bad teeth, stress, inadequate diet).

Symptoms include;

* not eating, combined with reduced and smaller harder droppings.
* Reluctance to move or appear hunched up.
* If you can hear loud crunching noises from the rabbit's mouth, the rabbit is experiencing acute pain.

Urgent! Your rabbit needs to be seen as soon as possible if they are not eating as they do deteriorate quickly.

Prevention is better than cure!

- Feed plenty of high fibre food every day.
- Ensure your rabbits have access to unlimited fresh hay that is freely available at all times.
- Rinse greens and herbs, and leave residual water on them.
- Ensure that they have eaten.
- Check droppings every day - be alert to changes ( reduced amount, change in size, shape, texture).
- Spend time and get to know your rabbit's rhythms and natural patterns, then you'll know when something isn't right.