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Sunday, 25 August 2013

Healthy Eating for Pets

Different pets, and breeds, require different food types, nutritional amounts and exercise regimes: It is important to find out what is best for your friend.
Here is a rough idea of of what a 'snack' for a Dog or Cat translates to in human terms. (We do not suggest that these snacks are the correct treats for your pets, but thought it may help to put your pet’s food, versus your own food, into perspective!)

For a dog  of just 10kg, feeding them just 2 human biscuits or 3 crisps or 1oz of cheese, is the equivalent of us eating 2 whole hamburgers. For a cat, just 1 cup of milk for them, is like us eating 5 x hamburgers!!

 We run FREE nutrition and weightwatcher clinics. Give us a call on 02476 464789 to book an appointment with one of our qualified Veterinary Nurses to discuss best food and exercise for your pet.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Hedgehog Care

With the hedgehog population in decline we can all do our bit to help this year’s hoglets.
Mid to late August is the start of the crisis period for many autumn juvenile hedgehogs. This often goes into November and sometimes youngsters will survive beyond this time.

By putting out food for the hedgehogs under a feeding station we can ensure that any nocturnal visitors will have a plate of food and a dry spot to eat it. Encourage the youngsters into your garden and get them used to your voice etc. Put out food at the same time and in the same place each night. Hedgehogs often have a routine and one may appear at 9pm from under the shed and another at 9.34pm from behind the dustbin and another at 11pm under the gate. Often they will appear again later in the night for another supper.

Once we get to September it’s a good idea to start weighing each juvenile to check it is putting on weight. If it doesn’t increase in weight by perhaps 30-40gms a week (or better still more than that) then you may need to think about whether it has worms. If this is the case get in touch with a local hedgehog rehabilitator – the BHPS may be able to help find your nearest one.

If you are feeding the hedgehogs the general rule of thumb is that if the dish is empty in the morning, and you know it has not been eaten by cats, then put out more the next night.

If you want to find out more about hedgehogs visit the British Hedgehog Preservation Society’s web site at www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk We have a leaflet called “Autumn Juveniles” that you may find of help and interest.

If you find a hedgehog needing help or if you need more advice, call the BHPS on 01584 890801 – it is better to be safe than sorry. Hedgehogs in trouble are usually seen out in the daytime.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Our Favourite Pest - The Flea

Last year was a particularly troublesome one for fleas. A mild winter and warm wet summer resulted in an explosion of flea populations and many pet owners have struggled to keep their pets and homes free of these irritating pests.

Consequently, there has been a lot of media coverage about the issue and you may even have heard rumours of some flea products no longer working or the development of a resistant ‘super flea’.

Don’t worry we would like to reassure you, according to veterinary parasitology experts, there is no scientific evidence of a ‘super flea’ or of resistance developing to any of the established flea products currently on the market, including those used and recommended by our practice.

There are many reasons why a flea problem may appear difficult to control, especially at times of high flea challenge such as we have experienced this summer. To eradicate a home infestation can take 3 months or more, so prevention is always the best policy. If you have a problem, pop in and talk to one of our nurses. They offer ‘flea consultations’ free of charge. Our practice’s first line recommendation for flea control kills adult fleas fast and also contains an ‘insect growth regulator’ that prevents any eggs laid after treatment from hatching, thus helping protect your home from infestation.

Prevention is better than cure

The following Top Tips will help you protect your pets and home from the threat of a flea infestation:

• For prevention, apply a veterinary recommended flea treatment regularly: This can be as infrequent as every 8 weeks for dogs and 6 weeks for cats.

• Continue treatment regularly throughout the year – centrally heated homes are perfect environments for fleas to survive the winter!

• Increase applications to monthly during periods of high challenge e.g. summer to provide optimum control.

• Treat all dogs, cats, and ferrets in your household.

Having problems? Call us!

If your pet currently has fleas or you are struggling with a persistent flea problem despite treatment, please call us on 02476 464789 for advice. We don’t want to scare you but the fleas you see on your pet are just the tip of the iceberg. 95% of the problem is living in your pet’s environment as eggs, larvae and pupae just waiting to re-infest your pet again. That means not only the carpets and furnishings of your home but everywhere your pet goes e.g. cars, caravans, gardens, parks and other houses. We realise that managing fleas can be complex at times and we would be happy to help you resolve the issue as quickly and effectively as possible.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

How to keep your pet safe and well this summer

What a great Summer so far!

We’re all aware of the risks associated with hot weather, with most of us taking precautions to avoid painful sunburn, annoying allergies and the dreaded heatstroke. But are we protecting our pets enough to allow them to enjoy summer too?

White cats are extremely prone to sunburn. This can quickly turn into serious skin cancer, especially on the tips of the nose and ears. We recommend you always apply non-toxic sunblock to these areas, and if you notice any skin changes, contact us immediately.

All responsible rabbit owners worry about fly-strike, a common condition that occurs during warmer weather, when damp and smelly rabbits’ bottoms attract egg-laying flies. These hatching eggs quickly produce flesh-eating maggots. This condition is extremely serious disease, with all rabbits at risk ‘especially obese or older bunnies’. If untreated it is often fatal. However, it is preventable: remember to check your rabbit’s bottom at least twice daily throughout the warmer months. Some people advise attaching an old net curtain to the front of the hutch to prevent flies getting in.

All Spaniel owners will know about the dreaded grass seed. These small, sharp arrows, easily attach themselves to your dog’s coat. We see them regularly in the soft, feathery fur between pads, or in ear canals of ‘hairy ears’. If allowed to progress further, they have been can burrow up through the skin, or even become trapped in eyelids. Head-shaking, and sudden discomfort, are tell-tale signs when returning from walks. Inspect your dog’s coat thoroughly after walks. Ideally try to prevent this painful problem from happening in the first place by clipping the fur from its feet and around its ears.

Bees and wasps can be a potential hazard at this time of year. Inquisitive puppies and kittens once beginning to explore their new gardens, often disturb stinging insects, trying to eat them! Similarly, dogs rummaging around in undergrowth, off their leads are at risk from adder bites. We saw a dog bitten by an adder at the practice last Summer! These affected areas quickly becoming swollen and painful. Contact us immediately if you suspect your pet is in trouble.