Helpful Tips

Christmas Time!

Although it is a joyous time, Christmas also brings potential dangers for our pets.

Most of you are hopefully aware of the various hazards that are around at this time of year, but we would just like to remind everyone.

Many tasty Christmas treats are harmful for our pets. Here is a list of things to avoid:

  • Mince pies
  • Christmas cake
  • Chocolate
  • Christmas Dinner (including the gravy!)
  • Alcohol
  • Nuts
  • Poinsettia, Mistletoe and Holly
  • Pot Pourri
  • Christmas Decorations (lights, baubles and tinsel)
  • Bones/Carcasses
  • Cough sweets (contain a toxic ingredient)

It gets very, very cold in the winter for any animals that live outside. Make sure they are kept warm and dry. If they are in hutches or pens, cover them and clean them out regularly. Give them plenty of bedding to keep warm. Elderly cats should also be kept in at night. Sighthound dogs should have a coat on when they go outside if it is very cold.

Antifreeze is fatal to cats. It has a sweet taste, which unfortunately, encourages them to drink it. Be careful where you store your antifreeze and try not to spill it. It also might be worth mentioning to your neighbours, so they don’t allow any spillages to sit around that your cat might find!

When the temperature is freezing, the roads and paths are usually sprinkled with grit. This is irritating to our pet’s paws, so make sure to wash their feet after a walk.

Fireworks are still let off around Christmas time, right through to the New Year. Please read our previous blog for advice on keeping your pets safe and calm during fireworks.

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



Charity Quiz night with a great practice night out

56NotOut Quiz night


We decided to enter 2 teams of 6 for the quiz held on Nov 18th for “The 56NotOut” Challenge at the Nelson Social club. No rivalry at all and ending up with 1 point difference ….Mary was just glad we didn’t get the wooden spoon !


It was a good social night for us and a packed room reflected the great support from the local community, hopefully the money raised will help their chosen charities.



Helping Hands in Leamington Spa


If you’d like more info on the group “56NotOut” have a look at their facebook page


Next event we’ll be helping raise money at will be The Santa Dash so if you’re at the surgery please donate for Myton Hospice.



Air Ambulance

We had a successful coffee morning at the practice on Wednesday 13th September. It was lovely to see so many of our clients coming to support us in raising money for the air ambulance. Thank you to all that allowed us to taste your cooking skills; the cakes were beautiful.

As well as the coffee morning we did a rowing race in Stratford Upon Avon back in July.

Mary, Dawn, Jo and Millie made us all proud with their team work and surprised us all that none of them actually fell into the water.

We have been supporting the Air Ambulance Service as one of our own nurses Karoline needed their help back in September 2016. On the way to work one Saturday morning the weather was extremely bad regarding the rain fall. Karoline hydroplaned on the A46 which caused her car to flip over then head into a tree.

Karoline had to be cut from her car and air lifted to hospital. All the emergency services were amazing and we are grateful to them all.

The air ambulance is a charity organisation and they rely on donations from the public to keep this life saving service running.

If you would like to make a donation then we are happy to take it for you at the surgery or you can do so through Karoline’s go fund me page which is still open.


Fireworks Season

It is coming around to that time of year again when the firework celebrations will be starting!

It begins with Diwali in mid-October, Bonfire Night in November and then Christmas and New Year in December. It is fast approaching and we want to make sure that you and your pet are prepared for the fireworks season.

Preparation should begin well before, in order to desensitise your pet to the loud noises and bright flashes. You can use a CD (available to rent from us) which has pre-recorded firework noises. Playing this routinely in your home will help your pet become less sensitive to the noises.

In the weeks before hand, pheromone therapy can be introduced. This comes in the form of plug-ins, collars and sprays.

Adaptil® is the product used for dogs, which contains a synthetic copy of DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone)

Feliway® is the product used for cats, which contains a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone.

There is also a natural herbal alternative called Pet Remedy®, which contains mainly Valerian, amongst other herbs.

Zylkene is another natural product which comes in the form of capsules. It is a supplement derived from milk proteins, well known to promote relaxation.

All of these products need to be introduced at least a week before ideally, but may not be enough if your pet already has a significant fear of fireworks. They should be continually used throughout the firework season.

On the day you suspect fireworks will be going off, make sure to walk your dog before they start and make sure cats are shut in the house by the time they start. At night, there are various ways you can keep your pet from feeling distressed. The most important thing is to keep to the normal routine. Your pet will pick up on how you are feeling, and if you are worrying then your pet will feel like they should be worrying too. So act as normal and do not change your behaviour.

dog den

It is ideal if your pet can have a ‘safe’ place. Create a little den/bed that they can retreat to if they feel scared. It should be somewhere that they can hide away and be kept away from the noises and flashes. For dogs, a dog crate covered with a blanket is ideal. For cats it may be a chair or cat carrier covered with a blanket. Place their favourite toys and blanket in there to encourage them into the den. You can also put some food in there to try and tempt them in! This is also when the pheromone and natural remedy sprays are useful – they can be sprayed in the den to help calm your pet’s nerves. To reduce the amount of noise they hear from the fireworks, keep the television or radio turned on and quite loud to cover the outside noises. Keep the curtains closed to disguise the bright flashes from the fireworks outside.

If you would like to know more about any of these products or if you would like some advice, please give us a call at the surgery on 01926 496422.


Tick season!

Recently we have seen an increase in the number of tick complaints from our clients. In the last month especially we have seen both dogs and cats coming in with either a tick still attached or a reaction from a tick bite.

Our pets don’t need direct contact with other animals for fleas to transfer or for ticks to cling to their coats and start to attach and suck the animal’s blood as the insects will hop off one and wait until they meet the next passing animal to attach to.


This blog is to encourage people to be more tick-aware and let you know how you can prevent and treat your dog or cat for ticks. It is especially important to treat your pet for ticks if you are travelling abroad. Using a good insecticidal product is really important and also related to the area you travel to.

We currently advise Nexgard as our main tick and flea product for dogs, it is a very palatable tablet (it looks like a piece of spam). This does kill our normal British ticks but also the new tick from Europe. It takes 8 hours to kill fleas and it takes 48 hours to kill ticks.

We also sell Advantix spot on which kills fleas and ticks, it is also believed to repel ticks and prevent a blood meal and additionally it repels Sandflies and Mosquitoes. We do advise clients who are travelling abroad to use this product if going to a sandfly infested area, sandflies transmit additional diseases to our dogs. But it does have some restrictions on it’s use.

For cats we use an all-in-one flea, tick and wormer spot-on called Broadline.

There is also a tick and flea collar available through vets called Seresto, which is effective for 7-8 months for fleas and 8 months for ticks.


Please phone the surgery for an appointment with a nurse if you’d like to discuss what product may be more suitable for your dog if you’re concerned about preventing ticks.

Finally, remember never to pull a tick off as they attach using hooks and we need to twist the tick to make them un-hook, allowing them to be removed safely.


Dental health

We all know that keeping our teeth clean is very important, but how about our pets?

It is just as important for them to have good dental health as it is for us. However, they cannot manage this themselves so need us to help them.




There are various ways of helping to keep your pet’s teeth clean. The most effective method is brushing their teeth. You can use special toothpaste made for animals, it contains enzymes that prevent tartar build up on the teeth. Human toothpaste is not suitable, it is toxic to them. You can use a normal toothbrush or a finger brush, and it is important to focus on the part of the tooth that joins to the gum line. Ideally, their teeth should get brushed every day.

Please see our video below which demonstrates how to brush teeth:

Our tips to show you how to brush your dog’s teeth

There are also water additives, dental food and dental chews. These all contain enzymes to prevent tartar build up. The water additive – ‘Aquadent’ – is diluted in their normal drinking water. The dental food is made up of larger size biscuits which mean that they are crunched up and not swallowed whole, helping to remove plaque from teeth as they chew. The dental chews work by the same action, to help remove plaque. All of these are available from us.




If you would like a free dental check up with one of our nurses, please phone us at the surgery to arrange one.


Raising money for Air Ambulance

Taking on a rowing challenge for Air Ambulance 

On Sunday 9th of July four members of our staff will be taking part in a rowing challenge for charity. The rowing is organised by Stratford Rowing Club so all the fees we pay will support that club. But we felt it would be great to support the Air Ambulance, who saved the life of one of our nurses, Karoline, last year.

If you’d like to donate to the air ambulance we have a collection box at the surgery, feel free to either pop in and donate or if your visiting us the girls will probably mention it to you.

Mary, Jo and Dawn our nurses and Student nurse Millie are the rowing team representing Emscote Vets. They are currently having training sessions in preparation for the big race….the picture below shows them ready for their first session! Co-ordination is a problem and the main challenge.


Our Team name is “Emscote Kitties


Rowing image



Please support the Air Ambulance and the girls by donating and we’ll try our best not to fall in as novice rowers !


We all enjoyed trying to do the rowing race, the main aim was not to fall in, Becky joined us to cheer us on with other friends and families.

We’ve being trying to raise some funds for Air Ambulance in doing so, if you’d like to donate please pop into the surgery and donate we’ll count up the funds next week and give them to Air Ambulance.

Thx to all



Happy team in boat shot


One of the races




Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW)

17-25th June 2017Boris

Rabbit awareness week is fast approaching and we are in support of this at Emscote Vets.

Rabbits are becoming more popular as pets. Recent research shows that rabbits are the 4th most popular pet in the UK with 0.8 million rabbits (PFMA Pet Population 2016 report).  Unfortunately the correct information regarding the care they require is still not being made clear.

Rabbits are still living alone or being housed with guinea pigs, not having significant room to live in or being fed the incorrect diet. These small mammals are quite complex and can be difficult to care for, especially if their needs are not fully understood.

This year Burgess Pet Care, together with its partners Agria Pet Insurance, RSPCA, PDSA, The Blue Cross, Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) and Wood Green The Animals Charity join forces to focus on a different aspect of rabbit care and welfare.

Emscote Vets are offering free rabbit consultations with a qualified Veterinary Nurse and 10% off neutering procedures for rabbits during RAW week. Please contact the surgery to book an appointment.

We would also like to share your brilliant bunny photos or stories you may have with the rest of our clients. Send your photos to our email address at

If any children in your family would like to draw a picture of their bunny then we would love to display them at the surgery. A prize will be given to the most colourful one so make sure you write your name and contact details on the back.

For further information on how to care for rabbits please visit

We look forward to seeing you and your bunnies during RAW week


Your puppy’s first visits to the vet

It is already the law that puppies must be microchipped by 8 weeks of age, so this will probably already have been done by the breeder before you get your puppy. If not, the cost of a microchip with us is £16.

It will soon be made illegal for a puppy to be sold under the age of 8 weeks, this is the age they will most likely be when they come to you. At this age they are ready to start having their vaccinations – they may have already had their first vaccination done with the breeder. Depending on their age, they may need two or three vaccinations. If your puppy is less than 9 weeks old when they start their vaccines, they will need 2 injections that are 4 weeks apart. If they are older than 9 weeks when they start, they will need 3 injections that are all 2 weeks apart. The cost of this vaccination course is £63. (Prices vary if they have already had one injection with the breeder and only need their second one with us). Your dog will need a booster vaccine every year to maintain their immunity.

You can start to take your puppy outside on pavement walks a week after their second vaccination. You should avoid walking them near farms, lakes and canals until 2 weeks after their last vaccination (when they are fully protected from Leptospirosis).

They can have an additional vaccination for Kennel Cough, which is administered nasally. A common misconception of this vaccine is that it is only required if your dog is going into kennels – this is untrue. Kennel Cough can be caught any time your dog comes into contact with another dog, which could be on walks, in your local park or if they go to a pet sitter. The cost of this vaccination alone is £30, but only £17 if they have it with their puppy vaccinations.


We do recommend that you neuter your dog. For females, neutering reduces the risk of cancers and prevents a pyometra (infection of the womb), which can be a fatal illness. For males it also reduces the risk of cancers.

The right time to neuter depends on the breed and size of your dog. Smaller dogs reach their adult weight quicker and so can be done from 5-6 months of age. Larger dogs take longer to reach their adult weight and so can be done later, closer to 12 months of age. The neutering process is very routine surgery and the recovery period is usually around a week. They will come and stay with us for the day – you drop them off in the morning and pick them up that afternoon. We will see them again a few days later for a post-operative check. The price of neutering depends on the size of your dog – it ranges from £98 – £156 for males and from £125 – £210 for females.



It’s the time of year we all enjoy more of the outdoors and our dogs love to swim but it’s actually walking in muddy areas or throw puddles or anywhere rats may run is the risk…..

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease (meaning it can be passed between animals and humans) caused by an organism called Leptospira. Leptospirosis can be prevented by vaccination. The immunity resulting from vaccination is not permanent, so annual boosters for Leptospirosis are needed. Up-to-date vaccinations are usually essential before going to dog shows and many kennels.

Lepto4-L4 Dog in Water-no kids








Rats carry the infection but do not show any clinical signs. They are primarily responsible for spreading the infection to other mammals, such as dogs, who do suffer from clinical signs. The rats shed the infection in their urine and infection of hosts is usually indirect. Dogs pick up the infection by contact with an area contaminated with infected rat urine (including contaminated water). Environmental conditions affect the transmission of the disease. Leptospires survive better in warm, moist conditions than in dry, cooler weather. Leptospirosis can cause serious disease in the hepatic, renal and coagulation systems.

Lepto-L4 Dogs playing in water








Dogs can spread Leptospira to both humans and other dogs via their urine. Following infection, some dogs become long-term carriers whilst appearing healthy. This may put families and their dogs at risk of serious disease if strict hygiene is not observed. Some dogs will slowly recover, but initially may be prone to minor recurrent attacks. If dogs do recover, they will eventually return to normal, although some degree of permanent kidney damage is likely. They may also shed the bacteria in their urine for months. The disease is occasionally fatal to both dogs and humans.

We all want the best for our pets so vaccinating annually for leptospira is necessary and it’s not if they go into water it can be anywhere rats or mice run across and urinate in.

Have fun with your dogs but protect them 🙂

Enjoying the fun


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