Helpful Tips

Join our health club!

Joining our Pet Health Club is an easy and effective way to save money by paying monthly for your pet’s essential preventative care.

The pet health club makes it easy for you to protect your pet and your family against preventable diseases and discomfort by making sure your pet’s vaccinations, general health and parasite control are up to date. Please note the health club is not pet insurance but a way to spread out the cost of regular things that are not covered in insurance – like vaccinations, flea, worm and parasite treatments, health checks and advice into a monthly plan.

You can join our health club upon your annual booster vaccination visit or for your puppy or kittens 1st vaccinations. Joining the health club provides certain benefits such as; an annual health check with a nurse, 10% off neutering, 15% off all dentistry fees and 10% off any long-term medication. The pet health club caters for all of your pets needs by giving you the option to use either a spot on or tablet form of flea and worm treatment to make giving the medication easier and stress free! For pets that need to be wormed monthly, such as owners with young children or avid hunters; the pet health club allows you to treat your pet against worms monthly at no extra cost making this a big save (especially for those expensive big dogs ;)).

To join or find out further information about the pet health club you can call the practice on 01926 496 422, or call the Pet Health Plans team on 0800 169 9958 to join over the phone.

PHC

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A video to show you how to apply a buster collar to your dog

This week’s video shows you our tips on applying a buster collar to your dog.

Buster collars are extremely effective in helping your dog stay away from certain areas, whether that be wounds, rashes, heat spots etc., whilst still allowing your dog to carry out normal functions such as eating (even if they pretend they can’t so you remove it!!).

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To apply the collar to your dog, you should firstly ensure it is the correct size; measuring the collar around your dog’s neck to do this. The collar should be quite fitted, but you should still be able to place two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck.

Once the collar has been measured and the tabs on the collar secured by pushing them through the slits, you can then gently push your dog’s head through the collar. If your dog has large ears, take care when pushing these through the collar as this may cause injuries. You can then secure the collar around your dog’s neck by using a bandage.

Watch our video for more information on how to apply the buster collar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a90i3EagApk

 

 

 

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Our tips on clipping your dogs nails

This week’s video shows you our helpful hints to make clipping your dog’s nails easier.

Asking another person to restrain your dog makes the process easier as you have more control. The best way to restrain is by placing one hand around your dog’s head and using your other hand to lift and support your dog’s limb.

How to restrain your dog

You can now hold your dog’s paw and gently clip the nail just below the quick or if your dog has dark nails, in line with the pad.

Clip nail just below the quick

Clip nail just below the quick

Make sure that you use clippers which are of an appropriate size to your dog and that you find comfortable to use.

If you do cut the quick, use cold wet cotton wool to apply pressure to the area and call the practice on 01926 496 422 for advice. Alternatively a nail file can be used to file away any sharp edges; this can also help your dog to get used to the feeling of their nails being touched.

Click the link below to watch our YouTube video for further advice, or call the practice on 01926 496 422 to book an appointment with one of the nurses for a demonstration.

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

This week our video is focusing on ways you can brush your dog’s teeth.

There are many different ways to improve your dog’s dental hygiene, such as water additives and dental chews but tooth brushing is the best preventative method.

In our YouTube video we show you an example of the types of toothbrushes you can use; there are finger brushes, dual headed brushes, micro-fibre cloth brushes and standard toothbrushes. The important thing to make sure when choosing the toothbrush is to ensure that it has soft bristles and suits both you and your dog.

Like with toothbrushes there are also many different types of toothpaste! Some have enzymes in which help to breakdown the plaque and others have silver in to help prevent the build up of bacteria in the mouth.

To help make brushing your dog’s teeth easier, here is a list of our handy hints:

  1. Hold your dog’s muzzle closed with one hand. It can be easier to have another person holding your dog if they are very wriggly!
  2. Using your brush and toothpaste, use gentle circular and back and forth motions to create friction against the teeth.
  3. Make sure to give your dog lots of praise and maybe even a cheeky treat so that the experience is fun for them!
  4. Repeat this at least once a day to help maintain your dog’s perfect smile 🙂

Click on the link below to watch our YouTube video:

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Our second video! Ear cleaning

Our second video shows our tips on how to clean your dogs’ ears!

Cleaning ears can be tricky if you have a fidgety dog but an extra pair of hands helps! Ask a friend/family member to help to restrain your dog to keep them still and prevent them from shaking their head. If your dog has floppy ears, fold back the flap so that you can see the ear.

Place the nozzle of the bottle into the entrance of the ear canal and squeeze the bottle gently. Please only use products that made for animals. Massage the base of the ear to help the solution to spread in the ear (you should hear a squelching noise). Clean the nozzle in between ears.

Using cotton wool, wipe away any earwax that has surfaced to the top of the ear. Never use cotton buds as they can cause damage rather than help the situation; however veterinary cotton buds are available in our practice which are bigger so do not cause damage to the ear.

Your dog may shake his/her head at this point so make sure you keep your face at a safe distance!

If you would like one of our nurses to show you how to clean your dogs ears or if you would like further advise, please call us on 01926 496 422.

Click on the picture of the ear or follow this link to watch our video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxSgnSuHen4 

Ears

The ear

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A little update:

We have moved into the world of YouTube!!

Every few weeks we will be uploading a video onto our channel. We will be showing you helpful hints on how to tablet your animals, clip their nails, and methods of coaxing smaller pets into their carriers, along with information on our products, tours of our practice and many other videos!

Our first video is on How to worm a cat”. Worming cats is very important and should be done every 3 months, unless your cat is a regular hunter, as these cats should be wormed every month.

Worming your cat prevents the likelihood of you and your family, especially young children from ingesting worms that can cause illness such as the loss of sight.

You can purchase worming tablets from our practice, as long as we have seen your wonderful cat recently. If not, no problem, we always love a cat cuddle so call us on 01926 496 422 and we can book you a free flea and worm consultation.

Indy

Click on Indy’s face to watch our video and don’t forget to like, comment with what videos you would like to see in the future and subscribe to our channel to keep up to date 🙂

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Wildlife tips

Summertime Wildlife Tips

Hedgehogs

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It is very sad when we see hedgehogs being brought in with one of their limbs badly severed and where maggots have started to attack the flesh,  so we really want people to think about our little prickly friends. In particular, think before you use a strimmer on that wilder part of the garden, as that is exactly where our little friends will be. In the course of last week alone we have had hedgehogs from Warwick, Leamington, Cubbington, Whitnash and Kenilworth being brought in with different injuries. http://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/hedgehog-awareness-week-2016 (the image above is courtesy of this site )

It is the time of the year to clear garden rubbish and light bonfires so please, before you do so, rake it out so if there are any hiding hedgehogs they will get disturbed and will move rather than end up being burnt.

We mentioned last year about creating a hedgehog pathway through our gardens by having a small hole at the bottom of your garden fence to allow them to wander and find enough food.

Also The Hedgehog Society have suggested water is left available in the gardens for them.

Other wildlife tips

Fledgling birds are often picked up from the ground by well meaning people but we really advise leaving them where you see them as their mother will be nearby and coming and going to feed them. She will also help protect them from predators.

It may be kinder if you have a cat to keep them indoors at night to allow the fledglings to have a better chance of surviving.

Slugs, there are quite a lot around and eating most of our vegetable plants I’m sure !! But if we can deter them with more environmentally friendly ways rather than slug pellets it would be a lot safer for our pets and wildlife so here are some tips.

Treat the slugs to a nice alcoholic dip, http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Garden-Slugs

Egg shells (collect them and then crush the shells and scatter around the plant base ) if you have a few plants this can work well. You can buy the equivalent too.

Spent coffee granules-some coffee houses keep their spent granules and you can collect a bag of them then sprinkle near vunerable shoots.

If you can’t face killing them, then go hunting at night then take them for a drive and release in a park or a wildlife area so feeding the hedgehogs there!  Some “little folks” believe slugs can find their way home, not sure on that one.

Water fowl

It is very common for people to take bread to the ducks but ideally young ducklings need to eat a better diet than bread but we all go for an easy life and if a lot of bread is floating about then that is what they’ll eat. Try and not throw too much bread in ponds, canals at this time of year.

The other big issue is plastic, people go for picnics and leave plastic sitting about which ends in our waterways and can cause huge damage to wild life. Bring it home and if you spot some pick it up think of all those fabulous swans and ducks.

Enjoy the summer and remember our fellow creatures. Mary 🙂

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Summers unwanted visitors

Summer is coming and so are the little bugs who like to nibble our pets.

When the sun comes out we all love to enjoy the outdoors. More dogs go walking and enjoy country walks which in turn means more contact with other dogs or livestock. 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.

Recently many dog owners have been worried by reports in the press about “the new tick disease”, so we thought we’d like to explain a little on what has been happening.

In the South of England a new tick species has been identified, Dermacentor reticulatus

Why is this important?

  1. This species has normally been found only in main land Europe not in Britain.
  2. It can carry Babesia canis, the main species which affects dogs in Europe. Ticks have to feed for at least 3 days to transfer Babesia Canis.
  3. Babesia can cause serious life threatening symptoms as the organism invades feeds and multiplies within the red blood cells of the dog.

Until now Britain has been relatively free from Babesia, apart from some dogs which had travelled to Europe and picked up the infection and returned.

But these new outbreaks of Babesia canis have occurred in dogs which have not travelled abroad. This means that we now have the tick and the parasite surviving on domestic dogs in Britain and it is likely to spread north during the warmer months.

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 (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 48hours to kill ticks.

Poppy loves her Nexgard Poppy

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.

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

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

Remember never to pull a tick off as they attach using hooks and we need to twist the tick to make them un hook and can then be removed safely.

Hopefully the sun will stay shining for a lovely summer.

sunflower

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Feline Friendly Clinic

We are proud to announce that we have been accredited as a Cat Friendly Clinic!

Bringing your cat into the clinic can be a worry for both you and your cat so we thought you would like some tips to help reduce any stress:

Firstly choose a good carrier;

  • It should be robust and easy to clean.
  • Top-opening carriers are easier – cats can be gently lifted in or out
  • Cover the carrier with a blanket or towel to keep them calm during the journey
  • Secure the carrier in the car in a footwell or seat with a belt so it cannot move. Take care as some seats aren’t suitable due to airbags
  • Hold the carrier carefully – avoid swinging it or banging it against objects

 

 

Cats like familiar smells which help to make them less stressed;

  • Make the carrier part of the furniture – allow your cat to sleep and eat in it so it does not only appear when there is a scary vet visit
  • Put bedding or clothing that smells of home into the carrier
  • Rub a cloth around the cat’s face to pick up their scent and then rub this on the carrier
  • Be prepared and take spare bedding which smells of home also in case the cat soils the carrier

 

Whilst waiting in the clinic;

  • Cats do not like being left on the floor.
  • Use our designated cat area in the waiting room to keep them away from dogs.
  • Keep the cat covered and place onto a raised area such as the sofa, table or desk.
  • If needed you can leave the cat in the car until the vet is ready to see them.

 

 Whilst in the consulting room;

  • As our clinic is accredited as an ISFM Cat Friendly Clinic we promise that all staff treat cats gently, respectfully and with proper skill.
  • Time should be taken to allow your cat to calm down but getting them out the carrier.
  • The carrier can be opened so that the cat can come out on its own accord or if possible they can be examined in the carrier.

 

If your cat stays at the clinic;

  • When your cat comes in for a stay with the clinic please bring in familiar bedding that smells of home so it can be left with the cat.
  • Please let the vet or nurse know what your cat likes to eat and anything else you would like us to know to ensure that your cat has a comfortable stay.

 

Taking your cat home;

  • After a stay or trip to the clinic your cat may require special care. After an anaesthetic that day, your cat may still be subdued and a little unsteady on their feet. Gentle talk to them and allow them to come out slowly from the carrier on their own.

 

Re-introduction to other cats at home;

  • After your cat has been to the clinic they sometimes pick up unfamiliar scents especially if they have stayed in. These smells can make other cats at home anxious. Re-introduction should be gentle to prevent any unwanted fisty cuffs.
  • Make sure you are around to supervise them but don’t overwhelm the returning cat with too much attention.
  • Allow your cat to smell like home again before mixing with other family cats, by putting them into a separate room before or rubbing them with a blanket from home.
  • Wash any bedding that has been to the clinic and mix scent by stroking each in turn. 

     

    If you are worried about your cat staying over in the clinic we have a separate cat ward with a viewing window.

    You’re more than welcome to visit your cat while he/she is staying with us as long as it is medically a reasonable thing to do. This can be arranged at a time to suit both you and the clinics working day.

 

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Microchiping Regulations April 2016

It is important for a number of reasons that we microchip our pets. Since April 2016 all puppies must be micro-chipped by 8 weeks of age.

So many times when a stray cat or dog is brought into our surgery we hope in our hearts they have a microchip so we can unite the owner with their pet.

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Over the years I have come across so many different incidents but the one which stands out in my mind especially was a collie which an elderly gentleman befriended along a canal walk near Evesham and took it home. He fell in love with the dog and after a few months brought it into a veterinary surgery where I worked for a problem only to find out it had a microchip. The dog had actually lived in Yorkshire but managed to get into the back of a removals van when some neighbours were packing and when they opened the van the collie shot out and they couldn’t catch it.

Happily the dog was re united with it’s previous owners 6 months after it had gone missing.

But microchiping also is useful when we have so many strays or abandoned dogs to help monitor how big the problem may be and encourage responsible pet ownership.

The government has introducing new legislation which all dog owners need to be aware of, all puppies born after April 2016 must be micro-chipped by 8 weeks of age.

Dog microchipping

It is compulsory for all dogs to be microshipped from 6 April 2016.

Here are some links to help with any possible questions you may have.

https://www.petlog.org.uk/breeders/compulsory-microchipping-faqs/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-animal-welfare/2010-to-2015-government-policy-animal-welfare

If you need any further advice please phone the surgery

🙂 Mary

 

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