Helpful Tips

A few changes!

It has been a very busy summer for us all at Emscote and so we have made a few changes to help us offer you and your pets the best service possible.

Firstly Mary will be working more hours to allow us to offer more appointments. It also means we are able to admit animals for operations at 8am on Mondays and Thursdays and have appointments from 8.30am as we realise this often helps avoid taking time off work. It also allows us to have later appointments to 6.30pm on a Monday and Thursday for the same reason. Other days will remain as they are opening at 8.30am and last appointments at 5.50pm.


We are also very pleased to announce that we have a new registered veterinary nurse Emily Knight. Emily has been qualified for 9 years and brings a wealth of experience with her. She has particular interests in physiotherapy and rehabilitation.  So we will also be able to develop our nursing clinics in the coming months. Laura and Karoline already run weight clinics and pet health club checks, as well as most of the post operative checks.

Dheep and Amber , our trainee nurses, passed their exams with flying colours and have now embarked on the second year of their degree courses. We also welcome Nikki Sahota to our team, who is starting the veterinary nursing diploma in September.

All the other familiar friendly faces on our team are still present and we look forward to seeing you soon!




Microchipping is something we all feel passionately about at Emscote. A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is inserted by using a large needle between the shoulder blades for cats and dogs. It can also be done in horses, rabbits, larger birds and reptiles. The latter two are generally done by specialists as they may require anaesthesia or specialist knowledge for placement. The other species can be done conscious or when the pet is having a procedure under anaesthetic such as neutering. Each microchip has an individual number and we register the details online to the database. Veterinary centres, rescues and local authority dog wardens typically have scanners and can check any strays for a chip.

Every time we have a stray brought into us we desperately hope we can find a chip. If we find a chip using our scanner we can ring up a central database that holds the details of the owner, allowing us to quickly reunite them.

Microchips are also useful in emergency treatment. Over the years we have seen cats and dogs brought in as strays after road traffic accidents. Having a chip has allowed us to get permission for gold standard treatment. Animals will always get emergency treatment at a veterinary practice, but more extensive treatment may be available. Obviously if you have a pet microchipped it is imperative that you keep your details, particularly phone numbers up to date.

There are other reasons for microchips. Any pet wanting to take advantage of the pet travel scheme allowing them to travel to certain countries and return to the UK will need a microchip and passport. Whilst a chip will not stop theft there are also many cases where it has allowed a pet to be reunited with their owners. Some owners also choose to have a special cat flap programmed to their cat’s microchip to stop unwanted visitors. Lately there are also microchip controlled food bowls to allow separate feeding of cats.

It will be made a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped in England from April 6th 2016, and registered on a central database. Otherwise owners may be liable for a fine.

Currently, as of July 2014, our costs are £15.00, or £12.00 if done whilst having a procedure requiring anaesthetic.



Celebrating our Veterinary Nurses

May is National Vet Nursing Awareness month, and we wanted to highlight our wonderful nurses , Laura Hough FdSc, RVN and Karoline Brooks RVN, and the important role they have in caring for your pets.
We get many requests about training so we asked our trainees Dheep Kalsi and Amber Taylor to tell you a little bit more about what was needed to become a qualified veterinary nurse.

We are the trainee nurses, Amber and Dheep.
We are studying a Veterinary Nursing degree at Warwickshire College on the Moreton Morrell Campus; at the end of the degree we hope to be Registered Veterinary Nurses with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Our course involves 2 days at college and 3 days at placement in a veterinary practice, which we had to apply to ourselves, some of these included interviews. This was a challenge as veterinary nursing is a very competitive profession, with many students applying for the course.
The entry requirements for the courses varies with each place, however to get onto the course at Moreton Morrell, you must have a minimum of 160 UCAS points, which can be gained through getting two A levels, one of which must be a science. Students must also have five GCSE grades at a C or above. This must be gained alongside 4 weeks of work experience within a registered veterinary practice.
Veterinary nursing can be studied a variety of ways including through a university degree or a college diploma. Within each course students will be assessed on their practical skills and written knowledge. Alongside coursework, students have to complete a nursing progress log within their practice with help and learning from a clinical coach.
At placements, students need to complete a certain amount of hours depending on the course they are undertaking. Our course that we are currently studying requires 2100 hours to be completed over 3 years.
If you would like to know more about our course or how to become a veterinary nurse, please feel free to contact us. J

Amber- trainee,Laura-Clinical coach, Dheep-trainee


Karoline giving a talk to a local school


Our pets and mis-use of air guns

Air guns and the unnecessary suffering they cause.

We just want to highlight the issue of air gun pellet injuries to our pets especially cats. Some members of society feel compelled to cause suffering to animals and feel somehow it is normal to shoot wildlife or cats as they enter their gardens. The air gun pellet causes tremendous tissue insult, bleeding, muscle damage and breakdown of surrounding fat which can cause shock and death but the severity of the tissue damage may actually only manifest days later due to the tissue breakdown. Both the RSPCA and PDSA report increases in the number of animals being attacked,

It is an offense to possess an air gun without a firearms certificate and there are strict guide lines to and use one.

One of our pets, Brandon, has been shot near his right elbow and the pellet has torn through his subcutaneous fat layerand abdomen to end up sitting under his skin inside his left hind leg, he is still recovering from the dreadful damage caused. This has happened near West Street and Stratford Road in Warwick and we have discovered other cats have also been injured in that area, so a member of the public is shooting cats and we want to warn our clients who live in the area.

Brandon slowly recovering from a gun shot injury.

Brandon slowly recovering from a gun shot injury.




Our First Puppy Party !

We held our first puppy party on Tuesday evening, which was great fun. It was lovely to see Alfie, Sasha, Zak and of course their owners.

SONY DSCPuppy parties are a great opportunity for young dogs to socialise and for us to recap on preventative health care with their owners. We allow the puppies to have a play together, but also give them another chance  to be in the consulting room and be examined so they are happy coming in to see us.

Explaining our protocol and owners visually seeing our kennels and theatre gives an insight to what will happen to their pet when they are neutered, and everyone said they felt much more informed and reassured.

Responsible ownership is also discussed which includes the topics of our safety, basic training, and possible future behavioural problems that may be caused by environmental changes i.e. a new baby or house move just to name a few.

SONY DSCWe are aiming to hold a puppy party once a month,dependent on numbers, and we will send invites out to puppies after they have had their second vaccination.

Karoline and Laura RVNs


Our 1000th client

We were very happy to welcome our 1000th client in January ” Thomas Thompson”. We are so delighted how well the clinic is going and would like to express our thanks for all your support. SONY DSC


Thank you for nominating us!

We just wanted to say a big thank you to all our clients who took the time to nominate us for Petplan Practice of the Year, and  also for nominating me, Paula, as Vet of the Year. We were very proud to receive our certificates in the post. As a new practice this year has been a busy time for us, making sure everything is up to standard and runs smoothly. We love our new building and think we have a really good team now, so it is lovely to hear you think the same. But we won’t rest on our laurels, we will keep trying to improve our service to you and your pets and to keep it friendly and personal.petplan


Yellow Dog Campaign

Yellow dog




I thought it was worth writing a short blog on the Yellow Dog Campaign after a client brought her dog in last week which highlighted to me that it was worth spreading the word. As we all know our dogs have different characters and some love to join in with sniffing others but some would prefer not to meet so we need some way of communicating this between owners hence the yellow bit.

The Yellow Dog Campaign has been working its way around the world to help dogs who may need space get some. Visit their website in the Uk for more information,  it is worth spreading the word and helping us all enjoy our dog walking.


p.s some good clothing ideas

yellow dog wear









Remember, Remember your pets this November!

HarrisDid you know? 80% of pet owners have a pet who is afraid of fireworks.

Fireworks are enjoyed by many people all year round but can be very frightening for many animals.

There are some top tips to make celebrations less scary for your pet:

  • Start early; be prepared at least one month in advance to help your pets cope with noise phobia.
  • Get your pet microchipped! Scared animals can suddenly bolt.
  • Make sure all pets are secure, safe and cannot escape if any sudden noises.
  • Provide a safe haven, a quiet area where they feel safe and without any interference. It should be available to them at all times, with their favourite toys and treats to train them to associate it as a safe place.
  • Close all windows, doors and cat flats and provide ‘black outs’ to prevent flashing of fireworks through windows.
  • Provide toys and other things for them to enjoy. Make sure you also have things to do so that they aren’t left alone.
  • Ensure all cats have somewhere to hide, even if under furniture. Do not attempt to get them out whilst hiding.
  • Provide extra litter trays for cats who normally toilet outside.
  • Ignore any noises and distract them with toys if they are willing to play.
  • Never punish or fuss your pet when scared as this will only make it worse.
  • Place music to help mask/muffle sounds.
  • Only walk your dog within daylight hours.
  •  Don’t forget the small furries either. Cover up cages if outside and provide plenty of bedding for them to hide in.
In some situations being fearful can be useful; fear is a mechanism that alerts an animal to danger and so may protect it from harm. However, if an animal is afraid of something that does not pose a threat, for example fireworks and loud bangs, such fear can be unhelpful and if not managed it can even escalate into a more serious phobia.



If your pet has a phobia, there are a number of things to help your pet to cope.




  • Adaptil can be used for dogs which is a synthetic copy of the natural appeasing pheromone the mother dog produces to comfort and reassure her puppies. It is available as a plug-in diffuser, spray or collar.
  • Feliway can be used for cats, which is a synthetic copy of the natural facial pheromone, which marks their home environment as safe and secure, which helps to reassure and comfort cats in their own territory. It is available as a plug-in diffuser and spray.
  • Pet Remedy can be used for all mammals with equal beneficial effects on humans! It is a blend of natural calming oils, including Valerian and Sage to give a relaxing effect.  It is available as a plug-in diffuser and spray.
  • Royal Canin Calm food for dogs and cats is a good quality diet with an added benefit of natural milk derivatives to support them through stresses.
  • Zylkene capsules contain natural ingredients derived from milk and also alpha-casozepine to help cats and dogs during stressful situations, including vet visits. These are easily given once daily.
Please contact the surgery for any further advice or book in for an appointment with Mary or Paula if you have an concerns with your pet.

Pet Insurance

This is a strictly personal view of pet insurance. Pet insurance has been put under the Financial Services Act meaning vets cannot mention companies by name unless they have been given specific training, which makes it much harder for us to guide you, so we can only generalise.

Melody after wart removal

Melody after wart removal


I would strongly advise everyone to at least consider pet insurance. We insure our cars for instance so that we are covered for third party claims against us at least. Did you know that if your dog causes an accident you might be liable? It may be covered under your house insurance but it is worth checking. The other reason we insure our cars is if they get damaged in an accident the bills to mend them can be large, so it is a way of budgeting for unforeseen costs. Even indoor pets can fracture bones or develop ongoing conditions like atopy (allergies) and diabetes, which can be costly.
Whilst we can’t talk specifics we can help advise you on what you should look for in a policy, and how important it is to read the small print.



A few questions to think about are expanded on below:

How long will my pet be covered?

What is the maximum amount that will be paid out?

Will the premiums rise if you make a claim?

What is included?

How much is the excess?

So make sure you find a policy that suits your needs, and make sure you understand what it covers. For some pets such as rabbits and exotics there still aren’t many choices. If you have multiple pets some companies will offer a discount. Some people find the cost of insurance prohibitive if they have multiple animals; my suggestion in these cases is to put aside money into a separate bank account so it is there when it is needed.

If you are lucky you may never need to make many claims, but there are some pets out there that put in regular claims. We sometimes joke and call them an insurer’s worst nightmare, but we are very grateful that we can prescribe the correct drugs to help without worrying whether their owner can afford it.

Modern medicine and surgery allows us to keep many pets alive longer and have a better quality of life, which as a vet is very rewarding but it does come at a cost.


How long will my pet be covered?

We recommend lifelong policies as opposed to time limited. Some policies will pay for an illness or injury but after 12 months will stop the cover and then no other company will take you on with a pre-existing condition. I knew of a careful owner who knew she wanted to budget carefully and insured her puppy as soon as she took her home. The lovely puppy developed epilepsy at an early age and the owner was horrified to realise she was only covered for 12 months.
Also some policies will not cover old pets, which is when claims are more likely.

What is the maximum amount that will be paid out?

Not all policies are equal. Some policies will only pay out a maximum of £500 but many conditions will cost significantly more. Other policies will pay out a maximum amount per illness; others have a pot for every year. It is worth considering whether you would want referral for your pet too. MRI and spinal surgery can run into thousands for instance, as can cataract surgery. I have referred a couple of dogs that have been run over and fractured two legs and both times the bill at the local referral centre Willows ran to £6-7000. They did a fantastic job and both dogs were able to walk well within weeks.

Will the premiums rise if you make a claim?

Some of the policies that appear cheap at first rapidly escalate over the years especially if you make a claim. A better company will not penalise you for making a claim.

What is included?

Dorothy having acupuncture at Emscote Vets

Dorothy having acupuncture at Emscote Vets


Will the insurer pay for physiotherapy, hydrotherapy or acupuncture if appropriate? Many companies will not cover dental work, which often comes as a surprise. Dental work is commonly needed in middle aged and older pets and can work out quite expensive as it normally requires a general anaesthetic.






How much is the excess?

Most policies have an excess just like house and car insurance. It is worth noting what this is and whether it is paid yearly per condition.

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