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.
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 http://www.yellowdoguk.co.uk, it is worth spreading the word and helping us all enjoy our dog walking.
p.s some good clothing ideas
Did 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.
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.
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?
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.
Summer Time News
We have all have been enjoying the fabulous weather and hopefully it will continue.
As we all enjoy the sunshine little visitors like fleas love to multiple, we have 1/3 off our Frontline Combo products at the moment. Frontline Combo offers great advantage over normal frontline, www.merial.com
We also have an offer on our Milbemax wormers, buy 4 get 1 free.
Some interesting Tips.
Our “Waggy Tail” friends
In hot weather dogs in cars are always an issue. Most people have to take their dog in the car to the park or on trips. Everyone should be aware of the risk of heat stroke but I thought the following You Tube video helps to convey the risk of heat stroke very vividly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbOcCQ-y3OY
Temperature Alarms, an interesting news piece I read,
“AnimAlarm has won the Innovative Product of the Year” launched at Crufts 2013 the alarm is a portable temperature warning system that allows owners to monitor the temperature in any environment. http://www.theanimalarm.com/
I have no personal experience of the product but the concept looks really useful for all our pets in different situations.
The other item which I think is really useful is the cool coat you can now buy for your dog to wear, there are a number of these on the market for you to look at. “Easidri” is one brand but again I have no person experience but they are worth investigating to help keep your dog cooler when out walking or in a stressful place and too warm, clients have given positive feed back.
Our “Cuddly” Felines
Cats are far more intelligent than dogs and usually seek the shade when it is hot but watch those crazy sun bathing ones and place some sun block cream on any ear tips and noses especially if white or pale coloured as cancer risk is much higher.
Make sure cats have access to lots of different water sources. Cats suffer from cystitis far more than dogs and drinking adequate water is really important.
Our “Furry” friends
It is really important to physically examine our rabbits every day and check their little bottoms fly Strike is a terrible thing and can be prevented. Use of Rear guard can be helpful and fly sticky paper or a vapona strip hung near by. But nothing replaces the act of checking them each day and cleaning them daily, if messy twice daily.
Adequate shade for rabbits and guinea pigs is important and giving them different sources of water and even if very hot a frozen bottle to lie near or over if they like.
Hope you have found a useful tip here.
“I don’t understand how my family keep sneaking up on me and I am regularly being woken up by them which really spooks me. I saw that squirrel again I do think he waits till I jump at the tree and then he runs. I must remember not to run after him my left leg is aching again, hopefully Mary will give me that nice tablet again, it tastes quite nice and tomorrow morning I’ll be feeling better able to check the woods out when we go for a walk.”
Jess, aged 13 years
OAPs June offer
In June we are planning on helping clients with elderly pets. We will offer health checks for pets over 8 years of age for £18.
This will allow us to look at their eyes, teeth and ears and see what state they are in. We will listen to their hearts to check for any abnormalities, in cats particularly we will look at their eyes to see if they are showing any signs of hypertension, a hidden disease of elderly cats. If clients are able to bring a urine sample in we will check how well the kidneys are concentrating the urine and check for Diabetes (there will be a small charge for this service). Please ask the reception staff when booking in for tips on collecting a urine sample.
For many clients it is actually the behaviour of their pet as they age which can be the first sign that something isn’t quite right and being able to come in and chat may help us find out what is behind the behaviour. The causes can be varied, pain associated, anxiety due to deafness or sight changes. Our pets do also suffer from senility or cognitive dysfunction, chatting with us about behaviour changes may lead to a choice of drug to help.
Often clients are worried about skin lesions or growths and are afraid to ask what to do. But it is far better to deal with a growth when it is small than ignoring it and then finding extensive surgery is necessary.
We hope by encouraging clients to ask for a health check we can offer our Older Pets a better quality of life.
Jess’ mum, Mary
We held our Open day last Saturday, May 11th, it went really well and we owe a big thank you to everyone who supported us by baking cakes, helping us on the day and everyone who came along.
Our great staff had worked hard all week planning displays and setting out the rooms we invited 4 animal charities to come along, Cats Protection, Dogs for the Disabled, Hedgehog Rescue and Rabbit Rescue Group. They set out their stands and it was a great way of raising awareness for the different species. We’d like to say thank to them as it helped give the day a great buzz and our clients gained so much from them.
The morning did get off to a baking theme with members of staff and clients arriving with fantastic cakes and cookies. Our staff Laura, Becky, Aimee and Claire made some fantastic cupcakes and cookies. Mrs Meatyard, Mrs Springate made cakes for us to sell on behalf of the charities. Jessica Lang made a fab cat cake for the staff. We raised £67.40 for the charities.
Aimee face painted for the children and they looked fabulous, Lizzie the dog popped into our shiny new kennels with Karoline our nurse there, just in case. Our fluffy 6ft dog seemed to create a bit of a street presence with passing traffic finding him entertaining. Even the adults wound down their windows to have a chat with him while the dogs went frantic barking at this enormous dog. So I owe a big thank to my son Sean who spent a long hot time in the dog suit. Leon our work experience also helped run “Scan Rufus” for his chip and lots of prizes being given out .
Nikki Underwood-Tandy took some “Gorgeous Moggies” photos for us and worked really hard getting our four legged friends to co-operate on the day. No mean feat ! A big thank you to Nikki and Jo for coming along on the day. Rob also took some great photos of our little clients.
Paula and myself had a great time meeting clients and showing them our new surgery. The over whelming response was how much space we have and how the layout is pet friendly. We were really pleased !
If you missed the open day but would like to visit please give us a call and we will show you behind the scenes.
Thank you to everyone.
It’s been a busy few weeks for us here, so not much updating done I am afraid. However we felt it was time for a few thank yous.
Firstly a big thank you to everyone involved in changing our building from an empty damp shell to the bright new veterinary surgery that it is today. Thanks to Intastruct from Kenilworth who took on the project, Mark Simmonds plumbing, Peter Cox who dealt with the damp, Paul Clarkson electricians, to all the Daves, DW flooring, DW Home Improvements, Dave Thompson telephone engineer, David Reed It guru, Bob Golightly veterinary management systems, Andrew Dade anaesthetic consultant, and Tom from Sign depot for the lovely signs. I hope I haven’t missed anyone.
Thank you to Dreamscape for setting up such a lovely website, and Shirley Whiting for her helpful comments. We are very grateful to Alex Mustard and Nikki Underwood Tandy for allowing their photos to be used. Also Linsey Ward, Sam Gratrix, Sophie Robinson, Rebekah Ward, and Helen Gotevbe.
Our Staff, Becky, Karoline, Laura, and Clare who has stepped in to help, definitely deserve thanks for all their enthusiastic work during this last few weeks, being cheerful through IT adversities and getting all our stock sorted. Although Mary and I do think they are moving things just to confuse us for fun!
Thank you to friends and family who have helped, especially Mike and Rob, our long suffering husbands, and Andy for helping sort out DIY and washing machines etc. Thanks to Jo and Nikki Underwood Tandy for sorting most of our furniture and then moving it. Also thanks to Dennis and Sean for their furniture moving too.
The biggest thanks however is for all the lovely support we have received from our clients. The number of cards, flowers, chocolates and messages of support have overwhelmed us. We have been very happy to see so many clients, faces we knew and new ones, bringing their pets in. There has already been a wide range of interesting cases, keeping Batt Lab our local Coventry laboratory run by Professor Roger Batt busy and we have already had good use from our ultrasound scanner and digital X-ray machine.
So thank you from Mary and myself!
When Mary and I started planning our new small animal practice I don’t think we had any idea of what we were getting into. We are both experienced veterinary surgeons, but starting a practice from scratch has required many different skills and specialist knowledge, and involved many people, without whom we wouldn’t even be close to opening. We saw the building and realised what a great potential it had, being an open ground floor, office space above and with a good sized car park behind, but even getting our lease sorted was a long drawn out procedure. Then we had to learn about planning applications for change of use.
Trying to work out how to make best use of the space was a great exercise in spatial awareness and involved head scratching and multiple redraws on squared paper and the input of an architect and technician to draw the plans for the council. Then after a nail biting 8 weeks, we finally were granted change of use, definitely a night for celebration. There wasn’t any time to relax, now we had rent to pay so this immediately lead onto a search for a builder. We went with local company Intastruct, who have been really helpful, even with our daftest questions. In fact I have adopted a straightforward approach with many of the specialists, from solicitors to builders, from accountants to telecoms. If I am getting bemused by them, I just explain that I know exactly how to spay a bitch, which I assume they don’t, but treat me as novice in any other field.
We initially encountered some damp problems and a few hiccups as the build progressed, but it has been amazing to see the partitions up and the practice take shape from an empty shell. The first time we walked in when the walls were up was a great moment. Instead of being in an disused shop, we were standing in the prep room, visualising where the counters and cupboards would be, where the anaesthetic machine and table would be best. We could see how every room was taking shape, and realised some had more room, others would need adapting from our original plan. The electricians have decided doing veterinary surgeries is great for them. Few buildings require such a density of socket for phones and wiring for data cables, telephones etc. As I write this walls are being plastered, painted, doors fitted and soon the floor will be in. Then the kennels built and we will need to fit the practice out. Hopefully soon we will have a building to be proud of showing you around.
In these days of social media we decided we would launch our Facebook page before we opened to let everyone know who was going to be filling the space between the Lord Nelson and the barber on Emscote Road. Embracing this allows us to keep you updated on our progress and keep in touch with you. It can also mean a good excuse to share a cute photo. When doesn’t a sweet puppy raise an smile? As we move on it also gives us an easy way to update you on on any disease outbreaks locally that can then be shared. For instance last year we had several local pet rabbits that sadly had to be euthanased due to myxomatosis. Facebook is an ideal platform to raise awareness, and for explaining that all rabbits can be at risk as it is spread by biting insects, and that they can be vaccinated against this horrible disease. It has also been useful sometimes to help reunite pets with their owners, though we would recommend microchipping as preferable!
We are new to tweeting but again we felt it was something we needed to explore to find its uses. This is a journey for us too. We have found there are many groups on there supporting the local community and the Warwick Rocks campaign. At present we are just finding our feet, but hopefully this will be a fun way to help us keep you up to date too, or give you a smile for the day.