Archive for November, 2012

Vaccination Amnesty – 20% discount this November

by on November 5th, 2012

Category: Special Offers, Tags:

Vaccination Amnesty - 20% discount this November

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Pet of the Month – November

by on November 5th, 2012

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

PoppyAlthough poor Poppy has really been through the mill, she has remained a gentle and perfect patient throughout. Poppy’s troubles started some months ago when she began to vomit each morning before eating. Response to treatment was poor so tests were carried out. Blood tests, radiographs and ultrasonography indicated pancreatitis however Poppy did not respond well to medication and her symptoms persisted. This necessitated endoscopy and biopsy of her stomach and intestines. The results showed Poppy to be suffering from an unusual form of inflammatory bowel disease as well as probable chronic pancreatitis. She was treated with a different medication to reduce acid production in her stomach and put on a special diet that would be suitable for dogs with inflammatory and allergic bowel disorders. She also has to wear an appropriate type of muzzle when exercising to stop her eating any interesting morsels she might come across. All is going very well and we are delighted to report Poppy is back to being the bouncy labrador we knew of old.

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Should we vaccinate?

by on November 5th, 2012

Category: News, Tags:

Should we vaccinate?Vaccination has been one of the great success stories of veterinary medicine, and has saved countless thousands of animals. But these days – thanks, largely, to vaccination – infectious disease is much less obvious; and of course in the UK, the MMR debate seems to have damaged the reputation of vaccines in general.

More recently, there’s been discussion in the media about pet booster vaccinations. Are they really essential to your pets health? Or are they just a way for your vet to make money? It’s worth remembering that many of the pet diseases we vaccinate against are killers. Whereas a child with mumps will almost certainly get better, an unvaccinated dog that contracts parvovirus can easily die. Only vaccination can prevent these diseases in animals exposed to infection. Even those who question the need for annual boosters are strongly supportive of vaccination overall.

Does a single vaccination protect my pet for life?

Each pet responds differently. Legally, the manufacturer’s authorisation to sell the vaccine and the recommendations for its use are based on the minimum period of protection for any animal vaccinated with the product in question. Major studies have already been carried out to determine whether this minimum period can be extended. As a result, some vaccines are now licensed to protect pets for up to three years against some diseases. However, it is vital to realise that for some diseases, protection is much shorter. Especially for leptospirosis in dogs – no vaccine will protect your pet for more than a year. This is real data, rather than the result of the licensing authorities taking time to catch up: studies have shown that even with one of the best leptospirosis vaccines, protection starts to decline after about 12 months.

Are annual boosters really necessary?

These days the vet’s primary objective is to use the minimum number of vaccine components while at the same time maintaining the optimum protection for your pet. Some vaccines for dogs are now licensed to provide three years protection against parvovirus, hepatitis and distemper, so each year, on your annual visit, your vet will administer only those vaccines needed to maintain protection.

Do vaccinations cause more illness than they prevent?

As with any medicinal product, whether for human or animal use, an adverse reaction is possible. But serious adverse reactions are exceptionally rare. Pet vaccines are tested thoroughly for both safety and efficacy.

Claims by an anti-vaccine group, that vaccination causes high level of illness, were recently investigated in an independent epidemiological study conducted by the renowned Animal Health Trust involving almost 4,000 dogs. There was no evidence to suggest that dogs suffered any increased level of illness after vaccination. No pet owner is under any legal or other obligation to vaccinate their animals – it’s something we recommend simply because it protects your pet from serious illness.

Disease Prevalence in Dogs:

  • Parvovirus – There are still widespread pockets of this severe, often-fatal disease.
  • Distemper – There are currently no significant outbreaks of this severe potentially fatal disease.
  • Infectious Canine Hepatitis – This severe potentially fatal disease is fairly uncommon in the UK.
  • Leptospirosis – Exposure to infection is relatively common. One form is carried in rat urine. Can be fatal in dogs, but may also be transmitted to humans, where it can cause a very serious infection called Weil’s Disease.
  • Kennel Cough – Remains widespread in dogs, particularly those exposed to high risk environments such as boarding kennels and shows. Extremely unpleasant but rarely life threatening.

Disease Prevalence in Cats:

  • Viral Cat Flu – This extremely unpleasant and highly infectious disease is widespread. Possibly fatal in young kittens, many infected cats will become carriers.
  • Bacterial Cat Flu – Again widespread, this highly infectious disease can be fatal in young kittens, and can be transmitted from dogs to cats and vice versa.
  • Feline Leukaemia – A widespread severe disease that is potentially fatal.
  • Feline Panleucopenia – This severe potentially fatal disease is uncommon in the UK at present.
  • Rabies – Thankfully absent from the UK this severe disease is always fatal. Vaccination is required only for travel abroad. Please contact the surgery for details of the new simplified Pet Travel Scheme requirements as from Jan-12.

Can I use homeopathic vaccines instead?

There is no legal requirement for homeopathic vaccines (or nosodes, as they’re sometimes called) to perform efficacy or safety trials to satisfy the licensing authorities. In fact, where serious attempts have been made to prove efficacy – for example in a parvovirus challenge experiment – nosodes failed to prevent either illness or death.
We have no wish to disparage homeopathy in general and are advocates of complementary therapies; but there is certainly no evidence to suggest that homeopathic vaccines are powerful enough to protect against infectious diseases.

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