Archive for December, 2017

Pet of the month – January – Max

by admin on December 6th, 2017

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Pet of the month for January is Max, who often accompanies his owner on long runs over the Downs. Last month unbeknown to his owner Max sustained an injury at the base of his tongue, which was not witnessed. Neither was there any evidence of blood or oral discomfort.

Understandably Max went off his food and became listless. A swelling became palpable below his jaw and on examination, bruising was discovered under the tongue. The injury became septic and was flushed under anesthetic. Max is now doing very well and has finished all his antibiotics.

Although we cannot be sure how Max sustained this injury, a number of dogs love to carry a stick and some will actively find their own stick when exercising off the lead on a walk. The majority of the time, this is harmless fun but sometimes part of a stick can go further into the mouth than planned! Stick injuries in dogs can be serious.

Occasionally, a section of twig can get lodged across the hard palate (this is the roof of the mouth), between the upper molar teeth.  If a dog has run at speed to pick up a stick then he/she may in effect ‘run onto the stick’, and there is potential for sections of stick or twig to penetrate deeper into the mouth, neck or throat.

Although not applicable in Max’ situation, a good tactic to try and avoid your pets chasing and carrying sticks is to provide other toys for them to play with whilst on their walks, and definitely, as pet owners, we should avoid the temptation to actually throw a stick for our dogs!


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Special Offer – January – Dental Offer

by admin on December 6th, 2017

Category: Special Offers, Tags:

Dental Offer

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Cystitis in Cats

by admin on December 6th, 2017

Category: News, Tags:

What is special about cystitis in cats?
Unlike dogs and people, cystitis in cats is frequently caused by stress rather than by an infection.

Whilst cystitis in female cats is painful and upsetting, it can actually turn into a life-threatening condition in tom cats if the urethra (the way out of the bladder) is blocked up by swelling, blood clots or crystals. Those cats are absolutely unable to pass urine, which leads to the bladder overfilling.  This in turn causes back-pressure which can ultimately lead to kidney failure and collapse. Any male cat that seems unable to pass urine should be seen by a veterinary surgeon immediately.

Why do cats get cystitis?
There are a number of possible causes of cystitis, but the majority of young cats which develop  cystitis do so as a result of stress. Sometimes an obvious reason for the underlying stress can be identified, such as the house being decorated or another cat or a dog moving in, but often it is difficult to recognise the actual cause of the stress. Once cats have developed this type of cystitis, they are very prone to having further bouts of it in the future and in some cases management of some variety is necessary to prevent further episodes.

A smaller proportion of cats, especially elderly individuals or those with chronic problems, such as kidney disease, develop cystitis due to infection, generally by bacteria.
There are several other reasons why cystitis may develop, and these include bladder stones, tumours or toxic cystitis. Such cases are uncommon, however.

What are the clinical signs of cystitis?
All types of cystitis have similar clinical signs, not all of which are necessarily observed in every case:

  • Frequent visits to the litter tray
  • Passing very small amounts of urine on the litter tray or even being unable to pass anything at all
  • Accidents in the house or urination in inappropriate places
  • Bloody urine
  • Painful urination – some cats cry when urinating
  • Some cats are restless or seem off colour

How is the disease diagnosed?
The clinical signs are very often already suggestive of cystitis. To rule out other causes and to identify which type of cystitis is affecting your cat, a general physical examination and also further tests, such as a urine analysis, are usually necessary. In some cases blood tests, radiographs/ultrasound examination or other tests may be required, too.

A male cat that is unable to urinate due to complete blockage of the bladder needs to be treated as an emergency.

How is cystitis in cats treated?
If stress-related cystitis is diagnosed, the treatment usually consists of pain relief, relaxation of the cramped bladder muscle and glucosamines, which seemed to soothe the sore inside layer of the bladder. We also strongly advise that cats which are prone to cystitis are fed only on wet food. This is an exception to the general rule, as we usually recommend feeding cats and dogs on dry food. However, we know that the overall water intake for the patient is better when wet food is given, and a slightly more dilute urine can help to prevent further episodes of cystitis. If possible, small amounts of water can be added to the wet food or the cat may be encouraged to drink by flavouring the drinking water with small amounts of something tasty e.g. salt-free chicken broth or tuna. Anything that increases the water intake in such cats is beneficial.

Male cats that are unable to pass urine often need much more intensive treatment. Usually such patients need an emergency general anaesthetic to allow us to unblock the bladder and achieve urine flow. In some cases, especially if the problem has been overlooked for a little while, intensive care may be necessary for several days and unfortunately not all cats with this condition manage to pull through.  The earlier the condition is treated, the better.

My cat has cystitis – what is the outlook?
While some cats only ever have one episode of cystitis in their life, once a cat has developed stress-related cystitis he or she is prone to develop further episodes when stressed. It is advisable always to feed such cats on wet food and encourage drinking as much as possible. It is also important to monitor such cats closely – this applies especially to tom cats as they are prone to becoming blocked.  In some cases ongoing management or medication is required.

Can dogs get this type of cystitis?
Dogs do not get the stress-related type of cystitis which we see in cats. They certainly can develop cystitis, but it is usually due to an infection or other underlying cause.  The signs of cystitis in dogs are similar to those in cats (see above), and if you become aware of such symptoms, you should seek veterinary advice at an early stage.


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Special Offer – December – Arthritis Awareness Month

by admin on December 2nd, 2017

Category: Special Offers, Tags:

Arthritis Awareness

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Pet of the month – December – Zebedee

by admin on December 2nd, 2017

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Pet of the month for December is Zebedee, who was brought in to us a few weeks ago as an emergency following a car accident.

Zebedee’s jaw was fractured along the line of the mandibular symphysis. This is a fibrocartilaginous joint that is the most common site of mandibular fractures in feline patients and always needs to be repaired. The repair was relatively uncomplicated but the swelling and trauma to his jaw meant that Zebedee would not be able to eat or drink normally for several weeks. To enable him to receive adequate nourishment an oesophageal feeding tube was placed and he was tube fed until he was able to eat and drink again normally.

To further his woes Zebedee was not microchipped and an owner did not come forward, so we decided to take him on as a practice cat and are delighted that he has just this week been found a good home.


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by admin on December 2nd, 2017

Category: News, Tags:

What is a zoonosis?
A zoonosis is a disease which can be passed between animals and humans.

The following information sheet is designed to give an overview of some common or important diseases which can be passed from cats and dogs to humans, however, the list is not exhaustive.  Conditions which can be passed to humans from other domestic or exotic species are not included.  In general, these diseases are of most significance to immuno-compromised people.

What does immuno-compromised mean?
People who are immuno-compromised have immune systems which may not work very well.  This group would include the very old and very young, people recovering from severe illness or surgery, people with AIDS/HIV and people on chemotherapy drugs.

What skin diseases can be caught from cats and dogs?
Humans can be bitten by cat and dog fleas. The bites are seen as small, red, itchy lumps very often on the lower legs/ankles. It is important to keep cats and dogs regularly treated for fleas using a veterinary prescribed flea treatment. If humans are being bitten it is likely that the environment is infested, so the whole home should be treated as well. Make sure you follow any care and safety instructions when you spray your home.

Ringworm (dermatophytosis) is not a worm at all but a fungal infection of the skin. Many species of animals can carry this infection. It is often seen as patches of hair loss and scaling of the skin on cats and occasionally dogs. When humans pick up ringworm they develop red and often circular patches on their skin. This condition is treatable for both humans and pets.

Humans can also become irritated by mites that they acquire from their pets e.g. ‘fox mange’ (Sarcoptes scabei) and ‘walking dandruff’ (Cheyletiella). Infections in humans are usually self-limiting but it is advisable to visit the doctor. Cats and dogs can be treated under veterinary care after diagnosis in their owners.

Can worms affect humans?
We strongly recommend that pet cats and dogs are regularly wormed. Cat worms are currently not thought to cause problems for human health but we are not certain about this. Toxocara canis is a common round worm of dogs. If children are infected by this worm, the larva can occasionally ‘get lost’ on migration within the body and cause damage to the eyes, brain and elsewhere. Monthly worming of dogs with a good quality round wormer will prevent dogs becoming infected and spreading the worm.

Echinococcus granulosus is a dog tapeworm which also causes problems when larva ‘get lost’ on migration in the body, but this worm is thankfully only found in limited habitats (certain areas of Wales and the Hebrides). Hookworms (Ancyclostoma) which are passed occasionally in dog faeces can cause skin irritation when people have close contact with contaminated soil. Fortunately the condition is easily treated.

My pet has a tummy up-set can I catch anything from it?
Hand washing and basic hygiene should always be used when clearing up after a pet, especially when they have vomiting or diarrhoea. Giardia, Campylobacter, Salmonella and E. coli are just some of the infections which may be passed on to humans. If these bugs are suspected we will test for them but sometimes infections are not obvious, so care should always be taken in clearing up pets’ faeces.

I am pregnant, are there any specific zoonoses I should be concerned about?
Toxoplasmosis is of particular concern for pregnant women. This is a common single-cell parasite which only causes mild flu-like symptoms in most affected people – however, it can be critical to the health of both mother and fetus if a pregnant woman is infected. Many species of animal can be affected by toxoplasmosis, but only cats, the primary host, can spread the disease. When the spores pass out of the cat in its feces they are inactive. It takes about 24 hours of contact with air for the spores to become active or infective. This means that direct handling of an animal is not a great hazard, but pregnant women should not handle cat faeces or the litter tray. The greatest risk factors for Toxoplasmosis are gardening (i.e. handling soil), unwashed fruit and vegetables as well as undercooked meat. However, it is always recommended that pregnant women are especially careful to wash their hands after touching animals and before handling food. If you have any concerns about zoonoses during pregnancy you should discuss these with your midwife or doctor.

Can I catch Weil’s disease from my dog?
Weil’s disease is the severe human form of leptospirosis. This is an uncommon disease in humans and it is very rare for it to be passed by pet dogs. However, if a dog is affected its urine can be infective to humans. Both dogs and humans most commonly catch leptospirosis from stagnant or slow-moving water (specifically that which has been contaminated with rat urine). The disease causes sudden kidney and liver failure. We strongly recommend that dogs are vaccinated against leptospirosis annually. Care should be taken when handling dogs’ urine and, if leptospirosis is suspected, handlers should wash their hands and ideally wear gloves.

What should I do if I am scratched or bitten?
Cat and dog bites can be very serious. Wash all bites liberally under running water and always seek medical advice from your doctor as antibiotics are often required. There may also be legal implications if a dog has bitten a person – please see the UK Government website.

Cat scratches can also be nasty. All scratches should be thoroughly washed. Any scratch which becomes inflamed or painful should prompt a visit to a doctor. There is a bacterium which some cats have in their saliva and on their claws called Bartonella henselae which causes ‘cat scratch disease’ in humans – symptoms include swelling at the site of infection, fever, and swollen glands. Treatment may be required, especially in immuno-compromised patients.

If you have any queries concerns about your dog or cat and Zoonoses, please do not hesitate to contact us.


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