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Archive for August, 2017

Meet loveable Jasper….

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group would like to introduce you to Jasper, the beautiful blind dog. Jasper started life as a Guide Dog, but after losing both his eyes to Glaucoma, he was forced to retire at just six years old. Being blind doesn’t stop Jasper from leading a full and happy life with his owner, Janyce, and they have learnt to cope together, building new skills for Jasper and exploring his new world. Read on for Janyce and Jaspers story in her own words

“Jasper worked for my son’s father, David, so I have known him for years. He had to retire, aged 6, when he lost his right eye to glaucoma. I said yes when David asked if I’d like to give Jasper his retirement home, knowing that there was a possibility Jasper could lose the other eye too, which he did, just six months later. He’s been with me since last September. He’s a lovely dog. Very polite, very friendly and good natured with everyone, and so affectionate. I was very worried he’d lose that when he went blind, and that I wouldn’t be able to cope and I’d have to give him back to Guide Dogs, but it has been fine. We have learned together. The people at Guide Dogs were brilliant, making sure Jasper saw a specialist and got the very best treatment, and that what was done was right for him. Jasper was more confident walking on his car harness, so I bought him a Ruffwear Webmaster harness at the start (a strong harness with a handle). I think that has been a really good investment for him. We had a couple of dodgy weeks at the beginning, when he was very reluctant to move around. Guide Dogs are trained not to move when there might be danger and he lost all his confidence. He became very focused on me, leaning up against me as we walked and almost tripping me up. Gradually he became more confident, walking to the end of a lead and stopping leaning on me as we walked, but he was very hesitant and would come back after a few paces. He’s had to learn a lot of new skills and unlearn the guide dog rules. His guide dog training has helped him to be a confident blind dog as he is so obedient and he listens to me when I give commands. But he also gets overconfident sometimes, and he’s very strong and pulls really hard when he recognises his mates (human and canine!). I’ve met a lot of partially sighted and blind dogs in person and through the Blind Dogs Facebook group, who cope brilliantly. Jasper gets a lot of attention when he’s out, he’s very good at making friends. He has a BLIND DOG collar and leash, people often don’t realise he is completely blind as he manages so well. He’ll say hello to a dog, find their human, sniff out the treat pocket and then sit next to it. He knows how to work his disability, usually smiling at the human until they give in and give him one of their treats. Jasper’s a bright boy and picked some things up very quickly. For example, the word “watch” will stop him in his tracks and he’ll turn around and return to me. He knows his way around the house, and when we are out walking he’s usually off the lead, but he doesn’t go very far from me. But I was concerned Jasper wasn’t getting enough exercise. He was healthy but he’d become quite unfit, now he’s getting more exercise with his ball. Just after Jasper went blind, I met another Lab who was blind from cataracts and who was retrieving a ball on a rope, so I knew it was possible. We tried fetch on and off without any kind of enthusiasm from Jasper, although he’d find his squeaky toys and bring them to me at home. I was quite worried about boredom and that everything was focused on food. Then he started going to scent classes a couple of months ago, at the suggestion of Guide Dogs, and he’s really enjoyed it. The other weekend, I thought we’d have another go at retrieving, and it finally clicked with him. He’s moving quickly and confidently and really enjoying it. I’ve not seen him so enthusiastic about something for quite some time, he’s loving it. He even does a version of the excited doggy dance before I throw it again, and he dances in circles when he’s found it. He’s a Lab with a ball, he’s got a job and purpose again. He’s very pleased with himself and a very happy dog.”
See more videos of Jasper on our YouTube page – Milton Keynes Veterinary Group.

Credit to Janyce Quigley

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Mammary Tumours in Rats

Mammary tumours are incredibly common in rats and most owners are very familiar with encountering these growths on their pets. However, many owners are not aware of the different options that are available for the treatment of mammary tumours in rats.

Why are mammary tumours so common in rats?
Mammary tumours grow in rats due to the presence of a hormone called Prolactin. This hormone is secreted during the normal oestrus cycle of the rat. It can also be secreted by the mammary tumour itself and by tumours of the pituitary gland. Secretion of Prolactin increases as rats age. Factors which affect the development of mammary tumours in rats include the genetic strain of the rat, the diet, the hormonal status and the age of the rat. Mammary tumours may affect up to 90% of intact female rats and 16% of intact males over one year of age. Approximately 80% of mammary tumours in rats are benign but 20% are malignant.
How can mammary tumours be treated?
All mammary tumours should be surgically removed as early as possible. Benign tumours can usually be completely removed at the time of surgery but this is difficult to achieve with malignant tumours. Alongside surgical removal of the tumour, we can now offer some other options to reduce the likelihood of any future mammary tumour growth. These are:
  1. Placing a hormone implant under the skin. The implant prevents the secretion of Prolactin, which means that mammary tumours are unable to develop. This can be placed at the time of surgery. Alternatively, this can be placed in young female rats to prevent development of mammary tissue.
  2. Neutering. Females can be spayed and males castrated. This removes the influence of Prolactin. NB: These methods are not effective if a pituitary tumour is the source of the prolactin. Also, this will not prevent regrowth or spread of malignant mammary tumour.
  3. Medication to reduce the secretion of Prolactin. This will remove the influence of Prolactin on mammary tissue. This can be effective even if a pituitary tumour is present.
  4. Diet and environment. Reducing the calorie content of the diet and environmental enrichment will reduce the likelihood of mammary tumours recurring.
If you would like to discuss any of these treatment options, please contact us at MKVG.
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Did you know it is now compulsory to microchip your dog?

From 6th April 2016, it was made a legal requirement for all dogs in the UK to be microchipped. This requirement aims to improve animal welfare and reduce the number of lost and stray dogs.

It is a requirement for all puppies to have a microchip and information recorded on government compliant database in the breeder’s name by the time the puppy is 8 weeks old.

When the puppy goes to their new owner, the new keeper must transfer the keepership into their name.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP MICROCHIP DETAILS UP TO DATE e.g. when you move house, change your phone number or rehome a pet.
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