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Diabetic clinics

Did you know that pets over the age of 8 are more likely to develop diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin altogether. Without insulin, the body is unable to convert sugar into usable energy, leaving the blood sugar level dangerously high. The most common signs of diabetes include drinking more, urinating more, weight loss, increased appetite and lethargy. After diagnosis, the condition can be managed at home with twice daily injections.

So how can we help you?
As a part of the Senior Pet Month we are offering free nurse clinics that include a full urine test. This vital test can help detect signs of many problems, including diabetes, in your senior pet.

What happens if your pet is newly diagnosed with diabetes?
We have weekly Diabetic Clinics that run at the Walnut Tree hospital every Thursday with our Veterinary Nurse Megan. These clinics allow us to keep a close eye on your pet’s condition, and we will stay in regular contact with you over the phone to make sure everything is going well.

Diabetes can be a daunting prospect for owners, but we try and make things as easy as possible, providing help and support throughout your pet’s initial diagnosis and long term treatment. Book in for your free Geriatric Clinic with one of our Veterinary Nurses today!
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Chronic Kidney Disease in cats

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is thought to affect a third of all cats over 10 years of age. As time goes on we have more and more to offer animals diagnosed with this condition, and we hope to give cats with chronic kidney disease a good quality of life for as long as possible. The prognosis for cats diagnosed with chronic kidney disease can be excellent, and some cats will go on to lead happy lives for many months or even several years.

Usually once CKD is diagnosed, we cannot identify the original cause, as it most likely happened earlier in the cat’s life. The kidney is an organ that cannot regenerate (regrow) and so CKD is not a disease that can be cured. The disease will usually progress over time and, unfortunately, in a lot of cases, the end stage is kidney failure. However, with treatment we aim to support the function of the kidneys for as long as possible, and also to minimise any complications.

Most cats diagnosed with CKD will have vague symptoms including weight loss, reduced appetite, drinking more and urinating more and vomiting intermittently. If you notice any of these signs at home do book your cat in for check with a vet as it is likely that we would recommend a blood test and a urine test. Often though these signs are difficult to notice as they come on gradually, and so it can be at a yearly booster or other check up that weight loss or other symptoms are found.

Once CKD has been diagnosed, if your cat is otherwise well and eating well, the vet will discuss the best way to manage the disease. If your cat is unwell when they are first diagnosed, they may initially need more intensive treatment which might involve a stay in hospital.

We will often recommend a change of diet to a prescription diet, and there is evidence to show that this is one of the most important factors in slowing down the progression of CKD. We do know however that a lot of cats will struggle to change their diet, and it is always more important that they are eating well and are happy, so we will always discuss with you whether this is right for your cat.

Monitoring your cat with regular blood and urine tests and blood pressure measurements is very important as it allows us to pick up changes early so that medication can be added if required and any complications picked up. We hope that by picking up CKD as early as possible we can prolong your cat’s good quality life as long as possible.

Our free senior cat checks are a perfect chance to discuss any concerns you may have about any of the symptoms of CKD, or any other worries. Please call us at the cat clinic to book your cat in.
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Meet Lottie – our cat of the month

Lottie is a lovely 15 year old cat who came to see us as her owner noticed she was becoming unsettled at night and wasn’t eating as much as she used to. Her behaviour had changed and she was sleeping in unusual places. Her owner had also noticed that her pupils looked bigger.

The vet examined Lottie and could feel an enlarged thyroid gland in her neck. She also had a high heart rate and had lost some weight, which can be symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland.

Due to Lottie’s age and symptoms, we recommended some blood tests and to check her blood pressure.

Lottie’s blood pressure was very high and had caused damage to her eyes, resulting in her retinas (the back of the eye) in both eyes to start to become detached. This can cause permanent blindness unless it is caught early. Lottie was started on tablets immediately to try to bring her blood pressure down, and she was very lucky that her condition was diagnosed early and she has not suffered permanent damage to her eyes.

Lottie was also diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and the early stages of chronic kidney disease, which we are now successfully managing.

Lottie comes into our Cat Clinics on a regular basis to have her blood pressure measured with the nurse. This is very similar to when we have our own blood pressure checked, and doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort.

Blood pressure can be affected by stress so we recommend that these checks are carried out on our dedicated Cat Clinic days, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays at our Stoke Road surgery. It only takes a few minutes and we encourage owners to stay with their cats whilst this is being done to help them feel more at ease.

High blood pressure is being recognised more commonly now in older cats and, if left untreated, can lead to blindness as well as damage to the heart, kidneys and nervous system. It is important to monitor blood pressure in older cats, and we recommend that cats above 7 years of age come in once a year for a routine blood pressure check. Cats already on treatment for other conditions may be asked to come in more regularly for monitoring.
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Taking Your Pet to the EU After Brexit

Unfortunately we do not know what deal the EU and Britain will come to regarding pet travel from 29th March 2019 following the UK leaving the European Union. However, if you are planning to travel in Spring next year it is wise to consider planning immediately.

  1. Pets travelling into the EU before 29th March 2019 can do so under the current Pet Passport scheme and will be able to return to the UK as before.

  2. It may be that a deal will be reached to enable the current system to continue and you will have no need to do anything more.

  3. HOWEVER, if there is a “no-deal” Brexit, pets will still be able to travel to the EU but with further restrictions:
    1. Pets will require an injection against rabies

    2. Pets will then need to have a blood test to confirm that they have produced antibodies against rabies.
    3. THIS BLOOD TEST MUST BE CARRIED OUT AT LEAST 30 DAYS AFTER THE VACCINATION INJECTION

    4. Pets will NOT be able to travel for at least 3 MONTHS after the BLOOD TEST WAS TAKEN.

    5. This means if you wish to be certain to travel on 30 March 2019 the rabies injection should be given no later than 28 November 2018 to allow time for these additional tests and waiting times.
Details can be found at gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

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Cats get high blood pressure too!

Did you know cats can suffer from high blood pressure, just like humans? There are often no visible signs, but left untreated it can cause blindness and damage the heart or brain.

High blood pressure is more common in older cats, and those with certain medical conditions like kidney disease. We recommend that all cats over seven years old have their blood pressure checked yearly.

Blood pressure is measured in cats using similar methods to that used for humans. It’s a quick and relatively straight forward procedure, you can even stay with your cat whilst it’s done.

To raise awareness of the importance of regular blood pressure checks, Milton Keynes Veterinary Group are offering free blood pressure checks for cats over seven years old at their Stoke Road branch in Bletchley during the month of November.
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