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Cat Vaccinations – what does it protect against?

Your cat’s annual vaccination protects your cat against the following diseases:

  • Feline Panleucopenia
    • This disease is caused by parvovirus and is highly contagious. It can be spread easily from cat to cat and excreted in faeces and bodily fluids.
    • Symptoms can include gastrointestinal signs, fever, loss of appetite, depression and anaemia.
  • ‘Cat Flu’
    • Feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus are the two main causes of ‘cat flu’. It spreads through air droplets of infected cats sneezing or via nasal and eye discharge. It can also be spread through direct contact with an infected cat or via a person’s clothing.
    • Symptoms will include fever, lack of appetite, lethargy, discharge from eyes and nose, sneezing and mouth ulcers.
  • Feline leukaemia virus
    • This virus is found worldwide and is spread through mutual grooming and bite wounds as it is contained in body fluids.
    • Symptoms can include fever, lethargy, poor coat condition, weight loss, anaemia and gastrointestinal signs.
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Thinking of taking your pet abroad?

The Pet Travel Scheme allows you to take your pet on holiday with you to both EU and non-EU countries without the need for a stay in quarantine.

The aim of the Pet Travel Scheme is the prevent spread of Rabies Virus and Echinococcus Tapeworm and maintain the UK as a rabies-free country.
This scheme is overseen by The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and more information can be found at www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/overview.
Different rules apply to different countries and therefore it is important to check the rules before travelling.
These rules do not apply for travel between the UK and the Channel Islands or the Isle of Mann.
The common diseases your pet could be exposed to whilst abroad can include:
  • Enrlichiosis – a type of bacteria which targets the blood and is transmitted by ticks
  • Hepatozoonosis – a microscopic parasite which targets various internal organs in the body
  • Heartworm – a larval worm which develops and lives in the heart and lungs
  • Babesiosis – a microscopic parasite which targets red blood cells and is transmitted by ticks
  • Leishmaniasis – a microscopic parasite which targets multiple organs of the body including the skin and is transmitted by flies
  • Tapeworm – a microscopic parasite picked up within the environment that is transmissible to humans, if contracted your pet is unlikely to show any symptoms
  • Rabies – a virus which targets the nervous system. It can be potentially fatal and can be transmitted to humans. It is transmitted between animals and therefore is compulsory to have your pet vaccinated when travelling
Requirements to take your pet abroad
  • Your pet must be microchipped
  • Your pet must be vaccinated against rabies by one of our veterinary surgeons. Your pet must be at least 12 weeks of age and the vaccination must be repeated every 3 years
  • Your pet will received an EU Pet Passport. Any veterinarian can administer the rabies vaccination and place the microchip but only an LVI (Local Veterinary Inspector) can complete the passport. MK Vet Group LVIs are Philip Hanlon, Philip Kilkenny, Debbie Kilkenny, Steve Bonthorne, Sonia Moulton, Doug Brain and Marina Crockford
  • Your pet will be able to travel 21 days after administration of the rabies vaccination
  • You must take your Pet Passport with you whilst abroad
  • Dogs must be seen by a LVI in the country you are visiting 24-150 hours before returning to the UK. Your pet will be administered tapeworm treatment and your passport signed at this appointment
  • You must travel using an approved transport company and via an approved route, details are available on the Defra website
If your pet is traveling to a listed country, you will follow the same process as listed above but may also need to complete a declaration form to prove you do not intend to sell or re-home your pet.
If you are travelling to a non-listed country, your pet will need to follow the same process as listed above with the addition of a blood test 30 days following the rabies vaccination and completion of a declaration form to prove you do not intend to sell or rehome.

For further information please visit www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad, or contact the surgery and we will be happy to help.

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Pesky Parasites

The NO BITE IS RIGHT is a national campaign run by Bayer Animal Health to inform owners of the risks fleas and ticks can cause your pet as well as yourself and family.

   

Did you know a female FLEA can lay around 2000 eggs in her lifetime?

What are FLEAS?
This parasite is a small, wingless insects, just a few millimetres long with hind legs modified for jumping. The majority of the flea life cycle will occur off the animal, but can easily occur in the home. The fleas lay their eggs on the animal, which then fall off into the environment (e.g. onto bedding or carpets). Only 5% of the flea population is actually on the animal, the remaining 95% is in the environment in form of eggs, larvae and pupae.
 How is your pet affected?
Fleas will bite cats, dogs, rabbits and even humans. You may notice your pet is scratching, licking or biting a lot, has unusual red patches of skin, signs of hair loss or flea dirt. Flea dirt looks like tiny black dots and can be identified by a simple quick test:
  • Take a piece of paper towel and dampen
  • Rub gently on your pets fur where you suspect there is flea dirt
  • If the black dots change to a reddish-brown colour – FLEAS ARE PRESENT!
Some animals may suffer from flea allergic dermatitis (FAD), which is irritation of the skin directly related to the presence of fleas, and a strict flea prevention routine should be followed to alleviate the symptoms.
How to help your pet?
Treat your pet with a prescription flea product as directed by the manufacturer or your veterinary surgeon. These can be in a variety of forms, such as spot-ons, collars or tablets. The most common application is a spot-on treatment given on a monthly basis. Speak to our staff about our Pet Health Care plans to make sure your pet gets the best prevention at the most affordable prices. With a heavy infestation of fleas, don’t forget to treat the environment as well. Remember those fleas can live in bedding, sofas, beds, carpets, car, etc. so it’s just as important to treat the home as it is the pet!
   

A UK survey reported that 23% of dogs had TICKS without the owner’s knowledge

What are TICKS?
Ticks are commonly found in long grass, and attach themselves to your pet as they brush passed. They are eight legged and are composed of two body sections. Their highly developed mouthparts allow them to pierce a pet’s skin and feed on the animal’s blood, sometimes causing reactions at the site of attachment. Severe infestations can lead to anaemia in young animals. Ticks are associated with Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis.
How to help your pet?
Prevent Ticks by using a prescription tick product as directed by the manufacturer or your veterinary surgeon. Products can be in a variety of forms such as collars, tablets or spot on treatments. If you have any questions about these parasites or prevention, our staff would be happy to help.
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Lungworm Awareness Month

Are your pet’s protected?

March brings us Lungworm Awareness Month – are you aware?

What is Lungworm?
Lungworm otherwise known as Angiostrongylus Vasorum in dogs, and Aelurpstrongylus Abstrusus in cats. This parasite resides in the heart and pulmonary arteries and can therefore be fatal. There has been an increase in recorded canine Lungworm cases, but it is still less common than other dog parasites such as fleas, ticks and worms that inhabit the gut. Feline lungworm cases are currently rare, but more cases are confirmed each year.
How can your pet get lungworm?
Dogs become infected by this parasite through the ingestion of infected slugs and snails. You may not necessary see your pet ingest any slugs or snails, as they may do it accidently when eating grass or drinking from outdoor water bowls. Cats who hunt birds and rodents will be at a higher risk of ingesting this parasite.
How will your pet be affected?
Canine symptoms can vary between cases, the most common signs are: coughing, lethargy, weight loss, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, excess bleeding from minor wounds and seizures. Felines may never show signs that they are affected by Lungworm, however if symptoms do occur they can include coughing, difficulty breathing and poor body condition.
How can it be diagnosed?
Lungworm can be diagnosed by:
  • Blood test
  • Faecal test
  • X-ray
  • Bronchoscopy
What’s the treatment?
Treatment is available for Lungworm cases in the form of a monthly prescription spot on treatment, which kills the L4 Lungworm larvae as well as other intestinal worms and fleas. However, in severe cases, this condition may be hard to treat.
PREVENTION IS KEY with this parasite. Here are some tips to help
  • Pick up the poop – Lungworm larvae is passed out in your pets faeces and therefore picking up after our pets prevents spread of the parasites
  • Pick up their toys – Toys that left outdoors will be exposed to slugs and snails, increasing the risk of parasite spread
  • Don’t leave their food and water bowls outside – These will be exposed to slugs and snails increasing risk to your pet
  • Monthly prescription spot on worming treatment will protect your pet against Lungworm and reduce its spread. Not all spot on treatments treat against Lungworm, so please contact us for advice. This treatment is included in our Dog Pet Health Care plans.
If you have any questions, our staff will be willing to help.
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Thiamine Deficiency in Cats

Following a product recall by retailers recently, there has been a lot of talk about Thiamine deficiency on social media and in other press. We appreciate that this can be a worrying time for owners and want to make sure you have access to all the facts to ensure your feline friends are happy and healthy.

What is Thiamine deficiency?

Thiamine is also known as Vitamin B1. This water-soluble vitamin is necessary for normal carbohydrate metabolism in cats, and is present in all high quality, well balanced diets. Thiamine deficiency is, therefore, often closely linked to diet, and can occur as a results of prolonged loss of appetite, or from feeding a diet which has inadequate levels of the vitamin present (commonly due to preservation, storage or production methods). Thiamine deficiency can also be seen in cats fed on raw fish diets.



What are the symptoms?

Early signs of Thiamine deficiency are generally non-specific, and can include anorexia, lethargy, excess salivation or vomiting. Further development can include neurological signs (including incoordination, circling, head tilt or abnormal gait), rapid onset of impaired vision, dilated pupils, vestibular signs, and even tremors or seizure activity.

Diagnosis and treatment for cats

Diagnosis is based mainly on the presence of clinical signs, specific changes in the brain seen on MRI scans, rapid clinical improvement once Thiamine supplementation has been administered, or evidence that cats have been fed a Thiamine deficient diet. Prognosis for cats with suspected deficiency is excellent if the disease is treated early. Treatment of suspected Thiamine deficiency is with administration of injectable Thiamine, followed by transition to oral supplements for one month, alongside changing the diet to a different high quality commercial food.

What to do if you think your cat might have thiamine deficiency

If you have been feeding your cat the recalled diet and your cat is not showing any clinical signs, stop feeding the diet and switch to another good well balanced food. If your cat is showing clinical signs contact your vet immediately as early treatment is key.

It’s our policy not to comment on food recalls, but you can find more information on the RVC website here
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