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Heat Stroke – what to look out for!

Signs of heatstroke may vary from different animals, however these are the main symptoms to look out for: –

  • Faster, heavier panting
  • Signs of agitation
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive drooling
  • Increased pulse / heartbeat
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

What to do if you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke?

If your dog is suffering from heat stroke, they need to have their body temperature lowered gradually.
  • Move your pet to a shaded/cool area
  • Provide your pet with fresh, cool water in small quantities
  • Contact your vet immediately for advice
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Summer Dangers

During the warmer weather, we want you and your pets to enjoy it! However here are some things to keep them safe:
  • TICKS
    There are higher numbers of ticks during the summer months, and animals will be outside more often therefore a higher likelihood of picking up a tick along the way. It is a good idea to check your pet for ticks at least once a day. Dogs tend to pick ticks up more often than cats, but we advise to check your cat daily as well. Ticks can transmit a number of diseases, with symptoms that are hard to spot. Our staff would be happy to advise you on a safe and effective product to use against ticks.

  • TOADS
    The Common toad and the Natterjack toad are common within the UK, within the forests and wet areas. Toads are poisonous to pets as they release venom from their skin when licked or eaten. Exposures are normally seen between June and August time of the year. Signs may include: vomiting, frothing or foaming at the mouth, increased salivation, shaking, oral pain and collapse.

  • HOT WEATHER
    If your pet is exercised too much or they are left in a car, conservatory or enclosed space, temperatures can suddenly rise and lead to fatal heat stroke. Animals should not be exercised during the hottest part of the day and never be left in a confined space for any length of time.

  • PAVEMENTS AND ROADS
    Studies have shown pavements and roads can reach temperatures of 52oC on warm days, which is enough to severely burn your dog’s paws. As a test, place the back of your hand on the surface for seven seconds – if this is too hot for you, then it is too hot for your pet!

  • BLUE-GREEN ALGAE
    This is a bacteria which forms on top of ponds and lakes, which gives a blue-green scum appearance to the surface of the water. This bacteria cannot be seen with the naked eye unless it is clumped together. It is most commonly present in non-flowing fresh water such as lakes and ponds. Symptoms of blue-green algae poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, weakness, confusion, drooling and breathing difficulties. Therefore it is best to avoid water that may contain blue-green algae.

  • WATER INTOXICATION
    Water intoxication is fairly uncommon, however it is definite something to be aware of, if your dog spends lots of time swimming or playing in water. Symptoms of water intoxication include:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Lethargy
    • Abdominal distention
    • Ataxia
    • Weakness
    • Coma
    • Seizures
    • Hypothermia
    • Bradycardia
    In a case, where you think your pet is suffering from water intoxication, please contact your vet immediately for advice.

  • FLYSTRIKE
    Our smaller pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs can be more at risk more quickly in the hotter temperatures. Flystrike is where flies lay eggs on the rabbit and the eggs will hatch into maggots. This condition can rapidly take effect within 24 hours and the maggots will eat into the living flesh if no action is taken. To reduce the chance of flystrike, check around their bottoms for fly eggs or maggots. This should be checked at least once a day. There are preventative treatments for Flystrike available – speak to a member of our staff for details.

  • BEE AND WASP STINGS
    The buzzing of a bee or wasp may not be a pleasant sound to us, however it may be intriguing for your pet, causing them to investigate and get stung. If your pet does get stung, please seek veterinary advice and treatment.

  • BARBEQUES
    During the nicer weather, everyone loves a BBQ, your pet included if they get some scraps! However this can be dangerous as some foods can substances toxic to our pets, such as grapes, onions, garlic and raisins. Bones and corncobs are also dangerous to our pets as if swallowed, they could be potential intestinal foreign bodies.

  • SAND
    Whilst digging, playing or repeatedly picking up sandy balls and toys, dogs often ingest sand. Sand can cause a blockage called sand impaction. Try to limit games of fetch on the beach, and make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water.

  • GARDEN PRODUCTS
    Ant powders, baits and gels contain chemicals which are highly toxic to dogs as well as weed killers and slug pellets. Always check the label, if the product states it is toxic to animals, opt for a pet-friendly insecticide/weed killer instead.

  • RAT POISON
    Rodenticide is used to prevent rats but is also toxic to pets, and can cause severe internal bleeding, vomiting, fits and changes in body temperature. Always opt for a pet-friendly product.

  • PLANTS AND FLOWERS
    There are many flowers and plants that are toxic to our pets, such as poppies, clematis, peony, foxglove, geranium, chrysanthemum, oleander and yew. If you are unsure whether your plants are safe, it is best to keep an close eye on your pet when they are in the garden and keep house plants out of reach.

  • GRASS SEEDS
    After walking your dog, it is a good idea to check their feet for any grass seeds. If these are left, they can track under the dog’s skin and causing swelling and lameness. They can also be found down dog’s ears so check around their ears also!

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Itchy issues – Storm’s story

Storm is a beautiful 13 year old tabby cat. Sometime ago, she started getting really itchy! She had lots of investigations to look for different parasites and infections. Storm was developing bald patches, scabs and sores which were becoming uncomfortable for her. Despite the investigations, there was no underlying cause found to determine why she was so itchy.

Storm was referred to our dermatologist (skin specialist), David Godfrey, for intradermal skin testing. This involves injecting small amounts different potential allergens and measuring the reaction to these allergens. It was found that Storm is allergic to dust mites, fleas, grass tree and weed pollens!

Storm was started on injections which contain small amount of allergens she is allergic to in the aim that over time desensitisation will occur. Storm has had a fantastic response to her treatment and is much happier and comfortable, however on some occasions the response to her injections differs.

Storm regularly visits our cat clinic for her monthly injections and is very well behaved!
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Blue-green algae – Ashland Lake

Following water safety checks at Ashland Lake this week (week commencing 23rd July 2018), a potentially toxic bloom of blue-green algae has been reported to the Environment Agency.

As a precautionary measure, notices are being posted at the lake warning that contact with the algal scum should be avoided.

What are blue-green algae?
Blue-green algae naturally occur in inland waters and blooms can form when their numbers become excessive. It is these ‘blooms’ that give the water a blue-green appearance or a ‘pea soup’ like colour. The behaviour of these algae is erratic and the level of its toxicity can fluctuate; it can appear one day, be dispersed by the wind and, mix and re-accumulate at any time.

How can blue-green algae affect you and your animals?
Blue-green algal blooms can produce toxins hazardous to both people and animals. Not all blue-green blooms produce toxins, but it is not possible to tell which are dangerous without testing, and therefore all blooms should be considered potentially toxic. Dogs that enjoy swimming and playing in lakes and ponds may be exposed to blue-green algae.

Symptoms of poisoning include:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Blood in stool or black, tarry stool
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Coma
  • Shock
  • Excessive secretions (e.g., salivation, lacrimation, etc.)
  • Neurologic signs (including muscle tremors, muscle rigidity, paralysis, etc.)
  • Blue discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes
  • Difficulty breathing
Aggressive, immediate treatment is necessary to help treat this quick-acting, potentially fatal poison. If there are any signs of illness in your animal after contact with the water, contact us immediately on 01908 397777.
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Congratulations Caroline!

MK Vet Group would like to congratulate our Cat Clinic nurse Caroline on passing her International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) Diploma in Feline Nursing with a Distinction earlier this year! We are all extremely proud of her and her effort that she has dedicated to the course.

The Feline Nursing course provides nurses with the skills to improve the welfare and understanding of cats in their care.
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