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Valentine Donor Day for the Pet Blood Bank

As most of you know, people can be blood donors – but did you know that dogs can be blood donors too?
The Pet Blood Bank is a charity that provides a canine blood bank service for all veterinary practices across the UK. Run as a voluntary scheme just like the human blood service, dogs from all over the country give blood at many of their sessions.
We are excited and pleased to announce our Pet Blood Bank donor session on Sunday 14th February at 10am, is fully booked. We want to thank everyone for registering for what we hope is the first of many sessions we will be hosting.

If you are interested in registering for future sessions, your dog needs to be:

  • Fit and healthy
  • Between one and 8 years old
  • Weigh more than 25kg
  • Have a good temperament
  • Have never travelled abroad
  • Vaccinated
  • Not on any medication

Jess McCarthy, veterinary nurse and session co-ordinator said: “My own dog, Westwood, almost needed a blood transfusion in an emergency situation as a young dog, I was so grateful that the vets were able to save his life. And as thanks I am now committed to raising awareness and finding donors for the Pet Blood Bank. In fact once Westwood recovered fully, he became a donor himself!”

All dogs will be weighed and undergo a physical examination by a Pet Blood Bank UK veterinary surgeon each time they donate. Dogs will also be microchipped if they are not already. A small blood sample is obtained to check your pet is healthy, determine their blood type, and to ensure they are not showing any signs of dehydration or anaemia before their donation.

If all is well then 450mls blood is collected. Dogs are gently restrained on their side, and blood is taken from the jugular vein in the neck. The actual donation only takes 5-10 minutes, although you should allow around 40 minutes in total for your appointment. A light dressing will be applied to your dog’s neck after donation and their pulse is checked.

Dogs are then given lots of praise and cuddles, followed by a well-deserved drink and bowl of food, and a doggie bag of treats to take home. You will be asked to sit with your dog for a short period of time prior to them having a final check before they are sent home to take it easy for the rest of the day.

For more information, or if you are interested in registering your pet to become a doggie blood donor, please contact the surgery on 01908 397777 and ask to speak to Jess, or register directly with Pet Blood Bank at www.petbloodbankuk.org


Donor

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Pet Diabetes Month

This month we have been looking at Pet Diabetes in conjunction with My Petonline, an interactive portal hosted by the manufacturers of Caninsulin. During Pet Diabetes Month, practices across the country are working to raise awareness and offer clients a chance to have their pets tested for this increasingly common problem.
Unfortunately, like people, pets can develop diabetes and it is estimated that that as many as 1 in 200 pets suffer from the condition. Once diagnosed, diabetes can be successfully treated and managed, giving your pet a new lease of life. Sadly, if left untreated, it can cause serious clinical signs and even death.
Diabetes occurs because the body stops making or responding to insulin, which is a hormone that controls the amount of sugar in the blood. Being overweight, having an inactive lifestyle and getting older all increase the risk of developing diabetes. Symptoms can include excessive drinking, increased urination, with weight loss. Whilst these symptoms may actually tie in with many illnesses, diabetes can initially be picked up by detecting glucose in the pets’ urine. We recommend the easy to use urine test kits which are being offered at no charge from the practice to test your pets’ urine. If no glucose is detected, the test kits will be available every year to monitor your pets’ levels. If glucose is detected, further blood tests will be taken and a treatment plan will be put in place.

Dog Diabetes

A diagnosis of diabetes does not spell disaster for our pets. With the right care, veterinary medicine and diets, dogs and cats with the disease can live long and happy lives.

How much do you and can you recognise the signs? Take our test HERE

My Pet Online

The test kits will be available until the end of December from all of our branches. If you would like to participate, please feel free to call in to collect a test kit.

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Milton Keynes Veterinary Group is awarded internationally-recognised Cat Friendly Clinic status

We are proud to announce that Milton Keynes Veterinary Group have achieved accreditation as a Cat Friendly Clinic (CFC). The CFC programme has been developed by the International Society of Feline Medicine, the veterinary division of the leading feline charity International Cat Care, and accreditation has been made available in partnership with Purina. It aims to promote well-being and high standards of care for all cats visiting or being hospitalised in a veterinary clinic.

What-is-a-Cat-Friendly-Clinic

Under the programme, we had to prove rigorous adherence to a set of criteria which includes provision of facilities and demonstration of staff activities and attitudes aimed at reducing stress in cats, both as in-patients and out-patients. The criteria includes having separate dog and cat waiting areas, feline-friendly hospitalisation cages, and veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats. Most importantly, staff are trained in approaching and handling cats sensitively and respectfully, and in maintaining high standards of veterinary care, including continuing to update their knowledge of feline medicine as new treatments and information become available.

Caroline Stevens, the clinic’s Cat Advocate, was proud to receive Silver accreditation, “We wanted to make sure that a trip to see our vets was as stress-free an experience as possible for our cat patients and their owners. Cats can get very anxious when taken out of their usual environment, and this can make their owners reluctant to seek veterinary attention when their cat needs it. By undertaking Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation, we’ve committed to delivering high standards of cat care, with compassion and expertise. Our Cat Clinics at Stoke Road have proved hugely popular since we introduced them in October 2013.”

Taking-your-cat-to-the-clinic

The International Society of Feline Medicine launched the Cat Friendly Clinic initiative three years ago, to encourage veterinary practices everywhere to make best efforts to improve the welfare of cats in their care. The programme advises practices on how to make their environment as welcoming to cats as possible, as well as providing support in staff training, handling techniques and cat-specific client care.

cat-friendly

Cat owners can find out more about International Cat Care and the Cat Friendly Clinic initiative at www.catfriendlyclinic.org. Milton Keynes Veterinary Group’s website can be found at www.mkvetgroup.co.uk

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Could your dog be a life saver?

As one of the nurses working at Milton Keynes Veterinary Groups main hospital, I am excited to be working with Pet Blood Bank UK to register the hospital and hold dog blood donor sessions.
Pet Blood Bank UK is a non-profitable charity which provides a national canine blood bank. Just like people, sick dogs sometimes require blood transfusions, with one single donation saving the lives of up to four dogs. My own dog, Westwood (pictured above) was a donor for Pet Blood Bank UK and donated several times. Unfortunately, as he is now receiving immunotherapy injections, he is no longer able to donate. In order to hold sessions at the practice, we must provide Pet Blood Bank UK with a list of 50 possible dog donors. Pet Blood Bank UK will then contact owners directly to arrange appointments. Dogs can donate up to four times a year.

To be a donor, you dog needs to be:
  • Fit and healthy
  • Between 1-8 years of age (extra-large breeds need to be slightly older before they can donate)
  • Weigh more than 25kg
  • Have a good temperament
  • Have never travelled abroad
  • Vaccinated
  • Not on any medications (there are a few exceptions)
There are certain dog breeds that frequently have a Negative blood type and there is a higher demand for these donors. For this reason we are encouraging the breeds below:
  • Airedales
  • American bulldogs
  • Boxers
  • Dobermans
  • English bull terriers
  • Flat coat retrievers
  • German shepherds
  • Greyhounds
  • Lurchers
  • Mastiffs
  • English pointers
  • Weimeraners

The comfort and health of our donors is very important to us and Pet Blood Bank UK. All dogs will be weighed and undergo a physical examination by a Pet Blood Bank UK veterinary surgeon each time they donate. Dogs will also be microchipped if they are not already. A small blood sample is obtained to check your pet is healthy, determine their blood type, and to ensure they are not showing any signs of dehydration or anaemia before their donation.
If all is well then 450mls blood is collected. Dogs are gently restrained on their side, and blood is taken from the jugular vein in the neck. The actual donation only takes 5-10 minutes, although you should allow around 40 minutes in total for your appointment. A light dressing will be applied to your dogs neck after donation and their pulse is checked.
Dogs are then given lots of praise and cuddles, followed by a well-deserved drink and bowl of food, and a doggie bag of treats to take home. You will be asked to sit with your dog for a short period of time prior to them having a final check before they are sent home to take it easy for the rest of the day.

For more information, or if you are interested in registering your pet becoming a blood donor, please contact the surgery on 01908 397777 and ask to speak to Jess.


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The Hog Blog

Hedgehogs are found throughout Great Britain and most of Europe. Unfortunately, recent surveys carried out by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and The Peoples Trust for Endangered Species indicate that hedgehog numbers in both urban and rural areas are falling every year. This has led to hedgehogs being declared a priority conservation species in 2007.

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