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A Big Thank You!

Before Christmas, we were collecting donations for the Coats for Christmas Appeal.

We would like to say a big thank you to all you generous people that donated to the appeal as always we appreciate all your help.

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New Benefits to our Healthy Pet Care Scheme in 2018!

At Milton Keynes Veterinary Group we have designed the Healthy Pet Care Scheme so that you as a pet owner can ensure your pets receive the very best quality preventative treatments, through a simple monthly direct debit. The concept of spreading the annual cost of household bills is a regular and well recognised feature of our daily lives – why should the essential preventative treatments for your pet be any different?

With this in mind, we have some exciting new changes to our Healthy Pet Care plan.

TICK PREVENTION FOR CATS AND DOGS NOW INCLUDED!

At Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, we want to provide your pet with the best possible prevention against diseases and parasites. Over the last few years, there has been an increase in Tick numbers in the UK and diseases associated with them.

From January, our Healthy Pet Care Scheme will now also include protection for your pet against TICKS as well as previous protection against fleas and worms providing all round protection to your pet.





OTHER NEW DISCOUNTS TO OUR HEALTHY PET CARE PLAN!

From January, our plan will now also include for all pets (cats, dogs and rabbits):
  • 15% DISCOUNT off all consultations all year round

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  • 10% DISCOUNT off all dental procedures (excluding traumatic injury and referral)

As well as many more benefits such as microchipping, nail clips with one of our veterinary nurses and discount on food and waiting room items.

Find out more about the Healthy Pet Care Scheme here or call us directly on 01908 397777.
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Great News! – Healthy Pet Care Plans now available for Rabbits

WE NOW PROVIDE A HEALTHY PET CARE PLAN FOR RABBITS!

This plan includes:
  • Your rabbit’s Myxomatosis and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD1) ANNUAL BOOSTER
  • 50% DISCOUNT off Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD2) annual booster
  • 8 MONTHS PARASITE CONTROL during March – October
  • 15% DISCOUNT off all CONSULTATIONS
  • 10% DISCOUNT off DENTAL procedures
As well as many more benefits such as microchipping, nail clips with one of our veterinary nurses and discount on food and waiting room items.

All this for £7.50! (plus a £10.00 joining fee initially)



Click here to find out more or contact one of our team on 01908 397777
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Christmas Dangers

Christmas can be a very chaotic time of year and a more dangerous time for our pets as their usual home surroundings are filled with presents, decorations, trees and much more. We want to make you aware of potential toxins over the Christmas period in order for you to sit back, relax and celebrate this time of year.

CHOCOLATE: In chocolate there is a substance called Theobromine which is poisonous to our pets. It can be found in all types of chocolate – white, milk and dark.
ONIONS: All of the onion family, including leeks, garlics, chives and shallots whether they are cooked, dried or raw can be poisonous to dogs.
CHRISTMAS CAKE & MINCE PIES: Raisins, currents and sultanas, as well as grapes, are common ingredients and can be poisonous. Please take care in order to keep cakes and snacks away from your pet.
BLUE CHEESE: This cheese contains roquefortine C which animals are very sensitive to. Therefore is best to keep out of reach and dispose of any leftovers.
BONES: It is common for small, cooked bones (especially from poultry) to fragment easily into pieces with very sharp edges when chewed.
ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: Xylitol can be found in chewing gums, mints, sweets and liquorice.
ALCOHOL: Most people are aware not to give alcoholic drinks to their pets, however alcohol poisoning in pets can be more common than you think!
MOULD: Growth on food, in rubbish bins and sacks can hold toxins which will quickly attack an animal’s nervous system. Only a small amount of these mycotoxins can cause tremors and seizures.
POINSETTIA, HOLLY, MISTLETOE, IVY, LILLIES: Many flowers, house plants and bulbs that can be poisonous to our pets. We often bring seasonal plants inside the house or receive them as gifts.
CHRISTMAS TREES: If eaten it may cause mild stomach upset however the sharp tips may do more damage internally.
CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS & WRAPPING PAPER: There is a high risk of gastrointestinal obstruction if the decoration is ingested.
SILICA GEL: This may be found in a present in small sachets containing silica gel
CIGARETTES: Nicotine is toxic to animals therefore keep out of reach of pets
In the case, where your pet ingests any of the items above, it is best to contact the vet for advice. If you need to take your pet to the vet, please take any relevant packaging in order treat your pet.
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Firework Phobias – It may be too late but it is never too early

It may seem odd to talk about firework phobias just after the main firework period has passed. However, I know that recent problems you may have experienced with your dogs will be very fresh in your mind, often painfully so. Recent studies show that the majority of dogs will react to fireworks in some way, and often we see this as acceptable. Yet for approximately one in ten dogs, they will develop a true phobia. Equally, many dogs tend to show progressively distressing behaviour towards fireworks year on year. Dogs initially showing mild to moderate fear may progress to severe phobias later in life unless proactive measures are taken as soon as possible. To take action NOW is the key to dealing with this distressing condition.
How scared is my dog of fireworks?
The first step in managing a firework phobia is to identify if it truly exists. Over the years Behavioural Specialists have developed and refined a Sound Sensitivity Questionnaire. This questionnaire is now available free of charge – CLICK HERE. This will help you identify if your dog has a true phobia to fireworks and outline how to manage the level of fear that exists. This will then help prevent your dog’s level of fear increasing over time. Now is an ideal time to take the questionnaire while your memories of what your dog experienced are fresh. By completing the questionnaire repeatedly over time you will also be able to assess if your dog’s behaviour is in fact improving.

Behavioural therapy
A long term goal should be to generally improve our dogs’ reactions to fireworks. One of the proven techniques to achieve this is Sound Desensitisation and Counterconditioning. The tools required for this are now available free of charge on www.dogstrust.org.uk. There are free downloads for the sounds required and very thorough instructions on how to undertake this type of therapy. This technique has strong evidence in helping dogs with firework phobias (and can in fact be extended to other noise phobias such as storms and gunshot noises), but should only be started once all chance of fireworks happening have passed. The complete program should be expected to take from three to six months and needs to be undertaken thoroughly. To undertake the full program takes time and commitment, yet should truly help your dog long-term.

Long term therapies
For some of our dogs a firework phobia may be just the tip of the iceberg. It may be part of a more generalised phobia or anxiety condition. If your dog shows severe responses to firework noises, or perhaps is fearful of every day noises, such as doors slamming or traffic, then it may be sensible to speak to one of our vets to discuss approaches which may help with broader behavioural concerns. These can take several months to be take effect, so again now is the best time to consider these type of treatments.

Coping strategies
Most dogs will be aware of and react to fireworks. Many have developed their own ways of coping with them. Yet for others they have no way of coping with the extreme noises from fireworks. This will often result in our dogs frantically pacing around the house in a very distressed manner, or they may simply try and hide, often unsuccessfully. One proven technique for helping our dogs to cope is the combination of providing a safe den, alongside the use of either an Adaptil collar or plug in. Details on how to provide these, as well as advice on how we should behave, are available on www.adaptil.com. Remember, there is good evidence that these techniques significantly help dogs with firework phobias. Again, we should consider “training” our dogs to feel positive about using a den, and so they should be put in place at least one to two months before the fireworks start, and to positively reward our dogs for using them. The den itself can even be used throughout the year to act as a coping mechanism for other phobias such as thunderstorms.

Short term therapies
For pets where we have not had enough time to undertake the above strategies, then we may need to use medications to help at the time of the fireworks, for example New Year’s Eve. The aim of these should be to reduce anxiety and fear rather than to simply sedate. For some of these medications there is no predictable dose for each individual dog. Therefore, they will need to be tried before the time of the fireworks as a change of dose may be required depending on how your individual dog responds.



In summary, we need to plan ahead with dealing with firework phobias. This is not a problem to be dealt with on the 5th of November! Take action NOW to really make a difference for this truly distressing condition which many of our pets suffer with. Take the first step at home – complete the Sound Sensitivity Questionnaire. It is easy and free of charge. If after this you need any help or guidance, please contact us for an appointment.
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