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New additions strengthen veterinary team.

Over the course of the year, we have sought to expand our team of veterinary surgeons. No, we don’t mean feeding them more chocolate, but increasing the quantity, and experience.

Joe Barrington has been with us in a part-time capacity for a year now, but became full time at the beginning of summer. Throughout university and since graduating he has had a strong interest in diagnostic imaging and dog behaviour. He is currently studying ultrasonography. Joe is shown below performing surgery on a horse in a previous practice.

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Tiago Bispo started earlier in the year, initially to cover Anja’s maternity leave. Tiago’s area of interest is cardiology. He consults mostly at Stoke Road, but sadly will be leaving us to start an internship at a referral centre later this year.  It is a fantastic opportunity for him and we wish him well.

Carl Jarrett qualified in 1997 at Pretoria University in South Africa. After qualifying, he returned to the UK to work in small animal practice. Carl has a strong interest in both soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery and worked in Australia for 7 years, learning and becoming proficient at advanced orthopaedic procedures. Here is Carl with some of his own pets on his smallholding.

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Having high calibre staff is important to us, enabling us to provide the very best care possible for you and your pets. They regularly partake in continuing professional development as required by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and have regular team meetings within the practice to keep abreast of changes in practice policy.

However, as important as it is that our vets and nurses are highly qualified, equally, if not more important, is that they are caring and compassionate. We really feel that they look after their patients as if they are their own.

 
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Important news about Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease

As you know we currently recommend vaccination for rabbits against Myxomatosis and VHD-1 (viral haemorrhagic disease). There has been a lot of concern in the rabbit press about a new strain of VHD (VHD-2) which the current vaccination does not protect against and causes sudden death in rabbits. There is a vaccine available for commercial rabbits on the continent and we are able to import a small supply for our pets but it does not have a UK licence. It can be given from 6 weeks of age but should not be given at the same time as the routine vaccines. It needs to be repeated every 6 months to maintain protection. As the vaccine comes in a multidose vial which has to be discarded 2 hours after opening we are hoping to group appointments together for those rabbit clients who wish their pets to have this vaccine so as to minimise waste and vaccinate as many rabbits as possible for a reasonable price. The cost of the vaccine is £25 (including VAT) If you are interested in having this vaccine please contact us on 01908 397777 so we can add you to our list. Once we receive our stock we will contact you to book into one of our sessions and arrange payment. It is very important only to book a slot when you are definitely available as otherwise your dose will have to be discarded. Please remember that VHD-2 is not yet common in the UK, and so the risk to your rabbit remains minimal. Myxomatosis still remains the biggest risk to pet rabbits in the UK.  Please ensure your rabbits have been vaccinated against Myxomatosis disease in the past 12 months. Further, and regularly updated information can be found on the Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund website blog here: http://rabbitwelfare.blogspot.co.uk/

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Blue-green algae

Following water safety checks at Caldecotte Lakes (North and South) on 19th July 2016, 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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Dietary Dilemmas- let us help you fix them!

“What is the best food for my pet?” is one of the most commonly asked questions we are asked. There are so many opinions and so much choice, how do we chose? The breeder recommends one thing, the trainer recommends something else, your friends pet has another food altogether.   Well, let’s start with the basics. The phrase “you are what you eat” is applicable to our pets as well as ourselves. Good quality nutrition begins at birth. Of course, it is usual for puppies and kittens to be fed with mum’s milk, the most natural and balanced nutrition available. But after weaning, it is up to us to provide the best we can to ensure healthy growth and development, and a diet specifically made for youngsters fills the requirements for them as they grow. These usually cover the period from weaning to approx. 1 year old. spRelaunchIMCPageImg35 As they approach the one year old mark, the dietary requirements change. They no longer need the energy dense food to grow, but instead we should be trying to ensure good long-term preventative health. Adult food should be less calorific with appropriate levels of protein and fat to maintain an ideal weight.  This is particularly important for dogs, for whom excess weight can cause mobility issues. A good quality dog food will provide the building blocks of healthy joints – glucosamine & chondroitin. Cat food should help maintain a healthy urinary tract through controlled levels of minerals and pH, in addition to having safe levels of sodium and phosphorus to support healthy vital organ function, particularly the kidneys. vetessentials_redesign_stage_selector_cat And as our babies move into their golden years, good nutrition is as important as ever, but the requirements change again.  Mature adult dogs need just the right balance of nutrition to keep healthy. Staying active and fit – and young at heart! – requires healthy bones and organs, strong immunity, healthy teeth, and more. Feeling great means feeling younger and avoiding conditions which can lead to disease. Additionally, some older cats don’t need as many calories to maintain their ideal weight, so they run the risk of gaining weight more easily. Over time, excess weight makes them prone to other related health conditions, making it imperative to keep cats fit and slim after neutering. Other cats may lose weight due to underlying medial conditions, for which a specialised diet may be more appropriate.  Easy to digest food with the right fibre blend keeps cats’ digestive systems running smoothly, and high antioxidant levels help bolster natural defences for a long, healthy life. 13599857_1210936398938118_6646775325547855093_n This Friday, 15th July, we have invited Nikki Morgan RVN, Nutritional Advisor and territory manager for Hills Pet Nutrition to stay with us for the day at Walnut Tree to meet with anyone who would like to discuss their pet’s nutritional needs. It will be an informal day, from 9.30 to 4.30, no appointment required. Please feel free to bring your dog or cat along to be weighed and to show you how to check their Body Condition Score, an important way of monitoring obesity or weight loss. Further information can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1125803034109689/ And here: http://www.hillspet.co.uk/en-gb/vetessentials/index.html
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Fun at the Big Doggie Do

On Saturday 28th May, some of the Milton Keynes Veterinary Group team had a great day out at the Parks Trust’s “Big Doggie Do” event at Willen Lake.

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This year it was our priority to spread the microchip message, and we diligently “checked the chip” on over 100 dogs.

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The doggie inspired event hosted a variety of fun activities including a variety of stalls, displays, competitions and entertainment. Highlights includes dog dancing displays, obedience demonstrations, and a dog show.

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As you can see, a great day was had by all, and we look forward to sponsoring the dog show again next year.

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Photographs used with thanks to Kelly Cooper Photography.
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