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Posts Tagged ‘Cat’

Diabetic clinics

Did you know that pets over the age of 8 are more likely to develop diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas stops producing insulin altogether. Without insulin, the body is unable to convert sugar into usable energy, leaving the blood sugar level dangerously high. The most common signs of diabetes include drinking more, urinating more, weight loss, increased appetite and lethargy. After diagnosis, the condition can be managed at home with twice daily injections.

So how can we help you?
As a part of the Senior Pet Month we are offering free nurse clinics that include a full urine test. This vital test can help detect signs of many problems, including diabetes, in your senior pet.

What happens if your pet is newly diagnosed with diabetes?
We have weekly Diabetic Clinics that run at the Walnut Tree hospital every Thursday with our Veterinary Nurse Megan. These clinics allow us to keep a close eye on your pet’s condition, and we will stay in regular contact with you over the phone to make sure everything is going well.

Diabetes can be a daunting prospect for owners, but we try and make things as easy as possible, providing help and support throughout your pet’s initial diagnosis and long term treatment. Book in for your free Geriatric Clinic with one of our Veterinary Nurses today!
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Meet Lottie – our cat of the month

Lottie is a lovely 15 year old cat who came to see us as her owner noticed she was becoming unsettled at night and wasn’t eating as much as she used to. Her behaviour had changed and she was sleeping in unusual places. Her owner had also noticed that her pupils looked bigger.

The vet examined Lottie and could feel an enlarged thyroid gland in her neck. She also had a high heart rate and had lost some weight, which can be symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland.

Due to Lottie’s age and symptoms, we recommended some blood tests and to check her blood pressure.

Lottie’s blood pressure was very high and had caused damage to her eyes, resulting in her retinas (the back of the eye) in both eyes to start to become detached. This can cause permanent blindness unless it is caught early. Lottie was started on tablets immediately to try to bring her blood pressure down, and she was very lucky that her condition was diagnosed early and she has not suffered permanent damage to her eyes.

Lottie was also diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and the early stages of chronic kidney disease, which we are now successfully managing.

Lottie comes into our Cat Clinics on a regular basis to have her blood pressure measured with the nurse. This is very similar to when we have our own blood pressure checked, and doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort.

Blood pressure can be affected by stress so we recommend that these checks are carried out on our dedicated Cat Clinic days, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays at our Stoke Road surgery. It only takes a few minutes and we encourage owners to stay with their cats whilst this is being done to help them feel more at ease.

High blood pressure is being recognised more commonly now in older cats and, if left untreated, can lead to blindness as well as damage to the heart, kidneys and nervous system. It is important to monitor blood pressure in older cats, and we recommend that cats above 7 years of age come in once a year for a routine blood pressure check. Cats already on treatment for other conditions may be asked to come in more regularly for monitoring.
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Taking Your Pet to the EU After Brexit

Unfortunately we do not know what deal the EU and Britain will come to regarding pet travel from 29th March 2019 following the UK leaving the European Union. However, if you are planning to travel in Spring next year it is wise to consider planning immediately.

  1. Pets travelling into the EU before 29th March 2019 can do so under the current Pet Passport scheme and will be able to return to the UK as before.

  2. It may be that a deal will be reached to enable the current system to continue and you will have no need to do anything more.

  3. HOWEVER, if there is a “no-deal” Brexit, pets will still be able to travel to the EU but with further restrictions:
    1. Pets will require an injection against rabies

    2. Pets will then need to have a blood test to confirm that they have produced antibodies against rabies.
    3. THIS BLOOD TEST MUST BE CARRIED OUT AT LEAST 30 DAYS AFTER THE VACCINATION INJECTION

    4. Pets will NOT be able to travel for at least 3 MONTHS after the BLOOD TEST WAS TAKEN.

    5. This means if you wish to be certain to travel on 30 March 2019 the rabies injection should be given no later than 28 November 2018 to allow time for these additional tests and waiting times.
Details can be found at gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

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Cats get high blood pressure too!

Did you know cats can suffer from high blood pressure, just like humans? There are often no visible signs, but left untreated it can cause blindness and damage the heart or brain.

High blood pressure is more common in older cats, and those with certain medical conditions like kidney disease. We recommend that all cats over seven years old have their blood pressure checked yearly.

Blood pressure is measured in cats using similar methods to that used for humans. It’s a quick and relatively straight forward procedure, you can even stay with your cat whilst it’s done.

To raise awareness of the importance of regular blood pressure checks, Milton Keynes Veterinary Group are offering free blood pressure checks for cats over seven years old at their Stoke Road branch in Bletchley during the month of November.
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Are you and your pet prepared for Fireworks season?

It might seem early but now is the best time to start thinking about the fireworks period. Fireworks often start well in advance of the traditional 5th November, and can easily continue on through to the New Year. 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.

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 pheromone collar or plug in. 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 4th of November! Take action NOW to really make a difference for this truly distressing condition which many of our pets suffer with. If you need any help or guidance, please contact us for an appointment. Further advice about the firework season can be found at www.adaptil.com or www.petremedy.co.uk.
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