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Posts Tagged ‘Cat’

What is the risk of Lungworm in your area?

Lungworm is a parasite that can lead to serious health problems in dogs and cats. If the parasite is undetected it can be fatal if not treated.

Dogs and cats become infected by ingesting infected slugs and snails carrying the lungworm larvae. Dogs and cats of all ages and breeds can become infected with lungworm however the younger animals tend to be more prone due to their inquisitive nature.

The practice periodically reviews the parasitic products it chooses to match the parasite risk and give the best cover for dogs and cats at any one time. Our staff will advise you on a safe and effective product.

THE LUNGWORM MAP

The Lungworm Map shows reported cases by vets and owners across the United Kingdom. The MK postcode currently have 37 reported cases and the map is regularly updated with new cases. However even if there are no reported cases in your area, your pet may still be at risk. Visit the Lungworm Map here.

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New Year’s Resolution for your pet to lose a few pounds?

Over the festive period, we may have treated our pets to some extra turkey from our Christmas dinner. However with Easter around the corner, let’s start getting our pets back into shape sooner rather than later.

There are many risks associated with our pets being overweight including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and more.







Tips for Avoiding Pet Obesity
There are things you can do to ensure your pet maintains a healthy weight:

Change of food
Ideally change your pet’s diet to a low calorie diet over a period of five to seven days.Home-made diets are rarely successful as your pet may still be hungry or start begging or even dustbin raiding. Diets with high levels of fibre help your pet feel full with also getting the nutrients and vitamins they need.

Avoid snacking
Avoid giving your pet treats as much as possible. However if you want to still give your pet treats include them as part of their diet and reduce their meal portions.

Weigh your pet’s food
To ensure your pet gets the required amount of food per their weight, it is best to weigh out each meal to maintain or lose weight.

Exercise your pet
Exercise is important in terms of weight loss and therefore your pet should be encouraged to exercise. Taking dogs for those winter woodlands walks or providing your cat with extra playtime at home will help keep them healthier.

We offer free nutritional consults with our veterinary nurses, Charlotte Barker and Laura Sandall, who both have many years of experience. Our nutritional consults are available with Wednesday between 10am-6pm at Walnut Tree and between 3.30-4pm on Thursday and Friday at our Willen Branch. Appointments with Laura are available on Monday between 9am – 4.30pm at Walnut Tree and on Tuesdays between 3.30-4pm at our Willen branch. If you have any questions about the nutritional consults or would like to book your pet in to see us, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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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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Ear Problems in Dogs and Cats

Everyone knows that ear ache is often very painful. Unfortunately, our animals are very good at hiding pain and as owners we often cannot see or choose to ignore signs of problems.

What does a normal ear look like?

Human ear canals are fairly simple with a straight tube from the opening to the ear drum. Cats and dogs are more complex, both having a vertical canal and a horizontal canal. The vertical canal is a bit like an ice-cream cone shape that opens by the ear flap (pinna). This joins to a horizontal canal that is similar to the human canal, running from the base of the vertical canal to the ear drum.

The colour of normal skin is not really pink, it is more of a grey colour. Pink skin in animals is often a sign of inflammation. An animal with mild ear problems may just have slightly pink ear flaps or a pink ear canal.

A normal ear canal has very little ear wax. In fact, the majority of animals with normal ears have no visible wax down their canals. It is likely that an animal producing lots of ear wax has an underlying cause.

Normal ear canals have very smooth edges and the ear flaps are thin skin covering cartilage. As changes occur, the canals and ear flaps can start to get thickened and scarred. Over time, if left untreated, these changes will become permanent and can leave animals in constant pain even if they appear happy.

Some animals with sore ears may traumatise their ear flaps that result in swellings filled with blood. These are called aural haematomas and can sometimes be treated by simple draining, but may require surgery to correct.

Signs of Ear diseases

As stated already, many pets with ear problems will not show clear signs. However aside from looking for inflammation or excessive wax production, there may be other signs.

Some animals with a sore ear may scratch at it, shake their heads or react (e.g. growl) if you approach or touch the sore ear.

There are many nerves that pass through or around the ears. These control the position of the eyes, the head, balance, ability to blink and the size of the pupils. Animals with ear problems may present with neurological signs.

Common Causes of Ear Problems in Cats

The most common ear condition in cats is probably ear mites. These mites are usually found in kittens and cause irritation of the canals that produce excessive wax. They can be easily treated with medicated ear drops or some flea preparations.

Cats with white ear flaps are susceptible to sunburn (called solar dermatitis), that can turn develop into a cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Applying a high factor sun cream to white ear flaps can reduce the risk if your cat enjoys sunbathing.

Some other skin mites (such as demodex), or foreign bodies (such as grass seeds), can on rare occasions cause ear problems and infections.

There are several growths that can affect cat’s ears. These vary in severity from benign polyps to more aggressive cancers, and in these cases cats may require major surgery to treat.

Common Causes of Ear Problems in Dogs

Puppies, like kittens, may have ear mites causing irritation and excessive wax production. As with kittens, these can be easily treated.

In the summer time, we often see animals with ear problems due to allergies or foreign bodies. Spaniel-type dogs appear particularly susceptible to ear foreign bodies, commonly grass seeds. These usually present with a fairly sudden onset of a painful ear. They may require sedation to assess a sore ear due to the discomfort.

Skin allergies often show up in the ears, as they have a warm environment that bacteria and yeasts like to grow in. In early stages of a skin allergy, the skin becomes inflamed and this makes it more susceptible to becoming infected. The combination of inflammation and a warm environment like ear canals (also feet and armpits!), makes infection in these areas worse. Allergies may be related to pollens or chemicals in the air causing skin conditions in pets (or hayfever in people!).

Dogs that swim a lot may be more susceptible to ear infections due to dirty water getting into the canals.

Ear infections are usually the result of another cause that give bacteria and yeasts the opportunity to grow, and are rarely the primary cause of ear disease on their own.

Treatment of Ear Problems

The immediate treatment of ear disease may require pain relief and often antibiotics. Topical ear treatments (i.e. ear drops) are usually more effective than tablets, but sometimes we may recommend both.

It is important to treat ear infections fully to reduce the risk of recurrence as soon as the treatment finishes. Antibiotic ear drops should be used as complete courses, and should never be used to apply just on an occasional basis. Occasional use of an antibiotic ear drop is likely to lead to resistant infections that are very difficult to treat.

The long term aim is to restore an ear canal to its normal state. Ear canals will change with time if the underlying problem is not treated, resulting in an end stage canal that can only be treated by surgical removal. Animals can be significantly more comfortable after ear canal removal, and this should not be ruled out as a treatment option in severe cases despite the severity of the surgery.

Allergies are a common cause of skin and ear diseases. There are many tests and treatments available to try to determine the allergy and/or treat the condition. Unfortunately, skin allergies are usually long term conditions that require lifetime treatment.

The use of ear cleaners may be beneficial. We would not recommend regular cleaning of a normal ear, as it may cause irritation. Animals that have excessive wax build up will often benefit from regular cleaning. Many cleaners are slightly acidic that can change the environment in the ear canal to reduce the risk of infections. It may be useful to clean dog’s ears after swimming to remove any dirty water.

Some animals benefit from examination and flushing of ear canals under sedation or anaesthesia.

We recommend a check up after completing a course of ear treatment to check that the canal is back to normal. Some animals require several treatments to restore the ear canal back to a normal state.

If you would like to learn how to clean your pet’s ears effectively, our nurses will be happy to demonstrate this for you so you can be confident in keeping their ears healthy at home. If you are concerned about your pet’s ears and think there may be infection present, please contact the surgery to make an appointment with one of our vets to assess.
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Fighting Fractured Teeth

Fractured teeth are a common injury in cats and dogs, with the majority involving fractured canines of the upper jaw. Damage is commonly caused by falls, running into objects, clashing teeth and road traffic accidents. In dogs, other objects that can damage teeth include raw hide, bones, sticks/branches, rocks, ice and other hard objects.

The radiograph to the right shows a case of pulpitis in a cat. The pulp cavity is the hollow area inside a tooth filled with sensitive pulp tissue (blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue). This commonly occurs when the tip of the tooth is fractured, allowing bacteria to enter the pulp cavity. Swelling of the pulp tissue prevents blood entering the root canal and the result is ‘death’ of the tooth. On the radiograph we can see widening of the pulp cavity compared to the normal tooth on the right, with evidence of an abscess at the apex of the root. On this occasion the affected tooth was extracted. It is important to note that this problem was found during a routine dental, and the patient did not show any obvious mouth pain at the time, but the owner reported marked improvement in his demeanour and appetite following surgery. Due to high pain threshold and other instinctive behaviours, our patients rarely shows signs of pain and will often hide pain very well.

It is therefore important to never ignore a broken tooth in your pet.
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