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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Alabama Rot

What is Alabama Rot?

Alabama rot is a disease which damages blood vessels within the kidney and skin. The disease causes blood clots to form in the vessels, damaging their lining and delicate tissues within the kidneys, and sadly can lead to kidney failure which can be fatal. It can also cause ulceration on the dog’s tongue. Alabama rot is also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), and was first detected by in the 1980s in the USA.

This disease is still very rare within the UK, and we advise dog owners to seek advice from their local vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions. Within a twenty mile radius of Milton Keynes, there has only been one confirmed case since 2014. However, if you are traveling with your dogs, areas of higher case records include Berkshire, Cornwall, County Durham, New Forest, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Surrey, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Northern Ireland.


What causes Alabama Rot?

Unfortunately the disease can affect any dog of any breed, age or size, and the majority of cases have recently been walked in muddy or woodland areas.

There seems to be more cases reported during the months November to May than there is between the months of June to October, therefore winter and spring time is more dangerous to your dog.


What are the symptoms?

Most commonly, the skin lesions are seen below the knee or elbow, and are a symptom of the disease rather than being a wound from injury. There may be a patch of red skin or an ulcerated area, and there may be swelling around the lesion. In the following two to seven days, the affected dogs have developed signs of kidney failure, including vomiting, lethargy and reduced appetite. This disease will not be the only cause of skin lesions or kidney failure, often there will be another cause.

However, prompt diagnosis and treatment is imperative for any dog with Alabama Rot, but without knowing what causes the disease, it is also difficult for us to be able to give you specific advice on prevention or where to walk your dog.


How to prevent Alabama Rot?

We advise checking your dog over for skin lesions regularly and monitor for any signs as mentioned above. We also suggest bathing your dogs after their walks to remove any mud. Alabama rot is unfortunately not a disease we can vaccinate against at present, and it is not thought to affect cats or rabbits.

We will update this blog if any new information becomes available for this disease.


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Protecting your pet against those Pesky Parasites

FLEAS are a small, wingless insects, just a few millimetres long with hind legs modified for jumping. The majority of the flea life cycle will occur off the animal, but can easily occur in the home. The fleas lay their eggs on the animal, which then fall off into the environment (e.g. onto bedding or carpets). Only 5% of the flea population is actually on the animal, the remaining 95% is in the environment in form of eggs, larvae and pupae.

HOW IS YOUR PET AFFECTED?

Fleas will bite cats, dogs, rabbits and even humans. You may notice your pet is scratching, licking or biting a lot, has unusual red patches of skin, signs of hair loss or flea dirt. Flea dirt looks like tiny black dots and can be identified by a simple quick test:
  • Take a piece of paper towel and dampen
  • Rub gently on your pets fur where you suspect there is flea dirt
  • If the black dots change to a reddish-brown colour – FLEAS ARE PRESENT!
Some animals may suffer from flea allergic dermatitis (FAD), which is irritation of the skin directly related to the presence of fleas, and a strict flea prevention routine should be followed to alleviate the symptoms.

HOW TO HELP YOUR PET AGAINST FLEAS?

Treat your pet with a prescription flea product as directed by the manufacturer or your veterinary surgeon. These can be in a variety of forms, such as spot-ons, collars or tablets. Speak to our staff about our Pet Health Care plans to make sure your pet gets the best prevention at the most affordable prices or find out more here. With a heavy infestation of fleas, don’t forget to treat the environment as well. Remember those fleas can live in bedding, sofas, beds, carpets, car, etc. so it’s just as important to treat the home as it is the pet!

TICKS are commonly found in long grass, and attach themselves to your pet as they brush passed. They are eight legged and are composed of two body sections. Their highly developed mouthparts allow them to pierce a pet’s skin and feed on the animal’s blood, sometimes causing reactions at the site of attachment. Severe infestations can lead to anaemia in young animals. Ticks are associated with Lyme Disease, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis.

HOW TO HELP YOUR PET AGAINST TICKS?

Prevent Ticks by using a prescription tick product as directed by the manufacturer or your veterinary surgeon. Products can be in a variety of forms such as collars, tablets or spot on treatments. Protection against Ticks is now included within our Pet Health Plan, find out more here.

If you have any questions about these parasites or prevention, our staff would be happy to help.
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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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