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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Get your pet in shape for 2017

Obesity in pets has become an increasing problem in recent years, with almost 50% of the pet population being overweight. Carrying all this extra weight can cause a multitude of health concerns for pets, including arthritis, diabetes, heat intolerance and increased pressure on the heart and lungs.

To try and tackle the plus size pet population we offer free nutritional consults, with two of our specially trained veterinary nurses, Charlotte Barker RVN CertVNECC and Laura Sandall RVN. Both nurses have many years of experience and have managed to lose 100s of kilos from many pets!

Many owners understandably are very apprehensive about coming along to a weight consult. Our aim is to put both you and your pet at ease. It often becomes an extremely positive experience for your pet as they gain confidence about coming to the practice, because in these consults they just get lots of love and attention while you and the nurse do the talking! When you are booked in for a weight consult, it follows a fairly routine pattern, we discuss what food your pet is currently getting, including any treats or extras they may get. This is very important as it allows us to understand why and how your pets weight has become an issue, and also helps us to work the new regime around what you already do and what suits you and your pet. Once we have discussed all of this, we may alter the amount of the current food your pet is getting, or we may suggest a diet specific food for weight loss, this is often the Hills Metabolic diet. Once you are set up with your new food, or new feeding guidelines for your current food, we ask that you come back monthly so that we can weigh, measure and monitor your pets weight loss. This allows us to ensure that they are losing the weight in a healthy and stable way and also allows us to tweak any issues you may have as and when they come up!

The Hills Metabolic food that we often recommend is a fantastic weight loss tool, as it doesn’t just offer a lower calorie diet, it contains many features that help get the weight off and keep it off, while keeping your pet happy and satisfied. Hills have formulated it to work with your pets metabolism, increasing the fibre content to help keep your pet feeling full between meals. There are also specific blends available that contain joint support supplements (for dogs), or urinary and stress supplements (for cats).



The lovely little dog featured in this photo is Lottie. Lottie came to see Charlotte in January 2016 as the vet was concerned about her weight. Charlotte started her on the Hills Metabolic mini diet, and after nine months Lottie had lost over 25% of her body weight and is now a perfect healthy pup! Lottie’s owner also reports that she is much more active, bright and happy since losing the weight. Charlotte still sees Lottie every few months just to ensure that all the hard work stays and she maintains her new slim figure!
 




Our nutritional consults are available with Charlotte on a Wednesday between 10am-6pm at Walnut Tree, and between 3.30pm-4.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays at our Willen branch, and with Laura on a Monday at Walnut Tree between 9am-4.30pm, and on Tuesdays between 3.30pm-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 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.

joe

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.

carl-2

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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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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Babesia infection in dogs

What is Babesiosis?

Babesiosis is a malaria-like disease caused by a microscopic parasite (Babesia Canis). The parasite is carried and transmitted by ticks.

What has changed?

Babesiosis has been diagnosed in UK dogs before but in all those cases the dogs contracted the infection abroad. For the first time there is an outbreak of Babesiosis in the UK. Four dogs in Harlow, Essex, with no history of foreign travel have contracted the disease. Unfortunately, one of these dogs has died.

How is it transmitted?

Babesia Canis is predominately transmitted by the Dermacentor reticularis tick (Ornate Cow tick). In warmer climates (Southern Europe) it is also transmitted by the Rhipicephalus sanguineus tick (Brown Dog Tick).
It is the D. Reticularis tick that was implicated in the recent outbreak in Essex. Importantly, D. Reticularis is not widespread in the UK, with only very limited confirmed populations in isolated areas in the UK.
The Brown Dog Tick (Rhipicehalus Sanguineus) is not currently established in the UK but there are reports of dogs returning from abroad carrying it and subsequently establishing in households.

What are the symptoms of Babesiosis?

The infection results in anaemia following destruction of the patient’s red blood cells. Signs of infection include pale gums, high fever, weakness, red urine and collapse in severe cases.

How is it diagnosed?

Vets can in most cases diagnose the infection by looking at a blood smear. There is also a PCR blood test available if the blood smear results are inconclusive.

How is the disease treated?

There is effective treatment for the infection. It normally consists of two injections given two weeks apart. More severe affected cases might need supportive care, which can include blood transfusions.

How can I protect my dog?

Regular control of ticks by using an effective product is the best way to protect your dog. It takes at least two days for the tick to transmit the parasite to a dog, so we advise you examine your dog carefully after walks, particularly in woods or fields. Any ticks found should be removed with a tick remover to ensure all parts are removed successfully.

Can the disease be transmitted to humans?

The is no risk to humans from Babesia Canis.

What is the prognosis?

Early diagnosis is the key. With appropriate treatment 85 to 90% of patients should recover from the infection.

Should I be worried?

It is very important to point out that the tick implicated in the outbreak is at the moment only found in very limited areas in the UK. You can find an up to date distribution map here.

What will we do?

We will monitor the situation closely and keep you up to date on any new developments in the outbreak. Milton Keynes Veterinary Group has recently taken part in the ‘Big Tick Project’, run by Bristol University. In total vets across the country have collected 6, 372 ticks for analysis for tick borne diseases, including Babesiosis and Lyme disease. The results of this study will be available later this year and we will update our clients on the results.

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