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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

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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Firework Phobias – It may be too late but it is never too early

It may seem odd to talk about firework phobias just after the main firework period has passed. However, I know that recent problems you may have experienced with your dogs will be very fresh in your mind, often painfully so. 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.
How scared is my dog of fireworks?
The first step in managing a firework phobia is to identify if it truly exists. Over the years Behavioural Specialists have developed and refined a Sound Sensitivity Questionnaire. This questionnaire is now available free of charge – CLICK HERE. This will help you identify if your dog has a true phobia to fireworks and outline how to manage the level of fear that exists. This will then help prevent your dog’s level of fear increasing over time. Now is an ideal time to take the questionnaire while your memories of what your dog experienced are fresh. By completing the questionnaire repeatedly over time you will also be able to assess if your dog’s behaviour is in fact improving.

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 an Adaptil collar or plug in. Details on how to provide these, as well as advice on how we should behave, are available on www.adaptil.com. 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 5th of November! Take action NOW to really make a difference for this truly distressing condition which many of our pets suffer with. Take the first step at home – complete the Sound Sensitivity Questionnaire. It is easy and free of charge. If after this you need any help or guidance, please contact us for an appointment.
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