Posts Tagged ‘dog’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New emerging strains of one of the most common and potentially deadly dog diseases ‘Leptospirosis’ have prompted Milton Keynes Veterinary Group to launch a new vaccination policy in a bid to protect the local dog population from this and other fatal diseases.
Leptospirosis is a widespread disease which is carried by rodents such as the rat and other animals. It is a serious disease that infects dogs, and even people, potentially fatal to both. It is passed via an infected animal’s urine or from contaminated water, so almost any dog that goes outside is at risk. This risk is currently heightened due to the recent widespread wet weather and flooding, and extra precautions are being advised. Early diagnosis can be complicated due to symptoms being vague, but as the disease progresses, symptoms include stiffness, muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhoea and lethargy. Following infection some dogs become long-term carriers that whilst appearing healthy, can put others at risk of disease. However, the good news is that like Parvovirus the disease can be prevented by vaccination. In recent years, more strains of Leptospirosis have appeared so we are now using new vaccines that are available, providing higher levels of protection against four strains of leptospirosis, rather than just two strains covered by traditional vaccines. These vaccines also helps to protect the local dog population and environment by preventing the spread of this disease via dogs’ urine.
As well as dog owners benefiting from this up-to-date vaccine, there is also good news for puppy owners as this vaccine can be used in puppies as young as six weeks of age, if needed. This means puppies can be protected from deadly viral disease as early as nine weeks of age.
What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects blood, liver or kidneys. There are several different types of leptospira that can be responsible for the disease. New strains have been identified in recent years, and they can affect dogs and also humans. It is carried by rodents, such as rats, and other animals, including cattle, sheep and dogs.How common is leptospirosis?
The disease does occur in the UK, affecting stray or unvaccinated dogs. In urban areas, it is mainly spread by the urine of infected dogs, whereas in rural areas, another type of leptospira is more common and is spread by the urine of rats. Due to routine vaccination, the disease in Britain is now less than it was but it does still occur. New strains have been identified in recent years and vaccinations have been developed to include 4 strains instead of the two years covered by traditional vaccines.How is it transmitted?
It is passed via an infected animal’s urine or from contaminated water. Ingestion is the most important means of transmission, but some forms can penetrate damaged or very thin skin. The incubation period is usually 4-12 days.
Extra precautions are advised following the recent wet weather and flooding that we have been experiencing.
What are the signs of Leptospirosis?
Some infections are undetected and show no symptoms, but the dog can still act as a carrier. Acute cases can be life-threatening. There are three main forms of the disease: haemorrhagic (bleeding), icteric or jaundiced form (involving the liver), and also the renal type. In the acute disease there is a high fever with lethargy and loss of appetite. Bloody diarrhoea and vomiting are common. This form can rapidly be fatal. If the liver is mainly affected, although the early signs are similar to the haemorrhagic form, jaundice a yellow colour can occur and affect the mouth or the whites of the eyes. Sometimes even the skin is yellow. In the renal form, kidney failure can occur. The dog is very lethargic, off food and vomits. Often the breath is offensive and there are ulcers on the tongue and inside the lips. If the dog recovers, chronic kidney disease often follows.What is the treatment?
Since leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria, appropriate antibiotic treatment is effective if the condition is diagnosed early enough. Dogs are often so ill when presented that hospitalisation and intensive nursing care, including intravenous fluids, are usually necessary.How can it be prevented?
Leptospirosis has been included in vaccination regimes for many years as part of the routine vaccination programme. Protection against the new strains of leptospirosis have been improved with the introduction of the L4 part of the vaccine. Previously, Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae and Leptospira canocola were the two strains covered. The L4 vaccine has both of these in addition to protection against L.bratislava and L.grippotyphosa. The vaccines give a minimum of 12 months protection.