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Posts Tagged ‘milton keynes vet group’

Meet loveable Jasper….

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group would like to introduce you to Jasper, the beautiful blind dog. Jasper started life as a Guide Dog, but after losing both his eyes to Glaucoma, he was forced to retire at just six years old. Being blind doesn’t stop Jasper from leading a full and happy life with his owner, Janyce, and they have learnt to cope together, building new skills for Jasper and exploring his new world. Read on for Janyce and Jaspers story in her own words

“Jasper worked for my son’s father, David, so I have known him for years. He had to retire, aged 6, when he lost his right eye to glaucoma. I said yes when David asked if I’d like to give Jasper his retirement home, knowing that there was a possibility Jasper could lose the other eye too, which he did, just six months later. He’s been with me since last September. He’s a lovely dog. Very polite, very friendly and good natured with everyone, and so affectionate. I was very worried he’d lose that when he went blind, and that I wouldn’t be able to cope and I’d have to give him back to Guide Dogs, but it has been fine. We have learned together. The people at Guide Dogs were brilliant, making sure Jasper saw a specialist and got the very best treatment, and that what was done was right for him. Jasper was more confident walking on his car harness, so I bought him a Ruffwear Webmaster harness at the start (a strong harness with a handle). I think that has been a really good investment for him. We had a couple of dodgy weeks at the beginning, when he was very reluctant to move around. Guide Dogs are trained not to move when there might be danger and he lost all his confidence. He became very focused on me, leaning up against me as we walked and almost tripping me up. Gradually he became more confident, walking to the end of a lead and stopping leaning on me as we walked, but he was very hesitant and would come back after a few paces. He’s had to learn a lot of new skills and unlearn the guide dog rules. His guide dog training has helped him to be a confident blind dog as he is so obedient and he listens to me when I give commands. But he also gets overconfident sometimes, and he’s very strong and pulls really hard when he recognises his mates (human and canine!). I’ve met a lot of partially sighted and blind dogs in person and through the Blind Dogs Facebook group, who cope brilliantly. Jasper gets a lot of attention when he’s out, he’s very good at making friends. He has a BLIND DOG collar and leash, people often don’t realise he is completely blind as he manages so well. He’ll say hello to a dog, find their human, sniff out the treat pocket and then sit next to it. He knows how to work his disability, usually smiling at the human until they give in and give him one of their treats. Jasper’s a bright boy and picked some things up very quickly. For example, the word “watch” will stop him in his tracks and he’ll turn around and return to me. He knows his way around the house, and when we are out walking he’s usually off the lead, but he doesn’t go very far from me. But I was concerned Jasper wasn’t getting enough exercise. He was healthy but he’d become quite unfit, now he’s getting more exercise with his ball. Just after Jasper went blind, I met another Lab who was blind from cataracts and who was retrieving a ball on a rope, so I knew it was possible. We tried fetch on and off without any kind of enthusiasm from Jasper, although he’d find his squeaky toys and bring them to me at home. I was quite worried about boredom and that everything was focused on food. Then he started going to scent classes a couple of months ago, at the suggestion of Guide Dogs, and he’s really enjoyed it. The other weekend, I thought we’d have another go at retrieving, and it finally clicked with him. He’s moving quickly and confidently and really enjoying it. I’ve not seen him so enthusiastic about something for quite some time, he’s loving it. He even does a version of the excited doggy dance before I throw it again, and he dances in circles when he’s found it. He’s a Lab with a ball, he’s got a job and purpose again. He’s very pleased with himself and a very happy dog.”
See more videos of Jasper on our YouTube page – Milton Keynes Veterinary Group.

Credit to Janyce Quigley

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Mammary Tumours in Rats

Mammary tumours are incredibly common in rats and most owners are very familiar with encountering these growths on their pets. However, many owners are not aware of the different options that are available for the treatment of mammary tumours in rats.

Why are mammary tumours so common in rats?
Mammary tumours grow in rats due to the presence of a hormone called Prolactin. This hormone is secreted during the normal oestrus cycle of the rat. It can also be secreted by the mammary tumour itself and by tumours of the pituitary gland. Secretion of Prolactin increases as rats age. Factors which affect the development of mammary tumours in rats include the genetic strain of the rat, the diet, the hormonal status and the age of the rat. Mammary tumours may affect up to 90% of intact female rats and 16% of intact males over one year of age. Approximately 80% of mammary tumours in rats are benign but 20% are malignant.
How can mammary tumours be treated?
All mammary tumours should be surgically removed as early as possible. Benign tumours can usually be completely removed at the time of surgery but this is difficult to achieve with malignant tumours. Alongside surgical removal of the tumour, we can now offer some other options to reduce the likelihood of any future mammary tumour growth. These are:
  1. Placing a hormone implant under the skin. The implant prevents the secretion of Prolactin, which means that mammary tumours are unable to develop. This can be placed at the time of surgery. Alternatively, this can be placed in young female rats to prevent development of mammary tissue.
  2. Neutering. Females can be spayed and males castrated. This removes the influence of Prolactin. NB: These methods are not effective if a pituitary tumour is the source of the prolactin. Also, this will not prevent regrowth or spread of malignant mammary tumour.
  3. Medication to reduce the secretion of Prolactin. This will remove the influence of Prolactin on mammary tissue. This can be effective even if a pituitary tumour is present.
  4. Diet and environment. Reducing the calorie content of the diet and environmental enrichment will reduce the likelihood of mammary tumours recurring.
If you would like to discuss any of these treatment options, please contact us at MKVG.
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Is your rabbit fully vaccinated?

We recommend vaccinating your rabbit against Myxomatosis and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (Strains 1 and 2). To cover against all these your rabbit will need two vaccines.  Both diseases are highly contagious between the rabbit population however easily prevented.

Myxomatosis is a virus carried by biting insects and mosquitos and can be passed on without direct contact. The symptoms include puffy eyelids, conjunctivitis within the first 7 days and swelling will extend around the eyes, ears and genital regions after 7 days.In severe cases the rabbit may die from the virus.
Rabbit viral haemorrhagic disease (RVHD) is a highly infectious disease that can affect domestic and wild rabbits. RVHD 1, the classic RVHD, has been present in rabbits for decades and vaccinated again. A new strain of RVHD (RVHD2) was first noted in France in 2010. In the last 12 months, it has become an increasing concern regarding this new strain of RVHD in the UK with confirmed cases.
This new strain is less aggressive than RVHD 1 and symptoms may appear from 3 to 9 days post exposure. Symptoms can include high temperature, lethargy, sudden bleeding from areas (nose/mouth), reduced appetite and possible seizures. Even though this strain is less aggressive if not treated can cause death in severe cases.
Myxomatosis and RVHD 1 are prevented by the administration of a combined vaccination. It takes 3 weeks post vaccination for the rabbit to build immunity to the viruses. This vaccination will provide the rabbit with 1 year immunity to the viruses.
RVHD 2 is prevented by the administration of a separate vaccination. There must be a 2 week gap between the two vaccinations and will provide immunity to the RVHD 2 strain for 1 year.
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Beware of FLYSTRIKE!

During the summer months, pet rabbits may be affected by maggot infestation.  Different terms are used for this but fly strike is the most common.

Healthy rabbits are generally not affected by fly strike. There are three main problems that lead to the condition. First, a wound to which the flies are attracted and on which they lay their eggs is an obvious site where maggots can cause damage. More commonly, a rabbit that cannot take and eat its soft faeces caecotrophs (either due to arthritis or obesity) will quickly have matted and soiled fur around its anus. This, from the fly’s point of view, is an ideal opportunity to lay eggs. When the maggots hatch they spread from the area (commonly up the abdomen) and may cause a tremendous amount of damage as they eat through the tissues while the rabbit is still living. Thirdly, damp bedding is an ideal environment for egg-laying and maggot growth and development; these may then migrate onto the rabbit. This is a fatal condition if not treated.
The key factors in preventing fly strike are to ensure that bedding is clean and dry, and that daily cleaning of toilet areas is carried out; the whole accommodation should be completely emptied and disinfected 1-2 times weekly. Checks of your rabbit should be carried out twice daily, if you find any wounds or ulcerated areas of skin then please seek veterinary attention. A rabbit owner should also make sure that their rabbit is able to keep it bottom clean, if the rabbit keeps soiling itself, then there is usually a health reason as to why e.g. obesity or arthritis. If a rabbit is unable to keep itself clean, then please seek veterinary advice.
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Rabbit Awareness Week

This year Rabbit Awareness Week is happening between 19th-24th June.

During this week, we are running FREE Rabbit Health Checks with our Veterinary Nurses, Louise Martin and Cara Palacio, at our Walnut Tree Hospital. The clinics will be available during the week at selected times. Our nurses will discuss general husbandry, diet, weight, vaccinations and dental disease and answer any questions you may have. To book an appointment, please speak to reception or call on 01908 397777. For more information on Rabbit Awareness Week, please visit www.rabbitawarenessweek.co.uk.
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