Posts Tagged ‘milton keynes veterinary group’
Animals who do differ with firework phobias will display a range of problems, varying from those animals who simply bark at the fireworks to try and make them go away, those that hide from them, those that show obvious signs of distress, right through to those that appear to “freeze”. For us as owners, these signs can be greatly distressing to see. Yet for the animals this fear will not only cause emotional trauma, but often lead to physical injuries as well.
So what do we, as pet owners, do to try and reduce the problems our animals suffer due to firework phobias? Simply put, there is not one simple solution. Yet, by adopting numerous strategies, we should be able make this time of year easier for our cats and dogs.
The following strategies may apply to a greater or lesser extent to certain individual situations, and often many different approaches need to be taken at the same time.
- If at all possible avoid the fireworks, which is easier said than done these days. If you do have a friend who lives in a remote area consider spending time with them on the worst of the fireworks, for example when the local display is on. Sadly, we all known that now firework “night” seems to last many weeks.
- To reduce the impact of the sound of fireworks you can try to create competing noises such as loud music. Remember not to play this too loudly as this noises itself may end up causing anxiety. In extreme cases noise-cancelling headphone can be used. “Mutt Muffs” are available through www.safeandsoundpets.com.
- It may seem obvious, but do close blinds and curtains well before any fireworks start to reduce the effects the sights the fireworks have on our animals.
- Absolutely avoid any form of punishment. This will simple lead to more anxiety and even cause your pet to become aggressive.
- Comforting you animal when they are scared is a controversial area. Definitely try to be at home during any known firework events. Although you shouldn’t pet or over fuss your animal when they are worried, as this can reinforce the fearful behaviour, it may help some pets to hold them firmly and lean into them, while using long, form massaging strokes, rather than normal petting.
- Create a “safe haven” cover an indoor crate with a blanket and put their bedding and one or two familiar toys inside. This will become a darkened den for them in which to hide, but it’s a good idea to try to get them used to this area before firework season.
- In many situations the most helpful method to help control firework phobias is through the use of a technique called desensitisation and counter conditioning. Essentially, this is getting your pets used to the sounds of fireworks by playing a CD at a volume that doesn’t provoke a fearful reaction, and rewarding them for this non-reaction. The volume is gradually increased, and a strict programme followed over several weeks to months. This needs to be, therefore, started well before firework season and should not be undertaken if fireworks are likely to start soon. One of the most successful programs is Sounds Scary and is available through www.soundtherapy4pets.co.uk for less than £10. If your pet suffers from firework phobia we would strongly recommend purchasing this now and to start the program in the New Year once all the fireworks have finished, and to then consider repeating the program next summer.
- Various medications are available to reduce our pets’ anxieties. These medications are used alongside a behaviour modification plan such as the desensitisation and counter conditioning described above, and need to be started weeks or months prior to the fireworks starting. Often at the hospital we asked at the last minute to supply something to help to calm pets. Medications are available that reduce anxiety in the short term, and will help at the time but have no lasting effect – your pet will again suffer with the same fears next year. A key point for owners is not to be scared to use these drugs. By not medicating animals when appropriate we may be simply prolonging their suffering.
- Pheromone treatments area available such as Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats. These are available as a plug-in, collar and now a tablet and may help some animals, but not all.
- Dietary supplements such as omega-3 supplements, zylkene and calmex again may help some dogs with mild phobias.
- It is now possible to purchase a tight fighting wrap such as an Anxiety Wrap which is design to apply constant pressure to help relax muscles. Studies suggest these may help some, but not all, dogs. They are available through www.anxietywrap.com.
- To date there has been no study which has successfully shown any definite beneficial effect for behavioural change for any homeopathic treatment studied in companion animals.
It is a requirement for all puppies to have a microchip and information recorded on government compliant database in the breeder’s name by the time the puppy is 8 weeks old.
When the puppy goes to their new owner, the new keeper must transfer the keepership into their name.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP MICROCHIP DETAILS UP TO DATE e.g. when you move house, change your phone number or rehome a pet.
Due to the success and popularity of our cat clinics on Tuesdays at our Stoke Road branch, we are adding an additional cat clinic day every THURSDAY.
Introducing AMANDA ROSS, our new Thursday Cat Clinic VetAmanda qualified from Edinburgh University in 2001 and joined us in June 2017. She began her career in a practice in her hometown of Leeds before joining a mixed practice in Bedford in 2002. Initially, she worked with large animals as well as small but gradually moved towards concentrating solely on small animals. She holds an ESVPS Certificate in Small Animal Medicine. She has become particularly interested in feline medicine and is very much looking forward to running the Cat Clinic at the Stoke Road branch on Thursdays. Outside work, Amanda enjoys spending time with her husband and two small children, as well as their cat Jamie and their newest addition to the family, a rehomed tortoise called Margo.
The clinic is open for:
- Vaccinations, Consultations, Repeat Prescription Checks, General Health Checks, Surgery, Dentistry
And also nurse clinics including:
- Nail clipping, Minor dematts, Blood Pressure Checks, Diabetic Clinics, Weight Clinics, Microchipping, Second Vaccinations, Behaviour clinics and many more
On Monday 5th June, our staff took to the water in the unfortunate wet and windy weather at Caldecotte Lake. However, the weather did not dampen our spirits.
Sonia, one of our vets and Laura Austin, our head nurse, are keen dragon boaters and put the rest of us through our paces.
The session was thoroughly enjoyed by all and we are hoping to enter a team at an event next year.