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Posts Tagged ‘rabbit’

Summer dangers and your pets

During the summer months when we are enjoying the warmer weather, please continue to bear in mind of the potential hazards that may face your furry friend. Pet dangers during this time to be vigilant about are:
  • Mouse and Rat Poison – Rodenticides are the most common of pet poisoning. Mouse or rat poison are sold as pellets, grains or solid cubes and contain ingredients that are toxic to our pets. These toxins can cause problems your pet’s normal clotting of their blood therefore leading to internal bleeding, neurological damage and kidney failure. Symptoms of mouse or rat poisoning do not appear immediately, some may experience signs of lethargy, exercise intolerance, coughing, pale gums or difficulty breathing.
  • Garden Fertiliser – If you have green fingers you are likely to have fertiliser in your shed and applied to your garden, fertilisers contain components should as herbicides and pesticides which are toxic to our pets if ingested in large quantities. Signs of toxicity can include, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea.
  • Pyrethrin – This is a type of insecticide usually found in products to control fleas, flies or mosquitos in dogs. This is extremely toxic to our feline friends if accidently applied or ingested. Symptoms of prytherin poisoning include shaking, dribbling, vomiting, excitability, pacing, breathing issues and seizures. If left untreated this toxicity can prove fatal.
  • Slugs and snails – With our gardens blooming, the slugs and snails may be also enjoying your plants, therefore slug pellets may be used. Slug pellets are toxic as they contain a substance called Metaldehyde. Symptoms of this toxicity can include wobbly gait, muscle twitches and seizures. If you know you pet hasn’t ingested this toxic but has been in contact, it is advisable to wash off their paws if they have been on treated ground.
  • Toads – Toads native in this country are the Common Toad and Natterjack Toad. They are mostly active within the spring and summer months of the year and this toxicity are mostly associated with pets licking one or trying to catch one. Symptoms can include foaming at the mount, vomiting, unsteady on their legs, high temperature, shaking and can lead to collapse if not treated promptly.
  • Adder bites – These snakes are the only poisonous type of snake in this country. Other non-poisonous snakes you may spot are smooth snakes or grass snakes. The adder is more distinctive by the brown zigzag marking on the body. If you pet is bitten the area affected will swell and this can spread in severe cases. They may also experience signs of pale gums, diarrhoea, dehydration, restlessness or lethargy. If not treated promptly they can experience blood clotting problems or lead to collapse.
  • Anti-Histamines – During the summer months, us as owner may stock up on anti-histamines if sufferers of hay fever. If Anti-Histamines are ingested by our pets in large quantities they can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, lethargic, change in breathing pattern, or shaking.
  • Ticks – Ticks love areas of good vegetation so walking in these areas can mean more exposure to these pesky parasites. Ticks will bury their heads in our pets’ skin for a blood meal and sometimes spread disease in the process such as Lyme Disease and other diseases. Tick commonly are found in areas of a damp and warm environment such as wood or grasslands. They are a very adaptable parasite and can survive in different areas as long as they are close to hosts. Check your pet after walks for ticks which can commonly be found on body parts close to the ground such as paws, legs, belly. If you do find a tick, it can be removed with a tick removal otherwise one of our veterinary nurses would be happy to help.
  • BBQs – The summer may encourage us to have a BBQ in the nice weather, please be vigilant with your pets around as they will be very interested from those delightful smells. Foods that can cause the most issues are:
    • Corn on the cob – this vegetable is difficult for dogs to digest meaning they can cause gastrointestinal obstructions and they can also be a choking hazard.
    • Bones – Cooked bones are another danger that can splinter causing injury to the gastrointestinal tract or cause a gastrointestinal blockage. They can also be a choking hazard to our pets.
    • Kebab skewers – These also have a similar impact to bones causing gastrointestinal injury or blockage as well as again being a choking hazard.
    • Ice cream – our pets have sensitive stomachs and can be upset from rich foods. Therefore it is best to avoid these rich foods to prevent gastrointestinal upset.
  • Heat Stroke and dehydration – in the warmer weather our pets can struggle having a fur cost, provide them fresh water at all times and ensure you take portable water bowls if you go out for the day with them. Brachycephalic breeds can be more susceptible to heat exhaustion.
  • Cars – Please never leave your dog in the car, even with a window open, a car can quickly become too hot for our pets and they will experience heat stroke if they are not treated promptly.
  • Bee stings – Bees can be interesting creatures to our pets with the buzzing noise and their quick movements. Following a sting, our pets may show the following signs such as swelling, hives, pawing at their face or mouth, drooling, whining, lameness or licking or biting at the area of the sting. In some cases they may experience an allergic reaction, therefore please contact your vets immediately if they are struggling to breath, there is swelling around their mouth or throat or signs of collapse.
  • Pavements – Pavements and the ground on those really hot summer days can reached high temperatures. If you find the ground uncomfortable to touch or walk on then it will be uncomfortable for your pet too and doing so can cause serious burns. Try to walk them at cooler times in the day and on softer grass areas.
  • Pools and Water – Some dogs may not like the water and some of them love it. Therefore if you are planning on taking your pet to an area of water who cannot swim, please make sure you keep a careful eye on them or even purchase a floatation device. We also need to keep a close eye on our pets that do love to swim, if the swallow too much water they can suffer from water intoxication which can include signs of lethargy, nauseas, vomiting and bloating, if not treated promptly the outcome can be fatal.
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Pesky Parasites – Mites and your pet

Did you know there are different species of mites?

  1. Ear Mites – otherwise known as Otodectes cynotis live within our pet’s ears and can cause itching and ear infections. These mites are visible to the human eye as tiny white dots. Signs that your pet may have ears mites can include itching, dark wax in the ear and head shaking. Another ear mites that cats can have is called Notoedres, which is intensely itching for our feline friends.
  2. Sarcoptic mange – Scabies is caused by Sarcoptic scabei and are highly contagious to other animals through direct contact with an infected animal or by sharing contaminated items. Once an animal is infected they will burrow into the top layer of skin and therefore cannot be removed by brushing or bathing. Animals who are infested with these mites may show signs of itching, biting and licking at the infected areas.
  3. Demodectic mange – Demodex lives within the hair follicles of our pets and rarely spreads from us or other dogs. Most animals will become infected during their first few days of life from their mum via their mum’s muzzle. Demodex can cause skin reddening, hair loss, bacterial and fungal infections and itchiness.
  4. Harvest Mites – otherwise known as Neotrombicula autumnalis tend to be seen within the autumn months and live within rural areas. Our pets can easily pick these pesky parasites up on their wanders. They are visible to the human eye and appear as small red/bright orange dots and tend to be seen in areas such as ears, head, feet or belly. Some animals may not be affected by harvest mites, however other pets may show signs of being itchy and scratching/biting at these areas.
  5. Cheyletiella – this mite can sometimes be described as walking dandruff and normally seen in long haired cats or rabbits. These case will normally present with mild or absent signs and normally owners will notice excessive dandruff on their pets.
  6. If you have any questions regarding your pet’s parasitic prevention, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss with one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses.
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Did you know your rabbit can pick up parasites too?

There are a number of external parasites that can affect our pet rabbits. External parasites are parasites which live of the outside of the rabbit. Below are the most common external parasites for rabbits:
  • Fleas – Rabbits can pick up fleas the same fleas Ctenocephalides as your dog or cat as well as Spilopsyllus cuniculi which is the rabbit flea. This parasite can be involved in the spread of myxomatosis between rabbits. If you see fleas on your rabbit, it is important to treat both your rabbit, the environment and any other pets in the household.
  • Mites – The most common mites associated with rabbits is Cheyletiella parasitovorax or otherwise known as walking dandruff. This will tend to appear as an area of white scurfy skin, typically on the back or between the shoulder blades. If you believe your rabbit may have mites, we would advise a check-up with your veterinary surgeon, as they can also be indicators of other disease. Another mite rabbits can diagnosed with are ear mites Psoroptes cuniculi. Signs of ear mites might include crusting, itching and ulceration of the ear canals. It is advised to treat the rabbit for mites prior to removal of the ear crust as this can be extremely painful to remove. The rabbit fur mite (Leporacus gibbus) can infest rabbits without symptoms, however some rabbit may have allergy reactions to these mites. Demodex cuniculi is another mite which can be found on rabbits, however does not appear to cause clinical issue.
  • Lice – The rabbit biting louse otherwise known as Haemodipsus ventricosus can be seen with the naked eye. This are more common in large colonies.
  • Flies – these are not technically an external parasite however can be a nuisance to our pet rabbits and can cause serious health concerns. Flies can lay eggs on susceptible animals causing fly-strike or myiasis. These eggs will then hatch out and start to feed on the animal.
At Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, we feel rabbits are just as important as any other pet and there are preventative treatment products available for these parasites just the same as our dogs and cats. If you would like to discuss further regarding these treatments, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01908397777. We also have a Healthy Pet Care Plan available for our rabbits. Find out more here – http://www.mkvetgroup.co.uk/healthy-pet-care-for-rabbits/
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Flystrike season is soon approaching

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 Healthy Pet Care Plans available at Milton Keynes Veterinary Group

HEALTHY PET CARE PLAN FOR RABBITS!

This plan includes:
  • Your rabbit’s Myxomatosis and Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD1) ANNUAL BOOSTER
  • 50% DISCOUNT off Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD2) annual booster
  • 8 MONTHS PARASITE CONTROL during March – October
  • 15% DISCOUNT off all CONSULTATIONS
  • 10% DISCOUNT off DENTAL procedures
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.

All this for £7.50! (plus a £10.00 joining fee initially)



Click here to find out more or contact one of our team on 01908 397777
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