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Archive for November, 2018

Meet Lottie – our cat of the month

Lottie is a lovely 15 year old cat who came to see us as her owner noticed she was becoming unsettled at night and wasn’t eating as much as she used to. Her behaviour had changed and she was sleeping in unusual places. Her owner had also noticed that her pupils looked bigger.

The vet examined Lottie and could feel an enlarged thyroid gland in her neck. She also had a high heart rate and had lost some weight, which can be symptoms of an overactive thyroid gland.

Due to Lottie’s age and symptoms, we recommended some blood tests and to check her blood pressure.

Lottie’s blood pressure was very high and had caused damage to her eyes, resulting in her retinas (the back of the eye) in both eyes to start to become detached. This can cause permanent blindness unless it is caught early. Lottie was started on tablets immediately to try to bring her blood pressure down, and she was very lucky that her condition was diagnosed early and she has not suffered permanent damage to her eyes.

Lottie was also diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and the early stages of chronic kidney disease, which we are now successfully managing.

Lottie comes into our Cat Clinics on a regular basis to have her blood pressure measured with the nurse. This is very similar to when we have our own blood pressure checked, and doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort.

Blood pressure can be affected by stress so we recommend that these checks are carried out on our dedicated Cat Clinic days, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays at our Stoke Road surgery. It only takes a few minutes and we encourage owners to stay with their cats whilst this is being done to help them feel more at ease.

High blood pressure is being recognised more commonly now in older cats and, if left untreated, can lead to blindness as well as damage to the heart, kidneys and nervous system. It is important to monitor blood pressure in older cats, and we recommend that cats above 7 years of age come in once a year for a routine blood pressure check. Cats already on treatment for other conditions may be asked to come in more regularly for monitoring.
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Dental disease in our ageing bunnies

Our older bunnies can suffer with ‘age-related’ conditions the same as other species. One common problem is dental disease, which can present in a number of ways, such as abscesses, malocclusion and tooth root conformation. Malocclusion may occur in an older rabbits due to a tooth root abnormality or missing opposing tooth.

Overgrown teeth in older rabbits is common and can penetrate the gums, cheeks, tongue and lips, which can cause ulcers or even oral abscesses. Rabbit’s teeth are continuously growing around 2-3mm a week. Therefore it is best to keep the diet as natural as possible to grind down their cheek teeth effectively. If your rabbit is not eating properly or losing weight, we recommend they are checked for abnormal dentition.

During November, we are offering free health checks for rabbits over the age of 7 years. These clinics are available with one of our veterinary nurses, at our Walnut Tree, Stoke Road and Willen branches. Call our reception team today to book an appointment for your rabbit.
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Taking Your Pet to the EU After Brexit

Unfortunately we do not know what deal the EU and Britain will come to regarding pet travel from 29th March 2019 following the UK leaving the European Union. However, if you are planning to travel in Spring next year it is wise to consider planning immediately.

  1. Pets travelling into the EU before 29th March 2019 can do so under the current Pet Passport scheme and will be able to return to the UK as before.

  2. It may be that a deal will be reached to enable the current system to continue and you will have no need to do anything more.

  3. HOWEVER, if there is a “no-deal” Brexit, pets will still be able to travel to the EU but with further restrictions:
    1. Pets will require an injection against rabies

    2. Pets will then need to have a blood test to confirm that they have produced antibodies against rabies.

    4. Pets will NOT be able to travel for at least 3 MONTHS after the BLOOD TEST WAS TAKEN.

    5. This means if you wish to be certain to travel on 30 March 2019 the rabies injection should be given no later than 28 November 2018 to allow time for these additional tests and waiting times.
Details can be found at gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit

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Cats get high blood pressure too!

Did you know cats can suffer from high blood pressure, just like humans? There are often no visible signs, but left untreated it can cause blindness and damage the heart or brain.

High blood pressure is more common in older cats, and those with certain medical conditions like kidney disease. We recommend that all cats over seven years old have their blood pressure checked yearly.

Blood pressure is measured in cats using similar methods to that used for humans. It’s a quick and relatively straight forward procedure, you can even stay with your cat whilst it’s done.

To raise awareness of the importance of regular blood pressure checks, Milton Keynes Veterinary Group are offering free blood pressure checks for cats over seven years old at their Stoke Road branch in Bletchley during the month of November.
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