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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Should I worry about my pet’s weight?

Did you know that 1 in 3 dogs and 1 in 4 cats are considered overweight or obese in the UK?

If you pet is carrying extra weight, it can reduce their quality of life. Our previous blog discussed how to assess your pet to see if they are under or over weight and give you an indication if there is something to be concerned about.

To help your pet stay in the best shape possible, you will need to make sure they get plenty of exercise, have access to good quality food and don’t over indulge. There are lots of ways you can help your pet lose a little weight if they need to, but obviously it is better to avoid their weight becoming an issue in the first place by putting them on a good routine from the day you bring them home.

Overweight pets are usually classed as being over 15% over their recommended ideal weight and obese pets more than 30% over their recommended ideal weight.
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Coronavirus and our Pets

Following reports in the news of a pet dog in Hong Kong testing MKVG Coronavirus Statement DOGpositive for coronavirus, we are aware pet owners may be worried. The dog tested as a “weak positive” for novel coronavirus multiple times, however has shown no symptoms of the virus. This result suggests only a very, very small amount of the virus was present in the animal.

This suggests that the dog has a low-level of infection of the novel coronavirus and this is likely to be a result of human to animal transmission. At the moment, evidence would suggest that COVID-19 is not “zoonotic”, and is unlikely to spread from animals to humans, and the predominant route of transmission of COVID-19 is still contact human to human or between humans and inanimate objects.

At this time, the World Health Organisation of Animal Health (OIE) have advised that: “There is no evidence that dogs (or cats) can contract or spread infection of COVID-19.” Pet owners are at no more risk from their furry friends than they are inanimate objects such as a door handle. The best approach is still to stick to good hygiene, using soap and water to wash hands regularly throughout the day.

We will endeavour to keep up to date with the situation, and inform our clients as soon as we have any more information. We advise clients to keep up to date with scientific reports, rather than relying on the tabloid news headlines.

Please keep an eye on our website and Facebook pages for further updates as they become available to us.
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Medical conditions that can cause weight changes in dogs

My dog’s weight is changing but I’m not sure why?

If your dog is losing or gaining weight, and you have not change their daily allowances of food, there may be an underlying medical condition. Here are some conditions that can influence an animal’s weight.
  • Thyroid problems – Dogs can experience thyroid issues which may cause them to gain or lose weight quickly. Hypothyroidism is commonly seen in dogs (more so than hyperthyroidism which is often seen in cats), and can cause individuals to gain weight as a clinical symptom.
  • Parasites – Internal parasites can burrow in a dog’s intestinal system and deprive them of the nutrients they require, potentially leading to sudden weight loss.
  • Liver Disease – Dogs that are experiencing liver disease may show weight loss.
  • Diabetes – Diabetes is also known as insulin deficiency, where an animal is unable to absorb sugar from blood. Diabetic dogs will tend to have a large appetite but still experience weight loss.
  • Arthritis – Dogs that are experiencing joint pain may be reluctant to exercise or play and as a result may experience weight gain. A controlled diet to take this into consideration can help.
  • Cushing’s Disease – this is a condition where an animal produces too much of a hormone called cortisol. This condition is normally accompanied by weight gain.
  • Dental problems – if your dog is experiencing dental issues, they may find eating very painful and lose weight as a result of their decreased intake.
If you are worried about your pet’s recent change in weight, please make an appointment with one of our veterinary surgeons to discuss your concerns.
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Is your dog at a healthy weight?

Our canine friends come in all shapes and sizes, so their ideal weight will differ depending on breed, sex and age.

How do I assess my dog’s weight?

When assessing your dog’s weight without a set of scales, you can get an indication by running your fingers down the side of their rib cage. At an ideal weight, you should be able to feel their ribs under a slight fat covering. If their ribs are felt too easily, they may benefit from gaining a little weight, and if their ribs are difficult to feel, they may benefit from losing a little weight.

Another thing that will give us an idea if the dog is at ideal weight, is by running our fingers down their spine. For a dog at ideal weight, you should be able to feel the spine under a slight fat covering. If the spine is prominent then they may benefit from a little weight gain, and if the spine is difficult to feel, they may benefit from losing a little weight.

Lastly, a good indicator is to assess your dog whilst standing up. For a dog at ideal weight their tummy will gather in just slightly after their last rib. If this is not noticeable on your dog, then they may benefit from losing a little weight.
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Kennel Cough: What is it and vaccination update!

Coughing in dogs is a symptom seen quite commonly in the veterinary world, and can be extremely worrying for their owners. There is a number of causes of coughing, and therefore each individual should be assessed by a veterinary surgeon for the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

The most common cause of coughing in dogs is the upper airway infection Infectious Tracheobronchitis, otherwise known as Kennel Cough.





What are the symptoms of Kennel Cough?

In most cases dogs will present with a persistent, hacking cough that may be described by owners as like they are choking. They may also have a runny nose, eye discharge or sneezing. In more severe cases, dogs may also show signs such as inappetence, lethargy, fever or coughs bringing up phlegm.

What causes Kennel Cough?

Infectious Tracheobronchitis can be caused by a number of viral and bacterial organisms. It is possible for an individual to be infected by one or more pathogens at one time. The most common pathogens associated with Kennel Cough are Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Parainfluenza. Bordetella Bronchiseptica is a bacterial pathogen, and infected dogs can shed this organism for up to three months post infection.

How is Kennel Cough spread?

Kennel Cough is highly contagious and will spread easily to other animals through airborne or droplet infection where dogs are in close proximity.

I think my dog has Kennel Cough – what should I do?

If you think your dog is suffering from Kennel Cough, contact us to make an appointment with a veterinary surgeon for assessment. Please let the receptionist know that you suspect your dog has Kennel Cough. We may ask for you to wait outside or in a free consulting room until the vet is ready to see your dog to help limit the exposure of other dogs to this highly contagious condition.

Can Kennel Cough be prevented?

Vaccination can reduce the effect of kennel cough. Commonly protection against Parainfluenza is provided with your dog’s primary course, along with Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus and Canine Parvovirus.

Protection against Bordetella Bronchiseptica, the most common pathogen, is given as a separate vaccine, and can be administered as young as eight weeks of age. There are many other pathogens which cause Kennel Cough, and vaccination cannot guarantee protection against every variation, but will at least help lessen the symptoms.

How is the Kennel Cough vaccine administered?

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group is excited to be using the latest innovation in Kennel Cough vaccination for your pet. We have recently switched to an oral vaccination, which has replaced the older style nasal preparation. The oral vaccination is well tolerated and is much less stressful for your dog to receive. We are already seeing a much more positive reaction from our canine visitors since changing to this new style vaccination.

When should I vaccinate against Kennel Cough prior to putting my pet in kennels?

The onset of immunity after vaccinating against Kennel Cough is three weeks, so we would advise allowing at least this before your dog is due to be admitted to kennels. We strongly advise owners to contact the kennels they are planning to use to enquire about their vaccinations requirements in advance – each establishment will have their own requirements for dogs to stay with them.
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