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Posts Tagged ‘Dogs’

Summer Dangers – Pavements, Roads and Cars

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
It is extremely important, to never leave your pet alone in your car on a hot summer’s day even if the windows are left slightly open or parked in the shade. The temperature in a car can rise dramatically on a warm day, even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside.

Dogs left in a car on a hot summer’s day can become extremely distressed and an experience heatstroke as a result. Symptoms can include:
  • Excessive drooling and thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Dark pigmentation to tongue
  • Heavy panting
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lack of coordination
Heatstroke can be a difficult condition to treat, however need their body temperature lowering gradually, if you think your pet is experiencing signs of heatstroke, move them to a shaded area, provide a cool (NOT COLD) wet towel and place in a breeze of a fan. Please contact you vets immediately to obtain further advice and to be seen at the practice.

As well as cars, pavements and roads can become extremely hot on a warm summer’s day. Studies have shown pavements and roads can reach temperatures of 52oC on warm days, which is enough to severely burn your dog’s paws. As a test, place the back of your hand on the surface for seven seconds – if this is too hot for you, then it is too hot for your pet! Make sure to walk them at the cooler times of day either early morning and late evening to avoid this.
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Summer Dangers – Grass seeds

Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
During this time of year, grass seeds are commonly seen in the veterinary industry. These seeds will fall off and embed themselves in a pet’s paw, ears, armpit, nose or skin and can travel under the skin to other parts of the body.

The signs or symptoms will depend on which body part is affected which can be noted below.
  • Grass seed in a pet’s ear
  • Head shaking
  • Reddening to the ear
  • Painful to touch
  • Head tilt
  • Loss of balance
  • Grass seed in pet’s paw
    • Reddening of skin around area
    • Swelling of foot or between toes
    • Limping
    • Licking at affected area
  • Grass seeds in pet’s eyes
    • Increased tear production
    • Rubbing or pawing at the eye
    • Swelling or redness
  • Grass seeds in pet’s nose
    • Repeated sneezing
    • Discharge from the nostril
    • Rubbing face on surfaces
    • Breathing difficulties
  • Grass seeds under skin
    • Licking at site
    • Grass seed visible out of surface of skin
    • Swollen, red lump
    Grass seeds can be prevented by keeping your lawn tidy, checking your dog over after a walk to remove any grass seeds in these most common areas. If your pet is experiencing any of these signs, please contact your vet for an examination as the main concern is they can migrate within your pet’s body.
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    Alabama Rot – Update February 2020

    Cases of Alabama Rot are still being reported in the UK, with Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists providing an update of a further 12 cases within 2020, totaling 2016 confirmed cases since 2012.

    This disease is still very rare within the UK, and we advise dog owners to seek advice from their local vet if their dog develops unexplained skin lesions. Within a twenty mile radius of Milton Keynes, there has only been one confirmed case since 2014. If you are traveling with your dogs, areas of higher case records include South of England and North West of England areas.
    What is Alabama Rot?

    Alabama rot is a disease which damages blood vessels within the kidney and skin. The disease causes blood clots to form in the vessels, damaging their lining and delicate tissues within the kidneys, and sadly can lead to kidney failure which can be fatal. It can also cause ulceration on the dog’s tongue. Alabama rot is also known as Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), and was first detected by in the 1980s in the USA.


    What causes Alabama Rot?

    Unfortunately the disease can affect any dog of any breed, age or size, and the majority of cases have recently been walked in muddy or woodland areas.

    There seems to be more cases reported during the months November to May than there is between the months of June to October, therefore winter and spring time is more dangerous to your dog.


    What are the symptoms?

    Most commonly, the skin lesions are seen below the knee or elbow, and are a symptom of the disease rather than being a wound from injury. There may be a patch of red skin or an ulcerated area, and there may be swelling around the lesion. In the following two to seven days, the affected dogs have developed signs of kidney failure, including vomiting, lethargy and reduced appetite. This disease will not be the only cause of skin lesions or kidney failure, often there will be another cause.

    However, prompt diagnosis and treatment is imperative for any dog with Alabama Rot, but without knowing what causes the disease, it is also difficult for us to be able to give you specific advice on prevention or where to walk your dog.


    How to prevent Alabama Rot?

    We advise checking your dog over for skin lesions regularly and monitor for any signs as mentioned above. We also suggest bathing your dogs after their walks to remove any mud. Alabama rot is unfortunately not a disease we can vaccinate against at present, and it is not thought to affect cats or rabbits.

    We will update this blog if any new information becomes available for this disease.


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    Cognitive dysfunction syndrome in older dogs

    Ever walked into a room and wondered why you went in there in the first place? I know I have, and at 50 years old it seems to happen more and more! This is part of normal ageing, along with creaky knees and my silver fox hair. Not every person (or dog) ages the same way & sometimes we see changes that are more severe than those of normal “healthy” ageing.

    One of the more common questions I get asked by the owners of geriatric dogs is “do dogs go senile?” The answer is yes they can, although we call it cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). Cognition is the mental process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and the senses, dysfunction simply means it is going wrong!

    The age at which a dog becomes geriatric will depend on the individual, and factors such as breed, but is generally about eight years of age. It is important to realise that geriatric dogs will be less active and rest more, this is normal healthy ageing. What we see with CDS are behavioural issues which may affect the pet’s welfare and the human-dog bond.

    Possible symptoms include disorientation (sometimes the dog doesn’t seem to know where he is even though he is somewhere familiar) and reduced interaction with the family, which may lead to fear or irritation. Disturbed sleep, for example becoming restless at night and sometimes crying at night for no apparent reason. You may see loss of housetraining and an increase in anxiety levels. In severe cases these changes strongly resemble senile dementia in old people, and can be very distressing for the dog and owner.

    What can be done to help? It is important to realise there is no such thing as a cure for CDS. However a number of things can help.
    1. Drugs – the most commonly used drug is Selegiline .This is an enzyme blocker which increases levels of helpful chemicals in the brain such as serotonin and dopamine
    2. Diet- there has been a lot of research into “healthy brain” diets. As the brain ages it becomes less able to use glucose as fuel. By suppling diets that are rich in certain fats called medium chain triglycerides, we can fuel the older brain more efficiently. Also correct levels of Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins B C & E and other ingredients such as Arginine can improve blood flow to the brain, reduce inflammation and help reduce free radicals which damage the brain.
    3. Enrich the environment – It is important to give plenty of attention and interaction to geriatric pets. Most older dogs will still enjoy walks and play, although maybe not so energetically as they did in their youth. Make sure beds are comfy and warm as older dogs will spend more time in them. Puzzle type dog toys can also be useful just as Sudoku and crosswords are helpful in keeping our human brains active
    Remember growing old is a natural process which comes to us all (hopefully) and the vast majority of dogs enjoy their geriatric years despite the occasional “senior moment”. Now where did I put my car keys?
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    Canine filled weekend at Big Doggie Do

    Some of our Milton Keynes Veterinary Group team had a great day at the Parks Trust Big Doggie Do event at Willen Lake on Saturday 26th May and Sunday 27th May, along with Nisha from Paws and Hooves Physiotherapy.

    Big Doggie Do is a canine focused festival with stalls, activities and dog shows including highlights like dog dancing displays, obedience demonstrations, and a dog show.

    Thank you to everyone who popped along to say hi!
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