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Posts Tagged ‘pet’

Minimising Stress Post Lockdown

  • Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
    Many pets and their owners have had their normal routine disrupted over the past few months. As you find yourself returning to work after several weeks at home, you may find your pet starts to show signs of separation anxiety and potentially adverse behaviour patterns. As a veterinary practice, we expect there may be a rise in behavioural issues in pets, with separation anxiety being the number one contributing factor.

    Unfortunately for behavioural problems, there is no quick solution but you can help by using a combination of:
    • Training Programmes
    • Environmental enrichment
    • Pheromones
    • Pharmaceuticals
    Training and the environment are especially important in resolving behavioural issues, particularly for separation anxiety. If over the last few months you have spent more time at home than normal, your pet will have become accustomed to this extra time with you.

    Here are a few ideas to help your pet when you leave the house in preparation to when you may return to normal routine:
    • Increase the time you are spending away from your pet gradually
    • When you leave the house give your pet a safe toy to keep them distracted
    • When you return home, make sure you greet your pet in a calm manner
    • Leave clothes that you have recently worn as a comfort for your pet
    • Make sure your pet still gets regular exercise and play time
    • Create a safe place for them to reside when you are not at home
    What are pheromone replacements?

    Pheromone replacements for dogs are a synthetic replication of the dog appeasing pheromone that is naturally released by the dog’s mother to provide comfort and reassurance. There are also pheromone replacements for cats which is a synthetic replication of the feline facial pheromone when they rub their face on people, furniture, doorways and other objects.

    We have different pheromone products available at Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, please contact us if you would like advice and which may be suitable for your pet. These remedies are available over the counter.

    Through a combination of both behavioural training and pheromone replacements you can help your pet adapt to their new normal.
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    Keeping pets safe during the warmer weather and when visiting the practice

    Milton Keynes Veterinary Group
    In the last few weeks we have had some warmer weather, please bear in mind our pets aren’t able to cope as well in warmer weather. Therefore as owners, we need to make sure they are safe, cool, healthy and happy.

    Hot cars are one of the biggest health concerns during the warmer months. Animals should never be left in a locked car when it’s hot outside. Even if the window is open, temperatures can increase to extreme levels very quickly. As a result, pets suffer from heatstroke.
    If you are traveling to the surgery for an appointment and you are waiting outside in a car, please be mindful and use air conditioning where possible. There are water bowls accessible outside the practice. Please use these as needed whilst remembering to keep your distance from each other.

    Other considerations for owners during the warmer climate:

    Animals can get sunburnt too just like us! If they will be exposed to the sunlight, apply sun cream to white and pink areas of their skin and importantly the tip of the ears. Animals with lighter coloured fur will be more prone.

    FROZEN TREATS Animals will love to have something cool, so why not pop your dog’s Kong in the freezer for a nice cool and refreshing treat. You can also use frozen water bottles wrapped in a towel and pop it in their bed for our cats and small furries

    Our smaller pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs can be more at risk more quickly in the hotter temperatures. To reduce the chance of flystrike, check around their bottoms for fly eggs or maggots. This should be checked at least once a day. There are preventative treatments for Flystrike which last around 6 weeks depending on the product.

    We advise to walk your dog during the cooler times of the day such as early morning or late evening. If it is still too hot to walk them, give them a rest of the evening. It is safer for them to not have a walk than to be at risk of heatstroke.

    After walking your dog, it is a good idea to check their feet for any grass seeds. If these are left, they can track under the dog’s skin and cause swelling and lameness. They can also be found in dog’s ears!

    Signs to look out for include collapse, rapid panting, excessive drooling and sticky gums. Provide your pet with plenty of fresh, clean drinking water and provide a shaded area. If you are worried that you pet is suffering from heatstroke, please seek veterinary advice immediately.

    Prevent your pet from sitting in direct sunlight, provide a shaded area and move hutches and cages if necessary.
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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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    Is your cat at a healthy weight?

    Do you ever wonder if your cat is a healthy weight? Your cat’s ideal weight will depend on their breed, sex and age and therefore it will be individual to each animal.

    How do I assess my cat’s weight?

    Firstly to assess if your cat is a healthy weight, we would begin by looking at the animal’s ribs. At ideal weight you will be able to place your hands over their ribs and feel their ribs easily with minimal fat covering. For a cat that is underweight, their ribs will be pronounced with little fat cover and will benefit from gaining weight. For a cat that is overweight, you may find it difficult to feel their ribs if there is a large amount of fat covering and will benefit from losing a little weight.

    Secondly we can look at your cat’s body shape from above. At ideal weight their waist will gather in behind the last rib. For a cat that is overweight, there will be no obvious waist line.

    Next we can look at their tummy. When they are standing, a cat’s tummy line should tuck in behind their ribs when they are at ideal weight. In a cat that is overweight, their tummy may be rounded or may have a ‘fat pad’ that sags down, these individuals may benefit from slight weight loss.

    Lastly we can assess the cat’s spine by running our fingers down their spine. In a cat at ideal weight you will be able to feel the spine with a thin covering of fat, but it won’t be prominently seen. If a cat is underweight, the spine will be visible with little fat covering and would benefit from a weight gain. If a cat is overweight, the spine will be difficult to feel with a large fat lining and may benefit from a little weight loss.
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