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Pet sitting: an enjoyable and affordable way to have an overseas holiday

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There's a story in the news today that more British people are choosing “staycations”. There are a number of reasons for this, but one factor is the increasing cost of holidays abroad with the weaker pound since Brexit.

Pet-sitting overseas: an enjoyable experience for animal lovers

I've just experienced a new concept that makes overseas holidays affordable once again. TrustedHouseSitters has a simple premise. If you agree to live in somebody else's house, care for their pets, and carry out basic general maintenance of their home, they will allow you to stay there for free.

I started to plan our summer holiday in April, spoiled for choice of destinations. A cat in Manhattan? A flock of chickens in Austria? A dog in Portugal? Eventually we plumped for an exotic sounding possibility: a dog and cat in a chateau near Bordeaux in the south of France. Before applying for the position, I had to create a "pet sitter profile" for myself and my wife, including independent references from verified “real life” people, vouching for our reliability and skill in caring for pets and plants.

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Why do I need to vaccinate against Lepto?

There have been a lot of scare stories in the media recently about the new L4 leptospirosis (lepto) vaccine. Sadly, some of these have been very misleading, and some owners are even talking about stopping using the lepto vaccine, or reverting to an older and less effective version (the L2 vaccine).

In this blog, we’ll have a look at the disease leptospirosis, and the various risks that you need to be aware of. It’s important to remember that not vaccinating doesn’t necessarily put your dog at lower risk of severe illness, just at risk of different diseases!

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The Itchy and Scratchy Show – pet style!

It always makes me laugh when I catch myself internally chastising itchy animals which are hurting themselves by constantly scratching .“Why doesn’t it just stop scratching?!” I ask myself. Then I think of my recent situation, where, as a keen but incompetent vet student, I was excited to get to scrub into surgery – which means having sterile hands. Hands scrubbed and gloved, I developed a rather inconvenient nose-itch. When facial contortions offered no relief, I sheepishly asked an ungloved vet nurse to scratch my nose for me. A bonding experience, some would say…

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Antibiotic resistance: should the veterinary industry be doing more to help?

Antibiotic resistance, like global warming, is a threat to our future that keeps popping up in the media. The topic moved centre-stage today, with the long awaited publication of a major report that specifies the severity of the risk, and the measures that need to be taken to avert the threat. It's a long report, at 84 pages, and it's worth reading for those with a serious interest in the subject, but here's the gist of what's being said.
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Urgent call by vet profession to stop suffering of brachycephalic dogs and cats

The Pug in the photo below may look "cute", but when you look closely, you'll see that there's a dark circle in the centre of his throat. This is a permanent tracheostomy which had to be surgically created because the unfortunate animal was unable to breathe properly through his nose and mouth. He had started to collapse, suffocating, when he went about his normal daily activities. The tracheostomy was needed to stop him from dying a frightening, choking death.
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