Pet Emergencies Happen When You Least Expect Them

The most common injuries which arise when out and about are things like cut pads, bite wounds, stick injuries and of course road accidents. Many illnesses can also have a fairly sudden onset, sometimes needing an out-of-hours visit to the vets.

Carrying a small first aid kit with you can help with emergencies such as cuts, bites or torn nails. If bleeding is part of the problem, then a temporary bandage applied just until you can get to the surgery can save a lot of mess but could also stop your dog from losing so much blood. A hankie or a sock can be very useful substitutes for a bandage, or anything clean with which you can apply pressure for a few minutes.

However, there is a risk of making matters worse if a bandage is too tight or applied for too long. The circulation may be reduced so much that tissue starts to die, so just use a bandage as a first aid measure until bleeding stops or you can get to your vet’s surgery.

The other thing that can reduce the stress when the unexpected happens is having your pet insured………..

Vestibular Syndrome – strokes in dogs

My twelve year-old collie, Juno had an attack of Vestibular Syndrome this week. These are what we used to call Strokes, but advances in imaging and investigation have led us to realise that they’re not quite the same, even though they appear just as suddenly and with some of the same symptoms.

Dogs can and occasionally do have Strokes, but they tend to be less serious than in humans. In humans, Strokes – or Cerebrovascular Accidents – refer to a bleed in the brain, so that an area loses its blood supply and is starved of oxygen. Damage quickly becomes irreversible and we all know how variable and tough the aftermath can be, for the sufferer and carers alike. Dogs can, rarely, go through the same events, but are more likely to have an episode where, instead of bursting, the blood vessel spasms and shuts down for a short period. Whilst there can still be damage, recovery tends to be quicker and more complete…………..

“No, Radioactive Iodine Therapy Will NOT Make Your Cat Glow In the Dark…”

I had to laugh as I answered my client’s child’s innocent question. But it certainly wasn’t the first time a cat owner had expressed surprise and concern when I first mentioned this treatment for feline hyperthyroidism (see my previous blog for more information on hyperthyroidism). Radioactive iodine therapy (RAIT) certainly does sound scary and this has resulted in some strange misconceptions, but actually it is a fantastic option for the treatment of what can be a frustrating long-term disease of older cats….

The Importance of Dental Care

There are two types of dental care for pets: that given by the owner at home, and that given by the vet in the surgery. Both are very important to the wellbeing of our pets.

It is thought that two thirds of dogs and cats over 3 years old suffer from dental disease. This is not a cosmetic problem, although the appearance and smell from an affected mouth can be very unpleasant! More importantly, it is a cause of pain and ill health.
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Allergic Skin Disease in Dogs

Probably the second most common skin condition I see in dogs (after flea-related problems) is allergic skin disease, or atopy.

Dogs can develop an allergic reaction to any number of things in the environment, or, less commonly, to their food. Common indoor allergens include house dust mites, detergents and carpet cleaning products. Common outdoor allergens include grasses and pollens. Food allergens include beef, pork, dairy products and wheat. And of course fleas themselves can cause allergic skin disease in some unlucky dogs.

An allergic reaction is caused when the immune system makes antibodies to common substances instead of to those which are “foreign” to it. The antibodies cause mast cells in the skin to release chemicals like histamine, which cause irritation and inflammation.

Grissom survives cat flu.

This handsome fellow is Grissom, a lively 3 month old kitten. Like the TV character he is named after, he is extremely inquisitive and tenacious.

Grissom belongs to a good friend of mine and enjoys all the luxuries that a cat-loving household can offer. But unfortunately he had a very bad start in life when he succumbed to cat flu as a young kitten in a rescue cattery.

Heatstroke in Pets

It’s been scorching here in Gloucestershire recently, and while the hot weather has been enjoyed by most of the population, it has not been so welcome for all, particularly for pets who find it difficult to cope with such extremes of temperature. In the surgery recently I’ve seen a few pets suffering from the effects of too much sun – a dog with mild heatstroke, a cat with sunburnt ear tips, and then there was Harry the bunny who was brought in last Friday in a real state…….

Difficult decisions towards the end of life.

A few weeks ago I was asked by a close friend to put her dog to sleep at home. Timmy was a farm dog really, who slept in a stable, but just as much of a family member as any house-dog and much loved. I trusted Timmy’s owners’ judgement completely as to when the “right time” came to part with Timmy, and I was already familiar with his medical history.

I was glad to be able to carry out the euthanasia in the way in which his owners wanted. Timmy was in familiar surroundings, greeted me like an old friend and showed no distress at all.With his owners beside him, I clipped some hair from his front leg and injected a strong solution of anaesthetic into his vein. He went so peacefully that there were only a few tears, mixed with feelings of relief. Timmy was buried on the farm.

Epilepsy in dogs and cats

This week my colleagues and I treated a lovely beagle called Emily, who was rushed to the surgery in a state called “status epilepticus”. This means that she was not just having an epileptic seizure, but was having continuous repeated seizures with no real recovery in between. This is an emergency situation, and fortunately Emily’s owners knew exactly what to do: they phoned the surgery first to let us know, so that we could be ready for her arrival, and then they brought her straight in. This is not something that can be treated in the home, so although it was a bit frightening for them to have to move her, they knew that it was in her best interests…

So you want to have a litter of pups?

By Cat Henstridge The Pet Street Vet. Breeding a dog is a big undertaking and many people underestimate the time and effort that will go into the process. Not to mention the risks to the bitch (there is no truth to the rumour that having a litter is ‘good’ for her) and the fact you have to find loving, responsible homes for the puppies once they are born. However, some people are determined to go ahead, so how do you ensure you breed the best possible quality puppies and keep your bitch safe and healthy?

More Useful Information

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Simple ways to check the health of your pet. Vets use these techniques as part of their clinical examiniation.

Medicating your pet

Arming you with the same simple techniques for stress free pill giving.

Worming & Flea Treatment

Information and advice in treating your pet for worms and fleas.