- New Puppy or Kitten?
- Dunedin Vets Healthy Pet Club
- Does my Pet have Worms?
- Annual Booster Vaccinations
- Fleas and How to Control Them
- Is your Pet getting a bit stiff?
- How white are your pet's teeth?
- Fireworks and Your Pets
- Veterinary Acupuncture
- Thyroid Disease: Is your Pet affected?
- Veterinary Homeopathy
- Pre-operative Information
- Berry Bugs
If you have just got a new puppy or kitten you will want to make sure he or she gets a good start in life.
We offer free puppy or kitten checks so bring the little one along to the surgery so we can ensure he or she is in good health. We can advise on feeding, puppy vaccinations, kitten vaccinations, flea control, worming and insurance when you come. We prefer your new arrival to settle in for a few days prior to any vaccination due, so take advantage of our free health check now and get all the advice you need.
Free puppy or kitten check - if your new pet is not quite old enough or needs to settle in, we give a free health check.
Vaccination course - two vaccines 2-4 weeks apart. See below for further details.
Healthcare booklet - a complimentary 12-page bespoke booklet with all the information and advice you may need from house training to worm treatment. Of course, our vets and vet nurses will be happy to advise on any aspect of your pet's health and wellbeing.
Healthcheck at 6 months of age (free of charge) - an important age to check growth, development and training.
Plus: 4 weeks free Pet Health Insurance
By joining the Dunedin Healthy Pet Club the Puppy Vaccination Course costs just £37.00, saving £51.00 off our normal price. There are lots of other benefits too such plus 50% off a microchip - saving £12.50 and 10% of neutering procedures.
A Kitten Vaccination course costs just £29.50 for indoor cats when you join the Dunedin Healthy Pet Club or £39.00 for cats that go out. That's a saving of up to £56.00. We can also implant a microchip discounted by 50% - saving £12.50 as well as 10% off neutering.
With your first monthly payment starting at £7.49 for cats and £13.49 for dogs we can supply top quality flea, tick and worm treatments at your first health check with us.
Just call us now on 01875 613593 for an appointment or click here to register first.
Don't forget we have a plan for rabbits too.
To get you started about learning how to care for your new arrival why not download a PDF version of our Puppy Care Guide or Kitten Care Guide by clicking the relevant link.
We love your pets and want them to receive the best care throughout their lives. By joining this club you can provide your pet with essential care in easy, money-saving monthly payments.
Our Dunedin Vets Healthy Pet Club offers:
- Annual Booster
- Full clinical examination twice per year
- Worming treatment for 12 months
- Flea & Tick treatment for 12 months
- All included in a simple monthly payment by direct debit
Special introductory offers include half-price first vaccines for pups and kittens. For your adult cats and dogs - a half-price booster vaccine when you join the plan.
*for full details please send us an email - see the link below.
Other valuable benefits:
|20% off||10% off|
|Kennel Cough Vaccination||Neutering|
|Rabies Vaccination||In House Blood Tests|
|Pet Foods, Diets and More|
Don't delay, contact us today to pre-register. Plans available for puppies, kittens, adult dogs and adult cats as well as rabbits. Let us know which plan you are looking for and we will send you details for our great special introductory offers and how much you can save by simply paying an affordable monthly fee.
The best way to ensure your pet stays worm free is to know your enemy! Sadly, even the best-kept pets will occasionally be troubled by worms. Tapeworms live in the small intestines and shed segments which contain eggs. These pass out in the faeces and the eggs may then be eaten by an intermediate host (such as fleas and small rodents.) Dogs and cats swallow fleas as they groom and cats catch and eat small rodents, in both cases reinfecting themselves with tapeworms. Roundworms also live in the small intestines and shed thousands of tiny eggs, which pass out in the faeces, polluting the environment. Cats and dogs are re-infected by unwittingly eating eggs in the environment. These eggs also pose some risk to children if inadvertently swallowed. Here are three simple steps to keep your pet and the environment worm free:
- Worm your pet regularly
- Use regular flea control
- Clean up faeces
Please let us advise you on the most suitable worming and flea control regime for your pet.
Our Vaccination Policy Explained
The routine use of companion animal vaccinations has saved many pets from suffering preventable and often fatal contagious diseases.
Vaccination against contagious disease in our pets has greatly contributed to their health over the past few decades and we have seen a large reduction in the number of deaths attributed to these diseases. However, we must not be complacent. We still regularly see clinical cases of cat flu, myxomatosis in rabbits and canine leptospirosis which can all be prevented by regular vaccination.
The canine vaccination we use is manufactured by Intervet who have done much research and development on the interval of booster vaccinations. It has been proven that the Leptospirosis and Parainfluenza components need to be given each year but the Distemper, Parvovirus and Hepatitis can be given every third year. We have been following this recommendation since it was published. See www.f-o-v.co.uk for more information.
In cats, we tailor the vaccinations given to their individual circumstances. Some house cats can be vaccinated against cat Flu and Enteritis only. Whereas cats who go outside must be vaccinated against Feline Leukaemia Virus too. There is no data available to support longer intervals than 12 months for booster vaccination. It is not uncommon for us to see Cat Flu in cats whose booster has only just lapsed and this supports the annual booster interval recommendation in the product's license.
We always aim to provide the highest standard of veterinary care to all pets entrusted to us. We, therefore, follow the best scientific advice and recommend a health check and booster vaccination every year. We follow the recommendations in the data sheets published by the manufacturers. The vaccines are licensed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate only after satisfactory testing to ensure their efficacy and safety. The Veterinary Products Committee, an independent, expert advisory group (advising and reporting to both the government and the licensing authority) has emphasised the safety and value of vaccination, and present data on the extremely low prevalence of adverse reactions to these products in dogs and cats.
We fully endorse the recent joint statement from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association and British Veterinary Association regarding the recommendation for annual vaccination. Read it in full at www.bsava.com and also check out the most recent independent study regarding vaccination safety.
As veterinary surgeons, we have a duty of care to animals under our care and we must ensure that as many pets as possible are fully protected against killer diseases such as parvovirus, hepatitis, distemper, leptospirosis in dogs; cat flu, feline enteritis, feline leukaemia virus in cats; myxomatosis and haemorrhagic viral disease in rabbits; and that this protection is maintained throughout their life.
Just about every cat and dog will come into contact with the odd flea or two from time to time. And not even the most powerful insecticides that we can apply to our cats and dogs will stop that happening.
Luckily, your pet won't usually notice a couple of fleas. Even with a fine toothcomb, you'd be hard pushed to find them yourself. In any event, they'll usually die of natural causes in three days. So why do we spend so much time and money trying to exterminate them? Well, the problem comes when those two fleas on your pet really are 'a couple', because the one thing that a flea does, with greater efficiency than almost any other species, is reproduce. Indeed, once two fleas have joined together, the female can lay up to 40 eggs a day. Even that wouldn't matter, except that most cats and dogs live in our homes. This means that all those eggs are merrily falling into your carpets. Very quickly, what started as two fleas becomes a crowd of thousands, all hanging around the house waiting to be fed. And if poor old Fido isn't eaten alive, then chances are you'll be the target!
The good news is that by using regular preventative treatment you can keep your home flea free. We have the latest and most effective treatments available and can advise what is the best treatment for your pets. There is a large range to choose from and getting it right will ensure your home does not become infested. There is an injectable product for cats, which lasts a full 6 months, or a similar product can be given monthly by mouth to cats and dogs. We are now all familiar with spot-on treatments for fleas. These have a proven safety record and the newer ones even stop the larvae developing in your home saving the hassle of using a household flea spray. Beware! Not all flea spot on's are the same. Some cheaper brands (not sold through ourselves) are merely repellents and do little or nothing for an active infestation, just ask us for advice.
Arthritis, inflammation of one or more joints, can affect a dog at any age. More commonly, it is found in older animals, especially where there is a history of injury or previous joint problems (for example, hip or elbow dysplasia.) It can be an extremely painful and debilitating condition, often leading to a less active lifestyle. There are many factor contributing to arthritis, its severity and its progression. As an owner, you can help your dog by following these guidelines.
The heavier your dog is, the more wear and tear there is on each joint. We offer free weight checks at the surgery. A reduction in daily food intake and/or special prescription diet may be required to achieve your dog's optimum weight.
Controlled Exercise Regime
Some exercise is of obvious benefit, but too much can lead to an increased level of discomfort. Restricted, often lead exercise, may be required. Swimming can be a valuable method of improving joint strength and mobility. Speak to your veterinary surgeon or nurse for advice on how best to exercise your dog.
Medication & Other Treatments
Anti-Inflammatory Pain Relief
There are a number of different types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs available. They come in tablet or liquid form. The newer drugs we now have available are very effective at relieving pain, increasing mobility and improving quality of life. These can be used at variable dose-levels, which can be adjusted depending on the severity of the condition. For long-term medication, we recommend blood tests to check liver and kidney function. Any of these drugs can cause gastrointestinal problems but these are uncommon.
Beneficial drugs acting on cartilage itself. One, known as Cartrophen is a polymer that binds to damaged cartilage and stimulates cartilage repair, it can be used either alone or in combination with glucosamine. A course of four, once weekly injections is recommended.
Glucosamine : helps to optimise repair of the joint cartilage, by stimulating joint cartilage regeneration, decreasing pain, increasing mobility and improving quality of life. All dogs of all ages can benefit either from treatment and /or prevention.
Other supplements to compliment arthritis control include fish oils rich in omega three fatty acids, green lipped muscle extracts, and chondroitin.
Acupuncture - A course of weekly treatment is very helpful in many long standing cases. Partner, Chris Monk has been studying and using this technique with considerable success.
Homeopathy - A safe, effective way of helping osteoarthritis. A full history of your pet is required before prescribing these remedies. Partner, Magot Humter is the vet to see for this.
More information is available at:
Plaque accumulates on our pets teeth just like it does on ours.
Plaque is a sticky film consisting of saliva, food material and bacteria. The brown discolouration, present from as young an age as one year, arises if plaque is not regularly removed from the teeth.
This is tartar, a hard brown substance tightly adherent to the enamel. If this is present at the tooth-gum margin, it causes inflammation known as gingivitis.
Gingivitis is quite tender and if left untreated leads to gum recession, sometimes with pocket formation. This is called periodontal disease. This may extend down the tooth to the bone and lead to tooth loosening and ultimate loss.
Dogs' teeth can develop holes in the enamel, known as caries. We often find holes in the neck of the cats' teeth, known as feline resorbtive lesions. Sometimes the gum grows excessively when it is inflamed and needs surgery.
There are various other diseases which can occur in the mouth and these are checked for when we perform any oral examination.
Brush the teeth! We have advanced toothpastes available for dogs and cats which can be safely swallowed and do not froth up like human toothpastes. They are more abrasive too and contain enzymes which clean and disinfect the mouth.
Feed foods designed to help keep the teeth clean:
Firstly chews, all sorts of these are stocked by pet shops and ourselves. We even have chews for cats!
Special oral care diets. Used regularly, the special fibrous nature of the biscuits means your pet cleans their own teeth as they eat their food.
Dental exerciser toys - spread some toothpaste on the rubber toy and your dog cleans his/her own teeth.
Tartar can be removed using an ultrasonic dental scaler just like your dentist uses. This procedure is carried out under general anaesthesia to allow us to thoroughly examine and treat not just the tartar build up but any other tooth or gum disease which may be present. The teeth are thoroughly polished afterwards to help limit plaque adhesion afterwards.
Then preventative measures must be started to limit the build up again.
Remember: A healthy pet has a healthy mouth.
As your pet matures it is vital that any teeth and gum disease is treated to maintain health and vitality into old age.
Does your dog whimper when the bangs start? Does your cat appear fearful?
This is not just fear, this is a noise phobia. It is very important to recognise this for what it is. The problem continually worsens with time but can be treated in a number of ways.
We can tailor the treatment to your dog or cat, not just sedate them!
Most treatments are best started well in advance of fireworks night.
Just call in at the surgery as many products can be supplied at the Reception.
These are very useful, as they do not sedate your dog and can be given over a number of days. They can be used along with behavioural modification. This class of medication is by prescription. We will need to have seen your dog recently and discuss it with you to determine if these would be of benefit.
Natural Calming Products
A safe, new product called Zylkene has been used in both cats and dogs. It is derived from a milk protein and has no known side effects. Simply sprinkle the capsule on your pet's food. This works well for any stressful times such as fireworks and kennelling. Just call in at the surgery to discuss this with us and we can supply it if appropriate. Scullcap & Valerian herbal remedy is also available for pets.
Natural Pheromone Therapy
Known as dog appeasing pheromone (Adaptil.) Simply plug it in like an air freshener to help calm your dog. A similar product, Feliway can be used for stressed cats.
Ensure your pet has somewhere to go if he or she is frightened. A den or refuge gives security.
Behavioural Modification - desensitise your dog to the noise.
This can be achieved by repeatedly playing a recording of fireworks or thunder, initially at very low volumes, along with special training. Best results are achieved if used alongside Adaptil or Zylkene.
It is best to treat the phobia rather than sedate them but we can still supply the yellow sedative tablets if required.
We would like to have the opportunity to give you more detailed advice on preparation for the firework season.
Please ask for advice on what is best for your pet.
Acupuncture is a form of treatment developer some 3 or 4 thousand years ago in China. It involves the insertion of very fine needles into specific points in the body to produce physiologic responses which result in a healing effect.
The Ancient Chinese said that illness was a state of imbalance or blockage in the normal energy flows of the body and that acupuncture, acting on the channels of energy flow, restored them to normal. Modern research has shown that acupuncture can affect most body systems.
Partner, Chris Monk, has been using acupuncture successfully for a number of years and has passed the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society Examination. He is a member of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists (ABVA).
Acupuncture is especially useful in the following conditions:
Arthritis, Back Pain, Chronic Catarrh, Chronic Diarrhoea, Disc Disease, Hip Dysplasia, Incontinence, Injuries involving the ligaments tendons and muscles, Paralysis, Sinusitis, Spondylosis, Certain Skin Conditions and Trapped Nerves.
Additionally, it can help any chronic pain which is not being controlled adequately by conventional treatment or when side effects are a problem.
Acupuncture treatment involves the insertion of a varying number of needles which are left in place for approximately 20 minutes.
The average number of treatments is about four and if improvement follows it will usually be apparent by then. Some problems may need as many as six treatments before showing any signs of improvement, but generally - if there is no improvement at all after three treatments, it is unlikely acupuncture will have an effect.
Treatments are usually once a week, to begin with, then at longer intervals according to progress. Chronic conditions may subsequently require booster treatments at varying intervals.
Animals accept needles fairly well and will often relax and some will even fall asleep during the treatment.
There is very little risk from acupuncture when in expert hands. In some strong reactors, temporary aggravation is quickly followed by substantial relief.
Acupuncture is a useful form of therapy especially for conditions that do not respond well to orthodox means. It is not a cure-all but should be considered with other established methods of treatment. It can fill a gap but will never replace conventional therapy, but can sometimes be beneficial when other treatments have failed.
It has the advantage that undesirable side effects of some drug therapy can be avoided.
Did you know that thyroid disease is surprisingly common in dogs and cats?
The thyroid gland consists of two lobes - one located on each side of the trachea (windpipe). The gland produces thyroid hormone which regulates your pet's metabolism - too much thyroid hormone speeds up the metabolism, whilst too little slows it down.
Overproduction of thyroid hormone is termed hyperthyroidism and is a relatively common condition in cats over 8 years of age. Affected cats tend to burn up energy too rapidly and lose weight despite an increased appetite and food intake. In addition, excess thyroid hormone usually increases the heart rate, potentially leading to abnormal thickening of the heart muscle, and increased blood pressure. As well as the above, a variety of other signs may also be seen including hyperactivity, vomiting and diarrhoea. However, the good news is that in most cases, hyperthyroidism in cats can be very successfully treated.
Underproduction of thyroid hormone is called hypothyroidism and is a relatively common condition in the older dog. Lower levels of thyroid hormone result in a decrease in the metabolic rate, usually leading to weight gain (with no increase in appetite) and generalised lethargy. Other signs often include coat problems and recurrent skin and ear infections. Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is often more difficult than hyperthyroidism. However, once a diagnosis has been made, daily treatment with oral thyroid supplements is usually very effective in treating the condition.
If you are concerned that your dog or cat is showing off any of the signs described above, please arrange an examination of your pet.
Homeopathy (homoeopathy / homœopathy) is a system of medicine that bases it therapeutics on the principle of 'let likes be cured by likes' - 'similia similibus curentur', The medicines used may be derived from animal, vegetable or mineral sources and, in latter times, remedies have also been derived from man-made substances. The initial requirement for treatment is knowledge of what effect a particular remedy or substance will have on a healthy body (i.e. what signs and symptoms it can provoke in a healthy body.) The signs and symptoms presented by a sick animal or person are then compared to this 'symptom picture' of the various medicines, choosing that medicine which is the closest 'match.'
There is no risk of: a) toxic side-effects, b) medicine residues in farm animal products, c) 'doping' or residues in sporting animals, d) stimulation of antibiotic resistance. Laboratory animal research is not required for its development.
The strategy of a homoepathic consultation is to find the correct stimulus for the body's inherent healing potential (i.e. the correct homeopathic remedy) and, as an essential adjunct to this, to remove or to minimise any factors and influences that could obstruct or impede that healing process. For this reason, attention to the patient's diet is an essential part of the procedure, with a conscious attempt to feed each species as naturally and as healthily as possible, in line with its evolved needs.
Please contact vet, Margot Hunter, for a consultation or the British Association of Veterinary Homeopaths for more information.
This has been prepared so that you are fully aware of what is involved in the administration of a general anaesthetic to your pet.
Every general anaesthetic, whether it is given to a person or an animal, involves some risk to life. In healthy animals, the risk is very small, but in no animal is there no risk at all - the risk is highest in very young, old or sick pets, and higher in overweight animals and those in poor health. Please let us know if your pet has shown any signs of ill health recently.
Every animal undergoing an anaesthetic at this clinic is given a thorough clinical examination pre-operatively. Urine and blood tests can be carried out to check liver and kidney function. We do not do these routinely as they are not essential in healthy animals. When your pet is admitted to the surgery we will ask you if you wish a blood test to be carried out.
We strongly recommend that all pets are up to date with their vaccinations prior to any surgery, as this can lower their resistance to disease. Your pet could be put at risk if their booster is overdue.
- Please inform the surgery if your pet is receiving any medication.
- Do not feed your dog or cat after 10:00pm the night before the anaesthetic. Feed rabbits as normal.
- Water may be given up until morning. Remove the bowl at breakfast time unless we inform you otherwise. (Older or ill pets can have water.)
- Ensure no food is given to your dog or cat on the morning of the operation.
- Please take your dog for a short walk in the morning so they may empty their bowels and bladder.
- Keep cats indoors overnight prior to surgery.
- Rabbits like to eat straight after procedures so please bring some of their favourite food. (This also applies to other small mammals and birds.)
What are they?
These are mites, which live in grass & other vegetation. The larvae are little reddish-orange specks, just visible to the naked eye. These are the parasitic stage. They are active only in late summer at harvest time, hence their other name "Harvest Mites". They are found throughout Britain, but are especially prevalent in the East of Scotland.
What do they do?
The larvae have hooked mouthparts, which attach onto the skin. They are most commonly found on lightly haired areas of the body such as between the toes, ears and abdomen. They can occur on any species of animal. They do not suck blood but secrete an enzyme, which helps them to digest skin tissue. This enzyme causes severe itching and a weeping dermatitis. Repeated attacks by “berry bugs” results in an allergic condition, where affected animals lick, bite and scratch the infested areas.
These larvae only feed for 3 or 4 days at a time before dropping off into the vegetation again.
Many animals do not require treatment. However animals, which are sensitised to them, require ongoing treatment during the “berry bug season”. Fortunately the season is short, lasting eight weeks at most.
The ideal treatment would be preventing animals coming in contact with the larvae. This is rarely practical. You could try to keep your dog away from grass or your cat indoors for eight weeks.
Treatment is therefore aimed at removing the “berry bug” larvae and to reduce the severity of the hypersensitivity reaction to them.
Washing your pets in antiseptic shampoo can help a lot. This can be carried out daily if required. Often only the feet or underside are affected and only these area need be bathed.
At Dunedin Vets we use a type of flea spray and apply it directly to the affected area. However this method of application is not licensed so must only be applied by us or under our direction. Please ask us for further advice about this.
Nothing repels “berry bugs”, so animals regularly become reinfected, hence the need for ongoing treatment.
If your pet has itchy feet or legs as described above your pet may need veterinary treatment to relieve the itch. This is recommended if the skin has become broken from excessive licking or scratching. A short course of corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce the allergic reaction and relieve the itch along with measures described above to remove the berry bugs. If the broken skin has become infected antibiotics may be prescribed in addition.
- Once animals are sensitised to “berry bugs”, they will always be affected by them.
- Try to reduce exposure to them.
- Treat as soon as signs are noticed.
- Treat regularly.
- Treat intensively.
- At least the season is short.