NEWS & ARTICLES

pets

NEWS

50% off Health Screenings for Senior Pets at Grange Hill Veterinary Centre
added 4th October 2017
Did you know that cats and dogs age at around 7 years to every human year? So visiting the vet every 6 months is the equivalent to us seeing a doctor once every three and a half years!

Like us, our pets can develop age related diseases such as diabetes, kidney problems or issues with their eyesight. They will often hide any discomfort they are in though, due to their primal survival instincts, leading back to when our pets were wild. 

Whilst vets look for hidden signs of pain and early indications of diseases, these are often only apparent when diseases become severe enough to produce symptoms such as excessive drinking, urination or fluctuations in weight.
A simple blood test, urine test and test for dry eye accompanied by a routine physical exam can help us tell you if your pet is as healthy on the inside as they look on the outside, or if early signs of age related disease are present.
So if your cat or dog is older than 7 (that's nearly 50 in dog years) why not book them in for a senior pet health screen* today? 

*Terms & conditions: health screenings for senior pets are available for healthy cats and dogs over 7 years old. Screening includes initial consult, blood sampling fee, WELN Idexx blood profile, urine dipstick and gravity tests, a schirmer tear test if required and results provided over the phone. Any additional tests or fees are chargeable at full price. Offer available 1st October 2017 – 31st January 2018.

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease in Rabbits (RHD2)
added 9th September 2017
We have been vaccinating rabbits against viral haemorrhagic disease (RHD1) in rabbits for many years now however in recent years a new strain of the virus (RHD2) has been affecting rabbits across the country. There have now been diagnosed cases of this new strain in our local postcode area and so we would like to alert rabbit owners to the potential consequences of this.

What is the new strain of viral haemorrhagic disease (RHD2)? 
The new strain of this disease was first noted in 2010. It is spread via contact, contaminated food/hay/water, can be transported on the wind or spread by carriers such as vermin or insects. All rabbits are at risk. The disease can cause sudden and unexplained death or can cause symptoms such as lethargy, high temperature, bleeding from the bottom or nose, respiratory difficulty.

What can you do to protect your rabbits?
There is a vaccine against this disease that can be given from 10 weeks of age. It is currently being imported by Veterinary Wholesalers however due to the high demand it is currently unavailable. If we are unable to offer the vaccine  (please call the surgery to request the latest information) then please take the following precautions to help minimise the risks to your rabbits;
  • Where possible, move your rabbits indoors to a safe and stimulating environment
  • Avoid providing grass from sources where wild rabbit may have fed
  • Use high quality hay and bedding materials from reliable sources
  • Do not wear your outdoor clothes such as boots around your rabbits and ensure hygiene is scrupulous
  • Protect against biting insects such as flies and fleas
Unfortunately there is no easy solution for this virus. Prevention measures may help but cannot fully eliminate the risks. Please call us immediately if your rabbits show any signs, however small, of being unwell. When you bring your rabbit for an appointment please keep them in your car in their carriers until the Vet calls you for your appointment (if the weather is warm please stay in your vehicle with your rabbit to prevent any risk of overheating)
Summertime and Your Rabbit 
added 1st July 2017    **see article added 9th Sept for updated rabbit advice**
Follow some of our top tips and help to keep your pet rabbits comfortable over the summer months. 
  • Rabbits need lots of space so they can run, jump and stretch their legs fully. A lot more room than traditional hutches allow is required to prevent rabbits from becoming unhappy. This link to the Rabbit Welfare Association webpage has some great ideas https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-housing/
  • A comfortable indoor space with access to a secure and safe outdoor run is a great idea. Use tunnels and tubes to provide access in and out of the spaces
  • Enrich the rabbits environment with tunnels, toys and places to dig. Make sure any outdoor runs are secure (see link to RWAF above
  • Rabbits are social animals that need to live in the company of their own species. Make sure you get advice from us on the best pairings and what to do about neutering males or females to make sure you don't end up with more rabbits than you can handle. Don't mix rabbits with guinea-pigs as they are two separate species with different needs. Rabbits can cause injury with their strong, kicking back legs and guinea pigs are very vulnerable.
  • Make sure you feed your rabbit with grass and hay. Other green veg such as broccoli and spring greens can be given as treats. A small amount of pellet food can be offered but grass and hay should form around 80% of the food a rabbit eats every day
  • Make sure you check your rabbits daily for signs of flystrike. Flies soon lay eggs on rabbits that haven't kept themselves clean. This can lead to infestation with maggots that can cause serious injury and possibly death of a rabbit. Flystrike can be prevented with the right treatment. We include a flystrike prevention medication in our rabbit Pet Health Club that gives protection for up to 10 weeks with discounts on continued protection throughout the year.
  • Biting insects can spread diseases such as Myxomatosis so make sure your rabbit's vaccinations are up to date
  • Keep outdoor spaces cool by keeping them out of direct sunlight and covering with white cotton sheeting if you need to make additional shade. Make sure water bottles or bowls are changed daily with fresh water. 
Our vets and nurses can offer you all kinds of help and advice when it comes to caring for your rabbit so why not call us today on 01543 416246 and make an appointment. We think our Pet Health Club for rabbits gives you an excellent and very cost effective method of getting their preventative health care just right. 

The Trouble With Ticks
added 24th May 2017
Warm weather means it's time to think about ticks and the consequences a tick bite may have for our pets. Amongst the diseases ticks can pass on to our animals is Lyme Disease. This disease can be transmitted via a tick bite to dogs, less commonly to cats and is also a hazard to humans. Ticks pass on a blood-borne bacteria that causes Lyme Disease when they feed on an animal. Ticks are small arachnids that feed primarily on deer, sheep and hedgehogs. Ticks will attach to any animal they encounter that passes through grasses, heather and other foliage so our dogs and cats are particularly at risk if they spend time outdoors. Dogs which have been infected often develop lethargy, fever and a lack of appetite with painful joints soon following. Chronic Lyme disease in dogs often responds to treatment with antibiotics but it may take several weeks of dosing and there may be other complications. Worryingly the condition can also be passed by ticks to humans and it can cause serious health problems with very long-lasting effects. We all need to take ticks seriously and make sure our pets are treated so that ticks are prevented from attaching or killed so rapidly that they do not have time to feed and pass on the bacteria. Ticks are really very small when they attach and by the time you notice them on your pet they will have been feeding and engorging for some time. It is by far the best approach to prevent this from happening. 

There are several options for preventing and treating ticks which must take into consideration your pet's lifestyle. Collars and spot-on treatments that are tick specific are very effective, however tablets may be better for pets that swim very frequently. Many of the commonly used anti-flea preparations do not kill ticks and often a separate product is required. One other important thing to bear in mind is that tick treatments (and other parasite control products) designed specifically for dogs should NEVER be used on cats. They can contain ingredients that are poisonous to cats. 

The safest and most reliable method for preventing or treating ticks is to see your vet for an accurately dosed and effective product that will be suitable for your pet. We offer a consultation with our vets free of charge* if you would like to introduce a tick treatment to your pet's parasite control regime. Alternatively, if your pet has been seen here within the last 3 months our vets may be able to prescribe a treatment to animals under their care without consultation. Some tick treatments may be covered by our PET HEALTH CLUB care plan; please ask us to check your pet's parasite control when they visit us for their Health Club check ups.

Call us today on 01543 416246 and ask to speak to one of our Veterinary Nurses about the options available for your pet.

*free of charge applies only if the consultation is solely to provide tick treatment to animals with no clinical signs of illness/injury etc. If the patient has any conditions/symptoms and illnesses that you wish to discuss then a consultation fee is charged. Please ask the vet at the time of your appointment if you are unsure 

If you would like to know how to check your pets for ticks watch this short video from My Pet Online- you may be surprised.

Parasites....what's all the fuss about?
added 11th April 2017

We talk about parasites all the time, some you can see and some that you can't, but they're all bad news for pets. Click here to learn more about them and to see what you can do

Spring in the air
added 21st March 2017

It's that time of year when the days get longer and the weather gets milder and thoughts turn to getting out and about, enjoying the garden and relaxing with our pets. It's also the time of year when the warm weather stimulates slugs and snails into activity in our garden and other pests such as fleas and ticks emerge from the cold.

How about checking your pet's parasite control is up to date and that they are getting the protection they need? 

If your pets are members of our PET HEALTH CLUB and you already bring them to see us twice a year then you'll be secure in the knowledge that you are getting a fantastic level of anti-parasite cover. We routinely provide preventative healthcare treatments for fleas, mites, roundworm, tapeworm for cats and dogs in all our plans. Dogs are protected against the risks of deadly lungworm too which can be caught from slugs and snails in your garden. If you are in an area where ticks are a problem then we can tailor the plan to suit this too as not all routine treatments kill ticks. Make sure you discuss this with the vet when you come to see us for your pet's health checks

What about pets that aren't members of the Pet Health Club? Are you worried that you might not be doing all you can to keep you animals free of parasites? We offer flea and worm checks to animals that required parasite control so why not book one today? If you bring your dog, cat or rabbit for annual boosters we can offer tailored flea and worm treatments to make sure you are doing the very best for your pet. Call us today on 01543 416246

Hard working team
added 24th January 2017

Every year Uk Pet Insurance Company Pet Plan hold the Veterinary Awards where clients can nominate practices for their acheivements and hard work. Staff are always delighted to receive nominations as it recognises the efforts we go to in caring for the pets we see. This year we were nominated in the Practice of the Year category which includes the whole team. We really do strive to give the best care to your pets and to be nominated is fantastic so thank you to our clients. 
The nurses have been busy too this last year. Nicola Whitelock RVN who many of you will have known for many years has been studying hard for her Certificate in Feline Friendly Nursing. We are very proud to say she has passed her certificate with merit and she is concentrating on making our practice feline friendly for the future. Look out for her cat-friendly information in the waiting room and a special page coming soon on our website
Natalie Ward RVN has also been studying and achieved a BSAVA merit award in Wildlife Nursing in December last year. We frequently treat injured wildlife brought to us by members of the public and the knowledge this course provided helps us to make sure these animals get treated safely. We treat wildlife cases free of charge.
Hannah Stevens has now qualified as a Registered Veterinary Nurse and is staying on as a valued member of our team. Veterinary Nurse training takes up to three years to complete and for Hannah involved attending college alongside working full time. She has worked exceptionally hard and richly deserves her qualification

All new and improved PET HEALTH CLUB
added 24th January 2017

Following on from the huge success of our Pet Care Plan we have now re-launched a new and improved version. 
Welcome to the PET HEALTH CLUB

Not only does our new scheme provide all the fantastic benefits of the old scheme but we've improved the discount element to give members better discounts on preventative health treatments and products. We've improved the wellness blood sample for dogs and cats and increased the discount on dentistry. We've moved away from basic discounts on items that most pet insurance policies cover and given fantastic discounts on food with 25% off prescription diets and COST PRICE quality pet foods such as Hills and Royal Canin. We've increased the discount on most long term medications to 20% for conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, kidney and thyroid diseases.
All these improvements and we've made it cheaper too!

Call us today for information or see our PET HEALTH CLUB page here

A tale with a happy ending – all due to a microchip

On Friday 22nd September, a stray cat was brought into our surgery. We scanned him for a microchip and managed to contact his owner via the database. What transpired was a quite remarkable story and the cat finally reunited with his owner after being missing for nearly 2 years!! This is what his owner told me (in her words)

“It still hasn't sunk in properly that the beautiful Little Guy is home! He has curled up in the laundry basket and has gone to sleep, and I keep going to check if he is really there and it isn't just a cruel dream that I have him back only to be heartbroken again because I wake and it isn't true.
Thank you to all at Grange Hill for your care of him for the hopefully short time he was with you. I have been in touch with the man who brought him in, and he has been able to give me some information about how he has been living for the last year or so - apparently he appeared close to them about this time last year and spent the winter living under his next-door neighbour's motorbike cover, for shelter. It must have been bitterly cold at times, though! A number of kind souls in the neighbourhood fed him and he looks quite fat and in good condition, as you saw. Where he was for the year prior to that is anyone's guess!
His story is chequered with near disasters, and if you believe cats have 9 lives, he has certainly used up a few of his! I work at Aston University, and on the morning of 12th December 2012 (yes, it was 12/12/12) I was driving through the deep cutting area of the A38 Aston Expressway motorway when I saw a tiny little black and white blob cringing at the side of the road as the traffic whizzed past. He was terrified, had nowhere to go and no way to get out alive. I stopped the traffic by gradually slowing down, jumped out of my car, ran back and grabbed him by the scruff as I didn't know if he was feral and could scratch me in panic.
The only vet practice I knew in the area was the one in Erdington. Once upon a century I lived in Wylde Green, in Penns Lane, and used to take my cats to John then. They checked him over, sexed him (complete male) and suggested he was about a year old. They also examined his paws and chin and said it looked like he'd been thrown from a moving car. The pics above include one of him in the cardboard box they gave me to bring him home, with huge terrified eyes. He had a complete zoo of fleas and worms, but he was a lovely little cat and we bonded. He was so loving and happy with us. We got him castrated and chipped, vaccinated and he adopted us.
We also have dogs, and early in December 2014, I agreed to foster an elderly border collie that the rescue centre said was gentle and good with all other animals - they lied! Maggie was a complete demon who attacked on sight, and chased the cats. Poor Little Guy was terrified, and after a few chases I sent Maggie back to the rescue centre. Guy was spooked though, and 2 days later one of my own dogs barked at something in the night, he panicked and shot out of the cat flap. I never saw him again, and spent weeks and months searching for him, knocking on doors, phoning local vets but there was nothing, nobody had seen him.
Then today, I played your voicemail message after I had finished lecturing. I just cannot begin to explain - what you were saying didn't make sense at first, and then I began to understand that you had him there. At first I thought you were phoning old clients to see if our records could be deleted - as I said, I used to use Grange Hill when John and Shelagh were there, but the logic confused me as I have changed both my name and my mobile number since then, so how could you be phoning me? Then I heard the name Guy, and I just started crying. I'm still crying on and off now, sorry for being such a drip!
I have also attached a photo of him sitting on his windowsill looking out at his garden - home at last. Also one of him stretching out on his favourite chair back in February 2014”

This cat could be reunited with his owner because they had him microchipped and they kept their details up-to-date with their database. We see so many stray cats and we can't always get them home if they are not chipped. We also have a number of cats brought to us that are chipped but the details on the database have not been kept up-to-date by their owner which sadly means we are often unable to locate them.
Chipping is simple, great value for money and fantastic peace of mind. Get your pets chipped today: call us on 
01543 416 246

Free Online talk about senior cat care
added By The Team at Grange Hill Vets, Sep 14 2016 01:38PM

On September 29th, Norbrook are offering a free online talk on senior cat care that would be really useful for owners of older cats.
Details of the talk can be found on the International Society of Feline Medicine's Facebook page; click here

Preventative Healthcare for Cats
added By The Team at Grange Hill Vets, Aug 27 2016 09:47AM

The cat population is ageing so we are seeing many older cats. With ageing, there are likely to be health related issues. The most common diseases of older cats include kidney problems, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, diabetes, dental problems and arthritis

Due to their natural instincts, cats are good at hiding signs of illness or weakness to avoid being a target for larger predators. Once symptoms are observed diseases can be more advanced.
Cats age at different rates and may develop conditions not normally associated with its life stage (see below)

By examining cats more frequently there is more potential to pick up diseases earlier. Routine blood testing of even young cats can provide baseline measurements to compare against as the cat ages. Our Pet Care Plan helps to provide a preventative healthcare package for cats of all ages.
Life stages for cats
Kitten: Birth to 6 months
Junior: 7 months to 2 years
Adult: 3 - 6 years
Mature: 7 - 10 years
Senior: 11 - 14 years
Geriatric: 15+ years

Tipping the scales?
added By The Team at Grange Hill Vets, Jul 6 2016 02:33PM

Do you have a cat, dog or rabbit with a weight problem? Did you know that our Vet Nurses are here to help?
Our dedicated team offer weight clinics totally free of charge, as we know the importance of bodyweight when it comes to the health of all our pets. Being overweight can sneak up on an animal and it can cause a lifetime of problems if not managed.
Overweight pets are often less active and lively, struggle to walk properly and being overweight can make heart problems and joint disease much more difficult to cope with. We have had many success stories with owners often reporting that their pet seems so much happier as a result of their weight loss.
So what can we do? We weigh your pet and work out an ideal bodyweight to suit their breed, frame and lifestyle. We provide regular checks and recommendations for feeding plans and exercise routines that will suit your pet’s individual needs. We can highlight problem areas and help understanding of where things may have gone wrong.
animal health

Rabbiting on!
added By The Team at Grange Hill Vets, Jun 1 2016 11:06AM

With Rabbit Awareness week coming up thoughts turn to all things rabbit. We have a rabbit care plan package that discounts then helps spread the cost of the basic cost of care and also gives you 10% off on consultations and other treatments.
The plan costs just £8.80 per month and gives your rabbit a full vaccination against Myxomatosis and Haemorrhagic Viral Disease, 2 health checks (one at booster time and another 6months later), 2 nail trims, an incisor trim if needed, a fly strike (maggot) prevention treatment and a worming/parasite control treatment (including e-cuniculi)
The plan is exceptionally good value, saving you around £60 per year and then has the 10% discount as an added bonus, saving you even more.
We advise, you hop along now and set up a plan for your rabbit today. For more information take a look at our Pet Care Plan page (see the tabs at the top of our website).
rabbits
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to call us on 
01543 416 246
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