It's that time of year again, we said we wouldn't but we have and it's elasticated waist trousers for the foreseeable future.  If you're making some New Year's resolutions about your health and wellbeing in 2019 why not include your pets as well?

Obesity is unfortunately as much of an issue for our canine and feline friends as it is for the rest of us, with the British Veterinary Association (BVA) citing it as one of the biggest concerns for vets in recent years.  Finding the right diet for your pet which offers the perfect combination of calories, fats, protein, oils, fibre etc. can be very confusing.  Their dietary needs will depend on age, size, breed, general health and activity level and unfortunately can often be wrongly determined by using the guides on feed bags.

Our qualified veterinary nurses are always happy to see pets in their free 'weight watcher' clinics who need some help reaching their 'ideal' weight.  They are able to come up with reasonable daily steps you can take in terms of nutrition, exercise and lifestyle to help your pet become fitter and healthier.

To book your pet in for a weight assessment please phone our small animal reception team on 01572 722646.

In the unlikely event of a 'no deal' Brexit in March 2019 there would inevitably be some changes to the way that cats, dogs and ferrets are allowed to travel between EU member countries.

At the moment you need to contact an Official Veterinarian 21 days prior to travel (if travelling for the first time) for them to ensure the animal has an ID chip and rabies vaccination and then issue an EU pet passport which is valid for the pet's lifetime.

In the event of a 'no deal' Brexit there are three possible outcomes for the UK, the worst case scenario being that we become an 'unlisted' country.  In this case you would need to contact an Official Veterinarian at least 4 months in advance of any foreign travel to discuss previous rabies vaccinations and blood titre testing.

We are joining MSD Animal Health's Dry Eye awareness campaign and offering a free eye tear test with one of our Graduate Clinician vets.  The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of this under diagnosed and very painful condition in dogs.

Dry Eye or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, to give it its proper name, affects 1 in every 22 dogs, rising to 1 in 5 for predisposed breeds.  In affected dogs the tear glands stop producing tears, causing painful inflammation to the surface of their eye and the lining of their eyelids.  Not only is the condition very painful but it is irreversible and can cause eventual loss of sight.  With early diagnosis the condition can be managed and their vision can be preserved.

Each season brings its own dangers for your pets - in winter it's the extremes of temperature that can cause both illness and injury to your furry friends.

Don't be a fair-weather friend; make sure you take your dog out in all weathers, keep both of you warm and be safe in slippery/dark conditions.  Risk upsetting your cat and keep them indoors during really cold snaps, it's the best way to keep them safe.  Cats have a habit of seeking out warm places to cuddle up and you would rather this is your sofa than the neighbours' car engine.

Download this file (winter survival guide.pdf)winter survival guide.pdf[ ]460 kB

Six year old Border collie, Meg, came in to see Catriona one evening with some breathing difficulties. In true Collie style Meg bites at the wheels of vehicles leaving her home and her owner had heard her yelp that morning.  She had seemed fine at the time, with no obvious injuries, but went quiet throughout the day and her breathing was giving them cause for concern.

Head nurse, Helen Franklin and vet, Eve Tarleton ran the Rutland Water half marathon last month in aid of two fantastic local charities, 'The Mutts Nutts' and 'Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital'.

We presented Jane Freeman and Bec Wilson from The Mutts Nutts with a cheque for £210 last week.  They do fantastic work fostering and rehoming dogs and cats whose owners are no longer able to look after them.  This may be due to a change in circumstances, finances or due to illness.  Bec brought with her Layla, a 12 year old cross breed who is looking for a new home, through no fault of her own.

Please read the attached pdf factsheet about Layla and contact The Mutts Nutts if you are interested in finding out more about her, she deserves a really special home.


Download this file (layla rehoming sheet Oct 18.pdf)layla rehoming sheet Oct 18.pdf[ ]221 kB

There is always lots of hype in the media about new diets for us humans and increasingly the range and type of diets available for our pets has started to mirror human trends.  There are more 'boutique' foods available offering a wide and wonderful repertoire of meats including venison and even alligator! The worry with any diet that excludes certain food groups altogether is that these may not in fact be healthy for our canine and feline counterparts.  In recent months, there has been links made between dogs fed an entirely grain-free diet and increasing cases of heart disease.

Six year old Springer x Cocker Spaniel, Toby Kelly, became a familiar face in the small animal hospital this summer.  He came in to see Catriona back in May following a spell of intermittent vomiting and diarrhoea.  Symptomatic treatment had little effect so he was admitted to the hospital in order to have some routine tests done, including bloods.  X-rays showed one area which was potentially a foreign body but this was not visible on ultrasound so a gastroscopy was performed.

This involves putting a tiny camera on a long tube down the dog's throat, with images showing on screen, to get an internal view of the stomach.  Once again, no sign of any foreign bodies but a mass could be felt in his abdomen.  In order to fully investigate the possible cause of the mass Toby needed an exploratory laparotomy (ex-lap), surgery performed under a general anaesthetic to investigate a potential foreign body in his intestines, which indeed there was.

With Halloween and bonfire night fast approaching, it signals the start of a traumatic period for some pets.  If you know your pet is likely to be anxious during the fireworks onslaught then a pre-emptive, preventative approach is going to help the most.  Learning to recognise the early signs of fear and distress in your pet will enable you to calm them before they reach a state of complete terror.  For instance, pacing, clinginess and trembling may indicate a mildly anxious dog, whereas hiding, whining and soiling can indicate a more severe state of fear.  Most cats will try to escape scary situations - to avoid them bolting keep outdoor cats inside when you know there is going to be fireworks in your area (and make sure they are microchipped just in case).

If you are registered with the practice then you're entitled to a free health check with one of our vets at 6 months old.  This is a chance for you to have a really thorough health check and get some advice on neutering, nutrition, exercise, dental care and parasite control.  Our vets can recommend a flea and worming programme to suit your lifestyle and budget!

Our online booking system, VetBooker, allows you to book vet appointments at your own convenience and order repeat prescriptions and food for your pets online as well.  Setting up an account for you and your pets couldn't be easier:

1) Visit and choose 'I am a client' on the homepage

2) Select 'New to online booking?'

3) Enter the clinic code: 244793

4) Enter your email address (needs to match the one that we have registered on your account)

5) Create a password & accept the user agreement

6) An email will be sent to your inbox, simply click on the 'verify your email' button and it will log you in      to your new account automatically.

Once you've created your account you only need your email and password to log into it each time you want to make an online booking.  The details of any pets registered with us are immediately visible in your account homepage, simply click on the relevant pet and you are given options to book an appointment for them or view their history and reorder medication or food.  All appointment bookings are made live on our system and a confirmation is sent out to you immediately.  Any requests for repeat prescriptions or food will be actioned as soon as possible and a member of our team will be in touch with you when they are ready for collection.

Since it was first diagnosed in the UK six years ago, Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), or 'Alabama Rot' has frustrated vets across the country.  With the exact cause unknown and the disease proving fatal in nine out of ten cases it's great news that a potential treatment has been found.

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have used Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE) to filter the patient's blood so that toxic substances are removed and the blood is then returned to the patient.  Two out of the six dogs treated in this way went on to make a full recovery.  Although the survival rates don't make great reading yet it is the first time that dogs so severely affected by CRGV have been reported to survive so is very positive news!