The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS), which was originally introduced in 2001, has meant that pets such as cats, dogs and ferrets can move freely within Europe without quarantine as long as they comply with certain regulations.  Pets must be micro-chipped, vaccinated against rabies (at least 21 days before travel), hold an EU passport and be treated for tapeworm (dogs only) by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours before its scheduled arrival time back in the UK.  It is always wise to phone the Defra Helpline on 0870 2411710 to check that regulations/advice on travelling with your pets hasn't changed in recent weeks.  Some airlines allow passengers to carry their pets in the cabin of a plane, however, larger dogs or something other than a cat or dog will be classed as oversized baggage or cargo.  Crossing the channel via Eurotunnel, your pet stays with you in the car for the journey, which is probably the least stressful option if you're not venturing far from home.  Follow the useful links below to the Cats Protection and Kennel Club website for useful information on the logistics and welfare issues surrounding foreign travel with your pet dogs and cats.

Kennel Club advice for travelling abroad

Cats Protection advice for travelling abroad

Great can now order repeat prescriptions online for your pet using our online appointment booking system, VetBooker.

All you need to do is set up an account with VetBooker in order to see your pets' details, as they appear on our system.  This then allows you to book routine vet consultations and to reorder medication, flea, tick and worming products to collect from the practice at your convenience.

Beautiful three year old Pomeranian, Georgina Corrigan, came in to see vet, Rachel Bowen, last month with severe anaemia.  She had been lethargic for a couple of days, bleeding from her gums with a very poor appetite and dark stools.

Rachel admitted her immediately for further tests, the results of which showed a very low level of red blood cells in her blood coupled with a raised white blood cell count.  There was no indication of any type of bacterial infection but she needed treatment immediately in the form of a blood transfusion.  By this time our on call vet for the evening, Eve, had arrived to take over Georgina's care through the night and was in touch with the Pet Blood Bank to order blood for the transfusion.

The Pet Blood Bank UK is the only charity providing a canine blood bank service for all veterinary practices across the UK.  In a very similar way to humans, dog owners take their pets to donate at sessions nationwide.  The blood is taken to the processing centre in Loughborough where it is stored waiting for despatch to anywhere in the UK.

As Georgina needed 'whole' blood this had to be fresh so the Pet Blood Bank phoned one of their emergency donors who went immediately to donate and the blood was then couriered here to us at the hospital.  Eve started the transfusion in the early hours of the morning, a process that takes four hours and can cause a reaction at any time during or soon after the treatment.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) are urging vets, veterinary nurses and members of the public to join their #BreedtoBreathe campaign which seeks to highlight growing concerns about the popularity of brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds.  There is growing concern amongst companion animal vets that pet owners are being led to choose these breeds by the image usage of big commercial brands and their popularity amongst celebrities.

We have yet another gold star in the field of dental care for one of Catriona's patients, Buzz Gautrey, an eight year old Parsons Jack Russell Terrier.

Buzz was rescued as a two year old and rehomed by his current owners who have used OVH for all his vet care, routine boosters, flea & worm treatment and regular nurse clinics since then.  

.....we stock our own range of Oakham Veterinary Hospital products, as recommended by our vets.

Joint support for dogs - Extra strength soft chews which are a blend of high strength ingredients designed to soothe stiff joints and maintain mobility.  On the maintenance dose they can provide up to 6 months' supply for a medium sized dog.

(medium breed - £57.28)
(large and giant breeds - £62.51)

Joint support for cats -  A blend of ingredients including Glucosamine and MSM designed to soothe stiff and joints and help maintain mobility in cats.  These salmon flavoured chews are very palatable.

(tub of 80 savoury chews - £36.49)

Our pets' mobility can be affected by several conditions, the most common being (osteo)arthritis (degenerative joint disease).  Data from the Royal Veterinary College suggests that 15% of all cases seen by vets present as musculoskeletal problems.  There is also evidence to suggest that 90% of cats over the age of 12 have arthritis.  Often the owners are unaware as the cats adapt by becoming more sedentary.

We often think of reduced mobility being something that comes wtih our pets reaching a more senior age.  Large breeds of dogs (e.g. Labradors, Retrievers, Rottweilers and German Shepherd Dogs) are more susceptible to arthritis later in life.  However, any dog or cat can suffer from arthritis.  

Absolute star of the month award has got to go to Merlin Harris and his owner for a rare achievement in the field of tooth brushing!

Merlin, a two year old cat, came in to see vet, Catriona Laird, back in June for a dental check.  Catriona noted some marked gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) which is one of the earliest stages of periodontal disease.  In some cases this can be reversed with a consistent, high standard of dental care.

They say cats have nine lives - it's fair to say little Tilly Needham may have used one of these to overcome a huge setback at only nine weeks of age.

Tilly, a Norwegian Forest Cat, came in to see vet, Eve Tarleton, at nine weeks of age for her first vaccinations.  She was healthy but not eating very much and only weighing in at a tiny 0.95kg.  Tilly returned a few days later still with very little appetite and now very lethargic behaviour.

This lovely little pup, Murray Brown, a Hungarian Wirehaired Visla came in to see vet, Catriona Laird as an emergency case one Sunday afternoon.  Murray, who was only fifteen weeks old, had eaten a quantity of chewing gum (which contains Xylitol) while out on a walk.

Xylitol is a natural, sugar-free sweetener commonly found in chewing gum, mints, sweets and toothpaste.  Ingestion of this substance in dogs can cause acute, life-threatening low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) within 15 minutes.  A larger ingestion can result in acute liver necrosis and ultimately, liver failure.

In a recent client survey 93% of those who responded would like to use an online booking service for routine vet appointments.  VetBooker is a client interaction portal for veterinary practices which works alongside our Practice Management System to allow registered clients to book online appointments.

The system has now been live for a few weeks and we are delighted with the number of clients that have opted to book their pet's booster vaccination appointments online.  We have now extended the available appointment types to allow clients to book a routine vet consultation with any of our vets on weekdays.  Please note that the online system is not for booking emergencies, hospital procedures, nurse clinics, acupuncture or euthanasia appointments.  Our experienced team of reception staff are at the end of the phone to book in any services that you require, including those not covered by VetBooker.  One of our vets is available 24 hours a day to give advice over the phone or see your pet out of hours, if necessary.

In a recent client survey over 90% of those that responded chose email as their preferred method of contact.  We've taken this feedback on board and aim to use email as much as possible in the future for our client communication.

We already send out a monthly e-newsletter with seasonal advice, recent hospital cases, information on our monthly promotion and staff news.  If you have an active email address on your account you will already receive this automatically on a monthly basis.