Catriona recently saw a 13 year old Jack Russell terrier in clinic, Lottie Dickinson, who presented with an enlarged stomach.  Her owner had noticed no change in appetite or exercise and cutting down on her food had made no difference to the apparent weight gain. 

Zoe is the full-time Lab Technician here at Oakham Veterinary Hospital.  Having gained a degree in Animal Science from Nottingham University she came here to run the lab and is still here more than ten years later!

Zoe's expertise and the technology we have available means that we are able to provide a full range of haematology, clinical chemistry, microbiology, cytology and parasitology services.

Zoe spends her spare time exercising her Hungarian Vizsla, Lilly, and taking part in 'Ironman' competitions where she has qualified for the World Championships twice in recent years.


Chris joined Oakham Veterinary Hospital small animal department back in 2008 when the purpose-built hospital on Ashwell Road had only been open for a couple of years.  He worked hard to acheive his Postgraduate certificate in Veterinary Cardiology in 2013 and is recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) as an Advanced Practitioner in this area.  This means that Chris is our resident Cardiology expert and sees some referral cases alongside his normal caseload.  He is fascinated by the study of the heart and circulation - it is the only organ that NEVER rests!

Making the decision when to euthanase a much-loved pet can seem like a straight forward or incredibly difficult choice, but is always traumatic.  If they are elderly and have suddenly deteriorated, for example they are not longer able to get up, they are in significant pain, they are struggling to breath or they have a condition which requires surgery to maintain quality of life, then many people feel there is little decision to make.

Never feel that your vet is trying to lead you down one path or another; it is our duty to provide you with all the options, the details of what is involved and potential outcomes.  No-one knows your pet as well as you do and so you are best placed to decide what is right for you and your pet.  Some people ask us "what would you do if he/she were yours?", which we are happy to answer.  However, please remember that we are in the fortunate position of being present throughout any procedure being performed and often our pets are very comfortable in the practice environment.

Download this file (Euthanasia advice.pdf)Euthanasia advice.pdf[ ]130 kB

Acupuncture has evolved from the ancient art of placing needles into special locations on the body, to alleviate pain and increase the recovery rate and resistance to disease.  With Western acupuncture we focus on needling specific acupuncture points, trigger points (TrP's) and tender points.  Trigger points are areas in muscle that are acutely painful on palpitation and you often see a jump sign (involuntary jerk).

Download this file (Acupuncture handout.pdf)Acupuncture handout.pdf[ ]92 kB
Access this URL ([ ]170 kB

A recent study has been published showing the quite profound benefits of using one of our medications in early heart disease.  Many small breed dogs will develop heart disease later in life due to disease in one of the heart valves - a condition called Mitral Valve Disease (MVD).  Up until recently there was no evidence that any medication would help the early stages of this debilitating disease, with vets having to wait until these dogs developed potentially life-threatening heart failure and fluid retention before being able to treat the disease. 

This new study, 'Effects of Pimobendan in dogs with Cardiomegaly', colloquially called the EPIC trial (, has now confirmed that a medication called Pimobendan can delay the onset of heart failure by, on average, 15 months.

Meet Sapphire and Donk!

Sapphire is a qualified Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN) who has worked as part of the team here at Oakham since 2014.  She loves the variety of animals and cases that we see here, particularly the more unusual animals such as birds, exotics and wildlife.

Living on a smallholding she's spent a lot of time working with and caring for animals, which paved the way for a career in Veterinary Nursing.  She has a variety of creatures at home from farm stock like sheep, goats, pigs and poultry through to domestic pets like dogs, cats and ferrets.

Dogs are a huge part of Sapphire's life, starting with her loyal chocolate Labrador named Tadpole who helped with her other pursuits of working the ferrets, walking and hill climbing.  She has a new best friend, Donk (pictured), who is very different and keeps her on her toes.  In very rare moments of free time she enjoys swimming and crochet.

For all our clients with elderly cats we would highly recommend an upcoming webinar provided in association with Norbrook.

The presenter, vet Sarah Caney, is an RCVS Specialist in Feline Medicine and has over twenty years of feline medicine experience.  She will focus on helping owners to understand the changing needs of their cats in their senior years.

The webinar will give an outline of common illnesses, how to spot them in your cat at home, how your vet confirms the diagnosis and what treatment options are available.  There will also be some general tips on home care of your older cat and how you can help maintain their quality of life.

To sign up please use the link below:

As a nation we have more pet cats than ever but the number of cats visiting the vet is declining.  Why is it that we see so many more dogs in clinic than cats?  It would be wrong to think that cats are just generally healthier than dogs are but it is true that cats are more adept at hiding illness than dogs.

Download this file (The truth about cats.pdf)The truth about cats.pdf[ ]860 kB

After 6th April 2016 it became compulsory for all dog owners in England, Scotland and Wales to have their dog microchipped and registered with a government compliant microchip database.  It is now the law that all puppies must be microchipped and their details recorded on a microchip database by the time they are 8 weeks old.  Therefore, breeders are now responsible for microchipping puppies and must be recorded as the fist keeper.

We're available for advice and to see our patients 24 hours a day.  It is always a good idea to phone us first (or on route to the Hospital) in an emergency because we will be fully prepared for your pet's arrival.  Sometimes, what you might think is an emergency can be solved at home or will simply require monitoring to see if symptoms progress. 

Our regular First Aid evenings are an opportunity to find out how best to look after your poorly dog and of course some of the same rules apply to cats.  We've put together a handy symptom checker (see below) to help you decide when you need to get to us urgently because it's an emergency and when a phone call will be a good starting point.

Download this file (When to phone the vet.pdf)When to phone the vet.pdf[ ]114 kB

Worm infestations are very common in both dogs and cats - many infected animals do not show outward signs, so it's important to have a worm control programme in place as advised by your vet.  If your animal is infected you may see worms in faeces or vomit, or around your pet's bottom.  Animals can pick up worms in a variety of ways:

  • From other infected animals
  • From eating the larvae or eggs of worms (e.g. in infected faeces or in grass)
  • From eating raw meat, infected prey animals or infected parasites