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 all want some figgy pudding...but it's generally not a good idea to share your yuletide feast with your pets as many of the ingredients may be harmful to them.  Examples include:

  • Dark chocolate and milk/filled chocolates
  • Grapes, raisins, sultanas and currants
  • Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and spring onions
  • Coffee
  • Mouldy bread or cheese (often from raiding bins)

    Ingestion of tree decorations, cracker toys, cocktail sticks, wrapping paper, pot pourri and turkey bones are the culprits behind many an emergency vet visit over the festive period.  Please ensure your pet does not have free access to your tree and other decorations/presents when you're not in the house.  Please see the attached 'festive hazards' guide below for advice on keeping your pets happy and healthy at this time of year.
Download this file (Festive hazards guide.pdf)Festive hazards guide.pdf[ ]496 kB

The practice will be closed for Bank Holidays during the festive period and will operate shortened opening hours on the 24th and 31st December.  However, at any time when the practice is closed we are always operating our standard out of hours service.  

In the event of an emergency whilst we are closed please call 01572 722646.

You will be directed to the Duty Vet's contact telephone number.  If their line is busy please do leave a  message (they may be with a patient and unable to answer) and they will call you back as soon as it is possible to do so.  Depending on the circumstances they may be able to give you advice over the phone or may ask you to bring the patient down to the hospital for a consultation.

 A full list of our festive opening hours can be found attached below this article.  Please ensure that any food or prescriptions that you need for the festive period are ordered by Friday 14th December so we can guarantee to have these in stock by Friday 21st December.

Download this file (festive opening hours 2018.pdf)festive opening hours 2018.pdf[ ]396 kB

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

Hedgehog's hibernate between November and Mid-March so it's not unusual to see them at this time of year feasting in your garden at night time.  They need to have enough fat resources to survive the months of inactivity, especially in the cold.  They're a gardeners best friend in terms of eating the snails, slugs and insects that play havoc with your plants at this time of year. 

There are lots of way to make your garden more hedgehog friendly and very simple sheltered area will provide a great place for them to make a home.  If you're feeling generous you could even splash out on a purpose-built hedgehog house!

What are the options?

At Oakham Veterinary Hospital we have a number of surgeons who are able to offer both the traditional, non laparoscopic spay or use the laparoscopic (keyhole) technique.  Although the traditional 'open' method is still more widely used, some people prefer the advantages of a less intrusive surgery for their pet such as, quicker recovery time, less bruising and tissue manipulation resulting in a more comfortable recovery.

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).