Recent British Veterinary Association (BVA) research has highlighted that a high proportion of pet rabbits are suffering from preventable health issues like obesity, gut problems and dental disease.  The cause of which can almost always be linked to a poor diet.

Rabbits need a fibre-based diet packed with clean hay, grass and leafy greens such as broccoli, cabbage and kale.  Grazing on hay and grass all day ensures a healthy gut and keeps their teeth to the correct shape and length (rabbit's teeth never stop growing so need to be constantly working to grind them down).  

Fleas are the most common external parasites seen on dogs and cats, and a very common cause of skin disease.  It's a familiar misconception that fleas are a sign of neglect or poor hygiene; any pet can get fleas if they are not treated with flea prevention products.  Adult fleas live in your pet's coat, feeding on their blood, but they lay their eggs in the environment i.e. your pet's bedding.  You may see live fleas (small brown insects) in your pet's fur or flea dirt - a fine toothed comb will help you check for this.

Tiny little Jack Russell cross, Pixie Fitch, came in to see Roxane a couple of weeks ago having gulped down a rubber Morph toy, without pausing to chew.  Luckily, her owners had seen her do it and as she's only a tiny 11 week old puppy they brought her straight down to the practice.  She was admitted and given an ultrasound, which showed the toy not progressing well through her digestive system.  There was no option to induce vomiting as the toy could easily have become stuck in her Oesophagus.  The only course of action was to perform an exploratory laparotomy (surgically open up her abdomen to remove the toy).  Having gained her owner's permission, Catriona performed the surgery and successfully removed the toy.

The BBC programme Watchdog recently aired a discussion about the cost of veterinary medicines.  Their reporter found that many people believed they could only buy these medicines from their veterinary practice and were unaware that written prescriptions could be requested (at a small charge) and fulfilled by an online pharmacy.  They went on to point out that such medicines can often be found online at a cheaper price than the retail cost of buying them from your vet.  

As a veterinary hospital which occupies a large site, employs a number of staff and has lots of specialised equipment and facilities we are aware that, although our prices are competitive, we are not always able to match the prices of some online pharmacies.

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

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.