Diabetes Mellitus (DM) occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the insulin it produces is ineffective. The body needs insulin to control blood sugar levels and use sugar for energy. Without insulin sugar accumulates in the blood and spills into the urine causing the animal to urinate lots and drink lots of water. The brain becomes sugar deprived without insulin meaning the animal is constantly hungry, yet may lose weight due to inefficient use of nutrients from their diet. The disease most commonly occurs in older dogs and cats and can be managed long term with insulin injections, which are given at home.
With temperatures hotting up it's time to start thinking about taking action to prevent some of the conditions that can affect our small furries at this time of year. In warmer weather rabbits are vulnerable to a condition called Flystrike, which can progress quickly and ultimately can be fatal.
Flystrike occurs when flies lay their eggs around your rabbit's bottom, these hatch into maggots which in turn chew into the rabbit's skin. Rabbits with dirty bottoms (loose stools) and wet fur are at risk which means that rabbit's who struggle to clean themselves are more prone to the condition.
The British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) exists to promote animal health and welfare through the ongoing development of professional excellence in veterinary nursing. They launched Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month, which happens every May, to highlight the importance of the role of the Veterinary Nurse in practice and in the provision of responsible pet care to the general public.
Did you know that, outside of the consult room, most of the attention and medical care your pet receives is at the hands of a qualified veterinary nurse (RVN)? No one day is the same and their daily tasks can involve:
- Taking x-rays
- Medicating patients
- Nurse clinics
- Maintaining equipment
- Monitoring anaesthetics
- Dressing wounds
This is all on top of looking after all the hospital inpatients who have been in overnight and admitted as day patients for surgery and procedures.
To find out more about the role of the RVN and how to go about choosing this as a career please click here to visit the British Veterinary Nursing Association website.
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.
We are delighted to announce that we are now offering Veterinary Physiotherapy and Omega Laser therapy clinics with Sammy Finnemore from Hazelcroft Veterinary Physiotherapy. Clinics will be held in the practice every Wednesday from 11am to 3pm.
Physiotherapy can help to reduce pain, rebuild muscle, and rehabilitate following injury or surgery; as well as greatly improve mobility, quality of life, and even enhance performance in competitive animals. Using a combination of manual therapies, electrical therapies (such as the Omega Laser), and remedial exercises, Sammy will deliver a bespoke package of treatments tailored to your pet's specific needs.
Most pets live around poisonous plants all their lives and instinctively know not to eat them. However, inquisitive puppies might be at risk from common Spring bloomers such as Azaleas, Daffodils and Rhododendrons. The clinical signs that your dog might have ingested something poisonous could be nausea, vomiting, depression, difficulty breathing and eventually, a coma. Many plants can be fatal to your pets if eaten in large enough quantities so it is worth doing your research before you stock your garden.
It's a well known fact that lilies are toxic to cats, simply brushing against the pollen and licking it off their coat can be lethal. We would recommend that cat owners avoid having lily plants or cut flowers anywhere in their homes or gardens. Initial symptoms indicating poisoning would be depression, lack of appetite and possibly vomiting. The symptoms will progress quickly with your cat becoming dehydrated, suffering from diarrhoea, difficulty breathing and bad breath.
Our Puppy & Kitten Clubs have been specially designed to give your pet the best start in life by providing all the preventative healthcare they need for their first six months from worming and flea treatments, to important vaccinations and a vet check.
Both the Puppy & Kitten Club cover all of your pet's preventative healthcare for the first six months of their lives. After that time we advise you move on to one of our Adult Pet Club packages. These are designed to provide the same cover throughout their adult lives with the same great cost savings. There are two different options for both dogs and cats, depending on lifestyle and level of cover required. More information can be found by visiting the 'Pet Club Packages' section on the website.
If you convert your pet's Puppy or Kitten Club membership to one of our Adult Pet Clubs within one month of it expiring we will waive the joining fee for the monthly payment option.
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.