Month: June 2018

Flea & Worm Treatment

There are many different types of fleas and worms that can infect dogs and cats in the UK. In fact, they are two of the most common problems that your pet can suffer from. Fortunately, we can protect your pet with regular treatment.

Worms

The type of parasite that your pet picks up will depend on their lifestyle. Outdoor cats will need a regular worming treatment, whereas indoor cats will only need to be treated a few times a year.

We recommend that dogs are given a worming treatment every three to four months, as worms can be easily picked up in parks and woodland, and anywhere other dogs have been. Puppies should be wormed every two weeks from two weeks to 12 weeks of age. After that, we recommend a monthly dose until they are six months old.

The symptoms of worms for both cats and dogs include weight loss, poor growth, poor coat, diarrhoea and vomiting. If you think that your pet has worms, please make an appointment with us to discuss treatment options.

Fleas

Did you know? Most of the fleas that you find on dogs are actually cat fleas. These microscopic critters can lay dormant for long periods of time in gardens, on carpets or furniture until they attach themselves to your pet’s skin or fur. You may notice that your pet has started scratching a lot or you have seen small specks of black dirt on your pet’s coat. To find out if it is flea dirt, brush the coat and gather the grit on a moist white tissue. Flea dirt will produce a red mark.

Fleas also have the ability to host tapeworms in cats and dogs, so we advise that you treat your pet for both fleas and worms if they are infected.

Regular flea and worm treatment will give you the reassurance that you are providing the best possible care for your pet.

Pet Health Plan

We know your pet’s healthcare is your top priority. Our Pet Health Club is the simple way to look after your pet’s health whilst saving money.

A healthy, happy pet needs lots of care and attention, including vaccinations, worm and flea treatments, and regular check-ups. By spreading the cost of essential treatments for your dog, cat or rabbit over 12 months, our Pet Health Club makes pet care more affordable. To keep your pet in peak condition your pet gets their annual vaccination against potentially dangerous diseases, protection against internal and external parasites and we provide regular health checks with your vet, as early diagnosis of problems will help your pet to live a long, healthy life. Plus, benefit from great discounts with 10% off food, and other services and products.

Pet Passports

Just like us, your pet needs its own passport to travel abroad.

At Tameside Veterinary Clinic we have designated DEFRA Local Veterinary Inspectors (LVI). This means they are able to issue both pet passports and export certificates.

Our team can organise your pet’s passport and advise on what your pet needs before the passport is issued. A key requirement of the passport is making sure your pet is microchipped. We will make sure this is done as well as having the necessary rabies vaccination.
For further information on the requirements, please make an appointment with us or visit the DEFRA website.

Dental Care

Cleaning your pet’s teeth from a young age is vitally important. It is thought that as many as 85% of cats and dogs aged three years and over have some form of dental disease.

Dental disease affects the whole body, not just the teeth and gums. This is because bacteria in the plaque can enter the blood stream through inflamed gums. It then travels around the body spreading infection. This infection can settle in many of the major organs.

Signs of dental disease includes:

  • Bad breath
  • Chattering jaws
  • Difficulty eating
  • Pawing or rubbing the mouth
  • Oral pain

Fortunately, you can reduce the likelihood of your pet developing dental disease by cleaning their teeth regularly.

Here at Tameside Veterinary Clinic, we advise owners to clean their pet’s teeth every day to avoid a build-up of tartar and plaque in the mouth. A healthy diet also contributes effectively to good dental hygiene. Dental chews and biscuits can also help to keep plaque and tartar at bay.

Our vets and nurses are here to help. If you’d like advice about your pet’s dental care, please make an appointment with us. We have a dedicated dental room in our clinics where we carry out regular dental checks and procedures.

Surgery and Procedures

We perform a wide range of surgery and procedures every day in our fully-equipped clinics. Our veterinary surgeons and nurses have been trained to the highest level to ensure your pet’s operation is performed effectively and safely.

Before you entrust your pet to our care, you will be fully briefed on the procedure and the post-operative care that your pet will need.

Our three clinics are equipped with modern and clean surgical facilities, surgical lighting and an up-to-date anaesthetic machine and monitoring system.

We have separate dog and cat wards to reduce stress to your pet before and after surgery. Each ward houses stainless-steel kennels which are insulated, heated, ventilated and air-conditioned for comfort.

Before surgery, pets are prepared in our preparation room. This is where any pre-op procedures are carried out, such as hair clipping, cleaning and blood samples.

We also provide special hospitalisation facilities for sick or injured pets that are recovering from surgery. Our dedicated team of professionals will be with your pet every step of the way to ensure a smooth recovery.

Nurse Consultations

Our highly-qualified veterinary nurses are a key part of the team here at Tameside Veterinary Clinic. They run regular sessions across our three locations to look after the general health of your pets.

Nurse consultations offer the chance to see an experienced veterinary professional at a lower cost than with our veterinary surgeons.

Our team of dedicated nurses offer a large range of services, including:

  • Weight checks
  • Nail clipping
  • Feeding
  • Weight loss and diet advice

Please call your nearest clinic to book an appointment with one of our nurses.

Vaccinations

At our clinic, we believe that prevention is better than cure. That’s why vaccinations and boosters are a vital part of your pet’s healthcare. We provide thorough vaccination courses to ensure that your cats, dogs and rabbits are protected against potentially serious diseases.

Unlike human vaccinations, it’s important to get your pet vaccinated annually as some vaccines only last a year. Please make an appointment at one of our clinics if you’d like to discuss vaccinations for your pet.

Dogs

Our routine vaccination for dogs protects them against Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Leptospirosis. Puppies start their vaccination course at eight weeks of age, with a second injection two weeks later. We then recommend annual boosters.

Cats

Our routine vaccination for cats protects them against Panleucopenia (infectious enteritis), cat flu and Leukaemia. Kittens start their vaccination course at nine weeks of age, with a second injection three weeks later. We recommend annual boosters thereafter.

Rabbits

Your pet rabbit is required to be vaccinated against myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease, Type 1 and 2. The primary vaccine for myxomatosis and VHD-1 can be given from 6 weeks of age. A second vaccine for VHD-2 is given two weeks later. We recommend an annual booster for both vaccines as these diseases are almost always fatal in rabbits.

Consultations

Appointments

To minimise waiting times, we encourage an appointment-only service. If requested, we will always endeavour to see your pet on the same day you make an appointment.

Our vets like to get to know their patients, so if possible, please ask to see the same vet at each appointment. We believe that continuity of care is best for your pet.

Home visits

We are happy to provide home visits by prior arrangement. Please phone your local clinic on the number below to make an appointment. In some circumstances, more complete care may be needed on-site, where our full range of facilities are available to the vet.

Emergencies

Here at Tameside Veterinary Clinic, we prioritise emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you have an emergency during our normal opening hours, please call our clinic immediately and we will ensure that you are offered a priority appointment.

Out of hours, we utilise an external, fully-staffed veterinary hospital to ensure our patients receive the highest standards of emergency veterinary care. The staff at the hospital are available to give advice over the phone and can arrange to see your pet if needed. Please call your local clinic for more information:

  • Ashton-Under-Lyne clinic: 0161 830 0462
  • Hyde clinic: 0161 366 9236
  • Stalybridge clinic: 0161 804 5818

X-Ray & Ultrasound

Here at Tameside Veterinary Clinic, we have a range of diagnostic equipment that ensures we can give your pet the best possible care.

X-ray
Our digital x-ray machines enable us to take x-rays quickly, reliably and safely. They allow our experienced vets and nurses to diagnose many conditions that can’t be seen from external examinations alone. If your pet needs an x-ray, we’ll be looking out for bone ,abnormalities foreign objects and any issues with internal organs and tissue. X-rays are normally performed with sedation or anaesthetic.

Ultrasound
Ultrasound machines work by sending sound waves into your pet’s body and listening for echoes. These echoes create a picture of what’s happening inside the body. Ultrasound scans are a fast, non-invasive way to examine your pet’s internal organs. There are many reasons why your vet or nurse may suggest a scan of your pet. For example, ultrasounds can let us see whether your pet is pregnant and enable us to look more closely at organs in the abdomen and chest.

Endoscopes
An endoscopy examination is another way for your vet to diagnose health issues without the need for surgery. The endoscope is a long tube with a small camera attached to the end. This enables us to see a live video of your pet’s digestive system or respiratory system. Your vet may suggest an endoscopy if your pet is experiencing breathing or bowel issues.

Deafness in dogs

Deafness is quite common in dogs, particularly in older dogs and dogs with a white hair coat and blue eyes. Although deafness may cause a dog some problems most deaf dogs can be helped to live a happy life.

Deafness is quite common in dogs. Many breeds of dog, e.g. Dalmatians, Collies, Great Danes, English setters and Pointers, carry a gene that can cause deafness. This is often associated with a white or merle coat colour and blue eyes.

Deafness is also common in older dogs, probably due to age-related degeneration in the inner ear, as seen in older people.

Other reasons for deafness are long-term ear infections, growths in the middle ear or external ear canal and medications given by veterinary surgeons to treat these conditions. Head trauma and brain tumours are also potential causes. However, deafness can result from anything that damages the conduction of sound waves from the ear hole through the ear canal and ear drum to the bones of the middle ear or which affects the conduction of impulses through the nerves to the brain.

Deafness in one ear is not usually detected and actually causes few problems. If the affected dog is lying on one side with the good ear buried and the deaf one exposed then hearing would be impaired and an owner may notice a lack of response to noises. However, dogs who are deaf in one ear probably take care to avoid lying in such a position and generally keep their good ear pointing in the right direction, even when relaxed at home.

Being deaf in both ears causes more significant problems and most owners notice that their dog does not respond to noises – the opening of doors, the fridge, food packages, calling their name etc. and fail to respond to noisy people, animals and machinery. As puppies, deaf animals may be hard to train and may indulge in very rough play as they are unable to hear protest yelps.

Deaf dogs tend to “sleep well”. This is something that owners of older animals may notice as their pet’s hearing deteriorates with age. Owners of old dogs may notice that they now tolerate the noise of a vacuum cleaner, or fireworks when previously they did not – this may be the most obvious sign of growing deafness.

Hearing can be tested by observing the reaction the dog makes to a sudden, unexpected loud noise. A hearing dog is expected to turn its ears towards the noise, and may also move their whole head and possibly move their body into a more alert position.

There are problems with this test. It cannot detect deafness in a single ear, only a totally deaf animal will fail to react. It is also possible to think that a deaf animal can hear if, for example, it reacts to a visual clue if it sees an object being dropped or hands being clapped or it may be able to feel vibrations when something hits the floor.

The opposite might also happen – a well-adjusted, non-fearful and relaxed dog may react to a noise the first time it hears it but will quickly react less and less obviously to subsequent noises. This test will be easier to interpret in a dog well known to the owner in its normal environment.

The only truly reliable test is one similar to that used for the testing of hearing in humans and involves sophisticated equipment available only in a few centres. Your veterinary surgeon would be able to advise you of a centre that offers testing if necessary.

The test is well tolerated by most dogs but involves playing noises into each ear in turn and then detecting the nervous impulses invoked by these noises in the brain. It is called BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) testing. This test will not be necessary for the vast majority of dogs with a suspected hearing problem as testing will not usually make any difference to the dog or how they are helped and managed.

Dogs with normal hearing use the sounds detected by both ears to accurately pinpoint sounds. A dog that is deaf in one ear may hear you calling when you are out for a walk but may not be able to locate where you are. They may look around wildly until they see your position before coming back.

The reduced ability to recognize danger is probably the most serious handicap faced by totally deaf dogs. A deaf dog cannot hear its owner when out for exercise and so there is a greater risk it will run across a busy road to see a dog on the other side. Further examples of dangerous noisy items are farm and garden machinery, household appliances and trains. Deaf dogs should not be allowed off the lead except in safe, enclosed spaces.

It is unlikely that there will be a treatment to help resolve the deafness in your pet. The most common causes – a genetic defect or age-related degeneration – have no appropriate treatment. It is only some of the unusual causes such as disease blocking the passage of sound through the external ear canal from infection, or a mass that can be removed by an operation that can be helped by treatment.

Dogs with these conditions will usually have other obvious signs of disease rather than deafness being the major problem. They will have ears that are dirty, smelly and irritating. They may scratch and shake their heads or might also have a head tilt. Other signs of underlying disease include wobbliness, from damage to the balance organs, which are also found in the inner ear.

Animals that are deaf in just one ear require no special treatment. A totally deaf dog can adapt well to living in a normal household. Since your dog cannot hear you, you may need to adopt a more tactile approach with them. Petting and stroking becomes a much more important form of contact when your dog can’t hear you praising it and deaf dogs might want more physical contact, especially when resting in the home to reassure them that you are near (whereas a hearing dog can lie in another room and still be aware of you moving around the house).

Training a dog that has been deaf from birth can be challenging but it is perfectly possible to do this using hand signals for commands. Choose hand signals that are clear and can be recognised from some distance away. ‘Stop’, ‘sit’ and ‘come’ are probably the most useful to teach initially. Dogs are also very good at reading body language so although they cannot hear your voice a deaf dog will be able to tell if you are angry with it or welcoming just by looking at you and it may base its decision on whether to return to you on this impression. It is important as in any dog training to remain calm and positive during training sessions – patience really is the key!

Some dogs are more likely to be deaf so avoid buying puppies from litters where both parents have a merle or harlequin coat. Some puppies from these matings may be born blind as well as deaf.

Deafness causes significant welfare problems and breeders should aim to avoid producing puppies likely to be deaf. However, individual deaf dogs can be given a reasonable quality of life by thinking about their special needs. Deafness (or reduced hearing ability) is also quite common in older dogs and considering this is one aspect of providing a good home for a geriatric companion.