Category Archives: Care Guides

Care Guide: First Aid

Approach to first aid

  • Danger – Is it safe for you or others to help?
  • Responsive – Do they respond to noise? Movement? Are they vocalising?
  • Airway – Are they chocking? Have they inhaled water or a toxin? Is there an obstruction or wound?
  • Breathing – Are they breathing? Fast/slow/deep/shallow
  • Circulation – Can you feel a heart beat or pulse? Is it fast, slow or weak? Mucous membrane colour.
CPR is not often successful but always worth a try
  1. Lay the dog on his/her side (ideally on their RHS) on a flat surface. You will need to stand or kneel beside the dog.
    For barrel-chested dogs like Bulldogs, it is also appropriate to place the dog on his/her back.
  2. Place one of your palms on the dog’s rib cage, over the heart region, and put your other palm on top of it.
  3. Without bending your elbows, press the rib cage down.
  4. Compress the chest one-third the width of the chest for a count of one, and then let go for a count of one.
    Compressions to the tune “Nelly the elephant” is a good pace to keep to.
  5. If you can provide artificial respiration, close the dog’s muzzle with your hand. Give two breaths into the nose for every 30 compressions. If possible, have another person give the two breaths so that you can continue to do compressions while they do the breathing. A new person should take over doing the compressions every 2 minutes or so to reduce the effect of fatigue.
  6. Continue performing CPR and rescue breaths until the dog begins to breathe and a heartbeat returns- no more than 20 minutes.
  7. Transport the dog to the nearest veterinarian as quickly as possible during or after CPR.
Vomiting and diarrhoea

Pets can catch gastroenteritis by coming in to contact with other infected pets. Often this isn’t anything to worry about and will clear up naturally within 48 hours on a bland diet such as chicken and rice. For young and old pets however, dehydration can become an issue that requires treatment. If your pet is bright and well in itself without any other health concerns but has a bout of gastroenteritis, we would advise small meals of chicken and rice little and often throughout the day. If there is no improvement within 48 hours or your pet becomes lethargic, we would advise making an appointment. If your pet is elderly, has health conditions or is very young we would advise calling the practice and seeking advice from one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses who will be able to triage your pet and advise if an appointment is required.

If your pet is vomiting or has diarrhoea and is known to have eaten a toxin or a foreign object (such as stones, bones and chew toys) it is important to call us straight away. If your pet is repeatedly vomiting and vomiting or passing blood an appointment should be made straight away.

Wounds

Some small wounds or grazes can be managed at home without any veterinary attention. They can be washed with saline or clean warm water if they are slightly contaminated. It is important your pet does not lick the wound as it could cause infection or prevent the wound from healing. Please seek veterinary advice if you have any questions or concerns regarding the wound. If the wound is actively bleeding, apply and keep pressure on the wound (if safe to do so) while reassuring and keeping your pet calm. A tight bandage can be applied to the wound if safe to do so and medical attention from a veterinary surgeon should be sought straight away. You should avoid using a tourniquet.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a decrease in body temperature. Signs of hypothermia can include shivering, lethargy, temperature <35°C in dogs and cats and being non-responsive to stimuli. Veterinary attention should be sought immediately to treat hypothermia. While transporting the pet to the surgery you can gradually start warming the pet up, making sure the animal is completely dry, heat pads can be use but make sure they are not in contact with the pets skin.

Hyperthermia/heat stroke

Avoidance is always the best treatment. Hyperthermia is a increased body temperature often caused by over exercising on a hot day or being left in a hot car. Signs of hyperthermia can include rapid panting, increased respiratory noises, distress, lethargic, staggering. Hyperthermia can progress quickly causing vomiting, shock and fitting. Hyperthermia can be fatal. Veterinary advice and treatment should be sought immediately.

Stress

Shock can happen following an injury or stressful event. Stress decreases blood pressure which can cause collapse, lethargy, rapid pulse and shallow breathing, blue tinged skin or mucous membranes. Shock can be a medical emergency so veterinary advice should be sought.

Seizures/fitting

There can be multiple reasons for a pet having a seizure, they can be very distressing to watch and experience for an owner. DO NOT restrain your pet while they are seizing. Animals can become aggressive or out of character while having or after a seizure. Stop any stimulants such as noise (tv, radio, talking) and turn the lights off. If furniture or objects the animal may injure themselves on are close by you can remove those but only if safe to do so. Swallowing the tongue does not seem to be an issue in animals as it is with humans, do NOT put your hand in the mouth to try and take the tongue out as you will get bitten. You should not try and transport your pet while they are fitting. If it lasts longer than 3 minutes or another fit shortly after the first, this becomes more of an emergency as the animal will get very hot- You should contact the Veterinary practice immediately for further advice.

Bloat

Bloat is an emergency that could need surgical treatment if it does not resolve. Bloat is more common in deep chested dogs such as Great Dane’s, Newfoundland’s and Labrador’s but can occur in other breeds too. Symptoms include a large, tense abdomen that is getting bigger and unproductive vomiting. Veterinary Advice should be sought immediately.

Urinary obstructions

If you notice your pet is struggling to pass urine they could have an infection, stones or complete obstruction. If they can pass urine, even in small amounts catching a sample for your vet to test can be very helpful in determining treatment. If they are unable to pass any urine but they are straining this is a medical emergency and can be very serious. If a male cat is struggling to pass urine this can be life threatening so veterinary attention is required urgently.

Burns

There are four types of burns seen in pets, chemical, hot, cold or electrical. Depending on the type of burn will depend on the treatment required. Veterinary advice should be sought so the correct treatment for your pet can be determined. They may require pain relief and treatment for shock.

Image credit: https://petlifesa.com/

Care Guide: RCVS Practice Standards

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards Scheme

Friars Moor are proud members of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards Scheme.

The Practice Standards Scheme is a voluntary initiative. Through setting standards and carrying out regular assessments, the Scheme aims to promote and maintain the highest standards of veterinary care. By taking part in this initiative we are also supporting one world health, a topic that is consistently making headlines around the world.

‘One Health’ is the effort of multiple disciplines, working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals, and our environment. For more information visit http://www.onehealthglobal.net/what-is-onehealth/ We have always had high standards for our cleanliness and infection control, however to pass the inspection we had to have a clear biosecurity policy. This covers personal hygiene, cleanliness of our premises and equipment. Procedures needed to be put in place to minimise cross infection and records to show that these policies are being met.

In 2016 the RCVS revised their criteria and in 2019 we had our first inspection under the new rules.

We used the Bella Moss Foundation for guidance in benchmarking these protocols. The Bella Moss Foundation is a charity which promotes prudent antimicrobial use and hygiene in human and veterinary medicine. It was set up in 2005 by Jill Moss, an actress, following the death of her dog, Bella, from a badly managed MRSA infection, and has developed into an international champion of good practice.

For Friars Moor this means each clinical area has a cleaning protocol specific to its requirements. These include what needs to be cleaned, how often and what equipment/chemicals to use. We keep a record of achievement as evidence for meeting our protocols that are audited on a regular basis.

All staff members have been trained and take pride in driving Friars Moor forward as part of the ‘One Health’ approach. In addition to this the Practice also works hard towards responsible antimicrobial use and have been recognised in the Parliamentary Review. The best practice article for Friars Moor Veterinary Clinic can be found online and viewed by following the link:

https://www.theparliamentaryreview.co.uk/organisations/friars-moor-veterinary-clinic

Antibiotic resistance is accelerated by the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, as well as poor infection prevention and control. Further information on antimicrobial resistance can be found at: https://www.who.int/newsroom/fact-sheets/detail/antibiotic-resistance

We support the use of vaccinations as a very effective way of stopping our patients from getting infected and thereby preventing the need for antibiotics.

We hope you will support us as we continue to put One Health first for both you and your pets. Please ask a team member if you’d like any more information.

Care Guide: Rescue Dogs From Abroad

There is an increasing trend in Europe to rescue and import dogs from abroad. Many dogs around the world live in desperate conditions: on the streets, in unregulated breeding establishments and even being bred for food. This has led many charities and independent groups to rescue dogs and seek adoption in a more animal-friendly country. Although these dogs are often in desperate need of being re-homed, there are several things to take into consideration when adopting a rescue dog from abroad.

Care Guides: Rat Bait Poisoning

Most people are aware that common rodenticides (rat bait) are poisonous not only to rats but also any other animal which consumes them including our pets. Even small quantities can kill. But did you know that the rodenticides can take 2-7 days from ingestion until the first signs of toxicity.

Most rodenticides are tasty and animals will seek them out even if tucked away in the corner of a shed or garage. The granules are dyed blue, green or pink for easy identification. Most rodenticides are anticoagulants which interfere with the body’s ability to produce clotting factors. These factors plug holes in leaking blood vessels, without these the body begins to bleed, often internally. Symptoms such as depression, shortness of breath, bleeding gums or bloody diarrhoea can take several days to appear. Don’t assume that because there are no symptoms the dog has had a lucky escape!

If an animal has been seen eating rodenticides or you are even suspicious, it is ESSENTIAL that you call your vet immediately. Your vet will inject your pet to make the pet vomit removing the toxin from the body. Even if it’s too late to make your dog sick Vit K tablets can be given as an antidote. Seeing the pink or blue granules in the faeces is a warning sign. Prompt action can save your dog’s life!

Prevention is better than cure though, if you must use rodenticides then store them in locked containers away from pets, when put out to bait rats keep the bait in areas which are inaccessible to curious paws and mouths, and where possible find non-toxic forms of rodent control.

Care Guides: Pets At Christmas

To keep Christmas merry for the whole household, Friars Moor Vets are urging animal lovers to ensure their home is safe for four-legged friends by following these five simple tips:

  1. Protect your pet from poisons – a number of festive treats and traditions, such as chocolate, raisins, xylitol (found in sugar free treats), nuts, grapes, liquorice, poinsettia, holly and mistletoe are toxic to cats and dogs.
  2. Keep decorations out of reach – ribbons, wrapping paper, baubles, tinsel and tree lights can all prove irresistible to cats and dogs but can be very dangerous if broken, chewed or swallowed. Batteries for Christmas gifts also need to be kept safe as, if ingested, they may cause severe chemical burns to the mouth, throat and stomach.
  3. Forget festive food for pets – we all enjoy a richer diet over Christmas, but fatty foods and Christmas dinners shouldn’t be shared. They can trigger, sickness and diarrhoea or other conditions from gastroenteritis to pancreatitis, so try to stick to your pet’s regular diet and routine. Bones including turkey bones should not be given to pets as they can splinter and puncture the digestive tract. Make sure any bones are disposed of in a bin that your dog won’t be able to access.
  4. Give toys not treats – we all want our pets to share the fun and many of us include a gift for our pet on the shopping list. But too many treats can lead to fat pets which can have serious consequences for their health, so consider opting for a new toy, or a long walk if you want to indulge your pet this Christmas.
  5. Know where to go – even with all the care in the world, animal accidents and emergencies can still happen. Make sure you’re prepared by checking your vet’s emergency cover provision and holiday opening hours or, if you are away from home, use the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ Find a Vet facility at https://findavet.rcvs.org.uk/home/.

Care Guides: Fireworks

Top Tips from Friars Moor for Fireworks Night

Dogs
  • Ensure all windows and doors are shut. Close the curtains and turn on the TV or play music to muffle the sound of the fireworks
  • Consider distracting your dog from the fireworks by giving them a chew, toy or playing a game with them
  • Ensure your dog has a safe, warm area to hide away in and consider using an ADAPTIL® diffuser nearby
  • Walk your dog early in the evening when it is still light outside and remember it is now law to have your dog micro-chipped. This will help to reunite your dog if they become scared and run off
  • NEVER punish your dog for displaying unwanted behaviour as a result of fireworks going off – this will only
    make them more distressed
  • Call us to discuss using a pheromone product and other options leading up to fireworks nigh
Cats
    • Keep your cat indoors after dark
    • Ensure all windows and doors are shut. Close the curtains and turn on the TV or play music to muffle the sound of the fireworks
    • Make sure there is a litter tray, water bowl and have some treats to hand. If you have more than one cat, have a feeding station and litter tray for each cat plus a spare one
    • Ensure your cat has a safe, warm area to hide away in and consider using a FELIWAY® diffuser nearby
    • Feed your cat early in the evening when it is still light outside and ensure it is micro-chipped
    • Separate your cat’s resources so feeding stations, water bowls and litter trays are not next to each other
    • Call us to discuss using a pheromone product leading up to fireworks night

Care Guides: Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a common name for infectious tracheitis and bronchitis where the trachea, or windpipe, and the
surrounding areas of the airway into the lungs become infected and inflamed causing a cough. Whilst commonly a stay in kennels can be a trigger, it is also possible to acquire kennel cough without being in kennels. All it takes is for your dog to sniff at some phlegm which another dog has coughed up in the park or street, or to be in a room with an infected dog coughing. This is why we ask coughing dogs to wait in the car park not the waiting room.

Kennel cough has an incubation period of 2-14 days and so some dogs can carry the infection without showing signs. It can spread by sharing air space, food/water bowls, toys and blankets.

Much like the human common cold, there can be many different strains and causes, both viral and bacterial. This leads to a variety of signs ranging from:

  • a long lasting hacking cough
  • clearing the throat
  • gulping phlegm after coughing
  • occasionally reluctant to eat and lethargy
  • or just a mild cough in an otherwise well dog.

Most dogs get better from kennel cough within about 3 weeks without treatment; however anti-inflammatories and cough-suppressors are sometimes used to help make a dog feel better in themselves. Rarely antibiotics might be used depending on the severity, other illnesses your dog might have or if they are very young or very old. In most cases it is a nuisance illness rather than a dangerous illness requiring treatment.

Whilst recovering from kennel cough you could avoid airway irritation by using a harness instead of a collar to attach their lead and ensure your home is well ventilated. Resting your dog at home and avoiding popular dog walking areas is sensible to stop the spread until they have stopped coughing, this could be up to 4-6 weeks! Moistening dry food, offering a broth or honey water can sooth the throat and reduce soreness associated with the cough.

Vaccination against Bordatella bronchiseptica, the worst bacteria in kennel cough, and Canine parainfluenza, the worst virus in kennel cough, will lessen the effect of kennel cough but will not necessarily stop your dog from catching kennel cough. Many boarding kennels require the vaccine to be given, and immunity is achieved in 3 days for Bordatella and 3 weeks for parainfluenza, which lasts for 1 year before revaccination is required.

Dogs that have caught kennel cough may have immunity for up to a year but will be not be immune to catching kennel cough again in the future as there are many different strains.

If you are worried about kennel cough, please call the clinic to get advice from our team of vets and nurses.

Care Guides: Post Op Care

Please keep your pet warm and quiet during the evening after the operation.

  • A quick trip into the garden is all that’s required for dogs.
  • Cats will need to be supplied with a litter tray and confined to the house for 24 – 48 hours.

Effects of the anaesthetic may be seen for up to 24 hours.

Water can be offered as normal but a light meal should be fed the first evening, about a third of their normal diet. Bland food such as chicken and rice is ideal. If your pet is on a special diet then discuss their requirements with your vet or nurse.

Please make an appointment for a post op check in 2 – 4 days, sutures/staples are to be removed at 10 days if required.

For dogs, exercise must be restricted for 10 days (lead walking only), prevent jumping if possible. Cats may need to be confined to the house.

To minimise the risk of infection, break down of sutures/staples and complications it is important to prevent patient interference. Pets must not be allowed to lick, rub, clean, groom or scratch at their surgical site. This can be done in several ways:

1) Elizabethan or Buster collar – cone shaped or inflatable
  • This should be kept on at all times
  • Allowing a supervised break from the collar for eating and drinking is ok
Surgical t-shirt
  • This should be kept on at all times
  • Keeping it clean and dry is important to prevent infection
  • Checking a minimum of twice daily for discharge
  • Changing the t-shirt for a clean one when wet or dirty
  • A pair of pants could be used to stop licking around the back end

If there is discharge (watery fluid, pus, blood) then gently bathing with cooled boiled water on cotton wool or a tissue.

Once a clean dry scab has formed, leave the site alone to heal.

If you have concerns about the wound or surgical site, then seek advice from one of our registered veterinary nurses or vets. If your pet has a dressing this must stay clean and dry.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call the surgery on 01258 472314