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Spring News 2013





Dental disease is incredibly common in cats and dogs, and the problem increases dramatically as our pets age.  This is hardly surprising when you consider that most adult people have a number of fillings and it is very rare for a person over 60 not to have lost some if not all of their teeth.  Imagine how much worse this would be if we were not able to brush our teeth every day!

Sadly, dental problems in pets are often overlooked as owners rarely get the opportunity to look in their pets mouths. Also, our pets are very good at “putting up” with any pain or infection.  We could compare the mouth pain our pets experience to us having constant dull toothache! Most of us would get that dealt with as soon as possible. That is why we believe we should try and do the same for our pets. Sometimes owners may notice signs of a problem, e.g. a bad smell from the mouth, dribbling, or a swelling on the face caused by an abscess. However, most often dental problems are noticed at the time of a routine veterinary check up [another reason why an annual health check is so valuable]. When a vet recommends dentistry it is usually to remove damaged or infected teeth which are causing discomfort.  Generally there is little value in just removing dental tartar [the brown crusty debris that builds upon the tooth

surface] as it will rapidly reform unless the teeth are brushed daily. Dental operations are time consuming and skilled procedures.  If an operation is appropriate for your pet, the vet will discuss the details thoroughly with you beforehand. Cats and dogs cope extremely well following tooth removal as the foods they are fed are gulped down with a minimum of chewing.  Even dry foods tend to be swallowed whole.  In fact pet owners invariably say how much better overall their pets are after dentistry, reflecting the fact that they are no longer dragged down by discomfort and infection. Clients often ask how best to keep their pets teeth in good condition.  Ideally every dog and cat should have its teeth brushed daily using a special veterinary toothbrush and paste.   Although a great idea, very few clients have a sufficiently compliant pet to make this practical!

Other measures that may help include special diets, chews, mouthwashes and gels although none of these provide a complete solution to the problem. If you are concerned that your pet may have a dental problem, please contact the surgery for an appointment with one of our vets.  Alternatively if you don’t think there is a problem but you would like your pet’s mouth checked just to be sure, you can ring and book a nurses appointment.  Our nurses will gladly perform a free dental assessment, and be able to offer help and advice with the teeth cleaning measures mentioned above.



You may have heard from 2016 the government has passed a law that will make microchips compulsory for all dogs. Did you know that when you have your pet microchipped at Meridian you get four weeks pet insurance for free?

The insurance will cover against injury and illness and is effective once your pet is registered on the database (normally about 48hours after implantation of the microchip). The four week cover is particularly useful in puppies and kittens as it allows you breathing space to sort out a permanent insurance



Do you know, when you recommend a friend or relative to register as a new client at Meridian Veterinary Practice, we will give you AND your friend £5.  This will be credited to your account and will help towards the cost of any future medications or treatment your pet may need. Just a little thank you from us!



Our Pet Health Club has been running for a year now and has become very popular with many clients. It’s a good way for our clients to spread the costs of preventive health care such as vaccinations, flea and worm treatment over a year. We have always encouraged preventive health care. It is an important part of responsible pet ownership and keeps your pet in the best possible health. Fleas and worms have always been a growing problem and we are using a product called Advocate on the scheme because it treats fleas, roundworm, lungworm, ear mites and Sarcoptic mange in one monthly dose on the back of the neck. If you sign up at the time of vaccination we will also give you 10% off the vaccination.



As the weather gets warmer the risk of flystrike increases. Flies are attracted to wet or soiled fur or skin sores. Rabbits that do not clean their back end (more difficult for obese rabbits) or have diarrhoea (can be caused by poor diet) attract flies, especially during the warmer weather. Flies lay eggs on the fur. These eggs then hatch into maggots. Maggots eat away into the flesh of the rabbit. This is a painful and often fatal condition. Ensuring that pets are kept in clean, dry housing and checking they don’t have diarrhoea will reduce the risk of flystrike. Using a product called ”Rearguard’ will help to repel flies. Please come and see one of our vets or nurses if you would like more information on preventing this horrible condition.



We value our customer’s feedback and we are always looking at ways to improve our service. Please tell us what you think by visiting our website  and click on “customer survey” on the left hand side to open our on-line survey which will only take you a few minutes!