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Winter News 2012/13

MERIDIAN NEWS WINTER

We would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! We are open as usual over the Christmas and New Year period with only three, one day closures.

December 25th 2012 Christmas Day (CLOSED)

December 26th 2012 Boxing Day (CLOSED)

January 1st 2013 (CLOSED) Business as usual for the rest of the festive time.

Please do not be concerned about these closures as Vetcall will provide our out of hour’s emergency care if it is needed.

 

NEW ADDITIONS!

Getting a new puppy or kitten is an exciting time for the household. There are however many factors that should be considered before embarking on the lifelong commitment of owning a pet. Please feel free to contact us BEFORE you get your pet, or if you are considering getting a pet. We will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have regarding the different breed traits and their specific needs. We can help you choose the most suitable pet companion for you! We are all aware of the animal rescue shelters that are bursting at the seams with unwanted pets. Having the right pet is hugely rewarding.

 

SEASONAL REMINDERS

Yummy to us, poisonous to them...

The chemical ‘theobromine’ found in chocolate is poisonous for our pets. Dogs can be greedy and temptation certainly comes calling over the festive season!

Chocolate poisoning has been known to cause death in extreme cases. Signs of chocolate poisoning include increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea, panting, shaking and seizures.

Also watch out for dogs eating grapes, raisins and sultanas and some wild mushrooms—all of which are also toxic.

Tinsel, ribbon and shiny things

Take care when getting ready for Christmas. Tinsel and decorations are fascinating toys for many dogs and cats.

Unfortunately, harmless play can turn into a very serious problem if any of them are eaten. At this time of year, we often have to perform surgery on pets to remove decorations from various parts of the intestines!

Let us spare a thought for our pets that live outdoors e.g. guinea pigs, rabbits, hens. Please make sure their hutches are sheltered and have clean warm bedding. Also, be sure to keep an eye on their drinking water containers making sure they don’t become frozen.

 

ARTHRITIS

Arthritis means inflamed joints.  It is often just part of the ageing process in dogs and cats (and people!).  Arthritis can also occur following a previous injury or if the animal has poor conformation (make up) of a joint. 

You may notice your pet slowing up on walks, limping or looking stiff, struggling to get up after rest, having trouble jumping up or resting a lot more than normal. It is important to realise that arthritis is painful. Pet owners often think that animals will cry or whimper if they are in pain. Actually our patients rarely do this.  Limping and stiffness are signs of pain.

In some cases, especially in older patients, a diagnosis of arthritis during a consultation with the Vet may be achieved. This would be based on the symptoms your pet is displaying at home and by examining him or her.  In other cases and especially in younger patients we will need to take x-rays under sedation or anaesthesia to be sure of exactly what the problem is. 

Unfortunately, arthritis cannot be cured. Once the changes have started in the joint, they are there for life and will progress. However, modern drugs and lifestyle changes can help to control the symptoms of arthritis for many years. 

It is essential to watch your pet’s diet and weight to ensure extra stress is not placed on the joints. Treatment often includes the use of anti-inflammatory drugs.  These drugs are strong painkillers and also reduce the inflammation in the joint. There are now many different anti-inflammatories available, we will find the one most suited to your pet. These drugs will generally be required for life. Dogs with arthritis need to exercise to help keep their joints moving and muscles strong.  It is better to have short, frequent daily walks rather than a long walk at the weekend. We can help and advise you about care for your pet. Please make an appointment and come along to our free nurse clinics for weight checks, dietary and joint supplement advice.

Please come and see one of our vets if you are concerned about your pet we can help improve their quality of life.

 

FIREWORKS

Undoubtedly there will be fireworks over the festive period. This can lead to a stressful time for many pets and owners. It is advisable to consider therapies before the fireworks start. Natural pheromone anti-anxiety products like FELIWAY and ADAPTIL are very beneficial. You can use a sound CD to get your pet used to these noises. We can provide the CD (refundable deposit required) and one of our nurses will be happy to advise. Anti-anxiety medication is needed in extreme cases. You can help your pet by providing a safe “den”, keeping curtains closed, having TV or music on to distract, provide litter trays. Most importantly, stay calm and relaxed yourself. Remember, relaxed pets are happy pets!