Healthcare & Advice
Our practice team aims to provide a compassionate and knowledgeable service to pet owners in Uddingston.
We understand how worrying it can be if your pet is not behaving normally or seems unwell, so please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01698 817 999 – or drop in and ask to speak to a vet nurse. However big or small your concerns, we’re always ready to help.
You may also find it useful to read some of our advice below. Just click on each issue to reveal information:
If your pet has a wound which is covered with a DRESSING, please follow the instructions below.
- Your pet should not be allowed to chew at the dressing.
- A buster collar has been provided and your pet should wear it
- continuously for 7 days, they will be able to eat, drink and sleep
- with it on.
- The dressing should be kept clean and dry.
- Dogs should be walked on leash and on dry pavement only. If
- necessary the dressing should be protected from wet weather by a
- plastic bag covered by a sock. This should be removed in the
- Cats should be kept indoors.
It is important that dressings should be checked and changed regularly so please do attend for follow up appointments as scheduled.
If you have any concerns about your pet please contact the surgery on 01698 817999.
DIET & WEIGHT
A good diet and exercise regime is the key to maintaining your pet's weight and keeping them fit and healthy. When animals are overweight they are susceptible to diabetes and the effects of osteoarthritis. Diabetes is irreversible so preventing weight gain is important . If your pet is overweight and has osteoarthritis their symptoms will be more severe; losing some weight will improve their mobility and in most cases reduce the amount of medication they will require. If you think your pet might be overweight or you have any questions about a suitable diet and exercise regime please ask the Vets and Nurses.
Our Pet Health Counsellor Anne, runs our weight clinics. She will be able to advise you on the correct weight, diet and exercise regime for your pet, please ask for an appointment.
Please feel free to bring in your pet at any time to weigh them and ask reception to record their weight. Regular visits will also familiarise your pet with the surgery and make it less stressful for them.
Dental care is very important for your pet to prevent plaque and infection. There are many dental products available to help you care for your pet's teeth. We recommend brushing your pets' teeth on a regular basis. Toothpaste specific for dogs and cats should be used and is available from the surgery along with a variety of toothbrushes. Your pet will accept tooth brushing more readily if you introduce them to it at a young age. You do not need to open your pet's mouth to brush their teeth, just lift their lips to expose the teeth , as shown in the picture. If your pet is still resisting there are other products available such as finger brushes, oral gels and mouth wash that can be added to the water. Dental chews are also available but be careful of the calories!
Without regular dental care, plaque and tartar will build up on your pet's teeth which can lead to infection and dental disease. By the time you notice your pet has 'bad breath' they may have serious dental disease which requires antibiotics and tooth extractions.
If you would like advice on appropriate dental care for your pet or you are concerned about their teeth please contact the surgery to make an appointment with one of the Veterinary Nurses. The Nurse can check your pet's teeth and advise on suitable prevention products and any necessary treatment that may be required. Regular check-ups are advised . Dental checks are also carried out as part of the annual check up at your pet's Booster appointment.
- DO provide a hiding place where your pet feels safe, for example an under-stairs cupboard Make sure they have access to food and water in their den. Give them blankets to hide under. Cats should be given litter trays. Rabbits should be brought indoors or their hutch covered up well.
- DO close curtains and put the TV or radio on to muffle the sound of fireworks.
- DO take your pet out to toilet in daylight hours as they may be too fearful to go out after dark Keep cats indoors after dark.
- DO stay calm yourself, if you show you are anxious your pet will pick up on this.
- DON’T get angry with your pet or try to remove them from their hiding place
- DON’T over-fuss your pet as it reinforces their behaviour
- DO seek advice from your vet and vet nurses on the best approach to managing your pet’s firework stress both in the short term and long term. SHORT TERM There are natural products available to help your pet cope. NUTRACALM is a palatable capsule containing granules given with food. This can be given to dogs and cats. ADAPTIL and FELIWAY are pheromone based products and are available as plug-ins, sprays and collars for dogs. These are most effective if they are started a few weeks before the firework season. LONG TERM The best way to help your pet if they have severe symptoms related to firework phobia is behavioural therapy using a NOISE DESENSITISATION programme. A successful outcome is best achieved if the programme is started early; at least 6 months is recommended. (click on the links for more information)
FLEAS AND TICKS
In April 2016 it became a legal requirement for ALL dogs over 8 weeks old to be microchipped and contact details kept up-to-date.
A Microchip is a small device which is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades of your pet. The 'chip' carries a unique number which is registered to your pet along with your details. These details are held on a national database so you can be reunited with your pet if they are lost anywhere in the UK. We have a variety chip sizes available, stocking the UK's smallest chip for your tiny furry friends.
If you do not know who your pets microchip is registered to, you can check with our team. Alternatively you can type in the microchip number into one of the search databases eg. https://www.petlog.org.uk and they should advise you if it is registered with them or guide you to the correct database.
Female dogs come into season every 6-9 months. They are in season for 3 weeks during which time they can become pregnant. Neutering (spaying) involves a full ovariohysterectomy and means your dog will not come into season again or be able to get pregnant. Neutering also helps prevent many medical conditions such as mammary cancer, pyometra (a life threatening womb infection) and false pregnancy. Many people think that dogs gain weight after neutering, with the correct diet and exercise regime this should not happen. If you are concerned about your pet’s weight please see information on our weight clinic.MALE DOGS
Neutering (castration) of male dogs reduces the risk of behaviour problems such as roaming , aggression and urine marking. It can prevent medical conditions such as testicular cancer, prostate related conditions and anal adenomas (tumours at the anus).FEMALE CATS
Female cats come into season during Spring and Autumn. They ‘call’ (are in season) every 2-3 weeks . Neutering (spaying) will prevent pregnancy, pyometra (womb infection) and reduce the risk of mammary cancer.MALE CATS
Neutering (castration) will prevent behaviour related problems such as roaming and urine marking. It reduces the tendency for fighting and therefore helps to prevent the transmission of diseases such as Feline Immuno Deficiency Virus (FIV). Preventing roaming behaviour reduces the risk of being involved in a road traffic accident.
NEW KITTEN/PUPPY ADVICE
Buying a puppy or kitten is exciting! You cant wait to take them home, introduce the little bundle of fluff to the family and enjoy their unconditional love and companionship for years to come.
Most of the time, buying and bringing home a puppy or kitten can go well, without any issues. But we frequently pups and kittens who are in poor health, with no traceable backgrounds or medical history. Introducing a little living creature to your life is a big long term commitment, and time should be taken to ensure you find the right one to suit.
Here is a basic checklist to guide you when considering a new pet:
- What type of cat or dog do you want? Think about your lifestyle, active working dog breeds require lots of walks and exercise. Do you need a smaller calmer breed to suit with a less active lifestyle? Will they need lots of grooming? Some long haired cats need regular brushing to ensure they don't get matted. If you want a pedigree breed check if there are any inherited diseases that are prevalent. Information on canine inherited conditions and tests can be found on the British Veterinary Association website.
- Ok, so you have picked a breed, shape or size of pet, so where is your furry friend going to come from? There are many rescue centre's full of pets in need of loving homes. They can have a variety of ages, sizes and breeds. perhaps an adolescent, partially trained dog may suit your lifestyle better? If you are set on a particular breed, then research reputable registered breeders. Beware of internet adverts offered cut price puppies or kittens, or offering delivery to your door. Its imperative to visit your future pets environment. Meet the parents, or at the very least the mum. What kind of condition is she in, is she too skinny? What kind of nature does she have? Any aggressive traits could be passed onto the litter?
Check if the puppies or kittens have been reared in that environment to ensure you aren't buying a stolen, illegally imported animal or one which was raised in a less suitable home.
- How healthy are the pups or kittens? Look at their weight and the food they are eating. Are they coughing, sneezing? Do they have diarrhoea or are vomiting? Ask the breeder if they have been vaccinated (some vaccines are given from 6 weeks old) or microchipped. Ideally they would be wormed from a young age (usually 4, 6 and 8 weeks old). Check records if any are available.
Spend time on the floor with them, sit in amongst the litter and chose the wee one that stands out. Go for a second visit to make sure you are happy with your choice Ideally they should be with their mum until 8 weeks of age.
Once you collect them, its better to let them settle in for a few days but arrange a check up with us to make sure they are fit and healthy and to discuss vaccination.
And remember, we are here to help if you need any advice when choosing the right fluffy friend. With careful thought and planning, your beautiful new puppy or kitten can give you and your family years of pleasure and companionship.
Please see our section on our PUPPY AND KITTEN PACK. This package provides the best all round, healthy start for your new addition.
- How healthy are the pups or kittens? Look at their weight and the food they are eating. Are they coughing, sneezing? Do they have diarrhoea or are vomiting? Ask the breeder if they have been vaccinated (some vaccines are given from 6 weeks old) or microchipped. Ideally they would be wormed from a young age (usually 4, 6 and 8 weeks old). Check records if any are available. Spend time on the floor with them, sit in amongst the litter and chose the wee one that stands out. Go for a second visit to make sure you are happy with your choice Ideally they should be with their mum until 8 weeks of age.
Veterinary medicine has, in most recent years, become increasingly sophisticated. We are able to diagnose and treat many conditions that a few years ago would have remained undetected. The consequences were often fatal, especially in older pets. The downside of these advances is cost. It is not unheard of for treatment of a case to exceed £1000! A common surgical referral for a cruciate ligament rupture in a dog can cost over £2500.
One of the most distressing situations we find ourselves in, is where a pet's problem is curable but the cost is too high and the patient has to be put to sleep. Alternatively an owner may have to opt for the less-than-best treatment for the animal owing to money constraints. That's where Pet insurance comes in.
When choosing an insurance policy, there are a few things to consider:
- Be careful to check that the amount of veterinary fee cover is adequate. Over time a single, chronic illness such as skin or heart disease, can cost many hundreds of pounds.
- Check whether the policy imposes a limit on how much you can claim for each illness. Chronic conditions can go on for life- not just 12 or 24 months.
- Check that your pet will still be covered in later years when he/she needs it most, and that the premium in those years still represents good value. Some policies require you to pay a percentage of each claim as well as an annual excess.
- Check What won't be covered. Like your household or car insurance, an excess will be included that you will have to pay on a claim. This may be a fixed sum, or a percentage of the total claim. Vaccinations and routine treatments such as worming are also excluded.
Pensioner and multi-pet discounts: Some policies offer discounts allowing significant savings to be made.
Like the British Small Animal Association, we recommend pet health insurance to our clients. Our only interest is to ensure that we never have to compromise the quality of veterinary care on the basis of cost. We are currently a registered Petplan Practice and can recommend Petplan policies. Our PUPPY AND KITTEN PACKAGE includes immediate cover for 4 weeks with PETPLAN
Except in emergency situations contact your Insurance company and ask if they do pre-authorisation claims. We fill in a pre-authorisation form before treatment starts with expected costs and your Insurance company confirm whether you are covered or not. This means you do not pay for treatment then find out you aren't covered. This is particularly useful for surgery carried out by referral surgeons.
Inform your Insurance company as soon as you think you may need to make a claim. Some companies refuse to pay out if you claim more than 6 months after the treatment has been carried out. Read your company's small print.
Bring your claim form in promptly, the sooner we get your form the sooner you will be refunded. Please ensure you sign your claim form and fill in as much detail as you can in the owner section.
Currently we do not charge for completing claim forms but they do incur considerable work for us . To ensure we can continue to provide this service free of charge please ensure you submit claim forms promptly , regularly (for ongoing conditions) and fill them in completely.
Our policy is not to handle direct claims, this has in the past led to many complications and unpaid invoices. If you are experiencing financial difficulties and would like to request a Direct Claim please ask to speak to one of the Partners who may be able to arrange this for you.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE GIVE AWAY 4 WEEKS FREE INSURANCE WITH OUR PUPPY AND KITTEN PACKAGE. THIS POLICY GIVES IMMEDIATE COVER WITH NO OBLIGATION AT THE END OF THE 4 WEEKS.
The Pet Travel Scheme enables you to travel abroad with your pet to participating countries.
Pet passports are intended for short term travel eg holidays.
The Veterinary Centre can carry out the necessary requirements and issue your passport.
PLEASE NOTE PET TRAVEL RULES CHANGED IN JANUARY 2012. YOUR PET MAY NO LONGER REQUIRE A BLOOD TEST TO TRAVEL. PLEASE CONTACT US FOR ADVICE . From January 2012 your pet will not require a blood test to qualify for a Pet Passport if returning to the UK from a 'listed' country. See GOV.UK website for more information. To qualify for The Pet Travel Scheme your pet requires:
- 1. a microchip
- 2. rabies vaccination
- 3. a passport issued by your Vet
Your pet may travel 21 days after the Rabies vaccination is given.
A Booster Rabies vaccination must be given every three years . (Please be aware that some vaccine brands and some countries require annual boosters)
Your pet no longer requires tick treatment before re-entering the UK but may require tapeworm treatment by a Veterinarian before returning.
It is advisable to use a preventative preparation against ticks, fleas and worms so your pet does not contract diseases that are not present in the UK. Please contact us for further advice.
PRE OP ADVICE
Admissions are made between 8.30am and 9am on the day of the procedure unless otherwise arranged with the Vet.
In preparation for the procedure please ensure:
- No food is given (including treats) after 10pm the night before the appointment.
- Nothing to drink after 7.30am on the morning of the appointment.
- Please give ample opportunity for toileting before bringing to the surgery.
- Medication - continue to give as normal or as advised by the Vet, we will record this on the admissions sheet on the day.
Pre-Admission advice for Rabbits/Guinea Pigs
It is important that your pet is fed as normal prior to being admitted. It is also good to bring in some of their favourite food for when they are staying with us. This is to make sure their appetite and digestive function remains normal.
POST OP ADVICE
If your pet has had an anaesthetic, it is usual for them to be sleepy and off their food for 24-48 hours. You may offer your pet a small amount of their usual food when they return home, if they appear hungry you should wait a few hours before you give them the remainder. Alternatively you may offer your pet bland food such as chicken. If their appetite has not returned after 48 hours please contact the surgery.
If your pet has a surgical wound, they should not be allowed to lick or scratch at the wound for 7 days. A buster collar has been provided and your pet should wear it continuously for 7 days, they will be able to eat, drink and sleep with it on. Wounds should not be red, hot, or painful. A small amount of swelling is normal. The wound should be free from discharge unless a drain has been placed. Dogs should be walked short distances only and on leash at all times for 7 days. Cats should be kept indoors and not be allowed to jump about for 7 days.
The nurse will advise whether your pet has sutures ‘buried’ under the skin or external sutures which need to be removed.
Standard time frames for follow up appointments are as follows:
- drain removal (if applicable) 3-4 days post op
- wound check/suture removal 7-10 days post op
- biopsy results (external lab) 7-10 days post op
If your pet has been prescribed medication, he nurse will give you instructions on dosage and administration. Usually you should give the first dose of medication on the morning after the surgical procedure has been performed.
Rabbits are now the 3rd most popular pet mammal in the UK after dogs and cats, with an estimated population of 1 million! We are proud to say that we are a RABBIT FRIENDLY PRACTICE and that the Rabbit Welfare Association have added us to their recommended list of practices.VACCINATIONS
We recommend rabbits are vaccinated against Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD). These fatal conditions can be passed onto your rabbit even if they do not have direct contact with wild rabbits. Rabbit fleas transmit both diseases. A combined Myxomatosis and VHD vaccine can be given from 6 weeks of age. It should be boosted yearly.WORMING
E. cuniculi is a parasite which can cause multiple conditions, including head tilt and balance problems. It is difficult to detect and can be present in healthy bunnies, however it is highly contagious and spread via the urine from rabbit to rabbit. We recommended using panacur rabbit as a preventative at least once a year.NEUTERING
Neutering rabbits can prevent aggressive behaviour in both sexes, this may present as biting, scratching and urine marking. Female rabbits are particularly prone to uterine (womb) cancer even at a young age and we would recommend spaying (ovariohysterectomy) from 5 months of age. Rabbits are high risk during anaesthesia and they are susceptible to hypothermia and gut stasis post procedure. We have worked hard to ensure that our Rabbits receive the best of care and attention, in order to reduce this risk as much as possible. Our neutering package includes placement of an IV catheter, warmed fluids, a prokinetic agent to prevent gut stasis, adequate pain relief throughout the procedure and to go home with and also probiotics/recovery food to promote gut health following surgery. We have invested in rabbit V-GEL tubes for intubation. This allows a safer, more controlled anaesthesia and is superior to the traditional face mask anaesthetic.FEEDING AND DENTAL DISEASE
Dental issues are extremely common in pet rabbits. Studies show that around three quarters of rabbits brought to vets in UK are suffering from dental issues.
These problems can be tricky to spot because, unlike dogs and cats, rabbits are a prey species that are adapted to hide signs of illness from predators. Signs to watch for may include decreased appetite, weight loss, dribbling or saliva staining, weeping or infected eyes, and subdued behaviour.
The most common form of dental disease that vets see is overgrown molars. They can also have overgrown incisor teeth at the front but this is easily spotted unlike the molars, or 'cheek teeth'. Rabbit's have open roots which mean their teeth grow continuously. If they do not wear correctly and in line, they can develop sharp points on the outside and inside surface of the teeth. This can then cause painful ulceration on the tongue and to the inside of the cheeks.
Rabbit teeth can grow 2mm each week (10-12cm a year!) so its easy to understand how quickly a problem can develop. Rabbits kept as pets are often fed inappropriate diets. This means that their teeth grow faster than they can be worn down. It isn't usually a problem in the wild, as the teeth would wear down quickly by chewing lots of grass.
Good quality grass and hay will provide plenty of fibre and mineral particles to actively wear the cheek teeth down. This should be the main component (approximately 80%) of your rabbit's diet. The other 20% should be made up of complete pelleted and fresh food. Feeding a muesli mix diet is not recommended as they will selectively pick out the bits they like, leaving the 'boring' beneficial parts behind.
If left untreated, the uneven wear can eventually cause disease around the tooth roots. This can result in inflammation and abscesses in the bone and due to the close proximity, tear duct infections. Once they are at this stage, there's very little that can be done except repeated dental procedures to relieve any pain.
Regular check ups at your vet will enable them to diagnose any issues early on. Overgrown incisors can be trimmed. Molars can be smoothed off under anaesthetic allowing the mouth to heal and the teeth to wear evenly. X-rays may be required to check for any long lasting changes to the tooth roots. Some rabbits with chronic dental issues need their teeth trimmed and burred regularly to prevent pain and suffering.
The key to a happy and healthy bunny is a good quality diet, rich in fibre and an understanding and awareness of their basic anatomy and behaviour.DID YOU KNOW?
Rabbit owners have always been advised to use drip bottle feeders but the latest research shows that this WRONG. Rabbits should be given open water DISHES to drink from.
Rabbits are sensitive to extremes of temperature, they can become ill very quickly and even die with very little warning. Make sure your outdoor bunny has plenty of straw, hay and extra heating in the winter. In the summer make sure plenty of water is available in OPEN dishes to prevent dehydration and ventilate your bunnies hutch to prevent overheating.
Core vaccinations are given to all cats and kittens against:
Cat flu : this is caused by Feline herpes virus and Feline calici virus. Symptoms of cat flu are runny eyes, sneezing, coughing , inappetance and depression. It can be fatal, particularly in young and old animals. The viruses are very resistant and can survive in the environment for a long time. Cats can develop chronic symptoms after infection eg permanently or recurrent runny eyes or nose with only temporary relief from antibiotic therapy. Cats with Calici virus can become permanent carriers or be persistently infected which can lead to chronic gingivostomatitis ( a type of inflammation of the gums and mouth which is painful and requires life long management). All cats should be vaccinated against cat flu even if they do not mix with other cats or go outside as the viruses can be carried on clothes.
Feline panleucopenia : this is similar to parvo virus in dogs. It causes severe vomiting, inappetance and dehydration and is often fatal . It survives in the environment for months or years and is not easily killed by disinfectants . All cats should be vaccinated against it because even house cats can have it brought into their house from the external environment.
Chlamydophila felis : this causes severe conjunctivitis particularly in young kittens. It is spread by cat-to-cat contact and is most frequent in multi-cat households and breeding colonies. We include this in our vaccinations for young cats when they are most vulnerable .Non core vaccines are given to outdoor cats and cats that mix with other cats:
Feline Leukaemia Virus : this virus is spread via saliva when cats groom each other, share food bowls or bite each other. It can also spread in urine and faeces. It can take years for symptoms to arise (similar to HIV) but eventually causes immunosuppression so that infections are difficult to fight off and more commonly tumours, particularly of the small intestine. All outdoor cats and boarding cats should be vaccinated against leukaemia.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus : There is no vaccine available for FIV . This is a virus similar to HIV which cats usually catch through cat bites. It lies dormant for years and causes similar symptoms to leukaemia virus. It can cause chronic weight loss, skin problems and dental problems. You can reduce your cat's risk of contracting this virus by having them neutered so they are less inclined to fight.DOGS
The following are 'core' vaccines given to all puppies and dogs:
Parvo – this disease causes severe vomiting and profuse bloody diarrhoea . Affected dogs rapidly become dehydrated, depressed and can die. The virus is spread by faeces on dogs paws or peoples feet and can survive long periods in the environment. The UK has seen a recent rise in the number of cases of Parvo particularly in older dogs because people have not maintained their pet's vaccinations.
Distemper- this is spread by inhalation. Primary symptoms are respiratory. Vaccination has reduced the incidence significantly but there would be a resurgence if people stopped vaccinating their pet's against this virus.
Infectious canine hepatitis- transmitted by urine, faeces and saliva. Recovering dogs are contagious for up to 6 months. Symptoms include lack of appetite, fever, abdominal pain, pale gums and sometimes sudden death.
Leptospirosis- this is a bacterial disease spread via the urine and often found in water. It is ZOONOTIC meaning it can spread to humans (Weil's disease).
Non core vaccines are given dependant on lifestyle such as:
Infectious tracheobronchitis (kennel cough).- This is caused by a variety of different infectious agents. The two main culprits are Bordetella Bronchiseptica ( this is similar to the bacteria that causes human whooping cough) and canine parainfluenza virus. Kennel cough is very contagious and causes mild to severe coughing which can last up to 6 weeks. Kennel cough is spread easily by coughing, sneezing and nose-to-nose contact. This occurs when dogs mix either at the kennels or on walks. Most of the cases we see are actually in dogs that haven't been to kennels. The vaccine is administered intra-nasally and we recommend it for all dogs that board at kennels, walk with a dog walker or mix regularly with other dogs at the park or at shows.
Rabies- this is only required if your dog is travelling abroad. (for more info see PET TRAVEL). The UK is currently Rabies free . The vaccine is given to protect your dog from contracting rabies abroad and to prevent entry of Rabies into the UK.
If you have any concerns about vaccination please discuss this with the Vet. We offer blood testing to check antibody levels against the common infectious diseases to determine if your pet is protected. Members of our Health Plan receive discounts on their annual vaccination and health check plus a free consultation with the Vet at any time you might need it.
There are many different worms that can infect your pet. The most common are Roundworms and Tapeworms.
Roundworms in puppies can cause a pot-bellied appearance and failure to thrive. They are transmitted from the mother via the milk. Toxocara is a species of roundworm which poses a threat to human health, in particular children. The main risk is from larval stages that develop in faeces left on the ground.
Lungworm (or French heartworm) has been diagnosed in the UK , there have been cases in Glasgow and we think it may become more common. It causes life threatening illness in dogs that has few symptoms until your dog is seriously ill. If your dog licks or eats slugs or snails they may become infected. For more information click on this link: LUNGWORM AWARENESS. There are only two Veterinary licensed products that prevent lungworm which must be used monthly for complete protection. Please ask at reception if you think your pet is at risk.
Tapeworms can be transmitted to your pet either via fleas or when eating small rodents, they are more common in cats. Tapeworms cause anal irritation, ill thrift and weight loss. Most worming tablets for dogs and cats are broad spectrum and treat for round and tapeworms.
Puppies and kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks from the ages of 3-12 weeks then every 4-5 weeks (depending on the product used) until they are 6 months old. Adult cats and dogs should be routinely wormed every 3 months . Dogs will pick up larvae when sniffing and licking the ground when out on walks so regular worming is necessary.
There are a variety of worming products available from Vets and pet shops either in tablet or spot-on form. We advise using a Veterinary licensed product that treats effectively for a broad spectrum of worms and is safe for your pet. Some products will also treat and prevent flea , mite and tick infestation.
Please discuss your pet's requirements with staff so we can provide the most suitable product for them. You can make large savings by being a member of our HEALTH PLAN..