SPRING / SUMMER 2017
A BEAUTIFUL SMILE FOR YOUR PET …….
We all know that we humans should brush our teeth regularly to avoid tartar, plaque and bad breath. But our pets can also benefit from having their mouth looked after.
In an ideal world it is recommended that you brush your dog or cat’s teeth, but please do not use HUMAN toothpaste, as this contains FLUORIDE, which is POISONOUS to animals. In practice however, many pets will not tolerate full brushing, so there are alternatives which may be more manageable. Your options are:-
- Dental diets – big-sized ‘kibble’ type biscuits, designed to encourage much chewing.
- Dental chews – but this only works if the product is actually ‘chewed’ and not swallowed whole (… all you Labrador owners ….)
- Plaque Off – this is a seaweed-based food additive.
- Dentagen Aqua – a water additive.
- Logic gel – like a toothpaste but has enzymes to break down plaque, so no need to brush.
Which of these products is most suitable will of course depend upon your animal and its way of life. As the old saying goes “Prevention is better than cure”, and the usual suspects for bad mouths are older animals where the risk of the anaesthetic required when carrying out a dental treatment is potentially greater. Infection of the gums around the teeth can also lead to adverse effects on other internal organs in severe cases.
IS YOUR PET ID CHIPPED?
It is important to keep the contact details registered with the chip up to date. If you move house or your pet has changed ownership, you need to contact the database company as soon as possible. If you are unsure of the current registered details or the ID-chip company details we may be able to help, and if you do not know the chip number for your animal you can arrange for us to scan them to obtain the number. Just contact us for any assistance required.
In the unfortunate event that your animal went missing, it will be so much harder to re-unite you if the chip details are out of date.. If the Dog Warden is getting incorrect information and no-one claims the dog within 7 days, they may sign the dog over to a rescue centre, for the purpose of rehoming.
BUNNY CARE IN SUMMER
Now that the warmer weather has arrived, there are several points to consider for your bunny’s welfare, especially if they too are enjoying the freedom of a sunny garden!
- Make sure there is adequate, secure shelter and a source of fresh, clean water available at all times.
- Check your rabbit’s rear end on a daily basis. It is the time of year for flystrike, which can cause severe damage to your pet within a very short space of time. If your rabbit is difficult to handle and/or prone to a messy bottom, you may wish to consider using Rearguard (available from the surgery) as a preventative measure.
WAITING IN THE WINGS
We are getting into the nesting season now, and the inevitable fledgling ‘casualties’ this brings. We often get youngsters brought in when they have been found on the ground in the garden. Obviously if the bird is injured then it is appropriate to take it to a vet BUT please bear in mind that ‘mother bird’ is very often close by waiting to encourage the fledgling back to safety or to ward off predators. The more we interfere, the greater the chance mum will abandon her offspring, and hand-reared babies can be very difficult to re-introduce successfully. In addition, baby birds often do not react well to being handled/transported and may even die of shock. If you are unsure of what to do either ring the surgery for advice or consult such organisations as the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, RSPB or the RSPCA to choose the best course of action.
CREEPY CRAWLIES ….
FLEAS are the most common and well known parasite of the domestic pets, and most pets will get fleas at some point during their lives. Fleas are a year round problem, but during late spring/early summer their numbers can increase rapidly as the weather improves.
The best way to protect from fleas is prevention. Once fleas get into your home, it will take a minimum of three months to get rid of them properly because of the way that the life cycle works. It is important to remember that if you see fleas on your pet only 5% are on the animal – the other 95% are in the environment! This means that it is essential to treat not only the pet that you have seen the fleas on, but all other pets in the house, and the house itself.
There are many products available to both prevent and treat fleas, including spot on treatments, tablets, collars and sprays. We also offer free flea clinics with one of the nurses where we can discuss how best to protect or treat your pets.
….. AND IT’S GOODBYE FROM HER
After more years than she might like to mention, June has hung up her nurse’s tunic and retired. As anyone who knows June will realise though, retirement is a relative term as she will still be incredibly busy on the farm and with her dogs, hens, fish and other creatures. Retirement will also give her more time with her grandchildren, and maybe even a few minutes to put her feet up. We all wish her well, and will surely miss her.