BREXIT, BREXIT, BREXIT …
At the time of writing, the future relationship of the UK and the EU is not yet clear, although by the time you are read this, it might all have been settled. Whatever happens, if the UK leaves the EU, then travel arrangements and the supply of veterinary medicines will be significantly affected.
If you are hoping to take your pet abroad (and perhaps more importantly, bring them back again) it will be very important that you check the latest government guidance. This will give you the best chance of having a trouble-free and enjoyable journey. The latest information should be available from the Government at: www.gov.uk
Many of the drugs and products used for animals come from the EU, either produced there or imported through EU members. Vets and drug supply companies will be taking steps to ensure an uninterrupted supply of the drugs and products needed to keep pets healthy, but it is possible that some problems may occur. In these cases we will try our best to find a suitable alternative supply, even if this means changing treatment slightly.
TAKE CARE WITH TICKS …
As the better weather starts to stick around, you and your pets may be getting out and about more. As well as general advice about keeping hydrated and protected from the sun, you need to be aware of ticks. Ticks can be picked up anywhere, but particularly in the long grass of heaths, moors and woodlands. The ticks themselves are often not a problem, although the attachment site can be sore and occasionally become infected. The larger problem with ticks is the way they can pass on other infections through their feeding such as Lyme disease.
Ticks will eventually fall off once they have fed, but it is advisable to remove them as soon as they are found. Ticks can be carefully removed by hand or using a tick-hook, but care must be taken to remove the whole tick and not leave the mouthparts embedded. Don’t forget that humans can pick-up ticks too, so it may be advisable to wear clothing which covers the whole of your legs and arms when walking in at-risk areas.
Preventive spot-on products are available from the surgery, e.g. Bravecto. These products kill ticks within 48 hours of attachment. Any ticks should then drop off, once they are dead.
If you need any advice about tick treatment or would like to arrange a free tick-check for your pet with one of the nurses then please contact the practice.
BRIGHT-EYED, BUSHY-TAILED BUNNIES ...
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. Warmer weather is when flystrike becomes more likely, and this 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.
- The wrong diet can cause painful teeth problems. If you notice your rabbit dropping lots of food out of its mouth while eating or having a lot of drooling, they may have a problem with their teeth. The front teeth (incisors) can be seen easily, but the rear molar teeth are just as important and can be a lot harder to get a look at.
IS YOUR PET ID CHIPPED?
We recommend that all dogs and cats be ID-chipped. It is a legal requirement for all dogs to have an ID chip, and failure to do so could potentially result in a fine of £500. It is also mandatory (fine of up to £5000) for all dogs in a public place to wear a collar and tags with the owners name and address. As well as being the law, we would recommend it anyway, even if your dog doesn’t go further than your garden, escapes can happen, and occasionally dogs are even stolen.
There are currently no laws requiring the identification of cats, but as with dogs there are many reasons to do so. Cats are even more likely to lose a collar, and being inquisitive they can get lost or trapped somewhere they did not mean to.
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. 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 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.
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. The law requiring ID-chipping in dogs also requires owners to keep the details up to date, imposing the same fine for this as for having no chip at all.
UPGRADE TO OUR COMPUTER SYSTEM …
We will soon be updating our computer systems. Whilst this is less of an upheaval than the last upgrade in 2014, there may be a bit of a settling in period whilst we get used to the changes. So please bear with us if we are a bit slower, or tearing our hair out in frustration.