What is Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) 2?

rabbit-eatingIn recent years a new viral disease has emerged in rabbits, termed Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease 2. This is a new variant on Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD1). RHD2 (Like myxomatosis and RHD1) is extremely contagious and can be spread by flies or contaminated objects which means that indoor only rabbits can also be affected.

This disease can cause vague clinical signs such as lethargy and lack of appetite but can often prove fatal. Outbreaks in large groups (such as breeding groups, large populations or farms) can be devastating as transmission can occur easily. Treatment is often symptomatic using intravenous fluid therapy and gut protectants. Rapid and thorough decontamination of the environment is also required.

Traditional vaccine protocols cover myxomatosis and RHD1 but unfortunately do not include protection against RHD2. Additional vaccination is recommended and required annually with a vaccine to specifically prevent RHD2. At Vet4Life we are pleased to stock this vaccine and vaccination is free for rabbits on our family plan.

Big Bear Award – Rocco

Rocco’s story

Recently Rocco came in for a day procedure. He had been having trouble with his eyes. As cats get a little older, they can lose some elasticity in their eyelids, resulting in an entropion. Entropion is when the eyelids start to roll inwards resulting in the eyelashes scratching the cornea (the surface of the eye). In Rocco’s case, his beautiful long eyelashes scratched his cornea so much that it resulted in a very painful ulcer. He was struggling to open his eye. Continue Reading

How to treat fleas

dog-scratching-behind-earMany animals will carry fleas without showing significant discomfort. However control is recommended as fleas may carry tapeworm larvae, fleas can transmit blood borne diseases, fleas can contribute to anaemia, some pets can develop allergies to fleas, and fleas can bite people as well.

Fleas are small, flat insects that live on the pet and produce large numbers of eggs in the environment. Fleas can live for two years and start laying eggs within 48 hours of finding a host. Eggs hatch within 2 days in the environment (bedding, carpets, clothes) and move deep into soft furnishings. Cocoons can survive in the environment without a host for up to 2 years.

It is important to eradicate fleas from the home and vacuuming can help to reduce the burden. All pets in the house should be treated for fleas and an environmental insecticide used as well.

It is recommended to discuss treatment with a vet as there is a wide range of treatments available and some of which work better than others. Many of the over the counter products have poor efficacy. Never use a dog product on a cat as these can be highly toxic. Some “natural” products such as eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil are also toxic to cats so use of natural remedies is not recommended.

Pets travelling abroad (as of 1st March 2019)

With Brexit on the horizon some changes may be coming to how we take our pet cats and dogs abroad. Under the pet travel scheme for travel to and from the European Union pets needed a working microchip, a current rabies vaccination, a pet passport and a tapeworming treatment administered 24 – 120 hours prior to re-entry.

Following the exit of the UK from the European Union this arrangement may be subject to change. Continue Reading

Big Bear Award – Liption

Liption’s story

Liption is a handsome grey domestic short hair, fluent in both English, Spanish and catitude. He befriends giant dogs (his best friend is Rolo the Labrador) and flirts with the staff at vet4life. He had a dice with death in his younger days leaving himself with a tail pull injury. This meant that for the rest of his life he would struggle to urinate since the nerves to his bladder were damaged. Luckily for him his doting mum Vanessa (a trained human nurse) never gave up on him and with her medical training as an advantage she has kept his bladder going with a combination of medications and manual expression of his bladder. Continue Reading

£50 off scale & polish for cats & dogs

Looking after your pet’s pearly whites is extremely important, which is why we’re launching a dental health awareness campaign to provide help, advice and treatment along with some great offers.

Dental disease among cats, dogs and rabbits is one of the most common problems we deal with at Vet4Life and there are some simple steps all pet owners can take to improve their furry friend’s oral health.

To help you get started on the road to better dental care for your pet, we’re offering Vet4Life Family members £50 off a scale and polish for cats and dogs, from now until 31st March 2019. Continue Reading

Top 10 tips to keep your pet healthy at Christmas

Christmas is a great time for everyone. Unfortunately, at this time of year we often see animals that are quite poorly. In many cases it is very avoidable especially if you follow our ten top tips to keep your pet healthy at Christmas.

  1. Avoid feeding your pets Christmas cake or mince pies, as raisins (and grapes) can, in some cases, be toxic and cause kidney failure.
  2. Make sure that your pets have somewhere quiet they can take themselves off to, particularly if you are expecting lots of noisy guests.
  3. Wrap up shorthaired dogs, (and those that are young or old), with nice warm jacket, if you are walking outside in cold weather.
  4. Wash your dog’s feet if they have been walking on gritted pavements. The salt can be very irritant to their paws.
  5. Keep Christmas decorations and wrapping out of reach; pets are attracted to bright and shiny things, and cats will chase bits of string. If eaten they can cause serious stomach issues. Most pets including rabbits will chew through the fairy lights if given half a chance.
  6. Don’t feed Christmas dinner leftovers as human food can be too rich and cause diarrhea and vomiting. Bones can be potentially lethal and block or perforate the intestinal tract.
  7. Chocolate can cause real problems for dogs, as they are very sensitive to the theobromine, which can act like an overdose of caffeine.
  8. Take care with floral arrangements and plants especially if you have cats; Lilies are toxic to cats and the pollen can easily get on their coats if they brush past. Ponsiettas are also a common addition to the home at Christmas and they are toxic to your pet if eaten.
  9. Avoid frozen ponds and canals and finally…
  10. Please don’t give a pet as a surprise present; a dog is for life not just for Christmas!

Continue Reading

Festive opening hours 2018

Teddington & Surbiton

Monday 24th December – Christmas Eve : 7.30am – 5.30pm
Tuesday 25th December – Christmas Day : CLOSED
Wednesday 26th December – Boxing Day : CLOSED
Thursday 27th December – 7.30am – 7.30pm
Friday 28th December – 7.30am – 7.30pm
Saturday 29th December – 8.30am – 5pm
Sunday 30th December – 10am – 4pm (TEDDINGTON ONLY)
Monday 31st December – New years eve – 7.30am – 5.30pm
Tuesday 1st January – New Years Day – CLOSED
Wednesday: Normal opening hours


Monday 24th December – Christmas Eve : 8am – 4.30pm
Tuesday 25th December – Christmas Day : CLOSED
Wednesday 26th December – Boxing Day : CLOSED
Thursday 27th December – 8am – 6.30pm
Friday 28th December – 8am – 6.30pm
Saturday 29th December – 8.30am – 12pm
Sunday 30th December – CLOSED
Monday 31st December – New years eve – 8am – 4.30pm
Tuesday 1st January – New Years Day – CLOSED
Wednesday: Normal opening hours

You will still have access to 24 hour emergency vet care.

Vet4life features on CBeebies

CBeebies came to film us recently at Vet4life Surbiton! Rory from Ferne and Rory’s Vet Tales came to meet one of our owners and their superstar dog Otto and bring them in to meet our vet Lily! Otto belongs to the great charity Broken Biscuits who help disabled dogs get the help and homes they deserve. Otto is a dog who injured both of his back legs in an accident a few years ago and gets around easily with a wheelchair.

Lily spent the day filming with the CBeebies team and said, “it was so much fun being filmed for the day and all of the CBeebies team were so lovely. They got to watch us kitting Otto out with his new wheelchair and also watched us seeing some of our other patients. Otto and his owner (also called Lily!) were stars and it was such a fun day filming all together.”

Catch up on the episode here and watch out vet Lily at work!