Hyperthyroidism in cats

burmese-catHyperthyroidism is a very common disease in older cats. It is caused by an over production of thyroid hormones, this causes the cat to burn through calories and normally suffer from weight loss. This over production often results from a benign change, however in a small number of cases this may be related to a cancerous cause.

Fortunately there are many treatment options available and the prognosis is good. Continue Reading

Why do we give cats and dogs vaccinations?

Vaccinating our pet dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets is an important tool in protecting them against serious infectious diseases.

Vaccines form part of our preventative healthcare programme alongside flea treatment, parasite treatment and neutering. Vaccines can be given as injection into the skin or in some cases drops into the nose.

Vaccines are safe formulations which provide protection against infectious diseases by generative an immune response. Vaccines may contain live or killed organisms or in some cases parts of an organism.

All vaccines are tested for safety and efficacy before they can be administered to pets to provide safe and important protection. Continue Reading

Big Bear Award – Rambo

Rambo’s story

Rambo a lovely little 5 week old Ragdoll and came in to see us the beginning of February. The owner brought him in due to trauma and after the trauma he was showing signs of what the owner described as having a seizure.

William, our vet, admitted Rambo for treatment for trauma and shock. When Rambo was examined him he also had pyrexia (high temperature) of 40.2C. The normal range for cats is 37.5-38.8C. As Rambo was so young it was important to start treatment as soon as possible. Continue Reading

Big Bear Award – Wilma

Wilma’s story

Wilma recently joined our Vet4life Family at the age of 8 and a half years old. She is an extremely affectionate and giving soul who struggles with lameness and has done for a little while. Her mum Katherine has been to other vets searching for the best help available for Wilma, not wanting to see her in pain.

After a recent visit to our Vet4life Surbiton practice she met with Vanessa one of our vets for a consultation. It was immediately identified that Wilma was showing signs of osteoarthritis, not dissimilar to other members of her family! This can be a life changing disease with varying degrees of pain, which is irreversible. But it is not all bad news, once we have made the diagnosis, we can set up a treatment and management plan to help! Continue Reading

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