Big Bear Award – Branston

Branston’s story

Branston is a cocker spaniel who presented to vet Jodie one morning as he was struggling to urinate.  On examination he had a massive bladder and it was clear that something had blocked his urethra and it was preventing him from urinating.

Branston was rushed in for x-rays and ultrasound which revealed he had a huge fluid filled prostate. Using ultrasound guidance, 40mls of puss was drained from his prostate and a catheter passed to relieve his obstructed bladder!

Prostatic abscesses are uncommon and usually only found in entire old male dogs. Branston is young and castrated so this was an incredibly unusual finding. Continue Reading

Spring 2018 newsletter

‘Orphan season’ is usually from March until August each year. This is when there are a high number of wildlife young born such as baby hedgehogs, fox cubs, badger cubs, fawn and lots of baby birds. Each animal has a variety of ways they help their babies grow up and leave their home, venturing into the big wide world. Baby animals may seem as if they have been abandoned, even though their parents are often very close by. Although it is tempting to assist these babies in acts of kindness, we recommend leaving them where they are and contacting your local wildlife rescue centre for advice. Wildlife Aid in Leatherhead is nearest to us (their number is 09061 800132).

Happy Reading!

The Vet4Life Team Continue Reading

New flea, tick, mite treatment for dogs

We’re pleased to offer Simparica for dogs that are on the Vet4Life Family plan. Simparica is an monthly oral tablet for treating (or preventing) fleas, ticks and mites.

The key strengths include:

  • A much faster speed of kill for fleas and ticks
  • A wider spectrum of activity (specifically the second commonest tick, Ixodes Hexagonus, which other products struggle to kill)
  • Mite cover including fox mange, ear mites and demodex
  • A longer duration of activity which ensures effectiveness

Simparica tablets are useful for pets who do not like spot on medications, owners who do not like spot on medications and pets who go swimming frequently and thus wash off the topical products.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Big Bear Award – Reggie

Reggie’s story

Reggie is an 11 year old Westie who has been with us at Vet4Life for just over a year; he came to see us in October last year as he had been coughing for a while and it had been getting worse. Several tests were done in the clinic to work out what the cause was, and unfortunately chest x-rays showed he had a tumour in his lung.

Reggie needed a special scan of his chest called a CT scan to see if it was able to be removed, and luckily, it did show that this could be done! In December, Reggie had surgery to remove the tumour in his lung. Surgery in the chest is quite challenging so we all had our fingers and toes crossed that he would do well… Fortunately, by the next day after surgery he was up and walking around and eating well! He stayed in hospital for a few days to ensure there were no post-operative complications and was home with his owners soon after!

One month later Reggie has continued to do really well and feeling much more like his old self again; enjoying walks and plenty of his favourite food. Well done Reggie! We are all so pleased that you have recovered really well after such a big surgery.

Cookie recipes for dogs and cats

These cookies always go down well with the animals! Recipes by our vet nurse, Sally!

Doggy Crunchies

  • 300g whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tbs peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • water

-Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and slowly add the water by the spoonful, until the mixture forms a firm dough

-Flour a surface and roll out the dough to a 1cm thickness

-Cut out various shapes using a cookie cutter

-Bake at 170oC for 40 minutes until hard

(The recipe can be flavoured using beef or chicken stock but only if they DO NOT contain any onion or garlic)

Tuna cat treats

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 6 oz/180 ml can tuna in oil, un-drained
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 egg

-Preheat the oven to 350ºF

-Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl

-Knead the dough. If it become a little too dry or thick, add drops of water until improved

-Roll the dough out on a floured surface. Press down to about 6mm/1/4″ thick

-Make or cut small shapes suitable for cat size treats. Play around with the shapes until you’re happy with them

-Set the shapes out on a lined baking tray/sheet

-Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the treats become firm

-Remove from the oven. Cool on a wire cooling rack

Let us know if you make them and if your pets like them!

Big Bear Award – Roscoe

Roscoe’s Story

Roscoe is a lovely little dog that came to us after he became very lethargic and didn’t want to eat.

He was dehydrated and had a very painful abdomen. A urine test and blood test revealed that Roscoe had pancreatitis and a condition called diabetic keto-acidosis. This is a life-threatening condition whereby the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin so that glucose cannot be used by the body cells for energy. Instead, fat is broken down to provide energy, and acids known as ketones are produced. This caused Roscoe to become very sick and he required emergency stabilisation. He received intensive fluid therapy, antibiotics, pain relief, and insulin.

Roscoe’s condition remained critical and he required intensive overnight hospitilasation. Despite all the tests and intensive management that Roscoe received, he was incredibly brave throughout and battled through what was a very worrying time for everyone involved. Continue Reading

The 12 dangers of Christmas for your pets

Christmas is a fantastic time for us but please be aware that there are many potential dangers for our pets! We have listed 12 common ones below:

  1. Raisins, grapes and mince pies
  2. Onions and garlic
  3. Chocolate
  4. Alcohol
  5. Batteries
  6. Christmas decorations and tinsel
  7. Mistletoe, holly and poinsettias
  8. Macadamia nuts
  9. Fatty foods and bones
  10. Christmas pudding
  11. Antifreeze
  12. Ribbon

This list is not exhaustive. If you think your pet may have eaten any non-pet food items or you have any concerns, please call us immediately – we have 24 hour cover even during the festive season.

Autumn 2017 newsletter


We’re really pleased to let you know about our new video section on the website and to introduce our new customer care adviser, Taniya.

Firework time is coming up and planning ahead can help you, help your pet. Please read our firework advice for all the things you can do this year.

If you have been to see us recently we hope you have had the very best care from the whole team. If so, we’d really appreciate your vote in the upcoming Pet Plan Veterinary Awards.

Happy reading!

Best wishes,

The Vet4Life Team Continue Reading

How Reiki can help animals

Some of our clients find Reiki healing very useful. We asked Gill Carrick, who does Reiki healing in Teddington and locally, to tell us a bit more about it:

Reiki can benefit animals experiencing a range of challenges, and my recent cases have included a sweet cat called Mia, and a brave dog called Sandie.

Mia’s owner approached me earlier this year, clearly concerned about the change to her ‘fur-bundle’ since the family moved into a new home a few months’ ago. Normally an outdoor cat, Mia’s now refusing to leave the house; spending hours hiding under the bed. She also meows constantly.

Mia’s been checked over by her vet and it seems there’s no underlying physical explanation, so the owner suspects it’s an emotional issue. It certainly seems to point that way. Continue Reading