Blue-green algae information

Blue-green algae are used to describe bacteria called cyanobacteria. They grow quickly and can form blue or green or brown clumps that can resemble algae. It can look like there is a blue-green scum on the surface of the water often looking a bit like pea soup, more commonly in lakes and ponds during warmer weather.

Blue-green algae can be rapidly toxic to dogs so please call your vet immediately if you think you have a case of poisoning.

  • Don’t let your dog swim in or drink water containing blue-green algae.
  • It is most common in the hotter drier months of the year.

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Is it safe to give your dog bones?

Feeding raw food and bone diets are becoming increasingly popular as pet owners try recreate a natural diet. However it is important to use these products in way that is safe for your pet.

Both raw and cooked bones can pose a hazard, they can cause obstructions in the gut, cause fractured teeth and sharp fragments can damage the mouth and gut. As carnivores dogs have incredibly powerful biting and chewing muscles. In a bite they can exert up to a whopping 300 pounds per square inch. This force is enough to shatter bones but can also shatter teeth! As teeth as quite brittle it is easy for a misdirected bite to cause a serious and painful tooth fracture. Bone will not be easily digested by the gut and will remain very solid, it is for this reason diets which are very high in bone content can cause intestinal obstructions.

Chewing and biting are normal behaviours for a dog so it is important that they get a chance to express them, there are lots of products available to help emulate this behaviour and allow them to express it. As each dog is an individual it is worth having a conversation with a vet or behaviourist as to which products are more likely to be right for your pet.

With any product for biting or chewing the pet should be monitored closely and ask the following questions:

  • Are they likely to break it?
  • If it is broken is it likely to be hazardous (i.e. have sharp edges or stuffing which should not be eaten)?
  • If they swallowed it would it cause a problem?

Please get in touch for further advice.

New parasite treatment for dogs

We continually review our parasite treatment protocols and the new products that are available, to ensure that we can offer the best possible protection for your pet. There is a new product which is now included on the health plan for our Family members. It protects against all the key parasites mentioned below so has the added advantage of tick prevention.

It is a tasty chew, which can make parasite control like giving a treat to your dog, so you can be confident that the full dose of product has been given. Using an oral chew also means that your dog can be stroked and cuddled straight after treatment and swimming or bathing won’t affect the treatment working.

The existing products your pet will have been prescribed are still very effective and safe. But to help ensure that our Family members have access to the very best and latest parasite treatment options we have now included the chew on the plan. We are sure that your pet will love this treatment just as much as you’ll love the convenience.  Continue Reading

What to do if your dog is stung by a bee

Bee stings are quite common to see in dogs at this time of year, and most often you will see a red swelling and it can be quite sore. The best advice is to come in and see a vet to have an anti-histamine or steroid injection which settles the sting down quickly. If you can’t get to a vet then a normal antihistamine tablet can be given until you can see a vet, just make sure to call a vet for the correct dose.

Occasionally a sting can cause an anaphylactic reaction so if your dog collapses, has swollen ears, hives, has breathing difficulties or is very weak, please get to the vet immediately.

Big Bear Award – Misty

Misty’s Story

Back in March, little Misty, a beautiful 12 month old grey and white short haired cat was rushed into the clinic following a Road Traffic Accident.

Poor Misty was in a very bad way, struggling with breathing and with severe head injuries.  She was given pain relief and anaesthetised to assess the extent of her injuries.  Xrays revealed she had fractured her upper and lower jaw, her hard palate, one of her teeth, and had widespread muscle injury and bruising.  She also had damage to her right eye causing blindness.  In order to stabilise Misty’s jaw, a combination of wire and a special acrylic bonding paste were used, meaning she would be unable to eat or drink for herself while the fractures healed.  An oesophageal feeding tube was placed, which is a rubber tube that’s passed through a surgical opening in the oesophagus and down into the stomach allowing us to bypass her mouth and feed a liquidised diet.  Continue Reading

Big Bear Award – Charlie

Charlie’s Story

Charlie came to see us recently when his owners noticed a swelling on the back of his right leg behind his Achilles tendon. Charlie was very brave and had several tests done to try and work out what the swelling was. He eventually had surgery to remove it. The surgery was quite complex because the mass was surrounded by lots of important tissues, but luckily it was removed completely and found to be a benign lump (a fibrolipoma) which was a relief.

Charlie has recovered very well and has been especially brave for his bandage changes as he gets very anxious about having his feet touched.

During his surgery he also had X-rays of his chest and samples taken from his lungs, due to having had a cough for quite a long time. The results showed no infection or cancer, but long term inflammation. He is starting treatment for this soon and we wish him a speedy recovery from his surgery and a good improvement with his coughing.

10 common conditions in old cats

Crossbreed cats in the UK have an average life expectancy of 14 years, this is significantly longer than some breeds of dog. The first thing to remember is that age is not a disease. If your beloved pet is slowing down, or losing weight or acting strangely, it might not be just because they are getting older. Generally, cats over the age of 8-10 years are regarded as “senior” this means we could have a whopping 6 years + of caring for a “senior” pet.

Taking any cat to the vets can be a daunting experience, especially those who are older. It is very important for the older cats to have regular health checks to help early diagnosis of common conditions which can improve prognosis and help create a better quality of life.
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Big Bear Award – Bubble

Bubble’s Story

Bubble is a gorgeous 5yr old black and white domestic short haired cat, who has been extremely brave over the past few months throughout lots of treatment and surgery at the clinic.

He has a history of cystitis and was brought to see our vets at the Surbiton clinic back in December, as he had been struggling to pass urine. His bladder had become blocked which means that he was unable to pass urine, which is very painful and if not treated quickly, due to a build up of toxins within the body can be fatal. Continue Reading

Our Teddington refurb

Our Teddington practice might look a little different next time you pop in!

Our inspiration for our reception refit was to make it the very best place for you and your pet. We know that our pets love to be outside, as do you, which is why we have brought the outside in and made our reception a walk in the woods! We hope you like it as much as we do. Here are some pics! Continue Reading

Big Bear Award – Fudge

Fudge’s Story

On the 21st of November 2016, little Fudge the cat, was found between two parked cars. She was soaked through to the skin, freezing cold and she wasn’t weight bearing on her back leg. Her owner had noticed some blood and thought maybe she may had been hit by a car so she rushed her down to Vet4Life, where Elle examined her.

Elle thought that poor Fudge hadn’t been hit by a car, but had been attacked by another animal. There was extensive bruising to her tummy and and there were puncture wounds on her leg. Fudge was very unwell, so after stabilising her and giving her pain relief, she still required overnight care.

In the morning, she continued to receive pain relief and antibiotics to treat her wounds. She went home that night on fluids and a strict care regime. Continue Reading