Big Bear Award – Agatha

agatha-tortoise-in-handsAgatha is a 30g 10 month old Meditarranian spur thigh tortoise. She first visited Alex in the beginning of March, as she had stopped eating and became lethargic. Nothing was found on initial examination but the owners were worried as she was such a tiny tortoise.

As tortoises rely on external heat sources to maintain their body temperature, it is very important they have accurate light and heat. Alex and Agatha’s owners discussed temperature gradients and correct light sources and decided to monitor Agatha at home.

Unfortunately she became very unwell, not eating or passing faeces. Her owners became very worried. We took an x-ray to see if there was anything wrong internally.

On x-ray, the vet could see Agatha was constipated and had what looked like a bladder stone within her bladder. This could just have been due to the large volume built up in her digestive tract pushing on her bladder making it difficult to pass anything. Continue Reading

Caring for injured wildlife

deer-in-parkIf an animal is injured or distressed, we can offer some general advice to enable you to help the animal in the best way possible:

  • First of all NEVER handle badgers, foxes or deer by yourself. Call your local wildlife rescue centre immediately and they will often come to treat the animal at the sight.
  • We would recommend keeping a large towel and cardboard box in the boot of your car at all times, as an animal’s stress levels can be greatly reduced by covering them with a towel.
  • We would advise keeping your local wildlife rescue number easily accessible.
  • Always keep birds away from your face as their beaks can cause injuries.
  • Take care with some birds such as Birds of prey, as these have powerful Talons and can cause severe injury.
  • Always wear gloves when handling wildlife
  • Where possible, move dead bodies from the road so other wildlife are not put at danger.

Continue Reading

Big Bear Award – Teazel

teazel2Teazel’s Story

Teazel is a lovely 13 year old Tabby Cat who doesn’t really like being handled, which can make it difficult to examine her. Teazel first came to visit Will on Saturday the 27th December 2014. For the last couple of weeks, Teazel had not been eating very well and had been quite lethargic. Will examined Teazel and found that she had lost some weight since her last visit (500g!) but Will also had difficulty hearing Teazel’s heart and noticed that Teazel had an increased respiratory effort.

Teazel was admitted to hospital the following Monday for additional tests which included blood tests, x-rays and ultrasound of her heart. The blood test results came back within normal limits, however, the x-rays showed a ‘space occupying mass’ which was consuming approximately 75% of her thoracic cavity!

To gain more information regarding the mass in Teazel’s chest, it was decided for Teazel to be sent to Fitzpatrick referrals for the day so that a CT could be performed. This would help detail the location of the mass and suggest a possible cause which would help Will decide the best treatment for Teazel. After her CT, the results came back suggesting that the most likely cause was a benign mass and that surgical removal would be the best decision. Continue Reading

Pet care whilst you are on holiday

oriental-shorthairs-in-bedGoing away on holiday or planning a short trip takes lots of organisation and preparation, but the added pressure of organising care for your beloved pet can often add extra strain. For some pets, being in a cattery or boarding kennel is a fun trip away from home. For others, especially cats, it can be a very stressful change in their routine.

I understand first hand, how stressful it can be when you want to book time away from your pets but you are worried about who will care for them, especially if they are on long term medication. Many owners are often apprehensive about putting them in a kennel or cattery. Questions about pet care options whilst owners are away, are common enquiries we deal with in Veterinary Practice.

Rest assured, at Vet4life, we’re excited to be able to offer a pet sitting service for all of our clients. We would also like to take this opportunity to offer guidance and advice on making the right decision for you and your pet. Continue Reading

Vet4life to open third clinic, in Surbiton

We are delighted to announce the launch of our 3rd veterinary clinic. Vet4life – Surbiton, will open in the summer of 2015.

The address of Vet4life – Surbiton is

40-44 Brighton Road




We look forward to seeing you there!

Big Bear Award – Dante

dante-big-bear-awardDante is a very brave little cat. He has already had to undergo several major operations despite being only 1 and a half years old!

His owner noticed him limping on his right front leg when he came home one day in September but it wasn’t certain how he had hurt himself. He had a small wound by his elbow and  it  was a bit swollen so it was possible he had been in a cat fight. X-rays showed a fracture to the olecranon (tip of the elbow). A bony fragment had been pulled away completely from the tip of the elbow and this was causing discomfort whenever Dante tried to walk on his leg.

Dante was stabilised with pain relief and started on antibiotic treatment prior to surgery to remove any existing infection from his wounds. He needed to have a pin and orthopaedic wire placed to reattach the broken fragment. Dante was kept on strict cage rest following his surgery to aid bone healing and prevent re-displacement of the fractured bone. He was also on a course of pain relief to keep him comfortable. He was doing well at home and improving initially but then after 2 weeks his owner came home to find him limping on his left front leg! Continue Reading

Big Bear Award – Godfrey

godfreyGodfrey is a young Burmese cat who has calicivirus. Calicivirus is something that we routinely vaccinate against as part of kitten vaccines and yearly boosters. There are various strains of the virus and some are more virulent than others. Infection can be fatal in some cases if signs are severe.

Godfrey was an indoor cat and his signs first showed up at 6 months of age after he escaped out of the house for a few hours – his owners found him nearby, but he seemed lethargic and quiet and didn’t want to eat. He had a fever but other than that nothing else showed up on examination. A fever indicates that there may be some inflammation or infection in the body, but there are many different underlying causes. Godfrey was started on anti-inflammatory and antibiotic treatment but the fever didn’t subside. He was admitted for fluid therapy and blood tests and imaging to check for any focus of inflammation or infection. He started eating on his own and his fever went away, but when he was sent home the inappetance and fever came back.

He also developed a rash and ulceration in his mouth which prompted us to run viral tests on him. His calicivirus test came back positive. Continue Reading

Christmas 2014 opening hours

Please do not worry, there will always be an emergency vet available if required!

Ian and the team at Vet4life would like to wish you all a very happy holiday!

Teddington Christmas 2014 opening hours:

Christmas Eve   7.30-4.30

Christmas Day  Closed

Boxing Day        Closed

Saturday 27th    8.30-5

Sunday 28th      10-2

Monday 29th     7.30-7.30

Tuesday 30th     7.30-7.30

New Year’s Eve  7.30-4.30

New Year’s Day  Closed

Friday 2nd          7.30-7.30

Shepperton Christmas 2014 opening hours:

Christmas Eve   8.30-4.30

Christmas Day  Closed

Boxing Day        Closed

Saturday 27th    8.30-1

Sunday 28th      Appointments at Teddington 10-2

Monday 29th     8.30-7

Tuesday 30th     8.30-7

New Year’s Eve  8.30-4.30

New Year’s Day  Closed

Friday 2nd          8.30-7

Things that are poisonous to pets

poinsettiaIf you have a veterinary emergency over the Christmas period, you can rest assured we are on call 24/7. Please call 020 8977 3955.


Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine (a bit like caffeine) that is poisonous to dogs. The amount of theobromine differs in the different types of chocolate (dark chocolate has the most in it).

Theobromine mainly affects the heart, central nervous system and kidneys. Signs of theobromine poisoning will occur from 4-24 hours following ingestion and will vary depending on the amount of chocolate your dog has eaten. You may see vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, hyperactivity and seizures.

There is no antidote to theobromine. In most cases your vet will make your dog vomit. Other treatments will depend on the signs your dog is showing. Continue Reading

Tempting pets to eat

dog-eating-cat-foodThroughout your pet’s life, their diets will change depending on their age or health status. Any change to your pet’s food can be stressful for both you and your pet so we have prepared these handy tips to help your pet to accept the new diet and ensure the transition is as stress free as possible.

With any diet change, we would recommend slowly moving over onto the new food over a 1-2 week period. This reduces the risks of an upset tummy and your pet rejecting the new food.

The key is, if possible, change them onto a preferred food type for example if they usually eat dry kibble then change onto other dry food.

Start by introducing a small amount of the new food in with their existing meal. This can be a handful of dry or small amount of wet food.

Then over time very slowly increase the amount of new food added and reduce the old diet.

The temptation when they do not eat the new food initially is to offer them something else like human foods. This is where they quickly learn to refuse the food offered as something better will follow.

It is important all family and friends are also aware they are on specific diet. Often diets are for health reasons such as renal insufficiency and extra treats can put extra strain on the kidneys. This doesn’t mean they can’t have treats, you can take a handful of their daily allowance of kibble and put it in a handy treat tub to use for training.  Continue Reading