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Anniematters Autumn 2016
- Did you know that you can book non-urgent appointments and request repeat prescriptions on our website? We know what it’s like, you remember things late at night so it’s nice to be able to take care of things whenever you want. We will get back to you with a suitable appointment and let you know when your prescription will be ready to collect.
- As Autumn appears and days get cooler it usually affects our older pets. Arthritis is affected by the cold and damp, make sure they have somewhere comfortable to lie and avoid leaving them on hard floors. There are many supplements we can give to help their joints and brain function as they get older. We have free ‘Older Pet Club’ appointments with our qualified nurses or we can discuss things over the phone and give you advice on how to keep your pet comfortable this winter.
- Big congratulations to Hattie Dupraz, Laura Curtis, Olivia Hurst and Jonathon Sibley for passing their first year exams, their hard work has paid off. And also huge congratulations to Max Cheater who has passed his final exams and is now a Qualified Veterinary Nurse. Congratulations to Jonathon Sibley and his wife who celebrated the birth of their son Aston Jeorge Devon Sibley on June 26th!
- Our Veterinary Nurse Nicole has returned from maternity leave and is back with us part-time, we are very glad to have her back.
I joined the St. Anne’s nursing team in February 2016. I have been working in practice for 11 years starting out as a Veterinary Receptionist before beginning my Veterinary Nurse training. I qualified in December 2012 and have worked in both a mixed animal practice and as an emergency night nurse. I live in the countryside with my furry sidekick ‘Dave’ the Shih Tzu!
I qualified from the University of Nottingham in 2016 and joined St Anne’s straight after graduating. I really enjoy the variety you see in general practice, however I’m particularly interested in dermatology. Outside of veterinary work I like to keep active through a variety of sports, and in recent years I’ve completed various triathlons and cycle trips through Europe. I’m currently training for a marathon and in preparation I have begun exploring the vast Downs with the help of one of my dogs. Prior to veterinary medicine I have a background in engineering; as such I’m particularly interested in classic cars and hope to get my old mini cooper back on the road soon!
Those of you who read the last Anniematters will have read that we are investing in a big refurbishment of our main surgery at St. Anne’s Road. The client car park has temporarily been moved 2 doors down which is all sign posted. The parking down the side and to the rear of the practice is for builders and vets. There are also some very handy 1 hour parking restriction bays outside which is making parking a lot easier. We have temporarily moved the waiting room, dispensary and consult rooms to the front of the building and the entrance for patients and clients is through the big green door at the front, whilst the reception area etc is being worked on. The plans are available to see on our website. In kennels we now have a separate dog, cat and rabbit ward, with glass doors in-between. The cats are in their new cat pods already, they have little shelves to sit on and clear doors. We chose lavender cupcake as the colour for the cat ward as it’s meant to be calming for cats. We have feliway plugged in in kennels and we’re just waiting for our cat music CD to arrive! We’re pretty much a cat hotel – they’ll be lining up to stay! This will allow us to always see our patients but will leave them being able to smell and hear each other less which will reduce stress. We’re very excited about how things will be looking. We are coping with a large amount of change and we are glad to have been able to find builders that are happy to work around us and keeping noise etc to a minimum. We are determined that our 4 core values will not waiver during this difficult time. Wheelchair access in the period where the reception will be temporarily in the front of the building, will be available but if clients could inform us if disability access is needed so we can be prepared for you. Our core values are:
Education: We always believe prevention is better than cure so we’re very keen to help you limit the risk of bad things happening to your pet. Every year our vets and qualified nurses have to complete many hours of continued professional development where they study new methods and often work towards certificates in a special area. All of this allows us to offer a higher level of care for you and our patients. We unfortunately haven’t had any client evenings this year with everything going on but will continue to provide educational evenings next year so that you can learn from our experts.
Empathy: Having a poorly pet is worrying and stressful, we totally understand this, most of us have our own pets and so we go through the same thought processes as you. We will always lend a sympathetic ear and will do our best to look after your pet like it is our own. What many owners don’t see are the tears of staff who did their best to save a patient but it wasn’t enough.
Teamwork: We have a big team of people at St. Anne’s most of whom have been with us for a long period of time, this makes us very close and helps us work very smoothly together. We all have the same idea of how our patients should be cared for; like they are our own. We also like to work as a team with you our clients. We want you to feel comfortable asking us anything and making decisions together in the best interests of your pet.
Service: We want to be able to offer the services that you need and that suit your lifestyle, we understand that lives are busy; hence the new features mentioned earlier on our website. We have a certain level of service that we aspire to provide and we have high standards. We have recently invested in new equipment which has allowed us to treat patients at St. Anne’s that previously would have had to have been referred, such as our new video endoscope and ophthalmic equipment. These have helped us with cases which would normally have meant referring the patient to a specialist such as removing foreign bodies from eyes.
This can be one of the most stressful times of the year for our pets; fireworks seem to be from October to January these days. In years gone by we used to have requests for sedatives but this only made the dog unable to react to the bangs but still petrified! Now, there are so many things that can help your pet get through the firework period and you won’t even need to see the Vet. There are pheromones and other natural products to help keep your pet nice and calm, creating a place for your pet to hide and feel safe is important, have windows closed and turn up the radio or TV to try and drown out the sound. Putting a tight fitting t shirt on your dog can help them feel more secure and safe. Feel free to give us a call and we can schedule for one of our Registered Veterinary Nurses to give you a call and go through how best to help your pet. It is important to never scold your pet for being afraid of fireworks.
Multi-Cat Households – Do your cats actually like each other?
44% of cat owning households have more than one cat but this can lead to some real problems that may not always seem obvious at first. If you’re witnessing fighting and urine marking indoors, these signs are hard to miss and show your cat is obviously stressed and upset about things. Cats, even littermates, may not always get on. Do you find that one will often lie in doorways blocking the other cat from coming past to get to their food or get out of the cat flap? This usually leads to a stare and an occasional swipe or hiss. Subtle behaviour like this may not always be noticed. Cats often stare at each other and may become vocal as they try to intimidate the other one. For many years we have used Feliway which is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone that cats leave on their owner’s, furniture etc when they feel happy and secure in their home environment. This has made a huge difference for cats that have been upset by changes such as a new baby, moving house, workmen in the house, travelling to the vet etc. Cats get very stressed about what seem to us like small problems or changes. There is now a new product available called Feliway Friends, this is a synthetic copy of the cat appeasing pheromone that the queen would release when feeding her kittens. This leads to a feeling of security and bonding between them. This comes in a diffuser which should be plugged in where they spend most of their time. If you’re having cat aggression problems and urinating in the house you may need to have both but it seems to work really well. And even if the cats have had a hatred of each other for many years it can still help ease the tension. Do give us a call if you would like to know more about this or check out my blog on the website.
Oak/Acorns: Unfortunately the VPIS (Veterinary Poisons Information Service) gets lots of calls every Autumn with dogs eating acorns. The species Quercus contains the toxin tannic acid. After eating quite a few you are likely to see vomiting and diarrhoea which may be bloody. Lethargy, abdominal tenderness and inappetence can also be seen. If lots are eaten they could even cause an intestinal blockage. In some cases it can affect the liver and kidney function.
Anti-Freeze: Anti-freeze contains ethylene glycol and although most contain a bittering agent, cats ingest some every year. There is a myth that anti-freeze tastes sweet and that cats are attracted to sweet things. Cats actually don’t have the sweet receptor so it’s impossible for cats to detect or taste sweet-tasting compounds. The probable reason for this is that cats are obligate carnivores so there is no need for them to crave or detect carbohydrates. Symptoms of antifreeze ingestion include depression, vomiting, wobbly on their legs, fast heart rate and weakness. It causes crystals to form which have to pass through the kidneys, which causes massive renal damage. In order for your pet to survive make sure they are seen by a vet ASAP.
If you would like to know more about what is poisonous please search for ‘Animal Poison Information’ on Facebook and like Menna’s (A.K.A Poison Girl) page, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know if something you have in your garden or home could be a threat. If you’re worried your pet has ingested something toxic please do not e-mail me but call the surgery on 01323 640011 and we can advise you if anything needs to be done.