Pet obesity is a big problem in the UK.  It can have a massive affect on the overall health of your pet by putting extra strain on the cardiovascular system, joints and respiratory system.  It can be the cause of or exacerbate conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and heart failure.

It can be really easy to lavish your pet with food to show how much you love them, and quite quickly they can put on unnecessary pounds.  For example a 60g cube of cheese containing 242 calories equates to a human consuming two, chocolate covered ring donuts.  That’s 23% of their average required energy requirement for a day.  Also, as pets get older they become less active and so require less calories and so can more easily put on weight.

If you think your pet could do with losing some weight and you need some advice and support on introducing a programme, why not take advantage of a complimentary weight clinic consultation with Amy, one of our RVN’s, and make that change today!  Amy has had some great success with owners who have come to her for support in managing their pet’s weight.

We also know that our owners like to treat their pets and it’s not always easy finding a product that supports a weight loss programme.  We have recently introduced a selection of new treats, one of which is a reduced fat product, to help owners feel able to treat their pet whilst keeping in mind their pet’s calorie intake or other health concerns.  As a special introductory offer, all treats are £4.99  with the following selection available:Dog Treat Stand

Soft Baked:  perfect for adult dogs needing an occasional treat without compromising the effectiveness of a prescription diet.  These are also great for all healthy, adult and mature dogs.

Hypoallergenic:  these treats are well-accepted by the most sensitive dogs.  They are made with carefully selected ingredients for dogs with food allergies or intolerances.

Health Mobility:  these treats have been formulated to help promote healthy mobility so are ideal for those pets who may suffer from joint issues, such as arthritis.

Dental Care Chews:  these treats have a firm texture and special shape to help support dental hygiene.

 

For more information on your pet’s weight and how you can help you can find out more HERE in our Pet Weight leaflet.

August Bank Holiday

19 Aug 2019

TelephoneWith the Bank Holiday coming up, make sure you have your pet’s medication to cover the long weekend.  We will be closed on Monday 26th August 2019 but as always, emergency cover is available on the usual number; 01772 639800.Holiday Meds Reminder

Summer Poisons

13 Aug 2019

LilliesOur pets spend much more time outside in the good weather and may, in many instances, be unsupervised.  There can be many hazards that your pet can come into contact with so it’s always a good idea to know what can cause a risk and what symptoms to look out for and seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

You can get more information on poisons by visiting The Veterinary Poisons website HERE  and you can download a useful leaflet HERE for information on the types of products and environmental hazards that might cause your pet harm.

If you are at all concerned that your pet has ingested something it shouldn’t have please do call 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352 to seek further advice.

Question Mark Head ScratchIn this second part of our two-part post, we’ll be looking at the different elements of an insurance policy and what they mean for an owner.  Although we cannot recommend a specific policy or policy provider, there are some key aspects of a policy you might want to consider when looking to purchase a policy for your pet.

Download our information leaflet  HERE which highlights the various options available.  If you are looking to purchase a policy for a puppy or kitten, we do offer 4 weeks free insurance through a provider called PetPlan.  This gives owners £4,000 of cover for illness AND injury if activated within 24 hours of a health check and £2,000 of cover for injury only if activated after 24 hours of a health check.  It also gives owners time to research their options whilst having the security of knowing that their pet’s health is covered in the meantime.

Pets are a much-loved part of a family, so much so that almost 50% of the population of the UK owns a pet ¹.  Owners would do anything to nurse their pet back to health but the costs involved could limit what is available to them and restrict the choices an owner has.  Having pet insurance is the best way to ensure that the unexpected costs associated with treatment and care needed due to injury or illness are by and large covered.

So what should an owner look out for in a policy?  Firstly, it’s important to understand the different types of policy and to then make sure that the policy you have chosen offers the right cover for your budget and your pet.

Lifetime Policy

  1. This is THE most comprehensive pet insurance and pays out for on-going issues throughout the lifetime of your pet.
  1. It will attract higher monthly or annual premiums.
  1. There are two types of lifetime cover:
  1. Per condition, per year – a maximum amount for a specific condition, i.e. £1,000 (this amount can vary) per year for a skin condition which once reached would mean the policy would no longer pay out for treatment of the condition so costs would need to be met by owners.  However, the limit re-sets at the anniversary of the policy each year and the maximum amount varies.  In addition, if your pet were to develop another condition in the same year, this would trigger another £1,000 limit and again, once reached would no longer pay out, but would re-set at the anniversary of the policy each year.
  1. Annual Cover – you can select a total amount each year, i.e. £500 to £12,000, which would cover all conditions and illnesses your pet might have.  Once the amount has been reached, the policy would no longer pay out for treatment and costs would need to be met by owners.  Again, the amount would replenish at the anniversary of the policy each year.  The higher the maximum amount, the higher the premium will be.

Lifetime policies are considered to be top-drawer and premiums will reflect that.  This means that if your pet should develop a condition which would require medication for the rest of its life (such as epilepsy or diabetes), the policy would pay for this, less any excesses.

If you are unable to afford the premium then it is worth considering an alternative non-lifetime policy.  These policies offer less comprehensive cover and can come with some significant downsides:

  1. Policies will pay up to a maximum limit and once that amount has been reached will no longer cover that condition i.e. treatment for an anal gland infection uses up your £1,000 limit. If your pet then contracts another anal gland infection, the condition won’t be covered again.
  1. Time limited policies will allow you to claim for a condition for a specific period of time i.e. 12 months. Once this period is reached, the condition will no longer be covered.

Another type of policy is “Accident Only” cover which would pay a fixed amount for every accidental injury your pet might have but would not cover for any illnesses at all.

Routine treatments, such as worming, vaccination, neutering, grooming would not be covered by a policy and some wouldn’t cover for dental treatment also.

In the vast majority of policies, any pre-existing conditions your pet might have would not be covered so care should be taken if you are considering changing policy providers, particularly if your pet has already develop and/or received treatment for a condition as this likely would not be covered moving forward.

There might also be some specific exclusions to certain conditions or breeds, so it’s important to read the small print to make sure that you are getting the cover you need for your pet.

For further information and guidance, visit https://www.which.co.uk/money/insurance/pet-insurance/pet-insurance-explained-a8td63l18gsw

 

¹ The Healthy Pet Guide (Distributed with The Mail on Sunday) dtd 24 May 2019, pg 8.

In the first part of this two-part information post we’ll be looking at health care costs and the importance of insurance when owing a pet.

When buying a pet, most people don’t consider the long term costs that might be involved in maintaining the animal’s health.Question Mark_001

There is no NHS for our pets and as our own health care is free at the point of delivery, we don’t really have any concept of the costs involved in delivering health care generally.  It’s a very important consideration that potential owners must take into account when thinking of getting a new pet, that they can afford this often unexpected and expensive aspect of responsible pet ownership.

With the advances in science and technology, vets are now able to offer a vast range of techniques and treatments to help animals that, not too long ago, just weren’t available.  In many cases in the past, the only option was to humanely put the animal to sleep because their quality of life was such that it would be unethical and unkind to allow an animal to continue to suffer.

As with human medicine and other services, these treatments and services are costly to provide and deliver and are likely to be higher in an out-of-hours emergency situation.

The costs to a practice vary across the UK because their delivery costs vary.  A veterinary practice is a business and carries all the costs associated with that:  staff salaries, investment in ongoing staff education and technology, cost of equipment, medicines and the overheads of running the premises.  Veterinary health provision is great value for money as it covers not only the healthcare and treatment for animals but a vet’s time and expertise.  In fact, in comparison to human health care where much of the medicine, technology and the equipment used is the same, veterinary health provision is much cheaper than that of human health provision.

That’s why we always recommend that owners take out insurance for their pet but it can be a bit of a mine field.  In part 2, we will be looking at what key features should be considered when choosing a policy.

Flea Allergy

25 Jul 2019

Fleas don’t only cause the obvious issues for you and your pet, but some pets are allergic to a flea bite.  When a flea bites your pet to draw blood, it injects saliva into your pet’s skin.  Flea saliva is irritating to most animals, including humans but the compounds in the saliva can trigger an allergic reaction in some pets, particularly those who already have allergies.

A pet with a flea allergy, even one or two bites can make your pet miserable.Itchy Dog Pictures_001

Signs that you pet might have a flea allergy are:

  1. A rash on your pet’s skin or raw, irritated or bleeding areas on your pet’s body. On dogs, these tend to appear near their back legs, stomach or tail area and on cats, these tend to appear near their neck and face.
  2. Hair loss, especially in areas where the bites happened.
  3. Small red or pink raised bumps that might look like pimples.
  4. Constant itching, biting, clawing or grooming.

It’s easy to assume that because you can’t see any fleas on your pet that they don’t have a flea allergy.  However, animals with an allergy groom themselves constantly so they may remove fleas from their bodies but the reaction from the bites can last for weeks.

For the facts about fleas, download our factsheet HERE and book in for your complimentary parasite consultation for advice on products and parasite management.

Going on holiday?

22 Jul 2019

Cartoon Summer Hot Sun

If you’re planning on taking your dog on holiday with you, leaving them with relatives or in kennels while the family go on holiday, it’s always worth being a little bit prepared.  We’ve created a handy little check list, which you can download HERE, of important items to make sure you remember everything your dog needs while you’re away but you can add your own too!  Make regular stops for your own safety but also to give your dog a chance to stretch their legs and go to the toilet and don’t forget, don’t leave your dog in the car for any period of time whilst taking a rest stop.  Even on a cloudy day, the temperature can be dangerous for your pet.

There’s also a great factsheet available from the RSPCA which you can download HERE

We’ve also got a great little film on our YouTube channel for tips on how to make a car journey with your dog a little less stressful for them.  Click on the link HERE

Summer Poisons

19 Jul 2019

Each season has its share of hazardous substances for our pets. Summer is no exception so to make sure you know what to look for, download our leaflet HERE
 
3For more information you can contact our practice on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352 or theVeterinary Poisons Information Services on 01202 509000. Lines are open 24 hours a day and the cost is £30 per advice call. You can also visit their website at https://vpisglobal.com/2016/08/23/vpis-public-helpline/

Seborrhoea

16 Jul 2019

Seborrhoea is a skin condition in dogs that causes flaky skin (dandruff) and greasiness of the skin and hair.  It is a very common disorder and can lead to secondary skin infections.  There is usually a bad smell which is because of the build up of oil on the skin and hair.

This can be an inherited disorder and usually affects dogs from two years of age and progresses as the dog gets older.  It can also develop as a result of another disease such as endocrine disorders, dietary deficiencies or parasites.

A recent case seen here at Rowan Vets saw a dog showing thick crusts and scaling on the body.  To identify the issue, blood tests were undertaken to check for underlying endocrine conditions such as Cushing or thyroid disease.  Skin scrapes, tape strips and hair pluck samples were taken which allowed the vet to look for possible causes such as mites and bacteria or hair abnormality disorders.   A biopsy showed that the cause was seborrhoea which is a disorder of skin turnover.

After just three weeks of treatment using a targeted treatment shampoo and a fatty acid and vitamin E supplement, the symptoms and the appearance of the condition has improved significantly, making the dog much more comfortable and the risk of skin infection reduced because the itching has eased.

Seborrhoea 1Seborrhoea 5

 

#hotdogsdieinhotcars

11 Jul 2019

Summer Safety_Infographic_001#hotdogsdieinhotcars is an issue that is raised every year and yet owners still leave their dogs in their car in warm and hot temperatures.  Any time in a hot car is too long

There are lots of steps an owner can take to make sure our pets are comfortable and don’t suffer from heatstroke during the Summer months.  Heat stroke can be fatal and is a horrible, slow and painful death.

Download our information leaflet on dealing with heatstroke HEREDDIHC_Infographic_001

Don’t forget our outdoor, small animal pets who are also at risk.  For information on how to keep them cool during the Summer months, download our information leaflet HERE

For general information on all kinds of pets and how to keep them cool and safe in Summer, click the RSPCA link HERE

Don’t forget to enter our competition to win some pet safe sunscreen.   Just like our page, like the original post (020719) and share a picture of your pet trying to keep cool to be in with a chance to win this great prize.  Make sure you share your picture on the original post too.  Entries will be drawn on Friday 2nd August and the winner will be notified via Facebook.Heatstroke_Infographic_001