Mishka was back with us in June for another weigh in with Amy.  She had lost another 1.3kg which was fantastic, 2.3kg in total.  Amy was able to start feeling Mishka’s ribs nicely and she was Mishka 2exercising well with good energy levels.

Mishka’s owner was worried that she seemed hungry despite the introduction of the puzzle feeder.  It was decided that a move to a metabolic diet might help as this type of diet can regulate appetite, enhance the feeling of fullness for longer and works naturally with a dog’s own unique energy levels, activating the body’s natural ability to burn excess body fat.

It should be noted that ANY change in diet should be done over a period of 7-10 days to prevent gastro-intestinal issues.

Over the next couple of months, Mishka continued to lose weight successfully.  She currently weighs 38.7kg so a total loss of 5.75kg over the year.  Her body measurements have also decreased; neck 49cm (loss of 7cm), chest 84cm (loss of 2.5cm) and waist 73cm (loss of 11cm).  Mishka is also starting to show signs of a visible waist and has a noticeable build-up of muscle on her hind legs.  Her owner has also reported that she has a LOT more energy and that she is not as stiff towards the end of her walks as she has been in the past.

This is all fantastic news and as you can see from the pictures, Mishka looks great!  Although she has a way to go, she has shifted half of what she needs to and is already seeing and feeling the benefits of being a lighter and healthier weight.

If this issue affects your pet and you’d like some help with reducing your pet’s weight, please do get in touch.  We hold weight clinics at both our Hillock Lane and Blackpool practices and Amy (RVN) and Helen (RVN) can work with you and your pet to start making small changes which will have a big impact on the health of your pet!

521882_spv229-p4t-smoking-posters-october-09-18-c-final-1_001Another common habit we humans are always trying to quit is smoking.  Everyone knows how smoking harms your health and those around you but #didyouknow that it can also harm your pets?

It’s been thought that some pets could be being exposed to as many as 3,285 cigarettes per year!

Research has shown that cats who live with smokers are about twice as likely to develop a malignant lymphoma and dogs that live with smokers are 60% more likely to develop lung cancer.

There are also the additional effect from the substances in the smoke that are released into the air that deposit themselves onto the coat of your pet.  This is then ingested by them when they groom themselves.  This doesn’t just affect cats and dogs; it can affect other small animals such as caged birds, house rabbits, hamsters or reptiles.

Lung cancer isn’t the only potential outcome but has also been known to cause nasal and oral cancers  as well as asthma and eye problems too, so if you’re looking for another incentive to quit, this might just be it!

Dog with FoodMishka’s next visit in March 2019, saw fantastic progress on her new diet plan.  She’d lost 700g despite no increase in exercise or a change in food type and this was down to Mishka’s owner consistently weighing her food.  She also changed her treats to carrots.

The next step was to change her food to a light version of her current diet and to again reduce the amount she would have at each meal.  This was to continue to gradually make changes to allow Mishka and her body to adapt.  Some dogs eat their food very quickly which can leave a dog still feeling hungry after their meal.  this was the case with Mishka so the introduction of a puzzle feeder was suggested to help slow down the intake of food.

Over the next couple of months Mishka continued to lose weight slowly.  By May the loss had slowed with a loss of another 300g, a total of 1kg since the plan was implemented.

This can happen as exercise increases because of  the build up of muscle.  Muscle is heavier than fat which is why it was important to take body measurements to accurately assess if the programme was heading in the right direction.  The plan now was to again reduce the amount of food over her two meals and to continue with the exercise levels.

Visit again next week for the final part of Mishka’s story.  If your pet is affected by this issue, call and book in for a complimentary consultation.   Weight clinics are offered free of charge at Hillock Lane with Amy (RVN) and Helen (RVN) in Blackpool

Photo by Samia Liamani on Unsplash

 

As part of our preventative care services, we offer complimentary weight management consultations for our client’s pets.  Regularly weighing your pet is an important part of the routine care of Mishkayour pet particularly if your pet is overweight.

There are many patients who want to and need to lose weight, so don’t ever feel alone in your struggle.  We’d like to share one story with you over the next week or so, of one such patient who has made fantastic progress in losing weight, improving their overall health and energy levels as a results.

Mishka is an 11 year old Malamute who came to see us at the beginning of 2019 for her  annual vaccination booster.  All patients receive a full health check as part of this consultation which includes being weighed.  Mishka weighed 44.45kg and had a body condition score of 8/9 which sits within the obese category.  Her ideal weight should be in the region of 33kg.

Mishka was referred to Amy RVN, who has gone on to study diet and weight in pets since qualifying and now offers complimentary weight management consultations as part of our services.

Amy spent time with Mishka’s owner at the first appointment in February 2019, taking a full history of her feeding routine, her diet type, treats and exercise regime.  It is also important to know if patients have any on-going medical conditions which might affect or be the cause of weight issues.  Amy then took some base measurements of Mishka’s neck (56cm), chest (86.5cm) and waist (84cm).  It’s important to take these measurements to compare progress accurately and not only against actual weight loss, just like humans.

Once this information was gathered, Amy developed a plan that would be realistic for Mishka’s owner to implement.  Part of the process is also to determine an ideal body weight to aim for.

We know just how hard it is to change habits and routines so some of the initial steps in tackling a weight issue can be as simple as weighing your pet’s food.   For Mishka it was agreed that she would remain on her current food but that her meals would be weighed out; she was allowed 180g per meal, twice a day to start the weight loss process.  It was important that any changes made were small and introduced slowly to allow Mishka to adapt to the changes.

Stay tuned for our next entry in Mishka’s weight management story and see how she did on her new diet plan.

If your pet is affected by a weight issue, call and book in for a complimentary consultation.

Weight Management

13 Jan 2020

Cat Healthy Weight 1Some of you may have taken steps this year to lose some excess pounds.  Improving your diet, eating less and/or starting an exercise regime might all be a part of this plan, but #didyouknow that our pets can also be affected by excess weight?

Latest research shows that 65% of dogs and 39% of cats are overweight or obese.  The links between obesity and an increased incidence of other conditions such as joint disease, diabetes, urinary disease, skin disease and tumours, are well documented.   With the costs associated with managing and treating these additional conditions that may develop as a result of the excess weight, it makes sense to ensure that this aspect of your pet’s  healthcare is monitored regularly and kept in check.  There are also the hidden costs associated with obesity such as the reduced lifespan of your pet.

Many owners are just not aware that their pet is overweight or obese.  We have short film on our YouTube channel to show you how you can check if your pet is at a good weight, HERE for dogs and HERE for cats.

You can also download a body condition chart to see where your dog sits HERE and where your cat sits HERE.

If your pet is affected by a weight issue, book in for a complimentary consultation with Amy, one of our RVNs, to discuss a plan and get the support you need to help your pet.

Fleas

9 Jan 2020

Regular flea prevention is as important as regular worm prevention #fleafacts.  We have a great short film on our YouTube channel HERE  which shows you the life-cycle of the flea and how the msd0254_social_media_post7regular application of a preventative product will ensure that your pet remains flea free at all times.

Many dogs and cats suffer from a flea infestation at some point in their lives.   It’s not just an issue in the warmer months because our homes are centrally heated so this provides the ideal living conditions for these critters.

Some pets can also be allergic to flea saliva which can cause additional issues for your pet, such as itchy skin, skin infection and fur loss.  These can be treated but present an additional cost to an owner so it makes sense to prevent the fleas in the first place.

Dogs and cats can also pick up fleas from outside the home or from other animals and even indoor cats could become affected from fleas brought in off your shoes.  It’s also important to treat your home too by regularly vacuuming and using a flea spray.  Fleas eggs can lurk under skirting boards, in carpets, under the sofa cushions and in pet bedding.

You can download our #fleafacts information sheet HERE  and if you think your pet is affected by this issue, why not take advantage of a complimentary consultation where you can ask questions and discuss the options available to ensure your pet isn’t affected by fleas.

Tapeworms

7 Jan 2020

Facebook image 1Did you know that tapeworm segments containing up to 30 eggs, can wriggle their way out of your pet’s bum and onto your carpet?  It’s just one reason why you might want to worm your pet regularly.

Almost all dogs and cats will become infected with worms at some point in their lives with puppies and kittens being especially at risk.  Roundworms can be passed from the mother before birth and after, through her milk.  An infestation may cause weight loss, a swollen abdomen, vomiting and diarrhoea and your pet can become seriously ill very quickly as a result of an infestation.

Some species of tapeworms in dogs and cats can infect people, particularly children, and your pet may not show signs of illness until the parasite is present in large numbers.  The two main types of worms that may infect your cat or dog are Tapeworm and Roundworm.

Roundworms are spread through the environment or from mother to puppy/kitten, with tapeworms usually spreading through fleas.  Both types of worms are easy to eliminate by using a worming product and remember if your pet has tapeworm then they must also be treated for fleas.

It’s also very important that as a responsible dog owner you always carry poop bags so you can clean up after your dog so that any parasites that might be present do not cause a risk to humans who share the same space.

Check out this guide to see how often you should worm your pet, HERE,  based on your own specific needs.

Download our leaflet HERE which explains what each parasite is.  If you think your pet is affected by parasites, book in for a complimentary consultation to discuss what you should be preventing and what products are available.

Just like us humans, our pets tend to spend more time inside due to the colder weather.  This could be because our pet’s are more reluctant to go outside because it’s cold and wet, or because older Dog in the snowpets suffering from arthritis could feel the effects more during the colder months.  They are also quite likely to be consuming the same amount of food so it could lead to unwanted weight gain which can impact on the joints, the heart and their overall health.

It’s important to keep your pets moving during the winter months to maintain a good weight and mobility, but it can also be difficult to know what you can do in the home.  We’ve found a great link HERE which gives owners some ideas as to what they can do in their own home to help keep pets active and stimulated

 

New Years Resolutions

24 Dec 2019

Lady petting dogWith the New Year just around the corner we’ll soon be thinking of things we’d like to do differently in 2020.  Whether that’s a new exercise programme, a healthy eating plan or fitting in more ” you” time, a new year is a great time for making a fresh start for yourself AND your pet.

We will be running some special offers and competitions in the New Year to help our owners get into some good preventative healthcare routines for their pets.

In January, we’ll be looking at parasite protection, vaccinations and weight management as well as regular general health checks for your pets, and the reasons why it’s so important.  We’re here to support our owners in maintaining their pet’s good health as well as when they’re ill, so stay posted!

Photo by Simone Dalmeri on Unsplash

It’s often thought that getting a rabbit for a pet is an easy option and a great introduction to owning a pet.  However, rabbits have quite specific needs and anyone who is considering buying and caring for one should do their research before taking on this commitment.

We have gathered together some useful information to help potential owners fully understand this commitment, including the financial implications.White rabbit

Download our leaflet HERE and if you have any questions, take advantage of a complimentary consultation to talk about whether a rabbit is a good pet to own for you.