We’ve Missed You!

11 Jun 2020

It’s been some time since we’ve posted on our social media because of a reduction in our staff numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We’d like to share with you all what we’ve been up to and how we have been working during lockdown and now as the restrictions are being eased.

Our team have been working on a skeleton staff basis since the end of March 2020.  Two teams of 5 clinical staff have been working alternate days to provide a service to our clients and their pets.  The rest of the team were furloughed to protect their jobs, with some small adjustments being made over the weeks. 

We have learned  and continue to adapt to working in a different way and all the steps we have taken since lockdown have been to meet government guidelines to protect our staff and our clients.  It has meant that clients have been unable to come into the building so much of our information gathering on health issues has been done over the telephone or in the car park.  Thankfully, the weather has been on our side and facilitated this.  Our Blackpool branch has been closed due to difficulties of physically staffing the branch.  We do appreciate that this has been difficult for some of our clients. 

It’s been a tough and busy couple of months for the teams who have been working.  They have adapted to a new way of working fantastically and we are proud of each and every one of them.  This is new territory for us all and we will continue to work within the government guidelines, which update regularly, to ensure our staff have the safest possible workplace as is our legal and ethical duty.   

We also want to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to our clients  for their patience and understanding during these difficult times and for the way you have all worked with us. 

Moving forward we have now combined our teams and we are slowly bringing other members of staff back to work.  We are still working in a way so as to minimise the risks associated with COVID-19 and are planning and working towards increasing what we have been able to deliver previously.

Our Blackpool branch is now open from 8.30am to 1pm, Monday to Friday.  We are also working on the backlog of vaccinations which were due as lockdown was implemented.  Those owners affected will be contacted either by telephone or letter.  We will continue to gather health information about your pet by telephone or in person from the car park and will be wearing the appropriate PPE.  You will not be able to bring your pet into the building for now, but handover in the car park.  Please do be confident that we will take great care of your pet when they are with us and we will still communicate the findings from any physical examinations we undertake to you so that you can make the best healthcare choices for your pet.

As you can appreciate, all of these extra steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus means things will take longer than normal to achieve.  Having more staff in place will help to alleviate this to some degree but we want to be realistic as to what we can do whilst managing the health and safety of you and our team.  We really do appreciate your support and co-operation and again want to thank you all for your kindness and understanding.

Puppy Socialization

24 Mar 2020

Some of our clients are concerned about how to take care of and protect their new, un-vaccinated puppy in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic and particularly how to socialize them with social distancing being advised.

Our advice is that you are able to allow your puppy into a secure garden but that they must be supervised at all times and unable to access animals outside of the garden. Eliminating contact with other animals whose vaccination history is not known, and not allowing your puppy to sniff or be in contact with areas where other dogs may have had access is the only way at this time to protect your pet. However, this is not a guarantee!

You are able to take your puppy on “carried walks” if they are small enough, and be able to expose them to many of the recommended experiences such as traffic, cyclists etc. Please do take into consideration the recommendation to social distance and remain 2 metres away from other people. Puppies can attract a lot of attention and people may be tempted to move in close for cuddles and kisses!

Download our information HERE of ideas of the experiences you can expose your puppy to but again, please bear in mind that some of the ideas may not be possible such as exposure to other people who do not live in your household.

We will provide further information on other health issues that are concerning owners and will update advice as the pandemic progresses.

Are you considering neutering your dog?  It can be a worrying time for owners and knowing what is the right approach for your own pet can be daunting. 

Castration of a male dog stops the production of the hormone “testosterone”.  This process can be beneficial when treating unwanted behaviours that are more likely to present themselves in male dogs than females.  Some of these behaviours are:

  • urine marking
  • roaming away from home to track down female dogs in heat
  • inappropriate sexual behaviour
  • inter-male competitive behaviour

Contrary to popular belief, castration does not “calm a dog down”.  Excitable and unruly behaviours are seldom a result of the influence of testosterone.

Spaying a female dog can be detrimental in those who are showing evidence of “masculinised” behaviour e.g. frequent urine marking, raised leg urination, confident aggression.  In female dogs who are displaying these behaviours, evidence has shown that there is an increased risk of behaviour problems, including aggression, after spaying.  Delaying spaying until after at least one season may reduce the risk of behaviour problems  but as hormone changes are not associated with behaviour, there is a small risk of making the behaviour worse. 

From a health perspective, spaying a female dog will remove the risk of them becoming pregnant and also developing  a “pyometra” which is an infection of the uterus.  This is a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated promptly and aggressively.  It is important that you discuss the options, risks and benefits of neutering with a vet.  Book in for your complimentary consultation today so we can help you make the right choice for you and your dog.  You can also download an information leaflet HERE for more information.

Noise Phobia

19 Mar 2020

Photo by Spenser Sembrat on Unsplash

Noise phobia in dogs is becoming an increasingly common  problem for owners.  A dog’s hearing is much more sensitive than a humans so they may hear sounds that don’t even register with us.  Every year around firework season particularly, we get lots of requests for help when owners see that their dog is struggling and stressed by the noises.  Unfortunately this problem isn’t easy or quick to resolve.   Desensitization programmes are available but require time and patience to implement and some key skills to help your dog become less traumatised and more able to cope.  It takes time and patience and a commitment  from owners to work at their own dog’s pace to be in with a chance to really help their dog overcome this kind of phobia.  This is why it’s so important to start early in the year to give both you and your dog the time needed to make it successful.

This year, to help owners, we are looking to hold a client evening in June to talk about the phobia, why it happens and how it affects your dog and what you can do to help them cope with the season.  If this is something you would like to hear more about or would like to reserve a place, email admin@rowanvets.co.uk with your pet’s name, your surname and a contact telephone number. We’ll be in touch nearer the time about the event.

Rabbit Behaviour

17 Mar 2020

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How do you tell if your rabbit is happy and healthy?  Can they even feel these things?  In short, yes.  Your rabbit can experience a range of emotions including happiness, anxiety, fearfulness and anger.  They don’t express them in the same way we do but it’s really important that we recognise how they express these feelings so that we know when to take action.

Body language is the way to identify how your rabbit is feeling.  Spending time observing and getting to know what is normal for your rabbit is very important so that if their behaviour changes you will notice that something isn’t right.

When a rabbit is happy they tend to have their ears close together, facing slightly backwards and pointing outwards.  Their eyes may be partially closed whilst lying down with a relaxed body, legs tucked under their body.

Other signs include:

  • Lying down with front paws pointing forward and rear legs stuck out sideways.  Their body is relaxed and extended.
Happy Rabbit 3.jpg
  • Lying down with a fully extended relaxed body with their back legs stretched out behind their body and their front paws pointing forward.
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  • Jumping into the air with all four paws off the ground, twisting in mid-air before landing known as a “binky”

You can download information HERE on the behaviours to look out for so you can tell when your rabbit is happy, worried, angry or anxious. For information on general rabbit care, download information HERE or visit the rabbit welfare site HERE for more information on all aspects of rabbit care and behaviour.

Call the team today on 01772 639800 to book a consultation to discuss the health needs of your rabbit.

Multi Cat Households

13 Mar 2020

Photo by Nathalie Jolie on Unsplash

Caring for a number of cats in the same household can sometimes be challenging.  Cats have very specific welfare needs and the more you have living in your home, the more difficult it can be to meet those needs.  This in turn creates stress for your cats and can result in some very troubling behaviours that owners can find very difficult to cope with. Download our information leaflet HERE for information on what you can do as an owner to ensure that you are providing what you need for your cats.  You can also find some great information on the RSPCA website about cat behaviour HERE

Call the team on 01772 639800 and book in for a complimentary consultation with Hayley to help with any unwanted behaviours you are experiencing with your cat.

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Everyone knows how smoking harms your health and those around you but #didyouknow that it can also harm your pets?

It’s 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 effects 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.  If you have any concerns regarding your pet’s health, call the team today on 01772 639800.

If you want help quitting, visit the NHS website for more information HERE

Crate Training

9 Mar 2020

Many owners worry that crate training is cruel but if introduced and used correctly, it can be a fantastic tool to help with training but also used for the long-term safety and wellbeing of your dog.

Download our information leaflet HERE on the benefits and the ways in which you can utilize this piece of equipment .  It’s also law that you secure your dog when they are travelling in a car with you so getting them used to a crate isn’t just about a way to train your dog but keeping them safe too!

Puppy Socialization

5 Mar 2020

Ideally, working with your pet while they are young is the best way to ensure that they grow into well behaved and well adjusted adult pets.

Puppies have a golden period of malleability from around 3 weeks to 12/14 weeks of age. During this time, they are primed to form relationships easily with other animals and people,  and to learning that certain sights, sounds and experiences are not to be feared.  Over this same period, they also learn how to interact with others, using body language and vocalisation.

Puppies who are well socialized during this period (e.g. living in a family home, encountering a wide range of people, animals and situations) are more likely to develop into calm, confident, well behaved adults. In contrast, pups who do not get adequate socialization during this period (e.g. pups in intensive puppy-farm type environments) are likely to grow into adult dogs that are fearful of people and dogs, reacting badly to a range of sounds, objects and environments. In many cases, this fear leads to aggression, with serious consequences for humans around them, and ultimately negative outcomes for the dogs themselves. Choosing a well socialized puppy is key  to having a well behaved adult dog.

We offer puppy socialization classes here at Rowan where your puppy will get the opportunity to interact with other puppies.  We also help you start with the very basics of training to give you a foundation to work on to help your puppy to become calm, confident and well behaved.  Classes are available for clients only so why not get in contact, register with us and book your place.  A course of 4 sessions is £30 with classes held on a Thursday evening at our Hillock Lane practice.

Here’s a link to a great article published in the Telegraph which has information that you may find useful.

March is officially pet anxiety awareness month so we’re going to look at how our pets communicate with us and the kinds of behaviours you might observe when they are trying to tell us something.  Behaviour can change for a number of reasons; pain, illness, stress, fear to name a few. 

We are also raising awareness of knowing what is “normal” behaviour for your pet so if you observe some unusual behaviours you will know to seek advice and support.   We don’t talk “dog” or “cat” and our pets don’t talk “human”, but they DO communicate with us  through their body language.  We just need to learn how to understand it!

Take a look at these great pictures which show some of the ways in which a DOG is communicating with us and HERE for ways in which rabbits communicate with us.  For information on cat behaviour, visit the RSPCA website HERE

As part of this awareness month we are running a competition on our Facebook page for our dog owners.  To be in with a chance to win a FREE DOG BEHAVIOURAL CONSULTATION with Nicole, LIKE the post, POST a picture of your pet and COMMENT “I need help with my pet because ………..”. 

As always, there are some rules; the winner will need to be registered with us, complete a questionnaire before the consultation and be willing and able to undertake any of the recommendations offered.  They must also be available for follow up consultations which will be chargeable.   There may also be a recommendation for an external referral if appropriate, the charges of which will be unknown. We’d also like to share your journey with our social media friends and other pet owners.   This might include taking still and video footage of your pet and posting this along with extracts of notes from consultations and your own comments.  The information that will be shared will not identify you as the owner.