Atopic Dermatitis

16 Nov 2020

Atopic dermatitis is a posh word for a skin reaction as a result of an environmental allergen.  It’s like having hayfever or asthma as a human only in this case the skin reacts to the allergen. 

The cause of the allergy may be seasonal (seasonal atopic dermatitis), for example pollen as opposed to all year round like dust mites.  Generally, your pet will only itch when the allergen is in abundance.  They may scratch their body, lick and chew their paws and rub their face.  Once the seasonal allergen goes, your pet’s symptoms may also lessen or disappear.

When your pet is experiencing irritation they tend to over groom which in turn damages the protective skin layer.  This may lead to an infection which would need treating.

Pollen Allergy

You pet might also show signs of an allergy by the appearance of their skin.  As you can see in the picture, the very pink shade of the paw is a sign that this pet has some kind of allergy but this reaction can also be seen anywhere on your pet, including in the ears.  It’s easier to see your pets skin if they are lighter in colour or show more skin on their tummy, or have less fur generally.  Certain breeds are more prone to skin issues, such as West Highland Terriers.

Owners can work with the vet to manage these allergies with the aim of making your pet more comfortable and trying to avoid the extra costs involved in treating secondary skin infections.

If this issue is affecting your pet, call the team on 01772 639800 and book your consultation.

Pets App

12 Nov 2020

Over the last 8 months everyone in the world has had to look at new ways of working. We are no exception and are VERY excited to share a new development with our Rowan family.

In order to continue to evolve as a practice and to continue to meet the needs of our clients and patients particularly during these difficult times, we have introduced a new app called PetsApp. This app will allow our clients and our team to interact on a digital level. This should speed up certain processes and provide a more efficient and effective customer experience for our clients as well as streamlining workload for our team.

With all things new, our team will need time to become familiar with this new way of working and as a practice, will continue to look at new ways in which we can use the app to improve your experience. We would also like to reassure those of you who may not feel “digitally minded” that you can and will still be able to access our services in a more traditional way.

Initially we are looking to work on the “Chat” functionality of the app to make communicating with you easier. This includes being able to send payment requests, sending picture and video footage, ordering food or repeat medication. We are also looking to reduce our paper consumption so will look to gain certain client consents using the app such as consent to undertake a surgical procedure.

To reassure clients, the payment process is provided by a company called “Stripe”. Stripe is a PCI Service Provider Level 1. This is the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.

As always, we are open to ideas and feedback on how we can best utilize this platform and if something is possible and beneficial we will always do our best to implement it.

To download the app, please scan the QR card or click on the link for the location that you would normally attend.–whitegate-drive

Hillock Lane

“Staphylococcus Rings”
Fur loss

A great example of a recent skin issue we saw at the practice was seen in a dog called Brian.  Brian is 8 years old and was brought to see us because he had developed some scabby patches on his tummy and side and had started to lose fur where the patches had developed.  He had also been scratching more recently and had developed an unusual odour.  These patches had been coming and going for about 6 months but had increased in number and were taking longer to go away and the fur loss was a new development. 

After the vet had examined Brian’s skin it was determined that Brian had an underlying allergy.  Because this had caused him to scratch, his skin had become sore and inflamed and developed an infection from a bacteria called staphylococcus.  Staphylococcus bacteria lives naturally on the skin of dogs and humans and stays dormant and doesn’t cause a problem on healthy skin.  However, if the skin becomes irritated or injured, the bacteria can invade the area and an infection can develop.

Brian was prescribed a course of antibiotics to get rid of the infection and medication to manage the allergy.  The signs are looking good and providing the allergy is managed the skin infection should not recur.

If your pet is affected by the issues in this case, call the team on 01772 639800 to book your consultation.

Cats and dogs can suffer from allergies in the same way humans can.  If you do have an allergy you will know first-hand just how uncomfortable and irritating it can be. 

Pets can have allergies to environmental irritants such as pollen, grass seeds or even to cleaning products used around the home.  They can have allergies to their food and even grooming products.

It’s important that the skin is protected as much as possible to maintain this very important protective barrier.  Any secondary skin infections caused by over-grooming or scratching as a result of the itching and discomfort an allergy can present, are painful and will need treating alongside the cause of the allergy. 

The first step will be to book an appointment with the vet to start treatment for any infection that is present. Moving forward, finding the cause of the allergy and treating accordingly to stop any further itching and irritation is important. This will stop further damage to the skin and the likelihood of further infections.

Once the allergy is identified, changes to your pet’s environment, food or grooming regime can usually resolve or at least massively reduce the effects of an allergy, leaving your pet much more comfortable and happy.  It can also reduce if not remove the extra cost of treating those painful and recurring skin infections!

If this issue affects your pet, call the team on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352 to book your consultation.

Skin Month

5 Nov 2020

This month we are going to look at skin, specifically in dogs and cats.  The skin, just like with humans, is the biggest organ your pet has.  It provides a protective barrier against the environment, regulates temperature and gives your pet a sense of touch, to name just a few of its important functions.

If the skin becomes damaged as a result of parasites, disease or allergies, this protective barrier can become open to infection and further complications.  We are going to look at what can affect the skin, how it affects the skin and what can be done to protect and maintain that important barrier.   

The number one cause of skin disease in pets is as a result of fleas.  The most basic, preventative way to help your pet’s skin is through a robust and regular flea treatment.  Fleas feed from the blood of your pet and need to penetrate the protective barrier of the skin to access this juicy meal.  Not only do fleas carry other diseases which they can transmit to your pet, but your pet can also be allergic to a flea bite causing itchy and painful complications.  Your pet feels itchy so they scratch and if they scratch enough, they damage the layer of skin allowing infection to set in.  This in turn opens up the possibility of more vet bills to treat the secondary skin infection so financially it makes sense to prevent the issue in the first place.

Download our Flea Facts information HERE and if you need advice on a routine and the products that can protect your pet from fleas, call the team on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352 and they will be happy to help.

Monthly Mash Up

31 Oct 2020

Happy Halloween!

Here’s our monthly newsletter full of useful pet health care information on pain management. If any of the issues mentioned are affecting your pet, contact the team to find out how to access our pain management clinics.

November’s topic is all about skin and also ways in which you can help your pet cope with the firework season.

Download the newsletter HERE

Managing Pain in Cats

27 Oct 2020

In an earlier post we talked about how difficult it can be to know if your cat is in pain, but what can you do if you think they are?

As with dog’s there’s actually quite a lot that can be offered to manage any pain your cat might be experiencing.  This could be as a result of injury, surgery or the ageing process, such as arthritis.

As part of our service we offer pain clinics.  These are run by Francis who works with owners to develop a bespoke pain management programme that is specific to your cat’s needs.  Using a combination of traditional and complimentary products, Francis has had great success in improving the quality of both dog’s and cat’s lives by managing their pain.

Take a look at our previous post to see the signs of pain your cat might be displaying.  If you would like to access a bespoke pain management programme, call the team on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352 and get booked in.

Managing Pain in Dogs

21 Oct 2020

Knowing your dog is in pain can be a difficult and stressful experience for owners but these days there are so many treatment options available to help manage that pain.  Pain can be as a result of a surgery, an injury or as a result of the ageing process, such as arthritis.  It could be short-term or chronic but whatever the reason there is a way for owners to manage pain in their pet.

Here at Rowan we offer pain clinics which are led and run by Francis.  Francis has worked with many owners establishing a bespoke menu of traditional and complimentary pain management treatments with great success.  Treatment plans can consist of acupuncture, hydro-therapy, traditional pain medication which is developing and improving all the time, as well as dietary and food supplements such as Yumove and CBD Oil.  Francis works with owners to develop a pain management plan for your dog’s needs and along with regular monitoring to ensure that programme is giving the relief your pet needs, your dog can live a full and active life. 

If you think your pet could benefit from a pain management consultation or want to know about new pain medication options, call the team and book an appointment with Francis on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352.

Pain in rabbits is very difficult to notice but knowing the signs to look for makes it easier to know if there is an issue with your pet. 

It’s important that any pain your rabbit might be experiencing is managed.  Whether this pain is as a result of an injury or short-term illness or as a result of a long-standing chronic condition, by working with the vet the pain can be managed meaning your rabbit has a better quality of life.

Managing pain in rabbits is usually with medication and although there are no pain killing medications licensed for use with rabbits, the vets have a good knowledge of drugs that are effective and safe when used at the correct dosage.

Read our earlier post about the signs your rabbit my show that they are in pain and if you have any concerns, call the team and book an appointment with a vet on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352.

Cats & Pain

13 Oct 2020

Cats suffering from chronic pain or illness will hide their discomfort and it’s something they are VERY good at!  Showing signs of weakness in the wild is likely to end in disaster by becoming a meal for a bigger predator, so it’s in their DNA.  That’s why it makes it incredibly difficult for owners to know that their beloved cat is in pain.

So, what are the signs an owner can look out for that might give us humans a clue?  There are several but they can be subtle.  

Some signs are:

  • A reduced appetite – could indicate dental pain.
  • Sleeping more.
  • Less interest in playing, interacting with their humans or going outside.
  • Appearing more sensitive to their human touching their body and actively or passively avoid being handled.
  • Changes in how they move; no longer jumping onto surfaces or the bed, taking the steps one at a time.
  • Increased irritability with more frequent vocalisation such as hissing or growling.
  • Decrease in their personal grooming OR and increase in grooming potentially leading to bald patches and/or sore skin.

These signs may develop over time and can go unnoticed which is why it’s important to spend time just observing and getting to know your cat so you can understand and identify what is “normal” for them so that you are more likely to spot something different if it presents itself.

If you want advice on any health issue that is affecting your cat, call the team and book your vet appointment.  We also have a fantastic FREE clinic for our senior cats (7 years and older) where you can access a free urine test, a free health check and a free blood pressure check. Call the team today and book yours on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352.