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New practice opening soon!

This year has already been very exciting for us here at Tern vets as we have a brand spanking new practice opening in Newport just round the corner from our old one! We are moving just around the corner from where our premises are now, in Audley Avenue Industrial Estate opposite Ableworld.

If everything goes to plan then we hope to be open for June 2017.

The new practice which can be seen below, is a much larger practice and will have all of the latest equipment for our lovely animals. It will have three consult rooms, a separate cat and dog waiting area, x-ray machine, in house laboratory, two operating rooms and spacious kennels.

From our new premises we will be able to provide 24 hour emergency care with our own vets and nurses as we know how important it is to have continuity for you and your pets. We will have on site x-ray facilities, two operating theatres, in house laboratory and separate dog and cat waiting areas. We will also be offering free senior health and weight clinics with our dedicated and experienced veterinary nurses.

Photo below – waiting room (work in progress!)

We will be holding an open day in early June which will give you the opportunity to have a look around the premises, meet our vets and get familiar with our practice.

Reducing cat stress at the vets

Reducing cat stress at the Vets

 

We know that when your cat visits the vets it can be a very stressful time for them and for you! The stress starts at home when you try to get them into the cat carrier and your little purry friend turns into what can only be described as a Tasmanian devil.  This continues when you travel to the vets and your cat thinks that they are auditioning for Simon Cowell in the car and doesn’t stop meowing all the way to the vets. There are a few simple changes that can be made to help reduce the stress levels of everyone involved.

If you have your cat as a kitten, take them out occasionally in the car (obviously in the carrier, or things could get messy) just so that they can get used to the sounds, smells and sights. If the first time a cat goes in a carrier is to go to the vets, they will associate the car with negative emotions.

Leave your cat carrier out the day before you are due to go the vets. This will allow your cat to time to get used to it and it won’t become a massive shock for them when they have to go in it. There are products available such as a Feliway spray that is specifically for cats travelling to help calm them down. Spray this in the carrier on a towel or blanket the day before and the morning of the visit to get your cat in to a Zen piece of mind.

When you arrive here, we have a dedicated cat waiting area to ensure that they are as relaxed as possible without any dogs taunting them. Cats like it when they can see what is going on (they are nosey like that) so we advise you to not leave them on the floor but to put them on a raised surface which is available in the cat waiting area. We also provide towels in the waiting area which have been sprayed with the Feliway spray that you can drape over the cat carrier if they are particularly stressed to help calm them down.

 

Festive Food Alert!

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It may only be November but we thought we could at least start thinking about Christmas for our precious pets. With so much extra food in the house in preparation for the festive celebrations it is essential to keep some food well away from the pets. Rich foods can lead to upset tummies, but be especially aware of raisins in puddings, pies and cakes, since they can be very toxic to the kidneys.

If your anything like us then there will be mountains of chocolate available in the house, but as little as 50g of chocolate can be fatal to small dogs. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine (a bit like caffeine) that is poisonous to dogs.

Some plants such as poinsettia, holly and even mistletoe can cause upset in your cats if they digest any of the plant including the berries. Symptoms of illness form ingesting these plants include intestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling, and abdominal pain.

If you are at all worried over the Christmas period and think that your pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t have (which we know is common when you own a Labrador!) then please contact us at the practice.

Happy holidays.

 

What is a heart murmur?

With Valentines day and all things hearts approaching, we thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about heart health in our dogs. Signs of heart problems can be subtle and are something we try to rule out during routine examinations at vaccination time. Its a common scenario that when listening to your dogs heart using a stethoscope we might notice an abnormal sound called a heart murmur.

What is a heart murmur?

When the heart beat, the blood is kept moving in the right direction by the actions of 2 sets of 2 valves. It is the closing of these valves isn’t working properly, it becomes leaky, allowing some blood to flow backwards.

Some heart murmurs are caused by abnormally developed valves and are present in puppies. Others are acquired later in life. Breeds such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Fox Terriers, Boston Terriers, Chihuahuas, Schnauzers and Poodles are genetically predisposed to developing disease.

My dog has a heart murmur, what does this mean?

The leaky valves and inefficient flow of blood means that circulation is impaired. The circulatory system can compensate for this for a time by making some changes. However, eventually the disease progresses past what the heart can cope with and it might start to fail. The poor circulation might leave your dog weak and unwilling to exercise. Fluid can build up either in the abdomen, or on the lungs causing breathing problems.

The extra hard working heart gets larger in size and this can cause your dog to cough. Fainting and collapse happens when the heart cannot pump enough oxygen carrying blood to the brain.

When a murmur is first found, the vet assesses your dog to see if they think the heart is coping.

We will need your input, to monitor your dogs energy levels and watching for subtle changes in breathing rate. If we feel we need to know more about the murmur, more tests may be required.

These might include: X-rays, to assess heart size and look for fluid on the lungs. Echocardiogram, a special ultrasound scan that can identify the problem valve and assess blood flow, heart shape and size. Electrocardiogram or ECG to assess heart rhythm and blood tests, to identify other problems and check if certain medications are suitable.

What can we do? 

While the heart is coping, we might not start any medical treatment. Working together to monitor your dog closely we can make treatment plans that suit you and your dog at every stage.

Medical treatments can help your dogs heart function much better and alleviate clinical signs, so they can concentrate on being themselves again.

Identifying heart problems is another example of why regular check ups are important, early recognition means we can keep a close eye on your dog, making sure we can keep them fit and healthy longer.

Golden Oldies weight clinic

Golden Oldies!

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If this year’s John Lewis Christmas adverts have taught us anything – it’s that  looking after the older members of our family really matters – and this means our older furry friends too!

We have always been passionate about preventative health care at Tern Vets and this applies more than ever with our seniors. Animals have evolved to mask the signs of disease and often important health changes are subtle and easily just put down to “getting old”. But being old isn’t a disease! Sadly, often when they become poorly enough to need a visit to us, it can be too late for us to make a meaningful long term difference. And we would like to change that with your help!! With advances in veterinary medicine and knowledge there is so much we can do to support our pets, keeping them happy and with us much longer. Picking up on problems early is key to this.

We are excited to tell you about our NEW Senior Pet Health Checks which are made by appointment with our qualified nurses. These are FREE and are an invaluable tool in making sure we are doing the very best for your pet at his or her life stage. Early pick ups of hormonal conditions (such as hyperthyroidism in cats) or circulation problems (e.g. high blood pressure or heart murmurs) can give us the advantage of getting them on supportive treatment much sooner and really make that difference. Did you know that dental disease can have a real impact on liver function, and has been linked to heart disease in people? Our nurses can give you some tips on keeping their mouths fresh and clean! One of the most common problems with older dogs and cats is that their mobility isn’t what it used to be – maybe they can’t get on the sofa anymore, or in and out of the car. If we address this as soon as we notice it, we can help keep their muscle strength and their flexibility – keeping them on their legs and pain free for longer!

Do you have a pet that is getting older? Why not give us a call or pop in for a chat. Let’s work together to keep them happy!

Merry Christmas from Tern!

FREE weight clinics

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Are you concerned that your pet is overweight?

Would you like help and support to help get your pet to its optimal body condition?

Then look no further than our FREE Weight Clinics!

They may look all cute and chubby but obesity in pets can lead to potential health problems.

Research has shown that roughly 1/3 of animals in the UK are overweight.  It has been shown that overweight or obese pets are more likely to have conditions such as diabetes, heart conditions, arthritis, liver disease and respiratory disease.  Obesity has also been shown to reduce life expectancy in pets by an average of two years!

Simply reducing the quantity of your pet’s food will only reduce the amount of nutrients received, which may result in health problems in their later life.

What happens in a weight clinic?

During your first visit one of our nurses will weigh your pet and will assess the ideal weight for that particular breed. They will discuss your pet’s current lifestyle which will include their food, exercise and any health issues that may be affecting their weight increase. Our nurses are trained in giving effective advice and will try to answer any questions you may have. They will help set up a weight management plan and discuss tips to help your pet lose those extra pounds!

You will also get £5 off your first bag of Hills food, to help your pet reach its optimum weight and you will also get your 6th bag for free ! scale-403585_640

If you would like any more information or would like to book in for a free weight clinic then please contact reception on 01630 652935.

Feeling Ticked off?!

Feeling Ticked off?!

What are Ticks?

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Many of you pet owners (or even those of you that enjoy walking in the countryside) will have heard of ticks – or even come across them once or twice….but what are they?! They are small, blood sucking arachnids that attach to your pet using specially adapted mouthparts. These pierce the skin so that the tick can feed on blood, taking on the engorged appearance seen above. They can also attach to and drink from humans! They lie in wait in the long grass and vegetation, until a meal in the form of a pet (or pet owner!) walks past. At Tern Vets we are seeing lots of dogs with ticks attached

 

How will this affect my pet?

Dogs can have sporadic infestations with just a few ticks, or massive ones, depending on the amount of time spent in a tick habitat and the size of the tick population. Where the tick attaches, a local inflammatory reaction is often seen, causing swelling and irritation. If the tick is removed incorrectly – these attachment sites can become infected. Each adult female tick can consume at least 0.5 ml of blood so severe infestations can lead to anaemia in young or small animals.

The most serious concern with ticks is that they can spread infectious diseases. When a tick bites an infected animal, it picks up infected cells that contain a disease causing agent.  Your dog can become infected when these agents are inoculated into the skin by the tick the next time it feeds. Lymes disease is spread this way and it can affect people too. It’s not common in the UK, but it is present. In 2010, 481 ticks per 100,000 found on dogs were infected with Lymes and there are more research projects investigating this underway at the moment.

There are serious diseases such as Babesiosis and Ehrlichioisis that are transmitted by ticks in Europe so if you are travelling with your pet, tick control is of upmost importance.

 

I’ve found a tick on my pet, what should I do?

Transmission of disease is thought to take place approximately 24 to 48 hours after feeding begins so remove ticks as soon as you see them. Don’t use oil/alcohol or try to burn the ticks!! Use an O’Tom hook like this one.

After you have removed it, apply a tick treatment to make sure the young ticks and unengorged adults that are harder to see will be killed before disease transmission can occur.

Pop in and see us at Tern Vets to talk tick control – especially if you are planning on walking your dog in heavily vegetated areas or if you are travelling with your pet abroad.

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Laparoscopic spays now available

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Here at Tern vets we are always trying to provide the latest equipment and techniques that are best for our patients. We recently have invested in laparoscopic technology which allows our vets to perform spays using key hole surgery.

Advantages of Laparoscopic spays Vs Traditional Spays

  • Up to 65% less post op pain and discomfort.
  • Two tiny wounds compared to one larger one.
  • Rapid recovery – often that same evening.
  • No exercise restriction from the day after surgery.
  • Better visulisation of the entire abdomen and can highlight other abnormalities we would normally not see.

 

Here comes the science bit!

Traditional Spays

In a traditional spay the ovary is gently pulled up to the wound by stretching the ovarian ligament, to allow access to remove it. Similarly, the cervix is pulled through the incision to allow access to place a ligature and resect the uterus. This stretching does lead to some post op discomfort which we try to manage with pain relief.

The size of the wound needed also means we have to impose exercise restrictions so the abdomen muscle wound is not torn by excessive movement.

Laparoscopic spays

When performing a laparoscopic spay, the procedure is done through tiny incisions in the abdomen. The procedure is performed with magnified views of the organs allowing for greater precision. The ovarian ligament is carefully cut and cauterized, rather than stretched. Laparoscopic spays offer patients minimal pain, minimal recovery time and less trauma than traditional spays.

If you would prefer your dog to have a laparoscopic spay rather than a traditional spay then please contact us at reception to book this in.