Small animals

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Small animals

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With our 3 surgeries in Alston, Stanhope & Allendale all equipped for most small animal medical consultations, we are able to offer our clients a complete first opinion GP veterinary service. All our surgeries are staffed throughout the day by our trained receptionists who can help with most queries, bookings, prescription requests, appointments etc.

Your visit

Every working day morning and evening in all our surgeries we have consultations by appointment with a vet. We try to share all the vets out among the 3 surgeries evenly to ensure that you (the owner) can see a particular vet for your pets ongoing treatment for continuity of care. We aim to provide up-to-date, caring attention for pets and prompt, reliable service for their owners.

Your Appointments

Ask the receptionist to book you appointments or operations with the vet who knows your pet and his/her current problem best. Continuity is good for everybody.

 

If you think your pet might need an anaesthetic (for example if they have a cut or have had a road accident) do not give them any food.

 

Surgeries are prone to delays toward the end of evening surgeries and on Saturdays; these are always the most popular times. It is wise to avoid booking appointments at our busiest times if it is easy for you to come in the mornings or afternoons.

 

If your pet has a complicated problem which needs extra time to discuss or you would like to come at a quiet time then our receptionists would be happy to arrange this for you. Please feel confident in explaining your concerns when booking an appointment.

The Waiting Room

If you know that your dog will be excitable when meeting other dogs in the waiting room it would be helpful to let the receptionist know when making an appointment.

 

Cats should always be brought to the surgery in a suitable carrying box and dogs should be kept on a lead.

 

Unvaccinated puppies should be held or transported in a pet carrier. We also request they are kept off the floor in the surgery in order to avoid unnecessary exposure to new bugs and other animals.

 

If your dog has a cough or diarrhoea which has come on suddenly we would be very grateful if you could let the receptionist know when making the appointment and on arrival. Such dogs may be infectious to our other patients and may be better waiting outside until the veterinary surgeon is ready.

Repeat Prescriptions

After telephoning the surgery your prescription will be made up and stored at reception. If there is a reason why your prescription cannot be made up we will try and contact you before you set off. It is vital from a clinical (and legal) perspective that we monitor patients on long term medication regularly, even if the condition appears stable and well controlled. 6 months is the maximum interval allowed by law and in many cases it is desirable to make more frequent checks (every 3 months). Prescriptions are available from any of our practices to obtain medicines for your animal elsewhere. You may ask for a prescription for animals being treated by the veterinary surgeon only. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines Veterinary, (POM-Vs) from your veterinary surgeon at Old Stone Vets OR ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or a pharmacy. You will be informed, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be dispensed for your animal. The general policy of this practice is to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions every 3 – 6 months, but this may vary with individual circumstances. The standard charge for a re-examination is £20.00. Further information on the prices of medicines is available on request.

Estimates

Never hesitate to ask any vet for an estimate of cost in advance of treatment. For routine procedures (neutering, vaccinations etc.) a firm estimate can always be given.

 

Nurses can often help with straightforward estimates but will refer to a veterinary surgeon when asked about a more complex procedure. In these cases it is better to deal with a veterinary surgeon you have already consulted with. Alternatively if you have not yet consulted with a veterinarian it may be wise to do so, and to have the vet explain your quote.

 

For more complicated procedures we rarely know at the outset exactly what will be required but we are more than happy to discuss with you the possibilities and how much each eventuality might cost. We do our best to explain the full cost but it should always be established between vet and client exactly what is included in a given quote. Antibiotics, painkillers, an initial consultation and VAT will accompany most operations.

House Visits

We are happy to perform house visits where necessary, especially to vaccinate large numbers of animals. However, it is always worth bearing in mind that on a visit the vet will only have a handful of drugs at his/her disposal and will probably not be able to carry out any further tests.

 

Most animals which are ill would be best treated at the surgery where nurses, equipment and a wide variety of treatments are available.

 

Where transport is a problem, we can recommend taxis that will carry animals (and which will almost certainly prove cheaper than a vet call-out).

 

If you decide that a visit is really the only alternative then please ring early in the day if possible.

Pet Insurance

There are many companies throughout the UK providing pet or animal insurance. We would recommend clients research in as much detail as possible whether pet insurance is suitable for them, for their particular breed of pet, and their individual budget. Pet insurance is a legally binding contract between the insurance company and the policyholder. We therefore do not do “Direct Claims” to pet insurance companies. Unfortunately over the years we have experienced times where clients assumed they were insured for certain conditions, but in fact exclusions were in place on their policy and we the Vet practice were left with a bill for the animal, due to a direct claim being agreed. So, while we believe pet insurance is very valuable to our clients and we do recommend it, we are unable to process direct claims. We require payment at the time for services/operations performed and medications, and we will assist clients in filling out claim forms correctly at no extra charge, to ensure speedy repayment to them by their insurance company.

Referrals and 2nd Opinions

“We do not always have the answer!”. There you have it, in black and white. We are human and occasionally cases are outside of our expertise, abilities or outside our range of equipment. In such cases we may refer your animal to a “Referral Centre” or “Referral Veterinary Surgeon” who we believe will be in a better position to treat your individual case than us. We will ensure that you are made aware of the level of expertise of appropriate and reasonably available referral veterinary surgeons, for example, whether they are veterinary specialists or advanced practitioners. We will ensure you are put in direct contact with the Referral Centre or Referral Surgeon and that the clinical history of your pet is transferred to the referral surgeon so they have full details relating to the individual case. The Referral centre will keep us informed of treatments carried out and usually hand back responsibility of care of the referred patient when they deem appropriate.

 

A second opinion is when you decide you would like another (non-referral) veterinary surgeon to give an opinion on your particular pets case or condition. This is completely within your rights to do at any time. We will happily provide clinical details of your pets condition to another MRCVS qualified veterinary surgeon should you wish a second opinion from them.

 

Referral Centres we use at Old Stone Vets are:

 

Wear Referrals
Kentdale Orthopaedics
Veterinary Vision
Bearl Equine
Scott Mitchell & Assocs Equine

Our services

Even the healthiest pet needs to visit the vet from time to time. To keep your pet in the best of health we recommend regular vaccination and flea/worm treatment, as well as early neutering and identichipping. Some pets require regular dental care just as we do. Of course, if your pet should become unwell or be involved in an accident we have regular consultations by appointment plus 24hr emergency cover. We aim to provide up-to-date, caring attention for pets and prompt, reliable service for their owners. We also provide routine appointments with our nursing staff, these are available on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (4.00pm – 5.00pm) at our Alston branch. These appointments include: nail clipping, post-operative checks, dental checks, weight clinics and second vaccinations.

Consultations

Consultation are available by appointment at the following times:

 

Alston

Morning
Monday – Saturday 9.00am – 11.00am
Evening
Monday – Friday 4.30pm – 6.30pm

 

Stanhope

Morning
Monday – Friday 9.00am – 10.30am
Saturday 12.00pm – 2.00pm

Evening
Monday – Friday 4.00pm – 6.00pm

 

Allendale

Morning

Monday – Friday 9.00am – 10.30am

Evening

Monday – Friday 4.00pm – 6.00pm

 

Other Times

A vet is always available for emergencies, at the surgery during working hours or on emergency number at other times.

 

Consultations are normally 10 minutes long and are available both for standard healthcare such as vaccination, identichipping, health checks, weighing etc, or if your pet is unwell or has had an accident.

Vaccinations

It is essential that all dogs are regularly vaccinated. Puppies should begin vaccinations between 8 and 10 weeks of age. A second injection completes the course. This is given from 12 weeks of age and must be at least 3 weeks after the first injection. Older dogs can be vaccinated at any age with 2 injections 3 weeks apart. It would be very unwise to let your unvaccinated puppy have access to areas visited by other dogs who might not be vaccinated, so keep him in the house or an enclosed garden. Thereafter annual vaccinations are nearly always essential to maintain immunity (discussed below).

 

We recommend that all dogs have a vaccination which includes protection against the following life threatening diseases:

 

Parvovirus
Of all these diseases, Parvovirus constitutes the main threat, causing an often fatal gastroenteritis. The virus can live on pavements and in soil for several years. We regularly need to treat unvaccinated dogs suffering from this disease. The cost of treatment is high (min £200) and a proportion of dogs die despite the best treatment.

 

Distemper
Distemper is less common and causes a range of symptoms including respiratory and nervous system disease. Severe vomiting and diarrhoea progress to pneumonia and finally seizures which usually lead to death. As with Parvovirus treatment is expensive and often unsuccessful.

 

Infectious Canine Hepatitis
This virus causes liver inflammation which can lead to irreversible liver failure.

 

Leptospirosis
This bacterial organism can be contracted from the environment, especially around waterways and areas exposed to rat urine. Leptospiral infection can cause acute kidney failure.

 

Certain Respiratory Diseases
Several infectious organisms are capable of causing respiratory disease in the dog. This can vary from relatively minor cold-like symptoms to more serious airway or lung disease. Our vaccination offers protection against two viral respiratory pathogens, Canine Parainfluenza Virus and Canine Adenovirus 2.


Coronavirus

Coronavirus is one cause of infectious diarrhoea in dogs. This infection is prevalent in the canine population and can cause serious illness especially in puppies.

 

Kennel Cough
Intra-nasal Kennel Cough vaccination confers immunity to one of the organisms responsible for ‘Kennel Cough’, the bacterium Bordatella Bronchiseptica. Vaccination is recommended at least a week prior to entering kennels. Immunity wanes relatively quickly and 6 monthly vaccination is recommended for at risk individuals.

 

There is a reduced fee if you have your dog vaccinated against ‘Kennel Cough’ at the same time as your annual booster.

It is essential that all cats are regularly vaccinated. Kittens should begin vaccinations from 9 weeks of age, with a second injection 3 to 4 weeks later completing the initial course. Older cats can be vaccinated at any age with 2 injections 3 weeks apart. Thereafter annual vaccinations are essential to maintain immunity.

 

We recommend all cats have the vaccination which includes protection against:

 

Calicivirus
A viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Another cause of cat ‘flu.

 

Herpes Virus
A viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. A third cause of cat ‘flu.

 

Feline Infectious Enteritis Virus (Panleucopaenia)
An aggressive viral infection causing severe immunosuppression and gastroenteritis. Usually fatal.

 

FeLV (The Feline Leukaemia Virus)
FeLV is very common and is usually fatal to affected cats, often after a prolonged period of illness. FeLV is currently the second biggest cause of premature death of cats in the UK (after road accidents), and 10% of the UK feline population is infected. The FeLV virus is very contagious, spreading between cats by direct contact (mutual grooming, bites, sexual contact) and by indirect contact (food bowls, litter trays). In addition infected mothers usually infect all their kittens before or after birth. Only one contact with an infected cat is necessary and a large percentage of cats who contract the virus will develop the disease. This deadly disease can take various forms mostly immunosuppression (hence death due to other infections) but also lymphosarcoma (a glandular cancer), leukaemia (a blood cell cancer), anaemia, kidney failure or enteritis. Regular use of the vaccination will prevent your cat from acquiring FeLV and will reduce the level of virus in the local cat population, making it a safer area for all cats.

 

It is possible to vaccinate cats against just Cat Flu and Feline Infectious Enteritis Virus, without the inclusion of FeLV. This will satisfy a cattery but obviously leaves cats vulnerable to FeLV, thus this can only be recommended for cats that are kept isolated and never go outdoors.

 

It is important to emphasize that FeLV can exist in apparently healthy ‘carrier’ cats which have been infected but are not showing signs of disease. We can check that your cat is virus free only by performing a blood test. Whilst this may be ideal, it does increase the overall cost and some owners have asked if ‘blind’ vaccination is acceptable. Vaccination of previously infected cats will not accelerate the disease, but does not cure or prevent progression of the disease. ‘Blind’ vaccination may therefore be acceptable as long as we can estimate that your cat has not been in a high risk category. Vaccinated cats in this category can still be tested for FeLV if symptoms consistent with FeLV should later develop.

Separate vaccines are available for use in rabbits to prevent contraction of both Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD).

 

Myxomatosis
Myxomatosis vaccination can be started from 6 weeks of age. Normally annual vaccinations are sufficient, although 6 monthly vaccinations may be advised during local outbreaks or if there is known contact with wild rabbits amongst whom the disease is endemic. Affected rabbits develop swollen eyes and lips with a thick white discharge. Skin tumours and respiratory signs lead to death. Myxomatosis is transmitted by direct contact with carrier rabbits but also by biting insects especially fleas andmosquitoes, thus physical separation from wild rabbits e.g. within a fenced garden does not guarantee safety.

 

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)
VHD vaccination is usually started at 10-12 weeks of age. Annual vaccination is necessary. Affected rabbits are often found dead or very ill with multiple organ failures including blood, liver and gut. VHD is transmitted by direct contact with carrier rabbits, but is also capable of surviving on hay, bedding, food bowls, shoes etc. It is therefore very difficult in practice to eliminate the risk of virus introduction and vaccination is the best policy.

 

Unfortunately it is inadvisable to give both vaccinations at the same time, therefore we recommend two visits to the surgery a week apart in order to fully protect you rabbit.

Neutering

Neutering is routine surgical procedure conferring very definite health and behavioural benefits. Female cats, dogs and rabbits are spayed, a routine operation involving the surgical removal of the ovaries, uterus (womb) and part of the cervix, technically known as an ovariohysterectomy (or OHE). Castration for males involves the surgical removal of both testicles. Advantages and disadvantages of neutering are listed below.

Tom Cats
  • The prevention of unwanted kittens.
  • Neutering will also significantly reduce the risk of your cat being exposed to FeLV and FIV. (Feline Leukaemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).
  • These contagious diseases are usually fatal to an affected cat.Neutering also helps prevent urine spraying.
  • Reduction of the strong tom cat odour and less smelly urine.

 

Queens (Female Cats)
  • The prevention of unwanted kittens.
  • Neutering will also significantly reduce the risk of your cat being exposed to FeLV and FIV. (Feline Leukaemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). These contagious diseases are usually fatal to an affected cat.
  • No risk of pyometra (womb infections) or problems giving birth (often unattended).
Male Dogs
  • Prevention of testicular cancer
  • Reduced risk of prostatic disease in later life
  • Unwanted puppies cannot be sired
  • Reduction in sexual behaviour which can be inconvenient and embarrassing!
  • In general a reduced tendency to roam
  • In general decreased aggression and increased friendliness towards people and other dogs. This effect is variable and behavioural counselling may also be needed especially in older dogs with established behaviour patterns.

 

Bitches
  • Prevention of seasons. Unspayed bitches will come into season for 3-4 weeks twice a year, with the first season usually occurring between 6 and 12 months of age. During a season a bitch is likely to roam, will drip blood and will attract male dogs from far and wide.
  • No chance of unwanted puppies
  • Almost 30% of unspayed bitches develop malignant mammary cancer in later life. Only 0.25% of bitches spayed before their first season with develop malignant mammary cancer. Bitches spayed between their first and second season also benefit from a greatly reduced risk. After the second season the main indication for spaying is to reduce the risk of pyometra.
  • Pyometra is an infection of the uterus, a serious illness which requires an emergency ovariohysterectomy.
Bucks (Male Rabbits)
  • No chance of unwanted litters
  • Reduced sexual behaviour
  • Reduced aggression towards other pets and people

 

Does (Female Rabbits)
  • Prevention of uterine tumours. Over half of unspayed rabbits will develop malignant uterine tumours by the age of 5 years.
  • Reduced aggression towards other pets and people
  • No chance of unwanted litters

Risks associated with neutering – All animals
All cat and dog general anaesthetics carry a very small risk, in the order of 0.01% for young health animals – very much less than the likelihood of serious preventable disease for entire animals in later life. Rabbit anaesthesia is slightly more risky, but in most cases the benefits still far outweigh the risks.

 

Some animals especially bitches have a tendency to weight gain after neutering. Attention to exercise and a good, sensible diet are important.

 

A small proportion of spayed bitches may develop urinary incontinence in later life, but then so do some unspayed bitches – this is not a serious problem and can be easily rectified on a daily low dose of medication.

 

 

In all species and sexes neutering is a simple, routine operation that can be done on any weekday. All health and behavioural advantages are greater when animals are neutered around 6 months of age. There is no advantage in waiting for a season in the bitch or allowing a cat to have a litter. Please ring the surgery for advice on booking in your pet. Our pre-operative procedure will be explained to you. A general health check will be performed to ensure the animal is fit and well for surgery.

Dental Care

Gum disease is common in dogs and cats, probably because of the relative softness of modern pet foods compared to a natural diet. Accumulation of hard scale at the base of teeth leads to gum inflammation and recession and can allow infection to penetrate to the tooth roots themselves, causing pain, the loss of teeth and sometimes the spread of infection in the blood to vital organs.

 

Once scale (also called tartar or calculus) has built up on teeth it can only be removed using dental instruments or an ultrasonic scaling machine. Human dentists often need to use a similar machine. While people will (generally!) sit still for this, animals will not and must be anaesthetised. Once the teeth are clean they are polished to discourage the build up of more calculus. In severe cases dental extractions may be necessary.

 

Regular toothbrushing is the best way to prevent scale accumulation in dogs of all ages. Brushing won’t shift existing scale, but will stop it building up in puppies or in older dogs with clean teeth, especially after a dental at the vets. Adult dogs can be trained to accept brushing, while puppies and kittens get used to it very easily if you start young.

 

If your pet can’t be persuaded to allow brushing other preventative measures are available, including enzymatic gels, special foods and certain rope chews for dogs.

Dental disease is unfortunately all too common in the rabbit population. Certain breeds such as Lops are particularly prone to this problem. Dental disease in rabbits is most commonly due to ‘malalignment’, when the upper and lower teeth don’t quite meet perfectly. Rabbit teeth grow continuously to allow for natural wear as the rabbit grinds up it’s fibrous diet. If the teeth don’t match up they do not wear down evenly. This can result in very long incisors which will make eating difficult or impossible. These paired teeth are easily inspected at the front of the mouth.

 

Another consequence of malalignment which can be harder to spot can affect the grinding molars at the back of the mouth. Uneven wear of this chinchilla’s molars has resulted in a sharp spur (upper right) which has caused cheek ulceration. Similar spurs can occur on the inside of the lower molars causing tongue ulcers, pain and difficulty eating. Very similar problems are seen in rabbits. These teeth are difficult to see and some animals require general anaesthesia for full examination.

Signs of dental disease include:
  • Obviously overgrown incisors
  • A hungry animal unable to eat
  • This will progress to weight loss
  • Saliva dribbles down chin and onto chest
  • Food may drop from side of mouth during eating
  • General signs of pain – hiding, tooth grinding, character changes
  • Incisors can normally be burred short without sedation in all but the most nervous rabbits. Attention to molar spurs normally requires general anaesthesia. In severe case incisor extraction may be an option but does carry certain risks.
  • Chinchillas can be prone to similar conditions.
  • Rats, hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs can all suffer from overgrown incisors, this is a common cause of failure to eat.

Worms, Fleas & Ticks

Dogs and cats of all ages are vulnerable to both roundworms and tapeworms. In many cases infection is not obvious, but vomiting and diarrhoea, abdominal discomfort, stunted growth and poor coat condition can occur, especially in puppies and kittens. Infections are similar in these species; the following notes are colour coded for dogs, cats or both species.

 

Roundworms
  • Toxocara canis is the most important roundworm affecting dogs in the UK.
  • Toxocara cati affects cats.
  • Almost all puppies are infected with Toxocara before birth (across the placenta) or via the mother’s milk. Therefore many unweaned puppies have mature, egg producing roundworms in their intestine within 3 weeks of birth.
  • Kittens are rarely infected across the placenta, but can acquire eggs via milk.
  • Weaned pups/kittens and adult dogs/cats can be infected by ingestion of Toxocara eggs from soil or faeces. In animals under 6 months of age ingested eggs complete their lifecycle with 3-4 weeks, each adult Toxocara worm producing up to 20,000 eggs per day. These become infective within 3-4 weeks and can remain viable in soil for years. Older animals develop immunity, but worms still survive in a dormant state and eggs will still be produced from time to time.
  • Infection can also be acquired through eating mice/rats etc, more common in cats than dogs.
  • Adult worms be up to 18cm long and very numerous, filling the gut of badly affected animals.
  • Public Health Concerns – Toxocara is important both as a potential health risk for your dog or cat, but also because it can cause a rare but serious disorder, Toxocaral Visceral Larval Migrans in people, especially children. This condition results from the human ingestion of infective Toxocara eggs (from soil or faeces), and subsequent migration of larvae into tissues such as the heart, central nervous system and eye.

 

Tapeworms
  • A number of tapeworm species affect dogs and cats, the Taenia family being the most important.
  • Tapeworms are acquired by ingestion of fleas (intermediate hosts) during grooming.
  • Mice/rats can also be a source of infection for cats.
  • Tapeworms are flattened and can be up to 5 metres long. They attach to the gut wall using a doubled circular set of sharp teeth.

 

Worm Control Programs

An effective worming program must therefore have two aims:

  • The prevention of infective egg production into the environment
  • The elimination of worms from the adult dog or cat
  • Safe and effective control can be achieved using the following guidelines. Since puppies and kittens are the greatest source of eggs, worming is especially important up to six months of age.

 

  • To minimise trans-placental infection pregnant bitches should be wormed at day 42 of gestation and again at day 2 post-whelping. Both bitch and pups should then be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old.
  • Pregnant queens need not be wormed but fortnightly post-kittening worming is recommended as for dogs until 12 weeks old.
  • Any adult over 12 weeks should be wormed every 3 months, or possibly even more frequently if the pet is around children. Remember that it may not be obvious that your pet has worms, but they should still be treated.
  • Faeces should be cleared promptly, before any Toxocara eggs become infective (3 weeks).
  • Your dog should be prevented from defaecating in parks or play areas.
  • Children should always wash their hands after playing in soil.
    Drontal worming tablets can be used at any age and kill roundworms and tapeworms in a single dose. Puppies and kittens usually find Panacur granules or suspension easier than a large tablet. These products kill roundworms only, but tapeworm control is not vital until 12 weeks of age. These products are available without an appointment or prescription once your pet is registered.
    An injection or spot-on (Droncit) is available for adult cats but kills tapeworm only. Can be used in combination with Stronghold Spot-On (treat fleas and roundworm).

Fleas are small, brown, wingless insects with flattened bodies. They are visible to the naked eye, being about the size of half a grain of rice. Fleas transfer from host to host by jumping with their powerful back legs. Ctenocephalides felis felis is the most common species on cats and dogs. Flea bites often cause scratching as flea saliva contains a variety of substances that can be irritating or allergenic. Signs of flea infestation vary greatly between individuals. Some cats and dogs carry a few fleas with no ill effects at all, most are itchy, while some develop allergies to flea saliva causing distressing irritation, scratching, hair loss and secondary skin infections. Fleas can also cause problems through blood loss (72 adult fleas can consume 1ml of blood per day) and the transfer of tapeworms. This species of flea will not live on people, although humans may occasionally get an itchy bite.

 

Spring and Autumn are the worst periods for fleas, although we see them all year round. Signs that your pet may have fleas:

 

  • Your pet may be scratching
  • You may see actual fleas on your pet or in the house
  • Your pet may develop spots, scabs and hair loss especially along its back
  • You may find flea dirt in your pet’s coat. Flea dirt is digested blood. It appears as black specks (the size of grains of salt) and if placed on a wet tissue will leave a red/brown stain.
  • You may find itchy red spots on your skin, especially around your ankles.

 

Flea Control Options

Prevention is always better than cure. Itchiness, hair loss and secondary infections as a result of fleas can be expensive and time-consuming to treat. Regular treatment with a preventative flea-control product should stop such problems ever arising.

 

Scenario 1 – No current flea problem, but preventative regime required.

 

Option 1 – Insecticidal Spot-On/Spray
These products kill adult fleas within 24hrs, minimising time available for irritant bites and breaking the lifecycle by killing any new fleas that jump on board before they have a chance to breed and produce eggs. Alternative products include:

 

  • Frontline Spot-On, apply once per month for cats, once every 2 months for dogs.
  • Frontline spray, economical if several animals of varying sizes, apply every 2 months (cats) / 3 months (dogs). Non-aerosol spray.
  • Advocate Spot-On for dogs and cats. Fat soluble throughout body thus also effective against roundworms in the gut and ear mites. Apply monthly.

 

Option 2: Program
Program works as a contraceptive, sterilising the flea and therefore breaking the lifecycle. However, cats and dogs that go outside will meet other animals and acquire new fleas, which will not be killed. These fleas will become sterile but will potentially stay alive for up to 100 days biting your pet. Thus insecticidal spot-ons/sprays are usually the treatment of choice unless your pets never meet other animals (i.e. house-cats).

 

  • Program tablets are given once per month to dogs.
  • Program injection is available for cats , which lasts for 6 months, or Program suspension can be given every month in the food.

 

Scenario 2 – Active flea problem

 

  • Insecticidal Spot-On/Spray +/- treat house
  • Products as above

 

Fleas will be killed within 24hrs and immediate skin irritation will stop. Ongoing use will clear the environmental challenge (fleas/larvae in carpets) by breaking the lifecycle as fleas will be killed before breeding.

 

In severe infestations or if causing other problems (animals very irritated/ people getting bitten), then the house should also be treated with Indorex Spray. Vacuum the house well, including under furniture/beds. Spray the whole house as directed on can, paying particular attention to safety instructions. Remove or cover fish tanks with cling-film for an hour, remove caged birds. Indorex continues to work for up to one year.

 

Please Note: These flea products are prescription medicines. They may only be purchased over the counter if your pet is otherwise well and has been checked over by a vet within the last 12 months.

Ticks are an external parasites (belonging to the arthropod family) which feed on the blood of cats, dogs and rabbits. Pets pick up ticks from the environment, therefore working dogs and other pets which are exposed to working activities are more likely to become infested.

 

Ticks crawl from plants such as bracken onto their host, bite the animal and immediately start to feed on their blood meal. The tick saliva then mixes with your pet’s blood and enters directly into the bloodstream therefore leaving your pet at risk of tick borne diseases.

 

Ticks are commonly found while grooming your pets and are usually found around your pet’s armpits, toes and head. If you find a tick we will be happy to safely remove it from your pet’s body and can provide you with a “tick removal” tool and advise on the products we have available either “spot- on” or sprays to prevent future infestations.

 

Current research indicates that ticks are a major problem in this region and the tick population in the UK is growing therefore we advise that all dogs especially working dogs should be treated routinely (every 6 weeks) with the products we have available to prevent tick infestation.

Identichip

An ‘identichip‘ is a tiny microchip, about the size of a grain of rice, designed to be injected under the skin of an animal. Each chip carries a unique identification code which can be scanned using a small hand-held device. Vets, dog wardens, rescue charities and other organisations dealing with lost pets are equipped with these scanners.

 

At implantation (a straightforward injection) owner’s details and identichip code are registered for life at a central database. When a chip is scanned in a lost pet the owner’s details can easily be found. Cats and dogs are regularly ‘identichipped’, however nearly any species can have a chip implanted.

 

If you have your pet ‘identichipped’ at the same time as their vaccination, there is a reduced fee.

Old Faithfuls Clinic

All of our clients are important to us but we like to pay particular care and attention to our oldest pets in their vulnerable later years, therefore we provide an “old faithful’s booster clinic”. Your cat or dog has to > 8 years old to be eligible for this package which consists of:

 

  • Full clinical examination – heart and chest assessment
  • Annual “booster” vaccination
  • In house blood & biochemistry test
  • Urinalysis
  • Diet and exercise advise
  • Worming and flea treatment advise
  • Discussion of blood and urine results
  • Discuss any medical treatment

 

This appointment is designed to check your pet is not only healthy outside – but is also healthy on the inside. The blood test ensures we check the function of internal organs such as kidneys, liver and tests for diabetes. Early diagnosis can lead to effective treatment and prevention of serious and debilitating disease.

 

A reminder will be sent in the post once your pet is eligible for the clinic and you can easily make an appointment with the receptionist at any or our practices.

Puppies

Treatment

Hospitalisation

Hospitalisation facilities with individual kennels which are warm, clean and secure. Our three large walk in kennels for larger patients or overnight hospitalisations all have built in underfloor heating to keep the patients snug especially at night. They are positioned so that patients can be observed frequently. These include an isolation kennel for potentially infectious patients, minimising the risk of infectious disease spread.

Operating Theatres

Operating theatres with up to date anaesthetic machines, we use alfaxan anaesthetic induction (the latest, most up to date anaesthetic protocol) which allows anaesthesia with a high safety margin to be performed on all sizes of patient from small furries like chinchillas to our larger patients like giant breed dogs such as St Bernards or Great Danes.

X-ray

X-ray machine and digital CR X-ray processing at our main site in Alston. We have wide screen monitor feed of X-rays to our prep room and operating theatre to allow us to view the X-rays of patients for reference for difficult abdominal or orthopaedic surgeries. Please ask one of our vets if you would like to see your pet’s X-rays.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound diagnosis is frequently used to help with the diagnosis of internal problems as well as the more usual pregnancy diagnosis.

Electrocardiagrams

Electrocardiagrams (ECG’s) are very helpful in the correct diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, and can help save lives in conjunction with fast treatment. ECG readouts are analysed and saved to patients files for further or future reference.

Endoscopy

Endoscopy allows us to investigate with an internal camera any problems in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, without invasive surgery.

Labaratory Facilities

Labaratory facilities are up to date and give rapid results, which helps with a speedy diagnosis for your pet. In December 2017 we invested in a new biochemistry blood analyzing machine which allows quicker results in house as well as thyroid medication checks in house. Some tests still have to be done by outside laboratories, but are usually emailed to us within 48 hours.

Euthanasia

We are all pet owners ourselves, and are very aware of the pain and suffering that the loss of a much loved pet can cause. We are available to discuss the situation with you; please feel free to come into the surgery even if it’s just for a sympathetic and confidential chat. We use the services of a reputable Pet Crematorium. There are a range of services available, including the return of ashes if you so wish.

Post Operative Care

The following pre-operative instructions apply to nearly all procedures at Old Stone Vets requiring sedation or general anaesthesia. Any special instructions will be discussed with you. Post-operative advice is listed below for neutering. For other procedures advice will be given at discharge.
General instructions prior to admission
Rabbit

Food and Water
The patient must not be fed later than midnight if they are to receive an anaesthetic and / or operation on the following day. Water should be taken up first thing in the morning.

 

Rabbits
Should have food and water left available until admission.

 

Cats
Are best kept in overnight (with a litter tray) to prevent them going out and disappearing or catching themselves some breakfast!

 

Dogs
Should be walked on a lead prior to arriving at the surgery to enable them to relieve their bowel prior to an anaesthetic. Please do not take dogs for a lengthy walk through muddy fields before arriving at the surgery. (We like them to stay as clean and dry as possible).

Admissions
All animals booked in should be brought to the surgery between 8.30am and 9.30am. If this is inconvenient please let us know in advance so we can make alternative arrangements. We are normally happy to admit cats in the evening, before the day of surgery, at no extra cost.

 

Collections
We will contact you when your pet’s operation is over to arrange a time for collection. Please note that payment is expected at the time of collection.

 

Cancellations
Please contact the surgery at the earliest opportunity as we will be expecting your pets admission until informed otherwise.

Standard Discharge Instructions

Cat Castration

Keep your cat somewhere warm overnight until he is fully recovered from the anaesthetic.

 

A light meal may be offered tonight e.g. Hills Feline i/d. Water should be available on arrival home. There is no need to worry if your cat refuses food tonight but his appetite should be back within 24 hours, so feed as normal tomorrow.

 

Take care to keep your cat inside tonight as his reactions will have been slowed down considerably by the drugs administered today. It would be unwise for a cat to go onto roads within 48hrs of an anaesthetic.

 

Wound care
Your cat has not got external stitches so suture removal is not required.

 

A long-acting antibiotic and a painkiller have already been given so there is no medication to be given either.

 

It is possible that a small amount of bloody fluid may ooze from the site of the operation during the first few hours your cat is at home. It would unwise to let him sleep on white sheets, furniture or carpets until this period has passed.

 

If you are at all unhappy about the wound or your cat is licking or worrying at it, please phone the surgery for advice.

 

Please do not apply anything to the wound or give any medication if not instructed to do so.

 

You should not need to have your cat checked again but if you are at all concerned about him, contact us at the surgery. We have a full 24 Hour Emergency Service.

Cat Spay

Keep your cat somewhere warm overnight until she is fully recovered from the anaesthetic.

 

A light meal may be offered tonight e.g. Hills Feline i/d. Water should be available on arrival home. There is no need to worry if your cat refuses food tonight but the appetite will be back within 24 hours, so feed as normal tomorrow.

 

Take care to keep your cat inside tonight as her reactions will have been slowed down considerably by the drugs administered today. It would be unwise for a cat to go onto roads within 48hrs of an anaesthetic.

 

Wound Care

Your cat’s stitches are internal and dissolvable so do not need to be taken out.

 

A long-acting antibiotic and a painkiller will have already been given so there is no further medication necessary.

 

It is possible that a small amount of bloody fluid may ooze from the site of the operation during the first few hours your cat is at home. It would unwise to let her sleep on white sheets, furniture or carpets until this period has passed.

 

It is not unheard of for cats to remove their own sutures – this may be nothing to worry about but please contact us for advice at the earliest opportunity.

 

Care should be taken to check the wound daily for pain, swelling or signs of possible infection. If you are unhappy about the wound or your cat is licking or worrying at it, please phone the surgery for advice.

 

Please do not apply anything to the wound or give any medication if not instructed to do so.

 

You should not need to have your cat checked again but if you are at all concerned about her, contact us at the surgery. We have a full 24 Hour Emergency Service.

Dog Castration

Keep your dog somewhere warm and quiet overnight until he is fully recovered from the anaesthetic. He may be more sleepy than usual for 12-24 hours but should be able to stand and walk when stimulated. If he is unable to stand then you should contact the surgery.

 

A light meal may be offered tonight e.g. Hills Canine i/d. Water should be available on arrival home. There is no need to worry if your dog refuses food tonight but the appetite should be back within 24 hours, so feed as normal tomorrow.

 

Exercise

Your dog’s stitches are internal and dissolvable so will not need to be taken out.

 

For the first 48 hours you should take extra care to ensure that the stitched wound is not strained. For example, your dog should be lifted in and out of cars and up and down stairs.

 

On the first evening he can go out briefly on a lead to relieve himself.

 

Over the next 2 days he can go for short walks on a lead. After we have checked him on day 5 the amount of lead walking can be gradually stepped up but he should stay on a lead at all times until day 10 post-op.

 

Please avoid muddy areas to keep the wound as clean as possible.

 

Wound Care
It is not unusual for a few drops of blood to leak from the wound during the first 24 hours, especially when starting to move around after a period of rest. If this is more than a few drops there is not necessarily a serious problem but please contact us for advice as soon as possible.

 

A long-acting antibiotic and a painkiller have already been given so there is no medication to be given.

 

Care should be taken to check the wound daily for pain, swelling or discharge. If you are unhappy about the wound or your dog is licking or worrying at it, please phone the surgery for advice. It is quite common for the scrotum to become swollen in the days following surgery. The swelling should be non-painful, and not inflamed or hot. This swelling will resolve in 10-14 days.

 

Please do not apply anything to the wound or give any medication if not instructed to do so.

 

If you are at all concerned about your dog contact us at the surgery. We have a full 24 Hour Emergency Service.

Bitch Spay

Keep your dog somewhere warm and quiet overnight until she is fully recovered from the anaesthetic. She may be more sleepy than usual for 12-24 hours but should be able to stand and walk when stimulated. If she is unable to stand then you should contact the surgery.

 

A light meal may be offered tonight e.g. Hills Canine i/d. Water should be available on arrival home. There is no need to worry if your dog refuses food tonight but the appetite should be back within 24 hours, so feed as normal tomorrow.

 

Exercise
Your dog’s stitches are internal and dissolvable so will not need to be taken out.

 

For the first 48 hours you should take extra care to ensure that the stitched wound is not strained. For example, your dog should be lifted in and out of cars and up and down stairs.

 

On the first evening she can go out briefly on a lead to relieve herself.

 

Over the next 2 days she can go for short walks on a lead. After we have checked her on day 5 the amount of lead walking can be gradually stepped up. She can be allowed off the lead at day 10 post-op.

 

Please avoid muddy areas to keep the wound as clean as possible.

 

Wound Care
It is not unusual for a few drops of blood to leak from the wound during the first 24 hours, especially when starting to move around after a period of rest. If this is more than a few drops there is not necessarily a serious problem but please contact us for advice as soon as possible.

 

A long-acting antibiotic and a painkiller have already been given so there is no medication to be given.

 

Care should be taken to check the wound daily for pain, swelling or discharge. If you are unhappy about the wound or your dog is licking or worrying at it, please phone the surgery for advice.

 

Please do not apply anything to the wound or give any medication if not instructed to do so.

 

If you are at all concerned about your dog contact us at the surgery. We have a full 24 Hour Emergency Service.

Rabbit Castrations and Spays

As a rule rabbits tend to recover more slowly than cats and dogs from general anaesthesia and require extra TLC. We sometimes keep rabbits overnight in the hospital as a precaution so don’t be concerned if we ask to do this.

 

If we are happy to discharge your rabbit the same day, keep it somewhere warm overnight until fully recovered from the anaesthetic.

 

Offer food as normal. Your rabbit should be eating within 12 hours or so, if not please phone the surgery for advice.

 

Wound care
We usually use internal dissolvable stitches which do not need to be taken out, however in some cases external sutures may be used. We will let you know if these are present as they will need to be removed 7-10 days post-op.

 

An antibiotic and a painkiller injection have already been given – you may be asked at discharge to administer further antibiotics.

 

Please keep the rabbit in a dry area on newspaper until stitches out. Shavings, sawdust, mud or wet grass can all have adverse effects on the surgical wound.

 

Please do not apply anything to the wound or give any medication if not instructed to do so.

 

It is not unusual for a few drops of blood to leak from the wound during the first 24 hours, especially when starting to move around after a period of rest. If this is more than a few drops there is not necessarily a serious problem but please contact us for advice as soon as possible.

 

In the warmer months of the year attention to fly control is vital – flies will lay eggs in the wound which will develop into maggots. Use fly repellents around the hutch, monitor carefully for flies and clean out the hutch and inspect the wound twice daily. It may be worth keeping the rabbit indoors.

Post Operation

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