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Pet Advice

Top tips on looking after your pet

  • Canine Blood Donors
  • Cat Soiling
  • Coping with Death
  • Pet Travel to the EU from 2021
  • Rabbit Advice

Canine Blood Donors

Unlike in human hospitals we are not permitted by law to collect and store blood supplies for animal use. Severe sudden blood loss can be life threatening and a blood transfusion could be the only way to save a dog’s life.

We are therefore dependent on the help of willing volunteers who can come in at short notice and allow us to collect blood from their dog for transfusion.

There are a few criteria your dog must meet before becoming a blood donor:

  • It must be over 25kg (55lb) in weight
  • It must be fully vaccinated
  • It must be fit and healthy
  • It should be between 1 and 6 years old

If your dog meets these criteria and you would be willing for your pet to provide a lifeline for a fellow dog in need, please let us know.

Cat Soiling

Is your cat urinating or defaecating in the house?

Feline inappropriate elimination is one of the most common behavioural complaints of cat owners and can involve either urine or faeces.

Cats can do this for a number of behavioural reasons but it is important that they have a thorough health check to rule out any common medical causes- for example cystitis (see separate advice on feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD)), or arthritis.

Simple solutions:

Some cats as they get older find it difficult to negotiate a cat flap (or it is simply too cold!). The problem of house soiling may therefore be solved by the provision of  one or more litter trays in easily accessible locations. One litter tray should be provided for each cat in the household, plus an extra one, and should be cleaned daily.

If a litter tray is already provided, your cat may object to a change in substrate, or it may be sited in a busy thoroughfare (eg next to a catflap). Moving the tray to somewhere more private or using a covered tray may be helpful.

If your cat is returning to the same site to urinate or defaecate then preventing access to that area is a good short term solution, but it may mean that that his or her attentions turn elsewhere! Thorough cleaning of the soiled area is important- many cleaners will simply mask the odour rather than get rid of it.

A good homemade cleaning protocol is to spray the area with a 1 in 10 solution of biological washing detergent (test an area first to ensure it does not remove colour from the carpet), leave to soak, blot dry then rinse with clean water. Finally spray with surgical spirit. This ensures that the lipid and protein elements of the urine and faeces are removed, which constitutes the odour.

Stress!! Sudden onset of house soiling can be triggered by stress. Having building work carried out, introduction of a new cat or dog,  a new baby, bullying by neighbourhood cats or busy Christmas family gatherings are common causes of stress to cats.

Consider installing a microchip reader cat flap which allows only your cat access to your house, and prevents bully cats from entering. These are more expensive than conventional flaps but are a worthwhile investment.

Feliway pheromone either sprayed directly onto the soiled area or in the form of a plug in diffuser can help to relieve stress. Nutraceutical products such as Zylkene and Nutracys+ both help to relieve stress and are available at reception. Waltham Royal Canin Calm diet is a food with a product similar to Zylkene added to it. They can all be used long term, or can be used at times of stress if preferred.

If these steps are followed and the problem is unresolved, then your vet may prescribe medication to reduce stress or anxiety. It is worth noting that most behaviour modifying medications are not licensed for cats and their effects can be variable.

Please arrange an appointment to discuss any concerns; one of our vets will be happy to help.

Coping with Death

Coping with the death of a pet in any circumstances is very difficult for all concerned and we will always do our utmost at Wendover Heights to help and support you as much as we can.

The most difficult decision that any pet owner has to make is the decision to put a pet to sleep.  We are not complacent in any way about the feelings of the individuals and families concerned and we fully respect that the process will be an incredibly difficult time and that everyone deals with it in different ways.

Your vet is the most qualified person to assist you with an informed decision and it is not a decision that they themselves will come to lightly. They will consider all aspects of the circumstances involved and ascertain the quality of life that your animal is experiencing. You yourself know your pet better than anyone else and will probably know when the time has come to let your pet go, but your vet will be there to provide advice when you require it.

The link below provides some information which you may find helpful if you are trying to deal with the loss of a pet.

Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support

We also have available at the Practice a book, ‘Missing My Pet’, which could prove helpful with the difficult task of helping support children trying to come to terms with the death of a pet.

Written by 6-year-old Alex Lambert whose much loved dog, Star, has died, it gives a child’s perspective on the time surrounding Star’s death.  It also includes a section written by Alex’s mum, containing practical help and advice aimed at parents.

Pet Travel to the EU from 2021

From 1 January 2021, travel requirements when travelling with your pet from the UK to EU countries will change. EU Pet Passports will no longer be valid and your pet will need an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) in order to travel (anyone arriving with a pet in an EU country after 23.00 hours on 31 December 2020 will need the new Certificate). 

An AHC is valid for:

  • 10 days after the date of issue for entry into the EU
  • A single trip for entry into the EU
  • Onward travel within the EU for 4 months after the date of issue
  • Re-entry to the UK for 4 months after the date of issue

These rules apply for travel with up to 5 pets. You cannot take more than 5 pets to an EU country unless you are attending or training for a competition, show, or a sporting event.

The Gov. website recommends you allow plenty of time to complete the process prior to travel and suggests you start arranging things at least 4 months before travelling. It is the responsibility of those travelling to ensure that they have the correct documentation in place prior to travel.  More information can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-from-1-january-2021

Rabbit Advice

Find info about common diseases, nutrition, housing and handling, neutering and vaccinations by clicking below:

Go to rabbit advice