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Image result for halloween picturesImage result for firework night pictures of dogs/cats

Many clients have asked for advice on making their dogs and some cats comfortable and safe ahead of the forthcoming firework celebrations.  Sadly this event is not confined to one night but continues over weekends and midweek in somae households, we have put together some proven tips that we hope will help you and your pets survive this stressful time of year.


Signs that you pet is showing stress or fear

(1) Excessive panting, shaking/trembling

(2) Hypersalivation

(3) Seeking a place to hide and digging to avoid the situation

(4) Barking

(5) Urinating/defecating in the house


Ways you can help your pet

(1) If you pet is showing any of the above signs do not shout or scold them for these unwanted behaviours this will only make matters worse and add to their anxiety.

(2) Try not to make a fuss of what is happening outside, turn up the volume of the TV or radio to mask some of the unwanted outside noise but not so loud to annoy any neighbours! and draw any curtains in the house.

(3) Ensure that dogs are walked well in advance of the fireworks commencing (where possible) to allow them to defecate and urinate appropriately and not at home when the fireworks begin. 

(4) Keep cats indoors and lock any cat flaps to prevent cats leaving the house, consider using a feline pheromone product such as Feliway, this contains synthetic feline pheromones which are what cats use to mark their territory to make them feel safe and secure in their enviroment they do this by rubbing up against objects with their faces.  It is thought that lack of these familiar feline pheromones lead to an increase in anxiety.  Feliway is available as a spray or as a plug in diffuser and are available to purchase from the practice.

Brand image for FELIWAYView FELIWAY DIFFUSER + 48MLS REFILL detailsView FELIWAY SPRAY 60ml details


(5) For dogs the synthetic canine appeasing pheromone produced naturally from a bitch at time of whelping provides comfort and reassurance to her puppies and is also proven to be beneficial in adult dogs in coping with unfamiliar and anxious situations.  Adaptil is available as a collar, spray or a plug in diffuser, again all available to purchase from the practice.

Brand image for ADAPTILMain Image for ADAPTIL COLLAR MEDIUM/ LARGE 62.5CMView ADAPTIL SPRAY details



We have had great success with this product in both cats and dogs and is used to help anxious pets by reducing nervousness and anxiety and contains L-Tryptophan an amino acid that assists in the production of serotonin a hormone affecting mood and anxiety.  By increasing these levels a feeling of wellbeing and calmness is seen.

KalmAid Cat Gel 50ml - Dietary Supplement - De-Stress Your Cat

When to use Kalmaid: Short time anxiousness i.e. when in a new environment (moving house, going into kennels/cattery); fears or phobias (fireworks, loud noises); stressful situations (going to the Vets, groomer, travelling); separation anxiety (house soiling, excessive barking, destructive in the house) & long term-behavioural problems (house soiling, wrecking house when alone).


* Works fast within 90 minutes

* Available in a palatable tablet, liquid or gel

* Can safely be used only as required

* A natural product that causes no sedation


For any further advice on any of the above tips and products feel free to call us or call into the practice




Has the veterinary profession changed for the good or bad!!

One can't stop progress but sometimes certain values are lost along the way in the 'name of change', conversely you have to embrace modernization of new treatments and techniques etc. but when the ethos of the profession is being eroded it is quite legitimate to express an opinion.

No I don't want to give the impression of a grumpy old nostalgic git (which I probably am) harping back 'things were better in our day'.  There have been wholesale changes of what is now deemed to be veteterinary practice in the last two decades with species separation i.e. small animal/equine/farm practice/exotics etc. as the scientific knowledge evolved which was inevitable to happenand TV.  In the mid-seventies there was a surge in the popularity of students wanting to become Vets, this coincided with the James Herriot books and TV series, this was to be the detriment of burly Farmer's son's who were the main source persons entering the profession.  These poor lads suffered a double whammy of smarter young lassies taking up their places at Vet school, which is still the situation today needing three straight A level top grades - more than you need for a top Physicists degree!!.  Yes, it has changed the culture of the profession with an emphasis on academia over the practical on those in the profession now.  I like to tell the story of 'what's the difference between a small animal Vet and and an equine Vet at a conference'? the small animal Vet is in the coffee shop drinking a decaffeinated coffee discussing scuba diving, whilst the equine Vet is at the bar having a pint writing down a new sedative dose for a foal on the back of a packet of fags!.  Maybe we are all becoming a sub-species among ourselves.

Then there's another aspect to the gender issue (I am a sexist now).  I read recently some statistics that reveal approx. 75% of graduates are now women who have a full-time employment rate of about eight years before marriage etc. to their male counterparts i.e. 25% graduation with an average working life of twenty one years, before becoming disillusioned with the job and going on to do other things.  This of course has the knock-on effect of a shortage of Vets in practice.  One solution that has been muted is to reverse the gender gap to fifty/fifty on entry to Vet schools, imagine trying to get that through Europe's equal opportunity laws.  Oh I don't think I have done proud on this one, possibly branded myself an anti-European, sexist bigot!! and no I am not a member of UKIP!.

I think it is time to sign off!!. In part 2 next month I will address my thoughts to veterinary education, corporate and vaccination clinics, that's if there isn't a gagging order put on me!..  



We would like to wish all of our clients and their pets a happy and healthy new year.

Ruth and Holly GraduationRUTH & HOLLY'S RCVS GRADUATION
Congratulations to Ruth and Holly having both recently qualified as Registered Veterinary Nurses they attended the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Graduation Ceremony in Belgravia London on the 15th January 2015.

This is a new monthly feature as Digby is now offically a senior citizen he feels he has the right to step outside of his veterinary remit and join the ranks of the 'Victor Meldrew' club.  Here is a man that watches every news channel, current affairs and sports programmes and has an opinion on everything and takes pleasure in putting the world to rights!. Your feedback is most welcome (see our feedback page).

Volume I No.1
What gets rid of the January blues or at least lessons the pain when everything falls due in veterinary practice i.e. registration fees, health & safety certificates and there is always the inevitable tax bill just to get your goat up. The flip side is most of your clients are on a downer having over indulged on Amazon during the festive period. Chin up! the Easter eggs are already on the supermarket shelves.

Why don't they just give us a break!.

You get home after a hard day's graft pour a glass of a good Merlot a Christmas present from one of your client's  with good taste and the phone rings which sends a cold shiver down my spine as I have been awaiting an expected whelping bitch.  I pick up the phone and listen with anticipation only to be greeted with 'you have a PPI rebate to be claimed'

I politely respond where to go venting my anger on privacy laws to an automated machine.  I retreat to my armchair and log file funded by my government winter fuel allowance, monitoring my tachycardia (increased heart rate) back to normal.  Mocking is catching, I do get that awaited call of the whelping bitch a cesarean section  later that night all 5 pups and mother well and for my sins I end up acquiring one of the male pups! who will be named 'Leroy Brown' (google the song by Jim Croce) whom you will meet at a later date not to close to his predecessor's name 'Levi' god rest his soul a legend. See you next month!.