Emergency 01522 683300
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Emergency 01522 683300
Out of hours 01522 683300
Park View Veterinary Hospital 01522 683300
Witham St Hughs Branch Surgery 01522 869 581

Spring Newsletter 2020

As you read this Spring edition we will be looking forward to longer days and more activities with our pets, whether its walking the dog after work or thinking about putting rabbits and guinea pigs in their outside hutches. We may even be looking at new chicken houses or moving existing ones. Remember though that evenings can still be very cold and that all outside pets must have adequate heating and hutch covers – Also water bowls may freeze overnight and make sure food is fresh and bedding dry.

If it’s exercise with your pet you are looking for – do ask for our handout on exercises you can do together! We are lucky we live in a county with access to lots of countryside on our doorstep. Enjoy reading about our forthcoming First Aid Evening, we are excited to be hosting this for the very first time.

Also in this edition, read about how our RVNs and Vets volunteer with StreetVet, our charity of the year, check out the latest advice about our pets’ pesky friends, worms and ticks and avoid those sticks!

Joanne Patrick BVSc Cert SAO MRCVS Clinical Director

  • Our Charity of the Year
  • Be Worm Aware!
  • Stick to Balls
  • Pet Poisons
  • Spring Tick Alert!

Our Charity of the Year

Each year Park View chooses a charity to support and raise funds for – during 2019 to 2020 this has been StreetVet - who help care for the pets of homeless folk with practical help, services and advice.

Our nurses have taken the opportunity to volunteer their free time to help with our local unit – here in Lincoln. Pictured is RVN Kath who tells us why she does it, ‘It’s just a great sense of helping people, and their pets, who may have nowhere else to turn to. From providing warm coats like in this picture to providing medication for all sorts of ailments that harsh outside living can bring, from skin conditions to sore feet.’ You can see more about StreetVet at www.streetvet.co.uk – our fundraising this year totals £500 and you can donate at either of our receptions. Our charity of the year E

Be Worm Aware!

Many people believe that if their pet had worms they would know. We might expect them to be a bit poorly and lose weight, or maybe have diarrhoea, dry coats, pot bellies or itchy bottoms. But most adult animals can be carrying worms with very few or no symptoms at all!

So what are the major types of worms that we need to be aware of?

Roundworms: are most commonly found in young animals but can infect adults as well. Many pups and kittens are born infected with roundworms because they cross the placenta and are also in the milk. Roundworms look like long strings of spaghetti but are usually only seen if there is a heavy burden or you give your pet a dewormer. Adult roundworms shed eggs which are passed out in your pets faeces and infect the environment. The eggs become infective within a few weeks and pets can become re-infected by unwittingly eating the eggs, often whilst grooming. Additionally the eggs can pose a risk to humans if accidentally ingested.

Tapeworms: live in the intestines and shed small mobile segments that pass out in the faeces and are often found around the tail areas of cats. As the segments break down, they release eggs into the environment. These eggs may be eaten by intermediate hosts – these include fleas and small rodents such as mice and voles. As a result, tapeworms can be acquired via food (cats eating small rodents) or via swallowing an infected flea during grooming. Pets with tapeworms may not show any obvious clinical signs, meaning that they can be carried silently. Some animals will show failure to thrive, malaise and diarrhoea.

Lungworm: As well as being a menace to your garden, slugs and snails can carry lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum). Dogs are infected by eating slugs or snails carrying lungworm larvae, or even just eating grass that has slug or snail slime on it. Lungworm are swallowed as tiny larvae which migrate to the right side of the heart, where they develop into adult worms. Here they produce eggs which hatch out into larvae, which migrate to the lungs causing coughing. The larvae are then coughed up, swallowed and passed out in the faeces. Signs can range from none, to a soft cough, to life threatening bleeding disorders.

Regular prescription worming and flea treatments for your pet, picking up dog faeces, good hand hygiene, plus attempting to prevent your dogs eating slugs and snails, will all help to keep you and your pet safe. How often you should protect your pet depends on their lifestyle and habits – so come and have a chat and we can hopefully make sure they have a worm-free life!

Stick to Balls

We strongly suggest you avoid throwing sticks for your dog to chase. Sticks are innocuous looking things, but with the right speed and trajectory, they can become a weapon. Not only a weapon, but a breakable weapon that can leave foreign material behind in a wound some distance from the original problem. These are what are sometimes termed ‘tip of the iceberg’ type injuries and can cause massive damage and distress to all.

Pet Poisons

Easter alert! With Easter soon upon us, chocolate and other tasty treats like simnel cakes and hot cross buns will start to appear in houses, so please be aware of the risks these pose. Chocolate contains the chemical theobromine and cakes can have raisins and currants in them. As with all poisonings, contact us at once if you are concerned.

Lily Alert! With Mothering Sunday on the horizon, be aware of lilies in flower bouquets. All components of the plants are toxic to cats and there can be a delay between cats ingesting/licking lilies and the kidney problems that follow.

Spring Tick Alert!

The warmer spring weather brings with it a host of parasites. Whilst fleas can be very irritating (and a serious cause of skin disease), ticks pose a greater danger to both humans and animals – since they can carry a number of serious infectious diseases.

So what are ticks?

Ticks are tiny spider like creatures that live in woods and long grass. Ticks are most active through March to October but they can be about on milder winter days too. Ticks have four stages to their life-cycle: egg, larva, nymph and adult. Each life-cycle will take a blood meal. When they are looking for their next meal the tick will climb up on vegetation and wait for a passing animal or human to catch with their hooked front legs. The tick then will burrow down to find a suitable place to bite.

The main issue with ticks is that they can carry diseases in their saliva which they can potentially transmit to pets. These include:

  • Lyme disease is the most common tick borne disease. It can affect dogs and humans, and is carried by a small percentage of Ixodes ticks. Affected pets often have lameness that involves multiple joints, fever, lack of appetite and lethargy.
  • Babesiosis is a tick-borne disease that can affect dogs (but not humans) travelling to and from mainland Europe. It is caused by a tiny blood borne parasite (Babesia canis) which destroys red blood cells, leading to anaemia and also dark red urine.
  • Erlichiosis is another common tick-borne disease in mainland Europe and can cause fatal anaemia. If you take your pet to continental Europe it is essential to protect them against ticks.

How do I protect my pet?

We recommend checking your pet every day (especially after walks) to remove ticks before they can attach and feed. If they have attached, then we suggest immediate removal with a special tick removal tool as current evidence suggests that tick-borne diseases take many hours after tick attachment to be transmitted. We are always happy to assist you with tick removal and to discuss future tick prevention.

Additionally – using a product that rapidly kills or repels ticks will help to reduce the risk of these diseases. Please contact us to discuss the various options available to protect your pet from tick-borne diseases. Spring tick alert! Parting the coat reveals an Ixodes tick. These are widespread across the UK and Ireland and may be infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the organism that causes Lyme disease in dogs and humans. Check your pets for ticks!

Dermacentor ticks can potentially carry Babesia organisms, the cause of Babesiosis in dogs. These ticks are found in mainland Europe and parts of the UK and Ireland. Tick removal tips Specially designed v-shaped tick removers that remove ticks by rotation are very effective at removing ticks using a simple twisting and pulling action.