Latest News

23 Jul 2017

Excess weight and obesity

Excess weight and obesity is quickly becoming a leading problem of our pets. This leads to numerous medical problems in later life. Here are some useful comparisons of commonly used treats to reward our pets.

If you have any queries please call our reception and schedule a free weight clinic appointment with a qualified veterinary nurse.

Let’s make sure our pets stay lean and healthy


11 Jun 2017

Rabbit Awareness Week

Rabbits have often been “second class citizens”. We are keen to raise their profile and highlight their welfare needs. In cooperation with RSPCA we are inviting you to our Rabbit Awareness Week 17 – 25 June.

We are offering to all our clients free checks of their pet rabbits from 17 – 25 June. This is particularly significant as many conditions (dental problems, weight problems, maldigesting) can lead to fly strike. In summer Fly Strike is common in Rabbits and can have serious consequences. Have your rabbit checked, make sure they stay happy and healthy throughout summer

Please call our reception and make the appointment

 


24 Apr 2017

The Unspoken Do’s & Dont’s of Dog Walking

The Unspoken Do’s & Dont’s of Dog Walking Etiquette by Luke Wheldon

 

DO greet other dog walkers.

Saying ‘hello’ first when you’re faced with head-on situations can diffuse potential confrontation between new dogs. Having a little chat from a safe distance can give everyone the opportunity to relax their body language and by doing so release any tension between the dogs.

DO give a wide berth of other dogs on the lead. 

They are probably on the lead for good reason, they may not like other dogs or could be recovering from an operation. If you see another dog on the lead and you can’t go around them, try going back where you came from until there’s space to safely pass by. And DO put your dog on the lead if you’re not confident that they will always come back to your recall. 

DO carry treats. 

Treats will usually get your dog’s attention away from trouble. Even better is to put them in something that rattles when shaken and small enough so you can put it in your pocket. 

DON’T yank your dog’s lead.

Briefly letting them sniff other dogs and their scent marks is like reading a newspaper for your pooch and it gives them important mental stimulation. If you need to get their attention, assert yourself and say ‘THIS WAY’ and give them a treat exactly after they move on. 

DON’T use your phone! 

Unless there is a real emergency there are NO exceptions on this one. If your attention is on the phone and not on your dog, they will always take advantage of the situation and jump into mischief! 

DO bag up your dog’s poo.

If I can’t find it then I pick up the nearest one, I call these karma pick-up’s, so I avoid treading in one the next time and when you’ve bagged it DON’T leave it behind or hang it on a tree it’s not a Christmas decoration.

DO have fun and take joy in letting your dog be a dog. 

Getting muddy and rolling around in smelly things is all part of it. Drying them with a towel or giving them a quick bath afterwards only takes a minute. It’s their time too, so why not let them enjoy it?

If you have anything you’d like to add or say about this topic please do leave a comment below and feel free to share it with your friends here on facebook. The next article is coming soon, is there something you would like to know more about? 

www.lukedogwalker.co.uk


29 Mar 2017

Debbie’s Springtime Tips for Felines

:

 

Well as I look out of my window and see the welcome sight of our Magnolia tree bursting with pretty white flowers and catch a glimpse of clumps of cheery Daffodils I know that the promise of spring has finally arrived.

 

As the daylight hours increase and the weather gets warmer just like us, our cats including my anxious little feline will hopefully want to venture outside and potter about more so I am going to give you all some pointers on making your outside spaces “cat friendly” ready for the spring and summer.

 

Cats feel more vulnerable in open spaces like patios, courtyards and lawns and this can be troublesome for them if there are a few neighbourhood cats in the area that will roam and cross into the resident cats outside territory. This can cause emotional upheaval for our resident cats as they will feel intimidated by even just the very sight of a strange cat and territorial altercations can take place, especially in the spring and summer when more cats will spend more time outdoors. Our older felines often feel less confident outside especially if more younger and confident cats are in the immediate vicinity.

 

To try and alleviate any feline stress outside, try placing an item of garden furniture or a large BBQ near to the exit of your cat flap to allow your cat  to retreat behind it thus allowing more privacy to survey the area ahead. A row of pot plants can create a private corridor leading from the cat flap to the outside. High vantage points in the garden will help our cats to feel in more control and safer higher up. Densely stocked flowerbeds with shrubs and bushes of differing heights will allow our cats a more private hidey hole to survey from. Providing a private latrine sight somewhere in the garden will help as cats feel more vulnerable whilst eliminating and hate being overlooked. Provide a secluded sun spot and shady areas as these will all be appreciated too. These cat friendly pointers will be really welcomed by our feline members of the family.

 

A list of cat friendly plants is available at the ISFM website.

 

As neighbourhood cats can pose a threat and emotional stress to the resident cat, consider installing a cat flap that only recognises your own cat’s microchip as this deters any strange cat from entering the sanctity of the resident cat’s “core territory” which is the inside of the home, as this is associated with warmth, comfort and security. The one I recommend is the Sure Flap cat flap as it was easy to install fitted my old Staywell hole and runs off normal AA batteries that last up to 8 months if not longer. The Sure Flap model can be programmed to read up to 32 microchips. The company also does a microchip sure feeder which can really help in a multi cat household especially if one cat is on a diet or fed a veterinary prescribed prescription food. Often marauding neighbourhood cats will try their luck with entering the sanctity of the resident cat’s home for a food reward so a sure feeder should deter this too.

 

I have secured a really good price for our clients to purchase a Sure Flap cat flap even taking into account their online prices so please enquire at Reception in our surgeries or by phone. The customer service team at Sure flap are very helpful and knowledgeable to assist you with any query that you might have. Take a look at the Sure Flap website at sureflap.com

 

As your cat ventures outside more in the spring and summer it is important to adhere to a strict flea and worm regime each month, as these parasites can be caught through prey and other sources. There is a product available through our veterinary surgeries called “Broadline” which I use on my cats as it treats fleas and ticks but also deals with Tapeworm and Roundworm. It is a monthly spot on treatment which avoids the stress of administering worm tablets. We also offer Advocate spot on for fleas and worms but a Droncit spot on will also be needed every 3 months to cover Tapeworm and Advocate does not treat ticks. There is Bravecto a three monthly spot on that treats fleas and ticks and a Milbemax tablet wormer would be needed to cover the worming side. Our Pet Health Club offers you discounts on flea and worm products so please ask or ring our Reception staff for more details or have a look on our website.

 

Finally, as the weather gets brighter and warmer you may have more visitors over to enjoy time spent outside and will want your doors and windows open which may make outside noise like DIY and any neighbouring building works more acute and stressful for our cats. So I would recommend plugging a Feliway diffuser into your kitchen, utility room or lounge area as these rooms tend to lead into the garden and the diffuser will omit a reassuring pheromone to help calm a worried or anxious cat. There is also a new diffuser for multi-cat households called Felifriends. We can offer a discount on any of the Feliway range and the Adaptil range for Dogs at our Camberley and Frimley Green surgeries from the 1st of April to the end of the year to cover the holiday season, cattery and kennel visits, fireworks, Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations. We hope that this discount helps our clients.

 

Once spring arrives our minds tend to turn towards holiday planning and taking trips away, this may mean that your cat will go into a Cattery so the Royal Canin dry food called Calm can be a useful tool to use short term as it helps to support your cat through times of stress. From pril through to October we are offering a discount on this food for both cats and dogs so please ask our Reception staff at either of our two surgeries for more details.

 

If you are using a Cattery for the first time you may find my information sheet useful please look at our website for more details or e/mail me at Debbie@blackwatervalleyvets if you would like a copy sent to you.

 

I hope that my pointers will help and may I wish you all a very warm, enjoyable and happy springtime and that it is a feline stress free time.

 

Enjoy, best wishes, Debbie.

 

Debbie Turner

Feline Behaviour Advisor for Blackwater Valley Vets

 

 

Gordon House Vet Centre

216 Gordon Avenue

Camberley
Surrey

GU15 2NT

 

01276 22193

 

Elm Cottage Vet Centre

230 Frimley Green Road

Frimley Green

Surrey

GU16 6LL

 

01252 837154

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


21 Mar 2017

Spring tips for pet owners

Spring is upon us and it brings opportunities for lovely longer walks and spending more time outdoors. Every season of the year presents potential risks to the dog, and spring is no exception.
Enjoy the warmer weather and all of the joys of spring, but be on the lookout for potential problems and hazards, in order to keep your dog safe.
 
Easter eggs
Easter time is fast approaching, and for most of us, that means one thing: Chocolate! While you might well be looking forwards to involving your dog in your celebrations and Easter egg hunts, it is vital to remember that chocolate is toxic to dogs, and can lead to severe poisoning and even potentially death. You should never give your dog chocolate or let them pick up scraps of chocolate, for their own good.
Keep some dog-safe treats to hand, to reward your dog with while you are enjoying your chocolate egg.
Ticks and Fleas
The warmer weather means that areas of the country that are prone to having ticks will begin to proliferate with these unpleasant parasitic bugs, which can attach themselves to your dog’s skin in order to feed. Ticks can cause localised infections and irritations, as well as potentially spread Lyme disease, so check your dog over for ticks regularly and earn about how to remove them.
While fleas tend to die off somewhat during the winter months, as the weather gets warmer, they will come back with a vengeance! Hopefully you have been treating your dog for fleas on a monthly basis throughout the winter months, but if your flea treatment regime has lapsed somewhat, it is time to get back into the swing of things now to prevent flea infestation on your dog or in your home.
Seasonal plant toxins
Certain plants, flowers and other flora can prove toxic to your dog if ingested, so if you are planning on doing some spring gardening and planting out some new flowers, check that anything you plan to introduce is safe for your dog.
Poisoning from plants and flowers can prove potentially serious to your dog, and can make them quite ill, as well as in some cases, unfortunately proving fatal.
Some of the most common springtime plants that can be toxic to dogs include:
• Tulips
• Hyacinth
• Daffodils
• Lilies
• Crocus
• Clematis
• Foxglove
While you do not necessarily need to avoid planting these flowers entirely, do bear in mind the potential risks they can pose to your dog, and locate them carefully to avoid ingestion.
 
Don’t throw sticks for your dog
Playing with your dog may well involve energetic games of catch and retrieve, but choose the toys you use for your dog carefully. Invest in good quality, sturdy, dog-safe toys such as hard rubber balls or other toys that you can throw for your dog, rather than allowing them to pick up sticks when out on their walks.
Throwing sticks for your dog can be dangerous on many levels, from potential injuries to the mouth from splinters, to ingestion of shards of wood that can puncture your dog’s internal organs. Also, sharp stick may potentially harm your dog, not to mention possibly clouting them over the head if your aim is poor!
Be careful of cold water
When the air temperature is warm, it can be tempting to take your dog swimming in the sea, or in a nearby pond or stream. Remember, however, that the temperature of the water will be much lower than the temperature of the air, and below the surface level of any body of water, the temperature is likely to remain very low for some months to come.
Do not encourage your dog to dive into cool water to play; they may find that the temperature is low enough to shock their system and cause them to freeze up, putting them at risk of drowning and in danger of being unable to get back out of the water.
 
 
Please also take time to read these tips for cat owners published by Vets Now:
 
What are the biggest hazards for cats over springtime?
 
Springtime normally brings an increased number of cases to our out-of-hours clinics. Lighter nights and a rise in pets going out and about mean they are more likely to encounter potential hazards. For example, our emergency vets tend to see more cat fights, dog bites, allergic reactions and cases of heat stroke.
 
We’ve drawn up a list of some of the main hazards to look out for.
 
If you’re worried your cat is sick or injured as a result of any of these, please contact your vet as soon as possible, or find your nearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic or Vets Now 24/7 hospital.
1. Plants and flowers
 
Cats love spending time in the garden. Make sure your garden is safe for your cat and be careful if you need to use any slug and snail pellets, pesticides or other chemicals. Avoid using cocoa shell mulch as well, as it contains the same toxic ingredient as chocolate.
 
Watch out, too, for poisonous plants. Toxic species common at this time of year include lilies, daffodils and azaleas. If you notice any signs of poisoning such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, appearing ‘drunk’ or even collapsing, contact your vet immediately.
2. Slug and snail pellets (metaldehyde)
 
The toxic compound in slug and snail pellets is called metaldehyde. Bear in mind that not all products contain this. However, eating small amounts can cause significant poisoning. Signs will be seen within an hour of ingestion and include incoordination, muscle spasms, twitching, tremors and seizures. Your cat will need urgent veterinary treatment if affected.
Image of Easter egg for Vets Now article on springtime dangers to cats
3. Easter eggs
 
Chocolate poisoning is a big source of pet emergencies so make sure you keep Easter eggs and any other chocolate products out of reach of your car. Be aware which other human foods are dangerous to cats, and make sure any house guests know the rules too.
 
If you are having a springtime barbeque, make sure your cat is kept at a safe distance. Kebab skewers, alcohol and bones can be particularly dangerous.
Handpicked related content:
 
Eight everyday foods curious cats should never eat Go
 
4. Allergies
 
Just like people, cats and dogs can develop allergies to plants, pollens, grasses, and many other substances in springtime. Allergies in pets normally appear as itchy skin and ear problems, accompanied by hair loss or inflamed skin. Some pets will even change their behaviour due to irritation. Some will suffer respiratory signs or runny eyes.
5. Grass blades
 
This is another surprisingly big cause of pet emergencies. Cats who have a penchant for eating grass run the risk of getting the blades stuck in their nose and throat. This can cause breathing problems, sneezing and nasal discharge.
Image of wasp for Vets Now article on springtime dangers to cats
6. Insect stings
 
Cats often like to chase and play with wasps and bees and can be stung. Most of these cases are not emergencies. With a bee sting, check and remove the sting if it’s still in place, then bathe the area in bicarbonate of soda (one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to 300ml warm water). With wasp stings bathe the area with malt vinegar or lemon juice.
 
If your cat is stung in or near the mouth or neck then you may need to seek veterinary help. Cats, like humans, can be allergic or become allergic to stings. Signs include swellings, distress and breathing difficulties.
 
Make sure your cat is up-to-date with his vaccinations, flea and tick medications as this is the time of year fleas and ticks start to increase in number.
Suggested Tweet
 
Check out this handy blog post from @VetsNowUK to learn about the 8 most common dangers for #cats this #spring https://goo.gl/MmdMdP
Tweet
7. Neutering
 
Springtime is when female un-neutered cats will start coming into season, so it’s essential to get them speyed now if you do not want three to four litters of kittens this year.
Handpicked related content:
 
What to do if your pet has been poisoned Go
 
8. Adders
 
Adders are most likely to bite in spring when they’ve just come out of hibernation. This is because they’re not alert enough to scuttle away at speed. Their venom is highly dangerous to cats. If you suspect your cat has been bitten by an adder seek urgent veterinary treatment.
9. Permethrin (insecticides)
 
Permethrin is an insecticide commonly found in many over-the-counter ‘spot-on’ flea treatments for dogs. It is very toxic to cats and at Vets Now we see cases of permethrin poisoning every month. Most cats are poisoned when their owners mistakenly use a dog product on them.
 
However, cats can also show mild signs of poisoning after close contact with a recently treated dog. Signs of insecticide poisoning include drooling, tremors, twitching and seizures the onset of those symptoms is usually rapid. You should contact your vet immediately if you think your cat has been poisoned by insecticides. Cats that receive immediate treatment and survive usually suffer no long-term effects.

22 Nov 2016

December is our Dental Awareness Month

December is our Dental Awareness Month.
It is estimated that over 75% of dogs and cats over the age of 5 suffer with dental and periodontal problems. This makes it the most common health problem of our pets! However, it is often overlooked and poorly understood.
In December  we are offering FREE dental checks by our qualified nurses. We are also offering 20% off dental procedures.
Common signs of dental problems in dogs and cats are:
• Smelly breath
• Inflamed/red gums
• Rubbing or pawing at the mouth
• Salivating
• Pain when mouth is touched
• Reluctance to play with toys

Please don’t let your pets suffer quietly have them checked by our qualified nurses if you suspect it


7 Nov 2016

HELPING OUR PETS THROUGH THE FIREWORK SEASON

HELPING OUR PETS THROUGH THE FIREWORK SEASON:

Well the firework season is fast approaching so at Blackwater Valley Vets we hope that the following pointers will hopefully help our client’s pets have a less stressful time.

Loud bangs and bright lights can really frighten and confuse our pets which puts them under a great deal of emotional stress and a lack of control. Inappropriate or out of character behaviours can be exhibited by cats, dogs and even our small furries especially bunnies.

Unfortunately the firework season often starts at Halloween and goes right through until New Year’s Eve so anything we can do to alleviate the impact of these stressful events can help as stress increases activity in the central nervous system and the release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol.

Our Feline Friends: Cats have coping strategies like fleeing or freezing so providing easily accessible bolt holes and hiding places can help them feel in more control.

These places can be areas under the bed, under the sofa, open cupboards or tops of wardrobes. Supermarket cardboard boxes make private hidey holes and resting places. Keeping your cat in when it starts to get dark and providing a litter tray placed in a quiet and private part of the house will help and our cats will feel safer inn their core” territory indoors. Try not to over compensate with giving your cat extra attention as this can make the situation worse over time, just try to ignore them and let them hide.

Placing a further feeding station and a second litter tray upstairs may be a handy addition if your cat flees under the bed. An upstairs landing has worked for me in the past. Pulling curtains across or pulling down blinds blocks the sight of bright lights and leaving a radio on or the TV can help muffle loud noises going on outside.

Our Canine Friends: Dogs are more vocal and more obvious with their body language than our feline friends which can be upsetting to us owners. Keeping to your pets usual routine will give them predictability, keeping the TV or Radio on as a background noise could help drown out some of the noise associated with firework displays.

Again block the view from bright lights by closing the curtains or pulling down blinds. Try not to give your dog extra attention although I appreciate this is not easy when your dog is shaking or trying to climb the walls! Taking your dog out for an earlier walk before dark and before any fireworks are set off is a good idea or even feeding earlier in the evening to encourage toileting afterwards.

** Please make sure your pet Dogs and Cats are microchipped, as this can be invaluable should your pet freak out, run off or escape.

Our Bunnies:

If your pet rabbit is outside in a hutch, place some towels or a blanket over most of the hutch to block out bright lights. Provide plenty of hay in the bedding area so that your Bunny can burrow.

Supplements which may help:

Adaptil for Dogs and Feliway for Cats are handy to help with emotional stress or anxiety. These omit appeasing pheromones which come in a diffuser plug in which lasts a month with refills available and also as a spray version. For puppies and adult dogs there is the Adaptil Collar which can be adjusted to fit and worn in conjunction with your own dog’s collar.

The Royal Canin Calm Food which is a dry diet for both cats and dogs contains a combination of Alpha Casozepine a milk peptide known for its calming effects and L-tryptophan an amino acid that regulates mood as it is a precursor for serotonin.

Serotonin plays an essential role in the regulation of mood, anxiety, sleep and appetite so thus has the properties of a natural anti-depressant without the side effects. The Calm diet is highly digestible, palatable and has added nutrients to support the skin, urinary tract and digestion. It comes in 2kg or 4kg bags and ideally needs to be fed a week or two before the proposed stressful event. The diet can be fed short or long term if needed unless your pet is on a special veterinary prescription diet or is an older pet.

Calmex for Dogs and Cats: This is another complimentary option to consider, it comes in a liquid form for cats and as a capsule for dogs. Calmex also contains L-tryptophan the precursor for Serotonin, a plant extract Piper Methysticum that helps with anxiety and B vitamins that support the nervous system. Calmex only needs to be given a day or so before the stressful event.

Finally there is Zylkene which can be given to cats and dogs which comes in a capsule form that you open and then sprinkle the powder contents onto the pet’s food. Zylkene is a milk peptide powder and mimics mum’s milk. In studies on puppies and kittens they found that they were at their most relaxed and content when sucking from their mothers. Ideally Zylkene needs to be given a week to ten days before the stressful event.

OUR DISCOUNTS:

Until the end of December 2016 we are offering a 15% discount on all of the supplements mentioned at both our Gordon House Veterinary Surgery and our Elm Cottage Veterinary Surgery. We really hope this helps our clients and helps our beloved pets cope a bit better during stressful events. Our pets are part of the family after all.

A Handy Website;

You may want to visit Sound Therapy 4 Pets which allows you to download a therapy pack for Dogs which may help with de sensitising them before the Fireworks start.


21 Sep 2016

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service

 

The Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) is the only specialist animal poisons helpline in the UK. They  have been supporting vets in treating poisoned animals since 1992.

VPIS handle enquiries on all poisonings in all animals, including drugs, household products, plants, agro-chemicals and venomous bites and stings.

VPIS are delighted to announce that they are now offering services to the general public. They will be able to tell owners if their pet is at risk and if they need to go to the vet for treatment.

Calls cost £30 per enquiry and this includes any follow up calls from both owners and vets throughout the duration of the case. VIPS are open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday currently and hope to extend these hours very soon so keep an eye on their  website!

If you think your pet has been poisoned, please call them on

+44 (0)2073 055 055


20 Aug 2016

Client Tips for Taking Your Cat to the Vets

I often look around our waiting rooms to see how our feline friends cope in what is often a busy and noisy environment. I have two cats myself, both of which are anxious personality types so hopefully my feline tips will help our lovely and valued clients make their cat’s vet visits less stressful.

Bear in mind that familiar territory is extremely important to our cats so when we take them away from this we inadvertently take away their control and the cat carrier and car journey becomes a frightening issue for them.  Cats have three coping strategies which is to flee, freeze or as a last resort fight. A cat’s wild ancestry remains in our domestic cats.

Firstly we need to consider  the cat carrier and to get your cat used to this you could try leaving it with the door open in the main room of your home for a week for your cat to explore, line it with soft fleeces and place a few cat treats in there to encourage curiosity and pleasant associations. Hopefully when the time has come for the Vet visit, your cat will be less fearful of going in the carrier. Top opening ones like the Catit design “Cabrio” carrier works well as it is easy for owners to get their cat in and out of it and the Vet can examine your cat whilst it is in the carrier. The Cabrio carrier is widely available online.

With regards to the car journey this can be made less stressful if you spray Feliway in the car about 15 minutes before you travel, leave the windows closed in the car for maximum effect. I myself have tested this option and it did make my cat calmer and less vocal whilst travelling. On the journey keep your car radio on as a background noise, Classic FM or in studies Radio 4 works well. Talking in a gentle and soft tone will comfort your cat as your voice will be familiar to him. Keep the carrier securely on the passenger seat or in the foot well if space allows. Cover the cat carrier with a big towel or fleece and spray this with Feliway for added reassurance for your cat. This covered den will help your cat cope better in a waiting room that has dogs waiting as the cover will block the view.

At our Frimley Green surgery we have a tiered cat stand that allows owners to put their cat carrier on as cats feel safer higher up and means they are not nose to nose with a dog. Unfortunately, space at our Camberley surgery is limited and it has been logistically impossible to place one of these stands in the waiting room. I will keep looking for a smaller version though to help our feline friends.

After the actual Veterinary consultation, you are more than welcome to elevate your cat’s carrier up onto the Reception desk whilst you settle the bill as again it is a higher surface.

We have a lovely Vet called Audra who specialises and understands our feline friends very well, she is calm and gentle around them and even the grumpiest cat seems to behave in her presence. Audra works on Thursdays mornings at our Camberley surgery and then the afternoon and evening at our Frimley Green surgery. She has quite a following!

I hope these tips help you “think cat” and that your next visit to the Vets is less stressful for both you and your cat.

Best wishes, Debbie.


6 Aug 2016

New Rabbit Disease and Vaccine

Viral haemorrhagic disease – Two strains (RHD1 and RHD

This disease was first noticed in China many years ago but now has an almost world-wide distribution and is seen more and more in the UK. Viral haemorrhagic disease is caused by a virus and, although the incubation period is up to three days, animals may die suddenly without any clinical signs. If there are signs they include anorexia (not eating), fever, apathy and exhaustion. There may be convulsions and coma, difficulty breathing, a mucoid foaming at the mouth or a bloody nasal discharge. Some animals survive this acute phase but die a few weeks later of liver disease and jaundice.

Given the horrendous death experienced by affected rabbits, every rabbit should be vaccinated annually.

In the UK several vaccines are available that contain inactivated haemorrhagic disease virus (VHD). Rabbits should be vaccinated at 2½-3 months of age. Annual boosters are recommended.

 

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) is one of the worst viruses out there.  It has evolved to survive outside of a host for over 200 days and can live on pretty much any surface at all, this includes shoes, clothes, hay, the feet of wild rodents and birds, grass, dandelion leaves etc.  This means that while direct contact between infected rabbit and uninfected rabbit is the best means for the virus to pass to a new host, it is by far the least common cause of an outbreak in domestic rabbits.  This means that keeping your rabbits indoors just reduces the probability but does NOT become a magical barrier to prevent infection.

 

Two VHD strains

VHD has two strains, RHD1 and RHD2. RHD1 has long been established in the UK, kills quickly and has a 100 per cent mortality rate, whereas RHD2 is an emerging strain that kills slowly, has a mortality rate between 20 and 50 per cent and also kills baby rabbits.

So what is RHD2? The VHD virus appears to have mutated into a strain which kills the host more slowly, meaning the virus is present in a single rabbit for a longer period of time increasing the rate of infection between animals.  While it does appear to a have a lower mortality rate than RHD1 it is no less dangerous and needs to be vaccinated against.  The vaccine for RHD2 has also been particularly troublesome and we have to show a great debt of thanks to The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund who have been instrumental in getting this vaccine available the UK.  This has only really happened within the last couple of months.

To make matters worse, many vets are not aware of this new strain of RHD.  We have been aware of concerned rabbit owners,  contacting vets about RHD2, only to be told that they have been covered for the disease with the standard Myxo-RHD vaccine.  THIS IS NOT CORRECT.  This vaccine only covers RDH1 and DOES NOT protect against RHD2.  Rabbits which were up to date with their Nobiva Myxo-RHD vaccine have been confirmed to die from RHD2 under pathology.

 

RHD2 vaccine is not readily available and requires a special import permit. We have applied for this and have the first lot of vaccines in. We would advise concerned rabbit owners to contact us regarding vaccinating their rabbits.

 


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I was very happy with the care my cats received…the vet gave me a great deal of time and treated my girls like his own. I also received a lot of help from the head nurse who gave me a diet plan to follow which has helped them lose weight. They are now a lot healthier and much more active.

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