We’ve sourced the following links and website references to give you the most useful and accessible information on caring for your pet.
Alabama Rot (CRGV)
Alabama Rot is a disease first identified in the USA in the 1980s. It affects dogs only and can be fatal. The disease damages blood vessels of the skin and kidneys, and is first evident through inexplicable redness, sores or open lesions appearing most commonly on paws or legs. However, lesions may also appear on the face, mouth, tongue and lower body. Kidney failure may follow.
The cause of the disease remains unknown. The majority of dogs treated for Alabama Rot in the UK have been walked in muddy and/or woodland areas, and most cases have been reported between November and May which suggests it is a Winter/ Spring condition.
Whilst there are no definite preventative measures, owners may wish to wash their dog’s paws or any areas that have come into contact with mud or wet on a dog walk. Skin should be checked daily for unusual outbreaks synonymous with Alabama Rot, and if an owner suspects the disease, immediate veterinary attention should be sought.
It should be noted that whilst Alabama Rot is very serious, most skin conditions will not be reflective of Alabama Rot. It should also be noted that there have been relatively low identified UK incidences of canines with skin lesions and kidney failure from the disease (94 between November 2012 and April 2017).
Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists have a useful Alabama Rot sheet with more for information for owners which can be accessed here.
There are lots of environments which can make our pets stressed. If you’re looking for extra support with your pet’s behaviour, do come and talk to us at one of our free 1-to-1 nurse clinics. Click here to read up on cat specific stress issues. To assess your dog’s stress levels, and for advice on reducing stress for new puppies and relieving the impact of common canine stress triggers, click here . You can access further pet behaviour articles here.
Compassion Understood specialises in delivering free online bereavement advice and support for pet owners at their pet’s end of life. The website provides valuable information around the human and pet bond, planning for goodbye, saying goodbye and pet loss support.
Thought-provoking sections help owners to prepare for a pet’s passing in advance to alleviate the stress of decision-making in the moment. You can also find out about what you can expect to happen during a euthanasia appointment prior to your visit.
For people visiting the site post loss, the sections on grief and coping with grief are particularly useful. There are also links to further bereavement services for additional support.
The Pet Bereavement Support Service is available 365 days a year to help people who are struggling to cope with the loss of a pet. Trained volunteers are at the end of a phone line, ready to help. All calls are confidential and free from a landline.
The Samaritans are available 24/7 for anyone going through a difficult time or who is struggling with a worry or an emotional issue, no matter how big or small. You do not have to be suicidal to access the service. Call 116 123 anytime from any phone. All calls are free and confidential. If you would prefer to speak to someone in person, you can locate your local branch via their website.
British Chelonia Group
The group provides chelonia keepers with the support needed to ensure that their captive animals receive quality husbandry, including care sheets for the huge variety of species of tortoises and terrapins.
British Veterinary Nursing Association
The aim of the British Veterinary Nursing Association is to promote animal health and welfare through the ongoing development of professional excellence in veterinary nursing. This website is also a good source of information for those researching a career as a veterinary nurse.
To find out more about what being a qualified veterinary nurse (RVN) means – and about the vital role RVNs play in practice, watch this short video created by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and featured on the British Veterinary Nursing Association website.
Cats – general care information
We appreciate that bringing your cat to the vet can be stressful for both pet and owner. Read International Cat Care’s advice on taking your cat to the vet, which includes information on how to choose the right cat carrier as well as links to ‘Encouraging your cat to be happy in a cat carrier‘ and ‘How to make sure your cat is comfortable travelling.‘
International Cat Care is a charity dedicated to promoting the health and welfare of cats through improved feline knowledge, to help us all care better for our cats. Their website gives a huge range of information on cat diseases, cat behaviour and general cat care to support best care of cats.
The cat care section on the Cats Protection website hosts a wealth of answers to cat care queries. The website also gives information about what the Cat Protection does and how you can support the charity, or adopt a cat.
As well as giving advice on looking after your cat, The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy provides information on choosing, breeding and showing pedigree cats.
And if your cat has been prescribed medication and you’d like best advice on administering it, watch our YouYube video below on ‘How to give a cat a pill.’ Or read International Cat Care’s information sheet, ‘Giving tablets to your cat’. International Cat Care also produce a helpful leaflet on ‘Giving skin, ear or eye drops/ ointment’ to your cat.
How to give a cat a pill
International Cat Care also produce a helpful leaflet on ‘Giving skin, ear or eye drops/ ointment.
Data sheets give you detailed information about prescription medication including doses, contra-indications (when a product should not be used as it may be harmful), any warnings or special precautions necessary.
The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) produces a compendium of UK data sheets for animal medicines which is regarded as one of the major reference sources on animal medicines. To search the compendium for a data sheet of a specific veterinary medicine authorised for use in the UK, click here and enter the product name in the ‘keyword’ field.
Dental care and dental disease
Brushing your pet’s teeth is the most effective way to reduce plaque and the onset of gum disease and tooth decay. Listen below to hear our senior vet Hamish talking about dental disease and setting up your own pet dental care routine, as featured on Signal 107fm as part of our 2015 National Pet Month initiative to support pet owners:
And watch our YouTube video on ‘How to brush your dog’s teeth’ to see exactly how it’s done below. You can use the same routine for cats using one of the flavoured cat toothpastes now available.
How to brush your dog’s teeth
To read more about pet gum disease, visit the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s website. The British Veterinary Dental Association have a useful information section for owners about a variety of pet dental problems.
Dogs – general care information
The Kennel Club is the largest organisation dedicated to protecting and promoting the welfare of all dogs. They offer guidance and information about health; breeding; training; getting active; dog shows/ events. And you can also find out about choosing the right puppy for your family and accredited breeders from their site. Look too at asking breeders to complete a puppy contract before you commit to buying a new puppy – the RSPCA have one to download (endorsed by the British Veterinary Association and The Animal Welfare fund amongst others) – to ensure your puppy has a happy, healthy life.
As well as information about the work of the charity, rehoming and how you can sponsor a dog, The Dogs Trust offer useful help on topics ranging from behaviour and health to training and general owner advice.
The Blue Dog has great resource material on introducing a dog into a family including advice on children and dogs.
If you need to give you dog ear drops or eye drops, watch our useful ‘How to’ YouTube videos below to make sure you administer medication effectively:
How to give your dog ear drops
How to give your dog eye drops
Why we promote Petplan:
Not all pet insurance is the same, and with advancements in veterinary medicine it’s essential to choose the right insurance so you can get the right treatment for your pet without having to worry about the cost.
The policy you choose can have implications for the veterinary care of your pet so it’s important to choose the right cover. When shopping around for a policy, we suggest that you consider the following:
- Does the policy cover congenital, hereditary, hip-related, dental and behavioural conditions?
- Is there a time or monetary limit on how long the policy will cover ongoing conditions for?
- If you claim, will your premium increase?
We work in partnership with Petplan® who offer a range of plans, outlined below.
No cover is provided for pre-existing conditions .Your premium will increase over the lifetime of your policy and terms, conditions and excesses apply and may be varied on renewal. Typically a 20% excess (in addition to the fixed excess) is introduced at the pet’s 10th birthday for cats and dogs and 7th birthday for rabbits and some breeds of dog on our Covered for Life® plans. On our Essential plan the 20% excess is introduced at the cat or dog’s 8th birthday (5th birthday for some breeds of dog)
Terms, conditions and excesses apply and may be varied on renewal. No cover is provided for pre-existing conditions. Petplan is a trading name of Pet Plan Limited and Allianz Insurance plc.
We all hope that our pets will never go missing. However, it is a possibility. We strongly recommend microchipping your pets so that should the worst happen and your pet does wander off, you can be contacted and reunited as soon as possible when they are found. See ‘Microchipping’ below for legislation around dogs. If your pet is not microchipped, we recommend contacting local rescue centres and veterinary practices incase your pet has been found and brought in.
Lungworm is a parasite that can cause serious health problems in dogs and can be fatal if undiagnosed and untreated. The parasite is transmitted by swallowing infected slugs or snails (accidentally or intentionally) or by ingesting slime containing lungworm larvae. Dogs have lots of opportunity to come into contact with the above: when playing with toys outside or eating grass, or when drinking from puddles and outdoor water bowls. We strongly recommend worming monthly as a preventative treatment. Book in to one of our free parasite clinics, give us a ring or pop into the practice to find out more.
As of 6th April 2016, it became compulsory for all dogs in England that are over the age of 8 weeks old to be microchipped. Read answers to FAQs here.
Obesity and weight issues
Keeping pets healthy and trim is important. Carrying extra weight can make your pet more prone to weight-related health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, and can shorten their life and curb their activity. For best advice, come along to one of our free 1-to-1 veterinary nurse weight clinics where we’ll help you set up a safe, effective weight loss programme and support you on your pet’s journey to reach and maintain their optimum weight. Click to read more about pet obesity in general or more specifically about cat obesity or rabbit obesity. Listen below to hear our senior vet Hamish talking about pet obesity and top tips for keeping pets trim, as featured on Signal 107fm as part of our 2015 National Pet Month initiative to support pet owners:
Find out about the kinds of nasty creepy crawlies your pets can pick up and how to prevent them.
Pet Travel Scheme
The Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is the system that allows pet dogs, cats and ferrets from the UK to travel to certain countries and return to the UK without quarantine as long as they meet the rules.
The Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund (RWAF) has existed since 1996 and is the combined effort of the Rabbit Welfare Association and its charity partner the Rabbit Welfare Fund. The RWAF works to improve the lives of domestic UK rabbits through education about rabbit welfare and husbandry.
The House Rabbit Society is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organisation that rescues abandoned rabbits and provides information about rabbit welfare.
Frances Harcourt-Brown’s website provides a comprehensive FAQ section for owners on Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD) and VHD2, the relatively new strain of the killer disease. Cases of VHD2 have recently been reported in the local area and the disease can affect both house and outdoor rabbits. We are therefore urging all rabbit owners to vaccinate against VHD2 (N.B. This is a separate vaccination to VHD/ myxomatosis, the annual booster we also recommend).
If your rabbit needs oral medication, watch our helpful YouTube video below to make sure your rabbit is getting its full dose:
How to give a rabbit medication
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the United Kingdom and ensures that standards within the veterinary profession are maintained, safeguarding the health and welfare of animals and the interests of the public. This website is also a useful if you are considering a career in veterinary medicine.
Looking after any animal is a huge commitment and takes time, money and patience. RSPCA Online offers expert pet care tips and advice – and a guide to help you plan ahead for your pet’s health and happiness.
RSPCA – wildlife
From advice on garden wildlife (from birds and hedgehogs to snakes and foxes) to the most frequently asked animal welfare questions this part of the RSPCA website has lots of answers.
Sustrans is the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity. Their vision is a world in which people choose to travel in ways that benefit their health and the environment.