Covid 19 and Consultations

Covid Update

 

Consultations throughout the Covid period has been difficult for our patients, our clients and our team.  We have moved from emergency video and telephonic consultations to routine procedures being allowed, to now at least being able to speak to our clients and physically examine our patients.  As much as we are all waiting for the day where clients can accompany their pets into the consulting room, the moment has not yet arrived, despite the promise of “freedom day”.

The simple reason is that new cases of Covid are very high at the moment.  If we invite clients into the consulting room and they test positive in the following days, we are likely to be closed down for up to 10 days, clearly this would not be in the best interests of our patients, clients or our team.  This is why we have decided to delay allowing clients into the consulting room until the “pingdemic” is over, which we hope is mid-August.

We thank you for your understanding.

Stay safe,

Alan, René and the team.

New arthritis treatment in dogs!

There is now a new treatment for arthritis in dogs!

 

Degenerative joint disease is very common in older animals and can severely affect their quality of life. It is one of those diseases where multimodal therapy (using more than one type of treatment) is most effective.

 

We use pain relief as the primary treatment (which have side effects) but weight loss, low impact exercise, K-Laser, joint and high level essential fatty acid (EFA) supplements and chondroprotective injections (cartilage protection) all play a very important role in managing the condition.

 

Fortunately, we now have a new treatment – Monoclonal antibody injections that specifically target the osteoarthritis pain factors.

 

The treatment is very specific so it has minimal side effects.  It can be used in combination with other medications and is very effective. In some cases, the dogs have been able to come off their anti-inflammatories. It is a monthly injection.  Continuing the other supportive treatment is important to get the best results. This is a brand-new therapy, so we have only used it in a few dogs, but we are very impressed with the results so far.

 

Arthritic pain is not curable but is manageable and we can slow the progression of the disease to hopefully allow your dog to have a good quality of life for longer.

 

If you think your dog may be suffering from arthritis, or are wondering if more can be done, please come and see us.

Update on travel to the EU and Northern Ireland

An update on Pet Travel to the EU and Northern Ireland.

 

Pet travel to the EU now that the transition period has ended.

 

The UK, for pet travel, has been granted Part 2 Listed Status. This has important implications for travel with your Pet to the EU.

The UK Pet Passport is no longer valid for travel. A pet passport issued in an EU country is valid for travel but a UK vet cannot update any sections except health check and tapeworm treatment.

 

All dogs, cats or ferrets which need to travel to the EU must be microchipped and vaccinated for Rabies (after 12 weeks of age) and must then wait a minimum of 21 days before they can travel.

Every time the pet travels to the EU they must get an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) from their vet. It can only be completed more than 21 days after a Rabies vaccination. This is a multi-page, official document that takes the vet about 45-60 minutes to complete and certify. Once completed it is valid for 10 days for travel out of the UK into the EU and for 40 days for ongoing travel in the EU and return to the UK.

Blood tests for Rabies serology is not required.

Tape worm treatment requirements remain unchanged

 

Travel to the EU with your pets is still possibly but has become more time consuming and costly to arrange.

Please always check the requirements, before you travel, on the APHA website.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-and-from-great-britain

Best wishes

Alan

Covid19 Vaccination and Neutering

BSAVA Vaccination Guidance

An update on Covid-19

The government has announced that new cases and deaths due to Covid-19 are on the decline, that is good news.  We are now waiting to see what the new regulations will bring.

In the meantime, we are in the position where human safety outweighs animal welfare and we have to apply social distancing and do our very best to keep people safe and still look after animal welfare – a challenging task.

Clients at our practice are asking questions based around vaccination and neutering.  This is understandable as vaccination dates start to pass and puppies and kittens get older and become more likely to have their own puppies and kittens!  

Our advisory body has put together a guidance sheet for the public to indicate how decisions are made both on vaccination and on neutering.  Our vets are currently calling the owners of pets whose vaccinations have lapsed and individually assessing them.  Please call and ask to speak to a vet if you are in anyway unsure of what to do, or feel your pet’s vaccination is overdue, please be patient.

I’m afraid it’s still not business as usual, but hope that the interpretation of these important questions is a little more clear.

Best wishes

Alan

Covid-19 Adjusted Opening Hours

Coronavirus advice for Potton Vet's clients

Opening hours:  28 March – mid April

 

We are available on the phone or video-consulations:

Weekdays: 8:30am – 7pm.

Saturdays: 8:30am – Midday.

 

When is there someone in the building at the Market Square?

Weekday opening:  10am – 2pm  Please call first.

Saturday Opening:  10am – Midday  Please call first.

 

We are available to help you and your pets if needed throughout the day.

Please bear in mind we are trying our very best to help you and you pets and keep everyone safe at the same time.

The situation will be reassessed in roughly 2 weeks when new regulations are announced.

We do not expect any vaccination breakdowns for this period in pets who have had regular vaccinations in the past.

 

 

Covid19 has changed the way we work.

 

We are no longer doing routine booster vaccinations or routine procedures/surgeries, e.g. neutering, clip claws etc until government and governing body reassessment in mid April.

We are available for video or telephonic consultations throughout the day with a vet or a nurse for any queries you may have (ideally between 10am and 2pm when we know there is someone at the surgery).

There are members of the team in the building at Potton Vets from 10am and 2pm weekdays, this is the time to collect medications, food and anything else you may need, please call us and we will arrange a collection time slot for you, so that we don’t have queues outside the door.

If consultations or treatment is needed, we will arrange a mutually convenient time  – usually between 10am and 2pm.

We really appreciate your ongoing patience and support.

We all wish you well during this trying time, please keep safe.

Alan, Rene and all of us at Potton Vets.

Video-consulations

 

COVID-19 Update

Coronavirus advice for Potton Vet's clients

Following yesterday’s government announcements we are having to make some changes.

 

Covid19 has changed the way we work.

We will still make every effort to support you and ensure your pet’s welfare, but we have to minimise person to person contact and keep everyone as safe as possible.

 

Further changes we are implementing today

To ensure social distancing:

  • Always call us before and don’t enter the building unless we have specifically asked you to do so.
  • If you need to collect medication/food or anything else, call us and we will get it ready for you to collect, outside the building at a prearranged time.
  • If you think your pets needs to be seen by a vet or a nurse, a video and/or telephonic appointment will be arranged initially, if you need to bring them in, this will be done as part of the consultation fee. We may be able to dispense treatment to be collected as above.
  • If together with you we feel your pet needs further diagnostics or treatment then we will arrange your consent and a time for you to come to the surgery and hand them over to us at the door.
  • Once we’ve done what we need to do, we will contact you and discuss the case by phone or video, and arrange a time for you to collect them.
  • We want to keep our pets healthy and you and ourselves safe during this very difficult time.
  • We are here to help you, please call us.

 

We all wish you well during this trying time, please keep safe.
Alan, Rene and all of us at Potton Vets.

 

Coronavirus Advice and Information for our clients

Coronavirus advice for Potton Vet's clients

We are still open to treat your pets but we ask, in order to keep everyone safe, that you do not come into the practice if you have a fever or new, persistent cough.

Call the practice on 01767 260007 and we will be happy to help.

NEW! Vet video consultations are now available.
Read more about how our vet video call service works.

Please try to keep distance between you and other people in the practice and continue to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.

It is reasonable to assume pets are not affected by Covid19.

Let’s all try to keep safe during these difficult times and we wish you all continuing good health

Regards
René and Alan Shackleton, Potton Vets

Babesiosis in dogs the UK

babesia_canisIt has been in the news that some dogs in Essex have been infected with Babesia Canis and become very ill. This is news because these dogs had not travelled outside the UK, and Babesia had not previously been endemic in the UK, although commonly occurring in Europe.
 
What is Babesiosis?
Babesiosis is a tick borne disease which causes destruction of red blood cells resulting in anaemia and jaundice.  Acutely affected dogs appear depressed, weak and are disinclined to eat (anorexic).  They have pale membranes (e.g. lips, eye lids or tongue) and often have a fever.  The passing of very dark coloured urine is also frequently noted. The disease cannot be passed directly from one animal to another.  It is only spread by bites from ticks infected with the protozoan (one celled) parasite, Babesia.
Babesiosis is common in many parts of the world including large parts of Southern Europe.
What is the cause of the disease?
The disease is caused by protozoan (single celled) organisms.  Babesia canis is the most common type and is the variety diagnosed in Essex.
How does Babesiosis spread?
The parasite cannot survive outside the dog or the tick vector.  The tick implicated in the cases in Essex is Dermacentor reticulatus. This tick is variously named the ornate dog tick, ornate cow tick, meadow tick or marsh tick, reflecting its variety of habitats. In Europe it is found up to 1,000m above sea level on grasslands, pastures, fringes of meadows, and grassy paths in woodlands, along rivers and streams, banks of ponds, in marshy areas and peat bogs. It has been described in the sand dune systems and coastal pastures of West Wales and South-West England, particularly North Devon. It has recently been found in coastal South-East Essex presumed transported by sheep moved from Wales and would seem to be spreading in the UK and in Europe. It is currently not found in our area but is likely to spread this way in time.
Can we catch Babesiosis?
Unlike some other tick borne diseases (e.g. Lymes disease – Borreliosis), Babesia canis does not appear to be transmissible to man, in other words it is not a zoonotic disease. Some other Babesia varieties (Babesia gibsoni) can cause disease in humans and cats but this has not yet been diagnosed in the UK.
Is the disease very common?
Canine Babesiosis has an almost worldwide distribution.  It has always been prevalent in Southern Europe and appears to be spreading northwards across France and Germany. The disease occurs commonly in endemic areas. In these areas, animals develop some inherent immunity so the disease is more common in young or debilitated animals.
Is it important in Britain?
Until relatively recently Babesiosis was unknown in Britain except with animals in quarantine.  Relaxation of quarantine regulations with the introduction of the PETS scheme in 2000, resulted in the death of an elderly dog as a result of the disease after a visit to Southern Europe.  In subsequent years there have been several other cases confirmed in Britain in animals which have travelled. These cases in Essex are the first where the animals have not travelled outside the UK.
The disease is presently restricted to a small, well defined area in Essex, but now that it has entered the UK, it is likely to spread further.
Dogs in the UK have never been exposed to Babesiosis and will have no inherent immunity, and are more likely to be susceptible to contracting the disease if bitten by an infected tick.
Will I know if my dog has been infected?
If your dog has become infected, there may be no signs for 10-20 days, (i.e. during the incubation period).  Signs can vary from slight malaise (being a bit ‘off colour’) to serious haemolytic disease with lack of appetite, dark coloured urine, multi-organ failure and even death in 24-48 hours.  Some very mild cases may recover without treatment but may still be carrying the parasite and act as carriers.  The danger lies in the fact that certain ticks already resident in Britain may prove vectors for the spread of the disease from such animals.
Is there any treatment?
Drugs are available which are very effective provided a correct diagnosis can be arrived at without delay.  The disease is quickly diagnosed by doing a blood smear and finding the parasite in the red blood cells. Blood smears can be done in house to speed diagnosis. Chronic carriers can be diagnosed by serology or PCR. If your dog shows any signs of lethargy, pallor, jaundice or dark coloured urine, it is important that you consult your veterinary surgeon without delay as Babesiosis generally responds well to treatment if caught early, but can be life threatening if treatment is delayed.
Is there anything that can be done to prevent my dog becoming infected?
Babesia is only transmitted by the bite from infected ticks. Ticks are not able to transmit infection immediately upon first attachment. They need a period of 24-48 hours of initial feeding before the organisms are able to cross into your dog. This means that using effective tick control that repels ticks  to prevent them from biting, or kills them within 24 hours is a very effective means of preventing the disease.  There are a wide variety of effective tick control methods, including collars, spot-ons and tablets. Please talk to us find the best method for your pet. If you notice a tick on your dog, it should be removed immediately, using a tick removal tool.
Dermacentor_reticulatus
 
Dermacentor reticulatus   Ornate dog tick, Ornate cow tick, Meadow tick, Marsh tick.

Pet Passports

Rules on taking your pet abroad to most EU has become more far more relaxed. Taking your pet with you on holiday is now far easier.
However, a word of caution before rushing off to France with Toby, getting it wrong can result in serious consequences at border control if the rules are not carefully followed.
Foreign diseases for which our pets may have little or no immunity are also something to be aware of.  Be especially wary of external parasites which can act as hosts of numerous diseases.

A summary of the process:

  • Book an appointment.
  • Microchip (if not previously done).
  • Vaccinate for rabies.
  • Pets passport (documentation).
  • Pets can travel after 21 days.
  • Dogs must be dewormed between 1 and 5 days before returning to the UK (vet certified).

A few things to be careful of:

  • Double check with DEFRA which countries are included.
  • Check rules carefully before travelling.
  • Remember different diseases are present in different areas of the EU, and your pets are at greater risk than local pets.

Useful Links:

Information on Rabies
Defra – Owner information
Defra – Main site


 

K-Laser – Effective treatment for arthritis

It was a cold winters day and Barley was snuggled up in his basket when he heard his dad return home from work. ‘Great!’ he thought, ‘walk time!’ and he tried to leap out of his basket as he always did.
However his back legs gave way underneath him and he struggled fruitlessly for several minutes. Eventually he made it up and walked rather stiffly to the door to greet his owner. After a few paces, it became easier and Barley was soon running and jumping on his walk.
He came back muddy but satisfied and he totally forgot about his earlier stiffness. He settled down into his basket to rest for a while. Later on he heard his tea being served and again had the same stiffness in his hind legs.
This time his owners watched and helped as he struggled to get out of his basket. They took Barley into Potton Vets who did several xrays and diagnosed arthritis in Barleys hip joints. The vets explained that although arthritis cannot be cured it can be managed.
Management can involve weight loss, regular exercise, K-laser treatment, joint supplements and/or pain relieving anti inflammatory medication. Barley’s owners had never heard of laser treatment and asked for more information. They learnt that Potton Vets is one of the few vets that have a class 4 therapeutic laser.
These lasers transfers energy via the laser light into the cells of the hip joint providing relief from the pain of arthritis and also slowing down arthritis progression. The laser can also be used on cats and small animals as well! For further information on arthritis, the class 4 therapeutic laser and Potton Vets Senior Health Clinics please talk to one of our clinical team, who would be more than happy to help you