Monthly Archives: July 2010

Parvovirus alert!


Please make sure to keep your dogs and cats up to date with their annual boosters.

We have seen several cases of parvovirus infection in dogs recently. This is a very nasty virus which causes severe vomitting and diarrhoea in affected dogs. Parvovirus is very stable and can survive in the environment for months so it is very easy for dogs to be exposed. Generally it will take 5 -7 days between contracting the virus and symptoms to develop. Certain breeds of dog are affected more severely than others- including rottweilers, dobermans, labradors and pitbull terriers. Treatment for the infection includes fluid therapy,  antibiotics and anti emetics (stops vomitting) . Unfortunately parvovirus cases are difficult to cure and approximately 50-60% of dogs die from the infection.

Vaccination provides 99% protection from parvovirus.

All dogs should be regularly vaccinated for parvovirus as part of their annual booster.

All puppies should receive at least 2 vaccinations which can be started from 6 weeks of age.

Please make sure your dog’s vaccines are up to date. If you’re not sure just call and we will check our records.

Ear Infections


Ear infections are one of the most common reasons dogs and cats come to see our vets.

Symptoms we expect owners to report are :

1. Scratching his/her ears

2. Rubbing his/her head along the ground

3. Shaking his/her head

4. Red or hot ears

5. Discharge visible in the ears

6. Smelly ears

7. Dogs with pendulous ears eg. the Cavalier King Charles or Cocker Spaniel are more commonly affected.

Some key points owner should know about ear infections:

1. The ear canal is very long in a dog and the cat. To fully examine it a vet needs to look into it using an otoscope. As well as being long and narrow, it is usually moist and has very little air circulating, so it is the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply. Dogs and cats can also get ear mite infestations which make them very itchy- the vet will usually spot these tiny mites with the otoscope.

2.Ear infections need to be treated as soon as possible.  At the very least a long course of ear drops will be needed and often oral antibiotics and anti inflammatories are also required.

3. Ear infections take a long time to clear up- the average ear infection takes between 2 and 4 weeks to clear up but a severe infection can take up to 8-10 weeks. Therefore it is very important that any medication given by the vet is taken as instructed and  for the full duration.

4. Ear infections have a tendancy to re-occur, especially if not treated for long enough.  It is important that the vet examines the ear with otoscope when treatment is finished in case there is any residual infection deep in the canal- if there is,  more treatment will be required.

5. For dogs who have re-occuring infections, we advise the owners to clean the ears regularly using an effective ear cleanser. This tends to reduce the frequency of infections. Our vets and nurses routinely  show owners how to clean their pets ears effectively.

6. Occasionally re-occuring ear infections can be a symptom of an underlying allergy, especially if a dog is inclined to scratch other parts of his/her skin.

Summertime problems


Summer is typically a busy time for pet vets. Some of the more common complaints we see are injuries, skin complaints, infectious coughs and tummy upsets.

Skin Complaints.

Over the past few weeks we have seen increased numbers of itchy dogs and cats. This is often be due to parasites such as fleas which thrive in warmer weather.

However there are many different causes for skin problems. Signs to look out for are itchy feet, scratching, sore ears, head shaking, bald patches on skin.

Causes can range from flea bites, mites, lice, ticks to allergies, atopic dermatitis, bacterial and fungal skin infections.

Regular parasite is a good idea – talk to your vet about what is the most suitable product for your pet.


Watch out for broken glass in the park. We see a dog nearly every other day with cuts on their pads.

We often see other injuries like cruciate ligament tears (knee injury in the dog) over the summer months. This is one of the most common joint injuries in dogs (and soccer players). Cruciate ligament tears  are difficult to prevent and they usually require surgery to repair them, so all I can say is make sure you have pet insurance in place.


One of the more common causes of coughing is infectious tracheobronchitis better known as kennel cough. It is caused by a mixture of viral and bacterial infections. A vaccination is available to prevent it which lasts 12 months. Your dog will need this vaccinations if you are planning to board him over the summer.

Lungworm is another potential cause of coughing. Regular treatment is reccommended – beware that conventional use of worming tablets is not effective.

A persistent cough should always be investigated