Monthly Archives: January 2013

Pet identification and microchips


Almost every day we are presented with a lost dog or cat that has been found by someone in their garden or wandering the roads.

It is a legal requirement in Ireland that all dogs must wear a collar with a tag or disc bearing the contact details of the owner, failure to do this can result in an on the spot fine from the dog warden.

We would also advise a ‘safety collar’ with an identity tag for cats – special cat collars have release catches or are elasticated in case your car gets caught on a branch etc.

As well as a collar with tag we strongly recommend that you have your pet microchipped. This is a permanent form of identification which cannot be removed or lost. The microchip contains a 15 digit number which is then registered on a database that is accessible to vets, wardens and certain welfare groups.

The microchipping procedure is quick, relatively pain free and affordable. We offer low cost microchipping with registration on the main Irish database

If your pet is already microchipped please ensure that is registered with the correct details on a reputable database. Your vet can check this for you.

Cold Wet Nose in your dog. Not a vital sign!


Every wondered why your vet doesn’t check to see if your dog has a cold wet nose? There are many important things we will check to help us figure out whether your dog is healthy or unwell but a cold wet nose isn’t one! A healthy dog can have a warm dry nose and a sick dog can have a cold wet nose.

Here is a list of the top ten important things our vets will check when examining your dog….

1. Colour of mucous membranes (gums and eyes) – very pale can mean anaemia or shock, very red can. Normal dog gums are a salmon pink colour, cats are usually a little paler. What is normal can be subjective and it helps if you look at loads of them every day!

2. Respiration rate and lung sounds – help us learn about the chest, but many illnesses and pain will cause rapid respiration rate.

3. Heart rate – can change with pain, nerves, hormonal conditions as well as heart conditions.

4. Heart sounds  – Your vet will listen to the heart and make sure there are no abnormal sounds usually known as murmurs.

5.  Hydration status – Animals often become dehydrated when they are sick. Poor skin elasticity, rapid heart rate, dry gums and weak pulse are all signs of dehydration

6. Temperature – too low or too high can indicate a problem

7. Body condition –  Refers to an animals body fat – we are looking for the happy medium

8. Signs of pain – can vary from limping, aggression, tenderness, tense abdomen, dullness, rapid heart rate. Most animals will try to disguise pain – they rarely cry out in pain! Your vet is experienced in assessing these signs.

9.  Skin and coat – We check for sores, rashes, lumps and bumps. Signs of external parasites or allergies. The skin can sometimes mirror problems within the body.

10. Lymph nodes – There are lymph nodes throughout the body and they can increase in size with infections and certain types of cancer. An essential part of every clinical exam is checking the lymph nodes.