Taking your pets for Drive

We often spend lots of time discussing safe ways to transport of furry friends in our cars, so here some of my tips.

The UK Highway Code states that dogs must be suitably restrained when in a vehicle so that they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. Make sure you have a seat belt harness or suitable method such as a dog guard or crate for restraining your dog in the car.


Pet restraints, toys, leads, treats, food, medication, drying towel, drinking bowl, bottles of water, clean kit (when you pet has been sick), pet first aid kit and I sure you can think of many more things to take. Keep a separate dog travel bay, already for travelling.

Suitable car for your pets

When choosing a new car think about the size of your pet, as one consideration,

  • Are they able to jump in and out of the car (think of older dogs, getting a brt frail, are we able to assist them in and out of the car)
  • Consider buying a ramp
  • A hatchback or small car is perfect for smaller pets. They have room for some extra gear or a carrier, and allow sufficient space for your pet to stand up and stretch their legs.
  • Larger dogs tend to mean bigger vehicles.
  • Consider buying a pet crate for the car, remember safety, your dog needs to be secure, check your vehicle insurance covers pets in cars
  • Air-Conditioning is another consideration, some cars have different temperature settings to allow the car to be cooler in the back.
  • Tinted windows another good option, but never be tempted to leave a dog in the car, even with the window open, even in Scotland it only takes 6 minutes to kill a dog on a sunny warm day.
  • Dog restraints that allow you to belt your dog in the regular seat belt. Poorly made restraints, may not be suitable for your pet, in fact it could become a strangling hazard. Dog restraints, will also allow you drive safely without additional distractions that your pet may cause you.
  • Pet Guard, not only does it stop your pet from flying forward, when you hit the brakes, it also helps to keep your car upholstery in pristine condition.
  • Mat/travel bed, making the car trip, just a bit more comfortable, and some familiar smells of home, lovely!
  • 2017-71

Continue reading “Taking your pets for Drive”

Pet Toys

General Tips

  • Avoid balls with single air holes, which can create a deadly suction trap, sticks and stones, heavily dyed toys, toys treated with fire retardants or stain guard, soft plastics.
  • Watch you pets, when they are playing
  • Choose toys that fit your dog size, and avoid toys that could slip to the back of the mouth.
  • Select toys that match your dog’s play style.
  • Keep a variety of toys types on hand, rotate to spark your dog’s interest.


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Pet poison of the week – Beta Blockers

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe
Common signs to watch for:
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Weakness
• Collapse
• Slowed heart rate
• Lethargy
Beta-blockers are a common type of heart medication used in both human and veterinary medicine for heart disease and for blood pressure regulation. While beta-blockers are commonly used in cats and dogs, accidental overdose can result in severe, life-threatening poisoning due to the drug’s narrow margin of safety. This means that only a small amount of the drug can result in severe poisoning. Overdose can result in heart failure, a very slowed heart rate, severe hypotension (low blood pressure), and secondary acute kidney failure. Aggressive and immediate treatment must be initiated, and includes decontamination, heart and blood pressure monitoring, aggressive IV fluids, blood work monitoring, and symptomatic supportive care. With severe toxicosis, the use of high-dose insulin therapy or intravenous lipid emulsion can be used.
If you think your dog or cat were poisoned by a beta-blocker heart medication, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice.
Poison type: Medications
Alternate names: cardiac medication, heart medication, atenolol, carvedilol, esmolol, labetalol, metoprolol, nadolol, nebivolol, propranolol, sotalol, timolol



Heartworm in Dogs and Cats

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets. It is caused by worms that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets.


The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbour several worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s heath and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option, and treatment, when needed, should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible.


Heartworm disease in cats is very different from heartworm disease in dogs. The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage. Cats with adult heartworms typically have just one to three worms, and many cats affected by heartworms have no adult worms. While this means heartworm disease often goes undiagnosed in cats, it’s important to understand that even immature worms cause real damage in the form of a condition known as heartworm associated respiratory disease. Moreover, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.

How is heartworm disease transmitted from one pet to another?

The mosquito plays an essential role in the heartworm life cycle. Adult female heartworms living in an infected dog or fox produce microscopic baby worms that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites and takes a blood meal from an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into ‘infective stage’ larvae over a period of 10 to 14 days. Then, when the infected mosquito bites another dog or cat, the infective larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animal’s skin and enter the new host through the mosquito’s bite wound.

Once inside a new host, it takes approximately 6 months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms.

Once mature, heartworms can live 5 to 7 years in dogs and up to 2 or 3 years in cats. Because of the longevity of these worms, each mosquito season can lead to an increasing number of worms of an infected pet.

What are the signs of heartworm disease in dogs?

In the early stages of the disease, many dogs show few symptoms or no symptoms at all. The longer the infection persists, the more symptoms will develop. Active dogs, dogs heavily infected with heartworms, or those with other health problems often show pronounced clinical signs.

Signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and the appearance of swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen. Dogs with large numbers of heartworms can develop a sudden blockages of blood flow within the heart leading to a life threatening form of cardiovascular collapse. This is called caval syndrome, and is marked by sudden onset of laboured breathing, pale gums, and dark bloody or coffee-coloured urine. Without prompt surgical removal of the heartworm blockage, few dogs survive.

What are the signs of heartworm disease in cats?

Signs of heartworm disease in cats can be very subtle or very dramatic. Symptoms may include coughing, asthma-like attacks, periodic vomiting, lack of appetite, or weight loss. Occasionally an affected cat may have difficulty walking, experience fainting or seizures, or suffer from fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Unfortunately, the first sign in some cases is sudden collapse of the cat, or sudden death.

What can I do to, if I think my pet has heartworm?

The earlier it is detected, the better the chances the pet will recover. There are few, if any, early signs of disease when a dog or cat is infected with heartworms, so detecting their presence with a heartworm test administered by a vet is important. The test requires just a small blood sample from your pet, and it works by detecting the presence of heartworm proteins.

What happens if my dog tests positive for heartworms?

No one wants to hear that their dog has heartworm, but the good news is that most infected dogs can be successfully treated. The goal is to first stabilize your dog if he is showing signs of disease, then kill all adult and immature worms while keep the side effects of treatment to a minimum.


Making a 999 or 112 Call

This is something we get wrong often, have a think now, would you know what information you may be asked, and simply what to expect, we make a 999 or 112 call. To make things worse there are a few myths surrounding making an emergency call.

Lets keep it simple, and here are the facts.

Firstly 999 or 112

In the UK the numbers 999 or 112 can be used interchangeably. 999 is the traditional UK phone number, and 112 is the standard European Union emergency number. The 112 number should work in any country that is part of the European Union, 999 will only work in the UK.

Emergency calls are free

There is no charge for making a call to an emergency number (999 or 112). It doesn’t matter whether you are using a payphone, or landline, or a mobile. This is a requirement of UK law, so no operator will charge for these emergency calls.

Emergency calls for non-English speakers

The emergency service operators can engage a telephone translation service for non-English speakers. The first thing the operator will try and do is to establish the language that the person is speaking and then join in a translator.

Know where you are!

When making an emergency phone call you need to know where you are. If you are making the call from a land-line, and in particular using the emergency phones on the motorway, then they can trace your location from the phone, but they do not have the same accuracy with a mobile phone. If you do not know where you are, try and use a land-line phone, or find a street name. If using a mobile phone from a motorway or major A road, look for the market signs which indicate your exact location (every 100 metres).


HOW TO MAKE A 999 OR 112 CALL Continue reading “Making a 999 or 112 Call”

Blood Donation For Canines

Nobody can disagree how important donating blood is, but did you know that there is a shortage of blood for our Canines, when they need it.

Here are some facts about Blood Donation For Canines!

What happens at a blood collection session?

The comfort and health of donor dogs is of paramount importance and the donation process should be as relaxed and enjoyable as possible for all involved.

  1. The appointment is split into two parts:
  • Health and suitability check with a fully qualified vet
  • Donation

2. The vet will go through the following process with your dog prior to any donation going ahead:

  • undertake a physical examination of your dog and takes its health history
  • carefully clip and clean a small area of your dog’s neck
  • microchip your dog if it not already microchipped

If all is well, you dog will go through to the donation room where a fully qualified phlebotomist will draw about 450ml of your dog’s blood.

Once the donation is made your dog will be brought to the refreshment area for a well earned drink and snack.

You are then ready to go home, some dogs may want to take it easy for a little while, but many will get on with their normal routine.

In total, you should allow around 40 minutes for your appointment, although the actual donation process only takes 5 and 10 minutes.

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