Ticks and Lyme Disease in Pets

Ticks are a widespread and expanding threat across the UK. In recent years, they have begun to start feeding earlier in the year and for a longer duration of time. And ticks are not only active earlier than ever, they are also carrying potentially new and harmful diseases. All this puts your pets at a greater risk.


What are ticks?

Ticks have eight legs (apart from the larvae, which have six), so they are not insects, but are ARACHNIDS, and are related to spiders, mites and scorpions. They go through four stages in their life cycle – egg, larva, nymph, then adult.

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Bark and Read

Helping dogs to help children develop a passion for reading

Did you know dogs love books too?

Reading to dogs helps children develop their reading skills, encourages positive behaviour and helps build confidence and self-esteem. Reading to dogs inspires children to have fun and enjoy the experience of reading.

All over the country, children are learning to love reading with the support of these amazing doggy companions.

BarkandRead 2017.2

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Pet poison of the week – Ivy

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Common signs to watch for:
• Drooling
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Abdominal pain

Certain types of ivy plants contain triterpenoid saponins and polyacetylene compounds. When ingested by pets, the irritant within the plant can cause excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.
Poison type: Plants
Alternate names: Sweetheart ivy, Glacier ivy, Needlepoint ivy, Branching ivy



Nose games with your dog part 3

Do dogs get colds?

Dogs do get upper respiratory infections, coughs, sinus infections, runny noses, and all the things we associate with “colds” in people. However, while the common cold in a human doesn’t usually warrant treatment (other than rest and chicken noodle soup), most respiratory infections in dogs are more severe. Distemper is a serious illness in dogs that can cause a runny nose and neurological symptoms, but vaccination prevents infection in most dogs. Kennel cough is a milder and more common disease in dogs in group situations – social or travelling dogs are often vaccinated for this as well. Other respiratory illnesses, such as fungal infections picked up by hunting dogs in the woods, are hard to prevent and can become very serious if left untreated. Any dog with unusual discharge from the nose (anything that is not thin and clear), or with a persistent cough or sneeze, should take a trip to the vet

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Dangerous Dogs Towards People

Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 makes it a criminal offence if a person reasonably believes a dog will injure them or an assistance dog. If there’s an actual injury it will be regarded as an aggravated offence.

  • The maximum penalty for an aggravated offence is 5 years prison if a person is injured (14 years if the victim dies), unlimited find and unlimited compensation.
  • **As to the dog, in a aggravated case there is a presumption that it shall be destroyed unled it can be proven that it wouldn’t be a danger to public safety. The Court must have regard to:-
  • The temperament of the dog including its past behaviour, and
  • Whether the owner or keeper is a fit and proper person to have charge of the dog.

The owner may have a defence:-

  • If the incident took place in the home and the victim was a trespasser, or
  • If someone else had charge of the dog at the time who they believed was ‘fit and proper’ to look after the dog (albeit proceedings could also be taken against the person in charge) or,
  • if there was nothing, more than minimal, that the owner did or failed to do which led to the incident.

As an alternative to a prosecution, if the was a minor incident or there was a degree or provocation to which the dog responded, a prosecutor may conclude the case with a warning letter or Acceptable Behaviour Contract (or possibly by issuing a Complaint under Section 2 of the Dogs Act 1871).

The victim may be able to pursue a separate civil claim for damages if it can be shown that the keeper was negligent, or if the aggressor dog had dangerous characteristics which the owner knew about.

Control of Dogs

Dangerous out of control – It is a criminal offence (Dangerous Dog Act 1991) to allow your dog to be ‘dangerously out of control’ either in a public place or on private property e.g. your home. A ‘dangerously out of control’ dog can be defined as a dog that has injured someone or a dog that a person has grounds to reasonably believe that it may injure somebody.  Something as simple as your dog chasing, barking at or jumping up at a person or child could result in an investigation, so ensure your dog is under control at all times. If your dog injures somebody, it may be seized and if convicted you could face a lengthy prison sentence and/or fine. Your dog could also be euthanized (unless you can persuade the Courts that it is not a danger to the public, in which case it may be subject to a control order).

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Do you know AED signs have now changed?

AED signs design has been changed to make them clearer and encourage more people to use an AED. Not only has the sign changed but the UK Resuscitation Council and the British Heart Foundation have produced a poster (above) to along with the new design.

The new AED location sign makes the following changes to the current one:

  • It changes the lightning bolt icon into a stylised ECG heart trace – respondents overwhelmingly said they would be more likely to use a sign with this icon on.
  • The description is changed to “Defibrillator – Heart Restarter” – respondents said they thought this term would most encourage them to use the device.
  • A supine person was added, showing the suggested placement of the defibrillator pads, to reinforce how the device should be used.

The supporting information poster was reviewed by experts and is consistent with the 2015 Resuscitation Council (UK) guidelines. It reinforces the following key messages about PAD and the use of an AED:

  • Anyone can use an AED – you do not need prior medical or first-aid training
  • It is easy to use – just follow its instructions
  • It is for use on an unconscious person not breathing normally

You can download a JPEG copy of the sign below



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Survival Stretchers

I love teaching First Aid, and you will be amazed, what we are able to do in an emergency with a little thought, a few resources.

Towels, Blankets,  Scarfs, Wooden Planks, Jackets, Rope, Lidl Shopping Bags, Rubber Tyres, Sledges, Walking Sticks, Pair of Jeans

A homemade stretcher can be fashioned out of very common items, so whether you are dealing with a medical emergency, there is always a way to accomplish the task than doing it by hand.

Moving Casualties

A casualty should not be moved until he or she is ready for transportation to a hospital, if required. All necessary first aid should be provided before moving the casualty. A casualty should be moved only if there is an immediate danger.

The major danger in moving a casualty quickly is the possibility of aggravating a spinal injury. In an emergency, every effort should be made to pull the victim in the direction of the long axis of the body to provide as much protection to the spinal cord as possible. If the casualty are on the ground, you can drag them away from the scene.

All injured parts should be stabilized before and during moving.

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Pet poison of the week – Carbon Monoxide

Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, life-threatening
Common signs to watch for:
• Neurologic impairment (e.g., altered mentation, seizures, coma, deafness)
• Difficulty breathing
• Acute death

Carbon monoxide (CO), a poisonous gas that is produced from fires, car exhaust systems, and generators, is toxic to all species. When inhaled in high enough concentrations, it causes oxygen starvation (e.g., hypoxia) to the cells of the body. In dogs and cats, poisoning from carbon monoxide occurs secondary to fires/smoke inhalation or secondary to generator system failures. Carbon monoxide causes the red blood cells not to carry oxygen, and results in severe toxicity to the heart and central nervous system. Signs of poisoning include neurologic impairment (e.g., altered mentation, seizures, coma, deafness), difficulty breathing, or acute death. Treatment includes oxygen therapy and aggressive symptomatic and supportive care.
If you think your dog or cat were exposed to carbon monoxide gas, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice. Be aware that this gas is poisonous to you also, and take appropriate and careful measures to protect yourself also!
Poison type: Toxic Gases
Alternate names: CO, smoke inhalation, monoxide