The main reasons that we neuter dogs or neuter cats are to prevent breeding, to reduce behavioural problems and avoid medical problems later on in the animal’s life. We castrate male dogs, cats and rabbits and we spay female dogs, cats and rabbits.
Neutering Female Dogs
Most Owners have NO plans to breed from their bitch .
(Its often best to leave breeding puppies to Breeders and Owners who have a good knowledge of their breed. They spend time selecting dogs who are well bred, often show winners, with great conformation and temperament).
Neutering your female dog will stop her “coming into season”, or Oestrus twice a year.
There are 2 Main Choices you can make.
1.Spaying your bitch is an operation, requiring an anaesthetic, where your bitch has a cut, generally on the underside of her abdomen , to remove her womb and ovaries. This is a permanent procedure and once your dog is over the operation, in approximately 10 days, she will soon be back to normal activity.
2. Medical Neutering – there are options to use injections every 5 – 6 months, or tablets to sterilize your bitch also. In some situations this is chosen, for example in a working dog who is due to come into season at an awkward time in the year, or a bitch who may be bred from when older. These methods are only temporary . Discuss these options with the Veterinary Team. One advantage of using medical methods can be in some breeds like Springer Spaniels, who are prone to get a fluffy coat after neutering. We find these methods tend to allow the bitch to keep a better, silky coat.
Advantages of spaying – there is good evidence that dogs neutered within the first two years of her life have a much reduced risk of her getting mammary cancers when they are older. You also prevent uterine problems, such as infections called Pyometra, which can be life threatening if neglected. You also avoid mismating and unwanted puppies. Feeding costs can go down too since your bitch requires less food to stay slim!
Best time to spay? Generally we spay bitches in-between seasons, after they are 6 months old but we will be happy to spay a bitch before their first season as long as they are mature enough and are not about to come into season. This may suit some home situations where there is also an entire male dog in the household and a season will be unduly stressful. The first season in a bitch is variable and can happen anytime between 5 and 18 months of age!
Call us on 01889 590449 for advice
Neutering Male Dogs
Neutering, or castrating male dogs is often for behavioural reasons. It does tend to calm male dogs down and if performed within the first three years will tend to stop spraying behaviour. Where there is a tendency for your male dog to be aggressive, early neutering can again help to reduce this behaviour, before it becomes too established.
Castration of your dog requires an anaesthetic and removal of both testicles. Patients stay in for just the day, and must be rested as the wounds heal for around 10 days. (It takes approximately 6 weeks for a male dog’s hormones to drop after neutering).
Medical reasons to castrate a dog include; preventing prostatic problems which are common in dogs over 7 years of age, and preventing testicular cancers. (These are particularly common if your dogs testicle(s) haven’t yet descended) – If your dog doesn’t appear to have any testicles or there is just one present then it is likely the other one is either still within the abdomen or within the inguinal canal in the groin . Vets generally recommend castrating dogs with these retained testicles as they are much more likely to turn cancerous and you can’t examine them to check!
Any Questions? Call 01889 590449
Neutering cats is generally used for population control and the health of individual cats.
Unless you are Breeders and Exhibitors of cats, then neutering really is the best policy. Cats breed very frequently – pregnancies only last 9 weeks and they come into season many times a year.
Female cats ( “queens”) start breeding at the age of 5-6 months and will often stray to go and find a mate; therefore it is important to neuter or spay your cat before she is allowed out of the house! There is also a benefit of reducing the risk of mammary tumours if female cats are spayed young. The operation involves an anaesthetic and a small cut into the female cat’s side, to remove womb and ovaries. She quickly recovers and is often great at her 2 day check up.
Male cats (“toms”) who aren’t castrated will not only wander, but can also spray urine in the house , when marking their territory. They get into a lot more fights with neighbouring cats, often ending up with horrible wound infections and possible Feline Leukamia of Feline Aids infections, which can be fatal. Castration is best.
Cats can be neutered from the age of 5 months and here at Abbeyfields we always perform a pre-anaesthetic examination to make sure your cat is mature enough for the operation.
Call us on 01889 590449
Currently charities like the Cats Protection League, CPL, can assist with vouchers to neuter stray cats and those from homes on low incomes.
We often spay or castrate rabbits for behavioural reasons.
Female rabbits can become very territorial and aggressive when put together. Female rabbits are also prone to develop uterine cancer in their adult years which, if left untreated, can be highly fatal.
Male rabbits who are not neutered will also fight and so if you have more than one rabbit it is always recommended that you neuter them.
Are anaesthetics in rabbits safe?
Modern anaesthetics and monitoring equipment enable us to control anaesthetics on rabbits much more carefully.We routinely use a new type of tube to deliver the anaesthetic gas in rabbits, which makes the GA much safer.
The other big risk factors for rabbits are hypothermia and slowed intestine function post operatively, meaning rabbits can stop eating. We always make sure that we keep rabbits nice and warm throughout all anaesthetic procedures. We also inject them with a medication to help keep their intestines moving once they go home.
Nutrition plays a vital role in keeping your pet healthy.
There are also scientific diets and prescription diets which can prevent and even treat some common pet problems like arthritis and thyroid diseases.
If your pet’s nutirition isnt balanced to its lifestage needs, then serious problems can arise like limb deformity in young dogs, blindness in some cats , and kidney failure in others .
Paying attention to proper nutrition and feeding is vital to your pet’s wellbeing and will avoid a lot of un- needed expense at places like your Veterinary Practice. Much as we would love to see you!
We recommend feeding a well balanced complete food. There is currently a fashion for the BARF (bones and raw food) diet, which we do not recommend. We see many dogs on these foods with severe intestinal infections such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.
A complete dry dog food is a good choice and has the added benefit of helping to keep teeth clean! Some people like to give some tinned food as well. This is not needed with a complete diet, but may keep pets happy. However some of the more expensive wet foods can be too rich for a lot of dogs and cause diarrhoea in more sensitive dogs. Here at Abbeyfields we select foods from excellent ranges from companies like Virbac, Hill’s and Purina Proplan for our patients.
Virbac pet food The major PetFood Companies support Vets and their Clients with the best quality products and loyalty discounts.
Currently Purina ProPlan Virbac offer a scheme where for every 5 bags you purchase, the 6th is free. Most good suppliers offer a money back guarantee so you can purchase a bag we recommend and Hill’s Pet Foodshould your pet not like it, then the is a full refund. So you often have nothing to lose!
Any Questions? Call us on 01889 590449 or call in for a chat
• Feed a good quality food. That means better quality meat, fish and carbohydrates. Less fillers which in turn mean less faeces to pick up. Good diets have added extras like fish oils for shiny coats.
• Dry foods are good for teeth and gum health
• Feed a “Lifestage “diet – choose the right one whether your pet is young, adult or senior. That’s really important.
• Vets generally recommend feeding your dog at least twice a day.(Puppies should be fed more often- go to puppy feeding advice). Feeding several smaller meals helps to prevent a condition called bloat.
• Think about feeding large breed dogs from a raised dish. Make large dogs rest after eating to avoid bloating too. Dog feeding from Raised Bowl
• Raised Dog Bowls are a good choice for large breeds especially
• Measure the amount you feed your pet. Most pets are obese
• Neutered pets require less food so are cheaper to feed!
• Limit the number of treats and human extras given to pets.
• Take Veterinary advice where a Prescription diet is recommended for your Pet. These can avoid lots of medications.
• Remember a lot of Human treats can be toxic to pets.
You feed cats differently to dogs and they must have some meat in their diets. Meat protein is vital to provide some essential building blocks called Amino Acids that cats cannot make. Deficiencies in certain amino acids can cause problems like blindness in cats.
Remember also that dog foods aren’t good enough for long term cat feeding
Complete dry foods for cats are popular choices. Quality is important . Good quality diets help cats produce a healthy urine that avoids the urinary problem Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS).
Once more we like the foods by Virbac, Hill’s and Purina. The Lifestage foods from these companies are brilliant and they also provide Prescription diets to treat FUS, which can arise in stressed cats on poor diets.
• Feed your cat Cat food, of the best quality you can afford
• Complete dry cat foods are recommended
• Measure out the amount to feed your cat daily.
• Make sure fresh water is always available
• Remember some cats will only drink running water
• Put food and wider in wide bowls to allow for whiskers
• Feed a life stage diet that suits your cat’s age and requirements fat cat
• Obese cats are at risk of diabetes and other problems
• Avoid obesity – obese cats can become type II diabetics
• Take your Vet’s advice if prescription diets are recommended especially for kidney and urinary problems.
• Major PetFood companies offer loyalty schemes – here at the Practice we have support from Virbac to offer 1 bag of free food when 5 have been purchased.
Call us on 01889 590449 for advice and offers
Remember our weight checks and advice are free.
If your cat is over weight, offer membership of a free Pet Fit Club to help overweight pets lose weight, click here for more information. (Pet fit club page)
Rabbits are herbivores; they eat a completely vegetarian diet.
To properly digest their food, rabbits need to eat it twice – they first pass a soft stool (called a caecotroph) which they then eat once more. When this has been digested , they pass a firm round stool which you find in their hutch.
• The most important part of a rabbit’s diet is the fibre component, which they need to make their guts move. So you must make sure there is plenty available in the form of hay, grasses, Alfalfa, carrot tops and so forth. Fibre maintains good gut function and tends to keep rabbits slim
• Feed limited amounts of treats and cereals since this can lead to obesity.
• Feed plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, being careful not to overdose on items like lettuce.
• Consider feeding a complete pelleted diet (with separate hay too), so that rabbits can’t selectively favour certain parts.
• Offer water – best in a bowl , rather than a drinker!
• A word about Obesity… This can be a severe problem in rabbits who get lots of treats and not much fibre.
• They become fat and lazy.
• They become too fat to eat their caecotroph droppings from their rear.
• Soft droppings stick to their rear.
• Flies are attracted. Lay eggs.
• Eggs become maggots.
• Fly Strike.
If You Need Advice, then call 01889 590449
It is important to make sure your observe your rabbit pass regular droppings. If for any reason the rabbit is not eating or passing faeces, or you notice the abdomen enlarging, this is a medical emergency. Veterinary advice and treatment must be sought as soon as possible.
Don’t forget, chewing on fibre, fruit branches, carrots and other root vegetables helps reduce teeth problems and boredom.
If you are developing a ration for your rabbit, then 70% of the diet should be Hay and Grass, with 5% being rabbit pellets or concentrate, and the rest being herbs and fruit and veg. Try not to feed the mixed rabbit muesli style foods, as rabbits will often pick the bits of food they like. Treats should be fresh vegetables such as parsnips, carrots and broccoli.
Remember, there are foods that are toxic to rabbits. These include nuts, beans, vine tomatoes, oak leaves, acorns, apple seeds, rhubarb leaves, coffee beans and eucalyptus.
And one more thing, when rabbits moult they will groom themselves a lot. A fairly common occurrence is for them to get a hairball stuck in their stomach. Fresh pineapple juice can help digest fur balls, so the occasional drink of this can be beneficial.
We encourage all clients to take out Pet Insurance. Consider it part of being a responsible Owner.
If your animal has an accident or becomes unwell, insurance means that both Practice and Clients can do all that is needed without worrying so much about costs. The existence of the NHS means that people don’t realise the true cost of medical treatments, and can find it quite shocking.
Costs of Veterinary treatment are worked out allowing for all the expertise, equipment and medication your Pet requires.
Offering care to the best of our ability, means we use the same anaesthetics that are used in Paediatric medicine, we have modern equipment including a digital x-ray machine and blood testing machines for comprehensive testing including clotting profiles and hormone testing. We provide our own “out of hours” service so that in an emergency your pet does not have to travel to a distant Surgery.
Such Veterinary treatment does come at a cost and compromising on cost can unfortunately mean compromising on some aspects of care, or referral perhaps.
That is why we urge you to get your pet insured.
Pet insurance will often also cover 3rd part liability, emergency kennelling costs and advertising if your pet gets lost or strays.
Many Insurance Companies offer Pet Insurance. Clients should consider comparison websites to explore different policies.
As a Practice, we recommend PetPlan, who we find fair, offer excellent cover, which is for life and process claims quickly.
All insurance policies have an excess which is deducted from any claim. People often get confused about their “Insurance Excess”. This is payable normally as a single cost to the pet owner, when a claim is made. Much like with house or car insurance. It is important to understand that even if several claim forms are submitted for a long course of treatment, the Company should only deduct one excess and pay out the rest of the claims for the year without further deduction. (One exception can be much older pets, where some Companies charge an excess as a percentage).
It is very important to keep your pet up to date with their vaccinations to stop them from becoming very poorly against important diseases, which are preventable.
We give Puppies two injections, generally two to four weeks apart , from 8 weeks of age. We then repeat the injection with an annual booster. We vaccinate dogs against the diseases – Leptospirosis (Weils disease in humans), Distemper virus, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and also Bordetella (Kennel Cough). All of these diseases can cause immense suffering and can be highly fatal.
A word about Leptospira…
The UK vaccine Companies are now offering Lepto 4 vaccination components , instead of Lepto 2.
There are different strains (known as serovars) that are responsible for the leptospirosis disease. 2 strain (bivalent) vaccines provide protection against Icterohaemorrhagiae and Canicola serovars but recently a 4 strain (tetravalent) vaccine for leptospirosis has been licensed and recommended for use in dogs within Europe. Dogs travelling into Europe are thought to be better protected to the risks they may meet, by having the Lepto 4 vaccine.
It is important that the general dog population remains vaccinated. If people stop vaccinating their pets then these organisms will become much more prevalent in the general population and there is then the risk of an Outbreak of disease. At that point, all the pets that have “got away“ without being vaccinated for many years, are suddenly at much greater risk of disease, than their vaccinated neighbours.
Here at Abbeyfields we do not over vaccinate animals. We follow the recommendations for each vaccine; some parts of the dog vaccine will be only given once every three years depending on official recommendations. Most years Abbeyfields takes part in National Pet Vaccination Month, which is usually in May, where reduced priced restart vaccination courses will help if your pet has gone overdue.
Learn more about the components of dog vaccines by clicking the dog…
With any Questions, please call 01889 590449
Keeping cats healthy also requires vaccination against important diseases.
We start kittens off with two vaccinations at an interval of three weeks apart, from the age of 9 weeks old. We vaccinate cats against the cat flu viruses (Herpes and Calici virus), Feline leukaemia virus and Panleukopaenia. This covers most cats’ lifestyles and protects them for entry into Catteries.
Cats should also receive an annual booster to maintain immunity. As cats get older, we adjust our protocol, and often can omit the leukaemia component of the vaccine, when we think this risk has passed.
Please Call Abbeyfields to see if your Cat needs a vaccination 01889 590449
Families are increasingly keeping rabbits as pets . Many are dearly loved House Rabbits and their health status is important to us and their Owners.
It is important to vaccinate Rabbits against the two highly fatal diseases Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD). As Myxomatosis is prevalent in this area we vaccinate Rabbits every 6 months against it. We vaccinate Rabbits annually against VHD. A brilliant combined, single vaccine is now available, which has proved simple and very effective.
Call us to book your rabbit’s vaccination 01889 590449
It is very important to keep up to date with worming your Dog.
There are a variety of worms to be aware of, broadly divided into two groups – roundworms ( seen like pieces of cotton thread in faeces or vomit), and tapeworms ( which appear like a corrugated long tape of flat segments).
As a minimum, we recommend worming all adult dogs at least once every 3 months. If you have small children, or your dog eats raw food, then you should worm them monthly. Additionally , if lungworms are a risk in your area, then products licensed for lungworm prevention should be given monthly.
Puppies, under 6 months old, need to we wormed every month.
It is important to worm with a product from your Veterinary Surgeon as these are generally much more effective than Pet Shop wormers, which can be sold with no prescription. Veterinary wormers will also treat lungworm, which although rare, is a highly fatal disease. The intermediate carriers for these worms can be fleas, slugs, snails, small mammals, eating faeces and raw meat. Purchasing wormers from your Vet allows your to take advice and ask questions from a properly qualified professional.
Don’t forget if your dog travels abroad, to continue to worm; worms like heartworm are prevalent on the Continent. Our Vets at Abbeyfields can advise you further upon protocols and preferred worm brands.
Check out the WORM PATROL from Novartis, and set up worming reminders for your Pet
Call 01889 590449 to find out about our discount worming deals
Due to their hunting nature, cats commonly suffer from high worm burdens, particularly tapeworms.
If your cat is a prolific hunter, they should be wormed on a monthly basis, otherwise they should be wormed at least once every 3 months.
If you have young children in the house, again remember to worm your pet monthly, using a product from your Veterinary Surgeon which is maximally effective against all the worms we think may be in your environment.
As Your Veterinary Surgeons, we can advise you upon the most suitable product for your cat, based upon their lifestyle and what other medication they are taking.
We know that some cats wont take tablets and can offer spot on worming prepartions also. Some are combined with flea and mite products.
Remember to de-flea your cat also, as the two problems go hand in hand – fleas can carry immature tapeworm lifestages.
Rabbits need worming too!
The risk of parasites to rabbits is not so much intestinal worms, more a parasite which settles in the brain and causes devastating damage.
This parasite is called E. Cuniculi and causes a horrible disease of the nervous system.
We recommend worming rabbits twice a year with fenbendazole type wormers.There are a few brands available, and this is included in our Rabbit health package, which can be a great way to cover routine rabbit maintenance.
Call 01889 590449 for advice
The most common cause of an animal scratching is some form of parasite on the skin such as a flea, louse or mite.
The most common flea found in dogs is the cat flea
The most common reason for your dog to scratch is a flea infestation.
Flea burdens are incredibly itchy. A typical site for them to hide is over your dog’s rump, tail base and hind quarters.
Finding a single flea on your dog means you should treat it – and your house.
Finding dirt in the coat means fleas are feeding on your pet – so definitely treat your pet and your home.
Remember 95% of the flea population is in your house , and even your car. Treating your home is an important kick start to flea control.
Cats can hide fleas well. So treat every pet in the household.
It can take 3 months at least to get a problem under control.
Use a Vet supplied product that suits your pet and lifestyle
– there are spot ons , such as Effipro and Frontline, which must be put on the pet’s skin, not the hair and is less effective if dogs swim a lot.
– tablets which are given by weight. Newer ones, like Bravecto, last 3 months and are both new and very effective.
Is there resistance to flea products? – Some people think this is now happening with older generation flea products. Drug companies argue its all down to how Owners use the products, but we are watching the situation and advising on each person’s flea situation.
There are some good offers on effective flea control.
Call 01889 590449 and we can advise how to keep fleas away from your pets
Flea are a big problem to many cats.
Cats don’t tend to scratch – more commonly they groom a lot and chew out their hair. Sometimes they form hairballs which are vomitted up.
Some cats are intensely allergic to flea saliva and it may only take one bite to cause a severe reaction in the skin, called flea allergic dermatitis.
You can find flea dirt in cats’ coats where there is a heavy burden.
When you see a flea or dirt on your cat, – Treat everything and every animal.
95% of the flea burden is in your home.
Treatment can be monthly spot ons like Effipro, or Broadline, or Activyl. Some products treat other mites and worms too
Tablets like Comfortis given monthly are very effective and claim good environmental control also.
Call 01889 590449 if you find you need help with a flea problem
Fleas in rabbits can be an important source of disease transmission.
Diseases like myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease need a flea vector to bite and spread.
Wild animals are a source of fleas.
There are other mites too which can seem similar.
MAKE SURE you use the right flea product which is licensed for rabbits, since some dog and cat preparations can be fatal.
Call 01889 590449 and we can advise.
Dental Disease is extremely common in pets. The first thing noticed is often bad, smelly breath.
It is very common for pets to develop problems with their teeth, as they do not brush them like we do.
Dental problems often go unnoticed until there is a severe problem
Dental diseases can also lead to problems like kidney abscesses and disorders of the heart valves, so it is very important that any problems are readily picked up and treated.
Here at Abbeyfields in Rocester we will regularly monitor your pet’s teeth at every annual vaccination and at 6monthly intervals between, where we have concerns. We also have specific dental awareness months where we offer free dental checks.
There are ways to prevent your pet getting sore teeth and these include;
• Cleaning your pet’s teeth with a pet friendly toothpaste-if they’ll let you! – this is “gold standard”
• Feeding a dry diet rather than wet food as these help crack the tartar off the teeth. Hills T/D diet is particularly good at this.•
• Pet Chews such as Virbac’s Veggie Dents are helpful.
• Many owners find that chewing bones once weekly keeps their pet’s teeth clean. But care about splinters here.
• Avoid human treats like cups of sweet tea.
• Having a proper scale and polish at the Veterinary Surgery, to particularly remove tartar below the gum line. This reduces gingivitis and preserves teeth for longer.
Here at Abbeyfields we keep our dental procedures very competitively priced.
Call us on 01889 590449 for our current dental offers.
Many people assume that if a dog has a cough, then it must be kennel cough. However there are a variety of reasons why a dog may cough.
Kennel Cough is best described as a syndrome caused by several bacteria and viruses. The two most common infectious causes are Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria and the Parainfluenza virus. Many other organisms can be involved to a lesser degree.
An infectious cough like kennel cough can be picked up from kennels or anywhere where your dog comes into close proximity with another dog, perhaps the park or the Dog Training Club. We strongly recommend vaccinating against Kennel Cough as it is highly contagious and requires a long treatment course to resolve it. The kennel cough vaccine protects against Bordetella and parainfluenza. Whilst there may be other bugs involved, it as been proven that vaccinated dogs are much more likely to miss the infection, or any clinical signs of infection are greatly reduced and recovery is quicker.
Another common cause of coughing, especially in older dogs is heart disease. When the heart begins to fail, fluid can accumulate in the chest , which causes a cough. Furthermore , if the heart enlarges it can press on the wind pipe and also trigger a cough. Heart disease needs assessment and staging for the best possible approach to treatment.
Other causes of cough include;
• Lungworm – a worm that invades the chest and causes bleeding problems and coughing.
• Heartworm – another worm that is seen in pets that travel abroad (For more info go to pet travel scheme pages)
• Inflammatory airway diseases such as asthma and a condition called pulmonary fibrosis or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in Westies.
• Chest tumours
• A collapsing windpipe (trachea) – common in Yorkshire terriers and other small dogs
• An inhaled grass seed
• Other chest infections
All coughing dogs must be seen promptly by a veterinary surgeon as if detected early many of these problems can be well treated.
If your pet develops a lump of swelling, which you haven’t previously noted, then you must get it checked out by a Vet.
There are many causes for a lump including an abscess, an injection reaction, a foreign object such as a migrated grass seed or shotgun pellet, a hernia, and a tumour. Often lumps in pets are not cancerous and there may well be nothing to worry about, but cancerous lumps in pets can come in all shapes and sizes.
The lumps that concern us most tend to be those related to the mammary glands, those in the lymph glands (lymphoma) and those that develop in the skin. Internal lumps and cancers can be harder to spot, and your pet may need more investigations to find this, or may indeed present with signs which don’t automatically make you think of a mass.
Mammary lumps in dogs can be highly malignant with 50% of them being nasty. Our policy at Abbeyfields is to remove or at least sample all mammary lumps. We always find that mammary masses turn malignant in the end. Removal is best, but sampling and staging helps us to achieve large enough margins for clinical cure and gives a long term prognosis to our owns.
Another tumour that concerns us is one called a Mast Cell tumour. This is a skin tumour, most commonly seen in Boxer dogs, which can be quite aggressive in its nature. Often these masses release histamine and become itchy. It is important that these are removed with a massive margin of safety, since Mast Cell tumours tend to extend long roots into surrounding tissue. Don’t be surprised if we need to may a bigger skin wound than expected in these cases.
Often lumps can be well treated. If we are concerned that a mass is a malignant cancer, but unsure as to its exact nature, we may well test the lump with a “fine needle aspirate” or a biopsy. Subsequent removal allows us to plan wide margins if we have identified the type of cancer beforehand.
Some masses require follow up treatment such as chemotherapy at the Practice. Alternatively radiotherapy can be offered on referral, but this is rarely needed.
There is always a concern if your pet can’t get up and you should always seek urgent advice from your Veterinary Surgeon.
It could be that it has painful joints, it has been hit by a car (RTA), there is a back problem, a heart problem, a stroke, a high temperature or it is bleeding internally.
dogIf your Pet is slowing down and just not quite as quick out of its bed as it once was it could well be that arthritis is setting in. Arthritis, or degenerative joint disease, (DJD) is an extremely painful, aching, condition and should not be ignored for your pet’s quality of life. If treated in its early stages, the long term prognosis for an arthritic animal is much better than if it is left untreated, as this disease is a self perpetuating condition.
Radiography is always worthwhile, together with careful clinical examination of affected joints. There are lots of medications available – joint supplements plus different classes of pain killers or analgesics. Dog and cat painkillers are increasingly safer and more effective and can bring a new lease of life to affected pets. Similarly special nutritional diets for joint disease can help the approach to pain relief in a previously never considered way.
When joints become so diseased or end staged, sometimes only a salvage procedure will suffice. We have an increasing number of pets on our records who have undergone surgery – to fuse collapsed and diseased wrist joints or replace worn out hips. For these pets the results have been amazing; pain hasn’t just been controlled, it has been eliminated, and these pets have regained a youthful and active life.