Category Archives: General News

How to tackle ticks during the warmer months

Want to know the facts and how to avoid ticks this season? As we approach the warmer months, when ticks like to make an appearance, we wanted to give our pet owners a head start in preparing to tackle ticks!

Ticks live in tall grass and wooded areas such as trees, shrubs and leaf piles, particularly cool, moist, mature woods with thick undergrowth. They enjoy waiting in the underbrush for an animal or human to brush by, and then grasp the fur or skin and crawl up the leg. They don’t fly, jump or drop from trees. In the current circumstances, it may well be that people visit local areas of grassland and woodland in order to distance themselves from other dog walkers and come into more regular contact with ticks.

Although tick bites are often harmless, they can cause allergic reactions and certain ticks can pass diseases onto humans and pets when they bite, which can be dangerous.

Dogs and cats pick up ticks very easily, and dogs in particular are susceptible to tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for most of the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t prevent your dog from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it’s important to use a tick preventive product on your dog.

Ticks and their bites may be hard to detect. Signs of tickborne disease may not appear for 7-21 days or longer after a tick bite, so watch your dog closely for changes in behaviour or appetite if you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick.

Currently we are open for urgent or emergency consultations, but are still able to provide advice regarding:

  • The best tick prevention products for your dog
  • Tickborne diseases in your area

To further reduce the chances that a tick bite will make your dog sick:

  • Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors.
  • If you find a tick on your pet, remove it right away

In these worrying times, we can arrange to dispense tick prevention products for you, whilst maintaining stringent social distancing to protect you, our colleagues and the most vulnerable people in our society.

How to remove a tick

Step 1: Put on some gloves

There is little risk of the tick affecting you, so thoroughly washing your hands first will be adequate. Wearing gloves can prevent any infectious germs from the tick affecting you or your furry friend so if you have gloves available, wear them.

Step 2: Keep your pet calm

It is important to keep your pet calm and if somebody is available to help, they can keep your pet relaxed whilst you remove the tick. Perhaps distract them with some treats?

Step 3: Tweezers at the ready

It is also important not to squeeze the body of the tick, as this could force potentially harmful germs from the tick into your pet’s bloodstream. The best instrument to use is a “tick removal hook” which is passed under the tick and then turned gently around until the tick releases comes away. Failing this, take a pair of tweezers and grasp onto the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible. Grabbing close to the skin is the best way to get a tick head out but be careful not to pinch your pet’s skin!

Official tick removal advice can be found at https://lymediseaseuk.com/2015/10/26/tick-removal/

Step 4: Pull out the tick.

If using a tick hook, keep turning the hook using the instructions included in the pack until it releases. If using tweezers, gently pull the tick straight out taking your time and remaining steady. Do not twist or suddenly pull as you don’t want to leave the tick’s head or mouth behind. After removing the tick, examine it to make sure the head and mouthparts were removed. If not, please call your vet for advice on removing any remaining tick parts.

Step 5: Get rid of the tick

Kill the tick by placing it in a container with rubbing alcohol. Once the tick is dead, we recommend keeping it in the container with a lid in case your pet begins displaying symptoms of disease. There are many types of ticks, and each carry different kinds of diseases, so keeping the tick can help your vet make a proper diagnosis should your pet become poorly.

Step 6: Disinfect the bite.

You can use triple-antibiotic spray or wipes to disinfect the bite site, or you can use over-the-counter chlorhexidine solution to clean the area.

Keep an eye on it for signs of infection. If the skin remains red or becomes inflamed, please call your vet for advice.

Posted in General News |

The weekend of chocolate & treats – keeping our pets safe

The majority of the nation gets excited to be eating Easter eggs or chocolate for breakfast, lunch, or dinner – or perhaps all three! But we need to careful and ensure our pets don’t get a hold of any, as chocolate could be dangerous for our animals, especially dogs!

What should you look out for this Easter?

Chocolate

Chocolate contains a chemical called ‘theobromine’, which is toxic to our pets. Even small amounts can result in vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures (or fits), heart problems or, in severe cases, death. So be careful where you keep your chocolate!

Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns contain dried fruit, such as currants, sultanas and raisins – and all of these are toxic to dogs. If your dog eats even a small quantity of these dried fruits (and grapes), they could suffer severe kidney failure which may be fatal. Sharing just a little bit with your dog isn’t worth the risk – please keep them away from hot cross buns altogether.

What should I do if I think my dog has been affected?

If you think your dog has been affected by any of the above or other treats/hazards, it is advised you act quickly. Contact your vet in an emergency as soon as your pet shows signs of being ill or if you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t – we are available 24/7 for emergencies.

It’s a good idea to write down the details of anything you think your dog has ingested, when they ate/drank it, how much they have swallowed, and what symptoms they have been experiencing. If your pet needs to be seen, bring any containers or labels which will help the vet choose the best course of action.

Posted in General News |

Easter Opening Hours

With Easter coming up, our opening hours may vary from our usual times.  

 

Friday 10th:       CLOSED (Emergencies at Warwick practice only)

Saturday 11th:   08.30 – 11.00 (Heathcote, Southam, Stratford)

08.30 – 17.00 (Warwick)

CLOSED (Kenilworth & Wellesbourne)

Sunday 12th:     CLOSED (Emergencies at Warwick practice only)

Monday 13th:    CLOSED (Emergencies at Warwick practice only)

 

Our Cubbington practice is currently still closed until further notice.

 

Thank you for your continued understanding and support

 

Posted in General News |

COVID-19 & Pets

COVID-19 is much in the news, and some reports are based on fact, others speculation. We don’t have all the answers, but we do have some advice for you as a pet owner – or someone who spends a lot of time around pets – here’s what you should know:

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that animals infected by humans are playing a role in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Human outbreaks are driven by person to person contact. – OIE (World Organization for Animal Health – https://www.oie.int/).

While COVID-19 is still very much a predominantly human disease, the evolving scientific information around this new disease and the virus that causes it reinforces the need to treat pets as we do our family members; separating them from other infected individuals when possible and practise good hygiene when handling them, including proper hand-washing.

Specifically about cats, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organisations continue to agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that, in natural settings, pets spread COVID-19 to people. At this point we know that the virus that causes COVID-19 is most efficiently spread via human-human contact. We understand that there may occasionally be human-to-animal transmission of the virus (albeit without significant illness), so it’s important to treat pets as we would any family member and help keep them virus-free.

Additionally, there is currently no guidance to keep cats indoors. Only when cats are from infected households or where their owners are self-isolating, and the cat is happy to be kept indoors, should this be considered.  Further information is available at https://www.bva.co.uk/news-and-blog/news-article/bva-statement-on-cats-and-covid-19/

Posted in General News |

COVID-19 FAQ

In light of the current COVID-19 situation, we have pulled together a list of the frequently asked questions – which provide further information about the precautions all veterinary practices are taking to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Q: Are all existing appointments cancelled?

A: Following advice from the UK government, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA), we are currently only seeing urgent and emergency cases as face-to-face consultations, so routine and non-urgent appointments need to be postponed.  Rest assured that these appointments are those that can be delayed safely so please call us to discuss any queries you may have.  We will regularly review these appointment recommendations in line with government advice.

Q: What is classed as urgent or an emergency?

A: An emergency is when there is immediate threat to life or where there is likely to be a significant impact on an animal’s health and welfare if left unmanaged. Urgent cases are usually more stable, but still with significant health and welfare implications and a risk of deterioration.

If your pet is showing signs of being unwell or you have any concerns over their health, please contact the practice to discuss their signs and next steps, so we can guide you as to what type of care is required and when.

Q: Can I still get a repeat prescription?

A: Of course. We are here to ensure the continued health and well being of your pet and are still dispensing their current medications used to treat ongoing medical conditions. Please bear with us as we may need more notice for repeat prescriptions than you are used to, and the process may be different in terms of collection or delivery. We may also require a telephone or video consultation in order to proceed with the repeat prescription. Please call us if you require further information.

Q: Can I still get worming tablets and flea treatments?

A: Absolutely. It is important that these treatments are administered regularly for the health of your pet and we will work with you to get your order prepared and ready. As with prescriptions, please bear with us in terms of changes to collection or delivery.

Q: My pet’s vaccinations are due. What shall I do?

A: In support of the government’s instructions for people to stay at home, we are postponing vaccinations during the current lockdown period. This is in accordance with instructions from our governing body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, as well as other professional organisations and major charities. For adult dogs, there is some leeway on vaccination dates. It is advisable to limit dog-to-dog contact and their range of outdoor walks during this period. Keeping dogs away from areas which might harbour disease such as water courses or areas with a high rodent population such as farms and stables is also recommended. Puppies and kittens should, as far as possible, be kept indoors and away from other animals until we are able to start or complete their vaccinations. More information from the British Veterinary Association on vaccine postponement can be found here.

Q: My cat or dog needs neutering, what shall I do?

A: As planned neutering procedures are not classed as urgent or emergency, we are unable to offer these in the short-term. In the meantime, it is important to separate males and females entirely and to keep cats indoors if possible. Please call us if you need more advice on the practicalities of this until we are able to neuter your pet.

The information and advice contained here will be reviewed and updated in line with future government advice and guidance from the BVA and RCVS. Therefore, please visit regularly for the most up-to-date information.

Posted in General News |

Avonvale Vets COVID-19 (coronavirus) 01 April update

Corona-virus

Branch Update: Our Cubbington surgery will be closed from Wednesday 25th March until further notice.

We realise you may be feeling anxious at this time about your pet’s well being. However, we wanted to reassure you that we’ll do all we can to support you and your pet – should the need arise.

We’ve received lots of support and words of encouragement from our clients over the last few days – and we just wanted to say thank you.

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we are continually reviewing the resources we have available and the provision of services which are of most need to our clients and their pets.

Based on the government advice and professional guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), our governing body, we are currently physically open for urgent and emergency cases. If your pet requires urgent veterinary attention, please call us.  We will be able to advise you on how your pets can still receive the care they need and the steps you need to take. We are keeping the number of cases seen face-to-face to a minimum, and all adult boosters and most primary vaccinations in puppies and kittens will be postponed to protect human health and help curb the spread of COVID-19. All other assistance will be provided via telephone advice or video consultation, where available.

Medicines, prescriptions and food can also be supplied.

Please call us to find out more about any of these services and how to access them

At this time, we would ask that you please bear with us as it may take us a little longer to answer the phone or deal with your request.

We have made this decision as the health and well being of our patients, clients and staff is our number-one priority.

Thank you for your understanding during this time. We remain committed to delivering the best care for your pet and for now, stay safe, we are here for you if you need us.

Guidance for visiting a practice:

If you are visiting a practice for an urgent or emergency appointment, the following precautions are in place to protect everyone who works in and visits our practice:

  • If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, had close contact with someone who has, or you’re experiencing symptoms (new persistent cough and/or fever), and your pet needs veterinary care, please call us. We will be able to advise you on how your pets can receive the care they need.
  • If you have been self-isolated with COVID-19 and have recently visited one of our practices, please let us know as soon as possible. This is so we can implement measures to protect our staff and other clients.
  • When you arrive, please wait outside and call our reception team to notify them of your arrival.
  • We will advise you of how we can safely take your pet into the practice to be examined.
  • We request that you remain in your car or outside of the practice, where possible, to protect the health and well being of our staff. We will call you during the consultation to discuss any appropriate treatment options.
  • When possible, schedule appointments in advance to not only reduce your wait time but also enable us to better prepare for your pet’s health needs prior to their arrival.
  • If your pet is hospitalised at our facility, we are asking clients not to visit their pet at this time.
  • If you need to change any appointments because you are in isolation, please call us and we will rearrange these for you.

We are following the government’s most recent advice regarding the measures we need to take to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Posted in General News |

Avonvale Vets COVID-19 (Coronavirus) 31 March Update

As you’re probably aware, from our last update, we continue to monitor the situation and respond quickly to government advice and the professional guidance from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and British Veterinary Association. As a result, we are focusing our efforts on the pets in urgent need of our care and are only physically open for urgent and emergency cases.

However, you can always contact us for any assistance and we will advise you on how your pets can still receive the care they need.

Prescriptions
If you need a prescription for your pet we are asking that you please call us at least 24 hours in advance so that we can ensure we are able to get it ready for you and can discuss arrangements.

New Video Consultation Service
We recognise that many of our clients are anxious about supporting their pet’s health while movement is restricted and we’re in isolation. In light of this situation, we’ve recently launched a Video Consultation Service – which uses technology to provide general advice, help monitor and update treatment for pets already in our care. In the first instance we ask that you contact the practice and we will advise you of the best way to manage your request – which could be via a video consultation. Our usual consultation fee would apply – you can find out more by visiting our Video Consultation Service page.

Other useful information and guidance
We’ve also written hints and tips and things to consider while you’re at home with your pet. These include exercise techniques for your pet, how to manage their weight and the importance of mental stimulation during this period of isolation. See our advice here.

The health and well being of our patients, clients and staff is our number-one priority. The situation is changing daily and we’re reacting to this to minimise the impact from spreading this virus to more people while supporting your pet’s health needs. If you have any concerns or require any advice, please do contact us.

Thank you for your understanding and patience at this time. We appreciate the words of support and encouragement we have received and look forward to welcoming you and your pet back into our practices when we are able.

Posted in General News |

Avonvale Vets COVID-19 (coronavirus) update

At Avonvale Vets, the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, our staff and our community is our number-one priority.

We remain committed to delivering exceptional care to your pet, while doing our part to reduce the spread of respiratory illness (in particular, COVID-19 coronavirus), including careful monitoring of the health and wellbeing of our staff.

Over the past few weeks, we have taken a series of precautionary steps at our practices in response to this outbreak, including increased cleaning, disinfection and access to hand sanitiser for our staff and clients.

Doing our part to keep pets, clients and our staff healthy during COVID-19 (coronavirus)

In addition to the steps we’re taking as a practice to protect everyone who works in and visits our practice, we kindly ask that you take the following precautions:

  • If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, had close contact with someone who has, or you’re experiencing symptoms (new persistent cough and/or fever), and your pet needs veterinary care, please call us. We will be able to advise you on how your pets can receive the care they need.
  • If you have been self-isolated with COVID-19 and have recently visited one of our practices, please let us know as soon as possible. This is so we can implement measures to protect our staff and other clients, some of whom are elderly or could be more susceptible to illness.
  • If your pet requires urgent veterinary attention, please call us.  We will be able to advise you on how your pets can still receive the care they need.
  • When you arrive, please call our reception team and they will advise when you can enter the practice. If you are told to wait, if you can please wait outside the practice or in your car and the reception team will call you as soon as you can enter.
  • Only 1 client should enter the practice whenever possible.
  • Please limit your time in the waiting area, and maintain at least 6 feet / 2 metres of space between you and other pet owners in common spaces.
  • When possible, schedule appointments in advance to not only reduce your wait time but also enable us to better prepare for your pet’s health needs prior to their arrival.
  • If your pet is hospitalised at our facility, we are asking clients to avoid visiting their pet.
  • If you need to change any appointments because you are in isolation, please call us and we will rearrange these for you.
  • We are following the government’s most recent advice regarding the measures we need to take to help control the spread of COVID-19. There’s provision at all of our practices for you to wash your hands when you arrive and before you leave.

Please contact us if you’d like further advice about caring for your pet over the coming months.

Download our poster

Posted in General News |

Joining forces with Cats Protection for FREE Neutering Month

Cat owners will be able to get their pets neutered for free thanks to a month-long initiative between us and Mid-Warwickshire Cats Protection.

Sandy Soinne, neutering officer from Mid-Warwickshire Cats Protection, said: “Getting your cat neutered is unbelievably important.

vet-andrea-davis-and-cat-avonvale

Vet Andrea Davies and a feline patient.

“An unneutered female cat can have two, sometimes even three, litters a year. This is bad for their health, weakening them and opening them up to all sorts of infections.

“Unneutered males will go out looking for a female to mate with and will end up fighting, which results in abscesses and wounds and all manner of things which are hugely damaging to their health and wellbeing.

“For anyone concerned that neutering will mean no kittens are born, we at Cats Protection know from the work we do day in, day out that there will always be many unwanted, unloved kittens out there who will need homes.”

Kieran O’Halloran, our clinical director, said: “We have always been delighted to support Cats Protection during Free Neutering Month.

“If you live in the catchment area and you have a cat which is over four months old and has not been neutered, then I urge you to take advantage of this wonderful initiative.

“Not only does neutering reduce the number of strays organisations such as Cats Protection take in and care for, it is also far better for the health of your pet.”

The Mid-Warwickshire Cats Protection scheme runs throughout February for pet owners in the following postcode areas: B49, B50, CV31, CV32, CV33, CV34, CV35, CV36, CV37 and CV47.

The offer is limited and is on a first come, first served basis. Pet owners should call their nearest branch to book an appointment.

For more details, visit http://bit.ly/freeneutering.

Posted in General News, Pet health care advice | Tagged

Boxing Clever For Animal Rescue Centres

Pawprints – Zeppelin the dog with Leonie MacDonald from Pawprints Dog Rescue and Liz Baldwin-Martin.

We proved we can really box clever after a hugely successful Christmas and new year appeal to help needy animals.

We launched our Christmas Shoe Box Appeal in November to support Avon Cat Rescue, in Welford, Pawprints Dog Rescue, in Rugby, and Evesham Greyhound and Lurcher Rescue.

We asked people to donate items such as tins of food, bags of biscuits, pet treats, collars and toys, or they could purchase items directly from us which were then put into Christmas boxes to present to the rescue centres on their behalf.

Generous members of the public answered our call for support and donated enough items to fill at least five car boots.

Our group practice manager, Kate Webb, said: “We were blown away by how generous people were when we asked them to show their support for our Christmas and new year appeal.

“It gave us all such huge pleasure to be able to present the boxes filled with treats to so many animals in need at these amazing rescue centres.

“Thank you to all Avonvale’s clients and friends who have showed such kindness.”

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