Category Archives: Warwick News

Be prepared to help pets de-stress, urge Warwickshire Vets

Pet lovers are being urged to be well prepared for what veterinary experts have highlighted as a time of year which can be difficult to keep animals calm.

Noisy celebrations such as Halloween, Bonfire Night, Diwali, Christmas and New Year are all identified as occasions which can cause stress for pets.

Help is at hand, though, as Avonvale Veterinary Centres in Warwickshire is running a “Comfort your Pet” campaign which is aimed at raising awareness of the challenges of the upcoming party season, while also providing advice, guidance and offers on treatment.

Kieran O’Halloran, of Avonvale Veterinary Centres, explained: “This is the most challenging time of year for pet owners as there are so many potential triggers of stress in animals coming up over the next few months.

“There are the bangs of fireworks, the noisy and hectic festive season – including unfamiliar faces and smells – and, of course, there’s the possibility of autumn thunderstorms and the earlier dark evenings.

“All of these can cause stress in our pets and while some owners will seek guidance and advice, we also know there are many others who just suffer through this period with their pets not knowing that help is available.

“The aim of our campaign is to raise awareness of the potential problems ahead, promote the numerous precautions and highlight the effective treatments which are available in a bid to ensure people are well informed and well prepared to cope with any potential problems.

“We’ll be handing out leaflets full of advice and guidance and providing offers on stress relieving treatments such as Feliway and Adaptil diffusers and collars, which help comfort pets and keep them calm.”

The comprehensive measures are all part of the far-reaching, proactive campaign by Avonvale Veterinary Centres which begins on Monday, September 30 and runs all the way through to Sunday, January 5, 2020.

Posted in General News, Pet health care advice, Warwick News | Tagged

Warwickshire vet helps tackle stray cat epidemic in Cyprus

avonvets in cyprus

Veterinary surgeon Sarah Ives at the Paphiako

A Warwickshire veterinary surgeon has spoken of her experience working to tackle the “massive problem” with stray animals on the popular holiday island of Cyprus.

Sarah Ives spent a week at the Paphiakos and CCP Animal Welfare shelter, near Paphos, where she neutered up to five cats and dogs a day, as well as carrying out medicine work and operations.

The dedicated vet, 25, who joined Avonvale Veterinary Centres’ Heathcote practice six weeks ago, carried out the volunteering in her own time.

Sarah visited the sanctuary on the Mediterranean island with friend and fellow vet Natasha Jameson, who works for Vets4Pets in Oxfordshire.

kitten in care of avonvets in cyprus

CCP Animal Welfare shelter in Cyprus

She said: “Sadly, there is a massive problem with stray cats and dogs in Cyprus. They are treated more as pests, particularly cats.

“Dogs are often bred for hunting season and when that’s over they are just abandoned. It is very sad.”

The need for good-quality animal care on the island was highlighted by the variety of work which Sarah was asked to carry out.

This also included medicating animals and even removing an eye from another animal.

dog in avonvets care in cyprus

CCP Animal Welfare shelter in Cyprus

Speaking about her work at the sanctuary, Sarah added: “It’s the second time I’ve visited – the last trip was just after I finished university, two years ago.

“It is a trap, neuter and release scheme which is aimed at helping with the problem of stray cats in the area.

They take in all sorts of animals though, so I ended up neutering some dogs too!

“There were four of us there – Natasha, myself and two final year students from the Royal Veterinary College.

Between us, we were neutering around 25 animals a day.”

Both Sarah and Natasha adopted a dog from Paphiakos and CCP Animal Welfare when they first visited two years ago.

For more information on the centre, visit


 puppy-in-a-shelter cats-in-a-shelter-cyprus

Posted in General News, Warwick News | Tagged ,

Warwickshire Vets Toast ‘Double’ Anniversary

Top Warwickshire vets Andrea and Simon Davies are toasting a remarkable double – their 20th wedding and work anniversaries!

The happy couple married in 1999 and later that year moved to the Leamington Spa area to start work as young vets at Avonvale Veterinary Centres.

Andrea & Simon on their wedding day

Andrea & Simon on their wedding day

It’s certainly been a successful and eventful 20 years on both fronts. Simon is now clinical director at Avonvale’s flagship practice in Warwick, which is a first opinion veterinary centre and pet hospital, while Andrea is a senior veterinary surgeon at Avonvale’s Southam clinic.

The pet-loving pair, who live in Heathcote, also now have three children, Luke, 17, Oliver, 15, and Lauren, 10.

Simon admits Andrea was the trail-blazer, revealing: “Just after we were married, she was working as a locum for Avonvale at their Wellesbourne clinic and they were so impressed with her they offered her a full-time job.

“Andrea immediately asked if they’d take me on too – and they did! We’ve not looked back since.

“We moved to the Leamington area and honestly thought we might be here for a couple of years or so.

“Twenty years on we are still here, still working with Avonvale and we’ve no plans to move on – this is home now.”

Andrea also made the first move in the relationship stakes, when they were veterinary students at Bristol University in 1991.

She recalled: “It was in the Halls of Residence at Bristol University and I walked over to Simon and asked him if he liked Abba.

“He smiled and said ‘Yes’ and that’s how it all started.”

Andrea & Simon today

Andrea & Simon today

Nowadays they’re busy looking to the future with Avonvale, which has sites in Warwick, Kenilworth, Stratford, Heathcote, Southam, Wellesbourne and Cubbington, continuing to invest in industry-leading facilities, equipment and staff.

Andrea added: “There’s definitely benefits for us both working for the same company. Lots of what we do overlaps, we obviously know the same people and working at different sites means we are not under each other’s feet the whole time.”

Simon said: “The children are growing up fast, there’s universities, big exams and senior schools to think about these days so we are busy at home and at work – but that’s the way we like it.”

Posted in General News, Leamington News, Warwick News | Tagged , ,

Leading Warwickshire vets throwing open its doors

A leading Warwickshire vet is throwing open the doors to one of its branches so the public can discover more about veterinary care.

Avonvale Veterinary Centres will be holding an open evening at its Wellesbourne branch, in Warwick Road, on Thursday, August 8 from 7pm.

Deborah Newman, senior vet, said: “Not only is the event open to all our existing clients, but we would also welcome any members of the public who want to come along and see what services we can offer to them and their pets.

“They will be given an insight into how a veterinary practice operates as we will have a mock surgery set up. They will also be able to see the prep room and theatre.

“As well as a tour of the facilities, there will be a series of displays focusing on things such as dental x-rays and coping with pets and parasites.”
Veterinary staff will be on hand throughout the event to answer any questions visitors have.

For those with a sweet tooth, cakes are also being prepared by staff to raise money for Cat’s Protection, Avonvale’s chosen charity.

deborah newman from avonvale vets

Senior vet Deborah Newman is inviting the public to the open evening at the Wellesbourne branch.

Posted in General News, Warwick News | Tagged ,

Bella’s having a ball after life-changing operation

bella the pug at avonvale veterinary centre

Bella the pug is now much happier after her operation.

A pug dog is enjoying a new lease of life after a leading Warwickshire vet carried out an operation which dramatically improved her breathing problems.

Like many pugs and other flat faced dogs, Bella, who is six, suffered from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS).

The breed has all of the anatomy of a longer nosed dog condensed into their flat noses, so there can be very little room for air to get in and out.

Bella was given a general anaesthetic and Katie Wain, clinical director of Avonvale Veterinary Centres, operated to remove part of her soft pallet, to solve the issue.

The case has prompted Katie to issue advice to owners of flat faced dogs. She said it is not normal for them to breathe noisily and if they are doing this, owners should take them to see a vet.

katie and bella at avonvale veterinary  surgery

Bella with Katie Wain, clinical director at Avonvale Veterinary Centres

Katie said: “I found her soft palate was too long and was flapping and blocking her airway so I shortened this to stop it happening.

“She also had really tiny nostrils which I made bigger.

“Immediately after the op you could hear a difference in her breathing. We kept her in overnight so we could monitor her and she was sent home the following day.

“Now, nine months later, and her owners simply can’t believe the difference in her. She is a much brighter and happier dog.”

David Barnes, who takes care of Bella during the week while his daughter Charlotte is at work, said: “The change in Bella was almost instantaneous. Before her op, she really struggled, particularly on hot days.

“She would get breathless when we took her for walks, she would snore really loudly and her inability to breath properly used to wake her up at night. It was so upsetting.

“She is now a different dog. She is just so happy. She is no longer distressed at night by sleep apnea, caused by gasping for breath”.

Bella is already a bit of a legend as last year, David released a book about his and Bella’s life together. Money made through sales of “Paws for Thought” is being donated to Pug and French Bull Dog Rescue and Rehoming Foundation, in Wales.

Katie has some advice to pug owners. She said: “People should be aware that BOAS is a problem that often occurs in this breed of dog.

“Many people think their noisy breathing is normal but it really isn’t. A normal dog shouldn’t make a noise when breathing, this is a sign that something is blocking the airway.”

She said another issue with pugs is that they are very prone to heat stroke, so owners should be wary with the summer approaching.

Posted in General News, Pet health care advice, Warwick News | Tagged

Bella’s sore throat

Bella's sore throat

Beautiful Bella was seen last month as an emergency out of hours at our Warwick hospital. She had been out in the garden and had come back retching and seemed very uncomfortable.

Night vet Roxanne was worried Bella had something stuck in her nose or throat which was causing her symptoms, so she was admitted for an anaesthetic so we could have a good look at the back of her throat.

Bella's sore throat - blades of grass swallowed by Bella

It soon became clear why Bella was gagging- she had 2 long blades of grass stuck at the back of her mouth behind her soft palate. Bella was given an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory injection to resolve the swelling and infection caused by the grass blades.

By the next morning Bella was a lot happier and she is now back to going out in the garden to hunt- hopefully she won’t catch any more grass blades!

Posted in General News, Warwick News |

Eric’s knot been well

Eric's knot been well

This is Eric, a tiny 1year old Yorkshire Terrier. Yesterday he stole a shoe and after chewing it to pieces he managed to eat the shoelace – all 107 cm of it!

His owners realised what had happened and brought him straight to our Warwick hospital. Vet Helen advised to make him vomit whilst the lace was still in his stomach, as once it starts to pass through it could easily have caused a blockage in his intestine.

After the injection to make him sick Eric brought up the entire shoelace, and his owner had helpfully brought the other shoelace for comparison!




Posted in General News, Warwick News |

Soggy moggies avoid cat-astrophe

Soggy moggies avoid cat-astropheThese two gorgeous kittens are only six weeks old but have already used one of their nine lives.

Their owners hadn’t realised they were happily curled up asleep amongst the dirty washing in the laundry basket and accidentally put the kittens in the washing machine. The owner acted quickly as soon as they realised what had happened and got them out, dried them off and brought them straight in to us to be checked over by Warwick vet Gemma.

They were alert and conscious but cold and in shock. Gemma was worried they may have inhaled some water and detergent which could cause delayed breathing problems so they stayed overnight for observation. By the next morning they had recovered really well and their breathing was completely normal so they were able to go home that day.

Soggy moggies avoid cat-astrophe


Here they are with mum Peach after their ordeal- already feeling better and back to their mischievous ways!

Their owners would like us to share their story and advise all pet owners to check laundry baskets before loading washing machines and tumble dryers. These lovely kittens were very lucky and have made a full recovery, but it could easily have been a different story.






Posted in General News, Warwick News |

Jasper’s ribbon emergency

Jasper, Helen and Maddi

Poor Jasper was seen out of hours by Warwick vet Helen this week after swallowing a long piece of ribbon.

He has played with the ribbon for years without any problems, but this time his owner saw the end of the ribbon in Jasper’s mouth and called us straight away.

Helen advised we see Jasper as soon as possible before the ribbon became lodged in his intestines- this would have caused a lot of damage and could have led to peritonitis which would have made him very unwell.

Jasper was given a general anaesthetic which was closely monitored by veterinary nurse Maddi. Helen passed a camera (endoscope) down into Jaspers stomach to see if the ribbon was still there; if it had passed through the stomach into the intestine Jasper would have to have surgery to remove it.

ribbon cat 2Fortunately, the ribbon was still in his stomach so Helen was able to remove it using the endoscope meaning Jasper didn’t need surgery. Once it was removed Helen and Maddi found that the ribbon was almost 3 feet long, which can’t have been easy for him to swallow!

Jasper recovered very well from his anaesthetic and went home the next day. Hopefully he has learned his lesson and won’t eat any more ribbons!

Posted in General News, Warwick News | Tagged , ,

Houdini the hedgehog

Houdini 1This is Houdini the hedgehog who was brought in to see Mark out of hours this week. He was found in Stratford with some plastic netting stuck around his neck.

The plastic had been there for some time and had cut into the skin around his neck so it was difficult to remove. Mark gave Houdini an anaesthetic and managed to carefully cut him free.

Houdini netting

Houdini and KimHere is Houdini having a cuddle with vet nurse Kim after his lucky escape!

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