Laparoscopic (key-hole) spays

Neutering a female dog can either be performed via the traditional method, where the abdomen is opened and the uterus (womb) and ovaries are removed, or using laparoscopy. This involves two small incisions made in the skin, through which the instruments and camera are inserted. The ovaries are removed leaving the uterus in place.

As with conventional spays, we recommend that this procedure is performed either when your dog is 6 months of age or 2-3 months following a season.

We offer this procedure to our Avonvale patients and also to those referred to us by their usual veterinary practice.

Advantages of laparoscopic procedures

  • Reduced pain from surgical wounds (so your dog is more comfortable)
  • Smaller surgical wounds
  • Fewer stitches
  • A faster return to normal activity
  • Reduced scar tissue formation

What to expect when your pet comes in

Your pet will be admitted by one of our nurses on the day of the procedure. It is important that they have had no food since midnight but can be allowed water over night.

Once admitted they will receive a general anaesthetic as with all operations. The fur on the stomach will be clipped and the skin cleaned ready for the operation.

Laparoscopic (key-hole) spays

Two small incisions will be made in the skin and the cameras and instruments inserted through these. Once the ovaries have been remove these little holes will be closed, normally with dissolvable stitches that are buried beneath the skin. Your pet will be discharged on the same day.

As with humans undergoing laparoscopic procedures we will ask for consent to convert to a conventional approach during the procedure if necessary. This is extremely unlikely to happen and would only be performed if unforeseen circumstances arise where it would be safer for you pet to do this.

Post operative care

Your dog will be sent home with a plastic collar to wear. This will prevent them licking at their wounds and introducing infections. This should be worn at all times unless they are under your direct supervision.

Most animals are a little quiet after an anaesthetic and can have a reduced appetite for up to 24 hours.

They should be kept on the lead for 3 days, at which time they will have a post-operative check with one of our nurses (or back at your normal vets if they were a referral). They will examine the wounds and make sure everything is healing well and after this they can resume normal exercise.

A pain killer (metacam) will be dispensed when your pet is discharged. This should be given for 2-3 days after the operation.

If you would like to find out more or have any questions please give us a call on 01789 561010

Posted in General News, Pet health care advice, Stratford News |

Physiotherapy for Animals

Avonvale Veterinary Centres offer a well-equipped and comprehensive physiotherapy service for your pets.

Poppy Carroll, our Registered Veterinary Nurse has been with Avonvale since 2010 and has since qualified as a Veterinary Physiotherapist. Poppy is a fully insured small animal physiotherapist who is registered with ASSVAP (Association for the Scientific Study of Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapy).

We recognise that a multimodal approach is imperative when it comes to patient care. There are many benefits to physiotherapy and when we combine this knowledge with veterinary care and hydrotherapy we can make our patients stronger, happier and healthier.Physiotherapy for Animals

Recognising the need for physiotherapy

Animals, just like people can suffer sprains and strains, and have bad backs, sore hips, aches and pains. To keep them comfortable physiotherapy could be a treatment option.

For your pet to receive physiotherapy, a referral will need to be done by the treating veterinary surgeon.

Veterinary physiotherapy can help with the management of:

  • Arthritis
  • Rehabilitation before and after orthopaedic surgery
  • Soft tissue injuries- tendon, ligament or muscular
  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Angular limb deformities
  • Weight managementPhysiotherapy for Animals

The following signs may indicate the need for an appointment:

  • Struggling to get up or showing stiffness or weakness
  • Overweight
  • Limping
  • Reluctance to play or less enthusiasm to get moving
  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Licking their joints
  • Slowing down on walks

What to expect when you come for an appointment

Your appointment will need to be made at our Kenilworth practice. This will include an assessment and will reflect the veterinary surgeon’s recommendation. Following on from the assessment manual therapy, laser, ultrasound, muscle stimulation and/ or exercises will be chosen on an individual plan tailored to your animal’s needs. There will be padded floor mats and bedding available to ensure your pet is comfortable during the appointment.

The treatments chosen will be dependent on your pet’s response and this will also determine the number of treatments needed. This will be discussed with you during your appointment.Physiotherapy for Animals

Treatments that may be included:

  • Manual techniques for joints and soft tissues
  • Proprioception and balance exercises
  • Ultrasound
  • Laser
  • Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation
  • Tailored treatment and exercise plan for your animal- this includes fun animal gym equipment!

After your pet’s treatment

Your animal may drink more water than normal after their treatment and may be lethargic so an easy afternoon with a gentle walk and perhaps a nap or two will be adequate.
Physiotherapy for Animals

If you feel that physiotherapy may be an option for your pet, Poppy or your Veterinary Surgeon will be more than happy to talk things through with you.

To make an appointment please call the Kenilworth surgery on 01926 854181



Posted in General News, Kenilworth News |

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 |

Cubbington Fun Day

This year we have a stall at the Cubbington Fun Day on Sunday 16th July, and would love to see you there!

We will be there between 2-6pm at Cliff Cleaver Community Pavillion and Playing Field.

See you then!

Posted in General News |

Maggie’s feeling lighter

Maggie is a 5 year old guinea pig who was brought into our Stratford surgery, to see vet Katie, as she had been a bit quiet and not eating as much as normal. She has also developed a bald patch on her back where she has been chewing out her fur.

Katie examined her and found that she has a large mass in her stomach. This was likely to be either a cyst on her ovary or a tumour. As Guinea pigs are prey species they often hide signs of illness or pain and so it can be difficult to tell when something is up. We decided to operate to find out which it was. Luckily for Maggie is was a cyst, one huge one on her left ovary and a smaller one on her right ovary. We removed both and woke her up from anaesthetic.

Maggie went home and she quickly returned to her normal self. She is now eating normally and back to enjoying life.



Posted in General News |

Flea and tick awareness

As the weather starts to get warmer, we all begin to enjoy the great outdoors with our pets. The change of season sees our animals become more playful as they soak up the sights and smells of spring and spend longer outdoors.

With that in mind, now is the perfect time to check you’re up to date with your pet’s vaccinations and parasite treatment. Are your pet’s vaccinations all current? When was the last time your pet had flea and worming treatment?

Book in for your Free Spring Wellbeing Check with a member of our nursing team. They will be able to give advice on how to identify the signs of normal health and wellbeing, while also pointing out signs of any problems which are likely to occur at this time of year.

To book a check up, find your nearest practice at

Posted in General News |

How to become a Veterinary Nurse

Are you interested in becoming a Veterinary Nurse but not sure how? One of our students nurses, Jaz, has told us of her experiences and route to becoming a registered Veterinary Nurse.

Hi I’m Jaz, a student vet nurse at the Stratford surgery of Avonvale Veterinary Centres. After working with horses until the age of 25 and with a Bsc (Hons) in Equine Science under my belt, I felt it was time for a career change. I have always loved all animals from a young age and so I felt veterinary nursing may be the career for me.

I set about finding out how to train as a veterinary nurse and found there are two main routes. The first option was a 3 or 4 year Bsc (Hons) in Veterinary Nursing alongside placement days for practical clinical skills. The second option was to undertake a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing which involved 4 days working in practice and 1 day a week at college over 2 ½ years. Due to already undertaking a degree, and my eagerness to get into practice and start learning hands on, I decided to take the Diploma route. We have a mixture here at Avonvale of students taking both routes.

I’m currently two years into my training and the end is in sight! Along the way I have undertaken case study assignments helping to link together theory and clinical skills, as well as written exams. I am assigned a clinical coach in practice and together we have been busy completing my Nursing Progress Log which is a computer based log of core tasks that a student needs to be competent at in order to finish their degree or diploma. Training ‘on the job’ is a way in which I feel I learn the best and I have found I particularly enjoy anaesthesia and in-patient care.

Ahead lie some final written exams and OSCE practical exams, after which I will finally be able to trade in my stripy student tunic for a bottle green registered veterinary nurse tunic!

Posted in General News | Tagged , , , , ,

Heston the Hedgehog

Just as the winter weather was setting in a member of the public bought a small hedgehog into our Stratford upon Avon surgery. He had been found in the middle of a car park during daylight hours. At just 97g he would not have survived the winter.Denni, one of our nurses, took him in. Over winter she kept him warm and well fed. His favourite food was meal worms but as these have little nutritional value they were rationed to encourage him to eat his healthier hedgehog mix. Over the winter he has grown big and strong, now weighing in at a healthy 700g.

As spring arrived, Heston was ready to be released. For safety reasons Heston was unable to be released back to where he was found. Thanks to Kyra at Hedgehog Friendly Town, Heston was released in a safe and hedgehog friendly environment.

Hedgehog Friendly Town work hard fostering hedgehogs and finding safe release sites. It is important to find out if other hedgehogs live in the area before releasing more on that site. If there are no resident hedgehogs already, there is probably a good reason for this and so an alternative site is found.

Unfortunately the hedgehog population is currently under threat. Here are a few ways you can help hedgehogs in your area.

  1. Leave areas of wilderness in your garden where hedgehogs can snuffle for insects. Place a small hedgehog house to provide a safe place for them to hibernate during winter. A small hole in your fence will allow visiting hedgehogs to pass through. In the past people used to mark visiting hedgehogs with a little paint so they know if they return but the paint may be harmful and also makes it easier for predators to spot them.
  2. Leave out a water bowl for them to drink from. Dusk is a good time to scatter food for them to eat. Avoid bread and milk as hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and these foods will make them ill. They like eating dog and cat food – wet or dry. They also like a few meal worms. Autumn and winter is a good time to leave out food for struggling hedgehogs.
  3. Kyra and Heston on the release day

    Hedgehogs are nocturnal. If you see a hedgehog during the day then it may need help. Using gardening gloves or a thick towel, carefully pick him up and take him to a wildlife rescue centre. Hedgehogs are also good at getting stuck in litter so pick up litter and if you do see a hedgehog in trouble, please transport him to a veterinary centre or wildlife rescue centre.

  4. If you are planning on having a bonfire, please always check for hedgehogs before lighting it. Unfortunately hedgehogs sometimes move into the heap before you light it and are then severely injured by the flames or worse.We would like to wish Heston and his fellow hedgehogs all the best for the future. It is also important to check for hedgehogs before using strimmers on long grass or vegetation.


Posted in General News, Stratford News | Tagged , , ,