Popular Subjects: dog

Avonvale Vets Stratford save puppy’s life after swallowing a stone


A young puppy was left choking and fighting to survive after swallowing a stone that blocked her airwaves.


Posted in General News | 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.”

Posted in General News | Tagged , ,

Life’s a peach for Marley

Marley was brought in to our Wellesbourne surgery because his owner was worried he was vomiting and off his food.

He was given symptomatic treatment to stop his vomiting but when he didn’t improve, vet Emily did an ultrasound scan of his abdomen to check for any underlying problems. One area of Marley’s intestine looked distended and there was some abnormal fluid in his abdomen. This made Emily suspect there may be a blockage, and she recommended surgery to look for the cause.

Marley was found to have a peach stone blocking his intestine which was the cause of his vomiting. Once the stone was removed, Marley recovered really well and went home a couple of days later.

We often send animals home with a buster collar after surgery to stop them lickin their wounds and causing problems with healing. Marley hated his collar, so we gave him a medical pet shirt which covered his wound and kept it clean. Here is Marley when he came in for a post-op check up looking much happier in his special shirt.

Posted in General News | Tagged , , ,

Buddy’s off the hook

This is 15 year old Buddy who came in to see vet Mark at Southam for his check up after an unfortunate encounter with a fish hook and line at the weekend.

On Sunday morning, Buddy sneaked into the garage and helped himself to some fishing bait. Unfortunately, the tasty morsel happened to be attached to a hook and several feet of fishing line. The hook becamelodged in his oesophagus, between his throat and heart. With Buddy safely asleep and an hour or so of delicate manipulation using a flexible scope and graspers, Mark managed to remove the hook.

All is now well, but some terriers never learn… vet Russell removed a hook from Buddy’s stomach using the scope in the same month 8 years ago!!

Posted in General News, Southam News | Tagged , , ,

Dental Awareness Month

Our pets rely on us to make sure that their teeth and oral health are in good order. They are not able to brush their teeth twice daily and take themselves off to the dentist every 6 months as we do, so we must take care of their teeth for them.

Poor dental hygiene can be a source of chronic pain and discomfort for many pets. Most owners are unaware of this discomfort because most animals will not cry out in the presence of such pain – they just tolerate it.

If there is an infection in the mouth it can allow bacteria into the body via the blood stream and cause infections elsewhere. Kidney, heart, lung and liver problems can all be caused by poor oral health. Bad teeth can therefore just be the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

Any of the following may indicate that your pet has a dental problem: 

  •   Halitosis (bad breath)
  •   Sensitivity around the mouth / pawing at the mouth
  •   Loss of appetite
  •   Bleeding, inflamed and/or receding gums
  •   Tartar (brownish hard material)
  •   Loose or missing teeth.
  •   Difficulty chewing & eating food or dropping food

The first thing to do is to look in your pet’s mouth. Halitosis (bad breath) is caused by bacteria in the mouth, so this may alert you to the presence of dental disease.

Tartar is the hard brown accumulation which occurs on teeth. It is caused by mineralisation of plaque which in turn is caused by bacterial action against food particles in the mouth. The presence of tartar leads to gingivitis (gum inflammation). The gums become red, sore and prone to bleeding when touched. Tartar and gingivitis will eventually lead to periodontal disease where inflammation and infection cause destruction of the tissue around the tooth. Affected teeth loosen and may eventually fall out.

If the disease is severe, affected animals may eat on one side of their mouth, lose weight or generally fail to thrive. Older cats especially may start to look rather tatty as they may start to groom themselves less enthusiastically.

When dental disease is suspected you should seek veterinary advice.

Throughout March we are offering free dental checks with a qualified veterinary nurse who can check your pets teeth, give you advice on preventative dental care and provide you with a  complimentary finger brush to help you get started.

For pets requiring further treatment, we are offering 20% off dental treatment during March.

Keep an eye out for further tips and advice on dental care on our website and Facebook page.

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

Arthritis in older pets

Now the nights are starting to draw in and the temperature is dropping, it’s important to keep our older four legged friends in mind. The colder weather can be hard on your pet’s joints, especially if they already suffer from joint disease such as arthritis.

Arthritis usually affects older animals and is caused by wear and tear on the joints, causing the cartilage which lines the joint to wear away. This causes pain and lameness, but the signs can also be more subtle. If you have an older dog, keep an eye out for stiffness, slowing down on walks and difficulty climbing the stairs or jumping into the car. In our elderly feline friends, we usually see difficulty jumping on to high surfaces and a reduction in activity levels, among other subtle changes.

imageIf you are worried that your pet may have the early symptoms of arthritis, make an appointment to see your vet who will be able to examine each joint for signs of stiffness and pain, and can prescribe medications to help reduce the inflammation and make your pet more comfortable, and supplements to improve the health of their joints. As well as medication, or instead of it in early stages,  weight control, physiotherapy, acupuncture and hydrotherapy can be extremely useful.

If your pet has been diagnosed with arthritis, there are several things you can do at home to help. When it’s cold and wet outside, take extra care to thoroughly dry your dog after walks, and consider using a coat to protect them against the worst of the weather. Allow cats access to the indoors and provide plenty of soft, warm bedding for your pets- hard floors can be harsh on older joints. Orthopaedic mattresses are widely available and can really help older pets. Lastly, the sporty among you will know the importance of warming up and warming down and it is no different for your dog- use 5 minutes at the start and end of a walk as a warm up and warm down period, where your dog is on the lead and not doing anything strenuous- controlled but regular exercise is best for dogs with arthritis.

If you have any concerns about the effects of aging on your pets and what you can do to help, pop in to your local branch and chat with a member of our staff, who are always happy to help.

-Becky Smith MRCVS

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


We have recently seen and treated two dogs with leptospirosis infections. Both dogs are thankfully doing very well but these cases highlight the importance of awareness of this disease.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease with several strains causing severe liver and kidney damage. It can be spread by rats, dogs, horses and pigs in their urine and is common around water courses both in towns and countryside alike. Leptospirosis can be transmitted to people, sometimes with fatal consequences. The signs of leptospirosis in dogs can be very variable, and in some cases dogs don’t show any obvious signs at all. When symptoms do occur they can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and jaundice (yellow tinged gums).

Leptospirosis is treatable, but it is much safer to ensure your dog is vaccinated to give protection. This year we have introduced a new and more advanced dog vaccine. This provides broader protection for Leptospirosis covering four, rather than the usual two, strains of this widespread disease. To upgrade the Leptospirosis protection your pet will need an L4 Upgrade injection 3-4 weeks after the usual booster to establish immunity. After this a single combined booster each year will maintain the complete protection. You will be offered the choice to do this at your booster appointment. If you have any questions about our new vaccination protocol please don’t hesitate to ask a member of staff.

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

Canine weight loss tips

It is estimated that 35% of all dogs in the UK are overweight. This is worrying because obese dogs are much more likely to develop health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, respiratory conditions and heart disease.

In this blog, Kenilworth veterinary nurse Poppy shares some of her top tips to encourage your dog to lose weight.

Stop with the treat drawer. Those puppy dog eyes are too hard to resist and one more treat won’t hurt, right? But these extras soon add up and cutting these out is one of these easiest changes you can make.

Never give human food. One cookie is the calorie equivalent of eating a hamburger! Dogs just can’t process human food like we can and rich foods can make them unwell too.

Get the whole family on board. A diet will not work unless everybody sticks to the correct routine- no more sneaky biscuit before bed!

Increase play. Not only will this burn those calories but it will also increase your bonding with your dog.

Measure his or her food out as to what the food manufacture recommends. Weighing your dog’s daily allowance is a much more accurate way than using measuring cups or guessing!

Come and speak to us in the surgery. All of our surgeries run weight clinics where we can give you specific advice tailored to your dog’s needs. Your nurse can check your dog’s body condition and advise you on how much they need to lose. They will also advise you how to tweak your feeding and exercise regime to help your dog to lose weight.

As mentioned above, one of the most useful ways we have to monitor an animal’s weight is by using body condition scoring. In our next blog we will discuss body condition scores so you can tell if your pet is overweight, and track the success of their weight loss program. 
Posted in Pet health care advice | Tagged , , ,

Blossom’s back in the pin-k

Blossom’s owners brought her in to our Kenilworth surgery recently after seeing her swallow a drawing pin.


Vet Kieran was concerned that the pin could damage Blossom’s intestine and could cause complications so he needed to remove the pin as soon as possible.



Kieran gave Blossom an injection to make her sick and hopefully bring the pin up.


Unfortunately Blossom only brought up part of the plastic end of the drawing pin, and an X-ray showed the rest of the pin still sitting in her stomach (arrowed).




Blossom had surgery the same day to remove the pin and ensure that it didn’t result in serious complications.


After a short stay in our Warwick hospital to ensure she was eating and not in any pain, Blossom went home and is back to her normal self. She is doing really well, but her owners say they’re keeping all pins out of reach!

Posted in General News, Kenilworth News | Tagged , ,

Sydney’s Allergies

Did you know that animals can suffer from allergies too? They don’t get the sniffles and runny eyes like we do, instead they normally get itchy feet and ears. In Sydney’s case he kept getting ear infections which were being set off by an underlying allergy.

We took a blood sample and ran a special test and found out that he was allergic to storage mites and house dust mites. These are very common in the home and almost impossible to get rid of completely.

A special vaccine was made up with the things that he was allergic to. This was given as an injection, starting in very small doses. The amount was gradually increased over about 6 months. This allows to body to get used to them and stops Sydney reacting to them in the future. For some dogs this can cure them of their allergy and some may need to stay on injections once a month for life but this can stop them needing other medication or allows us to keep them on a lower dose.

Sydney improved a lot after starting the injections but his ears were still bothering him. Because of the repeat infections his ear canals had become narrowed making him more prone to infections. We performed an operation to help open out the ear canals to stop this happening again.

With the combination of the special vaccines and  the surgery Sydney is so much better now. There are several different ways of treating allergies in pets. If you think your pet is showing any signs of an allergy please come in and talk to us.

Posted in General News, Kenilworth News | Tagged , , , , , , ,