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Its been a while....

Posted on 22nd August, 2018

I can't believe its been almost a year since I posted on here. I was going to start by saying its been a busy few months... however its been much longer. So what has been happening... I wanted to share with you lots of articles and changes within the veterinary industry,etc, but this has been hampered by; Moving house and having to sort accomodation out for the pets while we settle in. (we now have a purpose built aviary and run, with sun room and shed and large floorspace. This greatly helps with the wildies that my wife and I rescue. It keeps them seperate and protected from further harm while they recouperate before release.) My job has had some changes, and got much busier and the house is undergoing building works too, so its been all hands on deck. Even with all of this there is still space for the kids to play aswell. 

 

But things are coming together and i've found the laptop leads and i'm ready to start posting again. Look out for the new RESCUE page appearing soon, this will detail our wildies that we care for an release. Well thats all for now. Thank you guys for following and i'll be back soon. :)

 

 

Still hot....

Posted on 28th August, 2017

Dogs die in hot cars!!

 

Dogs die in hot cars

 

 

 

 

Yes i am still banging on about dogs being left in cars!!

 

Every year we await a call, someone has just nipped out to the shop and left their dog in the car, they cant understand whats happened when they come back and the dog doesn't seem right.

 

I thought by now everyone might know the message, but with the unusually hot weather still here in the UK looking to stay for a bit longer, i thought i'd better reiterate the point again!!

 

Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.

 

Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a life changing situation for the dog.

 

A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.

 

What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day?

 

In an emergency, we may not be able to attend quickly enough, and with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident. Calling the RSPCA is a wasting time as by the time they get to the car the dog may be dead, and the RSPCA are unable to gain entry to a car without the police being present. If you think the dog is in genuine distress don’t be afraid to dial 999, the police will contact a local vet if animal welfare assistance is required. 

 

Try to find the owner of the car. Public announcement in the supermarket always works well.

If the owners of the car cannot be contacted, contact the police on 999 to attend the vehicle.

You should not take any action to gain access to the car without first speaking to the police. Always take images/footage of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident. The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).

 

If a dog has been in a car for even a short time it may need its temperature brought down slowly by drinking and through cooling the body. We would recommend seeking veterinary advice on this if the animal is in distress.infographic on preventing dogs dying in hot cars

 

 

Can you help a dog in a hot car?

 

Establish the animal's health/condition. If they're displaying any signs of heatstroke dial 999 Immediately. 

 

If the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away/unable to attend, many people’s instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog. If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court. 

 

Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do, why, and take images/footage of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident. The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).

 

Once removed, if the dog is displaying signs of heatstroke, you must get emergency first aid advice. This could mean the difference between life and death for the dog.

 

If the dog is not displaying symptoms of heatstroke:

 

Establish how long the dog has been in the car? A ‘pay and display’ ticket could help.

 

Make a note of the car’s registration. If the owner returns, but you still feel the situation was dangerous for the dog, you may still report the incident to the police. 

 

If you’re at a superstore/venue/event ask the staff to make an announcement to alert the owner of the situation. 

 

If possible, get someone to stay with the dog to monitor their condition. If they begin to display signs of distress/heatstroke, be prepared to dial 999. 

 

What are the signs of heatstroke?

 

  • Heavy panting
  • Drooling
  • A distressed facial expression
  • Rapid, heavy breathing
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Shaking despite the heat
  • Red gums or mucous membranes
  • The dog feels hot
  • Weakness and collapse
  • Loss of consciousness

 

If you have the dog try and cool it down as quickly as possible, bottles of water, buckets of water from the sea or cold water soaked towels over the dog. Hopefully the dog isn't too bad and you will be able to take it to a vet.

 

If your dog has heatstroke it’s imperative to act fast in order to cool him down.

 

Offer water to drink

Don’t exert him. If necessary, carry (rather than walk) him to a cool place

Wet his coat, paws, and tongue with cool (not freezing water)

Blow cool air from a fan over him

If the dog seems drowsy, unsteady on his feet, or isn’t improving within five minutes then seek urgent veterinary attention.

 

 

5 reasons why leaving dogs in cars, even on a mildly warm day is a bad idea:

 

  • Mild days and car temperature are deceiving
  • Car temperature increases with time
  • Cooking canines in cars leads to heatstroke
  • Cranked windows make no difference
  • The sun doesn’t have to shine
  • What to do if you see a dog suffering in a locked car
  • The consequences of a dog dying in YOUR car.

  Mild Days and Car Temperature are deceiving

 

Even on a balmy day when the air temperature is a pleasant 21ºC, it only takes 60 minutes for the temperature inside a car to reach a blood-boiling 46ºC.

 

Why does this matter?

 

Because when a dog’s core temperature reaches 41ºC his blood becomes so thick it can’t circulate properly, he suffers organ failure, and dies. In short, even on a mild summer’s day dogs die in hot cars from heat exhaustion.

 

Car Temperature Increases with Time

 

There’s a reason recipes tell you to pre-heat the oven, and this is because the temperature rises with time. This is just the same with a car because after 60 minutes the temperature inside can be 4.4ºC (or 40ºF) hotter than outside. When you bear in mind that heatstroke in dogs occurs at core body temperatures around 41ºC (normal temperature 39.2ºC) and you begin to glimpse the problem.

 

Let’s take a look at this in terms of a summer’s day.

  • 21ºC air temperature, after 60 minutes the car temperature is 46ºC
  • 26ºC air temperature, after 60 minutes the car temperature is 52ºC
  • 32ºC air temperature it takes just 30 minutes to reach 48ºC inside a car

 

It’s easy to see the danger. You just have to touch the dashboard or seats to know how hot the inside of a car can get.” Mark Spowage. AA Patrol of the Year.

 

Cooking Canines in Cars leads to heatstroke

 

It’s 24ºC outside, jeans and T-shirt weather. On the drive home from the dog park you remember you’ve run out of nappies so you stop off. The superstore doesn’t allow dogs inside so you crank open the car windows, grab the baby, but leave the dog as he’ll fine for ten minutes.

 

Unfortunately, the baby needed a change and there was only one till open with a huge queue, and the ten-minute errand took half-an-hour. By this time the temperature inside the car has climbed to 42.7ºC 

 

From going on holiday to trips to the park, traveling with a dog in the car is inevitable. Tops tips for keeping your canine cool include:

 

Put the air con on

Wind the windows down a little (However, don’t allow the dog to stick his head outside through an open window.)

Take water and stop for frequent breaks

Take towels and plenty of water to soak your dog should he overheat

 

If you want to know why do dogs die in hot cars it’s because heat causes blood to thicken. This makes the circulation sluggish and key organs such as the brain and kidneys quickly become deprived of oxygen. In a worst-case scenario the dog can go into organ failure and die within minutes, which is why you should never leave your dog in a car in warm weather, even for a few minutes.

 

Remember, all it takes is a car the same temperature as a cool oven to cook meringues and your dog could be dead.

 

Cranked Windows make No Difference

 

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) hundreds of pets die each year, from being left alone in hot cars. The trouble is, many of these dead dogs belonged to owners who believed that leaving the window open ajar meant their dog would be fine.

 

They found out the hard way they were wrong.

 

The Sun doesn’t have to Shine

 

Likewise heatstroke in dogs doesn’t just happen when the sun shines. What matters is how hot it is outside; It’s the temperature that counts, so even when parked in shade or on an overcast day, a car acts like a greenhouse and it gets hotter and hotter inside.

 

“48% of people who leave their dog in a car in hot weather believe its OK because they’re parked in the shade of the window is open.” Dogs’ Trust survey

 

What to do if you see a dog locked in a car

 

Try to find the owner of the car. Public announcement in the supermarket always works well.

If the owners of the car cannot be contacted, contact the police on 999 to attend the vehicle.

You should not take any action to gain access to the car without first speaking to the police. Always take images/footage of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident. The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).

 

The Dogs Trust made a 20 minute time lapse video a couple of years ago its very hard hitting and to the point, after everything written above you still don't know what the big deal is check out this video

 

Baby Birds

Posted on 19th June, 2017

Pete & Fledgling Sparrow

 

 

 

 

It's common at this time or year to find young birds sitting on the ground or hopping about without any sign of their parents and there's no need to be worried. These fledglings are doing exactly what nature intended, and left the nest deliberately a short while before they are able to fly. This little Sparrow was brought in as it couldn't fly, it could as the picture shows, as it took off frommy hand and landed on my shoulder. 

 

However tempting, interfering with a young bird like this will do more harm than good. Fledglings are extremely unlikely to be abandoned by their parents. Just because you cannot see the adult birds does not mean that they are not there. The parents are probably just away collecting food - or are hidden from view nearby keeping a watchful eye, or even been frightened away from their youngster by your presence. Fledglings should be left where they are, in the care of their own parents.

 

Removal of a fledgling from the wild has to be a very last resort, and then only if it is injured or has definitely been abandoned or orphaned.

 

The young of most familiar garden birds fledge once they are fully feathered, but before they are able to fly. These fledglings spend a day or two, sometimes longer, on the ground while their flight feathers complete their growth. The only exceptions are swifts, swallows and house martins, which are able to fly well as soon as they leave the nest, and should never be found on the ground.

 

What if the bird is in danger?

 

Removal of a fledgling from the wild reduces its chances of survival. This is normally the worst thing that could be done. Fledglings should be left where they are, in the care of their parents.

 

If the bird is on a busy path or road, or other potentially dangerous, exposed location, it would make sense to pick it up and move it a short distance to a safer place. IF you do this please make sure you leave it within hearing distance of where it was found. Birds have a poor sense of smell so handling a young bird does not cause its parents to abandon it.

 

If you have cats, make sure they are kept indoors until the fledglings are airborne. In any conflict of interest between wild animals and domestic pets, it is always the domestic pet that must give way.

 

Can I put it back in its nest?

 

If the young bird is unfeathered or covered in fluffy down (a nestling) and has obviously fallen out of a nest by accident, it may be possible to put it back. Only do this if you are sure which nest the chick came from, and if it appears strong and healthy. Sometimes parent birds sense that there is something wrong with one of their chicks, or that it is dying, and they will eject it out of the nest so they can concentrate on looking after the healthy ones.

 

If a healthy chick cannot be returned to its nest, it will be dependent on humans for survival, and should be passed on to an expert rehabilitator as soon as possible.

 

If the young bird has a full covering of feathers, it will have left the nest deliberately, and is no longer meant to be in a nest. Such a bird should be left where it is, in the care of its own parents.

 

The RSPB does not run bird hospitals or a rescue service, so please do not contact us about a baby bird, as we are unable to help. The RSPCA (England and Wales), SSPCA (Scotland) and USPCA (Northern Ireland) are the national charities that help and advise on injured wildlife. You can also find an independent local rescue centre on www.helpwildlife.co.uk

 

*information taken from various sources, including RSPB. 

 

Adders......

Posted on 10th May, 2017

Adder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, the summer….  For us dog walkers it’s a time of extra enjoyment, rarely do you need your wellies anymore as you stroll through the fields and scrub…. I’ll let them off for a run! A few moments later you hear a squeal but think nothing of it, they’re always running though the brambles.

 

A few years back I had the misfortune to step on an adder whilst out with my pooches. All was fine, but the dogs were fascinated with this wriggly creature. Its that time of year when the weather gets warmer that the adder comes out of hibernation and likes to sun itself on the grassland. This means they lie still taking in the sun and warming up, that is until your dog comes along and steps on one. Did you know the adder is the only venomous snake in the UK?? Adders are found all throughout the UK and are a protected species so it is illegal to kill or injure them. They like to live in areas of rough, open countryside and are often associated with woodland edge habitats.

 

The adder is easily recognised by a dark ‘zig-zag’ stripe along its back. Background colours vary from grey – white in the male to shades of brown or copper in the female. On occasion, completely black specimens are described. They can grow to around 60cm in length and have a rather stocky appearance.

 

Adders are timid creatures so will not usually bite unless they feel threatened or cornered or stood on accidentally and they usually try to move away from any perceived threat. Sadly our dogs are usually bitten whilst exploring the undergrowth around them.

Most adder encounters occur during their active season between March and October, although I have had some in the hospital in February too.

 

 Back to the squeal from earlier…….. You get  home and notice that your pet seems a little  quieter than normal, maybe there is some  swelling on an leg or lip. Your pet is a little  tender and when you look at him you notice a  small hole (usually two)  you may not see  anything but he’s not right…. Unless you  actually see an adder bite your pet you may not  notice anything until a few hours later,  you will  notice some swelling around the site. Your pet  may be lame, there may also be bruising or bleeding around the area of the bite. The longer your pet is left untreated the worse it can be….. If venom is absorbed into the bloodstream this could lead to other signs such as lethargy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea and difficulty walking. In some cases pets are more severely affected with breathing problems, convulsions, kidney failure, liver injury and bleeding disorders.

 

If you think that your pet has been bitten by an adder (or you suspect that it may have been) you should seek prompt veterinary attention. Do not try first aid measures such as sucking out the venom or applying a tourniquet – these procedures are ineffective and may even cause further harm to your pet.

 

Try to keep your pet calm and wherever possible carry your dog rather than let it walk. Both these measures will help slow the spread of venom around the body.

 

With veterinary  treatment most pets will survive but whether they recover and how quickly they recover depends on several factors  -how quickly they receive veterinary attention, the size of the pet- smaller pets are more at risk, where the bite is- facial bites are worse and excessive swelling around the head and neck can cause breathing difficulties, and the strength of venom injected -venom is thought to be more toxic earlier in the year. Elderly pets and those with existing medical problems also tend to be more likely to have a poorer prognosis.

 

If you are unsure what an adder looks like you can check out the arc-trust.org website for easy identification. They have a superb guide for snakes. 

Making the headlines this week in the veterinary sector are microchips, since compulsory microchipping came in to force last year, it has emerged that, while the majority of animals are now chipped, a staggering 44% have incorrect details. *

 

It used to be that an animal came into the clinic and was microchipped, that the majority of the time you could call the owner and get through on a number that worked, even if little “Fifi” can’t be with us as she’s asleep upstairs! 

 

 

Nowadays, we scan, call, email and sometimes even go to the house and knock on the door. I think I’d not be alone in saying that we don’t like seeing animals going to the rescue unless absolutely necessary. But it’s frustrating when you call and the number is inactive or the area the animal came from was hundreds of miles away. I once had a cat brought in that was scanned and supposed to be on a plane to China! It had escaped from a friend’s house a week earlier and no one had seen it since.

 

 

 

Even if it was bad news and your pet had been involved in an accident, personally I’d rather know either way what had happened to my pet. Wouldn’t you??

 

If your pet is not microchipped, it is a great idea, even the placement of the chip is not that bad. Click the image below to show you how a Microchip is implanted. While this video is for a specific type of chip, the process is the same for all chips and is just for informational purposes. 

 

 

Microchip your pet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if you have moved in the last few years and you can’t remember if you’ve changed the details, please check. If you haven’t got the chip number you can always ask your vet, usually we have a record of the number too.

 

 

*(The data was compiled in a Voice of the Veterinary Profession spring mini-survey completed by 751 BVA members between 9 and 20 February.) Read the article HERE:

The First Day....

Posted on 2nd April, 2017

First Day Image

 

Almost 25 years ago I left school to embark on the best job ever!!

 

I've always had a great intrest in animals and always wanted to be a Veterinary Nurse. I left school with qualifications, not necessarily the correct ones needed for this particular field, but enough to get me started. My careers teacher had told me on several occasions that I was barking up the worng tree and wouldn't get into practice cleaning floors, nevermind actually nursing. Don't ever let these people dampen your plans!! I was enrolled on a course doing an NVQ in Animal Care, part of this was placement at a veterinary clinic, however due to insurance and some practices not wishing to partake in the venture, I was almost signed off the course. Luckily I managed to secure a place in a practice several miles away. This started my career as a Veterinary Nurse. 

 

My First Day....... 

 

Having had a brief interview before placement and meeting the staff, being 16 and a male, I didn't take anything in! Arriving for my first day not knowing what to expect, I was greeted by the receptionist, who had just had her jaw wired, and the Head Nurse, whos back was in a brace, one nurse on holiday and me!! You learn fast when dropped in the deep end, and i've never looked back. I was in awe of the Head Nurse as she knew everyone, specialsts, suppliers and clients... how does this happen? Well 25 years later, this is me, through the veterinay field and the few jobs i've had, i've also built up my knowledge and my own list of vets, specialists, suppliers and clients that I know. 

 

Being 16 and knowing everything! I managed to avoid speaking to people for a while, answering the phone is boring isn't it? and then of course what did I actually know?? Actually speaking to people is an essential part of the job and understanding a persons needs and expectations are needed for the job. Now I love speaking to people and its difficult at times to shut me up! Vet Nurses are an integral part of the veterinary team, without them, who would clean up after the vets ;) seriously though, this career may not pay the best or have the best working hours, where you can just drop everything at 5pm and go home, BUT its does give you great job satisfaction and you get to fix animals and people! to see them improving in front of your eyes is the best feeling ever. 

 

I've always had animals in my life, they have this bond with us that is like nothing else. I wouldn't change this job for anything in the world..... yes its hard at times and there are things some people may never understand unless you work in the profession, but its the best job to be part of. 

 

If you want to find out more bout a career in Veterinary Nursing you can check out it out Here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Chocolate....

Posted on 16th February, 2017

Easter is approaching, and that can only mean one thing....... Chocolate!!

 

Theres nothing better than the smell of chocolate, right??? Dogs love it and will often seek it out, but once they have a taste for it they will often re offend. Cats aren't quite as desperate to eat it (but it does happen) Regardless of the species, animals that eat chocolate are at risk.

 

If you suspect your pet may have eaten chocolate, then the best thing is to have your pet seen and induce vomiting. (even if several hours have passed.)

 

A Dogs Trust survey revealed that over 57% of pet dogs have eaten chocolate intended for humans and over 1 in 10 have become ill from it. Sadly of these, 8% died due to the effects and nearly a quarter required urgent veterinary treatment.

 

  • Signs your pet may have an adverse reaction to chocolate include:
  • Diaorrhea / vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Muscle twitching, tremors
  • Increased drinking and urination
  • Excessive panting
  • Irritability
  • Increased heart rate and abnormal heart rhythm
  • In extreme situations, seizures, collapse, and even death can occur.

 

Make sure you put the chocolate out of reach, i've seen them jump up on cupboards, unwrap it from boxes, open doors and even manage to retrieve it from places you thought were safe!!

 

If you think your pet has eaten chocolate, even if a small amount, it is worth calling your vet clinic to have them confirm the amount eaten and the type. If you have the packet to hand when you call that would help the vet work out whats been had. You may need to take a trip to your vet to induce vomiting. Depending on the length of time that has passed, or indeed the quality of the chocolate, your pet may need to stay in the hospital for a few days on intravenous fluids to help flush out the toxins. Usually all ends well, but be warned, chocolate can kill!! 

 

 

 

 

Image from Real Fix.com 

 

The Veterainary Poisons Information Service, offer advice on whether your pet may need  to be seen by a vet for treatment.

 

You can use this service by clicking here :  

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