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Tag Archives: bev truss

Fireworks can backfire on pets

MOST of us are too busy organising our own affairs to even consider Hallowe’en and the misery caused by fireworks. Each year, we are asked to keep our pets indoors or locked away safe and, each year, veterinary practices all over Ireland are full of dogs and cats that have become victims to fireworks, bonfires and their own terror. Pets are terrified of the noise and can be driven to extreme behaviour. Some will go off their food, hide for days under the bed or in other small spaces. Some will bite and growl at their well-meaning owners trying to comfort them; this can result of the poor dog being thrown out into a much more terrifying environment. Some dogs are so frightened that they run off to get away from the noise and get lost, many ending up in the dog pound or, worse, under a car. There is help at hand but, to give your dog the best …

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Hectic times at The Hogsprickle

WE have had a busy couple of weeks at The Hogsprickle. One of the vets at Ceithre Cos Vets in Tulla phoned concerned about a fallow deer fawn that had been hit by a car. The driver rescued the fawn and took him to the vet to be checked. We picked up the fawn following rescue protocols, as dealing with deer is not an easy job. They are terrified of human contact and can sometime die with the stress of being handled, especially if injured. This little female was in such shock she stayed quiet and her head was covered while we transported her to The Hogsprickle to be stabilised, before transport to the specialist wildlife unit in Kildare. Their vet, who specialises in wildlife, confirmed a break in her pelvis. She is in the hands of the rehabilitators at Kildare and, paws crossed, she makes it back to the wild. The same week we got a call about a …

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Complementary treatments for pets

We talk about ‘complementary’ rather than ‘alternative,’ treatments because each type has something that contributes to the whole treatment. Holistic veterinarians believe in what they do, despite a lack of scientific evidence that the tools of their trade – acupuncture, herbal medicines, homeopathy and other complementary therapies – prevent or cure illness in pets. A lot of people like the way their arthritic dog behaves after a round of acupuncture, or how a dog’s infection clears up completely with homeopathic treatment. But holistic veterinarians also understand the limits of such therapies and prefer to use them alongside more conventional ones. So what are the most commonly used therapies? Acupuncture is probably the most well-known complementary therapy. People have found both needle and laser acupuncture beneficial for thousands of years, so why not for our pets. Horses also benefit from treatments and as the equipment is mobile, treatments can be done in the stable or field. Acupuncture is one of the safest …

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Think carefully when getting a pup

Great – you’ve decided to get a dog. But first, you need to do some homework. Ask yourself these questions: • Can I afford the price of this pet and all the equipment I will need to make it happy in my home? • How much will routine worming, grooming, pet insurance, feeding, neutering and vet fees cost to keep my pet healthy? • Can your lifestyle make allowances for the time your puppy will take up? • Is my home suitable for my choice of breed? • Does everyone in the family agree with my choice? Do you know if your choice of breed is on the control of dogs list and what the law requires of you? • Does anyone in the family have an allergy that may be aggravated by my choice of dog? Choose the breed wisely. You have to take into consideration your lifestyle and where you live. Great Danes don’t do very well in …

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Saying goodbye to your pet

Anyone who has owned a pet, be it a cat, dog, rabbit or something a bit exotic, has no doubt felt sadness when the animal has died or been euthanised by the vet. Sudden death, such as a road traffic accident or death due to a long illness are equally hard. The decision to euthanise a pet is one of the hardest decisions an owner will ever have to make on behalf of a loved pet. As a vet nurse, I have dealt with this many, many times and have shed countless tears with my clients over the death of a furry member of the family. It never gets any easier but, as long as the animal is let go with love and dignity, it’s the most loving thing we can do for an ill or old pet. Animals have the same emotions as we do and pain and suffering is a reality in their lives when illness or old …

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Hazardous homes for pets

PETS that spend time indoors can be put at risk. Your home is a hazardous place – we all know of the many accidents people have at home each year, so why should it be any different for your pet? • Be aware that some plants are very toxic to animals, especially young puppies and kittens, who are fond of chewing! Aloe vera, apple seeds, daffodils, foxglove, lily of the valley, tiger lily, weeping fig, rhododendron, amaryllis, clematis and azalea are just a few of the more common plants that can be dangerous for your pets. • Check the cleaning agents you use. Some may only cause mild symptoms but others can be fatal. Some powder carpet fresheners that you vacuum up can also cause severe skin irritations. • Pest bait, such as rodent, slug or roach traps, can be very toxic. The poison is hidden in sweet bait, such as chocolate or jam, so make sure your dog cannot …

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Does your cat…..?

DOES your cat scratch the furniture or wood outside? Scratching is a complex behaviour which has multiple uses. Many people believe that the cats are sharpening their claws but they are actually getting rid of the outer nails to reveal the new sharp nail underneath. Cats ‘shed’ rather than sharpen their nails. This is also the cat’s way of exercising and strengthening the paws and sheaths that keep the nails covered and in prime condition. They are marking territory, too, using both the chemical signals from scent and sweat glands on the paws and also a visual signal displaying the scratch marks. Unfortunately, this can also happen indoors on the furniture and some walls. Does your cat spray urine? This is a deliberate attempt by the cat to mark territory by standing against a vertical surface and raising its tail to spray urine at nose height as a clear signal to other cats. Cats may do this indoors, as a …

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Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs, small sociable friends

  GUINEA pigs make fantastic pets for children and adults, as they are happy, sociable little animals that “talk” back and can be house-trained. The young are born exact replicas of their parents, with eyes open, full coat and able to run around. The young should be handled very gently and carefully from around two weeks old to get them socialised and used to people. When a sow is pregnant, her need for Vitamin C doubles and as guinea pigs cannot synthesis the vitamin, it is important that we provide it every day in their food. A Vitamin C tablet dissolved in their water, rosehip syrup or blackcurrant juice is a useful addition to their diet. Feed a good-quality commercial food, like Supa Guinea, once a day in small amounts, along with good quality vegetables and some fruit. Lettuce can be harmful if fed in large quantities and overfeeding green food can cause an upset in the gut. Do not …

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