Consultations

We offer consultations by appointment and have recently extended our appointment times in the evening at all of our branches to give you sufficient opportunity to make an appointment for your pet, particularly if you work long hours like us!  You will have the opportunity to see the same vet every time, except in emergencies.

Hydrotherapy and physiotherapy

Situated at our Grappenhall practice but available to all our patients, our hydrotherapy treadmill is used alongside other physiotherapy techniques by our chartered animal physiotherapy colleagues from equine and canine solutions.  This has proved extremely beneficial to many of our patients with orthopaedic disease, particularly those being rehabilitated after orthopaedic surgery such as cruciate ligament surgery.

Vaccination

We strongly recommend that your dog, cat or rabbit is given a booster vaccination once a year following on from their primary vaccinations as a puppy or kitten.  Modern vaccinations are very safe and effective but as vets we still see life threatening infectious diseases in unvaccinated animals.  Our vaccinations protect animals against the following diseases:

Dogs

Parvovirus
An aggressive disease that attacks the immune system and cells lining the intestines, causing serious, often fatal, vomiting and diarrhoea. Young unvaccinated pups are especially susceptible.

Leptospirosis

This disease is caused by bacteria from the family Leptospira. Dogs usually contract the disease from affected water courses or rodent bites. Leptospirosis can also be an extremely serious disease in people.  Whilst antibiotics can help to treat Leptospirosis, cases can often be fatal or cause lifelong damage to the kidneys.

Distemper
This virus attacks the gut, lungs and nervous system and is usually fatal. We occasionally vaccinate ferrets against this too

Hepatitis
This virus rapidly attacks the liver, lungs, kidneys and eyes. Many cases are fatal but some dogs can recover.

Parainfluenza
This virus is an important component of `kennel cough', a highly infectious upper respiratory tract infection of dogs which causes a dry hacking cough.

We also recommend kennel cough vaccination for dogs. This is a very infectious cough in dogs that they can catch not only from kennels but from anywhere that infected dogs have been and direct contact with an infected dog is not necessary. There are several different infectious causes of kennel cough which is why your dog will only be fully protected if he or she has a separate kennel cough vaccination in addition to the normal booster.

Cats

Feline leukaemia virus
FeLV is a lifelong infection and unfortunately most cats will die within three years of diagnosis, usually from a subsequent disease like leukaemia, lymphoma (tumours) or progressive anaemia. It is not an airborne disease and can only be passed on via direct contact between cats (usually by saliva or bites).

Feline flu
Two types of cat flu are vaccinated against: feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV). These viruses are very common and vaccination will protect your cat against prolonged illness, but because there are many different strains of cat flu the vaccine will not totally eradicate the threat. We can carry this on our clothes so even indoor cats should be vaccinated.

Feline infectious enteritis
Feline infectious enteritis (a severe and often fatal gut infection) is caused by the feline parvovirus (or feline panleukopenia virus). Vaccination against FIE has been very successful. Unvaccinated cats are at great risk because the virus is widespread in the environment.

Rabbits

Myxomatosis
Myxomatosis infection develops very rapidly and can lead to death in 48 hours. Affected rabbits may have swollen eyes and genitals as well as lethargy and inappetance. Once rabbits contract the disease treatment is very rarely effective. Myxomatosis outbreaks are seen and usually start off in the wild rabbit population. It is spread by direct contact with an infected rabbit or by flea bites.

Haemorrhagic viral diarrhoea
This is also known as calicivirus disease and commonly causes death within 36 hours of clinical signs which may include fever and lethargy.

Pet passports

If you intend to take your cat or dog to the EU you will need to make an appointment for microchipping (if not already done) and rabies vaccination such that a Pet Passport can be issued. This is a legal document and your dog or cat will not be able to travel without it. This must be carried out at least three weeks before you travel but we recommend allowing more time than this if possible. Rules regarding Pet Passports for travel within the EU, or travel to other parts of the world vary from country to country and are subject to change. We recommend that you contact DEFRA (www.defra.gov.uk) to make sure that all the necessary requirements have been fulfilled. Dogs and cats will be susceptible to different infectious diseases if they travel outside of the UK and we therefore recommend that this is researched before travel such that any further control measures such as appropriate parasite treatments can be carried out effectively.

Neutering

Cats

Neutering is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs; in females, this involves removing the ovaries and uterus (spaying), and in males, the testicles are removed (castration), which prevents reproduction. We recommend neutering from 5 months old. Neutering should not affect the personality of your pet.

Females: will prevent seasons, which occur approximately every 3 weeks, when they will call. This can be very noisy. Spaying also reduces the risk of mammary cancer and pyometra (womb infection). There are no additional health benefits for a cat to have a litter before spaying.

Males: entire male cats are more likely to roam in search of possible mates putting them at increased risk of being run over and getting into fights with other cats. Serious infections can be transmitted though cat bites including feline immunodeficiency virus (feline AIDS).

It is a common belief that neutering causes pets to become overweight. Instead neutering reduces the amount of food required due to changes in metabolism. After neutering, regular weighing is recommended and alterations to diet as required.

Dogs

Neutering is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs; in females, this involves removing the ovaries and uterus (spaying), and in males, the testicles are removed (castration), which prevents reproduction. We recommend neutering from 6 months old. Neutering should not affect the personality of your pet.

Females: neutering will prevent her coming into season. Spaying before her first season massively reduces the risk of mammary cancer. The risk of developing mammary cancer increases with every season up until the third season, after which there is no further benefit of spaying. Spaying also prevents the development of pyometra (womb infection), a potentially fatal condition affecting older females. Older spayed bitches are at an increased risk of urinary incontinence, which can be easily treated.

Males: castration will reduce the risk of conditions affecting the prostrate (except certain cancers), perianal adenomas and perianal hernias. It will also help reduce certain behaviours such as mounting and dominance caused by testosterone (produced by the testicles).

It is a common belief that neutering causes pets to become overweight. Instead neutering reduces the amount of food required due to changes in metabolism. After neutering, regular weighing is recommended and alterations to diet as required.

Microchipping

A microchip is a small device (the size of a grain of rice), which is implanted under the skin in the scruff of the neck. Each microchip has an individual number (detectable when scanned), which can be used to trace your pet back to you if they are lost. Microchipping will be a legal requirement in dogs from 2016.

Worm and flea control

Kittens and puppies can be infected with worms after eating worm eggs or drinking larvae from their mother's milk. It is important to worm kittens and puppies for several reasons. Worms can cause damage to the lining of the gut, resulting in poor absorption of nutrients from their diet, which may result in diarrhoea and poor weight gain. Some worms can also infect humans, especially children, which can result in blindness. We recommend worming your kitten or puppyevery month until they are 6 months old. After 6 monthsthe frequency of worming depends on the product being used, however it is recommended that adult cats and dogs are wormed a minimum of every 3 months. It may be tempting to use products from pet shops. Although these products may be cheaper, they are not effective compared with products available from the practice and do not kill the full range of worms and.

Fleas can be picked up at any time from other animals or visiting areas where fleas are breeding. They bite and feed on blood and can also transmit infections, for example tapeworms. You may see flea dirt as a brown fleck in your pet's coat which turns red when they are placed on damp cotton wool. We recommend Advocate®, a monthly spot-on which also protects against worms (except tapeworm). Again, it may be tempting to use pet shop flea treatments; however, these are not as effective compared to products available from vets.

Repeat prescriptions

If your pet is on long term medication and requires a repeat prescription please contact us over the phone or else pop in to the practice. We will be able to process your request in 2 working days (please allow 5 days for dogs and cats that take epilepsy medication). Please be aware that our patients on long term medication require check up consultations every 3 months so that a vet can make sure that their condition is as well controlled as possible.

Ambulance collection and return service

For those clients who have difficulty in bringing their pet to our surgeries, we are able to offer an ambulance service to collect them from your home.