Taking Your Dog on Holiday

Taking your dog on holiday to the continent this year...........?

Then this article is a must read in order to protect the health of your pet.

But before you read that, please read this :

Rabies vaccination and passports

Recently our professional indemnity insurers have informed us of a worrying little, shall we call it "interpretation", of the rabies vaccine clinical data sheet, by some French authorities.
There is no absolute contra-indication to giving the rabies vaccine at the same time as another vaccine, it is at the veterinary surgeon's discretion. Clearly the powers that be at the French border are of the opinion that veterinary surgeons are obviously incapable of exercising such discretion, and as such giving rabies at the same time as another vaccine invalidates the rabies vaccination, and therefore the passport! Strangely, this only seems to happen on the way out of France, not on the way in.
But all is not lost. Luckily the same helpful chaps always seem to know an equally helpful veterinary surgeon in the local town who will re-vaccinate your pet for the return journey!
Actually, we are not too sure how this would work, as presumably having invalidated the passport, especially if this was the first and only rabies vaccination on this animal, re-vaccinating does not always solve the problem. You may find that you cannot travel this pet for another 3 weeks. No doubt the same helpful officials will also know of a reasonably priced kennels or an hotel in the area!
Friends with benefits, eh? We couldn't possibly comment.
If you are worried that this may affect you, please contact us. Of course, if your pet's normal annual Distemper, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis etc. vaccinations are not recorded on your pet's passport (and there is no obligation to do so) and you do not have your pet's normal vaccination certificate with you (and there's no obligation to carry or show that either) they will never know!!

The Needle is Not the Point!

The needle is not the point

Many people dread needles, and, if they remember nothing else from a visit to the vets with their pet, they will often recall with 20/20 vision the moment the needle went in, if indeed they could bear to look!

Because of this, in the case of vaccination, with the sight of that needle etched on your consciousness, it may be difficult to comprehend that, arguably, this is not the most important part of the vaccination consultation, be it for a new puppy or kitten, or a long lived senior family pet. In order to successfully vaccinate your pet, by which I mean not just getting the vaccine into him/her, but to establish a solid immunity for the required interval, it is vital that a thorough clinical examination be conducted prior to administering the vaccine. Vaccines must only be given to healthy individuals – the consequences of vaccinating unhealthy pets can be dire.

The vaccination health check can also reveal some unexpected clinical conditions, as in the case of Lawrence, a 9 year old Burmese cat.

Lawrence Grimes close up
Last year Lawrence was presented for routine clinical examination and vaccination. Lawrence’s owner had no worries regarding his health. As far as she was concerned he was a perfectly normal, healthy cat.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look as it), the routine health check revealed that he had a large, possibly fluid filled, abdominal lump in the right dorso-cranial area of his abdomen. In addition, only the left kidney was easily palpable. A cystic right kidney, renal abscess or other renal space occupying lesion (SOL) was suspected.

Lawrence was admitted the next day for pre-operative blood tests to establish that his kidney function was noGrimes Lawrence 0002t compromised, general anaesthetic, X-ray and ultrasound. X-rays shows a large ovoid density (outlined) containing a smaller more radiodense object (arrowed). The normal kidney can just be seen overlaying the cranial pole of the large mass. Ultrasound indicated that this was fluid filled (dark on ultrasound images).

A laparotomy was performed, and Lawrence’s right kidney was found to be distended with fluid, with little functional renal tissue left, consequently it was removed. Histology on the removed kidney revealed a renal carcinoma with a small area of calcification as the cause for the renal changes. Chest X-rays taken at the same time Lawrence upload thumbnail
as the kidney ones did not show any evidence of tumour spread, and no secondary tumours were seen in the abdomen at the time of the operation.

We continue to monitor Lawrence’s kidney function using various serum parameters, including a sensitive biomarker known as SDMA (symmetric dimethylarginine) but to date Lawrence remains in good health, functioning well on one kidney.

This is, by any measure, an unusual and extreme example of what we may find in a routine health examination, but illustrates the importance of the regular health check that should go with vaccination. Here at Midsummer Veterinary Group, our Veterinary Surgeons have decades of experience, as do some of our nurses (although you'd never know it to look at them) in spotting abnormalities in apparently health pets, discussing any health concerns you have and establishing a history, if not already known. The vaccination needle is important to maintain immunity in our pets at a protective level, but the real point is the health check that can often lead to the early detection of underlying clinical problems, and their early treatment.


Time flies

Time is precious

Time and tide wait for no man....

Much has been written about time, more particularly how important it is, and how you never seem to have enough.

That is why here at Midsummer Veterinary Group we think it's important to make the best use of it, and it is the prime reason why we do not operate a policy of open surgeries. Our appointment system is designed to allow us time to properly examine and assess your pet. Our 10 minute slots, which we can double up if necessary, give us ample time to discuss any issues or health concerns that you may have, and carefully consider and formulate any treatment plans. Even something as apparently simple as an annual vaccination can reveal health problems that may need a little time to explain.

There are always occasions when you feel you never have enough time, but we will do all we can not to let your visit to Midsummer Veterinary Group be one of them

About Midsummer Veterinary Group

A small animal veterinary practice in Milton Keynes providing primary and secondary veterinary care for the pets of Milton Keynes

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