Hawick Vets practice update

Whilst visiting us, we’re here to provide you and your pets with the best experience, in the safest way.

Our practice, as always, have extensive hygiene measures in place. We are still encouraging social distancing, face coverings and contactless payments. However, we are very happy to be welcoming you into our consulting rooms and reception areas.

At some of our locations, we are operating with the following additional measures in place:

  • 1 person per appointment wearing a facemask.
  • limited numbers in waiting rooms
  • To help encourage social distancing, you may be asked to wait outside if the waiting room is too busy

Thank you for your continued understanding.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Please contact us for further information.

Importance of Pet Insurance

We believe that pet insurance is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Owning a pet is hugely rewarding, but it can also be expensive if they are to suffer an illness or injury.

Having a good pet insurance policy allows you to concentrate on what’s best for your pet while knowing help is there for the cost of unexpected treatment should they become ill or are injured.

People tend to think it’s only older pets that get ill and therefore, younger pets don’t need pet insurance, but we know from the patients we see each day that that is not the case.

The younger your pet is when you insure them, the better as it means you are less likely to have any existing conditions, which the policy may not cover, and you can then receive more help covering the cost of any future treatment your pet needs.

It is important to note that not all pet insurance is the same. There are many different types of policy available, and the level of cover provided can vary considerably. The four main types of policy are as follows:

  • Accident: provides cover for accidents only and no cover for illness
  • Time-Limited: provides cover for a set amount of time (usually 12 months) and after this period, the condition is excluded
  • Maximum Benefit: provides cover up to a maximum amount of money per condition and once this limit is reached, the condition is excluded
  • Lifetime: provides a set amount of money each year which is refreshed each time you renew your policy, allowing you to continue to claim for ongoing conditions

As you can see from the information above, the type of policy you choose can have implications for the veterinary care of your pet and the costs you will face, so it’s important to choose the right cover.

Sometimes, the cheapest insurance can cost you more in the long run. Therefore, when shopping around for a policy, we suggest that you ask the following questions to allow you to compare the overall value you are getting, not just the price:

Does this policy cover congenital, hereditary, hip-related, dental, and behavioural conditions?

Is there a time or monetary limit on how long this policy will cover ongoing conditions?

If I file a claim, will my premium increase?

Unlike other forms of insurance, it is not always easy to switch pet insurance in the future as any pre-existing conditions your pet has are likely to be excluded, so it’s important to do your research and choose the right cover from the start.

antibiotics

Help us to keep antibiotics working…

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develops mechanisms to reduce the effects of the antibiotic. These mechanisms evolve through mutation and adaptation. Mutations can be good or bad for bacteria. In some cases, the mutation kills the bacteria and it may provide the bacteria with a survival advantage. The survival advantage may include resistance to antibiotics. In the presence of antibiotics, this resistance becomes an advantage and the resistant strain becomes dominant.

In pets, just like in humans, it’s normal to have bacteria in the bowel and on the skin. These bacteria, just like any other, can develop resistant mechanisms, so using antibiotics can kill other non-resistant bacteria, allowing the resistant bacterial strains to dominate and thrive. As a result, overusing antibiotics or use of an antibiotic over an extended period can affect the ‘good bacteria’ and cause more harm than good.

Antibiotics are only effective against some types of bacterial infection and will not work against viral infections. Therefore, veterinary surgeons need to determine what kind of infection a pet may have to treat and help them recover quickly and safely as appropriate. Following your veterinary surgeons’ advice on medication, it’s essential to ensure long-term access to antibiotics that work.

Why do we need to alter the overall attitude towards antibiotic use?

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a One Health concern. If this important class of drugs becomes ineffective, it will have a serious impact on the health of both humans and animals.

For years now, alongside other infection control measures in human and veterinary medicine, antibiotics have been a core feature of providing effective medical treatment for bacterial infection. As a result, infections that were once fatal are now treatable and surgical procedures have become more advanced due to our ability to treat infections.

In recent years, however, the medical and veterinary professions have identified that the effectiveness of antibiotics against some bacteria has changed. We know this because the bacteria which can resist antibiotics are seen more often. To slow down the evolution of resistant bacteria and protect the efficacy of the drugs, medical professionals have had to review their approach to using these antibiotics, whilst research to find new antibiotics is ongoing.

How does antibiotic resistance occur?

After Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928, work was undertaken with his colleagues Florey and Chain to make the molecule useable as a drug to treat infections in people. Fleming himself noted in his early observations that bacteria could become resistant to penicillin, even if used appropriately.

Understandably, given its significant impact on healthcare, penicillin was initially prescribed widely, but it became less effective over time.

A combination of factors has contributed to this. Some of these include:

  • Bacterial multiplication, mutation and evolution (natural processes)
  • Use of antibiotics for non-infection control reasons
  • Prescribing antibiotics ‘just in case’ for illnesses may speed the development of resistance
  • A significant reduction in the availability of novel antibiotic classes.

What does this mean?

Research for new antibiotics is an area of focus that has Government support. However, the development and approval process for any new drug takes time. While this research is ongoing, we need to take measures to slow down the evolution of resistance and protect the drugs’ efficacy.

This means that, as some antibiotics are no longer as effective as they used to be, healthcare and veterinary professionals have had to adapt their approach to administering antibiotics to help preserve the efficacy of those that currently still work. This work has resulted in significant drops in antibiotics used. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate reported a reduction in antibiotics in food-producing animals in the UK of 52% in six years (between 2014 and 2020).

We should also be aware that any new antibiotics discovered may be reserved for human use instead of antibiotics for our animals.

Why is it important for veterinary medicine?

As antibacterial resistance is a growing concern in both human and animal medicine, there is pressure to preserve the medical use of certain antibiotics. This has implications for animal health and welfare. Veterinary professionals, therefore need to use antimicrobials responsibly. Using antibiotics only when appropriate also reduces the chances of drug side effects and reduces the carbon footprint of treating diseases.

 

In both human hospitals and veterinary practices, it is common to find recommendations for infections or conditions where antibiotics are not required. This is called Antibiotic Stewardship.

Our practice supports the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and the Small Animal Medicine Society (SAMSoc) ‘PROTECT ME’ principles. Their core principles are as follows:

Prescribe only when necessary

Reduce prophylaxis

Offer other options

Treat effectively

Employ narrow spectrum

Culture appropriately

Tailor your practice policy

Monitor

Educate others

silver-cat-friendly-clinic

Silver Cat Friendly Clinic

At Hawick Vets we’re proud to be reaccredited as a Silver level Cat Friendly Clinic and members of the ISFM (International Society of Feline Medicine) 

Read more

December opening hours

With Christmas around the corner, we wanted to ensure we had our opening times for the festive period in place for you.

Please see below our opening times over Christmas and New Year.

  • Christmas Eve: 8.45am-6.00pm
  • Christmas Day: CLOSED
  • Boxing Day: CLOSED
  • 27th December: CLOSED
  • 28th December: CLOSED
  • 29th December: 8.45am-6.00pm
  • 30th December: 8.45am-6.00pm
  • New Years Eve: 8.45am-6.00pm
  • New Years Day: CLOSED
  • 2nd January: CLOSED
  • 3rd January: CLOSED

If your pet requires a prescription or specific food during the holiday period, we kindly ask that you request this well in advance.

If you require any emergency care, please call 01450 372038.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

pet christmas hazards

Christmas Hazards

We wish you and your pets a very happy festive period. With lots to think about it can be easy to forget the risks that are associated with Christmas and our pets. Most of the risks are present all year round, however, we do see an increase in pets eating hazards materials or foods. Our guide below covers the main hazards that are encountered during the festive period.

What are the hazards to pets during Christmas?

General Christmas hazards include:

  • christmas tree pine needles
  • tinsel
  • glass baubles
  • fairy lights
  • salt dough ornaments
  • gifts under the tree (if contain hazardous foods)
  • batteries
  • silica gel (found inside packaging)
  • Potpourri,
  • lilies
  • ivy

Food hazards include:

  • chocolate
  • mince pies
  • artificial sweeteners (which can be found in cakes or desserts) xylitol is one of the hazardous sweeteners that is found in cakes and chewing gum
  • roast potatoes
  • sausages
  • stuffing
  • onions
  • cheese (especially blue types)
  • grapes
  • crisps
  • christmas cake
  • sultanas
  • pigs in blankets
  • gravy
  • cooked bones

We hope that you shouldn’t need us during the festive period, however, if your pet does happen to ingest any of the listed hazards, please contact your practice where the team can assist you in the next steps that need to be taken.

We wish you a happy and healthy festive season.

Better to check…

Finding lumps and bumps in our pets can be worrying. Read more