Hawick Vets COVID-19 Update

Following the recent ‘stay at home’ and lockdown orders issued on 4th January 2021, we are continuing to offer as full a range of services as possible for our patients, whilst adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

As a practice, we have adopted a contactless approach to appointments. We will continue to provide the same high-quality services with the same friendly, caring people, just delivered in a way that protects our clients and teams from local outbreaks of COVID-19.

We are working in smaller teams to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and therefore lead times for appointments may be a little longer than usual. Please bear with us at this time – we will do our best to make your appointment as smooth as possible.

Guidance for attending your appointment:

To keep everyone safe, please help us by:

·        Maintaining social distancing

·        Wearing a face covering where possible. If this is not possible, please contact us before your appointment so that we can discuss how best to support you and your pet

·        Sanitising your hands before and after your pet’s appointment

·        Using contactless payment methods wherever possible

·        Maintaining a safe distance from the practice entrance until you are contacted by a member of our team. If you are on foot, please ensure you are wearing suitable outdoor clothing to remain warm in cold weather spells. If you arrive by car, please remain inside the vehicle awaiting further instruction

When attending an appointment with your pet:

·        Be aware that our teams will be in full PPE at all times

·        Please phone us from outside the Practice to inform us you have arrived

·        A member of our team will alert you to when they are ready to collect your pet and how best to do this safely and without contact (i.e asking you to stand away, whilst your pet is retrieved from the car)

·        The vet will contact you by phone should they need to discuss anything with you during the consultation

·        Once the consultation has been completed, a member of our team will return your pet to you in a safe, contactless way, talk you through the appointment and arrange for payment to be made.

We have made these changes as the health and wellbeing of our patients, clients, and staff is our number one priority.

Thank you for your continued understanding during this time. We remain committed to delivering the best care for your pet and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Exercising your pet in the house during colder months

As the weather gets colder, you and your pet may be spending more time indoors on the sofa. The lack of exercise can have a negative impact on the physical and mental wellbeing of both you and your pet. With ongoing limitations to outdoor activities because of COVID-19, knowing how to keep your pet fit at home could help keep them healthy and happy.

As with any exercise, the amount and type of activity will vary according to the age, species, breed, and overall health of your pet. If you are unsure if these activities are suitable for your pet, please contact us.

Here are some ideas on how you can keep your pet healthy with some indoor exercises:

  • Brain games. You can get special interactive brain games for pets through major online pet supply retailers. These can help with their mental and physical wellbeing. You can also save money and create a game on your own. The simplest one could be hiding a favourite toy under a plastic bucket and mixing it up with other empty buckets. Then get your pet to try and pick the correct one.
  • Hide and seek. If you have a dog, you can play an exciting game of hide and seek with your pet. They will use a variety of their senses to discover where you have gone. When they find you, they will be extremely excited!
  • Laser pointer. Cats are natural predators and love capturing things. A laser pointer provides an outlet for cats to have fun chasing and “batting” about the moving dot. Please use laser pointers explicitly designed to play with cats, as some can be harmful to your pet. You should always avoid pointing the laser at their eyes. Low wattage lasers designed for cat toys should not be a risk if the light flashes across their eyes for a split second. Try pointing the laser at the ground in front of them or beside them. Please remember that they can also cause frustration as the laser can never be ‘caught’. Finishing your play session by aiming the dot on a small toy or treat can help alleviate this.
  • Introduce some new toys. There is a lot of research that suggests that pets love new toys. The festive season is a period where many pet supply retailers have many sales on pet toys. By adding new toys to their collection – it will maintain their interest and keep them active.
  • Rotate existing toys. As a pet owner, you can quickly build an extensive collection of toys that your pet eventually disregards. Rotate toys this winter so that they do not get bored of them – bringing one out of storage elicits a new bout of excitement and hopefully some exercise!
  • Puzzle feeder. You can make dinner exciting with puzzle feeders. There are some super engaging puzzle feeders available to buy that can be filled with your pet’s regular food, which make them use their brain before they eat.

Remember that your pet may have even less self-control than you do over the cold winter days during the festive season! Keep them from piling on the pounds by ensuring everyone within the household does not continually give food or treats to your pets. You can get your family or household members involved in playtime to keep everyone entertained, healthy, and happy!

If you have any concerns about your pet’s health, please give us a call.

Road Safety Week

From 16-22 November, it is Road Safety Week in the UK.

This week aims to inspire the country to take action on road safety, promoting lifesaving and awareness around speeding. When walking your dog you should be extra careful, especially during this winter season. Information on how to make sure your dog can be seen, and other helpful tips, can be found below:

  • Always make sure your dog is kept on a lead. For more tips on walking your dog safely, read our post here.
  • Make sure you teach your dog road awareness by training them when to “stop” and “come away”.
  • Wear light coloured or hi-vis clothing to ensure you and your dog can be seen.
  • Ensure your dog is microchipped so you can be reunited with them in the worst case of them going missing.

 

Source: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/road-safety-tips-for-dog-owners

Holiday Season 2020 Opening Hours

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

Please see below for 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 

New Years Eve:                      8:45am – 6:00pm

New Years Day:                      Closed

2nd January                            Closed

3rd January                             Closed

4th January                             Closed

 

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

If you require any further information, please contact us.

If your pet requires out-of-hours emergency care, please call 01450 372 038

Keeping your pet safe this autumn

As we move from summer to autumn, nature around us changes – greens turn golden, leaves fall and summer flowers give way to berries. As always, there are things we need to be aware of that may affect our pets and their wellbeing. Here are some things to look out for this autumn.

Conkers and acorns

Hunting for conkers is one of autumn’s pleasures – searching through crunchy leaves until you spot a spiky shell or, perhaps, the shiny gleam of one that has already started to open. But if your dog eats one it could be fatal.

Conkers could cause an intestinal blockage due to their size and shape; dogs sometimes need an operation to remove them. All parts of the horse chestnut tree (including the leaves and conkers) contain a chemical called aesculin. If your dog eats enough, it causes sickness, diarrhoea and pain leading to severe dehydration and toxic shock.

Acorns and oak tree leaves are also poisonous to dogs. Acorn poisoning (officially called Quercus poisoning), causes vomiting, diarrhoea (often bloody) and lethargy. Eating acorns can lead to severe liver and kidney problems if not treated promptly. Acorns also present a choking risk and can cause a blockage in the digestive system.

Always keep a watchful eye when walking your dog in autumn, especially in areas dense with horse chestnut and oak trees.

Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI)

This is a relatively new and uncommon condition, the causes of which are unknown. Your dog will show clinical signs roughly 24 – 72 hours after walking in woodland. Symptoms are lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, not eating, muscle tremors and fever (high temperature). Sadly, animals deteriorate quickly and it is usually fatal. As always, if your dog displays any of these symptoms, get in touch with us for advice.

Traffic accidents

Driving on darker nights means poorer visibility for drivers and a higher risk to our pets, especially cats. High-viz, reflective collars make your kitty easier to spot at night. Try to change your cat’s routine during the darker evenings by encouraging them to stay at home, especially during rush hour when roads are at their busiest.

Alabama Rot

Whilst still uncommon in the UK, it’s good to be aware of the symptoms of Alabama rot. The cause is unknown but the main symptoms are sores on your dog’s skin (especially feet and lower limbs) and generally being unwell. The disease affects blood vessels and rapidly causes kidneys to fail. Symptoms of kidney failure include increased thirst, lethargy (extreme tiredness) and vomiting. If your dog shows any symptoms, please call us.

Osteoarthritis

If your cat, dog or rabbit has arthritis, it’s likely to worsen during the colder months. While the reasons for this are unknown, humans with arthritis will testify that the change of season causes intensified pain and stiffness. In pets this may manifest itself in slower movement and increased pain. If your pet has arthritis, ensure you give their medication at the correct dosage and times advised by your vet. Create an extra warm, cosy and comfortable place for them to rest – it can help to put a memory foam pad in their bed to ease pressure on sore joints.

Senior pets, like senior people, are more prone to arthritis. If your pet is showing signs of stiffness and pain, get in touch with us for further advice and to book a health check.

It is important to be aware of the conditions above, however they can be very rare, and there are plenty of benefits associated with taking a walk in the autumn woodland. As always, we’re here to help with any concerns you may have.

World Heart Day – 29 September 2020

We celebrate World Heart Day today on 29 September 2020. This is the world’s biggest awareness-raising platform for cardiovascular disease (CVD) which is accountable for nearly half of all non-communicable disease deaths in humans.

Did you know that heart conditions affect our pets too?  Within our group of practices, we have cardiology specialists available who investigate all aspects of heart disease.

In the first instance, if you have concerns that your pet has symptoms, please contact us for an examination.  Here are some of the signs to look out for…

  • Stopping or slowing on walks
  • Difficulty breathing or not being able to catch their breath
  • Not settling down to sleep at night
  • Coughing, especially during or after exercise or if they’re excited
  • A bloated stomach (caused by fluid build-up).

If you find your pet is showing any of the above symptoms, please make sure you speak to us straight away. Unfortunately, heart disease cannot be cured, however it can be managed.

Animal activities to keep your children occupied

It can be a challenge keeping the kids occupied at the weekends, so here are five ideas that may help you out!

Draw a picture
Get the crayons and paper out and encourage your little one to become a budding artist by drawing a picture of your pet or their favourite animal.

Take some photographs
Most mobile phones these days have a pretty good camera, so why not set a photo challenge? Perhaps it’s capturing photographs of butterflies, insects and birds in your garden, or trying to capture the perfect portrait of your pet. Promise to print the best results off for them to put into an album or frame – it will incentivise the children to really make the effort to capture that perfect shot.

Visit a farm
If you’re in the countryside you may see farm animals in fields locally, but city dwellers can often visit urban farms for their fix of the farmyard. Find out more about farming – what the farmer does, what the animals eat and how they’re cared for.

Write a story
Let their imagination run wild – ask them to write a story about your pet and the adventures they have when everyone is asleep. The more exciting, the better!

Make animal facemasks
Use some card as a base, draw an outline, then cut bits out and stick bits on. Paint tiger stripes or a cute pink doggy nose. Use some elastic or ribbon attached at the sides to fit small heads.

Going to the beach with your dog this summer?

With restrictions on holidays abroad, and ongoing updates to the quarantine list, many people are opting for a ‘staycation’ in the UK this year. If your summer plans involve a trip to one of our beautiful beaches and your dog is lucky enough to be joining you, here are some things to be mindful of:

Heatstroke

Remember that dogs are prone to feeling the effects of the sun too, with dehydration being a danger to them. When you’re at the coast the sea breeze may make it feel cooler than it is, so do be aware of any changes in your dog’s behaviour and try to create some shade for them to rest in. Make sure you have a supply of fresh water for them to drink and avoid taking them out in the heat of the day – remember that dry sun-baked sand can get very hot and burn your dog’s feet.

For more information about protecting your pet from the sun click here.

Sand

When ingested, sand can cause a blockage in your dog’s intestines, which may need surgery to remove. If your dog has never been to the beach before they may be curious about this new material and try to eat it. They may also inadvertently ingest sand when fetching a wet sand-coated ball. Keep your dog in view and be mindful of what’s in their mouths.

Swimming in the sea

We love to see a happy dog bounding through the waves but be sure to check the depth of the water and make sure there are no sudden drops that could cause your dog to get into difficulties. Small dogs are especially at risk due to their shorter legs, and a strong current could be more dangerous for them due to their lighter body weight.

Seawater

Drinking salty seawater will also add to the risk of dehydration and can cause diarrhoea. Too much seawater can cause toxic sodium levels which can be fatal. Once again be mindful of what your dog is doing at all times and be sure to have plenty of fresh water available.

Remember, if you’re travelling by car, ensure your dog is safely harnessed for the journey. Find out more here.

And finally, have fun!

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hawick coronavirus update

Hawick Vets COVID-19 Update

At Hawick vets, the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, our staff and our community is our number-one priority.

We remain committed to delivering exceptional care to your pet, while doing our part to reduce the spread of respiratory illness (in particular, COVID-19 coronavirus), including careful monitoring of the health and wellbeing of our staff.

Over the past few weeks, we have taken a series of precautionary steps at our practices in response to this outbreak, including increased cleaning, disinfection and access to hand sanitiser for our staff and clients.

Doing our part to keep pets, clients and our staff healthy during COVID-19 (coronavirus)

In addition to the steps we’re taking as a practice to protect everyone who works in and visits our practice, we kindly ask that you take the following precautions:

  • If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, had close contact with someone who has, or you’re experiencing symptoms (new persistent cough and/or fever), and your pet needs veterinary care, please call us. We will be able to advise you on how your pets can receive the care they need.
  • If you have been self-isolated with COVID-19 and have recently visited one of our practices, please let us know as soon as possible. This is so we can implement measures to protect our staff and other clients, some of whom are elderly or could be more susceptible to illness.
  • If your pet requires urgent veterinary attention, please call us.  We will be able to advise you on how your pets can still receive the care they need.
  • When you arrive, please call our reception team and they will advise when you can enter the practice. If you are told to wait, if you can please wait outside the practice or in your car and the reception team will call you as soon as you can enter.
  • Only 1 client should enter the practice whenever possible.
  • Please limit your time in the waiting area, and maintain at least 6 feet / 2 metres of space between you and other pet owners in common spaces.
  • When possible, schedule appointments in advance to not only reduce your wait time but also enable us to better prepare for your pet’s health needs prior to their arrival.
  • If your pet is hospitalised at our facility, we are asking clients to avoid visiting their pet.
  • If you need to change any appointments because you are in isolation, please call us and we will rearrange these for you.
  • We are following the government’s most recent advice regarding the measures we need to take to help control the spread of COVID-19. There’s provision at all of our practices for you to wash your hands when you arrive and before you leave.

Please contact us if you’d like further advice about caring for your pet over the coming months

LINNAEUS – Practice Corona Poster