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    Animal Medicines and the Law

    As vets, we regularly get stick over animal medicines. Does my dog need that vaccine? Why did you give my cat that wormer? Isn’t there an alternative treatment with fewer side effects? These are all clinical decisions, and we’re all prepared to debate the risks versus the benefits of any medicine choice. But one of the things that really hurts is where we are constrained by the law, do our best in accordance with the law, and then get slated online or in person for it. My colleague Pete has written an excellent blog about vets fees in general, but he didn't cover the medicines side. So, in this blog, I’m going to explore the UK’s medicines laws in a little more detail, and try to explain some things that people find confusing... For example, why it is that veterinary drugs are more expensive than human ones, why we can’t prescribe the cheaper human version, or why we can't accept unused drugs back into stock for a refund.
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    Is there another way of birth control rather than neutering?

    Hormonal treatments can be used to control reproduction in dogs, cats and ferrets. These are not generally recommended by vets because neutering brings many health benefits and the medications can cause serious side effects. However, in certain situations birth control by medication can be effective and practical.
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    Is my dog afraid of the dark or struggling to see?

    Dogs have quite poor vision, up to eight times worse than humans at seeing detail. Scientists think this is because dogs struggle to tell red and green apart, much like colour blind humans. Dogs only have two types of cells (called cones) in the back of the eye/retina responsible for seeing colour while most humans have three. Cones work best in bright light so humans fair better in those conditions.
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    Animals at Christmas – Quiz Answers!

    I hope everyone and their animals have had a great Christmas! Now, on Christmas Eve we posted a festive Quiz - so here, as requested, are the answers! If you haven’t answered the Quiz yet - give it a go here… and no cheating with Google...
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    Animals at Christmas – A VetHelpDirect Festive Quiz!

    If you think about it, the Christmas stories we tell are full of animals. There’s the donkey carrying Mary in the Nativity story (cue “Little Donkey” from everyone who has fond memories of 1980s nativity plays!), sheep (with the shepherds) and cattle (in the stable). If we go further back, animals feature even more prominently - with spiders, cockerels and deer all getting a mention, not counting all the food animals commemorated in The Twelve Days of Christmas (which, some people say, is a musical recipe for a mixed game pie!). Then of course there are St Nicholas’/Santa’s/Father Christmas’ famous reindeer:
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