All the latest info on caring for your pet

Looking for something in particular? Check our categories!

Best UK Vets 2015

With only two weeks until the Best UK Vets Award 2015, we would like to encourage you to write a short review for your vet. Good honest reviews are an excellent way to help pet owners find the best local vet. They also show your vet what you value about their practice! Best UK Vet 2013 - VetHelpDirect On 10th February 2015, the Award organisers, VetHelpDirect.com, will evaluate the thousands of reviews left on all vet sites using their directory and the winning practice will be the most well reviewed practice over the last year. If your vet wins, not only will it be an amazing honour, but they will benefit from an award ceremony at the practice to thank them for all their hard work. There’s still plenty of time to help your practice win so get reviewing! To find your vet and leave a review search for the practice on our sister site Any-UK-Vet or here on VetHelpDirect
8 Comments

Ask a vet online – ‘my puppy has watery eyes’

Question from Eileen Murphy: Hi, I have a bichon x poodle. She has been really poorly. She was born with a skin infection. She pulled through it and her fur is growing back on her face but since this she has been suffering with very watery eyes. Do I need to be taking her back to vets? She is healthy and very playful. I have no other worries from her. Answer from vet Cat Henstridge Excessively watery eyes are a common problem in both the Bichon Frisé and Poodle breeds, so it seems like your baby is following the trend! However, it is important to have her checked over.  Although dogs like her can have watery eyes as a ‘normal’ issue, it can also be caused by problems which are painful and need fixing.  The most common of these is conjunctivitis.  This is an inflammation of the sensitive tissue around the eyeball and is often triggered by infections, which in her case could have spread from her skin.  Other issues include ingrowing eyelashes or ulcers on the cornea. If nothing abnormal is diagnosed with the eyes themselves then she may have blocked tear ducts.  Poodles are pre-disposed to this but it should be considered in any young dogs with very watery eyes.  These are positioned at the lower inner corners of the eyes and drain away the tears.  Often the opening hole doesn’t form properly and instead the tears fall onto the face.  Once it has been diagnosed it is often easily rectified. If everything is fine, in a dog like yours, with short noses and thick, curly coats, it is not uncommon for hairs to rub the eye.  This causes a mild irritation leading to them watering more and also wicks the tears onto the face.  Something simple like this can be improved by your groomer trimming the fur on the face nice and short and regularly wiping around the eyes. Depending on how old she is, you may be making trips to the vets for puppy vaccinations anyway and she can be looked at then but I would advise you have her seen. I hope this helps you! Cat Henstridge BVSc MRCVS - Read more of her blogs at www.catthevet.com If you have any worries about your pet, please make an appointment with your vet, or try our Symptom Guide.
No Comments

Euthanasia – one vets opinion.

People often tell me that they think putting pets to sleep must be the worst part of my job but in many ways, it is one of the easiest. Yes it is sad, letting a beloved animal go, but in the majority of cases we are doing it for very good reasons; releasing them from a life that has become more about pain and suffering than the joy it should be.

A couple of years ago it was time to put our family labrador to sleep.  Molly had reached the grand old age of 14 and had been struggling with arthritis for many years.  Although her mind was still willing, her body had let her down and no amount of drugs would help her to be able to walk again.

What was interesting was my mother’s attitude.  She is a GP and admitted that in her job death can be seen as a failure, rather than a release.  She agreed with my decision but it was a totally different mind set to the one she was used to.

When patients come towards the end of their lives, in many ways the decisions that doctors and vets take are very similar, it is just that vets have an extra option; euthanasia.

Obviously with animals we don’t, and shouldn’t, take things to the levels that human medicine can.  It often isn’t appropriate to put a pet through painful surgeries or medical treatments, especially if it will only result it a short period of extra life.  Also, although it can be tempting to think an immobile pet could be kept going with nursing care, it simply isn’t fair.  We can’t explain why their lives are so restricted, they find it distressing and complications including urine scaling and bed sores are common and very painful.

End of life care in people is very different and is an extremely sophisticated process, often involving several teams of people, and usually relies on attentive and intimate nursing care.  It allows us to give our dying a peaceful, pain free end, often at home, with their family with them.

However, there are many people who believe this can sometimes prolong the inevitable and increase suffering and that we should have the option for human euthanasia in the UK.  Certainly I have lost count of the number of clients who comment “I wish we could do this for people” when I put their pets to sleep.

The debate surrounding this issue is a passionate one with contentious opinions on both sides.  I can certainly understand why some people diagnosed with degenerative or terminal conditions wish to be able to have control over their death and the option to end their lives before their suffering becomes extreme.

At least in veterinary medicine we don’t have this issue.  Animals have no understanding of their illnesses or how they will progress.  It saves them from the mental distress of their decline or the fact they will die. These are the burdens their owners have to bear instead.

Despite this I feel extremely fortunate to have euthanasia as an option for my patients.  It is never a decision taken lightly, is always upsetting but I know it is a peaceful, pain free process which brings an end to suffering and distress.

However, if it did become available for my colleagues in the medical profession, I would not envy them. Not only would it be the polar opposite of everything they trained for but to take that decision for another human being, even if they were supportive of it, would be a responsibility that I would not wish on anyone.

Cat Henstridge BVSc MRCVS - Read more of her blogs at www.catthevet.com

No Comments