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    Back to School – But What About the Pets?

    Ah, September. Brand new school uniforms still with creases from the packets; the excitement of buying new stationery; trying to find the book bag with the unfinished holiday homework; the inevitable discussions about which teacher will be taking which class. That last week of the school holidays and first week of the new term are more than slightly chaotic for even the most organised of families. But have you ever considered what this time of year does to our pets? Most animals thrive on having a set, predictable routine and even small disruptions can cause uncertainty. New smells can worry our more anxious pets, and some simply just miss the extra company. Consider the family cat that likes to sleep on your son’s bed - but this year he’s off to university. What can you do to help? We’ll discuss some symptoms of animals that are struggling with the change, and some ways of keeping things as comfortable as possible.
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    Can People Catch Diseases from Animals? Part 1

    Around 12,000 years ago, humans domesticated their first animal, probably the dog, with goats, chickens, oxen, and horses following soon after. Ever since then, human and animal lives have been intertwined, and you probably won’t go a day without seeing an animal, even if you don’t own one yourself. If you are a pet owner, you’d probably agree that owning a pet makes life much more fun! But are there any negatives to owning a pet? Well one potential downside is the risk of catching a ‘zoonosis’, the topic we will be discussing in this short series of blogs.
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    Vaccines for pets… What, why and how often?

    This is always a controversial subject… but sadly there’s a lot of misinformation out there. As a result, it can be very hard to find accurate data in an easy to read form. In this blog I’m hoping to take a brief spin through vaccines for pets. Specifically, the thorny issues of what vaccines to give, and how often they need to be repeated. Because, like most things involving real living creatures, there aren’t any simple answers! If anyone claims there is a simple rule that answers these questions (e.g. “don’t ever vaccinate an animal”, or “vaccinate every animal for everything every year”), the odds are that either they aren’t aware of the science behind modern vaccines, or they’re trying to sell you something.

    Why is my dog scratching? He hasn’t got fleas!

    Dogs do occasionally scratch, but if it’s frequent, incessant or distressing then something is amiss. Some dogs will lick or nibble rather than scratch. Many do this in private so watch out for red, sore skin, bald patches, or brown saliva staining where the fur has been licked. Itching (technically called pruritus) is a sign, not a diagnosis or specific disease. It’s probably the most common reason for owners to take pets to the vet’s, making up a large proportion of our consultations.
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    Introducing the VetHelpDirect 2019 Communications Survey

    You may remember that we ran a big survey here at VetHelpDirect in 2017. If you’ve been following us for a bit longer (and thanks if you have!), you might even remember we did one in 2015. So, you’re probably getting a feel for the pattern - every 2 years, usually in the autumn, we run a big survey. And of course, it being autumn 2019, we’re due the next one - the VetHelpDirect 2019 Communication Survey is now out!
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