Cat shot in the head

We’ve had a really shocking incident at the practice this week, one of our vets had to rush her cat into the practice following a horrific attack.

Gizmo was found lying on the back porch not moving and covered in blood.  Initially it was assumed that Gizmo had been hit by a car and that she had made it back safely to the house.

At first the injuries appeared minimal with just a damaged left eye but it wasn’t until the team x-rayed Gizmo’s skull that they realised Gizmo had been shot in her left eye. The pellet just missed her brain and became lodged in her cheek.

Sadly despite the best efforts of the team Gizmo lost her left eye as the pellet ruptured the eye which had to be removed along with the pellet. Gizmos owners are distraught and saddened by such an intentional violent act.  Gizmo is slowly recovering and still sore but the team are sure she will make a full recovery.

An appeal has been launched on the ITV news, Wales Online and the RSPCA Blog.

 Gizmo missing eye-page-001 Gizmo post op-page-001

Nurses Carry on Qualifying

Heath Vets is proud of its excellent veterinary nurse team. We have been investing regularly in college places for team members to study and qualify as Veterinary Nurses. The Diploma in Veterinary Nursing is awarded by the RCVS – The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons – and takes the form of a two year course. The course works on a “day release” basis, meaning that students work full-time at a veterinary practice and document their practical work for submission to college, where they follow an in –depth series of specialist modules. The classes include anatomy & physiology, pharmacology, radiography, legislation and take place at various colleges.

Veterinary nurse Louise Thomas qualified first, three years ago. She was joined in January this year by Kayley Alexander, who studied at Abbeydale in Monmouth. Naomi Harries and Karen Penhale are the latest staff to go on the course in Pencoed College, Bridgend and hope to qualify soon (Good luck, both!)

Karen says “I joined Heath Vets eight years ago, initially as a receptionist. I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to develop my career by studying.” And Kayley was elated to qualify in January after ten and a half years at Heath Vets. She laughs: “I have always wanted to have a career with animals. When I was a child I used to play vets – I remember pretending to inject soft toys with a pen and using toilet paper as a bandage!”

The course is comprehensive – and it needs to be. The six-strong nurse team at Heath Vets look after every pet, every day. While vets are performing operations and consultations, the nurses take care of all pets ensuring that the correct medication and diet are observed and on a more personal note, making sure that animals are happy and comfortable.

“We think of ourselves as advocates for the animals and we speak for them.” says Kayley.

Heath Vets is launching nurse clinics in the next few months. Appointments will be available with the nurse team for all routine preventative care as well as nail clippings, checking anal glands and other day to day requirements. The nurse team will also launch a special “senior clinic”, for older pets, too.  Clinics will take place every day and will operate on a pre-booked basis, initially at the Rhiwbina surgery.

Watch this space for the launch date of the nurse clinics or like our Facebook page to keep in the loop with all things Heath Vets.

Is catnip is dangerous for cats and especially small kittens?

Great question from one of our clients:

Catnip (Nepata cataria) is a common garden flower. It produces an essential oil called ‘nepetalactone’ and some cats react to this by getting ‘high’. The oil is taken in by sniffing, but cats will chew the plant and roll in it; this is believed to release more of the oil to inhale. Not all cats are sensitive to the effect – half of them don’t react at all, and kittens under 3-4 months never do. The sensitivity of old cats is also reduced. For susceptible cats, the effect usually makes them very frisky and playful, but sometimes they can appear sedated. However, the effect lasts only a few minutes (15 max) and cannot be repeated for at least an hour. There are no reports of cats ‘overdosing’ and becoming ill, and it is not addictive. Since it doesn’t affect cats under 3 months at all, it is unlikely that your little kitten will even notice its presence. If she should, just enjoy watching her fun!

A question about Parvo

My wife is paranoid that our two year old Staffie is going to pick up parvovirus from the local park. Is it something that can be transmitted in this way and what are the symptoms that we’d need to look out for if it did pick up this disease?

Parvovirus is a deadly dog virus that causes severe bloody vomiting and diarrhoea, which, if untreated, is usually fatal. With careful and intensive treatment, most adult dogs recover from the illness and it leaves no lasting problems; in puppies the prognosis is not so good, and about 20% of them will die in spite of treatment. The virus is spread via faeces. After becoming infected, the dog incubates the disease for several days before showing symptoms, but already during that time virus is being excreted in the normal-looking faeces, so it is not just diarrhoea faeces which could be infected. The virus can survive on the ground for years after the faeces in which it arrived has gone, so areas like public parks, where lots of dogs defecate, can, over the years, acquire a significant burden of infection. Fortunately, there are very effective and safe vaccines against parvo, which are part of the routine injections that all dogs should have every year. So as long as your Staffie has his jabs every year, there should be no risk of him catching this nasty virus.

Action Petz

What’s it all about?

Visit the Action Petz Website to watch a great video all about the park.

Action Petz indoor dog play park and training centre is the first of its kind in the UK! We aim to make your pooches dreams come true! Action Petz…. Where dogs can run free, play, jump, learn, socialise and have the time of their lives in a completely secure indoor park. We absolutely promise that you won’t get rained on in our park and as for mud! Well there isn’t any, a big bonus in our book! For those fine weather days, there is also an outdoor dog play area. There is no need to book but please remember your dogs vaccination record on your first visit.

Along with alleviating the worry of your dog running off or even going missing, our goal is also to provide a fantastic place for you humans to come and socialise with like minded dog lovers whilst relaxing and enjoying delicious refreshments in our comfy and stylish cafe.

At Action Petz we are also passionate about supporting the fantastic work of animal rescue charities and there will always be a focus on rehabilitating and helping dogs without permanent homes.

Therefore the centre is completely free for dogs living in rescue centres or foster placements.

About the Park

The UK’s first of its kind! Other countries have been successfully providing indoor dog friendly parks for many years. There are several reasons why Action Petz Indoor Play Park was started; one being that as long standing dog owners and lifelong dog lovers, we believe that all dogs should get the opportunity to run free off the lead. Unfortunately we are aware that there are many reasons why dogs do not always get this rite of passage. We believe that lots of dogs are just not getting sufficient exercise to keep them happy, calm and well behaved!

Action Petz solution is a purpose built 14,000sq ft indoor arena that is lavished in high quality artificial grass, park benches, plants and trees and more tunnels, jumps and play apparatus that your dog could shake a stick at. There is ample room to run, play and socialise, all in a completely secure arena. We encourage all dogs to toilet outside in a specified area but in the event of any little toileting accidents, cleaning will take place straight away to keep the park fresh and clean. The entire play park will also be professionally deep cleaned on a weekly basis.

There are sectioned off areas for small, young or shy dogs and at quieter times and by prior arrangement we can cater for dogs that need special care and attention such as dogs that need behavioural training and/or rehabilitation.

During fine weather we encourage use of the secure outdoor area where there will be paddling pools and outdoor toys and even ice-creams for dogs and humans!

The serious bit…. Action Petz would like to mention that owners are fully responsible for their dogs whilst using the play park. Any aggressive dog behaviour will be taken very seriously and dealt with in a professional manner. All dogs must be in good health, vaccinated (Vaccination record is required on first visit), wormed and flead. Dogs are not required to be desexed but bitches in season are not permitted into the park. All users of the dog park must be registered with Action Petz which we can facilitate on your first visit. Please take a look at our prices page to see which type of park membership would suit you and your dog’s needs the best.