B i l l B o w l... An itchy problem! SUMMER 2008

Bill Bowler
Clinical Partner: Bill Bowler B.V.Sc., M.R.C.V.S.
Managing Partner: Jeanette Ashley B.A.(Hons).
Rushcliffe Veterinary Centre
Collington Way, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 7LR
Telephone: 0115 982 1717
Practice News
An itchy problem!
GOT an itch? You will have by
the time you’ve read this!...
As the weather gets warmer,
any flea eggs lurking in
carpets and bedding, or
outside in parks and gardens, will start to hatch
– developing (via larval
stages) into adult fleas (see
the flea life-cycle diagram).
Adult fleas are very able
hoppers and will quickly
make their home in your pet’s
coat where they will repeatedly feed on their blood. This
can cause a multitude of problems including skin itchiness,
rashes, infections, hair loss
and even anaemia and weakness. If this isn’t bad enough,
they can bite us as well!
Worse still, each female
flea can lay around 50
eggs per day which drop
off pets and fall into carpets,
bedding and outside areas.
With a life cycle (in warm
summer or centrally heated
conditions) of around one
month, the number of fleas
in a household can rapidly
reach epidemic proportions!
Ticks can cause problems in
two ways – firstly by causing
a tissue reaction at
the attachment site
and secondly by
transmitting serious
blood borne diseases
such as Babesiosis and Lyme
disease, to name just two!
Adult flea
kitten photo: Jane Burton.
Our livestock farmers are currently bracing themselves for
the potential ravages of Blue
Tongue virus infection. This is a
viral infection that only affects
ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats,
llamas and alpacas) NOT pet animals (e.g. dogs, cats and rabbits)
or humans. It is transmitted by a
type of biting midge. Animals can
recover from the infection but
up to 60% of sheep and 25% of
cattle can die during outbreaks.
A vaccine should be available in
May for farmers in infected areas.
So far there have been a small
number of cases in England,
but this could change dramatically as the weather warms up.
Clients with insured pets may
have noticed a change in regime
in the insurance claims department. This is because Jayne Kirk
is currently on maternity leave
after giving birth to James in
January. Our congratulations go
to Jayne and her husband Ian on
their new arrival. Susan Green
has bravely volunteered to tackle
the growing (and increasingly
complex) mountain of insurance
work. We still do not charge a fee
for processing routine insurance claims (most practices
do) to encourage our clients to
insure their pets for veterinary
fees. Insurance work can be very
time consuming so please be
prepared, it can take time for the
practice to process each claim.
Alternatively you can ask for a fast
track where we will try to process
the claim within 48 hours, there
is a charge of £5 for this service.
The flea life-cycle
Ticks are another parasite
to watch out for at this time
of year as tick numbers also
increase in warmer weather
with dogs and cats picking
them up in areas of grassland
and heathland. Once attached
(see photo top right), ticks
feed on your pet’s blood,
often for several days.
So, NOW is a good time to
make sure you are up to date
with flea and tick treatments!
Please let us advise you on
the best form of flea and tick
control for your pet!
And remember, when treating
pets for fleas, it is essential
to treat ALL the pets in the
household and don’t forget
the carpets and bedding!
Special tenth anniversary to Nottingham by the founder
of Animals Asia Foundation, Jill Robinson MBE
If you have ever wanted to meet a truly inspirational person here is your chance.
In recognition of the fantastic support for Animals Asia Foundation from Bill
Bowler’s veterinary practice and other local fundraisers, Jill Robinson MBE
will be attending a very special fundraising dinner in Nottingham at the Opium
Chinese Restaurant on Monday, 23rd June.
In this very important tenth anniversary year for AAF, coinciding with the Beijing
Olympics in August, come and hear Jill’s presentation on the progress of AAF’s
campaign to rescue more Moon Bears across China and Vietnam from hellish bear bile farms to
the safety and freedom in AAF’s sanctuaries in Sichuan province and Vietnam.
This year, Jill will be joined by AAF’s China Relations Director, Christie Yang, who will report on
AAF’s vital work in promoting animal welfare issues across China particularly addressing the
issues of live animal markets and the eating of dogs and cats.
Join Jill and the AAF team and find out how you can make a difference to the lives of animals
in Asia. Tickets for the dinner event are priced at £25, and are available from AAF on 01579
347148 or [email protected] or from the practice.
Bill Bowler Veterinary Surgery:
www.billbowler.co.uk • e-mail [email protected] • Telephone 0115 9821717.
You’d be lost without them
HAVE YOU ever wondered how you would cope if
your pet went missing? Sadly it is all too easy for pets
to go missing and the key to finding them is for them
to be reliably identified. One solution is the collar
and tag and this can work well providing it doesn’t
come off – a common problem especially in cats who
seem to lose their collars with great frequency.
The good news however is that modern technology
has come to our aid in the form of a tiny microchip
which can be quickly and easily implanted under
implant x1
the skin – permanently identifying your pet. Each microchip contains a unique
code that identifies your pet and these details are stored on a central computer
database. Microchips can be “read” using a special hand held scanner (see photo).
Veterinary practices, the police and animal welfare organisations routinely scan all
strays, hopefully ensuring that if your pet does go missing, you will have the reassurance that when found – even if the collar and tag have been lost – the microchip
should save the day! Don’t take the risk – make sure your pets are microchipped!
Dental disease –
Is my pet affected?
DID YOU know that pets, unlike
their owners, frequently suffer from
dental problems without showing
any obvious outward signs of pain?
Dental disease can occur at any age
and recent surveys have shown that
as many as 70% of cats and 80% of
dogs over three years of age need
some form of dental treatment.
and to remember that throw- Grass seeds can work their
A common problem for pets and
way into the feet (see photo
ing sticks for dogs can be
humans is gum disease. Plaque
bottom left), or become
hazardous – every year we
is the name given to a film of
see pets that have potentially trapped in dogs ears’, usually bacteria which is constantly
causing severe head shaking. forming on the surface
fatal throat injuries from
trying to catch sticks.
Rabbits, in par- of all teeth. If allowed to
accumulate, it will inflame
ticular, need to
After cats have been out for
the gums – a condition
LATE, light nights and warm
the day, or dogs have been
called gingivitis (see photo above).
weather make summer parcarefully for
walking through long grass,
If left untreated, gingivitis frequently
ticularly fun for many pets, but be sure to groom them well fly strike. Rabbit rear ends
develops into periodontitis, a painthere are a number of potento try and identify and remove often become damp and
ful condition involving destruction
tial hazards associated with the any grass seeds and ticks
this attracts flies, which lay
of bone and tooth supporting strucseason that should be borne in that have found their way
eggs, which in turn develop
tures and eventual tooth loss.
mind – here are a few tips:
into flesh eating maggots.
into the coat before they
Fly strike is very painful and
penetrate the skin and
Cats may also suffer from one or
Visibility in the evenings can
more tooth resorptive lesions usufade rapidly, so don’t forget to
ally found at or below gum
use reflective collars to keep
rabbits should be inspected
level. Here the tooth is
safe. Also, during the day it is
daily for fly eggs and maggots. progressively destroyed,
important to remember that the
(see photo right) leading
sun itself can cause damage.
Also watch out for bee and
Cats with white ear tips and
wasp stings that may require to exposure of the nerve
running down the centre of the
noses are particularly at risk
prompt veteritooth. These are generally extremely
from sunburn which often
nary attenEar tip of a cat showing
painful lesions, although cats will
leads to localised skin cancer
tion since
frequently show no obvious outof these areas. This risk can be
some dogs
ward signs of tooth ache.
reduced by applying high factor
are allergic
waterproof sunblock, applied
to their stings.
Regular dental examinations (often
daily, to reduce sunburn and
Finally please remember that in association with a general health
the development of skin cancer
the temperature in a car can examination) are of great help in
(see photo above right).
identifying dental disease before
rise rapidly and death from
it becomes too serious a problem
When out on walks it is imheat stroke can follow in
portant to avoid ponds that
minutes, so pets should never – please ask us for further informacyst caused by a grass seed
tion on dental care for your pet!
may contain dangerous algae,
be left unattended in cars.
This Newsletter is provided as an education service to our clients. All news and other items in this newsletter are for information only and should not be treated as a substitute for specialist veterinary advice. For all images, the copyright is the property of the photographer.
If you are planning to put your dog or cat into a kennels/cattery this summer, don’t forget to ensure that all vaccinations are up to date!
Cartoon: Gareth Davies
Staying cool this summer!