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                                                                                 Jan/Feb/March 2010

                            Are you Arthritis Aware?
                            Arthritis is very common in our older pets, both dogs and cats, and symptoms can be worse in the win-
                            ter months because of the cold. Often it is hard to spot when your pet has sore joints as they will not
                            always limp. Some pets will become generally more subdued and interact less with the family, maybe
                            eating less as well. Cats will sleep more, groom less and stay indoors. They may not sleep in their nor-
                            mal location such as the sofa or their favourite chair as they find it hard to jump up there. You may
                            notice your dog may not play so much with that favourite toy or be dragging their feet on their walk or
                            just can’t make it into the back of the car at the end of the walk. Both cats and dogs may get a little
                            Because arthritis can be such a painful and debilitating condition for our cherished pets, it is important
   A dog receiving acupuncture to try and maximise pain management which allows our senior pets to continue to enjoy a happy and
                            fulfilled retirement!
                            Here at Lancaster Veterinary Centre we use a variety of medication, special diets and supplements to
                            help with the ongoing discomfort of arthritis. After assessment by a vet, your pet may need medication
                            such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) to help with everyday discomfort, this medi-
                            cation can be used long term if necessary. A lot of people take glucosamine and chondroitin joint sup-
                            plements to help ease our aches and pains and now there are many excellent veterinary products avail-
                            able for this purpose. At LVC we use ‘Nutraquin’ a joint supplement containing glucosamine, chon-
    Lancaster               droitin, vitamin C and zinc, all important molecules for the repair and maintenance of joint function.
   Veterinary               As this is NOT a drug it can be used completely safely, long term, in your older pet even if they have
                            other age related problems such as heart or kidney disease.
   Centre 10th
                                                                    services. This        successfully used in conjunc-
 Birthday Party Recently we added veterinary acupuncture to ourprovide ongoingcan berelief very safely. Cats, dogs and
                tion with other medications and supplements to                      pain
  Saturday 27th rabbits can respond very well to acupuncture. It involves the placement of very fine needles into spe-
                cific points on the body to stimulate the release of the body’s natural pain relieving hormones
   March 2010 ‘endorphins’. 80% of pets will gain some benefit from acupuncture and again it can be useful if your
                            pet has other age related problems that prevent the use of conventional medicines.
                            A final note - don’t forget that keeping your older pet at the correct weight can really help with those
   Join us for              aches and pains!!

 Birthday Cake,             If you are worried that your cat or dog may be suffering from arthritis please ring to make an appoint-
                            ment with one of our vets for a chat and assessment.
   games and
                             Love is in the air…...

                            For some the idea of breeding          • Prevent unwanted pregnan-          The operation can be done
                            from their pets is quite appeal-         cies—there are already thou-       from 6 months of age in both
                            ing...until you think about what is      sands of stray and abandoned       males and females.
                            actually involved. Not only are          pets in the UK. The Dogs Trust
                            there the health considerations of                                          Although to some the
                                                                     and Cats Protection helped with    procedure may seem expensive
                            both the mother and father to            the cost of neutering around       when you compare the cost of
                            take into account, what genetic          190,000 animals last year.         raising a litter, or treatment
                            faults might be passed on to the
                                                                   • Help behavioural problems.         following a fight or road acci-
                            offspring, but also are you able to
                                                                     Entire male cats are more likely   dent the cost is actually quite
                            find homes for the puppies/
    Normal cat uterus                                                to roam, making them more          small.
                            kittens; can you afford to treat the
                            mother and offspring for worms;          prone to fighting and at risk      For people on means tested
                            can you afford the cost of vaccina-      from disease. Female dogs can      benefits the Dogs Trust and
                            tion; could you afford vets bills if     have false pregnancies following   Cats Protection will help with
                            something goes wrong during the          a season, showing nesting          the cost of neutering.
                            birth (unless you have specific          behaviours.
                            breeders insurance any problems                                             Please ring the surgery if you
                                                                   Neutering is the general term used   require more information
                            relating to the pregnancy and
                                                                   for the surgical removal of the      about Dogs Trust and Cats
                            birth are not usually covered un-
    Infected cat uterus                                            reproductive organs in both male     Protection or if you would like
                            der insurance policies).
                                                                   and female animals.                  to book your pet in for neuter-
                            There are many other reasons to                                             ing.
                                                                   Castration is the removal of the
                            have your pet neutered:
                                                                   testicles in the male.
                            • Prevent illnesses—such as pyo-       Spaying is the removal of the
                              metra (infection of the uterus—      ovaries and uterus in the female.
                              see pictures) and some cancers.
Why not check out our new website at for the latest offers, practice news and information?
                          Can your pet be our ‘biggest loser’?
                                              Have you          than we should, all the ‘bits of        Throughout the first 3 months of
                                              noticed that      toast’ or ‘a corner off a biscuit’      the year at Lancaster Veterinary
                  Well                        your four-        add up when given on a frequent         Centre we are holding a competi-
                  Done                        legged friend     basis. The cat or dog rarely de-        tion to see who our ‘biggest losers’
                  to                          may have          cides to sit down for a cup of tea      are.
                  Zoe,                        started pil-      and a biscuit - it is us that opens
                  who                         ing on the        the packets of treats or biscuits       Sign your pet up to our weight
many of you will see   pounds? Possibly not, as many            for our pets! Feeding your dog a        management program; book an
on reception. Zoe re-  owners do not recognise that their       small plain biscuit is equivalent to    appointment with one of our
cently passed her Ani- cat or dog is overweight.                a person eating a hamburger and         nurses to take your pets starting
mal Nursing Assistant                                           giving a cat a cup of milk is the       weight, they will then work out a
examinations with fly- It is believed that around 50% of        same as a person eating 4½ ham-         feeding guide and calculate what
ing colours.           the nation’s pets are overweight         burgers!                                is a safe amount of weight for
                       and often owners don’t realise                                                   your pet to lose on a weekly basis,
                       that their pet is part of this statis-   Some owners may not realise that        follow-up weight check appoint-
                       tic. At the surgery we often only        their pet has gained weight, as it      ments will be arranged as neces-
                       see the animal once it has devel-        may have been a gradual process,        sary. So don’t delay ....... ring
                       oped an obesity related condition        which is why it is a good idea to       today!
                       such as heart disease, diabetes or       have your pet weighted on a regu-
                       arthritis.                               lar basis (a 1kg weight gain for a
                                                                4kg cat is equivalent to a person
                         Weight gain in our pets can be         gaining 14 to 19kg!!). There are a
                         due to all sorts of reasons - the      few tell tale signs that you can
                         change in hormonal balance after       check for at home. Try running
                         neutering will slow down the me-       your hands along your pet’s sides,
                         tabolism a little, making him or       if its ribs cannot easily be felt and
                         her more prone to weight gain, a       you cannot see an obvious waist
               Next      reduction in your pet’s exercise       then there may be some excess
               summer, regime (particularly during the          fat.
               Nicky our colder months) may result in a
               weekend weight increase, certain breeds          The great news is there
 receptionist, will be   may be more prone to weight            are plenty of ways to
 taking part in a volun- gain, but the most common prob- help your pet lose
 tary conservation       lem is over-eating.                    weight and we offer lots of sup-
 project in South Af-                                           port for pet and owner with our
                          Our pets rely on us to provide a      pet slimming program.
 rica. The placement
                         healthy, balanced lifestyle and
 is completely self-
                         often we indulge our pets more
 funding, so Nicky is
 asking for donations      Pet Insurance—the cheaper option may not always be the best deal.
 of any unwanted jew-
 ellery (gold, silver,     Pet Insurance has been one of the fastest growing types of insurance in recent years, this type of insur-
 costume jewellery or      ance can now be found being offered by supermarkets, large stores, banks and various car/home/health
 watches) which can        insurance companies along with specialist pet insurance companies.
 be recycled and           There is a bewildering array of different types of policy available, with the cost of premiums and excesses
 turned into a dona-       varying between companies.
 tion for her trip. If
 you have any items        Due to the Insurance regulations we are unable to discuss individual companies or policies (with the
 you could donate          exception of PetPlan as we are PetPlan representatives), but here is some general advice we would offer :
 please drop them into     •      Don’t just compare the excess and premium—find out what cover you are being offered—will your
 the surgery.                     pet be covered for life or when your ‘fund’ has been used will the company no longer cover the

                           •      Does the company put exclusions on the policy after one year or will it continue to give cover for
                                  the life of your pet?

                           •      Be aware that if you decide to ‘shop around’ for cheaper insurance each year any previous condi-
                                  tions are likely to be excluded by the new company, and the practice is obligated to state when a
                                  condition first started—which may result in claims not being paid.

                           Regardless of which policy you go for any insurance is better than none, last year 1 in 2 pet owners had
                           an unexpected trip to the vets! If you would like more advice on pet insurance or PetPlan policies in par-
                           ticular please contact the surgery.

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