HIPS DON`T LIE HIPS DON`T LIE - Test Page for arkhousevets.co.uk
in your older pet
t to give
a hutch is
See you in
Preparing your tortoise for hibernation
- Rabbits need room!
don’t let your pets get down in the mouth
Welcome to the latest issue of ‘Paws’Ark House Vets’ quarterly magazine
As the nights draw in, it’s
not long till Christmas
now! If you’re starting
to stockpile the festive
goodies, it’s worth remembering
that many of the things we like to eat can
be very harmful to our pets. You’ll find more
details on page 9.
We’ve also got some timely information for you
if you have a tortoise - our exotics vet Juliet
has some handy hints to get safely through
hibernation on page 8.
Many of the ailments and conditions that our
pets can suffer from are common to us humans
too. We take a look at two of these in this issue
of Paws - dental disease and arthritis. Both
can be successfully managed if spotted early,
so why not take advantage of our special offers
and get your pets checked over? October is fixed
price Dental Month, and throughout November
your pet can have a thorough arthritis check up,
along with a free initial course of medication,
if required. You can find more details at the back
of the magazine.
We’d love to hear your thoughts, as well as
updates on our patients’ progress, news and
photos of your own pets. You can either speak
with our reception team, give us a ring, or email
us at [email protected]
There are some fantastic pictures in the Gallery
section of our website, but we’ve always
got room for more!
Ark House Vets would like to wish you
all a happy, healthy Christmas and
Here for you, whenever you need us
We continue to work hard to ensure that we are
able to see your pet quickly when needed, so we
offer long opening hours and a comprehensive
ur opening hours are currently:
8am - 8.00pm Monday to Friday and
8.30am - 3.00pm on Saturdays,
whilst our emergency service operates 24 hours
a day, 365 days a year.
Did you know that you can also book your pet’s
appointment through our website:
Simply request an appointment using our easy
online form and we will confirm by email. If you
need an appointment within 36 hours
(or just like the sound of our lovely receptionists)
you can still call us on 01525 373329!
Because we use Vets Now to give you and your
pets the best emergency service, we are able to
provide emergency clinics in 3 locations to suit
1. Our phone lines automatically divert to
Barton le Clay Clinic. Their direct line, if you
prefer is 01582 967089
2. For our clients who prefer to use Milton
Keynes Vets Now in Fyfield Barrow you can call
3. Hemel Hempstead Vets Now is on
All those clinics email through any notes to us at
7am each morning so we will always know what
may have happened if you need to visit them.
With best wishes to all our friends,�
from Kate Semple and the team
‘we care like you care’
A big welcome to vet Laura, who joined us in July from
Staffordshire. We know that lots of you have already brought
your loved ones in to see her! Laura’s arrival means that the
growing staff menagerie now also includes Daisy, her lovely
We are also delighted to introduce Sam who has joined us as
a Student Veterinary Nurse – look out for her in her stripy uniform.
Huge congratulations to vet Juliet and her husband
James on the safe arrival of baby Charlie in July!
And also to our Physiotherapist Esther and her new
husband Brian on their marriage.
Student Vet Nurse Sarah has passed her latest nursing
exams with flying colours as you can see (pictured left) –
very well done Sarah!
And finally, we are delighted to have made it to the
finals of the ‘Veterinary Practice’ Front of House
Awards – we’ll let you know how we get on!
Staff Pet News
Lesley’s Southdown Sheep have continued their winning streak, triumphing in competitions
across the country. At the New Forest Show, three of her lambs Mallard, Marble and Mulberry
took first place, and at the East of England Show, her shearling ewe Linnett won the
overall Southdown championship.
The season is now winding down, but Lesley is looking forward to lambing time in January!
In agility news, our new boy Noah won at Grade 4 at Empingham in July with
only his second ever clear round, bless him. You can follow Noah’s continuing
adventures in the world of agility in his blog
Henry has had a great season so far, gaining
7 top three trophies, including winning
the ABC Novice qualifier at High Peaks
And not to be outdone, Jake and
Twiggy have made it into 2 finals
this summer with Debbie,
so big congratulations to them!
Photo of Noah taken by Alan Score
It was a grand day out at the
Linslade Canal Festival
Once again we spent a great day at the
canal festival in July, supporting the ‘Birds of Bray’
and chatting to loads of lovely folk.
Ark House Vets are very proud to sponsor
the team, who were one of the main
festival attractions. As the name suggests, Birds of Bray are a
local Falconry team, having lived in the village of Eaton Bray for the past
32 years, and practised falconry for the last 18 years.
Beautiful weather and lots of doggy and human friends really made it a special day
out and we made lots of new chums as well.
Crystal continues to shine!
We’re very proud to be able to sponsor
Crystal the Golden Retriever, who is in
training to become a Dog for the Disabled.
Here she is, growing up fast! Her training is going very well, and
Ark House will be undertaking a range of fund-raising activities in
the coming months to help pay for Crystal’s continued training.
We’ll keep you posted in future issues of Paws.
The smart way to keep your pet and your purse healthy in 2013
Did you know that when you and your pets join our Paws Club, you’ll save 10%
on your vet bills as well as benefitting from monthly budgeting for your pet’s care?
Our Paws Club offers:
Free vaccination, flea and worming
Regular checks and maintenance
of good general health for your pet.
Convenient monthly payments for
10% discount on all products and
Optional Accidental Injury Cover.
Extended payment scheme for
Paws Club is an affordable and cost-effective
way to keep your pet in great shape whilst
you keep an eye on the pennies, with
membership costing as little as £9 per month:
Small dogs (under 10 kg)
Medium dogs (10 - 20 kg)
Large dogs (21 - 40 kg
Giant dogs (41 kg+)
Plus £1 discount per month for every
additional pet registered!
You can find out much more online at
or ask at reception for more details.
Open Day fun at Appledown
As ever we had a great, and boiling hot, day at Appledown kennels’
annual open day in September. We gave out plenty of our stylish practice
dogdanas and helped raise funds to help all the great work they do for
dogs. The open day was excellent fun as always.
New Puppy or Kitten?
At Ark House we’re here to help at every stage of your pet’s life,
and we know that in the early days you might need a little
more help and advice than usual!
FREE health checks - Is your puppy, kitten or rabbit less
than 8 weeks old? They might be too young for his or her
vaccinations, but we’d love to see them anyway!
Bring your newest family member along for a
FREE veterinary health check and plenty of advice –
our friendly team are always on hand with handy tips to help
settle your new pet into the family and keep them happy and healthy!
Simply call reception on 01525 373329 to arrange a convenient time to drop by.
Online advice You’ll find lots of help and advice for your new pet
on our website, www.arkhousevets.co.uk
You can download a simple check list with tips, ideas and a list of key
health care needs for your new bundle of joy!
Puppy Playgroup is as much for you We cover different topics week-by-week
the owner as it is for your puppy! including body language, parasites, dental
We hope to equip you with all the skills
you need to raise a happy, secure,
This is a unique
opportunity for very early socialisation
as we accept puppies that have only
had their first vaccination (from 8 weeks old).
Puppies can join the class until they
are 13 weeks old but if you have a pup
between 13 and 16 weeks who may
need some confidence boosting please
call to see if we can help.
health, nutrition, basic training, handling skills
as well as house training and fear related
issues. Prevention of behavioural issues such
as food guarding is discussed and handouts
provided to accompany the sessions.
Puppy Playgroup is held on Wednesday
mornings at 11am and is run by our Pet
Health Adviser, Debbie Culley a Registered
Qualified Veterinary Nurse with over 30 years
of experience who also holds behaviour
The programme comprises four weekly sessions at £23.20 for the course, and a
FREE worming treatment is included. Please call 01525 373329 for the next start date
Dental disesagestedown in the mouth
don’t let your pet
What’s the problem?
Dental disease is a much bigger problem
than it sounds, as poor dental hygiene
in pets can, just as in humans, trigger a
series of health problems.
The initial signs of dental disease can go
un-noticed unless your pet has regular
check ups, and so by the time you spot
any of the following, the problem may
already be quite advanced:
•Pain. Toothache pain is often not
picked up on by owners because pets
carry on eating even when in pain.
•Inflammation of the gums
(Gingivitis) and of the deeper periodontal space (Periodontal disease) leads to
the spread of bacteria from the mouth
through the blood stream to affect other organs such as the kidneys and heart
valves. In addition, bacteria is carried
into the lungs with every breath.
•Bad breath or ‘halitosis’
What are we looking for?
When we examine your pet’s teeth we
are looking for:
• Redness of the gums associated with
• Bad breath
• Bleeding gums
• Loose or fractured teeth
• Calculus or ‘tartar’ build up
on the teeth
• Pus in the pockets
around the teeth
• Swelling of the
face and gums
• Fur staining
‘we care like you care’
What do we do about it?
Many animals require dental treatment
under anaesthetic in order to remove
the build up of tartar that, if left, will
lead to gum and periodontal disease.
Diseased teeth are then extracted and
the teeth polished.
How can it be prevented?
Prevention is always better than cure,
so we recommend brushing your pet’s
teeth regularly with pet toothpaste
and appropriate toothbrushes, after all,
that’s what we do ourselves. But there
are also special chews, foods, plaque
reducers and other methods available
to reduce your pet’s chance of
developing serious dental disease.
Our Veterinary Nurses are all qualified,
about dental care and the different
ways that oral health in pets can be
They can demonstrate
correct cleaning techniques, as well as
advising on the use of other products
and food to keep your pet’s mouth,
and therefore your pet, as healthy as
If you suspect that your pet may have
dental problems, please don’t delay
treatment as things will only get worse.
Why not take advantage of October Dental Month and book your pet
in for a comprehensive check up?
Any necessary extractions are
covered in the special one-off
price so it’s a great way
to get your pet’s smile
sorted! More details can
be found on page 11.
HIPS DON’T LIE
Just like us humans, pets commonly experience osteoarthritis as they age.
About 70% of both dogs and cats will have some degree of arthritis by the age of 8
years. Sometimes the early signs can be very subtle, but over time they will become
more noticeable as the discomfort increases.
The good news is that once diagnosed, changes to weight, diet, exercise and
medication can all be of huge benefit, and enable your dog or cat to live a happy,
comfortable life for much longer.
What exactly is arthritis?
Why is it important to diagnose?
Arthritis is a term for inflammation in one or
more joints that causes stiffness, pain and
discomfort, particularly after resting. Wear
and tear throughout your pet’s life can
damage the cartilage covering of their
joints, leaving areas on the underlying
bone exposed. New, irregular bone may
develop around the joint, which becomes
sore, swollen and inflamed, and the range
of movement may be reduced.
Joints that have been damaged in a
previous injury are especially prone to
becoming arthritic a few years down the
line, and dogs with specific problems such
as hip and elbow dysplasia often also start
showing signs of arthritis at a surprisingly
Once arthritis has started, it can’t be
cured. However, if we notice the signs
early and manage it carefully, we can
slow down the progression of the disease
and greatly reduce the symptoms.
Animals can’t grumble about their aches
and pains like we may, but arthritis causes
just as much ongoing pain in dogs and
cats as it does in people. Therefore it is
really important to recognise the problem as soon as possible, so that it can be
addressed and allow your pet to have a
good quality of life.
What are th
ven just for
r stiffness (e
• Limping o
stairs in d
ces in cats
go for walks
less keen to
• Playing less
r her feet
tting to his o
• Trouble ge
s or feet
licking of lim
y or grumpy)
• Change in
• Panting in
at in cats
• Poor ha
If you think your pet may be
suffering from arthritis, why not
take advantage of our FREE
If arthritis is diagnosed you’ll
also receive an initial course
of arthritis medication free
Call 01525 373329 to book a check up for your pet.
See you in the Spring!
Our exotics and zoo vet Juliet has this advice on preparing tortoises for hibernation.
Any tortoise that is underweight or has been unwell in the past two
months should not be hibernated, so book a check up with your vet to
ensure your tortoise is safe and ready for hibernation.
We use ‘Jackson’s ratio’ (the plastron length relative to body weight) to
determine that tortoises are within a healthy weight range for their size,
and generally speaking, tortoises should be in their best physical condition by
the beginning of November. Young tortoises often don’t need to hibernate
or if they do, it will only be for a month.
General hibernation protocol:
•Stop feeding at the end of October
•Maintain at normal temperature for about two weeks to
allow the guts to clear (hibernating a tortoise with food in
their stomach or intestine can lead to severe septicaemia
and gut death)
•Weigh after the final defecation
•After the initial two weeks, turn off heat and light
•Check your tortoise every couple of weeks through the
winter. If you are at all concerned, warm him up, bring
him out of hibernation and book a vet check
•Weigh your tortoise every month – any tortoise that has
lost 10% or more of its bodyweight should be brought
out of hibernation and checked by a vet for possible
•Hibernation should last for 3-4 months at most
•Keep hibernating tortoises somewhere cool (but not damp) and safe from rodent attacks.
Ensure no food is accessible
• Post hibernation conjunctivitis - You may see your tortoise’s eyelids stuck together with a discharge
• Rhinitis - Bubbles may come out of the nostrils
• Blindness - This can be caused by freezing damage to the retinas,
by cataracts or due to blood in the eyes
• Post hibernation anorexia – some tortoises don’t start to eat by themselves.
• Frost damage
• Rodent attacks
All tortoises should then be bathed or soaked in
warm shallow (2-3cm) water post hibernation.
If you are at all concerned about your tortoise at any
time, please give us a call on 01525 373329
and book him or her in for a vet check.
but many of th
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eks and shallots
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Not only is this un
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give your pets an
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If your pet does accidentally eat any of the foods listed, or is
unwell at all over Christmas, please call us on 01525 373329.
We run a full emergency service throughout
the holiday period.
a hutch is not enough!
Rabbits are not designed to live in a
confined space - in the wild they cover
an area equivalent to 30 football pitches.
They’re not designed to live alone either,
as wild rabbits live in large social groups,
foraging, grooming each other and
huddling together for warmth. Rabbits
living alone experience high levels of stress.
Domestic rabbits are not fundamentally
far removed from their
wild cousins. They share the same need to
run, jump, explore and share companionship
with their own kind, so their accommodation
must allow them to display these natural
Here’s an example of a run attached to a
hutch with plenty of space to run and jump
and also places to explore. And remember
bigger is always better!
Have you noticed all the very handsome pets with Ark house petdanas on?
We love them and think they do too. Here’s a selection of pets with them on!
If you’d like one
for your pet just
ask when you’re next in
‘we care like you care’
and then send us a
October is Dental Month
During the month of October your pet
can benefit from all the following:
• Pre- operative health check
• Pre-anaesthetic blood screening
• General anaesthetic
• Dental Scale and Polish
• Professional dental examination
• Any necessary extractions
• Pain relief and antibiotics as
required for the dental treatment
• Post operative check up
ixed opular r ck by
Den uest is
This all comes for a fixed price of
£180 for dogs and £150 in cats.
Paws Club members can enjoy further discounts,
with prices at £162 and £135 respectively. If you’re not
already a member of our Paws Club, why not ask for
more details on how you could be saving money
on your pets’ treatments throughout the year.
This dental offer is always very popular so please book early
to avoid disappointment, as we only perform a fixed number
of dental procedures per day.
FREE Arthritis Check
This month, why not take advantage of our FREE Arthritis Check
for your pet in November?
As well as a thorough examination, your pet will also receive any required initial
course of arthritis medication free of charge!
To take advantage of this special offer, and to book your
appointment for November, just call 01525 373329
as RYONE in December
ris r EVE
We’ll give a present to every pet
booked for a consultation or operation
during the month of December.
Don’t delay, book your appointment today,
call our reception on 01525 373329
Recommend a friend and get
£5 off your next treatment!*
We always like to welcome new faces to Ark House, so when
you recommend a friend, we’ll give you both a £5 voucher
to spend in the practice! Once your friend registers with us,
we’ll give you a £5 voucher, and they will also receive the
same discount off their first transaction.
Ask at reception for further details, or your friend
can fill in their details quickly and simply online at
www.arkhousevets.co.uk, mentioning your name on the
22 Hockliffe Street,
Tel: 01525 373329
Fax: 01525 852354
Email: [email protected]
Monday to Friday
8.00am - 8.00pm
8.30am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 3.00pm
Our of hours emergencies
Our emergency service – Vets Now in Barton
(previously Beds Vets) - is available at night
and weekends. Please call our usual number 01525 373329
and you will be automatically connected.
I f however you would prefer to use the Vets
Now service in Milton Keynes, you should
call 01908 509500. The clinic there is open
7pm-8am and over the weekends from
Saturday 12.30pm to 8am Monday morning.
Alternatively, Hemel Hempstead Vets Now
can be contacted on 01442 768484
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