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The cost of a rabbit

Rabbits are charismatic, inquisitive and intelligent beings. They can be wonderful pets, if you can offer them sufficient space and time, and the ability to express natural behaviours such as company with their own species, and plenty of food to forage on. We must also consider the financial implications of welcoming a Peter Rabbit or […]

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Whelping Survival Guide Part 2: All about Whelping

In Part 1 of this blog, we looked at how to care for your dog during her pregnancy. In this second part, we’ll look in more detail at the whelping process, what to watch out for, and when to call for help. What does normal whelping look like? In most cases, the bitch will know […]

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Whelping Survival Guide Part 1: All about Pregnancy

So, your bitch has met with the stud dog – hooray! But what happens next? What do you have to do? Is there anything to watch out for? No need to worry – read on for all the answers you need! How long is her pregnancy? The average pregnancy is 63 days from the first […]

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Pet Insurance – why Goddard Vets recommend it!

Are you worried about your pet getting ill? It’s hard enough dealing with a diseased dog, poorly pussy, sick snake, or hurt hamster without having to worry about how you’re going to pay for the treatment they need. Here in the UK, we’re spoiled by the NHS – we can get state-of-the-art treatment, without paying […]

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How do I decide when the time has come to put my dog to sleep?

Owning a dog is a terrible responsibility – we care for them, and look after them, and love them, but sometimes the best way to show that love is to be able to say goodbye when the pain or the suffering becomes too much. However, that can be a really hard call to make – […]

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What is FLUTD?

FLUTD, or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disorder, is the commonest cause of cystitis (bladder inflammation) in cats. Unlike in dogs, bacterial infections are uncommon in cats (and almost unknown in cats under eight years old). In most cases, cystitis in cats is a result of an abnormal response by the cat’s body to some external […]

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People products that poison cats

Cats are much less likely to suffer from poisoning than dogs because they are usually more careful about what they eat! However, curiosity can indeed kill the cat, and young adventurous felines are definitely at risk in a human world. In this blog, we’re going to highlight the most important poisons for cats, so you […]

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10 Tips for keeping your pets safe this firework season

It used to be, fireworks were reserved for Bonfire Night on 5th November alone. Then the organised displays were rescheduled so they didn’t compete with each other, so it was the whole week, and then a whole month. People also like to fire off rockets and similar to welcome the new year, and to celebrate […]

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Are wild mushrooms harmful to dogs?

Ultimately, of course, it depends on the mushroom! However, with an increasingly warm and wet autumn climate, mushroom populations are soaring. In fact, this September the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) actually issued a warning about the problem.  What is a mushroom? This sounds really easy – but do you actually know what those bulbous […]

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Dog Defence 101 – Vaccination

There is a wide range of unpleasant and even fatal diseases that dogs are prone to. For some of these (such as cancer, pancreatitis, or arthritis), there is relatively little we can do to prevent our pets from developing a disease. However, for many infectious diseases, there is a preventative measure that all dog owners […]

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What is GDV and how can it affect my dog?

A GDV is one of the most serious emergencies that any dog a can suffer. The survival rates if not rapidly diagnosed and treated are really low, but rapid emergency surgery can genuinely save lives.  What is a GDV? GDV stands for Gastric Dilation and Volvulus. It occurs when the stomach fills with gas (Dilation […]

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Ectoparasites in cats – defeating these bugs

Creepy crawlies. Not pleasant, and not welcome on your cat or in your home! So, what exactly are they?  Public enemy number one: Fleas The flea is the most common ectoparasite (parasite which lives on the outside of the animal, as opposed to our previous blog about internal parasites), and the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis, will live on both […]

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Feline Endoparasites; what is inside my cat?!

Broadly, parasites of cats can be divided into two main categories; parasites we consider as worms, and parasites we call “protozoa”. The first category includes some fun shapes and objects: roundworm, hookworm, and tapeworms (whipworms also exist but are fairly rare). Roundworms are the most prevalent species in cats. The protozoa include Isospora, Giardia and Toxoplasma as the main offenders. […]

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Cat Cover 101 – Vaccination

We all want our pets to be as healthy as possible – and therefore, to keep them safe from illness and disease. However, with the internet there’s now a lot of information easily available, and it can be really hard to decide what’s in our animals’ best interests. In this series of blogs, we’re going […]

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Choosing a boarding kennel or cattery – what you need to know

Despite the existence of the Pets Travel Scheme, it is only a minority of owners who take their pets with them on holiday. For most people, leaving them at home is the only practical option if they plan to travel. As a result, there are now a whole multitude of boarding kennels and catteries available, […]

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ProActive Pets – sign up and save!

In a previous blog, we talked about the importance of pet insurance. However, regular preventative healthcare prevents many problems from developing – but isn’t covered by insurance (even though in many cases regular vaccinations and worming are a requirement of your insurance policy). That’s why we’ve launched the ProActive Pets health care plan, and have now […]

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Beware Heatstroke in Dogs

Did you know that dogs are at much higher risk in hot weather than humans are? As a result, they can easily suffer heatstroke in hot weather (and it’s not always just in Summer), becoming ill or even dying from overheating. Why don’t dogs cope well with the heat? Humans can lose heat by sweating […]

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Why does my old dog struggle when he’s going to the toilet?

Could he have a prostate problem?  There are a number of possible reasons older dogs can struggle to pass faeces, but yes, a prostate problem is quite possible, especially if he’s entire (not been neutered).  So, what could be causing it? Firstly, I’m afraid, we need to define what “it” is! Is he passing normal […]

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Should I breed from my bitch?

Deciding whether or not to breed from a pet can be really hard; and it’s very easy to talk yourself into doing something that you later regret…! So in this blog, we’ll look at some of the things you have to consider when breeding from a pet bitch…  Are her genes good enough to preserve? […]

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I’m taking my dog abroad – what do I need to treat for?

Ultimately, of course, it depends on where you’re going. In addition, you will need to make enquiries and find out what the legal requirements for entry are – and for re-entry into the UK afterwards! So, what are the legal requirements? For most EU countries, there are no particular entry requirements to take your dog […]

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Why do some rabbits need regular dental checks?

Actually, all rabbits need regular dental checks (at least every 6 months)! Rabbits are very well adapted to eat rough, coarse vegetation. However, there are a number of things that can go wrong and that need to be detected as early as possible to have the best chance of fixing them.  What sorts of teeth do rabbits […]

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My dog jumps up at visitors, how can I stop him?

Probably the most common behavioural “problem” in dogs is inappropriate jumping. This can either be jumping at you, the owner; or at visitors to the house; in either case, it can be really frustrating and embarrassing!  Why does my dog jump at my visitors? To control this behaviour, it’s important to understand why dogs do […]

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Mast Cell Tumours in dogs, what are they, and how can it be treated?

Mast cell tumours originate from Mast Cells Mast cells are found in normal healthy dogs; they are white blood cells, found near blood vessels within the connective tissue. The cells are particularly equipped to catch germs and prevent them from spreading throughout the body, but they are also able to repair tissue and assist in […]

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If my dog breaks his leg, will he be in a cast?

It’s possible, although sometimes other techniques are more suitable. Ultimately, if your dog does have a broken bone, our vets will choose whatever is the most suitable method to get it to heal as fast as possible!  What determines which method to use? There are a number of factors that we take into account when […]

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Cats don’t get arthritis, do they?

Yes, actually they do! It’s a commonly held belief that cats don’t suffer from arthritis, but it’s unfortunately a myth.  What is arthritis? Arthritis just means “inflammation of the joints”, but when we use the term, we’re usually talking about osteoarthritis. This is the common “wear and tear” arthritis that older cats (and dogs, and […]

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What is CKD in cats?

CKD means Chronic Kidney Disease – it’s also known as kidney failure and chronic renal failure. It is a progressive condition causing the cat’s kidneys to gradually stop working.  What do a cat’s kidneys do? The kidneys have four main functions. Firstly, they regulate the cat’s water and salt balance. If the cat is dehydrated, […]

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What is mitral valve disease and can it be cured?

The most common heart condition in dogs is called endocardiosis – and the most common form of endocardiosis is MVD. So, what is it, how is it diagnosed, and what can be done about it?  What is endocardiosis? Put simply, it’s degeneration of the valves in the heart – which is why it’s also called […]

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What’s a pyo?

A “pyo” is the common phrase used to describe a pyometra – a very serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus (womb). It is one of the most common reproductive disorders in the bitch, but unfortunately, the initial symptoms are often vague and subtle, meaning that by the time we see these patients they […]

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What is FIP?

FIP, or Feline Infectious Peritonitis, is a viral disease of cats that is almost universally fatal. However, it’s a really complicated condition, and (bizarrely) the “FIP Virus” probably isn’t transmissible from cat to cat in most cases.  OK, so what causes it? There’s a virus in cats called Feline Coronavirus (FCoV). This virus usually causes […]

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Do rabbits really get womb cancer?

In a nutshell – yes, they do! Any entire doe (unneutered female rabbit) is at risk – the most common is uterine adenocarcinoma and this is a really nasty, aggressive and malignant disease.  How common is it, really? There is very good evidence to suggest that it is the most common tumour of female rabbits […]

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What is HCM?

HCM is the most common heart disease in cats and stands for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Although it has occasionally been reported in dogs, this is very rare. So what actually is it? HCM describes a condition where the muscle wall of the heart becomes diseased. The walls grow additional layers of muscle, becoming stronger and stronger (which […]

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How to have a Pet-Friendly Christmas

For most humans, Christmas is when we meet up with friends, celebrate with rich food and drink, and put up sparkling decorations. Scrooges excepted, it’s a wonderful time for us! However, for our pets, it can be really tough – stress from strangers in the house and a change of routine; unexpected hazards from decorations; […]

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I think my dog’s scratched his eye – what should I do?

First things first – get him down to us to check it out! Dogs’ eyes are delicate, and it’s really important that we’re able to treat any injuries quickly…  Why do dogs get scratched eyes? Any object that is either hard or sharp will scratch the cornea (the front layer of the eye) – grass blades, thorns […]

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What First Aid can I do for my cat? Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 we looked at how to approach an ill or injured cat; in this final part of the series, we will be talking about how to manage specific emergencies and conditions. Remember, this is first aid – it is intended to help you provide emergency care to your cat before you get them to […]

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What First Aid can I do for my cat? Part 2

In the first part of this blog, we talked about assessing the situation – making sure you aren’t at risk, and assessing the cat to see what you need to do then and there before rushing them in to see us. In this part, we’ll be looking at what you can do – how to resuscitate a cat, stopping […]

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What First Aid can I do for my cat? Part 1

It’s a nightmare scenario, and one that many cat owners don’t like to think about – you find your cat, bleeding, or injured, or otherwise in distress. What do you do?  Most people who find themselves in this situation panic, and run around for a bit, and then rush their cat down to the vets. […]

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Does Distemper still exist?

Sadly yes, distemper is still present – and potentially deadly – in the UK. In other countries, where a much smaller percentage of dogs are vaccinated, it is much more common (for example in Finland distemper is still a significant cause of death for dogs).  So what is distemper? Distemper is a viral disease of […]

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What is a hip and elbow score in dogs?

As a result of domestication and inbreeding, many dogs sadly suffer from defective joints. The most common conditions are hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.  These are developmental conditions, where the hip and/or elbow joints do not form normally, resulting in early onset arthritis and joint pain. The conditions are also genetic, meaning that they can be passed down […]

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Why keeping a rabbit and guinea pig together is not a good idea…

Rabbits and guinea pigs look rather similar and have very similar lifestyles – after all, they’re both small furry pets that eat hay and vegetables. Un-neutered rabbits kept together will often either fight (if the same sex) or multiply uncontrollably (if opposite sexes), but get lonely and pine if left on their own. So surely […]

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Can cats get heart disease?

Many people now are well aware that dogs can get heart disease – heart failure in breeds such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dobermans or Wolfhounds is fairly well recognised. However, most people aren’t aware that cats can suffer too – because, sadly, yes, cats can and do get heart problems. What can cause it? Like […]

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How can veterinary nurses help with preventative health?

Veterinary nurses play a large role in helping and advising pet owners with the care and well-being of their animals. We are proud of our veterinary nursing team at Goddard Veterinary Group, and the passion they have for the health of your pets. Part of that role includes advising on preventative healthcare – keeping your […]

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Can your veterinary nurses really help with my pet’s weight?

One of the many tasks that Goddard veterinary nurses can help you with is advice and guidance on your pet’s weight. Of course, humans can adjust their diets and eat healthily (or try to) but our four-legged friends rely on us to help keep them trim and a good weight.  The problems with portly pets. […]

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Why older pets can benefit from our veterinary nurse team

Compared to human years, animals at around the age of 8 are generally classed as senior pets. As they reach more mature years, it is important to recognise changes that may take place. Regular checks are important and our Goddard Veterinary Nurses can help and advise you on the types of things you may see […]

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Rabbit anaesthesia for neutering. Do the benefits outweigh the risks?

In the past, the risks of surgery have put a lot of people off neutering their rabbits – however, this has led to an awful lot of unnecessary deaths of older bunnies with severe health problems. As a result, owners are often in a quandary, trying to decide which is best – to neuter or […]

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5 Reasons to let our Veterinary Nurses check your pet’s teeth!

The first time that many pet owners know there is a problem with their pet’s teeth is when they catch a whiff of very smelly breath, or their pet stops eating. Our veterinary nurses can help with your pet’s dental health, well before it becomes a problem.  With their nursing skills, they can advise and […]

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What is Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD) , and why should I be concerned about it?

RHD is a serious and fatal disease in rabbits. It is also known as VHD (Viral Haemorrhagic Disease) and RCV (Rabbit Calicivirus). Until recently, the only strain of the virus present in the UK was RHD-1; however, a new (and potentially more dangerous) form of the disease has recently become established here, called (imaginatively) RHD-2.  Why […]

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Does my cat have epilepsy?

It depends on what you mean by “epilepsy” – your cat can have seizures WITHOUT being epileptic!  What do you mean? Aren’t fits and epilepsy the same thing? No, there’s an important difference – a fit, or seizure, is the result of abnormal, uncontrolled electrical activity in the cat’s brain (it’s sometimes referred to as […]

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