Articles

Articles, questions and guides on pet care.

Heartworm disease in dogs

Heartworm is a parasite, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. Heartworm infection is much more common in dogs than cats, but it can cause serious illness and even death in both species. Preventative pr...

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Heartworm disease in cats

Heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) are transmitted to cats by mosquitoes. Cats who travel abroad or who are adopted from outside the UK are most at risk and preventive precautions should be taken in the...

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What your vet wished dog owners knew

Dogs have never been so popular. Yet, as vets know only too well, there are still many myths and misconceptions about our canine buddies. And quite a few of them can unfortunately lead owners down a p...

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Lameness in cats

Cats can become lame for many reasons. Cats may develop an abscess from a cat bite, a wound, sprain, fracture or a sting in the paw. Some lameness can also be caused by joint problems in the leg. Here...

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Lameness in dogs

Dogs can become lame for many reasons, such as a wound, insect sting, sprain or fracture. Other causes include joint problems, such as osteoarthritis. In this article we talk about symptoms, diagnosis...

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Hairballs in cats

Cats are very good at keeping themselves clean but they also swallow fur when they are washing. If large amounts of fur accumulate in the stomach hairballs can form. Hairballs are something that can a...

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Taking your pet's temperature

The only way to determine if your pet has a fever is to use a thermometer. We show how you a few quick and easy steps to help you take the temperature of your dog or cat safely and accurately.

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Fever in dogs and cats

Having a body temperature that is higher than normal is usually associated with fever. A fever is typically caused by inflammation or infection. A temperature rise is part of the body's normal defence...

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Can dogs catch a cold?

Can dogs catch colds? Dogs can, just like humans, get cold symptoms with a runny nose, cough and sneezing. In this article you will learn more about the most common causes of runny noses and other col...

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Where to start with your new puppy? You need a plan

If you're a new or soon-to-be puppy owner and are currently feeling a little overwhelmed, you need a plan! A step-by-step guide to keep you on the right path, at least one paw ahead of your puppy. Vic...

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7 ways to give your dog a very happy Christmas – and most of them won’t cost you a penny!

Christmas is an exciting time for humans and is also a time when we can do something special for the dogs in our lives. Christmas is a time that we can show our dogs how loved and appreciated they are...

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Retained testicle (Cryptorchidism) in pets

When an animal has an undescended or retained testicle, we call this condition cryptorchidism. Cryptorchidism is seen in both cats and dogs, as well as other animals. Although cryptorchidism rarely ca...

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Choosing a cat carrier

Cats often have negative associations with their carrier, especially if it means a trip to the vet. This may make it difficult to get them to enter the carrier, therefore making it harder and more str...

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Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in cats

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a term used to describe progressive kidney failure or chronic renal failure in cats. CKD is one of the most common diseases in older cats, although it does not affect a...

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Disease surveillance in pets

I work as a clinical pathologist and veterinary investigations officer when I am not on shift with FirstVet. My job involves all aspects of disease surveillance such as; identification of disease, mon...

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Conker poisoning in dogs

Conkers are the seed of the horse chestnut nut tree, a very common species in the UK, which are found lying on the ground in the autumn time. Similar to acorns, curious dogs may pick up conkers to pla...

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Are acorns dangerous for dogs?

Nice warm weather during autumn encourages us to go for a walk with our dog. The autumn feeling is very familiar: fallen leaves in a riot of colours, shiny conkers and a flood of acorns. Curious dogs ...

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Pet bereavement advice: preparing to say goodbye and grieving for our beloved ones

Sadly, our pets have much shorter lives than us and taking responsibility for a pain-free, peaceful death is a decision that many eventually have to face. During even the most challenging times, our v...

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Body Condition Scoring (BCS) for dogs and cats

Body Condition Scoring (BCS) is a quick and easy way to check the weight of your dog or cat. It is a simple and quick check that can be done twice each month. Our picture guide below explains how to c...

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Celebrating New Year's Eve with dogs and cats

New Year's Eve can bring mixed feelings for many pet owners. Maybe you have a dog or cat that gets worried on New Year's Eve, or you are a new dog / cat owner and wonder how your pet will react to par...

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