Articles

Articles, questions and guides on pet care.

Taking your pet's temperature

The only way to determine if your dog 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 puppy owner, dreaming of your future take-anywhere companion but currently feeling a little overwhelmed, you need a plan! A step-by-step guide to keep you on the right path, at least o...

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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 2020 is likely to be very different for most of us. But, whatever else is happening, we can still do something special for the dogs in our lives. Much as we love them, we’ve probably never a...

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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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Breathing problems in cats

Breathing difficulties (dyspnoea) are a relatively common emergency in cats. There are several reasons why your cat may experience difficulty breathing and any age of cat can be affected. Breathing di...

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Why do cats hunt and how to reduce it?

Cats are predators and as such are instinctive hunters. They learn these skills from their mother in order to catch prey. As with other feline predators in the wild, cats hone their skills throughout ...

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Hair loss (Alopecia) in cats

Cats commonly present to vets for hair loss, which is also known as alopecia. There are many reasons for hair loss. There are primary and secondary causes of alopecia. Here our vet shares their advice...

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Help! My puppy is eating its poo

Although a disturbing and unpleasant behaviour, eating faeces, or coprophagia, is a common problem in puppies and young dogs. Fortunately, with a balanced diet, supervision and training they tend to g...

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Tips for cats with urinary disease or kidney issues

The vet who manages your pet’s case is always the best person to advise you about the treatment plan. However, for all cats, increasing their water intake and trying to reduce their stress levels can ...

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Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in cats

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common form of heart disease in cats. Here we describe the signs to look for and what to do if you have concerns about your cat.

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