Life’s A Beach

With recent sunny weather, many Families have been flocking to the seaside with their dogs.
Everyone loves a fun filled day at the beach, however we should be aware that a day at the beach can sometimes put dogs at risk. Not all dog owners are aware of the dangers lurking on the sand or in the water.

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Salt water: dogs are very sensitive to the effects of salt water, (or sodium chloride). When swimming in the sea, they may ingest significant quantities very quickly. Dogs also have a habit of trying to lap this very salty water from rock pools and puddles that have formed on the beach.
Following ingestion of salt water, vomiting can occur within a few minutes. Neurological signs can also develop up to several hours later.
In severe cases muscular rigidity, convulsions, coma, kidney failure and shock may occur. The majority of cases of seawater ingestion reported to VPIS (veterinary poisons information service) are symptomatic and, sadly, hypernatremia (high levels of sodium in the blood) can prove fatal.
In mild cases, small amounts of fresh water should be offered frequently.
If you think your dog may have ingested sea water then veterinary advice should be sought immediately.

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Palm Oil: Palm oil has been seen washed up on beaches throughout the UK. While fats and oil do not cause outright toxicity if ingested acutely, they can cause a quick onset laxative effect, causing Vomiting and diarrhoea. There is risk of dehydration and pancreatitis in chronic cases and sometimes intestinal blockages can occur.

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Jellyfish: Pretty but nasty, even dead jellyfish can sting, often for weeks after they have died.

Don’t let your dogs lick, step on, or eat jelly fish; keep them well away. Jelly fish stings hurt; those areas of your dogs’ body with less hair; such as the nose, mouth, abdomen, testicles, and around the eyes have more chance of exposure and a nasty sting. . Signs to look out for include: vomiting, swelling, excessive salivation, mouth irritation, distress, pain, overheating and diarrhoea. Twitching and respiratory signs may also occur.
Skin irritation can occur and be very distressing for your dogs. If your dog does get stung, the affected area should be washed with seawater immediately. Any remaining tentacles should be safely pulled off the skin (remember you can get stung too) but never rubbed off. The area must not be rubbed with sand. You should seek veterinary attention as painkillers and antihistamines may need to be given.


Foreign Objects: dogs love to chase their favourite ball on the beach, but be aware they could also pick up other hazardous objects and ingest them.
We often see dogs that have swallowed foreign objects such as Stones, Shells, Seaweed and fish hooks.
These objects can cause serious illness and can become lodged inside your dogs stomach and intestines. Often exploratory surgery is required to remove these objects. Surgery can be risky and unfortunately also expensive.
Symptoms such as Vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, abdominal pain and constipation or diarrhoea, may not start for days or sometimes even weeks after ingestion. If you think your dog may have swallowed any foreign objects they must see a vet immediately.


Sand: Some of us love it some of us hate it. Remember while you are feeling the sand between your toes your dog could be feeling it between their teeth!
We don’t understand why, but some dogs love to eat it. Sand can cause blockages in the intestines and cause an impaction. This requires immediate veterinary attention. As you can imagine it’s uncomfortable and can make your dogs very ill.
Refrain from dropping any edible items such as sandwiches or treats onto the sand, believe us even after the item has been swallowed dogs will still lick the area. If you have ever had a picnic on the beach you will know there is nothing worse than sandy sandwiches!
Please be aware that some of our beaches also have areas of quick sand and sink holes. If you notice areas on the beach please inform your local council so they can warn others of the risks. Stay away from these areas.


Sun: We all know the risks basking in the sun can have on our body. Dogs are also affected by excessive sun exposure. They can quickly overheat and develop heat exhaustion.
If you are planning a long day at the beach it may be best to leave your dogs at home. If you do take them with you ensure they have: a shaded area out of direct sunlight, access to cool fresh drinking water, and long periods of rest.
Please remember even in the shade they can overheat, and NEVER EVER leave a dog inside a car even with the windows down, cars act like ovens and your dog will die.
It is important not to exercise them excessively when in the hot sun, chasing a ball is fun but they will tire more quickly in the heat.
Any exposed areas such as sensitive ears, mouths, and tummy’s should have a suitable sun block applied, dogs can get sunburn just as we can and they can be at risk of developing skin cancers.


Swimming: Cooling down with a dip in the sea can be fun but it can also be dangerous. Tides can change quickly and rip tides can occur. If your dog loves a dip in the ocean please take care, Never allow your dog to swim when a red or yellow flag is displayed, never throw objects into the sea for your dog to fetch in rocky areas, never throw your dog into the water, never go out of your depth to reach your dog, and don’t allow your dogs into the water if you are unsure of the depth.


Local Wildlife: We are very lucky to have an abundance of beautiful wildlife that inhabits our coasts, seals and sea birds will often rest on the sand.
If you come across a resting seal or sea bird please keep your dogs away, seals look cute but can give a nasty bite, they can also carry diseases, some of which pose a potential risk to your dogs. Seals need to rest so NEVER chase a seal back into the water. Don’t allow your dogs to chase birds or approach any nests, birds are very protective of their young.
If you come across an injured seal don’t approach it as this can stress the seal further. Don’t draw attention to it and if possible contact the BDMLR (British Divers and Marine Life Rescue) 01825 765546.


The St Clair Happy Paws Club!

Happy Paws Club paint doc poster

Pet’s can’t tell you when they’re feeling sick, and sometimes you can’t see there’s anything wrong. That’s why, even more than you, they need regular check ups. Early detection of any potential problems could save you facing any unnecessary worry or stress, and of course the additional costs that might accompany later treatment.

Money is not as important as health and happiness, but by joining our St Clair Happy Paws Club you will make great savings on the annual cost of your pet’s vaccinations, parasite treatments, plus many other benefits that will help to keep them in tip-top condition!

Flea’s, ticks and worms can cause a great deal of discomfort to your pet, and some can even be passed onto your family! Year round parasite control is a key part of the Happy Paws Club, but what suits one pet, may not necessarily suit another! The St Clair Happy Paws Club is unique in that parasite treatments are tailored to your pets individual requirements. We begin with a free parasite assessment, to determine which parasites your pet is most at risk from, and which treatment options provide the most effective care. Based on these findings, we will recommend one of the five plans which combine the very best parasite control and vaccinations. We have a variety of plans available which include protection from flea’s, ticks, roundworms, tapeworms, lungworms & more!

Prices start from as little as £10.95 per month, saving around £68.09 per year! And some larger dog owners may save in excess of £300 per year! The Happy Paws Club is designed to make responsible pet ownership as easy and cost effective as possible.

If you have already taken our Lifetime Immunity Package (LIP Service) for your dogs yearly booster vaccinations, don’t worry! You will receive a FREE UPGRADE to include an annual kennel cough vaccination in place of your pets annual booster on the plan.

But that’s not all…
In addition to the savings on parasite control and vaccinations, not to mention the peace of mind knowing that your pet is protected, you and your pet will also benefit from:

– Yearly full health examination with your Veterinary Surgeon.

– A full health check with your Veterinary Surgeon (Ideally 6 months after your pets annual booster vaccination).

– All routine yearly boosters including
Dogs: Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Leptospirosis.
Cats: Feline Leukaemia, Panleukopenia, Calicivirus and Rhinotracheitis.

– Annual kennel cough vaccination (If chosen on your plan.)

10% OFF any additional vaccines (for example Rabies if going abroad), 10% off ALL SERVICES including in house procedures & treatments – including dentals, radiographs and ultrasounds.

10% OFF all life stage & prescription diets, 10% off any additional consultation fee’s, 10% off all medication & supplements and 10% off internal or external laboratory fee’s.

FREE nurse consultations INCLUDING nail clips!

So, if you would like optimum health care for you pet & to save money at the same time, call us today on 01670 457271 to book an appointment for your pets parasite risk assessment & to join the St Clair Happy Paws Club.

*First payment required same day, where first month of treatment will be supplied. subsequent monthly payments will be paid via Direct Debit, on either the 1st or 15th of the month – at your choice*

Pet Allergy Week 2017


Just like us, animals can have allergies…

An allergy is a reaction of the immune system to a common substance known as an allergen. There are a wide variety of allergens pets can have a reaction to, from foods, pollens from trees, grasses and flowering plants to moulds, fleas, dead skin, dust and storage mites. They can enter the body by inhalation, ingestion or absorption through the skin.

If your pet is repeatedly exposed to an allergen their immune system may react, often resulting in poor health.

Common symptoms of pet allergies include:
SKIN PROBLEMS – itching, scratching, rashes and redness.
EAR PROBLEMS – swelling, itching and soreness.
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS – diarrhoea, vomiting, loss of appetite and weight problems.
RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS – asthma/wheezing (in cats).
BEHAVIOURAL PROBLEMS – face rubbing, paw chewing, persistent licking and over grooming.

Because there are a number of potential causes to your pets discomfort and behaviour, your pets allergens may be unknown. Our vets, Rory & Andy can carry out a thorough work-up to identify these. Once the problem is identified there a number of treatment options which can overcome the symptoms and improve your pet’s quality of life. As part of this work-up, they may suggest sending off a small sample of blood to us to carry out a SENSITEST allergy test.

Following this we will provide you with your pet’s results and a personalised results pack. If allergy is identified as a contributing factor, Rory or Andy will provide you with suggestions for managing your pet’s condition.

The usual price of a SENITEST allergy test is £500! But in honour of Pet Allergy Week 2017, which runs from 5th-11th June.. we will be offering a 25% discount on every allergy test performed throughout the whole month of June.. saving £125!

The cost of your test and any treatment may be covered by your pet insurance.

Please check with us and your insurance company for details.

If you suspect one of your pets suffer from an allergy, please contact us on 01670 457271 to book an appointment.