New branch surgery

We’re delighted to announce that our branch surgery in Hurstbourne Tarrant opened on Tuesday 23rd June. Offering the same high quality service in the convenient location of Dean Garage in the village centre the practice is welcoming new patients now. Call 01264 729165 for appointments!


Anton Vets is now RCVS Accredited!

rcvsFollowing a rigorous inspection by our governing body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) we’re pleased to announce that we have been accredited as a Small Animal General Practice with Core Standards.

By setting these standards and carrying out regular inspections, the RCVS Scheme promotes and maintains the very highest level of veterinary care, bringing peace of mind to our clients, as well as giving you the choice to select the right care for you, and your pets!

To gain the new accreditation, we had to volunteer for rigorous ongoing inspection in terms of our equipment and facilities; staff education levels; how we treat our patients and their owners; and even how we run the business… a lot of paperwork (!) but it is really nice to have it acknowledged that we are meeting more than just minimum standards. From hygiene, 24-hour emergency cover, staff training, and equipment we met all criteria.

We are now proud to bear the logo which indicates that our practice has passed this rigorous, independent inspection and volunteers for random spot-checks throughout the future.

It reflects really well on all the staff that we could have the inspector visit on a “normal” chaotic day – no red carpet! However everyone, especially Sue, put in a lot of work preparing files of documents.

We hope this accreditation reflects how you find our practice- if you feel there are areas in which we can improve, please do let us know!

For more information on RCVS accreditation please visit https://findavet.rcvs.org.uk/accredited-practices/categories-of-accreditation/


Anton Vets wins Customer Service Award at the Test Valley Business Awards 2013

After moving into the finals last month, Anton Vets has won the Customer Service award at the test Valley Business awards. The winners of the 9th Test Valley Business Awards were announced on 2 July at a Gala Dinner and Ceremony held at The Lights, Andover.

Guest of Honour, Fred Dinenage, who returned to present the awards for a second year said: “I take my hat off to the businesses here today. Not only do they survive but are prospering in the most difficult of economic times.”

The annual awards – which mark their 10th anniversary next year – recognise business excellence across the Borough and are a great way for organisations to raise their profile.

awardbadge

Photos courtesy Andy Brooks www.andybrooks-photography.co.uk


ANTON VETS NEWSLETTER #4

Welcome to the latest edition of our newsletter, the practice is continuing to go from strength to strength, we now have 6 vets including Kate and John and 5 qualified veterinary nurses.

EPILEPSY

Unfortunately dogs, like humans, can suffer from epilepsy. It can affect up to 5 in every 100 dogs. In most cases an owner will be unaware their dog has epilepsy until they experience their dog having a seizure or fit. Seizures can affect dogs in different ways and can be very mild, possibly manifesting as twitching on one side of the face to more severe when the dog may become unconscious and thrash around on its side on the floor. Seizures can be very distressing for an owner to witness.

Epilepsy can be classified as primary or secondary, primary epilepsy being diagnosed when there is no underlying cause for the seizure. There is unfortunately no single test for epilepsy diagnosis so a series of tests including blood tests and possibly an MRI scan of the brain may be helpful to make the final diagnosis. Primary epilepsy can affect any dog but is more common in purebred dogs aged 1-5 yrs.

If your dog has a seizure, try to stay calm, if possible remove any potential danger from around your pet, for example electric cords which it may become tangled in or put cushions by pieces of furniture that it may crash into. Turn off any noises such as television or radio which may act as stimuli and try to make the room as dark as possible by turning off lights or drawing curtains. It is a good idea to time the length of a seizure and also to keep a diary detailing the date, time, length of seizure, behaviour patterns associated before and after the seizure, so patterns may be able to be seen to help management.

Sadly epilepsy is a life- long condition and cannot be cured. It can however be managed in many cases to allow dogs and owners to have a happy life together.

NOMINATIONS

We are very excited because the practice has been nominated and is in the final three for the customer service award given by Test Valley Council business awards, results are announced in July so watch this space!!

Since being awarded the gold certificate for a cat friendly practice awarded by the International Society of Feline Medicine we have appeared in the Veterinary Times Journal as an example practice.

HYPERTHYROIDISM IN CATS

Hyperthyroidism was first diagnosed as an illness in 1979 in the United States and it is possible that as much as 12% of the feline population over 9 years old may be diagnosed with it each year.

The thyroid gland is located as two thyroid lobes in the neck of the cat, thyroid hormones are required for normal growth, development and maintenance of a normal metabolic rate. In cases of hyperthyroidism, excessive blood levels of thyroid hormones can be damaging to the body and if left untreated can have serious consequences on internal organs such as the heart.

In the majority of cases of hyperthyroidism the cause is a benign overgrowth of the thyroid tissue sometimes called a thyroid adenoma. In a small number of cases the hyperthyroidism is caused by a malignant growth or thyroid carcinoma.

Clinical symptoms of hyperthyroidism can be varied but some of the more obvious ones may be weight loss, an increased appetite, anxiety and restlessness, an increased thirst and or increased urination, diarrhoea and vomiting, poor coat. Less commonly a reduced appetite may be seen, voice changes, weakness, depression and lethargy.

Hyperthyroidism can be diagnosed by a history of clinical symptoms and a blood test to measure the total thyroxine or total t4 levels. Other blood tests may also be needed to make a definitive diagnosis.

Treatment of hyperthyroidism can be medical using antithyroid drugs which block production of thyroid hormones, surgical treatment by removing the diseased thyroid tissue or using radioiodine a form of radiotherapy to treat abnormal thyroid tissue.

Cats with hyperthyroidism can usually be managed so they can have a good quality of life, it is a good idea to have regular check- ups for your cat to monitor weight, heart rate and rhythm, kidney function and blood pressure.

If you are worried about your cat please do not hesitate to contact the practice for an appointment.

FIRST AID FOR YOUR PETS

We are hoping to organise some basic health and first aid courses for pet owners, if you would be interested in attending a course in the future please let reception know and we will register your interest and let you know when the courses are available.


ANTON VETS NEWSLETTER #3

Hello again and welcome to the 3rd edition of the Anton vets newsletter. Thanks to you all the practice is continuing to grow and expand and after settling into the extended premises in April we are pleased to welcome our lovely new qualified vet Jo Hart. We also have two new nurses Sam Young who joins us from Scotland and Becky Elphinstone who comes from Amesbury, they have both recently passed their second year training and are now fully qualified nurses.

Repeat prescriptions.

Please can we ask for 24 hours notice when requesting a repeat prescription of medication for your pet, this allows us to be sure we have enough of the treatment in stock for you and gives us time to put up the medication for you to collect.

If your pet is due worming or flea treatment it would also be very helpful if you could give us a ring 24 hours before you want to come and collect it so that we can make sure we have it all ready put aside for you in reception .

This helps to reduce waiting times at the reception desk. Thank you.

Arthritis in cats

As we are all aware cats are amazing athletes but unfortunately as they get older arthritic changes can occur in their joints which may cause pain on movement. It can be very difficult to spot signs of pain in cats, unlike in dogs where lameness is usually a common presentation cats often do not limp even if they are in pain because the osteoarthritic changes are bilateral. Some subtle changes that may indicate chronic pain in cats are often changes in normal behaviours such as;

Reduced activity, cats may seem less interactive with the family and spend large amounts of time sleeping indoors when perhaps before they liked to spend time outside.

Changes in grooming habits, cats may spend less time grooming because they find it uncomfortable to reach certain areas or may even over-groom painful areas, their coats may become scruffy and unkempt .

Reduced mobility, cats may resent jumping to previously favourite places which are elevated and may sit in a more hunched posture.

Changes in mood and demeanour, cats may be less interactive and withdrawn, even aggressive when certain areas are stroked or groomed.

There are a number of things that can be done to help cats with arthritis, including wt loss programmes if the cat is considered to be over- weight, the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in an easy to administer liquid form, the use of chondroitin and glucosamine supplementation and acupuncture which is usually tolerated very well in cats.

If you think your cat may be exhibiting any of the signs of chronic pain mentioned or are concerned about the possibilities of arthritis please do not hesitate to contact the practice for advice.

School talks

Gemma Clinch one of our qualified nurses attended a careers day at a local school to offer advice on entering the veterinary nursing profession, her presentation proved very popular and we are hoping she has helped to inspire a new generation of veterinary nurses!

If you have any enquiries about school talks or similar, please contact reception as are our nurses are happy to help.

Alternative medicine

At Anton Vets we can offer acupuncture, Homoeopathic and Herbal treatment and advice for your pet. Please see our website for further details – antonvets.co.uk

Feline friendly!

As from now Anton Vets has become a recognised gold standard feline friendly practice. We are a member of the ISFM (International society of Feline Medicine) – Purina Wellcat programme which is based on the ISFM’s standards of feline wellbeing within a clinic.

The aim of the Wellcat programme is to introduce a standard system for helping veterinary clinics to become more cat friendly and to help remove barriers to practice visits and reduce stresses for cats during consultation or when hospitalised.

As a gold standard ISFM cat friendly clinic we have ‘cattitude’ which means we try to have the right attitude and approach to feline patients. We understand what it is like to be a cat owner and the challenges involved in getting a cat to the clinic. We have a clinic which is welcoming to cats with a quiet waiting room away from dogs and raised areas for cat baskets. We have staff who know how to behave towards and around cats and take note of their behaviour so we can handle then in a way to reduce rather than increase their stress. We apply cat friendly principles in all aspects of the care for cats and cat owners and encourage the best possible preventative health care for cats.

Congratulations Jenny

Jenny Smith has been awarded The Service Cross by the Royal Life Saving Society for 20 years of voluntary service as a trainer and assessor, teaching life saving to children. Jenny attended a special ceremony in London to receive this prestigious award. Well done Jenny!


Anton Vets Newsletter #2

Hello again , welcome to the second edition of the Anton vets newsletter.

Spring is a time for new beginnings and we certainly have had that this month with the opening of the new extension to the premises. Many of you joined us for the practice open day on Sunday 1st April , I hope you agree it was great fun and a chance to explore the new layout and see our exciting new rabbit and reptile wards , even more consulting rooms and the spacious new waiting room. If you didn’t manage to come to the open day and would like a tour then please ask and we can arrange for someone to show you around.

NEWS

John Chitty has joined the team and his exotic pet consultancy is now based here at Anton vets , appointments to see John can be arranged through reception.

We have welcomed 2 new nurses in the last few months, Kirsty Thorner and Gemma Clinch. Kirsty is coming to the end of her training soon and Gemma has been a qualified veterinary nurse for 3 years.

Sarah Marshall will be joining our reception team part time from the beginning of April.

NEW ARRIVALS

Spring is the time for new arrivals and some of you may be considering a new addition to the family in the form of a puppy or kitten. Consequently we are offering some advice on what to try and look out for when you are looking to get a new puppy or kitten.

It is always a good idea to try to do some background research before you decide on the particular breed of dog or cat that would suit your family. Speaking to friends with similar breeds and also breeders themselves can help your decision. Finding a reputable breeder is also very important so you can ensure the parents have had all the necessary checks and your new puppy has the best chance of a happy healthy life. For example hip and elbow scoring, eye checks for breed specific hereditary diseases and other more breed specific tests.

You may also like to consider giving a home to a rescue animal, most rescue centers can advise you on the character of the animal and allow you to spend time with them so you can decide if they are the pet to fit into your family.

IDENTIFYING YOUR PET

Identichipping our pets has become common practice these days and many people with a new puppy or kitten will have an identichip implanted during a vaccination appointment at the surgery. The cost of an identichip is still very reasonable as a way of permanently identifying your pet and a chip can prove very important especially if a pet is brought in stray or injured and allows rapid reuniting of a distressed pet and its owner.

If you are considering taking your pet on holiday with you and especially abroad then an identichip is essential because a pet passport cannot be issued without one.

Other more exotic pets such as birds and tortoises can also be chipped for identification purposes.

The unique log number for your pet is connected to a central database where your details are also stored. Remember to check details with this central base if you move house or take on a new pet which already has a chip.

Our nurses are available at most times during the day to provide you with information or to implant a chip for you.

FLEAS and TICKS

Unfortunately fleas are with us and our pets all year round so it is important to establish a good routine for flea treatment especially if your pet is allergic to fleas. Flea allergy can quickly cause your pet to start licking.biting and chewing making their skin sore and irritated and skin infections can occur making the irritation worse and the pet feel uncomfortable. Tapeworm can also be associated with fleas and can infect your pet if it ingests a flea while grooming.

There are many good flea products available the once monthly spot on products such as advocate are usually very effective and easy to apply. If you find your pets makes things tricky for you then the nurse are happy to apply advocate for you in a nurses consult and will weigh your pet too to make sure the dosing is correct.

Ticks can be annoying for pets and owners and can be a vector or carrier of Lymes disease. Depending on the area in which you live or walk your dog you may or may not find ticks a problem. The occasional tick can be dealt with using a special tick removing device which we have in reception they are extremely easy and effective to use and are not painful to your pet. If ticks are a big problem for your dog Advantix can be a useful spot on product to treat flea and ticks.

Special insecticidal collars are also available on order from the practice especially if you are taking your pet abroad with you, these can help to repel ticks and sandflies which can be carriers of disease. Please check the defra website or ask our vets if you are unsure when travelling abroad.


Anton Vets Newsletter #1

Hello ….Happy New Year….and welcome to the first issue of Anton Vets Newsletter.

We hope you all had a great Christmas and are ready to start the new year 2012 !

We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank-you to everyone for all the good wishes, cards and presents that we received over the festive period. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you.

NEWS

Please check out the rest of the website to see our staff line up, we have had several new members joining towards the end of 2011 – including Jenny Hayes our lovely new full time vet and Lynne Steele who will be working Saturday morning surgeries.

As you will probably have noticed if you have visited the practice recently we are in the process of extending into the next door unit – plans are on the wall in the corridor as you come in and hopefully we will be able to open into the new larger premises in April.

New years resolutions

Are you guilty, like me, of making new years resolutions and then forgetting about them after a few weeks. We have a few ideas for new years resolutions that may help you and your pet and we will be around to give you support to see them through.

Weight loss

Obesity in pets is sadly becoming a serious problem. Overweight animals will be more prone to problems with mobility and arthritis can be aggravated, heart problems will be exacerbated and animals may develop diabetes. Dieting and a good exercise plan are important but as with people weight loss can be a hard road to travel. Commitment to the cause with the support of our nursing team who will offer regular weigh ins, advice with the correct diet food and encouragement to keep trying will make dieting your pet easier and make your pets life and yours a whole lot better.

Brushing your pets teeth

Just like us our pet puppies and kittens have deciduous ‘milk teeth’ which fall out as they develop and usually by the age of around 6 months of age have been replaced by adult teeth. Some dogs and cats may get problems with retained deciduous teeth which may need to be removed. Your vet will discuss and advise you regarding this as your puppy or kitten grows. Once all the adult teeth are present if you are able to brush your pats teeth everyday you will help to limit plaque and subsequent tartar build up and keep healthy gums and mouth.

If you have your pet as a puppy or kitten then it is a good idea to get them used to allowing you to open their mouth and to gently brush in a circular motion on the teeth and gums. Special pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are available for use and toothpaste is a variety of flavours to make it more acceptable to your pet.

If you have a rescue or older pet who has not been used to teeth brushing you can gradually get them accustomed to this as a regular event by taking it very slowly and trying to make it an enjoyable experience for them and hopefully you in the long term. Our nurses are well equipped with tips and advice on how best to introduce tooth brushing so please come and chat with them if you are keen to give it a go.

Grooming

Grooming your pet can not only be a relaxing and enjoyable experience for them but can also be very beneficial to remove dead hair and reduce the amount of hair ingested and the likelyhood of fur balls especially in cats. It is also a very good way of noticing any early problems with lumps or bumps, aches and pains etc. Some pets take a while to get used to grooming but again slow introduction and repeated short episodes can make it relaxing and rewarding for you both. Speak to our nurses about the best grooming equipment to use for your cat or dogs coat.

Prescriptions

When requesting repeat prescriptions we would please ask you to give us 24 hours notice so that we can have time to organize the medication for you to collect.

Watch this space

We are hoping to organize evening meetings, puppy parties and first aid courses in the near future. Details will be available on the website so watch this space !