McGettigan's Veterinary Surgery

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"Remember remember the 5th of November, Gunpowder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder season should ever be forgot!"
The 5th of November is the start of firework season, which continues throughout December with Christmas and New Year and then into the end of January with Chinese New Year. This can be a very stressful time for pets and their owners. Here are a few tips to get you through:
  • Do anything you can to mask the noise of the fireworks, e.g. turn on your television with the volume high, close curtains
  • Keep your pet indoors
  • Make sure there is somewhere they feel safe where they can hide away
  • Try to relax. In fact it may be best to ignore them completely. Your comforting may sound to them like you are scared of the fireworks and that will worry them even more.
  • Accept that they may behave differently. A dog who is terrified of fireworks may be too scared to go into the garden and therefore become more aggressive when you try to take them out.
  • Provide a litter tray for cats so they do not have to leave the house.
  • If your pet does get extremely distressed about fireworks then do give us a ring. We can give you short-term medications to decrease the anxiety felt by your pet. However they are NOT a substitute and should be used in conjunction with the advice above. 

    Rabbits and Guinea Pigs in winter:
    Whether you love the cold, crisp winter weather like our receptionist Glad or hate it like Helen our nurse, the temperature is dropping and our outdoor pets need a bit of extra thought. Follow this advice to help them through the short days:
  • Provide a deep bed of straw on top of newspaper to keep them warm (straw is warmer than hay) 
  • Drape a sheet of tarpaulin over any openings in their hutch to avoid drafts
  • Maintain good ventilation
  • Check the water-bottle twice a day and defrost if frozen
  • Feed fresh hay ad-lib, as there will be minimal grass for them to eat

  • Chocolate poisoning in dogs:
    With all the festive treats around this time of year, chocolate poisoning is a common. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs due to the presence of a naturally-occurring stimulant called theobromine, which is found in the cocoa bean plant that is used to make chocolate. This means that dark chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. Theobromine affects the central nervous system and the heart, which in the end stages of poisoning can result in epileptic seizures.
    If you suspect that your pet has eaten a large amount of chocolate these are some of the signs to look out for:
  • Vomiting
  • Diahorrea
  • Hyperactivity
  • Restlessness
  • Heavy panting
  • Muscle twitching
  • If they start to show any of the symptoms above call us immediately on 01527 893016