Veterinary Surgeon

Looking for a fresh start for the summer? Fancy being a stones throw from London and the Essex/Suffolk countryside, working in a small, independent clinic with a big heart?!

After working with us for a few years since qualifying as a new graduate one of our vets is moving onto pastures new. We therefore have an exciting opportunity for all you vets out there, we are happy to support new graduates just starting out or you more seasoned vets looking to expand your horizons, We are here to support you every step of the way.

Being a 50 minute train ride from London and Stanstead airport and based on the North Essex/Suffolk border, we are surrounded by beautiful countryside and awesome beaches with plenty of travel opportunities and day trips.

However, what really sets out practice aside is the way our team have such a strong influence over how it is run. The best ideas come from the team themselves, so we have well established systems in place for quickly bringing ideas generated into fruition. Our team have freedom to grow their individual roles and the practice in a way that improves their enjoyment of the job. We have bi-weekly vet meetings for clinical case discussions and team projects.

A result of team led initiatives in reducing our environmental impact we obtained ‘Green Status‘ from Investors in the Environment, were awarded “Green (small) Practice of the Year Award” in 2024 and the “Champions of Health and Wellness” at The Vet Dynamics Awards.

The Role

We are looking for a vet to work a 3 day week with 1:4 Saturdays, although we are flexible and open to other candidates. Our opening hours are from 8:30am – 6:30pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am-12:00pm on Saturdays, with OOH veterinary care being provided by Vets Now and the option of Vidivet for veterinary advice to our clients.

We have a high vet to nurse ratio, with 8 RVNS and 1 SVN at the clinic, our consultation length is 20 minutes and office time is structured within the rota. We encourage clinical freedom and support career growth.

We are offering a salary of £35,000 – £65,000 (dependent on experience), 5 weeks of holiday per year, CPD funded, RCVS and VDS fees paid, private healthcare and travel scheme bonus.

If you would be interested in working at Mayne Vets email Keith at manager@maynevets.co.uk or feel free to call us on 01206 851338 for an informal chat.

Paving the way for a greener future 🌳

2024 is well and truly in full swing, January is when resolutions are made, goals for the rest of the year are set and here at Mayne Vets is no different!

We want to continue being an example for what veterinary practices can achieve, play our part in reducing our carbon footprint and continue striving for a greener and more sustainable future.

We’ll let you in on a sneak peek of a few of our plans for this year! We want to continue supporting our local community, so you’ll see us doing a few more litter picks, install some bird boxes as part of the ‘West Bergholt Swift Project’, and contribute to the Colchester Food Bank. As always we want to continue monitoring our resources and decrease where we can. Our biggest plan for 2024 is to change from the anaesthetic gas isoflurane to sevoflurane, which has a lower impact on the environment.

Here’s a look back at 2023 and our top achievements of the year:

  1. We achieved Green accreditation (the highest award) from Investors in the Environment, an organisation helping businesses reduce their environmental impact and support them through their sustainability. We started our green journey back in 2019, having achieved Bronze accreditation initially (and being the first vets in Essex to do so), before succeeding to gain our green status, which we hope to continue maintaining for years to come.
  2. We implemented a sustainable travel plan for our team and sustainable awards for our clients. Team members are incentivised to travel to work either by walking, getting public transport, cycling or car sharing. For our clients we reward those who visit in a sustainable way to appointments and collecting their pets medication. Their name is added to our ‘eco raffle’ each time they visit and we carry out a draw every 3 months with prizes to be won.
  3. We were shortlisted in the 2023 Investors in The Environment awards as the ‘Sustainable Travel Champion’, alongside two big company names Elanco and The British Veterinary Association (BVNA). Although we didn’t win, the recognition for the work we are doing was an honour!
  4. Whilst continuing to reduce our carbon footprint, such as implementing a ‘Green Procurement List‘ we have also offset carbon the clinic has used by investing into organisations such as, The Envira Amazon Project, Mozambique Safe Water Project and Malawi Cook Stove Project to aid communities and decrease forest loss.
  5. As well as offsetting our carbon footprint of all our Pet Health Club members, we planted a tree for each pet as a Christmas gift.
  6. The team took part in the ‘Love to Ride’ challenge back in May, we managed to cycle 323 miles and saved 156lb of carbon, recuing our car emissions and coming first in our group category in Essex.
  7. We carried out a litter pick around our local community in West Bergholt over the summer. The team and their families managed to collect 8.74kg of rubbish!
  8. We donated old and surplus uniforms to InterCare Team, and organisation who provides medical aid to Africa.

We can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store for us!

Government ban of XL Bully dogs

With the announcement of the new legislation regarding XL Bullies, we know a lot of you will be concerned about what the new laws are and what they may mean for you.  Unfortunately, there was no prior warning or information given to the veterinary industry as a whole as to what the legislation would entail before its release and so we are working our way through it today as you have been.  However the core points seem to be these:

All dogs that resemble an “XL Bully” have been added to the dangerous dog list.  A description of what would be described as an XL Bully can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/official-definition-of-an-xl-bully-dog/official-definition-of-an-xl-bully-dog

It is not the responsibility of the veterinary clinic to decide if your dog is an XL Bully, it is down to the local council and police to interpret this, however we cannot change what your pet is registered as on our database.  The government advice is that if you think your dog could be considered an XL Bully then it is your responsibility to follow the laws that have been introduced.

UPDATE 14/11/23 (XL Bully Type)

The ban only applies to XL Bully dogs. There are other established breeds, such as those recognised by the UK Kennel Club, that may meet some of the characteristics of the XL Bully breed type. These are not within scope of the ban.

If your dog could be considered to be an XL Bully then the following rules will apply:

From the 31/12/23

It will be illegal to :

  • Sell, abandon and give away an XL Bully
  • Breed from an XL Bully
  • Have an XL Bully in public without it being muzzled and on a lead

From 1/2/24

In addition to the rules above, it will be illegal to own an XL Bully without Certificate of Exemption.

A certificate of exemption is issued by the courts following an assessment by the courts to attest that your dog does not pose a risk to public safety.

  • It will allow your dog to be added to an Index listing it as legal to own
  • It will cost £92.40 and will last for a dog’s life
  • The applications for this would need to be in by 31/1/24
  • You will need to produce this on request from a member of the local council or police
  • The dog will still need to be muzzled and on a lead in public
  • And you will need to show you have 3rd party insurance cover for the dog (we recommend this cover for all dogs).

14/11/23 UPDATE (Third Party Cover)

The cover must start no later than 01/02/24, this can be provided by The Dogs Trust Membership. If you use a different insurance provider it should cover the policyholder for death or bodily injury to any person caused by the exempted dog and is suitable for a prohibited breed as defined under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

14/11/23 UPDATE (Certificate of Exemption)

Please follow the link below to apply for a certificate of exemption. This will take you to DEFRA’s website.

apply-for-a-certificate-of-exemption-to-keep-an-xl-bully-dog.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Neutering

If keeping an XL Bully, they will need to be neutered regardless of their sex.

  • If they are over a year of age on 31/1/24 this will need to be done by 30/6/24
  • If they are under a year of age on 31/1/24 this will need to be done by 31/12/24
  • A neutering certificate will be issued following surgery that you will need to keep as proof of neutering
  • If your dog has already been neutered by us we will be able to provide you a certificate but DEFRA are yet to provide more information on these certificates

14/11/23 UPDATE (Neutering Certification)

Veterinary practices have been provided with information to assist with completing neutering declaration certificates (VCN01) for owners and are now accessible on the DEFRA website. This will support your application for a certificate of exemption.

  • If they are over a year old on 31/1/24 , it must be neutered and your VCNO1 certificate must be received by 30/06/24
  • If they are under a year of age on 31/01/24, it must be neutered and your VCNO1 certificate must be received by 31/12/24

If your dog is already neutered, as above, your vet will need to fill in a VCNO1 certificate:

  • by 31 December 2024 for dogs less than one year old on 31 January 2024
  • by 30 June 2024 for dogs more than one year old on 31 January 2024

Euthanasia

If you chose to euthanise your dog due to these changes of legislation this can be done at your registered veterinary practice.  Owners may be able to claim up to £200 to put towards the costs of euthanasia, but more information is to be released about this at a later date.

14/11/23 UPDATE (Euthanasia)

Forms are now available for those wanting the claim back compensation if they choose to euthanise your dog. This procedure must be carried out by 31/01/24 in order to qualify for compensation and the form must be received by 15/03/24. Payment should be made be made to the veterinary practice in full and claimed back to yourself.

Please follow the link below to apply for compensation for DEFRA:

XL Bully dog compensation: owners (publishing.service.gov.uk)

To receive your compensation payment you must register with The Rural Payment Agency. It will take up to 30 days for payment to be made into your account.

Please follow the link below to register:

Registering with the Rural Payments Agency to claim compensation for the euthanasia of XL Bully dogs – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

What to do if you find a stray dog that you believe to be an XL Bully?

Contact your local dog warden

Colchester Borough Council

01206 282581 (Monday – Friday 9-5pm)

So What Next

This information is our interpretation of the changes to the law as of 1/11/23 and may change.  We encourage people to read the full guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-for-the-ban-on-xl-bully-dogs and look for updates from the government as they appear.

We appreciate that is a lot of information to digest and will leave a lot of owners with some difficult decisions.  If you have a dog that would be considered to be an XL Bully that you would like to keep, our advice at this stage would be to start muzzle training.  There is a some good support on how to do this via :

As to what you need to do to apply for a Certificate of Exemption, we are looking for clearer guidance on that ourselves and hope to be able to provide more information soon.

Finally, we would like to politely remind owners that these changes to the law are not the responsibility of our practice, our team or the veterinary profession as a whole. We share the British Veterinary Association’s view that, while urgent laws need to be put in place to protect the public, there needs to be a greater focus on penalising owners that are not in control of their dogs, rather than targeting specific breeds. 

We are also concerned that the current description of an “XL Bully” is far too vague, leaving it open to interpretation and leaving many owners worried about whether their dog would count as an XL Bully.  You can find more about the response from the Dog Control Coalition (including members of Battersea, Blue Cross, British Veterinary Association, Dogs Trust, Kennel Club, RSPCA, SSPCA and Hope Rescue) here: https://www.bva.co.uk/news-and-blog/news-article/dog-control-coalition-responds-to-details-of-the-government-s-ban-on-american-bully-xls/. As always, if you have any further questions please feel free to contact the team, although please be aware we will not be able to tell you if your dog would count as an XL Bully or not at this stage.

Everything you need to know about cruciate ligament rupture in dogs…

Ruptured cruciate ligament?! What is this?

Compared to a human knee, our dog’s knees are an anatomically imperfect joint.  Due to the angle the bones meet, they naturally want to slide forwards and backwards during weight bearing and movement. The cruciate ligaments sit inside the knee joint stabilising it, preventing any movement and rotation, but the ligaments are under constant demand and stress, which can lead to rupture. Whereas cruciate rupture in humans is often due to trauma, think sporting injuries, in dogs it tends to be due to degeneration meaning that over time the ligament becomes weaker.

A cruciate rupture typically refers to the tearing of the cranial cruciate ligaments within the knee joint.  This injury results in the joint surfaces grinding against one another cause pain, discomfort, lameness and difficulty walking for our furry friends as well as a rapid deterioration of the joint surfaces themselves.

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis of a cruciate ligament rupture involves a combination of physical examination, history taking and diagnostic imaging.

Your vet will look for signs of lameness, pain and instability of the affected leg. They may also, if your dog allows, manipulate the knee joint to assess its stability and check for something termed ‘cranial drawer’. This is where abnormal movement is felt between the shin and thighbone.

If we suspect there may be an issue, the next step is to take x-rays in house to assist with diagnosis, also allowing us to rule out any other issue related to the knee and hip joint. Occasionally further imaging such as a CT scan or arthroscopy (a procedure where a small camera is inserted into the joint), may be required if a diagnosis is unclear.

My dog’s cruciate ligament is ruptured!! What now?!

Once a diagnosis is confirmed, your vet will discuss the appropriate treatment options with you based on the severity of the injury, your dog’s size, age, health and financial constraints. In many patients the preferred surgical option is a technique called a ‘Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy’ (TPLO), and this will be the focus of this article. This involves changing the angle at the top of the shin bone by cutting, rotating, and stabilising it in a new position using a plate and screws.  Altering this angle provides a “level” joint surface that helps prevent the sliding motion that results in the rupture.

Here’s where we introduce Freddie, a 10 year old, West Highland White Terrier, who underwent surgery on his right knee to repair his cruciate ligament this summer and we wanted to share his journey with you all!

On the day of surgery:

  • Freddie had a pre-operative health check completed, an i/v cannula placed, pre-medication administered and placed under anaesthesia for this procedure.
  • His right leg was shaved, from his hip down to his ankle, and was scrubbed and prepped ready for surgery by the nursing team resulting in a sterile surgical field.
  • We use a local orthopaedic surgeon for a lot of our orthopaedic surgeries.  This allows for our patients to be cared for by the Mayne Vets team, and removes the stress of travelling further afield.
  • Once Freddie recovered from his surgery, the nursing team monitored him throughout the afternoon, offering him food, monitoring his comfort levels, giving him further medication as was necessary and applying a cold compress to his surgery site. We advise for owners to cold compress, if the dog allows, for the first few days after surgery to help reduce any swelling.
  • Freddie went home the same day of his surgery, here he is below relaxing and recovering in the evening. This is often the case for most surgeries, unless we are concerned with your pet’s anaesthetic recovery or pain management.

  • Freddie was prescribed a combination of different pain relief medications for his parents to administer for around 2 – 4 weeks. A course of antibiotics was also prescribed.
  • Much to Freddie’s delight, a buster collar is recommended to prevent dogs from causing trauma to their incision and is advised to be kept on for at least 2 weeks.
  • Freddie had to undergo strict rest initially, he was confined to a crate and was only allowed outside to toilet for quite a few weeks.

Here is the lovely Freddie showing us what life is like on his first day in the crate after getting home, and his last day in the crat  before he was allowed some freedom to stretch those legs!

Around 4 weeks post-surgery, exercise can be increased, although it needs to still be restricted and gentle. Why so much rest you may ask? There is potential even one month after the surgery for the implant and surgery to fail if your dog slips or knocks their knee. The bone needs time to heal and strengthen.

Here is Freddie enjoying some time outside his crate enjoying the sun in the garden, as you can see Freddie’s owners are amazing, making sure he was still restrained by his lead. This prevents an injury in case your dog is a keen chaser of birds or squirrels! The recovery process is a long one, and it’s all down to owner’s time and dedication.

There are a few considerations when your dog is recovering from surgery:

  1. Seeing as they are not going to be exerting much energy, switching to a lower calorie food or reducing the amount you feed can help maintain your dog’s body weight and prevent any weight gain.
  2. We’ve mentioned the risks of slips and falls to the success of the surgery and there are a few ways you can combat this at home. Consider using non-slip matting on wooden or laminate flooring, avoiding walking up steps and stairs. If there are some steps coming into the house then a ramp would be beneficial, or using a sling to support their back leg, especially early on in their recovery.
  3. Take into account their mental wellbeing during rehabilitation, how about providing food puzzles, chew toys or supervised time out of the crate.
  4. The addition of joint supplements to your dog’s routine would be advised in order to support their joints long term. Unfortunately after a cruciate rupture dogs are more prone to arthritic changes.

Follow up x-rays are taken 8 weeks post-surgery to check the healing of the bone and position of the implant.

Confidence is Golden!

We love to shout out about the confidence clinics our nurses run here at Mayne Vets.  In these confidence clinics we provide shy and nervous dogs with some stability and reassurance through creating positive associations at the clinic and building a relationship with one of our veterinary nurses. We thought we would share with you a case study from one of our patients!

Here is the lovely Oscar, who is a 4 year old Golden Retriever and started his confidence clinic journey back in May 2022.  Although Oscar is a friendly dog, he was very shy and uncertain when he visited the clinic.

Each confidence clinic pet will be assigned to a designated nurse (Lindsey, Caroline or Chloe).  Prior to the first confidence clinic, they will ascertain what your dog is driven by, whether food, toys or their owner. To begin with Oscar wasn’t too keen on anything we offered, he even suffers from food allergies which also limited what we could offer. Despite this, overtime, as Oscar’s confidence grew at the clinic.  He began to noticeably be more excited visiting us at the clinic, exhibiting play stance behaviors and wagging his tail. Sometimes confidence clinics will simply be play based to improve their general confidence, and sometimes they will be focused on certain behaviors (for example, focusing on mimicking an injection or helping pets get used to being weighed on scales). It really is dependent on the dog, the owner, previous experiences and the time frame. Remember, if you are a member of our Pet Health Club, unlimited nurse clinics are included in your membership, giving you peace of mind when multiple visits are needed.

Oscar was also showing hormonally driven behaviors at home, humping and scent marking. Often this behavior can be linked to testosterone levels and castration would help reduce its occurrence, however reducing the testosterone levels in a nervous dog can exacerbate this behavior potentially leading to nervous aggression.  So, because of Oscar’s shyness, we opted to use a “chemical castration” option which would temporarily reduce the testosterone to allow us to assess the potential impact of a castration before an irreversible surgery is performed.  In this way chemical castration can be a great option if owners are on the fence with surgical castration. Neutering is not a one size fits all, every animal is assessed individually.  If you do have any questions or queries about getting your dog neutered then speak to a member of the team.

Thankfully, in Oscar’s case, there were no detrimental side effects to the reduction in testosterone from the chemical implant. Therefore his owners opted for surgical castration in the end. Here is Oscar at his post op check up with Lindsey, his designated clinic nurse. We made sure that his pre-op appointment was with her also, and as much of his hospital stay as possible with Lindsey by his side.

We should highlight at this point, none of our nurses have qualified animal behavior status, just a keen interest in behavior and making a dog’s visit to the clinic as fear free as possible. If they feel additional work is needed, or your dog’s behavior is outside of their capabilities, the clinic would refer you to a behaviorist.  If you would like to talk to us more about our confidence clinics please message us via text message or Whatsapp on 07360541569 or email reception@maynevets.co.uk.

Insurance update: top tips on getting the most from your insurance policy

We posted an article about pet insurance back in the wake of COVID-19 knowing that a recession was not too far away. Since then we have all watched a continued growth in food, fuel and energy bills with inflation rates not seen in decades.  Unfortunately the veterinary industry has been hit hard through this period with a significant increase in costs of providing veterinary care.  We, as pet owners and veterinary professionals, may have to face some very difficult decisions as money remains tight for a lot of us. Many of those decisions are going to be emotionally heart breaking for both owners and veterinary staff alike.  However, we can prepare for them and hopefully avoid having to make too many difficult choices.

The answer is simple. Pet insurance. Thankfully a lot of patients here at Mayne Vets are already insured, but there are still a few traps that pet owners can fall into while their pets are insured, so please read on to ensure you have the cover you think you do.

For those that are insured, take a moment to consider what your policy limit is.  Some insurance policies will only offer cover up to £2000 per condition.  In the past we have always advised that patients are covered for at least £4000 per condition per year, and more if possible.  However, with the rising costs of veterinary care, now may be the time to look to increasing that.  Where first opinion practice costs have increased, referral costs have increased even further, and we are commonly hearing of referral working costing £6000-£8000 per condition. How about contacting your insurance company today and updating your pet’s insurance policy?

But what other factors should you consider?  Whether your pet is insured or you’re considering pet insurance for the first time, we know that pet insurance can be a bit confusing.  Here are some key points to consider to ensure it is there for you and your pet when they need it most:

LIFETIME COVER

It is really important to have insurance that covers a condition “for life”.

Some insurance policies offer cover for conditions only for 12 months, therefore if your pet has a ‘lifelong’ condition, such as diabetes or arthritis, they will only be covered for a year, after that it would be classed as pre-existing and is no longer covered.

Another type of policy is only covering a condition until the monetary limit has been reached, this may take 6 months, it may take 2 years, but once that monetary limit has been reached it would be classed as pre-existing and no longer covered.

We advise lifelong cover, your pet will then be covered for a condition throughout their life, an excess would likely be paid each year, but the monetary cover for the condition would be refreshed each policy year.

TIME LIMITED COVER

If you have opted for a “time limited” policy and the condition is covered for 12 months, make sure you understand the policy in full. Is the condition covered for 12 months from time of diagnosis, or is it only covered up until the policy renewal date? 

An example of this could be if we find a lump on a dog at its annual health check. It may be agreed to hold off on surgical removal for now, to see if there is any change in size or appearance. However, if the lump grows and you decide to go ahead with surgery at a later health check, you may discover the condition is no longer covered. It is important to know what you’re covered for and when that cover runs out.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Check what you are covered for? Again, make sure you understand your policy in full.

Dental treatment – For some dental claims to be covered, regular teeth checks need to have been performed by your vets, regular yearly vaccinations help with this. Furthermore, if dental treatment is advised, then this may need to be carried out in a timely manner, for example within 3 months of it being advised. You may presume you are covered, but some insurance companies exclude any treatment related to your pet’s gums.

Arthritis – Some insurance companies may exclude you claiming for certain conditions, such as arthritis, if your pet is overweight.

Behaviour – Some conditions, such as feline cystitis can be linked to stress, if you have an exclusion on your policy for behavioural conditions, this may be linked and therefore not covered on your policy.

COVERAGE

As mentioned earlier, ideally you want your pet to be covered for at least £6000-£8000 per condition per year. But obviously the more the better. Some insurance companies will offer cover for up to £12,000.

DON’T SHOP AROUND

Shopping around each year for the cheapest premium isn’t the most cost effective or efficient way to manage pet insurance. Many of us, staff here included, are used to shopping around every year for the cheapest car or home insurance quote on comparison websites. 

However, doing this with pet insurance is problematic. When you switch providers most policies have a clause that prevents them from covering any pre-existing issues. When you first insure your pet the new company will ask if they have any underlying health issues, which you are legally bound to disclose. Although there may be some veterinary visits you may not deem as pre-existing health complaints.

When we submit an insurance claim, one of the first things the company will do is request a full clinical history, which we must provide in order for the claim to be processed; both from ourselves and any previous veterinary practices you may have been registered at. If they link the issue we are claiming for to an issue or visit the pet had prior to starting with the new insurance company, they will likely decline the claim.

There is however good news, some insurance companies currently on the market will cover pre-existing conditions if they haven’t been an issue, or resulted in a trip to the vets for over a year.

DO NOT CANCEL YOUR POLICY

It is important not to cancel your insurance as your pet gets older. Yes, the premium and the excess may have increased, and you may have to also contribute with a co-payment. The reason for this is due to older pets being more likely to get unwell and need treatment.

We often hear of owners taking out insurance for their pet when they first get their new puppy or kitten and be lucky enough to never need to make a claim for 10 years, just to then cancel it when it is needed most.

We appreciate how difficult it can be to pick… and stick with… a pet insurance company; but there is no harder decision than trying to balance up ‘what can be done’ with ‘what can we afford’ and good insurance cover is always the best way to avoid those decisions.  We hope these tips have helped to navigate the world of pet insurance, but if you have any further questions, our team are always happy to help out with advice.  You can contact us via text message or Whatsapp on 07360 541569, by email at reception@maynevets.co.uk or by phone on 01206 851338.

Once upon a grass seed…

In the summer months we routinely see seeds embedded in between pads, in ears and even up noses. Not a week goes by without an owner phoning to report that their dog has suddenly starting to shake their head after a walk, or that they’ve noticed a swelling in between their toes that their dog just won’t leave alone.

Grass seeds have pointed ends that allow them to easily burrow into a dog’s fur becoming stuck, causing irritation, inflammation and even infection. The team have been keeping a tally this season, and we have so far removed 31 grass seeds.

We have however seen a few challenging cases of late, which proved more troublesome to remove and treat in general practice. We have had to refer these dogs to a specialist centre, and this lovely Springer Spaniel Tilly was in fact one of them! Read on to find out more about Tilly’s story…

Tilly’s Story

Tilly first presented to us at the start of July. She was struggling to chew harder treats and her mouth was very painful. She was prescribed some medication to make her more comfortable and to revisit if the symptoms persisted or worsened. Unfortunately, a few days later, Tilly was no better and she had now developed a swelling on the right side of her forehead above her eye (see pictured below).

Tilly was admitted for further investigations with Charlotte, the vet on surgery that day. Tilly’s eye was examined, but no ‘foreign body’ (a technical term for anything that gets in where it shouldn’t be) was found under her eyelids or around her eye socket. The inside of her mouth was able to be visualised safely whilst she was under general anaesthetic and Charlotte noticed an area at the back of Tilly’s mouth was producing discharge. Often in the presence of a ‘foreign body’, the body will have an inflammatory reaction, causing swelling, pain, heat, redness and discharge, which I’m sure many of you will have seen if your dog has had a grass seed in between their toes before. 

Charlotte went on to perform an ultrasound scan of the swelling above Tilly’s eye and noticed an abnormality of around 1.6cm in length behind the eye. Due to the location of the grass seed being so close to the eye, with a lot of important structures around, it was advised that Tilly go for an emergency referral to the ophthalmology team at Dick White Referrals for treatment.

Tilly’s eye was examined by an ophthalmology specialist, and thankfully her eye was not affected in any way. She underwent an MRI and ultrasound of the swollen area, which confirmed the presence of an abscess, likely due to a migrating grass seed. She was referred internally to the soft tissue department for guided removal of the grass seed by ultrasound.

Here is brave Tilly on the way home once she was discharged from Dick White Referrals, she was feeling a little bit groggy, but hopefully a lot more comfortable! She was restricted to short lead walks only, and had to avoid running and jumping for the next couple of weeks.

Thankfully, Tilly was a star patient and made an amazing recovery, loving life, her fur all grown back, and with her eye looking a bit more normal! It’s amazing the trouble one pesky grass seed can cause!

Vidivet 24/7 Veterinary advice and support

You may have seen posts on the Mayne Veterinary Clinic Facebook page, or you may have received a WhatsApp message from our number advising we are now offering a free veterinary advice service that is available any time of the day or night, but you must be wondering more!  So please let us explain what it is and how it works.

The Mayne Veterinary Clinic has partnered with Vidivet, an external, independent veterinary advice service that you can now contact any time of the day or night for veterinary advice.  Simply follow the link at the bottom of this article or go to our website and find it on the “24/7 Advice” page or the “Contact us” page.  The link will take you to webpage that will allow you to register an email and a password.  From there you can download the Vidivet App on to a smart device and finish the set up process on the App.

Once you’re all set up you can record a video message or send a text question which will go straight through to a qualified veterinary surgeon.  The vet will then send you a personalised video message back, either asking for more information or giving you some advice as to what the next steps might be.  Finally, you will then be able to ask further questions if needed to ensure you have completely understood the advice and are happy with what the next steps will be.

We have been so impressed with the work that Vidivet does that we are happy to cover the costs of the service so that all the clients of the Mayne Veterinary Clinic can use the system free of charge.  We feel it will be a fantastic tool for our clients to help to work out if or when they may need to bring their pets in for a vet consult, especially for those times we are closed and you need to decide whether you need to go to Vets Now.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us at the clinic and we can discuss it with you further otherwise follow the link below to register and download the app now.  https://vidivet.com/practices/?partner=maynevets

Rescuing dogs from abroad

The number of dogs being rescued and rehomed from overseas has increased dramatically in recent years. This increase in popularity has occurred for various reasons, some people are drawn to a particular animal seen on social media whilst others adopt as they perceive that stray pets abroad suffer more and have a higher chance of being euthanised. Others have been denied adoption by UK rescue centres and find their only option is to look for a pet from abroad.

As a nation of animal lovers, we would all agree that adopting a pet to give it a better life is a truly admirable thing to do. However, it is important to understand that adopting a pet from overseas does come with some additional risks and responsibilities.  It is extremely important for owners to fully understand what these risks are and how they can help preserve the disease-free status of the UK to maintain the future welfare of our pets.

The main concerns regarding pets adopted from overseas are IMPORTED DISEASES and BEHAVIOUR.

IMPORTED AND EXOTIC DISEASES

Increased temperatures across the continent have led to a changing distribution of some of the “exotic” diseases and the way they are spread, including the ticks and mosquitoes that can spread them   This coupled with the increased movement of animals in recent years has resulted in an increase in the occurrence of several exotic diseases that have not previously been seen in the UK pet population. 

These diseases pose a risk not only to your pet and any other animals in your household but also to the wider UK pet population as a whole and, more alarmingly, your family and the human population. These diseases can have devastating consequences and as such, we have taken the decision to implement a protocol to ensure all our imported patients are tested for the following diseases, not only to help protect our team (who are most at risk while handling blood samples and reproductive organs during neutering surgery), but also to help reduce the chance of these diseases becoming established in the UK: 

  • Canine Brucellosis 

This is a bacteria which can be transmitted through contact with bodily fluids. It can produce a range of symptoms, including lethargy, fever, swollen lymph nodes and reproductive problems. This is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be transmitted from animals to humans. There is no treatment for brucellosis and there is no vaccine currently available for dogs. In 2022 the UK saw the first case of Brucellosis transmission from an imported pet to an owner which not only resulted in the severe ill health of the owner but also the euthanasia of the imported pet along with the other dogs in the household

  • Leishmania 

This is a parasite that is transmitted to dogs by the bite of infected sand flies, found in many parts of Europe. It can produce a range of symptoms, including skin lesions, weight loss, lethargy and kidney failure. It left untreated it can be fatal. To prevent leishmaniasis in your dog and protect the UK dog population, we advise using insect repellents abroad, keeping inside during peak sand fly activity and using mosquito nets or screen on windows and doors. We regularly see patients imported with Leishmania and there have been confirmed cases of transmission between dogs in the UK

  • Babesia

This is a parasite that is transmitted to dogs by the bite of infected ticks, found in many parts of Europe. It can produce a range of symptoms, including fever, lethargy, anaemia, jaundice, loss of appetite, and in severe cases blood clots, organ failure and death. To prevent babesiosis it is important to use preventative tick medication and remove ticks promptly if found. In 2015/16 we had an outbreak of in Essex and sadly some dogs lost their lives.

  • Ehrlichia 

This is a bacteria that is transmitted to dogs by the bite of infected ticks, found in many parts of Europe. It can produce a range of symptoms, including fever, lethargy, anaemia, joint pain and neurological symptoms, in severe cases dogs may develop bleeding disorders and also death. As mentioned above, in order to prevent this tick-borne disease, preventative tick medication should be used and removal of ticks promptly if found.

  • Heartworm/Dirofilaria

This is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofiliria transmitted to dogs through the bite of infected mosquitos and is prevalent in many parts of the world and Europe. It can produce a range of symptoms, including coughing, fatigue and weight loss, in severe cases it can develop into heart failure, breathing problems and death. To prevent heartworm, it is important to use preventative medication to kill the larvae before they mature, reducing the risk of infection, but also minimising exposure to mosquitos, by using screens on windows and doors, and keeping inside during peak mosquito activity. At the clinic we’ve witnessed first-hand the heart-breaking consequences of pets being imported with heartworm.

  • Anaplasma 

This is a bacteria transmitted to dogs through the bite on an infected tick, found in many parts of Europe. It can produce a range of symptoms, including fever, lethargy, joint pain and loss of appetite. It severe cases it can lead to organ failure and death. To prevent anaplasmosis preventative tick medication should be used and remove any ticks promptly if found.

Unfortunately, there is no legal requirement for pets to be tested for these diseases prior to importation and most rescue centres lack the funds to routinely run them. In addition, many of the diseases can take up to 6 months after infection to show positive on tests, so a negative test taken at the time of export does not guarantee a pet is completely disease free. Finally we must also bear in mind that many imported pets can harbour potentially life-threatening diseases yet show no outward clinical signs, we call these “Trojan pets” and they pose the risk of passing on their infections to other dogs and people and establishing these diseases in the UK. 

All imported dogs should be screened for exotic diseases before, or shortly after importation and again 6–12 months later. This testing is expensive and, if found to be positive, may require a lifetime of testing and treatment with no guarantee of recovery.

Since implementing our new protocol a few months ago we have already identified an imported pet with heartworm. Beautiful Ava (pictured) already has evidence of adult heart worms living in her heart but was symptom free and her owner was shocked to discover their beloved pet had a potentially life-threatening infection.  The treatment for this particular condition is expensive, can have serious complications and is a lengthy process, lasting nearly a year. Thankfully we have been able to start Ava on treatment promptly and she is doing well. Most owners are completely unaware of these diseases and what’s involved in their management/treatment.  Our hope is that by sharing this article we can help raise awareness on the importance of having an imported pes tested for these diseases and making prospective adopters aware of the potential heartbreak and financial impact these diseases can bring with them.

BEHAVIOUR

Another concern to consider when rescuing a dog from abroad is the behavioural risks. Many imported dogs have an unknown history, they could be street dogs or perhaps they had been abandoned. Many have never been socialised, lived in a home or been around children. It is understandable that travelling to another country and having such a dramatic change in environment and lifestyle can be traumatic for dogs. Some of these dogs find it hard to adapt to a newly domesticated life and often end up anxious or scared. An imported rescue dog isn’t always the best choice for as busy household or those with young children.

If dogs haven’t experienced a lot of handling or received affection in the past, they may not enjoy it once adopted. Some dogs will be frightened and adopt avoidance behaviours such as growling, snapping or biting. It can take a lot of time to adjust to living indoors and new owners need to be accepting of some challenging behaviours. A qualified animal behaviourist will be able to help with this transition, but the process will involve a lot of time and flexibility.

Top tips for rescuing a dog from abroad:

  1. Consider adopting from the UK first, wherever possible.
  2. Carefully consider the time, expense and possible disease implications before adopting a dog from abroad.
  3. Consider routes, other than adoption, to help the welfare of foreign rescue dogs. You could help support a foreign charity in order to help improve the conditions and welfare of native dogs long term.
  4. If you do choose to adopt then please ensure you thoroughly research the rehoming organisation to ensure it is legal. Charities should be registered and able to give you their charity number.
  5. Check with the organisation to ensure the dog has been vaccinated against rabies and has all the legal documents required to travel into the UK. They will also need a tapeworm treatment prior to importation.
  6. Request that dogs are also fully vaccinated for UK based diseases and had a parasite treatment for fleas, ticks and worms. Although this is not a legal requirement is highly recommended to reduce the risk of importing diseases.
  7. Request that dogs are tested for diseases such as brucellosis and leishmania before travel to the UK. 
  8. Enquire if the organisation will allow a meet and greet before committing to adoption. It is impossible to know a dog’s personality or how well a dog will fit in with your family from a picture or video alone.
  9. Ask if the organisation will consider a trial period before rehoming becomes official, like fostering. This allows you to test the waters and get to know your dog before fully committing. Also ensure that the organisation will be willing to take the dog back if the match doesn’t work out.
  10. Expect that your dog may take a long time to adapt to home living, some behaviour problems are to be expected. Consider enlisting the help of a qualified pet behaviourist at the first sign of problems to ensure you get the best advice.
  11. Regularly remind your vet at appointments that your dog is imported. This will help them to consider exotic diseases and also ensure that blood samples and similar are marked accordingly to ensure the safety of lab technicians.

In summary, with the right knowledge and support, importing a pet can be incredibly rewarding. We are here to provide help and guidance, please do reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.

Team Introduction

We have been very fortunate to welcome the arrival of a number of new team members over the last year.  Our wonderful reception team has been joined by Cat and Tracy.  Both very experienced veterinary receptionists who are proving to be fantastic additions to our team.  They have they allowed Rachel to make a move from the reception desk to embark on her Registered Veterinary Nurse qualification and have also been filling Alice’s very capable shoes as she has had some time away with her beautiful new baby girl.

Not only has our outstanding nursing team been boosted by the switch made by Rachel, but they have also been joined by three amazing new Registered Veterinary Nurses: Sam, Esther and Chloe.  They are fitting in very well and have allowed our nursing team to grow and develop their roles within the clinic.  Including, giving some team members the opportunity to build on their surgical skills, introducing dental radiography and opening up more space for the fantastic support the nursing team provide the wider team and clients through the nursing consults they do.

Finally, the veterinary team has also seen some changes.  Both Charlie and Ros have been busy taking some time away to introduce new babies to the world, and Sophie has started an internship at Dick White Referrals (we wish her all the best with her future!!).  While Charlie will be re-joining us soon, we have been supported in the meantime with some fantastic locums.  Many of you have met Rebecca before as she has been with us for some time but Natalia also joined us last year and has been a fantastic addition to the team.  However, Natalia will be heading back home to Greece at the end of June and we look forward to welcoming Annie, joining us from Australia, in July.  We have also been joined by Marc and Anca over the last couple of months giving us a very multi-national veterinary team!  We appreciate that one of the top needs of our clients is to be able to see a familiar face, please feel free to ask to see a preferred vet if you have one and we will always do our best to meet those needs.