"Paws For Thought"

We have officially sighted our first tick of the year at Ashman Jones, which means it is a good idea to make sure you are all up to date with your tick treatments. For dogs we normally recommend a monthly Simparica tablet and for cats there is the Seresto collar which lasts for up to 8 months! We still recommend the purchase of the very handy 'O'Tom Tick Twister' to twist off the evil ticks, to ensure the spread of those nasty diseases are prevented!

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At Ashman Jones we have seen a variety of mouth related traumas, including stick injuries. Many dogs love the thrill of chasing and carrying sticks, however the results of this can be heartbreaking. As we know sticks can be rather long and sharp , so when swallowed can have horrific consequences, causing punctures, impaling body parts and getting stuck in awkward places. Toys are generally a much safer option for your dog to run after and play with. There are toys available, as we do here, that mimic the shape and length of a stick. The toy we have available at Ashman Jones are called 'Safestix' and it comes in a variety of sizes. The 'Kong Safestix' can be thrown, chewed and it will even float on water!

We are calling out for owners to come forward with their favourite local walks, in and surrounding the Bath area. We would be very grateful if you have any new ideas so that we can add some new walking ideas on to our website. If you know of any good dog walks then feel free to contact us through email, facebook or twitter. If you would like to see Murray's favourite local walks then click on the 'walks' link on our website, or use this link: http://www.ashmanjones.co.uk/walks/

A few weeks ago we had a stray brought in to us by a member of the public, we don't normally take in strays here, however HEART Animal Rescue had agreed to collect her the following day to give her a chance of getting better. The stray cat was so adorable and friendly, however she seemed to have a 'missing' top lip. We hoped for the best that it wasn't a tumour and James, our permanent locum, suggested it may be something called Eosinophilic granuloma, which can be managed with ongoing injections. We decided to treat her with the first injection and re-see her in a months time to assess if she was improving. Ange from HEART decided to call her Doris, and we think it really suits her! Doris was brought in for her recheck and the results were very impressive. Her top lip is now rebuilding and Doris looks brighter than ever. Doris is now up for re-homing and looking for her new 'forever' home.

Just a reminder to our lovely clients that we are open every Saturday and Sunday! We are open 9AM until 1PM every weekend, so if you need anything we are here for you every day of the week.

It was a big day on Sunday 12th March for over 12,000 runners took place in the Bath Half Marathon. Well done to everybody that took part, it was a great day with an amazing atmosphere. I completed the half marathon in aid of The Alzheimer's Society, If anybody would be kind enough to donate to this amazing charity then it is not too late to sponsor me on Just Giving. If you would like to see my page please click on this link https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/HollyeSmith22 

Until next month I will leave you with another interesting fact: Did you know Flamingos are pink because Shrimp is one of their main food sources, they are actually born with grey feathers.




Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

"Paws For Thought"

Recently it has become rather chilly for our furry friends. One issue that the winter brings is the harsh effects that the cold has on our pets with arthritis. The cold weather can have a stiffening effect on their muscles and it is believed that the drop in air pressure results in their tissues to swell. This can result in a lot of pain for our loved ones. The Reason that lots of the beautiful oldies get arthritis is due to wear and tear of the joints. The cartilage in-between the bones starts to wear down causing the bones to come into contact with each other, which over time can also cause damage to the bones.

One way in which we can help our arthritic pets is by making sure they are not carrying excess weight, as this will place unwanted pressure on the joints. It is advisable to exercise an arthiritic dog, but take them on shorter walks more often rather than two long walks a day. Although arthritis cannot be cured, you can help to alleviate the pain a lot by giving anti inflammatory medication, or supplements. Here at Ashman Jones we sell supplements such as Nutraquin +, which is a natural joint support, for both cats and dogs. Members of our Best friends club will get 10% off this product along with other shop items. Our BFC also has other benefits for our gorgeous senior patients such as an extra arthritis check with the vet, 10% off blood screening and 10% off senior medication along with much more, please see our website for more details or speak to one of our team.

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At Ashman Jones, we have invested in an extraordinary and highly effective piece of equipment, the bair hugger! The bair hugger is a machine that manages the temperature of patients whilst under, and waking up from, an anaesthetic. It works by forcing out warm air into a ‘blanket like’ cover. Whilst patients are under an anaesthetic they are unable to regulate their own body temperature, which is why we have to do it for them. Making sure the patient is warm is a priority in order to prevent hypothermia. The bair hugger is a much safer piece of equipment to use, rather than heat pads, as it will not cause burns or get too hot for the patient.

For those of you who remember Lady's story, regarding the success of her dental, a couple of months ago, you will be happy to hear Lady is still doing amazingly well! On the 29th January our gorgeous poster star celebrated her 20th birthday! Congratulations Lady!

We have a new member of the Ashman Jones team. Meet Ethel, Debbie’s gorgeous new Bull Terrier pup! Ethel has been an amazing new addition to Debbie's family as she gets on very well with Debbie’s two other dogs Adora and Ewan. She is just too cute!!

Congratulations to 'Max' for winning the Christmas photo competition 2016! We all loved this very cheeky photo of Max! Max's owners won a luxury Christmas hamper with tasty goodies for all the family. Thank you all for your lovely Christmas competition entries, it was a very tricky decision!

I have some good news for our Widcombe clients. Prior Park Garden Centre have very kindly agreed to allowing our clients to park in their car park for short term use, when bringing their pet in for an appointment. Dogs on lead are also allowed into the garden centre, so you could always pop into their cafe for tea and cake afterwards! Other options of parking include on the road outside of the practice, where you can stay for up to an hour. There is also the Widcombe shoppers car park behind the church on Widcombe parade. If you bring in your parking ticket afterwards, we are more than happy to refund you the £1.60.

If you like us , we'd love you to shout out to everyone about us. We are on Facebook and Google and it's really easy to jump on and rate us . There is a monthly prize raffle for a bag of food drawn randomly from everyone who has gone online and given us a review!
Just type in 'Ashman Jones' in Google or Facebook when you go online to start the review process. 

Until next month, I will leave you with the my first animal fact of the year... Did you know Starfish have an eye at the end of each leg!

 






Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

"Paws For Thought"

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas where our homes are full of festive cheer and lots of delicious tasty treats. I am sure many of you will be celebrating the festivities with: mince pies, Christmas pudding, Macadamia nuts, chocolate galore, but remember to keep them all out of reach from your furry companions. Whilst chocolate and sweet goodies can cause horrific diarrhoea and vomiting, food containing raisins can have a severe effect on your pets organs.

If you have a doggy in your household it is best to avoid edible tree decorations, because however well behaved your dog may be, it is just too tempting for them when you're not around. Not only will this not be good for your dogs health it also means that your beautifully decorated tree will be ruined!

If you have chosen a real Christmas tree this year, make sure you hoover the fallen pines so that your little loved ones don't try to ingest them. As they are sharp, they can damage the intestines as well as being very painful if they get caught in-between their paws. Cats love the chase of a long piece of sparkly tinsel however this holly can unfortunately cause blockages and in some cases would need to be surgically removed, so however cute your kitties look playing with the tinsel remember keeping tinsel away from them is the kindest thing to do.

Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettia are commonly used in our homes at Christmas but these are poisonous for our cats and dogs so it is best not to use the real plants as a decoration.

My last Christmas related warning for you is in regard to the electrical wires from your twinkly lights. Electrical wires should be tucked away where possible so that your pet is not tempted to play with or chew them, as electrocutions can have devastating results!

Meet Ella and Tasha. These two beauties have been on a strict pre–Christmas diet and the results are just amazing. Ella and Tasha have been attending regular Weight Clinics with Hayley, our wonderful Nurse. Hayley has discussed healthier food options for them along with calculating the daily intake required for their specific weight. Their lovely mum has noticed a very positive difference in both of them and she said that “they have lots more energy and want to walk a lot further than before.” We were all so happy to hear that their hard work has paid off! If you are interested in bringing your furry friend in for a weight clinic with Hayley then feel free to give us a call, to book an appointment, on 01225 446269.

At Ashman Jones we have an incredible piece of equipment; a laser machine. The laser works on a cellular level to aid the healing process for a variety of different issues, including healing surgical incisions, ligament damage and easing the symptoms of arthritis and joint problems. A laser session costs just £20.00, however in some cases several sessions are recommended which is why we do an outstanding package deal of three laser treatment sessions for only £50.00. Please feel free to speak to our team if you feel this is something your pet would benefit from.

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We are still holding Puppy Parties at Widcombe, now every Wednesday 12 – 1pm. They are free of charge and allow your little pup to socialise with other puppy friends, use their minds and noses with exciting games and it also gives your puppy a positive association with being at the vets! If your pup is registered with Ashman Jones, has been vaccinated and is under the age of 5 months then feel free to bring them along to join in the party! The next puppy party is on Wednesday 14th December but following that they will carry on running weekly. We look forward to seeing you there!

If you're a special member of our Best Friends Club, It's not too late to claim your £100.00 voucher off any dental! All you have to do is click on the voucher link on our website, at www.ashmanjones.co.uk, and follow the instructions. You have until the end of 2016 to claim your voucher and until 30th April 2017 to spend it! You must have your voucher with you on the day of the operation for it to be valid. Claim your voucher now before it's too late!

It has been lovely seeing all of your Christmassy photos coming in for the Xmas Pet Photo Competition 2016! You still have until 21st December to enter if you haven't yet had chance to capture the perfect shot of your Christmas cutie. All you have to do is send us a the picture of your gorgeous pet by Facebook, email or by sending a picture to the practice. You could be the lucky winner of a luxury hamper full of goodies, for both you and your furry friend!

 

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and will leave you with my last animal fact of the year. Only female reindeer have their antlers during the whole of winter... so going by pictures, Rudolph must actually be female!

 

 

Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

"Paws For Thought"

As we approach into the season of goodwill, here at Ashman Jones we are getting into the festive spirit by giving all of our Best Friends Club members the opportunity to receive a massive £100.00 voucher to spend on any dental procedures! All you have to do is click on the link at www.ashmanjones.co.uk to claim your voucher. You can obtain your voucher from now until the end of this year. Once acquired you have the chance to spend your voucher until 30th April 2017. You must be a BFC member to redeem this voucher but it's not too late to sign up! You can pop in to either branch to become a special Best Friend Club member. All you have to do to spend your voucher is print it out and bring it along with you on the day of the dental treatment. Don't miss out on this incredible gift!
 

From bonfire night through to the new year many people like to celebrate with the joy of watching fireworks. Unfortunately for many of our pets this is not a joyful experience, instead a time of fear and worry. Until now treatment for noise related sensitivity, anxiety and phobias have been limited. At Ashman Jones we are now selling a highly effective treatment, for dogs over 16 weeks of age, called Sileo which aims to calm your canine companion, without the risks of sedation. Sileo is a fast acting gel which can be easily administered between the cheek and gum. Many of you will be able to identify with your dogs portraying common noise related anxiety. Behaviors that your dog may convey includes shaking, hiding, panting, lip licking/yawning, cowering, barking and chewing/destroying furniture. Sileo is also good to use for Christmas celebrations as some dogs get very worried when there are large gatherings of people due to a high level of noise, which your doggy may not be used to. If you think Sileo would be the ideal solution for your companion then you can give us a call on 01225 446269 to speak to one of our team.

Meet lovely, 19 year old, 'Lady'. Earlier this year Lady's owner had become increasingly concerned about Lady's teeth and needed to make a decision whether to go ahead with Lady's dental operation. With much thought and consideration for Lady's well-being her owner decided that going ahead with the operation would be the best thing for her. Lady had a full health check and a blood test beforehand, which is what we recommend for all patients having operations, that are over 8 years of age, to make sure that she would be ok to deal with the anesthetic. In the end Lady needed the removal of 12 teeth! Lady was a very brave little doggy and recovered well from her anesthetic. Lady recently came back to visit Clara and the team, 3 months after her dental. Her owner is very pleased with the results. Lady's owner said that “she is like a different dog, far more playful and bright.” Everyone at Ashman Jones were very pleased to hear that Lady is getting on so well, so I thought you may all like to hear this lovely story with such a happy ending.

As the winter chills are amongst us, we all know the dreaded ice will be forming. Even though grit it very useful for us, making it easier to walk and drive, it is not so good for our furry friends. Grit can be very irritating for their pads and the high salt content can leave their pads feeling dry and sore. If you think your companion may have trekked over grit then we advice to give their feet a nice rinse of water, once you get home, to wash off any excess grit that may be of nuisance to your loved one.

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Christmas is coming, my favorite time of the year! Which means you will all have to start planning your winning photograph for the Pet Xmas Photo Competition 2016! You can start sending your entries in from December 1st. You are welcome to send your pictures in by post, email, Facebook or Twitter. The winner, with the best Christmas picture of their pet, will receive a luxury Christmas hamper, with lots of exciting goodies!

Those of you who read last months blog will know I am running the Bath half marathon to raise money for Alzheimer's Society. If you would like to donate money to this amazing charity then you can sponsor me by visiting www.justgiving.com/HollyeSmith22. I will be very grateful for any money donated.

Until next months 'Paws for thought' I will leave you with another interesting animal fact...a garden caterpillar has 248 muscles in its head!

 






Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

 

"Paws For Thought"

As Autumn has arrived, with its cold, frosty mornings and the dark nights drawing in, it means it is also time for the unfortunate arrival of Harvest mites, particularly common to see during the early stages of Autumn. Harvest mites are tiny little creatures that are normally bright orange, to the human eye they look like tiny little orange dots. They are mostly an issue for our 'furry friends' during the larvae stage of their life cycle as this is the time they may choose to feed on your loved one and cause much irritation. They are primarily a problem for our feline companions, however they can also effect dogs, rabbits and humans too! They normally live in areas with lots of bushes and long grass and wait for their victim to pass on by. Once they have found a nice thin area of skin they tend to sink in their fangs and feed by injecting fluid into the skin. This effects the skin which causes a 'goo' like substance for the mites to suck back in. The enzyme, in the fluid they inject, can also breakdown the skin of which the mites will start to chew. After feeding for a few days they will drop off to continue into adulthood. Sadly lots of our pets will have an allergic reaction to these little orange beasts. Signs of an allergic reaction may include reddening of the skin or crusty lesions. Other than physically seeing the mites others signs they are present include your 'companion' licking or biting themselves vigorously.

The most common area they can be found are between the paws, so it is a good idea to regularly check between your pets paws after they have been outside. It can help to wash the paws with fresh water after walking in areas with lots of vegetation. Other areas where you may spot these orange beings are in the Armpit, groin, ears, face or around the eyes. Harvest mites can cause a lot pain and as they are so irritating your pet will probably try to scratch them off which can result in an infection. Therefore if you spot these orange pests it is advisable to see a vet in case antibiotics or pain relief are needed. Unfortunately there are no licensed products available to kill mite larvae but by keeping your grass short and number of weeds low in your garden, along with regular checking between the paws, this should reduce the chance of these creatures living within your household.

It is also worth knowing, during this time of year, that conkers are toxic to our canine companions if ingested. Conkers contain a poison called Aesculin, which is found in all parts of the Horse Chestnut Tree. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, salivation, abdominal pain, increased thirst, reduced appetite, restlessness, mobility issues or muscle tremors. Signs can be seen within 6 hours of ingestion and can last up to two days afterwards. Not only are they toxic but if swallowed whole they can also cause serious blockage issues, and may need to be removed surgically.

Ashman Jones has won another award! We won The High Achievement award at the Vet Dynamics Conference as one of only two awards that were awarded out of 196 practices attending. We won this award based on a variety of reasons including our amazing Best Friends Club and a high standard of follow up care.

Good news for our golden oldie patients! October is Senior pets month. Our Best Friends Club is now better than ever for your senior pets. It includes lots of extras such as 10% off ongoing senior medication, 10% off blood screening for senior pets, one urinalysis for seniors, where we test their urine and one arthritis check with a vet each year. As you may know the BFC already includes a 6 month health check, which means for your beautiful oldies they now get 2 free check ups a year! If you would like to hear more information about our BFC you can visit our website on www.ashmanjones.co.uk or you can pop in to either of our branches to discuss it with one of our friendly team members, who will be happy to discuss how to get the best out of your Best Friend Club membership.

Good news for our golden oldie patients! October is Senior pets month. Our Best Friends Club is now better than ever for your senior pets. It includes lots of extras such as 10% off ongoing senior medication, 10% off blood screening for senior pets, one urinalysis for seniors, where we test their urine and one arthritis check with a vet each year. As you may know the BFC already includes a 6 month health check, which means for your beautiful oldies they now get 2 free check ups a year! If you would like to hear more information about our BFC you can visit our website on www.ashmanjones.co.uk or you can pop in to either of our branches to discuss it with one of our friendly team members, who will be happy to discuss how to get the best out of your Best Friend Club membership.

As firework night will soon be here, it is a good idea to start thinking now about how we can help our little furries through the 'scary loud noises' throughout next month. At Ashman Jones we sell a variety of products which may help your loved ones during this stressful time such as Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs, which come as sprays, diffusers and as collars. These work by releasing comforting pheromones. There is also Pet remedy spray along with a variety of homeopathic tablets available to purchase from reception.

Other ideas of comforting them include making a little den, such as putting blankets over the table and letting them hide underneath. It also can help to muffle the fireworks out by putting on calming music, during a study, classical music was found to be most effective. You may be surprised to hear that it is advised to not fuss over your pets too much during the sounds of fireworks banging, if you stay calm and act as if nothing is happening it will be much more calming for them as they will think there is nothing worrying happening. In the long term it can help to buy the CD with sounds, which includes the sound of fireworks, if you play it in the background your dog will get used to the sound and know that it doesn't lead to anything bad happening. This method is particularly effective for puppies and younger dogs, used in the months leading up to November.

I have decided to run the Bath half marathon in March... this will be my first ever running event so wish me luck! I am running to raise money for Alzheimer's society, if anybody would like to take a look at my page please visit www.justgiving.com/HollyeSmith22 or you can click on the blue button above, I will be very thankful for anybody who would like to make a donation.

 

Thanks for reading this months 'Paws for thought', I will leave you with another fun animal fact... Did you know elephants can smell water up to three miles away!









Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

"Paws For Thought"

September is going to be a very exciting month for our Veterinary Nursing team, here at Ashman Jones. Hayley is about to commence her final year at college! Just one more year and Hayley will have the opportunity to show off all her knowledge and practical skills to be able to achieve the title of a fully Qualified Registered Veterinary Nurse. Good luck for your final year Hayley! I have also started my first year at college so with the help of my Clinical Coach Caroline and everyone else at Ashman Jones, hopefully in a couple of years I will be able to achieve a Registered Vet Nurse status too.

Recently, at Ashman Jones, we have seen many cases of bee and wasp stings. It is a relatively common occurrence as it is not unusual for dogs to have the urge to chase flying, buzzing insects, unfortunately the result of catching them is not so satisfying for our furry friends. The majority of the time insect stings will cause irritation or discomfort for your canine companion but will get better with time. However, as we know, our furry pals sometimes like to snap at the bees or wasps flying on by. This can be dangerous as it leaves very vulnerable parts open to be stung such as their mouth or throat. This can be more problematic as any swelling could block their vital airway. Just like us, dogs too can have allergic reactions to bee and wasp stings. Signs that they are having an allergic reaction can include swelling and difficulty breathing. If you think your doggy has been stung more than once at any one time or if they are having an allergic reaction you should take them to your vet as soon as possible. Another thing to bear in mind is when you or your dog have found windfall apples on the ground as sometimes the wasps get into the apple due to its sugary content. If the apple gets picked up this could startle the wasp and cause it to sting.

Some of our lovely clients already know, we now have another incredible permanent Locum called James Greenwood, along with Kate who many of you have also previously met. As they are our permanent Locums, it means that even when one of our regular vets are away, you will still have continuity for your furry friend.

As many of you may have heard on the radio recently,1 in 3 dogs in the UK were found to be carrying a tick on them when checked at random, During the study carried out by Bristol University last year. The study was carried out on 15,000 dogs and 31% were found with at least one tick on them. Ticks can pass on diseases such as Lymes disease and in some areas Babesiosis. This reinforces the reasons why we now recommend Simparica, here at Ashman Jones, as it not only treats fleas and Sarcoptic mange but it will kill any ticks within 12 hours, meaning they will not be on your pet long enough to pass on these, sometimes fatal, diseases.

Now that Autumn is coming, so are the slimy snails and slugs! Not only are they not exactly the cutest animal in the world but they also carry a risk to your dear little cats and dogs. Snails and slugs carry the larvae of the Lungworm which means if your furry friend ingests them, either by accident or on purpose, they could have this parasite thriving inside of them. Infection can also spread through the slime being ingested which is why we recommend bringing any toys and bowls in the garden indoors overnight. Lung worm can be difficult to spot in some cases, however signs to look out for include breathing problems, changes in behavior, bleeding more or for longer than usual and sickness. As Lungworm can be a very nasty parasite we advise you to worm your cats every three months and dogs every month, using a wormer such as Milbemax, which will flush any Lungworm out of their system.

Congratulations to Murray for completing the Muddy NUTS challenge and raising hundreds of pounds for HEART charity! The run included 200 obstacles and it took 4 hours to complete. It is still not too late to donate. You can donate by visiting this website http://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/heart


Finally I will finish this months 'Paws or thought' with another interesting animal fact for you... did you know that elephants have a specific alarm call which means 'human'?



Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

"Paws for Thought"

'Paws for Thought'
August 2016

During this time of the year you may still see little baby birds on their own. The majority of the time the kindest thing you can do is leave them be. normally their mother is close by and so it can be very stressful for little birdies to be taken away, to an unfamiliar environment. If you are worried about a bird that you have found you can contact Secret World Wildlife Rescue on 01278 783 250 who may be able to come and collect them, if they need rehabilitating.

As our warm, yet sadly rather wet, summer continues into the month of August, so does the appearance of grass seeds. The grass seeds that cause particular worry to us, as pet owners, is one type called Dry Foxtail. They replicate the shape of a little arrow head, which means they are particularly prone to attaching on to our animals fur and burrowing into the skin. They are most commonly found in-between toes and in the ears. Long haired breeds can be more at risk as it enables the seeds to catch on to the fur easier. By trimming around the paws and ears this can help reduce the chance of grass seeds attaching. If you notice your little furry friend is continuously licking at their paws, not being able to settle or if they are shaking their head this could be due to the uncomfortable presence of a grass seed so we advise if they show any of these signs they should be taken to see the Vet as soon as possible, so that it can be removed.

We are still getting warm, muggy days I am sure that lots of your doggies have been desperate to jump into the rivers and streams to have a cooling swim. Occasionally through excessive swimming or going into sudden cold water your dog may develop a problem with their tail called Limber tail. It is also known as a 'broken wag' due to its noticeable drop. It will drop down either from the base or it can stay held out for a few inches and then it drops at the end. It can be painful for your doggy friend, however in most cases it will resolve by itself within a week. We do recommend taking your dog to the Vets if you are concerned as sometimes the tail may seem limp for various other reasons too!

Many of you have had the pleasure of meeting Veerle Dejonckheere, She is a wonderful Vet with many years experience specializing in areas such as chiropractic care, sports medicine and rehabilitation, acupuncture and herbal medicine. We are very lucky to have her come to consult at our Widcombe branch almost every Monday. Veerle works alongside first line vets, combining conventional and complementary approaches to provide care to maximize the health of her patients. Veerle helps to treat many different conditions including osteoarthritis, injuries, spondylosis, neuropathy, bowel problems, hypothyroidism, Addisons and pancreatitis. For a longer list with more detailed information about treatments with Veerle you can visit her website which is http://integratedveterinarycare.co.uk/who.html.


Here, at Ashman Jones we often get phone calls, from owners worried that their cat or dog has eaten something that perhaps they shouldn't have! Many people already know about some dangerous foods which should be kept away from our pets such as raisins, chocolate, garlic and onions but there are quite a few others that are not so commonly spoken about. A spice which many people keep in their cupboards is Nutmeg, however what you may not know is that if a dog ingests lots of it, the results can be fatal. If Nutmeg is eaten by a dog it can cause tremors, seizures and nervous system abnormalities. It is worth knowing as the strong, spicy scent of Nutmeg can be very attractive for dogs.

Many people wonder if nuts are actually dangerous if eaten by our pets or not. The nuts which you should not give to them include almonds, pistachios, pecans and walnuts as these can cause vomiting, diarrhea and potentially pancreatitis. Macadamia nuts are particularly awful for dogs to ingest as they can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hypothermia. These symptoms would normally appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last from around 12 to 48 hours.

Both cats and dogs should not not be allowed to drink anything that has caffeine in it such as tea and coffee. Caffeine has something in it called methylxanthines. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and sadly, in some cases, even death. Many people give milk to their cat or dog as a little treat, however they are not able to break down the lactose in milk the same way we can, which is why milk and other dairy-based products can cause diarrhea or vomiting.

At Ashman Jones, our puppy parties at Widcombe are proving to be very successful. It has been lovely to watch the puppies go from one week to the next becoming more confident during each session. If you are an Ashman Jones client who has a pup 5 months or under then why not pop along on Tuesdays at 12:00pm, to join the party for an hour. It will give your puppy a great opportunity to meet and play with others of a similar age and size. There are also toys, games and lots of tasty treats for them too. Kristina and I will be here to answer questions and help look after your puppies whilst you sit and have a tea or coffee on us! If you have any further questions regarding our puppy parties you can call Widcombe on 01225 807510.


It's not too late to sponsor Murray for the Nuts Challenge in September! All money donated goes to HEART Homing and Emergency Animal Rescue Team. We are trying to raise £1000 for heart and are currently 36% of the way there. Thank you to all that have already sponsored Murray, to go towards this great cause! If you would like to sponsor Murray all you have to do it visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/HEART.




Finally I will leave you with another interesting fact this month, did you know Female cats are normally right-pawed while male cats are normally left-pawed!

Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

"Paws for Thought"

Have you noticed your little companion struggling to cope during the rising summer temperatures? Some breeds are more prone to heat and sun related problems such as short and flat faced breeds, animals with thick coats, when they are very young or old and also animals with white coats, especially cats in this case where in some cases it can sadly lead to cancer. There are some simple steps which all owners can take to help minimize the risk of sun and heat related issues...

Dealing With Heat

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As we all know it is usually a lot warmer during certain points of the day such as late morning and early afternoon. Therefore by walking dogs either early morning or in the evening it will be a lot more pleasant for both them and you. During the days which seem more hot or humid it is a good idea to shorten the length of the walk. If you have a dog that is always full of energy it can work better taking them on short walks more often rather than A really long walk all in one go as this could lead to your canine friend over heating. On boiling hot days it is advisable to avoid pavement walking as they can sometimes become scolding hot! Always ensure that your furry friends have fresh, cold water available. Lots of doggies love to lick ice cubes, to keep themselves chilled on a sunny day, so why not make up some yummy gravy flavored ice cubes, It will keep them hydrated and they will find them irresistible! Lots of our pets love to sunbathe in the garden so it is worth creating shaded areas and, for dogs that love splashing about, a paddling pool full of cool water can keep them feeling refreshed!

Similarly keeping your little kitty's inside during the hottest times during the day will prevent them from getting too hot and also from burning. White cats are particularly prone to burning the tips of their ears and their nose which is why using a pet friendly Sun Lotion is highly recommended. At Ashman Jones we sell a sunscreen protector called Dermoscent Sun Free which is safe to use on both cats and dogs. We advise not to use human Sun Screen on your little loved ones as some ingredients can be toxic to them, especially if ingested whilst they try to clean it off.

 

Dogs die in hot cars

One of the most common ways in which dogs can acquire heat stroke is by being left in the car. Dogs should never be left in the car on a hot day, even with the window open. Even when it doesn't feel particularly warm to us a car can still heat up very quickly. When it is 22 degrees, a car can reach an extraordinary temperature of 47 degrees in just one hour! If you ever see a dog in distress, that has been left in a car at a car park, it can be helpful to get a staff member to make an announcement to make the owner aware of what is happening. This is probably one of the quickest ways of getting the dog out of the car. If this is not an option you can always call the police who have the authority to remove the dog if they feel necessary. Signs of heatstroke can include panting heavily, drooling excessively, lethargy, if they seem uncoordinated or even collapsing or vomiting. If you ever see a doggy struggling in the heat move them to a shaded area, wet them with cool water, that is not too cold as this could lead to shock, and provide them with cold water to drink, giving a little bit at a time.

New BFC Professional Range

Some of you may have spotted our brand new range of BFC Professional products now on sale at our Widcombe and London Road branch! We are now selling Dermo Shampoo which is a gentle shampoo suitable for regular use, Dermousse which is a dermatological foam for dry cleansing and deodorizing dogs, cats and other pets, no need for water! Along with three varying sizes of Probiotic paste which helps to support normal gut function. We are also selling Hepato support capsules which help to support liver function in cats and dogs and finally the Dental Max toothpaste for clean teeth and fresh breath! It is best to start introducing brushing your pets toothy pegs gradually so that they will tolerate it better in the long run. Start by getting your pet used to having their mouth opened and teeth and gums touched just with your finger to start. You can then introduce the toothpaste on your finger by letting them sniff it and rub a little on the gums. If your little one tolerates this then you can start to use the toothpaste on a little brush to properly clean their teeth. Don't forget to reward throughout to make it a positive experience! Your furry friend will have pearly whites in no time!

Lots of owners with cats and dogs, of all ages and size, struggle to manage with a particular characteristic or behavior that their dearest pet may sometimes portray. This is completely normal as we commonly hear questions about what owners can do to help. It is a good idea to try to put a stop to the unwanted behavior at a young age but we are well aware that sometimes this is simply not possible, especially for pets that have been re homed or rescued! Behavior issues can include a variety of things such as aggression, phobias, socialisation, training and lead walking. Many people find that when they take their doggy on a walk it turns out they are the ones who are actually getting dragged along instead! In some cases this can simply be corrected using a more supportive form of restraint such as a harness which comes in many different designs. At Ashman Jones we also sell something called a Halti Harness which has an attachment which can go around the muzzle. If used correctly and gently it will guide their head back so that their body will follow, in many cases it will correct their pulling behavior. It is comfortable for them to wear but it also gives you more control. We advise not to use Choke chain collars as they can sometimes be rather painful and in some cases cause neck injury's. With many behavior issues it aids training by ignoring the bad behavior and rewarding the good! I understand it sounds tricky to ignore the bad behavior as all you feel like doing is telling them off but I can ensure you that in the long run this is very effective. Dogs hate to be ignored so they will do anything they can to get your attention even if it means doing something naughty so that you will shout at them! Giving your dog attention can include talking to them, touching them or even looking at them.

For more serious behavior issues we recommend that you call a behaviorist who specialists in correcting these behaviors. There are several behaviorists around this area including Adam Daines who is based in Kelston for more information you can visit the website which is http://www.avondogservices.co.uk/ . There is also a behaviorist called Michelle Lord who will help to resolve your dogs behavioral issues with support and guidance throughout. If you would like to get in contact with Michelle you can email her using michelle@co-evolve.co.uk.

For those of you who read last months blog you may remember me telling you about Murray's crazy idea of running the very muddy NUTS challenge in September! Murray is running it in aid of HEART Homing and Emergency Animal Rescue Team. If you would like to donate please visit https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/HEART, any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Until next month, thanks for reading!

Here's another interesting animal fact to leave you with: Did you know that ants never go to sleep!

 

Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

Lepto 4 Vaccine concerns


"We understand that there may be some concern from pet owners regarding the use of L4 (Leptospirosis) vaccines, following recent articles in the press.  We at Ashman Jones pride ourselves on prioritising patient care and safety above all else.  We are more than satisfied with the rigourous efficacy and safety testing undertaken by Zoetis, the manufacturers of the Versican brand that we use, allowing their L4 vaccination to be used safely in dogs from 6 weeks of age onwards.  Furthermore, all veterinary medicines, including vaccines, are subject to monitoring by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, a government body independent from all drugs companies.  Any suspicion of an adverse reaction to a drug or vaccine can be reported to them by vets and members of the public, and if any concerns regarding the safety of a product were found they have the power to change the way a product can be used, and even remove it from the market.  In addition, serious, even fatal, cases of Leptospirosis are seen in Bath and the surrounding areas, and we at Ashman Jones strongly advise and recomend that all dogs are vaccinated with the L4 vaccination, advice that we have followed when looking after our own pets."

 

"Paws for Thought"

I hope you are all enjoying the warm summer weather, where you can finally sit out in the garden to enjoy a relaxing afternoon or celebrate by having a BBQ with friends. Many of us like to include our furry friends during these events but there are a few things that you should be aware of to keep them safe...

During the summer we all love to to see the flowers bloom and the plants grow but sometimes these plants can be harmful for our pets. This can include plants such as Daffodils, Cherry laurel, Lilies, Philodendron, Foxgloves, Rhubarb and many more. For a longer detailed list you can visit the Dogs Trust website which will give you the list of poisonous plants, garden and household substances. Keen gardeners trying to keep their plants safe may use pellets or pesticides, however these can be extremely toxic to our canine and feline companions. Symptoms of poisoning can vary from skin irritation, drooling and increased thirst to more serious things like rapid breathing, fits or heart failure, so if you are concerned that your pet has come in contact or eaten something they shouldn't have, we advice you to call your vet as soon as you can. It is a good idea to bring any packaging, that you have available with you, as it will give the Vet a better idea about the actual substances that have been ingested.

With the meaty aromas and a large gathering of people, a BBQ is any dogs idea of heaven, however there a few things to bear in mind. We all know our dogs can get very excited when we have visitors which is not ideal around a boiling hot BBQ, prevent your dog from running around too much as we wouldn't want them to burn themselves or others by running into the BBQ! We all know Corn on the cob taste lovely when it has been cooked on the BBQ, unfortunately I am sure your dog will agree. Corn on the cob can be very dangerous, if it is eaten by your dog, as they can not always digest it and it is also a choking hazard. Other possible dangers to look out for are skewers and cooked bones as these items could splinter the intestine or even damage their bowels.

rabbit.jpg

For all of the rabbit lovers reading this, you will be pleased to hear rabbit awareness week is on 18th June - 26th June to make sure the bunnies out there are living happy healthy lives. A good quality diet is vital to prevent weight gain. At least 85-90% of the rabbit’s diet should consist of hay, grass and dried grass. They also need a small amount of nuggets (20-25 g per kg ideal body weight is all that is needed). You also need to make sure they have some healthy green leaves as part of their diet and water should always be available for them. The correct diet is important so that they produce solid poos. It is normal for some feces to be slightly softer as they do eat their soft poo to get more nutrients from it, but if they are overweight it will be tricky for them to get around to do this. If they are unable to get around or if their poo is too soft then the feces could get stuck to their fur which will attract the nasty flies! Flies are not good as they lay eggs, which can lead to fly strike. Using a product called Rear-guard can help to prevent fly strike along with, regularly cleaning and changing the bedding and checking your rabbits bottom to clean it if necessary.

Did you know that 57% of rabbits live alone? The RSPCA recommend rabbits living in pairs as they are sociable animals that become easily bored. Although it is worth looking into neutering to prevent any unwanted bunny babies! To prevent boredom and depression, just like other animals, it is important that rabbits are able to run around in a safe environment. Not only can they become frustrated by being kept in a hutch all day, but by letting them hop around, it will keep your bunny fit and healthy.

For those of you which read last months 'Paws For Thought', you will be aware of the brand new product we are selling called Simparica. It is a tablet which is given monthly to kill fleas, ticks and mites! There has recently been lots of publicity and concern about the diseases Babesia and Lymes disease, so you will be delighted to hear that Simparica minimizes any chance of these diseases being passed on to your dog, as it will kill any ticks within 12 hours of attachment. It will also be included in your Best Friends Club monthly scheme. We are stocking this from the beginning of June.

We would also like to check that you are all receiving your flea and worming text reminders at the correct time. We have previously had a few 'technical glitches' so let us know if you have any concerns over getting them too often or out of sync. You can call us on 01225 446269 as we will happily correct this for you.

Kate and Simon

Kate and Simon

Many of you have already had the pleasure of meeting Kate Martin, who is our amazing new permanent Locum! This is Kate with her gorgeous doggy Simon. Simon and, Clara's dog, Betty are now best of friends! Welcome to the Ashman Jones team Kate and Simon.

NEW AND IMPROVED

More good news! Our London Road Practice will soon be having a fantastic new look! We will be renovating the waiting room and consult rooms too! Please bear with us during the couple of weeks when the improvements are taking place, but as I am sure you will all agree, it will definitely be worth it! We will give you more information nearer the time about when the renovations are going to be taking place. Our opening hours will still be remaining the same during this period of time.

Murray has been very brave, agreeing to complete the Mud run event in August. Rather him than me! Murray will be running the event in aid of HEART Rescue Animal Charity, so if you would like to sponsor Murray, this would be greatly appreciated.
 

spider.jpg

That's all for this month but I will leave you with another interesting animal fact: Some species of tarantula can survive for more than two years without food, how amazing!

 

Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

 

'Paws for Thought'

'Paws for Thought'
May 2016


As the beautiful sunshine has started to make more of an appearance, now were in May, you may have urges for that 'holiday feeling'. Lots of people feel that their holiday would not be complete with out the company of their canine companion, however there are a few things to consider before taking them abroad...

If you are planning on travelling to the EU your pet will require a PETS passport. In order to acquire one of these your pet must be micro- chipped and have been given a licensed, up to date, Rabies vaccination. Your dog should already have been micro-chipped, as from the 4th April it is now the law for all dogs to have one. It is advised that you should plan all of this ahead as you must wait 21 days from the date that the rabies vaccination was given, before travelling. You will also have to take a trip to the vets at your chosen destination as you furry friend will need a tapeworm treatment 1-5 days before arriving back in England. The protocol for Travelling to Non-EU countries can vary, so it is always best to check on the DEFRA website before travelling abroad to see what the legal requirements are. Once you have done this you can make an appointment with the Vet to arrange all that I have mentioned above.

We aren't the only ones that love the warmer weather, the ticks start to thrive too! Which is why we will be selling an extremely effective, all in one, flea and tick treatment called Simparica. This amazing new tablet will start killing fleas within 3 hours and ticks within 8 hours. It is a monthly treatment which stays just as effective through out the whole of the month! Those of you on our Best Friend Club will be thrilled to find out that Simparica will be included in your monthly plan. For our lovely clients that have cats on the scheme there is also a monthly spot-on worming treatment for cats, called Profender, which is brilliant for owners that struggle to give the tablet, to their clever kitties. A few new additions have also been made to the BFC club for our 'golden oldies'. This includes 1 arthritis check, on top of the general health check, 1 Urine Screen Test and 10% off a Senior Blood Test.

As Lung Worm seems to be on the rise we also advise to start giving the Milbemax – Worming tablet once a month, as the amount of Lung worm cases have recently become more apparent, in this area.

Do you think that your family friend has put on the pounds over the colder months? If you answered “yes” to that question, then you wouldn't be alone. Which is why we have our lovely Nurse Hayley who specialises in weight clinics, who will help your little friend get back to a healthy weight again, in no time! Don't forget we now also have our Cat only Clinics at both London Road and Widcombe for scaredy cats who find it stressful at the vets!

I have yet more good news for you! Many of you have had the chance to meet our kind and caring Vet Clara and you will be seeing a lot more of her as she is finally becoming full time here at Ashman Jones! I am sure you are just as happy as us to hear that!! Clara will be working from Tuesday through to Friday, between both branches.

We are going to be holding our brand new Puppy party's, for puppies that have had their first vaccination up until the age of 5 months, at our Widcombe branch on Tuesdays between 12-1pm. The session will be of benefit to your puppy to play with like minded puppy's to encourage them to display normal behavior, in a safe and stimulating environment. We will be providing games and activities to express their natural behavior. There will be area for puppy's with a extrovert personality to express themselves, and separate areas for those more introvert to build confidence in a controlled environment. There will be a nurse available for questions and advice. This is a good opportunity for essential puppy socialisation, and a chance for you to meet other puppy owners and have a coffee on us. We will be providing a range of yummy goodies for your puppies, but we would like to request that you bring a suitable harness or collar and lead to restrain them. We would be delighted to see you and your puppy at our Widcombe branch, if you are interested in attending or for any more information please contact us on either 01225 446269 or 01225 807510.

With Ashman Jones having so many gorgeous patients, I am sure many of you will be interested in going to the Fun Dog Show at the Hanham Common Fayre. It is taking place on Saturday 14th May and there are lots of classes that your dog could win. This includes contests such as Prettiest Bitch, Best Condition Crossbreed, Best rescue and many more! Judging starts at 1:00pm and it is only £1 entry per dog/per class. All proceeds go to the amazing H.E.A.R.T animal charity, so not only is it fun but you will be helping this incredible Homing and Emergency Animal Rescue Team too!

 

This month I am going to leave you with an interesting animal fact, so until next time....

 

Despite the white, fluffy appearance of Polar Bears fur (which is transparent), they actually have black skin.


Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

Paws for Thought

Paws for Thought

'Paws for Thought'
April 2016

Hello all .....

Holly here. I have taken the reins of writing the blog from Caroline so hopefully you will find my blog as informative as they always were ! I've decided to call it'Paws for Thought', I hope you like the new name !

As Spring has finally sprung, with the clocks going forward, you may start to find little baby birds and young bunnies hopping around. Even though they are very cute and it may be worrying finding them on their own, the best thing to do is to leave them be. Normally the mother is close by and it can be more stressful for them if they are being handled and taken away from their familiar environment. If they are injured you can take them to a vet or you can call Secret World who will happily come and collect them and rehabilitate them back to health!

TICKS

Something which is not so pleasant about Spring time is that ticks are at their peak, with their ideal combination of warmer weather and Spring showers. We recommend prevention if your furry friend is prone to getting ticks attached to them. At Ashman Jones, we sell a variety of tick treatments for dogs including: the Seresto collar, which lasts up to 8 months, Advantix which is a monthly spot on and a relatively new treatment call Nexguard which is a tablet that only has to be given every 3 months. We have found that the best way currently of preventing ticks on cats is by using the Seresto collar asAdvantix is unfortunately toxic to the feline kind. You may have also all recently heard about a new disease spread by ticks called Babesiosis. At the moment cases have only been found in the Essex area and not in Bath, but we will keep you posted if the situation changes so don't panic!

DENTAL 10% off

Back to some slightly happier news; if your little companion has been recommended a dental, this month may be the time to go ahead with it as we are offering an amazing 10% off all Dentals up until the end of April!! If you are concerned about your pet's teeth then feel free to book in to see one of our nurses who will be happy to go through all of the recommendations of keeping their teeth lovely and clean.

Kitten Club

Another reason that you can visit one of nurses is for Puppy and Kitten Proms. They are free of charge and are designed for young ones up to the age of 6 months. They will help to get your new member of the family accustomed to visiting us. We will go through everything from getting them used to being restrained and handled to the unusual sound of clippers! We can also get them used to things which they might need in the future, for example clipping their nails.

 

Just a reminder that we have now started our Cat Only Clinics. They are held at Widcombe on Thursdays between 1:30pm – 2:30pm. We also have them at our London Road Practice on Wednesdays at 2:00pm – 3:00pm. These are ideal for cats that get stressed when coming to the vets as it means no doggies and it will be much quieter for them too!

Micro-chipped by Law

Only a few more days to go until your dog has to be micro-chipped by law. It needs to be done by the 6th April otherwise you could run the risk of getting a £500.00 fine. Getting your dog micro-chipped means that if they go missing the vets can scan them to find out the details of where they live, so it's peace of mind for you, as owners too.

That's all for this month but I will carry on the blog tradition of leaving you with a quote...

“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a
puppy licking your face” - Ben Williams


Warmest Wishes

Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones

 

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Spring cat piccie.jpg

BLOG – MARCH

Hello, March – the word is named after Mars, the Roman god of war as it was the month in which the military campaigning season got under way after winter.

Hello to Spring also, as on Sunday 27th March, our clocks will 'Spring forward' one hour to signify the start of British Summer Time, yaaay Spring/Summer are on their way.

Did you know.........????

  • In Old English, one name for the month of March was Hlyda, meaning loud, possibly because of the roaring March winds.

  • The expression 'mad as a March hare' dates back to 1529, it refers to the wild behaviour of male hares during the mating season in March.

  • March is the only month with three consecutive consonants in its name in English.

  • More 20th century UK Prime Ministers had birthdays in March than any other month.

Moving on....this month at AJ's.

We are now holding cat only clinics. Our lovely vet Bianca is running them every Wednesday at the London Road, 2-2.45pm and every Thursday at Widcombe, 1.30-2.15pm. As the name suggests they are for cat's only, so that means 'no dogs allowed' at this time, therefore hopefully creating a calmer, less stressful environment for our special feline friends, thus less stress for our owners too. Please call either branch if you would like to take advantage of these times and make an appointment.

You may probably be aware that from the 6th April, it will be law to have your dog microchipped, if not you may incur some hefty fines. If your dog is not already microchipped, come along and join our Best Friends Club and get the microchip done for 'FREE' please see our website for all the fab things covered by our BFC.

It is arthritis awareness time, this month we are running free nurse clinics at our Widcombe branch. If you think your senior pet may be suffering with arthritis then call and make an appointment. Things to look for are, reluctance to go for a walk, stiffness after exercise, stiffness when getting out of bed & struggling to get on to the sofa/bed. We will assess your pet and talk to you about how to cope with the condition and what supplements are available to help. We are also running a photograph competition through our Facebook page. We would like you to send us photographs of your senior pets, the winner will win a 'FREE' fitness consult with our holistic vet Veerle.

We are also introducing new Puppy and Kitten Prom nurse clinics at both branches. We've had a run of new pups and kittens lately and we would like to offer you some advise on everything from basic health checks, flea, worming, diet and training for the newest member of your family and give you the chance to ask us any questions.

Coinciding with the clocks springing forward in two weeks, it's also Easter and with Easter comes all those oh so yummy chocolate eggs. Whilst we may enjoy them and our pets would most certainly enjoy them too......please do not let them have access to any chocolate, as you all know it is extremely toxic to cats and dogs and could even result in them dying of organ failure. Please keep the choccies out of the way.

Our opening times over Easter are as follows:

Good Friday – London Road – 11am-1pm

Easter Saturday – London Road – 9am-1pm

Easter Sunday – CLOSED

Easter Monday – London Road – 9am-1pm

WIDCOMBE BRANCH – CLOSED – FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY AND MONDAY.

Flowers are also popular at this time of year. If you are buying for someone with a cat, remember no lilies, the pollen from these beautiful, fragrant flowers is lethal for cats, so do not buy for cat owners.

Well, that's about all for this month, so until next time, hello Spring and enjoy your Easter Eggs!!

And finally........'You know, sometimes the world seems like a pretty mean place'. 'That's why animals are so soft and huggy'.!!!! - Bill Watterson.

 

 

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BLOG – February

 

The Romans and the Celts regarded February as the start of spring. The word February comes from the word 'Februa', which means cleansing or purification and reflects the rituals undertaken before Spring. The Anglo Saxons called this month 'Sol-monath' meaning cake-month, as cakes were offered to the gods during that month. Like the sound of cake-month, but would we really have to offer them to the gods?

Having only 28 days in non-leap years, February was known in Welsh as 'y mis back' – the little month.

 

What historical events happened in February? Here's a few:

 

5th February 1788 – Robert Peel was born, he went on to form the first police force in London, hence the nickname 'Bobbies'.

 

6th February 1952 – Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne.

 

8th February 1750 – A minor earthquake shook Britain.

 

15th February 1971 – Britain went decimal, all the banks were shut on the 11th & 12th to prepare for the change over, three million pounds was spent converting the country's phone boxes to take the new two pence pieces and every cash register in the country had to be changed.

 

Incidentally, one of our clients recently mentioned that they found my 'what happened on this month in history' facts very useful for pub quiz's, firstly I would like to say thank you, it's good to hear that someone is reading the blog and secondly, I do hope you find the animal related facts/advise useful too!

 

Moving on.....

 

Xylitol – A naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant materials, including many fruits and vegetables. It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine. It is widely used as a sugar substitute and in sugar-free chewing gums and mints. Xylitol is added to some chewing gums and other oral care products to prevent tooth decay and dry mouth.

 

Ok so thanks for the info, but why might you ask??!!

 

Dog owners should know that xylitol can be toxic to dogs, even when relatively small amounts are ingested, ie from just one piece of chewing gum. We recently came across this when two of our client's dogs appeared to have eaten chewing gum. Fortunately the owners were very astute and rushed them down to us as soon as they noticed the gum had gone, fortunately in this instance both dog's were fine.

However, if not dealt with immediately the effects of xylitol toxicity can be extremely harmful. Often within less than an hour of eating it, it can cause liver failure, and in some cases, be fatal. If you think your dog has eaten any kind of foodstuff containing xylitol, get them to the vet asap and if possible bring the product ingredients/packaging with you.

 

Micro chipping – is the most reliable form of identification for cats and dogs. From 6th April this year, it will be a legal requirement to microchip your dog, this is a government legislation and if caught without one, the owner will be liable for prosecution. If you have a new puppy, the cost of this is included in our puppy package, if you have a mature dog the price is £25. It is a one off, quick and relatively painless procedure. Please call either branch for information and to book an appointment to have your dog to be micro chipped.

 

Please spare a thought for our little furry friends, rabbits and guinea pigs living outdoors. Ensure their hutch is placed in a well sheltered spot, cover with tarpaulin if necessary to keep out the rain, make sure they have plenty of clean dry bedding, fresh food, water and check on them a couple of times every day. If it is particularly cold/icy/snowy and you have the facilities, moving them indoors to a shed or garage would be a good idea.

 

If you need advise on any of the above, please do not hesitate to call and speak to one of our nurses and don't forget we hold regular nurse clinics for flea, worming, diet, dental advice and weight clinics.

 

Feedback – We are always glad of any feedback, please feel free to complete one of our feed back cards held in the reception, at both branches, and hand to the receptionist. For every card completed we will donate £1 to the H.E.A.R.T Charity.

 

Well that's all for now folks..........and finally......

 

…....'There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face' – Ben Williams.

 

 

 

 

 

BLOG – February

 

The Romans and the Celts regarded February as the start of spring. The word February comes from the word 'Februa', which means cleansing or purification and reflects the rituals undertaken before Spring. The Anglo Saxons called this month 'Sol-monath' meaning cake-month, as cakes were offered to the gods during that month. Like the sound of cake-month, but would we really have to offer them to the gods?

Having only 28 days in non-leap years, February was known in Welsh as 'y mis back' – the little month.

 

What historical events happened in February? Here's a few:

 

5th February 1788 – Robert Peel was born, he went on to form the first police force in London, hence the nickname 'Bobbies'.

 

6th February 1952 – Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne.

 

8th February 1750 – A minor earthquake shook Britain.

 

15th February 1971 – Britain went decimal, all the banks were shut on the 11th & 12th to prepare for the change over, three million pounds was spent converting the country's phone boxes to take the new two pence pieces and every cash register in the country had to be changed.

 

Incidentally, one of our clients recently mentioned that they found my 'what happened on this month in history' facts very useful for pub quiz's, firstly I would like to say thank you, it's good to hear that someone is reading the blog and secondly, I do hope you find the animal related facts/advise useful too!

 

Moving on.....

 

Xylitol – A naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant materials, including many fruits and vegetables. It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine. It is widely used as a sugar substitute and in sugar-free chewing gums and mints. Xylitol is added to some chewing gums and other oral care products to prevent tooth decay and dry mouth.

 

Ok so thanks for the info, but why might you ask??!!

 

Dog owners should know that xylitol can be toxic to dogs, even when relatively small amounts are ingested, ie from just one piece of chewing gum. We recently came across this when two of our client's dogs appeared to have eaten chewing gum. Fortunately the owners were very astute and rushed them down to us as soon as they noticed the gum had gone, fortunately in this instance both dog's were fine.

However, if not dealt with immediately the effects of xylitol toxicity can be extremely harmful. Often within less than an hour of eating it, it can cause liver failure, and in some cases, be fatal. If you think your dog has eaten any kind of foodstuff containing xylitol, get them to the vet asap and if possible bring the product ingredients/packaging with you.

 

Micro chipping – is the most reliable form of identification for cats and dogs. From 6th April this year, it will be a legal requirement to microchip your dog, this is a government legislation and if caught without one, the owner will be liable for prosecution. If you have a new puppy, the cost of this is included in our puppy package, if you have a mature dog the price is £25. It is a one off, quick and relatively painless procedure. Please call either branch for information and to book an appointment to have your dog to be micro chipped.

 

Please spare a thought for our little furry friends, rabbits and guinea pigs living outdoors. Ensure their hutch is placed in a well sheltered spot, cover with tarpaulin if necessary to keep out the rain, make sure they have plenty of clean dry bedding, fresh food, water and check on them a couple of times every day. If it is particularly cold/icy/snowy and you have the facilities, moving them indoors to a shed or garage would be a good idea.

 

If you need advise on any of the above, please do not hesitate to call and speak to one of our nurses and don't forget we hold regular nurse clinics for flea, worming, diet, dental advice and weight clinics.

 

Feedback – We are always glad of any feedback, please feel free to complete one of our feed back cards held in the reception, at both branches, and hand to the receptionist. For every card completed we will donate £1 to the H.E.A.R.T Charity.

 

Well that's all for now folks..........and finally......

 

…....'There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face' – Ben Williams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BLOG – JANUARY

 

Happy New Year to all, hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year.

 

January – the coldest month in the northern half of the world, nature is quiet and the birds travel less. In the Southern half of the world, January is the warmest month, during this time, animals are active and plants are growing. January regularly produces frost, ice and snow and is the chilliest month of the year in Britain.

 

With this in mind, the colder weather can often unmask arthritic disease and joint disease, particularly in our older companions. Keep an eye on your pet's mobility and comfort. Arthritis is a common disease in dogs and cats, and generally worsens with age. In most cases, it is a result of wear and tear to the surface of the joints, but can also occur as a result of joint trauma or as a consequence of joint malformation ie: hip dysplasia.

Affected pets typically show signs of lameness, stiffness, difficulty rising and often problems negotiating steps. They may become slower, less active, more grumpy and may show obvious signs of pain such as crying out, whimpering or avoiding contact with painful areas.

What can be done? Weight loss can make a massive difference, if your pet is overweight and is affected by any of the above symptoms. Reducing food and splitting meals into several smaller meals can aid weight loss. It is also important to make sure your pet gets regular gentle exercise and it really helps if it is consistent, for example the same amount of exercise twice daily every day, but no unusually long walks on the weekend!!

Whilst physio exercise can aid mobility, joint supplements containing glucosamine may be helpful, but the majority of pets could also benefit from anti-inflammatory pain relief and laser treatment.

Ask us for more information if you think your cat or dog may be showing signs of arthritis and let us help you get the spring back in their steps!!

I mentioned laser treatment earlier, watch this space for more information on that and other topics coming up over the next couple of months.....in the meantime.....don't forget Join the Best Friends Club, Get the vaccination free offer is still on going and still as popular, now is a good time for all your new Christmas puppies and kittens to join.

 

Well that's about it for this month, but before I sign off, here are some interesting facts of historical events that happened in January:

 

1st January 1927 – The BBC began broadcasting its first programmes.

1st January 1931 – Traffic policemen were introduced in Great Britain.

10th January 1863 – the London Underground began operating.

11th January 1954 – The first televised weather broadcast featuring a presenter on screen was transmitted from the BBC's Lime Grove Studios.

14th January 1986 – Motorists were required by law to wear seat belts.

 

Bye for now.........and finally......”A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more that you love yourself” - Josh Billings.

 

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December Blog

December Blog

BLOG – DECEMBER

 

Well here we are December already and it's almost Christmas.....again!!

December, the last month in the Gregorian calendar, it's name is based on the Latin term for ten. It has the shortest daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere and marks the beginning of winter and in the Southern Hemisphere it provides the longest days as it is the beginning of summer. December is a month home to many religious holidays.

Did you know that on this day in December........

 

  • 2nd December 1697 – Sir Christopher Wren's St Pauls Cathedral is opened in London.

  • 3rd December 1967 – The first heart transplant was completed.

  • 8th December 1980 – Forty year old ex-Beatle John Lennon was murdered in New York.

  • 12th December – is Poinsettia Day – (just remember poinsettia's are extremely toxic to cats & dogs).

  • 17th December – The Wright Brothers made their first flight.

  • 25th December 440 – Church leaders agree to fix the date of the birth of Christ. Previously some people had celebrated it in May, others in Janurary.

  • 27th December is National Chocolate Day.......really? And I thought it was every day!!!

  • December is the National Stress Free Family Holiday Month!!!.....right yeah, because getting ready for Christmas is not at all stressful!!

 

Quite a lot to get through this month, so without further ado.......

At the end of November we said goodbye to Sophie M (blonde Sophie), Sophie has moved on to pastures new, I'm sure you will all join us in saying good luck Sophie, you will be missed.

 

Just a reminder that our Best Friends Club 'Join Now, Get a free booster' offer is still going strong and will be continuing until further notice, so you still have plenty of time to take advantage of this great offer.

 

Are your pet's fleas and worming medication due? If we haven't seen them in the past 12 months, we will need to see your pet for a worm & flea check before we dispence the medication. An appointment can be made with either of our qualified nurses, Debbie or Caroline for a free nurse clinic.

 

With Christmas just around the corner it is worth noting that there are a lot of potential pet hazards around the home to be aware of. Cyclamen, poinsettia, holly & mistletoe are all toxic to cats and dogs. Pretty much all nuts are toxic to dogs and whilst they are not as harmful to cats, it is probably best not to feed your cat nuts. Raisins, grapes and chocolate are also extremely toxic. And watch out or thoe potential foreign body risks. Christmas tree decorations, tinsel and fairy lights are just a few examples. If you want to give your pet a present, give them animal friendly treats by Pupcake Princess, who makes a range of healthy dog biscuits. Treat them to a new exciting toy to keep them occupied and their minds off climbing the christmas tree!!

 

As always our local charity H.E.A.R.T are always grateful of donations, food, blankets, pet carriers etc.

 

Our vet Clara will be volunteering with the Caring at Chrismas, an open access shelter in Bristol. It is the only shelter of it's kind in this area and will provide hot meals and beds for over 3000 homeless people for 10 days, providing 50 beds per night. Unfortunately people with dogs are not allowed, Clara has very kindly offered to go and spend time there and see any dogs for basic first aid advice. If any of you kindly souls out there would like to donate any opened or recently out of date food (non prescription food only please), toys, dog coats and blankets, please do so and drop into either of our branches.

 

Our surgery opening times over the Christmas period are as follows:-

 

Christmas Eve – both branches close at 5pm.

Christmas Day – both branches closed.

Boxing Day – both branches closed.

Sunday December 27th – London Road open from 9am – 1pm. Widcombe is closed.

Monday December 28th – London Road open from 11am – 1pm.

Widcombe is closed.

 

New Years Eve – both branches close at 5pm.

New Years Day – both branches closed.

Saturday 2nd January – London Road open from 9am – 1pm,Widcombe closed.

Sunday 3rd January – London Road open from 9am – 1pm, Widcombe closed.

 

Ashman Jones would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.....so until next year, bye for now.

 

And finally........'A dog is for life, not just for Christmas' – Anon.

 

 

 

 

 

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Blog - November

Blog - November

Blog – November

 

Hello.......

This month is about fireworks.....yes bonfire night is upon us again and if you have a dog like mine who is absolutely terrified, then like me you probably dread bonfire night!!!

Always keep your pets indoors when there are fireworks going on, day and night. At nightfall close windows and curtains and put on music to help mask and muffle the sound of them. Make sure your cat or dog is always kept in a safe and secure environment and have no way of escaping if there is a sudden noise.

Never fuss or punish your pets when they are scared; this will only make things worse in the long run.

Provide your pet with a safe place to hide: under a bed, table, in a basket or crate, create a 'den' by draping blankets, sheets or a table cloth over it and always allow them easy access to their safe place and just leave them be.

If your pet shows signs of fear, as hard as it is, ignore their behaviour and leave them alone, unless they can potentially harm themselves.

For dogs......

Walk them in daylight and if possible go for a long walk or involve lots of play to help tire them out.

We have various products available at both practices to help calm your pet. Please do not hesitate to contact us or call in for advice as not all fireworks are on bonfire night - we have New Year to go yet!!

 

Other news........

Please welcome Sally and Kristina our new receptionists. Sally will be based at our London Road branch and Kristina at Widcombe, keen and eager to please......

At the end of November our latest recruit will be joining us, vet Bianca. Some of you have probably already met her as she has locumed for us many times already.

And just to remind you.....

We are continuing with our Best Friends Club offer for a free booster when you join, it has been so successful we have decided to continue it indefinitely.

We are open longer for appointments at the London Road on Sundays, appointments start at 9am through till 12.45pm.

 

Well that's all for now, so until next time....bye!!

 

…...and finally.....You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, “My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that.” - Dave Barry.

 

 

 

 

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Blog – October

October – Autumn is definitely here, the leaves are changing colour, it's getting cooler in the morning and evening and the clocks fall back later this month.

Interesting facts about October:-

  • 1st October 1870, the first official issue of the post card was made in Britain by the Post Office together with the introduction of the halfpenny postage stamps.

  • 3rd October 1906, S.O.S. Was established as an international distress signal.

  • 3rd October 1916, James Herriot (famous vet & author) was born.

  • 12th October 1953, The first Morris Minor family car is built at Cowley in Oxford.

  • 13th October 1884, Greenwich Mean Time started.

  • 14th October 1979, Sony invents the first Walkman, over 3 billion are sold in the first 20 years.

And so on to more current things.......Clara our new vet officially joins Ashman Jones on Monday the 12th, you may have already met the lovely Clara as she has locumed for us many times over the last few months. Clara will be working at both branches so you will be sure to meet her at some point. A big welcome to Clara to the Ashman Jones family.

 

The Best Friends Club offer that we were running in September, was so successful we have extended it to carry on throughout October.

Don't worry if you have not had a chance to pop in and join, you have plenty of time. If your companion is due their booster, join the Best Friends Club, you will get the booster for free along with the first batch of worming & flea medication, we just require you to make the first months payment on the day. For more information please visit our website or contact either branch for details.

 

Other news for this month is that from Monday 12th, our Widcombe Branch will be open until 6.30pm in the evening with the last appointment being at 6.15pm and from Sunday the 18th the London road branch will be open earlier from 9am until 1pm, instead of 11am until 1pm, which means more appointment slots available.

 

Autumn hazards! As the temperature drops and the nights draw in, there are some factors that need to be considered to keep our pets fit and well, here are a few topical tips: Fleas, are pretty much a year round problem and love central heating, make sure you regularly check your pet's coat for any signs of fleas and if you find evidence of them, please contact us for advise or call into either branch. Around the house and garden, keep an eye out for toxins this time of year, try not to let your pet eat fermenting apples and conkers, both can lead to digestive upsets. Ethylene Glycol – Antifreeze, pets are very attracted to this, it is a very sweet tasting solution and also extremely toxic to pets, it can cause kidney failure and sometimes death. It is easy to spill when topping up car radiators, take care not to spill it and clean it up as soon as possible.

 

Well that's pretty much all for this month, more to follow next month. Bye for now..........and finally........

 

…...”A house is not a home without a pet” - Anonymous.

 

 

 

 

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BLOG – SEPTEMBER

Hello, well after a brief hiatus, we are back.....!!

September – 1st, officially the first day of Autumn, so yes that was Summer, no honest that was Summer.....ahh the joys of a British summer, so to cheer you up here are some interesting facts about September....

  • Did you know?......that nothing whatsoever happened in British history between the 3rd and 13th September 1752!!!

  • 1st September 1951 – The first supermarket opens in Britain at Earl's Court in London.

  • 9th September 1835 – The 'sport' of bear baiting was banned by parliament in the UK.

  • 22nd September 1955 – ITV started.

  • 23rd September 1940 – The George Cross was instituted.

  • 26th September 1955 – Bird's Eye fish fingers first went on sale.

  • 28th September 1745 – The National Anthem was first sung.

  • 30th September 1928 – Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming.

    Ok so moving on....Big, big news this month. Super September promotion. Is your companion due their booster in September? If so then if you join our Best Friends Club you will get the booster FREE!!! We just require you to pay the first months instalment and you will walk away with a free booster along with flea and worming medication. For all the details about the Best Friends Club, please go to our website or call into either branch for a leaflet and advice. This offer will be on for the whole of September so you still have plenty of time to take advantage of this splendid deal.

    Trombicula autumnalis – Harvest mite, we saw our first case of the year the other day, it's that time of year folks. Harvest mites live in forests, grasslands, vegetation of low, damp areas such as woodlands, along lakes and streams and even in drier areas where vegetation is low, such as lawns, parks and even town gardens. The larvae are widely distributed in the UK and can cause seasonal skin problems in cats and dogs, especially during late Summer and Autumn. The larvae feed on fluid within tissue just under the skin and may cause skin to be considerably itchy. The larvae attach to hair on the body, are an orange/red colour and are minute, but can just be seen with the naked eye. Common area's to find them are on the feet, between the toes, around the eye's or muzzle and on the belly/groin area. You can help by gently washing these area's everytime you return from a walk with very dilute hibiscrub, which is an antiseptic cleaning solution and is available at both our branches. Emerse feet into a bowl of warm, dilute hibiscrub and give them a good clean in between the toes and pads. Using a flannel or cotton wool use a fresh bowl of the same solution on the face and in the belly/groin area too, but be very careful around the eye's so as to not get hibiscrub solution into the eye. If you can visibly see an infestation, bring your companion in to see one of our vets for treatment.

    Other potential seasonal problems can include conkers and acorns, both are extremely toxic and can also cause an intestinal blockage. If you think that your dog may have ingested either of these, get them to see a vet as soon as possible.

    Just a reminder that we are continuing with our nurse clinics at both branches, they are free if you are a member of our Best Friends Club. Our nurses can give you advise on food and many things including the best food/diet for your pet's needs. Hayley are trainee vet nurse runs extensive nurse clinics and will go through your cat/dogs specific nutritional, calorific needs and will work out the exact amount of calories/food your companion needs to keep them in tip top condition. Nurses will also clip nails, express anal glands and discuss dental care. Just make that call to either branch and we will make you an appointment.

    Well that's about all for now folks, until next time, goodbye.......and finally..........

    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole”. - Roger Caras.