Firework season is fast approaching, a time which many owners and furry friends dread. Fireworks are used from the beginning of November up until the end of the year which results in a prolonged time of stress for our four legged friends, however there are several ways in which we can help them feel calmer and more secure...
One product we sell at Ashman Jones is a fast acting gel called Sileo. It is a low dose of dexmedetomidine which you administer from the syringe provided to go between the cheek and gum. This is a form of sedative but as it is a low dose your dog will remain calm yet fully functional. For this reason Sileo is a prescription only medicine, therefore a prescription check from the Vet is required. It is also only suitable for dogs over 16 weeks of age. Sileo has had placebo controlled clinical trials to prove its effectiveness, therefore this could be the ideal solution for many of your worried doggies.
Another solution, which has proved effective in many cases, is Valerian compound. These are liquid drops which can be dropped either directly into the mouth or on to food. Valerian is a powerful plant extract which is commonly used to calm and control anxious behaviour. You do not have to see the Vet for this product but if you are interested in purchasing it from us, we need 24 hours notice to order it in for you. Alternatively we normally have the Scull cap and Valerian tablets in stock which also aid with anxiety, excitability, nervousness and travel sickness.
Another Valerian based product we can provide for you is a spray or plug in called Pet Remedy. The great factor regarding Pet Remedy is that it can be used not only for cats and dogs but also birds, reptiles, horses and rabbits. Pet Remedy works by mimicking gamma amino butyric acid which is a natural calming agent our animals already have. Therefore when they are exposed to this product there nerve cells 'are tricked' into thinking they are getting a message from the brain to calm down, which is why Pet remedy is usually a fast acting and effective product. Other sprays and diffusers include Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs. These products are synthetic copies of 'the happy pheromone' which is reassuring and calming for our loved ones.
Simple steps such as closing the curtains and putting on music before dark can help to mask out any scary sounds from the start so that your pets do not get wound up by any sudden bangs. Creating hides such as in cupboards for cats or under tables for dogs can aid them in feeling more secure. Do not force them to come out from hiding as this can increase stress levels. If they choose to hide away it is a good idea to provide them with food, water and, for cats, a litter tray in this area of the house.
As we head towards bonfire night, it is a good idea to shake the pile, and check through it, to make sure there are not any little hedgehogs nesting within your bonfire. Building the bonfire as close to the time of being lit as possible will reduce the chance of any hedgehog friends making the bonfire their home. Hedgehogs are lovely helpful creatures as they enjoy having slugs, snails and insects as a yummy snack, which is good news for any of you who like gardening. The reality is that hedgehog numbers are plummeting so the more hedgehogs saved, the better!
As Autumn has set in, you may have noticed lots of conkers fallen from The Horse Chestnut tree. Conkers are something best to avoid whilst walking your dog. Whilst most of the time only causing mild symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea following ingestion, these little conkers can actually result in becoming a gastrointestinal tract obstruction, particularly if swallowed whole. Although not common, this could lead to a surgical procedure to remove the conker. Other symptoms which conker ingestion can cause includes: lethargy, a high temperature, depression or tremors.
Sadly for us, lovely Veterinary Nurse Hayley, is soon departing from Ashman Jones. We are all going to miss her greatly but wish her the very best of luck for the future.
Until next time, here is another animal fact for you: Did you know frogs cannot swallow without blinking.
Holly Smith @ Team Ashman Jones