Services

Services

Veterinary Consultations

All our consultations are 15 minutes long, allowing time for a full physical examination of your pet and discussion of any problems and concerns. Treatment options where necessary can then be agreed and individually tailored to your pet. It can be a lot to take in so we may offer you some additional information to take away, or point you in the direction of further resources. If you need more time, please ask when booking your appointment.

We run by appointment times only, with the exception of emergencies. Due to an increasing number of clients failing to keep or cancel appointments prior to time, we have introduced a no-show fee. Being able to accommodate all of our clients is important to us and reallocating unwanted appointments helps us achieve this.

Should your pet need emergency veterinary attention when we are closed, please contact Veteris (home visit vets) on 020 4586 1496.

https://veteris.co.uk/

Veterinary Consultations

All our consultations are 15 minutes long, allowing time for a full physical examination of your pet and discussion of any problems and concerns. Treatment options where necessary can then be agreed and individually tailored to your pet. It can be a lot to take in so we may offer you some additional information to take away, or point you in the direction of further resources. If you need more time, please ask when booking your appointment.

We run by appointment times only, with the exception of emergencies. Due to an increasing number of clients failing to keep or cancel appointments prior to time, we have introduced a no-show fee. Being able to accommodate all of our clients is important to us and reallocating unwanted appointments helps us achieve this.

Should your pet need emergency veterinary attention when we are closed, please contact Veteris (home visit vets) on 020 4586 1496.

https://veteris.co.uk/

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are an important part of responsible pet care and help protect your pet from a range of potentially fatal infectious diseases. Thankfully, because of the widespread use of immunisation cases are now rare, but do still occur so it is important to keep them up to date. A vaccination appointment also provides an opportunity for your vet to carry out a full health check, and prescribe appropriate flea and worming treatments for your animal, ensuring all preventative health measures are in place.

Why does my pet need to be vaccinated every year?

Some vaccinations such as leptospirosis in dogs and ‘cat flu’ in cats, only last for one year so need to be boosted annually. Other vaccines only need to be given every 2-3 years so will be given less often. This will be recorded on your pet’s vaccine record. We don’t want to give your pet unnecessary vaccinations, so we give them based on your pets age, lifestyle and any other risk factors, which can be discussed at your appointment.

What illnesses are you vaccinating against?

In dogs, our core vaccinations are against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis. We can also vaccinate against ‘kennel cough’ (canine infectious respiratory disease complex) if required.

In cats, we vaccinate against ‘cat flu’ (feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus), panleucopenia (feline infectious enteritis) and FeLV (feline leukaemia virus).

In rabbits, we vaccinate against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease.

Does my dog need a kennel cough vaccine?

Kennel cough is not a core vaccine, which means it is given based on risk of exposure. It’s more commonly spread through close contact with other dogs, for example at daycare, with a dog walker or when going into kennels. Luckily, the symptoms of kennel cough are usually mild and resolve by themselves, but can be more serious in very young, old or sick animals. The intranasal vaccine lasts for a year and is a live vaccine, meaning that care should be taken if anyone in your household is pregnant or immunocompromised.

My breeder said I shouldn’t give my dog the ‘L4’ vaccine, why are you recommending it?

Whilst there were previously only two strains of leptospirosis in the UK (covered by the older L2 vaccine), there are now four strains present. The L4 vaccine therefore offers protection against all the current endemic strains of the virus. There has been some bad ‘press’ around the L4 vaccine, but there is no increased risk of adverse effect associated with it.

A response from the BVA regarding the L4 vaccine soon after it’s launch:

https://www.bva.co.uk/news-and-blog/news-article/bva-statement-on-nobivac-l4-vaccine/

A recent response from the Veterinary Medicines Doctorate:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/leptospira-vaccination-in-dogs

Leptospirosis factsheet:

https://vetspecialists.co.uk/fact-sheets-post/leptospirosis-fact-sheet/

My cat never goes outside, why do I need to vaccinate it?

Although they have a lower risk than outdoor cats, indoor only cats should still be protected against cat flu and panleucopenia. This is because these viruses are able to survive for a long time in the environment and could potentially enter the home, even if your cat never goes outside. Vaccinating is the safest way to protect your cat.

Does my pet need a vaccination for Rabies?

Rabies is not endemic in the UK, meaning it is only necessary if you are planning to travel abroad with your pet. (See post-brexit travel guide for more details).

We perform a wide range of soft tissue, orthopaedic and emergency surgeries in our purpose built theatre.

Soft tissue surgeries includes neutering (spays and castrations), surgical biopsies, exploratory laparotomy and foreign body removal. Orthopaedic procedures include bone fracture repair, cruciate surgery, patella surgery and amputations. Many of our vets also have experience with emergency surgeries, such as GDV (bloat surgery) and trauma.

All our general anaesthetics are tailored to the individual, using the safest combination of drugs possible. We have full surgical monitoring equipment including blood pressure, pulse oximetry, capnography and ECG. We also offer pre-anaesthetic blood screens and IV fluid support during any general anaesthetic.

Pet Neutering

As well as preventing unwanted pregnancies, neutering also offers a variety of other health benefits to your pet.

Cat Neutering:

We recommend that all cats should be neutered at around 5 months of age before reaching puberty. As well as preventing unwanted pregnancies in females, spaying also reduces the risk of infections such as FIV, uterine (womb) infections and tumours. In male cats, castration reduces straying and fighting (the main cause of FIV infection) as well as preventing spraying and scent marking in the home. There are thousands of unwanted cats in shelters across the UK and neutering is an important part of controlling this population and the spread of FIV.

Dog Neutering:

We recommend that most female dogs be spayed around 3 months after their first season. There is not currently enough evidence to suggest that neutering earlier gives any additional health benefits. Neutering after sexual maturity can reduce the risk of urinary incontinence and joint and musculoskeletal diseases. Spaying female dogs dramatically reduces the chance of developing mammary tumours and womb infection (pyometra), both of which can be fatal. In some large and giant breed dogs, we advise waiting until 18 months of age before neutering.

Castrating male dogs does not give as many health benefits, although can reduce the risk of prostate disease and some cancers. Testosterone can also be the cause of some undesirable behaviour such as roaming, distraction or even aggression. For most male dogs, neutering can be performed between 6 and 12 months, although in some large breed dogs we advise waiting until they are fully grown.

An alternative to surgical castration is chemical castration where a hormone implant is placed under the skin to suppress testosterone production. This lasts between 6 and 12 months and can be used if trialling the effect of neutering on your dog’s behaviour or where an anaesthetic for surgical castration is not possible.

Changes in sex hormones after neutering can result in increased appetite and reduced activity levels, so adjusting your pet’s diet diet and exercise plan is advised.

Rabbit Neutering:

Rabbits should be kept in pairs (or groups) and neutering is recommended for all rabbits, whether in same-sex or mixed-sex groups. As well as preventing pregnancy, neutering reduces aggression and spraying and makes rabbits easier to house train. It also reduces the risk of uterine and testicular tumours. Female rabbits can become pregnant from 3 months of age, so if in a mixed sex pair or group, we advise neutering the males from 12 weeks of age. Females can be neutered from 5 months of age. Male rabbits remain fertile for up to 6 weeks after they have been neutered so should be kept separate from unneutered females for at least a month. During this time they should be kept close by to maintain their bond.

What can I expect after my dog is neutered?

Your dog may be drowsy for the first 24 hours following a general anaesthetic so should be kept in a warm and quiet environment. A gastrointestinal or light diet is recommended for 1-3 days, although your dog may not be as hungry for the first 12 hours. Your pet will be given pain relief injections at the time of surgery, and will also be given a further 3 days of oral pain relief medication to take at home. No swimming, bathing or jumping is allowed until the wound is healed and dogs must be walked on the lead for five days after the operation. You should check the surgical wound daily and contact the surgery if you notice any swelling, bleeding, discharge or increased discomfort. An Elizabethan collar or medical pet shirt may be provided to help protect the wound and we advise wearing for at least ten days to prevent complications. A post operative check in carried out 3-5 days after the operation.

What can I expect after my cat is neutered?

Your cat may be drowsy following an anaesthetic so needs to be kept warm and quiet and must not be allowed out for 24-48hrs. A litter tray must be provided for this period. Sometimes cats don’t want to eat as soon as they get home, but normal appetite should return within 12 hours. We ask you to check wounds daily for the first 10 days and contact us if you notice any swelling, bleeding, discharge or increased discomfort. Your cat will receive pain relief injections at the time of surgery and will go home with a further 3 days of oral pain relief (following spay only, not castration). It is important that your cat does not lick or chew at the wound as this can delay healing and lead to infection. If you have been provided with an Elizabethan collar to prevent licking then they must stay indoors. The stitches used are dissolvable so will not need to be removed. A post operative check is normally carried out after 3-5 days.

What can I expect after my rabbit has been neutered?

Your rabbit may be drowsy or disoriented for the first 24 hours after the operation and should be kept indoors for this period even if they usually live outside. Your rabbit should be offered their normal hay, pellets and greens as soon as they get home as it’s important that they start eating to prevent gut stasis. Sometimes a syringe feeding formula may be supplied to supplement their diet initially. Oral pain relief medication will be dispensed to be used at home after the operation. Your rabbit may have a small bald patch on their ear(s) where we have clipped the fur to administer the anaesthetic injection. Normally we don’t need to re-examine rabbits after neutering as long as they are eating well and back to their normal selves. However, the wound should be checked daily until healed.

Imaging

Our imaging facilities include digital X-ray, ultrasound, echocardiography (heart ultrasound), and endoscopy.

Imaging is one of the most helpful and frequently used tools to help diagnose and monitor certain conditions in your pet. For example, X-ray and ultrasound may be used to investigate orthopaedic fractures, abdominal bloating, foreign bodies, certain cancers and monitor conditions that affect internal organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys.

Ultrasound is a non invasive imaging technique that uses sound waves to create pictures of internal organs and structures. It is primarily used to visualise the abdomen and chest and can often be performed conscious (without anaesthetic or sedation). An area of fur is clipped on the part of the abdomen or chest that is to be examined, and ultrasound gel applied so that the vet can perform the examination. Your pet will usually need to lay down on their side for this, so is gently held by a nurse. Sometimes if your pet is very nervous or can’t be still enough to carry out an accurate examination, we may need to give a sedation to help us complete our exam with minimal patient stress. For this reason, we ask that you bring your pet into us fasted for 8-12 hours in case a sedation is needed. If we are using ultrasound to take needle biopsies, we may need to use a sedation or anaesthetic to perform these as safely as possible.

X-rays are a type of radiation which travel through the body. Because they are absorbed differently by different tissue types, we are able to create an image of internal structures. X-rays are most useful for examining the bones and the chest, and are often used alongside ultrasound when we suspect an abdominal foreign body or if your pet has swallowed something metallic. X-rays almost always require a general anaesthetic or sedation, as your pet must be completely still to get an accurate and detailed image. For this reason your pet needs to be fasted for 8-12 hours prior to coming to the surgery for X-rays. Once X-rays are performed we can usually give a diagnosis straight away, although sometimes we may need to send X-rays to a specialist for their opinion.

Endoscopy involves a thin, flexible camera being passed into the throat, abdomen or airways to examine internal structures. It can be used to remove foreign bodies, take biopsies or investigate a functional problem. It is minimally invasive but also requires a general anaesthetic, so again fasting is required.

Pet Dentals

At Hills, we perform all routine dentistry including ultrasonic descaling, digital dental X-rays and extractions.

Dental disease is a common problem in our pets and regular check-ups help identify if treatment  is necessary. Common signs of dental disease include bad breath, drooling, pawing at mouth, dropping food, chewing on one side and grooming less. Daily tooth brushing where possible, is the mainstay of home dental care and can help prevent the build up of plaque which causes tartar. We stock pet toothbrushes and special enzymatic pet toothpaste which can be swallowed as opposed to spat out.

More information on home tooth care and brushing from the PDSA:

https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/dental-care-for-dogs

When tartar builds up on teeth, the tissues around the teeth and gums can be affected (periodontal disease), which can cause pain and eventually tooth loss. While using dental diets and special chews have been shown to make some difference to dental health, once tartar forms it is only possible to remove during a veterinary dental procedure.

Cats are susceptible to a particular form of dental disease which causes the enamel to dissolve, known as ‘feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions’. Unfortunately, these lesions are very common, occurring in up to 75% of cats. They often appear near the gum line as painful red spots on the teeth and usually mean that the affected tooth needs to be extracted.

All veterinary dentistry is performed under a general anaesthetic. This allows us to carefully examine the whole mouth and each surface of every tooth. Then, dental X-rays can be taken and cleaning, including below the gum line, and necessary extractions can be performed. If extractions are needed then your pet will be sent home with pain relief for a few days and will come back for a post operative check in 3-5 days.

Nurse clinics

We currently offer appointments with our friendly nurse team to discuss weight loss, feline diabetes management and elderly cat wellness.

Weight clinics

Obesity is an ever increasing problem in our pets. Being overweight can affect quality of life, shorten life expectancy and contribute to health problems such as heart disease, arthritis and diabetes. The best way to tell if your pet is overweight is by feeling along their ribs and spine and checking their body shape. In general you should be able to easily feel your pets ribs and spine and, when looking down from above, they should have a tucked in waist. If your pet’s stomach is the same size or larger than their chest, they probably need to lose some weight. While the ‘eat less and move more’ adage still holds true, it can be easier said than done. Our weight clinic nurses can offer advice, formulate diet plans, and arrange regular weigh ins.

Feline diabetes clinics

Symptoms of feline diabetes include weight loss, drinking more and urinating more. It is commonly caused by obesity although can also be caused by some hormone disorders or drug treatments, with older male cats being at higher risk. If your cat needs to be given insulin injections at home to control diabetes, our nurses are available to give advise on all aspects of management including correct administration, glucose monitoring and diet.

Elderly cat wellness clinics

Due to improved diets, veterinary and home care, cats are living a lot longer than they used to. A sixteen year old cat is roughly equivalent to an 80 year old human yet we frequently see cats reach the age eighteen or even twenty. Regular veterinary check-ups can help detect common older cat illnesses such as kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and high blood pressure. These illnesses often occur together and need regular checks to treat and manage well. Common sypmtoms include weight loss and changes to appetite and thirst. Elderly cat wellness clinics offer the opportunity for regular check ups with a qualified nurse, including weight, blood pressure checks and blood and urine tests. – how much are they? How often???

Advice on caring for your elderly cat:

https://icatcare.org/advice/elderly-cats-special-considerations/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6JGlqOnp-wIVDdDtCh2nLAHEEAAYASAAEgJ5TfD_BwE

Pet Behaviour Problems

Pet behaviour problems, such as separation anxiety or aggression, can be extremely stressful and affect our daily lives. Whilst some undesirable behaviours can be remedied by working with an experienced trainer, other problems may need further expertise from a qualified veterinary behaviourist. A veterinary referral is required before working with a behaviourist, to rule out any medical or physical problems that could be contributing.

Please see the below links for further information.

https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/certified-dog-behaviourists

https://www.bluecross.org.uk/advice/dog/what-to-do-if-your-dog-has-a-behaviour-problem?amp&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1_qjke7p-wIVDtd3Ch3cEQsMEAAYAiAAEgKoy_D_BwE

APBC – Association of pet behaviour counsellors

ABTC – Animal behaviour and training council

Veterinay behaviourists:

Dr Jon Bowen, Royal Veterinary College

www.Thelondonvet.com

www.lifeonfourlegs.co.uk

Recommended local trainer:

Alpha Dogs (Finsbury Park)

www.alphadogtraininglondon.com

Flea and worming

Year-round protection against fleas, tape worms and round worms is important for you and your pet’s health and wellbeing. Exposure to fleas can be an underlying cause of many skin problems as well as being unpleasant and uncomfortable. Most people are aware fleas are more commonly seen during periods of warmer weather such as spring and summer. However, as indoor temperatures rise with central heating, the home actually provides the perfect breeding ground for flea infestations.

Intestinal worms in cats and dogs can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, and although not normally serious can be passed to humans. If you have young children in your household it is especially important that you regularly treat your pet. Lung worm in dogs, is spread by exposure to slugs and snails, and can be fatal. Unfortunately, it is on the rise, especially in the south of the UK, so regular preventative treatment is essential.

It is a legal requirement that in order to dispense prescription flea and worming treatments your pet must have had a check up with a vet in the past 12 months. If it has been more than 12 months since we have seen your pet, a vet will need to examine your pet and a consultation fee will be applied in order to prescribe any treatment.

Check your dogs parasite risk:

https://www.petparasiteprotection.co.uk/dog/risk-checker

Information about the flea life cycle and treating the home:

https://www.ripfleas.co.uk/flea-life-cycle/

Fleas and flea control in cats:

https://icatcare.org/advice/fleas-and-flea-control-in-cats/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9fHTmpvb-wIVWuvtCh28LA29EAAYAyAAEgJBhPD_BwE

Pet Laser Therapy (Photobiomodulation therapy)

Photobiomodulation, commonly referred to as Laser therapy is a form of light therapy used to treat an array of conditions. The penetrating laser light causes chemical changes in the soft tissues, producing a photo-chemical response within the body. The laser targets damaged cells and can help them to regenerate faster, promoting healing.

This is a drug free and side-effect free treatment and can be used as an adjunct to your pet’s treatment plan.

Common uses/indications include:

  • Osteoarthritis management
  • Post-operative pain management
  • Incision healing
  • Otitis
  • Lick granulomas
  • Dermatitis
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Wound/burn healing.
  • Fractures/orthopaedics
  • Degenerative myelopathy

Effects include:

  • Accelerates tissue repair and cell growth
  • Reduction in inflammation
  • Increases circulation
  • Decreases pain
  • Promotes healing

Your pet must wear protective goggles whilst having treatment, to protect them from the laser beam. The practitioner and client/owner will also wear these.

During treatment a massage probe or hand-piece will be passed over your pet’s injury/joint or treatment site. Depending on your pet’s condition, an on-contact or non-contact applicator will be used. There is no necessity to clip or shave your pet prior to treatment.

Your pet will feel a soothing warming sensation over the site of injury. Most pets find this relaxing and enjoy their treatments.

We often have cats available for adoption.

The cats we have in for adoption are almost always stray cats. We work very closely with a local charity, Animal Aid and Advice, and a lot of the cats are usually picked up from the street by their workers.

We sometimes get stray cats bought in by members of the public. If they aren’t chipped or claimed, we try and find them a home.

You can find out more about Animal Aid and Advice here:

Animal Aid and Advice – We are a voluntary animal welfare group, committed to rescuing and rehoming abused and stray cats.

By law all dogs aged 8 weeks and above must be microchipped. We would highly recommend all cats to be microchipped as they are free roaming. We would advise cat owners to purchase a microchip cat flap. Microchipping is a painless procedure which does not require sedation or anesthetic. Your details are held by PETLOG so our reception team will check with you that the information we have on our system is up to date. It is the client’s responsibility to inform PETLOG of any changes to home address/telephone numbers if needed.

British pet passports have not been valid since Brexit and have been replaced with AHCs. These certificates are for 1 travel period only when travelling with your pet to Europe. Please see attached information sheets on travelling with your pet.

Not all veterinary surgeons can fill in an AHC so it is important you call the surgery at least 3 weeks prior to your travel plans to check availability and book your appointment. We cannot guarantee appointments for AHCs if only a few days’ notice has been given.

For information regarding travel requirements, please contact APHA direct travel helpline on: 0370 241 1710

Facilities

Should your pet need to stay with us during the day, we have comfortable kennel facilities with separate wards for dogs and cats to help make your pet’s stay as stress free as possible. A ward nurse carries out regular checks on our post-operative and medical patients throughout the day. If hospitalisation overnight is necessary, you may be required to take your pet to the closest 24-hour veterinary hospital (Vet 24 in Hampstead).

In-house laboratory

We have a comprehensive range of diagnostic blood tests, urine tests and microscopy available in our in-house laboratory, meaning we can get same day results and often within minutes.

Blood tests

These include haematology, biochemsitry, electrolytes, thyroid, pancreatic lipase and FIV. Some blood tests can only be performed at a specialist lab, in which case we courier samples overnight and normally receive results in the next 1-2 days. Very specialist tests can take longer, but we should be able to let you know this at the time of sampling.

How is a blood sample taken?

A nurse holds the pet in the correct position while the vet clips a small area of fur on the neck or leg, raises the vein and takes the sample. We usually perform 50-100?? blood tests per week so are very experienced in how to do these efficiently and causing the least stress to your pet.

Urine tests

Urine samples often need to be examined to check how well the kidneys are functioning, or whether there is glucose, blood, crystals or bacteria present.

How is a urine sample collected?

If a routine sample is required in dogs, we can supply a special sample pot that will help you collect a sample whilst you take your dog out for their regular walk. In cats, we can supply a special urine collection kit, which contains non absorbable litter, a pipette and sample pot, allowing you to collect a sample at home. This must be done using a clean litter tray. You can then drop the sample into us at reception for analysis.

In some cases where a sterile sample is required for culture and sensitivity testing, we may need to take a urine sample direct from the bladder. We can do this by performing cystocentesis, where a fine needle is passed directly into the bladder to extract the sample.