Cat charities estimate 4.3m kittens born in UK this year!

kittens augIt’s kitten season again and we have had a few babies so far this summer bought into the practice after being found outside alone. It is so important to neuter your cats especially at this time of year when the females are in season and the males are out an about all the time. A female cat can give birth to around 5 kittens each time she has a litter and these kittens will next year also have kittens of their own if they are not spayed and castrated.

Most vets keep the cost of their neutering to a minimum to encourage owners to spay and castrate, there is also some help available through charities towards the cost if you are on benefits; this is not usually through the vets so you would need to contact them directly.

The procedure for both males and females is very quick; they are usually in and out of the vets on the same day. For males the procedure involves removing both of the testicles and he doesn’t tend to need stitches so after being kept in for a couple of days, he will usually be back to normal very quickly. For females the surgery is slightly more invasive and involves removing the uterus and ovaries, this is done by a small incision in the flank (side) of the cat but some vets prefer to make their incision on the underside of the abdomen. A small amount of fur clipped around where the incision will be made and some stitches will be in place, these are usually dissolvable but some vets still use non dissolvable stitches; these will then need to be removed in about 10 days. The females need to be kept indoors ideally until her stitches are removed and her exercise will need to restricted for a few days too.

Cats recover very well from these procedures and are usually much happier and healthier cats afterwards. For more information please contact your veterinary practice.


Stray Dogs

The law came into force in April 2016 that all dogs from the age of 8 weeks of age must be microchipped and the owner’s details must be up to date on the database that holds the microchip number for the dog. Ideally the breeder of the dog should be arranging to have their litter microchipped before homing them and their details should be the first details added to the microchip. The new owner will then add their details to the microchip as the ‘keeper’ of the dog.
We are still seeing a lot of dogs who are not chipped and having a few dogs handed into us as strays; without a microchip it can sometimes be hard to quickly trace their owners. When a stray dog is presented to our surgery we have a duty of care to that dog and we do our best to try and find the owners quickly. We feel that keeping the dog under our care is best in most circumstances as letting the dog leave again with a member of the public has in the past caused issues. If the owner of the dog comes to the surgery and we have let their pet go then rightly they will question why this was the case. Although it is lovely when people do want to take stray dogs home with them, they may not be easy to contact when the owners come forward, the dog may escape from their homes or something could happen to that dog accidently while in their care and ultimately if this happened the owners would be unhappy that we had let that dog leave the premises. If the dog is kept at the surgery for collection our staff can then microchip the dog when the owners come forward to avoid this happening again. We do understand that when a member of the public finds a stray dog they may be unhappy about leaving the dog at the surgery but we do feel this is the best for the dog and for the owner, if the owner doesn’t come forward and the person who presented the dog to the surgery wanted to take the dog home then we hand their details over to the dog warden and they are usually happy to arrange this. They have in the past carried out house visits so this can happen; this has to be a decision made by our local authorities and not by us as vets.
To avoid all this from happening and to avoid the possibility of a fine up to £500, please microchip your dogs!