Our new location in Stafford

d&t vets in stafford

We have moved and improved our Stafford branch. We’ve relocated to Madford Retail Park, Stafford, ST16 2QY and have invested in new facilities to make sure you’re getting the best service!

To celebrate, we are offering a special promotion at our new site on Madford Retail Park:

  • FREE dental check-up appointment with one of our nurses
  • FREE dental goody bag with every dental check-up
  • 10% off all dental treatments.

Sarah Sheppard, clinical lead at Donnachie & Townley, will be heading up the new site. She said:

“Our new, specially-designed practice will offer three consulting rooms, two fully-equipped operating theatres, diagnostic and imaging services, along with a dental suite.

“This means we will be able to increase our surgical services and treat more complex procedures, ensuring more of our patients can enjoy ongoing care under one roof.

“It’s all part of our continuing commitment to provide excellence in everything we do, combining first class staff with the best possible facilities.”

Come and visit us today! Call 01785 213404 now.

Protect your pet’s teeth with our dental campaign

d&t vets in stafford

Looking after your pet’s pearly whites is extremely important, which is why we’re launching a dental health awareness campaign to provide help, advice and treatment along with some great offers.

Dental disease among cats, dogs and rabbits is one of the most common problems we deal with here at D&T and there are some simple steps all pet owners can take to improve their furry friend’s oral health!

To make looking after your pet’s teeth as easy as possible, we are running a special promotion at our Stafford branch.

  • FREE dental check-up appointment with one of our nurses
  • FREE dental goody bag with every dental check-up
  • 10% off all dental treatments.

What problems can bad oral health cause?

Unfortunately, dental disease is extremely common in pets due to a combination of dietary and genetic factors. Here are some of the issues a bad oral health regime can cause:

  • Without daily brushing, plaque can build up on animals’ teeth. This contains a complex film of bacteria which can be damaging to gums and roots
  • If plaque isn’t removed it can build up and become calcified. The brown substance which can be seen on teeth is tartar, which can allow more bacteria to grow if left untreated
  • Not treating plaque and tartar can eventually lead to toothache, gingivitis (gum infection) and tooth loss. All these conditions can be very painful and you may see your pet having difficulties eating
  • Seemingly harmless items which pets chew on, such as tennis balls, can wear teeth down and leave the root exposed.

If you have any questions about your pet’s teeth, just give us a call!

d&t vets rugeley

Diabetes no reason not to live life to the Max!

Max, a 14-year-old Border Terrier from Staffordshire, is living proof that a diagnosis of diabetes need not be a death sentence for a dog, even for one of mature years.

Thanks to a carefully managed diet, regular injections of insulin given by his owner, Jude Preston, and regular checks at D&T Veterinary Centre, Max continues to live a joyful and active life.

Max was first taken to our surgery at the start of the year after Jude and her partner, Graham, who live near Rugeley, noticed that he was urinating a lot.

Tests revealed he had type 1 canine diabetes, which presents itself in the same way as human diabetes. The pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, meaning a diabetic dog’s body cannot control the levels of sugar in its blood.

Diabetic dogs are also very prone to suffer from other health problems. For Max, that included cataracts that eventually led to him going blind.

However, the most important thing for confirmed animal-lovers Jude and Graham – they have two other dogs and five cats – was that Max should continue to have a first-class quality of life. And they have made that possible by adapting their lives to Max’s needs.

Jude, a lecturer in work psychology at Aston University, said: “You can manage it, you just have to think ahead.”

Max needs two injections of insulin a day, which are administered by Jude after being trained by Donnachie and Townley staff. “It is quite straightforward. The needle is very fine, the thickness of a human hair, and Max doesn’t seem to feel it.”

Max also needs a special diet and his meals have to be taken at 12-hour intervals, plus or minus 30 minutes. That 30-minute variance allows for meal times to be adjusted slowly over time so as to allow for changes in the family’s routine such as working hours or holidays.

Max has regular, day-long check-ups at Donnachie and Townley to monitor the level of sugar in his blood. “Initially, they were weekly,” said Jude, “but as his sugar level stabilised they were needed less frequently, reducing to one every four or even six months.”

However, there have been relapses. “It is important to be alert for even the smallest of changes in his condition as it could be the beginning of something major which requires the attention of a vet,” said Jude.

Although Max has gone blind, he enthusiastically chases around his large, securely fenced garden, relying on his senses of smell and hearing, and plays with his special sensory balls.

The main symptoms of diabetes in dogs are increased urination, excessive thirst, increased hunger and weight loss.

Max’s vet at D&T Veterinary Centre, Laura Hodgkiss, said: “Most pets require injections twice a day, about 12 hours apart, after a meal. Your vet will show you how to give insulin injections and carry out any urine or glucose tests.

“Many pet owners are understandably concerned about giving injections at soon, but soon get the hang of it.

“As Max has shown, with the right medication, most diabetic dogs go on to lead happy and active lives. But there are some health problems that they will be more prone to than dogs without the disease. Like Max, they often develop cataracts rapidly because the sugars affect their eyes. Surgical correction is available but many dogs cope well with loss of sight as their other senses are much more acute than those of humans.”

For more information on Pet Diabetes Month, visit www.petdiabetesmonth.co.uk.

Just keep swimming

Congratulations to our nurse Bev Hawkins and one of our clients Hayley Birkin for completing a 22 mile channel swim in 8 weeks.

Their challenge was to swim the length of the channel in 12 weeks to help raise money to help change the lives of people who have been paralysed by spinal cord injury.

Hayley has managed to raise £150 and Bev has managed to raise £335, a fantastic £485 altogether.

They would both like to take this opportunity to say a great big thank you to everyone who has kindly sponsored them to help raise money for this wonderful cause.

Well done both from us all at D&T Veterinary Centre!


Top tips for keeping your pet safe around bonfire night

Many pets show signs of anxiety in the presence of loud and repetitive noises. We’ve previously shared our guide to identifying the signs of anxiety and fear in your pet and now, with the first celebrations including fireworks just around the corner, you’ll find out top tips to ensure your pet are safe and comfortable around Bonfire Night.

Remember, these tips are just as useful for the Christmas and festive season, all the way through to the New Year.

Top tips for dogs:

1. Walk your dog early to ensure they are back indoors before the fireworks begin

2. Make sure all outside windows are doors are safely closed in case your pet tries to run away

3. Make a den so your dog has somewhere they feel safe and secure:

Den marking tips for dogs:

  • Make the den at least a couple of weeks before the expected fireworks to allow time for familiarisation
  • Choose a room your dog is used to and preferably one you will be in during firework times
  • Use bedding they already have so it has a familiar smell
  • A puppy crate is an ideal starting point if you have one
  • If you don’t have a crate, an enclosed area of the room is helpful, for example a gap between the sofa and the wall
  • Use blankets to cover the den to create an enclosed and darkened area

4. Close curtains to reduce the impact of flashes

5. Put the TV or radio on to drown out the noise of fireworks

6. Make tasty treats or toys available as a distraction

7. Don’t respond to the noise of fireworks yourself

8. Stay calm: try to ignore any reactions your dog makes to the fireworks – they may see this as a sign that you are worried about the noise yourself

9. Consider using a natural calming product available from your vets – ask our team here at D&T Veterinary Centre for more details

10. If your dog shows significant signs of anxiety, feel free to arrange a visit(link to request an appointment form) to the vets to discuss all the options to make sure they are as calm as possible.

Top tips for cats:

1. Make sure your cat is microchipped to increase the chance that you will be reunited if they do get scared and bolt

2. Make sure all outside windows, doors and catflaps are safely closed before the fireworks begin

3. Provide a litter tray in a quiet area of the house. Do this well before the days fireworks or parties are expected so they become familiar with it

4. Close curtains to reduce the impact of flashes

5. Put the TV or radio on to drown out the noise of fireworks

6. Don’t disturb your cat if they find somewhere to hide when the fireworks are going off.

7. Cats find a good hiding space comforting

8. Try to ignore any reactions your cat makes to the fireworks – they may see this as a sign that you are worried about the noise yourself

9. Consider using a natural calming product- ask our team here at D&T Veterinary Centre for more details

10. If your cat shows significant signs of anxiety, feel free to arrange a visit  with our team to the vets to discuss all the options to make sure they are as calm as possible.

If you have any questions or queries relating to your pets and anxiety please contact us on 01889 582023.

Keeping safe and sound – How to know if your pet is anxious

With autumn upon us, the nights getting darker and the temperatures dropping, we’re soon going to be moving towards celebrations that involve fireworks.

In the UK many towns and cities plan celebrations for Bonfire Night right through to New Year celebrations at the end of the calendar year. As a pet owner, it’s important to be aware of the celebrations in your area and also how to make your pets as safe and comfortable as possible.

Be aware

Fireworks and other loud repetitive noise can cause a lot of stress, particularly in dogs and sometimes in cats. To help determine whether your pet is suffering from anxiety, here our the signs to look for….

Signs of anxiety in dogs:

  • Hiding
  • Trembling
  • Abnormal vocalisation (barking or whining)
  • Panting
  • Pacing of circling the room
  • Displacement behaviour like excessive yawning or lip licking
  • Need to stay close to their owners

Signs of anxiety in cats:

  • Hiding
  • Scratching furniture
  • Urine spraying
  • Overgrooming (can lead to hair loss)
  • Pacing
  • Vocalisation

We’ll be sharing our top tips in preparation for this year’s festive season soon.

If you are unsure about your pet’s behaviour or how best to manager their anxiety,  contact us for more information.

Tiny Hamster’s eye-deal recovery from rare operation

A tiny 10-month-old pet hamster has had an eye removed in an extremely rare, life-saving operation.

Tom, a Russian Dwarf hamster, is thought to be one of only a few hamsters in the country to undergo such an operation, after he was taken to our Stafford branch by concerned owner Sarah Matthews.

Sarah had spotted a white cloud covering part of her pet’s left eye and vets at D&T Veterinary Centre carried out an examination on tiny Tom, who measures just 6cm and weighs around
30 grams.

After the condition failed to clear up following the initial prescription of eye drops, Sarah was informed the best way to proceed was for vets to remove the eye due to the clear pain and discomfort Tom was in.

Faced with the agonising decision of either putting her pet through rare, high-risk surgery to remove his eye or have him put to sleep, owner Sarah, of Stafford, had no hesitation in asking the vets to try to save the life of her beloved furry friend.

Sarah said: “I knew something wasn’t right because, although he didn’t seem in any obvious discomfort, there was a white cloud on his eye.

“The vets were really good and explained to me that without the operation he may not survive. I’ve had him since December and he’s such a little character, I didn’t think twice in agreeing to the surgery.

“I was really nervous about the whole procedure because he’s so small and the vets explained he may not survive the trauma of having the anaesthetic. We picked him up in the afternoon and by the following morning he was back to his usual self – you wouldn’t know anything had happened to him!”

Sarah Sheppard, clinical lead at D&T Veterinary Centre, carried out the intricate 25-minute procedure to remove Tom’s eye, which involved wearing magnifying goggles and needles as fine as a hair.

She said: “Tom was suffering from a luxated lens which causes an increase in pressure (glaucoma) within the eye and leads to the eye swelling. In most cases this becomes really painful. He wasn’t eating and was a bit grumpy, which is understandable given the pain he must have been in.
“We decided the quickest and easiest treatment in terms of pain relief would be to remove the eye. Otherwise, the pressure build-up would have caused the eye to bulge and probably rupture.
“It was wonderful Sarah allowed us to operate because many hamster owners can be put off by the cost and also the fact that anaesthesia is notoriously difficult with rodents.

“The operation went well – it’s actually not a difficult surgery, it was just obviously quite fiddly because Tom was so small. It all went very well, although he did require some CPR because he struggled with the anaesthesia. A couple of hours afterwards he was back to normal, so we are very happy with the outcome.

“I’ve never carried out that surgery on a hamster before and I don’t know of any other such cases in our practice, so Tom has definitely been a pioneer!”

Happy Haggis on the mend after life-saving help from his owner

D&T Vets

Jenny Cooper, our newly-qualified vet here at D&T Veterinary Centre was thrown in at the deep end when she had to perform emergency life-saving CPR on her own pet dog.

Jenny was on call at the Rugeley branch when she received a message from home to say her Border Terrier puppy Haggis was acting strangely.
By the time she got to him, the little pup was having muscle tremors and was vomiting – symptoms which were put down to him eating something mouldy he had found on the family farm.

Jenny rushed Haggis into work, by which time he had suffered a seizure and his heart stopped due to being poisoned by the fungus he had eaten.
Jenny performed successful CPR and, together with small animal clinical lead Sarah Sheppard and nurse Rebecca Cox, anaesthetised Haggis in an attempt to control the seizures.

However, he continued to seizure under anaesthetic, so the team called in the specialist referral team at Willows Veterinary Centre in Solihull.

The neurology team there supplied some powerful drugs for Haggis – who by now was too unstable to be moved – which helped stabilise him.

After 10 hours of seizures, Haggis was finally well enough to be woken up at 5am the next day and is showing no ill effects from his ordeal.

Jenny, 23, who joined the team here at D&T Veterinary Centre in the summer following her graduation from the University of Edinburgh, said: “Amazingly, Haggis appears to not have sustained any lasting damage and is back to his normal cheeky self.

“I’m extremely grateful to Sarah and Rebecca for pulling an all-nighter and helping save Haggis, and to the neurology team at Willows.

“Willows gave us advice and supplied us with some specialist drugs which undoubtedly helped save his life.”

Haggis is now recuperating at home with Jenny and her and fellow Border Terrier puppy Nessie.

D&T Vets