Rising concerns over Alabama rot

by admin on February 11th, 2016

Category: News, Tags:

Alabama rot, also known as Cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV)  is a disease caused by damage to blood vessels of the skin and kidney. It causes tiny blood clots to form in the blood vessels, which blocks them and can ultimately lead to damage of the affected tissue, causing ulceration. However, in the kidney, it can lead to kidney failure.

The cause at this time remains unknown but investigations are extensive.

Unfortunately, as the cause is currently unknown, it is very difficult to give specific advice about prevention. You may wish to consider bathing any area of your dog if they become wet or muddy on a walk; however, at this stage it is unknown if this is necessary or of any benefit.

Cases have been reported across many different counties across the UK and the general advise given by specialists has been not to avoid any particular location.  An environmental cause of the disease is considered possible, but it has yet to be proven.

Unexplained redness, sores or swelling of the skin (particularly on the paws or legs, but also the body, face, tongue or mouth) are often the first sign of this disease. It is important to remember that most of the time a skin problem will NOT be caused by  CRGV, however,  the lesions in CRGV can be difficult to distinguish from cuts, wounds, stings or bites, so it is worth being vigilant. If you are worried or in doubt about any unexplained skin issue, then it is better to seek veterinary advice.

Many dogs with skin changes caused by CRGV, will not develop kidney problems and will recover fully.

THE KEY MESSAGE FROM SPECIALISTS : although CRGV can be very serious, the number of dogs affected with skin lesions and kidney failure remains low.

Further information can be found here.

Latest news and research developments can be found here.

Information source:

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Louie’s Story…..

by admin on December 4th, 2015

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

Louie's Story....Louie came to the surgery back in May after running in the park and injuring one of his back legs. He was very lame and would not bear any weight on it. After a few days of rest and pain relief, he still wasn’t any better, so the decision was made to x-ray the leg. The radiographs showed he had luxated his tarsal bone (equivalent of the ankle) and that was the source of his discomfort. This is quite an uncommon injury, so advice was sought from an orthopaedic specialist as to what the best treatment would be.


It was decided, after referral to an orthopaedic centre, that Louie should have surgery to repair the tarsus. This involved replacing the bones back in the right position and then securing them in place with pins and an external fixator, which would then need to be kept in for six weeks.


Louie was incredibly brave throughout this whole time, but there were some post-operative complications with infection occurring around the pins in his leg. This meant him coming in regularly for wound management and dressing changes, but he was very obliging for every visit. Swabs were taken from the wounds during this time to help decide which antibiotic was best to treat the infection, as certain bacteria are more resistant than others.


His pins were finally removed in August at the orthopaedic centre and, thankfully, Louie has healed well and is continuing to recover at home.

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Spring Fever?

by admin on February 24th, 2015

Category: News, Tags:

spring feverAs the days become longer and warmer, the plants around us start emerging from their winter rest to reveal their hidden beauty. But to some pets this is more of a ‘siren’ than ‘splendour’, as pollens are one of the main triggers of allergic skin disease.
First to unveil are trees, with hazel and willow the early risers. Trees are followed closely by the spring flowers and weeds, and by late spring the grasses are pollinating too. This annual surge in pollens is linked with many seasonal allergies, and not only in humans! Many dogs and cats also suffer – but their symptoms differ somewhat. Whilst humans sneeze, exposure to these pollens can leave your pet itching and scratching.
So what can be done to alleviate these symptoms? First of all it is vital to identify exactly what is causing the problem, and the good news is that a small blood sample can tell us a lot! Knowing which pollen (allergen) is the culprit means it can be avoided or reduced. For example tree ‘culprits’ could be avoided by changing your walking route, and just keeping the lawn mown will prevent problematic grass pollens. However, it is difficult to avoid all pollens and treatment is often required.
There are several treatment options available.  So – if your pet is prone to itching it could be an allergy; come and see us for a check-up!

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Wally’s Story

by admin on January 28th, 2015

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:


Wally's Story

Wally the five year old Miniature Schnauzer was rushed into the surgery after his owner had seen him eat a piece of fish attached to a fishing hook on the beach. When he came in for examination, he still had the fishing line hanging out of his mouth, but it wasn’t immediately obvious how far down the hook had gone…

Wally was admitted for the day so he could be given a general anaesthetic to try and retrieve the hook. Once he was asleep, the vet was able to have a thorough look in Wally’s mouth and throat. The hook was not obviously stuck there, which meant it had gone further down than his oesophagus. An x-ray revealed it was lying right in the middle of Wally’s stomach; so the only way to remove it was surgically.


He was taken through to theatre and prepped for surgery. Once Wally’s stomach was opened up, the vet was able to locate the hook and slowly remove it – still with a piece of fish attached to it! It was a very large hook and could have caused a lot of damage had it torn through his oesophagus or stomach lining.

 wally 22

Wally was taken back to the kennel room to recover and, being the brave chap that he is, was back on his feet in no time. He was monitored closely for the rest of the day to ensure there were no complications from his surgery, but was able to go home with his owners later that evening.


Wally has since gone on to make a full recovery and we wish him and his owners the best of health in the future.

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Winter Pet Care Advice

by admin on December 9th, 2014

Category: News, Tags:

 Keep your pet safe and warm this winter

With the approaching cold weather and Christmas season upon us, keep your pets safe and warm this winter by following our top tips.xmas 3


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Minnie’s Story

by admin on October 22nd, 2014

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:


minnie's Story

Lovely Minnie the grey-hooded rat was brought in to see us in August with a rapidly growing lump on her tummy, which was likely to be a tumour. Pet rats are unfortunately prone to lumps and, due to their fast metabolism, they do tend to increase in size rather quickly. It was decided to book Minnie in to have the lump removed, as she was well in herself apart from the odd episode of sneezing.

She came in a few days later for her operation and was given a general anaesthetic. Once asleep, the lump was prepped for surgery. Being such a big lump, there was a risk that it may be too large to remove all of it safely, but her owner was aware of this possibility and was realistic that the surgery may not be curative. Thankfully, Mr Smith was able to remove the entire mass from Minnie’s tummy and the wound was sutured closed. She had been stable throughout her anaesthetic and came round smoothly.

The problem now was keeping Minnie from chewing her stitches! Being right under her nose, it was too tempting for her to try and nibble on them. The nurses tried to fashion a small plastic collar for her to keep her from getting to them but, unfortunately, this didn’t stay on for very long. In the end, the only deterrent was distracting her with food and talking to her.

Minnie went home later that day and has gone on to make a full recovery with her owner’s TLC!

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Autumn Firework preparation for your pets

by admin on September 18th, 2014

Category: News, Tags:

With Autumn and Winter fast approaching – now is the time to prepare.


We are supporting the ‘Remember, remember your pets this November’ campaign which aims to provide worried owners with hints and tips on how to look after their pets during the firework season and the precautions that should be taken to help pets cope with their fear of loud noises. To access the RSPCA’s advice CLICK HERE.

We can offer a wide range of advice from using synthetic copies of natural pheromones, ADAPTIL® for dogs and Feliway® for cats, which help comfort and reassure pets, to getting pets microchipped. The ‘Remember, remember your pets this November’ campaign will help both you and your pets relax and keep safe during the firework festivities.




It is estimated that approximately 60 per cent of pets become stressed and fearful during the firework season.  To make matters worse, not only are many owners unaware of how to help their pets with firework fears, veterinary professionals believe 71 per cent of owners may miss the signs that their pets are unhappy.

The Remember, Remember Your Pets This November’ campaign aims to provide pet owners with hints and tips on how to look after your pets during the firework season and the precautions that should be taken to help them cope with their fear of loud noises.

People are aware that fireworks can cause pets significant distress, but many are unclear about exactly what can be done to help them cope with their fear, It’s therefore important that you prepare your pets for Bonfire Night and discuss the issue with us in plenty of time.  After the firework season is over we can also help to treat your pet’s phobia problems so that they are less serious in the future.


You know your pet better than anybody and will often notice changes in behaviour in traumatic situations, such as Bonfire Night.  During the firework season many pets become stressed, and because they can’t tell us how they are feeling and coping, they let us know by changing their behaviours.  Here are the main signs to watch for:  


  • Trembling and shaking
  • Clinging to owners
  • Barking excessively
  • Cowering and hiding behind furniture
  • Trying to run away
  • Soiling the house
  • Pacing and panting
  • Refusing to eat


  • Cowering and hiding behind or on top of furniture
  • Trying to run away
  • Soiling the house
  • Refusing to eat

We can offer a wide range of advice from using synthetic copies of natural pheromones, ADAPTIL ® for dogs and Feliway® for cats, which help comfort and reassure pets, to getting pets microchipped. The ‘Remember, remember your pets this November’ campaign will help both you and your pets relax during the firework festivities.

ADAPTIL® is a synthetic copy of the natural canine appeasing pheromone of the nursing bitch (mother dog). This product, which can be perceived by dogs but not people, helps comfort both adult and young dogs during times of stress, such as the firework season, and provides reassurance, particularly when encountering new experiences and unknown environments.

ADAPTIL®is available as a plug-in diffuser, spray and collar formulations.

Feliway® is a synthetic copy of a natural feline facial pheromone used by cats to mark their environment as safe and secure. These pheromones, which can be perceived by cats but not people, convey a message of well-being, reassuring the cat by increasing its sense of familiarity and security. In turn, this may help reduce the cat’s fearful reactions to loud noises.

Feliway® is available as a plug in diffuser and a spray.

In the long term, your pets need to be less afraid of loud noises. With Proper treatment this is achievable, so that the next firework season is less stressful for you and your pets.

We recommend the Sounds Scary CD desensitisation programme for your pets.

The Package contains:

  • Two CD’s of Noises of Rain, Hail, Thunder, Fireworks and gunshots.
  • The complete manual with information to help you understand and treat your dog’s phobia problem.
  • The Quick reference guide, to get therapy started quickly and advise to get you through firework and thunder events as they happen.

For more information CLICK HERE.


Scullcap and Valarium

Is a veterinary herbal medicine, which relieves anxiety, nervousness and excitability in pets. It can be given one week before bonfire night and continued throughout the firework season. If your pet has become very stressed in the past, it is advised to start tablets anywhere between 10 days and 3 weeks before the stressful time, depending on how severely affected they have been.


It is a natural product proven to help cats and dogs cope in times of stress and adapt to change. Zylkène® is not a drug as such, it is a food supplement made from a protein found in milk. The active ingredient is a peptide (a simple sort of protein molecule), which is able to bind temporarily to certain receptors in the brain. This has a calming influence. It is advised to start administering from 1-2 weeks before fireworks are due to start.

No side effects have been associated with the use of Zylkène®, and it can be used long or short term. For more information CLICK HERE.

nutraAnother popular natural remedy we now offer is Nutravets product NutraCalm - a natural support to help reduce stress and anxiety. It is available for Cats and Dogs. Further information CLICK HERE.


Royal Canin’s innovative new diet, Calm, includes a combination of alpha- casezopine and L-tryptophan – safe, natural nutrients proven to provide optimum support to pets through times of stress. The diet offers a highly digestible and palatable kibble with nutrients to support skin health, urinary tract health and digestion during stressful times. It is advised to start feeding 10days prior to a stress. For further information, please contact one of the nurses.

 Medication may be useful in some cases, but only used under veterinary supervision, if you require further information please telephone the surgery.

Small Pets

If your pets live outside, partly cover cages, pens and aviaries with blankets so that one are is well soundproofed. Make sure your pet is still able to look out.

Provide lots of extra bedding for your pets so they have something to burrow in. For Further information CLICK HERE.

 For further details and advise please call 01903 782387 or visit us at the PetCare Veterinary Clinic just next to Rustington Library in Claigmar Road.



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Proud Supporters of The Royal Canin Summer of the Cat Campaign

by admin on July 24th, 2014

Category: Promotions, Tags:





Also register HERE to receive money off vouchers off your next purchase.


summer of cat


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JJ’s Story….

by admin on May 12th, 2014

Category: Pet of the Month, Tags:

JJ's Sory...JJ the Collie X will always be remembered by the staff here at PetCare for his bravery and gentle nature, and the trauma he had endured prior to being rehomed with the Brennans’. He had been locked in a garage for 5 years and starved and beaten, so bonding with people was understandably hard for him when he was finally rescued.


JJ was suffering from malnutrition and several other health problems when he was rescued.


jj bad 1He first came to see us back in 2009 with several health issues including sore and infected ears, alopecia, dermatitis, and increased thirst. He was diagnosed with demodectic mange and hypothyroidism and started on treatment. This involved special washes at the surgery on a weekly basis until the demodex mites were destroyed – they are particularly hard to get rid of as they live in deep burrows in the skin. As the mites disappeared, JJ’s fur began to slowly regrow.

JJ was extremely shy and anxious

jj goodIn 2010, he continued on tablet therapy for his hypothyroidism, but it was difficult to achieve the right dose for him and required close monitoring and regular blood samples to check his thyroid levels. With his condition, it became difficult to keep JJ’s weight steady, so his owners brought him in for weight watchers nurse clinics for advice and to start him on a prescription weight loss diet. This seemed to work, and JJ began to slowly decrease to a healthier size.

In 2011, we did not see JJ for a while as his owners moved out of the area, but at the end of the year they returned and we were pleased to see one of our favourite patients again. We continued to see JJ regularly to keep an eye on him and he was given a general anaesthetic in April to remove a lump from his stifle.

JJ looking a lot healthier with a beautiful glossy coat – he did so well, and so did his owners.

A chronic problem for JJ proved to be his ears. As he had likely been suffering with ear infections for a long time when he was rescued, there had been permanent damage and he had developed several polyps down his ear canals. He was started on anti-inflammatory pain killers and referred to Grove Lodge for their opinion on whether any of the polyps could be surgically removed. Unfortunately, it was decided that they were too deep into the ear canal and it would require major surgery to remove them. It would be too big an ordeal for JJ to go through, so they had to be managed medically.

Every now and then, his ear polyps would bleed and it was frustratingly hard to stop them. His owners became very efficient at applying dressings and ear bandages, which helped to apply pressure and cauterise the bleeding. He was kept on antibiotic ear drops, which helped to prevent infection and his owners cleaned them regularly to remove any wax.

Sadly by the beginning of this year, JJ’s ear polyps began to bleed more and more regularly. On some occasions this could be stopped by dribbling local anaesthetic onto them to stem the bleeding, but by April Mr Smith and his owners decided it wasn’t fair for JJ to carry on with his ear problems and made the very hard decision to say goodbye to him.

We will never forget how brave and gentle JJ was and how dedicated his owners were to giving him a new and happy life from the horrible start he had been given.

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Springtime Safety for pet owners

by admin on April 30th, 2014

Category: News, Tags:

Springtime Safety Tips For Pet Owners



Spring time is upon us and bright sunny days mean that owners are out and about with their pets more -as a result they can be more at risk from accidents and illnesses.


Spring Plants and Flowers

Watch out for poisonous plants. Species common at this time of year include lilies, daffodils, spring bulbs and azaleas. If you notice any signs of poisoning such as excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, appearing ‘drunk’ or even collapsing – contact us immediately.



The Garden

Pets love spending time in the garden so make sure your garden is safe. Take care if you use pellets, pesticides or other chemicals. Slug and snail pellets (Metaldehyde) is a common poison we see in dogs, and only small amounts of pellets can cause significant poisoning.


Wasp and Bee stings

If you think your pet may have been stung, it is best to seek veterinary attention at the earliest convenience. If your pet is stung in or near the mouth or neck, this could be considered an emergency. Some pets can be allergic to stings, resulting is possible swellings, distress and breathing difficulties.



To keep those bugs at bay, ensure your pets are kept up to date with their vaccinations and preventative healthcare treatments.



Just like people, dogs and cats can develop allergies. Allergic signs in pets normally appear as itchy skin, ear problems, accompanied by hair loss or inflamed skin. Some pets may even change their behaviour due to increased irritation. Some can suffer from respiratory irritation and /or runny eyes.



Summer Parties

Be aware of how human foods can affect your pets, and make sure your guests know the rules too; ensure party food is kept out of paws reach!. If you are having BBQ’s, make sure pets are kept at a safe distance. Kebab skewers, alcohol, corn on the cob and bones, to name a few, are particularly dangerous BBQ hazards for pets.


If you are letting your dog off the lead, make sure you are in a safe environment. Ensure your dog is well-trained (especially the recall, wait and stop commands), under control and insight at all times.

Ensure your dog is wearing a collar and identification and is micro-chipped. Even the best trained dogs can get spooked and run off. If your pet is properly identified this will ensure you are reunited with your pet faster should you become separated.

Be careful not to overdo it. Increase the length of your walks gradually and build your pets fitness gradually. Avoid exercising in the heat of the day and ensure your pet has access to shade and plenty of fresh water. Avoid heat stroke and know the signs.

Ensure your pets toys are safe to play with, we still see far too many stick injuries in our dogs, so throwing sticks should be avoided. A safe alternative are SafeStix.

Follow our news and information about special seasonal offers via Facebook

Many seasonal offers can be found on our online shop - throughout May 20% off all Kong Products and Toys.

We wish you and your pets a safe and happy summer.




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