General Advice

Microchipping

Imagine how you’d feel if your cat failed to come home one evening or your dog ran away during a walk. Hundreds of pets stray or become lost every year, meaning they can end up at pounds, police stations or animal rescue homes.

To have the best chance of being reunited with your pet, we strongly recommend having them fitted with a microchip. This is a tiny device which is injected under the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades.

The microchip is programmed with a unique identification number which is recorded on a central database, along with your name and contact details. The chip is read using a handheld scanner, something which is commonly available at vets, police stations and rescue centres. It means people who find your pet can help them find their way home to you.

The procedure for having a chip fitted to your pet is quick and easy – we can do it during one of our standard consultations – and this a simple process and can give you peace of mind for your pet’s lifetime. Just make sure you keep your contact details up-to-date on the central database!

If you own a dog, having them microchipped became a legal requirement from 2016 and without one you could face a £500 fine. To find out more or to make an appointment, contact us today

Neutering

Many of our customers choose to have their pets neutered, and it is one of our most frequently performed operations. Neutering involves the removal of your pet’s sex organs, leaving them infertile.

Most people know that neutering prevents your pet having unwanted offspring, but there are other advantages for both owner and pet. Male animals which are not neutered are more likely to roam show aggression, which can result in fighting. Neutering also reduces unwanted behaviour such as urine marking and mounting.

Both male and female pets can enjoy better health because they’ve been neutered. Dogs which have the procedure are far less likely to develop cancers of the testicles or prostate. Bitches are protected from a potentially fatal infection in the uterus and are far less likely to develop mammary tumours if neutered before 2 years of age.

“Neutering is considered by some as a way of treating aggression in male dogs but we recommend properly exploring the cause of their behaviour first. If an animal is lashing out because it is afraid or intimidated, neutering may make the problem worse. One of our specialist animal behaviour sessions could be the answer.”

Rob Kilby Vet

The operation can be carried out once cats or dogs are 6 months old. It’s performed under a general anaesthetic so your pet is asleep for the operation and feels no pain, plus we give you plenty of advice on how to care for them while they recover. Most pets are back on their feet within a day or two.

Cats and dogs are not the only animals which can be neutered. Rabbits and Guinea Pigs also benefit from the procedure, particularly if a group of them is living together. As well as preventing unwanted offspring, it reduces the likelihood of fighting.

Diet & Weight Management

Sadly obesity is a major problem in British pets, usually due to over-feeding and under-exercising. Giving your pet too many treats or too much human food is not the kindness you may think, but quite the opposite.

Just as being chronically overweight is bad for people, it can lead to serious health problems for our pets, such as arthritis, diabetes and liver disease. An obese pet finds it harder to exercise, meaning it is less and less likely to be able to get back into shape. It also has a poorer quality of life and may die younger than it should.

If you think your pet may be overweight, we’re here to help. Our nurses run free weight loss clinics where they will weigh and assess your pet and, if necessary, advise on a weight loss program.

We have various specialised diets which can be used to reduce your pet’s calorie intake but still do plenty to help them feel full up, preventing them from feeling hungry or scavenging for food elsewhere. Our nurses can also advise on healthy treats and how to maintain a good diet over the long term.  There is also a new diet which can alter your dogs’ metabolism to encourage fat burning.

Ideally you should never let your pet get overweight in the first place. We can advise all pet owners on how to identify the right, quality diet for their animals. We are fans of the Virbac Hyper Premium range which offers different foods for different stages of your pet’s life.

We also stock specialist diets for pets with delicate digestion or those that may not get much exercise, such as house cats. There is also an extensive range of prescription veterinary diets which can help control conditions such as liver and kidney disease, bladder stones and allergies. These diets cost little more than ordinary food but can make a huge difference to your pet’s quality of life.

To take advantage of our nurses’ expert advice or to arrange a free weight loss appointment, contact us today

Flea, tick & worm treatment

Fleas, ticks and worms are the most common parasites our pets are likely to suffer from. Infestations that get out of hand can cause extreme suffering for your pet and may blight your home and family, but regular preventative treatments mean this is easily avoided.  To help you achieve this we now offer a free text or email reminder service. These will be sent once you have bought products at the practice. Please ensure the mobile and email details we hold for you are correct when you next visit.

We sell Multi-action, prescription strength treatments which are only available from veterinary practices. While cheaper treatments are available from some shops and supermarkets they are often far less effective and can leave you and your pet vulnerable to an infestation.

Fleas:

An adult flea feeds by sucking blood from your pet. Each one lays around 50 eggs a day, which may stay in your pet’s fur or fall off into your home. Given the right warm conditions, such as are provided by central heating, they can hatch into fleas in just a few short weeks and start the cycle again.

Aside from making your pet uncomfortably itchy, severe flea infestations can make pets weak and ill because so much blood is being taken. Fleas also carry germs and can transmit worms, putting the health of everyone in your family at risk.

Spotting your pet has fleas can be tricky. There are often no symptoms to start with and by the time the problem is obvious it will be harder to treat. The best way to deal with fleas is to never let them take hold by using a preventative treatment every month.

The best type of flea treatment is Broadline for cats or Nexgard for dogs, which is easily applied to your pet in the form of a few drops on the back of their neck or as a tasty tablet, respectivley.  These are both also effective against ticks. The amount you need depends on your pet’s weight – we can help you work out how much you need if you’re not sure. The treatment kills any adult fleas which are on your pet and remains active for a month, and any ticks that try to attach themselves will also die.

Ticks:

Ticks are very prevalent in our area and we strongly advise treating any pet that goes out and about, every month all year round.  We use the most up to date prescription only products to ensure these blood sucking parasites do not cause your pet any harm.  Ticks can carry some unpleasant blood borne diseases such as Lyme Disease which can affect them or you.  Even just the initial bite from a tick can cause a painful or infected swelling.  It is important to check your pet for ticks daily especially when they come in from being outside.  We recommend you have a special Tick Hook at home in case one of these nasty creatures manages to attach itself to your pet.

Worms:

Tapeworms, roundworms and lungworms can all set up home in your animal’s body, taking nutrients from them while producing hundreds of eggs. As the worms grow and multiply, your pet may suffer from vomiting, diarrhoea or other even more unpleasant effects and will be hungry despite eating more food than usual.

Some of the eggs are passed out into the environment where they can infect other animals and, of course, humans. Shockingly, worms can cause blindness and problems with abdominal organs in people, and children in particular are at risk.

Thankfully there are plenty of treatment options, either in the form of tablets or drops on your pet’s skin. Kittens and puppies both need monthly treatments for the first 6 months of their lives and can then be kept worm free with treatments every one to three months.

To help spread the cost of regular parasite treatment and make sure you never miss when it's due, why not join our Healthy Pet Scheme

Dental Health

The dental needs of your pets are very similar to your own. Without regular brushing and the right type of diet, your animals will also suffer from bad breath, the build-up of tartar and, eventually, serious infection.

Treatments we offer range from the simple de-scaling and polishing of teeth to extensive work involving a number of tooth extractions. Any dental work needs your pet to be treated while under a general anaesthetic so it’s well worth helping your pets keep their mouths healthy for as long as possible.

“Since it’s generally older pets which need dental work, we often advise they have a blood sample taken to check they’ll be able to tolerate the general anaesthetic. The liver and kidneys process the drugs used in anaesthesia so we check how well they’re working to assess the risk to your pet..”

Tim Wilson, Vet

Dental chews are popular treats with many pets, and hide chews and even some chew toys can all help keep tartar away by rubbing against the teeth and gums. Special oral gels and varieties of pet toothpaste are also available to help keep pets’ teeth healthy. Don’t be tempted to use human toothpaste – the fluoride is toxic if swallowed.

We’ll keep an eye on your pet’s teeth whenever they come in for appointments but you should also look out for warning signs they may have dental disease. Clues include your pet having bad breath, demonstrating difficulty when eating, reducing the amount they groom and even pawing at their mouth.

Members of our Healthy Pet Scheme are eligable for 15% on routine dental work!

Pet Activity & Joint Care

Our pets are part of our family and we like to see them being busy and active. But as they get older some activities can become more challenging, especially if they’re beginning to suffer from stiffness in their joints and early stage arthritis. It’s estimated a fifth of all dogs and cats are affected by a joint problem of some sort, and as many as 95% of cats have arthritis in their teenage years.

For dogs, daily activities such as going for walks, climbing stairs and jumping in and out of the car can become a problem. Cats can have trouble jumping up on to surfaces, using the litter tray or even just grooming.

The first symptoms of a joint problem are often stiffness or lameness, depending on where is worst affected. The joints may have deteriorated through usual wear and tear or there could be an injury or growth abnormality.

If one of your pets is getting old or is it starting to move stiffly, please come to us for advice. We can help you keep your pet active for as long as possible and effectively manage joint problems.

To avoid joint stiffness and arthritis, all pets should have plenty of regular exercise and be kept at a healthy weight. Sometimes just providing the right, warm, supportive bed can help care for joints as pets’ age.

Once a pet is displaying symptoms we’ll carry out a thorough examination and diagnosis, which may include tests such as x-rays and blood tests. There are some daily supplements we may recommend to help promote joint health which can be used alongside prescription medicines. This includes the best quality Glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements and also an innovative product called Undenatured Collagen II which targets unique immunological pathways to reduce inflammation.

There is then a range of anti-inflammatory drugs we can prescribe for more advanced cases, or we may suggest a surgical option.

Some specific breeds of dog, including Labradors, German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers, are prone to a joint problem called hip dysplasia. There is a scheme run by the British Veterinary Association to try to reduce the recurrence of this in pedigree breeds called the HIP scoring scheme

Hip Dysplasia is a painful and debilitating condition which can affect many breeds of dog. The main breeds found with this problem are Labradors, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and some other heavily built dogs.

Dog’s hips are subject to a lot of powerful forces as they run, jump and twist and the hip joint has evolved to be an almost perfect anatomical structure which can transfer forces very efficiently. It features large well-lubricated surfaces surrounded by tough fibrous attachments to allow efficient pain-free action.

Poor development and subsequent poor conformation of the hips results in abnormal hip action leading to damage to cartilage and increased wear and tear. This causes inflammation of the joint and its surrounding fibrous tissues which in turn leads to arthritis.

The British Veterinary Association has been running a hip dysplasia scoring scheme for over 30 years. This scheme attempts to quantify the degree of severity of the condition in each dog. Thus only dogs with good hip conformation are used for breeding and the incidence of the disease should be gradually reduced.

Hip scoring is done by taking a carefully positioned x-ray of your dog’s hips which allows certain standard measurements to be made. From the measurements the Hip Scoring panel is able to arrive at an overall score for the dog. This should be as low as possible, however if it is at or below the breed average then it is acceptable to breed from the dog.

To do this your dog will need to be admitted for the day and will have a general anesthetic. The procedure is relatively straightforward and is totally non-invasive and your dog will go home the same day. The X-rays are sent to the BVA and results take a few weeks to come back. The BVA charge a separate fee for the scoring which must be sent with the x-ray. We can advise you of this fee if you choose to have your dog hip scored.

For further information or to discuss Hip Scoring with a vet please call us during normal working hours.

Remember, the sooner we see a pet which is starting to have joint problems, the more we can do to help them. You can make an appointment by getting in contact today

Practice information

Alexandra Vets

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  • Mon
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Tue
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Wed
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Thu
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Fri
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Sat
    11:00am - 1:30pm
  • Sun
    Closed

Emergency Details

Please call:

01275 847400
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Find us here:

20-24 Alexandra Road Clevedon Somerset BS21 7QH
get directions with Google Maps
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Please call this number for emergencies:

01275 847400

Hillyfields Vets

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  • Mon
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Tue
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Wed
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Thu
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Fri
    8:30am - 6:00pm
  • Sat
    8:30am - 11:00am
  • Sun
    Closed

Emergency Details

Please call:

01934 622022
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Find us here:

Hillyfields Way Winscombe Somerset BS25 1AE
get directions with Google Maps
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Please call this number for emergencies:

01934 622022