On January 1st this year, as the result of Brexit, the way in which pet cats, dogs and ferrets can travel to the EU changed. The information/advice we as official veterinarians (OVs) have been given has been somewhat evolving. As we have already indicated UK issued PET passports can no longer be used to take your pet to the EU, and PET listed countries, although it can be used to re-enter the UK. EU issued PET passports can still be used to travel to and from the UK as well as within Europe. It is important to note that for pets travelling with an EU PET passport, for the passport to remain valid, any rabies vaccinations given after 30th December 2020 MUST be given by an EU vet, UK vets are no longer authorised to certify a rabies vaccination within an EU issued PET passport. For owners wishing to travel with their pet dog, cat or ferret to the EU or NI, who do not have a EU PET passport, they must acquire an Animal Health Certificate (AHC), which we are able to issue at Holmer. An AHC is valid for only one journey to, around and back from the EU. For further information on pet travel please see out Pet Travel advice page. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further advice on travelling with your pet.
A neighbouring practice has sadly seen a case of Alabama Rot, confirmed by the specialists at Anderson Moores veterinary specialists. We understand the affected dog had been exercised in the fields behind the crematorium in Hereford. The condition, Alabama Rot, occurs very sporadically, this time of year, November- May, and in wetter weather has historically been when cases have presented in our area. Sadly whilst Alabama Rot is an uncommon disease, for the animals it affects, it is usually fatal. Unfortunately it's cause is still unknown so recommended prevention strategies, such as avoiding suspect affected areas and washing your dog down after a walk, are only sensible precautions to help try and reduce the risk of exposure. In our Autumn 2019 newsletter we discussed the condition in more detail but the main symptoms to look out for are ulcerating lesions/sores particularly on the lower limbs, abdomen and head. Affected animals typically have a temperature and quickly become unwell. If you are concerned your dog may be showing signs of the disease please call the surgery as soon as possible to get your dog seen. If you are able to bring a urine sample from your dog it will help with the assessment. Additional information about the distribution of cases of Alabama Rot in the UK is available at Vets4Pets Stop Alabama Rot website.
It has been over 17 years since we had our first canine blood donor, Lottie, at Holmer Vet Surgery. Since then we have been fortunate to have a number of owners generously offer for us to use their dogs as donors. Once again some of the donors on our list are now getting to an age where they must be retired from donating, so we are literally looking for new young blood. Dogs who are suitable to donate are large breed adult dogs (27Kg or more, healthy weight), they must be in good health, fully vaccinated, have recieved regular antiparasitic treatment, they must have a calm temperament, and must not have travelled outside the UK. It is also important that their owners are, for the most part, readily available and willing to be contacted, day or night, as and when their dog is needed. If you think your dog would be a suitable donor, based on these criteria, please contact the surgery to arrange to speak to Rachel the vet. Potential donor dogs will receive a free vet check and blood typing. Blood donors save lives and we thank all our past and future canine donors who have made, and are yet to make, a huge difference to the lives of others.
In response to concerns raised about coronavirus infecting farmed mink, first reported in the Netherlands, The Animal Plant & Health Agency (APHA) have issued guidance to individuals owning (or working with ferrets), a species closely related to mink. Ferrets are susceptible to COVID-19 virus infection from their
human contacts and potentially they may be able to pass it on to uninfected people. Akin to humans not all ferrets infected with Covid show symptoms, in those that do symptoms are usually mild and may include a fever, loss of appetite, respiratory and gastrointestinal signs. Owners are urged to seek veterinary attention if their ferret falls ill, please ensure you advise your vet if you know your ferret is coming from a Covid positive household. Owners of ferrets are advised that if they have Covid symptoms to minimise contact with their pet to reduce the risk of disease transmission. It is thought ferrets may carry Covid for longer than humans so if anyone in your household/in-contact with your ferret, or the ferret themselves, tests positive for Coronavirus (or has symptoms) the ferret should be isolated for at least 3 weeks. To view the full APHA document visit the gov.uk webpage.
As 2020 draws to a close it is year we will never forget. This Christmas will be like no other but we hope that, despite all of the restrictions in place, everyone can find some joy during this festive season. May the New Year bring hope, health and happiness to us all.
Best Wishes from The Holmer Vet Team
Christmas Opening Times:
Monday 21st December consulting 9am-4pm Tuesday 22nd December consulting 9am-4pm Wednesday 23rd December consulting 9am-4pm Thursday 24th December consulting 9am-4pm Christmas Day, Closed -Emergencies only* Boxing Day Closed -Emergencies only* Sunday 27th December Closed Emergencies only* Bank Holiday Monday 28th Dec. Closed- Emergencies only* Tuesday 29th December consulting 9am-4pm Wednesday 30th December consulting 9am-4pm Thursday 31st December consulting 9am-4pm Friday 1st January Closed- Emergencies only* Saturday 2nd January consulting 9am-4pm Sunday 3rd January Closed- Emergencies only*
*Priority surgeries will be held for sick patients on Emergency only days. If you are concerned your pet is unwell over the Christmas period please call to speak to one of our vets who will be happy to advise you and/or arrange to see your pet as appropriate.