Victims of the winter weather

LIKE many other businesses, our staff seem to have been dropping like flies with the ‘winter vomiting’ bug.

The situation is made all the more difficult because all of our surgeries are extremely busy at the moment with many cases of what I would swear was much the same bug affecting dogs.

Since most viruses are host-specific and the canine Norovirus is a different strain to the human Norovirus, I very much doubt it’s being transferred between us and them but it is nonetheless quite a coincidence.

I’m afraid that poor hygiene is the reason for the majority of these diseases beings transmitted between dogs. Sadly, this is a far less easy problem to solve in them than it is in us.

This time of year usually brings with it some seasonal cases and the past couple of weeks have been no different. I’ve repaired two fractures in dogs that have slipped on the ice and one cat which slipped off a shed roof.

The latter was quite a challenge, being a tibia that had ended up in about six pieces. I’m pleased to report that all are healing well so far.

Cold wet weather always brings out aches and pains in dogs and cats in much the same way as it does in us, so we always find that this time of year brings more new arthritis cases than any other.

Fortunately, the treatments that are now available are better than they ever have been and with acupuncturist Emma Holt and hydrotherapist Nikki Wilson we have a fantastic team of professionals here to help with this very common affliction of older animals. If your dog or cat is starting to look a bit stiff in the mornings, it’s well worth giving us a call.

On a particularly seasonal note, there was recently a nasty outbreak of redworms in a local group of reindeer. I am pleased to report that thanks to a quick diagnosis (thanks largely to a not especially happy nurse performing a faecal examination here in our Whorral Bank lab), treatment was administered quickly and all were set to be fit and well for the Christmas and New Year period.

Best wishes to all for 2013.

CHRIS GREEN, Director and Senior Vet