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General Health

First Aid Kit is designed to aid treatment of injuries until veterinary treatment can be gained.

Below is a photograph of a basic Dog First Aid Kit.

As you can see you would be able to dress some injuries using the gloves, wound cleansing wipes, swabs and bandages to help prevent further bleeding and contamination of wounds.

Flush out eyes in cases of unwanted objects or substances using the gloves and eyewash.

Remove minor foreign objects with the forceps.

Warm up your dog using the foil blanket.

All used equipment should be placed in the biohazard bag and can be disposed of through your veterinary surgery.

Always remember to replace any used items as soon as possible as you never know when you will need your First Aid Kit


Common Summer poisons and food dangers for dogs

Xylitol - is an artificial sweetener most commonly found in sugar free chewing gum, nicotine replacement gum and sweets. Ingestion causes hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels). Clinical signs can be vomiting, increased heart rate, unsteadiness, fits, coma. In severe cases permanent brain/ nerve damage can occur from prolonged seizures and or liver failure.

Slug and snail pellets - Metaldehyde based slug pellets are the most dangerous as even very small quantities ingested can cause significant poisoning. Clinical signs can be incoordination, muscle spasms, muscle rigidity, twitching, tremors and seizures, immediate veterinary attention must be sought.

Toad toxicity - Toads are spawning between June and August therefore this is the most common time to encounter them especially around dawn and dusk. Clinical signs that a dog has licked or eaten one are hyper salivation, frothing, foaming, oral pain, vomiting, unsteadiness, increased temperature and collapse. If you think your dog has come into contact with a toad thoroughly wash out their mouth and then contact your vet.

Some All Year Round poisons and food dangers for dogs

Human non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - can be toxic to dogs as they can cause severe stomach ulceration/perforation and/or acute liver/kidney failure. The effects of these medications such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, diclofenac, aspirin can vary enormously dependant on amount ingested, breed, size, age of dog. Always consult your vet if you are contemplating giving any of these to your dog as sometimes these medication can cause irreversible damage and be fatal.

Animal NSAIDs - Most commonly occurs when your pet finds the palatability of these medication to much to resist or human error when administering, resulting in an overdose. As with the human NSAIDs they can cause severe stomach ulceration/perforation and/or acute liver/kidney failure and can also cause irreversible damage and be fatal. Veterinary treatment must be sort immediately.

Mushrooms - signs vary dependant of which and how many mushrooms have been ingested. Clinical signs are vomiting and diarrhoea and can lead to severe digestive upset, neurological issues and liver disease.

Chocolate - contains the stimulant theobromine, this is toxic to dogs. Clinical signs are dependent on the quantity and type of chocolate ingested (the richer the chocolate the more theobromine). They are increased reflex responses, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, unsteadiness, cardiac issues. Always seek veterinary treatment asap.

If you think your dog has ingested something that could be potentially poisonous to them phone your vet immediately. The crucial thing with all poisons is getting treatment as soon as possible. Ideally if you can get your dog to the vets within an hour of ingesting the potential poison, dependant on what it is vets can medically induce vomiting. This will then drastically reduce the amount of the substance in the stomach lessening the absorption of the substance into the body and lessening the effects of the substance on the internal organs. This being said even if the time period is longer take your dog to the vets as soon as possible for treatment. Commonly blood sample will be taken at this time and repeated later to check organ function as it can take 24-48hrs sometimes longer for these effects to show. Further treatments can include intravenous fluids to flush the toxins from the body and organs, gastro-protectants, medication to reduce the absorption of the substance by the body, and supportive therapy.

Many poisoning cases recover with no lasting effects but all have the potential to be fatal.


General Health and disease prevention in dogs


General care for our dogs:

A good quality diet is essential in helping to maintain a healthy happy dog.

Large Breed Diets

- Suitable for puppies and dogs making an adult body weight of more than 25kgs.

- Should contain glucosamine and chondrotin essential for bone and joint support.

- Large dogs digestive tracts make up 4.3% less off their total body weight compared to small dogs. As their digestive tract is short it gives the body less time to absorb essential nutrients and vitamins from the diet therefore they need energy dense easily digestible diets.

- We must always take into account what life stage our dog is at.

 Puppies require a moderate energy supply to maintain a steady growth pattern allowing bones to develop fully in a controlled manner, it can take up until the age of 2 years in large dogs to reach skeletal maturity

 Adult dogs should be fed taking into account their activity levels, remember all dogs like us humans are very individual as far as metabolisms are concerned. Feeding guides on bags are just that, a guide you can feed slightly more or less than the recommended amount dependant on your dog. Although if you are feeding more than 25% lower than the recommended amount your dog can become deficient in essential vitamins and minerals so a dietary change may be called for.

 Dogs over 8 years old and neutered dogs generally require a less calorific diet as with age they become less energetic ( possible not true with dobes!) and neutering slow the metabolism therefore making them susceptible to weight gain.



Puppies when born are protected from infections from their mother’s milk as long as she has been fully vaccinated, this only lasts a few weeks which is why we generally start vaccinations at around 8 weeks of age. This vaccine needs repeated in 2-4 weeks’ time (dependant on which vaccine is used) and a week after the 2nd vaccination the puppy should be protected against parvovirus, distemper virus, leptospirosis and infectious canine hepatitis. In addition you can also vaccinate against kennel cough, all vaccines need repeated annually to maintain protection. Vaccinating your dog is the best chance you can give your dog of not contracting these sometimes fatal diseases but no vaccine is 100%.



Should be done monthly up until the age of 6 months and every 6 months thereafter as a general rule, again it can be product dependant.

A wormer preparation can only deal with any worms present they cannot prevent worm infestation. A worm lifecycle is 3 weeks so technically if your dog scavenges excessively you can worm your dog and they can have worms again 4 weeks later, if this happens you will have to worm them monthly.

Flea and tick prevention

Flea and tick prevention which are in the form of a vial are generally for use monthly, check the product you are using for directions. When applying these products they are to be applied on the back of the neck to prevent the animal licking as they are not designed to be ingested, in saying that sometimes dependant on the size of your dog you are advised to apply in 2 or 3 areas so is best done before heading out on a walk for distraction. It is best not to get the dog excessively wet within the first few days after application as this will reduce the effects of the active ingredients. You also get collars and tablets for flea and tick prevention.



As of spring 2016 all dogs must be microchipped.

It is very simple to chip a dog it is just like an injection but it implants a chip the size of a grain of rice into the muscle between the shoulder blades.

Occasionally microchips can migrate around to the side or front of the chest but as long as they still scan that's fine.

If they stop working ie the scanner can't pick them up, whoever originally put in the chip generally will implant another for free and you have the new chip registered to your dog.

If a dog is ever found or handed in the first thing should be to scan the dog, this then brings up the long number. You then phone the pet log database quote the number and they should be able to bring up the details of the owner, therefore you must update all addresses and telephone numbers immediately. It is so frustrating to have a chipped animal but the contact details are old and no longer available as it makes it very hard to reunite them with their owner again.

Kate Thain RVN