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What Does Brexit Mean For Travel with your Dog or Cat?

What does Brexit mean for pet travel?

Quite a lot…. so if you plan to travel with your pet out of the UK to anywhere in the world (and/or back again), after 29th March 2019, then you need to consider the implications of a (potential) no-deal Brexit. The government has just published advice regarding what might happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This blog is about the advice itself and also the practical advice to avoid any worst-case scenarios. International travel with pets can be very stressful, without adding the uncertainty of Brexit.

Defra is responsible for pet travel to both the EU and the rest of the world from the UK. Pet travel to the EU is currently controlled by EU law, under the assumption that the UK is an EU country. Pet travel from non-EU countries to the UK and the EU is governed by a set of rules that are different for ‘listed’ and ‘non-listed’ countries.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, it is likely that the UK will immediately become a ‘non-listed’ country for the purposes of pet travel, if only because there will be no ‘deal’ on the movement of pets across the channel or to the Republic of Ireland. The UK is currently trying to negotiate to become a listed country on the day we leave the EU, but that may not happen, especially in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

So what would it mean for pet travel between the EU and the UK if the UK were to become an unlisted country?

 Pet Travel to the EU from the UK after a no-deal Brexit:

  • pet passports may become invalid for this journey
  • owners travelling with their pets to the EU would almost certainly require a 3rd country certificate which would need to be issued each time they travel, both in English and in the language of the country to which they are travelling. This certificate is valid for 10 days after the completion of the certificate by an Official Veterinarian for travel from the UK to the EU and then for 4 months for travel within the EU. It can be filled in in English.
  • As now, pets would need first a microchip, then a rabies vaccination.
  • However, they would almost certainly require a rabies blood test, at least 30 days after the rabies vaccination. Most rabies vaccinations recommend a course of two rabies vaccinations (2-3 weeks apart) before doing the blood test, so the 30 days starts from the date of the second rabies vaccination. The Rabies Blood Test would have to be sent to an EU approved laboratory. It is not clear whether UK laboratories currently approved will maintain their approval after departure from the EU.
  • Pets would not be able to travel to the EU until 3 months after the date of the blood test. This 3-month wait does not apply if the blood test is taken and documented within the EU, so this 3-month wait likely applies only if the blood test is taken (and documented) in the UK after March 29th. This would mean at least a 4 month wait from the start of preparation until your pet is ready for travel, possibly longer if a full Rabies vaccination course is required (ie. with dogs who have never had a rabies vaccination before).
  • Rabies vaccination would need to be maintained within the validity date or else the blood test would need to be repeated.
  • When entering Finland, Sweden, Malta or Norway, pets would need to be treated for Tapeworm 24-120 hours before the scheduled time of entry (this is not currently required if travelling directly).
  • Pets would only be able to enter the EU through a traveller’s port of entry designated by member states.

The UK is campaigning for the UK to become a listed country immediately after Brexit, in which case either (1) the same rules as now will apply with full use of the pet passport in both directions or (2) although the rabies blood test would not be required, a separate third country certificate would be needed for travel to the EU each time you travel.

Pet Travel from the EU to the UK

It appears that the same rules as currently apply will continue to apply. These are:

  • a pet passport
  • microchip and rabies vaccination
  • 3 week wait after the rabies vaccination
  • tapeworm treatment 24-120 hours before the scheduled time of entry to the UK (dogs only)
  • entry through the UK’s travellers’ ports of entry.

It is likely that any entry to the UK immediately after a no-deal Brexit may be somewhat chaotic due to the increased work-load at any UK border.

Pet Travel to the UK from the EU In the Longer Term

This is completely open at the moment, but it is likely that the UK will tighten up the rules to reduce the risks of importing disease. Changes may include

  • a return for the need for tick treatment before entering the UK (this is currently recommended, but doesn’t need to be certified by a vet)
  • the window for tapeworm treatment may be shortened from the current window of 1-5 days to 24-48 hours prior to re-entry and re-introduction for cats.
  • a possible return for the need for rabies blood testing
  • further testing for other infectious diseases may be introduced for dogs from countries where those diseases are endemic
  • stricter animal welfare requirements
  • a possible increase in the minimum age of import

(this list is not exhaustive)

Our Recommendations if you plan to travel to or from the EU with your pet after Brexit

As you can see, the rules may be considerably tighter than they are at the moment. If you plan to travel with your pet to the EU after March 29, it would be worth considering either moving the date forward, so that you travel before the UK leaves the EU, or else arranging for your pet to have a blood test well in advance of the Brexit date, in line with the EU rules for non-listed countries. Rabies blood tests generally take a week or two to get the results as they are not run daily, but there may be delays due to high demand, so be aware. If you plan to return to the UK after the Brexit date, it may be worth waiting until the rules for return become clear, and we would recommend making alternative plans just in case, such as pet care in the UK in the case that travel with pets becomes very difficult. Note that demand for pet sitters will probably become more acute than usual during the period immediately after Brexit, which coincides with the Easter school holidays. We would generally not recommend making plans to enter the UK from the EU with pets immediately after the Brexit date, especially if a no-deal Brexit becomes likely.

If a deal is reached, then the transition period will apply, so it is likely in that scenario that the current rules will apply throughout the transition period in both directions. The longer-term rules depend on any deal between the UK and the EU.

Pet Travel from the UK to Non-EU Countries after Brexit

If you plan to travel to a non-EU country after Brexit in the case of a no-deal Brexit, you may also be affected.

Currently, the UK has agreements with most countries regarding those countries’ requirements for entry of animals from the UK. These agreements, which are based in EU law, are used to create an export health certificate (EHC) that accompanies each animal travelling out of the UK to each of those countries. Defra will need to re-negotiate the wording for every EHC it has for each country. There is a significant likelihood that at least some of these EHCs for pet travel are not going to be ready in time for March 29th, although they may be ready for some countries. In any event, due to a significant increase in the volume of EHCs (mainly for other purposes), lead times in receiving EHCs may be significantly longer after application to Defra.

There is one significant country which does not require an EHC to receive pets from the UK- the United States. If you travel with your pet to the United States, you will need a Veterinary Surgeon’s certificate to say that your pet is fit for travel and to ensure that you fulfill the requirements of the state you are travelling to (as determined by that state’s Department of Agriculture)- this is usually a Rabies vaccination, up to a month prior to travel. There is a good chance that this will not change after Brexit, even in the event of no-deal.

Our Recommendations for Pet Travel to Non-EU Countries after Brexit

If you plan to travel out of the UK with your pet to a non-EU country after March 29th, then we would advise first to speak to Defra about their preparedness regarding the required EHC. If they are not ready, and you must travel, then if you can, we would recommend bringing the export date forward to before the Brexit date. If you have no other option, and you must travel after March 29th, then you will need to stay in close contact with Defra regarding the timing of readiness for the required EHC. Plans will need to be made in close consultation with a vet who is experienced in preparing pets for export. Timings are sometimes critical for parts of the preparation for EHC so that may be difficult to arrange if you are not sure of the exact date of export. You will also need to make contingency plans because it is possible that regulations and requirements for export and import may change at short notice.

Pet Travel to the UK from Non-EU Countries after Brexit

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, it is likely that the same rules as now will apply. However, if you plan to travel to the UK with your pet after Brexit date, then please contact Defra, in addition to speaking to the British Embassy in your own country, and your own vet. One quite serious issue to take into consideration is the possibility of a hold up in releasing your pet after arrival in the UK due to the increased workload at the traveller’s ports of entry. This may have significant animal welfare implications especially in the case of older or more vulnerable pets. We recommend making alternative plans just in case there are issues with pet travel to the UK immediately after Brexit.


It may take months if not longer, to iron out the issues associated with pet travel in the event of a no-deal Brexit. If you have plans that involve pet travel abroad any time next year, now is the time to think about what additional requirements may be, and what to do if you cannot travel as planned.


This blog is written by a vet, not a lawyer. We highly recommend making back up plans in the event that your pet’s travel is delayed after Brexit.

The Benefits of Crate Training

We highly recommend that all dogs are crate trained. Crate-training offers a number of benefits including:

  • crate training enables house training, leading to less accidents for a shorter period of time.
  • dogs which are crate trained are actually comforted by being in their own enclosed space, so that:
    • the crate provides a ‘safe’ place during noisy events such as fireworks
    • the crate enables stress-free and danger-free travel in the car or in aeroplanes
    • cages are comforting and not scary, which minimises stress during hospitalisation or after injury
    • it provides an out-of-the-way bed for your dog which can be useful when you are away for short periods of time.

Far from being cruel, we would say that it is very kind to crate train your dog, as there will definitely be times in your dog’s life when they will be less stressed by having the benefit of crate training. We see it in our hospital again and again where dogs which are crate trained sleep happily, whereas other dogs can be quite stressed.

A dog sleeping peacefully in his crate.

A dog sleeping peacefully in his crate.

How To Crate Train Your Puppy

The most important thing to remember is that a crate should actually be quite small, so that your puppy can easily get up and turn around in the crate, but not move away from any mess that it makes in the cage. You can buy crates which have a moveable divider in them, so that the cage can grow with your puppy, avoiding the need to buy multiple cages as your dog grows.

Secondly, when house training your dog, avoid a super absorbent mattress/ floor covering in the crate (such as a ‘vet bed’). It is better that your dog is aware of any wetness in the crate, so that it has some incentive to avoid urinating in the crate. If your dog is adult, and already house trained, then you can use any type of bedding.

A small puppy should be put in the crate at night after giving it a chance to go to the loo (toilet) before bed. Most puppies would need one middle-of-the-night break, and then should be able to last until morning. We recommend putting a toy or device playing white noises (such as those available for babies) outside the crate (and out of reach of the puppy) to soothe your puppy, especially the first few nights.

Puppies will realise that they don’t want to urinate in their own bed and will generally hold off (if they can) until let out. You can then take your pup to a safe place to toilet (in your presence) and then give lots of praise when your pup goes in the right place.

Puppies can also be left in the crate for short periods of time during the day, but we recommend avoiding long periods of time when your pup could get bored. In confining your pet, you will be in control of when it toilets and can then praise it for doing the right thing, leading to rapid training.

It is important that the crate is not left open when you are not there (in the toilet training phase) as

Never ever punish or shout at your puppy for making a mistake. This will not help with training at all, and may hinder it as your pup may avoid toileting in your presence, thereby making it difficult to praise your pup for doing the right thing!

Puppies are very adaptable, and a puppy trained in this way will quickly learn to see the crate as a comforting place to be, which will set your puppy up for life. Many owners feel happier if the puppy is close to them at night, and a crate allows this. At the same time it allows you to move your pup away or downstairs when settled, whilst still maintaining a familiar and safe environment after the move.

An English Bulldog puppy eats in its crate

An English Bulldog puppy eats in its crate

Crate Training an Adult Dog

Adult dogs can also be crate trained for the purposes of having a comfortable and comforting safe place, or if you need to re- house train your adult dog, which is not uncommon.

We would recommend using Adaptil spray, collars or infusers to help your dog relax and therefore learn more quickly. Adapted is a canine pheromone product which will help your dog to feel safer. Introduce Adaptil at least a few days prior to introducing the crate.

With adult dogs, you want your dog to chose to go into the crate, so leave the door open and put your dog’s food in the crate. If your dog will not eat in the crate, put it as close as your dog will go to eat the food without getting stressed. Feed your dog every time in or near the crate, moving the food closer to the crate in small steps until your dog is completely happy eating in each position. You are aiming to have your dog eating in a completely relaxed way inside the crate. It is important that you never force your dog into the crate. If your dog is reluctant to go into the crate, it may help to leave a few treats in the crate during the day.

Once your dog is comfortable eating meals in the crate, you can move the food bowl outside of the crate, but then move your dog’s bed into or near the crate, and put some treats on the bed. If your dog will not get into the bed in the crate, put the bed near the crate (with treats) and then gradually move it closer, taking cues from your dog with regards to being relaxed with each step. You are aiming for your dog to sleep quite happily inside the crate. Once your dog is relaxed and happy sleeping inside the crate, the next step is to gently close the door and shut your dog inside the crate for short periods of time. You can then gradually increase the periods with the door shut (especially overnight). Once your dog is happy being in the crate for longer periods of time, you are successful! We would recommend leaving your dog’s crate out in an unobtrusive spot as a permanent bed. You do not always have to shut the door but this should be repeated from time to time so that your dog is reminded that it is ok to be shut into the crate.

Crate Training for Pet Travel

If you are travelling with your pet, particularly if travelling abroad, then you should start crate training as soon as possible once you know you might or will need to travel.

You will need to buy a specialised crate for air travel (available from pet travel companies) which meets international welfare guidelines. These crates are often larger than standard crates. We recommend you use this crate for training, and reproduce the conditions your pet will be travelling in for training, including the bedding.

We recommend use of Adaptil both prior to and during travel (the collars work well).

Sedation during travel is not recommended as it may not be safe. However, you can also start to expose your dog to noises which are similar to those on an aircraft (by playing MP3s), starting softly and gradually getting louder, making sure your dog is comfortable at each level as you increase the noise. Dogs will also travel better if they are used to being separated from you for periods of time. If your dog suffers from travel sickness, then speak to us about medication to reduce nausea, which will also help.

Young dogs will generally travel better than older dogs. Dogs that have cognitive decline/ dementia will have the most trouble, as they will have difficulty learning and will struggle with even small changes. Dementia is not uncommon in older dog. There are supplements available to help support brain function in older dogs, which needs to be given for at least 6 weeks to see results. Older dogs which have travelled when young, and were comfortable with it, will travel better than dogs who have never travelled.

Please speak to us if you have any further questions regarding crate training on 02077510182.

Top Tips for Buying a New Kitten

  1. Don’t buy from an internet advertisement- get a kitten from a charity or a breeder instead. If you can’t find a kitten, you may be looking at the wrong time of year- cats are seasonal breeders. Charities which re-home kittens (and cats) include:
  2. Check your kitten for signs of ill health before adopting including:
    • Eye discharge
    • Nasal discharge
    • Sneezing
    • Diarrhoea
    • Pot belly
    • Stark coat
    • Hair loss
    • Avoiding the above can save you quite a bit of money in unexpected vet fees!
  3. Your kitten should weigh approximately 100g for each week of life. Be wary of apparently 8 week old kittens which only weigh 4-500g. Either the kitten is much to young to leave its mother or it has been (and may still be) ill.
  4. Check that your kitten has been regularly wormed (every 2-3 weeks from birth until 12 weeks old) with either Drontal or Panacur- the breeder should be able to tell you the dates of worming.
  5. Check that your kitten or its mother has been flea treated prior to adoption (with a product that is vet approved). The breeder should be able to give you the product name and exact dates.
  6. The general environment in which the queen and litter are kept should be very clean. They should be kept away from other cats to prevent spread of disease.
  7. If there are other cats in the household, they should look healthy.
  8. Kittens should not be re-homed before 8 weeks of age at the very earliest. Kittens which are hand-reared or separated too early from their mum are more at risk for behavioural problems when older. Most breeders of pedigree cats will not allow their kittens to be re-homed prior to 13 weeks of age.
  9. If buying from a breeder, check that the kitten has been well socialised with different types of people, different household noises, the car (and cat carrier), and if you have one, a dog.
  10. Kittens should be vaccinated against flu, enteritis (also called panleukopaenia or feline parvovirus) and leukaemia (FeLV), with vaccines at approximately 8-9 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks. Their first annual booster is also very important to ensure ongoing immunity.
  11. Lifelong pet insurance is highly recommended. Get it set up right from the beginning and get the free breeder’s insurance if possible (kittens are quite often sick in the first week after adoption, and this can be quite expensive- insurance may cover you for this although sometimes it does not ‘kick in’ for 14 days after the start of the policy)
  12. A trip to the vet within a day or two of adoption is highly recommended for a full health check, a review of preventative health care and recommendations for feeding.
  13. If you already have a cat, see here for information on introducing your new arrival.
  14. It is now recommended by both charities and feline experts to neuter cats prior to 4 months old, which in some cases is only weeks after you first adopt your kitten. This makes sure that your kitten never goes through puberty and does not accidentally get pregnant (or make another cat pregnant). Cats do very well when they are neutered at this age.
  15. Kittens should be kept indoors until after they have fully recovered from neutering, as they will then be old enough to defend themselves outdoors.
  16. Make your kitten a bed in your cat carrier. The cat carrier will be your cat’s ‘safe place’ for evermore, and a source of comfort during those stressful trips to the vet, groomer or cattery. Buy a large cat carrier- remember that tiny kitten could grow up to be a huge cat!
  17. If your kitten is long-coated, start grooming daily from the day you bring it home.
  18. Ask the breeder for some cat food, so that you can gradually introduce the kitten’s new diet, to avoid a stomach upset. Kittens should be eating a complete commercial kitten diet appropriate to their age. We like Royal Canin, Purina Pro-Plan (or Purina One), Iams, Eukanuba and Hills Science Plan.
  19. We recommend collars on all cats (particularly non pedigree) to avoid confusion with strays.
  20. Microchip your kitten as soon as possible (at the time of neutering is good as long as it is at the recommended age of 4 months or younger). Even indoor cats can escape.

Finally, enjoy your new arrival!

What is Lungworm?

Lungworm is the common name for a worm (A. vasorum) which infects dogs. Dogs catch it from coming into contact with infected snails and slugs and their trails. Once ingested, these worms move through the body to live in the heart and lungs. Lungworm can cause a severe inflammatory response in the lungs (similar to pneumonia) or lead to life-threatening internal bleeding, both of which are life threatening. Lungworm can also cause many other non specific clinical signs depending on the location of the larvae in the body, for example neurological symptoms such as seizures. Bleeding may sometimes only become apparent when surgery is performed, for example after spaying.

the puppy pug is watching on snail crawling  up fence

Where can my dog catch lungworm?

Lungworm has now been found all over the UK, although the the South East (including London) and Wales are hotspots. In our area of London, access to Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common or the countryside would increase the risk of exposure, although your dog could be exposed anywhere that snails and slugs live.

How do I prevent my dog catching lungworm?

The good news is that a monthly anti-parasite preventative can prevent lungworm. These are only available on prescription from a vet. They come in either oral or top-spot form. Here at Molly and Max we feel that it is very important that all dogs living in London are given monthly preventative treatment. Regular worming treatment such as Drontal (which treats other worms) unfortunately will not prevent lungworm.

If your dog comes from a country where heart worm is endemic (such as the US, Southern Europe and Australia) and you are not sure that your dog is up to date with heart worm prevention, then your dog will need a heart worm test prior to starting lungworm prevention.

What are the clinical signs of lungworm?

The most common clinical signs (or symptoms) are:

  • coughing
  • diarrhoea and vomiting
  • lethargy
  • weight loss
  • excessive bleeding
  • seizures
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • difficulty breathing/ laboured breathing

Sometimes a dog will present as generally unwell, with no specific symptoms.

How is lungworm diagnosed?

There are two routine tests for lungworm, a blood test and a faecal test (although routine faecal testing is unlikely to diagnose lungworm). Lungworm may also be diagnosed from a ‘tracheal wash’ which is where a sample is taken from the airways, under general anaesthetic. No test is 100% sensitive, so it is possible for a dog to test negative even when infected. X-rays may be suggestive of lungworm if there is inflammation in the lungs. Sometimes clinical signs together with response to (presumptive) treatment are the only way to diagnose lungworm.

If my dog catches lungworm, can it be treated?

Lungworm can be treated, but it is not uncommon for dogs to develop severe inflammation in the airways as the larvae die, leading to breathing difficulties. This response to treatment can be life-threatening. However, it is very important that dogs are treated for lungworm as the condition will only get worse if not treated. Dogs which already have respiratory signs or other severe signs are often given a gentler, slower treatment and hospitalisation is often required.

But my cat has been diagnosed with lungworm- is that the same thing?

Cats can get lungworm too, but of a different species. Cats catch lungworm through hunting. Regular worming should help prevent feline lungworm.

Buying a New Puppy

We’ve been seeing so many new puppies and it really is so exciting to see new owners come into the practice with the gorgeous new addition to their family- fully of excitement and anticipation.

Want to adopt a puppy?

Buying a new pup will bring you much joy, but there are a few pitfalls best avoided. Firstly, it is highly recommended that you find a breeder who rears the puppies at home with their mother, ideally only letting them go to their new homes from about 8 weeks old. Before that, puppies are still learning vital lessons from their canine family. At 8 weeks old, your puppy should be mature and strong enough to make that big transition to a new home. It is important to see the bitch and check that she appears healthy and of good temperament.

If your puppy is sold through a newspaper, from a pet shop, on the gumtree or other online  classifieds, then be wary! Farmed puppies are often sold this way. These pups are often bred without regard for their welfare, en masse, in unsanitary conditions where diseases such as parvovirus and worms may be rife. The parents of these pups are often of dubious quality, suffering from inherited diseases which they pass onto their pups. There is no way to check this if you have no record of the pup’s parents. If you are concerned the litter you are looking at may be from a puppy farm, don’t purchase the puppy. Far from saving the puppy, this encourages the practice of puppy farming to continue and the unscrupulous breeder to produce more litters.

Examine your puppy for obvious signs of disease or other problems before you bring it home. Your pup should not be too thin (or too fat) and should not have a pronounced pot belly (which could be a sign of worms). Its coat should be shiny and without too much scurf (similar to dandruff). The eyes and nose should be clear. There should not be a pronounced over or underbite of the jaws- check that the front teeth do not have an obvious gap between the top and bottom row. Avoid pups with exaggerated features- such features are often associated with problems. See the Kennel Club site on Fit for Function- Fit for Life for more information. Check that there is no sign of diarrhoea or sickness.

The breeder should be able to give you details of the puppy’s diet (brand of food, frequency of feeding, amount fed), worming (brand of wormer, dates of worming) and any flea treatments (brand of flea treatment, dates of treatment), and any vaccinations (type and date) already given. Details are important- so remember to ask for them. If there is a kennel club health scheme for your chosen breed, also check that the parents and/or puppies have been tested, and ask for the dates and results. See the Kennel Club website for more details on health testing.

The newer ‘designer breeds’ (made up of two or more breeds, often with a poodle as one of the mix eg. labradoodle, puggle etc) deserve a mention here. We see these puppies on a regular basis and they are very much loved by their owners. It is important to realise that these breeds are not free of inherited disease. Often they can inherit the problems of both parents. It is just as important that cross bred dogs are health tested, as it is for pure-bred dogs. Please ask the breeder if they have done any health testing.

You have chosen your puppy- what next?

On your pup’s first night in a new home, we recommend using a crate for the pup’s bed. This crate should be not much bigger than your pup lying down comfortably- larger crates that have dividers that can be removed as the pup grows are ideal. Use of devices that mimic heart beats (such as are available for babies) may help your pup to settle in. The pup may not eat much on its first night in a new home- resist the temptation to give too many treats or hand feed. Most pups regain their appetite fairly quickly.

It is a good idea to make an appointment for a health check with us straight away, even if the pup’s vaccinations are not due immediately. We will check the pup from head to tail, check what needs to be done in regards to vaccination, worming and flea prevention, give advice on diet and exercise, talk to you about behaviour, socialisation and training (including toilet training), discuss neutering and answer any questions you may have.

All pets should be insured. We highly recommend making sure you have pet insurance before you visit us, from the first day you pick your puppy up- check with your breeder who may be able to provide a certificate for 4-6 weeks free insurance. Make sure the insurance is verified (you will need to phone the insurance company, or make sure the breeder has done so). Most insurance companies will not cover pets for the first 14 days of the policy, so it is important to organise ongoing insurance with your preferred company in plenty of time before your free policy runs out. We recommend taking out life-time policies so that any chronic illness is covered for more than just the current policy year. Puppies, like babies, are susceptible to illness so it is important that your puppy is insured from the beginning.

Puppy school will help socialise and provide basic training for your pup. Luckily for our clients, there is one held just around the corner in St Dionis Church Hall. If this does not suit you, then please contact us for details of other puppy classes.

Finally, congratulations on the new addition to your family! Your new puppy should provide you with much joy for years to come.

Removing Ticks

Ticks are pretty horrible things, and there is always much discussion about how to best remove the tick. Common questions include:

  1. Should I pull or twist?
  2. Do I try to kill it first?
  3. Does it matter if I leave the head?

In the UK, ticks are capable of transmitting Lyme disease to both humans and animals, and should never be left attached to the skin for more than 24 hours. When abroad, there are also other diseases that can be transmitted by ticks.

There are top-spot treatments which are available to help prevent attachment. Frontline is one of these top-spot treatments. There are also prescription only products available. Please speak to us about which treatment is best for your dog.

We would recommend that you check your dogs for ticks every day if roaming in tick prone areas such as Richmond Park or the countryside. Ticks are usually found on the front half of the body, but can be found anywhere including more intimate areas. Both cats and dogs can be affected by ticks.

Once found, a tick should be removed immediately. The best method of removing ticks is to use a tick hook such as the O’Tom hook. The hook should be placed under the offending tick, then twisted until the tick detaches. There is no need to pull with this method. It should ensure also that you do not leave the head embedded. You do not need to try to kill the tick first, and this is not recommended.

If the head is accidentally left in the skin, then it is possible for this area to become infected. Some of these animals will require antibiotics. Please call us if you are concerned.

Tick removal with O'TOM Tick Twister by H3D


The British Summer is (almost) upon us!

Already the Green is vibrant with sun worshippers and keen picnickers, and we can just about smell the White Horse Pub barbecues and the suntan lotions from the clinic!

As exciting as this may be, it is important not forget our furry friends’ needs when we’re all having fun.

Food around this time of year is loved by all but remember that too much of anything can cause many problems in cats and dogs. Rich and fatty meats (sausages) and other summer delights can trigger nasty upset tummies (sometimes worse) in our pets. Equally cooked or small (chicken) bones can lead to life threatening problems. So, the occasional treat in moderation is acceptable but remember to avoid too many scraps.

Another consideration this time of year is the heat. Dogs, unlike people, don’t sweat. They regulate their core temperature via their respiratory system, hence why they pant when they are hot. Given that the majority of dogs have a thick hairy coat; it’s worth considering a nice short clip to help them cool down. Breeds with shorter noses (English and French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers etc) struggle more than other breeds at staying cool as their anatomy makes it more difficult for them to pant. So extra care must be taken during the summer.

A few tips to keep your dog cool:

  • Always carry drinking water when on walks. Collapsible bowls and special doggie bottle are very useful and practical.
  • Spray your dog with cool water before and after walks
  • NEVER leave your dog in a car unattended (even with the windows open) for any period of time
  • Provide shade when possible
  • Avoid strenuous exercise in sunny weather

Lastly, parasites also love the sunshine and the heat! Make sure to stay up to date with flea, worming and tick treatments.

Some tips for our rabbit friends especially if living outdoors:

  • Check for any signs of soiled fur at least twice a day and to keep the cage and bedding clean
  • Fresh water and food must be provided everyday. Rabbit food should be almost all hay, with only a few pellets and some green vegetables. Any amount of grass is ok.
  • Use Rearguard to prevent fly strike (maggot infestation) every 10 weeks
  • If you are suspicious of fly strike (maggot infestation) then you must make an emergency appointment
  • Beware or predators becoming more curious in warmer weather

Easter Weekend!

Easter weekend is upon us! With it the hope of some warmer weather very soon (hopefully lots of puppies and kittens!) and a few treats around the house which may not be so good for our furry friends.

Lillies and cats just don’t go together. Every part of the plant is poisonous, even the pollen. Affected cats are often obvious because they tend to stain their nose with pollen as they investigate the flowers (cute but scary). Owners are often aware of the dangers, and try to restrict access to the plant. However, cats are very clever getting into places where they shouldn’t be, so it is safer to keep lillies out of the household altogether (and out of your garden as well!).

If you have a dog, then our previous warning about chocolate and raisins/sultanas is again important. Watch those hot cross buns.

If you have an emergency over the Easter break (and we hope you don’t!), the contact details for our emergency clinic are:Hot Cross Buns

Elizabeth St Emergency Clinic
55 Elizabeth St
London SW1W 9PP
Ph: 020 7730 9102

We re-open after the Easter break at 7am on Tuesday morning, and we look forward to seeing you then.

In the meantime, we’re thinking about rabbits and the upcoming Rabbit Awareness Week. We’ll be giving away free health checks to rabbits, with plenty of advice on diet and general health care. If you have a rabbit, please phone us to make your appointment. It should be a fun week!

Our first surgical patients

Alice in Surgery

Alice in Surgery

It wasn’t long after we opened that we had a chance to be glad that we have invested in the facilities that we have. In our opening week, we saw Schmitty, a vomiting bulldog who was very unwell indeed. Our digital xray system picked up a collection of spiky lumps in his abdomen and he was immediately taken to surgery, where we removed a chewed up toy that was blocking his stomach. We were able to closely monitor Schmitty’s anaesthetic and keep him warm in surgery with our special warm air blankets which ensure a quick recovery. He also benefited from precise delivery of IV fluids from our drip pumps to treat his dehydration. A few days later, he came bounding into the building for his first post-operative check, a very happy and boistrous patient, tail wagging and so happy to see us. Schmitty has not looked back.

More recently we saw Pepito, a poor kitten who had fallen from the 5th storey of a building in Putney. We were able to treat him for shock with our intensive care cage which delivers oxygen and warmth and with IV fluids to support his circulation. We were able to quickly assess his chest, abdomen and bones using our digital x-ray system. He spent a week in intensive care, benefiting from Belle’s expertise in nursing critical patients. Once Pepito was stable, we took him to surgery and discovered that his fracture was just too severe, and the decision was made to amputate his leg.  Pepito was back walking on the day of his surgery, thanks to Alice’s excellent surgical skills and his plucky nature. What a lovely and brave cat.

Molly and Max Opens!

Ella, Alice, Belle and Kathy were very pleased to be able to open the doors of Molly and Max Veterinary Practice on the 25th of January. We have already seen some lovely pets and owners through the doors and have been proudly showing off our fantastic new facilities. The practice is spacious, light and clean and superbly well equipped. Kathy’s dog, Daisy, has been using our kennel facilities and has given them her seal of approval. She especially likes the liver treats that she gets whilst at the practice! We are having photos taken of the practice next week and will post them as soon as they are available, but in the meantime please stop by and say hello. Having your pet visit and have a treat whilst they are well is the best way to make them feel comfortable and safe on their next visit. We can think of nothing better than having relaxed and happy patients!