Hillcrest Animal Hospital Chorley Vets

01257 262448

Blog and News

Our News

June 30, 2017

This is a really common question, and (as usual…) the answer isn’t straightforward. In general, however, neutering will have no effect on your dog’s personality, but it may influence his mood and make some behaviours more or less likely.

What are the effects of neutering?

Castration (surgical neutering for male dogs) involves the removal of both testicles. This obviously eliminates the dog’s fertility (as he can no longer make sperm), but it also stops him from making the male hormone, testosterone. Testosterone has a wide range of effects, including producing of secondary sexual characteristics during puberty (such as a deeper bark, increased muscle mass, bigger bones, and larger head - just like in humans!). However, the effects of testosterone on behaviour are much more subtle.

As a puppy, before and just after birth, testosterone levels are quite high, “pre-programming” the brain for certain characteristics, before dropping off to virtually...

June 06, 2017

Lepto is carried by river rats

Leptospirosis, or “Lepto”, is an infection (primarily of dogs) caused by a group of spiral bacteria called Leptospira. There are many different types (or “serovars”) of Lepto, including canicola and icterohaemorrhagiae (which were historically the most important ones) and newer types such as bratislava and grippotyphosa which have only recently been recognised as causing disease in dogs.

The bacteria are spread in urine - from infected dogs, foxes, cattle and, importantly, rats; they are also zoonotic (in other words, they can infect humans). Unfortunately, after infection, some dogs become carriers - they may appear healthy, but they are spreading the bacteria every time they go to the toilet.

Most dogs will have a high fever, but the disease can cause a wide range of other symptoms, depending on what organ system(s) are most badly affected:

  • Kidneys - the most common site of infection, leading to acute kidney failure. Symptoms include:
    • Lethargy,...
April 20, 2017

It is perfectly possible to formulate a healthy diet for a dog - but it’s not as easy as most people think! For example, if you just feed raw meat and bones, your dog will get some potentially serious nutrient deficiencies, because dogs are adapted to eat a mixture of whole animals, roots and berries - unlike cats they aren’t true carnivores, but facultative omnivores like us.

Can’t dogs just eat what we eat?

Usually - but not entirely. For starters, there are many foods that, although perfectly safe for us, are potentially lethal to dogs. Most people know about chocolate, but there are a range of foodstuffs - including coffee, onions, garlic, leeks, chives, raisins, grapes, peanuts, and macadamia nuts - that are toxic to dogs.

The next problem is that, although their digestions are very similar to ours, their metabolic and nutritional requirements are very different - especially in terms of their protein and fibre requirements.

commercial dog foodSo what do dogs need in their...

March 02, 2017

The affortable way to keep your pets at their best!

March 02, 2017

In the practice, we’re always recommending people to take out pet insurance - but sadly, the Association of British Insurers reports that only 25% of dogs and 14% of cats are insured. When we talk to people about it, there are three different reasons they give for not insuring - are they being sensible or not?

pet insurance

1 - The vets will bill me more if I’m insured.

This really, really isn’t true - but we keep hearing people claim it. In fact, it’s illegal for us to charge more if you’re insured, and the vet who actually did the work has to sign a legal document confirming that they didn’t bill the work any higher than usual. The difference is that if the patient is insured we can do a better job - the tests and treatment that should be done, rather than only those that must be done.

In some ways, we can compare this to a building job - if the roof of your house leaks, you can either put a tarpaulin over it (nice and cheap, and will keep you waterproof)...

January 24, 2017

We are delighted to offer new puppy training courses. Our First one will start on the 7th of February for 5 weeks. If you have or are getting a puppy, please contact Hillcrest to put your name down on this course or a future one. We look forward to meeting you and your puppy soon.

January 23, 2017

Simple answer - no. Although human medications are often cheaper than the veterinary equivalents, it’s often really unwise to use them - not only is it illegal, but it is also dangerous to your animals.

How can it be dangerous if it’s a proper medicine?

Just because it’s a proper medicine that’s safe for humans, doesn’t mean it’s safe for animals! There are two reasons for this:

  • Body size. The safe dose for any drug in any species (including humans) depends on how big the animal is. The larger they are, the higher a dose they will need, but also the more efficiently they'll break it down. Giving a small animal the same dose of a medication as a large one will result in overdose, which can be harmful, or even fatal. The average human weighs about 70kg; the average dog weighs about 25kg, while most cats come in at roughly 4kg. So, giving a dog or a cat a human-size dose is always going to be potentially dangerous!
  • Species differences. Different...
November 30, 2016

November 17, 2016

Take your Pets PAIN AWAY with a Revolutionary new DRUG FREE approach to Osteoarthritis. Please contact Hillcrest for further information.

November 15, 2016

We wish to make wholesalers, veterinary surgeons, retailers and pet owners aware that the VMD has been notified that Bio-Tech Solutions Ltd has issued a recall of:

Armitage Pet Care Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs 702 mg spot-on solution (Vm 20205/4003)
Armitage Flea Drops for Cats and Kittens
An unknown quantity of the Armitage Pet Care Flea and Tick Drops for Dogs containing permethrin has been distributed in packaging labelled Armitage Flea Drops for Cats and Kittens.

Exposure to even small quantities of concentrated permethrin can cause severe and fatal poisoning in cats.

If you have one of the products, do not use it on your cat.

Return the product to the place of purchase or contact the company:

John Tharratt, Bio-Tech solutions Tel 08704 450154 or email JTharratt@btsl.uk.com.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/armitage-pet-care-flea-and-tick-drops-for-dogs-and-armitage-flea-drops-for-cats-and-kittens-product-defect-alert