Salisbury Journal - Morwenna Blake 14th May 2013
A pet firm owner in Salisbury is calling on her customers to help out five animal charities by donating useful items to help them look after creatures in need.
Joanne Davies, owner of mobile pet care and dog-walking business Petpals Salisbury and her colleague Caroline Keane have launched the All Creatures Great & Small fundraising initiative to support Cat’s Protection, GRWE (Greyhound Rescue), The Dog’s Trust, Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital and Cotton Tails (Rabbit & Guinea Pig Rescue).
Items on the wish list include bedding in the form of towels, blankets, quilts, pillows and curtains; knitted coats and blankets; dog and cat food and treats; newspapers for hedgehogs, Burgess Excel Rabbit & Guinea pig food. Any spare change will also be gratefully received.
People who would like to donate can bring items along to the firm’s stand at the Amesbury Show on 1st June, or contact Ms Davies on 07590 274022 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Pet Awareness Month (1 April – 6 May) draws to a close, leading pet care professionals Petpals are urging animal owners to carry out a five point check to ensure their pets stay happy and healthy.
Said Kevin Thackrah, managing director of Petpals, who provide services from dog walking and animal sitting to helping look after elderly animals and a pet taxi service: “It’s great that we have a Pet Awareness Month to highlight the joys of pet ownership, but it’s important that pet owners look after their animals all year round and keep a close eye on any changes that could indicate their pet is unwell or uncomfortable.”
Petpals Five Point Checklist:
- Carry out a visual inspection of your pet – whether it be a dog, cat, rabbit or even a snake, does it look well? Is it underweight or overweight? Is its coat shiny? Are their eyes bright and alert? Do they have energy and seem happy? If you have any doubts, consult your vet. All animals should have an annual check up carried out by your local vet.
- Look out your animal’s vaccination certificate and check that all their jabs are up to date. Not only are you risking the health of your animals if they are not up to date but you won’t be able to board them without a valid certificate (and you never know what emergency might strike!).
- Make sure your animal’s flea and worming treatments are up to date.
- Like humans, animals need healthy teeth to have a happy life. If your pet hasn’t had an annual vet’s check-up get it booked as a dental examination is included. For smaller pets like hamsters and rabbits ensure they have something to nibble on to help keep their teeth in check.
- Make sure their living and feeding areas are clean, well maintained and safe.
Dog walkers warned to stay away from ‘toxic’ New Forest beauty spot after ELEVEN pets die from mystery illness
- Vets say toxin causes kidney failure in dogs if it enters bloodstream
- Site was used to test bombs during the Second World War
- Louise Beal lost springer spaniel Bruno after he cut his paw during a walk
By Luke Salkeld, Daily Mail online
Dog walkers are being warned to stay away from a popular beauty spot after fears at least 11 pets have been killed by poison.
A toxin in the earth or water has been picked up by the animals as they are exercised in the New Forest, it is feared.
Vets say the dogs have been poisoned through small cuts in their legs or paws – and then their kidneys have failed.
Eleven dogs are known to have died in recent months after being exercised at Latchmore Brook in Hampshire.
But there are fears there could be more cases if pets belonging to tourists or visitors have been taken home before the symptoms have been detected.
The area was used to test bombs during the Second World War, raising fears that experiments involving deadly chemicals may be to blame. It is also thought the water or soil-borne poison has been disturbed by heavy rain at the beauty spot.
Louise Beal lost her springer spaniel Bruno a week after he cut his paw during a walk at the spot. She treated the wound with disinfectant and took him to the vet two days later where he was given antibiotics, but his condition deteriorated rapidly. He was hooked up to a drip and seen by renal specialists, but all efforts to save him failed
Mrs Beal said: ‘The vet thinks it’s an unidentified toxin that has worked its way up through disturbed soil, a bit like anthrax.
‘We just want to save other people having to go through this – it’s been the most awful week.’
Mrs Beal, from North Gorley, Hampshire, added: ‘I’m worried that the weather will warm up and small children will be playing up at the site. ‘I dread to think what will happen if this affects humans too.’
Tracey Matherick, 45, from Chard, Somerset, was one of the first owners to see her dog fall victim to the toxin.
One of her six Siberian huskies came home from a walk in the New Forest with a sore paw. ‘Both my husband and I didn’t think anything of it at first,’ she said. ‘Two days later her whole paw and leg had swollen up. Mrs Matherick, a school dinner lady, took Boo to the vet where she had ‘treatment after treatment’. After tests showed kidney and liver failure, she had to put the dog down.
Yesterday local vet Nikki Bentley warned dog owners to avoid Latchmore Brook. She said: ‘Some areas are not safe. Hundreds of people walk their dogs in the forest every day because of its natural beauty, but they shouldn’t take the risk.’
Tissue samples from the dead pets have been sent to a US laboratory which specialises in renal problems in dogs, but the results could take weeks to arrive.
The deaths are also being investigated by the Forestry Commission, the Environment Agency and New Forest District Council.
Anyone who does visit the area is advised to wash their dogs’ paws, examine them thoroughly and seek help if there are signs of injury.
Latchmore Brook formed part of Ashley Walk Bombing Range from 1940 to 1946. More than 2,000 hectares were used as a test and practice range for different Second World War munitions.
I started agility in 2000 with my rescue Bichon Frise Disney. People used to stand at the side of the ring watching us at competitions as it was very unusual to see a Bichon Frise doing agility. He loved it and although I was told by my trainer at the time that he was a nice dog but probably wouldn’t get very far we proved them wrong and made it to the Eukanuba mini agility circular knock out final at Crufts 2004. By this time I was hooked and in 2004 Disney was joined by a new friend Cia ( pronounced Chia ) a puppy Lagotto Romagnolo. Rather like an over sized Bichon (or sometimes mistaken for a labradoodle) Cia and Disney became fast friends and Cia soon started to follow in Disneys footsteps. In case you have never heard of a Lagotto Romagnolo they are Italian Gundogs who are used nowadays to look for truffles. Cia, Disney and I soon travelled all over the country competing at agility shows. Due to illness Disney unfortunately had to retire but he thoroughly enjoyed the travelling and the camping. I also tried some Gundog work with Cia as well as showing and truffling. In 2008 we competed at a breed show in Italy. It was the 20th anniversary of the Lagotto Club of Italy and several of us decided to travel to Italy with our Lagotto to compete at the two day show. Cia unexpectedly came away with the Reserve Best Bitch but the day I most enjoyed was the opportunity we had to truffle with our dogs on the hillside in Italy.
2008 was a fantastic year for us as Cia qualified for the Medium Team agility final at Crufts (2009) with the Lagotto Club of Great Britain. She was also one of 4 finalists to make it to the Novice Cup agility final also to be held at Crufts (2009). This same year we were joined by another Lagotto, Antonella (Anto) Cias daughter.
In 2011 Cia competed in the YKC (Young Kennel Club) Crufts agility finals with a young friend of mine. The same year several of us travelled to the World dog show in Paris ( breed showing) where Cia was graded excellent which I was delighted with. Paris was an amazing experience allowing me to see different breeds of dogs which are currently not seen in the UK. In 2012 Cia was at Crufts once again in the Medium Team agility final, this time with our dog training Club, North Downs based in Surrey. We still have one more win to go until she’s reached the highest Grade in agility, Grade 7. In 2012 we passed our assessment for Cia to become a PAT dog (Pets as Therapy). Every week we visit a local care home for the elderly. Most of the residents suffer from dementia but what is most amazing is how they remember Cia. As soon as I put on her special PAT dog lead and collar she knows where she’s going and gets very excited. She loves seeing her people friends at the Care home, especially as she gets to eat lots of biscuits. If anyone has thought about doing PAT dog work with their dogs I would thoroughly recommend doing so. It’s great to see what a difference dogs can make to people who are unable to keep dogs of their own as well as the general therapeutic benefits.
2013 saw the first time Lagotto Romagnolo were allowed to compete at Crufts in the show ring. We had a family gathering as Cia competed there along with all the pups from her last litter. We had a fantastic day with the pups doing brilliantly and Cia winning her class.
We continue to compete at agility throughout the UK along with daughter Anto who has nearly caught up with Mum and is already close to achieving Grade 6. We have many shows to look forward to in 2013 so fingers crossed for another amazing year.
( I would like to dedicate this article to my Bichon Frise Disney who sadly passed away at the age of 15 in October 2012. Thank you for teaching me so much and for being my best friend. Sean and I and the girls miss you so much and will never forget you. You have left a big hole in our hearts. Until we meet again at the Rainbow bridge my Disney!)
Mother’s Day warning on lethal lilies
Sonia Barnett, 40, was unaware lily pollen can blind, paralyse or kill cats
She received a bouquet from an ex partner and put it on window sill
Within days Tinker, one, Charlie, five and her beloved Garfy, 17, died
By Luke Salkeld, Daily Mail
PUBLISHED: 12:46, 7 March 2013
Sonia Barnett was delighted to receive a beautiful bouquet on Valentine’s Day.
But her joy turned to horror when the flowers poisoned and killed three of her beloved cats.
Miss Barnett did not know that ingesting any part of a lily can be fatal to felines, with even a small amount of pollen enough to kill them.
Lauren Barker, 14 and her mother Sonia Barnett, 40, Hailsham, East Sussex who received a huge bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s Day which contained lilies whose pollen poisoned three of their cats
Despite being rushed to the vet as soon as they showed signs of discomfort, the cats – Tinker, one, Charlie, five, and Miss Barnett’s companion of 17 years, Garfy – could not be saved. Miss Barnett said: ‘Tinker was the first to die. Then Garfy went in my arms as I discussed euthanasia options with the vet. ‘Charlie survived a little longer but she’s now buried in the garden along with the boys. I loved them all so much, they were my babies.’
A fourth cat, Sparky, aged three, survived but there are fears that it has suffered permanent kidney damage. Although harmless to most animals, lilies are highly poisonous to cats. Even if they do not deliberately eat the flowers, the animals can brush against them and later, when they wash, ingest tiny particles of pollen which have fallen on to their fur.
Yesterday Miss Barnett, 40, described the shocking sequence of events after the bouquet of lilies, roses and carnations was delivered to her home in Hailsham, East Sussex. The mother of one, who works as a gardener, said: ‘The flowers were a lovely Valentine’s surprise from an ex-partner. ‘I put them in a vase on the windowsill. I had absolutely no idea they could harm my babies. ‘I realised something was going horribly wrong when they suddenly went off their food.
‘The next morning I found Tinker collapsed behind the sofa. I took him to the vet but ten minutes later my friend came rushing in carrying Garfy. ‘They looked terrible, they were trembling and crying out. It broke my heart to see them in pain like that. I had no idea what was happening.’
Experts warn that many common lilies sold in Britain, including the Easter lily, tiger lily, rubrum lily and Japanese lily, can cause kidney failure and sudden death if a cat ingests any part of the plant or its pollen.
Animals taken to the vet within six hours can recover but their chances of survival diminish rapidly after that. ‘I couldn’t believe it when the vet told me what had killed them,’ said Miss Barnett. ‘I can’t believe that the risks of lilies have been well-established in other countries but we hardly hear about it here. Thousands upon thousands of lilies will go on sale this weekend for Mother’s Day and I’m petrified that it’s going to happen to someone else.’
She and her daughter Lauren, 14, have been visiting florists, shops and supermarkets and asking staff to put up warning signs in time for Mother’s Day.
Miss Barnett also has four kittens, but fortunately they appear to have avoided contact with the flowers.
The RSPCA urged animal lovers to consult its website for a full list of everyday items that can harm pets.
A spokesman said: ‘Many people take it for granted that what is safe for them is safe for their pets.
‘We would urge everyone to check the sort of items that could cause a hazard because we would hate to think of anyone else having to go through what this poor woman has had to endure.’
Richard Dodd of the British Retail Consortium said: ‘Pet owners need to be aware of this and other risks.
‘Flowers are sold at a wide range of outlets but our members recognise how important this issue is.
‘Generally, they include a warning on the label of flower products saying that lilies are harmful to cats if eaten.’
The Daily Cat: Health Care
By Elijah Merrill for The Daily Cat
Looking inside a cat’s mouth can sometimes solve medical mysteries. Just ask emergency clinician Dr. Patricia Joyce. “Often, a somewhat older cat will come in, and their owners are concerned because it has stopped eating”, she says. “At first, your mind jumps to 13 different metabolic diseases the cat could have, but when you look in the cat’s mouth, you find a few really horrible and painful-looking teeth. Once they’re removed, the cat starts eating again”.
Periodontal disease is the most commonly diagnosed problem in cats, with 70% of cats experiencing some form of periodontal disease by the age of 2. Poor dental health can lead to very painful or even life-threatening situations.
Your Cat’s Teeth Need Your Help
In the wild, cats are hunters that eat birds, rodents and other animals. Chewing their prey served to keep their teeth strong and clean. This lifestyle also resulted in higher mortality, so in many cases, the cats didn’t live long enough to develop much tooth decay. For domesticated cats, it’s up to us to keep their teeth clean.
“Dental disease is one of the most preventable conditions in veterinary medicine”, says Dr. Katy Nelson, a veterinarian who is also a member of the Iams Pet Wellness Council. “I’d say that three-fourths of my patients over 3 to 4 years old have at least mild to moderate dental disease”.
When teeth aren’t taken care of regularly, little problems turn into big ones that can only be treated by extraction of one or more teeth, a process that requires anaesthesia. “Surgically pulling the teeth is not the big deal here”. says Joyce. “It’s being under anaesthesia that’s dangerous and worrisome. And the more teeth you need to extract, the longer the anaesthesia. And the longer the anaesthesia, the more dangerous it becomes”.
Gum disease has also been linked to cardiac disease in both cats and people. The correlation is not yet very well understood by scientists, but it stresses the fact that good dental care is about more than just healthy teeth.
Start a Dental-care Regimen for Your Cat
Regularly brush your cat’s teeth with special veterinary toothpaste, as cats are likely to swallow it and the fluoride in toothpaste for people could harm them.
Regular cleanings—ideally once a year, but at least every two years, according to Joyce and Nelson —are equally important. There are also dental-chew treats, special toothbrushes and dental-health toys that can help.
Food choice is another way to boost a cat’s dental health. Nelson says some of the available “dental diet” cat foods can help keep teeth clean. “Certain compounds prevent plaque and tartar build-up every time they eat”. she says. It’s important to note that some of these foods are high in compounds that can be harmful to very young cats (up to 6 months) or cats with known kidney problems, so consult your veterinarian first.
Above all, both doctors stress the importance of brushing. Cats can be skittish about having their mouths handled, so be patient and persistent. If you have a young cat, start the brushing process as early as possible. “From a health perspective, it’s never too early to start, but there’s also a behavioural reason to start early”, says Joyce. “These early experiences could shape how your cat responds the rest of its life. If you can get them acclimatised, they’ll be easier to treat, and you’ll find any problems much sooner”.