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Kennel is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection that can be caused by inhalation of a bacterial or viral particles into the respiratory tract.  The disease is usually transmitted between dogs in close contact by aerosolized respiratory secretion, often during coughing or sneezing. It can even transmit to your dog by exposure to surgaces that have been tainted by a sick dog. There is typically a harsh honking type of cough, but sometimes the coughing can seem more like gagging or vomiting slime/frothy material. Some dogs develop a fever and anorexia for a few days.

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Kennel cough is very common among young dogs and puppies, but older dogs get it too. In many cases, it will clear up on its own in 3-4 days. Many dogs with kennel cough will not act sick and are active, eating and drinking, but coughing as well.  Therefore is the dog is coughing and acting ill, have a fever etc- you should take your dog to the veterinarian.

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To prevent your dog getting Kennel cough there is a vaccine. Many kennels wont keep your dog unless you have proof of the vaccine, but you need to plan ahead, because it can take up to 2 weeks for the vaccine to kick in. therefore ideally you should vaccinate your dog 2 weeks before planning to place them in a kennel.  The vaccine is inhaled through he nose. Side effects of the vaccine include: vomiting, hives, lethargy, breathing difficulties. If accidentally injected instead of inhaled the animal can be sore at the injection site and potentially feel lethargic and develop an abscess at the site.

The kennel cough vaccine is still not 100% effective. There is still a change that your dog develops kennel cough, but the vaccine will reduce the severity and the length of the illness. The vaccine will not be of any help to your dog if its already got Kennel cough. Normally if they get kennel cough, the veterinarian will treat with an antibiotic against the opportunistic bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica etc. the antibiotics will however to affect the viral components of the condition but they should prevent the dog developing secondary pneumonia from the opportunistic bacteria. First choice antibiotic is doxycycline, but other alternatives include oxytetracycline, potentiated sulphonamides or amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. A 7-10 day course should be sufficient, but some cases will require a longer course.

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If you don’t feel comfortable vaccinate your dog with this vaccine, Kennel cough is a self limiting illness, meaning it can go away on its own. However if your dog is coughing, not himself, fever etc- please bring your pet to your veterinarian.

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Veterinarians

We feel that animals have as much right to Planet Earth as we have, that companion animals bring joy, hope and unconditional love to us each and every day, and that it continues to be our moral responsibility to look after them and to love them back to the very best of our ability.

“I`ve always felt that animals are the purest spirits in the world. They don’t fake or hide their feelings, and they are the most loyal creatures on earth. “ Pink

This is my 2nd week as a working veterinarian. Yesterday I got my name badge and my name on the consulting door with “veterinary surgeon” underneath. Such a surreal feeling. I made it, I made my dream since a little girl come true! I feel so privileged to have made it.

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I started my first day with my favourite subject: surgery. I did a couple of dog and cat castrations.  The rest of my first day I was asked to consult. I jumped right into the deep end and started consulting on my own on my first day. The reception was nice and scheduled in 20 minute consultations (instead of the normal 10min per patient) and also scheduled in fairly ok patients for me. I had a lot of vaccinations; booster vaccination, primary vaccinations of puppies, microchips and puppy litter checks.  I`ve seen a lot of ear infections- showing clients how to clean dog ears and dogs needing dentals. I know dental scale and polish can be expensive, but when your dog is 3-5 years and has a lot of dental tartar- you should as an owner prioritise this treatment for your pet. Postponing it will only make it worse! Your pet can get periodontal disease: which is both unpleasant and can result in your pet having to have its teeth out at a younger age than needed. When it gets to this stage it really is too late to brush its teeth. Brushing teeth is really a preventative measure which needs to be done preferably every night or every other night for it to have any affect. Both royal canine and Hills pet food supply a dental food diet, but again only part of the treatment for your dogs dental tartar. Recent studies have demonstrated that there is an association between oral health issues and systemic general health issues affecting the kidneys, heart and metabolic system.  Have you ever wondered why your dog`s breath smells? Bad breath in  pets can be cause by many health or behavioural reasons, but more likely due to lack of oral hygiene.

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Plaque is a clear white film that forms on the outside of the teeth. It is formed by bacteria naturally found in the mouth. Tarter or calculus is formed when plaque is allowed to sit and mix with chemicals found in the dogs saliva. This quickly form a coating (made of bacteria) developing on the teeth and also under the gumline. Once tartar is formed, it is too hard to be removed by a toothbrush and require a dental scale and polish. Gingivitis is another big concern. The inflammation of the gums is the immune systems attempt to get rid of the infection from the tartar buildup. Which is the beginning stage of peridonal disease, if this is left uyntreated it can recess into the gumline, periodontal pockets and cause oral abscessed and tooth loss. Because the bacteria from the mouth can become blood born, it can also affect other organs of the body and therefore contribute to heart disease etc and therefore shorten the pets life.

Oral health is key to a long healthy life for our furry friends, not just dogs but cats as well. Think if you had tooth ace and didn’t go to the dentist? It would only get worse, well it’s the same with your pet. Instead of giving stuffed toys and treats for Christmas, why not give your pet a dental scale and polish if its breath smells?

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This week I had to trim the tooth of a hamster. Most pet rats and pet hamsters will not have a problem with their teeth during their lifetime. If your small pet is happily chewing on toys and food during the day, he will keep his teeth healthy and you will not need to trim them. However, if your furry friend hurts a tooth or becomes sick, it’s possible that tooth overgrowth or another problem will arise that will necessitate a tooth clipping.

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That’s me for now, write soon.

Love,

Annette

Qualified Veterinarian

“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling” Van Gogh

Ever since I was a little girl I was always interested in animals. In school the teachers taught us about human history and I would ask questions about the animals. I always wanted to be a veterinarian – the student advice councillor at my school said I should pick something easier. To me it wasn’t a choice. It was my passion. I didn’t want to become anything else.

With dyslexia and learning difficulties I could have picked a profession that would have been easier to achieve. Would I then be happy for the rest of my working professional life?

I recently qualified as veterinarian from Glasgow University after 5 hard working years. It has been a much tougher road then I though it would be starting this career path. I first completed a bachelor in Animal Science at Aberystwyth university studying in english my 2nd language. Great to do to get into the terminology, but the veterinary title was always my goal. Then I got accepted at Glasgow university were I have been the past 5 years. I have watched close friends repeat years, I have had resit exams and sacrifices along the way. I feel very fortunate I didn’t have to repeat a year- especially when I was hospitalised with gal bladder stones in 3rd year, but did my exams anyways and passed them. Some girls in my year had even repeated 3 extra years – so 8 years in total- but they got through. Having had resit exams made me doubt my knowledge- but my councillor pointed out that resitting an exam isn’t always so bad. Some people need longer to go through the material- so you might even know it better now that you have had to repeat it again. I have suffered from exam anxiety trough veterinary school. This is quite common in higher education- and I think its because the pressure of making it becomes so huge. Because Norway (the country I’m from) isn’t part of the EU, I had to pay full fees of 18,750 pounds a year. If you times this with 5 plus an undergrad degree, you’ve accumulated a lot of dept over the years- so the option of repeating a year or not making it wasn’t there. Every time I had an exam- the thunderclouds that was my finances was sat over my head making the anxiety worse. For my final exams we had a power cut in the middle of the exam- although this was beneficial for most students- because they got extra time then to think things over, it worked differently for me. I didn’t spend the time thinking about the answers to the exam, but rather about what would happen if I didn’t pass this exam. I worked myself up to the point that when we were allowed to continue the exam (an hour later), I couldn’t even read the questions on the paper. I couldn’t understand what it said anymore, which stressed me out even further. I ended up failing that exam with 1%. It was devastating. I wouldn’t get to graduate with my class, the class I had been with the past 5 years. I had the resit exam 2 months later after reading all summer. I actually had one of my final exam on my birthday, fun ey. I felt I knew the material well enough for the first exam, but then going over it again all through the summer I knew it even better. I will be graduating with some of my other class mates on the 5th of December- but until then I managed to land my first job as a veterinarian.

It was my first interview with a great organisation including a new graduate scheme with a mentoring system- rotations through their branches and potential for further surgical certifications on the 2nd year. I will be the best veterinarian I can be, and I really feel this job will give me a great stepping stone into the working life.

“The greatest oak was once a little nut, who held his ground”.

You work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you enjoy doing.

The veterinarians Prayer:

Oh lord, maker of all living things, I ask that you guide me everyday, with compassion, as I attend to the animals that are in need of my care. Guide me in all decisions and keep me focused. Grant me the ability to console those in need, comfort those that are saddened, and to rejoice in all of your miracles, and please lord, give me courage, to make the tough decisions and the knowledge to help heal in a gentle loving manner.

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Love Annette

Cyprus cat protection and animal welfare in paphiakos was founded in 1982. It provides shelter for stray cats and dogs and has grown in existence since then. It now provides many services including information, veterinary clinic to the public, free rescue and 24 hours emergency service, shelter, boarding, re homing, pet travel, education programs for school and the general public, a coffee shop and four charity shops. Phaphiakos also provide shelter for old/ injured donkeys. Paphiakos has  many local fundraisers to raise money for the charity and the neutering program. It really is a great organisation

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3 Glasgow students: Heather, Victoria and me went to Cyprus and worked for the spay and neuter program at Phaphiakos.  We were welcomed by their vet team: Dr George Sergio, Dr Nefelli , Dr Filipos, Dr George Shikkis.
Generally we did medications for in patients in the morning followed by surgery the rest of the day. We were supervised by the vets and nurses at phaphiakos, but given the responsibility to spay and neuter cats as well as some spays and castrations of stray dogs with the vets scrubbed in. This really was a great placement. I went for 2,5 weeks in may, and I would really recommend other 4th/final year looking for spay practice to take the trip.

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You also get days off to explore Cyprus. We joined a gym about 15 min walk from paphiakos and got to borrow their pool. Accommodation is free at Paphiakos.

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Dental vets

In final year we have rotations in different aspect of veterinary, but they had removed any practical rotations with dentistry. I think that dentistry is going to be a large part of veterinary practice when we qualify so booked myself a week with Norman Johnston which was the lecturer who taught us dentistry forth year.

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Norman Johnston had over the years created a specialist referral hospital for Dentistry up in North Berwick, Scotland. It was about a 2 hour drive from Glasgow and I was very lucky to come across Brenda & Frank at the Richmont cottage, who let me stay with them for my week for a very good price.
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Norman had seen dentistry with a lot of different species including, polar bears, sun bears, Asiatic black (moon) Bears, Chengu du, Lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, cheetah, African wild dogs, gorilla, chimpanzees and may smaller monkeys such as L´hoest, squirrel monkey and lemur.  He’s also treated pygme hippo, red panda and babirusa so you can say hes seem quite the variety of patients. Norman used to teach the dentistry final years at Glasgow, so I think I was very lucky to find him.

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My first day I was thought the importance of the Dental chart, which is a chart that vets can use to systematically look at each tooth and grade how much gingivitis or calculus there is on a tooth. This could allow the vet to compare the mouth hygiene of a dog/cat from one polish to the next, and can also show the owners the importance of tooth brushing in animals. Norman used this in some dogs where they located where the owner were missing to brush on the teeth so that the owner could correct this for the next time.

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I saw a lot of different things, but the major difference I noticed with a referral dental clinic is that they have 2-3 patients a day, so everything is a lot less stressful and Norman also has the time to properly explain everything to the owners. He takes before and after pictures to make reports both to the vets and to the owner to better explain things, which I thought was an excellent idea.  There was a dog which had fractures its canine down to the pulp, which then had to be toot canaled. There was a cat which had been in a car accident that they had previously placed a wire to connect the mandible symphysis, the wire was removed and its fractures upper canines was removed.

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One little dog had mandibular disoclusion (overshot bite 2mm) and lingual displacement of the lower canines occluding into the hard palate. This created wounds in the hard palate. This is an inheritable condition.

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I also experienced removal of an epulis over upper incisors that had proliferated from the peridonal ligament (fibrous amilioblastoma) & incisor tumour growth.

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Dental vets also showed me how to position dental xrays to cover the tooth & root of the tooth you are investigating as well as developmental settings for the radiographic equipment.

My dog Tasha had fractured here decidious canine whilst playing with here brother and under further examination I concluded that the pulp was exposed. Norman was kind enough to let me fit Tasha in between the other clients on the last day. Because here canines were lingually displaced as well, we concluded to remove both here decidious whilst she was under anesthesia anyways to allow the permanent canines to have the full potential to develop naturally. The operation went fine, and she recovered great without pawing at here stitches too much.

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It was a great week, so hope to come back to see north berwick again. Its really a shame we don’t see dentistry practically at the vet school, but I at least feel a bit more equipped to deal with it when Im a new graduate now!

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This week I’m located down in the west Midlands doing Equine fertility work with John Newcombe and Gary Kelly. John Newcombe is one of Britain’s most prominent equine stud vets and is an expert in his field. He works with Embryo Transfer all over the world and Mare Fertility/ pregnancy diagnosis. John also does a lot of research within equine reproduction. Gary is also an equine fertility vet, but he also works with Equine dentistry.

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The problem with being a new vet is that it’s expected that you know so much when you graduate even though your not allowed to do much before your qualified when seeing practice. Therefore I decided to travel to Brownhills in West midlands, just outside of Birmingham to gain some experience in equine reproduction with the famous John Newcombe. I flew in from Glasgow on Sunday and already on Sunday evening John was having me rectal examine his mares to locate the uterus and ovaries. He would then ultrasound these structures to identify what stage of the cycle they were to potentially cover them with a stallion.

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Rectal examination of horses is quite a tricky thing to do in the beginning, because you might know the theory bind what your meant to feel, but you don’t know how it feels or where to located what your meant to feel. All mares are different as well, which makes it hard to standardise the learning. The only way to learn this method is to practice it, but then again many clinics won’t let you practice this as student, because of the danger that the mare will have a rectal tear, in which case she might have to be put down. John has over 50 horses at his yard, which are all used to him examining them. So I was allowed to examine them when brought in. In the beginning I had problems locating the uterus, especially in the older mares because the uterus was often located much further in and I’m not a very tall person.

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I’ve now been here a week and with being allowed to rectal examine horses 3 times a day, I’ve notices a huge improvement. I can now locate the uterus in all the mares that come in as well as locate most of the ovaries. I’ve also started to be able to assess the tone of the uterus body and horns as well as the size of the ovaries. This is important because the uterus and horns will change in tone depending on where in the cycle the mare is. The ovaries will also change in tone right before ovulation as well as some mares being more tender at this point. Its therefore important to assess all of the mares behaviour, not just oestrus behaviour.

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Several of the mares were covered/mated when I was here as well. John is doing research where he flushes the Mare after a certain amount of hours after she has been covered to compare how many inflammatory cells there are in the uterus after natural service (stallion) compared to frozen or chilled semen inseminated. Therefore 4-6 hours after the mare was covered, we flushed here, often at midnight.

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Warren house if one of the few veterinary clinics in Britain that y regularly and successfully carry out Embryo transfer.  This procedure is when you take a 7 day old embryo from one mare (“donor”) and place it into the uterus of another mare (“recipient”).  The recipient mare will then carry the pregnancy to term and mother the foal until weaning. The donor mare is then free to be mated again to achieve more pregnancies in the same year or continue her competitive career.

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Next week I’m of to do Veterinary dentistry at a referral clinic in North Berwich.
Talk soon
Annette

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