CASTLE VETERINARY CENTRE

61 - 63 Castle Boulevard, Nottingham NG7 1FD see map

Telephone 0115 9417894

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Pet Health Counsellor & Nurse Clinics

...and how they can help you and your pet

Puppy and Kitten Check-Ups      Dental Check-ups

Slim Down Clinics     Adolescent Clinics    Geriatric Clinics

To help you provide a lifetime of care for your pet our nurses are able to offer helpful advice during nurse clinics.

Our pet health counsellor (PHC) scheme is run in conjunction with Pedigree Petfoods. This is a service run by the nurses to help answer the common questions that so often crop-up about dogs and cats, and it compliments the veterinary side of things, without a charge being made to the client. Owners can obtain face-to-face advice on matters such as;

Advice before you buy a pet

Details about vaccinations, worming & flea control

How to avoid those all too common dental problems

Advice on healthy eating

Understanding the needs of older pets

When to bring your pet to the vet

Advice and support on mobility problems

Wee Beastie Clinic (rabbits and other pocket pets)

Our nurses can also perform simple procedures such as clipping claws and removing stitches after an operation. In addition they routinely do the "post-operation checks" which we like to do for all but the most minor of operations a few days after surgery, and our nurses do all the dressing changes required if, for example, a dog's foot needs re-bandaged.

Puppy and Kitten Check-Ups

One of the most common questions we are asked by a new pet owner is "how soon can we start the vaccination?" We recommend that a new puppy or kitten is in the house for at least a week before starting vaccinations; this helps to ensure that the animal is not incubating any diseases, and also allows the owner and pet to be sure that they are right for each other. However, we recognise that owners like to have their new pet checked-over as soon as possible after arrival, and our nurses are happy to do this at an appointment, and at the same time give advice on worming, vaccinations, pet insurance, and so on.

Our "Well Pet Clinics" are proving to be more and more popular with clients. We have several different schemes designed to help owners with different aspects of pet ownership. These are as follows;

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Dental Check-ups

Dogs and cats need dental care just like humans, but all too often vets only see an animal with tooth problems when the teeth are beyond saving. We would like to encourage owners to look after their pet's teeth before they have got to this stage; we run dental clinics where the nurse can advise on brushing your dog's (or cat's) teeth - yes it is possible! We use disclosing solution to show plaque and tartar on the teeth; if brushing the teeth is difficult, there are other things that can be done to help stop tooth decay. We recommend dental check ups every 3 months, (especially after an animal has had to have some dental work done) and there is a small fee for this service.

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Slim Down Clinics

This sounds better than obesity clinics, which is what a lot of dogs suffer from. Just like the human population, the canine population is about 40% overweight or obese at any one time. This can exacerbate problems such as heart failure or arthritis, but can also just make an otherwise healthy dog miserable. There are several low calorie pet foods available nowadays, and with a proper calorie-controlled diet, along with sensible exercise, most animals can achieve - and maintain - their target weight within a short time of starting on a weight reduction programme. We suggest seeing animals every fortnight to monitor their weight loss; several of our patients have done so well that they have entered the national "slim-down" competition run each year for slimming dogs!

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Adolescent Clinics

When dogs reach puberty at around 6 months of age we suggest a check-up with one of our nurses to discuss various matters which are important at this stage in your pets development. A lot of owners want to know about castration / spaying; we can advise on what is best for each individual animal. In addition a dog's permanent teeth will be coming through at this point, and we like to discuss dental hygiene and tooth-brushing. Owners can take the opportunity to discuss training and feeding, and we also suggest worming the dog again at this time.

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Geriatric Clinics

At the age of 9 or 10 years (sometimes younger in larger breeds of dog) old age starts to creep in. This is not a disease in itself, but owners will often notice a dog is slowing down, and perhaps gaining weight. At this stage it may be that a check-up with the vet is advisable, but often the nurse can give advice about changing the diet, slimming your pet or adapting his/her lifestyle to cope with age related changes.

Any animal over the age of eight or nine can be classified as "geriatric". This shouldn't fill you with dread or fear, but it does mean that your pet is becoming more at risk from diseases seen in old age, such as heart problems, arthritis and obesity. Please be aware that if your pet is in this category, there are things that you can do to help them live for many more years to come.

Some things are straightforward; feeding, for example, should be modified, so that your pet is getting a little less protein than previously. There are many pet foods now designed for "senior" or "older" pets, and we are happy to suggest what may be most suitable for your pet. Exercise and weigh-watching is also important, as too much exercise can encourage the development of arthritis, and obesity has severe effects on heart, liver and lung function.

Other problems may be more sinister, in that they can be difficult to spot in the early stages. Your pet may benefit from "profile blood testing"; this is simply a panel of blood tests that we can do to check out things like liver and kidney function, plus thyroid levels. Early diagnosis of sub-clinical disease can make all the difference in successful treatment. There are some excellent drugs and prescription diets available nowadays which can really make a difference in many diseases.

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