Rouken Glen Vets’ guide to cat pregnancy

We combined the fact that International Cat week is in August, with the fact that many new cat owners do not fully understand the cat pregnancy risks for unneutered females. The Vets at Rouken Glen Vets have put some helpful advice together below.

Female cats are fertile every two or three weeks and can come into season for the first time when they are just 4 months old. Our clinical team in Giffnock thought they would be wise to provide some advice on cat pregnancy in an article that may be of particular benefit to new cat owners.

As a new cat owner, one of the first things you need to think about is whether or not you would like your cat to have offspring. If not, then we recommend that you neuter them before their first season. If you would like to discuss neutering, then the friendly team at our vet practice in Giffnock can help you.

Get in touch and we can talk you through the facts.

If you are keen to experience a litter of kittens, or you get caught out (by not neutering your cat in time) and experience an unexpected cat pregnancy, it is important to make sure your cat is healthy and properly supported.

Signs of cat pregnancy

Do not panic! Look out for the three classic signs of cat pregnancy: red and enlarged nipples, extra weight, and changes in behaviour. Definitely book a check-up as weight gain can be a sign of many things so if you are seeing that, then we need to see your cat. We will complete a full health check and can confirm a pregnancy just 15 days into her term using ultrasound.

Five things to expect when your cat is expecting…

  1. Cat pregnancy usually lasts between 61 and 72 days.
  2. Apart from the three classic signs above, expect vomiting in the early weeks.
  3. A day before labour begins, your cat’s body temperature will drop to around 37.8 degrees.
  4. As labour starts, she may seek out a quiet place, seem restless and lose interest in food.
  5. As she delivers, you will see discharge, followed by kittens. If the discharge is discoloured or your cat appears to be struggling to deliver, you should contact us quickly on 0141 620 2580.

Four things your pregnant cat will need

Our Vets will prepare you with a cat pregnancy timeline, safe flea & worm treatments, and will walk you through the birthing process. You will also need:

  1. More food: Pregnant cats eat around 25% more food, especially in the 3 weeks to delivery.
  2. More water: She should also have access to more fresh water whilst pregnant.
  3. A kittening box: Create a safe space in a quiet corner – give her some room.
  4. Loving homes: You need to understand ‘Lucy’s Law’ which means you cannot sell your kittens unless you are a registered breeder or animal shelter. We recommend that you start looking for suitable homes early in the process.

Cat pregnancy can be a wonderful thing if you are informed and prepared, so, please do remember that we are here to help. You can contact us by popping into our Rouken Glen Road practice or give us a call on 0141 620 2580.

Why myxomatosis isn’t just a wild rabbit problem in East Renfrewshire

Myxomatosis is often thought of as a ‘wild rabbit problem’ as the disease can be spread rapidly by summer’s ubiquitous supply of biting insects. However, domestic rabbits across the East Renfrewshire area from our base in Giffnock to Barrhead, Newton Mearns and Pollokshaws can contract this deadly disease too after being bitten by the same parasites.

Rabbit vaccinations are the only viable protection for your rabbits against diseases like Myxomatosis, and the two strains of Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD), all of which are nearly always fatal. So, it’s vital that every domestic rabbit’s jabs are kept up to date annually.

Book a rabbit vaccination

Myxomatosis

How to reduce the chance of your rabbit contracting Myxomatosis

Apart from vaccination, other ways to reduce the chances of infection include:

  • Protecting your pet rabbits from biting insects by putting mosquito netting around the hutch. This will help to prevent flystrike as well.
  • If your rabbits are allowed to exercise outside avoid letting them out in the early morning or late afternoon when mosquitoes are more prevalent.
  • Talk to our team about flea prevention for your rabbit. Our team can talk you through the most effective treatments.

A few words on RVHD

Like Myxomatosis, the two strains of Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD-1 & RVHD-2) are nearly always fatal if contracted by un-vaccinated rabbits. RVHD can be spread on inanimate objects that have been contaminated with the virus including shoes, clothing, car tyres, rabbit hutches, and even your hands. Rabbits that have contact with an infected rabbit or their faeces, fur, or meat, are also likely to contract it.

How to reduce the chance of your rabbit contracting RVHD

The RVHD virus can survive on surfaces for up to 6 months, especially in colder climates. Given your rabbit can contract the disease from everything from human clothes and hands to the wind, this virus is pretty much impossible to avoid. So there really is only one practical method of protection and that is vaccination.

We hope you’re getting the clear message that rabbit vaccinations are vital for the ongoing health of all domestic rabbit populations in East Renfrewshire and beyond. If your rabbit has not been vaccinated or you’re not sure when their last jabs were, then please contact us for immediate advice.

Check your rabbit’s vaccination status

Ensuring a cool and carefree summer for East Renfrewshire cats

Long, hot summer days spent sunbathing and going on new adventures… sounds divine. We are sure most cats in East Renfrewshire would agree! Unfortunately, there are a few summer dangers such as heatstroke, burnt paws, and accidents that could scupper your cat’s plans.

The nursing team at Rouken Glen Vets have pulled together their top tips to help you ensure your cat has a cool and carefree summer.

The first action on your checklist is to get your cat microchipped. Besides the new law due to come into force this year making it compulsory, cat microchipping is one of the most helpful things you can do for your cat this summer. Keep reading to discover why and get more cool cat summer tips from Rouken Glen Vets’ nursing team.

Get your cat microchipped for summer

1. Why microchip your cat

With longer daylight hours, more sunshine, and more adventuring to do, summer can heighten certain dangers for cats including:

  • Pet theft
  • Wandering off too far and getting lost
  • Looking lost close to home and being taken to a vet practice or animal shelter
  • Road traffic accidents and other injuries from summer adventures
  • By microchipping your cat, you are giving them the best chance of being reunited with you should the unthinkable happen. Book a cat microchipping appointment today.

2. Think ‘hot weather cat safety’

Cats are big sun worshippers but too much can be detrimental to their health. The heat can get to indoor and outdoor cats so it is important to take steps to avoid heatstroke, which can be fatal.

Follow these tips from Rouken Glen Vets’ nursing team and make sure your cat enjoys a safe summer:

a. Provide plenty of water in multiple locations so your cat avoids getting dehydrated.

b. Set up some shady areas where your cat likes to lay even if your cat lives indoors – get into the habit of pulling down the blinds or drawing the curtains against the midday sun.

c. If your cat likes to sunbathe, apply pet-specific sunscreen to delicate areas such as paws and noses to avoid sunburn – especially if they are lighter in colour.

d. Your cat’s paws are especially sensitive so be aware of the temperature of pavements before letting them outside in hot sun – check for signs of blisters when they come in.

e. Heat leads to cats tiring out more quickly – avoid letting your pet play too much in the heat or it might lead to exhaustion.

f. Be wary around paddling and swimming pools – while cats are not known for jumping into water voluntarily, accidents happen, and cats are not great swimmers.

3. Avoid fleas, worms & ticks

Like cats, many parasites will become more active in the warmer weather and who better to hitch a ride with? Your cat of course! As well as being very annoying for your cat, fleas, worms, and ticks can create a whole host of health issues for your cat, as well as your human family.

Ask any of our Rouken Glen Road Vet Nurses and they will tell you that ongoing preventative treatments are the best course of action to avoid parasite problems in cats. Contact our team on 0141 620 2580 to order your cat’s next treatment, or to discuss the best products for your pet.

We hope you can use our advice to help your cat have a cool and carefree summer. If you have questions after reading this or want to book an appointment for microchipping or preventative care, do get in touch.

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Richard has vital hot weather advice for owners of small furry pets

Even though they are small animals, the risk that hot temperatures pose to rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters is big. In fact, for most small pets, their ideal temperature range tops-out at 23-25°C and anything above can quickly become life-threatening. Some bunnies can tolerate temperatures as high as 30°C but it’s a risk not worth taking.

As rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters cannot sweat like humans do, and have limited options to cool themselves down, it’s up to their owners to help them survive summer heatwaves.

If you have questions after reading our article or concerns about your pet’s health, get in touch with our Giffnock team.

Contact us

Symptoms of heatstroke in small furry pets

If your rabbit, guinea pig, or hamster starts to exhibit any of the following symptoms of heatstroke you should get them somewhere cool and call us on 0141 620 2580 for emergency advice.

  • Shallow, accelerated breathing (panting)
  • Excessive drooling (thick saliva)
  • Hot ears
  • Wet nose
  • Bright red or blue tongue and gums
  • Less urine output due to dehydration
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Cardiac arrest

How to help small furries cope in summer

When the mercury is rising, there are some steps you should take to make sure your small furry pets stay safe. Rouken Glen Vets’ team of experienced Vets have the following advice:

  1. Rabbits regulate their temperature through their ears so one way to boost their natural cooling system is to spray their ears with water – it will evaporate as it warms up. Avoid soaking your bunnies as this could put them at risk of respiratory illnesses.
  2. During hot weather in East Renfrewshire, move their hutch or cage out of direct sunlight and into the coolest spot that is practical.
  3. Keep water bottles and bowls topped up and if there is access to power nearby, think about setting up a fan (not pointed directly at the cage) to keep the air moving.
  4. Make a ‘cold water bottle’ and wrap it in a cloth for your pets to lounge against or set up frozen water bottles around their housing.
  5. Place a cooling mat or pop some cold tiles in the cage or hutch for your pets to lie on.
  6. Rabbits and guinea pigs can be more prone to flystrike in warm weather so make sure your pets are clean and dry (check for urine stains) and keep their bedding and housing impeccably clean.

All these little tricks should ensure your small furry pets do not succumb to the heat. Remember, our Giffnock Vets are here to help if you are concerned about your pet’s health.

Contact us for advice

Rouken Glen Vets shares 7 summer dangers dogs should avoid

We might seem like the ‘fun police’ when we say this, but did you know there are many summer dangers lurking in the great outdoors when you have dogs? The nursing team at Rouken Glen Vets have created this guide on heatstroke, burns, lungworm, poisons, accidents, bloat, and stings to help East Renfrewshire dog owners enjoy a safe summer with their pets.

You can help other pet owners by emailing our article to your friends and family or by sharing it on social media – just copy the URL and share away!

If you notice any unusual behaviours or signs of illness in your dog, contact our Rouken Glen Road team.

Contact us

Summer Dog Dangers Guide

1. Heatstroke

Heatstroke is extremely common and can become life-threatening very quickly. Causes of heatstroke in dogs include spending too much time in the sun, exercising too much in the heat (includes walking), being stuck in a parked car or another sun trap, left without access to shade and water, and a cooling coat that has dried out. You can avoid heatstroke in dogs by avoiding these situations. A summer trim could help some dogs too.

Symptoms of heatstroke in dogs include: laboured panting, dull gums (not bright pink if they are usually), drooling, lethargy, and seizures.

If your dog displays any of the above symptoms, call us on 0141 620 2580 right away. In the meantime, remove your dog from the heat source and cool them down very fast using water on their coat and a cool air fan, and give them a drink.

2. Burnt paws

Dogs can easily burn their paws by walking on surfaces that are too hot – tarmac, paving stones, and concrete especially can get hot enough to burn in the summer sun. The nursing team at Rouken Glen Vets have a quick & easy way for you to tell if it’s too hot. Put your hand on the surface for 5 seconds and if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.

3. Bloat/GDV

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat is a life-threatening condition that can occur when dogs do rigorous exercise too close to a large meal – it can happen to any dog but is more common in larger and taller breeds with big chest cavities. Bloat can also happen any time of the year but is one to be aware of if you are planning some extra fun and games this season. Reduce the risk by leaving 1 hour before and 2 hours after exercise for big meals.

4. Lungworm

Left untreated, a lungworm infection can be fatal. Lungworm is spread through the slime of infected slugs and snails. Dogs typically become infected by eating these creatures or by coming into contact with contaminated dog bowls, toys, and beds that have usually been left outside. Thankfully, lungworm can be prevented through regular worming treatments – ask us about these.

5. Poisons & harmful items

Besides fun & rain, a British Summer can mean gardens awash with poisonous plants & pesticides, vegetable patches growing onions & garlic, fallen fruit with pips & stones, harmful leftovers from BBQs & picnics, rotting food in compost heaps, and access to poisons through open sheds & garages.

Our Giffnock team of Vet Nurses recommend that pet owners should be extra vigilant this summer when it comes to poisons and harmful items, and either remove them or prevent access. If you have any suspicions that your dog has dabbled, don’t delay – call us on 0141 620 2580 for emergency advice.

6. Accidents

Can you avoid accidents? Some, yes, by thinking ahead. Our Veterinary Nurses suggest walking around your garden to try and spot as many potential accidents ‘waiting to happen’, and create a to-do-list – e.g. “remove broken glass from behind shed” and “block up hole in hedge”.

You can think ahead when you are out with your dog too; look at roads, parked cars, potential escape routes, bodies of water, and the activities of people nearby. Just by being consciously aware of your surroundings you can avoid many problems.

7. Insect stings & animal bites

With the great outdoors comes many biting & stinging insects, and the odd snake. Keep an eye on your dog as they investigate nose-first and have a pet first aid kit and your Vet’s number at the ready – ours is 0141 620 2580.

You can also help your dog have a safe and happy summer by:

1. Always having water and a bowl with you

2. Considering your dog’s wellbeing in each situation and surroundings

3. Using preventative measures to help avoid many summer dangers

Before you go, remember to share our safety guide by email and on social media to help other dog owners like you. if you have any concerns about your dog, we are here to help.

Get in touch

Shop or adopt? Advice on getting a new puppy or rescue dog

Bringing a new pet into the family is an exciting time but there is much to consider before bringing that pet home. Get our Vet Richard’s advice on getting a new pet below.

Download our New Pet checklist

Richard recommends that one of the first things to do as a family is to sit down and have a discussion. Set out what the responsibilities of owning a dog are and how each member of the family needs to contribute. Having this initial discussion can ensure everyone understands the work that is needed for a new dog and what they would like to get out of having a dog. It will also enable everyone to discuss what type of dog they’d like and if they’d prefer a rescue (puppy or adult) or a puppy from a breeder.

Things to think about may include:

  • Breed of dog
  • Puppy breeder or rescue animal
  • Amount of exercise needed for that breed
  • Training required
  • Financials such as food costs, routine veterinary care, and insurance
  • How will a dog fit into your lifestyle

One of the hardest questions may be whether to go for a puppy from a breeder or a rescue dog. There are advantages and disadvantages to both but Richard advises that you should make the decision based on what is important as a family.

Choosing a rescue dog

There are many rescue centres in East Renfrewshire and further afield, full of loving dogs desperate to find the right home. Rescue centre staff can help you by discussing what your family wants in a dog and identifying those that meet your requirements. Puppies and adult dogs in rescue centres will come from all kinds of different backgrounds. These might include dogs involved in abuse or neglect cases, or dogs whose previous owner could not care for them any longer for many different reasons. With most rescues you will go through a process of bonding with that dog to ensure they are a suitable fit for your family before fully committing. Adopting a rescue animal can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, but one that may require a lot of patience and some behavioural support.

Choosing a puppy from a breeder

Richard advises that whilst puppies are very cute, they take an incredible amount of work initially. Much of this involves different types of training, such as toilet training, walking on a lead, recall, and general behaviour. This can be a very long and challenging process so it is important to have a full understanding of what is required to look after a puppy before buying one. You will also need to research the breeder’s advertising to ensure you are purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder and avoiding any puppy farms where welfare is compromised.

Which dog breed is right for you?

Consider the breed of dog you would like; different breeds have different requirements such as exercise, food, healthcare, and enrichment. According to Richard, some breeds have typical character traits and temperaments, so not all will be suitable for your family. A working dog will need a lot more exercise than other breeds so if you are a very active family, having an active dog would be a suitable fit. If you are not very active then looking at breeds that do not have the high working drive would be a better option.

How much does owning a dog cost?

You also need to consider that everything your new dog needs comes with a cost, so be sure you are comfortable with those figures before committing to any pet. Typical costs include routine health care, pet insurance, food, bedding…and that’s just for starters.

Get a more comprehensive list of what new puppies and adult dogs need when you download our New Pet Checklist – download now.

So, there you have Richard’s advice on choosing a new pet to suit your family. If you have more questions about owning a dog, why not ask us on our Facebook page? Visit us on Facebook

Download our New Pet checklist

Why choose rabbits, hamsters, or other small furry pets for your child

When looking to get your child’s first pet, many parents will automatically think, ‘small furry animal’. Whilst some small furries can be rewarding first pets, they also require a lot of dedication and commitment to make sure they are looked after appropriately. Get Rouken Glen Vets’ advice on what to consider before buying a small mammal for your child.

Get our small furry pet stats

Common small animals kept as pets include guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats. According to our Giffnock nursing team, they have many differences besides appearance, so it is crucial that you fully research the species and what their requirements are before committing to any of them. For example, guinea pigs are typically easier to handle than rabbits, meaning they might make a better option for your child.

Other things that need to be considered include:

  • Home setup – what do you need?
  • Who is responsible for cleaning them out and feeding?
  • Lifespan of the animal?
  • Do they need a companion?
  • Are they nocturnal?
  • Do they hibernate?

Having a good understanding of the above questions means that choosing the most suitable pet should be easier. Read our helpful guide on the different types of small furries you can keep as pets – download our Small Furry Pet Stats here.

Home setup needed for small furry pets

Some small animals need to be kept outside in a hutch (that can be brought inside a shed or indoors in very cold weather and has shade from the sun), whilst some need to be kept indoors in a suitable cage. Either way, they will need decent-sized housing with room to grow, especially if they need a companion. Small furries also need items inside their housing for enrichment, such as toys, hideouts, exercise equipment, and things to gnaw. All species need cleaning out regularly, so estimating how long this will take and deciding who is responsible is very important.

Life expectancy

Some small animals may only have a life expectancy of 1-2 years while others may live 10+ years. This may be a deciding factor when choosing your child’s pet, as it will give you an idea of the long-term commitment that you are making.

Veterinary care

Regular health checks at our Giffnock vet practice will help our team to spot any problems that need addressing. Just like cats and dogs, each type of small furry pet comes with their own set of typical health problems you should make yourself aware of before buying one. For example, rabbits and guinea pigs can be prone to deadly flystrike if their housing is not kept clean. Some small furries have a higher risk of respiratory issues and lumps too.

Small furry pet companions

When it comes to companionship, some small animals may be happy to live on their own whilst others need a companion to be happy and healthy. Same or opposite sex pairings and groups will depend on the species (and the individual animal), as not all will get along – then comes the question of neutering. The veterinary team at Rouken Glen Vets advise that rabbits and male guinea pigs are typically neutered if living in same-sex pairs or groups. This is also important as multiple animals means more responsibilities and costs.

There are many places you can go to for advice on what small animal may suit your family most. These include speaking to the vet nurses at your local veterinary practice, pet shops, reliable internet sources, and rescue centres. Doing the research at the beginning will make the whole process more rewarding and easier in the long run to ensure your pet is kept healthy and happy, and your child has a pet they can enjoy being responsible for.

Did you know that some animal rescue centres also have small furry pets in need of a loving home?

Remember to check out our helpful Pet Stats to aid your decision making:

Download our small furry pet stats

Vets in Giffnock have this kitten care advice

Having a new kitten is very exciting as they attract a lot of attention with their playful antics. However, it must not be forgotten that they require a lot of care too. It is important to have your house prepared with adequate bedding, a cat carrier for vet visits, food and water at the ready, enrichment for your kitten, and to have some knowledge about how to bond with them.

As well as ensuring your kitten is comfortable in your home, you must take them to the vets so they can get vaccinated, microchipped, and checked over for any health problems.

Follow Richard’s advice below to make sure your kitten has a happy and healthy start to their life with you.

Book a first kitten appointment

Where do I get a kitten from?

We recommend adopting your kitten from a local animal charity and helping to reduce the number of unwanted kittens that need a home. If you are buying from a breeder, before choosing your kitten you should gather some information such as:

  1. When was it born? (Kittens should stay with their mother until they are 12-14 weeks old to avoid some health and developmental issues, although many are separated at 8 weeks)
  2. Will I be able to see the kitten with their mother?
  3. Is there any information about the father?
  4. What breed is the kitten?
  5. Is it friendly?
  6. Is the kitten on solid food?

All these questions will help you understand what your kitten will be socially and physically comfortable with, as well as any important details concerning breed specificity. In addition, make sure the kitten’s environment looks clean and the litter seems healthy. You can ask similar questions to an animal charity however they may not have all the answers.

Should my kitten be vaccinated?

It is crucial to have your kitten vaccinated, microchipped, treated for worms and fleas, and potentially neutered (at 4 months old). Here at Rouken Glen Vets, we can take care of all these procedures. They are important to ensure disease protection, identification, parasite infestation, and the prevention of unwanted litters.

There is also new government legislation to be released in 2022, stating cats must be microchipped by 20 weeks old. If the owner fails to do so, they risk being fined up to £500.

Should my kitten be neutered?

If you don’t want your female kitten to be at risk of becoming pregnant as young as four months old, or your male kitten contributing to the ever-growing population of strays, then yes, your kitten will need to be neutered. Our Rouken Glen Road Veterinary Surgeons can take care of this and microchipping at the same time.

Kitten nutrition

Kittens require a diet high in energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They should have been weaned by the time you purchase them, now requiring soft, wet, digestible food. They will then need to switch to dry food or a mix of wet & dry as they grow. Ask our team about the best types of food for kittens and young cats – get in touch.

Water should be always available and cats often like running water to drink from if possible. Ideally, your kitten should have a litter tray on each floor of your home away from their food and water bowls. If you have more than one kitten or cat, each will need their own litter tray to avoid fighting.

Enrichment

For enrichment, cats and kittens often enjoy interactive puzzles, toys, food balls, scratching posts, places to climb and hide, and time to roam outside. It is important that your kitten doesn’t venture outside until they have been vaccinated, microchipped, and neutered.

Having a kitten is a very fun, rewarding experience, but also requires effort and responsibility. It is important that you follow the guidance above to ensure your kitten has everything they need for a healthy start, and they are comfortable within your home. If you have any concerns, share them on our Facebook page.

Book an appointment at our Giffnock vet practice so our team can advise you further and make sure your kitten gets the preventative treatments they need.

Book a first appointment for your kitten

Giffnock Vets share how to keep rabbits cool during summer

Due to their thick covering of fur, rising temperatures can become dangerous for rabbits as summer approaches. Rabbits can easily overheat and develop life-threatening gut problems or disease with these seasonal changes. Do not panic, the team at Rouken Glen Vets are here to help you learn how to prepare your small furry pets for the warmer months ahead.

Book a nurse check-up

Rabbit checklist for dealing with rising temperatures

A big problem for rabbits during summer is overheating. Here are some ways to reduce that risk:

  • Position the hutch in the shade – if outdoors, maybe think about creating a burrow (that they cannot escape from) to help them mimic their natural ‘wild’ behaviours.
  • Rabbits do require some time in the sun during the day to get the vitamin D they need for digestion – give them short amounts of supervised time outdoors with shaded areas.
  • Make sure their water bowl/bottle is filled up with fresh water more regularly.
  • Wrap an ice pack or a 2-litre drink bottle of frozen water in a towel for them to lean on.
  • Provide a cooler space to lie on such as a cooling mat or a cold tile.
  • Use water in a misting spray bottle on their ears to cool them down – never soak them as this could put them at risk of respiratory problems if they catch a chill.
  • Make sure their hutch is well-ventilated – a fan can be used but avoid pointing it directly at your bunnies and make sure they have enough space to move away from it if they want to.
  • Give frozen veggies as a cooling treat.

The signs of heat stroke in rabbits include:

  • Panting
  • Drooling
  • Disorientation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Head tossing
  • Red or hot ears
  • Seizures or a coma

If your rabbits are suffering from heat stroke, do not submerge them in water or leave them unattended for long periods of time. Dampen their fur, offer them cool water, and call our Rouken Glen Road vet practice right away for advice on 0141 620 2580.

Despite the warmer weather during spring and summer, there can still be cold spells, so make sure there is extra insulation and bedding if required. In addition, spring grass (which is high in sugars) can cause gut issues in your rabbits, so gradually introduce them to this within their feed.

Summer rabbit diseases

Another topic of concern is disease. During warmer months, the risk of diseases such as flystrike, myxomatosis, and VHD (Viral Haemorrhage Disease), as well as parasite infections increases. You can significantly reduce the risks with optimal hutch hygiene and the correct vaccinations. If you are concerned about any of these, contact us right away on 0141 620 2580 to book a rabbit check-up.

A great way to reduce both the risk of overheating and disease is grooming. Brushing can help to remove some of their thicker winter fur and any debris, which will help to cool them down. If your rabbits have long fur that needs a trim, it is wise to consider using a professional groomer for this as a rabbit’s skin is quite thin and easily damaged.

Should I bathe my rabbit to cool or clean them?

Rabbits tend to keep themselves meticulously clean. If your rabbit gets extremely dirty and needs some help, spot cleaning is the safest method. If they get hot, it is best to follow the advice above. Being bathed could frighten your rabbit, leading to injury from thrashing about. Also, they could catch a chill and suffer from pneumonia, respiratory infections, hypothermia, and other life-threatening health conditions. If your rabbit is struggling to clean themselves or you spot urine or faeces on their fur, contact our veterinary team as soon as possible as they may be at risk of
flystrike.

We hope our tips on how to keep rabbits cool and healthy in summer will help you have a happy and trouble-free season with them in East Renfrewshire.

Book a nurse check-up for your rabbit

Rouken Glen Vets’ nurses give vital pre-summer dog advice

Now the sun has joined us, it is time to think about what we need to do to prepare our pets for summer. Rouken Glen Vets’ nursing team have come up with a helpful list for dog owners in East Renfrewshire.

Get our Summer Dog Safety Guide

There are many ways in which you can prepare dogs for the upcoming warmer months. According to our Giffnock Registered Veterinary Nurses, these include:

  • Grooming
  • Parasite control
  • Vaccinations
  • Preparing for upcoming holidays
  • Reminders on keeping pets cool
  • Exercise guidance

Let’s look at each one in more detail so you can get your companion ready and raring to go for the summer fun ahead!

Dog grooming

The first action is to ensure your dog’s coat is ready for the warmer weather. Some breeds need to be groomed regularly to keep their fur under control. Breeds like cocker spaniels, poodles, and many others will also need a trip to the groomers for a fur clip to keep them cool in the heat. The groomer may be able to trim your dog’s nails too, or you can ask our nurses to take care of this for you. Nail clips are helpful as dogs are more likely to do lots of walking across softer surfaces like grass and sand and whilst these have many benefits, they do not help to keep nail length under control.

Parasite control

Next, it is essential to be on top of your dog’s routine parasite control. Again, because of the warmer weather, you are more likely to walk your dog across areas where other species may carry parasites such as ticks. Fleas also start to become more active with the warmer weather so make sure your pets are regularly treated to avoid any infestations. Daily vacuuming and the occasional home flea treatment can help even if your dog doesn’t have fleas, as they can arrive via other pets and on your clothes and shoes.

Vaccinations for dogs

Annually vaccinated dogs will have optimal protection against contagious, harmful diseases. With the hustle and bustle of daily life, sometimes booster jabs can become overdue. Without sufficient protection, your dog is at greater risk of exposure to infections whilst they are enjoying their summer adventures. Get in touch with our Giffnock team by calling 0141 620 2580 to make sure your dog is fully vaccinated.

Summer holidays

You may be starting to think about your holiday plans for the year, here are our nurses top tips:

  • If you are leaving your dog with someone, be sure that they are a registered, licenced, and insured business with good animal welfare regulations.
  • If you are unsure how your dog will cope in kennels, do a practice run where they just stay for one night at a time to get used to it. You will need to make sure all vaccinations are up to date and you have the signed certificate ready for when you drop them off.
  • If you are taking your dog on holiday with you, be sure to check that your accommodation is happy to have pets on-site, and you have an Animal Health Certificate and any other relevant documents if travelling abroad (you will need to organise these several weeks in advance).

How to keep dogs cool and safe in summer

Keeping dogs cool in summer can be challenging but vital to ensure they do not become unwell. Our Rouken Glen Road Vet Nurses recommend considering things like hydration, shade, changing when your dog exercises, and ways to cool them down and deal with emergencies. To help you, we have a handy guide on the subject – download it here:

Download our Summer Dog Safety Guide

Make sure to pop our contact number in your phone to get emergency care and advice, if you don’t have it already: 0141 620 2580

Did you know May is Veterinary Nurse Awareness Month? Why not share why your pets love our Vet Nurses on our Facebook page? If you include the hashtag #VNAM on your post, you can help to spread the word about our fantastic nursing team!

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