Toxic foods

Don’t give chocolate to dogs

Chocolate really is poisonous to dogs.

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which affects the heart, central nervous system and kidneys  and is poisonous to dogs. If your dog has decided to help itself to some of your chocolate contact your vet immediately. Our numbers are 01509 503 850 or, out of hours, our emergency care service number is 0116 255 6360

Your dog may show symptoms of restlessness, vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity or seizures. But if you know your dog has eaten chocolate it is important that you act as quickly as possible and hopefully before these symptoms appear.

The amount of theobromine  varies between different types of chocolate and cocoa powder and its effect depends upon the size and sensitivity of your dog – so get veterinary advice quickly.

Chocolate is also poisonous to cats but cats do not tend to like chocolate and so poisoning in cats is more rare than in dogs.

Nor Tea or Coffee

Whilst you or I would not do it dogs have been known to eat coffee grounds or tea bags and this can lead to serious problems similar to those of chocolate.  A small amount of tea or coffee in a saucer is not likely to be strong enough to seriously harm your dog but we still advise that you do not feed them tea or coffee at all.

No Onions

Garlic, onions, leeks, spring onions, chives and shallots in any form can damage the red blood cells in your cat or dog and also lead to gastric problems. Foods include onion rings, steak and onions, onion soup – yes anything with onions in. Even small amounts of onion over time can poison your pet.

Or  Alcohol

Alcohol is toxic to dogs and can  cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even death. You can take your dog to the pub but seriously do not buy them a drink.

Avocado is dangerous for birds & rodents and may upset your dog or cat

Avocado contains a chemical called Persin and which is poisonous to Rodents and birds – don’t feed avocado to birds or rodents.

Dogs and cats can suffer from vomiting and diarrhoea after eating avocado.

Grapes & Raisins – No

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Health nut ?  It’s no to Macadamia Nuts for dogs

Macadamia nuts can cause an increase in body temperature, tremors and vomiting. So do not let your dog have Macadamia nuts.


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many foods or separately as a direct sugar replacement. Diet and sugar free foods often contain it.  If your dog eats food containing xylitol it can cause their blood sugar levels to drop. This can result in vomiting, weakness, lack of coordination or difficulty walking or standing, depression or lethargy, tremors, seizures and coma. A major sauce of Xylitol poisoning is sugar free gum.

The consequences of letting animals consume any of the above can be very serious and if you think that they have consumed some you should call a veterinary surgery for immediate advice. Our practice number is 01509 503 850 and out of hours are emergency service is on 0116 255 6360


Surgical Operations

Our vets are trained to carry out many major surgical procedures. Our vets in theatre are supported by trained nursing staff. We have an operating theatre suite including anaesthetic machines, vital signs monitoring and surgical lighting.

We carry out major operations regularly, our vets work within their experience and competence and patient safety is our first priority. No operation is without risk and there can be complications that arise during surgery. We do our best to keep you, as our client, fully informed of the risks of any surgical procedures we offer and fully support you in your choice of whether to go ahead with an operation. To this end it is a requirement that owners, where possible, read and sign a consent form indicating that they understand the risks for all surgical procedures. The only time we consider operating without consent is when it is a life and death emergency and we have been unable to locate and contact the owner.

Sometimes our patients have trauma or illness that need specialist surgical treatment. If this is the case we work with our specialist referral partners to ensure that your pet gets the best possible care. Complex surgery, for example heart surgery or complicated orthopaedic surgery has a better chance of being successful if carried out by someone who does those kind of procedures on a daily basis – this is why we may refer you to another surgeon.

Surgical operations can take up a lot of time and resource involving several staff and consequently can seem costly – until you consider what the equivalent operation on a human might cost. Indeed vets operate on a variety of different animals most of which have smaller organs and blood vessels than humans. Our veterinary surgeons will give you a detailed estimate of costs that may be involved in a surgery they suggest  and will point out to you alternative treatments if they are available.

Treatment options are much wider now than in the past and the complexity of some gold standard treatment means that we suggest that owners take out insurance against illness and accident. Of course if you are well insured this means that you can concentrate on getting the best treatment for your pet. As part of our Right Start in Life package we offer a voucher for 4 weeks free insurance to help highlight our advice that insuring your pet is the right thing to do.



Pet Vaccinations

Why we recommend vaccinating your pet?

Why are vaccinations important for pets?

Vaccinations protect pets from potentially deadly diseases.

The injections contain a weak or man-made version of a disease. This triggers your pet’s body to produce antibodies to fight the disease. If they catch the same disease in the future, their body will recognise it and fight it off much more effectively.

Use of vaccinations – or ‘jabs’ – has helped to stop pets getting sick and has saved millions of lives over the last few decades.  If owners stop vaccinating their pets, we’ll see a lot of these dangerous conditions coming back and more seriously ill pets will be in need of lifesaving treatment.

Find out more about how vaccinations protect your pet on the PDSA website:

Primary vaccinations: protecting young pets

It’s important that young pets are vaccinated early to protect them. This is called their ‘primary vaccination course’. Your pet will need two rounds of injections before they’re fully protected and are able to safely mix with other animals.

Young pets are at a much higher risk of catching serious illnesses. When young pets do get ill, these diseases are more likely to be fatal and, even for the lucky pets who fight off the disease, can cause lifelong health issues.

Booster vaccinations: protecting your pet for life

Your pet will need regular booster injections throughout their life to maintain their level of protection. Some boosters are needed every year and others every 3 years. Speak to us about when your pet needs their next booster.

If your adult pet hasn’t had regular booster shots or you’re not sure about their vaccination records, they may need to start their primary vaccination course again. Speak to us for more advice.

If your pet is not vaccinated there is a chance that they could pick up some very horrible diseases.  As well as protecting your pet you are reducing the likelihood of major outbreaks of disease in the population as a whole.

Vaccination is one of the most common procedures carried out by us because clients understand it is an easy and quick way of protecting their pets.  We also get a chance to check over your pet with a free health check which we offer alongside the vaccination.

Your pet should come in for his or her “boosters” every year. However your vet will not give your pet every vaccine every year. Your vet will assess with you the best vaccination regime for your pet based on his or her lifestyle, health and age amongst other factors for instance whether your pet goes abroad on holidays with you or stays in kennels or cattery.

Vet Consultations

Vet Consultations


If your pet is poorly then our vets are here to help.  In a consultation the vet will discuss with you any concerns that you have about the well-being of your pet and explain in detail what can be done to help your pet to the best possible health outcome.

The vets need to ask you a lot of questions about your animal and it’s environment and it is important for you to be as accurate and detailed as possible as taking this history is a critical part of reaching a correct diagnosis.

Your vet is an experienced, highly trained, professional and will pick things up just from looking at your pet at a distance including assessing the way it walks or holds its head, its general condition etc.  The vet may also need to carry out a thorough physical evaluation. This examination will often require someone to hold the animal and sometimes the best person to do this will be you at other times the vet may call in a nurse or nursing assistant to help. When examining your pet as well as examining the eyes, ears and mouth the vet may also need for instance to feel your dogs abdomen or perhaps they may need to extend one of your pet’s limbs or listen to your pet’s heart or breathing. Your pet cannot talk and the experienced vet can pick up a lot from these kind of procedures.

The vet is picking up information all the time and the more information that is accumulated the more likely a diagnosis can be made.

Following the physical examination the vet may have a diagnosis or have some strong suspicions about what is wrong but sometimes further investigation is needed. The vet will explain what other options there are regarding further information gathering with other diagnostic tools. These could include x-ray’s, ultrasound scanning, blood tests and urine tests. The vet will tell you what the best way to reach the right diagnosis is and explain any further costs involved. Although we do x-rays, ultrasound scans and blood tests in the practice It is not always possible to carry out these further tests immediately.

It may be that the vet has sufficient information to start treatment immediately – if they do so they will keep you fully informed with treatment options and the costs involved.

You may need to come back for further consultations, subsequent consultations for the same condition are provided at a reduced charge.

As you can see there is a lot that needs to be done in some consultations and sometimes we do not know how long a consultation will take until we see the patient and start the process. Inevitably this can sometimes cause delays and may result in later appointments having to wait. To minimise the likelihood of long delays we operate an appointment system based on 10 minute appointment intervals for the consultation list so that we can most effectively manage our time. This is not an absolute time limit on your consultation as not all appointments are for full consultations and often we have more than one vet seeing clients at the same time so if your consultation needs to be longer we have and will take the necessary time for you.

With significant advances in animal healthcare more and more options for diagnosis and treatment have become available. We offer a complete range of services directly through our practice or through other specialist referral centres. We can supply the best treatment necessary and will advise you on the appropriate course of action. We also recognise that not everyone feels they can afford the absolute best option and so we are happy to work with clients to come up with the right solution for them.

We do however strongly advise our clients to take out “Pet Insurance” so that they can ensure that their pet gets the best treatment as and when needed.

As part of our Right Start in Life puppy pack we offer a voucher for 4 weeks free insurance. We do advise that not all insurances are equal when it comes to covering costs so it will pay you to do some research not just about the cost of your plan but also about it covering every eventuality.