news, information and advice from dave cumber vets
We have had 4 rabbits in Weymouth die of Viral Haemorrhagic Disease 2 (VHD 2) this November. The usual combined vaccine against myxomatosis and VHD1 will NOT protect your rabbit against VHD2. VHD2 is a highly infectious and often fatal disease of rabbits. Both VHD1 & VHD2 are caused by a related virus, but where VHD1 is nearly always rapidly fatal, VHD2 has a slower onset. The symptoms of VHD2 can be rather non-specific, from listlessness, lack of apetite & a bit off-colour, to sudden, unexplained death. Up to 20% of infected rabbits will die, with death occuring over several days. Unlike VHD1, baby rabbits under the age of 6 weeks seem to get no immunity to VHD2 from their mothers.
Both types of VHD are transmitted by direct contact with secretions from the nose and mouth of infected rabbits. They can also be transmitted indirectly by exposure to contaminated objects or via equipment & clothing. Insects, rodents & birds may also be able to spread the virus. VHD can survive freezing conditions and can persist in the environment for a long time.
The best protection for your pet rabbit is vaccination. A combined annual vaccination against myxomatosis and VHD1 is commonly given but although VHD2 has been known about for some time, we have not had it in Dorset and most of our rabbit owners have not asked for the vaccination. Since the recent deaths in Weymouth have been confirmed as VHD2, all rabbits belonging to our members of staff have been vaccinated against VHD2 and we would recommend to our clients that they have their pet rabbits vaccinated as well. The vaccine against VHD2 cannot be given at the same time as the myxomatosis/VHD1 vaccine – there must be at least 2 weeks between them.
Other precautions which may help protect your pet rabbit include:
- make sure your garden is not accesible to wild rabbits and other wildlife
- do not handle rabbits in pet shops or other similar environments and ensure you wash hands thoroughly after coming into contact with other rabbits
- buy bedding & food from a reputable pet shop to ensure there is no contamination
- hang insect repellant strips & keep bedding clean and dry to avoid attracting unwanted insects which may carry the disease
- if you have other pets such as cats and dogs, they should be regularly treated for fleas with a veterinary approved product
Vaccination for pet rabbits is the most effective way to protect them. If you would like to discuss this further, or if you would like to make an appointment, our team at Dorchester or Weymouth will be happy to help.
How did your pet cope with firework night?
Fireworks are not restricted to bonfire night. These days they are often used for weddings, parties, Christmas and New Year. And it’s not just fireworks. Other noises such as DIY, building work, loud music and thunderstorms can also trigger stress reactions in your pet
Anxiety caused by noise affects approximately 50% of dogs. Typical reactions include: panting, whining, lip-licking, trembling, hiding, yawning, pacing, refusing to eat and clinginess. There are several products on the market which we have found to be useful in helping your pet cope with noise-related anxiety. Click here to view our recommended products.
A NEW drug called SILEO has just come out which seems to be very effective in DOGS that suffer with noise phobia. It comes in a small syringe (no needle!) and is administered between the cheek and gum inside your dog’s mouth.
We think our clients will find this new treatment particularly useful because, although ideally it is given 30-60 minutes before the noise event, it is still effective if given when the noise starts or when your dog starts to show signs of distress. A repeat dose can be given every 2 hours to a maximum of 5 doses, should that be needed. Your dog will be calm but still be able to function normally
SILEO cannot be dispensed “over the counter”. An appointment with one of our vets must be made to assess your dog before it is prescribed. Once prescribed for the first time, it can be repeat prescribed for up to six months.
As with any medicine there are a few things to be aware of:
• SILEO is potentially dangerous to pets if abused/used incorrectly.
• Not to be used on puppies under 16 weeks
• Not be used in pregnancy or lactation
• SILEO MUST NOT BE USED IN CATS
If you think that SILEO might help your dog ,then give us a ring at our Dorchester or Weymouth surgery to make an appointment.
You can now take a tour of Dave Cumber Vets in Weymouth without having to step inside the building. Thanks to new Google virtual tour photography, customers can easily navigate their way around the large purpose built facility located on Link Park in Chickerell.
Reception and waiting area
Just as visitors do in person, on the virtual tour you can enter the building through reception room and start exploring the separate dog and cat waiting areas.
Take a look around the analysis area.
In the X-Ray room you can take a close look at the machinery.
We have built the cattery area to not only be insulated from the cold but also be sound insulated to so any noise from the dog kennels is kept to a minimum.
Take a look around our large dog kennel area. It allows dogs the space to comfortably recover in a safe and warm environment.
Above is one an example of one of our eight consultation rooms.
If your pet requires an operation with us this is where they will have it performed.
Pets and Fireworks
Have you REMEMBERED and are you PREPARED?
Firework Night is nearly here and the celebrations will probably carry on for several days with all the problems that can cause for some pets. As we say each year, early preparation is the key especially if you would like to desensitise your pet. Have a look at our article on helping your pet cope with fireworks and then check out the firework phobia products available. Our staff at both the Dorchester and Weymouth surgeries will be happy to help and advise if you have any worries regarding your pets and fireworks.
Let’s “remember, remember the 5th of November” for all the right reasons this year!
Imagine working in beautiful Dorset with the nicest people, the best facilities and a quality of life second to none. We have an opportunity for an experienced and a less experienced vet to join our team.
For more details please view our staff vacancies page.
The damp weather we’ve been having has brought out many fungi in gardens and the surrounding countryside. We’ve certainly noticed plenty as we walk our dogs Gru and Margot in the woods. Each year we get a couple of cases of dogs who are poisoned by eating fungi. Sadly some of these have proved fatal.
There are thousands of different fungi, many of which are not very poisonous but some can be very dangerous indeed. These can cause damage to the brain, kidneys or liver of your pet. Without expert knowledge, fungi can be extremely difficult to identify reliably. If the type of fungi is known it is possible to have a better idea of signs to expect and what the likely outcome will be. This helps us to choose the best treatment for your pet.
We are able to get help from the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) who may be able to identify the fungus involved from photos or samples (even if these are in your pet’s vomit or faeces) but please remember NOT to let children handle fungi and to wash your hands thoroughly if you handle fungi.
As with all poisonings contact the veterinary surgery as soon as possible so that treatment can be started to give your pet the best chance of recovery.
Hundreds of visitors flocked to the Dave Cumber Vets “Behind the Scenes” Open Day at the Weymouth surgery located at Link Park, Chickerell Link Road, Weymouth on Sunday 13th August. The event showed off why the new facility is one of the best vets in Dorset.
The team at Dave Cumber Vets decided that Link Park really should have a life saving human heart defibrillator installed on the facility. Most of the team at Dave Cumber Vets are trained to use a defibrillator for pets and humans, so it was decided that a human device was also needed. The human defibrillator will be located at Dave Cumber Vets and the surgery will need to raise around £1500 for the equipment.
Dave Cumber who wore a Scooby Doo dog outfit for the entire Open Day said “We were absolutely thrilled to meet so many people with their furry friends at our open day, plenty of old friends and many new faces. We had no idea how many people would be interested but the weather was perfect and from start to finish we were packed out. Our fantastic team and many others gave up their Sunday to raise money for a very worthy cause to raise funds for a human defibrillator to be based at Link Park but accessible by all local people. We were also proud to show off our new surgery, a hospital standard facility providing the high standard of care our patients deserve, it was very rewarding to see how interested everyone was in all the demonstrations and the guided tour.
Over 280 people were taken on tours of the surgery, following the journey of a pet from coming in to reception, being seen in a consultation and then admitted for surgery. We put on extra tours but even then had to turn some people away. The doggy crèche proved to be very popular with visitors who could leave their pets with our friendly staff whilst they had a good look around”.
Dave Cumber went on to say “I have been planning this surgery for many years and we were all so proud to show pet owners in Dorchester and Weymouth just what a great team we have and what a high standard of care we can offer their pets. We raised a brilliant £689 and are now well on the way to buying the life-saving defibrillator for Link Park. We also received a donation from DJ Property towards the equipment, which was a fantastic boost. I would like to thank everyone who helped make the day such a success but especially all the people who came along with their pets to support us. We hope they enjoyed the day as much as we did.”
Other attractions at the Open Day included a “Guess the Weight of Gru and Margot” which was won by Kerry Weaver she guessed a combined weight of 49.5kg. The Giant Teddy bear was won by a little girl who correctly named the bear “Beary”. The Raffle and Cake stand also proved to be very popular with visitors.
The Lameness Detection mat was also used by 40 dogs during the day and the results will now be analysed by James Thorpe, one of the Orthopaedic Vets at the practice. Veterinary nurses gave demonstrations and clinics throughout the day including pet dentistry, live cardiac scans, and first Aid. The Open Day was also attended by Cats Protection League, and Hills Nutrition.
Dave Cumber Vets will now be working hard to raise the remaining funds for the defibrillator over the next few months; any donations will be gratefully received.
Image Gallery from the Open Day
We will be closed for staff training every Wednesday morning between 9am and 10am. We now have over 40 members of our team and it has become increasingly difficult to get everyone together for training – whether it is to do with customer service, clinical procedures or organisational matters. We will do our utmost to minimise any inconvenience to clients and obviously will still be available for emergencies during this hour. There will be no appointments available during this time and we will not be able to admit any patients or dispense prescriptions.
The decision to close for this hour has not been taken lightly but we feel that it is necessary to maintain the high standards you & your pets expect from us.
We had a great evening on Friday 23rd June at the Wessex FM local Heroes awards ceremony at the Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy. Dave Cumber Vets were sponsoring the Animal Award. The award celebrate animal rescuers, animal carers and indeed animals who are heroes themselves!
It was tough work for to choose a winner however it went to the fantastically caring Kia, the German Shepherd. Once you find out more about Kia, we think you’ll agree that she was very worthy of her trophy.
Watch the video of Kia’s story to find out more…
Grass seeds (or grass awns) are a summer menace so protecting your pet from grass seeds is essential. Every year from June until late Autumn we treat a lot of dogs with problems related to grass seeds. These grass seeds are shaped like a barb with a sharp pointed end and can work their way through skin or into body openings. Between the toes is the most common site but they can enter the ear canal, be sniffed up the nose, get trapped in the eyes or be swallowed or inhaled. Unfortunately they often move and break up within the body making them very hard to find.
Wherever they end up they cause pain and inflammation. You might see your pet licking at its feet, suddenly starting to cough or sneeze, have a sore, mucky eye or have a painful swelling between the toes or under the skin. Generally the problems do not go away unless the grass seed is removed. This usually involves sedating or anaesthetising your pet and investigating surgically. Very often the grass seed is not found on the first attempt and further investigations may be required. Occasionally grass seeds work their way internally and cause serious life-threatening illnesses. Thankfully this is rare.
What you can do to protect your pet from grass seeds
You can help protect your pet from grass seeds by:
- avoiding running your dog through long grass
- discouraging your dog from chewing grass
- checking your dog’s feet after each walk – especially between the toes
- checking the fur around the opening of the ears
- consider clipping around feet, ears and belly on long-haired breeds
Download our grass seed leaflet for more information on protecting your pet from grass seeds
International Cat Care runs the “Cat Friendly” scheme where practices can attain bronze, silver or gold awards based on how well they meet the very special needs of their cat patients and owners.
Most cat owners know all too well how stressed their pets can become on a visit to the vet especially if they have to stay for an operation. We started working to improve the experience for our cat patients while we were still at the old Chickerell Road surgery with our vet Sarah and receptionist Mel. We did what we could, such as separate cat ward and operating theatres, but were very limited by the actual building.
Our new surgery was built to provide the best veterinary care for cats
When we were designing the new Weymouth veterinary surgery at Link Park, cat welfare was very high on the list of priorities and the surgery was designed to give cats the best, least stressful experience we could possibly achieve. The new design included:
- separate waiting areas with screening from dogs
- separate reception with a shelf to rest cat cages on (cats HATE being placed on the floor)
- separate cat ward and theatres accessible without going through any areas with dogs
- specially designed cages for day patients and larger ones for longer term inpatients
- longer 15 minute consultations to allow cats and kittens time to relax
- separate cat consultation room
- isolation ward
Throughout this time, Sarah and Mel were working in the background keeping us focused and on target to get it absolutely right for our cat patients.
We are delighted to have the gold award but even more rewarding is to see how “chilled” our in-patient cats now are. Nurse Libby noted that she used to get scratched quite often by stressed cats but since moving to our new surgery she hasn’t been scratched once! We strive to provide the best possible veterinary care for cats.
Thanks to Sarah and Mel for all their hard work.
Well that was an interesting week! It all started when we thought our clients ought to be warned that we had already seen a significant rise in adder bites on dogs this year. We put a news item on our website with an easy guide of what to look for and what to do should your dog be bitten by an adder. This information also went on our Facebook page and as a press release because we wanted to warn as many dog owners as possible.
To our surprise our “adder alert” was picked up within a few hours not only by Wessex FM but also by ITV Meridian, BBC Radio Solent and the Dorset Echo. Suddenly everyone wanted interviews including live phone interviews – all very exciting!
It is also slightly worrying because you never know which “snippet” from a very long interview they may choose to broadcast; “local vet Dave Cumber says….”. Another concern is to keep things in proportion – the last thing we want to do is scare visitors away with stories of plagues of venomous snakes, especially with a bank holiday weekend looming.
ITV Meridian were keen to come down and film at the surgery and if possible meet one of the affected dogs with its owners. Sam our head nurse was set to contacting clients with dogs that had been bitten and “Millie” Matthews was invited in with her owner. Everything was set until there was a high profile incident in London. Understandably adders in Dorset went onto a back burner and our best laid plans went with them! We had to reschedule everything for the next day when luckily Millie could still make it. She was an absolute star and a natural in front of the camera. Richard Slee was not only the reporter but cameraman, sound engineer and editor all rolled into one and at one point I actually got a go behind the camera when he wanted a shot of himself with Millie.
It was all very interesting, if slightly stressful but the most important thing is that the original warning about the danger of adder bites reached as many people as possible.
If you would like to see our moment in the spotlight you can watch the ITV piece here.
We have had 5 dogs bitten by adders brought to the surgery in the last couple of weeks. Adder bites on dogs are a medical emergency and can be fatal so you should act quickly if you think your dog may have been bitten. You may actually see the adder and your dog will almost certainly cry out as bites are painful. There is usually severe swelling around the bite area and you may see 2 puncture wounds. Bites around the face and throat are particularly dangerous because of the swelling. If the bite is severe your dog may actually collapse.
If you think your dog has been bitten:
- Try and keep it as calm and still as possible.
- It is better to bring transport to the dog rather than making them walk back.
- Go straight to your vet.
- Do not interfere with the wound or tie any sort of tourniquet because there is a danger of tissue damage around the bite.
The treatment may include:
- anti-inflammatory drugs
- painkillers and
Early treatment is usually successful but the longer the delay the worse the prognosis. Dogs that have been bitten but not treated can go on to develop heart, kidney and liver failure over the next few days.
Adders are the only poisonous snake in Britain and can be active between February and October especially during the warm summer months. They are quite common in Dorset, favouring open rough ground, heathland and the edge of woodland.
They are easily told apart from grass snakes and slow worms by their distinctive, zig-zag markings and they can reach 70cms in length. Here at the surgery we generally see 2 or 3 cases a year, so seeing 5 cases in April is unusual. Four of those cases were along the Fleet and the fifth was at Hardy’s Monument so take particular care if you are walking in those areas.
As in so many cases early action is the most important thing, so if you are worried give us a ring straight away.
Do you have a favourite cafe, pub or restaurant where you and your dog are both welcome? I know Gru and Margot often accompany us to breakfast in the woods or a pub lunch after a walk in the fabulous Dorset countryside. Now is your chance to recommend your favourite dog-friendly destination in Dorset by voting in the 2017 Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming awards.
We are delighted to be sponsoring the brand new “Dog Friendly” award this year so follow the link below and get voting! Gru and Margot can’t wait to hear where to go next. Voting ends on 30th June 2017.
No, we haven’t taken up treating horses again! This is an appeal to pick up your dog’s poo
AND put it in a bin!!! We all very aware of the many very good reasons for clearing up after your dog – health, hygiene, looks. Nobody likes dog poo even if it has been bagged up. There seems to be an increase in dog owners bagging the poo then just leaving it on paths -who do they think is going to pick it up and bin it? We’ve seen this in towns and out in the middle of nowhere. Even biodegradable bags take months or even years to rot down so what happens in the meantime. It is our responsibility as dog owners to dispose of dog poo and that doesn’t mean leaving it lying around in a bag. What right have we to spoil the environment for other people?
We walk and run with our flatcoats , Gru & Margot, and we always carry a “Dickie Bag” which we have found to be very useful. They are made of neoprene and come in different sizes and colours. The company is called Duck Soup if you want to have a look but this is just one way to ensure we can pick up and transport dog poo, you can probably come up with many more!
Enough nagging for now but please do consider other people when you walk your dog – the dog owning community is under enough pressure without adding this to the list. Thank you.
The “coming soon” sign has been removed because we moved on the weekend 12/13th November to our new hospital standard surgery at Link Park. You can see our latest moving leaflet by clicking here. The doors opened to our clients on Monday 14th November at 8am!
The address of the new surgery is:
Unit D1, Link Park, Chickerell Link Road, Weymouth Dt3 4FL
It is all very exciting but Dave has been working on the idea of a new purpose built surgery for many years. This building has been designed with you and your pets as the top priority. All our existing clients will be well aware of the difficulties at the Chickerell Road surgery – limited parking, small waiting area with no ability to keep cats separate from dogs, clinical space over 3 floors with narrow domestic staircases – it’s a wonder we coped for so long. We were desperately short of space and this was beginning to stop us from offering all the things we would like to for your pet.
Not any longer!
- the New Link Park surgery has loads of easy parking
- 4 times as much space
- hospital standard facilities
- separate waiting areas, kennelling and operating theatres for cats and dogs
- dedicated diagnostic suite with separate operating theatres
- Groomer Gill has brand new facilities
- meeting room for client information evenings, puppy parties etc
- upstairs accessed by easy wide stairs and a proper lift
- full air conditioning
- Link Park itself is very easily accessed via the Chickerell Link Road and will have lots of other useful stores including a well equipped pet shop – the Pet Experience
- and all only 0.8 mile from our existing surgery
Dave has made a short video where he talks about our reasons for moving which you might find interesting – click here to hear what he has to say.
You can also take a look at our information leaflet and architect’s 3-D plans by clicking the links below:
We believe that protecting your pet against all the most common (and sometimes potentially fatal) diseases is one of the most important things you can do as a responsible owner. When you get a new puppy of course you want them to be able to go out and about as soon as possible BUT they rely on you to ensure that they are as safe as possible when they do go out into the wide world. Puppies will need a course of 2 injections a few weeks apart so give our Weymouth or Dorchester surgeries a ring and our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have and to book your puppy an appointment.
If you would like to combine your puppy’s vaccinations with flea and worm protection as well as many other benefits while still saving money, take a look at our pet health plan and puppy package.
By now you are probably aware that from 6th April 2016 it is compulsory to have your dog micro-chipped and registered with an approved database. Failure to do so could result in a fine of £500. Any dog over 8 weeks MUST be micro-chipped and if you are caught with a dog not chipped AND with correct contact details registered, you will have 21 days to do so before you are fined. The regulation is going to be enforced by local authorities, police constables, community support officers and anyone else given authority by the secretary of state.
As vets, we will NOT be “policing” this new legislation. However, as vets, our prime responsibility is for the well-being of your pets and we would be negligent if we did not point out the benefits of micro-chipping – so we will be asking the question when you come to see us.
There are several approved database companies and here at dave cumber vets we recommend Petlog but our chip readers will pick up chips from any other company. Petlog is the largest company and we have found them to be one of the most reliable to deal with which is why we have chosen them. To have your pet chipped with us will cost just £10.00 up until the end of April this year.
From April 2016, when you come to the surgery, we will ask you if your dog is chipped and if the contact details are up to date so this can be marked on your record. If the answer is “no” we will recommend that you take immediate steps to get your pet chipped. We can do this for you in an ordinary consultation. We are also very happy to scan your pet to check that the chip is still working and that details are correct – just book a nurse appointment at either our Dorchester or Weymouth surgeries.
We will certainly not be reporting you to the authorities but it will be noted that we have asked the question. We have always recommended having your pet micro-chipped and regardless of the legal question it is a very good thing. On many occasions owners have been reunited with their lost pets quickly and efficiently by using microchip information. So please do act now to protect your pet!
There is some very helpful information on the FAQ section on the Petlog website which you can get by clicking on the link below or any of our staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.