news, information and advice from dave cumber vets
Dangers to Look out for When Walking with Dogs in Dorset
Dave Cumber Vets have treated their first adder bite case of the year. Last year the Dave Cumber Vets had to pull out all of the stops when they were asked to treat 5 dogs which had been bitten by adders around Weymouth in a few days.
Adder bites are a medical emergency and can be fatal so dog owners need to act quickly if they think their dog has been bitten. There is usually severe swelling around the bite area and owners may see two puncture wounds. Bites around the face and throat are particularly dangerous because of the swelling.
Top tips if bitten:
- Try and keep the dog 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.
Treatment may include:
- anti-inflammatory drugs
Early treatment is essential as dogs that have been bitten and 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.
Another danger to be aware of between November and June is Alabama Rot which seems to be associated with muddy fields. There were 40 cases last year in the UK.
Mr Cumber said “Dog owners have been warned to keep their pets away from mud this winter. We recommend that owners wash mud off their dogs when they return home and check for any small wounds especially on lower limbs and muzzle. The cause of Alabama Rot is unknown, and it affects all breeds. If it’s not spotted early it could lead to potentially fatal kidney failure, with 80% of cases leading to death within a week as the diagnosis often comes too late.”
Lastly, there is always the danger of dogs picking up something potentially toxic while out walking.
Dave Cumber said “Getting out and walking with your dog on our wonderful local beaches and countryside is a great way to keep healthy but owners should be aware of possible dangers. Recently we have had a few cases of poisoning where dogs have come into the surgery in a very poorly state due to eating something they should not have done. Owners need to get their dog checked by a vet if they notice any unusual behaviour such as vomiting, seizures or drowsiness”.
Dave Cumber Vets also has a surgery at 86, Mellstock Avenue, Dorchester.
Dave Cumber Vets sponsored the first ever “Weymouth Walkies” dog walking event in Weymouth on Sunday 25th March 2018, which was the last Sunday that dogs are officially allowed on the whole stretch of Weymouth Beach.
In 2016 Weymouth & Portland Borough Council changed the rules reducing the time period that dogs are allowed to be exercised on parts of Weymouth Beach. Dogs are not allowed on the beach area between Greenhill Groyne and the Pier end of Weymouth beach from Good Friday 30th March 2018 – 31 October inclusive.
Hundreds of dog owners, families and friends turned out to walk the length of Weymouth beach with their dogs.
Dave Cumber, owner of Dave Cumber Vets said
“I am absolutely overwhelmed just how many people turned up to join us on the Weymouth Walkies event. It was wonderful to see so many types of dogs, breeds and ages all in one place, some as young as 13 weeks and some still walking at 13 years of age. The goody bags contained goodies from Dave Cumber Vets such as keyrings, fridge magnets, pens and the all-important poo bags! The goody bags were very popular and went very quickly. I really hope we can repeat this event which promotes responsible dog ownership again in the future.”
Other pet friendly businesses supported the event, CC Moore and Pet Experience donated vouchers and dog treats, Dog Friendly Social promoted the event, and Flyball Dorset were very busy with displays. I would like to thank my wonderful team who really worked very hard before and during the event, I am very proud of them. The staff from Dave Cumber Vets provided refreshments to the walkers and the proceeds will go to Margaret Green Animal rescue. It is hoped that the event will be repeated next year. The team also ran a raffle in aid of Hounds for Heroes, a charity which helps ex-servicemen by using dog therapy. The raffle raised £130 and the lucky winner won a handmade pet blanket.
Following the Big Weymouth Walkies event a dog was taken ill and later sadly died. Dave Cumber said
“I would like to thank everyone for their messages of concern and support with regards to the dog that was taken ill on Sunday. The dog concerned was not registered at Dave Cumber Vets and therefore we are now working with other veterinary practices at the current time in regards to this sensitive matter. Please continue to be vigilant with your pets when out walking and report anything out of the ordinary.”
Weymouth Walkies Gallery
Dave Cumber Vets are proud to announce that they will be sponsoring the first ever “Weymouth Walkies” dog walking event in Weymouth on Sunday 25th March 2018, which is the last Sunday that dogs are officially allowed on the whole stretch of Weymouth Beach.
In 2016 Weymouth & Portland Borough Council changed the rules reducing the time period that dogs are allowed to be exercised on parts of Weymouth Beach. Dogs are not allowed on the beach area between Greenhill Groyne and the Pier end of Weymouth beach from Good Friday 30th March 2018 – 31 October inclusive. All relevant information, maps and guidance can be found in the Dog Owners Guide from Dorset For You.
Dave Cumber, owner of Dave Cumber Vet said “It is very important that dogs and their owners take regular exercise. Weymouth beach and many other Dorset beaches make a perfect exercise route for a lot of people. The whole family can enjoy a day out at the beach whilst taking some good exercise in the fresh sea air. During the summer months our beautiful countryside can be a great alternative to the beach. During the “Weymouth Walkies” event there will be lots of things to do including, refreshments, music from Wessex FM, pet food and supplies, advice and guidance from the Dave Cumber Vets team plus goody bags and FREE poo bags”.
The “Weymouth Walkies” event will start at 10.30am and there is no need to pre-register, simply turn up at the Pavilion end of the beach with your dog on a lead. The walk will continue up to Greenhill and then return to the Pavilion. Dog walkers are free to leave the walk at any time.
How many of us have started the new year with a gym membership, new exercise bike or personal training sessions? Of course, these can help keep us fit, but you may have your very own Mr Motivator living with you 24 hours a day at no extra cost. Exercising with dogs is one of the best ways of improving your health and well-being as well as that of your dog.
Its not just we humans that are getting fatter, statistics show that up to 60% of dogs and cats in the UK are clinically obese. It’s not rocket science, we all know this stuff – too much food & too little exercise. And we all know the possible consequences for people & pets: Diabetes Mellitus, orthopaedic disease, heart disease, respiratory distress, high blood pressure and cancers. Let’s face it, it’s not much fun when every move you make leaves you breathless and exhausted. Your pet relies on you to make the best decisions for their health and well-being so why not get fitter together.
Here are 10 top tips to help you and your furry friend get the New Year off to a happier, healthier start
- Get advice: here at Dave Cumber Vets we offer free weight clinics at both are Dorchester & Weymouth surgeries. These are run by our highly experienced nurses who will help set an appropriate goal weight for your pet and give you advice & support on how to achieve it
- Be aware: risk factors for obesity include: age, certain breeds, being female, neutering and having an overweight owner – sorry, but that’s actually true! These are risk factors NOT excuses
- Portion size: this applies to pets as much as people. There is a natural tendency for portion size to creep upwards, so weigh your pet’s food and mark your scoop so that you give the correct amount at every meal
- Tit-bits and treats: snacks between meals make your pet fat – don’t do it, it’s not fair to them. If you give treats as a reward, keep them small and limit the number per day.
- Walking: surveys have shown that 1 in 4 people admit to NEVER taking their dog for a walk. Start gently and build up to 30-60 minutes a day. Its great exercise for you and your pooch and it’s a great de-stresser
- Play: You are your dog’s best friend and playmate – so play! Run around, get your pet to chase you, play hide and seek or play catch with a ball. Dogs get bored just as people do, so liven things up a bit.
- Play dates: many dogs love playing with other dogs and will run around playing chase for ages. Its great exercise and great for socialisation – dogs are pack animals, most enjoy canine company. Look for a local park where others walk their dogs and you and your pet can make some new friends
- Exercise for the brain & body: many dogs enjoy a mental as well as physical challenge. Why not have a go at agility classes or Flyball. They are a fantastic way to keep your best friend entertained, socialised and fit – and you get to socialise as well. They cater for all abilities so why not give it a go?
- CaniX: pronounced canicross, is getting out with your best friend and doing what they love best – running. You run attached to your dog by a harness and most dogs take to it very quickly because dogs love to run, and it taps into their natural instincts. Take a look at canix.co.uk to find out more
- Again – get advice: you don’t have to do this by yourself. Our team will be delightedly to help and keep helping. When your pet is the correct weight it will be happier and healthier which is every vet’s ultimate goal
You may feel your pet loves you when you give them food, but they will love you even more if you give them quality time, attention and the health to be able to get out there and enjoy life. You benefit, they benefit it’s a WIN WIN – happy New year!
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.
Dog Preparation and Recovery area
Take a look around our Dog Preparation and Recovery Area.
In the X-Ray room you can take a close look at our diagnostic imaging equipment.
We have built the cattery area to the highest standards to comply with the ISFM Gold Cat award scheme. This provides a wonderfully warm and sound insulated environment.
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 six 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.