Pet Health A-Z

Aggression

Dogs and cats can become aggressive towards each other, or to humans, to resolve competitive disputes over resources (territory, food) or to increase their reproductive potential.

By watching the body postures and facial expressions of dogs, it is possible to find an indication of what the dog may do if threatened. When a dog is reacting to an intrusion, the first sign may be eye contact when the two dogs meet. In some cases, the more dominant dog will maintain eye contact, until the more subordinate dog looks away. It is vital to seek professional help if your dog is showing signs of aggression towards other people, children or other animals.

If the dog believes the intrusion is continuing, the dog may escalate the threat by exposing the teeth and snarling. The ear position in dogs can also give clues to their intentions. A subordinate dog will usually place the ears back as will a fearful dog, whereas an assertive dog will have ears erect.

The first sign of an angry cat is usually rapid lateral movements of the tail, and this may be accompanied by putting the ears back and hissing or growling. In addition, the cat may “swipe” at the intruder with a front paw, either with the claws sheathed or exposed. Sometimes the cat will gather its legs under and appear ready to pounce. If the intruder is not too close, or begins to leave, the aggressive encounter may end.

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Aging

Senior animals have very different nutritional requirements compared to their younger counterparts. As your pet ages, the internal organs such as the liver and kidneys tend to function less efficiently, the coat becomes duller and the hair more brittle, the skin becomes less elastic and the immune system more depressed. The condition of the coat may also start to deteriorate with the hair becoming thinner, more brittle and harsh to the touch. Greying of the muzzle and around the eye area is commonly seen in older animals.

It is possible to slow down these visible signs of aging by feeding a food formulated with good quality fatty acids, which can help restore some of the lustre to the coat. CLINIVET uses high quality chicken and fish oils to provide a balanced Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratio which helps maintain good coat and skin condition into old age.

Dental disease is another common change seen in the older animal. Reports have indicated that by the age of three, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats exhibit signs of gum disease. To help prevent gum disease and tartar build up, it is important to feed a dry diet. The CLINIVET range has an optimal kibble size to help clean the teeth as the animal eats, reducing the build up of tartar.

As animals age, the movement of food through their digestive tracts slows, which can result in constipation. Constipation is more common in inactive animals, or those dogs who may experience pain while defecating such as those with hip dysplasia. All of the CLINIVET products contain brown rice, providing a completely natural rich source of dietary fibre. The fibre helps aid the passage of food through the gut, helps keep the gut healthy and prevents constipation by adding bulk to the faeces.

Every day our pets are exposed to ‘free radicals‘. The body naturally produces free radicals as a result of normal metabolism, however, free radicals can also attack the body externally from toxins in our environment, e.g. from traffic fumes and industrial pollution.

The immune system of the older animal is thought to weaken as your pet ages. To help preserve the condition of the body from the damage caused by the stresses and strains of everyday life, CLINIVET contains boosted levels of anti-oxidants in the form of Vitamins A, C and E, and chelated Copper (as cupric sulphate) and Selenium. These anti-oxidants target any free radicals floating in the body and mop up any excess.

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Allergies

Allergies are often in response to certain proteins in the food, and frequently these are seen in response to dairy products, mammalian meats (such as beef or lamb) and wheat gluten. Allergies respond well to antibiotics, but usually recur once the course of antibiotics has finished.

If your vet confirms that your dog or cat has an allergy to a foodstuff, then it is often advised to try a new protein source (e.g. chicken, lamb, turkey, rabbit, etc) that the animal has not previously been exposed to. When switching over to a new diet, it is important that the new food should be introduced gradually over a 7-day period, slowly adding more and more of the new diet mixed in with old food.

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Anti-oxidants

Anti-oxidants act as a natural defence mechanism targeting any free radicals in the body. Anti-oxidants are added to the CLINIVET range in the form of vitamins (Vitamin A, C and E) and minerals (Copper and Selenium).

Vitamin A (added as retinyl acetate) is essential for normal growth and development, a healthy immune system and is a potent anti-oxidant.

Vitamin C (added as ascorbyl monophosphate) is vital for wound repair, healthy gums, in the maintenance and structure of muscle tissue and is important for the immune system.

Vitamin E (added as alpha-tocopherol acetate) protects cells from free radical damage.

Copper is an essential mineral for dogs and is an essential component of anti-oxidant systems.

Selenium is a potent anti-oxidant which works beneficially with vitamin E. Deficiencies in Selenium are rare, but can lead to reproductive failure and muscular dystrophy.

All the CLINIVET ranges contain the anti-oxidant Vitamins A, C and E, and chelated copper and selenium, which are readily available to the body.

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Bad Breath

Dental disease (tartar accumulating on the teeth and gum inflammation) is the most common cause of bad breath (halitosis). Bad breath results from the bacterial infection of the gums (gingiva).

Dental disease starts with inflammation of the gums (a condition called gingivitis), where they become red, swollen and sore. The gums separate from the teeth, and small pockets are created allowing bacteria, plaque and tartar to build up. The tooth becomes loose, and eventually falls out.

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Body Condition Score (BCS)

The Body Condition Score guide has been developed to quickly determine if your dog or cat is overweight. Ideally your dog or cat should have a BCS of 3.

If your pet has a BCS of 4 or 5, then you must take action to reduce their weight. This can be achieved by reducing the calorie intake by feeding CLINIVET Adult Light or CLINIVET Light Cat diet and by increasing their activity levels.

Body Condition Score 1
Very thin – Ribs visible, no evidence of any body fat, no muscle tone, pelvic bones easily seen.

Body Condition Score 2
Thin – Ribs can be easily felt beneath the skin with only a little fat co
vering, waist easily seen when viewed from above.

Body Condition Score 3
Ideal – Ribs can be felt beneath a slight covering of fat, abdominal tuck evident.

Body Condition Score 4
Heavy – Moderate fat covering, waist not clearly defined, abdominal tuck may be absent.

Body Condition Score 5
Obese – Ribs not palpable, heavy fat cover, fat deposits on neck and limbs, no waist present.

Please use this chart as a guide to assessing your pet.

 

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Body Condition Score (Cat)

Body Condition Score 1
Very thin – Ribs visible, evidence of a severe indentation below the waist, no palpable fat present.

Body Condition Score 2
Thin – A little fat covering, ribs easily felt beneath skin, obvious indentation below the waist.

Body Condition Score 3
Ideal – Slight covering of fat over ribs, evidence of a slight waist behind ribs, well proportioned.

Body Condition Score 4
Heavy – Moderate fat covering, no clear evidence of a waist, round abdomen, fat pad between back legs.

Body Condition Score 5
Obese – Ribs not palpable, heavy fat cover, large fat pad between back legs, and no waist present.

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Body Condition Score (Dog)

Body Condition Score 1
Very thin – Ribs visible, no evidence of any body fat, no muscle tone, pelvic bones easily seen.

Body Condition Score 2
Thin – Ribs can be easily felt beneath the skin with only a little fat covering, waist easily seen when viewed from above.

Body Condition Score 3
Ideal – Ribs can be felt beneath a slight covering of fat, abdominal tuck evident.

Body Condition Score 4
Heavy – Moderate fat covering, waist not clearly defined, abdominal tuck may be absent.

Body Condition Score 5
Obese – Ribs not palpable, heavy fat cover, fat deposits on neck and limbs, no waist present.

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Chewing

There are several reasons why dogs chew objects they are not supposed to, this can happen if your dog is high in energy, or if they are penned in all day, and chew because they are bored. If they are suddenly left on their own for long periods of time, some dogs develop separation anxiety and may chew to try and rid themselves of their anxiety. Usually there is an underlying problem of the behaviour, which once identified, can easily be rectified and the problem solved.

Providing hard, durable toys for your dog to chew on, spending a lot of time playing with your dog, and burning up a lot of their excess energy, can go a long way in preventing the behavioural problem from developing.

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Chondroitin Sulphate

Chondroitin sulphate is a joint conditioner used in of the all CLINIVET dog food diets in conjunction with glucosamine sulphate and MSM. These joint conditioners help maintain good joint condition.

Glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate give bone-forming cells the building blocks they need to make new cartilage and to maintain the existing cartilage. These products are not painkillers; but work by maintaining the cartilage and joint condition. These generally take at least six weeks to begin to work and most animals need to be maintained on these products for the rest of their lives to preserve the cartilage and joints. These products are very safe and show very few side effects.

All CLINIVET dogfood and catfood contain high quality forms of glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate of human grade quality and which produce the best results. There are extra levels of these joint conditioners in CLINIVET Adult Light to support the excess strain placed on the joints when carrying the excess body weight, CLINIVET Adult Senior to support the joints in the later years, and CLINIVET Adult Large Breed.

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Cystitis

Cystitis, or FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease), is a problem usually associated with the neutered, indoor, overweight cat. This condition occurs when stones or crystals become wedged in the narrowest point of the urethra. The stones result in the bladder becoming progressively distended, leading to increased amounts of urine causing a back pressure effect on the kidneys. This can be a serious condition, and it is important to seek the advise of your veterinarian surgeon if you suspect your cat may be suffering from FLUTD.

There are many causes of FLUTD in cats, and these can range from changes to the environment such as new people or pets arriving in the home, a dirty litter tray, a change of litter type, a new food offered, or simply “home-alone” syndrome.

It is possible to prevent FLUTD from occurring by controlling your cat’s weight and by feeding a slightly acidic diet. CLINIVET Adult Cat contains balanced minerals (calcium and magnesium) at an optimum pH to help prevent the occurrence of FLUTD.

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Dental Disease

Proper dental care is vital for the long term health of your pet, in fact it is estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age three.

Dental disease (tartar accumulating on the teeth and gingivitis, or gum inflammation) is the most common cause of bad breath. Bad breath results from the bacterial infection of the gums (gingiva). Dental disease starts with inflammation of the gums (they become red, swollen and sore). The gums separate from the teeth, and small pockets are created allowing bacteria, plaque and tartar to build up. The tooth becomes loose, and eventually falls out. Dogs rarely get cavities, they are more likely to get gum disease and accumulating plaque. If the plaque is not removed, tartar forms on the teeth causing inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) which can lead to bad breath. If you suspect your dog has plaque, you should take them to you veterinarian who will clean their teeth and remove the plaque.

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Diarrhoea

Diarrhoea can occur because of worms present in the intestine, or because your pet may have an intolerance to a protein in their diet. If your pet is otherwise healthy and continuing to maintain weight, then there is no need to worry. It may be enough to simply starve your pet for 24 hours, then to feed a bland diet of gently cooked chicken or fish. This will allow the digestive system to slowly start to work again. However, if the frequency and consistency of the diarrhoea worsens, you should seek the advise of a veterinarian surgeon who will run tests to try and determine the cause of the diarrhoea.

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Fatty Acids

Fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids, and can be grouped into either Omega 3 or Omega 6 fatty acids. A balanced ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids is maintained in all of the CLINIVET foods.

It is important to have the correct balance of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet. Cancer, arthritis and other inflammatory responses can be exacerbated by a low level of Omega 3 fats in the diet. The best Omega 3 sources come from fish and linseed, these oils have three specific essential fatty acids (ALA – alpha-linolenic acid, EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA – docosahexaenoic acid).

Omega 3 fatty acids can, in some cases, help those pets troubled by arthritis. The EPAs decrease pain and increase ease of movement in the affected joint. Too high a level of Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet can encourage inflammation responsible for arthritis, so it makes sence to offset them with Omega 3 fatty acids.

Clinical research clearly supports a role for dietary Omega 3 as well as Omega 6 for the treatment of dermatological diseases in dogs. In addition to skin problems, a variety of other abnormalities are seen in essential fatty acid deficient states. These include poor growth rates, weight loss, poor wound healing, and increased susceptibility to infections.

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Fleas

Fleas can be picked up from other animals, and brought into your home on your pet. If you suspect your pet has fleas, look for flea droppings on your pet’s skin, rather than looking for the fleas themselves, as they tend to move quickly through your pet’s coat. Flea droppings look like little black spots near the base of the hair, which dissolve to a reddish-brown colour when squashed.

Adult fleas are small, wingless insects with tube-like mouthparts specially adapted to feeding on the blood of their hosts.

After their first blood meal, the adult flea lays their eggs, up to 50 eggs each day. Your pet may feel itchy due to the movement of the flea, or it feeding off your pet, and your pet will scratch themselves. This scratching acts as a means of dispensing the fleas – everywhere!

The tiny white oval-shaped eggs, hatch into larvae. The larvae are small, with no eyes and have mouthparts adapted to chewing. They bury themselves deep into your pet’s coat, or your carpet, anywhere that is away from light, and spin themselves into a pupa or cocoon.

The pupa then develops into the adult flea, and lies in wait of its next blood meal passing. As you, or your pet, pass by, the adult flea jumps out of its hiding place and latches onto its new home, where the whole cycle starts again.

If you find fleas on your pet, and your pet is allowed inside, then the chances are fleas will also be in your house. Adult fleas spend most of their time on the animal, but their eggs, larvae and pupae can be found in the carpet, rugs and bedding. For this reason, it is necessary to treat the environment, as well as the animal, to get rid of all fleas. There are numerous products in the marketplace designed for this purpose, such as the popular Bob Martin Pet Healthcare range.

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FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease)

Cystitis, or FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease), is a problem usually associated with the neutered, indoor, overweight cat. This condition occurs when stones or crystals become wedged in the narrowest point of the urethra. The stones result in the bladder becoming progressively distended, leading to increased amounts of urine causing a back pressure effect on the kidneys. This can be a serious condition, and it is important to seek the advise of your veterinarian surgeon if you suspect your cat may be suffering from FLUTD.

There are many causes of FLUTD in cats, and these can range from changes to the environment such as new people or pets arriving in the home, a dirty litter tray, a change of litter type, a new food offered, or simply “home-alone” syndrome.

It is possible to prevent FLUTD from occurring by controlling your cat’s weight and by feeding a slightly acidic diet. CLINIVET Adult Cat contains balanced minerals (calcium and magnesium) at an optimum pH to help prevent the occurrence of FLUTD.

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Free Radicals

Everyday, our pets (and ourselves) are exposed to ‘free radicals’. Free radicals are found both in our internal and external environment. The body naturally produces free radicals as a result of normal metabolism, however, free radicals can also attack the body externally from toxins in our environment, e.g. from traffic fumes and industrial pollution.

A healthy animal can usually cope well with any physical challenges it may encounter, however, if unwell, they are more susceptible to infection and disease. In addition, an active or sporting dog may produce elevated levels of free radicals due to the increased immune and repair functions necessary to a maintain healthy body.

CLINIVET is a complete dry food that contains no artificial preservatives or additives which may contribute to the build up of ‘free radicals’ in the body.

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Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS)

Oligosaccharides are polymers that contain up to nine sugars; fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) are oligosaccharides that contain fructose.

FOS is able to enter the colon intact because it is not digested by enzymes in the small intestine. In the colon, certain beneifical bacteria (bifidobacteria and Lactobacilluss) ferment FOS, which leads to an increase in their numbers.

Bifidobacteria ferment FOS into short chain fatty acids, and the resulting reduction in intestinal pH can inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.

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Glucosamine Sulphate

Glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate give bone-forming cells the building blocks they need to support the existing damaged cartilage. These products are not painkillers; but work by maintaining the condition of the joint. It generally takes at least six weeks before the effects of these supplements can be seen, and most animals need to be maintained on these products for the rest of their lives. These products are very safe and show very few side effects.

All of the CLINIVET diets contain pure forms of glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate of human grade quality, and which produce the best results. There are extra levels of these joint conditioners in CLINIVET Adult Light to support the excess strain placed on the joints when carrying the excess body weight, CLINIVET Adult Senior to support the joints in the later years, and CLINIVET Adult Large Breed.

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Halitosis

Dental disease (tartar accumulating on the teeth and gum inflammation) is the most common cause of halitosis (bad breath). Bad breath results from the bacterial infection of the gums (gingiva).

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Hot Spots

Hot spots, or pyotraumatic dermatitis, are usually associated with dogs with long, thick hair. Hot spots are often caused by an allergic reaction to flea bites, mites or ear infections, and are much more common in the summer months.

Hot spots are moist, raw, inflamed, hairless circular lesions. Dogs with hot spots usually bite or lick the area which irritates the skin even more.

To prevent the hot spots from occurring it is vital to follow a strict flea control program, and to keep long haired dogs clipped during the summer months.

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Intolerances

Food allergies in dogs and cats are usually presented to vets as skin irritations, recurrent ear infections, hot spots and skin infections. Intolerances, on the other hand, result in vomiting or diarrhoea, and do not create an allergic response.

If your vet confirms that your dog or cat has an intolerance to a foodstuff, then it is often advised to try a new protein source (e.g. chicken, lamb, turkey, rabbit etc) that the animal has not previously been exposed to. When switching over to a new diet, it is important that the new food should be introduced gradually over a 7-day period, slowly adding more and more of the new diet mixed in with old food.

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Joint Conditioners

The musco-skeletal system is made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments and the skeleton. The most common problems with the musco-skeletal system are arthritis, degenerative joint disease and hip dysplasia. Obese dogs and working and sporting dogs may be more prone to problems with the musco-skeletal system because of the extra loads and increased impact on their joints. It is possible to preserve the joints by supplementing the diet with glucosamine sulphate, chondroitin sulphate and methyl-sulphonyl-methane (MSM).

Glucosamine sulphate is a natural amino-sugar produced by the body from glucose. It helps to maintain connective tissue and cartilage and has been shown to significantly reduce pain. As the body ages, or when diseased or injured, there is a reduction in the production of glucosamine sulphate. Supplementation of glucosamine sulphate is therefore useful to help prevent conditions such as arthritis, degenerative joint disease, hip dysplasia, tendon and joint injuries.

Chondroitin sulphate is a carbohydrate produced in the body from glucosamine. It acts in the body by preserving the cartilage cells and helping sustain nutrient supply to the joints. It has been scientifically proven to reduce long-term pain and inflammation in the joints.

 

MSM is a natural form of sulphur which is highly available to the body. At the correct concentration, makes the cell membranes flexible to allow nutrients and toxins to freely pass into and out of cells.

All of the CLINIVET ranges contain joint conditioners, with increased levels in the CLINIVET Adult Energy range to support increased activity levels, in the CLINIVET Adult Senior range to promote joint longevity in the later years, and also in the CLINIVET Adult Large Breed.

When a dog has hip dysplasia or arthritis, the joint, and the protective cartilage on the surface of the joint, gets worn away and the resultant bone-to-bone contact creates pain. Glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate give the cartilage-forming cells the building blocks they need to make new cartilage and to maintain the existing damaged cartilage. These products are not painkillers; they work by actually maintaining the cartilage and joint condition. These products are very safe and show very few side effects.

 

CLINIVET only uses pure forms of glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate that are human grade in quality and which produce the best results. MSM is a natural, sulphur-containing compound which works beneficially with glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate. MSM is reported to enhance the structural integrity of connective tissue, and help reduce scar tissue.

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MSM

MSM (Methyl-sulfonyl-methane) is a natural, sulphur-containing compound which works beneficially with glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate. MSM is reported to maximize the structural integrity of connective tissue, and help support scar tissue.

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Neutering

Many puppies and kittens are abandoned every year. Obviously the best way to address this problem is to breed fewer puppies and kittens by neutering your dog or cat. Not only will this reduce the incidence of unwanted births, but will also allow them to lead longer and healthier lives.

Spaying is the complete removal of the female reproductive tract – the ovaries, oviducts, uterine horns, and body of the uterus are removed. Not only does this procedure prevent the animal from getting pregnant but it also eliminates the heat cycles. The surgery removes the source of production of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for stimulating and controlling heat cycles and play a major role during pregnancy.

Castration of the male cat is the removal of the testes under general anaesthetic. After this procedure, the male cat will no longer produce testosterone, and so will no longer exhibit those unwanted characteristics or conditions caused by testosterone.

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Obesity in Cats

It is estimated that 10% of the UK cat population is obese. Traditionally, the pet cat was fed table scraps, however nowadays, they are much more likely to be fed prepared cat food and given treats on a regular basis. Given this, it is hardly surprising that the incidence of cat obesity is so prevalent in the UK cat population.

Overweight cats are more prone to problems with their health, such as bladder disease (FLUTD), diabetes, and more frequently, musco-skeletal disorders.

You can judge the condition of your cat by using the Body Condition Score (BCS) guide; ideally your pet should have a BCS of 3.

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Obesity in Dogs

Some dogs have a tendency to put on excess weight, particularly during the senior years, indeed it is estimated that 25-40% of adult dogs are overweight. Weight gain occurs when more calories are consumed than what are used. The excess calories are converted to fat and stored under the skin, or around the vital organs (heart, kidneys and liver). There are increased risks associated with carrying excess body weight; for example, overweight dogs are more prone to diabetes, problems with their cardiovascular, respiratory and skeletal systems, they are more likely to die younger than their leaner counterparts and they show the visible signs of aging earlier.

Damage to joints, bones, and ligaments
Studies have suggested that approximately one-quarter of overweight dogs develop serious joint complications. The bones, joints, muscles, and associated tendons and ligaments all work together to give the dog smooth and efficient movement. If they are required to carry excess weight, they can start to become damaged. Arthritis can develop and the pain and joint changes associated with hip dysplasia can become markedly more severe.

Heart disease and increased blood pressure
As in people, overweight dogs tend to have increased blood pressure. The heart has an increased work load since it must pump additional blood to excess tissues. This can lead to congestive heart failure.

The cause of obesity can be a result of overfeeding, a genetic predisposition to put on excess weight, or because of hormonal disorders.

Dogs tend to become overweight when they are between 2 and 12 years of age. As dogs become ‘senior,’ the tendency to become overweight decreases. Young dogs, too, in general, are less likely to be overweight, since their energy requirements are high since they are growing and are generally more active.

You can judge the condition of your dog by using the Body Condition Score (BCS) guide; ideally your pet should have a BCS of 3.

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Prebiotics

It is essential to promote good gut health. By encouraging the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria, it is possible to sustain good gut health.

Prebiotics are substances that are able to alter the gut flora in favour of beneficial micro-organisms. Fructo-oligosaccharides are the most effective prebiotics in modifying favourable gut populations. Prebiotics lay the foundations for a more permanent manipulation of the gut flora by encouraging growth and development of beneficial populations, while limiting the development of pathogenic populations.

CLINIVET diets are enriched with prebiotics (in the form of fructo-oligosaccharrides) which help promote the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria (e.g. bifidobacteria and lactobacilli) and limit the growth of less friendly bacteria (e.g. clostridia). In addition, the presence of prebiotic bacteria can also help with the absorption of calcium and magnesium, both of which are necessary for the formation of strong bones.

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Regurgitation

Regurgitation looks like vomiting, but is a much more passive event. There is no retching and no effort to eject food from the mouth. Regurgitation may be caused by allowing food to accumulate in the oesophagus. This is not a serious condition, however if your pet regurgitates its food on a regular basis, and starts to lose body condition, you should seek advice from your veterinary surgeon.

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Ticks

Ticks are most commonly found in areas of moorland or woodland, but can also be found in parks and gardens in towns.

Ticks find a host by waiting on the tips of vegetation. Their forelimbs, used to detect heat, carbon dioxide and pressure, are waved about, waiting to detect a passing host. Ticks may appear individually or in groups.

Adult ticks can grow to many times their original size, but the young tick is only a few millimetres in size, and can be much harder to detect on your pet.

Ticks attach themselves to their host by laying down a ‘cement’ like substance which prevents them from being easily removed. If you try to remove a tick by pulling them off with your fingers, the mouthpiece tends to remain left behind, embedded in the skin. Ticks feed on blood, and whilst feeding, they regurgitate saliva and blood products back into the bloodstream. It is this regurgitation which can cause disease to be spread to your pet.

If you suspect your pet has a tick, it is best to contact your local veterinarian for advice.

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Toilet Training

Kittens are easily toilet trained, if they have been kept with their mother for long enough, however those weaned too early may miss out on learning this social behaviour. Place a clean tray full of fresh litter in a quiet corner, away from their food and water bowls. It is important to keep the litter tray clean as cats do not like dirty trays, and may find somewhere else to go to the toilet, or they may hold on which can lead to additional problems, such as constipation, cystitis or FLUTD.

If you need to train your kitten to use a litter tray, place them in the tray after they have finished eating. Gently hold their paws, and scratch them in the litter, eventually the kitten should learn to this by itself. If they have an accident outside the litter tray, do not shout at them, as this only encourages them to go to the toilet when you are not there. If your kitten persistently goes to the toilet outside of the tray, move the tray to that area to see if that solves the problem.

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Vomiting

Vomiting is the forceful ejection of stomach contents through the mouth which may or may not be preceded with salivation or frequent swallowing. Retching, caused by increased contractions of the abdominal muscles, forces the stomach to powerfully contract and eject the contents.

Regurgitation looks like vomiting, but is a much more passive event. There is no retching and no effort to eject food from the mouth. It is the backflow of undigested food, which has never reached the stomach, up through the mouth.

Vomiting may be the result of hairballs in the gastro-intestinal tract, bacterial or viral infections, or exposure to poison. To determine what is the cause of the vomiting, you should take your pet to the vet for a thorough examination. Most cases of vomiting are not caused by serious disease, and if you pet is bright and lively, it’s unlikely that it needs urgent attention. If, on the other hand, they are dull or withdrawn, you should contact your veterinary surgeon.

The first step in treating vomiting is with a 24-hour period of starvation to help rest the digestive tract. Frequent vomiting will lead to dehydration so allow access to water at all times. Once the vomiting has stopped you can then start to reintroduce food, such as simply cooked chicken or white fish.

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Your new kitten

There are many factors to consider when choosing your kitten, e.g. male or female, pedigree or non-pedigree, will it be indoors or outdoors, how old will it be when you get it, and will it get on with your other animals? If at all possible, it is advisable to see the kitten with its mother, and to gather together as much information on the kitten’s mother and littermates. This should include information on whether the mother and litter have been vaccinated against Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and cat flu. The kitten should look in good health, with no evidence of fleas or worms, a shiny, healthy coat, bright eyes and willingness to play.

Cats are a lot more independent than dogs, however they still require a lot of love and attention. They can live quite happily as indoor or outdoor cats, but they need a lot of stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in. If you are out at work all day, then it may be preferable to get two cats, so they can provide company for each other.

It has been estimated that cat owners spend between £500-£600 a year. This may sound like a lot of money for such a small animal, but you will need to pay for veterinary fees, vaccinations, worming, neutering, food, a scratching post, a cat flap, litter tray and litter.

The first few weeks of your kitten’s life are very important and they should be allowed to meet as many different people, encounter different environments and situations as possible, this will decrease the likelihood of you having a cat with behaviour problems such as nervousness.

Kittens are easily toilet trained, if they have been kept with their mother for long enough, however those weaned too early may miss out on learning this social behaviour. Place a clean tray full of fresh litter in a quiet corner, away from their food and water bowls. It is important to keep the litter tray clean as cats do not like dirty trays, and may find somewhere else to go to the toilet, or they may hold on which can lead to additional problems, such as constipation, cystitis or FLUTD.

If you need to train you kitten to use a litter tray, place them in the tray after they have finished eating. Gently hold their paws, and scratch them in the litter, eventually the kitten should learn to this by itself. If they have an accident outside the litter tray, do not shout at them, as this only encourages them to go to the toilet when you are not there. If your kitten persistently goes to the toilet outside of the tray, move the tray to that area to see if that solves the problem.

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Your new puppy

Bringing your new puppy home for the first time may be very exciting for you, but remember it is also a frightening time for your puppy. This will probably be the first time they will have been taken away from their mother and siblings, and now they are in this new environment where everything looks and smells differently from before. It is up to you to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Spend as much time as possible with your new puppy, showing them where the food and water bowls are, where they go to the toilet, and where they can sleep. Your puppy will not be able to “hold on” for very long during the first few months, and there will undoubtedly be a few accidents during the training period. Never shout at your puppy if they go to the toilet in the wrong place, instead, praise them when they get it right. They will quickly learn where and when they should go.

Your puppy will require a quiet corner where they can go to rest, and feel safe in. Providing them with toys will give them something to chew on, and will save your slippers from their sharp teeth!

Allow your puppy to experience as many different situations as possible during the first few months, such as travelling in the car, other people and animals, smells and noises, and take your puppy to an obedience class.

It is important to provide a high quality diet to enable your puppy to have the very best start in life and CLINIVET Puppy is ideal. It is essential to promote good gut health during the early developmental stage. By encouraging the growth of healthy gut bacteria, it is possible to reduce the incidence of colitis and diarrhoea. CLINIVET Puppy is enriched with prebiotics that promote the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria and limit the growth of less friendly bacteria. In addition, prebiotic bacteria can help absorb calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for the formation of strong bones.

During this period of rapid growth, it is important to provide your puppy with the very best nutrition needed for the healthy development of bones, tendons and muscles. To help support the bones and maintain the skeleton, CLINIVET Puppy contains glucosamine sulphate, chondroitin sulphate and MSM. These natural sugars work beneficially together to help support and maintain the bones and cartilage, and are essential to help preserve the musco-skeletal system in later life.

If you are not planning on breeding from your puppy, it is important to have then neutered as soon as they reach 9 months (dogs) or after your bitch has her first season.

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