Problems Of the Heart

Just like people, our pets are susceptible to heart problems and because our pets are living longer lives than their predecessors, heart disease is seen and diagnosed much more by veterinary surgeons. Heart problems can occur in any breed, age or sex of animal, but some dog breeds, such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Poodle, Boxer, and Bulldog, and cat breeds, such as the Persian, Maine Coon, Siamese and Ragdoll seem to be more susceptible to heart disease than others.

Heart problems may be present from birth (congenital), or may happen as our pets get older. 

Congenital: Heart conditions can be caused as the embryo develops in the mother’s womb or may be a hereditary (passed on from the mother or father). In this case the problem is present at birth but signs may go undetected for a while.

Adult onset: These conditions occur as a result of damage to the heart which prevent it functioning properly and may be caused by

  • General wear and tear with age
  • Increased stress on the heart from concurrent illnesses or obesity
  • Hereditary conditions which do not present until the animal is fully grown.
heart breeds

Bulldogs, Persians, Cavaliers and Siamese can all suffer with heart problems

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Pet Obesity

Pet obesity is a growing problem in the United Kingdom with an estimated 1 in 3 dogs and 1 in 4 cats being overweight. Pet obesity is an extremely serious welfare issue in our pets for the following reasons

  • Obesity is a preventable disease caused by being fed too many calories
  • Obesity can cause a lot of unnecessary suffering in pets
  • In some animals obesity can be extremely disabling
  • It can affect animals for long periods of their lives

Being overweight can also make it more likely that your pet could suffer from serious health problems and conditions such as Continue reading

Fun Pet Facts

For the start of the year, I thought I would share some pet facts that we have picked up over the years in practice.

According to the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report 2016 people 51% of households in the UK own pets, with an estimated population of 9.4 million dogs, 11 million cats and 1.5 million rabbits.

Rabbits have near 360-degree vision and can even see behind them. Their only blind spot right is right in front of their nose.


An Ailurophile is someone who likes cats and a Cynophile is someone who prefers dogs

Guinea pigs are not related to pigs and do not originate from Guinea in West Africa. They are actually rodents and come from South America.

A dog or cat nose print is as unique as a human fingerprint

Approximately 1/3 of a dog’s brain mass is devoted to smell (compared to being only 5% in humans!) and their sense of smell is between 1000 and 10000000 times more sensitive than ours is, depending on the dog breed.

Dog nose

According to Guinness World Records, the oldest cat ever was ‘Crème Puff’ who lived to be an amazing 38 years old! The greatest reliable age recorded for a dog is 29 years 5 months for an Australian cattle-dog named Bluey.

Almost all animals can be taught to respond to commands using reward-based training, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, horses and rodents.

Rabbits have very strong back legs, allowing them to jump up to one meter high and three meters long.

Adult cats very rarely meow to communicate with each other, but they soon learn that meowing at their human will get them extra attention and food.


Goldfish can live for over 20 years with the proper care and environment. the oldest living goldfish was reported to be 45 years old.

Happy rabbits will often jump and skip around in joy – it’s called a binky.

Fish can see colors and some scientist believe that fish may even be able to see more colors than humans.


Research by the University Of Minnesota concluded that cat owners are much less likely to suffer from a stroke.

Chinchillas shed their fur in big clumps if they feel scared or threatened, to help them escape from predators.

Guinea Pig world records include running 10 metres in 8.81 seconds and jumping a gap of 48cm.


Pet ownership can help make you more able to deal with pain. One study found that stroking a dog could halve the amount of pain relief needed by a patient recovering from a joint replacement operation.

A cat’s tongue is  lined with tiny elevated backwards hooks that help to hold prey in place, which is why it feels rough if they lick you.

The swedish have a ‘showjumping’ competition for rabbits called Kaninhoppning.

Tortoiseshell cats are nearly always female because the coat colour is dependent on the female chromosomes XX. Because males carry the XY chromosomes, tortoiseshell males are extremely rare.

Stroking cat

Some common terms for groups of animals – A clowder or comfort of cats, a kennel or pack of dogs, a business of ferrets, a chatter of budgerigars, a warren of rabbits and a troubling of goldfish.

Reptiles are ectothermic, which means that they need to warm their bodies from external sources such as the sun, or in the case of pets a heat lamp or rock. This is because they cannot regulate their body temperature in the same way that other animals and people can.

Budgies have monocular vision, which means they use each eye independently.


The smell of catnip can cause cats to exhibit behaviours that are commonly seen in in-season female cats, including rubbing their head and body on the herb, jumping and rolling around, vocalizing and drooling. Response to catnip is inherited and only about 70% of cats will react to it. Catnip does not affect kittens until they reach sexual maturity.

One in four pet owners sign their pet’s name on christmas and other greetings cards

Ancient Romans considered the rat good luck, and in China the rat is considered a sign of prosperity.