Monthly Archives: September 2013

Wow – what an experience!

Written by Tom – Manager at Elmtree Luxury Pet Hotel

Yesterday I took my youngest German Shepherd (Leyla) to Bayford Hydrotherapy Clinic. I must firstly say that hydrotherapy can not only be a fun but vital part of a fitness regime but is also great for rehabilitation following illness, injury or surgery. I am always amazed by the amount of unfit / obese dogs I see! This was Leyla’s first hydrotherapy experience and I can honestly say she thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so, she wouldn’t get out of the pool at the end of her session. The lovely Lady (Karen) that owns the Clinic is clearly very experienced and knowledgeable, she explained everything to me and most importantly made sure Leyla had an amazing time. I would highly recommend Bayford Hydrotherapy Clinic to anyone who is dedicated to their dog’s health and fitness. Whilst writing this I am disappointed that I did not take any pictures to share with everyone, but I intend to make this a regular part of Leyla’s fitness regime so I will definitely upload some pictures of her next session.

Bayford Hydrotherapy Clinic: or 07528651725

Each cat has their own purr

Why cats purr:

The deep, throaty sound of a contented cat’s purr is more than just music to our ears. It speaks to us on many levels, often triggering precious childhood memories of our much-loved family cat or our first kitten, little paws kneading away and eyes closed in bliss as we snuggle up to the tiny, warm body and breathe in its sweet, furry smell.

Although the cat is almost unique in its ability to produce a purr, it doesn’t have any special mechanism to create the sound. There is no ‘purr button’ hard-wired to a cat’s ears or chin, despite the immediate response when you touch there! The noise appears to be caused by using a combination of its vocal folds and larynx to make air vibrate when it breathes in and out.

There are quiet ones and there are veritable little engines that we swear could almost be heard in the next room or even the next street! Some cats add little extra noises when they purr, some drool, some alternate purring with tiny mews, depending on what they want.

Reasons to Purr:

Any observant and insightful cat owner knows that cats don’t just purr to show pleasure. They also make the sound when hungry, giving birth, sick or fearful. We don’t fully understand why cats purr (another of the wonderful enigmas that make us love them so much) but one theory is that the sound serves as a kind of comfort mechanism to help the cat calm itself in stressful situations.

This means that a purring cat sitting in a corner of the cattery may not be super-delighted to be there, but quite the opposite and trying to comfort itself. Food for thought, isn’t it?

Healing Purrs and Purring Heals!

Many studies have shown that stroking a cat can lower blood pressure and that people who own a cat tend to be healthier and live longer than those who don’t. But what about the healing effect of that powerful purr?

We all know that cats have an uncanny ability to know that you are in pain and wrap themselves around the sore bit, even if that means maneuvering themselves on top of your head! Some cat owners swear that the sound of their cat purring helps cure a headache or a migraine.

Therefore it was only a matter of time before researchers turned their attention to a cat’s purr to see if the healing and comforting effect we experience has any scientific foundation.

Certain sounds at particular frequencies can aid healing in our bodies, helping bones heal more quickly, swelling to subside and tissue to regenerate faster. Scientists have conducted experiments to prove that a sound range of between 25 and 50 Hz improved healing of bone by 20%.

Bioacoustics expert Elizabeth von Muggenthaler recorded the purrs of many different kinds of cats (including the big cats) and concluded that domestic cats generally purr in the same 25 to 50 Hz range. It isn’t rocket science to make the connection! Cats purring really does help us heal.

Review from: Anna & Alec from Enfield

Hi there,

I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you SO much for looking after our three cats for the last week. We usually have them looked after at home so this was a new experience for them (and us), and we were absolutely delighted by how happy and relaxed they were when we picked them up.

All your staff are really brilliant, so caring and affectionate with the animals as well as being super-professional & efficient. I have already spread the word on Facebook and will tell anyone who ever asks that you run the perfect place.

Thanks again for such a stress-free experience and lovely service!

Anna & Alec (+ SquidFace, Rhombus & Dot)

Lungworm and Parasite Control

Written by our Vet (Simon Hayes)

I’ve been in small animal practice for nearly 20 years now. In large animal practice there is an understanding of the necessity for parasite control. Without it, productivity takes a hit, but I believe there has been to lax an attitude to parasite control in our nation’s pets for too long. Now with cases of lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) being diagnosed more and more frequently, this has to change. If I see one more dog dying acutely from lungworm, it will be one too many. Slugs and snails are the reservoir of lungworm. Larval stages develop in them and then dogs, being dogs eat the slug or snail intentionally or accidentally. The dog is then infected and the larvae migrate to the pulmonary artery (near the lungs and heart) where the adult worms develop and lay eggs which move to the lungs. Little nodules form in the lungs containing eggs and larvae. Most infected dogs will cough and it can become a low grade chronic disease, but in a few dogs it can be rapidly fatal. Some just show very non-specific illness, like tiredness or vomiting and diarrhea  but in others their blood stops clotting and they can die very quickly. Sorry to be so graphic, but I have sadly seen this happen.

I’m sure like many vets out there, I have often not pushed the issue of worm and flea control. We regularly hear “He’s very well, I’m sure he doesn’t need worming,” or, “I would know if she had a problem.” During a long, busy day, who can be bothered arguing that prescription wormers or flea products are more effective than pet shop or supermarket products? If I ever find Bob Martin, I won’t be held responsible for my actions! If I’m honest most people are concerned over the costs and as a profession we haven’t educated them well enough to see the importance of spending just a little bit more to get the right products. Generally it works out at £10-12 a month.

Owner compliance is poor when vets strongly recommend products, imagine what its like when we make it sound like its not that important. Those days should be over. In the UK, certainly in the South East, we now have a potentially fatal parasite out there that can easily be controlled with a monthly preventative treatment. Surely it is every veterinary surgeon’s responsibility to advise this. I would question whether it should be advice or whether, as with heartworm in other countries, it is seen as importantly as vaccination.

Its not only lungworm; there are human health issues with pet parasites as well and cats are just as important. There are at least 10 cases per year in the UK of Toxocariasis in children, with a high risk of blindness. Many people are allergic to flea bites. Sarcoptic mange can be transmitted to people. I have a client who caught worms off of her cat and became extremely ill. Why are we taking a risk with pet and human health? I am very strongly advising the use of monthly Advocate for every dog and cat that I see. As I said, I cannot watch another dog die from lungworm and I see it as my responsibility to make pet owners aware of how serious parasites can be for them and their pets.