Advice from nurse and what’s best is... it’s free

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By Vetsavers of St Thomas’ Road, Spalding

When would you associate the word ‘free’ with visiting the vet? Not often I’m sure – the opposite most likely. But there are services you can get from the vets that are exactly that – free.

Did you know, for example, that within some veterinary practices there could be a PHC – that’s a pet health councillor.

A PHC can offer you consultations that are free of charge for many concerns, such as fleas, worms, weight, anal glands and dental issues.

The councillor can also do follow-up appointments if you have an animal that has been recently diagnosed with a health condition and will need additional consultations with treatment explained in a simple “nursey” way.

This could include Renal Disease (kidney failure) or Hepatic Disease (liver failure).

There are also great ‘clubs’ coming up, including senior (over eight) club, adolescent clubs for cats and dogs, and the dreaded weight club, all of which can be made fun and very rewarding.

In some instances, there will be the need for a PHC to refer you back to the vet, but this would only be if the condition needs a veterinary surgeon’s intervention.

I recently returned from a pet health councillor course and the main thing I took away from this was the simple fact that you can ring and make an appointment to see me and it’s free!

As a fully qualified registered veterinary nurse, being a Pet Health Councillor enables me to give your pets the optimum nurse care – and we are proud of that.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

I’m just going to touch briefly on another topic as this happened recently within the practice.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD) is a skin condition which occurs when a flea bites a cat and the cat is hypersensitive to the flea’s saliva.

It is a very itchy and painful disorder and is the most common allergy in cats and dogs.

Mainly seasonal, it occurs more often in the warmer summer months, but we are now starting to see some cases.

What are the symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis?

Symptoms include severe itching and inflammation of the skin. The cat will groom itself for hours and scratch, bite and lick at affected areas often causing damage to the skin. Cats can develop small crusts or scabs on the body. Hair loss may occur mainly on the rump and extending up the back.

This condition can be so easily avoided with the correct flea treatment programme in place, which is available at any vets. But it is so important that the correct treatment is used and that the treatment is kept up.