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Holly House Veterinary Hospital

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Like us, our pets can develop age related diseases such as diabetes, kidney problems or issues with their eyesight, but they will often hide any discomfort.

Whilst vets look for hidden signs of pain and early indications of diseases, these are often only apparent when diseases become severe enough to produce symptoms such as excessive drinking, urination or fluctuations in weight.

A simple blood test, urine test and test for dry eye accompanied by a routine physical exam can help us tell you if your pet is as healthy on the inside as they look on the outside, or if early signs of age related disease are present. Early diagnosis of these conditions has been shown to increase life expectancy because changes to your pet's diet or lifestyle can be implemented and treatment can be started sooner.

So if your cat or dog is aged 8 years or older, why not book them in for a senior pet health screen* today?

*Terms & conditions: health screenings for senior pets are available for healthy cats and dogs aged 8 years or over. Screening includes initial consult, blood sampling fee, WELN Idexx blood profile, urine dipstick and specific gravity tests, a schirmer tear test and results provided over the phone. Any additional tests or fees are chargeable at full price. Offer price £71.20. Offer available 1st October 2017 – 31st January 2018.

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Christmas is a time of celebration for most people, however it may not be so enjoyable for your pets. With the festive season fast approaching, it is important to consider the potential problems our pets may face over this period, so read on for some handy hints to help keep your pet happy and out of harm’s way this Christmas…

Christmas trees, baubles, flashing lights and decorations are a big temptation for pets wanting to play, particularly curious cats. Ensure loose wires are tucked away, trees are secured and baubles and tinsel kept out of the way. Try to use unbreakable decorations - glass or fragile decorations can break easily, cutting paws or causing gastrointestinal complications if ingested.

Some Christmas plants such as Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe, Amaryllis and Lillies are highly toxic and can even cause death. Keep them well out of the reach of animals.

Dropped needles from real trees can be very sharp and become embedded in pet’s feet or stuck in their throat if swallowed. Clean up any fallen pine needles regularly.

Keep your pet on their normal diet and avoid giving your pet any of your left overs as it may cause an upset tummy. Do not give your pet cooked bones; they can splinter or get lodged in your pet's throat, fracture teeth or cause serious internal damage if swallowed.

Chocolate contains theobromine that is poisonous to pets and ingestion can be fatal. Make sure any chocolates including chocolate tree decorations are kept well out of your pet’s reach. Teach your children not to give into your pet’s demands for food. Dark chocolate contains more theobromine than light chocolate and even a small amount can be lethal. If you suspect chocolate poisoning you should get in touch straight away. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, collapse and seizures.

Macadamia nuts, onion, garlic, chives, alcohol, avocado, grapes and raisins should all be avoided as ingestion can be toxic, even fatal.... Contact us straight away if you suspect your pet has eaten anything poisonous.

Presents are not only tempting for us, but also for our pets! Take care not to put any edible presents, for example chocolate, under the tree. Pets will often investigate new and unusual objects using their mouths - ribbons and bows can cause problems if chewed or swallowed. Remove wrapping paper and small toys etc. from the floor.

Try and stick to your pet's normal routine as much as possible. Noises such as bangs from crackers, party poppers and balloons, or loud music from parties can cause your pet a great deal of stress. Have your pet microchipped if they are not already in case they get frightened and escape or run away - it will improve the chances of their safe return. Ensure your pet has a quiet place or room to retreat to during the festivities, particularly if you have visitors. Plug in a pheromone diffuser (Adaptil for dogs or Feliway for cats) in the retreat room/area to help reduce stress - pheromone products can help reduce your pet’s fearful reactions to any new sounds/events and disruptions to their usual routine.

Keep a close eye on children and pets playing together - it can be a very exciting time and both can become overexcited and hurt themselves!

It is the time of year that many car owners prepare their cars for the colder, icy weather. Antifreeze is very palatable poison for pets and if swallowed, even in small amounts, can cause kidney failure and often death. Contact us straight away if you suspect your pet has ingested any antifreeze.

Winter can also be a difficult time for pets that live outside, especially rabbits and guinea pigs. Regularly ensure that their hutches are warm and dry and in a sheltered position. Provide plenty of extra bedding so that they have something to burrow in. Give them fresh food and water every day and check their water supply to make sure if has not frozen. If fireworks are likely to be going off, partly cover cages/pens with blankets so that one area is well sound proofed. Make sure your pet is still able to look out. Alternatively, if possible, bring your pets indoors.

We sincerely hope that you will not need to pay us an unexpected visit us over the festive period, but please keep our contact details to hand, just in case! If you are at all worried about your pet, do not hesitate to contact us - don’t forget, we provide our own 24 hour on-site emergency service, so we are here for you and your pet whenever you need us.

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🐱 ❄️

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Do you have a petrified pooch or fearful feline when it comes to fireworks season? If so, take a look at our handy Firework Fear tips below.

About two weeks before the event, prepare a refuge area for your dog to go to during the fireworks – choose one of the quieter rooms or a room they use to rest and relax. Encourage your dog to use it by hiding food treats or playing games with your dog in there. Plug an Adaptil diffuser in the room and leave it switched on at all times. Adaptil contains a synthetic canine appeasing pheromone that is produced naturally by a lactating bitch to comfort her puppies and help them cope with new stimuli and environments. The use of Adaptil can benefit dogs of all ages throughout life. Adaptil comes in various forms - diffusers, sprays and collars. They can be used alone or as a combination. The effects of both the diffuser and the collar last around 4 weeks and are suitable for helping dogs cope with events inside the home.

At nightfall, close all windows and curtains and put on some music/the tv to drown out the sound of the fireworks.

Make sure your dog is kept in a safe and secure environment at all times so that they can’t escape in response to any sudden noises. Ensure your pet is microchipped as it will improve the chances of a safe return should they manage to escape.

Ignore any fearful behaviour as fussing a pet that appears frightened can reinforce and encourage the behaviour. Try to engage your pet in some form of active game.
Do not punish your dog if they appear frightened – this will only confirm there is something to be afraid of!

Over the firework period, exercise your dog during daylight hours – never walk them when fireworks are being set off.

In the long run, your dog needs to learn to be less afraid of loud noises. Desensitise your dog for a more stress free firework season. Sounds Scary CD products are available to support treatment techniques that are proven to reduce sound phobias in dogs. The CD is initially played at a very quiet level and over a suitable length of time the volume is increased as the dog becomes more comfortable and desensitised to the stimuli.

About two weeks before the event, plug a Feliway diffuser into the room your cat uses to rest.

Maintain a Feliway diffuser throughout the whole period. Leave the diffuser plugged in for at least one week after the event. Each Feliway diffuser lasts around 4 weeks.

Feliway contains a synthetic feline facial pheromone which cats deposit onto objects in their environment when they feel safe and secure. In the context of fireworks, Feliway is used to increase the sense of familiarity and security of the home environment, reducing the cat’s fearful reactions to loud noises.
At nightfall, close all windows and curtains and put on some music/the tv to drown out the fireworks.

Keep your cat indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off. Remember to lock the cat flap once they are inside. Provide a litter tray. Ensure your pet is microchipped – it will improve the chances of a safe return should they manage to escape.

Ignore any fearful behaviour as fussing a pet that appears frightened can reinforce and encourage the behaviour. Make sure they have somewhere to hide if they want to e.g. under or on top of furniture or inside a cupboard. If your cat chooses to hide, leave them alone until they feel safe enough to emerge.

If you have small animals living outside, e.g. rabbits, guinea pigs, partly cover cages/pens with blankets so that one area is well sound proofed. Make sure your pet is still able to look out. If possible, bring your pets indoors.

Provide plenty of extra bedding so that they have something to burrow in.

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Want to know more about tortoise hibernation?

Sarah Brown and Sara Goni, our exotic vets here at Holly House, will be holding a talk at our Moor Allerton Clinic on Wednesday 18th October at 6.30pm to provide tortoise owners with all the information they need for hibernation.

It's free to attend and all are welcome, but as places are limited please contact the practice in advance to let us know you're coming along - phone us on 0113 2369030, email or pop in to see us at the surgery.

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It's that time of the year again... Nominations for the Petplan Veterinary Awards are now open!

The awards recognise the fantastic work that goes on in veterinary practices across the UK. Petplan has worked closely with the veterinary profession for over 40 years and hosts these independent industry awards to recognise the hard work and dedication of veterinary staff.

If you would like to nominate Holly House Vets or a specific member of our team who went the extra mile for you and your pet, visit and submit your entry.

Thank you 🐾

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There will be a slight change to our opening times over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Holly House Veterinary Hospital - Street Lane
Saturday 26th August: 9am - 5pm (as normal)
Sunday 27th August: 10am - 4pm (as normal)
Monday 28th August: 10am - 4pm

Holly House Veterinary Clinic - Moor Allerton Centre
Saturday 26th August: 9am - 5pm (as normal)
Sunday 27th August: 10am - 4pm (as normal)
Monday 28th August: CLOSED

Outside our Bank Holiday opening times we of course have our emergency service available in case of the unexpected.

Our out-of-hours service is located on-site at our Street Lane hospital and is available 24 hours a day, every day. This service can be accessed day or night by calling the usual number 0113 2369030.

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Come and join in the fun at our Open Day at our Street Lane hospital!

What's on?
Creatures to meet and greet in our animal encounters
Go 'behind the scenes'
Charity raffle
Face painting
Dog paw printing
and more...!

Money raised will be donated to our nominated charities Camp Nibble, Yorkshire Cat Rescue, Whitehall Dog Rescue and St Gemma's Hospice.

Everybody welcome, so please spread the word!

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Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) takes place this year from Saturday 17th June to Sunday 25th June.

RAW is a very important week for our furry friends as it is dedicated to spreading to word about the importance of rabbit welfare and improving the lives of the UK’s rabbits, which are now the 4th most popular pet in the UK (PFMA Pet Population 2016 report).

Here at Holly House we will be showing our support by offering FREE rabbit health checks with our clinic nurse throughout the week.

We are also hosting a FREE Rabbit Awareness evening on Thursday 22nd June at 7pm at our Moor Allerton Clinic. Led by Sarah Brown, one of our fantastic exotic animal vets, the evening will be suitable for not just current but also prospective rabbit owners and will cover various topics including general rabbit care and preventive medicine. You will have the opportunity to put any rabbit-related questions that you may have to Sarah or to Hannah from local small animal charity Camp Nibble who will also coming along for the evening.

To book your Rabbit Awareness Week appointment or reserve your place at our Rabbit Awareness evening, please call the surgery on 0113 2369030 or email us on

For more information about Rabbit Awareness Week and their mission, visit
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