Cat Containment Fencing: The Best Of Indoors & Outdoors

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By Eve Davies, Communications Director at ProtectaPet Ltd

The popularity of ‘house cats’ or felines that live indoors, with access to an outdoor space such as a garden or patio and maybe a leashed walk, is growing steadily.

It isn’t surprising that more owners are choosing to keep their cats indoors, given that the risks to outdoor cats are increasing. Roads are busier and cat territories are more densely populated, which can lead to fighting and the spread of diseases such as Feline HIV (FIV.) Stories of animal cruelty such as the ‘M25 Cat Killer’ appear in the national news prompting fears about feline safety. This has resulted in cumulative popularity of keeping cats indoors, where they are not exposed to as many risks.

There are at the same time growing concerns among cat behaviour experts about whether keeping cats indoors compromises their quality of life.

TV vet, Emma Milne MRCVS, who is a leading animal welfare enthusiast, says: “I am a massive advocate of cats getting outdoors. When I talk to vets and nurses about stress-related problems in cats they are often indoor cats. Cats have natural instincts to explore a wide territory and can feel bored and frustrated when kept indoors all the time.”

There are ways in which cats can be allowed to roam while staying safe. One of these is containment fencing.

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Our company ProtectaPet® offers cat containment solutions which enable cats to explore the outdoors without exposure to the risks associated with ‘free-roaming’. We offer cat fence brackets, cat enclosures, cat runs and ‘catios’, which enable the cat owner to control the territory with the assurance of their cats’ safety. We design bespoke solutions around the cat owners’ needs and the layout of the garden. Cat enclosures can be built around mature trees, privet hedges and garden features such as sheds, arbours and conservatories.

Our cat containment solutions are available to purchase for DIY enthusiasts in our online shop or customers have the choice to have them professionally fitted by the ProtectaPet installation team, who travel the length and breadth of the UK. DIY cat fence barriers start at £139.99 for a 10m Kit while the average 30m perimeter garden costs £399.99.

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Our products are intuitive with cat owners’ and their needs. We have been highly commended for several British innovation awards. But for me, the real accolade is knowing that we have saved so many cats across Britain and around the world.

For more information, please visit the ProtectaPet® at: http://protectapet.com.

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Rescue Dog Milo Helps Seal a Match Made in Heaven

Happily ever after: Milo with newly weds Catherine & Scott

It goes without saying that you’d want your best friend to be a part of your wedding, but one young couple from Scunthorpe went a step further and welcomed him on their honeymoon.

A former rescue dog who was cared for by Jerry Green Dog Rescue donned his best bib and tucker to appear as a special guest at his owners’ wedding reception at Rookery Wolds in North Lincolnshire on 8th April and even accompanied them on their honeymoon in the Forest of Dean.

After moving in together in Scunthorpe, Catherine Gibbons and her partner Scott decided that it was time to make their house feel more like a home with the addition of a four-legged friend.

The couple adopted Milo, a Jack Russell Pug crossbreed, from Jerry Green Dog Rescue’s North Lincolnshire centre through the charity’s ‘Meet and Match’ scheme in February 2015.

Milo first arrived at the centre early last year when he was just eight months old, after his previous owners were unable to spend sufficient time with him owing to work commitments.

However, it was only a matter of weeks before Catherine and Scott arrived at the centre, where they were welcomed by staff who took the time to get to know them and find out what their perfect pet would be.

Catherine said: “After explaining the sort of dog we were looking for – fairly small and young, so that we would be able to enjoy him or her for years to come – we were offered a few profiles to browse.

“But before we had chance to meet any of them in person, we were told that Milo’s original adopted family had had to pull out, but that he seemed to be everything we had been searching for.

“Milo was the only dog we met that day – we were completely smitten and are still convinced it was meant to be.”

Catherine added: “It was only right that he was a special guest at our wedding and he had the best time during our honeymoon, going on long walks in the forest during the day and falling asleep in front of the fire in the evening.

“Scott and I would definitely recommend the Meet and Match service at Jerry Green Dog Rescue to anyone looking to rehome a dog. The staff were extremely friendly and professional and are obviously very passionate about the work they do.”

As part of the Meet and Match process, potential owners and their families experience a mock home environment, during which they and the Jerry Green staff can see how well they’re able to handle and interact with the dog.

Paige Chappill, Centre Support Officer at Jerry Green Dog Rescue in Broughton, said: “We can not only see how the relationship between a dog and its potential owner forms, but also provide the opportunity to see how well he or she gets along with any other dogs already in the household.

“We feel that our Meet and Match service, available at each of our five centres, is the best way to ensure that all of our dogs will continue to receive the highest level of care within a secure and loving forever home.

“It’s a great process to be a part of and I’m delighted to see Catherine, Scott and Milo so happy together as a family.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about the dogs at Jerry Green Dog Rescue still looking for a home, or would like to know more about the Meet and Match process, please visit: www.jerrygreendogs.org.uk

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Could You Give People-loving ‘Pooch’ A Loving Home?

Pooch with RSPCA animal care assistant Vicky Cooper

Pooch with RSPCA animal care assistant Vicky Cooper

Affectionate ‘Pooch’, the Staffordshire bull terrier-cross, has had a rough start to life and the RSPCA is desperate to find him the happy ever after home he deserves.

Pooch has refused to let his blindness get him down – and the cruelty he has experienced certainly hasn’t put him off people. He loves people and seeks only a quiet home with a loving family to make his life complete.

The 10-year-old had to have one eye removed. His eye had erupted and swollen after his owner failed to seek treatment for a congenital condition for a number of years.

When he came into the RSPCA’s Block Fen Animal Centre, in March, Cambridgeshire, Pooch’s eyeball looked ready to pop out. Vets had to remove the eye immediately and tried treatment for his other eye. Sadly, the treatment wasn’t able to control the severity of condition and staff took the decision to remove that one too.

Inspector Justin Stubbs, who investigated Pooch’s case, said: “He was in a terrible state when he came into us, his eye looked horrendous.

“Poor Pooch was left suffering from what must have been an extremely painful and uncomfortable eye condition.”

Despite all he’s been through, Pooch is still very loving and affectionate towards people and is desperate to find a very special owner to spend his final years with. Following months of treatment and care from RSPCA staff, he is now responding well to treatment and is up for rehoming.

Kirstyn Gaunt, deputy manager at Block Fen, said: “Pooch is a wonderful boy. He is a pleasure to spend time with and his favourite thing is being around people.

“He is very loving and loves everyone he meets. He greets all our staff, each morning, with pricked ears and a waggy tail!

“Because he has lost his eyes, he will need a very calm and quiet household. He will need time to learn his way around his new surrounding as he relies on his hearing and sense of smell since he has lost his eyes.

“He is, however, very affectionate and loves cuddling up on someone’s lap, enjoys a belly rub, and likes being tickled behind the ears! He will make the right person a wonderful friend and companion.

“Pooch will need regular exercise but isn’t a huge fan of walks, partly due to his blindness, so will need short and steady outings. He loves being out in the sunshine so would enjoy having a new home with a garden he can enjoy.

“His main demand, from his new owner, would be a nice comfy, soft bed in a warm spot to spend most of his day relaxing and snoozing.

“He is a huge food-lover so treats could be a useful way of training him.”

If you could offer Pooch a new home, please call Block Fen on 0300 123 0726.

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Majority Of UK Workers Worry About ‘Home Alone’ Pets

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More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of UK workers experience feelings of guilt, as well as anxiety and unhappiness, when leaving pets at home for long periods of time, according to new research.

The survey by leading homeworking outsourcing provider Sensée quizzed both home-based and office workers. It also reveals that nearly three-quarters (74%) of office workers claim to have considered working from home in order to care for their pets.

Almost half (47%) of homeworkers questioned claim that their pet was an influencing factor when deciding to become a home-based worker.

Steve Mosser, CEO of Sensée, said: “The flexibility of home-based working gives employees the opportunity to spend more time caring for members of the family and pets. By enabling employees to work remotely, companies can relieve the anxiety that many workers with pets feel when away from home for long periods of time.”

The survey also found that a third of home-based workers spend more than three hours a day caring for their pets. Unsurprisingly, the most popular pets were found to be dogs, cats and small animals.

Working from home has been a life-changing experience,” says Kelly Dring, a Sensée HomeAgent.

“When I used to work in an office I would often rush back home at lunch to check on my two dogs. I just didn’t like the idea of them being alone all day. However since becoming a home-based worker, I have so much more flexibility to do the things I want – including spending more time with my pets.”

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Stop The ‘Parasite Party’!

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Do you really know what’s going on with your pet inside and out?

None of us like uninvited creatures near us and the same goes for our pets. Fortunately, Merial Animal Health has launched an engaging new campaign to raise awareness of the effects of parasites such as worms, fleas and ticks on our pets:

This fun and eye-catching ‘Parasite Party’ campaign aims to educate you, the pet owner, about the risks of parasites to your pets, both inside and out, and encourage you to head to your local vet practice for expert advice and regular treatment. Merial has also created a dedicated website with a handy risk checker tool to keep you in the know about these pesky parasites.

Is there a risk for me and my family?

Our beloved pets are an integral part of the family, but it’s important to be aware that they aren’t the only family members who are at risk of parasites. People can also be bitten by fleas or ticks and could therefore be at risk of infection with diseases such as Lyme disease.

Accidently ingesting worm eggs can happen to you or members of your family and these eggs can develop into larvae in the body that can cause serious health problems and even blindness. Children are especially at risk because they often play on the floor or in soil where worm eggs may be found. However these risks can easily be minimized if you worm your pet regularly and follow these handy tips:

  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Clean up your pet’s droppings daily.
  • Do not give your pet uncooked meat/offal.
  • Treat your pet regularly against parasites as instructed by your vet.
  • If you have several pets, make sure to treat all of them.

Speak to your vet…

Protect your pet inside and out by asking your vet about the most recent innovations in parasite control.

Your vet can give you expert advice on how to protect your dog from internal and external parasites depending on their individual risk exposure.

Visit http://www.parasiteparty.com/en for more information.

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Why Not Invite Your Four-legged Friend To Your Wedding?

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Increasing numbers of people now want their best four-legged friend at their wedding. So, how should you prepare your pooch for your big day?

Dog trainer Darren James, MD of Royvon Dog Training has worked with many customers to ensure their pet dog makes a positive contribution on their wedding day.

Darren advises dog owners to plan ahead when considering adding a pooch to the guest list. He has come up with several useful tips.

bride and groom with dog

Ensure your wedding venue allows dogs

It would seem obvious, but it’s amazing how some couples forget to ask. Whilst many venues are now dog-friendly some still are not, particularly when it comes to churches and chapels. Some venues allow dogs in outside areas but not inside. So make sure your dog is welcome before making any plans or see if the venue will make a special concession for you.

Allocate a minder

Decide who will be the dog’s carer for the day and ask them in advance so they are prepared. No matter how dedicated you are to your dog it’s just not possible to be with them all day, particularly during the ceremony itself. So find a friend who can take care of your dog during the time they are there, preferably someone your dog is familiar with and who knows how to handle your pet.

Plan the dog’s day and get them trained

Think through what your dog will be doing during the day. How much do you want them to be involved? Dogs can be easily be trained to deliver the rings during the service, carry the train (although the dress design would need to be considered), be part of the wedding procession on the walk up the aisle or perhaps act as a ‘flower’ dog. If you do want your dog to take part allow plenty of time for pre-wedding for training.

wedding outfit (2)

Dealing with crowds and unfamiliar places

Can your dog handle being amongst crowds of people? And does their behaviour change when they are in unfamiliar places, perhaps becoming more excited or anxious in these situations? Again, training can help overcome dealing with a crowd. Taking your dog to crowded places and events regularly on the run up to the wedding will help. The same applies to the venue. Make sure you visit with your dog and take them when you run through rehearsals. This will help to minimise any additional curiosity or anxiousness and ensure they are calmer on the day.

Keeping your dog in the picture

You will no doubt want to have your dog’s attendance at the wedding included in the wedding album. Make sure you talk to the photographer about how this could work and the photos you want. Training will help to make sure they are obedient when it comes to commands to stay and sit. Don’t forget to ensure that your allocated minder has a pocket of treats to encourage your dog’s best behaviour. This is especially useful when it comes to sitting still for photos!

pug at wedding

Will your dog get a good reception?

Consider what happens during the wedding reception, especially when guests are eating. You might be happy to have your dog around at mealtimes but it’s not acceptable to everyone. And if your dog has a tendency to beg or snatch food then it best to keep them away at this time. In which case, you need to plan where they will go. Is it a good time for a long walk, can they stay in a room at the venue or should they be taken home at this point?

If you’ve considered all of these points, and are keen to go ahead with having your dog attend your wedding, also remember the following:

  • Ensure your nominated dog carer is aware of all the plans and timings for the day.
  • Make sure there is water available throughout the day, especially if the wedding is during the hot summer months.
  • Do you need food available too? Weddings can be hungry work!
  • Run through the commands and training with your dog prior to the service.
  • Ensure your dog is under control at all times.

Darren James knows that you don’t have to be barking mad to have your dog at your wedding. His customers are proof that it can work and, with proper planning and training, there can be lots of fun and wagging tails all round!

Royvon Dog Training and Dog Hotels have three locations in the UK visit www.royvon.co.uk or call 0208 819 7374 to speak to one of the trainers about including your dog at your wedding.

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Vets Issue ‘Lily Warning’ To Pet Owners

Curiosity nearly proved fatal for Oscar

Curiosity nearly proved fatal for Oscar

Leading vet charity PDSA has issued a warning to pet owners after a cat from Glasgow was saved by their vets after eating lilies, which are highly toxic to felines.

According to the charity, lilies are among a number of common plants which can pose a severe threat to pet health.

PDSA warns that lilies are very toxic to cats

PDSA warns that lilies are very toxic to cats

One-year-old cat Oscar’s ordeal began when owner Chloe Morrison received a bouquet of flowers from her partner.

She said: “I got up the next day and Oscar’s face was bright yellow, I had no idea what it was until I went into the kitchen and found the flowers strewn around, all chewed.

“I’d read somewhere that lilies could cause problems if eaten, so I rang PDSA to check. I was shocked when they told me how dangerous they were. The vets advised me to bring Oscar straight in.”

PDSA vets immediately gave Oscar intravenous fluids to help flush out the toxins.

PDSA Vet Nurse, Lizzi Mackie, explained: “Sadly there is no cure for lily poisoning. Ingesting just a small amount can be fatal. Tests showed Oscar had kidney damage already. We were doing everything we could, but Oscar’s life hung in the balance.”

Oscar received round-the-clock care from the vets and nurses. Thankfully, Oscar’s kidney function slowly improved and several days later he was allowed home.

Chloe said: “I was so worried we would lose him. You don’t realise how much a part of the family they are until something like this happens. We would have been devastated, but thanks to PDSA, we’ve got our boisterous boy back home.”

Vet nurse Lizzi continued: “Oscar was very lucky, and I’m sure his successful recovery was partly due to the speed his owner got him to PDSA. It could easily have been a very different story. Lilies are particularly dangerous to cats; even getting a small amount of pollen on their coats, which they then ingest when grooming, can prove fatal.

“My advice to anyone who thinks their pet may have eaten something they shouldn’t is to call your vet straight away – it may mean the difference between life and death.”

Chloe is now very cautious about what she brings into the house, saying: “It’s made me much more aware of the potential scrapes cats can get themselves into. Even though I appreciated the flowers, I’ve asked my partner not to buy them for me in future – he’s quite happy about that!”

Lilies aren’t the only flower that can be toxic to pets, here are some other ‘horticultural horrors’ to look out for:

Daffodils

sunny_daffodils-2

All parts of the daffodil, but especially the bulb, are potentially harmful to pets, and cases of poisoning are especially common during spring when the flowers are in bloom. Even drinking the water from a vase of daffodils can made a pet ill.

Laburnum

Laburnum_alpinum_01

All parts of this tree are poisonous, although the seeds are more commonly eaten. Just chewing laburnum bark or twigs can affect a dog.

Allium species

wild garlic

wild garlic

These include leeks, spring onions, wild garlic and some are grown as ornamental flowers.

Bluebells

Bluebells

All parts of these plants are poisonous and can affect a dog’s heart or intestines.

Oak

Quercus_robur

The buds have a high concentration of a poison called ‘tannic acid’ but not all dogs react to it.

Rhododendrons

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Commonly seen in parks, all parts of this plant are toxic.

What are the signs to look out for?

Signs of poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, drowsiness, disorientation, lack of appetite, lack of energy and a painful tummy. In severe cases it may causes fits and could be fatal.

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity and strives to improve all pets’ lives through education, preventive care and emergency treatment. It treats 470,000 pets annually across its 51 Pet Hospitals. Glasgow Tollcross PDSA can see as many as 200 pets a day and provides more than 75,000 treatments to pets in need every year.

To support PDSA’s vital work text PAWS to 70111 to donate £3* or visit www.pdsa.org.uk.

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RSPCA Backs Vets’ Petition For Action Against Brachycephaly In Dogs

Flat-faced: the Pekingese dog

Flat-faced: the Pekingese dog

The RSPCA’s Chief Veterinary Officer has backed a petition calling for “urgent action” to address the growing number of dogs coming into clinics across the country with breathing problems.

James Yeates signed the petition – which has, so far, attracted more than 1,100 signatures – and has circulated it amongst the animal welfare charity’s other vets and veterinary nurses in England and Wales.

The petition (available here) calls for a working party to tackle the issues associated with brachycephaly in dogs. Common examples of brachycephalic dog breeds include the English bulldog, French bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, and Boston terrier.

James said: “The evidence is clear and obvious enough even to non-vets. The ability to breathe, exercise and keep cool are fairly basic requirements for us to expect every dog to have.

“Of course, brachycephaly is just one of many breed-related health problems in pedigree and purebred dogs.

“Members of the public expect those who breed dogs to have done everything they can to ensure the animals they sell are fit for a happy life as a beloved pet. Although some progress has been made by the dog world to address these issues, it has not been nearly enough.”

James added: “We would be very keen to work alongside the British Veterinary Association, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, The Kennel Club, Animal Health Trust and others as a working party to work out how we can safeguard animal health.”

The RSPCA remains concerned that many pedigree dogs are still suffering because they’re bred and judged primarily for how they look rather than with health, welfare and temperament in mind. For example, dogs with short, flat faces often have narrow nostrils and abnormally developed windpipes. They can suffer severe breathing difficulties and many have difficulty enjoying a walk or playing.

More work urgently needs to be done to protect the future health of dogs, and the RSPCA believes that all those who breed dogs should prioritise health, welfare and temperament over appearance when choosing which animals to breed, in order to protect the welfare of both the parents and offspring.

In order to win dog shows, pedigree dogs have been bred to emphasise certain physical features in accordance with breed standards. The dog most closely matching its breed standard is awarded the winner. Many breed standards include exaggerated physical features, some of which have become so extreme that they can cause pain and suffering, some make dogs prone to particular disorders, and some prevent them from behaving normally.

The RSPCA believes that the breed standards need urgent review so that they prioritise the health, welfare and temperament of the dogs over their looks. It would welcome the creation of a working party to look into ways to tackle this issue head-on.

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WIN Two of Six Luxury Dog & Cat Embroidered Cushions Worth £44.99 Each

THREE lucky Pets Magazine readers can win a pair of luxury cushions featuring beautiful portraits of dogs and cats from luxury furniture and interiors specialist Turnbull and Thomas in our new competition.

TO ENTER, please visit the following website: http://www.competitionshub.co.uk/competition/win-two-of-six-luxury-dog-cat-embroidered-cushions-worth-4499-each-18/

Henry

These ‘Voyage Maison’ cushions, which have an RRP of £44.99 each, are the perfect addition to any stylish home interior.

Each cushion features either a handsome dog or cat portrait. The three winners of our competition will win two cushions each – a cat AND dog themed cushion.

PLEASE NOTE: Entries MUST be made via the Competitions Hub website. ‘Entries’ submitted via the Pets Magazine blog will not be counted.

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Millions Of UK Pets Are ‘Vulnerable To Killer Diseases’

Selby was nursed 24hrs a day by PDSA vets as he battled parvovirus

Selby was nursed 24hrs a day by PDSA vets as he battled parvovirus

Millions of family pets are at risk from killer diseases because they are missing out on simple vaccinations, vet charity PDSA has warned.

Preventable diseases such as parvovirus, leptospirosis and feline leukaemia can cause widespread deaths, say vets. Diseases prevalent in wild animal populations, such as myxomatosis in rabbits, can also spread to their domestic counterparts, usually with fatal consequences.

The latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report has revealed that over 5 million dogs, cats and rabbits have never been vaccinated with a primary course, leaving them unprotected against dangerous illnesses which can take hold suddenly.

PDSA also reports that one in three pets (33%) aren’t receiving regular booster vaccinations. This is leaving them exposed to deadly bacteria and viruses as well as reducing the effect of ‘herd immunity’.

PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones said that: “As a vet there is nothing more heart-breaking than seeing an animal lose its life to a disease that could have been prevented.

“Many pet owners don’t realise the dangers of diseases like parvovirus until it’s too late. It’s a severe viral infection which is highly contagious and commonly leads to septicaemia and death in dogs. 

“Our research found that nearly a quarter of pet owners that haven’t vaccinated their pets think vaccination is unnecessary. The figure among rabbit owners that don’t vaccinate is even higher, with one-in-three citing this reason for not vaccinating. This is obviously very concerning and shows we need to raise awareness of how essential vaccinations and regular boosters are.”

Thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Vet teams at PDSA are trying to prevent the preventable by encouraging pet owners to get their pets vaccinated and ensure their boosters are up to date. PDSA aims to vaccinate over 60,000 pets this year through its network of 51 Pet Hospitals.

Regional breakdown

Research by PDSA shows pets in Wales are at greater risk than those in England and Scotland of contracting deadly preventable diseases, as 30% of pets in the region haven’t received their primary vaccination course.

Other high risk areas for pets include the East Midlands (29%) and West Midlands (28%) as well as London (28%).

Pets in Scotland receive a higher uptake of primary vaccination courses overall, with 81% of animals receiving this.

Region % of pets that have not received their primary vaccination course
Wales 30%
East Midlands 29%
West Midlands 28%
London 28%
North East 23%
North West 23%
Northern Ireland 22%
Yorkshire and the Humber 21%
South East 21%
South West 21%
East England 20%
Scotland 19%

Case study

Selby

Selby

Selby the Husky was only 9-weeks-old when he started showing signs of the deadly disease parvovirus that can easily be prevented through vaccinations.

Christopher Brook, 31, of Bradford, bought the beautiful puppy from a breeder and had only enjoyed four days with his new canine companion when the deadly – yet preventable – virus began to take hold.

Selby quickly lost interest in his food and began suffering with terrible diarrhoea and sickness, so a worried Christopher took him straight to PDSA’s Bradford Pet Hospital.

Vets initially suspected a bacterial infection and Selby was prescribed antibiotics. However, his condition continued to deteriorate and he was later admitted to an isolation ward where he received IV fluids and medication to try and boost his battered immune system.

The young pup’s life was in the balance as he received intensive nursing 24 hours-a-day to try and save him.

PDSA Vet Kirsty Warren said: “There is no cure for parvovirus so all we could do was treat him with antibiotics, anti-sickness drugs and intravenous fluids, and hope that he would be strong enough to pull through.

“He spent nearly a week in intensive care and, as this was such a highly contagious disease, we had to use barrier nursing techniques to isolate him and prevent it spreading to any other pets in the hospital.

“Thankfully Selby eventually began to turn the corner and started on the road to recovery. But he is one of the lucky ones because many dogs don’t survive.”

Christopher described the period Selby was in intensive care as heart-breaking: “It was absolute agony; I was so worried about him but at the same time I felt helpless.

“I can’t thank the vets and nurses at PDSA enough, they’ve saved his life and I’ll always be grateful to them.”

For more information about how to keep your pet happy and healthy, please visit www.pdsa.org.uk

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