Petcare Veterinary Surgery

355 Bexley Road
Northumberland Heath
Erith
Kent
DA8 3EZ

Tel: 01322 346173 (24 hours)

News



June 2017 Update

Summer is here and it's been hot hot! Our pets are affected by the weather just like we are and generally they enjoy the warm weather. Cats will often spend more time outdoors and dog walking is a lot more pleasant when the weather is good!

Local and national press have been warning pet owners of the dangers of pets overheating during hot weather spells. But we still hear of people leaving dogs in locked cars, walking dogs on burning pavements and people exercising dogs in the heat of the day until they collapse with heat stroke. It's not hard to remember that it gets very hot in parked cars and surfaces can burn our barefeet when the sun is beaming down.









Heat stroke is often fatal as it causes severe damage to all organs and especially the brain. There is nothing more upsetting than losing a life to an easily preventable condition












Pet Care Veterinary Surgery is a very fertile place. Two of our staff are off on maternity leave and we welcome Melanie Colvin RVN back after a 6 year maternity break.

We were very sorry to lose Melanie all those years ago and are now very happy to have her back where we think she belongs! She is a pet lover like the rest of us and loves helping all animals.  We have had very few staff changes over the last 6 years and it has been easy for Melanie to slip back into the team that she knew from before. However protocols are continuously updated and improved as we learn more and technology has progressed rapidly. New patient monitors, laboratory machines and computer programs that we regularly use all need to be mastered but we are confident that Melanie will be back working and maintaining the high standards as she did before.

The picture shows Melanie with a stray dog that we managed to reunite with its owner. See our Facebook page for more details on this and other stories.









 



March 2017 Update


Pet Care continues to maintain its high standards that our clients have come to expect.We have recently invested in a brand new state-of-the-art laboratory machine that analyses urine samples within minutes. It is called a Sedi-Vue analyser. Not only does it read a urine test strip and tell us whether there's any signs of things like diabetes, infection, kidney disease or blood but it also examines the sample microscopically helping to identify bacteria, crystals and different types of cells. It takes about 40 images of each sample which can be stored on patients' files - or even emailed to their owners!  Processing urine samples was always a bit of a chore and used to take us ages and often results could be ambiguous or subjective. We would often need to send samples off to the big laboratory for further testing which would take 24-48 hours. Now we have results within minutes in black and white! This means we can treat problems a lot sooner before they have a chance to deteriorate.

Our continued investment in our technical equipment means that we will have timely and reliable results to share with our clients.







Jess

We also welcome two new members of staff.
Jess Ashby (left), a registered veterinary nurse (RVN), who has worked as a locum nurse at
many practices in and around London. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Pet Care and has fitted in really well.
Carly Draper (right), a student veterinary nurse, has started to train as a nurse this year at the College of Animal Welfare in Potter's Bar. She attends college one day a week and is with us learning the ropes for the rest of the time.
Kirstie Staggs RVN has just become a Clinical Coach and will be taking Carly under her wing for the duration of her studies.













We have recently acquired the services of a Veterinary Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon. This has meant that some of our patients have been able to have complex bone and joint operations performed at our surgery instead of having to travel miles to referral centres in places like Surrey and Hertfordshire. Not only does this mean cost savings for owners but also is less stressful for animals that aren't too keen on long journeys in the car!

For more current news catch up with us on our Facebook page here

 

October 2016 Update

Well, 2016 seems to be flying by and we'll soon be in the winter months again.

Staff at Pet Care have been busy as usual helping everyone's pets to stay fit and healthy. Not everybody knows but each vet and veterinary nurse has to maintain their qualifications and right to practice by completing a set amount of further education every year. Our professional body, The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, keeps a check on this and audits our records annually.Vets are expected to do a minimum of 35 hours and nurses 15 hours each year. This is often as courses, seminars and conferences on our days "off" - a full day usually qualifies for about 6 hours. The surgery will provide the funds for this - another reason why those consultation fees seem to rise every couple of years! This is called CPD (Continuous Professional Development) and as all our vets and veterinary nurses are up to date, we can keep the standards high at Pet Care.

Some of the recent topics in the last 3 months covered are: general anaesthesia, ear diseases, arthritis, laboratory work and antibiotic use. You would think after studying for so long that vets and nurses would have had enough of it but you'd be wrong. We are all motivated by finding out more - people with enquiring minds are drawn to our profession!

If you follow our Facebook page you will have seen recently that through people sharing our post about a lost dog, we were able to reunite anxious owner and lost dog - a happy ending. But please remember it is now law that all dogs MUST be microchipped and this one had slipped through the net, the owner had been intending to do it but had never got round to doing it. Placing a chip is a simple thing to do and it is not expensive. We routinely scan all dogs when they come in for examination and can check owner details if the pet or owner is unknown to us. Check out the story on our Facebook page HERE


 


March 2016 Update


Pet Care is proud to be part of WORLD SPAY DAY for cats this year. On behalf of the local branch of The Cats' Protection we are holding a day of spaying and neutering of cats for anyone with any financial concerns on the 3rd April. It will cost £15 for females and £10 for males. To book your cat or a friend's cat please call the surgery or email us.

Babesiosis is a blood disease caused by a parasite transmitted by tick bites. It affects all types of dogs and leads to severe anaemia and is usually fatal if untreated. This disease until recently was seen only in parts of mainland Europe but recently 4 dogs in Essex contracted the disease and one of them died. None of the dogs had traveled abroad and it is suspected that ticks have somehow traveled to the UK either on imported dogs or possibly vehicles that have carried livestock. We are now advising dogs to take precautions against ticks especially as spring and summer are on the way, times when ticks are very active. There are good tick preventive products that can safely be used together with other products for lungworm etc. Please contact us and we can advise what is best for your dog


 
 

January 2016 Update


Pet Care has started the year as busy as ever and we are all looking forward to continuing the good work we've done in the past.




One of our long-standing clients, Kay Rickwood, donated a brand new hospital board designed just for Pet Care Veterinary Surgery. Her kind gesture was in memory of the care that her cat Bob, a big ginger boy, had received over his many years with her.

We had a ceremony at the surgery where Kay cut the ribbon and the board is now in daily use. Thanks again Kay for your generous gift and "Bob's Board" is still looking as smart as ever. A fitting tribute to another wonderful cat.





Since the last update Kevin Castle has had a 5 month sabbatical break and went traveling across the globe with his wife. Road trips in Canada and the USA were followed by backpacking through Central America and finally a few weeks in South Africa with family. He has returned fit and healthy (don't ask about the tattoo!) and is already back in the swing of things.

Whilst he was away, the rest of the staff also have made some changes. Lisa Rice is now a proud busy mum of a beautiful baby girl and we are hoping to see her back after her maternity leave. Ceel Gould has just left on maternity leave and we all wish her the best of luck with her time off and the birth (watch this space as we don't know if it's going to be a boy or girl!)




Kirstie Staggs
has passed her final veterinary nurse exams and is now a fully qualified veterinary nurse.
Well done Kirstie and you can bear the title Registered Veterinary Nurse with pride, you've earned it.






Some more good news, Alberta Michieletto, who ably filled in for Kevin whilst he was away, has decided to stay with us permanently. We are very lucky to have her as she is a very experienced and extremely dedicated veterinary surgeon. As well as achieving the Certificate in Small Animal Medicine, she is also one of few vets in the UK that are listed as Advanced Practitioners by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. In the words of the College : The list provides a clear indication to the profession and the public of those veterinary surgeons who we have accredited at postgraduate certificate level (Masters level 7), and who have not only demonstrated knowledge and experience in a particular area of veterinary practice beyond their initial primary veterinary degree, but who have also confirmed that they continue to be up to date in their field over and above our minimum requirements for continuing professional development (CPD). A link to this list is here

Finally for our latest news and posts from our clients don't forget to follow or like us on our Facebook page

 
 

August 2015 Update


We have a fantastic new mural thanks to the gifted pupils of Trinity Church of England School, Belvedere, Kent. It has added bright colours to the high street.

Kevin Castle, the owner of the surgery, started and funded the art project at the school where the pupils designed and created the mural during the school year. The pupils took great pride, some of them including portraits of their own pets, and enthusiastically embraced the challenge. Their design shows pets superimposed on a background of some of London’s iconic buildings. The pupils’ work was supervised by their art teacher, Mrs Tina Tsang, who was present with the pupils at the unveiling of the mural.

Kevin said “I wanted to encourage the pupils to take part in a project that would leave a legacy, showing their positive involvement in the local community. The comments from our clients and passers-by have all been full of admiration for the school’s work.” 

The surgery has been open for 31 years and is a regular choice for many students when it comes to work experience placements. The practice has 3 full time veterinary surgeons, 5 registered veterinary nurses and 2 student nurses as well as reception and other practice staff and prides itself in being an integral part of the local community. Due to the fantastic support the surgery has received from its loyal clients over the years, Kevin felt it was time to offer something back to the London borough of Bexley.













 

 

February 2015 Update


Time flies! It'll soon be spring and we will welcome the longer days and lighter evenings.

Pet Care Veterinary Surgery is looking forward to Wednesday 22nd April 2015 when the winners of the Pet Plan Awards for Vet of the Year and Vet Practice of the Year will be announced. We are in the running again this year, thanks to our wonderful clients who nominated us for these prestigious awards. Maybe this year we will win? Here some of the staff, Lisa Rice, Louise Howells and Kevin Castle (and some patients!) proudly show our nominations. Fingers crossed........



















Check out our Facebook page to see more news, and discover what Muggy, the Sphynx cat did, and why Poppy, the Labrador puppy has lost his teddy.
Find us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pet-Care-Veterinary-Surgery/107218496035092













 

 



Winter 2014 Update - Brrrr, Goodbye and Hello!


Winter is coming and our pets will be spending more time indoors as a result of the cold weather. If your pet is less active over the winter months then don't forget you must cut back a little on their daily food otherwise there will be an unwelcome weight gain over Christmas. Fat pets are not healthy! It's easier to prevent weight gain than trying to shed excess pounds!

We say hello and goodbye to staff members. Vet Nathalie Helmore, after 4 years of wonderful service, has relocated to Cheltenham to be closer to family and we wish her all the best for the future. Our new vet is Ceel Gould who brings years of experience to the job. We hope her cheery personality and her knowledge and caring manner will show our clients that Pet Care Veterinary Surgery is maintaining the standard that we have set in the past.


Remember if you have a good picture of your pet, why don't you share it with us? Send it to petcare@petcarevets.co.uk
We'd love to see it on our website.





 
 

Summer 2014 Update - New Staff and Happy 30th Birthday


Pet Care has grown some more! We say welcome to two new members of staff: Mary Wearn and Dawn Calloway.


Mary is an experienced registered veterinary nurse who brings her knowledge and love for animals to Pet Care. Her job is to be an important part of our nursing team that provides the excellent care we are known for.


Dawn returns to Pet Care after some years away, bringing back her cheery smiles and laughs to the reception desk. Efficiency, kindness and compassion are what she provides! The total number of Pet Care staff is now 18, the most it has ever been. This has helped us maintain and constantly improve our reputation as being the vets people can trust with their pets. More staff means better individual animal care which gives great job satisfaction and keeps the team's morale at an all time high. We all love our work and are so lucky to be working in this fantastic profession. How many people can say that they get to see puppies and kittens on a regular basis in their jobs?


Celebrations in July as Pet Care celebrates 30 YEARS of providing pet care in Erith. After starting as a one vet, one nurse and one receptionist practice all those years ago, we have grown into a successful 21st century practice. We have constantly kept up to date with our knowledge and also have some of the most modern equipment available. To those clients that have been with us for all that time (you know who you are), we say thank you for your loyalty and trust in us. To those that have joined us more recently, we say thank you too and we promise to honour our pledge to be your pets' best vets.

If you like Facebook then check or like our page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pet-Care-Veterinary-Surgery/107218496035092

 


Spring 2014 Update


Everyone is hoping for a some warmer weather since all the rain has eased off. This will encourage those lazy pets to get out more!
Many of them are in need of more exercise after spending so much of the winter indoors. Those extra pounds or kilos have got to go. Getting fitter and keeping fit apply equally to us and our animal friends. Regular exercise is likely to bring good health and help prevent conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and obesity. If only people stuck to their New Year's Resolutions.....


All vets and vet nurses have to keep up to date with current info and news. Their studies don't stop when they qualify after all those years at university or college.  To maintain their registration they have to undertake many hours of CPD (Continuous Professional Development) every year. Nurses must prove they have completed 15 hours of extra study every year and it's 35 hours for vets. This can be by attending seminars, study workshops, congresses etc. A few of these are held at our surgery but many involve us traveling, the furthest this year being in Birmingham. So far some of the subjects covered this year have included Parasites that traveling pets can pick up abroad, Causes and treatment of seizures, Pain assessment and its control. Pet Care supports all staff in their continuing studies so that the surgery can offer its clients the most up to date treatments and advice. Pet owners respect staff with experience but also like to know that this experience continues to evolve and grow with the addition of current trends and advances in veterinary science.

We have a new email address dedicated to requests for repeat prescriptions. It is repeat@petcarevets.co.uk 
This will be easier and quicker for many clients, allowing for requests to be made at times to suit them rather than having to phone us during their working hours. The prescription can still take up to 2 working days to be processed as occasionally there are medicines or products that are not held at the surgery. All repeat prescriptions are carried out by one of the vets after carefully checking a pet's records to make sure there are no issues of over- or under-dosing and whether side-effects or other health issues could be occurring. Pets on long-term medication such as for arthritis, epilepsy, diabetes etc do require regular check ups to make sure treatment is satisfactory.

And finally a photo after a recent caesarian section on a Chihuahua...
Which colour do you like best? If you have a good picture of your pet, why don't you share it with us? Send it to petcare@petcarevets.co.uk
We'd love to see it on our website.















 



Winter 2014 Update


When is it going to stop raining? It's so wet outdoors that it can become a major mission to get our pets outside and back in. Muddy footprints everywhere!

Many cats that don't normally need litter trays are having to have them once again. This is the best way to prevent "accidents" indoors. Cats will sometimes hold themselves for too long to avoid getting wet outdoors. This can trigger cystitis or bladder infection which is distressing and painful.


There are so many puddles constantly around and this provides ideal conditions for the spread of Weil's Disease (also called Leptospirosis). This horrible germ is spread from RATS by their urine or droppings and contaminates water where rats live or pass through. Riverbanks, sewers, gutters and edges of most standing water are prime locations to contract it. The disease can infect humans and dogs and can spread from one to the other. We are expecting a rise in the incidence of this disease and we urge all dog owners to make sure their dogs are up to date with their vaccinations. In fact this year there are 2 new strains of the germ included in the primary and booster vaccines and we are hoping that this will help prevent a rise in cases of Weil's disease. The germ affects many parts of the body and causes serious illness in dogs. It damages the liver and the kidneys and can be fatal as by the time it is diagnosed, kidney failure may have occurred already.

Phone 01322 346173 or email us at petcare@petcarevets.co.uk to check whether your dog is up to date with the Leptospirosis vaccinations.

Finally, check us out on Facebook and like our page! See the cute Chihuahua puppies.

Roll on summer!

 
 


Summer 2013 Update



Pet Care Veterinary Surgery is as busy as ever. Just the other day we had a new client register who is the granddaughter of one of our long-standing clients. Her parents and her mother's parents are all now registered with us. We are proud to have such a good reputation that generations of our clients are happy to come to us, meaning the service we provide is as good now as it has ever been. This is the thing that makes us different from other practices - we have a very good record, are very experienced and so many people trust us with their pets. Personal recommendation has always been the main way new clients find us and we aim to never let them down.


We have replaced our laboratory blood testing machines with new state of the art equipment.They are connected via the internet to a central large laboratory too. This means we have access to results very quickly - within minutes. This means that in emergencies we can treat pets immediately rather than wait for samples to be couriered by road to the laboratory. This can sometimes make a huge difference in how quickly animals get better.

Staff news is that Marius Holban who has finished his nurse studies has moved onto a veterinary training hospital where he wants to specialise in medical nursing. We wish him well for the future and we are happy to welcome Johnathan Prior, another experienced qualified veterinary nurse, to our team. Johnathan is already fitting in well and we are soon to meet some of his tortoises and his Dachshund (sausage dog!)

We are still running our Refer A Friend scheme for new clients. If you are a client of ours and you have a friend who needs veterinary care for one of their pets then recommend them to us. When we see them you will receive a credit towards your next visit to us and they will also receive a credit when they are seen. Similarly if you are not yet a client of ours but know someone who is, then get them to refer you to us and save yourself some money and reward your friend at the same time!  Don't worry, if you would like us to see your pet for the first time but do not know any of our existing clients, we would still be very happy to welcome you with a money-off saving on your first visit to us. Contact us for more details at:  petcare@petcarevets.co.uk


 
 

February 2013 Update


Our super nurses have now just got even better!  If your pet needs something like a simple nail clipping or a dental check or the dreaded emptying of anal glands, Pet Care can offer you an appointment for your pet with any one of our nurses for this.

Our nurses can now routinely perform these procedures at a fraction of the cost that would normally be charged when it's performed by the veterinary surgeon. Similar procedures that our nurses are capable of doing are post-op checks, dressing changes, blood pressure monitoring, diabetes check ups and weight clinics. They can also give advice on Flea and Worm prevention and are all knowledgeable about what diets are best for your pet, especially if they have any health issues.

Our nurses are determined to get any overweight pets back into shape and want to help any owners struggling to do this. Our nurses run FREE WEIGHT LOSS CLINICS for portly pooches and comfy cats and will guide owners and their pets to a much healthier and happier future with an individually tailored weight loss diet program. Obese pets are becoming more and more common and many of our clients don't realise that they are slowly killing their pets with kindness by overfeeding on a regular basis. The nurse will show what signs to look for to tell whether a pet is overweight and is able to set a realistic target weight to aim for. The diet program will advise not only what foods to feed but also exactly how much to feed.

To make an appointment with a nurse please call the surgery or send us an email at : petcare@petcarevets.co.uk


 


Winter 2012/2013 Update


Well winter has finally arrived with freezing temperatures. Our pets need special care at this time of year.

Last winter we saw a number of dogs with infected feet after contracting a nasty paw dermatitis caused by heavy salting and gritting of pavements. To avoid this make sure you wash or wipe down your dog's feet after a walk to remove the salt residue from the delicate areas between the toes. When it's icy make sure you have good soled footwear as a sharp pull from your dog's lead can send you tumbling with painful consequences.

Cats are usually more resilient in the cold and many choose to stay in when it's too cold or wet. But this can actually bring on problems. If your cat mainly drinks and also toilets outside then you may need to provide an extra water bowl and a litter tray indoors when it's snowing or exceptionally cold. Cold snaps often trigger cystitis (bladder infection) as cats don't drink enough water and are reluctant to go and empty their bladders outside. Not drinking and not passing urine frequently enough results in a very full bladder with very concentrated or strong urine. Bladder stones form and this causes a lot of pain and can actually cause a blockage in male cats with sometimes fatal results. If your cat has been prone to this condition we can recommend various diets which help them to prevent the bladder stones forming.

Christmas and New Year are times when many of us over-indulge. This often spills over to our pets and too many treats are given. Chocolate, and especially dark chocolate, can be toxic to dogs. Every year we get frantic phone calls about someone's dog that has managed to "steal" a box of chocolates. Depending on the amount eaten (actually quite a small amount for a small dog) a dog can suffer serious illness and some have even died from heart failure after a chocolate binge. Make sure chocolates are kept out of reach of dogs - in a drawer or in a cupboard is best as dog's don't mind chewing through wrappers or foil to finish off a tasty slab!

Weight loss is a common New Year's Resolution for our pets. Let's stick to it in 2013. Too many pets are overweight. If you have a heavy hound, a comfy cat or a rotund rabbit you'll be doing them a massive favour by being stricter with their diet. Our vets are kept busy treating so many health problems that are directly a result of pets being overweight. Slim pets are healthier, live longer and go far less to the v-e-t! Our vets and nurses are trained to advise you on the best diets and quantities for your pet.
 


Autumn 2012 Update


Congratulations to one of our nurses, Lisa Bennett. She has passed her final exams and is now a fully qualified Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN). Lisa did very well and passed at her first attempt due to her hard work and dedication. She has put in years of study, completed hundreds of assignments and essays, performed countless practicals and can now wear her red and silver badge with pride.

Praise also to Alison Judge RVN, who is the clinical coach of our student veterinary nurses. She acts as their supervisor, mentor and colleague at the same time. She makes sure they complete their in-house training correctly and on time together with their work at the nursing college. All of us at Pet Care Veterinary Surgery are grateful that Alison gives up so much of her time to help our students get through their studies and achieve success.

Fleas have made a resurgence this year. After a fairly wet summer we are now seeing heavily infested dogs and cats. We currently have a special offer until the end of the year for 20% off a 6 month flea control injection for cats. It is completely safe and works fantastically well. Call into the surgery for this .


 

 
Summer 2012 Update


This summer was an amazing time for us in the south-east. We all caught the Olympics bug especially after the Olympic torch made it's way right past the front of the surgery on a wonderful sunny Sunday afternoon. We were all there to cheer it on. It made its way up from Erith centre, through Northumberland Heath, Barnehurst, Bexley and finished in Bexleyheath.

Janice Thompson and Kevin Castle were "volunteered" into some sporting fundraising activity and performed a sponsored sphering session. This involves climbing into a huge plastic bouncy ball, being strapped to the inside of it and then the ball is pushed down a hill! It is one of the most unpleasant experiences they had ever had. The picture was taken before the experience. Afterwards they were a little whiter and disheveled. Fortunately it was all for a good cause and they managed to raise over £600 which was split between the local branch of the Cats' Protection and New Hope Animal Rescue. Check out the video on this link:  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=3497800876237&set=vb.104258026280420&type=3



 

22nd May 2011 New Website


Welcome to our website. Have a look around and see what Pet Care can offer.