Christmas dangers!

With Christmas festivities just around the corner we wanted to remind you of some of the potential problems for our pets, in particular for those food loving animal’s who will beg, borrow and steal for some Christmas treats!

  •  Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies: raisins, currants and sultanas can be toxic to dogs resulting in kidney failure. Even a few can cause illness. Grapes can also cause problems.
  •  Chocolate: both milk and dark chocolate contain an ingredient called Theobromine which can be toxic to dogs and cats especially when eaten in large quantities.  Signs can vary from GI upset to more serious complications such as tremors, seizures and heart disturbances.
  •  Sage and onion stuffing: Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives can cause gastrointestinal signs, abdominal discomfort and anaemia in both cats and dogs, which can have serious consequences.
  •  Macadamia nuts: problems include weakness, lack of balance, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal signs, lameness and joint pain.
  •  Foreign bodies: Small toys or bones can be ingested and pose the risk of intestinal obstruction. Also, silica gel packs found in many Christmas packaging can swell very rapidly in your dogs stomach posing a risk of intestinal obstruction.
  •  Pot pourri: This can cause significant and prolonged gastrointestinal upset in dogs.
  •  Christmas plants and flowers: Mistletoe, Pointsettias, Holly, Ivy and Pine needles can be mildly toxic and cause GI signs, salivation and depression.
  •  Ethylene glycol (anti-freeze): This is extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. Anti-freeze ingestion results in severe renal damage and quickly progresses to renal failure. The prognosis is often guarded.

If you have any concerns about your pet over the Christmas season just give us a call on 01606 880890. We have a 24/7 emergency line which will put you in touch with one of our vets.

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Our Christmas opening times

Richard and all at Hollybank would like to wish all of our clients and their pets a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Over Christmas and New Year we will be open:

Saturday 20th        9.00am – 12.00pm
Sunday 21st           24 hour Emergency Care
Monday 22nd         8.30am – 6.30pm
Tuesday 23rd         9.30am – 7.30pm
Wednesday 24th    8.30am - 5pm
Thursday 25th       24 hour Emergency Care
Friday 26th            24 hour Emergency Care
Saturday 27th        9.00am – 12.00pm
Sunday 28th          24 hour Emergency Care
Monday 29th          8.30am – 6.30pm
Tuesday 30th         9.30am – 7.30pm
Wednesday 31st    8.30am – 5pm
Thursday 1st          24 hour Emergency Care
Friday 2nd              8.30am – 6.30pm

Last Orders for all food and medications is on Monday the 22nd of December!

Please remember that if your pet is ill over the festive period we are always available and a vet or nurse is in the practice 24/7. Please call 01606 880890 to speak to the duty vet.
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The winning names!

Our Facebook name poll closed last week for our new baby Guinea Pigs. I am pleased to introduce you to…


and Marmalade

Both girls have settled in really well here at Hollybank. They are now enjoying getting out and about outside so pop by and say hello! When they are older they will be able to go out on visits with Nessa into schools and to meet local Brownie’s, Rainbows and Scouts!

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Names for our new girls!

Our facebook poll is now open. Please click on the picture below to go to our facebook page and have your say by voting for your favourite pair of names.

We look forward to finding out which ones you like!

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Here at Hollybank we have some exciting news…

Meet our two new additions!

Both girls are currently settling in and getting to know Nessa. We have already worked out who the cheeky one is…

…and who is the noisiest

… and that they are both very keen on sitting in the food bowl!

However we do need to choose some names for them both and this is where we would love your help. We have come up with a few name choices that we like. We will soon be putting up a poll on our facebook page for you to vote on your favourite names so keep an eye out for it over the next few days!



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Our October Update for the Joshua Tree

During October we raised a further £288 for the Joshua Tree Charity. We have been donating £1 for every vaccination since our 5th birthday.

This brings our total since March to £2058!


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Neutering…what, when and why?

Neutering your animal not only stops any unwanted litters, but also provides health benefits for your pet. For females it prevents pregnancy, false pregnancy and fatal uterine infections (pyometra), but also reduces the risk of reproductive related cancers, such as mammary or ovarian. For males it reduces roaming, fighting and urine marking, as well as preventing testicular cancer and decreasing the risk of prostate cancer.

Neutering is a surgical procedure and needs a general anaesthetic, so your pet will be with us for the day and as long as they are awake enough, will be able to go home the afternoon of their operation day. We advise strict rest for the first five days after the operation and we provide post operative pain relief and often a buster collar so your pet cannot lick its wound.

For females the procedure is known as “spaying” and the uterus and ovaries are removed, while for males, which is known as “castrating”, the testicles are both removed.

The age in which you can neuter your pets varies according to species and size, but generally dogs can be neutered from 4-5 months, cats can be neutered from 4 months and rabbits can be neutered from 3-4 months.

If you have any more questions regarding neutering your pet, or would like to book them in for neutering, please give us a ring on 01606 880890.

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Last year we told you about Sooty and Lottie, two of the runners up for the Royal Canin Weigh-in club 2013. This month Sooty is the star of Royal Canin’s Weigh-in club calender! Take a look at her page below.

If you would like any further information about how to help your pet maintain a healthy weight  just give us a call on 01606 880890 and have a chat with one of our team. Preventing excessive weight gain is important to help reduce stress on joints and organs, such as the heart, as well as to reduce the chance of developing other medical problems. It can also make a big difference to energy levels and quality of life.

Sooty before

Sooty after










Sooty before and after weight loss. Congratulations once again to Sooty and her owner for all their hard work!

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Rest In Peace Stacey

Sadly today we have had to say goodbye to one of our resident Guinea Pigs, Stacey. Stacey has been with us from the beginning and over the years has been involved with many school visits, summer galas and fairs as well as Brownie and Scout visits. Over the past few years she has often been out and about squeaking at our clients and their pets as they pass. She has been a wonderful girl and has lifted many spirits with her cheeky attitude!

Unfortunately we recently diagnosed her with cystic ovaries. As well as this, we found out today that she also has a problem with her kidneys and have had the make the very difficult decision to put her to sleep.

Stacey will be greatly missed at Hollybank, not only by us but also our other Guinea Pig Nessa who has been her best friend since they arrived.




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Hollybank’s Brave Pet of the Month…Sam!

Sam is a Springer Spaniel puppy who came into us one evening recently as an emergency. He had fallen down a bank whilst out running with his owner in the woods. Although Sam wanted to get up he wasn’t able to, so we were very worried that the fall may have caused some trauma.

Initially we got Sam some pain relief and  then tried to find out where he may have hurt himself. When we examined him his back legs were very rigid and his front legs were very floppy. He also had reduced movement when we tested some reflexes on his legs and he couldn’t support his weight. In himself Sam was otherwise very bright.

This made us concerned that Sam had damaged part of his spine. There are a few ways this can happen. Fractures or dislocation of the spine, traumatic expulsion of spinal discs, as well as concussion and bruising of the spine could have resulted in the signs we could see.

We took some x-rays of Sam’s spine and sent these to a specialist to examine. If Sam had a fracture or dislocation his prognosis was much poorer without surgery to stabilise his spine. Thankfully there were no changes on Sam’s x-rays.

The most important next step was to keep Sam comfortable and give him time to rest. If he improved quickly over the first few days there was a higher chance that he would do well. If he wasn’t showing much improvement then he was much less likely to improve at all.  This meant a difficult three day wait over the weekend. Unfortunately if Sam was no better we would have had to put him to sleep.

Thankfully over the weekend Sam started to come on in leaps and bounds – literally! Within a few days he was trying to do much more than he was allowed to do. As we thought his spinal lesion was located in his neck we had to be very careful that he rested and didn’t put any pressure in this area. To do this he got a harness and was on strict cage rest.

By Monday morning Sam was able to hold himself upright with some slight support, although he was still falling over and ‘knuckling’ on his front legs. We were happy to send him home to continue his strict crate rest and pain relief.

So far Sam is continuing take positive steps. We do not yet know if he will every 100% recover but is enjoying life and improving every day. We are really pleased with his progress so far!

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