Fundraising update for the Joshua Tree Charity!

As part of our ongoing support of the Joshua Tree there is a collection box in reception.

Thanks to all of our lovely clients donations we are pleased to report our most recent collection box total came to £168.22! This brings our running total to an amazing £6705.81!



The Joshua Tree have also recently been awarded further funding to enable them to expand their support to families. To read more about this wonderful local charity please visit:



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Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month


Next up is our Veterinary Nurse Kat. Please click on her picture below to find out about the patients she has seen this week.

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Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month


This week is Katie’s turn to tell you about her role as a veterinary nurse. Please click on her picture below to read about her week.


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Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month

You will find veterinary nurses at the heart of all veterinary practices and they work extremely hard to provide your pets with the care they need.  Our dedicated nurses at Hollybank will be taking time out this month to give you an insight into life as a Veterinary nurse; their roles, their patients and what they love most about their jobs!

First up this week is Cat’s blog, please click on her picture below to read about her week.

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Spring Watch….Fly Strike in Rabbits

Rabbits are becoming more popular as pets however they can have complex care requirements and with the warmer weather on the way, we wanted to bring your attention to fly strike.

Fly strike is an infestation of maggots from eggs laid by flies. Flies love damp hutches and dirty areas on rabbits usually around the vulva/ penis and anus area. Once the eggs hatch as maggots, these start eating the flesh of rabbits. If this is not caught early, it can result in a very poorly rabbit and can very quickly result in death.There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of fly strike this spring.

Manage the environment:

  • A strict hygienic husbandry regime, using an effective cleaning disinfectant.
  • The daily removal of soiled bedding and replacement with dry and clean bedding
  • Daily handling/examination of your rabbit to ensure they are clean with no dirty/damp areas.
  • Carry out regular grooming of your rabbit especially if your rabbit has long hair.
  • Protect your rabbit during the summer months using a topical fly repellent.

 Manage your rabbits health:

Fly strike can affect all animals, but older, obese and arthritic animals which have less mobility are unable to clean around their vulva/ penis and anus are more susceptible.

  • Avoid over-feeding your rabbit to prevent them becoming overweight.
  • Ensure good dental health by feeding  good quality hay and fresh leafy greens
  • Have regular veterinary check-ups; dental disease or pain can prevent rabbits from cleaning themselves appropriately

If you would like any more information on fly strike feel free to call us here at Hollybank on 01606 880890.

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Richard has been recognised as an Advanced Practitioner

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons have recently published the first list of Advanced Practitioners.

An Advanced Practitioner is a Veterinary Surgeon who has completed further qualifications accredited to Postgraduate Certificate level (equivalent to a Masters Level 7), and who has continued professional development in their field over and above the requirements to stay up to date.

Advanced Practitioners have particular knowledge and experience in an area of veterinary practice. Richard completed his Certificate in Veterinary Anaesthesia in 2007 and has been recognised an Advanced Practitioner in Veterinary Anaesthesia.


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Hollybank’s Brave Pet of the Month…Bess!

Bess is a very happy and playful Springer Spaniel who presented with an extremely swollen and sore paw. Bess became lame on her right front leg one morning and within 24 hours couldn’t put her foot down at all.

On exam her right front paw was extremely swollen and the swelling extended to above her carpus (wrist joint).  The outermost digit had fluid coming from an area of thin and damaged skin which looked infected and as a result the surrounding soft tissue was severely inflamed. We call this cellulitis. On palpation of the foot it was painful but, as we could not feel her digits underneath the swelling, we could not rule out an underlying fracture or foreign body in her foot.

Bess required intensive antibiotic therapy and pain relief so we admitted her into the hospital for these to be given directly into her vein. We also started Bess on fluids as she had a very high temperature; the fluids would act to cool Bess down but also dilute any toxins associated with the infected paw. Within the first few days the skin overlying Bess’s infected paw began to slough which is a term used to describe the falling away of dead and non viable skin from a wound. This skin would never have recovered and needed to be removed however this left a large tissue deficit in Bess’s foot.

Bess’s natural healing mechanisms allowed the deficit to be slowly filled with new cells and tissue but this took time and our role was to provide the optimum healing environment for this to take place.


The hair around Bess’s wound was clipped short and the area was cleaned thoroughly.  Bess then had daily dressings in order to provide the optimum wound environment. Bess also needed to wear her buster collar at all times. Unfortunately she was very good at removing her collar and kept the nurses on their toes! Bess was in with us for a total of two weeks and her wound healed really well. Due to her good progress, Bess continued her healing at home with strict rest, a collar, oral antibiotics and pain relief.

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Easter Emergencies

As the flowers and trees start to bloom and spring makes its way to us, we need to be aware of the toxic substances starting to appear both outside and inside the house. Lots of tasty treats at Easter that we enjoy can also be toxic to our pets. If you suspect that your pet may have eaten something toxic do not hesitate to call us at the practice on 01606 880890 as early treatment can make all the difference. Some of our Spring and Easter risks include:

 Chocolate contains Theobromine which can affect the central nervous system, causing twitching and a high heart rate as well as other signs such as vomiting and diarrhoea, salivation and a risk of kidney failure.

Raisins, grapes, currants or sultanas can be found in savoury food items such as hot cross buns, scones or fruit cake and can be fatal. Gastrointestinal signs, salivation, blood in the stools or vomit, lack of appetite and lethargy can occur. If left untreated, they can cause kidney failure. There is no link between the amount consumed and any clinical effects.

Daffodils contain toxic alkaloid substances which are poisonous if ingested by dogs. Typical signs include gastrointestinal upsets (vomiting and diarrhoea), abdominal tenderness, a lack of appetite (anorexia), salivation, lethargy and a high temperature (hyperthermia). Other more serious signs can be seen if not treated, such as, twitching (ataxia), collapse and dehydration.

Lilies. All species of the Lilium or Hemerocallis are highly toxic and potentially fatal for cats, these species include the Asiastic Lily, Tiger Lily and Day Lily. All parts of the plants cause death of kidney cells and fatality is high if treatment isn’t initiated with the first 18 – 24 hours after ingestion. Common signs include vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy and increased drinking and urination. If left untreated kidney failure can occur.

Slug pellets. Many molluscicides contain a toxic substance called Metaldehyde and if ingested by either cats or dogs can cause serious central nervous system problems. Signs include muscle spasms or tremors, convulsions, a high temperature, panting and respiratory distress.

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Improvement works later this week

Just a reminder that later this week, on the 1st and 2nd of April we are having some work done to improve our car park and reception areas. We are still open as usual should you need us, however, obviously this will involve some disruption in these areas.

We are thankful in advance for your patience with us over these few days. Please bear with us and we hope you will look forward to seeing the new changes once the work is done.

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Our final fundraising total for the Joshua Tree Charity!

Since we opened in 2009, Hollybank has helped to raise money for the Joshua Tree Charity. This has involved fundraising at many of our events and activities over the past few years. Following our 5th Birthday in March 2014 we promised to donate £1 from every vaccination to the Joshua Tree for a year.

Having just celebrated our 6th birthday, this year has come to an end. Incredibly over the past 12 months we have raised a grand total of £2833!

The Joshua Tree is a fantastic local charity which provides support for families of children with cancer. To find our more about them and all they do go to



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