Author Archives: Steven Sieff


Friend or foe?

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Do you know if your cats are friends or foes? Best buds or just tolerating each other?

Most cats are happier living the single life, this is how many will choose to live in the wild. However, some will live with siblings or their mother their whole life. In many cases this works fine but it can also go wrong.

Adult cats living in multicat households often simply tolerate each other which can be manageable, but can cause stress. These situations can prevent a cat showing their true character, cause behavioural issues such as fighting or inappropriate urination and they can even lead to health problems such as vomiting, diarrhoea, cystitis and skin disease.

Many stress signs and interactions between cats can be missed or simply misread by us. The Cats Protection have created a very helpful (and very cute) video, to help us differentiate between friendly behaviours and not-so-friendly behaviours in our households.

Click here to watch the video.

There are things we can do to make life in a multicat household healthier and happier for all concerned, as mentioned in the video, separate feeding areas, bowls, litter trays, beds and scratching posts will help to reduce stress, as each cat will be able to have space and not have to share with another cat unless they choose to do so.

Other aids to assist in reducing stress and improving feline relationships includ products such as Feliway Classic and Feliway Friends. These produce good pheromones which are associated with feeling safe and content which can make a big difference.

Click here for more information on Feliway.


Pet passports and Brexit

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If so, please read on or Brexit might seriously get in the way of your plans.

Just like everyone else, we have no idea what effect Brexit may have on the pet travel situation. We do know that pets will still be able to travel but we don’t know what the rules surrounding that travel will be, particularly in the event of a no deal.

Worst case scenario, in the event of no deal, you may be required to do the following:
1. Rabies vaccinate
2. Wait at least 30 days
3. Have a blood test to prove your pet is immune to Rabies*
4. Wait at least 3 months from date of blood test before leaving the UK
5. No more than 10 days prior to travel get health certificate issued by an “Official Veterinarian” (both Poppy and Steph can do this)
6. Travel

So if you add it all up it could take 4 months to prepare your pet for travel in a no deal scenario.

1. If you are travelling and returning to the UK with your pet BEFORE 29th March 2019 you just need to have a valid passport and a rabies vaccine done within 3 years.
2. If you need to take your pet to Europe anytime in the 4 months following 29th March 2019, then to be absolutely safe you will need to make sure you have an up to date rabies vaccine and then blood test your pet. If your pet’s rabies vaccine is not up to date and you need to get the vaccine done then the process takes at least 4 months before you can travel.
3. If you don’t need to travel with your pet between 29th March 2019 and 29th July 2019, then wait and see what the new rules are as the scenario above may not happen if there is some kind of deal.

I hope this makes sense, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

For more information please see:



Hope Vets on the BBC

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We like to think of ourselves as serving the local community but now and again we don’t mind venturing further afield. So when the BBC asked us to help with their piece on vegan diets for dogs, Sarah Ginger and Fizz stepped up. The piece first aired on the 1330 London news on BBC 1 on the 27th September 2018, with a longer version on the 1830 news the same day. A short extract can be found on the BBC website at:

See if you can spot the slight BBC captioning error…

Sarah and Fizz are now considering entering into talks to present their own show on various aspects of the animal world. Suggestions for titles welcome.


Watch out for slime!

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Swimming in rivers and lakes during the summer is a good way to cool off on a hot day, but there is a hidden danger – BLUE/GREEN ALGAE!

In the summer, the temperature and favourable conditions help the blue/green algae to grow in fresh water bodies. Unfortunately, it is not always visible in the water and leads to an increase in production of toxins by this algae which are poisonous to dogs!

When eaten or drunk it has very quick onset and can have disastrous effects if not dealt with quickly.

Signs include: vomiting blood, tender tummy, diarrhoea, pale gums, weakness, wobbling, collapsing, high sensitivity to pain, tremoring, convulsions, difficulty breathing, blue gums and coma. Long term effects can include liver failure.

If your dog drinks or eats things in or around lakes, ponds or rivers, be careful and aware of the possible risks.
If you think your dog has been poisoned by this algae or has just eaten some and you think it may cause an issue, please call us immediately on 01442 833198 or VetsNow Emergency Out of Hours service in Hemel Hempstead 01442 768484.

The BVA have issued a warning regarding blue green algae again this year.

dog drinking from river

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