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Preventative Pet Health Care

How can we help you look after your pet?

We believe in focusing upon the prevention of disease as much as its treatment and we understand the crucial role that you can play in prolonging your pet’s life.

We recommend:

An annual health check and review. An annual examination with one of our veterinary surgeons can play a vital role in preventing disease and detecting potentially life threatening illness at an early stage.

Regular vaccinations, most dogs, and cats and rabbits should be vaccinated annually and all reputable boarding kennels wisely insist upon this.

Routine worming every 3 months. – Ask your vet or practice nurse for those we recommend.

Regular flea control treatments. – Ask your vet or practice nurse for those we recommend.

6 monthly dental examinations. By the age of two over 70% of dogs and cats will have some sign of dental disease. Not only can this be painful and lead to tooth loss but if left untreated can damage the heart, liver and kidneys.

A well balanced diet.

Top tips to help the Hedgehogs

Top tips to help the Hedgehogs

1. Autumn is the time when hedgehogs will prepare for hibernation – look out for the underweight hedgehogs and offer them food and warmth.

2. Hedgehogs can supplement their natural diet of insects with wet dog/cat food and cat biscuits if you come across one who looks to need a bit of fattening up.

3. Put out a bowl of fresh water, hedgehogs can move their nests from one area to another throughout their hibernation and would benefit from rehydrating. Don’t give them milk!!

4. Try not to use slug pellets/pesticides in your garden as these are harmful to hedgehogs.

5. If possible, leave an area of your garden to grow wild – hedgehogs love to nest amongst brambles, log piles and leaves and this also provides a good source of insects for them to munch on.

6. Strim your garden hedges carefully. Hedgehogs have a habit of hiding amongst hedges and long grass and their spines are no match for a lawnmower!

7. Hedgehogs can naturally swim but they will drown if they can’t get out of the water source so ensure you have some netting/wire around the sides of ponds to make it easier for them to get out, should they fall in.

8. Hedgehogs need to stay warm whilst hibernating. Providing an area with decaying wood, leaves and straw will help with this.

9. Remember hedgehogs carry fleas! If you own pets then ensure you keep up to date with worm and flea treatment to ensure you’re spiny friends don’t share their critters with your furry friends.

10. If you see an injured hedgehog then take him along to your nearest veterinary practice or call your local hedgehog rescue centre. The BPHS can put you in touch with your local centre – 01584 890 801. Always ensure you pick up hedgehogs using a towel and transport them in a cat carrier/cardboard box, put in a hot water bottle and towel to keep him warm during transport.

Myxomatosis – Killer virus set to spread

Myxomatosis is a virus that was originally found in lab Rabbits in Uruguay in 1896, and was then utilised to assist in the control of the rabbit population of Australia, which took it from 600million to 100 million in a short time.

The virus is now very wide spread through the wild rabbit population in the UK. In the 1950’s there was a large outbreak in the UK introduced just like in Australia, and again devastated the wild rabbit population, although since recovery has been appreciated.

The virus can be spread by means of Rabbit to Rabbit contact or by a vector ( through fleas, mosquitos and fly’s), so has now become a issue in pet rabbits.

With the weather being as it has, Spring rain’s and summer heat, it has given rise to higher flea and fly population, as well as ideal rabbit breeding, all leading to an inevitable spread of the disease far and wide.

Myxomatosis is a 100% killer. Rabbits can have various sign’s, Oedema (swelling) of the eyes and mouth, breathing issues and skin lesions. Suffering of these rabbits is high; the incubation period of the virus is about 14 days. In the initial stages all seems fine but suffering starts with the inability to eat, gut system shuts down, eyes are unable to open due to swelling and puss at this stage. It is a painful and debilitating condition that can be prevented.

There is a way to help your pet rabbit, vaccination against the virus. At Abbey house we do encourage vaccinations of our pet rabbits as they are like any other animal, they are part of the family and protecting them from whatever you can is basic care.

Vaccinations can be performed at the Hospital in Morley or at any of the branches, they cover not only Myxomatosis but also RVHD1 (Rabbit Viral Haemorrhagic Disease) and the newer strain RVHD2. Vaccinations are given 2 week apart.

Also you could help by protecting your rabbits against Flea’s and fly’s. Basic hutch care, use of an anti-parasitic, such as Advocate, will also help.

For any further information or to make an appointment please contact one of our clinics. We are always happy to advise.

Myxomatosis Rabbit

Rabbit Myxomatosis Symptoms

Anita Miles

I took my dog Rocky to Abbey House as an emergency After a road accident Mr Clarke saved him. I’m so grateful to everyone there for taking care of him a big thanku

Pre Operative Instructions

Cats & Dogs

The day of your pets operation has almost arrived and like all good owners you want to prepare them in the best way possible. So how do you do this? If you read and follow these instructions carefully you will have done all that you can to make their anaesthetic or sedative as safe as it can be.

Preparing Cats and Dogs

For dogs and cats, do not feed them from 7.00pm the evening before the operation. They can have water overnight and on the morning of the operation but no other drink. This means that cats should be kept in the night before their operation so they can not help themselves to the contents of next door dustbin!! Take dogs out that morning to empty their bowels and bladders and provide a clean litter tray for your cat.

Preparing Small Mammals and Birds

Rabbits and other small animals such as guinea pigs and hamsters, as well as all birds, should not be starved. They should have access to water and food right up until the time you bring them into surgery. In fact it is helpful to bring a small amount of food with you as we will feed your pet as soon as they awake from their anaesthetic and they are more likely to eat a familiar or favourite food.

Admitting Your Pet

You will have an appointment with either a vet or the practice nurse to admit your pet and if you have any worries, please let us know so we can explain what is going to happen and put your mind at rest.

All hospitalisation and surgery is undertaken at our Morley Hospital. This means that if your pet is admitted at Cleckheaton or Rothwell they will be kept at the branch for a short time and then transported to Morley in a specially designed vehicle. Once treatment is completed and they have recovered from their anaesthetic, they will be returned to the branch surgery in time for collection. If you would prefer to transport your pet to and from the Morley hospital yourself, please let the receptionist or veterinary surgeon know.

Pre-anaesthetic Blood Tests

The final thing to consider is whether or not to have a pre-anaesthetic blood test. Your pet will always be examined before it is anaesthetised but it is not always possible to detect certain internal problems such as kidney or liver disease, diabetes etc. To help us find out whether any of these problems exist, a blood sample is taken before the anaesthetic is given. if an abnormality is detected special precautions can be taken or we can advise you that it may not be safe to continue.

We offer two types of blood samples; the basic profile which we advise for apparently healthy and young animals and the more extensive profile for the older and ill pet. If you need any help in deciding whether to have a blood test or which one is appropriate for your pet just ask.

Leaving Your Pet

Leaving your pet is always hard, particularly at this time. Try to leave the consulting room quickly with a pat and brief word of reassurance to encourage them. We will take every care of them, (we all have pets of our own and know how you must be feeling), and return them to you safe and sound as soon as possible.

Post Operative Instructions

Cats & Dogs

Now that your pets operation is over what you need to know is how to look after them so that they can recover as quickly as possible.

All pets, whether they have had an anaesthetic or only a sedative, will be sleepy. This sleepiness will last for 24 hours at the most and keeping them warm will help them to recover more quickly. It is also important to prevent them from hurting themselves at this time eg. by falling down stairs when they are still wobbly on their legs. You may notice a small area of hair loss on the front leg. Do not worry, this is only the place where the anaesthetic was administered.

When to Feed and Offer Fluids

Dogs and cats should be given a drink as soon as you get them home and then a small light feed can be offered about three hours later. (Feeding about a third of their normal food or a small amount of chicken is appropriate but we can supply you with a special ‘Recovery Pack’ that is designed for animals getting over their anaesthetic) They may not be interested in any food tonight and if so do not worry. However, if they are not eating tomorrow please let us know.

When and How Much to Exercise your Pet

It is important that your pet is rested completely for the first two days.

Dogs should be confined to the back garden and have no walks. From then on they should be exercised on a lead and taken for short walks only.

Cats, on the other hand, must be kept in the house until their stitches are removed (Remember to close the cat flap!) and so will need a litter tray. They may not be overly keen on using this at first but will eventually come to terms with the new routine.

Small Mammals (Rabbits, Guinea Pigs etc) and Birds

If your pet has had an operation or general anaesthetic they will need to be kept nice and warm for the first 48 hours. If they are normally housed outside bring them indoors for a couple of days.

If your pet has had an operation and has a wound, keep it on newspaper and not sawdust or shavings until it has healed.

Rabbits, guinea pigs etc. and all birds should be fed and given water as soon as they get home and will, in fact, have been fed in the surgery that afternoon.

Looking After Your Pets Wounds

It is important that stitches and dressing are not interfered with by your pet or any human!! If your pet licks or pulls at either the wound or dressing come down to the surgery and collect an elizabethan collar.(light shade arrangement) if you think it is likely that your pet will interfere with the wound or remove the dressing then it might be best to take a collar when you collect them. The collar should be kept on at all times, except when they are feeding or drinking, at which time they should be supervised.

If your pet does remove its stitches then there will be a fee for replacing them but more importantly the wound may become infected, another anaesthetic may need to be given and occasionally serious complications can occur. Its another case of prevention being better than cure!

Stitches are usually removed ten days after the operation. This is done either by the practice nurse for routine operations or the veterinary surgeon. An appointment will be made when you come to collect your pet.

Giving Medication

If your pet has tablets or other medications to administer please follow the instructions carefully. The time that you need to start giving the tablets etc. will be printed on the container. All pets that have had an operation will have had pain relief but if you feel that they are in pain later that night or during the course of the next few days please do not give potentially harmful human medications. Simply phone us up and explain the situation and we will be able to prescribe a safe and effective pain killer. It is also important that we know that your pet is in pain as it may be an indication of a problem.

Mrs Skinner

“I have been bringing my pets in to Abbey House for over 20 years. I am very happy with the service and care I receive and how the staff look after us. I can be confident that if I need to bring my little dog (Pooch) in then he will be well looked after.”

World Spay Day 2018

The idea of World Spay Day is to shine a light on the problem of overpopulation of dogs and cats globally.

Neutering doesn’t just prevent unwanted pregnancies and the difficulty of finding suitable home for litters but neutering can improve your pets health as it prevents diseases and certain cancers.

Neutering, spaying and castration are generally day patient procedures and in most cases pets recover in a few days, although they need closely monitoring and exercise restricting for 7-10 days.

Neutering myths

  • Overfeeding and under exercising is the biggest cause of obesity. The health benefits of neutering make it important still to neuter and all pets weight needs closely monitoring, before and after neutering however neutered pets require less food.
  • Neutering won’t change your pets personality. However some behaviours linked to hormones may be impacted. If you have an aggressive dog then it is definitely worth talking to a trained behaviourist or veterinary surgeon before using castration to fix the aggression as it is probably not the answer.
  • Changes to Kennel Club regulations say that neutered pedigree dogs can be still be shown.

Reasons to neuter your cats

Females (Queens)

  • Female cats can get pregnant from four months of age and can have up to six kittens per litter and three litters per year! Spaying or ovariohysterectomy is surgically removing the ovaries and uterus of your cat via a wound usually made on your cats flank (left hand side)
  • Spaying female cats eliminates the risk ofunwanted pregnancies.
  • It means you don’t have to manage a cat in season.
  • The spay procedure greatly reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer and getting a womb infection called pyometra.


  • Castration is the removal of both testicles via incisions in the scrotum, taking away the main source of the male hormone testosterone.
  • Reducing the levels of testosterone can reduce the risk of intermale fighting, which in turn reduces the risk of them contracting “Feline Aids” FIV or Feline Leukaemia. It can also reduce the inclination to roam, which can lead to more incidences of road traffic accidents and getting lost

Reasons to neuter your dogs

Females (Bitches)

  • Spaying or ovariohysterectomy is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus, via a surgical wound on the midline of your pets abdomen (underside)
  • Spaying will prevent the risk of unwanted pregnancies. It will prevent you having to manage a bitch
    in season, which means that they can be walked without the risk of attracting unwanted male
    dog attention.
  • Spaying a bitch before her first season can significantly improve their health. It reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer by 70%, it removes the risk of the womb infection called pyometra and removed the risk of ovarian cancer.


  • Castration is the removal of both testicles via incisions in the scrotum, taking away the main source of the male hormone testosterone.
  • Castration decreases the risk of prostatic disease, testicular and perianal cancers

What happens when your pet is admitted for a neutering procedure

Our veterinary surgeons perform neutering operations everyday and in most cases on young, well animals it is what is termed a routine procedure. However, a general anaesthetic is required so this does always pose a certain level of risk. Your pet is admitted by a veterinary surgeon so there is always opportunity to discuss the risks with the vets before your pet is admitted.

Pets are given a sedation injection once they are admitted to their kennel to calm them which means they need less anaesthetic injection and also helps to settle them in their unfamiliar environment. The area of the wound is shaved and cleaned once your pet is asleep under the anaesthetic and Abbey House has very strict cleaning protocols for the cleaning and sterilising of the theatres, instruments, vets and nurses performing the procedures. Pain relief is given to patients having a neutering procedure.

Generally patients go home the same day and they will need to be kept warm and dry as the anaesthetic stops them from being able to regulate their own temperature for 24 hours after it has been given. They will need a light dinner, chicken and rice or tuna is often suggested or a tin of specific post-operative food can be purchased from us. Post-operative care is important and it will take about 10 days before the wound has healed fully. Often plastic collars are given on discharge to stop your pet licking their wound. It is important that they don’t lick or nibble the skin around the wound. Exercise should be restricted for 24 hours and then lead exercise only until the wound has healed completely. A post-operative check is done at the surgery by a nurse after three days to see how recovery and healing is going. We are a 24-hour hospital so we are on hand at any point if your have concerns or questions about your pets after their surgery.

What did 2017 mean to Abbey House

Happy New Year

As always, we have loved meeting clients old and new and looking after your pets. We have been working hard keeping the practice up to our high standards and making sure our staff are developing and providing the best level of care and knowledge.

There has been constant building work over the last two years at the Morley hospital but the culmination of most of the changes finished at the beginning of the year. Most of the upstairs of the practice has been remodelled, providing us a chemo therapy suite which has a theatre, prep room and chemo treatment room with kennels for six day patients. There is now a spacious upstairs preps area next to the CT machine with a new digital x-ray machine, a surgical theatre and endoscopy suite.

Downstairs we have new separate inpatient wards for dogs, cats and small animals, a new laboratory and lift to move animals around the building. Over the last few months we have completed the new dental theatre, cat prep room, cat ward, a scanning room, an instrument room/sterilising room, two separate surgical theatres and a sixth consulting room.

Its great to report that the MRI machine is coming every two weeks, it does cause a little inconvenience in the car park which we are grateful for your continued patience, but we think the service it is providing to our patients more than justifies it.

Veterinary Surgeon Partner Tom Clarke was delighted to be appointed this year as an honorary associate professor at the University of Nottingham a role which involves lecturing vet students on musculoskeletal disease.

Congratulations goes to our newly qualified nurses Stacey, Natalie and Jenna, all now Registered Veterinary Nurses after completing their level three diploma’s, a fantastic achievement.  Vets James Bost, Roberta Bocedi, Evi Kalogirou and Claire McAneny have started their veterinary post graduate qualifications in either Medicine or Surgery.

In October we held the 6th Annual CPD event, an evening at the Village Hotel in Tingley where six of our referral vets spoke on their referral subject to 120 vets from around West Yorkshire and Lancashire. It was as popular as ever and in fact we are planning the first event in March for nurses.

We have been involved in the usual community projects this year with the local dog shows which were very well attended and a lot of fun as always. The knitters and sewers are still busy making cat blankets to donate to the Cats Protection in Gildersome or to sell in the RSPCA shop in East Ardsley. We have raised money throughout the year for charities such as MacMillan and Brooke and we are donating to Radio Aires Mission Christmas and give a pet a Christmas dinner via local foodbanks and kennels.

Finally, we are have some fantastic length of service achievements, our clinical coach and RVN Charlotte has reached 25 years. Office manager Susan, Cleckheaton receptionist Caroline and night nurse Fiona have all reached the 15 year milestone. There have also been four engagements and one baby girl.

I am sure you will agree this has been a fantastic year and we are very excited welcome 2018 in and look forward to being here and providing our veterinary services to you.

Christmas Opening Hours

Saturday 23rd December 2017 
Normal openings hours

Sunday 24th December 2017 – Christmas Eve
Emergency appointments at Morley only

Monday 25th December 2017 – Christmas Day
Emergency appointments at Morley only

Tuesday 26th December 2017 – Boxing Day
Emergency appointments at Morley only

Wednesday 27th December 2017 – Saturday 30th December 2017 
The hospital and all branches resume normal service.

Sunday 31st December 2017 – Monday 1st January 2018 
Emergency appointments at Morley only

Tuesday 2nd January 2018 
The hospital and all branch clinics resume normal service

The Leeds Emergency Vets team will be here 24/7 over the Christmas period to continue to care for your poorly pets.

A reminder if you want to contact the surgery by email or Facebook it will be checked infrequently over the Christmas period so for emergency enquiries please phone the Morley reception on 0113 2525818

All the staff at Abbey house would like to wish our clients and pets a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.