Tuesday, 19th of June 2018

Tuesday, 19th of June 2018

Alexandra Veterinary Center - Services Page

If you would like to find out more information about some of the services we can offer you Please click on the links below to see more.

Vaccinations for puppies and kittens

Vaccinations for puppies and kittens

We love welcoming new animals to the practice! The puppy vaccination course usually starts from 8 weeks old, with a second injection given 2 weeks later. This is vitally important to protect against deadly diseases such as parvo, distemper and leptospirosis which are sadly still frequently seen in our community.

Kittens can have their first vaccination at 9 weeks, with a second dose 3 weeks later. Cat flu, enteritis and leukaemia are covered by this vaccination, again, diseases which are commonly seen locally.

If your puppy or kitten is younger than this when you register with us, you can bring him for a free health check with the veterinary nurse.

At the time of vaccination your new pet will be given a check over by the vet, who will also discuss worming, flea treatment and diet and will try to answer any questions you may have, 4 weeks free pet insurance and will be entitled to a free adolescent health check with the nurse, when your pet is about 6 months old.

Rabbit and ferret vaccinations are also available.

Surgical facilities

Surgical Facilities

We have modern anaesthetic and surgical equipment, and all anaesthetised animals are monitored closely by a qualified Nurse or Nursing Assistant.

  • We carry out most surgical operations in house including neutering, dental treatment, lump removals and most orthopaedic ops.
  • We have a range of diagnostic equipment including ECG machine, blood pressure monitoring and state of the art X-ray machine.
  • We pride ourselves on having a very safe operating procedure with an extremely low rate of complications.

Nurses clinics

Nurses Clinics

Our qualified and experienced nurses are happy to advise on any aspect of your pet's care. Some of the subjects they are frequently asked about include diet, behavioural problems, dental care and neutering.

If you have a new puppy or kitten, older dog or cat, or rabbit, guinea pig or other small pet you can arrange an appointment for the nurse to check it over and answer any questions you may have.

Nurse appointments are also available for dental checks for dogs, cats and small pets, weight checks and flea and worm checks - the nurse can also administer the worming tablet to your pet if you prefer!

These services are available to registered clients:- To arrange a nurse appointment give us a call.

Laboratory Tests

Laboratory Tests

We have the facilities to do some in house testing including blood biochemistry screening, FIV and FeLV tests for cats, and urine microscopy. For more in depth tests we have the support of an external laboratory, with same day results for many tests.

Senior Pet Health Screen

Senior Pet Health Screen

Age related illnesses often develop slowly and can easily be missed in the early stages. This can result in diseases being much more advanced, and more difficult to treat, by the time they are detected.

We are all aware of the benefits of regular health checks for ourselves as we get older. Due to modern veterinary medicine we can now also offer these benefits for our pets.

Have you noticed that your older pet is drinking more, is exercising less, seems stiff, or is withdrawn or confused? Is your cat no longer grooming itself or jumping up as easily as it used to?

Does your dog seem to tire easily on walks or cough at night? These could all be signs of treatable, age related diseases.

Many people bring their pets to us with diseases that are already too far advanced to treat effectively, or that could have been dealt with earlier, meaning that the pet has been suffering needlessly for weeks or months.

Sometimes owners have noticed changes in their pets but assumed they were due to 'old age'. Other times the changes were very gradual and simply not noticed until quite developed.

Our Senior Pet Health Screen is available to all dogs and cats over the age of 8 years old. It aims to detect early signs of health problems and includes:

  • Detailed questionnaire covering all aspects of your pet's lifestyle
  • Full health examination by the vet
  • In house blood biochemistry screening
  • Urine test
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) - Dogs only
  • Thyroid hormone test - Cats only
  • Blood pressure measurement - Cats only
  • Appointment with the vet or nurse to discuss findings
  • Advice about diet and dental care
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Dental disease
  • Arthritis
  • Hyperthyroidism (Cats)
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Prostate problems
  • Tumours

The health screen will be done on a morning during the week, and your pet will need to stay with us for a couple of hours. Before the appointment you will be posted a questionnaire to fill in with details about your pet's lifestyle.

When you collect your pet a vet or nurse will discuss the findings with you.

The cost of the health screen is £99.00

If you would like to book your pet in for the health screen, or for more information, please phone the practice.



In cases where we are unable to deal with your pet's diagnosis or treatment ourselves for example some orthopaedic, neurological or ocular conditions, you will be offered referral to specialists in these areas, usually within an hour or so travel time from Crewe.



It can be difficult to know when the time is right to let a much-loved pet go. Please feel free to phone or make an appointment for a chat with one of our vets or nurses if you are contemplating this.

We will always try to help you make the decision when it is right for your pet, bearing in mind the many factors involved.

You can bring your pet into the surgery or we can arrange a home visit if you prefer.

Afterwards, you can either take your pet home for burial, or if left with us your pet will be cremated. Individual cremations with ashes returned, or burial at Sleepy Meadow, can also be arranged:- Please ask for further details.



Mr Johnson has been practising acupuncture since 1990 and has been a member of the Association of Veterinary Acupuncturists (ABVA) since 1991. During that time Mr Johnson has treated cases referred by other vets from as far away as Accrington, Ashbourne, Belper, Caernarvon, Chester, Manchester, Mold, Nottingham, Rhyl, Wirral and Wrexham.

What can acupuncture be used for?

Any form of chronic pain particularly caused by arthritis, spondylosis and neuritis, and other orthopaedic conditons including hip dysplasia, cruciate problems and disc problems.

Skin problems particularly pruritis (itching), poor wound healing and compulsive licking. Epilepsy, nausea and vomiting.

Just mumbo jumbo really isn't it?

A lot is now known about how modern western acupuncture works. The needles stimulate A delta nerve fibres in the area treated.

This inhibits the pain messages carried by slower C nerve fibres. Stimulation of the A delta fibres also causes the release of several natural chemicals including endorphin, noradrenalin, oxytocin and ACTH.

When would I consider acupuncture?

In conditions where medical or surgical treatment has failed or not given a good response, in cases where medication may cause other problems or produce side effects, in cases where you are worried about the long term or permanent use of medication, in any case where more conventional treatments need a helping hand.

My pet would probably not stand for all those needles being stuck in it.

Only a very slight scratch is felt as the needle pierces the skin.

Most acupuncture needles are 0.16 or 0.25 mm in diameter and are solid needles compared with hypodermic needles which are commonly 0.8mm in diameter (4 times thicker) and hollow. Acupuncture needles cause far less discomfort.

Once the point is through the skin there will be no discomfort from the needle. Also after a couple of needles have been placed, the endorphin released has a very relaxing effect.

My pet has arthritis. It seems a little bit stiff and not very interested in life but I don't think it's in pain. It's just getting old isn't it?
Animals in chronic pain do not usually cry out.

Signs of pain include reduced mobility, lack of interest in walks, sleeping a lot, reluctance to jump up (particularly with cats) or go up stairs.

Ask any elderly human with severe chronic arthritis. They learn to live with it and accept it. Chronic pain also has a depressant effect, hence the lack of interest.

Acupuncture may or may not be the answer but some form of treatment is needed not just to give your pet mobility but also to renew its interest in life.

What is the course of treatment?

Treatment usually starts with 2-4 sessions a week apart. Depending on the response, treatment is usually continued at less frequent intervals. Each session takes about half an hour and you can stay with your pet whilst treatment is carried out.

If you would like to arrange a consultation or for more information, speak to Mr Johnson or call the surgery.

Home Visits

Home Visits

Generally we prefer you to bring your pet in to the surgery where possible, as there we have a full range of treatment options and staff available. However we are able to make non-emergency home visits on weekday mornings:- Please phone us to arrange a visit.

Dental Care for Dogs and Cats

Dental Care for Dogs and Cats

If you didn’t clean your teeth regularly would you expect to suffer from dental problems? Of course you would.

80% of cats and dogs over the age of 7 have significant dental disease.

Bacteria in the mouth form plaque which hardens to form tartar if not cleaned off. This harbours more bacteria, which cause a bad smell, receding gums and eventually rotten teeth.

Not only is dental disease painful, it also can also lead to lots of other health problems as a result of bacteria from teeth entering the blood stream. These include abscesses, kidney disease and heart disease

Toothbrushing is the best solution

Puppies and kittens can easily be trained to accept toothbrushing from a young age.

Most adult dogs and cats can be trained to accept toothbrushing, although this may be more of a challenge! If this proves impossible there are a number of other ways which, although not as effective as a toothbrush, can help.

Please speak to one of our nurses for advice about this. Other ways of helping include toys (Kong toys, Nylabones, flossing tuggies etc), special diet foods and hide chews.

Take your time over getting your dog or cat used to toothbrushing - don't try and do everything perfectly on day one.

Expect the training to take a few weeks of gradual improvement.

Try to set aside a regular time each day - once or twice daily is best. Start by gently lifting your pet's lips and touching the gums for a few seconds.

If you like you can rub some pet toothpaste onto the gums - your pet may like the taste! Give plenty of verbal encouragement. Always stop if your pet is getting upset, and leave it till the next day.

After a while you can introduce a toothbrush - a soft children's toothbrush is best.

Gradually increase the time spent brushing and the amount of teeth brushed.

Don't worry if your pet won't let you do all the teeth - whatever you can achieve will benefit your pet's health.

The tooth paste MUST be a special pet toothpaste, available from us or from petshops.

Human toothpaste should not be swallowed as it contains fluoride.

If you would like a nurse to show you how to brush your pets teeth, or if you are having problems getting your pet to allow his teeth to be brushed, please contact the surgery for a nurse appointment.

Signs of dental disease:

  • Bad breath
  • Drooling
  • Pain when eating
  • Eating less
  • Weight loss
  • Not grooming as much (cats)
  • Seeming quiet and withdrawn

Dental Treatment

If you notice any of the above signs in your pet, they may need dental treatment.

You can arrange a nurse appointment to assess the problem. Once tartar has started to build up, scaling under general anaesthetic is needed to remove it.

Often teeth need to be removed - for example if there is severe gum disease or if the tooth is damaged.

Animals' mouths heal very quickly and they are usually eating better than before within 2 or 3 days of treatment, even if they have no teeth left! This is because they are no longer in pain.

If you can brush your pets teeth every day you may be able to preserve the remaining teeth.

If brushing is not possible, teeth will continue to deteriorate and more dental treatment is likely to be needed, often every year or so.

Prevention is better than cure - and considerably cheaper for you and less painful for your cat or dog!

Pet Travel Scheme

Pet Travel Scheme

This scheme allows dogs, cats and ferrets to travel abroad and return to the UK without having to spend 6 months in quarantine. Countries included in the scheme are most European countries, USA, Australia, New Zealand, and several others.

  • Pets must be at least 3 months of age before starting.

The following steps must be taken:

  • Microchip.
  • Vaccination for rabies.
  • We can issue a pet passport and you will be able to travel 3 weeks after vaccination.
  • Some carriers may require a fitness to travel certificate, to show that your pet is in good health.
  • Your pet will need to be treated for tapeworms within 5 days before returning to the UK, by a vet in the country you are visiting. Treatment for ticks is no longer mandatory but we strongly advise treating for ticks before you leave the country.

There are diseases endemic in warmer countries that we don't get in the UK, particularly those spread by insects.

Some of these are serious or even fatal, including heartworm and Leishmaniasis.

For this reason it is advisable to use effective worm, flea and tick control before and during your trip.

Please ask at the surgery for more information. You should also check that your pet's routine annual vaccinations are up to date.

To find out more about the countries covered by the scheme and specific requirements, visit DEFRA

If your Pet is Having an Operation

If your Pet is having an Operation

This can be a worrying time for you and your pet.

However the vast majority of anaesthetics and surgical procedures we perform go well, and animals are generally much quicker to recover than people. Modern anaesthetics are extremely safe.

If you do have any particular concerns please feel free to speak to one of our vets or nurses.

Before you bring your pet in?

Dogs and cats should have nothing to eat after midnight the night before the procedure.

They should be given water to drink overnight. Please take your dog for a short walk in the morning so that he/she can empty his bowels.

Cats should be kept in overnight to ensure they have had nothing to eat.

Rabbits and small pets should be fed as normal up until they are brought in.

Pre-anaesthetic blood test

This involves taking a blood sample from your pet to screen for any liver or kidney problems, and check blood glucose and protein levels.

If there are any abnormalities a different anaesthetic protocol may be used, or occasionally the procedure may be delayed or cancelled.

It is advised for older pets and those undergoing long procedures for example dental treatment.

For other animals it is optional.

The test is taken on the morning of the procedure and carried out in house.

There is an extra cost for this.

The vet or nurse who admits your pet will discuss with you whether you would like this test to be performed.

On the morning of the op?

You will usually be asked to bring your pet in between 8.30 and 9.00am on the morning of the procedure.

Your pet's admission appointment will take about 10 minutes as the vet/nurse will need to complete an admission form with you and obtain your written consent to the operation.

We need to explain the procedure to you and make sure that we have all of the relevant facts about your pet in order to make the operation as safe as possible.

If possible you should bring your own pet in, if this is not possible the pet must be brought by someone over the age of 18 who can sign the consent form on the owner's behalf.

  • You will be asked to provide a contact telephone number in case of any problems or queries.
  • You are welcome to bring a blanket or toy from home to help settle your pet.

Collecting your pet

You can telephone around lunch time to find out how your pet is recovering.

Most pets can go home the same day usually after about 4pm.

When you collect your pet the vet or nurse will be able to explain any specific aftercare instructions.

You will also be expected to settle your bill at this stage.

Your pet may be a little sleepy for a day after the anaesthetic, and should be kept somewhere warm and quiet for a few hours.

You can offer a small meal when your pet gets home.

Offer clean water at all times.

Animals that have been neutered or have stitches should have their exercise restricted as much as possible to avoid problems with the wound.

For dogs this means lead walks only for 10 days or so! Please keep an eye on your pet to prevent him tampering with any stitches or dressings, if necessary, please ask for a buster collar.

Dressings should be kept dry. For rabbits, it is important to check he is eating and passing droppings by the day after surgery.

Generally we ask you to bring your pet back for a check up about 3 days later and again in 10 days.

This is to ensure he/she has recovered from the anaesthetic and to check the wound.

If there are any stitches to be removed this can be done 10-14 days after the operation.

Advice About Fear of Fireworks

Advice about fear of Fireworks

Around 50% of all dogs have some kind of fear of sound, whether it is fireworks, thunder storms, traffic sounds or household appliances.

These fears can worsen to phobias over time and generalise to other noises or contexts.

For example a dog that is frightened of fireworks may become reluctant to go outside after dark even when there are no fireworks. Hiding, shaking, salivation, running away, house soiling and chewing or digging can all indicate a fear of sounds.

Dogs that have not heard a wide variety of sounds as puppies are most at risk of developing sound phobias. These problems tend to worsen as the animal gets older unless treated.

Plan ahead to ensure your pet is as safe and happy as possible this firework season:

  • Provide a bolthole for your dog or cat to hide in. This should be in a quiet room with the minimum number of windows. A box filled with bedding e.g. thick duvets will help drown out some of the sound. This hiding place must be available at all times including when you are out.
  • Get your dog used to going into the hiding place by giving small treats so that he learns that it is a good place to go.
  • Use a plug in diffuser which releases canine (D.A.P./Adaptil) or feline (Feliway) pheromones for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the event. This will make your pet feel much more confident and relaxed. (It is available from Vets)
  • In the run up to the firework season, take dogs out early in the evening and provide litter trays for cats
  • Draw curtains, play music or have the TV on to help mask the noise of fireworks
  • Ensure your pet is safely inside and secure doors, windows and cat flaps (Get your cat or dog microchipped in case they escape and get lost)
  • Ignore any fearful behaviour and do not try to comfort your pet, as this will only reinforce that there is something to be afraid of.
  • Reward your dog for calm behaviour.
  • Provide some chews in case your dog wants to relieve tension by chewing something. You can try to distract your dog by playing with toys or doing some training - although they may be too upset to do this. It can help to play with another pet in the house, as the frightened one may feel tempted to join in
  • Behave in a calm and normal manner and ignore the noises yourself.
  • For further advice please phone the surgery.

Sedative drugs

If your dog has a severe sound phobia then memory blocking and sedative tablets can be useful to help to cope with the event.

If you feel that your dog needs this please phone the surgery and arrange an appointment with the vet for your dog to have a health check and to discuss the matter further.

Treatment of sound phobias

After the firework season is over is a good time to start treatment if your dog has a sound phobia.

This is done by using a specially prepared CD of sounds to desensitise the dog to the sounds.

This is generally very effective and takes about a month. For more information please phone the practice, or visit www.soundtherapy4pets.com

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