Recent Posts

    The problem with pug-verts

    Dogs News and Comment

    Advertising has a lot to answer for. Americans never ate bacon at breakfast until a US firm decided to increase the sales of bacon and it became a breakfast staple, 80% of bacon sales now are for breakfast, even here in the UK.

    We are heavily influenced by what we see in adverts. That handbag will cost you a month’s rent, yet for many it’s worth it as it buys you an image and a status that suggest you have a much more luxurious lifestyle than you do. The need to portray that image is sold to us from advertising.

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    Cute is Costly – Meet Buxton

    Cats News and Comment

    From my previous blogs you may have realised that I seem to have been cat-less for a while. Well… I have news! I am back to being a cat mum again. In fact Buxton has been here for a few months but he’s been very shy so I didn’t want to announce his arrival until he was showing signs of feeling fully settled. 

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    Buxton the cat sitting in a box

    Pet welfare on our screens

    Cats Dogs News and Comment

    We are used to seeing pet welfare on the numerous animal rescue and veterinary shows we have in the UK, and I always hope that these can demonstrate good welfare that people can emulate with their own pets.

    Yet pets crop up in many TV shows and as they are part of a general storyline it appears to me that the welfare aspect of what is portrayed is sometimes not considered.

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    Dog on TV

    More than a manicure

    Cats News and Comment

    There was some great news from the US last month – New York is going to become the first state to ban the de-clawing of cats – check the news here.

    De-clawing is illegal in the UK – yet I have still had requests for the surgery. Working in London there are many US citizens here and it is not uncommon to get a request for a cat to be de-clawed. This is usually in response to a cat causing damage to furniture by clawing it and supports the news articles’ statement that de-clawing is a ‘convenience’ surgery for the owner with no benefit to the cat.

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    Cat claws

    Hot Cats!

    Cats News and Comment

    Summer looks like it has finally arrived and for many cat owners, this can be good news! But there are also some new problems that might crop up during the warmer months. Much of the information about the hot weather is focused on dogs, as they are more likely to be under our control for exercise or travel so it’s us owners who need the education! However, although cats are more free range than dogs they may still need a little extra help this summer.

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    Hot cat

    Getting work experience in a vets


    It’s exam season right now for many… But for those in school or college and not taking exams, this usually the season for the wonderful ‘work experience’ week. Despite not being in school, this is still a factor in my life as vet clinics are popular places for people to come and have work experience.

    This all sounds lovely, but work experience in vet clinics is quite hard to get (as I’m sure some of you know). With this blog, I’m intending to break down some of the issues that can make it hard to get a veterinary work experience placement, how to maximise your chances, and what alternatives there are.

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    Dog being checked over

    Wildlife in Spring


    As the seasons change, so does the veterinary case load! You may not have thought about it, but now it’s spring we see an increase in cases of stray animals and wildlife. With wildlife this is mainly for two reasons. Firstly as the weather gets better people are outside more and so see more wildlife that may be having an issue – and as it’s spring much of that wildlife is young and finding their own way around, which can lead to us humans thinking they need help.

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    A curious hedgehog

    Feel the love, see the value

    News and Comment

    Trips to the vets are emotional, for many reasons. We are deeply attached to our pets and even going for a routine appointment we worry that on exam a vet may find something that causes concern.

    It can be stressful as your dog may not like going, or your cat or rabbit is hard to get into a safe travel box.

    Then there’s the financial side of things, always an area of emotional stress. We need to pay for our pets’ care at the time we access it, so as clients we often feel that we need to have value from the trip.

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    Card readers on a desk

    Getting the most from the veterinary consult

    News and Comment

    Have you ever left a veterinary consultation and then realised there were some questions you wanted to ask, or something you didn’t fully understand about treatment options or medication?

    It’s happened to me so I’m sure it’s happened to you too, but it got me thinking about ways we could all get more out of the veterinary consultation. While vets and vet nurses get great training in communication and consulting skills, we know that a focussed client who asks questions can really help the communication process.

    However, if you aren’t sure what to ask how can you be an active part of the consultation process?

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    Kitten being examined by vet

    Small pets for small people – how to you choose the right one?

    blog News and Comment

    Surprise, surprise, it’s my day off and guess what I’ve been doing?

    Well, writing, as is my usual way to spend a day off, but also at the vets. Not working but taking the dogs in for a few things. While we were there myself and the vet chatted about pet shops.

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    Girl with cat

    Town vs Country – where is best for pets?


    Crufts has come and gone for another year and during the 4 days there is a lot of information shared – about different breeds of dogs, their needs and lifestyles and where they are be st suited to be in a home. It appears that many dogs are still chosen on looks, and the dog’s physical and emotional needs are a secondary consideration.

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    City and countryside

    Defrosting Pets

    News and Comment

    It’s sometimes hard to believe that, after writing hundreds of blogs over the 7 years, there are still some things that we do as vet nurses that are such A Thing that we don’t even know they are A THING for other people.

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    A hairdrier

    It’s Confession Time

    blog News and Comment

    I’ve had a dog and a cat that I rehomed. By rehomed, I mean that I owned them and I found them another home that wasn’t mine.

    Not via dubious online adverts or anything substandard for the pet – but I found them a better home through appropriate means, as they weren’t getting the best out of life with me.

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    Shelter cat

    Multiple owners for pets and the issues


    We often talk about the impact of multi pet households with our clients for many good reasons. Integrating new pets takes time and patience and particularly for cats there needs to be some spent on increasing the available resources (water bowls, feeding stations, litter trays etc). We know that cats aren’t the best at sharing so extra attention is needed. While dogs are more traditional ‘pack’ animals, we’d always advise pet owners to consider exercise and feeding needs; and rabbits…  another world entirely so let me get onto the point of this blog.

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    Because I don’t like people?


    I’ve always wondered when human nurses get asked ‘why did you want to become a nurse?’ if they ever answer ‘because I don’t like animals’? This type of reasoning can be some people’s answer about why they might like to be a vet nurse or vet. For us in the industry it goes without saying that stating ‘I don’t like people’ in a job or college interview isn’t going to get you in there, but for others it might not be quite so obvious to see. For anyone considering a career in the veterinary or related animal focussed industries you might want to consider the humans that come attached to every type of patient.

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    Dog and Owner

    Here for a good time, not a long time

    blog Cats Dogs

    It’s with a heavy heart I share with you that my beloved Hollie has passed away. She was only 11½ years old and while she was very unwell there’s a bit of me that feels robbed of sharing a longer life with her. I especially feel this as I rescued her five and a half years ago when she was 6 and I felt I needed to give her at least the same amount of time with me as she had spent in her previous life.

    This all feels even worse as she took matters into her own hands at the end and passed away on her own terms. I had planned for euthanasia but not in enough time for her, so I’m even more distraught. Euthanasia is such a hard decision to make and we focus so much on the future it can sometimes be hard to be in the present, and in particular our pets’ present.


    What do our pets know?

    Focussing on how, when and why we euthanize pets brought back a conversation that pretty much sums up my attitude towards the pressure we put ourselves under to prolong our pets’ lives as much as possible.

    Our elderly cat LB was very arthritic and needed to start some painkillers. These were known to be a factor in kidney disease, so my vet and I had a discussion about starting them as LB was 17 years old and had very early renal disease signs. From an owner point of view that was scary because if I chose to start her on medication was I hastening her towards her grave? If I didn’t medicate her though, she was living in pain daily.

    Unlike us our pets aren’t planning for a long-term future. She wasn’t struggling in her litter tray thinking that if she rested more and didn’t start painkillers she’d see her grandchildren grow up. Our pets live in the present much more than we do. I respected that and I started her on painkillers and in my vets words “she’s here for a good time, not a long time”.


    They don’t always follow the plan

    LB didn’t agree with that and refused to succumb to any renal issues and lived another 5 years on the painkillers, and in the end it was the arthritis that became too much, rather than the renal issues. She had lived a pain free and happy existence and I was so happy with the choices we made.

    Hollie also didn’t follow my plan (I see a theme from my pets). I had decided that there wouldn’t be any further diagnostics, she was doing OK in hospital and so I’d take her home for a night then euthanize her at home the next day. The vets agreed with this plan and so we were all set for the next day. Only Hollie didn’t know this and decided it was time to go. She always was an independent and stubborn dog and stayed true to this until the end and I have to accept that.

    She was here and had a fabulous time with me so I can’t be sad over this extra 6 months I hoped to give her for my own well-being rather than hers. Enjoy your wings my little angel, you are much missed.



    Veterinary medicines – You get what you pay for…

    News and Comment

    After writing a few times about some of the issues around veterinary medicines and online pharmacies, I felt I couldn’t ignore the recent BBC Watchdog TV programme that showed the varying prices of veterinary medicines across online suppliers. Read Post

    The perfect London cat?


    Living in London can put different strains on owning a pet. The stress of living in close proximity with a lot of other people affects us and our pets. In vet practice we see many cats in particular having issues with stress due to sharing their outside space with other cats. Read Post

    This Christmas – a phone call to the vet is free


    This might be stating the obvious but in the current world of telemedicine and video consults and searching Google for the answer, it’s good to know that a phone call to a vets 24/7, 365 days a year is free. Yes, FREE! Read Post

    Pet owners – Don’t have a costly Christmas!

    News and Comment

    I’m hoping that you don’t have to have a festive visit to an emergency vets this Christmas, but there are a few more hazards around at this time of year… and so sadly you may well end up having one of the 1:3 pets that will need vet treatment. You may be lucky of course – I think I have always owned the 2-3 pets that think we have a frequent flyer pass at the vets, so statistically speaking I must be saving someone’s pets somewhere a trip to the vets – I hope! Read Post

    Preventative health care – why and how – an easy guide!

    News and Comment

    As a pet owner I know I need to ‘flea and worm’ my pets, I hear it at the vets, I see the adverts on TV and in the press, but what does this mean, how important is it and where can you buy what you need? Read Post

    Hot cats in heat


    The weather predictions on our summer heatwave lasting until October seem to have been true (at least where I live in London!) as I’m still in sandals and I have no idea where I have stored my winter coat. Read Post

    What is the best food to feed my pet?

    News and Comment

    What we feed ourselves and our pets has never been a hotter topic. Should we humans be vegan? Should our pets be vegan? Should we feed our pets grain free diets? Is raw feeding the best option? Read Post

    I was only trying to help…

    News and Comment

    It can be very hard when a pet passes away and as a vet nurse I know we all try very hard to ensure that this is as smooth a journey as possible for you, the owner. We try to make sure you have support for all the hard decisions and difficult questions from where and when euthanasia should take place, to cremation casket choices or where and how to bury a beloved pet. Read Post

    All shapes and sizes


    Just like people, pets come in all shapes and sizes and with different levels of ability at most things in life. I have limited flexibility and it’s probably quite amusing to watch me in yoga classes attempting ‘sun warrior’… essentially I’m just standing upright looking at the ceiling, and people say yoga is hard! Read Post

    Cat feeding – can you handle the responsibility?


    If you’ve failed to notice, it’s summer! It’s been will may still be properly hot, there are (sometimes) beautiful blue skies and ironically it’s this time of year when we often leave our lovely country and go on holiday abroad! Read Post

    Giving a cat a tablet – without losing your hand!


    I’ve got skills, they’re multiplying…

    Occasionally my vet nurse skills come in handy but sometimes they are of no help to me at all. One of these situations is when giving my own pets tablets. Yes, at work I give tablets to even the most ferocious of cats, but at home I’m making up ham cheese and tablet swirls to get Tillie to eat her medication. In fact recently Hollie has grown wise to the tablets in her sliced ham and I’m reduced to buying pate just for her!   Read Post

    Hay versus Straw! Which is best?


    As a vet nurse who occasionally lectures student vet nurses, you realise you learn amazing things from your students. Every summer I recall one particular exchange that led to much debate in the classroom. Read Post

    The Mortgage of Love

    News and Comment

    With a name like VetHelpDirect you can probably guess that we are going to be supportive of vets and the vet industry and yes, even supportive of the fees vets charge. We know that paying for healthcare for pets can sometimes be costly and in an emergency the cost of treating your pet can be the last thing you want to consider, but it’s an important part of caring for your pet. Read Post

    Using the internet safely

    News and Comment

    This might seem an odd piece to write for a pet website – you’ve successfully got to this website so surely you’re doing ok when it comes to using the internet? Read Post

    April showers


    April was a sad month for us at home as we lost our beloved Tillie cat. It’s been an odd time as we feel very guilt free about putting her to sleep. It feels like we had good communication between both myself and my husband and the vet team caring for her. She was determined to ignore her non-working kidneys and keep on living but we knew it was the end and as she always liked a Bank Holiday trip to the vets we gave her one last trip on Good Friday. Read Post

    Fleas – unwelcome guests


    As it appears Spring has finally Sprung! Of course, it affects us all in different ways and for my husband (G), the DIY fairies visited and he has completed the last piece of DIY that was needed to be done since we moved in, 8 years ago. Read Post

    Language of the Vet Practice…


    It’s been a rough month: Tillie isn’t well, Hollie has a spot on her bottom and my car is in the palliative care stage of life.

    Of these three things it’s the car I find hardest, emotionally. I’m not great when my pets are ill, but I know the vet world and its nuances. I don’t know the car world quite so well, despite caring for my car just as well as I care for my pets. Read Post

    ‘Lead’ership skills


    As a dog owner and vet nurse I’m often caught between the two worlds. I know there are things I do as a dog owner that I wouldn’t advise as a vet nurse, and vice versa – for now I’ll save the really juicy ones for another time but today I’m pondering the practical issues around the retractable dog lead. In fact I’ll go as far to say I’m speaking out as a dog owner in defence of the retractable lead. Read Post

    Best UK Vets Awards 2018

    News and Comment


    You may wonder why we run this directory… well, there are two reasons. Firstly, we think it’s really important that every animal owner can access a user-friendly list of vets in their area! However, there’s another thing that we’re passionate about here at Any-UK-Vet – and that’s customer service. Read Post

    The trouble with Pekes…


    Yes, I’m a vet nurse and a Pekingese owner. In fact Hollie isn’t even my first Peke, we had Wilson before her. Both are rescue dogs and I will always encourage people to #adoptdontshop and in particular to adopt a golden oldie – they have so much to give.  I adored the personality of the breed, and Hollie and Wilson individually, so much they have turned me into a Breed Specific Owner – a BSO. Read Post

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