The Park Referrals Newsletter – September


Introducing a new service!


Since March we have been able to offer an Electroretinography service (ERG).  ERG enables us to assess retinal function in our patients by measuring electrical activity on the retina following stimulation with a standardised sequence of lights. The procedure is non-invasive and usually performed under moderate sedation to ensure consistency of results.


ERG in action 1ERG in action 2










Having this equipment can be an important part of assessing patients before cataract surgery- if retinal function is reduced there is less justification for putting an animal through surgery.  It also has an important role in the work up of blindness cases – when a cause of blindness is not clear from clinical examination alone, ERG can be used to differentiate between ocular and central blindness.


Case example

- A Shih tzu with optic neuritis

Tilly, a 3year old shih tzu, was presented with acute onset blindness.  Ocular exam revealed fixed dilated pupils with an abscence of all reflexes.  Mild bilateral exophthalmos was the only other feature noted on clinical exam.  Differentials considered included SARDS and optic neuritis associated with extra-ocular myositis.  An ERG was performed, confirming retinal function was still present.  This gave us, and Tilly’s owner confidence to pursue treatment for optic neuritis, and Tilly’s vision was restored shortly after starting treatment with systemic corticosteroids.


Please contact us for more information,


Gareth Jones or Mark Russon
The Ophthalmology Department
The Park Referrals
on 0116 231 1635




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Fleas, your pet and you!


dog scratching

Fleas are a year round problem, and to help you, we will send you a text reminder to inform you it is time to collect your next flea box of flea treatment.

Dogs and Cats, as we all know, can become infested with fleas. These irritating little creatures have a fascinating life cycle, which can mean an infestation on your pet, turns into a huge problem in your home.

There are many different species of flea but the most common are the Dog flea and the Cat flea. Cat fleas are the most common and will infest both cats AND dogs.

Each female flea will mate after taking a blood meal from your pet and within 24-48 hours will start to lay eggs, which can number around 200! These eggs do not stay in the pet’s hair, but fall straight off into your home. The eggs hatch into larvae, and these will burrow deep into carpets, soft furniture and beds. 7-18 days later these Larvae pupate – this means that they spin a protective cocoon around themselves, inside which they will develop into adult fleas. This development takes around 5-14 days BUT pupae can remain in the home for up to 9 months before they hatch out!!

Once hatched the adult flea detects movement of a red bloodied animal nearby and leaps onto it, thus starting the cycle all over again!

Some animals are not overly bothered by biting fleas, but this is not to say they don’t need to be treated! As you can see with each flea laying so many eggs – a couple of fleas on your pet can equal a big problem in your house!

Fleas can and do bite humans, although they tend not to live aboard us, as we are not usually hairy enough!

Some animals can develop a serious allergy to flea saliva, called FAD (or Flea Allergic Dermatitis). These pets will lick and scratch themselves so much in response to even one flea bite – so as to cause hair loss, sores and even bleeding.

ALL pets need protection against fleas, and your Vet is the best person to advise you on which products and protocols are the ones most suited to your individual animal.

The ideal flea treatment works by protecting your pet from nasty bites, whilst ALSO preventing him from becoming the host for a flea population explosion in your home!!

flea 3


***Fleas are a year round problem, and to help you, we will send you a text reminder to inform you it is time to collect your next flea box of flea treatment.***


Flea info


Flea Signs

Good Flea Control


Which Product?

 Cat Flea Pic


Park Referrals Newsletter – June

Hip Reductions Available!


Teddy was a Border Collie who had worked with horses all of his life.  Unfortunately, he suffered a debilitating accident when a tailgate fell on top of him, resulting in his right hip becoming dislocated.  Closed reduction under general anaesthetic had been tried at his local vets but the stubborn hip did not want to stay in place.  He was referred to us to try to surgically stabilise the joint so that he go back to what he loved doing, working on a stud.

Several techniques are available for treatment of coxo-femoral luxation and these include Total Hip Replacement, Trans-articular Pinning, Capsular Reconstruction, and Toggle-Pin Fixation.  All of these techniques have their own pros and cons, but we have found that the use of a Tightrope implant as a type of toggling, gives us the best results for the least amount of surgery.

This results in a long-term stability of the joint, enabling it to heal in a more natural setting with a great deal less worry about implant stretching/slippage or breakage.

Twelve weeks following reduction and repair, Teddy was able to go back to working on his stud and back to a happy and fruitful life.

Chris Morris

 ortho image


Annual Fertility Meeting and Awards

We are hosting our Annual Dairy Herds Fertility and Awards meeting in April.

The aims of the meeting are to bring you up to speed with

-Your herds fertility performance and how this has changed over the last 4 years

-Feedback and discussion on how the best herds are achieving optimal fertility

-New ideas and thoughts on how best to improve fertility.

-Awards for the best overall performance for fertility for all herds and high yielding herds and the coveted most improved fertility prize

- to celebrate our successes in improving fertility. See our graph of % improvement in fertility below. 80% of herds have improved their fertility in the last 4 years. Who says fertility is getting worse!fertility pvg

Venue: Holmes Park Football Club, Whetstone

Date: Wednesday April 2nd

Time: 730 for 745 prompt start

Refreshments provided


Optimising Udder Health

We are hosting a meeting at Holmes Park Football Club which will benchmark all our milk recorded farms with the aim to learn from the herds that are doing it well and how each herd can do better in terms of improving Udder health. How do you your cows get infected? How can you get ahead of the disease? How can you control infection better?


Dr James Hanks from Panlivestock Services/ Interherd will be presenting some data on the Park Vet Group herds and comparing these to 500 NMR recorded herds


Peter Orpin will be lead a discussion on new developments on udder health management and discussing how you can take simple steps to improve udder health

Amy Fawcett

Amy Fawcett, Dairy Co will discuss how you can use the Dairy Co mastitis plan as part of the tool box to control the disease

Venue: Holmes Park Football Club, Whetstone

Date: Wednesday February 19th

Time: 7-730 prompt start

Please RSVP if you want to get fed!

Meeting Sponsored by Dairy Co, MSD Animal Health, Park Vet Group


Mystery Canine Illness



You may have seen on the news reports of a mystery illness that has been affecting dogs particularly in the New Forest Area. Firstly, be reassured that this disease is very rare and has only been seen in isolated cases outside of the New Forest. Even for dogs that walk in the New Forest, the chances of becoming affected by the disease are very small.
The first signs of the disease are unexplained wounds or sores on the lower legs or face and these warrant bringing your dog in for examination. Left untreated, the disease can progress to affect the kidneys and be very serious so early examination by a vet is the best thing you can do for your dog.

As yet, the cause of the disease is unknown, but vets around the country are working hard to find out.

IBR tackling the disease

We hosted a meeting in November 2013 which focused on how we could use vaccines against IBR to eradicate the disease from a herd. The key points are to vaccinate the cattle before they get the disease and follow a robust vaccination program. See the attached for more detail


Improving your beef herd performance tips from Simon Marsh

Simon Marsh, Senior Lecturer at Harper Adams gave a fantastic presentation on how to improve your performance of your beef breeding herd by focusing on genetics, technical performance and management.

The presentation was based on work on Simon Frost’s farm where a “curve bender” top 1% Charolais EBV bull selected for low birth weights and high growth rates was used on LimX Friesan dams to produce fantastic cattle

Simon Frost PhotosThe key to the farming system relates to both the selection of the right bull which throws small calves with good growth potential combined with small milky dams.

simon Frost growth ratesThe daily live weight gain for the bulls of 1.6kgDLWG greatly exceeds top third EBLEX figures and delivers carcass weights which are more than 50% of the dam at 200 days.

Simon Frost bull finishingThe cattle are sold at weaning to a dedicated finishing unit which aims to fatten the bulls at 14 months weighing in more than 770kg!

Frost bull growth ratesThe golden rules of the farming system are based on following simple methods, attention to detail and use of best knowledge and science.

Marsh conclusionsWe plan to visit Simon Frosts farm on May 29th. Please contact the farm team to see if any places are left as numbers are limited.

To access the full presentation visit the farm meeting archive.

Many thanks to Zoetis( formerly Pfizer) for the financial support to facilitate these events