Emergency 01254 814863
Oswaldtwistle 01254 398737
Ashton on Ribble 01772 727262
St Annes 01253 716736
Clayton Le Dale 01254 814863
Padiham 01282 779265
Bacup 01706 878877
Clitheroe 01200 423256
Haslingden 01706 223287
Leyland 01772 440358
Blackburn 01254 681811
Darwen 01254 777005

Pet Advice

If you need advice and support, check our helpful guides

blood donors

Pets often require life-saving blood transfusions; these are often required in an emergency situation at very short notice. We hold a My Vet Blood Donor Register for dogs. This means that we have a list of suitable healthy dogs ready to act as blood donors for critically ill dogs, exactly when they need it most.
We recruit healthy blood donor to our register based on a few key criteria. To be a suitable donor, dogs must:

  • Be calm and relaxed during visits to the vets
  • Be fully vaccinated
  • Not receive any prescription medications
  • Be at least 25kg in bodyweight
  • Be between the ages of 1-8 years old
  • Have never travelled abroad
  • Have never received a blood transfusion or been used for breeding
  • Have a willing and able chauffeur, available at short notice!

Suitable donor dogs are invited in for a free assessment including a comprehensive donor health check and blood test prior to recruitment onto register. Just as for humans, dogs have different blood types. In a blood transfusion, it is important that we check the blood type of the donor and the recipient patient, to ensure that they are compatible. This avoids a potentially fatal transfusion-reaction in the recipient patient.  As part of the donor health check, we test and log each donor’s blood type in our register. Therefore, in an emergency, we are quickly able to select and call in the most suitable donor for the patient in need.

In an emergency situation, the donor dog will have another blood test immediately prior to donating to ensure they are in good health. Sometimes we give a very light sedation to keep them calm and prevent any movement during blood collection. If they appear nervous or anxious, we would not continue the donation process.
We also only take an appropriate volume of blood from each donor dog, which is calculated according to the donor’s weight before donation. We carefully record each time a dog has performed a life-saving donation as, just as for humans, dogs should only donate blood once every 3 months.

There are no costs associated with volunteering your dog onto our register. However, we may need you to bring your donor dog to our Clayton Le Dale branch, most likely at short notice, for an emergency donation. For this, we will give you goodwill credit onto your pet’s account as a thank-you to you and your pet. By joining the register, you are not under obligation to attend with your dog; we understand that you may have other commitments.

If you think your dog would make a suitable blood donor, and are interested in volunteering their services to help provide life-saving treatment for local pets, please call Cat Long or Gemma Rickard at Clayton Le Dale on 01254814863 to discuss the register availabilities and registration process.

Common foods that are dangerous to pets


Dogs like chocolate as much as we do! However chocolate contains theobromine which is a stimulant similar to caffeine. Darker chocolate contains more theobromine than white, so is therefore more poisonous. Signs of poisoning occur from 4-24 hours after ingestion and can include tremors, seizures and restless behavior as well as vomiting and diarrhoea. If you think your dog may have eaten chocolate, contact one of our vets as soon as possible. There is no specific treatment and in most cases, the most effective treatment is to make your dog vomit. It is therefore important to bring your dog in quickly to minimise the amount that is absorbed from the stomach. Some dogs will need to be given intravenous fluids (a drip) and medication to prevent tremors or seizures.
Stay safe and keep all chocolate away from pets, especially when left unattended!

Onions, Garlic, Leeks and Chives

We do not recommend feeding your pet leftovers– there may be an unknown quantity of these vegetables and herbs in sauces and toppings, especially in takeaway dishes.
The clinical signs of illness from these vegetables can occur several days after ingestion. Onions are the most toxic (even more so to cats) and cause red blood cell damage that leads to a severe anaemia.

Grapes and raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs within 24- 48 hours after ingestion, although the actual toxic substance in grapes has yet to be identified. Remember that many cakes, scones and biscuits may contain raisins so if your pet has eaten accidentally eaten an unknown amount of these foods, we recommend contacting one of our vets as soon as possible. Often we will make your dog vomit to prevent absorption of these fruits and put your dog on intravenous fluids (a drip) to prevent any further kidney damage.


This artificial sweetner is found in many foods especially sugar-free chewing gums, drinks, diet foods and diabetic desserts. In dogs, xylitol acts on the brain like sugar and tricks the body to secrete insulin. This causes blood sugar levels to drop rapidly and can lead to a fatal hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar level). Clinical signs of this include weakness, wobbliness, disorientation, change in behavior and seizures. We recommend contacting one of our vets if you think your dog has eaten xylitol – signs can occur very rapidly and even very small amounts can be dangerous. We will make your dog vomit, if appropriate, to prevent further absorption of xylitol, start intravenous fluids (a drip) and monitor blood glucose levels.

Bones and corn on the cob

Although tempting to give these to your dog after a meal, beware that neither bones nor corn on the cob husks are digestible. We commonly have to perform surgery to remove these items from the stomach and intestines of dogs after they have become stuck and caused an obstruction.
If you have are concerned about an intestinal blockage, or your dog has any vomiting, diarrhoea or abdominal pain, contact one of our vets as soon as possible.
Common household items that are poisonous to cats

Pain medication

Paracetamol (found in Anadin, Calpol, Lemsip and many other brands) is extremely toxic to cats. If you feel that your cat is in pain, we do not recommend giving any household pain medications. Instead, contact your vet for advice. Paracetamol causes irreversible liver failure and blood vessel damage and unfortunately is usually fatal. Although an antidote is available, it must be given very quickly to prevent liver damage occurring. Contact one of our vets for advice immediately if your cat has ingested any paracetamol products.

Lily pollen

Lilies are popular and beautiful in many flower arrangements but the yellow pollen can cause acute kidney failure in cats. You may observe your cat licking the pollen from the flower or notice pollen staining on your cat’s fur, which your cat may have attempted to groom off. Contact one of our vets immediately if you suspect your cat may have ingested lily pollen. We will wash your cat to remove pollen and prevent further grooming and place your cat on intravenous fluids (a drip) to help prevent kidney damage.
If you have cats, it is probably safer just to say no to keeping lilies in your house!


Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) is found in many household garages to use in car water tanks. It may be spilt onto the ground during car maintenance. Many brands of antifreeze taste very sweet so cats will lick it from puddles or groom it from their paws if they have walked through it. Initial signs to look for include vomiting and drooling but these are vague and easy to miss. After 24-48 hours the main signs of acute kidney failure develop including decreased appetite, vomiting and increased drinking. Unfortunately, the prognosis for many cats is very poor and antifreeze toxicity is often fatal. However, if veterinary advice is sought quickly, we may be able to give your cat the best chance of a full recovery.
If you use antifreeze products at home, make sure you wipe up any spills quickly and safely.

Permethrin (insecticide)

Permethrin is used in many dog spot-on treatments for fleas. However, it is extremely toxic to cats. Cats may become exposed either by accidental application of a dog-only product or by close contact with a recently treated dog. Signs of toxicity include twitching, tremoring, seizuring and drooling. Contact one of our vets immediately if you notice any of these signs. The prognosis for recovery for cats treated promptly is very good. We will normally wash your cat to remove the permethrin from their coat and hospitalise your cat to start anti-seizure medication. It can take several days for your cat to recover fully.
Always check the packet before you apply any medication to your cat.

Pre/Post Op Care

Before you bring your pet for an operation or procedure 

Dogs and cats

  • Withhold all food from 8pm on the evening before your pet is admitted. This means removing all food that is within easy reach of your pet.
  • Ensure free access to water until your pet is admitted.
  • Keep your cat indoors on the evening before they are admitted to ensure they do not eat elsewhere.
  • Medication can be given as normal unless it must be given with food or if your vet has told you otherwise.
  • Please give your pet the opportunity to go to the toilet before they are admitted.

Rabbits and small pets

  • Rabbits, small pets and birds should not have food or water withheld before surgery. We recommend bringing a small amount of their usual food with them when they are admitted.

When your pet is admitted

One of our team will explain the procedure to you and discuss any concerns you may have. We will ask you for a contact number to allow us to update you on your pet’s condition and will ask you to sign a consent form. We will also tell you the best time to call us for an update on your pet as they recover from their procedure.

When your pet is discharged

We will arrange a discharge appointment with you following your pet’s procedure.  In the discharge appointment we will provide specific, important information relating to your pet and the procedure they have had. We will give you a copy of this information to take home for reference. We will also explain any medications you may need to administer to your pet and we will book a post-operative check up appointment with one of our nurses or vets.

After an operation


  • Dogs do not require a walk on the night after a procedure. A short, supervised toilet trip should be sufficient.
  • Offer a small, light meal such as boiled chicken and rice and allow free access to water
  • Follow instructions from your vet regarding lead exercise and the use of a Buster collar following an operation.


  • Keep cats indoors for at least 24 hours following a procedure. This ensures that you keep them safe as they recover from the effects of an anaesthetic.
  • Your vet may advise you to keep cats indoors for longer, especially if they have a surgical wound or need to wear a Buster collar.
  • Offer cats a small amount of light food following a procedure, such as chicken or white fish. Ensure free access to water.

Rabbits and small pets

  • Following the procedure, continue to offer your pet’s usual food. Contact us immediately if your pet does not eat within 24 hours following a procedure.
  • Keep your pet in warm, draught-free housing with clean bedding after their procedure.
  • In warmer months, it is very important that you check your pet’s surgical wound at least twice daily to check for signs of fly strike. Contact us immediately if you see maggots on your rabbit or small pet.

Repeat Medication

To ensure careful monitoring of your pet’s progress it is practice policy to ask clients to bring pets on long term medication for a health check consultation by a practice vet every 3 months, the charge for this examination is £58.00 plus any medication given at the time.


You may obtain prescription only medicines category V (POMVs) from your veterinary surgeon or from another veterinary practice or a pharmacy. Your veterinary surgeon can only prescribe POMVs for animals under his or her care. A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or needs emergency care. There is a fee for providing a written prescription; the fee is £26.50 per item. This prescription is for one month’s supply of each medication required. Please ask the vet or a receptionist if you require any further information on the pricing of medicines.

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