Help us keep you informed

In May 2018 new legislation will come into effect which means we require permission from you as soon as possible for us to contact you electronically. You will be asked to complete a form next time you pop in to your branch.
If you do not wish to be contacted electronically (text and email) this may result in not receiving notifications about your pet’s healthcare.

The form is also available on our website by clicking here if you have not already completed one.

Many thanks for your help with this mammoth task!

Happy Easter!

Please make sure you keep your inquisitive pets away from all the chocolate eggs this Easter. Chocolate is extremely poisonous and in some cases can be fatal.



Chocolate (Theobromine)

Chocolate is one of the most common causes of poisoning in dogs. Generally the higher the percentage of cocoa or the darker the chocolate is the more poisonous it is to dogs. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine and in large quantities this can cause problems with their heart and central nervous system.  Dogs should never be given chocolate as a treat and all chocolate should be kept well out of the way from inquisitive dogs.

Signs of poisoning include:

  • An increase in thirst
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Hyperactivity
  • High temperature and blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythm and tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma and death

If you suspect that your dog has eaten chocolate and you are concerned please contact your vet immediately. Make sure you have the details of the chocolate consumed to hand as this will help your vet calculate whether the amount that has been consumed is toxic or not.

Useful Links:

Veterinary Poisons Information Leaflet -Chocolate


Mobile Moggies!

Arthritis is relatively common in older cats although they do not often show the lameness signs we associate with dogs suffering from arthritis. This is because cats are relatively small and agile and they can hide and cover up mobility difficulties caused by arthritis.
Instead, affected cats are more likely to show subtle changes in lifestyle and behaviour. It is thought 20% of the UK cat population shows signs associated with arthritis. Because you know your cat best you are well placed to keep an eye out for the signs of this painful condition.

Freedom from pain can make a huge difference and this can be done using many different methods including anti inflammatories (pain relief), joint supplements, weight loss, laser therapy (available at Cinque Ports Vets), acupuncture, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy.
Comfy beds are also important. Older cats tend to prefer to stretch out and may need an extra ‘step’ to help jump onto chairs or beds. They also prefer their beds to be in a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of the house.

Litter trays should always be provided in the house, but an older cat may need extra trays as some control of bladder and bowel movements may be lost with age. Reduced mobility may result in a reluctance to walk too far to go to the toilet. The trays should always be large and shallow for easy access. Some have a dip at the front so cats can just walk in and out of them. Soft litter also tends to be better for older cats than wood pellets as it can be uncomfortable for cats to stand on.

Here are four simple questions that have been designed to help you recognise subtle changes in your cat’s behaviour that could indicate painful arthritis. Cats do not vocalise when they are in pain and it is these subtle changes which help indicate a problem.

Have you noticed your cat hesitating or being more reluctant to jump up or down? eg. Onto your lap/the furniture/through a cat flap?   Yes        No

Have you noticed your cat slowing down? eg. Sleeping more, especially in one place, stiffening up or getting a bit creaky     Yes        No

Have you noticed a deterioration in your cat’s appearance?
eg. Matted or scruffy coat   Yes        No

Have you noticed any change in your cat’s attitude or daily routine?
eg Less tolerant around people or more withdrawn   Yes        No

If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of the questions please contact your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets so we can arrange an assessment of your pet for you.


Why should I pick it up?

Dog fouling, it’s not just a ‘litter’ issue, it’s against the law!

We’ve all been there, that familiar squish underfoot and immediately identifiable pungent odour that wrinkles the noses of even the strong stomached, you’ve trodden in someone else’s dog poo!! But apart from the obvious annoyance, wiping of shoes on the grass and trying to get it out of the cracks in your trainers, why is it such a problem?

Unfortunately our four legged friends can be quite merrily carrying around diseases and parasites that not only pose a risk to their doggy friends, but to us and particularly children. There are around 6.8 million dogs in the UK, with an estimated production of 900 tonnes of faeces everyday!! That’s a lot of poo!

Apart from the potential risk of some stomach churning bacteria such as Campylobacter, which could lose you a few days sitting on the toilet, or worse a trip to hospital, the biggest public health risk is a parasite called Toxocara canis. T. canis is a type of intestinal roundworm, they are the ones that look like spaghetti (I hope no one is reading this over dinner). A responsible pet owner should worm their dog (and any cats out there) every 3-6 months with a reliable worming product, you won’t always see worms in their poo even if they have them.

Young children are more at risk from T. Canis which is transmitted either directly from dog faeces or a contaminated environment. Each female T. canis can lay up to 700 eggs a day and when a dog defecates they are passed out into the environment where the eggs can survive for up to three years in soil. During warmer weather the eggs develop into larvae which when ingested migrate through the body. When ingested by a dog the worm follows it natural life cycle and ends up as an adult in the digestive system (where it can cause irritation, diarrhoea and vomiting). However people are not part of the worms’ normal life cycle and so when the larval stages are ingested by us they can cause nasty reactions and tissue damage. The larvae sometimes migrate to the liver and can cause abdominal pain and fevers, or can migrate to the eyes and cause visual impairment or even blindness by damaging the retina (the back of the eye).

So the moral of the story is, always carry poo bags with you when out walking your dog (we know it’s easy to forget sometimes) and more importantly pick up your dogs’ poo and dispose of it appropriately!! It is becoming increasingly common for used poo bags to be left lying around, if you’ve bothered to pick it up please put it in a poo bin! The local authorities are also happy for it to be disposed of in general public bins if a poo bin is not available.
It is also important to regularly worm your dog against these parasites, ideally every 3 months with a reliable worming product. Speak to your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets for more information, you’d be amazed how excited they get over a humble dog poo!

More information available at


Save A Sight Campaign


Preserve sight and change a life

We often take our vision for granted. Life without sight for us would be very difficult – but there is help available to guide us through our everyday lives. But can you imagine what life without sight would be like for our canine companion? Their favourite walk or dip in the river no longer accessible. Their world shrinking.
There are many eye diseases that can lead to impaired vision. One of the most common is dry eye. It’s a progressive condition, but with correct and effective treatment the dog’s sight can be preserved, and they can continue to enjoy life to the full.

What is dry eye?

Dry eye, also known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS), is a condition where the tear glands do not produce enough tears to meet the needs of the eye. About 1 in 22 dogs is affected by dry eye¹ and 1 in 5 of predisposed breeds², such as pugs and cavalier King Charles spaniels. The disease is most often due to the body’s immune system attacking and destroying the tear glands.
Tears are essential to lubricate and nourish the eye, and to prevent infections. When tear levels are low, eyes can start to feel itchy and uncomfortable (like having grit in them), and can be covered in a thick discharge. The pet may also suffer from recurrent conjunctivitis. Once the disease has progressed, deep ulcers may quickly develop on the surface of the eye. This can be extremely painful, and can result in the need to surgically treat or even remove the eye. Dry eye is a progressive and irreversible condition which can lead to blindness if untreated, so the sooner it is detected and treatment started, the better the long-term outlook for the dog’s vision and comfort.

What are the signs of dry eye?

It is important to know that dogs affected by dry eye may initially appear normal, even if there has been significant destruction to the tear glands and decreased tear production. The signs to look out for include:
• ‘Sore’ eyes that may look red or inflamed
• Uncomfortable eyes – e.g. rubbing the eyes, keeping the eyes closed, squinting, excessive blinking or general restlessness
• Discharge from the eyes – this is often thick and green to yellow in colour
• Dry or dull looking eyes
• Obvious blood vessels on the eye surface
• A dark colour (pigment) on the surface of the eye
• Frequent eye infections or ulcers

Why is dry eye so important?

Dry eye is irreversible and if untreated, can progressively reduce vision leading to blindness. When the eye is
dry, blood vessels start to grow across the surface of the eye, where pigment is deposited. This can lead to the
surface of the eye (the cornea) becoming thicker and less transparent, reducing vision. Without tears, the eye’s
ability to fight and prevent infection is dramatically reduced, and vision-threatening ulcers can quickly develop.
Dry eye is also uncomfortable and painful, with some dogs becoming extremely restless and unable to
concentrate on anything else.

Why does dry eye occur?

There are many reasons that dry eye can occur, however by far the most common is the body’s own immune
system attacking the tear glands. Why this happens, we aren’t always sure!
Which pets are at risk of dry eye?
Any dog can get dry eye; however, some breeds are at a higher risk. These include:
• English Cocker Spaniels
• Bulldogs
• Lhasa Apsos
• West Highland White Terriers
• Shih-Tzus
• Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
• Yorkshire Terriers
• Pugs
Due to their increased risk, extra vigilance is needed with these breeds to detect dry eye early. Prompt treatment can help to ensure vision and comfort are preserved. Yearly screening at vaccination can be a helpful and easy
way to detect the condition early. Please ask if you would like us to do this.

How can we detect dry eye?

We can measure dogs’ tear production in only 60 seconds using a Schirmer Tear Test. This involves a special piece of paper being placed in the corner of the eye, which measures tear output and provides immediate results. No sedation or anaesthetic is required and most dogs tolerate the test extremely well.

How can we treat dry eye?

Treatment is aimed at preventing further destruction of the tear glands and stimulating them to produce more tears. This can be done using eye drops that dampen down the inflammation in the eye and prevent the immune
system attacking the gland.
Synthetic tears can also be given to improve lubrication and comfort, however tears alone are not sufficient to prevent further destruction of the tear gland and preserve vision. Synthetic tears do not contain all the important components of real tears, and are not available continuously like real tears. It is therefore essential that medication is used to encourage the tear glands to produce their own tears and to prevent further destruction. Regular monitoring is also important to ensure comfort and effective treatment. As dry eye is a
permanent disease, treatment must be lifelong to help preserve vision.

We hope you have found this article useful. If you have any further questions or are concerned your dog may be at risk of dry eye, please contact us to arrange an appointment. Early detection and effective treatment is the best way to preserve and maintain your dog’s vision! Share this article with your friends and help #saveasight


1. Pierce V & Williams D. Determination of Schirmer Tear Test values in 1000 dogs. BSAVA Abstract 2006.
2. Williams D, Mann B. A Crosslinked HA-Based Hydrogel Ameliorates Dry Eye Symptoms in Dogs. International
Journal of Biomaterials. Volume 2013, Article ID 460437.

Petplan Veterinary Awards

Petplan Veterinary Awards are now open for nominations and we would love you to nominate team members from Cinque Ports Vets for these prestigious awards! You can nominate a veterinary surgeon, a veterinary nurse, member of our reception team or the practice as a whole. It would be a huge thank you for the team who work so hard to provide our clients and their pets with great service! Please vote now at if you have a moment! Voting closes on the 12th January 2018. Thank you.

Christmas Opening Times

We sincerely hope you will not be needing our services over the festive period but we will be available for any emergencies. Please call the number of your local branch and follow the instructions. Our usual opening hours apply except for:
25th December – Emergencies only
26th December – Emergencies only
1st January – Emergencies only

Cinque Ports Veterinary HOSPITAL -Kingsnorth!!

We are delighted to announce that Kingsnorth Veterinary Centre has achieved RCVS Accredited Hospital Status and has a new name, Cinque Ports Veterinary Hospital – Kingsnorth. This prestigious accreditation is awarded to veterinary practices which, according to RCVS standards, provide the highest level of service to their patients and owners, including the use of the latest technology and equipment and the employment of highly-trained team members.

Our Twelve Festive Tips To Keep Your Pets Safe This Christmas

  1. Some festive human food is poisonous to our pets. Please do not feed them chocolate, raisins, mince pies, Christmas cake or macadamia nuts. There are many other foods which are also poisonous so if in doubt please stick to pet food!
  2. Make sure your tree is well anchored to avoid your inquisitive pet knocking it over. Also make sure any dropped needles are cleared up as these can get stuck in paws or throats if eaten.
  3. Make sure decorations are well out of your pets reach. Glass baubles can shatter in their mouths and tinsel can become stuck in intestines if eaten.
  4. Make sure your pet has somewhere quiet away from the hustle and bustle of Christmas that they can retreat to if they wish to.
  5. Be aware that antifreeze is extremely poisonous to our pets. Make sure any spills are mopped up and be vigilant for signs of poisoning which include vomiting and seizures.
  6. Some Christmas plants such as Poinsettia, Holly, Mistletoe, Amaryllis and Lilies are highly toxic and can be fatal. Keep them well out of the reach of pets.
  7. Do not give your pet cooked bones. They can splinter or get lodged in your pet’s throat, fracture teeth or cause serious internal damage if swallowed.
  8. Presents are not only tempting for us but also for our pets. Take care not to put any edible presents, for example chocolate, under the tree. Pets will often investigate new and unusual objects using their mouths and ribbons and bows can cause problems if chewed or swallowed. Remove wrapping paper and small toys from the floor.
  9. Remember to try and keep your pet’s daily routine the same even with all the excitement of Christmas!
  10. Fireworks can cause distress to our pets during the Christmas and New Year period. Remember to walk your dog during daylight hours and make sure you close the curtains and put the TV or radio on to muffle the noise when it gets dark.
  11. Don’t forget your small furries! Regularly ensure that their hutches are warm and dry and in a sheltered position. Give them fresh food and water every day and check their water supply to make sure it has not become frozen.
  12. Finally make a note of our details in case you need us in an emergency!

Useful Links:

Veterinary Poisons Information Leaflet – Christmas Hazards

Veterinary Poisons Information Leaflet – Winter Hazards

What’s on your pet’s Christmas list this year?

Why not make it a Pet Healthcare Plan? Our plan provides your pet with two full healthchecks with a vet a year, annual vaccination, effective flea, worming and lungworm protection as well as discounts on many other products and services. The plan allows you to spread the cost of this routine healthcare over the year as well as making a saving! Please see our website for more details or to sign up pop in and see us or call 0800 169 9958.