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BVC Newsletter | March 2014

Jennifer Hale

Greetings from the BVC staff! We welcome you to check out our first edition of the BVC Newsletter for 2014.

In this edition, we've devoted some time to a few of our smaller, yet most popular patients: African Grey Parrots, Aquatic Turtles and Domestic Rabbits! Our articles include some basic health care tips as well as answering many frequently asked questions posed by clients.

With warmer weather right around the corner, our Pet First Aid section offers some valuable advice on Heatstroke, which is always pertinent in our part of the world.
From our specialists' corner, we have an upcoming visit from Veterinary Ophthalmologist, Dr. Antony Goodhead from the Animal Eye Hospital in South Africa, and we offer an excellent article about cancer in dogs and cats by our Veterinary Oncologist, Dr. Monica Clemente.
Our Partner Ponders contribution this month will look at microchips and outline their uses for both pets and owners alike.

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and wish you and your pets all the best during this dusty and windy time of the year.
We look forward to seeing you at any of our BVC branches! And as always we value your feedback!

Warm Regards, BVC Staff

Contents/Quick Links: Top 10 African Grey Questions - Answered | What You Need to Know Before Getting a Pet Turtle | How to Care for Domestic Rabbits | Dr. Antony Goodhead, Veterinary Ophthalmologist Visit | My Pet Has Cancer: What does it mean? | Pet First Aid - Heat Stroke | Partner Ponder - Microhips ~ how they work

Did You Know?

"The British Veterinary Centre has boarding facilities for feline companions as well as other small animals like birds, rodents, reptiles and even fish."

Make your reservations now for the Summer.
Most pet owners don't realize how early they need to book boarding space. As this is normally on a first come first serve basis, our facilities tend to fill up rather quickly!
Click here to download our boarding reservation sheet
and make sure you're not left scrambling for a boarding vacancy,
while you should be planning your perfect summer vacation!
*All pets entering the hotel must be current on vaccinations and free of fleas and ticks

Top 10 Pet African Grey Parrot Questions Answered

So you have decided that you want an African Grey Parrot as a pet.

A Grey can make the most life enhancing addition to your family but are you sure that the African Grey is the right bird for you? One of them main reasons people seek African grey parrots as pets is because they are one of the species more likely to learn to mimic sounds or talk. They are excellent companions and will keep you on your toes. Not only can Greys learn a large vocabulary (some more than 1,500 words!), but they can learn how to speak in different voices. Keeping an African Grey parrot is a big commitment, with a lifespan of 40-80 years, you will have to be prepared to devote significant time and money in their health and welfare.

Click here to view the full article


Article by the Editors

Dr Adri

Article By Lianne McLeod, DVM

Aquatic Turtles as Pets

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Pet Turtle

Aquatic and semi-aquatic turtles are popular as pets. The most well-known is probably the red eared slider, although there are several other species which are kept as pets.
Turtles have been popular for a long time. Baby red eared sliders were readily available and inexpensive many years ago, which unfortunately resulted in a lot of neglected turtles. They were often sent home with tiny plastic bowls with a little plastic tree (unfortunately these are still sold with turtles in some places). With no filtration system and no room to grow, these little babies didn't have much chance. In the 1970s, the US government banned the sale of turtles less than 4 inches long, once the connection was made between turtles and Salmonella infections, especially in children. It is not that baby turtles carry more Salmonella than larger ones; it is more of a case of children being more likely to handle the smaller turtles (and/or put them in their mouths!).

Sadly, many turtles are still sold to people who have little idea how much care turtles require, including large tanks, special lighting, good filtration and lots of cleaning.
Click here to read the full article and find out more!

How to Care for Domestic Rabbits

Rabbits may be easy to love, but they're not quite as easy to care for. These lovable, social animals are wonderful companions for people who take the time to learn about their needs. Though providing care for these adorable creatures isn't difficult, rabbits have a long lifespan—more than 10 years—and many specific care requirements. Anyone considering adding a rabbit to their family should carefully research books and web sites on rabbit care before making a decision. Here are some quick tips to get you started:


Indoors or Outdoors?
Every rabbit owner should know that the safest place for a rabbit to live is indoors. Rabbits should never be kept outdoors! Domestic rabbits are different from their wild relatives—they do not tolerate extreme temperatures well, especially in the hot summer months. Even in a safe enclosure, rabbits are at risk from predators. Merely the sight or sound of a nearby wild animal can cause rabbits so much stress that they can suffer a heart attack and literally die of fear.
Click here to read and learn more about these furry companions!

Article Courtesy of
Animal Sheltering Magazine

Dr Lo-An

Dr Antony Goodhead, Veterinary Ophthalmologist Visit

Looking forward to more Ophthalmologist visits this year? Dr Antony from the The Animal Eye Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa will be joining us again in April 2014 to give the gift of sight to many family pets.

One of the eye conditions Dr Anthony frequently sees in the UAE is Corneal Ulcers.
Corneal ulceration is one of the most common ocular diseases leading to loss of vision in companion animals.

For a pet to develop a deep corneal ulcer the adhesion of bacteria to the cornea is required. For this to occur the epithelial cells, or outermost cells of the cornea, must be damaged. There are several potential causes for such damage including foreign bodies, trauma, extra eyelashes and abnormal eyelid conformation.

For more information about Corneal Ulcers, the Animal Eye Hospital and other eye conditions, you can visit their website by clicking here.
If you think your pet would benefit from a consultation with the Ophthalmology Specialist, please contact Chris at the British Veterinary Centre on +971 (0) 2 665 0085 & email: for bookings and appointments or more information.
For Cataract Surgical Cases - Please download the info sheet for pre-op instructions, more information and cost estimates.

Pet Insurance

PetSecure now offers a 10% discount to all BVC clients on any of their 3 new plans: Clasic, Gold and the Essential Plan.

It helps to provide your puppy, kitten, dog, or cat with the best medical care possible. PetSecure is an affordable way to protect your pet and yourself.

What would happen if your pet got sick and you didn't have pet insurance? Think about the alternatives to pet insurance and see why PetSecure makes sense. With PetSecure, pet owners can expect a great product that provides the best value. Go to their website and find out more...

Pet Secure


Although many people don´t know that our pet animals can develop cancer, the truth is that cancer is the major cause of pet animal death.
Maybe you have already heard from one of your friends or family members that their cat or dog had cancer. Unfortunately, it has gotten to be pretty common, especially in older dogs (fifty percent of dogs over the age of 10 develop cancer at some point), although also in cats. This increasing number of cases is, at least in part, related to animals living to an older age compared with previous decades; there is also a genetic component to some cancers, as some breeds are more predisposed than others.


Article by Monica Clemente,
DVM, PhD, Dip. ACVIM Oncology

How do I know if my pet has cancer?

There are many different signs or symptoms related to cancer. Since every cancer is different, each animal might show different signs… However, the classical signs of cancer in pets are very similar to those in people: A lump or a bump (stable or changing rapidly), a wound that does not heal, any kind of swelling, enlarged lymph nodes, a lameness or swelling in the bone, abnormal bleeding. Sometimes, the signs are very subtle or the animal shows no symptoms at all, at least at the beginning of the disease/process. Even on some occasions, the cancer is diagnosed during a regular check-up, teeth cleaning.... For those reasons, any time an animal is not feeling well, or there is something abnormal or not quite right, the owner needs to bring it to the attention of their veterinarian. Click here to continue reading....

First Aid

Click here for more
Pet First Aid advice.

Pet First Aid

With summer just around the bend, being prepared is very important. We cannot stress enough that you SHOULD NOT get on-line during a pet emergency or when your pet is seriously ill. In an emergency, first aid is not a substitute for veterinary treatment. However, before you are able to get your pet to a veterinarian, knowing some basic first aid can help. Always seek veterinary care following first-aid attempts.

Heat Stroke

Symptoms: Rapid or laboured breathing, vomiting, high body temperature, collapse. Often seen after being outside in the heat, or in a non-air-conditioned room.
Treatment/Action: Take the animal away from the heat source. Check for any obstructions in the airway. Wet the animal with cool water and fan dry. Do NOT use ice and do not over-cool the animal. Do not wrap in wet towels. Stop cooling when rectal temperature reaches 103 degrees Fahrenheit or 39.4 degrees Celsius.
Call veterinarian immediately, transport to your veterinary clinic straight away.

A Pug Partner Ponders

Microchips - How They Work ~ By Dr Jonathan Hale

Here at the BVC we are often contacted with the sad news that a pet is missing. This is a scary scenario for any pet owner to deal with, and we always begin our conversation with the same question, "Do you have a microchip number for your pet?" Aside from lost pet queries, the subject of microchipping also comes up directly from clients in regards to their function and capabilities. Therefore, we thought it would be a good idea to go over some basics of the microchip itself, the registration process, and how both can ultimately help pets and owners alike.

Dr Jonathan

The following excerpt is from actual client correspondence received by the World Pet Register, and is a perfect example of the some primary questions we receive regarding microchips:

"Hi Can you tell me how to search your data base in order to try to locate the owners of a found dog? I have a chip number. Our vet has searched their system, and asked other local vets but there is no record. Would you have any other suggestions of data bases to search or who to contact to try to identify the dog?
The chip number is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Are you able to tell from the number where the dog was chipped, in the UAE, or outside? Can any other information be taken from the number to help us locate the owners?
Also, my own dog is chipped and registered with you. If we were to lose him and we were not in our local area, and a vet was not contacted by anyone finding him, how easy would it be for him to be found? Thank you"

Some of the questions posed by this client, and many more can best be answered by having a look at the following FAQ:

Ear Mites

Here are some common questions and misconceptions about pet microchips

Q: Will it hurt my pet when he gets the microchip implanted?
A: It won't hurt any more than a routine vaccination – having a microchip implanted doesn't even require anesthetic. The procedure is performed at your veterinarian's office and is simple and similar to administering a vaccine or a routine shot. The microchip comes preloaded in a sterile applicator and is injected under the loose skin between the shoulder blades. The process takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination.

Q: Will a microchip tell me my pet's location?
A: Pet microchips are not tracking devices and do not work like global positioning devices (GPS). They are radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID for your pet. Because they use RFID technology, microchips do not require a power source like a GPS. When a microchip scanner is passed over the pet, the microchip gets enough power from the scanner to transmit the microchip's ID number. Since there's no battery and no moving parts, there's nothing to keep charged, wear out, or replace. The microchip will last your pet's lifetime.

Q: Why does my pet need a microchip when he already wears a collar with tags?
A: All pets should wear collar tags imprinted with their name and the phone number of their owners, but only a microchip provides permanent ID that cannot fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read.

Q: My pet is lost. How does a microchip increase the chances of him/her being reunited with us?
A: As a BVC client, please call us right away. We will already have your pet's microchip on file and we can be on the lookout and subsequently scan any animal that matches your pet's description and is brought to us as a "stray", "found" or "new" pet. You would be contacted right away if a match is found. Alternately, we can work together to contact other area vet clinics with your details and pet's microchip number, should your lost pet be brought to another clinic.
Other local vets can easily register for the WPR service by going to and search the database free of charge. If you have registered, then the WPR will have your contact details, your pet's details, as well as the origin of the chip. Please log on to WPR and mark your pet as missing.

If you haven't registered your pets details with BVC yet, please do so by clicking here.

However, it should be noted that if your dog was lost, found and not reported to a vet where you may have registered, there may be no way to contact you. In this instance we suggest putting up posters in both English and Arabic in well-traveled areas where you think your pet was last seen.

Click here to continue reading or visit for these and more FAQ's



Microchips only contain an "identification number" and no other information (although some can show a pets temperature when scanned). It's still up to owners to register the pet's microchip number with local vets and on databases like World Pet Register. Microchipping is one of the most important elements of pet reunification. While microchips have incredible potential for getting lost pets home, the chip itself is only one component in a system that involves microchips, scanners, registries and current information/communication from owners. Please contact the WPR at:

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