November 2017

November – Pet Diabetes Month

November sees the start of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness among pet owners of the rising incidence of pet diabetes. 

 Visit for information regarding diabetes in cats and dogs.

Visit petdiabetesmonth for an online assessment and more information on diabetes in pets

Meet diabetic Zac – Cinque Ports Rescue

Zac lost his vision due to cataracts that developed as a result of canine diabetes.  Diabetes in dogs leads to rapidly progressive cataracts and consequent vision loss. In order to remove cataracts (a surgery technique called Phacoemulsification) the patient must first pass a series of ocular tests to ensure they are a suitable candidate and will benefit from the surgery.  Luckily Zac passed with flying colours.  His post-op check the following morning went well and he is now truly enjoying life with his newly restored vision.

We are all looking forward to seeing his happy face at future check-ups!

Zac pre and post his phaco op.


October 2017

Eye worm infection

There have been a number of articles in recent months about the eye worm infection which appears to be spreading to the UK from mainland Europe and we have received questions from concerned clients about this parasite.  There is, however, no reason to become overly concerned as, once diagnosed, the infection is generally easy to treat.

The UK is free of this parasite although if you are planning to travel with your pet to any of the areas where you may come into contact with the eye worm there is a risk that your pet may become infected.  Before you travel please make sure that you speak to your GP vet and arrange for appropriate parasitic control.If you suspect that your pet may have become infected following a trip abroad, please contact your local vet for a check up.  The signs can be similar to conjunctivitis i.e. redness of the eye, discharge, itchiness and on occasion the worms may be visible.

BBC Article

Telegraph Article


September 2017

Animal boredom

A recent study by Charlotte Burn , a senior lecturer in animal welfare and behaviour science at the RVC, has concluded that animals can be as susceptible to boredom as humans.  Burn is of the view that animals will do anything to avoid boredom, including behaviour that may be out of character for them.  Pet owners are thus urged to take the matter seriously.  For the full article in Veterinary Times and tips on how to keep your pets stimulated and alert visit the following websites.

Vet Times article on animal boredom


JULY 2016

New techniques available for the treatment and repair of severe corneal ulcers

We are delighted to be able to offer two new corneal surgery techniques - Omnigen biomatrix grafts for the repair of severe corneal ulcers and collagen crosslinking (CXL) to strengthen the cornea.  These techniques are used very successfully in human ophthalmology and we are now one of only a handful of veterinary practices with the expertise to be able to use them for our four-legged patients.  We have several patients undergoing successful treatment already and will be publishing some case studies soon.


JULY 2016

Register your interest for our next Veterinary CPD Meeting: An Update on Managing Glaucoma

This will be an evening meeting held at the Spitfire St Lawrence Cricket Ground, Old Dover Road, Canterbury CT1 3NZ.  To register your interest, please email and we will send you details when they are available.



RSA Group Pet Insurance - Client Information

If your pet is insured with Argos, Homebase, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, More Than or Tesco Pet Insurance, there may be some changes to your policy that you need to know about.

Their underwriters, RSA Group, have launched a "Preferred Referral Network" for pets insured with them.

Despite Rebecca holding the highest veterinary ophthalmology qualification possible; as a small, independent specialist practice we are not part of this.  The nearest "Preferred" practices are the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals at the Royal Veterinary College (Hertfordshire), and the Queen's Veterinary School Hospital at Cambridge University - both of which are over two hours away.

RSA have given clients insured with these insurance companies two choices.  Either:

    1. Go to one of the "Preferred" referral practices on the list, or

    2. Have to pay an additional £200 excess on any insurance claim.

The only exception is for emergency cases (this includes sight-threatening as well as life-threatening) - in emergency clients are required to contact their insurance company for approval and they may waive the additional excess.

We're currently talking to RSA to try and find out more, especially to clarify:

   (a) What happens for existing patients already under treatment here;

   (b) What happens if the nearest "Preferred" referral practice is full or not taking any new referrals; and

   (c) What happens if an emergency is out-of-hours and the insurance company cannot be contacted for their approval prior to referral.

We would strongly recommend that any clients insured with the above companies talk to their insurer to see if the changes affect their policies.  We will inform our clients as soon as we have any more information.

Elham Valley Referrals

Veterinary Ophthalmology

01303 840499