Kennel Cough Vaccination – Ballymena

Grove Vets in Ballymena want you to know about the importance of Kennel Cough Vaccination. Kennel cough can sound terrible but it really is very easy to avoid. A vaccination can easily protect you dog against kennel cough and you can get the vaccination from Grove Vet on the Grove Road in Ballymena. Kennel Cough Vaccination - Ballymena

What is Kennel Cough?

Just as human colds may be caused by many different viruses, kennel cough itself can have multiple causes. One of the most common culprits is a bacterium called Bordetella bronchiseptica m– which is why kennel cough is often called Bordetella. Most dogs that become infected with Bordetella are infected with a virus at the same time. These viruses, which are known to make dogs more susceptible to contracting Bordetella infection, include canine adenovirus, canine distemper virus, canine herpes virus, parainfluenza virus and canine reovirus.

Dogs “catch” kennel cough when they inhale bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract. This tract is normally lined with a coating of mucus that traps infectious particles, but there are a number of factors that can weaken this protection and make dogs prone to kennel cough infection, which results in inflammation of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe). 

Symptoms of Kennel Cough

The classic symptom of kennel cough is a persistent, forceful cough. It often sounds like a goose honk. This is distinct from a cough-like sound made by some dogs, especially little ones, which is called a reverse sneeze. Reverse sneezes can be normal in certain dogs and breeds, and usually only indicates the presence of post-nasal drip or a slight irritation of the throat. Some dogs with kennel cough may show other symptoms of illness, including sneezing, a runny nose, or eye discharge.

If your dog has kennel cough, he probably will not lose his appetite or have a decreased energy level. (Source)

Kennel cough is contagious. If you think your dog might have the condition, you should keep him away from other animals and contact Grove Vets and don’t forget to get your dog vaccinated.

Forget Easter Egg – are normal eggs bad for your pet?

At Grove Vets we have been blogging about keeping your easter eggs away from you dog. Chocolate can be toxic for dogs and even cause death in small breeds. But forget about chocolate eggs – are real eggs bad for your pet? lets have a look at an article from below.

Forget Easter Egg - are normal eggs bad for your pet?

Many pet owners wonder about the hazards of feeding eggshells and raw eggs to their pets. The Easter season, when eggs take on the added symbolism of being gifts, is the perfect time to get to know a little more about one of nature’s “perfect foods.”

There is evidence to support eggshells as an excellent source of calcium and protein for your pet. For strong bones and teeth, crush the eggshells and sprinkle about a half teaspoon into your pet’s regular kibble. Want to help your pet build muscle, strengthen its hair and nails, and repair tissue? A hardboiled egg a day may just help keep the groomer and the vet away.

Although research does not point to eggshells as a source of salmonella poisoning in cats and dogs, if it is a concern, you can boil the shells first — allowing them to dry thoroughly — and then crush the shells in a coffee grinder, food processor, or with a mortar and pestle. This method also makes it easier to store the crushed shell in bulk, rather than perform the task daily, since there will be need to worry about the shell being damp and prone to mould. The crushed shell can then be stored in an airtight bowl or jar for the week.

Another simpler method is to store the shells in a baggy or bowl in your refrigerator until you are ready to crush them for use.

Raw eggs, on the other hand, are not generally recommended for cats and dogs. While there have not been health scares involving raw eggs and transmission of any major illness to domesticated animals, it is still better to be safe. Raw eggs do not impart any significant health benefit, and may only cause problems — issues of which are nullified by cooking the egg.

So if you are including your dog on an easter egg hunt this easter you might want to think twice.

The important thing to remember is that if you have chocolate around then please keep it away from your dog. If you have any questions about your dog’s health or any other pet problems please call Grove Vets.

Don’t share your Easter Egg with you dog

Keeping your dog away from Chocolate is a very important thing to do. At this time of the year we all are surrounded by Easter eggs and we want to take this opportunity to remind dog owners of a very important lesson. Here is some information from the Dogs Trust:
Don't share your Easter Egg with you dog

Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, comments:
“Apart from the risks of obesity and the obvious dangers of eating the foil wrapping, the biggest risk of eating human chocolate is poisoning, resulting in an emergency dash to the vet and sadly even death. Chocolate contains theobromine, which, tolerated by humans, is extremely toxic to man’s best friend. The darker the chocolate, the greater the amount of theobromine. Toxic doses vary according to the size of dog and cocoa solid content of the chocolate.

Don’t share your Easter Egg with you dog

“Dogs Trust estimates that 50g of plain chocolate could be enough to kill a small dog, such as a Yorkshire Terrier*, whilst just 400g could be enough to kill an average size dog, so we urge people to make sure they keep treats well out of the reach of pesky paws and make sure children don’t share their Easter eggs with their furry friends.
“So that your canine companion doesn’t feel left out, we would advise giving them healthy treats such as carrots, cheese or tripe snacks. But, whatever your non-chocolatey treat of choice, just as is the case for us all, moderation is the key to a happy, healthy dog.”
If you want to treat your dog this Easter, stick to natural doggy snacks that are kinder to your canine. Cases of death by an Easter egg alone are relatively unlikely, most reported cases of death by theobromine are from dogs eating cocoa powder and cocoa mulch in the garden, so please be vigilant if your dog is also exposed to these products. Click here to read the full report.
Please get in touch with Grove Vets in Ballymena if you have any worries of concerns about your dog eating chocolate.

Weight Loss programme Grove Vets

Grove Vets Ballymena offer a free weight loss programme for pets where, owners can bring their pets to take part in the clinic and in turn help improve their overall health.

You may not know that if a pet is as little as 20% overweight, it will subsequently have an increased risk of suffering from diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Grove Vets use Hill’s weight loss products which are nutritionally balanced pet food designed for pets who are overweight.

Weight Loss programme Grove Vets

Photo Credit: d.aniela; Creative Commons

If you think your pet may be over weight you can bring them along to the free weight loss clinic where they will be accessed, weighed and Janice, our qualified veterinarian nurse will design a weight loss plan which suits you and your pet.

Being a responsible pet owner sometimes can be difficult and you and your pet will have to work hard to get healthy again. No more dinner time treats or snacks and lots more walks and exercise will help your pet to get back to a normal and healthy weight. A Weight Loss programme with Grove Vets will help you to get back on the right path.

Weight Loss programme Grove Vets

Please call us here at Grove Vets on 028 256562023 to arrange your appointment at our free pet weight loss clinic.

How often does your dog need to be wormed?

At Grove Vets we love to see dog owners taking responsibility for their pets and bringing them in to get worming.

Worming is a very important part of being a pet owner and it will protect your dog against parasites which could bother your dog. Dogs all come into contact with some sort of worm at one time or the other and Grove Vets encourage you to consider when the last time you had your dog treated for worms – Cant remember? Then get them booked in!

How often does your dog need to be wormed?

Worming your dog

There are two different types of worms which commonly affect dogs – Roundworm and Tapeworm.

Roundworms live on the food which has been undigested in the dogs bowel and is spread through dog faeces. Tapeworm can attach themselves to the wall of the dogs gut and when they lay eggs they are excreted but can cause the dog irritation.

Lungworm is another parasite to be aware of carried by slugs and snails. It’s been present in the UK for around 30 years but until fairly recently was mainly confined to certain parts of Cornwall and Wales. It is much more uncommon in Northern Ireland.

Here is some further information and advice from website

Signs of worm-related disease include:

  • Weight loss
  • Scurfy and/or a dull, dry coat
  • Hunger
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Worms seen in vomit or faeces.

Even if there are no obvious signs your dog has worms, don’t wait for symptoms of infection to appear before you do anything about worms — by the time this stage has been reached, he’ll have a heavy infestation and the worms will be doing their damage. A preventative strategy is as important as some form of regularly administered worming treatment; such preventative measures include scooping your dog’s poo, both out on walks and in your garden, to help minimise contamination. Try also to prevent your dog from scavenging, regularly wash his bedding, and keep an eye out for fleas.

How often should I worm my dog?

When a worming treatment is given, although it removes worms already present in the digestive tract, it leaves your dog’s system after a few days, so it won’t prevent re-infection. This is why it’s important to have a year-round programme in place. Frequency of worming depends on the product you use, the age of your dog, and your lifestyle.

  • Puppies are generally wormed every two to three weeks from the age of two weeks until 12 weeks old, then monthly until six months old, after which every three months is usually sufficient.
  • Dogs who are inclined to scavenge, who live in households with young children, who are heavily infested or who live in high risk areas where certain types of parasites are present may need worming more frequently.
  • It may be felt best to keep treatment of those dogs who are suffering from chronic disease to the minimum necessary.

These are all points that you can discuss with your vet when working out a worming programme suitable for your particular dog, his environment and the type of product you decide to use.

So do you think that your dog needs a check up? Are you all up to date? If you are worried, want to book your dog in for a worming treatment or need some advice please call Grove Vets in Ballymena on 028 2565 6023. 

How to best care for your Cat – Advice from Grove Vets Ballymena

Grove Vets in Ballymena have lots of advice to give about how best to care for your cat. Cats are independent and like to think they can look after themselves but we know that they often need a loving owner to help them out too. At Grove Vets we deal with all kinds of Cat related appointments. These range from worming, neutering and vaccinations, to teeth cleaning and helping fat cats to lose weight.

Grove vets have written lots of articles here on the Grove Vets website which might be of use to you of you are a cat owner.

  • Cats with mouth Ulcers
  • The benefits of having a cat
  • Caring for your cat as it gets older

If you would like to have a look at these articles and more please click here. Below is one of our old articles which we think is worth sharing again.

Neutering your Cat

How to best care for your Cat - Advice from Grove Vets Ballymena

Grove Vets Ballymena advise to neuter your cat. Neutering your cat at Grove Vets Centre can help reduce undesirable behaviour such as urine spraying and aggression. Neutering is also essential to control the cat population.

Cats that are neutered live longer and have a lower chance of developing mammry carcinoma and are less likely to get infectious diseases such as FIV & FELV. The risks of pregnancy are also avoided.

Experts now recommend neutering at 4 months of age instead of traditional 6 months.  There are lower surgical complication rates, quicker recovery rates. Earlier neutered cats have a lower incident of feline lower urinary tract disease, gingivitis and feline asthma compared to cats neutered at the traditional six months of age. Find more information at The Cat Group.

For advice on neutering your cat contact Grove Vets Ballymena on 028-25656023.

Grove Vets Pet Health Plan

At Grove Vets we fully recommend you consider a Pet Health Plan. With a Pet Health Plan, Grove Vets can help you to save money by paying monthly for your pet’s essential preventive care.

Grove Vets Pet Health Plan

A Pet Health Plan is not the same as health insurance; the plan will include regular things – like vaccinations and health checks in the monthly payment plans – that often don’t get covered by pet insurance. A Pet Health Plan is designed to adapt to the needs of your pet no matter what age it may be, from puppies or kittens, to adulthood and throughout the senior years.

Grove Vets Pet Health Plan

It’s really simple. A monthly payment is paid via direct debit and can be as low as £5.45 per month for a dog and £7.45 per month for a cat.

Grove Vets Pet Health Plan

via Petplan Uk Facebook Page

To join up or find out more about Pet Health Plans get in touch with us. We are more than happy to talk you through the specific details and answer any questions you might have. At Grove Vets we only want what is best for your pet. We believe that a Pet Health Plan is a simple and effective way to ensure that your pet is cared for at all stages of its life.

For full information call us on 02825656023 or 02894478982.

Obesity Clinic at Grove Vets Ballymena

Grove Vets hold a FREE obesity clinic for dogs and cats who are overweight. Has your pup overindulged this Christmas, or are you worried that the winter weather means that your pet isn’t getting out as much because of the weather then please consider talking with Grove Vets.

Obesity Clinic at Grove Vets Ballymena

Obesity Clinic at Grove Vets Ballymena

At Grove Vets we hold free of charge weight loss/nurse clinics!

Obesity can be life-threatening and obese pets are more likely to suffer from Diabetes, Heart disease, Arthritis, Lung disorders and Immune dysfunction.

PetMD provides us with more information about pet obesity:


  • Weight gain
  • Excess body fat
  • The inability (or unwillingness) to exercise
  • An above-ideal score in a body condition assessment


There are several causes of obesity. It is mosty commonly caused by an imbalance between the energy intake and its usage — eating more than the dog can possibly expend. Obesity also becomes more common in old age because of the normal decrease in a dog’s ability to exercise. Unhealthy eating habits, such as high-calorie foods, an alternating diet, and frequent treats can also bring on this condition.

Other common causes include:


Obesity is diagnosed primarily by measuring the dog’s body weight or by scoring its body condition, which involves assessing its body composition. Your veterinarian will do this by examining your dog, palpating its ribs, lumbar area, tail, and head. The results are then compared to the breed standard.

If a dog is obese, it will have an excess body weight of approximately 10 to 15 percent. In the nine-point scoring system, dogs which have a body condition score greater than seven are considered to be obese.

Please click here to read the full article.

Please give us a call and we can assess your pet to see if he or she would benefit from a weight loss plan! We are located on the Grove Road in Ballymena and look forward to meeting you and your pet.

Grove Vets works with Farmers in Ballymena

Farmers in Ballymena are hard workers and here at Grove Vets with love working alongside them. Whether we are tending to their cattle or helping them with diseases we want local farmers to know that if they ever have any problems or questions then Grove Vets are always there to help them.

Grove Vets works with Farmers in Ballymena

Grove Vets works with Farmers in Ballymena

At Grove Vets we also want to highlight an amazing charity who are there to help farmers if they are struggling with their work or home life. Here is some information from the Rural Support website.

Rural Support was formed as a charity in 2002. At that time, the Foot and Mouth epidemic was having a severe impact on farmers and on the rural community as a whole. There was evidence of distress within the rural community and the need for a support service was identified.

The organisation provides this support through a helpline which offers a listening and signposting service for farmers and rural families. Callers to the helpline are of all ages and backgrounds and come from every part of Northern Ireland.

Rural Support provides a listening and signposting service for farmers and rural families across Northern Ireland through its helpline.  We can also provide face to face support, help you source information and advice about a wide range of issues.

Everyone’s circumstances are different.  We will take time to listen carefully to your concerns and needs and we will work with you to find the best way ahead.

Help with family issues

Changing family circumstances such as relationship breakups or bereavement, planning for the future, whether it be making a will or considering retirement, can cause worry and stress.  Having someone to talk to outside of the family can help.

Help with health issues

Isolation, loneliness and lack of access to services can lead to feelings of stress and depression.  Our volunteers understand the challenges and issues facing farmers and rural dwellers.  They have experience in helping individuals deal with various issues and providing support in making difficult decisions.

When you contact us we will:

Listen / Not judge / Keep information confidential / Only do what you want us to do / Agree the next steps with you.

We can support you by:

Listening / Visiting / Accompanying / Helping you find advice / Explaining / Mentoring.

All calls are confidential and the helpline operates from 8am to 11pm, seven days a week (voicemail and support options available at all other times).

Helpline : 0845 606 7 607 (The number is charged at local rate from BT landlines although other providers and mobile operators may charge more. We are happy to call you back if you are concerned about the cost of the call.)

Our volunteers understand the challenges and issues facing farmers and rural dwellers.  They have experience in helping individuals deal with various issues and providing support in making difficult decisions.

For more information please click here. Please share this information with any farmers or farm workers who will benefit from it.

Microchipping at Grove Vets

Microchipping you pet is a vital part of being a responsible pet owner. At Grove Vets we have first hand knowledge of the devastation which can be caused if pets are microchipped and we strongly urge all pet owners to bring their cat or dog along to Grove Vets to get microchipped.

Microchipping at Grove Vets

Sadly in January we, at Grove Vets have had two cats handed in after road traffic accidents. Unfortunately neither survived – a Grey and white male with a blue collar and a tabby with no collar. Neither cats were microchipped. Sadly this means that it is impossible to track down the owners of these beloved pets.

Microchipping at Grove Vets

This is why microchipping is so important. Inexpensive and almost painless; this involves the implantation of a tiny electronic microchip between your pet’s shoulder-blades. This permanently identifies your pet as belonging to you and helps to ensure the return of hundreds of lost or stolen pets every year to their rightful owners.

Please contact the Grove Vets if you can help us find the owners of these cats or to arrange an appointment where your pet can be microchipped. Call Grove Vets on 028 2565 6023.