Caring for our older pets they may be wise but they may also be stiff!

As our pets get older, they’ll need a little more TLC than younger pets. Their joints may not be as good as they used to be, they might start to slow down and generally rely on you a bit more.

For a lot of pets, just like people, an inevitable part of ageing is stiff joints.
But slowing down and stiffness in old age doesn’t mean that your pet has to suffer. There are lots of things you can do to keep your pet comfortable and active throughout their golden years.

What is Arthritis

Arthritis (osteoarthritis) is a condition that affects joints and causes them to become swollen and painful.

Bones in a healthy joint have a smooth surface, which allows them to glide past each other when moving around. A joint with arthritis has an uneven and worn surface, which means that instead of gliding, the bone surfaces rub against each other, causing swelling and pain.

Over time, arthritic joints become gradually thickened and stiff because and they start to produce new bone that isn’t needed. The extra bone causes more pain when your dog moves around.

I thought I could share some tips for taking care of your four-legged friend’s joints as they get older.

Learn the signs

Knowing the signs that your pet’s joints are starting to get stiffer is really important in taking care of them.
Some common signs are:

  • Limping
  • Walking slower than usual
  • Not using the stairs or steps, or jumping up on the sofa
  • Swollen joints
  • Difficulties when squatting down to toilet

Get a check-up

There are other reasons your pet could be slowing down other than getting stiff joints, so it’s always best to go and see your vet first just so they can rule out other illnesses.

Try supplements

If your pet’s joints are starting to get stiff, supplements might help. They contain ingredients that may help soothe stiff joints as well as keeping joints healthy.

Yumove Lintbell

Don’t stop exercising

If your pet is slowing down, it might be tempting to just give in and let them become a bit of a couch potato, but this won’t help their joints!

The less your pet uses their joints, the stiffer they’ll get. You might have to change your exercise routine a little (shorter but more frequent walks or shorter play sessions) but try to avoid stopping altogether.
Swimming is great for arthritic dogs as it’s puts less strain on their joints.

If your pet can’t walk far you could drive them to a park rather than walk them there. Try to stick to flat walking routes.

Keep them slim

A podgy pet means more pressure on their joints, so if you want to look after your pet’s joints one of the best things you can do is keep them a healthy weight. Remember to feed them the right amount and make sure they stay active. A dog should have a waist and you should be able to feel their ribs if you feel their sides but you shouldn’t see their ribs this is what we call a body condition score.

The right food

To make sure your dog is meeting all their nutritional needs you must feed them a balanced complete dog food and it should be age appropriate I.e Puppy, adult or senior.

Make sure they’re comfy

Make sure you have a warm, cosy space for your pet to snuggle up with a soft, padded bed or some blankets to lie on.

You can also buy special orthopaedic beds for pets that help take pressure off their joints when they’re lying down.

Make their life easier

There are a few changes you can make around the house to make life easier for your older pet:

  • Floors. It’s a good idea to think about your flooring – laminate and tiled flooring tends to be slippery so can make it more difficult for your pet to get up and walk around. You could consider putting down non-slip rugs or carpet runners. Alternatively, try to keep your pet in parts of the house that have carpets.
  • Trips to the toilet. Remember that older pets can sometimes struggle to hold their toileting for as long as they did when they were younger. Give them lots of opportunities to go outside.
  • Getting up and down. Furniture can be a problem too – lots of older pets struggle with things that used to be a breeze, so watch them as they move round the house and if they’re having difficulty you can step in. For example, use small steps to help them get on and off furniture, stop them from accessing high shelves or put cushions on the floor near furniture or windowsills in case of a fall.
  • Stairs. Stairs can also be challenging for some older pets so think about how you could help especially if they usually sleep upstairs. You may need to consider moving their bed downstairs.

Lastly please don’t let your pet suffer with their arthritis there is lots of medication available that can help them.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Vomiting and Diarrhoea (specifically Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis)

There are many reasons why dogs can show signs of vomiting and diarrhoea:

• A change of diet 

• They’ve eaten something they shouldn’t have i.e. a toxin/poison or a foreign body e.g. A corn on the cob, a sock or a dummy teat.

• There maybe an underlying health condition like organ failure.

• Worms 

• Stress/anxiety 

I wanted to write specifically about haemorrhagic gastroenteritis because I’ve seen such a rise in cases whilst I’ve been working at the vets. 

My dog, Peggy was poorly last week with HGE. Luckily she recovered without veterinary treatment. I was very close to taking her to work and I actually got as far as the car park but decided to give her one more day of monitoring at home and thankfully she perked up. 

With a new local lockdown and concerns of another country lockdown I thought this information might be helpful. I have seen first hand how tricky it can be to get a vet appointment.

What is HGE?

No one is completely sure what causes HGE yet, but specialists think it is likely to be a nasty bacteria that attacks and damages the lining of the guts.

Symptoms of HGE include:

Dogs with HGE often become poorly very quickly. They can look perfectly normal one day and extremely unwell the next. Fortunately, most dogs with HGE will make a full recovery a few days after treatment from a vet. Symptoms of HGE are very similar to symptoms of parvovirus.

Blood and gut lining in diarrhoea


A vet examination to asses hydration level, gum colour, and to feel the dogs tummy, temperature, pulse and respiration rate check. 

Treatment for HGE usually includes:

  • A drip to give lifesaving fluids
  • Anti-sickness medication
  • Small bland meals frequently throughout the day
  • Antibiotics – although they aren’t always needed
  • X-rays and / or blood tests for more information
  • Most dogs with HGE are put into an isolation kennel away from other dogs to help stop the spread of HGE to other vulnerable dogs in the hospital.


Fortunately, most dogs treated for HGE make a full recovery within a few days and usually show a big improvement within 24 hours of receiving veterinary treatment.

If your dog isn’t treated quickly, HGE can become a very serious condition and in some cases can cause death.

What can I do at home if my dog starts with Vomiting and Diarrhoea?

As long as your dog has been eating normally and not a puppy or very small breed, you should with hold food for 24 hours.

You should offer water and encourage your dog to drink little amounts but more frequently.  
If you let your dog drink too much at one sitting then they will likely vomit it all back. You could try to bring the water bowl closer to your dog and even try them with ice cubes. 

After you have withheld food for 24 hours you should offer a bland diet. 
Most vets have veterinary prescription diets specifically for upset tummy’s these are my first choice but if you can’t get hold of any then cooked chicken and boiled rice or scrambled eggs is the next best thing. 

You should feed them this diet for four/five days and don’t suddenly stop you need to slowly reintroduce your pets usual diet mixing it in with the bland diet.

Feed small amounts but more frequently to avoid over loading the stomach. 

You can assess your dogs hydration in two ways:

  1. Use your finger to touch the gum line, your finger shouldn’t stick to the gum it shouldn’t be tacky. 
  2. Skin tent this is when you lift up skin at the back of the neck it should go straight back to normal position. If it stays in place like a coat hanger then your pet is dehydrated. 

Monitor your pet, are they lethargic? Measure their water intake. 
When they toilet, assess what they pass.  

* Note if you are ever unsure it is always best to contact your vet for advice *

Photography Tips

Our pets are adorable and it’s no surprise we want to capture their beauty, but they aren’t always cooperative and it can be difficult to get a nice photo of them.

We’ve laid out some top tips below that will help you capture the shots that will get you more fur and less blur!

I realised when I started writing this blog that I should perhaps write tips for taking photos using your phone and tips for using a camera.  All of the tips collectively will make you capture that show stopping shot. 

We use a DSLR Camera to capture our images here at Wishbone Weddings but I know lots of people use their phone. 

Its said that the best camera you can have is the one you have in your hand. 

Photography Tips using your Phone

  • Take lots of Photos, this is the first rule of photography.  
    The more you take, the better your chances of getting a few amazing shots.
  • Pay Attention to your background is there anything that could take that shine away from your photo, for example a dirty bin or plug sockets etc. 
    Simple backgrounds like a sandy beach or green trees, make your dog stand out more.
  • If you want action shots it’s best to take your photos before the 3 mile run, if you want a serene portrait make it after. 
  • Most phones will have an option to use burst mode, which means they take a few photos in one click of the camera, one after the other. This is good for fidgety pets who don’t stay still, or if you’re trying to get an action shot of your pet. You can go through all the photos your phone took afterwards and pick out the best (least-blurry) one.
  • Tap to set focus and exposure!! 
    If you tap a spot on your screen (in this case, probably your pet’s face), that is where the camera will focus and meter for proper exposure. Most of the time, your camera is pretty good at guessing, but you want better photos ALL the time, so help it out and let it know what part of the scene is most important to you. For portraits, whether they are of pets or people, focus should almost always be on the eyes.
  • Try to have a steady hand hold your camera as still as possible to prevent blurry photos.  Try hold your camera phone with both hands and keep your elbows tucked in against your sides, for extra stability.

    You can introduce unwanted movement just by tapping the screen to release the shutter.  
    Did you know that on most smart phones, you can use the volume buttons on the side as a shutter button? That will allow you to hold the phone much steadier, with both hands. (Also great for a cheeky selfie)

  • Something we are always on the look out for are stray hairs, eye gloop, shoe string saliva.   After all our Wishbone Wedding Adventurers need to be looking their best at their parents wedding.
  • There are hundreds of editing apps, try them out see which one works best for you.  Experiment and find your style. 

Photography Tips using your camera  


Wherever your pet is, you want your source of light to be your side of the camera not right behind them.  If you take a photo of your pet say, in front of a window with light coming in from behind them, you might find they end up looking very dark and almost silhouetted. 

Window light can create a softer light and has a tendency to bring out the sparkle in your pet’s eyes much better than artificial overhead lights can.

Just remember try to make sure that you are the same side as the light so it lights up your pet’s beautiful face.

When heading outside, look for a spot of full shade to prevent awkward shadows. (On a cloudy day, this soft, shady light is everywhere).

Get Low 

Getting down on your pets eye level will create a more personal pet portrait, as it brings out unique personalities and highlights a more intimate perspective. If you shoot from your eye level, the pet will look smaller and it will be harder to look into those eyes in the shot.

To really make those puppy dog eyes pop, make sure the camera focuses on the eyes by using single point autofocus area and moving the focal point over one of the pet’s eyes.



Forget The Flash

Pets are more sensitive to bright flashes they may be spooked by it or feel unsettled which is the last thing you want.

Treats & Toys

My absolute top tip – food bribes.  
Does your dog have a favourite treat or toy?
Maybe even a word that grabs their attention. Rewarding sit and stays with treats or holding their favourite toy up near the camera not only does it help you to get those lovely shots but your pet will be enjoying himself too.  Make it fun give them some treats play with them and keep sessions short. 


Use a fast shutter speed, Continuous focus and burst mode

Since many pets have a hard time sitting still, use a fast shutter speed. Set your camera to shutter priority mode or set a shutter speed of at least 1/250 if possible, and even faster for action shots of a game of fetch. Turning the burst mode on will take a sequence of fast shots to up the odds of getting a perfectly-timed shot. Prevent soft images by using continuous autofocus mode, not single.

Practice when your pets sleeping

It might sound creepy but you could take photos of your pet when they are napping as they will be nice, still and settled.  Just try not to disturb them.  Turn off your shutter sound if possible.

I hope these tips help.  Happy Snapping! 


Isolation and restrictions have meant that Peggy can’t have her usual 400 walks per day. 

Jokes aside dogs like routine unfortunately this has been taken out of our control for now so it’s important that we focus on things we can control like encouraging our pups to be mentally stimulated. 

Enrichment prevents boredom and destructive behaviour, encourages calmness and keeps their mind sharp.

I wanted to share some enrichment ideas and tips. 

Let’s fight boredom and turn this negative uncertain time into a positive time for you and your pup.  It is a good excuse for some precious bonding time. 

  • Puzzle games and interactive feeders.  I bought Peg a puzzle game from Aldi she wasn’t that into it however she loves her interactive feeder that my husband purchased from amazon.  It is a tumbler shaped transparent feeder.  Peggy has quickly learnt that if she taps it with her paw or noses it then her kibble slowly falls out of it. (I will show a video of her using it)
  • Kongs filling up a kong with your pets food keeps them busy and makes them work for their food.  You can also fill a kong with pet friendly peanut butter or Liver paste. 
  • Use an empty toilet roll. flatten one side of the toilet roll and tape it down with masking tape. Fill the toilet roll with treats or meat.  Flatten the other side same as before then cut a hole in the middle to get their senses going they can then shred the cardboard to find the treats. 
  • Snuffle mats are a homemade toy that provides dogs with an opportunity to sniff and search for hidden treats. The snuffle mat consists of fleece strips tied on to a rubber mat with holes in it. The loose ends of the fleece are on top and provide the hiding spots for the treats.
  • Egg Box simply sprinkle treats into an egg box and close the lid 
  • Doggy Massage there are lots of videos online showing you how to do this not only  is it great bonding for you and your pooch but it’s also very relaxing for him/her. 
  • Podcasts for your dog I’ve spoke about these is the past they can be found on Spotify ‘My dogs favourite podcast’ Give it a listen. 
  • Get the doggy toy box out
  • Fetch in the garden 
  • Sensory bubbles some dogs love to chase bubbles from a bubble blowing wand or bubble machine 
  • Social distancing walk – Try to Mix up your walks by choosing different routes I recently learnt that letting your dog sniff different scents on a walk can help tire them out almost as much as physical exercise.

The South Causey Inn

The North East boasts some of the best wedding venues in England. Wishbone Weddings have chaperoned at lots of these amazing places.

Peggy and I have decided to visit some of our favorite venues to show you why we love them so much and to share with you some venues we haven’t worked at yet but would love to……plus its just a good excuse to get out and about in the gorgeous countryside!

First on the list from our tour of the North East is the South Causey Inn.

The South Causey Inn is set in the beautiful Beamish Valley in Stanley near Durham. The best way to describe this venue would be rustic, cosy and relaxed.

Weddings take place in either the Durham Suite or The Old Barn at present but there is also a new renovation place for a further exciting space for future weddings. We’ll update this page as soon as it opens.

The Old Barn is a spacious private area with its own chapel room where ceremonies take place. The wooden beams and wooden flooring add a touch romance to the venue and the quirky antique decoration has become a real theme throughout the venue and hotel.

The views from the old barn are something else. It looks out at the beautiful Beamish Valley countryside making it a photographers dream with a sprawling countryside which looks impressive whatever the weather.

The Durham suite once a stone stable block has been converted into a perfect space ideal for hosting a perfect wedding. I do love the decor in the Durham suite, along with a homely feel and gorgeous natural light throughout it makes for a really impressive place.

We have been lucky enough to chaperone 10 dogs to their parents wedding at the South Causey inn and each time we are made to feel very welcome by the friendly and professional staff.

The venue is super dog friendly and when you visit you will more than likely see some of the resident dogs milling around the grounds. Dogs are allowed in the bar area, the snug and the hotel has several pet friendly rooms.

The South causey Inn holds a monthly dog walk which takes place at 10 a.m on the first Saturday of every month. Peggy and I have enjoyed these walks and even on occasion have taken photos for the whole group attending. We love to explore the Beamish Woods and nearby Causey Arch.

Peggy loves nothing more than a dip in the hotels lake and I enjoy nothing more than a nice cup of tea at the at The Hotspot bar. The Hotspot Bar is an original 1960s Bedford TK Fire Engine that has been converted into a state of the art bar.

Some photographs I took at the South Causey Inn dog walk

Dental care

Peggy set some New Years Resolutions and one of them was to brush her teeth more regularly so I thought I’d share some vet nurse/dog owner tips on how is best to achieve this.

Healthy teeth and gums
Dental and gum disease

What you will need:
• A toothbrush a children’s toothbrush works well. I use a dual ended dog toothbrush from Virbac. One end of the toothbrush is big and the other end is smaller it just helps get to those back teeth.

• Dog toothpaste (do not use human toothpaste) Dog toothpaste tends to be flavoured appropriately and doesn’t contain lots of salt. I use Virbac Enzymatic toothpaste which is chicken flavoured (Yuk!)

• A quiet place with no distractions

• Time and patience

Take care when putting your fingers into your dogs mouth. I do not recommend it if your dog is likely to bite or become aggressive.

  1. Start by allowing your pet to taste the toothpaste from your finger.
  2. Gently hold his/her muzzle and insert your finger under the top lip on the side of the face.
  3. Rub your finger tip on the teeth.
  4. Introducing the toothbrush to the canine teeth to begin with (Canine teeth are the larger pointy teeth)
  5. Wet the toothbrush with water add the toothpaste
  6. Hold his/her muzzle to gently keep the mouth closed this is to stop him/her chewing when the toothbrush is introduced.
  7. lift the top lip on one side of the mouth gently start to brush the teeth
  8. Brush the upper teeth first then allow the mouth to open so you can brush along the gum line of the lower teeth.
  9. Remember increase the brushing gradually and stop if your dog is becoming stressed.
  10. Repeat on the other side.
  11. Now lift the the top lip at the front of the mouth these teeth are called incisors. Brush the top and lower set of incisors. We leave these teeth until the end as they are more sensitive.

Brushing the teeth is classed as gold standard the best way to keep your pets teeth clean however there are many products on the market that work well.

Vetaquadent – This is a solution that you measure correct amount and add it to your dogs drinking water it doesn’t have a scent or taste but it has anti-plaque ingredients.

Logic gel – Malt flavoured toothpaste that has enzymes which control the amount of bacteria responsible for the development of plaque and bad breath. No need for brushing but comes with a finger toothbrush to help apply the product.

PlaqueOff – A food supplement containing natural seaweed – shown in clinical trials to reduce plaque accumulation. This product is particularly good if your dog has a lot of plaque as it helps change the texture making it soft and easier to remove.

Chews and and toys help keep teeth clean too as they rub the teeth.



Christmas is such a magical time of year but It can also be a very dangerous time for your pooch. I don’t mean to be a bah humbug but the veterinary nurse in me just can’t help wanting to prevent things going wrong for you and your pet.


  1. Christmas puddings and Mince pies contain grapes, currents and sultanas which are all toxic to dogs. Take care if you’re planning on leaving a mince pie out for Santa just make sure it’s out of your dogs reach.

2. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which is toxic to dogs, be careful not to put chocolate gifts under the tree incase your dog decides to eat them.

3. Alcohol is much more toxic to dogs than to humans so mop up any spillages and never leave left over drinks lying around.

4. Macadamia nuts can cause weaknesses, tremors, vomiting and hyperthermia within 12 hours after ingestion .

5. Blue cheese, dogs are sensitive to an ingredient called roquefortine C

6 Artificial sweeteners one in particular called Xylitol is extremely toxic to pets it can be found in some cakes and sugar free gum. It causes liver disease and blood clotting issues.

7. Onions can cause stomach irritation which can lead to red blood cell damage and anaemia.

8. Cooked Bones all bones can become brittle and splinter easily this can pierce your dogs digestive system or cause an obstruction. To avoid this make sure you prepare the meat away from your dog and dispose of carcasses in the outside bin.


Christmas Trees – Pine needles can cause stomach upset, cuts in the mouth and in severe cases can puncture in the intestine. Try to hoover often keep the tree watered or buy an artificial tree.

Fairy lights – If your dog tries to eat or play with the lights then they may be electrocuted. You should try tape loose wires to the floor.

Poinsettia, Ivy and Mistletoe – All are mildly toxic they can cause drooling and vomiting.

Tinsel – It will make any vet/ vet nurse sigh if your dog eats this! As it can make its way into the intestines and you can’t just pull it out in one go as it can cheese wires the intestines so you have to make lots of little incisions in the intestines to remove bit by bit.


Batteries – Can cause chemical burns and metal toxicity always try to keep out of reach.

Silica Gel – commonly found in packaging they are not toxic but have been known to cause blockages in the gut.

Happy Easter Holidays

Just a friendly reminder to keep your chocolate out of reach from your doggies.

I wanted to share this article with you all as it is really informative.

• Why is chocolate toxic to dogs

• What to do if your dog eats chocolate

• What happens if your dog eats chocolate

• What are the main signs of chocolate poisoning

• Chocolate toxicity treatment

There is also a handy chocolate toxicity calculator

Chocolate toxicity calculator

A Day In The Life Of A Veterinary Nurse

I qualified as a Veterinary Nurse in 2006 and began my career working in a mixed practice which meant that I would treat domestic pets but would often visit farms, dealing with livestock and horses.

After a few years I was ready to expand my nursing skills.  I applied to work at a referral veterinary hospital which means it specialises in certain procedures e.g.; eye surgery/treatment, bones, soft tissue, reproduction and medicine.

I have been a locum nurse and travelled around the country working in several practices, (including with the Supervet from the TV) before settling into the very busy veterinary hospital where I work now and have done for the past seven years.

Although there are many challenges that come with the job, nothing beats that feeling you get when you nurse your patients back to health.

My current hospital is extremely busy.  To stay on top of the patients and work that builds up, we have a weekly rota.  Each week the nurses rota changes, which means you may be one of the three nurses working in theatre (helping with operations) or perhaps you’re the Consulting nurse (This means you carry out Nurse Appointments)

Other shifts include; dispensary nurse (dispensing medication), the inpatient nurse (looking after unwell pets and recovering pets after their general anestheics/surgery).

Arrival 8:30 a.m

Upon arrival, the first duty would be admitting the patients and administering injections where they are necessary. This is called a pre-medication (sedative and strong pain killer) to help calm the patients and gives a smoother anaesthetic and recovery.

The patients that have been hospitalised overnight are handed over by the night shift team and are checked by the day shift team, then a nursing care plan is put into place.

9:00 a.m

At 9am it’s time to organise the order of procedures, set up theatres and prepare what is needed for each procedure. It may be that we are repairing a fracture or we could be carrying out a routine procedure like neutering (Spey or castrate).

Veterinary Nurses are allowed to carry out minor surgeries e.g. wound stitch ups, applying dressings, take and develop radiographs, place Intravenous lines (drips) take bloods, monitor anaesthetics, administer medications to name a few.

1pm -2pm (Lunch)

2pm onwards

We would try to complete the procedures for the day and to attend to any extra admissions from the consulting vets and veterinary nurses.

We will also then discharge any patients ready to leave, taking time to explain to their owners their aftercare instructions and to book any follow up appointments deemed necessary.

Emergencies can be rushed into the hospital at anytime.

At the end of each day it is common practise to thoroughly clean the theatres, preperation area, x-ray roo, laboratory and kennels.

We would also need to clean and sterilise the surgical instruments so they are ready for the next day.

Autumnal Warmth

Pennys Wishbone Wedding Adventure!

Wishbone Weddings first V.I.Pooch 🎀

14th October 2017

Autumn is such a beautiful time of year, all of the leaves change into vibrant colors of red, orange and yellow.

The early sunsets cast a lovely golden shade making it the most beautiful back drop and setting for a wedding.

Laura and Matthew incorporated the autumnol theme really well using lovely orange, rust, cinnamon tones with lush greens and wildberries.  Pumkins were used as centrepieces and the groom wore a tweed suit.

The wedding was at the spectacular Beamish hall although dogs are not allowed inside the hotel they are allowed in the well kept grounds of the hotel.

We collected Penny from the groom on the morning of the big day and took her straight for a walk, we had time for a nap and some play before heading to the wedding venue.

We waited excitedly for the bride and groom to arrive, Penny looked gorgeous in her flower collar.  A lot of guests and family members were happy to see Penny and she got lots of cuddles.

When the bride and groom arrived Penny was delighted she couldn’t wait to congratulate them. We had lots of water breaks and time to relax before heading back home.

Like always photographs were taken throughout the day so Laura and Matthew  can look back and cherish the memories and be glad that Penny was part of their special day.








Pyometra – Infected womb in dogs

I wanted to write about this condition because recently one of my gorgeous past Wishbone Wedding adventurer had to have surgery after being diagnosed with a pyometra luckily she has made a full recovery.

Not all dogs are as lucky! I would say on average where I work we see two pyometras per week but there has been the odd weekend I’ve worked where we’ve had three in one day.

What I am trying to say is that it is very common, it can be fatal and it could be avoided by neutering your pet when they are fit and well.

What is a Pyometra?

Pyometra is caused by a bacterial infection, most commonly E. coli, and often occurs a few weeks after a female has finished a season.

This is because being in season causes the animal’s body to go through hormonal changes which make the chance of infection much more likely. 

Symptom of a Pyometra

Early stages of pyo:

  • Licking back end more
  • Season lasts longer than usual
  • Off colour
  • Off food
  • Drinking and urinating more
  • Vomiting

Advanced stages of pyo:

  • Pus coming from vulva
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Collapse
  • Death

There are two forms of pyometra one is called a closed pyo which means the infection is locked inside and you won’t see a vulval discharge. This type of Pyo is the most fatal.

The second pyometra is called an open pyo meaning the pus drains out of the body via the vulva.


A veterinary surgeon will examine the patient then will use an ultrasound scan to confirm a diagnosis.


The patient will be put on to a drip, given antibiotics and pain relief. Once stable the dog will need a full general anaesthetic and the infected uterus will be removed. This means that the patient will be speyed.

Pyometra surgery is much more complicated than a routine spey.

To prevent Pyometra it is best that you spey your dog not only does speyng prevent unwanted pregnancy and stop pyometras. It cuts down the likelihood of your dog developing mammary tumours (breast cancer).

Every season that your dog has it increases the percentage of them developing mammary tumours. The other bonus is that dogs that are spayed do not have phantom pregnancies.

Post operative care:

  • Medication to go home with usually pain relief and antibiotics
  • Rest, lead walks only for two weeks, avoid jumping up etc
  • Prevent licking using a buster collar/comfy collar/medical T -shirt
  • Post op check when instructed.

When is best to get my dog routinely speyed?

It does depend on the breed and size but most vets will be happy to discuss this with you. most vets recommend speying before the first season.

If this time has passed already don’t panic! Dogs come into season every 6 months the optimum time to spey them is half way between this time i.e 3 months after the season and 3 months before the next season.

I completely understand why owners are concerned about putting the pets under anaesthetic and surgery especially those flat faced breeds.

I hope you found this blog post useful.

How to Dogify your wedding

Perhaps your fur child is coming to the wedding but that’s just not enough.

Have a look at some of ways in which my awesome couples have incorporated their pooches into their big day.

Charity Dog Favours

Photo credit

This photo is actually from my wedding. We thought these wedding favours were a cute way of giving something back. There were so many beautiful designs to choose from. I really loved the verse inside the card:

“Dogstrust give stray and abandoned dogs a second chance at a brighter future with responsible, caring new owners, all donations are put to good use providing our special care and finding loving homes for all the needy dogs in our centres, and of course every donation helps us keep our promise to never put a healthy dog down”

We ordered over 100 wedding favours from the the Dogstrust, with the suggested donation being £1 per card it meant we were able to donate £100 to help support this amazing charity.

Since our wedding they now sell pin badges and wedding day dog bandannas take a look and spread the love.

Table Plan, Order of Events & Seating Plan

I thought this banner was a great focal point, using the copper piping to frame also added a touch of elegance.

Beautiful Bosie

Another really nice touch was the party cards, which were placed on the chairs in the ceremony room.

For the most beautiful bespoke wedding stationery and much more I recommend:

Cake Toppers

I have chaperoned at two weddings now where the couple have included their beloved pooch as part of the cake topper.

My most recent wedding with Bella the Dogue de Bordeaux had an amazing cake topper with her in a starring role…

Drinks Reception

How about naming some cocktails after your pooch.

This was a fabulous idea from the venue at a recent wedding we chaperoned at;

Table Numbers

I absolutely loved this idea
Each table had a Polaroid picture of Wilfred describing an important event in his life.

I hope this blog post has given you some doggy wedding inspiration.

With love from Wishbone Weddings

What’s in my First Aid Box

  • Gloves
  • Cotton wool
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Scissors
  • Melolin Dressing – This is a low adherent absorbent dressing (basically it won’t stick to a wound)
  • Soffban – This is a synthetic soft padding it feels like cotton wool but it is on a roll so wraps nicely
  • Easifix/ k- band – knitted elastic retention bandage
  • Co- flex – A top layer bandage that is flexible and sticks to itself
  • Durapore – Medical tape
  • Tick remover
  • Pet remedy wipes – Calming wipe

I thought it would be good to give some first aid advice on a couple of scenarios that commonly happen when you are out and about with your dog.


If your pooch steps on a bee 🐾 🐝

If the sting is still in the skin use a credit card to scrape it off don’t be tempted to pull it out (this squeezes the poison)
Watch for an allergic reaction like breathing difficulties, swollen tongue if this occurs contact vets asap.
Apply bicarbonate soda to the sting this will stop it stinging
Apply a cold compress

WASP – As above but apply vinegar instead of bicarbonate soda

Cut pad or leg wound

If a wound is haemorrhaging then a pressure bandage should be applied immediately. You should wash your hands and wear gloves prior to touching the wound to prevent contamination.

To apply a regular dressing then you must clean the wound first to remove any debris and prevent infection.
Always use the correct antiseptic dilution.
Cool boiled salt water is a natural antibacterial so you could use this in an emergency situation.
Take your dressings out of the packet so you aren’t fumbling whilst holding the paw try to keep them as sterile as possible.
Make little cotton wool bits to go in between the dogs toes this stops any rubbing.

Cotton Wool to place in between toes to prevent rubbing

Apply the absorbable dressing to the wound (it is usually the shiny side down on the wound)
Then the next layer is for padding use cotton wool or soffban this secures the dressing in place, absorbs exudate, provides protection and decreases dead space to prevent oedema (swelling).
Secondary layer use the Easifix conforming to secure the bandage.
For the last layer you would use the Co- flex cohesive dressing to protect the inner layers.

Check the tension of your bandage with each layer, it shouldn’t be too tight as this will be be uncomfortable and could cut off the blood circulation.
Equally if it is too slack it could slip off. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit two fingers into the top of the dressing.

Please note that the bandages should not be left for longer than 24 hours unless applied by a trained professional.
Applying an incorrect bandage at home for prolonged length of time could cause serious damage.
Bandages should be kept clean and dry.

Never try to bandage a broken leg!

Tick Removal

Tick removers

Ticks should be removed as soon as possible. Never remove a tick by pulling, crushing or squeezing – they have a large body and a small head which attaches to the skin, if you pull the tick you are likely to leave the head behind which can cause an infection.

Slide a tick twisting tool under the tick, as close to the skin as possible.

Make sure the tick is held firmly inside the hook. Use a smaller hook if it feels loose.

Twist the tool two to three times in one direction until you feel the tick loosen from your pet. DO NOT PULL THE TICK – it will let go when you twist.

Slowly lift the tool away when you feel the tick loosen, it should stay trapped in the hook.

After removing the tick, clean the area and monitor your pet for any signs of illness.

Tip: You can use normal tweezers but be very careful to hold the tick as close to the skin as possible.

I hope this blog post has been helpful let me know if there are any other first aid advice you would like to know.

Wishbone Weddings

Hello to all of my followers, old and new!
It’s been a good while since I’ve done one of these but with the weddings back in full swing and a big boost in new followers
I thought I’d show you the face behind the dog leash & camera and give a short insight into me and my business 🙂

I’m Cheryl and I qualified as a registered veterinary in 2006! Yes, 15 years ago now 👵 meaning I’m very experienced at handling and caring for your beloved pet.
I still work at a busy veterinary hospital, I really love my job.

I got married 5 years ago and we really wanted Peggy, our rescue Jack Russell terrier to join us for a part of our day.
As everyone who would normally care for her was at the wedding it was tricky to organise…but against all odds she made it and she had the most amazing time.

This was my Eureka moment and I set up Wishbone weddings one year after in 2017 so that other couples didn’t face the same struggles as we did when it comes to having your dog as a guest at your wedding day.

My husband is a wedding photographer and I spent some time attending weddings with him to gain experience of wedding days, how things work behind the scenes, timings etc…not only that but I have picked up photography skills along the way. The photos that you see on my social media are the ones that I have taken from real weddings that I have chaperoned. They are a great piece of mind and keepsake for my couples to see the adventures their beloved fur baby has been on and the good care they’ve received.

I have now chaperoned at over 40 weddings and most wedding venues recommend my services and regurlarly share my posts or use them for their own social media marketing.

I love looking after your treasured babies. It’s so important that you can focus on enjoying your wedding day, safe in the knowledge that they are well cared for, in safe, experienced hands and are having a fun, carefree day.

Thank you all for your continued support, I couldn’t do any of this without you ❤️