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.

Peggy’s Local Boozer

Today we visited Jesmond Dene, the Dene is one of our favourite places to walk.  I love that it is located close to Newcastle’s busy city centre, yet the park is so peaceful and tranquil.

Peggy loves exploring the many bridges and walkways and she especially enjoys paddling in the river at the bottom of the wooded valley.

I cant help but think its her favourite place because its close to her local boozer.


Peg’s local is basically a dogs pub that allows humans too, it has a super chilled vibe and is renowned for its amazing burgers!

Peggy ordered a Sundays roast,  described as soft chicken breast & Yorkshire pudding in cat flavored gravy.  She washed it down with doggy beer called ‘bottom sniffer’

Other bar snacks are available, like, Dog pop corn,  Dog ice cream and Natural Choice Sticks.

The Brandling Villa

Peggy stop messing around!! I think she’s tipsy she is copying the pose from the wall art!


Road trip!

Usually I post about Wishbone Wedding’s Adventures…but today I thought I’d post about Peggy’s Adventure.


For those of you who don’t know Peggy, she is our Jack Russell Terrier, who we rescued And is around 7 years old.

Peggy is big sister to my daughter Mina.

As most of  you do Know I am a Veterinary Nurse.  Peggy was brought in to the vets where I work as a stray, found wandering in a train station.

The vets is a busy, 24 hour working hospital and although all of the staff loved her very much and I knew she would be well looked after, I couldn’t help feeling guilty leaving her over the weekend.

I requested to take her home with me to foster over the weekend and let my husband know we’d have a lodger for the weekend and, well… she never left!!!

Peggy literally changed our lives from the moment she came home with me and has remained a huge part of our lives.  I particularly love the bond her and my husband have.

Peggy on our wedding day

Today we visited Cragside, An extraordinary Victorian country house, gardens and woodlands in the heart of Northumberland.

The house was the first to be lit by hydroelectricity in the world.

Peggy loved the gardens and streams the most and it was easy to see why.

The rock garden is one of the biggest in Europe and it leads you down to the Iron Bridge, which in turn leads to the formal garden.


With over 1000 acres to explore.  Forests, lakes and a labyrinth,  Peggy had an incredibly fun packed day, so much so we have decided to return again this week.


Time to buckle up

Betty’s Wishbone Wedding Adventure!!

We collected Betty from the groom on the morning of the big day and headed straight out for a walk around Hetton Lyons Country park.

After a lovely long walk, some play and many many gravy bones, we decided to go to the wedding venue early so we could explore the beautiful gardens.

Then it was the moment Betty had been waiting for:

Betty was so excited and she enjoyed meeting Her friends and family.

After such a perfect day it was time to head home for some well earned rest and cuddles.


Behind the scenes at the venue!

The South Causey Inn is situated within 100 acres of beautiful Beamish Valley Countryside.

This venue has a Warm , Cosy and Relaxed Atmosphere.

One of the reasons why we love this venue so much is because dogs are very welcome.

If you visit you will most likely meet the two resident dogs a Labrador and and Bulldog named Mr Rip.

Mr Rip is the face of ‘Rip Gin’ which you can buy from the bar.


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.