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New equine health scheme hits 100 clinic milestone

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A new Welsh horse health scheme aimed at reducing the need for antibiotics has held its 100th clinic – just five months after its launch.

The Equine Health Clinics are part of Arwain DGC – a project designed to help combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animals and the environment in Wales.

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There has been an enthusiastic and positive welcome from horse owners and vets to the equine scheme, which is already halfway to its target of completing 200 health clinics by the end of June 2023.

A hundred clinics have been completed and are able to offer one-to-one free advice and screening for equine owners from their local vets. Each practice registered can claim up to £250 per clinic to help with the costs.

The clinic is designed to help prevent illness and avoid unnecessary exposure to antibiotics, so reducing the risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). It focuses on the health of the individual horse and the preventative measures needed to ensure they stay healthy.

The scheme offers advice on biosecurity, health planning, general health advice and a check up. The clinic will also offer bacterial culture and sensitivity testing if it is required, following a clinical assessment of a wound, illness or injury.

Fiona Jones of Vale Vets, one of the participating practices, said the equine health clinics are very beneficial. They give clients the opportunity to have a discussion with their vet about protocols on the yard, as well as about the health of their horses.

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She added: “We can have a chat about antibiotics and what they’re useful for and what they’re not useful for and it’s good to make owners aware that antibiotics aren’t always necessary for wounds – good cleaning, wearing gloves, using products such as manuka honey and silver dressings can be perfectly ample for cleaning up wounds.

“Another topic is biosecurity and how to reduce the chances of them bringing disease onto the yards, so keeping them away from other horses, not sharing buckets or headcollars, and no nose-to-nose contact while they’re out and about.

“There is also the need to isolate new arrivals, taking temperatures regularly to try and pick up disease early. They’re both helpful topics to try and keep on top of disease.”

Owner Bethan Edwards found the advice really helpful. She says it applies to them more specifically in relation to mixing with other horses outside their private yard.

She added: “We’re automatically at a lower risk of infections. It’s more for us when we’re out and about at competitions or at clinics. It’s just a case of being aware and careful about contact with other horses.

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“If we were to notice any signs of illnesses or runny nose, I would probably monitor the horse, check the temperature, speak to Fiona and go from there. It’s just a case of trying to stay away from antibiotics if we can and there are other ways of helping the horse without using antibiotics.”

Marial Guttridge, Equine Events Officer for Arwain DGC, welcomed the positive feedback about the Equine Health Clinics. It had proved a great start to the scheme and paved the way from a reduced demand for antimicrobials.

She added: “Owners have found the extra time spent with their vet to discuss health and biosecurity to be very valuable.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer these clinics so that local vets can better educate equine owners on the risks of spreading diseases, on wound management, health planning and on the advantages of bacterial culture and sensitivity before prescribing antibiotics.”

Lead image: Vet Fiona Jones (right) from Vale Vets holding an Equine Health Clinic with horse owner, Bethan Edwards, and her horse Monty.

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Pontardawe fire crews thanked for ‘paw-fect’ puppy rescue

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Fire crews in Pontardawe have been thanked for a ‘paw-fect’ rescue mission after answering an emergency call with a difference to help a trapped puppy.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service say their firefighters from Pontardawe fire station were called to a property in Ynysmeudwy after reports of a 5 week old Spaniel pup that had managed to crawl underneath the home owners bath and into a hole in the floorboards.

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Firefighters attempted to dismantle the pipework but were unable reach the puppy.

A spokesperson from Mid and West wales Fire and Rescue service said: “Crews diligently persevered and managed to gain access to the little pup by skilfully cutting a section of the floorboards, which resulted in the rescue of the little pup.

“Thankfully he was completely unharmed.”

Firefighters said they were honoured to be able to christen the puppy “Terry”, adding that they hoped he won’t get into anymore mischief.

(Lead image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

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Drivers urged to get a dog carrier to stay legal and keep pets safe on car journeys

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short coated dog inside a car

While your four-legged friend may like the wind in their ears with their head out of the window as you drive down that country road, its actually been illegal to do so for some time in the UK.

You could be fined up to £5,000 for ‘careless driving’.

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The Highway Code says dogs or other animals should be suitably restrained when in a vehicle, so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly.

If you have a dog, having a quality, comfortable carrier for them is smart. It doesn’t matter if your pup is your travel companion or if you just need a carrier for trips to the vet, finding the right one matters. The right carrier will help ensure your dog stays safe while traveling in your vehicle and will ensure you can take them on your travels.

When you start searching for the right carrier for your pup, you will find many options to choose from. At first, the selection may be a bit overwhelming. You can find a quality and safe carrier for your dog with a few tips and criteria to look for – here, we share some starting points.

1. Choose the Right Size Carrier

Finding a carrier that’s the right size for your dog is important. To figure out what size you need, start by measuring your pup. You need to purchase one that’s big enough for your dog to turn around in, curl up, and stretch out.

To get the right size, measure your dog’s back from their neck to the base of their tail, and then add a few inches for comfort. You also need to measure the dog’s shoulder height to the ground. If you are buying a soft-sided carrier, add two to three inches to this measurement. For a hard-sided carrier, add three to five inches.

2. Safety Features

Another important consideration is the safety features the carrier offers. For example, does it offer a way for you to secure your dog inside the carrier? You also need to see if there are connections to secure the carrier in your car. You want to ensure that your dog isn’t shaken and jostled while you are in the car – it makes the experience nicer for them, and could be crucial if you have an accident.

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3. Easy to Assemble and Clean

Unfortunately, not all dogs are good travelers. Some may get car sick, while others may have an accident in their carrier. Because of this, you need to find a carrier that is easy to put together, take apart, and clean. If you get a hard carrier, make sure you can remove the parts and components and clean them with a dog-safe product.

For soft carriers, it’s best to find machine washable ones. This will ensure if your pup does have an accident or gets sick, you can easily clean the carrier.

Finding the Right Dog Carrier for Your Pup

As you can see, there are several factors to consider when choosing a dog carrier. You must consider your dog and what you need to keep them comfortable and safe.

While there are many options to choose from, it’s a good idea to keep the criteria mentioned above in mind to ensure you find and purchase the right carrier. Your dog is your best friend, so ensure you get them the gear and supplies needed to stay safe no matter where your adventures take you.

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Pets

Aberavon RNLI lifeguards save budgie that had been missing for four days

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Lifeguards at Aberavon beach have helped to reunite missing Blue the budgie with its owner, four days after going missing.

Lifeguards have described this as “a different type of rescue” to what they are used to.

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After a group of school children noticed a budgie on the beach, Aberavon beach lifeguard supervisor, Sophie Phillips collected the bird and made sure it was kept safe.

After appealing to local vets as well as on Facebook, Blue’s owner finally spotted the lifeguard team’s post after the bird went missing on the previous Sunday.

Blue’s home was nearly nine miles to where he was found and thanks to the help of the RNLI lifeguards and a drink of water, Blue was fine and back with its owner in the space of a few hours after being found at the beach.

After Blue was collected, Sophie said: “The last thing I expected to see was a budgie on the beach and we were so glad we were able to help reunite the bird with its owner”.

Blue’s owner has made a charitable donation to the RNLI.

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(Lead image: RNLI)

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