Friday, 26 November 2010

The Big Chill

It's important to keep your family warm while there is frost outside but please remember your pets as well.
Make sure they have fresh, not frozen, drinking water. For animals that live outside, you may need to replace the entire bottle every day while the other one defrosts. A bottle snug may also help. Move hutches to a sheltered position, or into a shed if possible. A lot of people bring their guinea pigs and rabbits inside for the winter; there are special indoor hutches available if you don't want a huge wooden hutch taking over your living room.
If they are going to stay outside, make sure they have plenty of warm bedding ( hay or straw is best) and think about investing in a hutch hugger to protect your pet from extreme weather.
Cats that live most of their lives outside in the summer usually develop an attraction for sofas and beds during winter, but if your cat can't or won't come in, then make sure they have access to some sort of shelter. You can get special 'Kat Kabins' to provide a warm, cozy, insulated den for cats that may be outside when it's cold.
And for our canine companions, consider a dog coat. Formerly the trademark of spoilt handbag dogs, these days many respectably sized hounds are showing off their fashion sense when they take their owners down the local park. Not only are they almost essential in winter for thin-haired slender breeds such as greyhounds and lurchers, but they eliminate the need to wash the entire dog when Rover finds something revolting to roll in. When it's muddy, rainy or cold, then a warm, water proof coat makes life easier for almost all dog owners.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Old dogs in the sun.

The sun might not be beating down here in Greater London but it's still really very muggy. The humans in the house are fighting over fans and the garden hammock while the dogs just look miserable. The puppy hasn't got much of a coat at all but our old man is half golden retriever, and last summer spent most of his life upstairs, under our bed. This year, I presented him to our groomer and told her to 'take it all off'. So she did. He's got what looks like a Westie Clip to me and he's so much happier. He's short on the top and sides with some feathers and the hair on his belly and tail is pretty much untouched. It doesn't look as silly as I feared either; no one has laughed at us yet- unlike the summer when I attempted to do the clipping myself. The poor dog looked like he was being treated for mange *blush*.
When I spoke to the groomer about summer clips for dogs, she confirmed they have become a very common request among owners of older hounds. One of Wilfie's doggie friends has her hair clipped short all over and acts and looks like a new dog.
So if you have an old dog ( or even a not-so-old dog) who is suffering in the heat, then consider a haircut- even if they are a breed that is not usually clipped short. You may be surprised at what a change there is in their general happiness and activity level.

Monday, 28 June 2010

From the other side of the counter.

I've just spent a pretty miserable two weeks trying to stop a bored, under exercised lurcher from trying to wreck the house. She was spayed 2 weeks ago tomorrow- I didn't do it, my surgical skills are probably not up to a bitch spay as I haven't done one for over 7 years. It's pretty major surgery for a dog, so I didn't fancy 'practising' on the family pet.
I decided not to let her have a season, even though it would have been my preference. We are going away in August and have some house sitters looking after the beasties and garden- and you can bet money on the fact that she would wait until then to come into season.
The old dog had a fractured tooth that needed removing, so I had to withhold food from him for the morning and I thought I might as well starve both of them.
Everything went well; and when I got them home both were pleasantly drowsy which lulled me into a false sense of security.
The next she must have felt okay, because she was desperate to get out for a walk. I didn't take her out but she escaped into the garden a few times and did some laps. The next couple of days I took her around the block on a lead; it was like walking a kangaroo and my right arm is not 1.5 inches longer than my left.
On the 4th day, I took her for a longer lead walk around a local reservoir. She managed to pull the lead out of my hand at one point and dove joyfully into the water to play with the other dogs. There was no way she was coming out, so I had to stand on the shore and wait for her to decide when she was ready. She received a long acting antibiotic injection after that escapade.
We went back to road walks after that. The kids didn't enjoy these as there were no playgrounds, so I had whingy kids as well as an annoyed dog.
She managed to escape out the front door twice during this time, and once shot across the road in hot pursuit of a neighbours cat. I had to close the door and leave the kids alone in the house while I cornered her in a front garden down the road.
She has eaten the leg off the sand table and dug up one of my blueberry plants. She killed the football ( maybe she was trying to tell us something?), popped the paddling pool and excavated enough of our lawn for a bomb shelter. She has also taken to doing a wall of death around the garden 4-5 times a day and has stolen pretty much every one of the kids' soft toys and played with it enough to make it soggy.
So imagine my joy on Friday, when I could finally let her off lead. I thought she'd go mad with excitement but it must have been too hot as she had a gentle run, then plodded along behind me. She's been the same over the weekend- just doesn't seem to want to run around and play. Hopefully it's just the weather and next week she'll be back to her usual mad self.

It's been an experience though, and one I'll bear in mind next time I talk to my clients about getting their female dog neutered. I can't remember it being such hard work last time but that was almost 20 years ago and I had a whole lot more energy!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Lost and Found.

Every week, someone contacts me to check if anyone has handed in a stray dog/cat/rabbit/bird or to tell me they have found a stray animal. Because I don't have a surgery, I can't take in lost pets, so refer them to one of the local rescues but I do write down their details and keep them to hand, just in case.
Last week, 'just in case' happened. A lady rang to say they had found a young black cat in a certain area, then just an hour later someone else rang to say they had found one. So I gave the loser the finders number and a family got their much-loved pet back. They had just moved house and the cat escaped and was last seen high tailing it over the garden fence. She wandered into a house that backed onto her own garden and made herself at home. They were very lucky as the cat wasn't wearing a collar and wasn't micro-chipped.
Every year, thousands of pets aren't as fortunate and end up in rescue centres looking for new homes, or even end up being put to sleep, because there is no way of reuniting them with their owners.
By law, dogs must wear an identification tag on their collar if they are in public. People put a combination of their pet's names, their address, and phone number. My dogs simply wear a phone number on the basis I'd rather no one knew their name if they were stolen. Tags are available on line from the Kennel Club site or from most pet shops.
Cats can wear a tag as well, if they will tolerate a collar but the best method of identification for all pets ( including dogs) is a microchip.
June is National Microchipping Month and many Vet Clinics are offering discounted microchipping to encourage people to make sure their pets are permanently identified. Check here to see if there is an event near you.
The Visiting Vet is offering Microchipping for just £10 with any vaccination for the month of June.
Please phone, email or text me if you'd like to take up this offer.

Friday, 28 May 2010

We're all going on a summer holiday.

Next week is half term across the UK , which means that pretty soon the summer holidays will be upon us.
If you are going away over the summer and not taking your pets, then now's the time to start thinking about who will take care of them when you aren't around.
If you don't have friends or family who will help you out, the options include:
1/ Kennels or cattery. Your pet will live in purpose built boarding facilities, usually with a small run attached. They will have minimal interaction with other animals but will be safe and secure. These get booked up quickly so get on the phone today. Get a recommendation and go and visit them, if you haven't used them before. There are some truly dire ones out there but also some lovely ones. Basically you'll get what you pay for. If you are going to use a boarding kennel, then your pet will need their vaccinations up to date, so make sure you schedule any boosters required in time for your holiday.
2/ Home boarding. Someone boards your pets in their home. Best suited for dogs and small animals in cages. Can be a great option if you find someone suitable. Often more than one dog is boarded at a time so potential for problems but probably more interesting for the dog to have someone to play with.
3/ Pet sitters. Pet sitters often come to your house once/ twice/ more often a day to feed , exercise or check up on your pet. Less stressful for pets and good for independent cats but if pet gets sick or injured, then no one will notice until the next check up.
Some companies such as Homesitters and Animal Aunts offer professional live in pet sitters. This means your house and garden are well looked after as well as your pet(s) but at over £40 a day, this can be an expensive option.
A cheaper option is to advertise on a site such as housecarers or mindmyhouse for someone to care for your house, garden and pets while you are away. You need to write an advert and vet the replies but many people on these sites are mature couples who enjoy living in different places for a few weeks. Check up on references carefully and you will have yourself cheap pet minding as well as the peace of mind of knowing your house is occupied while you are away.

And while you are organising petcare, make sure you check your families passports are all up to date as well. It would be a pity if the pets were sorted but the humans in the family missed out!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Pets in the sun.

We all know this hot weather won't last long , in fact it's cooling down as I type, but please do check your pets have fresh water and shade available when it's this warm. You can put ice cubes in their water bowls or make them ice cubes with appropriate treats in to help cool them down. Oh and don't even think about leaving them in the car. My dogs start panting in the time it takes for me to turn the AC off and get them out of the car.
Check any caged pets twice a day as they can't escape if they are roasting away in their cage. If you have animals in hutches outdoors, you may have to change the position of the cages during the summer months. Our hutch is in a very sheltered area in the winter but it can't stay there during the summer otherwise we'd have baked piggies. They go into their run for the day and I make sure they always have some shade as they can't cope with extreme heat very well at all.
All the pets have slowed down at lot in these temperatures. The cats stay in the utility room where it's cool and the dogs can't get in. The dogs seem to fight for the small landing at the top of the big staircase. The old boy will need to have his coat clipped off if it is going to be a hot, hot summer. He has a typical collie coat, so looks stupid but feels much better if I get him shorn. Even the puppy isn't as energetic as usual.
I'm trying to walk them earlier than usual and we go to the woods rather than the fields where it feels cooler.
The only ones really happy are the fish.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Check your bunnies please.

I've just spent the morning shaving the back end of a fluffy bunny.
She didn't look too bad to begin with : just a knot under her chin and one on her rump but as I started it was obvious it was going to be a bigger job that we expected. It helped that she was used to being handled and was very tolerant. All in all I shaved at least 12 knots off her. The one under her chin prevented her from raising her head properly and the on around her bottom kept her hip muscles permanently flexed. When I had finished, the first thing she did was to lie down in her run and stretch out- something that she was probably not able to do for quite some time.
I could smell dried urine as I trimmed around her tail and if I could smell it, then any blow flies around would be able to as well. She was very close to being a fly blown bunny.
She was lucky. The owners were sensible and called me to clip her off before any real damage was done ( apart from to her hairstyle- I'm no hairdresser!) but this summer many bunnies won't be as lucky.
If your rabbit is a house rabbit or is handled daily, the chances are you'll notice if it has knots but for those rabbits that live at the bottom of the garden and are lucky to get some food thrown at them each day, it may already be too late.
If you notice open sores on your rabbit or maybe even maggots, get your pet to the vet NOW. This is an emergency and waiting even an hour can reduce your rabbit's chance of survival.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Lawn update and bird watching

It seems the dog rocks do work. The brown patches on our lawn are receding and no new ones have appeared since we started putting rocks in the water bowls. Our major problem is keeping the rocks in the bowls; the kids keep taking them and using them in the sandpit or throwing them around the garden. One was adopted by my 4 yo as a pet and lived by her bed for a few days before I managed to find her an acceptable replacement.
I'll update again over the summer but so far it's a thumbs up for dog rocks from me.

We've been indulging in a little bird watching with a difference this spring. The Birdbox Project has over 100 schools with cameras in their nesting boxes so you can can watch birds build nests, hatch eggs and raise their babies. This is a good box to watch at the moment, but it's worth will taking a look at all the live feeds as they all show different views of the nests.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

First Aid for my poor lawn.

With 4 kids and 2 dogs it's never going to be pristine but since getting the pup, I have watched the brown patches increasing in size and number. I'm a bit worried that we'll get to a point where there is more brown than green so I'm on a mission to find something to help combat urine burns from where the dogs go for a wee.
In the past I've tried tomato sauce, Green um and hosing down the grass after I've seen my dog squat, all with varying degrees of success.
However, this time I'm placing my hope in Dog Rocks, which seem to have a good rate of success. These rocks are simply placed in your dog's water bowl (s) and decrease the nitrate level in your dog's urine, which supposedly stops the lawn being killed off.
Has anyone else used them?
I will report back in a month or so and let you know how it's worked for us.

Friday, 12 March 2010

What do you do if you can't walk your dog?

I have a poorly child today and she's proper poorly- not well enough to drag out walking the dogs. She's also too big to go in the buggy so we are stuck indoors.
Meanwhile I have two canines gagging for a walk. I know some dogs seem to do without for a day but mine have to at least go around the block for 20 mins or they got mad, and end up causing havoc and mayhem.
Luckily I have a local dog walker that I have used regularly over the last few years of pregnancy and new babies, and she kindly fits me in when she can, if I'm stuck.
Its well worth looking into dog walkers who may be able to help you in an emergency, before you need them.
Ask other dog owners who they use but make sure who ever you use is insured in case something goes wrong.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The cobblers children go worst shod

This old saying can be very true for vets.
I admit I have been guilty of ignoring symptoms in my pets in the past- telling myself they were nothing serious. Once, as a newish grad, I kidded myself that my frequently vomiting dog had a simple gastroenteritis. In fact he had eaten part of a shopping trolley wheel, and ended up having to be opened up to have part of his intestine removed.
At this point I'd like to assure you that I am much more careful these days, especially for my clients animals.

Anyhow, the thing I've been dragging the chain about atm is insurance.
I advise all my clients to get their pets insured and make sure they know the difference between annual and lifetime policies, and how much they are likely to need. But I have had a complete mental block about sorting insurance out for the pup, and in the end just went with the same insurer I have the old dog & cats with. ( A large supermarket chain that will be hereby known as T****) They have a more expensive policy than they used to have, which increases the cover to £4K per condition, rather than the measly £2K they offer for my older pets. There is no time limit on the conditions though- which is an improvement on the annual policy I have for the others.
Hopefully I will never have to use it but I will sleep easier, knowing that it's now done.

Friday, 5 March 2010

A clean dog is a bored dog.

I got my two dogs out of the car today and a neighbour commented that they looked like they had had a good time. She wasn't wrong; they were both brown rather than their natural black and grey.
Even though we've not had any rain all week, our usual walks are still very muddy- I foolishly ventured out without wellies on today and am not sure how I'm going to get my trainers clean again.
But the dogs were easy enough to deal with; the big one went in the shower upstairs and the little one in the bath. Both of them seemed to tolerate rather than enjoy their ablutions. No doubt they have memories of a couple of weeks ago when they come home so plastered in mud, that I had no choice but to hose them down before I let them in the house. None of us enjoyed that experience.

On the work front, I've been mainly vaccinating regulars which is always nice. I had a phone call yesterday from a man with a sick bird who I suggested see a local vet with an avian interest. I must ring him and see if the client ever contacted him. I know a little about birds and am fine handling them, but this bird sounded really ill and probably required someone with more knowledge and resources than me. The trouble with birds is that they often don't look sick until they are very sick, so I always tend to take these sort of calls very seriously.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Hamster with a bald nose

My children's' nursery have a couple of hamsters. They used to get on okay, but boys will be boys, and now they have to be separated. The staff were concerned as one of them has developed a bald patch just behind his nose. With small kids in the nursery, it's very important to keep an eye out for anything that could be contagious.
Hamsters are still a bit of a novelty for me, as they aren't kept as pets in NZ, where I'm from, but this is quite a common problem so I was able to reassure the nursery that it wasn't anything nasty.
Hammy is kept in a wire cage and spends a fair amount of time trying to chew his way out. In doing so, he rubs against the bars and so has worn some fur away.
I advised them to put a few more cardboard boxes and tubes in his cage for him to chew and destroy and hopefully he'll cease his nose-rubbing & allow the fur to grow back.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Some common foods are poisonous to dogs.

My kids love grapes and it turns out that the pup does too; I've caught her scoffing a few that have rolled onto the floor and of course the kids think it's hilarious.
One or two won't hurt as long as they don't appear on the menu regularly but it's better that dogs don't get a taste for them so, if they get a chance, they don't wolf a whole bunch. Tooo many grapes or raisins can cause vomiting or diarrhoea, which can progress to kidney failure in some dogs. This kidney failure is often fatal.
Other common human foods which can make dogs ill include onions, chocolate and avocados. If your dog has eaten any of these, you should consult your veterinarian. Let them know how much your pet has eaten, how much your dog weighs and whether he or she is showing any signs of being unwell.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

3 things about puppies.

Little W is settling in well but as I'd feared, I had indeed forgotten how much work a puppy can be.
First of all, there are the sleepless nights. For the first few nights after little W arrived, I got around 2-3 hours of sleep each night. She really wasn't happy in her crate and wasn't quiet about it. If my neighbours are reading this, I apologise! She has settled down a little now and I'm hoping the day when she goes to bed at night without a doggy temper tantrum is just around the corner.
Second, there is the toilet training. I'm getting up at least once a night to maximise her opportunities to be clean; she's not always making the most of it. We have had the classic 'stand outside in rain and snow for hours to no avail, but come inside for 5 seconds and have her wee on the floor' scenario far too many times. And she's also managed to sneak away from our 'constant supervision' and poo under the kitchen table more than once. Some times it's hard to remember it's never the dog's fault...
Last, there is the matter of having to watch her all the time. I guess we should put her in her crate more often but she makes such a noise, it's impossible to concentrate on anything else- so we 'keep an eye on her'. It's not just for toilet training purposes; puppies don't come with an inbuilt set of rules apart from 'if it's on the ground, it belongs to the hound'. Obviously, a pup who believes this isn't going to be welcome in a house with 4 kids, so much of our time is spent removing things she isn't allowed to chew and replacing them with things she is allowed to chew.
She seems to be getting the idea but this may just be because we now have more dog toys scattered around on the floor than kids toys; the chances of her picking up one of her own is statistically much greater!

New Arrival!

Today we get our new pup and I'm half excited, half terrified. She is currently somewhere on the road between Swansea and London and will be arriving in about 4 hours time.
I haven't had a new pup for over 8 years and I've never had one with small children in the house. We got our older dog when I was 6 months pregnant with our first, so when she was born he was already pretty well under control and babies really don't do that much that concerns a dog for the first 6 months.
Now, I have 4 kids; 2 are under 5 and one is suffering from an acute case of the terrible 2's and is non verbal to boot. *What* am I doing getting a new pup?
The new arrival is almost 9 weeks old and is the offspring of a sad old saluki X bitch who was found wandering, abandoned, in Wales. So we have no idea who ( or what) dad was. But the 4 pups have been well looked after and brilliantly socialised by their foster mum, so that's a point in their favour. One of the most important things, when getting a pup, is to make sure that the puppy is brought up in an environment as close to your household as possible. And these pups are used to children, lots of noise, different adults, other dogs but not cats, rats and guinea pigs (yet). So a pretty good match for us. She's eating the same sort of food we feed the old boy, has had her first vaccination, has been wormed and microchipped, is on her way to being toilet trained and seems to be fine in the car.
I found her on Lurcherlink, a website that is run by dedicated people who aim to re home luchers by liaising between rescues, stray pounds and the general public. In some areas of the country, these dogs are being put to sleep due to lack of demand and in other areas, people are actively looking to re home a lurcher as a pet. This site features forums listing dogs for rehoming, and it was on one of these forums that the story of Lyra and her pups came to my attention.
I really wanted to get a rescue dog but because of the kids, was wary about rehoming an adult. A puppy seemed a good solution.
Why a lurcher? Well, I couldn't make my mind up about which breed to go for and have since decided I don't really prefer any particular breed of dog. They all have their good points ( some more than others ;) ) so a crossbreed is a compromise. I did look at labradoodles and the like for a bit and while I'm sure one of these would have suited our family well; I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much on a dog.
Our old boy is part lurcher, but really more Golden Retriever and Collie, so I really don't know much about lurchers types. I'm willing to learn though and accept that the prey instinct could be a problem. I'm hoping by getting a young puppy, we can train her to look but not touch.
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

False alarm. New arrival take two!

The pup didn't make it here on Thursday.
About an hour into the journey, she managed to squeeze through a hole in the dog guard, ricochet around the vehicle and help herself to a belly full of food before becoming a danger by trying to sit in the driver's footwell. So her foster mum had to turn the car around and drive home.
There was much disappointment in the VV household. Even Mr VV, who has been less than enthusiastic about the whole enterprise, was disgruntled and the little VVs were extremely upset to come home from their piano lesson and discover no puppy.
The good news is that we have found a dog courier, who will bring her up and she should arrive today. I waiting for the text that will tell me she has been collected and is finally on her way home.
The dog taxi we are using quoted a very reasonable price- £100 less than the next cheapest. Some of the quotes we received were in excess of £400 , to transport a small puppy from Swansea to Middlesex. It was hard to be polite in reply to some of the quotes!!!
It doesn't sound like our newest family member is very good traveller, which is very common among puppies, so I hope she's not hugely traumatised by this journey. We go out in the car quite often, so she will have to get used to it if she's going to be part of this family. We may need to see if we can get a travel crate fitted in the car or at least find somewhere else to put the pushchair, so we can put the dogs in the boot. We don't have enough seats to fit a doggy seatbelt.
If you have dogs, how do they travel in your car?

Monday, 18 January 2010

Tuesday and Friday day consults now available.

For the last few years, I've usually been limited to evening and weekend consults as I have had very little childcare.
My youngest is now two, so is at nursery 2 whole days a week. Hooray, freedom!
Of course, I'm not going to be sitting on the computer all day; I have dog(s) to walk, errands to run, a house to tidy and hopefully, animals to visit.
So if you have a pet that needs a vaccination or health check, in or around Middlesex, drop me a line at
And if all you need is a bit of advice, then feel free to email as well. If I can help, I will.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Poor old dog.

Our 8.5 year old collie X has had a rough couple of months. I had noticed some lameness on our walks, had examined his joints and found he had pain in his right front carpus ( wrist joint) and his hips. I made a mental note to have him admitted to a local surgery for Xrays but life got in the way and it wasn't until he somehow tore his lower eyelid, and needed a few sutures, that I managed to get the Xrays done.
They showed he had some arthritic changes in his right hip but there was nothing obvious in the front leg. I started to make an effort to let him eat less of the kids' toast ( he's a cuddly 35 kg when he *should* be under 30kg) and give him some anti inflammatories when required. That hasn't been often- maybe a couple of days a month?

Then a month ago, one Saturday night, he went out for a wee and didn't come back in. My DH and I were watching a movie and suddenly there was a terrible screaming from our garden. We rushed outside and W was dragging himself along by his front legs; his hind legs were in a state of rigid paralysis, known as Schiff-Sherrington Syndrome. It's usually associated with severe spinal injuries so it was obvious he needed urgent attention. Unfortunately I had had a couple of drinks so didn't dare drive but luckily I have a lovely neighbour who got out of bed and drove W and I to the nearest 24 hour emergency clinic.
It was obvious that they could do very little without knowing what was going on, so we were referred up to the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals at the Royal Vet College in Potters Bar where they have a resident neurologist.

We arrived at the QMHA around 1am and were seen by the neurologist. He examined W and told us he thought W had probably had an fibrocartilagenous embolism (FCE) or a prolapsed disc; there was also the possibility of a tumour.
Long story short, an MRI a couple of days later showed he had had an FCE. This isn't that common so although I read about it at Uni, I've not actually encountered a case myself. In general practice a lot of Neurology cases tend to get referred on if the owners have insurance or can afford it so maybe I have seen one without knowing?

Anyhow, a small piece of the disc that sits between the bones in the spine enters and blocks a blood vessel supplying the spinal cord, and suddenly it doesn't work any more. Hence, the paralysis. It often occurs in younger dogs, W is pretty old for it to have happened and the history often includes the dog running after something and stopping suddenly. In W's case, we think he probably chased one of our cats over the garden fence. Owners often report their dogs screamed or yelped when it first happened but they seem pain free after that.
The good news is that these dogs usually improve to the point where they can get around by themselves without any surgery or medication. It takes time and physiotherapy/hydrotherapy helps. W is one of the majority; he's pretty steady on his feet although has a strange way of carrying his left hind leg. He also drags it a bit when he's tired and has made his nails bleed a couple of times so I'm going to get him a boot for that foot. 5 weeks later it's probably as good as it's going to get.

The problem is, his left hind was his 'good' leg, as he has arthritis in his right hip. So the pain in that hip is starting to affect him when we are walking. The recent snow and ice hasn't helped. Today he started crying and limping about 10 mins into a walk in the wood so we had to turn back early. I've started him on a week long course of Rimadyl to calm down any inflammation but am also starting him on a course of Mobile Bones
to see if that will help him. It's a powder that is sprinkled on his food once a day and a pack costing £9.99 will last us over 3 weeks. It contains glucosamine, MSM and Omega 3 & 6 plus other ingredients that may help dogs with joint disease and some dogs show an improvement in the first week of taking it. Fingers crossed; if it helps W I may try some myself.....

Oh and finally, a quick note on insurance; We have a bog standard annual policy that will pay out up to £2.5K per condition. Can I just say this probably isn't enough if something like this happens to your dog? The MRI itself cost over £1K and if he had needed surgery, we'd have needed to find about !k from somewhere else on top of what the insurance would pay. Incidentally I thought the costs at the QMHA were very reasonable; when I got the bill I was pleasantly surprised!