All posts by Diane Storer

Cockburn Veterinary Group is delighted to be awarded the internationally-recognised Gold Level Cat Friendly Clinic status.
The CFC programme has been developed by the International Society of Feline Medicine, the veterinary division of the leading feline charity International Cat Care, and accreditation has been made available in partnership with Ceva, Royal Canin, Boehringer Ingelheim, Idexx, Elanco and Zoetis. It aims to promote well-being and high standards of care for all cats visiting or being hospitalised in a veterinary clinic.
Under the programme, a clinic has to prove rigorous adherence to a set of criteria which includes provision of facilities and demonstration of staff activities and attitudes aimed at reducing stress in cats, both as in-patients and out-patients. The criteria includes having separate dog and cat waiting areas, feline-friendly hospitalisation cages, and veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats. Most importantly, staff are trained in approaching and handling cats sensitively and respectfully, and in maintaining high standards of veterinary care, including continuing to update their knowledge of feline medicine as new treatments and information become available.
Anselmo Gil, Abi Tobin and Alison Hubbard , the clinic’s Cat Advocates, were proud to receive the Gold Level accreditation.
By undertaking Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation, we’ve committed to delivering high standards of cat care, with compassion and expertise.”
The International Society of Feline Medicine launched the Cat Friendly Clinic initiative three years ago, to encourage veterinary practices everywhere to make best efforts to improve the welfare of cats in their care. The programme advises practices on how to make their environment as welcoming to cats as possible, as well as providing support in staff training, handling techniques and cat-specific client care.
Cat owners can find out more about International Cat Care and the Cat Friendly Clinic initiative at

Alabama Rot

Alabama Rot or Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV) is a disease caused by tiny blood clots in the blood vessels to the skin and the kidneys leading to damage to these organs. Whilst this causes ulcers in the skin sadly in the kidneys it can lead to severe damage and kidney failure. As the cause is currently unknown, although suspected to be environmental, it is very hard to give advice on how to prevent this disease. Therefore, whilst no-one is sure if it is either necessary or even beneficial to do so, at present the experts suggest washing any areas of your dog which become wet or muddy on a walk.

Unfortunately there is no test for Alabama Rot and the disease can only be confirmed at post-mortem. Dogs may show a combination of the following signs:

  • Ulcers or sores on the skin
  • Loss of energy
  • Poor appetite
  • Jaundice, which may show as yellow discolouration of the eyes or gums
  • In the later stages of the disease some dogs may vomit or retch
  • In a small number of cases dogs can develop kidney failure, which sadly usually proves fatal

If you are concerned that your dog has developed any of these signs please contact the surgery on 01530 836654 for advice. One of our vets will be able to decide if your dog needs antibiotics, the area needs covering or in the case of dogs developing kidney failure whether more intensive management or referral to a specialist is necessary.

Further information can be found on the Stop Alabama Rot website at

Practice Nominated for Pet Plan Awards

Cockburn Veterinary Group is thrilled to have been nominated, by our clients, for a second time for the Pet Plan ‘Practice of the Year’ Awards. The award is aimed at finding exemplar members of the veterinary profession who have gone above and beyond for you and your pets. As well as the practice being nominated Diane has been nominated for a third time in the ‘Vet of the Year’ category and Abi for a second successive year in the ‘Veterinary Nurse of the Year’ category.

Abi and Fritha

Diane is awarded a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice

congrats-well-doneCongratulations to Diane, who following two years of study through the University of Liverpool’s Veterinary Postgraduate Unit, has recently been awarded a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice (CertAVP) by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Never one to rest on her laurels, Diane has decided to continue her studies and hopes to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Professional Studies over the next two years. Good luck Diane!

Rabbit Awareness Week – 18th to the 26th June 2016

Rabbits make wonderful family pets, but did you know that …….

  • Their diet should consist of 80% grass and hay, 15% greens and 5% rabbit pellets. Poor diet can contribute to teeth problems, becoming overweight and gut issues,
  • Exercise is important for your rabbit as it allows them to stay fit and healthy
  • Rabbits love to play with suitable toys. They particularly like to hide in tunnels
  • Male rabbits can be neutered from 10 weeks of age, whilst it is best to leave female rabbits until 6 to 9 months. Left unneutered 60% of entire females will have uterine cancer by 4 years of age and 75% by 7 years of age.
  • They need annual vaccinations to protect them against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic diarrhoea
  • They are very susceptible to “fly strike”, which occurs when flies lay eggs on their coat. The eggs hatch out and become maggots. This can be life-threatening
  • Like dogs and cats, rabbits are protected by The Animal Welfare Act 2006 which says that they must have ‘The Five Freedoms’:
  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour
  2. Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
  4. Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind
  5. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering

We are running free nurse appointments during rabbit awareness week, where the nurses will be happy to discuss healthy rabbit management. If your rabbit is ill you will still need to book an appointment with a vet (unfortunately these are not free!). If you would like to book either type of appointment please phone us on 01530 836654


under-constructionRefurbishment of our reception area is due to start on 09th February 2016. Between the 9th and 18th February we will be closing each weekday evening at 6.30 pm to allow the work to happen in the evenings. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience that either this or the work itself may cause.

Practice Nominated for Pet Plan Awards 2016

vetawards2016-banner[1]Cockburn Veterinary Group has been nominated for the prestigious Pet Plan Awards for the second consecutive year. Following on from last year when Head Vet Diane Storer was nominated for a second time in the ‘Vet of the Year’ category, the whole team has now been nominated for the ‘Practice of the Year 2016’.

We are absolutely delighted to have received this nomination and thrilled that our team has been recognised in this way. The results will be announced in April, so finger’s crossed!