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News Item 1 - Arran January 2021

Some seasonal problems  to be aware of and seen  around the island at this time of year . Stay safe in lockdown and keep the island's animals safe too. Charlotte Clough MRCVS 


Its is very important at any time of year not to dump hedge clippings or cut grass over the garden fence into fields with cattle, sheep, goats, horses and donkeys.

When the ground is frosty or covered by snow sheep will be hungry and may eat evergreen poisinous garden  plants that they wouldn't  normally touch. Rhodedendrons and similar shrubs cause a painful and quick death in sheep and horses will colic after eating fermented grass clippings.


Check water suppplies every morning.

Frosty weather often seems to trigger cases of laminitis. Overnight frost increases sugars in grass. Ponies prone to  laminitis shouldn't be allowed to graze until the temperature rises above 5 degrees and it becomes more overcast again. There is a lovely relevant poem in the link below.


Ethylene Glycol is is used widely as an antifreeze and is often dyed a very bright blue or pink colour. It is widely used in screen washes at this time of year and has a sweet taste. Even in tiny amounts Ethylene Glycol is lethal to cats and they like the taste so be very careful to clean up any spills or drops around the car and store securely with the lid on. Phone us immmediately if you think your cat has accessed Ethylene Glycol.

Dogs , Cats Owls and Rats

With rats and mice seeking food inside houses , barns and stables at this time of year more rat poisin is being used.  This must be used with the greatest of care if you really have to. Rodents will pull the bait out of containers making it available to dogs . If your dog or cat is seen to eat rat bait or vomits and you see the bright blue rat bait, phone us immediately . They could die of internal bleeding.

Poisined rats and mice will be eaten by cats ,dogs,  Barn Owls and other birds of prey causing their death, which is why I never use the stuff. Store all animal foods in metal or thick plastic bins with tight lids, seal up rodent sized gaps in sheds and houses , keep the place tidy so they have nowhere to hide. Encourage nesting owls.

Cattle and Sheep Fluke warning

THis is from the NADIS monthly parasite forecast .

  • Chronic fluke infection may be seen in cattle and sheep that previously grazed “flukey” pastures towards the end of last season. If housed, use of a flukicide product other than triclabendazole may be possible, as the majority of parasites are likely to now be adults.
  • For livestock still grazing “flukey” pastures, the relatively warm end to the year may have allowed development, emergence and survival of liver fluke cysts on pastures later into the season than usual. In such cases it is also advisable to remain on the lookout for acute or subacute fasciolosis, particularly in sheep, with cases having been observed already in December . Very much true on Arran, with treatment every 6 weeks recomended.



Mrs Charlotte Clough BVet Med MRCVS Cert SAD
Arran Vets Ltd Knowe Road Brodick Isle of Arran KA27 8BY Tel: 01770 302511 find us
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