Pet Advice

Useful information for you

  • Microchipping
  • Heat Stroke
  • Cartrophen & Osteoarthritis


Do I need my dog microchipped?

From 31st March 2016 all dogs will be legally required to be microchipped and registered.

What does it cost?

The cost to implant a microchip is €25. This includes registering with the approved database Fido and also certification. Please call us here at Mullingar Pet Hospital, Patrick Street, Mullingar on 044 9349686 to arrange a convenient appointment.

Which Databases are authorised?

The microchip contains a unique 15 digit number. Therefore your details will need to be stored alongside the chip details so that you can be contacted should your dog be found. If your details change, if you move house for example, you will be required to update the details on the database. There are currently several databases in operation.

Currently approved databases meeting the requirements of SI 63/2015 are as follows:

Who can implant a microchip?

Vets and Veterinary Nurses are allowed as are persons trained and authorised by Databases in the appropriate procedures

Can I chip my own dogs?

No you may not do so. If you do this is an offence under SI 63/2015 punishable by a fine of up to €5,000 and/or six months jail upon summary conviction.

Why can’t I chip my own dogs?

Under the regulations no dog owners are allowed chip their own dogs or those they have an interest in due to potential conflict of Interest. This is because the process involves certifying identity and creating a record therefore allowing self-certification opens up the possibility of fraud. However, the regulations contain an exemption in relation to dog welfare charities which allows them to chip and register dogs in their own care.

Can the microchip be removed?

No, you cannot remove the microchip without surgery.

Can the microchip be rewritten?

No, it cannot be rewritten, nor are the owners details inscribed on the chip. Microchips are very simple devices that merely contain a 15 digit numerical code.

Heat Stroke

Increased Body Temperature and Heat Stroke in Dogs

Hyperthermia is an elevation in body temperature that is above the generally accepted normal range. Although normal values for dogs vary slightly, it usually is accepted that body temperatures above 103° F (39° C) are abnormal.

Heat stroke, meanwhile, is a form of non-fever hyperthermia that occurs when heat-dissipating mechanisms of the body cannot accommodate excessive external heat. Typically associated with temperature of of 106° F (41° C) or higher without signs of inflammation, a heat stroke can lead to multiple organ dysfunction.

Temperatures are suggestive of non-fever hyperthermia. Another type, malignant hyperthermia, is an uncommon familial non-fever hyperthermia that can occur secondary to some anaesthetic agents.

Hyperthermia can be categorized as either fever or non-fever hyperthermias. Fever hyperthermia results from inflammation in the body (such as the type that occurs secondary to a bacterial infection). Non-fever hyperthermia results from all other causes of increased body temperature.

Other causes of non-fever hyperthermia include excessive exercise, excessive levels of thyroid hormones in the body, and lesions in the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body temperature.

Non-fever hyperthermia occurs most commonly in dogs (as opposed to cats). It can affect any breed, but is more frequent in long-haired dogs and short-nosed, flat-faced dogs, also known as brachycephalic breeds. It can occur at any age but tends to affect young dogs more than old dogs.

Symptoms and Types

Hyperthermia can be categorised as either fever or non-fever hyperthermias; heat stroke is a common form of the latter. Symptoms of both types include:

  • Panting
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive drooling (ptyalism)
  • Increased body temperature – above 103° F (39° C)
  • Reddened gums and moist tissues of the body
  • Production of only small amounts of urine or no urine
  • Sudden (acute) kidney failure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heart beats
  • Shock
  • Stoppage of the heart and breathing (cardiopulmonary arrest)
  • Fluid build-up in the lungs; sudden breathing distress (tachypnea)
  • Blood-clotting disorder(s)
  • Vomiting blood (hematemesis)
  • Passage of blood in the bowel movement or stool
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Small, pinpoint areas of bleeding
  • Generalised (systemic) inflammatory response syndrome
  • Disease characterised by the breakdown of red-muscle tissue
  • Death of liver cells
  • Changes in mental status
  • Seizures
  • Muscle tremors
  • Wobbly, uncoordinated or drunken gait or movement (ataxia)
  • Unconsciousness in which the dog cannot be stimulated to be awakened


  • Excessive environmental heat and humidity (may be due to weather conditions, such as a hot day, or to being enclosed in an unventilated room, car, or grooming dryer cage)
  • Upper airway disease that inhibits breathing; the upper airway (also known as the upper respiratory tract) includes the nose, nasal passages, throat (pharynx), and windpipe (trachea)
  • Underlying disease that increases likelihood of developing hyperthermia, such as paralysis of the voice box or larynx; heart and/or blood vessel disease; nervous system and/or muscular disease; previous history of heat-related disease
  • Poisoning; some poisonous compounds, such as strychnine and slug and snail bait, can lead to seizures, which can cause an abnormal increase in body temperature
  • Anaesthesia complications
  • Excessive exercise

Risk Factors

  • Previous history of heat-related disease
  • Age extremes (very young, very old)
  • Heat intolerance due to poor acclimatization to the environment (such as a heavy coated dog in a hot geographical location)
  • Obesity
  • Poor heart/lung conditioning
  • Underlying heart/lung disease
  • Increased levels of thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism)
  • Short-nosed, flat-faced (brachycephalic) breeds
  • Thick hair coat
  • Dehydration, insufficient water intake, restricted access to water


Cartrophen & Osteoarthritis

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is common in dogs. Dogs of any age may become afflicted, although the condition is more prevalent in older pets. Symptoms can be stiffening up and reduced activity, appearing to be due to ‘old age’ and untreatable. The dog may not be lame in any one leg but have pain in all joints, or different joints.  X-rays often show up changes. Normal ‘healthy’ cartilage covers the ends of the long bones and, in conjunction with synovial fluid, provides an almost frictionless, wear resistant, weight-bearing surface. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage is eroded away and the synovial fluid which lubricates the joint thins out, resulting in a further loss of mobility. Movement is also restricted by swelling of the joints. All of these factors combine and compound to cause your dog discomfort and pain.

Relief from Arthritis

In mild cases, steps can be taken by you, the pet owner, at home. Your pet should have a warm, comfortable place to sleep. Keep your pet dry as much as possible and out of drafty areas. The conventional treatment for osteoarthritis is with cortisone and non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, used in humans as well as animals. These drugs can only reduce the swelling and pain of affected joints and need to be administered continuously. This is both expensive and inconvenient. Sometimes, use of these drugs may encourage overexertion of the affected joint – in turn, accelerating the degenerative process. Chronic use of some of these drugs has been reported to accelerate joint destruction mainly due to the inhibition of cellular repair processes. Long term use can also result in side effects like gastro-intestinal ulcers and kidney problems. CARTROPHEN VET is an injection administered by your veterinarian. It has negligible side effects and works to retard the progression of arthritis in your pet.

Cartrophen Vet

CARTROPHEN VET is a revolutionary advance in the treatment for Osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal disease in dogs. ft relieves pain and lameness, and increases the range of pain-free movement by treating the underlying disease processes – not just the symptoms. CARTROPHEN VET has multiple pharmacological actions which affect the immune and tissue cell systems. These effects include:

  • Inhibition of enzymes which break down cartilage in addition to stimulating natural inhibitors of these destructive enzymes.
  • Stimulation of the production of lubricant and cartilage molecules by the joint cells.
  • Improvement of the circulation of blood to the arthritic tissues, thus improving nutrition to the joint tissues.
  • All this adds up to help repair and rejuvenate the damaged cartilage.
  • Normalisation of the immune response by regulating the messenger molecules which control these processes.
  • Stimulation of the production of proteins which block damaging free radicals and antigens.

What changes will be seen?

The improvement in your dog should last for more than three months and in less severe conditions, it could last for years. However, the treatment will likely need to be repeated. Your veterinarian will advise you as to when this needs to be done. You may, in some cases, notice that your dog is a little quiet in the 24-48 hours after the first injection. This is a temporary affect, thought to be due to the improved joint micro-circulation. After this period, an improvement should be seen which should be more noticeable after each injection.

The treatment

CARTROPHEN VET improves the symptoms by affecting the underlying disease processes of osteoarthritis. Treatment is similar to vaccinations, with a course of once weekly injections (under skin) for four weeks. This is followed by booster applications at intervals 4-6 months, although this will vary between individual cases. Sometimes a single injection is given between courses. Most pets are very quick to respond to the initial course with an increase in activity and general well-being.    80% of dogs treated respond to the therapy. Although it may be disappointing if you do not see immediate relief after the first injection, in order for your dog to obtain full benefit from the treatment, it is very important to complete the course that has been recommended by your veterinarian. In severe cases of arthritis the clinical effect may not be obvious. However, CARTROPHEN will still help extend the life of the joint and hopefully delay further that day when pain control is no longer possible. 

David or any of our staff will be happy to discuss how this treatment would be of benefit to your pet. Call us on 044 93 49686



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