COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – an update for our clients.

Neutering – Callie’s story

During December we will post a step-by-step journey of Callie’s neutering experience.   We hope to provide a comforting and reassuring insight into what the procedure involves for our clients as well as our patients.  It also let’s us blow our own trumpet a little!  We’re very proud of the high standards of care we deliver behind the scenes that owners don’t get to see.


Admitting Callie is the first step of the process.  Laura, the vet, went through all of the paperwork with Callie’s human.  This allows her  to gather all the necessary information to assess Callie’s anaesthetic risk.  This information allows Laura to tailor the safest anaesthetic protocol to meet Callie’s specific needs.

Anaesthetic risk is graded on a classification scale from 1-5 (1 being low risk, 5 being high risk).  Laura considered; body condition score, age, dehydration and systemic disease to name a few.

Anaesthetic Risk

For patients who are at a higher risk of being under anaesthetic, the vet may recommend additional support options.  Pre-anaesthetic bloods can assess blood cell levels that check for conditions such as anaemia and infection.  Pre-anaesthetic bloods can also assess kidney and liver function which helps determine if the body is fit and healthy prior to administering any anaesthetic drugs.

Secondly, we can also provide intravenous fluid therapy.  This assists the body in removing the anaesthetic drugs from the system after the anaesthetic and supports the liver and kidneys.  It also helps to maintain blood pressure throughout the procedure.


An important part of the paperwork relates to emergency treatment consent.  If there is an unexpected complication during the procedure, we need to know that we have your permission to treat your pet as we see fit.

Other considerations

It’s important for Laura to know the date Callie had her last season.  The blood supply to the uterus is increased at this time which increases the risk of bleeding during the procedure.  To reduce this risk we carry out the procedure as far from the season as possible.

A “phantom” pregnancy is a common condition in female dogs.  Typical behaviours are; nesting and resource guarding as well as exhibiting behaviours that are out of the ordinary or unusual for the dog.  A phantom pregnancy occurs when  hormone changes in the body can trick the body into thinking it is pregnant. It is important we do not carry out the spay whilst this is happening as permanent behavioural changes can occur.  We also check to see if there is any milk production as this can be another sign.

To find our more about Callie’s neutering experience check back on 9th December.  In the meantime, if you have any concerns about the health of your pet, contact the client care team on PetsApp or call 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352

#rowanvets #vetsinpreston #vetsinblackpool #vetsinlytham #vetsinkirkham #vetsinwarton #vetsinfreckelton #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #picoftheday #love #healthypets #goldstandardpetcare #pethealthplan

Do hamsters, guinea pigs & rats enjoy festive house parties?

House parties can be a lot of fun, especially around Christmas and New Year; but are they fun for your small pets?

What the team at Rowan Vets can tell you, from their many years in Small Animal care, is that most small pets will fare better if they are kept well away from large gatherings at home.

Started the celebrations early this year?

If you notice any unusual behaviours in your small pets, it would be wise to get them checked out by one of our experienced Vets.

Book a small pet check-up


Small furry pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rats, and chinchillas, generally scare easily and dislike loud noises or changes to their routine.

So, what should you do if you want to have people over during the holiday season?

First, establish if your pets, which are typically kept in pairs, are nocturnal or diurnal…

1. Hamsters, rats, and chinchillas are nocturnal (active at night); guinea pigs and gerbils are diurnal (active in the day) but are most active at dusk & dawn. This is important so you know when to implement the below advice in time for your party:

2. Allow your small pets to sleep as normal by moving their housing to an area in your home (or preferably someone else’s) that is well away from the noise of your gathering.

3. Try not to disturb their regular sleep pattern as this can throw them out of sorts.

4. Putting a breathable cover over your pets’ cage or hutch may help to drown out some of the noise.

5. Don’t bring the party to your pets as seeing lots of people could frighten your pets. Plus, your guests may open your pets’ cage to play with them, resulting in injury (to pets or guests) or escape.

6. Keep to your pets’ usual food times even if that means nipping upstairs while your guests are there – minimising changes to your pets’ routine is important to keep them happy & well.

7. Make or buy some small furry pet toys so they have something to occupy themselves with if they’re awake.

8. Foraging trays are a great idea to keep your pets busy; all you need is a tray, some hay, pet-safe herbs, and their favourite treats – hours of fun!


All of our team at Rowan Vets wish you a wonderful time over the holiday season. We want your small furry pets to have a good time too, so do try to follow the above advice and contact us if you notice any problems with your pets.

Contact us if your pets are acting strange

Why choose dog friendly places to go Christmas shopping & for drinks

The run-up to Christmas is usually a busy time spent out and about shopping for gifts & decorations and seeing friends & family. But does this mean your dog has to spend more time home alone?

Dogs thrive on attention and time with their favourite human companions. A bored and lonely dog can develop behavioural issues like destroying your belongings, excessive barking, and soiling indoors.

The solution? Dog friendly days out!

This way, you can spend time with your dog AND tick off your pre-Christmas to-do-list at the same time.

Our Hillock Lane team have listed some ideas for dog friendly places below; it’s a good idea to check the website and reviews to ensure they are dog friendly before setting off.


You can help other dog owners in and around Backpool, Preston, Freckleton, Kirkham, Wrea Green, and beyond, by sharing your favourite dog friendly days out on our Facebook page.

Share dog friendly places on Facebook


Rowan Vets’ top ideas for places you can take your dog this December:

Cafés, restaurants & pubs

With so many dog-friendly options in Lancashire, why not persuade your friends to meet you at one of them so your dog can hang out too? Remember though, six hours sat under a table in a rowdy pub while you drink and talk with your friends isn’t ideal either. We suggest reading some reviews first to see if the establishment is a good fit for you all.

Pet shops

Pottering around your local pet shop is a great way to make both you and your dog happy. While you’re buying pet products for your dog and as presents for your pet-loving friends, your dog can be basking in the heavenly smells a pet shop has to offer.

Garden centres

Many garden centres these days are dog friendly and of course free to visit. You can often get some lovely Christmas gifts there and enjoy some tea & cake. Your dog will enjoy wandering around, taking in the interesting sights and smells.

Markets & shops

Some fantastic Christmas gifts can be purchased at outdoor markets. Dogs are normally welcome but be careful if they are wary of large crowds. Plus, we bet there are more dog-friendly shops in Lancashire than you might think, where you can take your pal for a walk while you shop.

Dog parks & countryside walks

Catch up with friends and family by going for a dog walk. Everyone gets some fresh air and exercise, and your dog gets to be by your side.

The beach

With excellent beaches to choose from along the Lancashire coastline, such as Blackpool beach, you and your human and canine pals could enjoy a pre-Christmas get-together strolling on the sand; maybe have a paddle in the sea too if you’re feeling brave!

Dog friendly attractions in Blackpool, Preston & beyond!

You may be surprised how many places you can find to take your dog by searching for ‘dog friendly days out near me’. Perfect for that festive fix!

Dog friendly holidays

If you’re planning a Christmas break, check out the wide variety of dog friendly accommodation on websites like Airbnb and – why not research local dog friendly attractions before you visit too?


To ensure you are welcomed back to these places time and time again, our team recommends:

  • Cleaning up and disposing of your dog’s poops.
  • Keeping your dog on a lead (unless you see a sign saying otherwise) and under control.
  • Being courteous to business owners and other visitors by not letting your dog eat or urinate on any goods, furniture, or decorations.


We hope you enjoy some fun times with your canine companion this Christmas. Don’t forget to share your favourite dog friendly places on our Facebook page.

Share your favourites on Facebook

If your dog has been spending more time home alone lately and you notice any unusual behaviours, book a Vet appointment with our team.


Socialising your new puppy

#didyouknow that there is a national increase in pet ownership of around 60% over the last couple of years?  This is mainly due to COVID and people being home more. However, we are still seeing a steady stream of new puppies coming into the practice.

We have a great puppy pack full of information for new owners.  An exciting example is the socialisation chart. The chart contains examples of common items and sounds that your puppy may come across. As an owner, you can tick off the example as an ‘achievement’ each time your new puppy has been exposed to it.  For example, take them out to experience a bus driving by or a cyclist riding their bike.  You can expose them to new people and places and even the hoover and mop at home.  The chart contains LOTS of exposure ideas and as your new puppy is exposed to them, you can tick them off the list.

Make sure you take your puppy outdoors in your arms (providing they are small and light enough to carry) to experience new things before they are fully vaccinated.  It is VERY important that they don’t go down on the ground or get close to other dogs.  Being able to see other dogs from afar and hear them is good but you don’t want to expose them to potential infections before they are fully vaccinated.

If you have more questions about owning a new puppy, read answers to the most common questions asked about new puppies in this PDSA article:

New Puppy FAQs

If you are concerned about the health of your new puppy, get in touch with our Client Care team via PetsApp or by phone.

#rowanvets #vetsinpreston #vetsinblackpool #vetsinlytham #vetsinkirkham #vetsinwarton #vetsinfreckelton #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #picoftheday #love #healthypets #goldstandardpetcare #pethealthplan


Signs of separation anxiety in dogs

The last couple of years have been very interesting and stressful for all of us. Many people bought pets during the pandemic because they were at home more often.  Over time we have been going back into the workplace and children are more regularly at school.

Our pets, particularly dogs, don’t really understand what’s happening other than their humans are no longer around as much as they were.  Some will take time to adjust to this new routine and some will really struggle to be left alone.

Separation anxiety is a difficult nut to crack.  It takes time and patience and owners might need to seek support and guidance from either their vet or a behaviourist.

Signs of separation anxiety are:

  • Barking, whining and howling
  • Destructive behaviours such as chewing the furniture
  • Attempts to escape
  • Peeing and pooping in the house
  • Pacing

Visit our YouTube channel and watch a short film on separation anxiety, what it is, how it might develop, and how you can help.

There’s also some great information on the PDSA website.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s behaviour, contact our Client Care team using PetsApp, email, or phone – see our contact information.

#rowanvets #vetsinpreston #vetsinblackpool #vetsinlytham #vetsinkirkham #vetsinwarton #vetsinfreckelton #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #picoftheday #love #healthypets #goldstandardpetcare #pethealthplan #separationanxiety

Is my pet overweight?

Today is #petobesityawarenessday.  Part of a healthy lifestyle for your pet is making sure that their weight is where it should be.  Excess weight can have a big effect on your pet’s health.  It can affect their kidney’s their joints and even their ability to move and exercise as they should.

Here at Rowan we offer weight clinics run by our Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs).  Clinics are held at both our Hillock Lane practice and our Blackpool branch.

How do I access support?

You can access these weight clinics in a couple of ways.  A vet might want to offer support to an owner during the routine annual booster health check.  They can refer a patient to an RVN in the first instance. They can put together a bespoke programme to help with any kind of weight issue.  The vet may also refer your pet if they have gained weight after neutering. This is a common issue after this type of procedure.

Owners can also self-refer if they think their pet has any kind of weight issue. An owner can also self-refer if they have a puppy or kitten and want some support in the first year of life to make sure they get a good nutritional start in life.  Weight clinics are a great way to socialise a new puppy or kitten too.  It is a non-intrusive visit where they will only be weighed and measured (and probably cuddled a lot too) so associating visits with something pleasant and exciting.


To find out more about your pet and their weight, visit the PDSA website HERE for dogs and HERE for cats.

You can also download a leaflet from the PDSA here, which is a comprehensive guide for owners to identify if their dog is a healthy shape, is overweight or underweight, tips on eating well, ideas for play and exercise and how to keep treats healthy and much, much more!

The clinics can also offer preventative support; for example if your pet has undergone surgery and needs to cage rest, adjustments to their diet might be needed so ensure they maintain an ideal weight.

If you have any concerns about your pet’s weight, get in touch with our Client Care team via PetsApp or by phone.


#rowanvets #vetsinpreston #vetsinblackpool #vetsinlytham #vetsinkirkham #vetsinwarton #vetsinfreckelton #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #picoftheday #love #goldstandardpetcare #healthypets #pethealthplan

Routine parasite control under control

There are so many parasites to consider; fleas, ticks, tapeworm, heartworm, lungworm, the list goes on!  It can be a lot to think about, remember, and budget for.  To help owners with the routine care of their pet, we launched our very first Pet Health Club in September for registered clients.  We have had a fantastic response with well over 120 owners signing up in the first month!

For a monthly subscription of £13.71 per month for cats and FROM £14.44 for dogs, you will get your pet’s annual vaccination, full health check, plus their flea, worm and tick treatments!

You also save 30% off the total cost of the products by being on the plan compared to what it would cost outside of the plan.

That’s not all; as a plan member you will also get 50% off Contagious Canine Cough vaccine (Kennel Cough) and 50% off a microchip.

Visit our Pet Health Club page to sign up online.

If you have any concerns about parasites or vaccinations and your pet, get in touch with our Client Care team via PetsApp or by phone.

THIS IS NOT AN INSURANCE PLAN but a way of spreading the cost of preventative healthcare products.  If you cancel the plan, we reserve the right to charge you up to the value of any products/discounts received.

#rowanvets #vetsinpreston #vetsinblackpool #vetsinlytham #vetsinkirkham #vetsinwarton #vetsinfreckelton #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #picoftheday #love #goldstandardpetcare #healthypets #pethealthplan

Fireworks – noise phobia

Every year the firework season creates heated debate between those who own animals and those who don’t.  This is particularly so for those owners whose animal is reactive to the noises fireworks create.

Whatever your opinion, it is a fact that for some animals the firework season is a terrifying time.  This creates stress for owners as it’s just so heartbreaking to see their pet in distress.

Although it’s accepted that we want to enjoy our lives, we should still make sure that we are doing everything we can to make the lives of the animals we have living with us as #fearfree as possible.

A full, noise desensitising programme is what we would recommend.  It requires time, patience and understanding. A programme should also begin early in the year to provide the time needed as rushing the programme won’t have the desired effect.

There are lots of other things owners can do to make the night more manageable. For more information, hints and tips, download our helpful leaflets:

Preparing your cat for fireworks

Preparing your dog for fireworks

Small furries and fireworks care


You can also watch a short video on how you can prepare your home for your pet to feel safe.

There are special offers on many Feliway and Adaptil pheromone products at the moment.  You can claim a free gift directly from CEVA with a purchase of a qualifying product from us.  Just click on the link for a dog product claim here and for a cat product here and provide your proof of purchase.

If your pet does suffer from a fear of loud noises, particularly fireworks, get in touch with the team to see what support there is.  You can contact us through PetsApp or by phone on 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352.

#rowanvets #vetsinpreston #vetsinblackpool #vetsinlytham #vetsinkirkham #vetsinwarton #vetsinfreckelton #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #picoftheday #love #healthypets #goldstandardpetcare #pethealthplan

Let’s celebrate #worldanimalday

Today is #worldanimalday and to celebrate we wanted to raise awareness of the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare.

All animals have the right to:

  • A suitable place to live
  • A healthy diet
  • The ability to behave normally
  • The company he or she needs
  • To stay healthy

Animals have a similar pain threshold to us humans and are vulnerable to a range of infectious diseases and other illnesses.

Animals show pain and suffering in different ways, so it’s important that an owner educates themselves on the type of animal they have so that they are able to understand their needs fully.

The RSPCA has put together some information about how to take care the health and welfare of your cat – take a look.

And how to take care of the health and welfare of your dog.

Visit the RSPCA website to find out more information about lots of other pets, and how you can make sure that their needs are met.

world animal day banner - koala, bird, lion, rabbit, turtle

As a veterinary practice we are not only here to help owners with their pet’s medical needs.  We can advise on all aspects of pet care and welfare.  If you need support and advice, contact the client care team on PetsApp or call 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352

#rowanvets #vetsinpreston #vetsinblackpool #vetsinlytham #vetsinkirkham #vetsinwarton #vetsinfreckelton #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #picoftheday #love #healthypets #goldstandardpetcare #pethealthplan

Emergency care and cesareans at Rowan Vets

We regularly get medical and surgical emergencies here at Rowan. Emergencies are planned for as much as possible. Protocols and processes are put in place, staff are trained, and equipment is prepared. This is so everything is in place when it’s needed.

An example of emergency surgery is a caesarean section. As with humans, a caesarean section might be performed if the mother is having difficulty giving birth naturally. In a case recently seen here at Rowan Vets, it was thought that the patient had a pup stuck in the birth canal. This makes it impossible for any other pups to be born and puts the lives of mother and babies at risk.


Three veterinary staff working on a dog on an operating table

At this stage, the preparation and training comes into play. The team work like a well-oiled machine to make sure that mum and babies have the best chance of survival.

As you can see from the pictures, the nursing team work to prepare the patient and surgical area. This is so that the vet can operate. This happens whilst the mum is being constantly monitored. Qualified nurses will secure access to veins and secure drips, administer medication under the direction of the vet, monitor the patient’s vital signs, clip and clean the surgical area. This is all whilst all the equipment needed for the procedure is accessed so it’s ready and waiting. The team are supported by the auxiliary nurses, all working together to support the vet.


Three veterinary staff working on a dog who is upside down on an operating table


It’s vital that the team work quickly and accurately. This is to ensure the best outcome and we’re pleased to say that the litter were delivered safely. Once the procedure is completed, a member of the nursing team is responsible for monitoring the recovery of the patient and the new puppies. Monitoring includes recording of vital signs of the patient and reporting back to the vet regularly to update them on progress. The patient is offered food and taken for a slow and short walk in the meadow for a bathroom break.


Newborn puppies


Our nursing team are a key component of emergency procedures within the practice and it’s quite breathtaking to watch them at work.

If you have any concerns about the health of your pet, please contact the client care team on PetsApp or by calling 01772 639800 OR 01253 766352.

#rowanvets #vetsinpreston #vetsinblackpool #vetsinlytham #vetsinkirkham #vetsinwarton #vetsinfreckelton #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #picoftheday #love #healthypets #goldstandardpetcare #pethealthplan

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