Neutering Your Pet – FAQ’s

What is neutering your pet?

The Irish Blue Cross has a neutering policy in place for all clients wishing to avail of our charitable services. We advise our clients to have their pet neutered at the earliest opportunity.

This must be done within 6 months of registering with The Irish Blue Cross or within 6 months of being advised of the policy.

Neutering is an important preventative healthcare procedure. It is a proven method of preventing life-threatening conditions. You can read our neutering and breeding policy in full here.

Neutering your pet means surgically removing the ovaries and womb of a female pet (also known as spaying) or surgically removing both testicles of a male pet (commonly known as castration).

Neutering your pet has a number of positive health benefits for your pet. In addition to health benefits for your pet there are also other advantages to neutering your pet that impact on your household, and wider society.

Neutering a female pet can help prevent mammary cancer and ovarian cancer. Unneutered females can also get an infection in their womb which can be life threatening. By removing the womb they are no longer at risk of this happening.

Let’s not forget that female dogs in heat will pass a bloody discharge for several days. This can be quite messy around the house and is far from ideal, particularly if there are children in the house.

Female cats can come into heat quite frequently and some of them can be very vocal and noisy when they do so. This can be quite problematic in any household but particularly if you have young children in the house trying to sleep.

If your female pet is neutered she will no longer come into heat. This means there will be no bloody discharge and no noise!

Neutering male pets can help prevent prostate disease, testicular cancer, growths, and hernias.

Unneutered male cats tend to get into more fights with other unneutered male cats. This is one of the most common ways for FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) to spread in the cat population. FIV is a serious and incurable disease that effects the immune system and can significantly reduce their life-span.

Male cats that are not neutered tend to spray indoors (this is when they mark their territory). This results in a strong and very unpleasant smell. Unneutered male cats also tend to roam more often, leading to fatal accidents with motorists. By neutering your male cat these types of unwanted behaviour can be stopped.

Will neutering your pet change their personality?

This is a common question people ask. Many people think neutering will change a pet’s personality but this is not true. The only change in personality is to unwanted behaviours such as roaming, fighting and spraying.

Will my pet get fat once they are neutered?

This is another question people also ask. Neutering can increase a pet’s likelihood to gain weight. This, however, is something that you as a pet owner is fully in control of. When you get your pet neutered make it part of your routine to weigh your pet every month. If your pet then gains weight you start to adjust their food. Remember that treats or food from the table are the biggest calorie intake for your furry little friend and we often don’t realise how much we are giving them.

Should I not let my pet have 1 litter?

Many people believe that they should let their female pet have 1 litter but there is no advantage for your pet whatsoever in doing so. Your vet will discuss with you the best time to have your pet neutered depending on their breed.

You can find more pet advice by clicking here.

Waiting List for The Irish Blue Cross Charitable Services

Unfortunately, The Irish Blue Cross has had to take the difficult decision to temporarily suspend taking on new clients. There has been a huge upsurge in demand for our charitable services in recent months (click here for further details).   However, if you would like to join our waiting list, please complete the form below. 

Before you fill out the form below, you MUST read the following policies;

Please note that this waiting list does not guarantee future registration with The Irish Blue Cross, but it will allow you to be among the first to be contacted when we are able to re-open for new registrations.  While we hope this will begin sooner, it could take many months.  If your pet is unwell currently, please ensure you seek veterinary treatment at another veterinary surgery.   

Bonnie’s Life Saving Surgery

This is Bonnie, a 9-year-old Shih Tzu and beloved companion to her owner, Audrey. Bonnie had bladder stones caused by a bladder infection. She was suffering huge discomfort. Some patients with bladder stones will have bloody urine, recurrent bladder infections and difficulty urinating. If they cause a blockage and the pet is unable to urinate, the stones can lead to a life-threatening emergency.

Bonnie was brought to our clinic in Inchicore, where our veterinary team leapt into action, giving her an X-ray and a scan. They identified that Bonnie needed urgent surgery, and thanks to our vets’ expertise and care, the operation was a success.



Bonnie’s life was saved.

Our vets and nurses gave Bonnie all the aftercare she needed – including the occasional belly rub, making her tail wag with happiness!

Bladder stones often require lifelong management for pets – that’s why our team have put Bonnie on special medication and a bespoke diet. She has regular check-ups at our Inchicore clinic to make sure that she is responding well to treatment.

“The Blue Cross is a fantastic resource, they have been so good to our two rescue dogs, but especially Bonnie, with her multiple surgeries and endless visits. We can always count on the Blue Cross and we know Bonnie is in great hands with them. We appreciate all the staff so much, from the vets to the drivers of the mobile clinics.” – Audrey, Bonnies Owner.

Thankfully for Bonnie and her owner, the Irish Blue Cross team were there when they needed us.

Bonnie survived her trauma and has recovered well, thanks to the quick intervention of the Irish Blue Cross team.

Luckily for Bonnie and her family, the Irish Blue Cross team were there when they needed us. Today, she’s come through her ordeal, and is thriving.

To support the life saving work that we do,  click here to make a donation now. Thank You!

 

Leaving a Legacy to The Irish Blue Cross

Your gift will support our work into the future, allowing your legacy and love for pets to live on.

You may have heard the term ‘legacy giving’ or ‘bequest’ but weren’t sure what it meant. It is quite simply planning to make a difference, both for you and for a charity or cause you really care about, through a charitable gift in your will.

The goal of these gifts is to ‘leave a legacy’ that can have a positive or even transforming impact when you are gone. Legacy gifts have played a significant role in allowing us to expand our small animal services in recent years and helps us to continue treating the thousands of sick and injured pets every year.

Once family and loved ones are looked after in your will, consider how you else you can help. Whether it’s a modest sum or a small percentage of your will, leaving a gift to The Irish Blue Cross can support our work into the future and ensures that your love for pets lives on. If you don’t already have a will in place, we recommend that you seek independent professional advice from a solicitor who will help you in the process of making one. If you already have a will in place, your solicitor can help you update it to include a legacy gift.

Nobody knows what the future holds but leaving a legacy gift in your will is an amazing way for you to continue your support of our work after you are gone. To find out more about remembering The Irish Blue Cross in your will, you can speak with us in the strictest confidence by calling Paul on (01) 4163032 or you can email legacy@bluecross.ie. Your legacy could safeguard the future of The Irish Blue Cross, and help us, help pets like Rocco.

The Irish Blue Cross are members of My Legacy.  My Legacy is a group of over 100 Irish charities who actively promote legacy giving and urge the public to consider leaving a legacy gift in your will. Find out more in the video below!

All about Canine Diabetes

Most of us are aware of diabetes and the risks it poses to our own health. But did you know that dogs can develop diabetes too? Canine diabetes is very manageable with the proper care but it is important to bear in mind it is not a curable disease. The key to managing this illness is for pet owners to have a good understanding of the disease process and good support from your vet.

What is canine diabetes?

Diabetes in dogs is very similar to its human equivalent. Diabetes occurs when the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and is needed for the body to absorb glucose (sugar).
When insulin isn’t doing what it should in the body, the dog’s blood sugar level becomes elevated also known as hyperglycaemia. If this sugar level is left untreated dogs can become extremely unwell and it can lead to serious health complications. Urinary tract infections can become a common problem due to the excess sugar in the urine helping bacteria to breed.

Are there different forms?

Most dogs with diabetes suffer from the Type I form which means they are unable to produce any insulin and will need insulin injections for life. Type II diabetes means the dog’s pancreas produces some insulin but not enough, or doesn’t respond to it properly, which also causes an elevated glucose level. Type II diabetes in dogs is extremely rare.

What symptoms should I look out for?

Increased urination – if you notice your dog going to the toilet more frequently this can be a tell-tale sign of diabetes.
Increased thirst – dogs with diabetes tend to drink more than is normal as their body is trying to keep up with the extra fluid lost through their increased urination.
Increased appetite – – dogs with diabetes tend to have an increased appetite
Weight loss – without insulin, sugars in the dog’s diet cannot be used by the body. This means the dog isn’t getting enough calories and they start to lose weight despite the increased appetite previously mentioned.
Cloudy eyes or cataracts – many dogs with diabetes go on to develop cataracts and can go blind so check your dog’s eyes regularly for signs of cloudiness.

How is diabetes diagnosed in dogs?

Diabetes is easily diagnosed through blood and urine tests. These tests are testing the level of glucose in your pet’s blood and urine. In some cases your vet may require additional tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. An early diagnosis can mean a longer and healthier life for your dog. If you are worried that your pet is showing any of the symptoms of diabetes speak with your vet.

How is canine diabetes treated?

Once a diagnosis has been made, your vet will advise you of the most appropriate treatment plan for your pet.
Most dogs will require daily insulin injections. Understandably, pet owners can be concerned about giving these injections, but your vet will show you how to give these injections. It is very important to stick to a routine, giving the injections at the same time every day and to follow your vet’s instructions carefully to keep your dog’s glucose levels regulated.
Your pet’s diet plays a significant role in the management of diabetes. Your vet will advise you on the diet that is most suited to your dog should your dog be diagnosed with the illness.

Regular check-ups with your vet are hugely important to successfully manage canine diabetes. The good news is that canine diabetes, properly managed, won’t stop your furry friend form leading a long, healthy, happy life. For more pet advice, please click here.

How We Helped Sparkles

Sparkles stole the hearts of our Veterinary team when she was admitted to our Inchicore clinic. Sparkles urgently needed surgical treatment of an aural hematoma – This is a large swelling that develops on the ear flap as a result of trauma to the blood vessels, usually as a result of excessive shaking of the head when a dog has an ear infection. If left untreated, scar tissue forms and can result in a deformity of the ear – similar to a cauliflower ear in humans.

Using their expertise, our amazing team leapt into action. In order to treat Sparkles hematoma we first drained the excess fluid from her ear pinna (or ear flap) and then tacked the skin to prevent the space from refilling. The little pieces of tubing (as seen above) ensure that Sparkles ear is comfortable with the sutures in place. After a week we removed the sutures and Sparkles got her normal ear back.

 

As you can see she was delighted to get the good news that the surgery was a success from one of our Veterinary Nurses Liane! We treat thousands of sick and injured animals like Sparkles every year. But we can’t do it alone, we need your help. If you can, please click here to leave a donation, and help us to continue our essential work. Thank You.

 

We’re staying open to help pets like Buttons

Our vets and nurses are as busy as ever during the Covid-19 pandemic, performing essential services and helping pets like Buttons.

Buttons is a 3 year old cutie crossbreed, who came into us because he had “Cherry Eye”.

Did you know dogs have a third eyelid? This third eyelid comes across the eye from the nose side. This particular eyelid is the one that produces tears in dogs.

With “Cherry Eye”, the tissue in the third eyelid weakens and the gland protrudes through it. This means you can see what looks like a mass coming from poor Buttons’ right eye.

When this happens the gland can get swollen, doesn’t circulate blood properly, and the eye does not produce tears. Dogs with dry eyes are more at risk of getting eye infections and need to have fake tears put into their eyes daily. Pets will also paw and rub at the gland which can cause them to damage their eye permanently.

Buttons needed surgery to replace the exposed gland through his third eyelid. The gland was prolapsed and it was causing severe pain and discomfort – if our team did not act fast, Buttons would develop conjunctivitis and could have lost his eye.

Luckily vet Úna and nurse Ellen gave him the very best of care at our clinic in Inchicore. Buttons is now recovering very well at home from his surgery, and his family are spoiling him rotten!

“I cannot rate them highly enough, they provide a life saving service. He’s a pet, but he feels more like a another child or a brother – he really is part of the Family. The Irish Blue Cross has always been there for Buttons, we cannot thank them enough” – Lyndsey & Taylor Walker, Buttons’ Family.

We are still providing services during the current crisis. If you can help us in any way to continue the work that we do, please give what you can by clicking here to make a donation.

The Irish Blue Cross Statement on Covid-19

The Irish Blue Cross Statement on Covid 19

Our Services are still operational. However, they are on a strictly appointment only basis.

To make an appointment at one of our 10 Mobile Clinic locations, or to book an appointment at our Head Clinic in Inchicore; email info@bluecross.ie or call 01-4163030.

Our phone lines are extremely busy, so please be patient, leave a clear message with contact details, and one of our team will get back to you.

We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls, and our vets, nurses, and receptionists are stretched to the very limit. We ask for your patience and understanding.

We would like to re-iterate that there is no evidence that Pets spread coronavirus.

We ask clients who are attending our mobile clinics, or our Inchicore clinic, to follow these steps so that we can treat all patients in a timely and professional manner;

At our Inchicore Clinic

  • When you arrive for your appointment, we would ask you to press the intercom buzzer and wait outside.
  • We request that only the pet owner or the person looking after the pet patient attend our Inchicore clinic. Please do not bring extra family members or friends where possible.
  • Please observe social distancing where possible
  • Please phone in your pets prescriptions in advance to save time – ph: 01-416 3030 or info@bluecross.ie
  • Please pay over the phone for all prescriptions if possible
  • If you don’t feel well please reschedule your appointment for the safety of our staff and other clients

We also ask all clients to heed directives from the HSE to combat transmission of the virus and to;

Do

  • Wash your hands properly and often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze.
  • Put used tissues into bins provided.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are not well.
  • Avoid crowded places, especially indoors.
  • Stay at home if you are sick to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have

A link to the HSE advice on Covid-19 can be found here

A list of our mobile clinic locations and operating times can be found here

Information on our Inchicore clinic can be found here

For any veterinary queries, you can contact our team in Inchicore on info@bluecross.ie or 01 416 30 30

For any non veterinary queries please contact Fundraising on fundraising@bluecross.ie .

Nurse Ellen – Working on The Frontline

Over a year on, living with COVID-19, and our work at The Irish Blue Cross is as challenging and crucial as ever. As I write we are currently still on lockdown level 5. This means we are down to skeleton staff to maintain COVID-19 protocols and ensure client and staff safety. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however.

I enjoy Medical Nursing. Part of my job includes dentals, of which we are seeing increasing numbers. Our most common cases are older pets with badly infected and rotten teeth; this can affect their entire system from the infection in their mouth. We cover give tips on good dental health for your pet here.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is to see an elderly dog walk out The Irish Blue Cross clinic doors post-dental treatment, full of life and energy! The thing we hear most commonly from owners is, “They’re like a puppy again!” It gives me great job satisfaction to make an older pet so much more comfortable in their twilight years!

Cuddles from patients like Ziggy, remind me why I love my job at the Irish Blue Cross so much. Knowing our work is vitally important to the thousands of patients we treat, together with our amazing team of vets, nurses, and volunteers, provides me with all the motivation to keep working and helping as many patients as possible.

We appreciate any support that we can get. So, if you can, please donate here.

We are taking on New Clients for Vaccinations ONLY

The Irish Blue Cross is Delighted to announce that we can take on a limited number of new clients for Vaccinations ONLY.

These will take place on our 10 mobile clinic locations (note: not our Inchicore Clinic) which can be found by clicking here

Due to COVID-19 You MUST make make an appointment with us by emailing our team on info@bluecross.ie or calling 01-4163032.

Our lines are extremely busy, so if you can’t get through first time, please clearly state your name, number, and any other contact details.

Unfortunately at present, due to the huge demand on our charitable resources, we are still unable to take on new clients in our Inchicore Clinic.

We will hopefully be able to do so over the coming weeks and months ahead – keep an eye on our Facebooktwitter, and Instagram for further updates.

And remember, to always be kind to our very own Frontline heroes.