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<i>Veterinary Advisors</i><i> Blog</i>
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Veterinary Advisors Blog

Our Vet's Blog

This is a copy of our Veterinary Advisor Graham Hines Blog which hopefully has some useful information

Vaccicheck Dates Autumn 2021



1. At the Dogs Diner, Moreton Wirral

Saturday 6th November 2021 from 10am
Contact the Diner to Book at
The Dog's Diner Ltd, Tarran Way North, Moreton Wirral CH46 4UB

0151 678 2588

Cost still £30 per sample

2. At Grooming Marvellous, Warrington 
Contact Catrin 

17th November 2021

3. At Sirius Raw Feed 

Unit 10G Mostyn Road Biz Park Holywell  CH8 9DQ 

Date TBC check back soon but second half of October 

What is Vaccicheck and why have it done?

Check out my website at 

If you have 3+ dogs and are not too far from me in Deeside CH5 or Caernarfon Gwynedd then we can arrange a special house/kennel visit for you.


Vaccicheck Clinic Dates September / October 2021


 Another successful clinic last week all dogs were immune.

Next Dates:

Friday 24th September 10:00 to 12:00


Saturday 2nd October 10:00 to 11:30 

What is Vaccicheck?

We are checking the levels of antibodies to Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus to see whether your dog needs to be revaccinated or if he is still immune. 

When should you get it done?

From 3 weeks after vaccination at any time. perhaps the best time is soon after having you puppy vaccinated at around 12 weeks to check if the vaccine has worked and she is immune.


Vaccination Page

Vaccicheck Antibody Testing

Contact the Dogs Diner to book your appointment

The Dog's Diner Ltd
Tarran Way North, Moreton 
Wirral CH46 4UB
0151 678 2588

Cost still £30 per sample


August Vaccicheck Clinics


 August vaccicheck Clinics 

Wednesday 4th August 10am to 12 noon

4 places left ring the Dogs Diner

& Now booking 

Saturday 14th August

10am to 12 noon

Ring the Dogs Diner to make an appointment

The Dog's Diner Ltd

Tarran Way North, Moreton 
Wirral CH46 4UB
0151 678 2588

Read about what Vaccicheck Titre testing is - Antibody tests for Parvovirus and Distemper to reduce over vaccination and ensure your dogs immunity 


Wirral Vaccicheck at The Dogs Diner


 Vaccicheck Clinics at the Diner

I am there most Saturdays now so ring up to check - me or the Dog's Diner Moreton

Next one at the Dogs Diner 26th June 10 am - 11am

Ring them for details or to make an appointment...


The Dog's Diner Ltd
Tarran Way North, Moreton 
Wirral CH46 4UB

0151 678 2588


New Vaccicheck Date and Venue


New Vaccicheck Date and Venue:

Now postponed until September

I am pleased to announce that on the 17th July 2021 we are attending the Open day at the Raw Feeding shop near Rhyl, Kimmel Bay to be more precise

Top K9 Nosh

You can also enjoy all the other attractions at there open day, learn about raw feeding from myself or Sasha Elias RVN who will also offer nail trimming service and more.

See their facebook page for all the details over the coming month TopK9 Nosh Face Book 

Read more about what Vacciheck is, why and when you should have it done on my website here....

Top K9 Nosh

  Face Book Page | Website  


Vaccicheck and Canine Parvovirus (CPV)


 There has been an increase in the number of cases of this nasty disease in the UK recently it is reported (see below)

Should we believe these scare stories are they just a way to get dog owners in for more boosters co-ordinated by the largest corporate practice owner in the UK?

Should you rush in and get your pets revaccinated or this there a better approach?

I will tell you my approach

This story appeared in the veterinary profession’s weekly free-sheet the Vet Times:

Vets across the UK have been warned to brace themselves for a parvovirus surge after reported cases doubled in the first three months of 2021.

The warning comes after data from pet emergency service Vets Now showed a 129% increase in suspected cases of the potentially fatal disease in the first three months of 2021, compared with the same period last year.

IVC Evidensia – owner of Vets Now – has also released research showing that up to 45% of registered pet owners hadn’t got vital vaccinations and boosters.

It’s thought a potential surge in cases could be coming as a result of the massive boom in lockdown puppies and concerns over still attending surgeries for routine jabs.

Edward Davies, chairman of the UK clinical board at IVC Evidensia said: “There are several reasons why we are really concerned about seeing an increase in cases of CPV and our practices have been taking steps to brace themselves for a potential resurgence in this disease, as well as ensuring they are encouraging their clients to keep up to date with dog vaccinations.

“Due to the lockdown puppy boom and the whole COVID-19 situation, ensuring preventive health care has been correctly followed for all pets has been a real challenge. The potential resurgence of CPV has been quite a worry during this time.”

The warning comes after a week-long battle saved a puppy from death when it contracted parvovirus. Labrador retriever Paisley was only weeks old when she was struck down by the highly contagious virus.

Owner Cathy Ball, a vet nurse at Cheshirepet Vets in Sandbach, had spotted the very earliest signs and Paisley was put on antiviral drugs and a drip, but after three days of nursing and care at Cheshirepet, Paisley became so ill he needed to be referred to Pride Vets.

The team at Pride Vets was led by Tiago Henriques, a resident in internal medicine. He said: “Paisley was very ill when she came in and I was concerned that we might not be able to save her.

“We had to continue with the supportive treatment she had already had, put her on a feeding tube and give her anti-nausea medication to stop her being sick. We monitored her 24 hours a day in our intensive care unit and it was about five days before, happily, we saw real signs that she was going to be okay.”

I also attended a webinar by Professor Richard Ford in which he discusses the use of anti-body testing to determine immunity to CPV. He quoted research in the US which shows that a proportion of puppies vaccinated at 12 or even 16 weeks of age are not demonstrating antibodies to parvo. Some studies shows as much as 10-15% watch the video recording of this if you want to learn more.


of puppies vaccinated at 12 or even 16 weeks of age are not demonstrating antibodies to parvo. Some studies shows as much as 10-15% watch the video recording of this if you want to learn more.

So the take home message is that 

  1. There is more parvo around because of the increased puppy population due to lockdown.
  2. Some of these pups may not have been vaccinated and are vulnerable to CPV
  3. Not all vaccinated puppies are fully protected against CPV

What should you do to check if your companions are protected?

I suggest ask your vet for a anti-body titre test such as Vaccicheck to see if they are immune. Its should cost around £50-70 and results should be rapidly available. You can now get “lateral flow” type tests which take only 10 minutes and are shown to be very accurate https://biotechkit.uk over 95% or vaccicheck which give a quantitative result and takes 30 minutes.

If your pet has no antibodies then ask for a vaccine - if he has it will put your mind at rest. Just one jab is enough and you could then repeat the antibody test 3 weeks later to check it has worked if you wish.

Your vet will probably just recommend you give a booster jab this is not my approach there is no point in jabbing him full of vaccine if he does not need it

My recommendation fr your new puppy is

Have a puppy vaccination DHP at 12 weeks of age and then anti-body test at 15 weeks (approx) and if need be revaccinate but only if needed and ideally only for just those disease needed e.g. CPV 

See my website for more details 

[Leptospirosis is more complicated see my website for more information but you do not have to give this but I do recommend a vaccine for parvo.]

Once you have demonstrated antibodies in your dog to one of these diseases you can  be confident she is immune and the body has formed cell medicated memory of that disease

My next Vaccicheck Clinics

I have arranged with the Dogs Diner in Moreton on the Wirral to do more clinics from now on as there has been a pent up demand with lock down

 We are still doing a full 3 disease antibody test for Distemper, Parvovirus and Adenovirus for only £30 currently 

The next date is 20th May 2021 from 10am ring the Diner for details...

Then we have a small clinic Saturday 29th May at the same venue.

If you have 3 or more dogs and are reasonable close to me in Deeside/Chester or in the Caernarfon areas we could arrange a home visit this will cost more but only £45.00 per dog.

I am hoping to arrange a venue in North Wales as well in the next few weeks. Watch this space

We can also test cats for Panleucopenia;  FIV and Leukaemia  and dogs and cats for Giardia  email for details again have a look on my website naturalpetcare.vet


The best time to anti-body test is 3-4 weeks after puppy vaccinations to determine if he is immune or is one of the possibly 10% who have high levels of maternal antibodies or for some other reason does not respond. But the test is valid and useful at any age.

There are more cases of parvo around at the moment but you can check if your pet is safe by getting an anti-body test ask your vet or come to us.


Vaccicheck Clinic Starting again 5th May


 Well as lockdown eases we feel we can start Vaccicheck Clinics at the Dogs Diner again in May

Subject to the guidelines as much as we can - Please wear a facemask, wait outside until we call you in, extra hygiene between clients etc and bear with us a little slower than normal

First session 10am Wednesday 5th May 10am

Ring the Diner on

The Dog's Diner Ltd
Tarran Way North, Moreton 
Wirral CH46 4UB

0151 678 2588

As from that date I can also see client for longer consultations for advice or treatment there but book those with me on


Services offered



Nutrition Advice

Herbal medicine 

Vaccination, Parasite treatment advice and titre testing 

Just general Holistic Natural Veterinary Care 

No surgery, X-rays I run a referral practice but you can self refer


Evidence for the value and benefits of raw feeding increases...


 I would like to share with you some recent research which I was privileged to hear about on webinars and reading over the past month or so.

Should dogs and cats be fed a high carbohydrate diet?

1. Comparing Wolves and Dogs natural starch consumption

Dogs genomes are different to wolves in a number of aspects including the fact they have genes which allow them to produce amylase (the enzymes which the gut uses to digest starch. Does this mean they can therefore be fed high levels of carbs?

Research has shown that wolves diet consists of approximately 50:50 fat and protein and only 1% starch 

Domestic dogs of a wide variety of sizes and breeds if allowed to self select foods choose to eat 4-7% starch. 

(Feral) Cats naturally eat about 2% starch and natural would choose to avoid more starch if given a free choice.

Wild animals will by the laws of natural selection will eat the foods that give them the best chance of survival.

So why do Commercial cat foods contain as much as 40% starch can we find research to back this up and disagree with the above assumptions. Yes there is a study Hall et al 2018 which found cats would choose t eat more starch than that...

How did they get this figure that is so different - They used as protein sources total un-natural foods such a pea and wheat protein as their food sources because as you can see on the slide and cats like chicken better.
What?!!! Guess who sponsored this research HILLS

There are similar studies in the dog...

Above dogs should to eat less than 10% starch if given the choice and no surprise there is a studies sponsored by H*** Pet Nut*** attempting to dispute this ad again they chose to add to the diet a chicken flavour enhancer to all the diet from which the dogs could chose. They found dogs ate significantly more starchy carbs:

Why do the commercial food guys add carbohydrate? 

1. Its a much cheaper source of calories

2. You need to use starch to bind the kibble and form the dry foods

We have shown dogs and cats would not chose to eat very much starch but is it harmful?

There is increasing evidence to support observations myself and other holistic vets have been seeing for years that pets do much better on a raw based, minimal starch diet or even a cooked home prepared diet if they are balanced of course.

1. a small study compared the number of Toxocara canis egg in dogs fed on raw and processed diet found drastically less worm eggs shed in raw fed dogs:

It would seem the immune system of dogs that are naturally fed are much better able to defend themselves against this intestinal worm. 

A small study on the gene expression of white blood cells - the immune system cells macrophages and found differences in transcriptome expression. Basically within 3 weeks of changing between raw and processed diet there was an increase in inflammatory cell expression. Kibble causes chronic inflammation.

Studies in Finland I think I have written about before show that raw foods are dramatically protective in preventing Canine Atopy Dermatitis CAD in dogs fed a raw diet in the pre-natal period. The lowest levels of CAD in young adults was in the cohort in which the dam was raw fed and pups weaned on to raw food with intermediate level were pups were raw fed soon post weaning.

In other words an ultra processed carbohydrate based diets are a major risk factor in CAD 

(Atopy is inflammation of the skin caused by allergy and extremely common in practice.~)


Newer studies I think are getting us a step closer - it's the microbiome. There are dramatic differences in the bacterial populations in the gut and stool of raw fed low starch diets. There are increases in the variety of bacteria found in raw fed animals.

There are dramatic changes in the numbers and types of bacteria in not only the faeces but also the skin microbiome. We do not know what each type of bacteria does as yet and there is a lot more to learn. 

I will tell you more as I learn it.

Anti raw campaigners will use figures such as an increase in E. Coli spp. & Clostridium spp to berate raw and cite it as evidence raw is dangerous. But there are many sub-species or strains of these bacteria and increasing evidence in fact increased levels of clostridiceae is associated with faecal health and low faecal volume and a healthy microbiome.

The other measure is of the metabolome - chemicals in the body -  Kibble fed dogs have higher levels of methionine and cystathionine chemicals associated with inflammation and bile acids are higher which has in man been associated with colon cancer.

Another small study measured transcriptome in the skin of a small number of Staffies comparing the raw fed to the kibble fed and there are some evidence of an improved immunity and reduced oxidative stress

Most of these studies are very small numbers of animals and of course will be criticised by Big Kibble - Mars, Pedigree , Nestle and other pet food manufactures. 

The micro biome research is very new and I am sure we will learn more over the next few years to support our observations in practice.

If you want to read more then may I suggest reading my Irish Colleague Conor Brady's excellent book

The RFVS Raw Feeding Veterinary Society

We are trying to sponsor our own research into the benefits/risks of Natural Feeding to be able to challenge Big Kibble if you can donate anything please do

Donation Page

References - see images and more available on request.

D. Knueven DVM (personal communication )


Coconut Oil - Is it good for your Dog?


 Coconut oil is a fashionable addition to the diets of both people and there pets. 

Is it good for your dog? NO stick to an species appropriate diet

Not according to these researcher. Unless your pets microbiome is used to these forms of oil it can cause more problems than it helps.

Have a listen to this youtube interview:

You can really upset the delicate balance of your pets gut flora and cause inflammatory chemical to leak out of the gut with coconut oil and many other novel foods which pets are not used to or evolved to consume. Read more about the microbiome on my website.

The microbiome is the population of micro-organisms which live along side us in or gut and elsewhere and I think is the reason a raw diet helps so many of my patients.


Last Vaccicheck Clinic of the year 12/12/20


 Our next vaccicheck clinic has been arranged for Saturday 12th December at the usual place.

The Dog's Diner Ltd
Tarran Way North, Moreton 
Wirral CH46 4UB

0151 678 2588

Give them a ring to make an appointment

What is this?

We will take a small blood sample from you dog and measure the antibody levels (titre) to 

Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus

If there are as in most dogs adequate levels there is no need to have them vaccinated - result!!

Covid distancing and masks are required and used.

As it so close to Christmas then santa masks would be good and you can get your companions their last minute gifts while there - Turkey and cranberry minced dinners

Read more about vaccicheck at naturalpetcare.vet/medicine/vaccination/

Fore appointments about other things on other days or after the clinic contact me not the Diner