News and events

The hip scoring scheme was established in the UK in 1965 to reduce the incidence and severity of hip dysplasia in the UK. Essentially it involves assessing an X-ray of a dogs hips taken before breeding takes place. The hip is a ball and socket joint and the better the fit, the lower the score. Scores are then compared to the average (median) for that particular breed aiming to breed from dogs with as low a score as possible.

Dogs with poorer hip scores have a greater degree of Hip dysplasia, because the joint is a poorer fit than it should be this leads to greater wear and damage to the joint and progression to painful arthritis later in life. It can be challenging to manage and from a veterinary point of view if it can be avoided it can lead to a much happier and healthier life.

Whilst many people are aware of the scheme and know to ask if the parents have been scored, it is also important to check what the scores were. For example the median for a Labrador Retriever is 9 according to the 2018 figures, so in line with the recommendations from the British Veterinary association (BVA) only dogs with a score less than 9 should be used for breeding.

If a breeder did wish to breed from a dog with slightly worse than average scores, because for example they had many other outstanding traits, then the advice would be only to pair with a dog with significantly better than average hip scores.

In summary check the scores, not just whether they have been done and if in doubt phone us up for advice before purchase.  Further information can be found on the BVA website at If you are looking to purchase a puppy, consider using the Puppy Contract ( 

There are further health schemes for elbows, eyes and other genetic tests, further information for which can also be found on the BVA website, and also the Kennel Club website.

Celebrate Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month with us!

Outside of the consulting room, most of the attention and medical care your pet receives is at the hands of a veterinary nurse. It is this we celebrate each May, as Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month (VNAM) gives us an opportunity to talk about our role in caring for your pets. In any given day a veterinary nurse may find themselves taking x-rays, medicating patients, doing consults, maintaining equipment, monitoring anaesthetics, dressing wounds, answering phones, and the list goes on!

The title “Veterinary Nurse” is not yet protected in law (meaning anyone can use it), but it is advised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons that it should be taken to mean only Registered Veterinary Nurses (RVNs). RVNs have undertaken a rigorous training programme, sat examinations, and are subject to a Code of Conduct, which includes a disciplinary process if a grievance should arise. We continue to study, and log professional development hours to maintain our Registration throughout our careers. Some RVNs undertake specialist training in a range of topics, especially the care of exotic pets, feline medicine, anaesthesia and dentistry. There are several different routes to becoming a veterinary nurse, and BVNA can provide you advice on the career and studying, if you are interested in pursuing this career.

The British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) represents RVNs and promotes responsible pet care to the general public through Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month (VNAM).This is a chance for us to interact with our clients and the public, so don’t be shy. Ask about what your RVNs do, and their special interests. You may find they can help you with a pet problem you have been having. Also, RVNs usually have pets themselves, and love to talk about them just as you do! 

Read more about #vnam19 at and learn more about the importance of the title RVN in this short video


Following three confirmed Equine Influenza outbreaks in vaccinated horses in a British racing yard on 6 February 2019, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has taken the decision to cancel racing at all British racecourses until Wednesday 13 February 2019. This is a precautionary measure and is a standard contingency in the event of an infectious disease within UK racing.

Horse owners are being urged to remain vigilant and should be aware of the clinical signs of Equine Influenza which include harsh, dry coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy and an increase in temperature (>38.5°C). These clinical signs may be mild and not all horses will present with all of these. If you are concerned, consult your vet as soon as possible who can take a swab and blood sample.

Equine flu is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the equine influenza virus. The virus is spread from horse to horse via coughing and respiratory droplets; and via indirect contact where appropriate biosecurity is not being followed. One of the most notable features of flu is the very quick spread of clinical signs in groups of horses and its ability to spread large distances in the air. Therefore horse owners are encouraged to consider their existing biosecurity arrangements in their yard. This includes ensuring they practice good general hygiene and isolating any horses showing flu-like signs.

The Animal Health Trust in Newmarket is recommending horse owners re-vaccinate their horse if their vaccination was carried out over 6 months ago, in order to maximise the chance of having protective immunity.

Capontree bid a fond farewell this week to Colin & Barbara Lindsay. Colin first came to Brampton in 1991 and Barbara joined the practice in 2001; during this time the practice has grown from strength to strength into what it is today. 

The whole practice would like to thank them both for their commitment and expertise over the years and we wish them all the very best for their ongoing adventures. 

It seems that every year we sadly have to remind everyone of the dangers of antifreeze to cats. Please take a moment to watch this video that we were involved in and share to everyone so we can get the message out there.

We are delighted to be linked to a great new initiative of a website that covers everything dog friendly in the Lake District and surrounding area. Please go check out the site:-

We are very pleased to be able to offer the specialist services of Dr. Sophie Betts BVM&S CertSAM GPCert (Cardio) MRCVS. Sophie has developed a special interest and obtained further veterinary qualifications in minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and techniques, such as ultrasound and endoscopy. She travels throughout the NorthEast, but we are the only clinic to be able to offer her service in Cumbria and the Northwest. 

Sophie will be with us every 6 weeks, starting Monday 13th March. Her service is open not only to our clients but also to clients from other practices on a referral only basis. 

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this or think it may be valuable for your pet. Read more about Sophie's service here:-

Further to intense media interest, and with full permission of the owners, Capontree can confirm that a case of Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy (CRGV), or "Alabama Rot", has been diagnosed in a dog living in private land just north of Longtown within the last week.

The 4-year old male Labrador was seen at our practice with lameness and skin lesions over the muzzle and limbs, that had failed to improve with treatment prescribed at another veterinary clinic. The dog subsequently developed vomiting, then acute renal (kidney) failure and despite our best efforts at treatment sadly had to be euthanased due to continuing deterioration. CRGV was later confirmed by post mortem at Anderson Moores specialists in Winchester.

We understand that 3 such cases have been confirmed across the country in this last week. However, it is extremely important to remember that cases of this awful disease remain extremely rare, with just 81 confirmed cases since the first in late 2012.

Although an environmental cause for this disease is considered possible it has not been proven with testing to date. CRGV has not been seen in animals other than dogs. Owners of dogs affected by CRGV have not been affected by this illness. There does not appear to be a breed, body weight, sex or age predilection.  Cases have been identified across the whole of UK and there may be a seasonal distribution with cases being identified between November and June.

The best information is available at these sites:-

We would urge you all to read this information and share it amongst your friends.

Please remember that this is an extremely rare disease but if you are worried about your dog, particularly if it has any unexplained skin lesions, please make an appointment to see your vet. 

We are holding an on farm pneumonia workshop for farmers on 4th October 2016. Starting at 5.30pm. There will be a meal afterwards at the Greenhead Hotel.

If you are interested in attending this then please contact us for more information and to book your space.

Does your cat have dog breath? Does she rub her mouth a lot, or shy away from food. If any or all of these are happening then your cat could have dental disease. Studies have shown that 85% of cats over the age fo 3 years are affected with dental disease - from gingivitis to tooth abcesses and broken teeth.

Not only can this be painful for the cat - it has been shown that bacteria can spread from the mouth, to other parts of the body potentially leading to infections elsewhere.

In order to combat this we have launched a special dental offer for cats.

Included in the offer is a full general anaesthetic, a complete examination of the teeth while asleep, a scale and polish of the teeth, any extractions, an injection of antibiotics, a pain relieving injection, also included is a post dental check up a few days later.

All this for £99.95 - regardless of how long it takes to do any extractions required.

So if this sounds like something your cat needs, please call and book an appointment for a check up.