New Puppy? New Kitten?

This is a popular time of the year for bringing home a new family pet. – namely a new Puppy or Kitten.

For some of you this is something you have done before so you probably know most of the responsibilities that come with playing mum or dad to the new family member.

For some of you however – this may be a totally new experience.

So here’s an outline of some of the things you’ll need to do over the next 6 months

Vaccinations

  • All puppies & kittens need a series of vaccinations given at specific intervals during their first few months of life. Usually by the time you buy a new puppy they’ve already had their first puppy vaccination at around 6 weeks of age. (Check the records you’re given at the time of sale)
  • If you’re not given any records such as a vaccination certificate then you need to assume that no vaccination has been given yet. Don’t take the breeder’s word on this as all puppies and kittens that have been vaccinated will have their own vaccination certificate to prove this.
  • If the puppy has been vaccinated, the date when the next vaccination is due will also be written on the certificate.
  • Make an appointment with your vet to have this done.
  • Your vet will advise you of further vaccinations that are needed

Worming

  • All puppies and kittens need to be wormed against intestinal worms every 2 weeks from 2 weeks of age until they are 3 months old
  • From 3 months until 6 months of age they need worming once a month
  • From 6 months of age they only need to be wormed every 3 months

Diet

  • Buy a good quality puppy or kitten food (Canned or dry or both) and feed the recommended daily quantities spread over 3 – 4 times a day.

Puppy Classes

  • Enrol your puppy in Puppy Classes. These are socialisation and basic training classes for puppies from 6 – 16 weeks of age. These represent great value to you as you’ll learn all the necessary tips and tricks of raising a healthy and happy dog. Plus your pup will love the social interaction with other classmates!

Your first trip to the vet

This will most likely be for the first or second vaccination. During this visit your puppy or kitten will receive a full checkup as well as the vaccine.

(Please bring all your pet’s records with you when you visit so your vet knows what needs to be done)

Your vet will also inform you about the importance of desexing, flea control and heartworm protection (for dogs)

Microchipping

All cats and dogs will need to be microchipped before registering them with your local council. This tiny chip is usually implanted at the time of vaccination. Once again, if your puppy has been microchipped before purchase, you will have received proof of this.

The first year of a puppy or kitten’s life can often tend to be the most expensive in terms of routine health care as it incorprates the vaccinations, microchipping and desexing.

After this time (all being well of course) an annual check and vaccination will be all that is needed in terms of veterinary visits. Worming, flea control and heartworm (topical or tablets) products can be purchased without the need for a consultation.

Does Your Dog suffer from Allergies or skin conditions?

If so, you might be interested to know that we have seen some remarkable changes in pets suffering from specific allergies simply by changing their diet.

So how can diet make a difference?

Commercial pet foods are made up of dozens of ingredients, not all of which are well tolerated by all pets – especially if fed over an extended period of time.

Or sometimes these foods provide inadequate levels of vital nutrients that help maintain a healthy immune system.

Both the Vets all Natural “Allerblend” and the Eagle Pack Holistic range have proven to be beneficial in controlling specific allergic conditions in some of our more chronic allergy pateints.

Skin complaints, hair loss, hotspots,licking or biting paws, ear and yeast infections could all be signs of allergies.

These can be airborne / inhalant or diet related.

So if your dog is suffering from any of these complaints – a change in diet may help.

For some great testimonials about Eagle pack foods visit www.eaglepack.com

Eagle Pack Super Premium and Holistic range and Vets all Natural Fresh foods are available through our clinics.

Do you know?

You can feed your (12 – 15kg) dog Eagle Pack Premium dry food for as little as $1.80 per day.

This simple calculation is often misunderstood when choosing from the different brands available. It’s not the cost of the bag that’s important but the cost per day to feed the product that really counts!

Warning – Heat Kills!

Everybody knows that heatstroke can kill – and both humans and animals are at risk in this weather.

Yet tragic mistakes are happening.

Those pets at risk are those which are caged or tethered in the heat without shade or water. This includes farm animals, caged birds and other pets including dogs.

Dogs are particularly at risk when left unattended in cars. A car left in the heat can reach 55 degrees Celsius within a few minutes. This means your dog could be on death’s door by in the time it takes to grab a few groceries from the supermarket.

Heat stroke can also be caused through other activities such as playing and exercising in hot weather. Those dogs particularly at risk are the “short nosed” breeds, dogs with heart or lung disease or those who are overweight.

How it happens

Dogs can’t sweat – so the only way they can keep cool is to evaporate water by panting. This means they lose water very quickly from their body and need to drink more to keep hydrated.

As they heat up, they pant more until the panting becomes so rapid it actually prevents them from taking in any life saving water!

This is a very serious situation indeed and urgent veterinary treatment is needed.

Symptoms of heatstroke are:

  • rapid panting, drooling, distress, loss of balance, seizures – collapse

What to do in the case of heatstroke

  • Stop any activities immediately
  • Cool your dog down by hosing with cold water or placing under a cool shower or in a bath
  • Drape a wet towel over your dog and take her to your nearest vet straight away. Make sure you have the airconditioning on in the car as you travel or have the windows open.

Avoiding heatstroke

  • Don’t exercise your dog during the hot parts of the day. Save these activities for the cool of the evening or early morning
  • Don’t leave your dog in the car on a warm day – even for a few minutes
  • Make sure all your pets and farm animals have access to both shade and plenty of water. – all day. If your dogs’ kennel is in the sun it will cook your dog just like a car would. Make sure it’s placed in a shady part of the yard that stays shady all day
  • Provide several water bowls in case one is emptied or spills

Tip: Buy a plastic clam shell – available from pool shops. It makes a great water bowl plus allows your dog to keep cool by taking a splash!

Don’t Let Your Pets Fall Victim to Snakebite this Summer

It’s Snakebite Season. Pet Owners Beware.

Now that the warmer weather has finally arrived, we urge all of you to be on the lookout for snakes coming out after their long Winter sleep.

Don’t believe that only pets in rural environments are at risk, we’ve seen pets bitten in suburban backyards almost as often.

Making your yard as unattractive to snakes as possible is a good start to preventing snake bite. This means keeping the yard free of places to hide such as woodpiles and long grass.

Both dogs and cats are equally likely to fall victim to snakebite due to their natural hunting instincts.

Dog looking at shadowWhat to do if you suspect your pet has been bitten!

If your pet has any contact with a snake we recommend take her to a vet immediately just to make sure she has not been bitten. Some blood tests and/or observation of the patient for a few hours will most likely give you an answer.

If you see your pet bitten – Rush her to your nearest vet immediately. Time is critical here so don’t delay!

The sooner the treatment begins, the greater the chance of a successful outcome. Treatment will involve giving the vital antivenene to counteract the harmful effects of the venom. But this is by no means the only treatment needed.

Yes, treatment for snakebite will be expensive.

Patients bitten by snakes are often in intensive care anywhere from several days to several weeks depending on:

  • How soon treatment is started
  • How much venom was actually injected
  • The patient’s individual response to treatment

Be aware that despite intensive treatment and antivenene, a successful recovery can never be guaranteed. Snake venom is very toxic and has devastating effects on the body. It’s formulated to kill and can do so quickly

What are the Symptoms of Snakebite in Pets?

Symptoms of snake bite can vary (depending on the type of snake) and may include:

  • Salivation (drooling)
  • Lethargy – collapse
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea
  • Shaking, trembling
  • Unresponsive pupils

If your pet has been bitten or you suspect a snakebite injury, try and get a good description of the snake to include colour and markings if possible. This is because different species of snakes produce different toxins which cause different symptoms.

Horses and Livestock are at risk from Snakebite too

Although these animal will naturally avoid snakes when they are visible, they can be bitten by stepping on them by accident or while grazing in grassy areas.

Avoid the After Hours panic – Be Prepared!

If you own a pet there’s a good chance you’ll need the advice or assistance of a vet after hours at least once in your pet’s lifetime.

And it helps to be prepared for this.

Do you know who you can ring when your regular clinic is closed?

And more importantly, do you know how you can get there quickly if needed?

Avoid the stress of having to search the web for emergency centres or ringing directory assistance by being prepared for an emergency.

In some situations, every minute you delay in getting your pet to a vet can mean the difference between life or death for them.

First – find out whether your vet provides an after hours service.

If not, find out the number and location of your nearest animal emergency centre and keep the number handy.

Emergency centres are located across all parts of Melbourne and other capital cities.

For your convenience we have supplied an article listing some of the Animal Emergency Centres in and around Melbourne. (Refer Articles section)

Print off a copy and keep it in a handy location.

If you’re a client of our practice then you’ll know that we also offer a 24 hour emergency service.

Happy New Year and Thank You to all our Clients

We’d like to wish all our clients who have supported us over the past year and beyond all the best for a healthy and happy New Year.

Thank you all for having faith in our work and entrusting the care of your pets to us.

We really appreciate it.

Drs Malcolm Ware, Lisa Weldon and the rest of the team.