Emergency Pet Care

What is a Pet Emergency on Weekends and Public Holidays?

I’m worried about my Pet but is it an Emergency?

With most vets being closed or offering only “Emergency Consultations” or “Urgent Veterinary Care” on weekends and Public Holidays – what exactly does that mean for me?

As a pet owner if I am worried about my pet and it’s a Sunday, how do I know whether it’s urgent or not?

The answer is – you don’t.

While we can all recognise a true Emergency such as Snake Bite – Bloat – Trauma from an accident – collapse etc – there are also a lot of other less obvious symptoms while not considered true emergencies that benefit from being treated sooner rather than later.

For this reason – we’d rather put this message out there

If you are worried about your pet at ANY time – get veterinary help. Don’t hold off calling just because you’re not sure whether it is a true emergency or not.

For your peace of mind – have your pet seen. While it will cost you more to see a vet on those days – you could actually save money in the long term by addressing the problem sooner rather than later. Some conditions can deteriorate quickly so leaving them untreated for even 24 hours can risk making your pet sicker therefore requiring more intensive treatment.

Emergency Veterinary Care “Lucy’s” Story

One of our Public Holiday patients that comes to mind is a lovely middle aged labrador. Let’s just call her “Lucy.”

The owner’s noticed she wasn’t quite right on that morning. Nothing too alarming. She was still bright and responsive – but just didn’t want to eat breakfast.

They called up and just wanted her checked over for peace of mind. Little did they know the lifesaving decision they just made.

It turns out that the reason why Lucy didn’t tuck into breakfast as normal was that she was bleeding internally from a ruptured tumour that had been growing silently and causing no outward symptoms until now.

This was a serious situation that could not have waited until the next day. Thankfully Lucy had emergency surgery and made a full recovery.

The chances of this happening of course are slim. Not every dog that goes off their food for one day has a condition as serious as this.

Sometimes some medication is all that’s needed to stop something from becoming worse.

If you’re worried about your pet – just give us a call. We’re available 24/7 for that very reason. Our full hospital facilities also mean we can carry out any diagnostics and treatments your pet needs so you won’t need to be referred elsewhere.

Of course if you are not local to us – contact your nearest Animal Emergency Centre for advice.

Please note our services on Weekends and Public Holidays are limited to in clinic consultations only. We can’t provide home visits or ambulatory calls for large animals.

Our 24/7 Veterinary Care

roundworm infection

How to avoid this senseless Death in Puppies

If it’s one thing that always deeply gets to us it’s the suffering or death of any animal that could have been so easily avoided.

This story reflects just one of these situations that we see – more often that we should. Hopefully, by publishing this story we can help avoid further unnecessary suffering and death in other puppies and kittens out there.

How simple Deworming could have saved this Puppy’s life

Just a few days ago we saw a 5 week old puppy – severely lethargic, dehydrated and had not been eating for days!

The owners sought some over the phone advice from “somewhere” and were told as long as the puppy was willing to lick a little food from their finger – it should be O.K.

Really?

Well – Puppy was NOT O.K. In fact in addition to all the above symptoms this little girl showed stunted growth a high temperature and severe malnutrition – all clearly indicating she was one sick little puppy.

And what else did we find on examination?

Yep – Roundworms – lots of them. Alive, Nicely matured and clearly sucking all vital nutrients from her intestines. Explains her poor state of health, stunted growth and deterioration over time.

Roundworms are most threatening to Puppies. And if left untreated can cause death! Click To Tweet

The most common consequence of Roundworm infection is stunted growth!

At this stage – this little girl needed intensive treatment is she was to have any chance of survival. Her owners elected not to proceed and chose instead to euthanase.

How to Avoid Risk of Worming Infection in Your Puppy (or Kitten)

Worming is so darn easy using the available syrup formulas so there’s absolutely no excuse for these babies suffering or even dying from worm infestation.

All puppies and kittens should be wormed from 2 weeks of age with a quality de-worming product.

Continue to worm every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age. Then monthly until 6 months of age.

Roundworm Facts

Roundworm are particularly dangerous for puppies and kittens because they are already likely present at birth. This is because the larvae present in the mother can pass through the placenta into the unborn puppies or kittens.

They can also be passed through the mother’s milk after birth.

Worm Prevention Starts with Mum!

If you are planning to breed from your Bitch or Queen – make sure you deworm both before and during pregnancy to minimise the risk of Roundworm larvae being transmitted to the newborns.

Quality worm products are extremely safe for both pregnant and nursing Mums. Stick with a quality product over a cheap generic to be absolutely sure of the best protection.

We personally recommend Drontal Puppy Suspension (An allwormer product that protects against all 4 intestinal worms, Hookworm, Whipworm, Tapeworm and Roundworm) or Troy Puppy and Kitten Worm syrup which protects against Roundworm only. Since the main threat to newborns in the early weeks is Roundworm a “Roundworm Only” product is adequate for the first 6-8 weeks of life.

There are of course course other similar quality products out there but these 2 are an easy option and available from most veterinarians and pet stores.

Pet Dentistry No Anaesthetic

Anaesthesia Free Dentistry vs Professional Veterinary Dental

Is Anaesthesia – Free Dentistry the Right choice for Your Pet?

Since being introduced in Australia – Anaesthesia Free Dentals are becoming a popular option for people who don’t want their pet going under Anaesthesia.

That being said – there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there comparing AFD’s with Professional Veterinary Dentistry performed under General Anaesthesia other than AFD’s sounding so much more appealing than their Veterinary equivalent.

Is there a difference?

Yes there is. These are two entirely different procedures approached in entirely different ways.

AFD’s are approached from the Cosmetic angle. Ugly brown tartar which leads to periodontal disease is scraped off pet’s teeth to clean and restore the “above the gum line” parts of the teeth surface to make them nice and white again.

  • During an Anaesthesia Free Dental procedure the surface of your pet’s teeth are scaled using a hand instrument that scrapes away the accumulated tartar. This leaves grooves on the tooth surface making it easy for more food and bacteria to stick to after the procedure.
  • Your pet is likely to feel uncomfortable during the procedure. Think of your pet as a young child having it’s mouth held open while a sharp instrument scrapes and pokes along the teeth. And then – what if your pet reacts to a painful sensation and moves its head? There is a risk of doing some serious damage to the mouth and gums with that sharp instrument.
  • It is impossible to clean beneath the gumline where periodontal disease starts. Gently probing below the gum line looking for pockets of disease and cleaning these areas is painful. No AWAKE human or pet will tolerate this. For this reason – Anaesthesia Free Dental procedures do NOT address issues that may be hidden under the gumline.
  • This means Anaesthesia Free Dentals’s are superficial only and create a false sense of security. Just because your pet’s teeth are nice and white again does not mean there’s no serious dental disease lurking below the surface.
  • It is impossible to do a complete oral exam which includes looking at all surfaces of your pet’s teeth inside and out – front and back – in an awake pet.
  • It is impossible to see what’s happening to the parts of teeth that sit below the gumline without Dental X-rays. For all you know – with AFD’s – damaged teeth that should be pulled are being cleaned instead.
  • You can’t extract damaged, misaligned teeth without General Anaesthesia!Pet Dentistry No Anaesthetic

Summing up AFD’s

Your pet’s teeth are nice and white and that doggy breath is gone – for now!

As for any below the gumline tooth and jaw damage – that’s ignored and left until further symptoms develop and you’ll be referred back to your vet for the expensive treatment.

Veterinary Dentals

Are performed under full general Anaesthesia so we can properly examine ALL parts of your pet’s oral cavity including all parts of all teeth while your pet sleeps peacefully throughout.

Where we suspect any below the gumline issues – we take full dental X-Rays just like your Dentist would. Dental X-Rays give us valuable information about all the structures we can’t see. This allows us to identify bone loss – teeth that look normal on the surface but are damaged at the roots and need removing, impacted or resorbed teeth and any other bone pathology that might indicate developing disease.

Preventative Dentals (Scale & Polish)

Veterinary Dentals falls into two categories:

  1. Preventative Dentals – This is like visiting your Dentist on a regular basis to have your teeth professionally cleaned with modern Ultrasonic equipment. While your Dentist does this – he or she will be looking out for any developing problems and make recommendations based on what they see while examining and cleaning all your pearly whites. Regular dentals throughout your pet’s lifetime will slow down the progression of Dental Disease and keep them healthier for longer. In terms of costs – these are hardly more expensive than AFD’s.
  2. Treatment Dentals – where dental disease is already present. This is you visiting your dentist because you are experiencing Dental pain or discomfort. Usually this will mean a filling or some other form of dental treatment. Your Dentist will take X-rays to reveal the real cause of the problem so the right treatment can be prescribed.

Any treatment your Dentist does will likely involve some pain control. While humans don’t need a General Anaesthetic for most procedures – we do have the benefit of local anaesthesia for the uncomfortable or more painful procedures. Local anesthesia works just fine for us because as long as we don’t feel the pain – we’re happy to keep our mouth wide open and still to allow the dentist to do the work.

Animals aren’t so compliant which is why they need Full Anaesthesia.

Fear of Anaesthesia

There seems to be an unhealthy fear of Anaesthesia which is what makes AFD’s so appealing despite their clear limitations.

“But I don’t want my pet to have a General Anaesthetic” is a common reason for declining a Dental procedure.

In terms of risk – let’s put it this way. The risk of your Pet becoming very sick and being in a lot of pain due to Dental Disease is much much greater than the risk of Modern Day Anaesthesia.

This should never be the reason for withholding proper dental care from your pet.

In our Practice – we take a great deal of care to ensure ALL anaesthetics we deliver are done with your pet’s utmost safety in mind.Dog Anaesthesia Free Dentistry

This is why we do pre- anaesthetic screening blood tests as well as put your pet on fluids before or throughout the procedure as necessary.

Here’s a picture showing a patient sleeping peacefully through what would be considered a painful procedure.

Please note the Breathing tube inserted. This means we can administer Oxygen at any any time should there be complications.

It also prevents all that bacteria ridden tartar from being swallowed or worst still being inhaled into the lungs!

(Keep in mind – anaesthesia protocols vary between clinics. Here we’ve described what we do in our practice)

Home Visit Dental Check limitations

During a home visit (mobile vet services) we can perform basic dental checks however this cannot replace the full oral examination required for a professional diagnosis and treatment of Dental Disease. All pets that need dental treatment will be referred back to our Hospital.

Dental Disease is Serious Disease

Many people think that Dental Disease only ever affects the mouth so it’s O.K to ignore. Actually – it’s no less serious than any other medical condition you are prepared to visit your vet for. If left untreated – Dental Disease eventually affects other organs – mainly kidneys and heart as the infectious bacteria from the mouth circulate around the bloodstream.

But my Dog / Cat is still eating. It Can’t be that bad

Animal have strong survival instincts. They will continue to eat despite pain in preference to starvation. Once an animal has stopped eating – it’s a sign that death by starvation is now preferable to dealing with the pain associated with eating.

Breed Awareness

Some breeds of cats and dogs are more prone to developing dental disease. e.g Dogs with short faces like French Bulldogs, Shih-tzus, Pugs and their mixes often have overcrowded teeth making it more difficult to keep teeth and gums clean – even with preventative care.

These breeds of animals will need regular professional dentals on top of daily home dental care.

 

Laser Therapy fr Dog Arthritis

7 Ways We can Help Your Dog with Osteoarthritis

Modern Ways to Manage Arthritis in Dogs

It’s well known that dogs can suffer from Osteoarthritis as they get older – just like we do.

Even though there is no cure for this condition, the good news is – there are lots of  ways we can help keep your dog comfortable and active all year round.

Signs your dog may have arthritis include:

  1. Difficulty rising or climbing stairs
  2. Reduced activityDog Osteoarthritis

Arthritis is generally diagnosed through a clinical examination as well as X-Rays to visualise the extent of the disease.

1: Medications

This is the most common method of managing the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Although medications are useful in an overall management program – we prefer to avoid their long term use – particularly in pets with impaired organ function.

2: Arthritis Injections (DMOADS)

Unlike anti-inflammatories which tend to treat the symptoms of osteoarthritis, Disease Modifying Osteoarthritis Drugs (DMOADs) target the progression of the disease. Studies show that using DMOADs slow osteoarthritis progression, as well as relieving pain and inflammation. They provide effective long term treatment of osteoarthritis. Due to the long development process of osteoarthritis, the lack of symptoms in the initial stages and the difficulty of diagnosis in these early stages, DMOADs are also used proactively used in dogs considered at risk dogs of developing the disease.

DMOADs act in multiple ways:

  • Stimulate cartilage producing cells to produce healthy cartilage
  • Slow cartilage damage by destructive enzymes
  • Stimulate joint capsule cells to produce lubricating joint fluid
  • Reduce swelling and block inflammatory processes
  • Improve blood flow and nutrition to joint structures

These drugs are injected by your veterinarian weekly for at least 4 weeks. Usually you will see a reduction of osteoarthritis signs after 2 or 3 injections. The initial course of injections typically provides 3 – 6 months of relief from the problems associated with osteoarthritis. After this time your veterinarian may recommend another course of 4 injections.

DMOADs are very safe products with few side effects.

Next Generation DMOAD Zydax is our preferred option.

By themselves DMOADS can be good in the early stages of Osteoarthritis (Grade 1 -2 out of 4) however beyond that stage they should be used in conjunction with one or more of the following therapies.

3: Nutraceuticals

Nutraceutical by definition:

A foodstuff (as a fortified food or a dietary supplement) that is held to provide health or medical benefits in addition to its basic nutritional value—called also functional food.

There are many nutraceutical products available that help fight the degenerative disease. Not all are as effective as others. One of several products we recommend to our clients is 4Cyte.

4: Laser Therapy

Laser Therapy or Photo Bio-modulation Therapy (PBM) is a natural, safe, gentle and effective method of reducing pain and inflammation in arthritic pets.

We use Laser Therapy in our practice every day for all sorts of conditions and our patients love it.

However – if you are considering Laser Therapy for your dog – keep in mind that not all Laser Therapy services advertised on the market are equal. Low wattage hand held devices are not designed for the depth of penetration required for effective arthritis treatment.

It has been shown that musculo-skeletal results for Laser therapy is dose dependant. High Doses are needed to achieve therapeutic results. This means laser Class IIIB or IV to achieve real benefits for your pet.Laser Therapy fr Dog Arthritis

We use the Companion Class IV Laser Therapy equipment which is specifically designed for this purpose.

Initial treatments require 3 sessions for the first week then reducing as symptoms subside.

5: Acupuncture

Acupuncture (including elecro-acupuncture) can be very effective in reducing the pain and discomfort of all types of animals including dogs, and horses. Acupuncture works by stimulating nerves under the skin and in muscle tissue prompting the body to produce pain relieving endorphins.

Acupuncture combined with Laser Therapy is found to be very effective in dogs with disc disease & spinal conditions.

6: Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative Medicine Treatments include Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatments, Stem Cell Activation injections and Stem Cell procedures.

Over the years we have successfully treated hundreds of dogs, cats and horses with regenerative medicine therapies. Most of these patients have reduced their dependence on medications with some coming completely off them over time after these treatments.

7: Rehabilitation Therapies

As a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Centre – we offer a range of rehab therapies to include:

Hydrotherapy – EMS – Therapeutic Massage – Therapeutic Exercises.

If your dog has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and you’re interested in finding out the best combination of therapies to improve his or her quality of life, please get in touch.

Diagnosing lumps in animals

The Best and Worst Ways to Diagnose Lumps

Why Testing Lumps is Important

FNA vs Biopsy

If you’ve discovered a lump on your pet – have this checked out by your vet as quickly as possible.

Don’t use a “wait and see” approach to see if it changes because – if it’s a malignant growth then every day you leave it, the greater the risk of dangerous cells spreading to other parts of the body.

You want this type of lump removed as quickly as possible.

If the lump is not dangerous (thankfully not all lumps are) then at least you have paid for peace of mind that your pet’s health is not at risk.

Testing Lumps

There are 2 ways to find out what lump we’re dealing with. These are through:

  1. Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA) and
  2. Biopsy

Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA)

Here a small sample is taken by inserting a thin needle into the centre of the lump and withdrawing some sample cells from within.

These cells are then examined under a microscope (either by your vet or sent to a laboratory) for Pathologist assessment. Provided that the sample contains the right type and number of cells (and they haven’t been damaged by their passage through the tiny needle) a diagnosis of the growth type and Grade (invasiveness) can be made.Diagnosing lumps in animals

The advantage of this method is that it is quick and easy. No sedation, anaesthetic or hospital stay is required. This procedure can be comfortable performed during the consultation.

The Downside of Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA) Sampling Method?

Results are sometimes inconclusive because the sample analysed is either not sufficient in volume or it contains cells other than the ones needed for diagnosis.

For this reason we most often recommend taking a core biopsy instead.

Core Biopsy Sampling Method

A biopsy is a surgery where a tumour or part of a tumour is surgically removed and sent off to a Pathologist for classification. Most of these can be performed under sedation and local anaesthesia however (deeper or internal) tumours will require full anaesthesia.

Because of the time it takes to prepare and examine the sample, results can take up to 10 days to arrive.

A biospy provides your vet with both a diagnosis of cell type and level of invasiveness (Grade)

This means your vet now knows how much of the surrounding tissue needs t be removed and what further diagnostics are needed (if applicable) to determine whether the cells have spread to other parts of the body.

3 Options of Lump Assessment

  1. Your Vet’s assessment of FNA sample in consultation
  2. Pathologist assessment of FNA sample at external lab and
  3. Pathologist assessment of core tissue sample

Naturally there are price differences between methods with Option 1 the cheapest and Option 3 the most expensive.

Ultimately the choice of method is up to you.

Our way of helping our clients make a decision is to ask them this. “Would you have cancer surgery based on your GP looking at your cells under a microscope or would you feel safer with a Pathologist (Specialist) opinion.”

The worst way to assess any lump is by guesswork. Concluding that a lump is harmless because of the way it looks is simply not good enough.

Neither is adopting a “wait and see if it grows any bigger” approach and then doing something about it.

 

Dog Vaccinations Titer Test

Titer Testing vs Vaccinations For Dogs

Titer Testing Now Available

Regular Vaccinations has been the most significant contributing factor in the reduction of serious infectious diseases among our canine companions.

Thanks to effective vaccines we now see far less of the core diseases – Canine Hepatitis, Distemper and Parvovirus in everyday practice and deaths from these are rare.

While as vets we all agree these vaccinations are necessary – the frequency at which they are given is debatable.

Dog Vaccinations Titer TestRegular Vaccinations are given to maintain the animals individual immunity against serious core diseases. Once optimal immunity is established, re-vaccination is not necessary however without knowing your dog’s immunity status we have no choice but to re-vaccinate regularly to ensure protection.

Several years ago triennial vaccinations against core diseases were introduced which now sees many dogs now being vaccinated against core diseases every 3 years instead of every year.

While titer testing has been available for some time, the cost and complexity of performing these tests made it difficult for vets to recommend this option to dog owners – until now!

Vaccicheck makes Testing easy!

Recently the Vaccicheck was approved by the USDA. The Canine VacciCheck is intended to be used as a diagnostic tool to evaluate the antibody response to the core vaccination or infection by Infectious Canine Hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus), Canine Parvovirus and Canine Distemper Virus.

Best of all – this test can be performed “In Clinic” with results available within a day.

Enquiries about Titer testing have increased over the last few years so we know that this is a preferred option for many of our clients over regular vaccination.

We can now offer the option of Titer testing your dog’s immunity against Canine Distemper, Canine Parvovirus and Canine hepatitis through our practice.

The cost of the test is $73.00 in addition to a consultation fee.

If you are interested in titer testing your dog to decide whether re-vaccination is necessary, please make an appointment to discuss this option with one of our vets.

Vet On Call

After Hours Emergency and Veterinary Care

Who do you turn to when your pet becomes sick at night?

Try calling your vet at night and chances are you’ll get a recorded message giving details of your nearest Animal Emergency Centre. (After Hours Service) This is common practice as these centres are open when regular clinics are not and have the all the necessary resources (staff, equipment, facilities) to provide the best treatment and care your pet needs.

Most often – your pet will be referred back to your regular vet for further treatment once stabilised or after surgery if that was needed at the time.

Our After Hours Service

We choose to provide a 24 hour service to our clients because not only do we believe it’s an essential part of running a Veterinary Hospital but because we can.

We’ve invested in the same equipment and facilities as Veterinary Emergency centres which means we can run the same diagnostics and perform almost all of the necessary procedures your pet needs at the time. We simply call in the right team to do it.

Emergency Vet

For intensive care patients our duty vet and (nurses if needed) stay on the premises all night to keep an eye on your pet and provide necessary treatments and patient monitoring.

The benefit to our clients is that we already have all your pet’s records on file.

We can access all your pet’s important background information like Vaccination status, previous illnesses and test results which can be extremely helpful when dealing with a recurring or sudden onset illness. It also means we don’t have to repeat any unnecessary tests because of lack of vital information.

Familiarity Helps

Even more important is the relationship we already have with you and your extended family. You may be greeted by one of our Vets you’ve seen before, which can be reassuring when emotions are high and you’re worried about your pet. Likewise, your pet is less likely to stress in a place she knows than an unfamiliar one.

We’re also less likely to ask for full payment before treatment starts (a common practice in Animal Emergency Centres) if you are a regular long term client of the practice and your account has always been in good standing with us.

I’m sure you’ll agree there’s nothing worse than having to come up with a substantial deposit in the middle of the night when there’s more important things to worry about.

All payment arrangements can be discussed the following morning

Over the years thousands of emergency patients have passed through our doors after hours all needing veterinary help of some kind. We’ve attended to everything from upset tummies, poisonings, road trauma injuries right through to lifesaving surgeries including GDV surgery (bloat)

So although running a 24 hour operation is a challenging and expensive arm of a Veterinary Practice knowing how many times being close and available has saved lives means we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Good Dog Treats

How Much is too Much for Not so Good Pet Treats

Are Pet Treats Really Worth the Money?

There’s no doubt we love our pets and want to spoil them with the occasional special treats, just like we do for ourselves from time to time. But although we might spend 30 plus dollars per kg on a superior cut of meat or other gourmet delicacy for ourselves, we’d probably never consider forking out that amount for our pets.

Or would we!

Well that’s the interesting thing. Finding myself in the pet aisle of one of the big supermarkets while actually looking for an unrelated product; I couldn’t help but be attracted to the dedicated “Pet Treats” section showcasing what seemed to be an infinite selection of irresistibly packaged delicacies covered with cute pictures of cats and dogs.

Other shoppers in the aisle must have also had the same thought as they started picking some of the goodies off the hooks and adding them to their trolley as they wandered through. Clearly lots of people love to spoil their pets!

While each of these may seem cheap (prices ranging from $3.50 – $7.00) per packet the real prices and value may surprise you.

One item costing $3.51 for a 96g pack of popular treats translates to a whopping $36.56/kg for a combination of Meat and meat by products, vegetable protein, sugar, salt, preservatives, non artificial colours and flavours and antioxidants. It’s labelled “Australian Made” – not product of Australia so the ingredients could come from anywhere!Good Dog Treats

Product 2 priced at $6.49 for a 150g pack of treats translates to a staggering $43.26/kg and for that you get a combination of whole wheat flour, chicken liver puree, canola oil, honey mixed tocopherols and Calcium proprionate. It’s also labelled Australian Made – so the origins of the ingredients remain unknown.

Compare these with human grade rump steak which you can get from the same place for around $18.00/kg!

Then there’s the rawhide chew ( a very cheap by product of the tanning industry) where you’ll pay $3.99 for 80g. That’s $49.88/kg for something which could be laced with all kinds of dangerous preservatives. For around $50 per kg you get a combination of very “cheap quality” ingredients namely: rawhide, grounded rawhide, starch, rice, Potassium Sorbate, colours and flavours!

Scary Hey?

Admittedly there are some which come in at a lower price: for example some “Mini Treats” where you pay $1.95 for 200g pack but that’s still $9.75/kg.

Then there’s the “Cookies” which contain no meat products (just a combination of wheat flour, margarine, sugar, vitamins, minerals, carob, rolled oats, milk solids, wholegrain flaxseed, egg, glycerine, wheat starch, sodium bicarbonate, natural flavour) – priced at $3.29 for 400g pack i.e. $8.22/kg.

Want to pay more?

Then go for an upmarket brand, with relatively wholesome ingredients (kangaroo meat and by product meal, rye flour, flaxseed meal, emulsifiers, binders, soya flour, sucrose, natural preservatives, chia seeds, DHA/EPA vitamins and minerals, salt, MSM, natural flavour, colour, zinc sulphate, biotin) wher you’ll pay $7.15 for 140g – (on special mind you) which means $51.07/kg – far pricier than any premium eye fillet:yet you’d never dream of buying that for your dog.

Tip: – read the ingredients and compare value with fresh homemade alternatives. In many cases the packaging is worth more than what’s inside: yet you’re paying a premium price.

At least with drying or freezing human grade meats you avoid any nasty preservatives and your dog will love them even more. Best of all you save money in the process.

We’ve heard of many people investing in a dehydrator and making their own meat jerky. With so many cheap but quality meats available why wouldn’t you. You can also freeze small morsels of fresh meat or cook them on a tray – The possibilities are endless.

Just Google home made treats for pets and you’ll soon discover lots of healthy economical alternatives to packaged treats.

Or – choose appropriate raw meaty bones to provide both nutrition and enjoyment for your dog.

Pet Dentals

Is Fear of Anaesthesia Causing Your Pet Dental Pain?

Why Dental Disease is more Dangerous to Your Pet’s Health than Anaesthesia

As vets we get really concerned when people deny their pets necessary dental care. Especially when it’s obvious by the state of their teeth and gums that it’s causing them a great deal of pain.

But pain or no pain, the preferred option is to do anything but subject their pet to the perceived dangers of anaesthesia. Yes we agree that no anaestheisa is risk free regardless of whether you’re a human or an animal.

However – today’s modern anaesthesia is extremely safe.

We now have a variety of proven and safe drugs to choose from which allow us to tailor an anaesthetic protocol to your pet’s individual health status.

So regardless of whether your pet is old, very young or has an existing health problem, there are steps we can take to make anaesthesia as safe as possible.

Compare this with …

Normal healthy gums provide a tight seal around the teeth to prevent any food or debris from getting stuck between the teeth and gums. As plaque and bacteria build up Calcium salts accumulate which then develop into the ugly brown and gritty “Tartar”. If left untreated infection will set in causing a conditon called Gingivitis. This is where the gums become red and inflamed and painful.Pet Dental Procedure

At this stage – the condition is reversible however if left untreated further swelling of the gums allows dangerous bacteria to enter the normally unexposed base of the teeth ultimately causing tooth loss. This is called Periodontitis and it is not reversible.

Bad Teeth Can Cause Organ Damage

Having made an entry into the delicate structures of the base of the teeth, dangerous bacteria can now enter the bloodstream and circulate to vital organs such as the heart, liver, lungs and kidney where they can cause irreversible and even fatal damage.

This includes – kidney disease – infections of the heart and other organs.

Weigh this tragedy up against relatively safe anaesthesia and the choice should become very clear.

Risk of anaesthesia < Risk of serious disease

So please – don’t let the fear of anaesthesia stop you from booking in for a dental procedure. However if you still have concerns, ask your vet to explain their anaesthesia protocols to you and how they minimise the risk for your pet.

Steps we take to ensure Safe Anaesthesia for Your Pet

  1. Pre- Anaesthetic Blood Tests – to ensure that the organs responsible for metabolising the anaesthetic drugs are healthy enough to do so.
  2. Provision of Fluid Therapy throughout the procedure to maintain blood pressure and hydration as well as assist in helping the kidneys to flush out the toxic by – products of the anaesthesia drugs as quickly as possible
  3. Use Gold standard techniques for the provision of anaesthesia in Veterinary Practice

The Gold Standard for anaesthesia is gaseous anaesthesia (isofluorane) with a trained assistant and special equipment monitoring your pet for the duration of the procedure. Pain relief is also provided as part of Best Practice medicine so your pet won’t feel a thing.

How Often should my pet’s teeth be checked?

Your pet’s teeth should be checked at each veterinary visit. At a minimum – this should be once a year during their annual check up.

Avoiding Dental Disease

Your pet needs to have regular professional dentals throughout their lifetime. Find out more about our Preventative Dentistry for Dogs and Cats.

Why a Yearly “Wellness Exam” is Important for Your Pet

Why Take Your Pet to the Vet When there’s nothing wrong?

Or is there……..

Having your pet checked by your vet on a regular basis is so ignored by so many but here’s why it’s actually important.

First of all – animals can’t communicate that they’re feeling unwell as easily as we can. Signs of pain, discomfort and nausea are easily overlooked for two reasons.

  1. Animals instinctively try very hard to “cover up” any signs of weakness for fear of rejection or alienation by their “pack.” i.e – you and your family. This means your pet could be sick – even very sick and you may not know it.
  2. Animals can’t communicate that they’re in pain or unwell. It’s not like they can say to you ” Mum – my back really hurts” or “I feel like throwing up” or ” My tooth is killing me” so it’s up to you to watch out for those “I’m not feeling well” signs on a regular basis. But considering our own busy and often stressful lifestyle – How can you possibly keep an eye on everything all the time!

The answer is – you often can’t. That’s why taking your pets to your vet for a “once a year” nose to tail exam is really important

Your vet has the expertise to see and feel for those subtle signs of ill health. Plus he or she. will ask you very specific questions about your pet’s recent activities which might signal that all is not as well as you might think.

This consultation provides valuable one on one “pet only” time which forces you to stop and think about things you probably hadn’t noticed until someone jogs your memory.

Your vet sees what you can’t

You may not think some behaviours signal the onset of a disease or cause your pet pain but your vet does.

Client: “My dog is limping but he’s not in pain”.

Not true. The reason your dog is limping is because he’s shifting his weight onto his non painful leg because the other one hurts when he puts it down.

Client: “The lump’s been there for a while but it doesn’t bother him.”

It may not bother your dog but do you know it’s not malignant and spreading cancerous cells to other parts of his body?

Let’s take a biopsy and find out.

Client: “She doesn’t jump on the couch any more because she’s getting old.”

Maybe your cat / dog is too sore to jump onto the couch. Could she have arthritis?

Client: “He takes forever to eat his food lately. I think he’s just fussy.”

Could he have a toothache? Is he felling sick or nauseous? A change in eating habits is a common telltale sign that something’s wrong.

A wellness exam brings these commonly dismissed signs of developing illness and pain to your attention so that they can be acted on quickly before they become serious or even life threatening for your pet.

Please trust us when we say – we have more clients regretting they didn’t act sooner when they suspected something wasn’t quite right.