Stem Cell treatment for dog arthritis

Diagnosing Arthritis in Dogs

Does My Dog Have Arthritis?

Did you know one of the most commonly diagnosed conditions especially in older dogs is Osteo-arthritis?

That doesn’t mean however that every dog with mobility issues such as lameness, sore backs slow to rise, difficulty jumping into cars or walking up stairs – has arthritis.

There are many other conditions that could be contributing to these symptoms of which osteoarthritis is only one of them.

How is Arthritis Diagnosed?

The word “arthritis” means joint inflammation. However – not all mobility issues are related to a joint problem.

Lameness, stiffness and pain be caused by other conditions such as:

  1. A soft tissue injuryStem Cell treatment for dog arthritis
  2. Spinal disease
  3. Bone Cancer

Making any assumptions without further investigations can lead to wrong treatments and potentially make your dog worse.

How We Diagnose

We start by performing a thorough musculo-skeletal assessment. This gives us an idea of whether we’re going to recommend X-Rays, Ultrasound or a CT Scan to see the extent of the injury or disease.

  • For suspected soft tissue injuries – we use Ultrasound e.g Muscle tears, Ligament damage
  • If we think it’s a spinal issue – we will do a CT Scan e.g. Intervertbral Disc Disease, Spondylosis
  • If we’re suspicious of joint involvement we’ll do either a CT or X-Ray

Following these steps gives us the best possible chance of an accurate diagnosis. Because – without them, we’re really only guessing.

In our practice only vets with additional training in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation perform our musculo-skeletal assessments.

Trends in Diagnosing Arthritis

Unfortunately what we’re seeing is many dogs being diagnosed with arthritis without any form of imaging to support that conclusion.

These dogs come to us for second opinion because they are not improving on their prescribed medications. That’s because they have other un-diagnosed issues causing their symptoms OR the prescribed treatment program is not working for them.

We find that once we discover the real cause of these dogs’ pain and get them onto the right treatment plan, we see significant improvement in their mobility and happiness.

Arthritis Treatment Options

There are 2 parts to successfully managing osteo-arthritis in dogs once diagnosed.

  1. Pain Management
  2. Mobility management

Pain Management

A pain management program can include:

  • Medications – Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Drug free modalities – Acupuncture – Laser Therapy – Shockwave – Pulse Electromagnetic Therapy

Mobility Management

Rehabilitation therapies to include:

  • Arthritis injections – these can help in maintaining joint health and preventing further deterioration of joint cartilage
  • Hydrotherapy (Pool and Underwater Treadmill)
  • Therapeutic Exercises – joint mobilisation
  • Therapeutic Massage – Myotherapy

Things Not to Do if you think your dog has Arthritis

  1. Buy supplements and products without seeing your vet first. Although there are dozens of products on the market that claim to assist in the management of osteo-arthritis in dogs, they are not designed to be a complete treatment. You could also be wasting your money on these products if your dog has something else going on.
  2. Make assumptions that your dog has arthritis just because he or she is getting older
  3. Use human pain medications. These are NOT designed for animals and can be extremely harmful when given to your pets.

But Won’t this all cost more?

In the long term. Probably Not. We see many people wasting their money on therapies and medications that are not working for them at all. And most of these don’t come cheap. By investing in a correct diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan ensures that both you and your best mate are getting the most benefit from every dollar spent.

So – what are your thoughts?

Worth getting a diagnosis? We think so.

7 Ways we Can help your Dog with Osteoarthritis

Bulldog Breed Veterinary Care

Smooshy Face Dogs – What’s Not to Love about Them

Smooshy faced (brachycephalic) dogs are just so darn cute with a wiggly body outwardly matching their lovable personality. However – this cute squishy face comes at a cost.

This defining structure means their whole respiratory structures leading from the head to the lungs are shorter and much more distorted than in other longer faced doggy breeds. Dogs that fall into the flat faced breed variety are called “Brachycephalic” or (Short Head) breeds.

These include:Brachycephalic Airway disease in Dogs

  • Pugs
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Shi Tzus
  • Boxers
  • Pekinese
  • French Bulldogs
  • English Bulldogs
  • Boston Terriers and
  • English Toy Spaniels

Health Issues

Because of the distorted airways, many of these delightful souls suffer from laboured breathing throughout their whole life. This is simply the result of how they’re put together. This in turn often leads to secondary health issues because of their hearts and lungs having to work so much harder than that of their long faced friends.

While the cute little sounds of snorts and snoring may seem endearing, in reality it is what breathing sounds like for an animal that doesn’t breather easily or freely.

This is why so many more precautions need to be taken with these breeds.

Brachycephalic Breeds and Heat

Dogs use breathing to cool down on hot days or after exercise. You’ll see this often – dogs panting heavily with their tongues hanging out. This rapid exchange of air between the lungs and the outside environment helps keep dogs cool. Brachycephalic dogs can’t do this. While they would love to, their respiratory structures simply can’t accommodate it. For them – it’s like breathing in and out through a straw when they heat up or when exercising. In other words – they struggle.

So What Can You do to Make their Life Less Stressful?

What you can do for them includes:

  • Keep them at a healthy weight. Being overweight only adds extra burden to their lungs and heart
  • Exercise them only during the cooler parts of the day and NEVER on a hot dayBrachycephalic Airway Disease in Bulldogs
  • Keep them inside and cool on hot days – preferably in an air-conditioned room
  • Use a harness instead of a collar. Collars around their throat place extra pressure on their windpipe making it even harder to breathe
  • Avoid situations that can make them overexcited or fearful such as off lead dog parks and other areas where they are at risk of being chased by other dogs

Veterinary Preventative Care

Yes – you guessed it. These guys will need extra veterinary care because of their breed specific health issues. And if you take out Pet Insurance, be aware, the premiums will cost more. That’s because these dogs are classified as high risk breeds.

Corrective (Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome) Surgery

The upper airway abnormalities that occur in this syndrome include stenotic nares, an elongated soft palate, a hypoplastic trachea and everted laryngeal saccules. An individual dog with brachycephalic syndrome may be affected with a combination of one or more of these abnormalities.

Any of these upper airway abnormalities can cause increased airway resistance, making it harder for your dog to breathe. Most dogs with this syndrome are able to breathe more easily through their mouth than their nose. Generally, the more abnormalities present the more severe the symptoms.

Brachycephalic surgery addresses these issues – Stenotic Nares (Widening the nostrils) Elongated soft Palate (Shortening) and Larygeal saccules (Removal)

How is Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Diagnosed?

Oftentimes this is only diagnosed once dogs have been presented with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, fainting episodes or collapse.

Is there any Treatment available for Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome?

Corrective Surgery is still the best option as any medical management does not address the underlying structural abnormalities.

The earlier the abnormalities are corrected, the better the outcome will be as over time other secondary issues will develop which further compromise your dog’s health.

Our Recommendations for Brachycephalic Airway Disease

If you own one of these breeds then we highly recommend a full medical workup to determine the best corrective actions to take BEFORE you have a problem such as a collapse or secondary issues develop. The younger your dog is – the more he or she will benefit in the long term.

This will include X-Rays of your dog’s chest and airway structures, oral examinations and blood tests. Oral examinations of the soft palate and laryngeal saccules will require either heavy sedation or General Anaesthesia. Due to the fact that these breeds are at greater risk during anaesthesia, we recommend performing any necessary surgery at the same time.

This means your dog only has one anaesthetic and not two.

If you have any more questions about Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Diagnosis or Surgery – feel free to reach out to us via email or Facebook Messenger.

 

Pet Sitter Vet Care

Who takes care of Your Pets while you’re on Holidays?

Tips to keep Your Pet Safe while You’re Away – Pet Sitter Care

When you’re a pet parent you know all too well that when planning your holiday you also need to make arrangements for your pets to be taken care of while you’re away.

Most of you will probably book your pets into a boarding facility however some of you will make other arrangements such as having them stay with friends or family or hire a pet sitter.

While their food, water and exercise and social needs are taken care of – have you made arrangements for any Veterinary Care they might need while you’re away?

Boarding Kennels

Boarding Kennels have firm polices around providing veterinary care should your pet need it. Their check in documents will require you to leave your contact details so they can get in touch if needed.

They will also have some arrangements in place that authorise them to have your pet seen by a vet if he or she becomes ill during that time.

Pet Sitter Care

If you choose to employ a private pet sitter that comes to your house or have your pet board with them – it’s up to you to make those firm veterinary care arrangements with them.

Because if something happens to your pet while you are away they need to know exactly what to do.

This includes:

  1. Which vet to take your pet to
  2. How the vet can get in touch with you to discuss your pet’s condition and gain consent for treatment
  3. How any fees incurred for their treatment will be paid.
  4. Who is responsible for any aftercare if needed?Pet Sitter Care

With end of year holidays coming up we know for a fact that there will be many pets being looked after by private pet sitters which may be family or friends and most people will have put no such arrangements in place.

Tips for making Veterinary Care arrangements for when You are on Holidays

 

1: Make sure your pet is Microchipped and your registered details are up to date

If your pet accidentally escapes from your sitter’s care and ends up at a pound or vet clinic then these people will need to be able to contact you. Just as important is checking that your contact details with the Animal Database Register are still correct. Have you changed address or phone contact numbers since you registered your pet?

There is no point in having your pet microchipped if YOUR registered contact details are wrong!

Are Your Pet’s Microchip Details Up to Date

2: Provide clear instructions to your pet Sitter about what to do if your pet becomes sick or is injured

Create a written plan for your pet Sitter or carer. This should contain all the following information:

  1. Your Pet’s Microchip number
  2. Contact details of your pet’s vet where your pet’s records are kept. Also their opening hours.
  3. Instructions for care if something happens outside of your vets opening hours.
  4. How to contact you while you are away. Give as many options as possible that include both phone as well as alternatives should phone contact not be possible. This could be via Facebook – Messenger – Email or any other Social Media or internet contact app. Email contact alone is not recommended unless you check your emails several times a day. In urgent situations your vet or carer may need to contact you urgently for a immediate response.
  5. Treatment Authorisation. Who can authorise treatment. Only you? Your carer? If so what decisions can they make on your behalf? What can they or your vet do if they can’t get in touch with you? You need to make this VERY clear AND it must be in writing! Your vet will not proceed with any treatments without clear and documented consent from you. Or they will be forced into making decisions that you may not be happy with. But that – is up to you.
  6. Payment arrangements. How will any veterinary fees be paid while you are away? Do you have an account with your vet? If so – what is the limit and payment terms? Have you left your carer with access to funds if needed? Do you have a separate credit card for your pet’s expenses that is specifically for situations like these?
  7. Plan B. What if something happens in the carer’s life and they can’t take care of your pet for a while? Can they reach you and what should they do if that happens?

3: Notify Your Vet of your Arrangements

Once you have created your Sitters Care Document – make sure you email a copy to your vet – several days before you leave. Let them know the period you’ll be away and any further instructions you want to give. This will give your vet enough time to ask for further information if needed before you leave. Also make sure you have clear contact – consent & payment arrangements in place with your vet.

While we all hope that nothing will happen to your pet while you’re away – we know that it can. Sadly most people who have left their pets in private carer’s hands have no veterinary care arrangements in place.

This causes enormous stress on the carers and vets alike who are powerless to make any decisions. So – for your peace of mind – make sure your pet sitter and vet know what to do.

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

Shockwave in Canine Rehabilitation

Veterinary Shockwave Treatment in Pets

What is Shockwave Therapy?

Shockwave therapy is a multidisciplinary device used in human orthopaedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, urology as well as veterinary medicine.

Its main benefits are fast pain relief and restoring mobility. Together with being a non-surgical treatment with minimal need for painkillers makes it an ideal therapy to speed up recovery and cure various conditions causing acute or chronic pain.

Shockwave – despite its name is NOT an electric shock at all. It is a special frequency acoustic (sound) wave that carries high energy to painful areas and can be used to treat specific musculo-skeletal conditions. The energy promotes regeneration of bones, tendons and other soft tissues.

We Use Shockwave for

Treating patients with hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, tendon and ligament injuries, non- or delayed healing bone fractures, back pain, and chronic or non-healing wounds.Shockwave in Canine Rehabilitation

Just recently we have used Shockwave therapy for dissolving large bladder stones in a dog. (They use it for dissolving kidney stones in humans too.)

In fact Shockwave has been used in Human Medicine for over 25 years for non-invasive treatment for urologic and orthopedic conditions.

In this case it meant we could successfully avoid invasive surgery for our canine patient.

Treatment Protocols and Schedules

Because Shockwave treatments are loud and can be uncomfortable – the patient is sedated or under full anaesthesia.

The pain relief effects usually happen within 24 hours and we often already see improvements in our patients even after a single treatment.

Most of the time however, treatment is carried out at intervals over a specific time period.

Shockwave for musculo-skeletal injuries and conditions is always most effective when part of an overall rehabilitation treatment program.

Shockwave for Horses

Shockwave therapy is not just limited to our smaller patients. We also use it in horses for treating similar conditions.

It has been an accepted treatment modality for musculo-skeletal injuries,osteoarthritis (OA), and wound healing in horses for quite some time.

In our practice Shockwave therapy is just one option of many for the treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions in pets, horses and other farm animals.

If you want to find out whether shockwave therapy might be a suitable treatment for your pet’s painful condition – please get in touch via email.

How do we determine whether Shockwave is suitable for your Pet?

We always start with a full Rehabilitation Assessment with one of our Vets certified in Canine Rehabilitation. This includes a full musculo-skeletal exam and possible imaging of the affected area.

GDV Bloat in Dogs

Gastropexy – Avoiding Dangerous Bloat in Dogs

Would You Consider Your Dog having an Elective Procedure if you knew it could prevent Dangerous Bloat?

Bloat – most people know about it but not everyone knows how dangerous it can actually be. In veterinary speak we call it GDV (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus) – also known as twisted stomach or gastric torsion.

How does Bloat Happen?

It happens when stomach fills with gas during the digestive process and something prevents the food flowing into the small intestine as it should – giving the gas no way to escape!

When the stomach begins to bloat it stretches and become enlarged – eventually becoming so big it rotates on itself (twists) shutting of critical blood flow to organs & causing tissues to die off which can’t be reversed.

Meanwhile your dog starts to show signs of laboured breathing and pain as a result of the stomach stretching and taking up more and more room in the abdominal cavity and putting pressure on the chest cavity.

This condition is extremely painful and won’t go away without Urgent Veterinary Intervention. It is a true Emergency and you must get to your vet quickly. Any delay can cause irreversible damage and a potential excruciatingly painful death!

How Common is Bloat in Dogs?

It seems this condition is more common in deep chested and large breed dogs such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, St Bernards, Standard Poodles, Dobermans however any other medium – large breed of dog can also be at risk.GDV Bloat in Dogs

Other Causes

There are many factors that can cause bloat aside from natural breed and build of your dog. These include:

  • Genetic pre-disposition – chest dimensions
  • Age – Older dogs are more likely to develop bloat
  • Gender – Male dogs seem to more pre-disposed to bloat
  • Eating habits – Dogs fed once a day are more at risk than those been fed several smaller meals throughout the day
  • Temperament – Nervous, fearful or anxious dogs appear to be at higher risk of developing this condition
  • Exercise on a full stomach after eating

Warning signs of Bloat

  • Swollen belly – loss of the tucked in area behind the last rib and hip
  • Non – productive vomiting – trying to vomit but nothing comes up – retching
  • Restlessness – hunched appearance
  • Rapid shallow breathing
  • Salivation (drooling)

If your dog’s condition continues to deteriorate, especially if volvulus (twisting) has occurred, your dog may go into shock and become pale, have a weak pulse, a rapid heart rate, and eventually collapse. A dog with gastric dilatation without volvulus can show all of these signs. The more severe signs are likely to occur in dogs with both dilatation and volvulus.

Be Prepared

Know the location of your nearest 24 hour Emergency Centre or vet with 24 Hour service before this happens. If it does – you can’t afford to waste time hunting!

An Elective Surgical Procedure that can help prevent Bloat

This is called Preventative Gastropexy – a procedure that is often performed early in a dog’s life that greatly reduces the risk of a future emergency.

Most commonly this is done at the time of desexing when your dog is already under Anaesthesia.

During this procedure, part of your dog’s stomach is attached to the body wall preventing it from being able to rotate.

Other options include:

  • Performing a Gastropexy at an early age 6 – 9 months of age. We don’t recommend desexing at this age for large breed dogs so this would be a standalone procedure
  • Perform a Gastropexy at the same time as desexing when full maturity is reached at around 18 months of age for large breed dogs. This can be done with a routine desexing (Traditional spey and castration) or via a laparascopic (keyhole) spey with a laparascopic assisted gastropexy.

If you suspect Bloat – Don’t Delay

If your dog is showing signs of bloat – head to your nearest Emergency Centre immediately or if you are local – call us and come straight down. We operate a 24 hour facility with vets available to perform this life threatening surgery day and night!

Even if it turns out be be a false alarm – you’ve done the right thing. In this case it’s definitely best to be safe than sorry.

Veterinary Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine

The Revolutionary Way to Treat Partial CCL Tears in Dogs

Discover How Partially Torn Cruciates in Dogs are Treated with Regenerative Medicine

Modern Medicine is certainly changing the ways to treat early stage cruciate (CCL) injuries in dogs but the key to avoiding surgery (if that’s what you prefer) is by identifying the small signs your dog shows that a full injury is on its way.

We see numerous – second opinions for cruciate injuries and sadly even when partial tears are diagnosed – the most common advice given to these people includes:

  • Wait until a full rupture occurs and then do surgery –
  • Go on pain meds and anti-inflammatory drugs and see how it goes
  • Restrict activities and see if it heals

The chances of a successful heal however is minimal and even if it does seem to improve – it is by the development of fibrous tissue which in turn leads to arthritic changes down the track.

CCl injuries are a most common orthopaedic injury in dogs – particularly large breeds – active or ageing dogs. It is the equivalent the ACL injury in Humans.

How Can You identify Early Injury?

Limping or skipping even if intermittent can be a sign of developing cruciate injury and it’s when you see your dog do this – that you should have your vet perform a thorough knee exam.

If a partial tear is diagnosed and you want to go down the non – surgical path then you need to act quickly before more damage occurs.

We (like Dr Sherman Canapp in the video) diagnose partial tears through a musculo-skeletal exam and / or more accurately by inserting a small needle scope into the joint to determine degree of damage.

“Bentley’s” partial cruciate tear was treated with stem cells and PRP and he is now in our rehab program In a few week’s time we’ll be going back in with the fine needle scope to check healing progress.

CCL Canine Cruciate Ligament Surgery

Treatment With Regenerative Medicine (Stem Cells)

If your dog has been diagnosed with a partial CCL tear and you prefer to go down the non -surgical path then you MUST WATCH Veterinary Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Specialist Dr Sherman Canapp talk about this on The Pet Show (USA) with Dr Katy Nelson.

While this contains the full episode of the Pet Show – skip through the ads and other local stories to find the interview with Dr Canapp. Highly recommended for you if you have performance dogs, active dogs, senior dogs or just big goofy dogs like Bentley!

As Australia’s experts in Regenerative Medicine and VOSMA affiliate – we use these same techniques as explained in the video.

Further Reading

Partial Cranial Cruciate Ligament Tears Treated with Stem Cell and Platelet-Rich Plasma Combination Therapy in 36 Dogs: A Retrospective Study

Regenerative Medicine for Soft Tissue Injury and Osteoarthritis

Hydrotherapy for Dogs

Why Hydrotherapy – Underwater Treadmill is not for all Dogs

Underwater Treadmill or Hydrotherapy is not a complete Rehabilitation Program

We get regular enquiries from people who have been advised to book their dogs in for Underwater Treadmill therapy to assist in recovery after orthopaedic surgery or other musculo-skeletal conditions.

While aquatic therapies such as Underwater Treadmill (UWTM) or pool swimmingHydrotherapy for Dogs can be extremely beneficial as part of a rehabilitation program – they are not suitable for all musculo-skeletal conditions.

Aquatic therapy should not be seen as a standalone therapy for these cases. Instead it should be a small part of a larger rehabilitation program incorporating multiple modalities & therapies.

We’ve had dogs referred to us for UWTM that couldn’t even stand following spinal surgery – let alone walk. In these cases – UWTM therapy ALONE is not a good starting point for therapy.

Others have just had orthopaedic procedures which involve healing of delicate tissue and internal implants – in these cases – the powerful forces generated by walking through water in a Underwater Treadmill would have done more harm than good. This is because – at this stage we need to concentrate more on strengthening the stabiliser muscles rather than the locomotor muscles.

What is a Rehabilitation Program?

A rehabilitation program is one that is made up of modalities & therapies that are specifically selected based on your pet’s condition. The program may or may not initially include any aquatic therapies such as UWTM or swimming. These may be introduced at a later stage in the program.

How do I know Hydrotherapy is right for my Dog?

In the Human world – your orthopaedic surgeon or Doctor doesn’t prescribe a recovery plan. They would refer you to a Physiotherapist who creates that program for you.

In pets – it works the same way.

Our Certified Rehabilitation Veterinarians conduct a full Rehabilitation Assessment from which a tailored program is prescribed. This might include multiple modalities – specifically designed for your pet’s needs.

We encourage you to seek out a qualified professional – a Rehabilitation Veterinarian or an Animal Physiotherapist to assess your dog first before just booking a Hydrotherapy session in yourself with a place that has those facilities.

Cheap Vet Fees

The Truth Behind Cheap Vet Fees

Why Best Practice can’t compete with Low Cost Vet Care

In these times when many budgets are tight it’s only natural to try and get the best price for anything we buy. Whether that be groceries, phone services, Clothing, Car repairs, Hairdressers, products, Insurance premiums or anything else – we all look to compare providers to make sure we get the best deal possible.

Getting the best deal on products of course is easy – especially if you can compare the item from one store with the price at another. Same product – different price. Why wouldn’t you buy from the store with the cheaper price. The products can be directly compared.

However – when it comes to “Services” – the comparison of a particular service offered by different service providers isn’t quite so clear. That’s because we now have some variables to consider.

Products vs Services – comparisons

Let’s take a mechanic for example. We all book our cars in for regular check ups and servicing because we don’t want them breaking down or causing accidents while we drive to work or drop the kids off at school. But do all mechanics charge the same amount for a Regular service? No they don’t. They might be similar or they could be substantially different. Does that Low Cost Veterinary Caremean you would always choose the cheapest?

Possibly not.

Now you’re probably going to compare Value instead.

Some things you are likely to consider include:

  • Is he / she a Good / experienced mechanic? Do they run a reputable business?
  • What parts / services / tests are included in the cost? Do they use good quality parts?
  • What are they going to be testing on my car? Have they got modern equipment to run those tests?
  • What will they be replacing during a standard service? Oil filters? Oil? Windscreen / brake fluids?
  • Do they offer some sort of after service guarantee?
  • Will they update the service log?
  • Will they give me an honest report of what things need to be done?

So – moving on to Veterinary Services, we’re in the same boat as the mechanics , the dentists, the electricians, the physiotherapists, the podiatrists, the hairdressers and all other businesses that make their money by providing services.

None of us work for free so labour costs will always be included. This means the differences in costs will be mostly due to all other things.

To show how costs can be lowered in a commonly compared service let’s use the Dog Spey procedure as an example

Our fee estimations for Dog desexing include:

  1. Pre-Anaesthetic blood tests – to check for any internal issues that could affect Anaesthesia safety
  2. Intravenous fluid therapy – to help maintain vital blood pressure and temperature throughout the procedure. Also helps them wake up more smoothly without feeling nauseous and dehydrated.

By removing these two items we have already reduced our fees by around $130.00

So where else can we save money?

  1. We can remove nurse supervision of your pet under Anaesthsia. (Save labour costs)
  2. We can buy cheaper Anaesthetic drugs. Save a few dollars.
  3. We can leave out pain relief medications included in the sedation beforehand. Save another few dollars.
  4. We can save on individually prepared sterile surgical instrument kits by sharing one kit among many patients or just disinfecting them instead. Save at least $20
  5. We can remove vital electronic monitoring of your pet which shows vital signs such a breathing rate, heart rate & blood pressure throughout the procedure
  6. We can remove the cost of vets wearing sterile gloves, masks and gowns which help minimise contamination of the open wound we create. Save another few dollars.
  7. We can save on pain medications by not giving any to send home with your dog after the procedure. Another few dollars
  8. We can use cheaper suture materials
  9. We can leave your dog to recover after the procedure without nurse supervision. Again save on labour costs.

If we did this – we would certainly become a good contender for the cheapest place to have your dog desexed.Cheap Vet Fees

The sad fact is that you – the pet owner doesn’t have a clue what happens behind the scenes.

None of what is listed above will be obvious to you when you pick up your dog after the procedure. You accept the fact your dog will be a little groggy and painful after the procedure – even when it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

You’re happy because you just got a good deal however – your dog pays the ultimate price through unnecessary suffering.

We are sorry if this all sounds a little harsh but there’s really no other way to get this point across. Too many times we hear people sing the praises of low cost providers saying how caring and compassionate they are simply because they are so cheap.

In our opinion – there’s nothing compassionate about cutting corners that directly impact the safety & welfare of the animal under veterinary care.

But what about Laws?

The only requirements for surgical procedures is that they are performed under Anaesthesia and in a clinic environment. The rest is optional and based on individual vet choices and how they want to position their practice in the marketplace.

Ultimately – the final choice is yours. You decide the level of care you want for your pet and what matters to you.

Just don’t expect those practices that invest in modern equipment, ongoing education for their employees and commit to providing to high standards of care for their patients to come in at the same prices as low cost centres.

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.