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.

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.

Equine Rehabilitation

Has Your Horse been Lame for a While?

Why You Should Consider a Musculoskeletal AssessmentEquine Rehabilitation

Your horse going lame is one of the more frustrating things that can happen, especially if you have a weekend of riding planned with your friends or a competition you’re training for.

Horses can go lame for many reasons, and often getting to the bottom of it can be a time consuming and costly procedure.

Start with Expert Advice

If your horse has been lame for a few days, often times the diagnosis can be as simple as a hoof abscess or similar, and we can provide treatment and advice in a short period of time. If your horse has been lame or “not quite right” for an extended period, then the answer may take longer to present itself.

Here at TVP Equine we have the advantage of having veterinarians who have expertise and certification in:

  • Equine rehabilitationEquine Lameness
  • Myofascial assessment
  • Acupuncture
  • Kinesiology taping
  • Podiatry and
  • Adjunctive pain control

What is an Equine Musculoskeletal Assessment?

An Equine Musculoskeletal Assessment can be thought of as an extended lameness examination.

What we do:

  1. We examine your horse at rest to assess muscling – posture – conformation and dentition. These things are very important in highlighting where our concern may be.
  2. We assess each joint from your horse’s jaw to his tail – looking for their range of motion (how well they move) and any pain or restriction that may be present.
  3. We assess the muscles and fascia involving these joints looking for pain –  spasm – atrophy (loss of muscle) or other abnormalities that may affect the way your horse performs or feels.
  4. We assess how your horse moves – either on a lunge or under saddle. Your horses gait and even their behaviour when being ridden can help us determine what may be going on. We can even assess your saddle and tack to see if maybe these are contributing to your problems.

Further diagnostics may be required – these include nerve blocks to try and localise a lameness – X-Rays – Thermal imaging or even Ultrasound.

At this point we may have been working on your horse for close on an hour.

The Next Step

Lameness and poor performance is complicated. Sometimes the primary problem may be in your horses’ hind leg, but this can cause pain and problems in your horses’ spine also. We may discuss further work that needs to be done in relation to his hind leg – this may for example be x-rays. However, we can do things during our initial visit to help the pain in his spine.Horse Rehabilitation

Our trained veterinarians can perform joint mobilisations on your horses’ spine (or other joints) to free them from pain and spasm. Joint mobilisations are similar to chiropractic treatments however they involve less intensity.

We can also do kinesiology taping, such as RockTape. RockTape helps to reduce swelling, alleviate pain and spasm and facilitate normal movement within muscles or joints. This can be done in conjunction with some light massage and even myofascial release.

Want to Keep Your Horse at Peak Performance?

Give us a call on (03) 9716 2495 to arrange a visit (Weekdays) or email the TVPEquine Team at: [email protected]

Equine PPID Cushing's Disease

Could Your Horse Have Cushing’s Disease?

Equine Cushing’s Disease (PPID)

One of the main reasons we are exploring this topic is because just in the past few weeks we have treated several horses for un-diagnosed Cushing’s Disease.

Equine Cushing’s is properly known as Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID).

What this means is that a gland in the horses brain (pituitary gland) is encouraged to work overtime because there is not enough dopamine (a hormone) being produced by the horses body.

This then causes the pituitary gland to produce too much of certain hormones because the body’s natural “off switch” is not working properly.Equine PPID Cushing's Disease

When the levels of these hormones get too great, your horse or pony starts to develop side effects including: weight loss, muscle loss, laminitis and recurring infections.

This was originally considered an “old horse” disease, however horses as young as 5 years can be affected. Statistics these days say that up to 50% of horses over 15 years have PPID, and 70% of horses that suffer from laminitis are shown to be positive for PPID also.

What are the signs that may indicate your horse has PPID?

  • Fat or muscle loss – a general “loss of condition”
  • Laminitis or reoccurring foot abscess’
  • Hypertrichosis – excessive coat growth (often “curly”) – or unable to shed their coat effectively
  • Fat pads – around eyes, neck (crest), back and rump
  • Lethargy – always seeming tired, lacking in energy for some reason
  • Drinking more or urinating more than normal
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Reoccurring infections – of skin, wounds, teeth, etc
  • Parasite problems

Many people associate PPID with the “curly coat” appearance – and often this is one of the last signs to occur in the disease process. What this means is by the stage your horse or pony looks like a classic PPID case, the disease has already progressed into its mature stages.

We recommend testing and treating your horse before it gets to this stage as it is easier to control, so have a good look at your horse or pony and see if any of the above signs may be apparent.

Health Check and Blood Testing

If you notice any of the above signs with your horse or pony we recommend a consultation with your vet.

A health check will be performed to highlight any areas of concern, and then a blood sample can be taken. Often times we take one blood sample at the time of the visit to test your horses ACTH levels. However this can differ case by case and your veterinarian will discuss your best testing options with you.

What happens if my horse is Diagnosed with PPID?

If your horse or pony is tested positive for PPID then they are often prescribed a medication known as Prascend. This medication acts as a synthetic hormone which then aims to reactivate the “off switch” in your horse or pony’s pituitary gland.

This is life-long medication, and so follow up blood tests and health checks need to be performed regularly to ensure your horse or pony is getting the full benefit of the treatment.

Unfortunately there is no cure for PPID, however – the good news is that it can be very well managed with ongoing medication.

Resources and further Reading

Talk About Laminitis

Equine Veterinary Dentist

3 Reasons To Use a Vet for Your Horse’s Dental Care

Why Veterinary Equine Dentals are Different

Let’s say you suspect your horse has a mouth issue. This means you have observed one or more of these behaviours:

  • Dropping food when eating – we call this Quidding”Equine Veterinary Dentist
  • Abnormal eating habits – e.g. opening mouth at strange angles when eating
  • Coughing or choke during or after eating
  • Resisting the bit when ridden
  • Resisting collection, pressure or steering when ridden
  • Head shaking
  • Swelling on the face or cheeks
  • Head shy
  • Nasal discharge

Who Do You Call?

Now you could call an Equine Dentist who is not a Vet but can perform a dental – OR – you could call a Veterinary Equine Dentist who in addition to being able to perform a professional oral exam and dental procedure if needed, can also diagnose any other issues that may be contributing to the problem.

This is why Veterinary Dentals are often “packaged” to include an Equine Health Check.

This is good medicine and the best approach to horse health care. Without being health checked at the same time, underlying causes and developing illnesses can be overlooked leading to further problems down the track.

3 Reasons to Choose an Equine Veterinary Dentist

1 – We use Sedation

Providing effective sedation helps keeps your horse calm and comfortable during the procedure. Your horse should not be subjected to unnecessary pain at any stage of veterinary treatment.  It also allows much better examination of the mouth and teeth.

2 – We include a “Health Check”

This means we can diagnose other conditions of the mouth, head and body that could be affecting your horse. The oral examination includes – incisor alignment, condition of teeth, visualisation of tongue, cheeks and palate and condition of gums.

  • Full examination of: heart, lungs, abdomen, limbs, eyes, feet, skin & coat, etc
  • Discussion on feed, health, concerns, etc
  • Examination at trot and walk – to assess gait and problem areas

We also use a Dental Video Endoscope to thoroughly explore your horse’s entire oral cavity. Images can be viewed and saved on the device for your records.

The float procedure includes – rasping down teeth to allow re-balancing of the mouth and target any problem areas. This is done with either a Power Float, manual tools (hand tools) or both.

3 – We can perform extractions with Pain Relief if necessary

Only registered veterinarians can perform extractions  with supportive pain relief should that be necessary. (Technicians can’t prescribe pain relief)

How often should my Horse have a Dental?

  • Due to the way horse’s teeth erupt and wear throughout their lifetime – we recommend a dental check every 12 months.
  • Some conditions require your horse to have dentals more often such as every 6 or even 3 months.
  • At any time your horse shows signs of oral discomfort.Equine Dental Vet

Dental Package Fees

The cost of our all inclusive Equine Health Check and Dental Package is $200 + Travel (Less than a Consultation + Dental if charged separately)

For 3 or more horses treated at the same property (within our service area) – there is no travel charge.

Dental only: $140 + Travel (If you don’t want a Health Check at the same time)

*Fees do NOT include extractions

*Fees valid as at June 2016.

Package Benefits:

  • Reduced consultation Fee
  • Allows your horse to be registered on our system and become “under our care”. This allows us to service you and your horse better should you need advice or medications between annual visits.
  • As a registered client of the practice, you can access our 24/7 Emergency service.
  • Other preventative treatment or testing can be carried out at the same time e.g. Faecal floats, Equine Cushing Disease etc.
  • Allows us to build a relationship with you and your horse in a non – emergency situation.
Equine Colic

Equine Emergencies. Are You Prepared?

 The Day Your Horse becomes Seriously ill

Equine EmergenciesIt’s certainly not uncommon – at least not around here for some of you to own a horse for sport or pleasure but unlike smaller furry companions, managing their needs when they become sick or are injured presents a whole different set of challenges.

Fact – Most Owners are Not Prepared for that unexpected Emergency

Equine Ambulatory services can only do so much if your horse is seriously ill. While we carry a range of medications and equipment in our vehicles, as far as facilities go, we are limited to paddocks and stables.

What this means is – we can perform routine or minor procedures such as Geldings, stitch up lacerations, treat hoof abscesses, manage a spasmodic colic, provide emergency first aid and remove a lump or two however, we are certainly not resourced to provide intensive medical care around the clock or perform major surgery.

Your Horse will need to go to Hospital!

Having to refer your horse to hospital is not simply something we do to make things easy for us. It’s done because its what your horse’s condition needs.

It’s no different to calling an ambulance when a member of your family suddenly becomes seriously ill or having your doctor send you straight to hospital if the symptoms point to something serious.

You will need to have Transport

Owning a Float or having access to one at short notice is one of the absolute must haves if you own a horse.

Too often we’ve seen people caught out by having either no float or car to tow one when they need to get it to an Equine Hospital in a hurry. This is not a situation you want to find yourself in.

Equine Emergency CareDon’t own a Float? Find a Friend who has!

If you don’t yet own a float – then at least make arrangements that allow you to borrow one from a friend – at short notice – and 24/7. (Emergencies can happen at any hour)

Better still – have at least a few people up your sleeve should you not be able to contact your first choice.

Other things to consider

  1. Make sure you have access to First Line veterinary care from a vet local to you. Even for serious issues you may need that necessary initial first aid treatment to prepare your horse for safe transport.
  2. Have a good relationship with that vet. After all – you may need to call them out at any time. Not all veterinary clinics offer a 24/7 emergency service.
  3. Have funds set aside for veterinary expenses.  (Routine and Emergency Care) If you own a horse, you will have vet bills.
  4. Have a well stocked first aid kit. You may need to use it in conjunction with veterinary advice should your vet not be able to attend as quickly as the situation demands.
  5. Know the names and locations of your nearest Equine Emergency Centres.
Hendra Vaccination for Horses

Hendra Virus – Why Vaccinate Your Horse

What all Horse Owners ought to Know about Hendra Virus and Vaccination

What is Hendra?

Hendra Virus is a zoonotic disease which means it can be transmitted from horses to humans during close contact with an infected horse.

Although it is a rare disease, the death rate related to infection is very high – about 50% in humans and more than 70% in horses.

The natural host for the Hendra Virus is the flying fox (Fruit Bat) and bats carrying Hendra Virus have been identified in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Northern Territory and most recently – South Australia.

Hendra virus is transmitted from bats to horses and there is also a risk of horse to horse transmission and of course from horse to human.

As vets this gives cause for concern here in Victoria because we know that many horses travel extensively to compete in interstate events, thereby potentially increasing the risk of contracting the disease. Horses are also bought and sold across borders so we’re not as protected from the disease as we’d like to think.

Until recently, no vaccine against Hendra was available so we were all left with no options to safeguard ourselves and our horses against this deadly disease.Hendra Vaccination for Horses

Thankfully however, a vaccine for the Hendra Virus was released in November 2012.

This has come as a great relief to all us veterinarians who are regularly called out to treat sick horses with symptoms not unlike what you’d expect from a Hendra infection.

As such, we’d prefer the peace of mind and we’re sure you would also, that we are able to treat your horse without concern about the risk to our own health or yours.Hendra

Vaccine For Horses

We do not want to be in a position where we would refuse a visit to your sick horse that is showing Hendra like symptoms so please take up this opportunity to vaccinate your horse now. In addition the advice from the Australian Veterinary Association lawyers is that because a vaccine is now available, if a person catches Hendra from your horse, insurance policies will not protect you from a lawsuit.

Apart from treating sick animals, our responsibility as veterinarians is to keep you informed about diseases and help prevent against them wherever and however possible. We are particularly responsible for informing you of diseases that can risk human life so please take this issue seriously.

With this in mind, advising all our equine clients about the availability of the Hendra Vaccine will become a standard part of every equine consultation.

Naturally not all horses will be at equal risk and we are particularly concentrating on competition horses and others which have travel or will be traveling interstate on an occasional or regular basis.

Vaccination Protocol Summary

Unlike other equine vaccinations the Hendra Vaccine is available only via special permit to vets who have undergone the necessary accreditation.

This means:

  • You cannot buy the vaccine and vaccinate your horse yourself.
  • To receive the vaccine, your horse must also be Microchipped so proof of vaccination can be entered into a central database

Vaccination Schedule

Initial vaccination plus a booster vaccination in exactly 3 weeks time
Vaccination at 6 monthly intervals according to current research data. In the future this may become 12 months.

For the latest updates on Horse Health issues including Hendra visit Health for Horses