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

Pet X-rays

Your Pet’s X-Rays. Why Quality Matters.

When you’re advised by your vet that your pet needs X-Rays – you’re probably not thinking about much else other than worrying about what’s going to show up on them.

That’s Understandable

So when the vet comes back into the consulting room, shows you the X-Rays and says that everything looks normal and there’s nothing to worry about, you’re relieved. Obviously some things have been ruled out by not showing up on X-Ray meaning something else is causing whatever problem your pet is experiencing OR something has been missed!

X-Rays are a really important tool in Veterinary practice as they can reveal quite a lot about your pet’s inner anatomy. However, to be useful in the diagnostic process – they do need to be what we call “diagnostic quality.”

Not all X-Rays are the same

High quality X-Rays rely on a combination of things which include:

  1. Quality of Equipment – Modern X-Ray machines take incredibly detailed images (They’re also way more expensive than their older models)
  2. X-Ray Technique by the user (Veterinarian / Technician) (Settings, Positioning, Views) and
  3. Patient Compliance (Keeping your pet still and in exactly the right position for the intended views) That’s where sedation and / or anaesthesia come in!

Unlike having X-Rays yourself – our patients don’t keep still on command while the vet disappears behind the protective screen to press the buttons. Our techniques require more “hands on” contact with the patient while at the same time keeping ourselves protected from the rays using special personal protective equipment (PPE)Pet X-rays

Wriggly patients cause blurry images which  don’t help your vet make the best decisions. As for injured patients – we can’t always position them correctly without hurting them so that’s often the reasons for “chemical restraint” aka sedation or anaesthesia.

When we take X-Rays we aim for diagnostic quality images that tell the full story. Images need to be clear, crisp and detailed so we don’t risk missing something important.

Last but not least there is – professional interpretation. Some vets are more experienced in X-Ray interpretation than others.

All these factors combined mean that there are no “Standard” X-Ray fees across the veterinary profession. Each clinic charges fees according to their own specific protocols.

It’s also why we can’t quote on X-Rays without first seeing your pet. We can’t predict what type views we need without doing an examination first.

Our Protocols

Depending on the views we need, your fees may include some type of chemical restraint such as sedation or Anaesthesia and possibly Pre- Anaesthetic blood tests. so be prepared for these additions if required.

Your Rights

You have the right to see, get a copy of your pet’s X-Rays and have them thoroughly explained to you. Thankfully – most X-Rays these days are digital so it’s easy to create disc or electronic copies.

You can also get a second opinion on X-Rays such as a Specialist’s interpretation – if you wish.

Sadly – most people never question X-Ray quality or techniques even though cheaper, low quality X-Rays can lead to all kinds of false interpretations and place your pet’s health at risk. We say this because we have seen these many times in our second opinion consultations. This is especially common in orthopaedic conditions.

Veterinary X-Rays

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.

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.

Vet Feedback

The Hidden Truth about Veterinary Feedback

Is Your Feedback Helpful or Harmful?

All humans, being the social creatures we are – not only need feedback, we thrive on it. Feedback helps us grow, improve and contribute to the world in meaningful and better ways.

And sure – we all accept that feedback for improvement isn’t always positive; negative feedback is often the greatest trigger for self reflection and positive change.

In our world that is Veterinary Practice – we get feedback every day. From a dear client’s chocolates to say thank you for taking such good care of her beloved pet to flowers and cards expressing gratitude for a job Veterinary Reviewswell done.

Helpful Feedback

We welcome both positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback means we’re doing things right so we make sure we continue doing those things and do them well.

Then there’s the helpful critical feedback which we appreciate the most – the information that lets us know where we’ve let you down in some way and gives us the opportunity to make changes or amends.

You may not know it – but we act on feedback every day. In our busy Hospital we do our best to make sure your pets are taken care of in the best possible way as well trying to run on time for consultations, respond to your phone messages, update inpatient fee estimations, schedule diagnostic procedures, perform surgery, do farm visits and house calls and attend to any emergencies that come in unexpectedly.

With so many things happening at any given time – Yes – as hard as we try not to, we do slip up at times.

And when we do slip up – we ask you talk to us because for most problems or complaints we can usually find a solution that’s agreeable to everyone involved.

Harmful Feedback

Sadly though – not all feedback we get is constructive or civil and when we are blamed or vilified for things we have no control over this has devastating affects on our team.

  • We’re hard enough on ourselves without being subject to unnecessary abuse. It hurts to be told that we don’t care and that we are terrible vets because we can’t meet the prices of low cost clinics. Yet we’re expected to provide everything that low cost clinics can’t.
  • We’re shamed on Social Media when we can’t diagnose a problem because the client won’t pay for an X-Ray or a blood test. Of course they never mention that fact.
  • If we make a mistake we’re labelled as incompetent. But if the medical profession fails a human patient that’s acceptable.
  • A client complains because their preferred vet can’t meet their scheduled appointment because he’s busily trying to stop a patient crashing in theatre. Apparently saving a life does not take priority over a routine consultation.
  • We’re yelled at because we won’t supply prescription drugs to someone whose animal we haven’t seen for years. Blamed for not breaking a law that could cost us our licence to practice?
  • We are told off for poor service for not being able to see a horse immediately that has been sick for 10 days. It’s us who are negligent – not the owner who has let her horse suffer for days.

And just last week – slandered on Facebook for allegedly ripping off a vulnerable pensioner by providing unnecessary, expensive treatment for her 17 year old dog.

Feedback 1Here’s the Real Story

When “Patch” was seen for the first time last week he was a very sick dog indeed.

In addition to his Illness (vomiting & diarrhoea) – He also had a very big lump on his chest which had now grown so large it made it difficult for him to walk.

We had not seen “Patch” before and it was clear that he had not been checked by a vet for a long time.

The priority was to determine the cause of the vomiting and diarrhoea and painful abdomen.

The second concern was the large lump which had a significant impact on Patch’s quality of life.

From the outset our client accompanied by her adult son were given the option to start finding out the cause of the medical problem OR euthanasia on humane grounds. Taking “Patch” home with pain meds and left to die on his own terms (as this person said we should have done) was not considered a humane option therefore was not offered.

The clients were also informed that if removing the lump after stabilisation of Patch’s medical condition was not wanted then there would be no point proceeding with treatment for his medical condition as we would not be able to achieve quality of life standards. Again – euthanasia was offered as a kind alternative to treatment.

Clients agreed to diagnostics and treatment.

(Examination, Blood Tests and X-Rays) indicated irregularities in the abdominal region plus kidney disease.

Feedback 2An Ultrasound was performed to investigate the abdominal irregularities in the abdominal area. Images revealed pancreatic inflammation and a pancreatic abnormality. Blood tests confirm inflammation

Over the next few days “Patch” was treated for these conditions in hospital and and was responding well and comfortable.

We then discussed the option of sending a sample (obtained via keyhole sampling) of the pancreatic tissue to the laboratory for more accurate diagnosis. This would allow us to determine a prognosis for Patch.

Sadly, despite his initial good response to treatment, Patch relapsed a few days later and it was at this point his owners chose to let him go.

Unfortunately but Yes – these diagnostics plus 24 hour hospitalisation with treatments over several days add up. None of this is basic care. Communication of Patch’s condition, his results, consent for treatments plus estimated costs were via phone as well as face to face when the owners came to visit Patch in hospital.

The clients never voiced any concerns during these conversations or during their visits that could have alerted us to a problem.

At no stage we we ever told to get permission from any persons other that this lady’s mother and son. We were never informed that they were incapable or had no right to make those decisions. It is not our fault that this lady was on holidays during the time of “Patch’s” treatment and therefore not included in any discussions.

So when we read her comments online – we were absolutely shattered.

Did we want Patch to pull through his illness? Of course we did. We treat similar cases every day – even geriatric ones. We even see some pets which aren’t expected to survive an illness or trauma, make a full recovery.

Medicine is not an exact science and outcomes can never be predicted or guaranteed.

As for “Who in their right mind would agree for such an expense in a pet 17 years old and no positive outcome.”

That’s your opinion.  There are many people who do that in Veterinary Centres all over the world every day including our practice. Maybe this was true 15 years ago before the advances in veterinary technologies however in today’s world it’s fast becoming the norm.

For some people having their pet around for an extra few months or even weeks is important to them and just because there are no guaranteed outcomes for some treatments doesn’t deter some people from trying.

People will spend money even when the prognosis looks less than positive. Peace of mind knowing they have done everything they could possibly do before electing to euthanase is important to them.

There can be a lot of anguish around premature euthanasia. In this case people feel guilt, questioning whether they made that decision too soon and should they have asked to find more conclusive evidence that their decision at that time was the right one for their pet.

There are never any easy answers to these situations.

The Ugly Side of Harmful Feedback

Accusations and degrading comments like these add enormous stress to vets and nurses who try their hardest to do the right things by people and their animals every day. Can you imagine how we all felt after this – especially the younger team who looked after Patch day and night?Vet Feedback

Little wonder the profession boasts the highest suicide rate and good caring vets change careers every day.

So shame on people who believe its their mission to spread half truths about others with no information about the facts. You forget that there are real, caring well meaning people at the end of these hurtful comments.

If you have a problem with any aspect of any service whether that’s from us or anyone else – have the decency to make a time to speak with the people involved face to face before you rant online.

In this case we would have welcomed some honest discussions from the concerned party before voicing “her opinion” to the world.

When we spoke with her the following day over the phone we asked her what she wanted from us. Her answer was “Nothing.”!

Horse pre-purchase check

What is a Horse Vet Check?

What is an Equine Vet Check and why it’s a good idea to have this done before Buying a New Horse.

Buying a horse can be a daunting experience. After all, how do you know if you’ve fallen in love with the right one? Will the two of you get on – and is the horse suited (both physically and emotionally) for what you want it to do?

Here’s where having a Vet Check or Pre-purchase examination can really help you make the right decision.

A Pre-purchase examination gives you a comprehensive, unbiased and clinical opinion of your potential new horse.

What’s involved in a Veterinary Pre-Purchase Exam?

Put simply, a Vet Check is a detailed veterinary examination of your horse – from nose to poll to legs to tail.

It’s different to a regular veterinary examination during which the horse’s vital signs (temperature, heart rate, gut sounds, repiratory rate) are examined along with any areas of concern. This may be a suspicious lump, a forelimb lameness or a cough. At the end of the regular examination or consultation, you’ll most likely end up with a diagnosis and a treatment plan.Horse pre-purchase check

At the end of a pre-purchase exam, we aim to give you an unbiased veterinary opinion on the horse and whether or not it will be suitable for its intended purpose. Each horse’s intended purpose varies greatly, depending on the horse itself and the purchaser needs. For example; what’s expected from a pony club mount will be quite different from what’s expected from a 3 star eventer.

So in order to evaluate the horse on the levels required to make that decision, this examination will take a lot longer than a regular veterinary examination.

So what happens during a Pre-Purchase Examination?

Often the owner of the horse is present during a pre-purchase examination. This allows the vet to gather important medical history on the horse such as past injury or illness and current medication and preventative care.

The horse is examined at rest with every organ system taken into consideration. This means the eyes, skin, coat, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and reproductive systems are all examined to some extent.

The horse is then examined “at work.”

Flexion tests are performed on all four limbs.

A flexion test is where particular joints are put under stress (or load) and the veterinarian monitors for resulting lameness. This is done by holding up a particular limb and flexing a specific joint then releasing the leg at the same time as asking the horse to trot off.

If any lameness, uneveness or altered striding is noted, this is considered a significant result. This test aims to highlight possible joint diseases that may not be visible on a lunge.

The horse is then commonly lunged on multiple surfaces with each gait individually visualised. This means lunging at a walk, a trot and a canter both ways. Additional to this, the horse is often visualsed under saddle where we look for signs of altered striding, abnormal hoof landings, visible hind or fore limb lameness, decreased flexion, abnormal gait or reluctance to work.

All the information is collected and noted on specific forms with each step discussed with the purchaser along with recommendations.

In some cases there are no further recommendations however often the veterinarian will suggest additional diagnostics such as radiographs (X-Rays), Ultrasound or blood tests, depending on the findings.

It is at the discretion of the purchaser as to whether these will be followed through or not.

Whose responsibility is it to have the Pre-Purchase Exam Done?

A Pre-Purchase examination is a legal document. This means there are specific protocols that need to be followed. As the veterinarian is working on behalf of the purchaser, there is NO legal obligation to share or discuss the findings with the owner of the horse. After all, it is the purchaser who is paying for this service.

Often the veterinarian will discuss all results with the purchaser at the time of examination and it is the purchaser’s choice as to whether or not they consent to share findings with the owner.

Why we recommend Vet Checks

We don’t recommend Vet Checks because we think sellers are being dishonest. Not at all. We recommend them because it’s the best way to ensure you enjoy a long and rewarding relationship with your new horse. A vet check also helps separate the emotional and visual from the practical and sometimes hidden issues so you don’t end up buying a horse for the wrong reasons. A horse bought based on appearance or emotions alone can leave you with regrets down the track which is an unfair outcome for both..

So – if you’re looking to buy a horse and want the best possible chance of making the right decision, please book a Vet Check first. It’s a small price to pay for a long term commitment.

 

Vet Bills

How to Make Vet Care More Affordable

Meet Eve and Macy

Eve is one of our typical clients, proud owner of 5 year old “Macy”, a delightful miniature poodle which she loves to bits. She’s a regular at our practice, most of the time just popping in to collect the necessary worm tablets, food and Flea control and staying for a bit of a chat. Every year she also makes an appointment for Macy’s full checkup, vaccination and heartworm injection and so far – keeping Macy fit and healthy hasn’t been a problem.

Until – Macy has a fall!

She’s hurt herself – somehow after jumping off the couch. At first Eve didn’t worry too much as she’s done this sort of thing before and despite a small limp for a day or so, Macy seemed to recover and was back to her normal self again.

However – this time was different. Macy squealed when she tried to put her back leg down and totally resisted any attempts Eve made to try and make her more comfortable. It was clear that this time she’d done something a little more serious to herself and so we see Eve arrive at the clinic with a trembling Macy in tow.

After a full examination and X-Rays it was discovered that Macy had indeed done herself some harm and will need surgery to repair a damaged joint. One one hand Eve is relieved that Macy’s problem could be “fixed” but on the other hand she was concerned that she didn’t have the available funds to pay for the procedure right now when Macy needed it.

This had her worried more than anything else. Thanfully we were able to offer Eve Vet Pay – a convenient way to pay for veterinary treatment over several months.This meant Macy could have the surgery right away – (when she needed it) and Eve’s concerns over how she was going to pay for Macy’s surgery were resolved.Vet Bills

Now – this may be only one story however we see lots of Eve’s and Macy’s every day.

Although many trips to the vet are for routine treatments that we can all budget for, many others are not. They are made up of unexpected injuries and illness that never happen at a good time.

Our job – aside from taking care of your pet’s health is to help provide the different options available to help you pay for veterinary services when needed.

So far – Vet Pay ticks all the boxes when it comes to a third party credit provider..

Benefits include:

  • Fast and easy pre-approval process – You have peace of mind knowing that you have been approved for a designated amount of funds. It means your pet’s treatment can start right away.
  • Easy application process – We can process the application for you while you wait
  • High Approval rates – Most applicants are accepted for a specific limit.
  • Pensioner applications accepted
  • Low application fee of $35.00
  • Payment plans for 6 or 12 months available depending on amount of funds borrowed.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out Vet Pay to see if it’s right for you.

Vet Payment Plan

Our Vet Payment Plans and Credit Explained

What’s a Payment Plan?

Put simply – a payment plan is a way of paying off your veterinary account by making set payments at set times over a set period of time.

It is a formal contract between you and us based on mutual trust. We extend the resources (meds, staff time, equipment) in good faith and trust that you will pay us as agreed.

Benefits for you?

  • Peace of mind knowing your pet receives the care she needs without having to worry about coming up with the full amount all at once.
  • Being able to pay your vet bill over time could perhaps allow you to choose a treatment option with a better long term outcome for your pet which was not possible if you had to pay the full amount on discharge.

Benefits for us?

We can keep our 24/7 services up and running, pay our staff and suppliers and organise our monthly budget based on expected payments from payment plans and our regular day to day work.

When a payment Plan Works

Payment plans work when all sides of the agreement are upheld. Your pet receives the treatment she needs when she needs it, you get the benefit of paying for it over time and we can spend our time doing veterinary work – not chasing accounts.

When it doesn’t

When people don’t pay as agreed and we’re left out of pocket. Each dollar we lose this way leaves us with one less dollar to pay our staff, buy medications and invest in new equipment and facilities.Vet Payment Plan

Who can have a payment plan?

Offering credit can be risky business so please understand – before we lend you money, we’d like to get to know you first. I’m sure you’ll agree that’s only fair.

Too many times we’ve placed our trust in people – assuming that if we help them out, they’ll do the right thing and pay us. Unfortunately that wasn’t always the case which means we’ve had to take a much tougher stance on issuing credit.

So – sorry but if we haven’t met before or only on the odd occasion – we’re unable to extend credit to you. All fees are payable at the time of your pet’s visit or on discharge from hospital.

The last thing we’d want to do is raise our fees to cover the money we lose due to bad debts.

On the other hand – if you’ve been regularly bringing your pets to us for a while, we’ll do our best to help you out. It’s our way of saying “Thank You” for your loyalty and support.

Think you need a Payment Plan?

If you’re one of our “regular” clients and you think you may need a payment plan – please ask us before we start treatment. This gives us time to look at our budget, work out what’s possible,come up with a plan and prepare the necessary paperwork.

VetPay

If we are unable to offer you a payment plan – VetPay is our recommended solution for paying your Vet Bills over time.

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.