Mature Pet Health Check
During the months of June and July, we run our annual winter special, for all of our oldies.
We offer a comprehensive blood analysis, along with a full health check for a heavily discounted price.
Pets age a lot quicker than we do, so health issues can arise without us even realising. Early detection of potential diseases or health issues are key to ensuring treatment or prevention strategies can be implemented, to make sure your pets are as comfortable and happy as they can be in their golden years.
Every one of our special FurFees members that take advantage of our winter special will also go into the draw to win a $100 in-store voucher!
Please give us a call to make an appointment and book your golden oldie in for our Mature pet health check!
Winter Pet Care Tips
Our pets often require more entertaining during the winter months due to the colder weather, the shorter days and thus walks being not as frequent.
Cats and dogs are natural foragers who require lots of mental stimulation to activate their senses. So what's better than creating some DIY mental stimulation ideas for your pets while they are bored and stuck at home during the winter months?
Some easy ideas to keep your pets stimulated include -
DITCHING THE FOOD BOWL - Using reward based toys such as puzzle balls, treat toys and maze bowls that require your pets to "work" for their food rather than eating from a generic bowl, creates not only mental stimulation but also cognitive enrichment, turning meal times into something a bit more exciting. Lick mats are also a great idea to entertain pets, because the licking actually releases endorphins inside the brain, giving them a "feel good" feeling.
DIY SNUFFLE MATS - hiding treats in a pre-made snuffle mat or create your own! Lay out a tea towel / towel and place treats along the centre of it, then roll the towel up and tie it in a knot! Simple! Your pet will be kept busy while they figure out how to unwrap the towel and get to the treats inside!
PVC PIPE KONG - get a small length of PVC pipe and PVC caps for either end. Then simply drill holes all along the pipe in random spots (holes big enough for biscuits or treats to come out). This will encourage your pet to roll the pipe along the ground to get to the treats inside. This is also perfect for the more destructive and bigger dogs.
A standard KONG also works perfectly to hide treats and food inside, even a small amount of their favourite spread like cream cheese or peanut butter (this is absolutely fine except if it contains xylitol which is toxic to dogs). This will have them entertained for ages.
BACKGROUND NOISE - did you know there is such thing as DogTV? (See YouTube) With noises, colours and animation to keep your pets entertained. Does your pet have a favourite movie or love to listen to music? Leaving the TV on for your pet or the radio / music speaker can provide sensory enrichment for your pets while you aren't home.
DESIGNATED DIG AREA - this can be a paddle pool, a raised garden bed or any area your dog can dig in. Burying treats and toys can even make it more exciting for them. If you aren't keen on a sand pit, then how about a ball pit? Less mess but just as exciting!
SOCIAL ENRICHMENT - doggy play dates between friends or even doggy day care whilst you are at work will keep your dogs entertained for hours!
Providing more mental stimulation through sensory, cognitive and social enrichment will reduce negative behaviours, stress and anxiety and ensure your pets aren't bored on these cold and rainy days!
Life Changing Procedure
This little superstar underwent a life changing procedure, when she had a tracheal stent placed in her airway.
Tocky is one of many small breed dogs who suffer from what we call, a collapsing trachea.
As you can see in the first x-ray, this shows her airway narrowing down to a section where it was nearly completely collapsed. This caused a very irritating cough and difficulty breathing.
As you can see in the second x-ray, our amazing vet, Dr John Fulton, has positioned the tracheal stent within the collapsed section and opened up her airway again. This magic little stent came all the way from America and provides a life changing difference to little Tocky so she is able to breathe properly again!
A massive shout out to our very clever vet and to Tocky, for being a very brave little girl.
This is an xray taken before the stent was fitted. It shows the collapse in the airway.
THIS IS TOCKY
What a brave little girl
The stent is now in, opening up the airway and allowing Tocky to breathe so much better!
WARNING TO DOG OWNERS
Do you use wood chips as mulch in your garden?
Does your dog chew on these wood chips?
Please be careful when using these as mulch if you have a dog that likes to chew.
Dry wood chips are prone to splintering and can lead to intestinal blockages and cause severe internal damage. More importantly, some wood chips are also contaminated with toxic substances to help with pest and weed control. These substances can sometimes include ingredients such as arsenic. These are highly toxic to your dog and can cause severe stomach and intestinal inflammation and even death.
Wood chips quite commonly come from recycled wood such as wood pallets, power poles and construction waste. Most of these are treated wood pine, containing toxic and harmful substances.
Unfortunately, just recently, we have seen a couple of instances where dogs have chewed or ingested some of these wood chips, so we thought it best to warn others of the risks.
Can you guess what this used to be?
This was removed from the stomach of a 6kg miniature poodle cross, who thought this was a yummy treat! Owners reported vomiting and lethargy.
She was a very lucky little patient and hopefully won't be consuming any more of these any time soon!
Do you dress up your pets for Halloween?
Who doesn't love seeing photos of animals dressed in their spookiest / funniest / cutest costumes?
Send us your photos of dressed up pets and enter our Facebook competition for the best dressed pet!
The winner will be our Facebook cover photo for the week of Halloween
Happy Vet Nurse Day!
Happy Vet Nurse day to all of the wonderful nurses out there who go above and beyond for caring for their patients
Sometimes our patients may want to bite, scratch or cover us in their excrement to show their love and appreciation, but we wouldn't have it any other way!
Not all superheroes wear capes, sometimes they wear uniforms covered in pet hair.
BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ
Spring is here and bees are out in full swing!
If you notice your dog has been stung by a bee and you are able to see where the stinger was or is, firstly go about removing the stinger from the skin. Depending on where the sting occurred (legs, feet or body) you can apply the juice of a raw onion to the affected area. This will take away the pain almost immediately. Be careful to only put a few drops onto the affected area, making sure not to smear it or apply too much of it (excess amounts can be toxic). This is not advised if the sting is on the face or neck area.
If the bee sting appears to be around the nose, lips, face or neck area, then it is best to call the vet asap, as more than often the sting can cause swelling and in severe cases affect their breathing.
In small dogs, bee stings can cause high temperature, vomiting, diarrhoea and sometimes cause them to collapse. So it is best if you see these symptoms to call the vet and have them seen to asap. Other symptoms include abnormal swelling to body parts, urticaria (lots of little lumps all over their body), excessive drooling and difficulty breathing.
Antihistamines have a very limited effect but can be used to alleviate some discomfort ( as they don't work the same as they do in humans). Please give us a call to advise on dosage requirements before giving any to your pet.
If you are at all concerned your pet has been stung by a bee, you are more than welcome to give us a call and we can help decide the best mode of action.
Enjoy this lovely weather we are having and remember to stay safe!
Our poor miss Darcy, who was stung by a bee! Ouch
Someone was very pleased with the yummy thank you gift we had dropped off to us this morning!
HO HO NO KNOW!
It's coming to that time of year again...
Being the practice manager of Blair Street Veterinary Hospital is a position I love and a fabulous place to work. Those of you who are clients would know me as the lady behind the desk between 9am -2pm, Monday – Friday and the voice that answers many of the phone calls during those times. I am also at most of our Puppy Preschool classes and enslaved by Darcy-Edweiner, our in-house Dachshund pup.
I wanted to share a few funny thoughts and some that are a bit more serious, ponder with you some different ways of thinking about things and hopefully some enlightening “why didn’t I think of it like that before?” moments.
Consider, if you will, Christmas Day, from a Dog’s perspective;
There is a lot of hype in the house, there is this weird tree that doesn’t quite smell right, covered in lovely catch & fetch balls (baubles) and tug toys (tinsel), both of which I am not allowed to play with. The worst thing about this tree of weirdness, is I am certainly not allowed to pee on it, (like I do on the trees outside). There are some cool-looking and even-better-smelling boxes under the tree, again, I am not allowed to investigate, rip apart or dig into any of them despite some pretty awesome smells coming from some of them. Then, there is the kitchen with the delicious, droolworthy smells emanating from it! Don’t get me started on the rubbish! My goodness, how I am longing to go bin diving! Then, suddenly, all of these weird people start coming into my home. They are loud! They grab and lick at all of my human family (hugs & kisses), smack me on the top of the head (patting) and sort of loudly say “hi”, with their face coming towards my face, baring their teeth at me (smiling and making eye contact)! How can it be that when I got a bit cranky with all this going on, I get told “Bad Dog” and get locked away?
Okay, are you starting to understand where I am coming from?
Our dogs are pretty good at learning to read their family’s body language and routine, but it’s no wonder there can be incidents with dogs in people’s homes that don’t end well. Watch out for your best furry friend, get to know his body language, look for the signs when he is uncomfortable, don’t wait for him to growl or cower in the corner. Have his back like he would have yours in an uncomfortable situation. Just because we are so busy with festivities, be mindful of how overwhelming Christmas can be for our pets.
Some other things you probably already know, but let’s touch on some foody points.
Don’t give your dog treats that are delicious to us, but potentially toxic to your dog.
Onions, (includes stuffing) grapes, chocolate, cooked bones, processed meat, alcohol, certain nuts, blue cheese, xylitol (in lollies and ice cream) are just a few. If you are not sure, Google will be able to help you. Watch out, too, for some of the raw-hide treats that are promoted at Christmas time. The chemicals and colouring used, you can tell just by looking at them, that they really are not going to be any good to consume. Watch out for the fat off the BBQ. This is a big issue that can cause Pancreatitis. Basically, we see so many animals come in vomiting or with diarrhoea due to what they have eaten. It can be really expensive to treat and, of course, after hours, Veterinarian call out fees hurts the hip pocket. Watch out for toys too. Trust me, you do not want that cute toy to be chewed up and swallowed, causing a bowel obstruction that needs major surgery.
There are days when being behind our counter with my job is really hard! People sometimes look at me like I am the Grim Reaper and, to be honest, I feel that way some days too. It’s tragic if an animal needs expensive surgery, due to some really basic things that have not been watched out for, and occasionally, a decision must be made to put a beloved pet to sleep as the medical bills are not within someone’s budget. Honestly, it is heartbreaking. Every single one of our staff members are animal lovers. Its why we do what we do. To be told “you don’t care about my dog, he is going to die because of you!” is so unbelievable untrue, not to mention incredibly hurtful. We are not a credit facility, and if we gave everyone credit who asked for it, we could not stay in business to keep other animals healthy.
I promise, just have a think about some of the things I have written and it could potentially save thousands of dollars and possible heartache.
Be kind to our amazing Vets and Nurses. There are some nights, after 5 or 6 call outs, when its just not possible to answer another phone call or drive to the clinic again. Being on call 24/7 is part of the job, but there are limits to what they can do. Don’t even get me started on compassion fatigue. People don’t always see the tears we shed at saying good bye to furry friends, even the ones we don’t know; we still care for every single one that comes in our clinic doors.
If you have made it to the end of my little story, thank you. I hope you have perhaps had a smile; learnt something you hadn’t considered before, or can share some enlightening information with someone else. Please, go and spend time with your pet; They adore you, don’t judge and are ever so grateful to spend anytime they can with you.
Wishing you all a beautiful Christmas season with your family and fury friends.
Practice Manager Blair Street Veterinary Hospital.