Pet Health Articles
General Health

Although cats talk verbally they say much more with their body language than their voice. Learning to read your cats body language can give you a lot of information on how they feel about life (e.g. being held, groomed, a new addition to the family etc.)

The Tail: When a cat is content, they will usually hold the tail out loosely behind them. When happy, they may hold it high, with a slig…

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Both dogs and cats are born with dew claws on their front feet. Some dogs are also born with dew claws on their hind feet (e.g. newfoundland) and occasionally they have double dew claws on the hind feet (e.g. St Bernard, Briard).

What are dew claws?
A dew claw is a nail (claw) attached to a short toe on the inside of the leg that does not touch the ground (like our thumb but as its not …

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Quantity of life is meaningless without quality. Because quality issues are vague and changeable, it is easy to focus instead on quantity (i.e. your pets age). It is important to keep these two factors in balance.

Because we cannot ask our pets how they feel, we must rely on their behaviour and from this infer quality of life (QOL). The factors that affect an animal’s ability to carry on it…

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I love corn on the cob. Its sweat and juicy and makes me think of summer. Unfortunately, dogs also like corn on the cob even after the corn kernels have been removed. i.e. They will happily eat the cob (with or without kernels) and this is where the danger comes from.

The cob is easy to swallow as a large chunk (especially if someone has been nice enough to cut it up into pieces already). …

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Did you know dogs can get heart disease and heart failure?
Unfortunately, heart disease is not just a human condition. It can affect dogs too. About 10% of all dogs have heart disease, and the occurrence of heart disease increases dramatically with age.

There are 2 common types of heart disease in dogs that may lead to heart failure.
1)The most common type affects the heart’s valves and i…

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Let’s face it, most cats don’t like their mouth being examined by their owner (or their vet). Cats are introverts when it comes to sharing their pain -they tend to go quiet and hide rather than shout it to anyone who is willing to listen. When it comes to dental pain most cats will still eat and groom themselves so many owners are unaware their cat has a sore mouth.

Dental disease is com…

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Pyometra is an infection in the uterus. This is a life-threatening infection – toxins and bacteria leak across the uterine walls and into the bloodstream, and without treatment the infection results in a severe, usually fatal, septicaemia. Pyometra occurs in female dogs and cats.

How does the infection occur?
During a heat cycle, hormones cause the uterine lining to engorge and thicken…

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What is an Abscess?
An Abscess is an accumulation of fluid called pus (fluid contains white blood cells, necrotic tissue, and bacteria). They usually are a result of puncture wounds inflicted during cat fights but can also be caused by foreign bodies such as grass seeds, splinters etc

How do abscesses on cats occur?
A cat’s skin heals very quickly. When a tooth or claw from another cat…

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Did you know that grapes and raisins/sultanas (i.e. dried grapes) are toxic to dogs? Grape and raisin ingestion causes acute kidney (renal) failure in dogs, but we still do not know exactly how and why this occurs.

The type of grape (red or white) and whether its store bought or home grown does not seem to matter. It appears to be the flesh of the grape that holds the unknown toxin (i.e. se…

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Keeping your cat active, is not only important to help maintain mobility (joint function) and keep their weight in check but it is also essential to provide mental stimulation.

Try these exercises:

Self play toys – these are toys that your cat can play with on their own. Any toy that encourages chasing or pouncing is usually a hit and they don’t have to be expensive e.g. a cardboard …

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With the recent wet weather mushrooms are popping up in lawns across the Brisbane area.

There are several thousand species of mushrooms but only a small percentage are considered toxic. The problem is accurate mushroom identification is almost impossible.

Toxicity depends not only on the species of mushroom, but also the area that mushroom is growing, the volume ingested and individual …

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We all know that fear is a normal part of life. It can help us and animals survive or avoid harmful situations. However, sometimes fear responses can last longer than they should and occur in response to things that shouldn’t cause fear, which leads to anxiety.

Between twenty to forty percent of dogs will have some level of general anxiety, noise sensitivity, or separation anxiety. Some b…

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As you might expect, summer in Queensland is the riskiest time for heat stroke in your pets. The image that might come to people when they think of heat stroke is one of a dog locked in a hot car. However, this year, most of the dogs we’ve seen with heatstroke have been presented after going for a walk with their owner in the late morning or early afternoon- when it has been too hot to be out…

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There have been two new outbreaks of feline panleukopenia (a cat virus not seen for years) reported in Melbourne and Sydney.

Feline panleucopenia is also known as feline enteritis, feline distemper or feline parvo virus. It is a highly contagious, often fatal virus that affects cats. Although the virus is closely related to the dog parvo virus, feline panleucopenia is not transmissible to …

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Surgical sterilisation is a controversial topic. The questions are
1)Should I sterilise my pet?
2)What is the best age to have the procedure performed?

Let me give you a hint, there is no “one right answer” to either of these questions as it depends on many factors.

Surgical sterilisation of a female dog or cat is called a spey and involves removing the ovaries and usually the ute…

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A lot of dogs are storm phobic – they are absolutely terrified of storms (the smell, the dark sky, the lightening, crashing thunder and rain).

Imagine being terrified of spiders or snakes and being surrounded by them! That’s how some dogs feel about storms. Storm phobia is a serious problem as pets can do a lot of damage to themselves (and their environment) trying to escape the storm.

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It’s fun to involve your pet in the Christmas and New Year celebrations so here are our top tips on how to keep them safe.

Paws off the following
Chocolate, grapes, raisins and sultanas are poisonous to dogs. Always keep your pets away from the Christmas table (Christmas ham is very attractive) and secure the lids on rubbish bins. Christmas cake is definitely off limits and please don’t …

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Urine, is like liquid gold. The volume of urine passed as well as the physical and chemical composition of urine can give important information on the health of your pet.

Your vet may want to test a urine sample if there are

1) Changes in the volume of urine: Passing too little urine maybe a sign of a urinary tract blockage (e.g. bladder stones), dehydration or acute kidney failure….

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If your pet has dry itchy skin, excessive scratching or licking, bald patches, a high frequency of hot spots, ear infections, skin infections, diarrhea, and vomiting they may have a food allergy.

Food allergies are different from food intolerance.

Food intolerance is the result of poor digestion, such as lactose intolerance. Cats and dogs with lactose intolerance are either missing or…

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A Hot spot is a superficial bacterial skin infection that results when the skin surface is damaged usually by licking, chewing or scratching.

Hot spots are very painful and they can enlarge rapidly so early diagnosis and treatment are important.

Some pets get one or two hot spots and then never get another one again, while others may have frequent recurrences.

Hotspots are most co…

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Flies are a real problem in summer. These annoying insects can really bother you and your pet.

Some fly species will actually bite around your pet’s ears (as well as other parts of the body) and cause painful and infected sores.

Flies tend to cause most damage to the tips of ears in breeds that have erect ears (e.g. German shepherd,Collies, Malamutes) and the crease of ears in breeds wi…

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Spring is in the air and with it comes lots of baby birds.

Nestlings (the featherless baby birds) are sometimes blown out of their nest or sometimes the whole nest comes down. These babies need to be returned to their nest. If this is not possible then their best chance of survival is for you to make a nest for them and return them as close as possible to the position they were found.

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Chronic bronchitis and feline asthma are chronic lung diseases of cats which are very similar to asthma in humans.

The disease involves the small airways in the lungs over-reacting to the presence of a irritant or an allergen. This leads to an inflammatory response and
-an increase in mucus production
-contraction of the small muscles around the airways causing them to narrow.
Both the …

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Bones are a popular treat used by many pet owners to keep their pet “occupied” (i.e. mentally stimulated) and also to help clean their teeth. Unfortunately, they are also a common cause of
-broken teeth
-soft tissue injury e.g. lacerations of the gums, tongue, oesophagus
-gastrointestinal upsets including life threatening intestinal blockages, pancreatitis, constipation
-possibly foo…

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What is ringworm? “Ringworm” is the common name given to a fungal infection of the superficial layers of the skin, hairs and/or nails. i.e. It is not a worm – the name comes from the appearance of the infection in people where a red raised ‘ring’ develops on the skin.

The fungi responsible for ringworm belong to a specialized group known as dermatophytes. Although there are many species…

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Guinea pigs are rodents that come from South America. They make great family pets providing they receive proper feeding, grooming, housing and care to keep them healthy.

Your Guinea Pig will be much happier, active and talkative if it has a friend. Two male Guinea Pigs or two female Guinea Pigs can be successfully housed together. Please ensure you accurately know the sex of your pets befo…

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What is cat flu? Cat flu is the name given to a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract in cats. It tends to particularly severe in kittens but can affect cats of any age.

What causes the flu? Cat flu is usually caused by one of 2 viruses – Herpes virus or Calici virus. Similar signs can also be caused by several bacteria (chlamydophilia felis and Bordetella bronchiseptica).

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Sugar diabetes (diabetes mellitus) is one of the “common” causes for pets to drink too much and pee too much.

What is diabetes?
Sugar diabetes is a condition caused by insufficient insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas) in the body.

Insulin allows the cells of the body to take glucose out of the blood stream and use it as an energy source so they can survive. If there isn’t e…

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One of the most common injuries we see in dogs is a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. This is the same injury seen in many a footballer – the notorious ACL, and it can lead to dramatic arthritis in your dog’s knee if it is not treated effectively.

The knee (stifle) consists of 2 main bones that are connected by 2 ligaments that cross over in an “X” (hence the name cruciate). The ligaments …

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Arthritis is a painful inflammation of a joint which can be caused by genetics (e.g. hip dysplasia in Maine Coon cats, patellae luxation in Abyssinian and Devon Rex cats), immune mediated disease, injury or more commonly “wear and tear”.

Although arthritis is common in cats, it often goes unrecognised by owners due to their ability to hide pain and discomfort. Cats usually show few or any o…

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Xylitol is a low kilojoule, low GI sugar substitute used in many foods overseas. Its gaining popularity in Australia and is most commonly found in some chewing gums sold in health food stores, some confectionery (e.g. chocolate, baking mixes) and as a simple crystallised form with a similar consistency to sugar that people use in the kitchen. It is also added to some toothpastes and dental ge…

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Sago palms (Cycads) are a common plant used both in and outside of the home. Unfortunately, although easy to grow and attractive to look at, they are very toxic to dogs when ingested.

All parts of the plant are poisonous with the female plant being considered more dangerous. The seed and nuts are especially potent and ingestion of only a few seeds has reported to result in toxicity.

Yo…

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Does your cat have an insatiable appetite? I.e. they eat well but are constantly hungry and don’t gain weight. They may-be suffering from a hormonal disease called hyperthyroidism.

In this condition the thyroid gland produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone resulting in a high, speeded up metabolism. Thyroid hormone affects nearly every body system so there are a range of *clinical …

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In the corner of the eye in dogs and cats there is a membrane called the third eyelid (nictitating membrane). It is like the windscreen wiper of the eye and it has a special gland behind it that is partially responsible for tear production.

What is “Cherry Eye”? It is when the gland of the third eyelid prolapses (swells and protrudes) out of its normal position and appears as a red mass…

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With Christmas and school holidays just around the corner there are many home craft “activities” being posted on the internet, in magazines etc. that involve making homemade play dough , paint balls and salt dough decorations. The “recipes” are all based on flour and high levels of salt.

Although fun to make, it is important to know that salt, while commonly used for cooking in th…

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Have you ever witnessed your dog dragging their bottom along the ground? This strange doggy dance is known as ‘scooting’ and it is a most commonly associated with irritated anal glands / sacs .

The anal glands are located on either side of your dog’s anus. Each gland holds a small amount of a foul smelling brown liquid that is released as your pet does a poo. This custom scent is left on the…

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What causes Feline AIDS?
Feline AIDS is caused by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which affects the immune system of cats. FIV acts in the same way as the human form of HIV, destroying the immune system and leaving a cat susceptible to infections, disease and cancers. Once a cat has been infected, FIV can then progress to feline acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, also known as Felin…

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Tea tree oil (melaleuca oil) is an essential oil used by many people to treat their own skin problems and other health issues, it is also found in some cleaning products.

Although considered by many to be a “wonder” oil as its “natural” and has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties it is actually toxic to humans when ingested. Due to its potential toxicity, …

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Brunfelsia is a very common evergreen shrub in Brisbane as it is a hardy, easy to grow and a pretty plant. It has flowers that change colour over a couple of days (hence the common name “Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”). The flowers are initially violet they then fade to lavender blue and then to white.

The problem is that ALL parts of this plant, especially the berries, are toxic if chewed/i…

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Many peoples first “baby” comes with fur and 4 legs. If it is time to expand your family with the human variety then it is important to also prepare your pet(s) for the new family member, new furnishings and changes in routine. Here are some handy hints :

Sleeping arrangements-Get your pet used to new sleeping arrangements well before you bring a baby home. Pets can be taught to sleep el…

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If you are an avid gardener or veggie grower then you probably are not too keen on the wandering neighbourhood cat that uses your plot as their private latrine!

Obviously its irritating and somewhat off putting gardening in a spot where cats’ toilet but they are not doing it to annoy you, in fact they are paying you a complement!

Cats naturally dig a hole to toilet urinate or defecat…

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TICK SEASON AGAIN!!!
We are experiencing high numbers of tick paralysis cases in the Brisbane area at the moment. Paralysis ticks (Ixodes holocyclus) are native to Australia and their natural hosts are marsupials (particularly bandicoots and possums). They are commonly found in thick scrub or bush-land, and can be found a long way inland in suitable habitats.

Adult ticks are picked up by o…

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Many pet owners often question why pets eat grass and the reason for it, truth be told no one really knows.

A study at Armidale (Grass eating patterns in the domestic dog, Canis familiaris S.J. Bjone et al.) contradicted many of the popular held beliefs. They concluded “Grass eating is a normal and common behaviour and should not be seen as a problematic behaviour for most dogs”. They f…

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If your dog or cat has bad breath then they probably have dental disease.

Statistically more than 80% of pets have some form of dental disease by 3 years of age.

Although dental disease is painful, most pets with dental disease will continue to eat.

The most common signs are bad breath, inflamed gums and a yellow discoloration of the teeth. Gum disease can lead to infections in the kid…

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Since food and attention are two things dogs and cats enjoy most in life, it’s no surprise they will go to any lengths to get it.

Many pets will try whining/ meowing, begging at the dinner table, barking, nuzzling or head butting for attention.

To stop this annoying habit you must make a hard and fast rule that the dog or cat is NEVER to be rewarded by the begging and pestering-no excep…

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Many dogs love to chew sticks, carry sticks and chase sticks but sticks are hazardous to dogs.

Sticks can be quite sharp and cause damage to the mouth (teeth, tongue, gums and throat), they sometimes get stuck across the hard palate and they can splinter resulting in a piece of wood getting firmly embedded into the soft tissue of the mouth or throat.

The most severe injuries occur when …

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With the wet cooler weather snails and slugs become more common and with them come 2 dangers to our pets

1)Neural angiostrongylosis –this occurs when a dog eats a snail or slug that contains the rat lungworm larvae. It results in an eosinophilic meningoencephalitis -a neurological disease that can result in weakness, wobbliness, ascending paralysis, a painful spine, bladder incontinence…

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Our pets are more likely to suffer from arthritis during the colder weather so now is a great time for an arthritis check with us. Most of the signs of arthritis are subtle and will sneak up on your pet over many years. You may not even realise that your pet is in pain.

Arthritis is caused by the wearing down of the smooth cartilage that covers the bones at the end of a joint. Usually this c…

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Many people are reluctant to allow essential pain relieving surgery (e.g. dentistry) on their aged pets due to the risk of anaesthesia. With the advances in veterinary medicine (drugs, monitoring equipment) anaesthesia is a lot safer than it used to be.

Although increased age alone does not increase a patient’s anaesthesia risk, concurrent health concerns are more likely in older patients…

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Coprophagia is the medical term for eating faecal matter. It is an unpleasant behaviour most commonly seen in young dogs. It is disturbing as
• They often show their affection by licking us!
• It is a health risk to both us and the pet as it is the way some parasites (round, hook and whip worm) get transmitted. You can minimize the risk of parasites by deworming your pet on a regular basis…

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When it comes to parasite treatment and prevention it is very important to realise cats are NOT small dogs – many of the common medications used safely on dogs are extremely toxic to cats.

One of the most common toxicities in cats seen in small animal practice is permethrin (pyrethrin or pyrethroid) toxicity.

Permethrins are commonly used in many dog flea and tick products. Unfortunate…

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We recommend pre-anaesthetic blood tests on all pets of all ages prior to an anaesthetic. Why?

• They look for underlying subclinical disease -Your pet can appear healthy on a check-up and still have underlying abnormalities that make an anaesthetic risky. E.g. there needs to be a loss of 2/3rds of the function of the kidneys before your pet starts drinking excessively!

• They are recom…

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Cats are fastidious about keeping their coat clean however they often do need a little help.

Grooming has lots of benefits including
• Helps to remove dead coat and prevent hairballs
• Stimulates oil production for a healthy shiny coat
• Provides an opportunity to check for fleas, lumps and bumps
• Reinforces the bond between you and your cat
• Reduces your house work

Groomin…

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If you have a senior pet you have likely seen some behavioural changes which you may think are “just old age”. Normal aging does exist but many of the behavioural changes seen in older pets are actually due to an illness.

Canine or feline cognitive dysfunction (CCDS or FCDS) is a degenerative brain disease comparable to Alzheimer’s in humans. It is the result of age-related changes (oxidat…

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Urinary incontinence is the involuntary passing of urine which means the pet either dribbles or leaks urine without being aware of doing it. This is very different to an animal that loses their house training and starts urinating inside or a pet that “pees a lot” (i.e. increases the frequency or volume of urination)

Normally urine is produced in the kidneys, it flows down a tube (called t…

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Dogs are social creatures and they form strong bonds with people. Having a furry best friend is, without doubt, the greatest thing in the world, but it is not uncommon for your pooch to feel anxious when they are separated from you.

Most dogs will adapt well to daily separation from their owners but unfortunately some dogs will become very distressed and even destructive, a problem known as…

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Cats digestive systems are designed to ingest and dispose of hair. Sometimes the hair accumulates, forms a solid mass in the stomach that can either be vomited up or cause partial or complete blockages of the gastrointestinal tract.

Recurrent hairballs are not “normal” but a symptom of either:
1) An increased intake of hair due to increased grooming which can be the result of skin irrit…

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Hookworm are a common intestinal parasite of dogs and cats that can cause severe disease especially in puppies and kitten. The worms attach to the wall of the intestine and suck blood resulting in diarrhoea, anaemia and sometimes death. They can also cause a skin disease in humans (cutaneous larval migrans).

As well as being ferocious blood suckers, hookworm are prolific breeders. Each fema…

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There are many causes of sore eyes, one of which is a corneal ulcer.

The cornea is a transparent structure that acts like the “windscreen” of the eye; it is subject to damage from the outside world as well as damage from diseases inside the eye.

A corneal ulcer is due to damage to the outside layers of the cornea.
Corneal ulcers can be caused by many factors. The common causes include…

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Ear infections and ear inflammations are a common, painful condition in dogs especially during the hot humid seasons.

The most common cause is atopy, which is an allergy to pollen of plants. The pet absorbs pollen through their skin and it results in inflammation sometimes only of the skin lining the ear canals and other times it also affects the skin of the body ( particularly the feet…

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Many pets love to “sun bake” and those that have lightly pigmented skin are prone to sunburn and skin cancer.

The most common sites affected are those that are sparsely haired and have no pigment in the skin:
-in cats: the edges of the ears, the eyelids, lips and nose
-in dogs: inside the hind legs, on the tummy and bridge of the nose.

The skin initially becomes pink, feels rough an…

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Rat/mouse baits are commonly used around the home and are often ingested by our furred family members. Most rat baits are anticoagulants—they interfere with blood clotting which results in the mouse/rat slowly bleeding to death.

Rat Baits are also highly toxic to dogs and cats if eaten directly and secondary toxicity can occur with repeated ingestion of affected rodents. The newer rat baits…

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Cats are independent creatures that can be family orientated and live in colonies with their relatives if enough resources are available. They are also very territorial and hence are often not tolerant of “outsiders” and are less likely to cohabit harmoniously with a cat that they are not related to. For this reason if you want a multi-cat household the best combination of cats is actually li…

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Providing an acceptable area to scratch is important for your cat both mentally and physically. Cats need to scratch to maintain their claws and also mark their territory with little scent glands they have in their feet, it is also a great way to stretch those muscles and keep agile.

Scratching posts come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and can be either vertical or horizontal, free standi…

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Every year there are cases of dogs dying from heat exhaustion. One of the most common causes is due to being locked in a car but it can occur in any crowded, enclosed area with poor ventilation.

On a typical Australian summer day the temperature inside a parked car can be as much as 30–40 degrees hotter than the outside temperature and most of this increase occurs in the first 5 minutes of …

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Car sickness, or motion sickness, can be a real problem for dogs and their owners.

The signs vary between dogs but can include
1) Excessive drooling or salivating
2) Panting , swallowing and lip licking
3) Restlessness , trembling
4) Retching
5) Vomiting

The causes of motion sickness are complex but the combination of motion and stress or anxiety triggers the inner ear which the…

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Many dogs enjoy swimming as much as people do.

You do have to look out for your pet around water since even the strongest, most enthusiastic swimmer can get into trouble e.g. if they can’t find the steps to a pool, get “dunked” by a wave, caught in a rip or just tire out. So supervision is essential.

Obedience training is very important so your dog comes to you when called even when sw…

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Cats’ need access to a litter tray even if they are allowed outside. Although considered a necessary evil by many humans, a litter tray does allow us to monitor their health so that changes in the frequency, volume or consistency of their urine and/or droppings can be detected quickly.

The basic requirements are

1) Number: There should be one litter tray per cat in the household p…

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Cats naturally hunt for food and search for water on separate occasions to satisfy either hunger or thirst. The presence of water next to their food bowl can deter some cats from drinking and finding water elsewhere is extremely satisfying.

Increasing their water intake flushes more water through their kidneys, dilutes their urine and results in more frequent bladder emptying which improves …

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There are many myths about pet food -some are marketing hype, others are opinions based on hearsay. The most common myths at the moment are

  • Meat by-products are bad – NOT True. Meat by-products include organs from non-straited muscle ( eg lung, spleen , kidney, brain, liver , blood , bone ,fatty tissue ,intestines without content) but does NOT include hair, horns, teeth or hoofs . Ma…
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There are so many brands of pet food on the market it is very difficult to decide which one to use. There is no one “right” diet for all dogs or for all cats despite what everyone tells you. Many people have very strong opinions on pet nutrition- most of which are not based on science.

You want to choose a diet that is

  • Labelled “compete and balanced” which means it has the right nu…
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Providing a healthy feline environment is essential to reduce stress, the incidence of stress related disorders, and unwanted behaviour. It involves addressing the cat’s physical environment (indoors or outdoors) as well as their social interaction with humans. To a cat environment is everything! If you could ask your cat what they REALLY want they would say:

  • Provide a safe place—to relax…
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The cost of living, including pet care is rising. Pets are part of the family and like children their care needs to come out of the household budget.

There are some simple ways you can save on your pet health bills

1) Maintain a healthy lifestyle – nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are essential to a long healthy life. Obesity increases the risk of many diseases (e.g. diabetes, heart …

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Does your pet keep you up all night scratching and snorfling (chewing and sucking noise)? Chances are they have a flea allergy and/ or atopy.

Fleas—my pet doesn’t have fleas you say! Well just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they are not there. Fleas jump on to your pet and take a bite injecting their saliva into the pet’s skin. It is the flea saliva which can cause your pet to i…

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The two most common dental problems we see in small animal practice are
1) Periodontal disease – see our article on dental disease
2) Broken teeth

A broken tooth exposes the pulp (nerve ending and blood supply) in the tooth –it is a very painful condition!

Bacteria in the mouth enter the exposed pulp cavity and infection spreads up the tooth root to the jaw bone surrounding and supp…

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Is your pet is thirstier than usual? Are you filling up their water bowl more often? Have you caught your pet drinking from the shower, the tap or the toilet? An increase in thirst can be one of the first signs of kidney (renal) disease.

The kidneys contain thousands of little factories called nephrons and their job is to work out how much water should be conserved in the body. Once damaged …

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Reading a recent reported case of a thiamine deficiency in a dog in NSW was a good reminder that “pet meat” can be dangerous to our dogs and cats. Thankfully the dog responded well to treatment and is fine.

Adding sulphite preservatives to meat to maintain its red colour and give the impression of freshness was made illegal in Australia in the 1970’s for meat sold for human consumption and…

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Fleas can be a major problem for dogs, cats and their owners. These blood-sucking parasites not only cause considerable discomfort leading to scratching, chewing and biting but can also cause:

  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Anaemia
  • Transit tapeworm to pets
  • Spread some diseases to pets e.g. Bartonella a blood borne parasite

One adult female flea can produce up to 50 eggs a day and …

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Cancer or neoplasia is the uncontrolled, abnormal growth of a cell in the body. Any cell can become cancerous (e.g. a cell of the skin, liver, bone). The cell multiplies and divides and often forms a discrete lump of abnormal tissue which is called a tumour.

The cause of the cell to suddenly start dividing is often unknown but in some cases predisposing factors are recognised (e.g. sun dama…

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Digging is a natural normal behaviour to dogs, some just love to do it more than others.

There are many reasons dogs dig. They may dig to make a cool resting spot, they may hear or smell a bug/ critter in the soil they are trying to catch, they may be looking for past buried treasure, but most commonly they are bored or anxious and digging is a way to help them cope i.e. they do it beca…

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What is Toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by infection with the organism called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii). Most warm-blooded animals, including pets, livestock, birds and people, can be infected with this organism. It is a well adapted parasite and rarely causes significant disease to the individuals it infects. Although many species can become infected, cats are the only…

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Going for a walk should be a pleasure—not only for your dog but also for you!

Walking not only provides your pet with physical exercise but is also very important to provide mental stimulation. No matter what size your yard is, any dog will know the yard inside-out and back- to- front within a few days; it’s the going out and about for a walk that really stimulates their minds, contributes…

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With the rising costs of pet health, insuring your pet against injury and illness might be a good option for you and your family.

Pet insurance is a way to prepare for unexpected vet bills. Statistics show that one in every 3 pets will require emergency treatment each year but only 5% of Australian pets have insurance.

Most insurance companies will cover up to 70-80% of your vet bills …

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Diseases of the heart tend to be sneaky and signs often do not develop until the heart is in serious trouble. Heart disease can be caused by many things but it usually results in failure of the pumping mechanism of the heart.

Signs to look out for:
The common signs to look out for in both dogs and cats are laboured or fast breathing, an enlarged belly, weight loss or poor appetite. Dogs …

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Many cats have “Cat-a-tude” -making taking them to the vet a challenge for pet owners. Cats don’t like to leave their familiar territory; they are very sensitive to movement, smell and sounds so the car can be the start of a scary journey. Cats that experience car travel as young kittens, during the period between 2 and 7 weeks of age when they are most receptive to learning new things, tend to…

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Is your pet on multiple medications? Dosecast is an elaborate medication reminder originally designed for human patients. The app allows clients to compile a list of drugs, along with their dosages, photos and any remarks (e.g., give with food, etc.) and set reminders for each of them for the duration of the therapy.

The free version is limited to medications in pill form only. The premium v…

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Heartworm isn’t going away. The 2013 Heartworm Surveillance Project has collected heartworm data from dogs around Australia and the most recent results show that heartworm is still infecting dogs in Brisbane. It only takes one bite from a mosquito to become infected, so even indoor pets are at risk.

Although the incidence of infection has declined it has not been eradicated mainly due to …

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Pets show pain in different ways to humans. Often these signs develop over a period of time and we might be so accustomed to seeing these behaviours that we accept them as being normal or just assume its “old age”. It is worthwhile to review the lists below and evaluate your pet’s current behaviour

Cats
•Does your cat find it difficult to jump up onto a surface; and often needs to take se…

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Vomiting and diarrhoea. Most people don’t want to mention these words, let alone clean it off their carpet!

The truth is, most dogs and cats suffer from either (or both) of these at some point in their life. The most common cause is ‘dietary indiscretion’ which is just our way of saying your pet ate something he shouldn’t!

After withholding food for a few hours (gastric rest), fluids for …

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The Easter Bunny is about to make his deliveries and we are delivering a warning message—KEEP ALL CHOCOLATE OUT OF PAW’S REACH!

Cats are less likely to be interested in sweet treats but you should be aware that pets of the canine variety are designed to seek out EVERY morsel of chocolate!

There is a derivative of caffeine in chocolate (called theobromine) that your dog can’t digest.

In…

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Just like humans, our furry friends can suffer from a range of behavioural disorders. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) will be running a month-long campaign in March to help owners address behaviour issues in pets.

Now in its third year, the theme of this year’s Polite Pets Month® will be Mental health is important for pets, with a focus on anxiety, fear and phobias in dogs, cats …

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Dental disease is very common in dogs and cats, in-fact up to 80% of pets have some form of periodontal disease by the age of three.

Periodontal disease is due to plaque –an invisible slime layer of bacteria, food and salivary compounds that stick to the teeth and gums and cause inflammation. The plaque becomes calcified into tartar or calculus which then helps to protect the bacteria allo…

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There are many potential dangers to pets in an average household. Below is a list of some commonly reported toxins.

Obviously prevention is better than treatment and knowing what is potentially poisonous to your pets allows you to try and “poison–proof” your home.

It also means that if you suspect your pet has ingested any of the below products veterinary attention should be sought as s…

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Lilies (Lilium and Hemerocallis) are deadly to cats due to a toxin that causes acute kidney failure. All parts of the plant are toxic, even tiny amounts (even licking pollen off their coats, a few bites of a leaf) can be fatal if ingested.

Some popular members of these families of plants include day lilies (Hemerocallis sp.), tiger lilies (L. tigrinum), easter lilies (L. longiflorum) …

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Pets are considered overweight when their weight is 15 percent or more above ideal and obese when their weight is 30 percent or more above ideal.

We can assess your pet’s body condition. If weight loss is deemed necessary we can work with you to develop a strategy to help your pet shed those extra Kilograms.

Reasons to keep your four-legged family members slim and trim

> Excess wei…

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We love senior pets!  They are smart and sensible and very bonded to their owners, who adore them back. 

“Ageing” is not a disease but changes do obviously occur and there are many things we can do to keep our senior pets well and happy for as long as possible.  Many changes are very gradual, and pets are notorious at hiding or masking signs so it is often difficult for owners to recogni… Read full article...

We have seen 2 cases of Parvo virus in the last 10 days. Fortunately one puppy went home 2 days ago and another, a staffy who is 12 months old, came in yesterday and is under going treatment.

What is parvo virus?
• Parvo virus is a very contagious virus – it is spread in the faeces and can be caught through the mouth or nose. Some adult dogs are subclinical carriers – they are normal b…

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Toad poisoning is common during the warm wet seasons in brisbane.
- Poisoning usually occurs when an animal ( usually a dog , rarely a cat) grabs or licks a cane toad.
- The toad secretes the toxin through glands on the back of its head as a defense mechanism.
- The toxin is very sticky and irritating. It is absorbed very quickly through the animals’ gums.

*What to do if your pet grabs o…

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We all know that dogs love to roll in stinky, smelly things. Well Myer, a Siberian Husky, received quite a surprise after rolling in a dead sting ray at the beach! The sting ray’s barb became embedded in her right shoulder, poor Myer.

Our vet, Dr Angela Willemsen, was able to remove the embedded barb and flushed and cleaned the wound. Lucky for Myer, it was only a small sting ray, and only…

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Christmas-it’s the most wonderful time of the year; however it can be a dangerous time of year for your pet. We have put together a small list together of things you should be aware of so you can avoid an emergency trip to the Vets over the holidays!

Food

A lot of the food that we eat during the holidays can be quite toxic to our pets. Others can cause gastro-intestinal upsets. So when…

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I’m sure you’ve all been a part of this conversation before:

Vet:
Fluffy seems to have gained some more weight this year

Pet Owner:
No, he hasn’t, he’s just fluffy/big boned/naturally a big cat

Vet:
Well according to our records, he was 3 kilos lighter this time last year

Pet Owner:
Oh…

One of the biggest challenges as a pet owner, is preventing our petite p…

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Well, summer is definitely here, and we’re in for a wet one! Which means the paralysis tick will be out in force this year. We have already seen large numbers of paralysis ticks on pets, some of which have been lucky and not shown any signs of paralysis, but most aren’t quite so lucky.

The paralysis tick tends to live on native marsupials (in particular, the bandicoot) but will latch on to a…

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Golf anyone?

Besides being a popular sport, some pets also find golf fascinating! This month, Joe the labrador took his obsession with golf (and eating) a little too far. Can you spot the golf ball on the x-ray of Joe’s belly?

Luckily for Joe, his owner was on hand to quickly bring him into the clinic. The x-ray showed a golf ball in his stomach which needed removal, otherwise it would ha…

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