Why regular grooming should be high on your weekly to-do list!

It might seem like a small detail of owning a dog, but in fact, maintaining regular grooming should be high on your weekly to-do list! Even if your dog doesn’t look overly scruffy, grooming has many health benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked, despite them not being immediately obvious. 

Many of these benefits stem from simply brushing your dog. Not only will regular brushing become a nice bonding routine for you and your pet, but it also helps to circulate blood flow and ventilate their coat which helps it to grow healthy and strong. Brushing will also remove any old damaged hair and keep excess grease at bay. This is important as too much grease can block pores and cause irritation and all sorts of skin problems. 

Furthermore, when a dog sheds, the loose hair can get tangled which causes matting. Left untreated, matting can create painful sore patches and in worse case scenarios can lead to infection. All of which can go unseen under their fur. 

The next major health benefit comes from regular nail maintenance. Allowing your dog’s nails to grow too long can cause their toes to spread, which in turn puts stress on the ankle joints. If this happens, they may experience some difficulty in walking around. Unfortunately, this is quite a common problem in dogs. Trimmed nails will keep them from curling, as well as stop germs from getting trapped in them. Extra long nails can sometimes grow so much that they grow into the foot! OUCH! 

Many owners are apprehensive about cutting their dog’s nails, but if you do decide to do this yourself be sure to invest in some proper nail clippers made especially for dogs. If you are nervous about this part of your grooming routine, feel free to seek advice during your next visit to Pet Doctor. Bring the clippers in and staff will train you in how to clip your dog’s nails. 

Animals can’t tell us when or where they’re hurting, so it’s important to keep on top of grooming as it gives you the opportunity to give them a basic health check during the process. You can check for matting, sores, grass seeds between their toes and other areas of the body and as well as fleas, or general lumps, bumps, scratches, and the condition of their eyes, ears and feet.

Of course, if you don’t feel up to the job or you own a long-haired breed, which requires substantial upkeep, professional groomers will be able to do all this for you. Just be sure to book them in on a regular and on-going basis to ensure health implications don’t arise in between appointments. 

For more advice or information, or recommendations for trusted grooming salons, be sure to contact Pet Doctor on (08) 8268 6777 and speak with one of our friendly nurses. 

Desexing: Why, When and How Much

You might be aware that you need to desex your pet, but could be unsure why that is, when to do so or what costs are involved. Keep reading to find all the answers to these pivotal questions below. 

Why:

Desexing is one of the most important health measures you can provide for your pets. Desexing pets offers both long-term and short-term benefits for him or her.

In females, it eliminates unwanted litters and uterine disease, as well as significant reduction in mammary tumours (breast cancer).

In males, benefits include reduced tendency to wander, urine/territory marking, testicular tumours and significant reduction in the risk of prostate disease and perineal herniation later in life.

When:

Desexing is compulsory in SA for all dogs and cats born after 1 July 2018. Cats and dogs have to be desexed by the age of six months, or within 28 days of when you take possession of a new animal.

The new desexing law is aimed at reducing the number of unwanted dogs and cats that end up in shelters every year.

It does not apply to dogs and cats born before 1 July 2018, and exemptions are available for working dogs, registered racing greyhounds and animals belonging to breeders registered with the Dog and Cat Management Board.

For both male and female pets, desexing requires day surgery. It is very important to thoroughly adhere to the after care information given to you by the Veterinary Nurse at time of discharge to avoid complications.

How Much:

The price of desexing is determined by a number of factors including weight, species, and health status of the animal. Prices charged for desexing are based on the type and quality of the products and services provided to your pet.

Desexing fees include: the pre-surgical exam, IV catheter placement, a full-day stay in our hospital; ear tattoos to indicate your pet is desexed and/or microchipped; nail clipping; pre-and post-operative pain relief medications; and a 10-day follow up exam to assess the wound and remove their sutures.

For further information about desexing or to book a surgery appointment please call 08 8268 6777 and speak to one of our friendly Nurses.

Charity Spotlight: Love Your Pet, Love Your Vet

This month we are shining the spotlight on an amazing charity, Love Your Pet, Love Your Vet. As proud members of their foundation, we felt it was necessary to highlight some of the industry’s biggest struggles and how this amazing charity is trying to help! 

Love Your Pet Love Your Vet is a registered charity leading the way in increasing wellbeing in the veterinary industry, raising awareness and building community support to highlight and address the disproportionately high rate of suicide within this profession, and providing psychological and educational support to these professionals.

Despite the perception that they get to play with cute puppies all day and make lots of money doing so, veterinarians are actually four-times more likely than the general population and twice as likely as other health professionals to commit suicide. 

There are many aiding factors to these statistics, which include but aren’t limited to, having to euthanise animals, dealing with difficult/demanding clients, financial issues, compassion fatigue, and unrealistic expectations. 

Sadly many of these people will suffer in silence and choose suicide as a way of dealing with these issues.

What is needed is a paradigm shift within this industry so our veterinary professionals can do the work they are so passionate about without the negative (and often life-threatening) consequences.

Wondering how you can make a difference? 

Either as a member of the community or as a veterinary professional, there are plenty of ways in which you can help. These include:

  • Making a donation
  • Becoming a member of the Love Your Pet, Love Your Vet foundation
  • Sponsoring the charity
  • Purchasing their merchandise

It’s important to support those in our community, even if it’s just by showing compassion and kindness to one another. If you are or know of a struggling veterinarian, be sure to check out Love Your Pet, Love Your Vet’s resources page for more information on how you can get help. 

It’s time to prepare for another magpie swooping season

It’s that time of year again. The sun is starting to shine, flowers blooming and spiked helmets have been dusted off to prepare for yet another magpie swooping season. Here’s all you need to know to get through the season unscathed! 

Despite what many people may think, magpies aren’t monsters put on this earth solely to terrify the lives of South Australians! They are just using their body language to warn others to keep away from their eggs or newly hatched chicks.

It’s only natural to protect the things we love. Magpies feel the same way, particularly when it comes to their babies. Due to common breeding behaviours, we tend to see a huge spike in magpie swooping from August through October when their protective instincts are in full force. 

It’s actually the male magpies that guard their nests, and they will attack anything they deem to be a threat from the time the eggs are laid until the young birds are ready to take on the world themselves.

So what can you do to get through magpie swooping season in one piece? 

The best thing you can do is to avoid problematic areas altogether. If you have suspicions of a magpie nesting area, try taking another route to get to your destination. Magpies tend to nest in the same spots, so if you were swooped during a previous season, it’s likely it could happen again in the very same location this year.

If avoidance isn’t an option, here are some other tactics you can try to keep yourself safe:

  • Swooping birds usually only target individuals, so try to travel in groups
  • Carry an open umbrella above your head
  • Wear sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat
  • If you ride a bike, walk it through magpie territory or have a flag on the back of the bike that is higher than your head
  • Do not act aggressively. If you wave your arms about or shout, the magpies will see you as a threat to the nest – and not just this year, but for up to five years to come
  • Walk, don’t run
  • Avoid making eye contact with the birds.
  • If you know of an area that has swooping magpies, put a sign up to warn passers-by.

Do you have any precautionary tips you’d like to share to help others avoid being swooped this season? Let us know in the comments below! 

Be sure to keep track of recent South Australian attacks, as well as record your own on Magpie Alert.

Is your puppy almost ready for Pre-School?

At Pet Doctor, we pride ourselves on our Puppy Pre-School program and are certain you and your puppy will love it too!

Held within our Woodville clinic, you can rest assured that your puppy will undergo training in a safe, disease free, and professional environment. We use the training methods and techniques developed by Adelaide’s only Veterinary Behaviour Specialists, Australian Veterinary Behaviour Services’ (AVBS) program, to ensure you are provided with the latest and most current resources and information for your puppy.

Held weekly on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, our four week program aims to:

  • educate owners on socially responsible pet ownership;

  • teach owners about normal and abnormal puppy behaviour;

  • teach owners a humane training method to assist them in training their puppies;

  • allow puppies to socialise in a safe and controlled environment;

  • allow puppies to accept gentle handling by humans other than their owners;

  • teach puppies good manners;

  • assist owners in solving issues such as housetraining (toileting), mouthing (biting), jumping up and chewing;

  • encourage further training such as dog obedience; and

  • encourage the puppy to be confident, happy and comfortable at the veterinary clinic.

On top of these positive outcomes and a bunch of freebies, you will also receive a recorded presentation and digital training handbook to provide you with the tools needed to continue teaching your puppy these valuable skills in your home both during and after the course has finished.

Puppy Pre-School at Pet Doctor costs $100 for the four week program. Puppies must be between 8 – 14 weeks of age and up-to-date with vaccinations, worming and flea treatments in order to attend. Due to Covid-19 distancing regulations, class sizes are limited to five puppies per class with only one owner able to attend.

For more information or to book your puppy into Puppy Pre-School, please contact our clinic on (08) 8268 6777 and speak with one of our friendly Nurses today!

Rabbit Calicivirus in Australia

Rabbit calicivirus (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus, or RHDV*) is one of two viruses introduced into Australia to control wild rabbit populations (the other being myxomatosis). It causes extreme internal haemorrhaging and can lead to death within 1-2 days.

The first strain of RHDV was introduced in to the wild rabbit populations of Australia in 1995 from the Czech Republic, and has since diversified and evolved. As a result, many wild rabbits have developed immunity to calicivirus, with a number of non-pathogenic strains giving cross protection against the pathogenic strains.

RHDV strains currently present in Australia:

  • RHDV 1 – Original virus released in 1995 (also known at the Czech strain).
  • RHDV1A – Variant of type 1 isolated in Sydney in 2014.
  • RHDV1 K5 – Variant of type 1 found in Korea (Australian release planned in March 2017).
  • RHDV 2 – First recorded in Europe in 2010, and in Australia in 2015.
  • RCV A1 – Non-pathogenic virus present in wild populations.

In Australia, we are currently only able to vaccinate against RHDV 1 with the Cylap® RCD Vaccine.

*You may often see rabbit calicivirus referred to as RHD (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease), RCV (Rabbit Calicivirus), and RCD (Rabbit Calicivirus Disease) depending on which country you’re in.

Symptoms of RHDV1 (and variants) include:

  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Neurological problems
  • Anorexia

 

What is the Korean Strain (RHDV1 K5)?

In 2014, the Australian government investigated a number of calicivirus strains not present in Australia, in an attempt to find one that would be effective against the wild rabbits that have immunity to the current Australian strains, particularly the non-pathogenic RCV-A1. They found that the Korean RHDV1 K5 was the most effective.

On the 29th April 2016, the Australian government announced that RHDV1 K5 was approved as a Restricted Chemical Product by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA) and would be scheduled for a controlled release. Read the media release HERE.

RHDV1 K5 is a variant of the RHDV1 virus released in 1995. The existing RHDV1 vaccine (Cylap®) is hoped to be effective against RHDV1 K5. An initial study completed by the NSW Department of Primary Industries compared the mortality of a small number of vaccinated and unvaccinated rabbits that were subsequently infected with a high dose of RHDV1 K5. All of the rabbits vaccinated with the currently available vaccine survived and did not show any clinical signs; none of the unvaccinated rabbits survived. But while the vaccine is expected to be effective, suspicious deaths, particularly in vaccinated rabbits, should be investigated.

Read more on the RHDV1 K5 roll out HERE, or contact your local state and territory representatives:

NSWLocal Land Services 1300 795 299
Dept. of Primary Industries (02) 6391 3834 – Quentin Hart (DPI)
quentin.hart@dpi.nsw.gov.au
QldDept. of Agriculture and Fisheries 13 25 23 – Peter Elsworth
Peter.Elsworth@daf.qld.gov.au
VicDept. of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources 136 186 – John Matthews
john.matthews@ecodev.vic.gov.au
SAPrimary Industry and Regions South Australia – Greg Mutze
Greg.Mutze@sa.gov.au
TasDept. of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment 1300 368 550 – Michael Askey-Doran
michael.askey-doran@dpipwe.tas.gov.au
WADept. of Agriculture and Food 1800 084 881 – Susan Campbell
susan.campbell@agric.wa.gov.au
NTDept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries 1800 084 881 – Peter Saville
Peter.Saville@nt.gov.au
ACTTransport Canberra and City Services 13 22 81 – Oliver Orgill
oliver.orgill@act.gov.au

 

What is RHDV2?

There has been some confusion between the new variant RHDV1 K5 (to be released in March 2017) and the discovery of RHDV2 in 2015, but these are completely different forms of the virus.

RHDV2 is a calici-like virus that was discovered in Europe in 2010, and is significantly different to previously known strains, including those in Australia. This new form has been found to cause death in a small percentage of rabbits previously vaccinated with the Cylap® vaccine. It is also able to infect rabbits at a younger age (as young as 4 weeks old), and some rabbits experience a more prolonged death (weeks vs days) than previously seen in other forms of calicivirus.

The Australian government rejected the use of RHDV2 based on information from European studies; however an Australian strain was discovered in wild and farmed rabbits in 2015. It is not yet known whether it is the same as the European strain, or just a relative. As such, we do not have enough information as to how it will affect vaccinated rabbits, and what studies are available show erratic results.

The Australian RHDV2 was first detected in the ACT, and subsequently in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Tasmania, and Western Australia.

Clinical signs of RHDV2 differ from other strains, and include:

  • Pyrexia
  • Seizures
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Anaemia
  • Kidney and liver problems
  • Death

 

How Can I Protect My Rabbit?

The pathogenic strains of calicivirus are considered highly contagious and can be transmitted via: direct contact with infected rabbits; fomites (objects or materials that can carry the virus e.g. bedding, clothing etc.); and other animals/insects (birds, flies, fleas etc.).

Vaccination is still the best way to protect your rabbits from all forms of calicivirus. The Australian Veterinary Association has recently revised their recommended vaccination protocols as follows:

Kittens: 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks of age; then every 6 months for life.

Adults: 2 vaccinations, 4 weeks apart; then every 6 months for life.

 

Please be aware that this protocol is considered “off-label” – Cylap® is not registered for 6-monthly use or in rabbits younger than 10 weeks, and is not registered for use against RHDV2. Please make sure to discuss this with your veterinarian before administering.

 

Vaccinations should only be administered to healthy animals, and like all medications, carry the risk of side effects. These are usually minor, however, with extreme reactions being very rare. Pet Doctor will be implementing the new vaccination protocols as recommended by the AVA, but we greatly appreciate feedback and encourage you to discuss the risks/benefits with your veterinarian. These protocols may change as more information becomes available.

Other forms of prevention include:

  • Insect screens around your rabbit(s) enclosure to keep our flies and other insects.
  • Lots of disinfection – of people and equipment. Especially if there is movement between different locations (to and from shows, the vet etc.)
  • Showering between visiting different rabbit colonies.
  • Protect against fleas by using a preventative, such as Revolution.

Spring Has Sprung (Part 3) – Parasites and Preventatives

We’re finally starting to see some warmer weather and most of us can’t wait to get outside – including our pets! While this is certainly a good thing – more time outside leads to better enrichment and exercise – it does come with its risks. While parasites are commonly seen by our vets all year-round, the increased warmth brings nasty internal and external parasites out in force. As our pets spend more time outside, they become increasingly at risk of becoming infested if not on a suitable preventative.

Which Parasites Concern My Pet?

 

Fleas, Ticks & Mites

Fleas, ticks, and mites are the most common external parasites found on dogs and cats, but they can also affect birds and pocket pets (guinea pigs, rabbits, mice etc.). More than just being annoying, they can be extremely contagious and cause disease and discomfort for animals – and people!

Did you know it can take as little as 7 seconds for flea pupae to hatch and jump onto a passing animal? They feed on blood and can quickly pass from animal to animal (and will even bite people given half a chance). One adult female flea can lay thousands of eggs in her life-time, meaning that the fleas you see crawling on your pet are about 5% of your infestation – 95% of the problem are the eggs and larval stages that live in the environment (i.e. your home). Read more…

Fleas can cause your pet to experience allergic reactions, skin irritation, and intense itching. They also transmit tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum). Luckily, fleas are simple to prevent and control when using monthly preventatives (e.g. Revolution, Frontline Plus, Nexgard) and surface sprays.

The biggest concern with ticks is the variety of diseases that they carry and transmit to both pets and humans. Lyme disease is one of the more common of these, with symptoms including fever, inflammation, and lameness. Other diseases include typhus, fever, and tick paralysis. In South Australia we don’t usually see paralysis ticks (Ixodes holocyclus), but they are common in the Eastern states so it’s important that your pet is on a tick prevention when travelling and/or camping. It’s also important to check your pets daily for any potential stow-aways. Read more on how to check for ticks…

Heartworm

Heartworm disease is an extremely serious condition and can be transmitted to dogs and cats via mosquito bite. These worms can infest and damage your pet’s heart and lungs and can be ultimately fatal if not treated early enough. Prevention is key to keeping your pet safe, and preventatives are easy and safe to use. Read more…

Intestinal Parasites

Regular worming is extremely important, but is often overlooked. Puppies and kittens are usually born with worms, contracted in-utero or via their mother’s milk, and should be dewormed every two weeks until 12 weeks of age. After this age, deworming should be done every three months for the rest of their life.

In Australia, dogs and cats can get infected with hookworms, roundworms, whip worm and tapeworm.  The microscopic eggs and larvae can end up on pet’s feet from anywhere, and then they become infected when they lick and clean their feet. If your dog licks their bottom and then licks your or your child, or if your child pets your dog and doesn’t wash their hands, he or she can become infected with these parasites.

Cats get infected with hookworms, round worms and tapeworms by eating prey they’ve caught.  Even indoor cats can have worms, if they ingest things like geckos, mice, insects, or fleas. Up to 50% of dogs and cats are thought to be carriers of gastrointestinal parasites.

 

Spring Has Sprung (Part 2) – The Importance of Vaccinations

Vaccinations are an essential part of keeping your pets happy and healthy. Vaccines help prevent the spread of many deadly and highly contagious diseases such as parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis. Though there is much debate about the need for annual vaccination and how many your pet needs, most veterinarians agree that vaccines are essential to your pet’s health.

Understanding Vaccines

Vaccines help prepare the body’s immune system to fight of invading disease-causing pathogens. They contain antigens that, when introduced in to the body, trick the immune system into creating antibodies so that, if your pet is ever exposed to the real disease, the immune system now recognises and is prepared to fight off or reduce the severity of the illness. Puppies have a natural immunity which they acquire through their mother’s milk, however this immunity wears off over time so pups need vaccinations to help boost their immune system.

The Vaccination Guideline Group (VGG) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) recommends that vaccines be defined as core, non core or not recommended, and our veterinarians follow these guidelines.

Core Vaccinations

Core vaccines should be administered to all animals to protect them against severe, life-threatening diseases that have a global distribution.

Dogs: (C3) canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus (hepatitis), and canine parvovirus.

  • Parvovirus: highly contagious disease contracted through contact with infected animals and faeces; attacks the intestinal lining and causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea which can lead to extreme dehydration and death. Doberman and Rotteweilers are particularly susceptible.
  • Distemper: highly contagious, with no cure; mostly affects puppies and attacks multiple systems in the body, including the respiratory and nervous systems.
  • Hepatitis: highly infections, contracted through contact with infected dogs and bodily fluids (urine, faeces, saliva etc.); infects the liver and kidneys and can lead to death.

Cats: (F3) feline panleukopenia virus, feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus.

  • Panleukopenia: also known as “feline parvovirus”, highly contagious and can be fatal. Contracted through contact with infected cats and bodily fluids, attacks the intestinal tract and severely suppresses the immune system.
  • Calicivirus: highly contagious respiratory disease, spread through contact with infected eye, nasal, and oral discharges; along with feline herpesvirus, one of the most common causes of “cat flu”. Kittens, older cats, and immunosuppressed cats are at the greatest risk; most often seen in stray cats, shelters, and environments with overcrowding.
  • Herpes: highly contagious upper respiratory disease; most common in kittens, older cats, and cats in stressed/overcrowded environments (e.g. animal shelters and multi-cat households). Once your cat becomes infected with the feline herpesvirus, they will have it for life and may experience recurrent episodes when stressed.

Non-core Vaccinations

Non-core vaccines are required by only those animals whose geographic location, local environment or lifestyle places them at risk of contracting specific infections.

Dogs: parainfluenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and Leptospira interrogans.

Cats: feline leukaemia virus, Chlamydia felis, and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) vaccines may also be classified in this group, however they’re strongly recommended for outdoor cats.

  • Feline immunodeficiency virus: the feline equivalent to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), FIV weakens/suppresses the immune system, leaving the body open to attack by other diseases. Transmitted through saliva (usually bite or scratch wounds from an infected cat), there is no treatment or cure for FIV – prevention is key here. Outdoor cats are most at risk as they are more likely to come in contact with feral cats who carry the disease.

Frequency of Vaccinations

When your pets are young, there is a standard schedule of vaccinations that need to be met during their first year of life. After this initial course, the core vaccinations should be administered every 1 – 3 years based on your veterinarian’s recommendations. This will be determined by your pet’s age, medical history, environment, and lifestyle.

If your dog is being placed in to a kennel (or kennelled regularly), or is in regular contact with other dogs (via shows, grooming, etc.), some of the non-core vaccinations will need to be kept up to date as well. Kennel cough vaccinations, especially, need to be given yearly regardless of your core-vaccination schedule.

Even if your pet’s vaccination schedule is every three years, an annual health check by a veterinarian is still essential to keep your pet healthy. When you think about it, an annual vet check is the equivalent of a human heading to the doctor’s office once every 5 – 7 years! A lot can happen in this time, and it’s important that we detect any problems early to provide effective treatment options and a healthier pet. Senior pets are recommended to see a veterinarian at least twice yearly because, like people, their health problems increase in severity and frequency with age.

If you’re concerned about over-vaccinating your pet, there is a test that can be done to determine whether a particular vaccination is necessary. These are called “titer tests”, and they measure the amount of antibodies in the body and can give us an idea of whether a booster may be needed or not. Ask your vet about titer testing at your next visit.

Are Vaccinations Safe?

Vaccinations mildly stimulate the body’s immune system in order to create antibodies to protect your pet from infectious diseases. As with any medical procedure, there is always a chance of side affects. Most pets show no ill-effects from vaccination, however some may experience mild symptoms ranging from soreness around the injection site, to mild fevers and allergic reactions. It’s important to talk to your vet about your pet’s medical history before it is vaccinated to reduce any risks. If you suspect your pet is experiencing an allergic reaction to a vaccine, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Keep in mind that vaccines have saved countless lives, and the risk of major side effects is much lower than the risk of contracting the actual diseases. Your vet is there to protect and look after your pet’s health and will not bring unnecessary risk to them while they are in their care. If you have any concerns or questions about your pet and their vaccination status, don’t hesitate to call and ask questions.

 

References: http://www.ava.com.au/policy/66-vaccination-dogs-and-cats

Spring Has Sprung (Part 1) – Are You Prepared?

Spring in Adelaide is a curious affair – sometimes we have days where the skies are clear and sun starts to feel a little bit warmer; other days we see nothing but rain. But whatever the weather, little changes are still occurring – the ground softens, grass and other new sprouts push their way up to see the sun, and the days slowly start to lengthen. Spring brings the promise of new energy and new life.

Your animals feel it too, and they’re keen to get outside more often to explore the new sights and smells. How ready are you and your home for Spring? Here’s a checklist for you to help keep your pets safe, happy, and healthy:

How Does Your Garden Grow?

  • How lovely it is to see the flowers blooming in your garden again! Are you aware of which flowers are toxic to dogs? The Animal Emergency Centre provides a list of potentially toxic plants, some of which may be poking their pretty little heads up in your garden right now. Daffodil, lily of the valley, iris, and hibiscus all have toxic properties, just to name a few! Keep your dogs away from those flowers, or replant your beds with something non-toxic.
  • Using fertiliser on your gardens and lawns does wonders for their growth, but it’s not so great for your dogs. We’ve had a number of cases where a dog has eaten freshly laid fertiliser because they were attracted to the “wonderful” aroma. Try to keep your pets away from your neighbour’s lawns as well in case they’ve also decided to do a little fertilising of their own. Where possible, opt for organic methods to fertilise your gardens.
  • Be sure to choose a mulch that is safe for pets. Avoid anything made from cocoa hulls, and opt for something like untreated wood shavings. Also be on the lookout for mushrooms that often appear in Spring, especially on newly laid mulch and wet lawns. Some mushrooms are extremely toxic (and not just to animals so keep an eye on the children).

Spring Cleaning

  • Give your vacuum cleaner a break – brush your cat or dog twice a day to control shedding. Try brushing them outside (where able) to avoid excess hair in your home. Don’t worry if you don’t catch it all as it wafts away – many birds love to use the hair to line their nests.
  • Spring cleaning is the perfect time to review your cleaning products’ pet-friendliness. If the bottles do not say they’re pet-safe, it’s best to keep these products out of reach or locked away in a cupboard. If your pet ingests a household cleaner, seek immediate veterinary attention.
  • If you’re an allergy sufferer, you probably dread the arrival of Spring more than anything else. Some dogs suffer from pollen allergies too. If your dog is itching, give them a soothing bath with an oatmeal-based shampoo and ask your local veterinary clinic for advice.

Beware of Pests!

  • As you take time to appreciate the emerging bird-song, don’t forget that other less melodious creatures are lurking both above and below too. Fleas, ticks, and other biting insects (spiders, flies, etc.) are all going to be more active with the warmer weather. It’s recommended to use a monthly flea and tick preventative such as Revolution or Nexgard. This will give you and your pets a fighting chance to beat a bug infestation. Also remember that, if using pesticides and herbicides, please keep your pets out of the yard for a safe period of time after application as these are extremely toxic.
  • Get a head start on the peskiest of pests, the mosquito! Make sure your dog is on a monthly or yearly heartworm preventative. If your dog isn’t currently on any such preventative, speak to your vet about getting a blood test done to make sure they’re heartworm free. Remember to give your pets an intestinal worming tablet every 3 months as well.
  • When using any sort of baits (rat, snail, roach etc.), place these products in areas inaccessible to your pets. Most baits contain ingredients that are as attractive to your pets as the pests you’re trying to kill – and they will kill your animals just as easily. If you can’t guarantee your pet won’t get access to them, avoid the use of baits at all.

Put Some “Spring” In Your Step

  • Why not add an extra walk in to your daily routine? Your dog will think all its Christmas’ have come at once when they see you go for the leash a second or third time in one day! Springtime exercise will help shed some of that lazy Winter weight (from the dog, of course). Be sure check them all over when you get home for any invading grass seeds that may cause an abscess or infection.

Pet Dental Month, Part 5: Pets & Bad Breath

This article is the 5th and final in our series on National Pet Dental Month, educating pet owners about the importance of proper dental care for your dogs and cats. Click to read Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 – and here to view our special offers for the month of August 2016.

 

“Dog Breath” could be an indication of dental disease …

Have you ever heard anyone use the term “dog breath” as a compliment? Bad breath is not a positive for anyone, even our pets. In fact, it could very well indicate dental disease. Poor dental hygiene can lead to a host of other diseases affecting the heart, liver, and kidneys.

Take a look at the facts!

• 28 million: The number of pet owners who mistakenly think bad breath is normal for pets.
• 365: The number of days per year pets need dental care to prevent bad breath.
• Bacteria is the #1 cause of bad breath in pets. It builds up below the gum line, causing disease when plaque is not removed regularly.
• Pets with short faces like pugs, bull terriers and bulldogs are the highest at risk for bad breath and oral issues.
• Small dogs and cats experience bad breath due to tightly space and difficult to clean teeth.
• Bad breath can also occur is your pet has liver or kidney problems.

(Information via Greenies)

The team here at Pet Doctor are offering free dental checks all through the month of August. Plus, everyone who comes in for a free dental check goes in the draw to win one of two dental gift baskets valued at $250! Please contact our Woodville or West Lakes clinics to book your free appointment today.

*Conditions apply.

Opening Hours

  • Monday: 8am – 8pm
  • Tuesday: 8am – 7pm
  • Wednesday: 8am – 7pm
  • Thursday: 8am – 8pm
  • Friday: 8am – 7pm
  • Saturday: 8am – 4pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 2pm

 

We have adequate onsite car parking and wheelchair access.

Contact

Pet Doctor Vet
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!