Grass Seeds On The Prowl

During the late Spring/early Summer season grass seeds are rampantly on the loose. They can cause extensive and very frustrating problems to you and your pooch. Grass seeds can lodge themselves into your dog’s paws, ears, eyes, genital areas and noses causing major discomfort and inflammation and the longer they’re left untreated the worse they can get!

Due to the sharp tips of grass seeds, they can easily penetrate into your pet’s bodies very quickly. This means the grass seeds are near impossible to fall out or remove themselves once they have become stuck. In fact, they continue to burrow making what we call “sinus tracks” which form surrounding abscesses. These infections through the body can cause pain, swelling and usually lead to your pet requiring exploratory surgery in attempt to find and remove the seed!

Here are some ways you can spot if your pet has been ‘attacked’ by these little criminals:
  1. Paws/Feet/Toes: swelling on the foot, often with a ‘weeping’ hole, excessive licking or chewing, pet being severely irritated by this area.
  2. Ears: shaking head or scratching ear, painful to touch ear, yelping, usually an acute onset.
  3. Eyes: squinting or rubbing eye, swollen eye with or without discharge, sometimes the eye will stay closed to maintain some form of comfort.

Grass seeds can usually be easily removed depending on their location and how deep they’ve penetrated the skin. Many dogs however, will require sedation or a general anaesthetic to allow exploration of the seed, especially if the area is painful. If the grass seed is left for a long period of time it can cause greater complications, such as travelling up your dog’s leg between tendons and ligaments, even up to the shoulder or the groin!

The most critical thing to do is get your pet to the Vet ASAP!!!

How to prevent grass seeds from harming your pets:
• Keep your grass and weeds under control at home with regular maintenance
• Avoid long grass when on walks
• Keep long haired/fluffy dogs groomed, especially around their feet and ears.
• Inspect your dog all over after each walk, making sure you check in between and under all toes and underneath the ears

A clean pet is a happy and healthy pet! If you suspect however that your dog has been a victim of a grass seed, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a check up and further help!

No Dog Left Behind!

Every year dogs all around the country suffer from heatstroke and in some cases can even die by being left alone in the car during our Summer months.

Though it may seem like the easy option to leave your pet inside your vehicle while you quickly duck into the shops, you can put your dog at serious risk and even cause a horrible death.

Dogs are only able to cool themselves down by panting, which can cause them to overheat and exert themselves leading to sustaining possible irreversible brain damage and deadly heatstroke.

Again, while you may be tempted to take your dog to quickly run errands, we would like to spread awareness about the potential dangers involved in leaving animals in your car for even a very short period of time. Even with windows open, it doesn’t take much for your pet to overheat.

It’s always best to leave them at home inside where there is sufficient air flow and even better, air conditioning.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at Woodville on 08 8268 6777 or West Lakes on 08 8353 3600, or visit

Happy Golden Retriever at Pet Doctor Vet in Adelaide

Important Information About Desexing Female Dogs

All You Need To Know About Desexing Female Dogs

The RSPCA receives over 125,000 animals every year. Unfortunately, many of these are unwanted animals due to unplanned breeding. This is why it is extremely important to desex your beloved pets.

Desexing not only helps to ensure unwanted and homeless animals but also help them live longer, healthier lives. It can also help your pet with behavioural issues such as aggression and they are less likely to ‘scent mark’ by urinating on certain things. Choosing to desex female dogs greatly reduces the risk of some potentially serious health problems. For example, desexed female dogs are less likely to get mammary cancer and will not get uterine infections such as pyometra.

What is Pyometra?

Pyometra is a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated promptly and aggressively. “Pyo” is a secondary infection that occurs as a result of hormonal changes in the female’s reproductive tract.

If pregnancy does not occur for several consecutive estrus cycles, the uterine lining continues to increase in thickness. This may form cysts within the uterine tissues. The thickened, cystic lining secretes fluids that create an ideal environment for bacterial growth.

Interesting Facts About Desexing Your Pet
  1. Desexed pets are not aware of their loss of sexuality
  2. Desexed pets do not become fat as a result of the surgery. Overfeeding and lack of exercise are major contributors
  3. Desexing is the safest, surest, most effective and inexpensive form of contraception
  4. Older undesexed female dogs and cats have a greater risk of uterine infection, mastitis and cancers
  5. To encourage desexing, councils offer cheaper pet registration and vets discount the surgery by up to 50%

Did You Know?

The South Australian law states that any dog or cat born after 1st July 2018 must be desexed by 6 months of age.

Book your desexing appointment with us today to help your pet live a happier and healthier life!

Watch Out For Kennel Cough

Just like how humans catch the flu, dogs can very easily catch a highly contagious infection known as ‘kennel cough’ otherwise known as Canine Cough.

Canine Cough causes a dry, repetitive, choking cough and fever which can be followed by sneezing, runny eyes and nose. In some cases, bringing up clear phlegm and sometimes mimicking a choking motion.

It is extremely contagious and can have long periods of incubation.

The most common places for dogs to contract kennel cough are places like doggy daycares and parks.

The team at Pet Doctor have seen a rapid increase in patients coming into our clinic with kennel cough over the past month and we would like to spread the awareness to ensure your pet is safe and vaccinated. We can reduce the risk to your pet by making sure you’re up to date with vaccinations.

Vaccination is the key, however, your dog can still contract it if there is a known outbreak.

Is your pet up to date with their vaccinations?

Contact us to book an appointment.

Beware Of Easter Treats!

With Easter right on our doorsteps, it’s time to butter up those hot crossed buns and indulge in an Easter egg or two…or 3 (we don’t judge 😉). But as great as Easter treats are, they are not for everyone. Though tempted to share with our pets, you should beware of Easter treats and refrain from doing so!

Chocolate contains two very lethal components to dogs – theobromine and caffeine. There are 1-9 milligrams of theobromine (which is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant) per gram of chocolate, with high levels found in dark chocolate and even higher levels in Cocoa powder! Whereas grapes and raisins, which are found in hot crossed buns, are also extremely toxic to dogs.

Although the reason for grapes having a fatal effect on a dogs health is still being studied, they can cause severe kidney damage. It may also lead to sudden kidney failure with lack of urine production in some dogs.

Both caffeine and theobromine cause elevated heart rate, blood pressure, and abnormal heart rhythms. Caffeine is absorbed ten times faster than theobromine, which takes up to ten hours to peak. Signs are usually seen 2-4 hours after eating the chocolate and can last up to 72 hours. If you suspect that your dog has consumed chocolate, contact us for a quick examination.

These are some signs to watch out for:

  • Restlessness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Muscle tremors/shaking
  • Hyperthermia (high body temperature)
    Can occur at toxic levels and causes panting, the main way dogs lose body heat.

In more serious cases, it may cause stiffness, uncoordinated movement, seizures and coma. Death results from problems with heart rhythm or failure of the respiratory system.

Similar symptoms can appear if your dog has consumed grapes:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy, weakness, unusual quietness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Oliguria (passing only a small amount of urine)
  • Foul breath

In any case, if you suspect that your pet may have gotten into the chocolate egg hunt or joined in on Easter afternoon tea, contact the team at Pet Doctor or an emergency clinic ASAP! We will see to it that your pet will be taken care of and looked after so you can get back to enjoying your long weekend stress free!


Parvovirus Outbreak In The Semaphore Area

Be Careful Of The Parvovirus Outbreak

In recent weeks, an outbreak of the seriously dangerous Parvovirus has spread across the Semaphore area, endangering many pets. If not treated properly, this virus can put your pet’s health in a critical condition and can cause this outbreak to further infect unsuspecting animals.

What is Parvovirus?

Parvovirus (parvo) is a highly infectious virus that attacks the gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular systems of dogs. Pets are likely to become infected by ingesting the virus and then carried to the intestine where it invades the intestinal wall and causes inflammation.

Parvovirus is highly contagious and resistant to the effects of heat, detergents and alcohol. It can last in the environment for at least 12 months after your dog has first contracted the infection. With the recent heat waves and change in climates in Adelaide from humidity to blazing heat, this produces the perfect breeding environment for this nasty disease.  The virus can reoccur, especially in unvaccinated dogs or in dogs where vaccinations have lapsed.

Due to the Parvovirus being quite resilient, it also makes it quite easy to transmit through:

  • hair or feet of infected dogs
  • contaminated shoes or clothes
  • other objectsDogs that become infected with the virus and will usually become ill within 7-10 days of the infection.

Signs of Parvo:

  • sudden onset of bloody diarrhoea
  • lethargy
  • unwillingness to eat
  • repeated episodes of vomiting

Parvovirus may affect dogs of all ages but is most common in dogs less than one year of age. Young puppies less than five months of age are often the most severely affected and the most difficult to treat.

The best method of protecting your dog against parvo infection is by vaccinating with premium vaccines.

Vaccinations are vital to your pet’s health. They help protect them from many highly contagious and infectious diseases by stimulating their body’s immune system to produce disease-fighting antibodies to help protect against disease. (

What to do:

If your pet does have parvo, the team at Pet Doctor is here to help! We will provide you with instructions on how to care and treat the virus to put an end to its spreading! So you can get back to enjoying your furry friend’s company and making sure they are healthy and happier.

Contact us today for further assistance or questions.

parvovirus outbreak in semaphore


Meet Pancho From The Greyhound Adoption Program

Meet Pancho The Greyhound

Here at Pet Doctor Woodville & West Lakes, we are big supporters of the Greyhound Adoption Program SA (GAPSA). The amazing team at GAPSA are dedicated to finding homes for retired and non-racing Greyhounds. They also aim to educate the public about the gentle nature of the breed. One of the Greyhounds GAPSA have helped Pancho find his furever home.



Pancho is a lovely boy who had quite severe problems with hypothyroidism. He had a very rough coat and large bald patches on his thighs and belly. Pancho was fairly anxious fellow and needed a calm and consistent environment. He needed a healthy diet and a very clear routine that involved reward-based obedience classes.

GAPSA volunteers Margaret and Roy took him in and has worked wonders to make him the strong, healthy boy that he is today. Pancho’s improvements in just 3 short months wowed his new foster Mum and Dad. As a result, you wouldn’t even know he ever had a health problem!

Pancho is just one of the many GAPSA success stories. Because of the tireless work of the GAPSA volunteers, they are now successful at rehoming 75% of retired Greyhounds! They are hoping to place all suitable hounds into new homes in the next 2 years. If successful, South Australia will be the first state to achieve this goal! There’s still a long way to go and they would love your help too.

Here are just a few ways that you can support the Greyhound Adoption Program SA:

  • Foster a Greyhound: Whilst they are well-cared for in the kennel environment, these Greyhounds benefit from time in foster care prior to adoption. This helps them adjust to life in a domestic environment. The more fosterers GAPSA have, the sooner they can be placed into their adoptive homes. You can foster a Greyhound as part of GAPSA 6 week program under General Foster Care or Foster with a View to Adopt.
  • Adopt a Greyhound: For only $150, you can welcome the newest member of your family into your home! All Greyhounds adopted through GAPSA are desexed, wormed, C5 vaccinated, microchipped, health and dental checked. You will receive ongoing support from GAPSA and they’ll come home with a green collar, lead and winter coat.
  • Volunteer: They always need volunteers to help out. From veterinary care, behavioural support, health care, to assistance on adoption days and more. Therefore, GAPSA is always on the lookout for volunteers who can assist.

Some things that you might not know about Greyhounds:

  • They make wonderful and affectionate pets
  • Gentle, well-mannered and thrive on human companionship
  • Form bonds with their owners quickly. Therefore, they can easily become a valued member of your family
  • Despite their explosive speed on the track, Greyhounds require very little exercise
  • A 20 minute walk a day or a 1 hour burst of energy at the park is all they need
  • They adapt to lifestyle changes quickly
  • An ideal dog for fostering or adoption
  • They are best suited to indoor-living, hence, suitable for families with limited outdoor spaces
  • They suit most family’s living situations
  • Well suited to all pet owners from young couples to homes with school-aged children etc.

If you want to learn more about the Greyhound Adoption Program SA, you can contact Pet Doctor Vet or GAPSA.


How To Tell If Your Pet Needs A Behavioural Check Up

Anxiety and behavioural problems are extremely common in both dogs and cats. They are a big deal for owners as they often result in destruction of property, noise complaints etc. But they are a bigger deal for our pets because if they are displaying a potential behavioural problem then they are most likely feeling very anxious, sad and alone.

Some behaviour issues are more subtle than others so take a quick behavioural check up now.

Dog behavioural check up:
Does your dog…

  • Get stressed out about coming to the vet?
  • Bark excessively?
  • Hide, run away or ignore you when called?
  • Become agitated when away from you?
  • Destroy the house and yard?
  • Get scared in storms?
  • Respond inappropriately to other dogs, animals or people?

If so, we can help!

Cat behavioural check up:
Does your cat…

  • Scratch the couch more than its scratching post?
  • Toilet outside the litter box?
  • Hide away for most of the day?
  • Resist going into the cat carrier?
  • Fight with the other members of the family?

If so, we can help!

Dr Jess Steel is offering one-on-one behavioural medicine consults from our Woodville and West Lakes practices to help your pet live its happiest life!

Olivers Story: How He Is Kicking Cancer’s Butt

Olivers Story

Oliver’s story is a good one. He is our four-legged friend has won us over this week with his optimism and enthusiasm!

Earlier in May, Oliver was feeling very unwell. He was vomiting and had very pale gums. Despite his bright and happy demeanor, Dr Carr realised that he was critically ill. Oliver was admitted for further testing. Dr Jess then performed an ultrasound and found a very a strange section of Oliver’s intestines. Therefore, Oliver was taken to surgery so we could find out what exactly was going on.

Unfortunately, we found a tumour throughout his intestines and some very large lymph nodes. Dr Jess was able to remove the primary tumour (along with approximately 10cm of intestine) and Oliver now is recovering well. If you ask him, he’s not even sick and had been seen trying to steal treats only a short 24 hours after his operation!

Once Oliver has recovered from his surgery, he will likely need to have some chemo to help him keep fighting cancer. Thankfully, he is the perfect patient and his mum is super committed to helping him kick cancer’s butt!

This will not be the end of Olivers Story… stay tuned!

Veterinary Care Payment Options

Pet Doctor Offers You Veterinary Payment Options

When it comes to our pets, we want to do all we can to protect them. But unfortunately, sometimes things don’t always go to plan despite our best intentions. Unforeseen incidents, illnesses and injuries can occur. Often at the worst time possible which can make it difficult for you to cover the unexpected costs.

Thankfully, there are options out there that can help you.


VetPay is a service that helps you to pay off your vet expenses over a period of time. Without having to worry over the high expenses you would have to otherwise pay upfront. VetPay arranges a balance amount which is carried out over fortnightly direct debit payments from your bank account. This option helps to lighten the load of having to pay a large amount all in one swoop. Therefore, allowing you to be able to focus on your recovering animal instead of your recovering bank account.

VetPay is offered by all good South Australia veterinarians – including Pet Doctor Woodville and West Lakes clinics. For further information, visit the VetPay website.

Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance helps to act as a safety net to protect your pet and cover any unexpected costs that may come your way. When applying for pet insurance, there are many options on the market. Make sure you take into consideration your pet and their needs to help guide you into making your decision.

Speaking to any Adelaide Vet is a great start as they can suggest which options may suit you your current financial situation best.

Here are some common Pet Insurance companies to help get started:

You can also check with your own private health insurance provider to see if your existing policy covers anything for your furry family member. You may be entitled to a certain amount of cover, without even being aware prior.

Here at Pet Doctor, we are more than happy to assist you and your pet. Whether it’s for payments, insurance plans or general vet health enquiries.