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!

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 www.petdoctorvet.com.au.

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!

 

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.

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