Ticks and fleas

Protect Your Furry Friends from Fleas and Ticks this Season

As the warmer months approach, it’s essential for pet owners to be proactive in safeguarding their beloved companions against the persistent threats of fleas and ticks. At Pet Doctor, we understand the importance of your pet’s well-being, and we’re here to guide you through effective preventive measures.

The Menace of Fleas and Ticks:

Fleas and ticks aren’t just a nuisance; they pose serious health risks to your pets. These pesky parasites can transmit diseases, cause skin irritations, and lead to discomfort for your furry friends. Our experienced veterinarians emphasise the significance of year-round prevention, but it becomes especially crucial during the warmer months when these parasites are most active.

Tailored Prevention Plans:

At Pet Doctor, we believe in personalised care. Our expert team will assess your pet’s lifestyle and health to create a customised prevention plan. This may include topical treatments, oral medications, or collars designed to repel and eliminate fleas and ticks effectively.

Educational Resources:

Knowledge is key to prevention. We provide pet owners with educational resources on identifying early signs of infestations, proper grooming techniques, and environmental control measures. By staying informed, you can take proactive steps to keep your pets happy and healthy.

Routine Check-ups:

Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial in monitoring your pet’s overall health, including potential flea and tick issues. Our team will conduct thorough examinations and recommend the most suitable preventive measures based on your pet’s unique needs. If you’re due for a check up, please give us a call to make an appointment!

At Pet Doctor, we’re committed to ensuring the well-being of your pets. Don’t let fleas and ticks spoil the joy of the warmer months for your furry family members. Contact us today for a consultation and let’s work together to create a tailored prevention plan that keeps your pets protected year-round.

Ticks and fleas

Dog rolling in grass - a potential trigger for ithcy skin

Seasonal Allergies in Pets: Managing Itchy Skin during Spring and Warmer Months

As the seasons change and springtime blooms into the warmer months, it’s not just humans who experience the effects of Mother Nature’s transformations. Our furry companions, too, can be susceptible to seasonal allergies, especially those related to grass and other environmental factors. One common manifestation of these allergies is itchy skin. As a responsible pet owner, understanding and addressing these concerns can ensure a happier, healthier season for your beloved four-legged friends.

Key Points:

  1. Understanding Seasonal Allergies: Just like humans, pets can develop allergies to various environmental triggers. Spring and warmer months often bring an increase in pollen, dust, and grass, all of which can lead to allergic reactions in our pets.
  2. Itchy Skin as a Symptom: Itchy skin is a telltale sign of allergies in pets. If you notice your furry friend scratching excessively, biting at their paws, or rubbing against furniture, it’s likely due to allergies.
  3. Regular Grooming: Maintaining a consistent grooming routine for your pet can help reduce the impact of allergens. Frequent brushing can remove pollen and other irritants from their fur, preventing them from settling in and causing discomfort.
  4. Consulting Your Veterinarian: If your pet’s itching persists or worsens, it’s essential to seek guidance from the staff at Pet Doctor. They can perform tests to identify specific allergens and recommend appropriate treatment options.
  5. Allergy Medications: Veterinarians may prescribe antihistamines, steroids, or other medications to alleviate your pet’s itching and discomfort. These medications can provide relief during allergy seasons.
  6. Environmental Management: Minimize your pet’s exposure to allergens by keeping them indoors during peak pollen times, using air purifiers in your home, and regularly cleaning their bedding and toys.
  7. Specialised Diets: In some cases, dietary changes may be necessary to manage allergies. We can recommend hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient diets to determine if certain foods contribute to your pet’s allergies.
  8. Preventive Measures: Seasonal allergy management isn’t just about treating symptoms; it’s also about prevention. Consult with your veterinarian about allergy vaccines or immunotherapy options that can build your pet’s tolerance to specific allergens over time.

By staying proactive and seeking professional guidance from the team at Pet Doctor, you can help your furry companions enjoy the changing seasons without the discomfort of itchy skin and allergies. Remember that each pet is unique, so a personalised approach to allergy management is key to their well-being during spring and the warmer months.

Bringing Home a New Puppy: Ensuring Safety, Nurturing Diet, Exercise, and Family Integration

Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting and joyous experience, but it also requires a lot of preparation and responsibility. Before you bring your furry friend home, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need to provide a safe and happy home for your new addition.

Safety is key when bringing a new puppy home. Make sure to puppy-proof your home by removing any hazardous objects, securing electrical cords, and keeping any poisonous plants out of reach. It’s also important to provide a designated space for your puppy, such as a crate or playpen, to keep them safe when unsupervised.

Diet is another important aspect to consider when bringing a new puppy home. Make sure to research the best diet for your specific breed and age of puppy. Feed your puppy a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and protein. Avoid feeding them table scraps or human food, which can lead to health problems such as obesity.

Exercise is also a crucial component of raising a happy and healthy puppy. Puppies require a lot of exercise and playtime to burn off their energy and stay healthy. Take your puppy for daily walks and provide them with toys and games to play with. This not only keeps them physically fit, but also helps with mental stimulation and socialisation.

Bringing a new puppy home is also about the joy and love that they bring to your family. A new puppy is a member of the family, and it’s important to make them feel welcome and loved. Spend quality time with your puppy, snuggle with them, and show them affection.

In conclusion, bringing a new puppy home requires preparation, responsibility, and love. By providing a safe environment, a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and love, you’ll be able to welcome your new furry friend into your family with open arms. The joy and love that they bring will be worth all the effort and preparation in the end.

Fresh pet food ingredients

Diving into the controversial raw diet

Have you thought about feeding your pet a raw diet? Or heard of other people doing so? Ever wondered what the fuss was about, or if it was even safe? We sat down with one of our most trusted Veterinarians, Nicole, who answered some of our most asked questions about the controversial raw diet. 

Firstly, what is a raw diet?

Typically people think of the BARF diet when speaking about raw feeding. This is the Bones And Raw Food diet. If we think of wild dogs and wolves, they were predators; hunting and catching prey, with seasonal variety. A raw diet simulates what they would get in the wild and is species appropriate. Dogs and cats are anatomically and physiologically designed to eat and break down raw meat and bones. In order to best simulate this, people feed their pets raw meat, bones, offcuts with fur, etc. This would often be instead of feeding dry biscuits. 

Many people say how beneficial it can be for dogs especially, do you agree? 

I do tend to agree with this, from a health-based perspective. Again, if we think of the evolution and domestication of dogs, they came from wild dogs and wolves. These animals were catching a variety of prey, and have been designed to cope with raw meat and bones. 

Some breeds are now very much evolved from the wild dog due to human intervention and breeding. For example, a Husky versus a Pug. I would say that both would benefit from a health perspective, but due to the anatomical conformation of a Pug, I would actually be weary of feeding them raw and bones. Home-prepared raw diets need to be prepared carefully in order for the animal to get all its essential nutrients. 

I also think that some dry biscuits can cause food sensitivities, if they have preservatives or other processed foods that dogs would not be exposed to in the wild. 

When feeding raw, the animal does tend to need to work a bit more to eat as well, which is always a positive for maintaining good behaviours. It allows for more stimulation during feeding. It also helps to maintain oral health, keeping teeth clean and strong. 

What are the risks involved in feeding a raw diet? 

One of the main risks is infectious disease transmission. As we all know, raw meat can be full of bacterial and parasitic organisms which can be dangerous when consumed causing illness. Some of the organisms found in raw meat are zoonotic meaning they can be transmitted to humans. 

Another risk is bones. Bones can occasionally get stuck in the gastro-intestinal tract and cause an obstruction, sometimes requiring surgical correction.  

What advice would you give to clients considering switching their pets to a raw diet? 

My first piece of advice would be sanitation. I would advise people to be very conscious when preparing raw meat and bones, making sure that dishes and cutlery used for preparation are sanitised appropriately. If feeding inside the house, I would recommend a rubber feeding mat to facilitate cleanliness. Hand washing is also very important. If feeding raw, I would not allow the dog to lick the humans as much either as this can transmit bacteria. 

Raw takes a lot more effort to formulate and prepare if doing it at home. It is essential to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrition it requires, so you may need to consult a nutritionist for advice. 

If starting out, I would suggest finding a company that pre-formulates bones and raw food so it will ensure the proper macro and micronutrients. After doing more research, you can start formulating at home. 

I would also suggest having a bag of dry biscuits readily available at all times in case of travel. It will be much more complicated to travel with raw food. 

If giving your dog a bone for the first time, ensure they are supervised in case of choking. 

Closely monitor your dog’s faeces while they are on a raw food diet as this can give you a lot of information about how well they are digesting and absorbing. 

Thank you Nicole for sharing these insights with us. If you have any further questions regarding the raw diet or if you are considering starting your own pet on a raw diet, please do not hesitate to contact Pet Doctor on (08) 8268 6777 and book an appointment with Nicole today. 


A Miracle for Molly

John and Liz knew that their beloved Molly wasn’t going to be able to live much longer due to an unfortunate case of lead poisoning. Molly’s body was destroying her own red blood cells and she was rapidly becoming weak and lifeless. But all that changed after we were able to miraculously give Molly the blood transfusion that she so desperately needed. 

Finding blood donors in the veterinary industry is very difficult, as the donor often needs to be found extremely quickly. Not only does the clinic need to find a matching donor, but that donor needs to be able to pass a number of tests, and the clinic then needs to be equipped to facilitate the procedure. We here at Pet Doctor are so proud that we were able to make this happen for Molly. 

Meet our donors, Rochelle and Titan! 

We can not thank the amazing parents of both Titan and Rochelle enough, who both essentially dropped what they were doing in order to bring in their pets and allow them to donate their blood for Molly when they were asked. We are so humbled to have clients that care so much, not only about their own pet(s), but also about others. 

As we could only give Molly one transfusion per day. Rochelle donated her blood first, followed by Titan, who donated his blood the very next day. Because of this, within a week, Molly was back to her normal, playful and bossy self!! We still can’t believe it! 

We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to keep any and all products containing lead out of reach of their pets. It is extremely toxic and life-threatening to them. Saving Molly was a rare and miraculous event, and we can’t guarantee we could do it again for another.

If you suspect your pet has eaten something dangerous or life-threatening to them, please call the Australian Animal Poison Hotline immediately on 1300 TOX PET to seek advice.

Budgy on a perch

What to do if you find a sick or injured bird

Have you ever found a sick or injured bird and wanted to help it, but unsure how? Birds are often found on the ground unable to fly and appear to be injured. Often you may not know the exact reason for their injuries. 

If the bird has any obvious injuries (e.g. broken wing or leg, evidence of blood) – it will require immediate veterinary attention. Please take the bird to a wildlife hospital or vet as soon as possible. If you are unable to transport it, please contact a local wildlife rescue group.

Most common species of birds can be captured by placing a towel over the bird ensuring that the head is covered. Gently secure their wings, pick it up and place it into a cardboard box. 

It is important, however, to observe the following guidelines when capturing and handling a sick or injured bird:

  • Care must be taken not to restrict their breathing. They do not have a diaphragm and can be easily suffocated if the chest is restrained too tightly.
  • Sick and injured birds should be housed in a cardboard box with holes punched in the sides for ventilation. Putting them in a wire cage can cause significant feather damage which may render them unreleasable.
  • Line the bottom of the cardboard box with a towel.
  • Birds of prey (raptors) can inflict nasty injuries with their talons and can sustain irreparable feather damage if housed incorrectly. It is best to call a specialised wildlife rescuer to capture and handle raptors.
  • Large water and seabirds can also inflict injury with their strong wings and some species have a razor-sharp edge to their beak. They can also lash out quickly at your face so again, are best captured and handled only by an experienced wildlife rescuer.

It is important to remember that birds feel pain in the same way that mammals do, including us! Prompt veterinary attention will ensure that the bird will have the best possible chance of recovery.

Found a baby bird? Click this link for a guide on how you can help it.

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. 


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.


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.