Aberfoyle Hub Veterinary Clinic
Hub Professional Centre
Aberfoyle Park, SA, 5159

Phone: 08 8270 5155

Barb's Bit

One of our favourite movies is the Ron Howard classic, “Parenthood”. Have you seen it? It is funny, and poignant, and speaks to all ages. This last week, Ian and I had a Parenthood moment as we waved goodbye to Ellen who, at 19, was driving with her cousin to Wagga Wagga for a short trip. It felt very uncomfortable – Ellen is still learning to drive, and it is long distance, and it clashed with our desire, as parents, to protect our children from potential harm. On the other hand, our children cannot become fully functioning adults if they are not given the opportunity to extend and challenge themselves. We just had to hold our breath, smile, and entrust her to the universe!

At our wedding, we had a reading from Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet” on children. It still moves me now, and reflects not just how we should think of our children, but also the other people with whom we work, live and love. Curious? Go to www.katsandogz.com/onchildren.html, and see what you think.

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Contents of this newsletter

01  Overcoming cat carrier stress

02  When your pet needs the vet....

03  Who’s been sleeping in my bin?

04  Puppy proof your home

05  Minkarra Dog Park Now Open!

06  Prescription pets?

07  Pet of the Month

01 Overcoming cat carrier stress

Getting your cat in to a carrier can be a very stressful event and can certainly put you off taking your cat to the vet. The problems often begin as soon as your cat sees the carrier and whoosh...she’s off and hiding under the bed.

From your cat’s point of view nothing good really follows being shoved in to a carrier. Dogs leave the house for pleasurable walks but cats are invariably taken somewhere a lot less exciting.

Some tips:

  1. Leave the carrier out in a readily accessible part of your house so it smells like home (rather than moth balls or the dusty garage!). This will also give your cat the chance to rub her scent on the carrier. Feliway spray (that contains feel good feline facial phermones may also help in this instance- ask us for more information).

  2. Get your cat to associate the carrier with good things. Place a portion of food in the carrier or ‘special’ treats. You can even close the door for a few minutes while she’s inside. You can then use the same process when a trip to the vet is on the cards.

  3. Vary your cues. Cats are very smart and may think... “hmmm, i usually get my treats in the evenings why am I getting it in the morning? And why does my owner have her car keys in her hand? That’s it, I’m outta here!”

  4. When you return home from a carrier outing with your cat continue on with your routine as usual, returning the carrier to its normal place. Eventually your cat will willingly return to the crime scene and she should soon view the carrier as a normal part of her life.

Remember: it is illegal and dangerous to have your cat unsecured in the car. Ask us for more advice on the best carrier for your cat.

02 When your pet needs the vet....
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Your pet's health is our priority

Until recently, individual vets were not covered by a union or an award, working extremely long hours for an annual salary. The poor working conditions and low rate of pay were frequently associated with physical and mental health issues. With the introduction of the Animal Care and Veterinary Services Award in 2010, veterinary surgeons now have a 38 hour working week, with set conditions. While this does restrict an individual vet’s availability to the client, the up-side is that we are all healthier, happier vets.

Most people develop a relationship with their veterinarian just like they do with their doctor, and prefer to see the same person for their pets’ on-going health needs. We understand and encourage this, and we invite you to ask for your preferred veterinarian by name when you ring to make an appointment. They may not always be available on that same day, but our rosters are designed to ensure that they will almost certainly be available for an appointment within the week if the matter is not urgent!

Of course, if your animal is unwell, we encourage you not to wait for that particular vet to be available. Your pet’s health is our priority, and all of our vets have access to your pet’s medical history to guarantee excellent continuity of care…..because they’re family.

03 Who’s been sleeping in my bin?

This line may not have been included in Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but it certainly applies to this charming video below. 

Thoughtful locals in a small town in America, having apparently noticed that a trio of bear cubs had become stuck in a skip, set out on a rescue mission to free these little cuties. 

With mumma bear close by (and probably not best pleased that her kids have got themselves in to trouble), the couple carefully reverse their ute to the roadside skip.

The lady in the back of the car then lowers a ladder into the receptacle so that the cubs can climb out – and it isn’t long before they pop their heads up out of the bin.

The three little bears are soon seen heading off with their mother (without having eaten any porridge). 

Apparently one witty YouTube commentator wrote: “Who would throw away three perfectly good bears?”

Click here or on the image below to watch the video on YouTube

04 Puppy proof your home

Ah, little puppies. So cute, cuddly and curious! If you have a new puppy you will be dealing with toilet training, a few sleepless nights and all the other joys of puppyhood but have you thought about puppy proofing your house?

Our younger dogs are most at risk for at home poisonings. Here are some top tips to make sure your house is puppy (and dog) proof:

  • Keep medications out of reach of your pet. This includes their medications and yours. Don't leave your handbag in reach of your furry friend (many contain dangerous contents like chocolate, chewing gum that contains xylitol, prescription medications, ibuprofen, asthma inhalers and coins- all very attractive to your pooch)
  • Store your rubbish in a secured cupboard and make sure the lid is secure. If you have a nosey dog, install baby locks on cabinets that contain house cleaning solutions
  • DON’T use mouse or rat poisons OR snail bait and and throw out any old packets you may have lying around
  • Keep your dog out of the garage - oil, windscreen wiper fluid and antifreeze (for those driving up to the ski fields) are all dangerous. A few ingested drops of antifreeze can cause kidney failure
  • Keep electronic cords hidden behind furniture or under carpet. Biting into an electrical cord can result in burns to the mouth
  • Fence off your compost 
  • Have emergency veterinary numbers stored in your phone and download the pet poisons app for more information on what’s poisonous in your household
If you think your pet may have ingested something poisonous call us immediately for advice. 
05 Minkarra Dog Park Now Open!
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After many years of hard work, the MinkarraOff-LeadDogPark, on the corner of Manning Roadand Happy Valley Drive, is finally opening to the general public from September 1st. The Grand Opening will be on Saturday September 15th, from 10 am to 1pm, with lots of free give-aways and entertainment, so come down for all the fun and festivities. If you can’t make it on the 15th, or think there will be too much excitement for your pooch, just visit any old day and enjoy the fantastic facilities that are there.

06 Prescription pets?

New research that shows having a pet is helpful for women living with chronic illness has reinforced the need to recognise the role pets have in health maintenance.

The report, published in Women’s Health Issues, asked women participating in the research to identify the roles that helped them in managing their illness. Unexpectedly, being a pet owner was one of the top five helpful roles that emerged. 

The report revealed that pets help people to take time out from our day to day activities, even if it is something as simple as stroking a cat or taking a dog for a walk. For someone suffering from a chronic illness, this time out can be a powerful intervention and offers the opportunity to engage with other people or create a positive mindset.

This is great research as having hard data is critical to making policy-makers listen. Building on this body of research helps support the fact that pets need to be planned for in the same way as recreation opportunities or open spaces are planned for to help improve our quality of life.

You can read the full report here 

07 Pet of the Month
Daisy Swansson petpack

Every month we put the names of all the animals that have visited us into a hat, and we draw out a name to be Pet of the Month. That pet then has its photo taken, and given a nutritional consultation and complimentary bag of premium pet food appropriate to its health and life stage.

Last month’s winner was Daisy, a 6 year old desexed Bull Terrier. She is a healthy active and excited dog, coming in for her annual health check and kennel cough booster.

Daisy is approaching middle age, and is just starting to thicken a little in the middle – something that many of us can relate to! From information gathered in the nutritional consultation, Lauren determined that the best food for Daisy was Royal Canin for medium-sized neutered dogs. She needs just 1 ½ cups twice a day to get her svelte figure back, and with all the exercise she does, it will take no time at all!