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

Phone: 08 8270 5155
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Barb's Bits

I was woken by my mobile phone at 6.20am this morning. I expected it to be someone sick for work. Instead it was my daughter filled with unbridled happiness, her voice literally tripping over itself with joy, unable to wait to share her good news. What a beautiful way to start the day!

Joy is something that makes us feel incredibly light, young and open-hearted.  My father said to me, “I called your middle name Joy because my daughter will be the joy of my declining years.” Whilst his positive attitude may not have come to complete realisation for him (sorry Dad!), and whilst my name does not always confer its emotion onto me, it is indeed a wonderful and uplifting experience to be able to share in another person’s joyous journey.

As we step out into 2017, let’s treasure that joy of “being”. It can be a quiet joy, or a bubbly joy, but it is there, and it is there to share. And then they don’t feel like declining years at all!

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Contents of this newsletter

01  Avoiding heatstroke

02  How you can help our Australian wildlife this summer

03  Watch out for grass seeds!

04  Attention all dog owners

05  Dog's reaction to a new kitten

06  Mynx - Pet Focus of the Month

01 Avoiding heatstroke

The heat is on and, as we battle our way through summer, spare a thought for your furry family.

Our pets are super-susceptible to heatstroke. They can't sweat all over like humans do and they only produce a tiny amount of sweat through their footpads. The only way they can attempt to cool themselves down is through panting.

Heatstroke (also known as heat exhaustion) can be very dangerous and even fatal. It doesn't necessarily need to be really hot or humid for heat exhaustion to occur so it’s important to be able to recognise the signs and know what to do.

Keep an eye out for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Exaggerated and noisy panting
  • Drooling
  • Weakness or collapse

If you are worried about your pet, seek emergency veterinary care. It's best to place your pet in front of the air conditioner or a fan while you are driving in. You can also place wet towels on hairless parts of the body (footpads and groins). 

Tips to help prevent heatstroke:

  • Don't leave your pet in the car - the internal temperature of a car can become like an oven in minutes (even on a mild day)
  • Avoid exercising your pet in the heat of the day
  • Always provide access to shade and water
  • Consider clipping your pet's coat to help them stay cool 
  • NEVER leave any sort of muzzle on an unattended dog
  • On very hot days, keep pets indoors if possible, especially if they are old or unwell.

If you are ever concerned about your pet in the heat you can always call us for advice

02 How you can help our Australian wildlife this summer

After a few hot days, it is not uncommon for our wildlife to become dehydrated and suffer from heat stress.

You might notice wildlife coming down to ground level searching for water (especially possums and koalas).  Birds will open their beaks or hold their wings away from their body and some animals will even have burnt feet from walking on hot tarmac or a hot roof. 

How you can help our native friends:

  • Place shallow containers of water around your garden at varying heights (remember to put a stick or rock in them so if animals fall in they can get back out again)
  • Keep cats and dogs inside and supervised at all times to prevent them preying on vulnerable wildlife

If you find an animal suffering from heat stress call us as soon as possible and we can give you the best advice. 

03 Watch out for grass seeds!

As the grass starts to dry off, keep your eyes peeled for the dreaded grass seed... who knew that something so small and innocent could cause so many problems!?

Certain types of grass seeds are shaped like a pointy arrow with a needle-like tip and once they are caught in your pet’s fur they can start to burrow aggressively into your pet’s skin with no way of escaping. If the seed does not exit, a painful abscess can form and this may lead to the need for surgery to remove the seed or remnants.

Keep an eye out for a lump or swelling (particularly between the toes), excessive licking, pain or pus and bloody discharge from a small wound.

Occasionally a grass seed will end up in your dog’s ear canal leading to intense irritation. If you notice your dog is shaking his head or appears itchy around the ears, a check up with us is essential.

We recommend that you check your pet for grass seeds daily and after every walk - concentrate under the paws, between the toes, around the ears and in the armpit region. You'll be amazed how many seeds can become hidden in your pet's coat - and they are just waiting to cause trouble!

A keen eye will prevent grass seeds becoming a problem so be vigilant and don’t let these little nuisances take hold.

04 Attention all dog owners

Once again, Parvo has reared its ugly head in Adelaide. While this horrible disease is always around, there are times when it reaches epidemic proportions, and such a time is now.

Parvovirus causes a viral gastroenteritis characterised by vomitting and profuse bloody diarrhoea that causes the patient great distress. Afflicted animals require aggressive and intensive veterinary care to survive. The level of care required makes it expensive to treat with no guarantee of success.

Here are the facts. Parvo is commonly spread via direct contact through contaminated faeces, vomit, or "butt-sniffing". The virus lives for more than 2 years, and maybe up to 10 years, in the environment - in the soil, on plants, and on untreated bedding. Very young and older animals are most at risk of infection, but ANY unvaccinated dog can get parvovirus; at the park, at the groomer, doggy day care and even walking down the street

Vaccination is the key to prevention as it is extremely effective in protecting your dog against Parvovirus disease. A vaccination course of 2, 3 or even 4 injections needs to be given to puppies as soon as possible - from 6 weeks of age is best - and then regularly updated throughout the pet's life. Until the vaccination course is completed, keep your dog away from at-risk areas!

At Hub Vets, we choose to use Boehringer vaccines. Boehringer guarantees their vaccine's effectiveness against parvovirus, and will pay for your dog's  parvo treatment if the vaccination is up to date and they still contract the disease.

If you have any questions about vaccination and your pet, we are the best people to ask for advice!

05 Dog's reaction to a new kitten

Did your pet get something awesome for Christmas? We couldn't help but share this hilarious video with you to help kick start your New Year with a laugh.

Check out this pooch's reaction when he finds out there's a new kitten in the house!

06 Mynx - Pet Focus of the Month
Mynx Frahn January 2017

Mynx playing peekaboo!

Mynx is a 7 year old cat who was rushed into the clinic on a Saturday morning, gagging and having extreme breathing difficulties. Immediate supportive care was instituted while we ran blood screens and radiographs, but there was no defining cause. He had been in a cat fight the previous night, but had then gone to bed in the laundry seeming perfectly healthy.

In a case like Mynx’s, where no definitive cause is found, all avenues have to be considered as the consequences of failing to do so can be dire. Lungworm, cat fight trauma, cat collar “hanging” – these were all possibilities. Mynx’s respiratory signs stabilised over the next 24 hours with supportive care, but the gagging and vomiting persisted for several more days, and it took 5 days of hospitalisation and care before Mynx was stable enough to go home.

What was the cause? After many discussions with the owner we concluded that Mynx had probably suffered from chemical inhalation. Painting products, turpentine and bleach had been cleaned out in the laundry tub that day, and spending the night in that enclosed and poorly ventilated space after the excitement of the cat fight had caused significant inhalation of the chemical fumes, leading to severe inflammation of Mynx’s airways and oesophagus.

The great news is that Mynx has made an excellent recovery, AND I think he has now had a bedroom upgrade! Well done Mynx and family – it was certainly a challenging journey!