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

Phone: 08 8270 5155
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Barb's Bits

The other day as we were driving with Sandy in the car, she was looking around excitedly. Her nose was twitching furiously as she sniffed the air vents, trying to get a clue to where we were going. The beach, with its waves and smelly dead fish bits? Kuitpo forest, with all the kangaroos and yummy fox scats? What adventure was ahead?

It made me wonder what Sandy’s favourite place to go to was – did she have one? All in the car agreed it was probably the beach. I related the recent story - #WalkWithWalnut – where a man took his 18 year old whippet down to the beach in Cornwall, England, for one last walk. In an incredibly touching gesture, hundreds of people and their pets joined them for a wonderful celebration of life and love at that bitter-sweet time..

We celebrated life and love that day by going to Frank Smith Park. It was a lovely winter’s day, and Sandy had a fantastic time checking out lots of other dogs and their owners. She didn’t even seem to mind that there were no fish bits to roll in or fox droppings to scoff down. It sure made the car ride home much more pleasant for us!!

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Contents of this newsletter

01  Is your pet a senior citizen?

02  Help your senior pet stay happy and healthy

03  Biggest Morning Tea round-up

04  Flu season is here

05  My dog's done his knee!

06  Chicken therapy

07  Mike, Pet Focus of the Month

01 Is your pet a senior citizen?

Is your pet starting to age a little?

Did you know that cats and dogs are considered senior citizens after 7 or 8 years of age? As they reach their golden years there are a few things you need to watch out for.

Obvious changes might include:

  • forgetting toilet training
  • hearing loss
  • drinking more.
  • stiff legs
  • weight loss or gain

It's crucial to arrange more regular check ups with us during these senior years.

We will monitor your pet closely for:

  • sore joints
  • new lumps
  • dental disease
  • vision changes
  • heart changes

We may also suggest blood tests, urine tests and blood pressure measurements to make sure your pet's organs are all healthy. Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis can be successfully managed if detected early.

Ask us for more information about keeping your senior pet happy and healthy. 

02 Help your senior pet stay happy and healthy

Caring for a senior pet is an important job and your furry friends are relying on you to guide them through their twilight years.

Here are our top three tips for senior care:

1. Keep your eyes open for changes in behaviour, weight, appetite, thirst and urination. The presence of a cough, a change in sleeping habits, stiff joints, a new lump and accidents around the house can all be a sign of underlying illness. Instead of putting these changes down to 'getting old' arrange a check up with us.

2. Choose a premium diet suitable for a mature pet. These help to maintain ideal body condition and will improve longevity. Ask us for a specific recommendation for your pet.

3. As mentioned above, a regular health check (we recommend at least 6 monthly) is absolutely essential for your ageing pet. Your pet can experience significant changes in a single year (equivalent to 6-8 human years). A veterinary examination will allow us to pick up on any issues as soon as possible and start treatment if necessary.

Phone us if you have any questions about your senior pet, as we will always be able to give you the best advice.

03 Biggest Morning Tea round-up
BMT raffle prize

Our lovely raffle prize for 2017

Congratulations to Unetta, the winner of our Biggest Morning Tea raffle. We hope you enjoy the many surprises inside the basket!

Thank you also to all the support we have had in raising funds for cancer research this year. Over the last 19 years we have supplied literally thousands of slices of cakes for our clients, as well as for the workers in businesses in the surrounding Hub precinct. This year, at last count, we have raised $585.90, which is truly wonderful. It's not too late if you want to donate - just click here and it will take you right to our fundraising page.

04 Flu season is here

With flu season in full swing, now's a good time for us to answer the common question - Can my pet get the flu?

The answer is yes, and no. Cats and dogs can both contract an influenza-like virus, but it is not the same virus as humans catch. Unlike humans, there isn't really a flu season for dogs and cats, and infection can occur at any time of the year.

Dogs might contract canine cough (often referred to incorrectly as kennel cough) and cats can suffer from cat flu (commonly caused by a herpes virus).

Canine cough

Is a highly contagious disease that's passed from dog to dog by moisture droplets. Your dog might be infected at the local park or at a boarding kennel due to the large number of dogs in one area. Vaccination is given annually and is very effective at protecting your pet against the worst strains of this disease. Your dog may still contract a milder form of canine cough, even if he is vaccinated, but this usually resolves by itself or requires only a short course of antibiotics.

Cat flu

Is also highly contagious and can cause severe illness, especially in elderly cats or kittens. Vaccination is highly effective and while it won't always prevent cats from developing flu, it helps reduce the severity of the condition. Flu vaccinations are given annually and are an important way to help keep your cat stay happy and healthy.

To check if your pet is protected against these diseases, please call us and we can easily look up your pet's vaccination history and give you the best advice. 

05 My dog's done his knee!

It's footy season but your dog doesn't need to be on the sports field to do his ACL!

Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee is one of the most common injuries we see in dogs. This injury can lead to painful arthritis in your dog's knee if it is not treated effectively.

Plenty of dogs will 'snap' the ligament after suddenly jumping off a height or turning quickly. These dogs won't be able to stand on the injured hind leg. Cruciate ligament disease can also be a degenerative condition and older dogs may present with an intermittent lameness and a thickened knee joint.

Veterinary examination of the dog under sedation or general anaesthetic will enable diagnosis of a ruptured ACL (we feel for inappropriate movement of the knee joint). Radiographs will identify any other underlying disease process, evidence of swelling within and around the joint and any arthritic changes that may indicate progressive disease.

Surgery to stabilise the joint is the best option for treatment. Small dogs may respond to conservative treatment (rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication) but due to instability in the joint, there is a high risk that these dogs will develop arthritis and these patients must be carefully managed.

There are different surgical techniques available and we will be able to give you more information on the most suitable type for your dog.

If you think your pet might be injured please call us for an appointment on 8270 5155.

06 Chicken therapy

Meet the 'Hensioners,' the little chooks making big changes in the lives of elderly human patients. We all know that dogs and cats are great companions for our elderly population but did you ever think that a chicken might be able to help fight depression and dementia?

Click here to watch the story. 

Elderly woman with two chickens

07 Mike, Pet Focus of the Month
Mike Dowell June

Mikey is a 6 week old puppy that we recently delivered by caesarean section. Being a Frenchie puppy, he has already had his fair share of challenges in life, and will continue to have many more!! Mike is a gorgeous little puppy - like they all are!!! - that we helped bring into the world and, in our demanding line of work, that is a truly beautiful thing.

So thank you, Mike, and all the beautiful puppies and kittens that we get to see and cuddle. This month it is not about what we have given you, but what you have given us! Keep on growing!