Not displaying properly? Click here to read online.
Aberfoyle Hub Veterinary Clinic
Hub Professional Centre
Aberfoyle Park, SA, 5159
Phone: 08 8270 5155

Barb's Bits

Words matter. Their impact can be uplifting and sustaining, or hurtful and humiliating. They can provide illumination and understanding, or deception and division. They can inspire us to act in great, or in devastating, ways.

These last few weeks we have seen both ends of the spectrum – the amazing leadership of Jacinda Ardern, and the despicable words and actions of a terrorist. It hurts my heart to think that we have in some way, by ignorance or silence, been complicit in the roots of that tragedy. Is the price of  our precious “free speech” the over-representation of our First Peoples in custody, the demonising of minorities for political gain, and an increased visibility of white supremicist attitudes?

What has happened cannot be undone, so instead it must illuminate and inspire us. What can we do? Become engaged - with our hearts and our heads, our hands and our feet, and our voices and our votes we can work for both a current and future society based on love and peace. We must not stay silent in the face of those who use words and actions to foster hate and division. And perhaps most importantly, when we see a marginalised person who is living a life of discrimination we cannot start to imagine, we can smile and say hello.   

Because words matter.

baboon 79
Contents of this newsletter

01  Jodie's Wall

02  What does your cat's personality say about you?

03  Keep pets safe this Easter

04  Easter and Anzac Day hours

05  Blood tests are magic

06  My cat is so hungry but is still losing weight

07  Check out these posers!

08  Dorrie, Pet Focus of the Month

01 Jodie's Wall
Jodies Wall April

Luna the Night Owl

This month on Jodie’s Wall we are displaying a beautiful glass mosaic created by Anne. She says that she has 2 passions in life – owls and mosaics – so combined the two loves in this one piece. "Luna the Night Owl" is made from stained glass and her beak is made of clay. Glass mosaics can be challenging with lots of band aids being used - the small glass shards are cut with glass cutters and can be very sharp, so the finished work literally contains blood, sweat and tears!

If you are interested in commissioning a glass mosaic, Anne can be contacted on 0408 836 661.

All of our clients are invited to display their art on Jodie’s Wall. There is no judgement about subject or quality, but the art does have to promote positive and life-affirming themes. Please contact us at for details.

02 What does your cat's personality say about you?

We don’t want to open a can of worms here but if your cat is a little temperamental, have you ever considered that it could be mirroring you?

Research undertaken at Nottingham Trent University in the UK has shown that there are similarities between behaviours exhibited by people and the behaviour of their cat. It suggested that a cat might absorb and then mirror certain personality traits from their human carer and there may be parallels with the parent-child relationship. 

3,000 cat owners were surveyed, asking a series of questions that assessed people's agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism, and openness. They found a number of correlations that not only predicted the cat's own personality but also it's welfare.

Interestingly, a more neurotic human personality was linked with cats that were cited as having a "behavioural problem". This might have been seen as aggression, anxiety or fear, or stress-related behaviours in the cat. Furthermore, the cat owners who were assessed as being more extroverted were more likely to have felines who enjoyed being outside. 

Obviously more studies need to be undertaken to investigate a possible link but it’s important to be aware that aspects of our personality could be impacting our feline friends in both positive and negative ways.

You can read more about the study here.

03 Keep pets safe this Easter

It’s not long before the Easter Bunny is set to make some deliveries but when it comes to your pet’s safety this Easter, there are a few hazards to watch out for (and they are not all as obvious as you think.)

Chocolate - the most obvious one!
Chocolate contains a derivative of caffeine called theobromine. Dogs have trouble digesting theobromine and ingestion leads to hyperactivity, tremors, panting and a racing heart, vomiting, diarrhoea, and seizures. Theobromine ingestion can be fatal in some dogs. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Seek veterinary attention immediately if your dog has ingested ANY amount of chocolate. In most cases, if we are able to make your dog vomit we can prevent any nasty side effects.

Hot Cross Buns - the sneaky hazard
The sultanas and raisins in these delicious buns can cause acute kidney failure in dogs due to the possible presence of a toxin on the grapes. Keep these off the menu at all times and watch for any that happen to drop on the floor (a common issue if you have little kids!). Call us for advice if your dog ingests any.

Easter lilies - beautiful but deadly
These beautiful fragrant flowers can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. The stems, leaves, flowers and stamen are all potentially dangerous, as is the water the flowers are stored in. If you are worried about your cat you should call us and we will advise you on what you to do.

If your pet ingests any of the above call us immediately for advice. It's also a good idea to have emergency numbers on hand over teh Easter Period if it is out of our normal opening hours, just in case your pet needs to be seen urgently.

04 Easter and Anzac Day hours
Nigel Happy Easter

Michele's rabbit Nigel is a genuine Easter Bunny!

Our clinic is closed on all public holidays. This includes Anzac Day, and it also includes the Easter long weekend. Please note that we are closed on ALL FOUR DAYS over Easter - Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday - so our staff can have a well-earned break.

We hope that you have a well-earned break with your furry family too, but keep them away from the chocolate!!

If you require emergency after-hours care over this period, please contact either:

Adelaide Animal Emergency and Referral Centre,

119 Anzac Highway, Kurralta Park (Glenelg side of South Road underpass)

 Ph: 8371 0333


Animal Emergency Centre,

102 Magill Rd, Norwood

Ph: 8362 1722


05 Blood tests are magic

Many people cower when we mention the following words: blood test. But did you know that these tests are virtually magic when it comes to getting an insight into your pet’s general health?

From a blood test, we can decide if your pet is dehydrated, has underlying kidney disease or liver disease, and assess your pet's red and white blood cells. We can also rule out common diseases (such as hyperthyroidism in the case below). Early detection of diseases via a blood test can allow prompt treatment and greatly improve your pet’s quality of life.

The ins and outs of a blood test

+ Blood samples are taken from the jugular vein in the neck, or a vein in the leg. The jugular vein provides us with a good sample as quickly and painlessly as possible, and most pets tolerate it well. For other animals, it may be easier to collect a smaller sample from a vein in the leg, although we do like to "save" these veins in sick animals for administering injections or intravenous fluids.

+ Wherever we collect blood from, we like to clip the fur away and sterilise the skin with alcohol, to make the collection job easier and to reduce the risk of contamination.

+ Once the blood has been collected we place gentle pressure over the vein to prevent any bruising. We may or may not apply a bandaid but a liver treat (instead of a lollipop) is essential.

+ Your pet’s blood is placed into tubes appropriate for required tests. Some tests can be run on machines in the clinic but there are certain tests that require more extensive equipment and so the blood sample must be sent to an external laboratory.

It's important to realise that blood tests are an essential part of good veterinary medicine and can be critical when diagnosing and managing diseases.

Ask us if you have any questions about your pet's health, we are always here to help. 

06 My cat is so hungry but is still losing weight

It’s not an unusual presentation - an elderly cat that is losing weight but is ravenous day and night.

Once we have ruled out diabetes, another common cause of these symptoms may very well be the endocrine (hormonal) disease hyperthyroidism.

This disease is not uncommon in older cats and is caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormone from the thyroid glands. It results in an out-of-control metabolic rate and this upsets the regulation of carbohydrates, fats, and protein as well as the function of the heart. If untreated a cat can become seriously unwell.

Signs of hyperthyroidism

+ Weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite
+ Vomiting
+ Increased thirst and urination
+ Poor coat quality

Fortunately, the vast majority of cats that develop hyperthyroidism can be treated very successfully and most cats will live a full and happy life. 

There are different options for the treatment of hyperthyroidism and the treatment of the individual patient depends on how well the kidneys and the heart are functioning. In most cases, it involves life-long daily medication and regular blood, urine and blood pressure tests.

If you think your cat might be showing some of the signs mentioned above you should call us for advice and arrange an appointment for appropriate blood and urine tests.

07 Check out these posers!

We've got some feel-good pics for you this month. Have a look at these dogs who walk and pose together every day.

We can't quite work out how the dog walker gets them all to sit perfectly still for a photo but we are pretty impressed. Check them out here.

08 Dorrie, Pet Focus of the Month
dorrie 2

The damage to Dorrie's teeth below the gum line was not in keeping with her regal bearing!

Dorrie is a gorgeous 3yo Siamese who looks every part the regal queen both in her photos and in real life! Unfortunately for Dorrie, her mouth didn’t look quite so stately – she had significant gingivitis which was causing her some pain in eating, so a dental assessment under general anaesthesia was required.

In cats, a lot of dental disease is not apparent on a visual examination as it happens below the gum line. Dental xrays are required to show that damage. In Dorrie’s case, the inflamed gums told us there may be an underlying problem, but we did not expect the level of dental disease that we found! The xrays showed normal crowns, but diseased roots with associated loss of bone. Due to that disease, we removed all of Dorrie’s molars and premolars, top and bottom – 11 teeth in total – leaving her with just 12 teeth.

Nothing is more painful than a toothache, and having no teeth is far better than having irreversibly diseased teeth. Dorrie was a much happier cat from the very next day. In a few weeks, her gums will have completely healed and she will be back to munching on her favourite dry foods - and being the queen of the household again!