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

Phone: 08 8270 5155
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Barb's Bits

The last day of winter - August 31st - was a simply glorious day, heralding the end of the cold dark days and the coming birth of Spring. Certainly both our clinic and our family have experienced some dark days this winter, with various illnesses of one sort or another laying people low, so the promise of brighter days ahead is one we truly appreciate. There is nothing like getting sick to make you realise just how precious it is to feel well!

But now the buds are starting to bloom, the skies are clearing, and the Power and Crows are playing good football at the right end of the season. Not long now til the thermal underwear gets shelved! And THAT puts a spring in my step!!

What is it that YOU are looking forward to this season? The longer days? The songs of nesting birds? The range of fruit at the green grocer's store? Hmm, all sounds good to me!

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Contents of this newsletter

01  Snail bait is serious

02  Is your pet a bit portly?

03  Don't be tempted

04  Guilty dog

05  Recognise heart disease

06  Abbey - Pet Focus for August

01 Snail bait is serious

Spring has sprung and with new shoots in the garden there may also be snail bait about.

Snail bait pellets look just like dog kibble, and are often based on wheat, so dogs often eat the pellets by mistake. Even so called “pet friendly” products are dangerous for animals.

There are three types of snail bait:

  1. Metaldehyde- green pellets
  2. Methiocarb - blue pellets
  3. Iron EDTA (Multiguard) - brown/yellow pellets

Metaldehyde and methiocarb act on the nervous system causing increased stimulation and can be fatal if immediate veterinary treatment is not given.

Multiguard acts on pets much more slowly, and can cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea, or may damage the liver, spleen, heart, kidneys or brain. Early treatment is still very important.

Signs of snail bait poisoning to look out for:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Depression or restlessness
  • Rapid heart rate & panting
  • Vomiting & diarrhoea
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures

If your pet has ingested (or you think your pet might have ingested) snail bait, call us immediately for advice.

02 Is your pet a bit portly?

Is your canine companion a couch potato or your feline friend a bit flabby? Your pet is not alone, as more than 50% of our pets are overweight.

Carrying a few extra kilos puts our pets at risk of heart disease, respiratory disorders, osteoarthritis and diabetes. The scary thing is that most people aren’t even aware that their pet is overweight.

What to watch out for:

  • When you look down from above, look at the definition of your pet's waist. Instead of an hourglass figure he might look more like an egg, or even a barrel on legs!
  • When you run your hands over his sides, you may no longer be able to feel his ribs (you should be able to feel them as easily as the bones in the back of your hand).
  • A very obese pet may have neck fat and a pendulous tummy, as well as fat over the hips.

The very best way to determine whether your pet is overweight is to drop in for a weight check with us. This will allow us to assess your pet’s body condition and, if necessary, start a weight management plan.

Getting your pet to lose weight is easier than you think! Physical exercise will help but it is crucial you are feeding your pet the correct diet and the right amount - something we can help you out with. There are diets available that are scientifically designed to help your pet lose weight - including one that increases your pet’s metabolic rate.

Remember, when it comes to fighting the flab, we are here to help. Ask about joining our Hubba Blubba Weight Loss Programme today!

03 Don't be tempted

It might be tempting to feed your pet human scraps as a treat but you may be doing them harm and causing excessive weight gain.

Keep this calorie translator in mind when you are having trouble saying ‘no’ to those adorable eyes!

For a 10kg dog:

  • One biscuit = 1 hamburger for a human
  • 30g piece of cheese = 1.5 hamburgers for a human
  • One hot dog = 2.5 hamburgers for a human

For a 5kg cat:

  • One potato chip = ½ a hamburger for a human
  • 30g piece cheese = 2.5 hamburgers for a human
  • A glass of milk = 3 hamburgers for a human!

Drop in at any time and we'll weigh your pet. We'll also advise you on treats that are suitable for your pet and are light on calories. 

04 Guilty dog

With a focus on portly pets this month, we've got the perfect YouTube video to share with you. Do you have a guilty pet in your household? 

05 Recognise heart disease

Heart disease tends to sneak up on pets and clinical signs might not appear until your pet is in serious trouble.

Knowing the signs of heart disease and starting treatment early can make a big difference to your pet's quality of life and longevity.

The most common form of heart disease leads to a failure of the pumping mechanism of the heart. It is often referred to as congestive failure as it results in pooling of blood in the lungs and other organs.

Look out for these signs

In both dogs and cats:

  • Laboured or fast breathing (your pet’s respiration rate when sleeping (not dreaming!) should be under 20)
  • An enlarged abdomen
  • Weight loss or poor appetite

In dogs only:

  • Coughing, especially at night or after lying down
  • A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks
  • Weakness or fainting associated with exercise

If you think your pet might be showing signs of heart disease, call us for an appointment. Early treatment of this insidious disease will help your pet live a longer and happier life.

06 Abbey - Pet Focus for August

Abbey is a 10 year old Fox Terrier who came into us for an eye ulcer, but then a small hairless lump was noted on the side of her tummy. Fine needle tests detected a mast cell tumour - these are extremely variable in behaviour.

When dealing with cancer, the very first surgery we do is the best chance we have to effect a cure, and to do that we need to "stage" the tumour via biopsies, ultrasounds and radiographs. Abbey's abdominal ultrasound and chest radiographs were all clear, but in clipping up for biopsy, another three lumps were identified. All four lumps were biopsied - two were moderately active mast cell tumours and two were benign lipomas not requiring removal at all.

Abbey returned for surgery for tumour removal, and in spite of being such a little dog, both tumours were successfully removed during the one procedure with 20mm margins. She is now at home slowly recuperating from an adventurous month - our thoughts are with you Abbey!