The month of June we are celebrating our Senior Pets.

To show how much we love and care for them, we are offering $150 Senior Consults.

These consults include a senior checkup (more in depth then a regular consult) and a regular blood screen.

Just like people, your pet’s health will change as they age, and because your pet ages faster, major health changes can happen faster.

What do we screen for?

Complete Blood Count – provides detailed information about red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The total white blood cell count, along with individual leukocyte counts, can help identify underlying stress, inflammation, an inability to fight infection and potentially, leukemia. This is important to assess prior to surgery.
Liver Assessment – The liver is a large organ with many different functions,it processes the blood by removing bacteria and toxins as well as further breaking down complex nutrients absorbed during the digestion of food into much smaller components for use by the rest of the body.
Kidney Function – Kidneys are responsible for filtering metabolic waste products, excess sodium and water from the blood stream which is then transferred to the bladder for excretion. SDMA is an additional sensitive test that will become elevated first.
Glucose Levels – Glucose is the basic nutrient for the body. Glucose changes may be seen with a variety of metabolic diseases and various organ system abnormalities.
Pancreas Profile – The pancreas is a small organ located near the small intestines and is responsible for producing several digestive enzymes and hormones that help regulate metabolism
Protein Profile – Protein is an essential for building and repairing body tissues, hormones enzyme production, immune system and giving the body energy.
Electrolytes – Electrolytes are involved in most of the body’s daily functions including adequate nerve conduction, for heart and skeletal muscle contraction, for maintenance of appropriate hydration status, and for maintenance of correct blood pH.

To book a consult please call 02 6573 4738 or you can book online at http://book.advancenotice.com.au/newbookings.php


Dogs have a fantastic sense of smell, which means that they can very easily sniff out yummy treats including chocolate, especially at Easter time! Unfortunately for them, chocolate is very toxic to dogs.

Why?

Chocolate has cocoa and caffeine in it, both are highly toxic to dogs. White chocolate does not contain any of the cocoa or caffeine, which means that it is not toxic to pets but still should not be given. Every pet has their individual sensitivity to the toxicity of cocoa and caffeine.

Symptoms

Symptoms will start occurring 6-12 hours after ingestion. They include:

+ Vomiting

+ Diarrhoea

+ Increased body temperature

+ Muscle rigidity

+ Rapid breathing

+ Increased heart rate

+ Low blood pressure

+ Seizures

+ Advanced signs include cardiac failure, weakness and coma

Types of Chocolate

The type and amount of chocolate ingested is important, the more cocoa and caffeine, the more severe the toxicity will be. Generally speaking, the higher quality and darker the chocolate is the higher it is in cocoa and caffeine.

Diagnosis

If you have seen your pet eat chocolate then little diagnosis is needed. Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination calculate the cocoa/caffeine overdose. In most cases, if eaten recently (with-in an hour) then vomiting is recommended.

When an overdose occurs and the ingestion of chocolate has not been seen then a physical examination, blood work and urinalysis is required to diagnose the toxicity. In severe cases, an ECG may be performed to assess effects to the heart.

Treatment

The toxicity affects the gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys and heart. Pet’s are generally admitted for fluid therapy and administered charcoal to help absorb the poison. Depending on their symptoms additional treatment may be needed. Some pets may require sedation if they have muscle tremors or seizures, gastric lavage, help with thermo-regulation and further blood work to assess damage to organ function. Hospitalisation for up to 72 hours may be needed.

There are five types of intestinal worms which can infect your dog, four types that can affect your cat and some of these can be passed on to people. Some worms can live in the environment for more then a year so it is essential that your worming schedule is regular. Puppies and kittens should be wormed at two, four, six, eight, ten and twelve weeks, then every month until six months old. Dogs and cats should then be wormed every three months. If your pet has worms, then repeat worming treatment fornightly for 3 doses. Although worms reside in the gut, larvae and eggs can travel to different areas on the body which is why we recommend regular treatment.

Roundworm

Can be passed on to puppies and kittens in the foetal stage, resulting in most young being born with roundworm. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, colic and a ‘pot belly’ appearance. Roundworm eggs and live in the environment for several years and are zoonotic, which means they can be passed onto humans.

Hookworm

Most dangerous of all intestinal worms as they burrow into the pet’s intestinal wall and suck blood. Animals and people can be infected with these by swallowing eggs or via skin penetration. The female hookworm can lay up to 30000 eggs a day which are then hatched in the faeces. Once a pet has acquired the worm, the larvae live in the lungs then enter the gut when they cough and then are swallowed. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, anaemia and death if not treated.

Common Tapeworm

Larvae develop in insects and small animals such as fleas, birds, and lizards. Your pet ingests the worm by eating a host (insect or small animal) then the tapeworm develops in the pet’s gut. Symptoms are mainly dogs ‘scooting’ (rub or dragging their bottom along the ground) and weight loss if a lot of worms are present. The worm generally falls out in segments which look like a rice gain and can be seen in the faeces or fur around the anus.

Zipperworm (Tapeworm) or Spirometra

A worm found in both dogs and cats. Cats are particularly susceptible as the worms host include lizards, frogs and other small insects. Symptoms are intermittent vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss and increased hunger. A higher dose of worming from a specific wormer is needed to treat against zipper worm. Zipper worm looks like a tapeworm and can come out in segments too but the middle of the worm appears to have a ‘zipper’.

Hydatid Tapeworm

Mostly found where dogs live closely with sheep, kangaroos or pigs. After eating a contaminated part of the animal or eating grass which contains egg, the animal becomes infected.

Whipworm (Dog’s only)

Live in the lower bowel of dogs and symptoms from these worms include pain, diarrhoea and weight loss. Whipworm can survive in the bowel for up to a year with the worm laying more than 2000 eggs a day, which are then transferred to the ground through dogs poo and infecting other dogs.

Heartworm disease is a condition that can be found all over Australia, protection against this disease is vital to stop your pet being infected by it

What causes heartworm disease?

Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes. When a mosquito bites and feeds on the blood of an infected pet it ingests microfilariae. The mosquito becomes a host while the microfilariae mature. When the same mosquito bites another pet it infects the healthy pet with heartworm larvae. The larvae migrate through the pet’s tissues and circulatory system, eventually reaching the heart and lungs where adult worms grow and reproduce.

Why is heartworm disease dangerous to my pet?

In dogs, the disease initially causes a cough and as the disease progresses, they become inactive and lethargic. Exercise cannot be tolerated without coughing and becoming breathless. In advanced cases, fluid leaks from the blood vessels and accumulates in the lungs and lower part of the abdomen. Sometimes the animal suddenly collapses without warning become very weak and unable to breathe properly. The severity of the disease depends upon the amount of lung damage and how a pet’s immune system responds. Although related to worm numbers, it is more a function of the individual dog’s reaction to the parasite.

In cats, heartworm disease is uncommon. The worms don’t survive well in a cat’s and usually unable to breed. However, occasionally disease can be caused by just one worm which can cause a cough, breathlessness and sudden death.

How can heartworm disease be prevented?

Treatment of this disease is expensive and requires long-term after-care making prevention is the best choice. There are several choices for heartworm prevention, oral tablets are generally combine with flea or worming treatment.
Yearly injection: Proheart (SR12) an injection given by veterinary staff which is re-dosed every year.
Monthly heartworm and intestinal wormer tablets: Milbemax.
Monthly heartworm and flea and spot-ons or tablets: Nextgard Spectra or Revolution.

We recommended yearly injection as monthly products have less compliance and may be given late or months are missed.

When should I start prevention?

Heartworm prevention can be started at 12 weeks of age. If your pet is older and heartworm prevention has not been consistent then a test needs to be done to determine if your pet has heartworm. This quick test happens in consult 6 months after prevention has started.

Testing is recommended to ensure your pet does not have heartworm. The test can only recognise the antigen from an adult worm and larvae develops to an adult worm 6 months after an infected mosquito injects the dog. The SR12 injection is able to kill some larval stages meaning that if there is a lapse in the heartworm injection (SR12) for more than 3 months then a test is recommended when the larva has progressed to an adult stage.