New Anaesthetic Machine!

We can now keep our small patients warmer (& safer) than ever during their anaesthetics.

Meet our new anaesthetic machine: not just a pointless bit of technology!

A) This is a special low resistance carbon dioxide scrubber, this allows us to run a re-breathing circuit for animals down to 2 kg (previously 10 kg was the lowest we could go). B) This is the attached heating circuit.

When our patients are under anaesthetic it’s very important to stop them getting cold which can slow their recovery and healing but the smaller they are the harder it is to avoid them getting cold.  Now not only are they lying on a hot water bed, our new anaesthetic machine helps keep them warm.

On a non re-breathing system a patient is getting a constant flow of fresh, COLD oxygen to breath. But on a re-breathing system only a small amount of fresh cold oxygen is included in each breath.

When you add a heating device to warm the air then you make a real difference to their body temperature during an anaesthetic.  They recover faster and their anaesthetics are more stable, perfect for the little oldies.

Add to that a hot air blanket that we can cover them with if needed and you’re talking toasty warm cats & dogs.

Stress Free Cat Visits

Do you want your fur-baby to have the most stress free visit at the vet? We definitely do!

A common sign of a ‘flipped lid’. Claws are usually out!

A few weeks ago the team here at Summer Hill Village Vet were lucky enough to have Tracy from VetPrac deliver an enlightening training session on cat behaviour. Vets, nurses and receptionists learnt more about how to keep your fur babies as stress-free and relaxed as possible – from the moment they walk in, through to consultation and handling as well as housing for longer stays in our hospital. She taught us some great distraction techniques, so don’t worry if you see one of our vets pull out an ice-cream cone full of anchovy paste during consult!

There are also good anti-anxiety medications that we’ve been trialling for a while now that can really help cats (& dogs) start off on the right paw at their visits.

‘Burrito Cat’ – a wrapping ‘art’ we tend to use to comfortably restrain the crankier kitties

We also learnt that once a cat has ‘flipped it’s lid’ (lets be real, all cat owners know exactly what this means) there is no going back. Essentially the cat is in fight, flight or freeze mode and once this happens it can take up to 24 hours before they can fully relax again. We certainly don’t want this for any of our patients. This is why you may notice us doing more handling with towels or ‘kitty burritos’ (as some of our nurses like to call it) as well as trying minimal handling, or even taking the top off your carrier to ensure your cat stays as comfy and relaxed as possible.

During consults, our vets and nurses will often try to find out what kind of handling suits your cat best before going ahead with a physical exam. Do they like to be held close? Or would they rather just do their own thing and laze on the consult table?

As a result of this training, the team are now better equipped to make sure you AND your furry friend have an easier time as we aim to minimise the anxiety associated with trips to the vet. Our team gained a lot from this training session, and Tracy will be back soon to give us more helpful tips and tricks for dogs! So stay posted.

 

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About: Hyperthyroid Cats

Hyperthyroidism is the most common metabolic disorder in middle-aged cats (> 8 years old).

What is Hyperthyroidism and what causes it?

It is the over production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid glands. In most cases it is usually due to a benign overgrowth of the glands. However, malignant tumours have been reported to be the cause.

The exact cause of hyperthyroidism in cats is still unknown but multiple factors that could play a role have been identified, such as genetics, age, and increased utilisation of commercial cat food.

What symptoms should I look out for?

Hyperthyroid cats can present with many signs as thyroid hormone affects various body systems. The classic signs include weight loss, overeating, over drinking or increased thirst, increased vocalisation, agitation/aggression, increased activity, vomiting, diarrhoea and unkempt hair coat.

Figure: A cat before (left) and while (right) suffering from hyperthyroidism. Note the weight loss and unkempt hair coat.

How is it treated?

A range of treatment options are currently available including radioactive iodine therapy, anti-thyroid medication, surgical removal of thyroid glands and dietary therapy.

 

 

 

 

 

If you suspect that your cat may have hyperthyroidism based on the above information, please don’t hesitate to bring your little one to our clinic for a blood test. It is best to identify and treat hyperthyroidism early as it can lead to dysfunction of other body systems.

Perfecting the Art of Potty Training Your New Pet

Everyone gets excited thinking about bringing a new fury ball of joy home. You start thinking about playing games with it, feeding it, and developing a real bond with your new play mate! But something you may not be considering, is potty training… not the most enjoyable part of getting a new pet. However, potty training your pet is essential. Summer Hill Village Vet offers puppy classes and consultants for you to gauge a better idea and understanding of how you can train your new friend.

Insights into Potty Training Your Pet

Before you start training your pet, decide on a place where you will take them to go to the toilet. It can be a corner in your backyard, or in the garden where you will probably take them for a walk. Alternatively, if you have a cat and you don’t have a cat door, you might be using a litter box. You can also ask consultants at Marrickville vet clinic for any suggestions.

You need to make sure that your pet has a healthy diet and consistent walks after they eat in order to provide them with their opportunity to go to the toilet.

Whenever your pet tries to pee inside, don’t scold him. Scolding him or beating him will make him angry, irritated and even stubborn. Sometimes you can put his nose in his pee a little bit, and this will help him to understand what he’s doing is wrong. Also, don’t forget to take him for regular checkups at Summer Hill Village Vet so as to avoid any serious illness afterward.

Keep an eye on your pet always. This will make sure that you notice the signs they give you when it’s time to go to the toilet. Some dogs start barking or circling around, scratching and sniffing when they need to urinate. You need to observe him carefully. When you learn what sign your pet is giving, immediately take him out to the place where you want him to poop. If you are not able to figure it out, you can always address the issue with Summer Hill Village Vet.

If during keeping an eye on him, you catch your pet starting to poop or urinate, immediately say no. This will ensure he understands you don’t want him to eliminate indoors. He will go out and eliminate in the place you want him to. This will make it a routine. So keeping an eye certainly helps! Every time you notice him pooping indoors, say no immediately.

So these were some of the tips that can help you while potty training your pet. Along with training, dental cleaning and health check-ups are also necessary for your pet. Summer Hill Village Vet offers the best services and care for your pet. Book an appointment soon!

The Importance of Spaying and Neutering Your Pet

Petting a dog or cat is not only about caring for them or feeding them. You can fall in love with them and treat them exactly like one of your family members. However, you also need to invest some time in thinking about their health concerns and benefits they are likely to get from your care. That’s where the importance of spaying and neutering your pet comes into play.

Spaying and neutering pets not only helps with population control, but it can further restrict general disorders and behavioural problems. You can get this procedure done at Summer Hill Village Vet at an affordable rate with minimum maintenance.

Spaying is a surgical procedure of removing the ovaries of your female pet that requires minimal hospitalization and unlimited health benefits. On the other hand, neutering is the process of removing the testicles of a male dog or cat which will benefit their health and potentially improve their behaviour. Read on to know more about the importance of spaying and neutering your cat or dog at Summer Hill Village Vet.

Medical benefits of Spaying and Neutering

  • Longer and Healthier life of your female pet: Spaying prevents uterine diseases and breast cancer, which is lethal in approximately 90 percent of cats and 50 percent of dogs. You can get the best protection from these diseases by spaying your pet before her first heat. You can get this done from Summer Hill Village Vet to minimise the hospitalisation.
  • It helps your male dog stay close to you: Neutering your male dog will prevent him from going outside and finding his mate. This poses a threat to his life from traffic and other dangers. Therefore, it is recommended to neuter your male dog as soon as possible to make him stay close to you and remain safe and not running away or causing trouble.
  • Your male dog will behave in a better way: Your unneutered pet is more likely to roam around the house and cause issues. Neutering your male dog will help him calm down and stay in one place. He will not feel like loitering. After your male dog has been neutered, you will observe that he is less likely to mount on unidentified objects which will lower the risk of infection.

 So if you are someone who treats their pets as a family, you need to take care of all these health issues as well.

Embarrassing Bodies- The Pet Edition, Free Health Checks!

Cats and dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes what’s normal for one pet may be abnormal for another depending on things like breed, age, lifestyle and etc. For example- the skin and coat needs of a Sphynx cat to that of a Ragdoll’s will vary immensely!

Pets come in all different shapes, sizes and hair styles! As such their health needs are very individualistic.

Pets come in all different shapes, sizes and hair styles! As such their health needs are very individualistic.

In order to help you as a pet owner decide what is best for your cat or dog, the team at Summer Hill Village Vet have developed a complimentary 5-point Health Check that covers the basic individual care needs for your pet. These 5-point Health Checks are part of our Embarrassing Bodies- The Pet Edition and will run until the end of November 2018.

What do these 5-Point Health Checks include?

Embarrassing Bodies: Pet Edition Promo Poster

Book your cat or dog in for their FREE 5-Point Health Check before the end of November 2018.

Our 5-Point Health Checks aim to cover the following areas of your pet’s health with one of our trained vet nurses:

  1. Body Condition Scoring What may be healthy weight for a greyhound would be unhealthy for a german shepherd! Our trained nurses will score your cat or dog’s body condition (based on weight and appearance), then compare it to their breed and lifestyle recommendations. The nurses will work with you to develop a plan for how to get your pet into their healthy weight range (whether it’s through diet changes or new exercise routines).
  2. Dental Health One of our nurses will give your cat or dog a dental grading from 0 to 5 (0- being perfect teeth and 5 being the opposite…). They will also give you advice on how to manage your pet’s dental health from recommending treats such as Greenies Dental Treats or teaching you home care tips.
  3. Skin and Coat Needs Certain breeds may require a more intensive grooming routine than others. This depends on more than hair length. Skin allergies can come into play when deciding what products to bathe them in and how often they should be bathed.
  4. Vaccination Needs Your pet’s lifestyle determines what sort of vaccinations they need. Our nurses can help you decide if your cat or dog is getting the protection they need by discussing with you their routine (i.e. outdoor vs. indoor, do they visit beaches or bush a lot? do they come in contact with other animals?).
  5. Parasite Protection (fleas + ticks and intestinal worms)We can all agree that  fleas, ticks and worms are all nasty and best to be avoided all together! Similar to vaccination needs, the type of parasite prevention product you use on your cat and dog is largely based on lifestyle. However, other things to consider include whether your pet is easy to give oral medication to and also how good you are as an owner at remembering to give them their treatment on time (monthly options vs. 3 monthly options).

How do I book my cat or dog in for this?

Simply call our clinic (02 9797 2555) before the end of November 2018 and let us know that you would like to book your pet in for a Free-5-Point-Health-Chek 🙂

The Brief Guide to Pet Care

Dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, goldfish; we love our pets. But every now and then we need a refresher on how to take care of them. As vets, it’s our job to make sure your four-legged, furry and feathered friends are healthy, but there are a few extra things at home you can do.

 

Birds

These little guys should be as free as, well, a bird. They aren’t made for being in cages all day so make sure you give them time to exercise. Birds aren’t solitary creatures either, they quite like the company of their own kind as well as humans. Give them a bird bath or mist them over with a spray bottle as this helps them preen.

Ask us about the best type of feed for your bird; they can’t survive on seeds alone. Bird cages must be cleaned daily, especially the newspaper that collects the droppings. This is important to the pet’s overall health.

Cats

These guys love high-rise views so expect them to jump up on the couches and window ledges, and to sit at the top of the stairs. They also love grooming themselves so it’s wise to invest in a sturdy brush. Give them a comb a couple of times a week to keep their coat shiny and get rid of excess hair. This equals fewer furballs for you to vacuum up later.

Health-wise cats need a lot of protein in their diets that comes from meat and meaty bones. Pet mince never fails, but don’t rely on giving your cat dry food. They need a balanced diet. Change out their water every day. If you’ve adopted a kitten, they require a special formula several times a day to stay healthy.

Dogs

You see the dogs walking around in puffer jackets that are probably nicer than the average human’s? Sometimes they do need the extra help to stay warm due to their small size, lack of body fat and thin fur. It’s not unreasonable to get some extra blankets and other winter warmers come the cooler months.

A dog’s skin is just as vulnerable as a human’s, and they get dry skin, dandruff, and other irritations that can turn to something more. Book an appointment with the vet if they don’t stop scratching and nibbling or if they start to smell.

 

Learn more here;

Are you ready to adopt a pet? Advice from your future vet

Pet Adoption Guide: where to start

Are you ready to adopt a pet? Advice from your future vet

Adopting a pet into your family is a big adjustment, even if you’ve had one before. It’s fun to daydream about walks, cuddles and sleeping with your dog on the bed but there are some practicalities you cannot ignore.

 

  • Bills

Your pets will get sick and need to go to the vet from time to time; their immune systems aren’t invincible, after all. There’s also the issue of desexing, vaccinations, and regular checkups. You can also pay for pet insurance. You will invest a lot of money in your pet during its lifetime, so be prepared. Our vets will give your companion the care it needs.

 

  • Exercise

Dogs need their walks, so if you’re only looking for a pet to keep you company around the house you’re better suited for a cat. Birds need to be let out of their cage and fly around for both their mental and physical health.

 

  • The House

Is your house ready for pets? Cats enjoy high places and dogs need grass to play on. Go online or speak to one of our vets about the kind of pet that’s best for your current living situation.

Before you bring the new addition home, go through the house and make sure it’s pet-ready. You might need to install a safety gate if you don’t want the animals upstairs. If you’re getting a bird, invest in a large cage, put it in a warm, sunny spot and stock up on newspapers to line the bottom. If you’re bringing home a cat, get a litter box with a couple of bags of kitty litter, food and water bowls, toys, and a scratching post. Dogs will need toys, a bed, some blankets for the cooler months, and a leash for when it’s walk time.

 

 

  • The Kids

Kids can get bored easily and will slack off in caring for the pet if you aren’t careful. Playing with the cat or dog isn’t enough; this is a chance to give them important jobs to show them a pet needs to be given love and care, just like a human.

If they’re old enough, involve the younger ones in walks and feeding time. Get them to wash the dog or brush the cat.

 

  • The Feelings

Animals are more intelligent than you believe. They pick up on the emotions of their owners and the environment around them. This means if you’re stressed, excited, happy, or sad they will be too.

Adopting a pet is a serious business that needs to be thought through carefully and discussed with the family. Who will be able to give it the love and care it needs? Will a pet positively impact the home or should you wait a few years?

https://summerhillvillagevet.com/older-pets-just-need-a-little-help-from-their-friends/

Dental Care FAQs

Special Needs Boarding

EXPERT BOARDING CARE FOR CATS

Summer Hill Village Vet knows that taking a holiday is difficult when you have a pet with special needs. Be it a senior cat that doesn’t adjust to change and boarding well, or a family feline with a medical issue (or two!), even taking a long weekend away can seem like more stress than relaxation. To help you feel assured your cat’s safe and snug, we have changed our boarding policies to make monitoring and assessing your little one’s needs even more thorough.

Mork getting some TLC while his family is on holiday.

HOW WILL MONITORING BE DIFFERENT?

The staff at Summer Hill Village Vet have always taken care with all their cat boarders. This month we’ve been refreshing our boarding room and saw the opportunity to provide even more features and benefits to our lodgers with special needs. Almost all Special Needs Boarders will have an assessment by a vet upon admission. A detailed plan is written up that the vet and you agree on to best care for your boarding pet. We’ll also discuss upon admission when and how to send boarder updates while you’re on holiday, including options like SMS photos and health check updates.

LEVELS OF CARE:

SMS picture updates of your cat are always available.

All our cattery guests get love and attention, but age and medical conditions mean some boarders need extra care. Even healthy older cats may get nervous the first day or two in boarding, which could cause them to not eat or toilet properly. If your cat is new to our clinic and over 8 years old and/or has a medical condition, we will book a vet admission consult the same day you’ll be bringing your cat in for boarding. All patients and boarders (even our lovely regulars) over 12 years old will get a vet admission consult for every boarding visit. These special admissions allow us to personalise their needs, and can include (among other possible needs) such medical requirements as:

  • Fluid support
  • Injections
  • Daily vitals
  • Blood glucose check
  • Urine Test
  • Blood pressure monitor

Are you thinking of your own grand adventure? Do you have questions about how we can attend to your cat’s special needs? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at (02) 9797 2555.