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 🙂

Blue Tongue Lizard – WIRES Wildlife

One of our most recent WIRES wildlife case was a young blue tongue lizard. It was brought into our care after a member of public’s cat had gotten hold of it… When the blue tongue lizard first came in it was in poor shape and it was a struggle for us to get it to eat ANYTHING (despite being provided with an ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet of strawberries, cucumbers, insectivore mixes and what not…).

blue tongue lizard feeding

Bluey enjoying a buffet of strawberries and blueberries

After two weeks of TLC from our vets and nurses we are happy to report that Ol Bluey has definitely gotten his appetite back and is well on his way to recovery.

We treat quite a number of injured wildlife day in day out, but blue tongue lizards are uncommon for us so we were all pretty excited! He is now under the care of a WIRES Wildlife Volunteer who will continue to look after it till release.

How can you help out?

These WIRES volunteers do not get paid for their efforts in rehabilitating injured wildlife and hence pay for all the food and care equipment from their own pocket. For this reason, we as a clinic have been inspired to raise money for WIRES by participating in this years Tough Mudder 18km obstacle course. All the funds we raise will go directly towards WIRES Wildlife.

If you’d like to make a donation or simply find out more you can via our fundraising page.

We’d like to extend a big thank-you to everyone who has donated so far, we and WIRES wouldn’t be able to do the work we do on injured wildlife without your ongoing generosity and support!

 

 

 

Inner-West Wildlife Warriors

Australia is a country renowned for its unique wildlife. As an inner-west veterinary clinic we consider ourselves lucky to have the extensive wildlife experience of Dr. Lydia and Dr. Sandra.  All our vets have proven time and time again to be more than capable of looking after the odd ring-tailed possum or bearded dragon!

What is WIRES?

WIRES (NSW Wild life Information and Rescue Information Service) is a volunteer run organisation. They have been working to rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife since 1986.

We share a close relationship with WIRES carers and as such we get a large volume of wildlife coming through our doors. To put it into perspective, in this year alone our vets have treated a total of 83 rainbow lorikeets!

How can you help?

WIRES relies on volunteers and donations to do the great work that they do. As such, it can be a demanding job for the volunteers with many of the animals requiring round the clock care and long-term rehabilitation.

Dr. Sandra having a squawk with a galah

One of two 6month old baby ring tailed possums found in an Innerwest canal along with their mother.

There are a variety of ways you can get involved including:

 

 

 

 

Of course, another way you can contribute is by simply contacting WIRES.  Should you happen across an injured wildlife creature all you need to do is call their Rescue Line on 1300 094 737.

Muddy Paws! Summer Hill Village Vet do Tough Mudder

In November our team will be participating in the Tough Mudder 18km Obstacle course with the aim of raising funds for WIRES. Dr. Sandra, Dr. Lydia, Dr. Kate and the rest of the team will be crawling through mud, swimming and generally putting their fitness to the ultimate test in support of all the work WIRES do (and to prove to ourselves that we are mad fit…). Donations can be made online (read more about our mission statement + make a donation) and we are immensely appreciative for your generosity!

 

 

 

 

Some of the best ways to keep your pets healthy

Animals are just as vulnerable to sickness, disease, and injuries as humans. Owners are pretty on top of keeping their companions happy (lots of affection) but there’s a lot more to overall wellness than giving lots of cuddles.

 

Exercise

Dogs, cats, birds, rabbits: all these animals need exercise to stay healthy. It’s easy to get dogs into a walking routine. The larger and more active breeds will need regular walks. Some owners report  their dogs waking them up at dawn for some playtime in the park.

Baths/grooming

Cats are always licking themselves because they know the importance of hygiene. So do Shiba Inu’s. Even birds dunk themselves into the birdbath to wash off.

For next level care, take your pet to the groomers. These guys are the experts at trimming those unruly manes and making your pet smell like a bed of roses.

 

Good food

We’re talking about a diet high in protein, vitamins, and calcium and plenty of water. Animals need them just as much as we do! Quality pet food keeps coats shiny and nails strong. Your companion will be energetic and have a twinkle in their eyes, as well.

Medication/treats

Your pets need regular checkups with the vet to stay up-to-date with their medications and vaccinations and for their general health. Later in life, animals suffer from the conditions that come with age. This can be anything from arthritis to heart issues. Taking your pet to the vet regularly will at least prevent any other nasty surprises from popping up.

Giving your pets treats like dental chews and tick chews will also maintain their general health. They’re less likely to develop gum/tooth diseases and the tick drops/chews will stop those pests in their tracks.

 

Read these on tick prevention:

The 10 Best Ways to Get Rid of & Prevent Ticks on Dogs

Understanding and Preventing Tick Bites

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.

Pet Adoption Guide: where to start

Committing to the adoption of a pet is a huge responsibility. As vets, we know how exciting it is to get a new cat or dog, but there are a few questions to ask yourself before bringing home a new furry friend.

Picking the right family member:

Think about how your pet will fit into your life and schedule. Will it be sharing its new home with children or other pets? Do you have a large enough space and active lifestyle for an energetic pet? Will you enjoy tending to grooming needs and devoting time to training?

It’s hard not to get swayed by an adorable puppy face that needs adoption, but think about your lifestyle honestly before taking on such a big commitment; perhaps an older dog, kitten or cat, or rabbit, may be a better fit to welcome into the family.

 

Where to adopt:

The Sydney area is full of adoption options, and it’s sometimes hard to know where to start. Online reviews, word of mouth, and vet recommendations are a good place to start. Ask questions about the animal’s personality, and check that trials are allowed if you have another pet at home to introduce the new one to.

A few of the rescue groups we recommend at Summer Hill Village Vet are:

Cost considerations:

The purchase price or adoption fee of a new pet is only the tip of the iceberg. The following items need to be included in your budget:

  • Food every day
  • Regular health checks (once or twice a year for most pets)
  • Dental care (dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses)
  • Vaccinations
  • Desexing in the first year
  • Parasite control year round
  • Grooming
  • Bedding, toys, litter, clothes, and accessories
  • Boarding or pet minding fees when you go away
  • Vet bills for accident and illness for their lifetime
  • Pet health insurance (which can reduce vet bills)

Try fostering:

Animals that enter fostering programs not only ease the limited space of most rescue organisations, but it gives you the opportunity to help an animal- even for as little as a week- while trialling if the animal is a good fit for your lifestyle.  If you decide the animal is the perfect addition to your family, you can then make the full commitment of adoption.

Lumps and Bumps: How to Check Your Pet at Home

Did you know that nearly 50% of dogs present with lumps and bumps at their annual health check? Some of the lumps are not of concern, whilst others are an indication of more serious problems. It is so important that lumps are checked early and often, so we want to give you some tips on how to check your pet at home.

Take 5-10 minutes each month to check for lumps, bumps, and swellings.

Pick the same date for each month, mark it on your calendar, and turn your check into a monthly routine. It’s simple and quick, and could be the difference in early detection, treatment, and prognosis.

Check your pet from top to tail.

Your pet will often feel like they are getting a massage from you, and are often happy to let you check. Don’t forget ears, nose, and even inside the mouth. Not sure where to start? Check out Dr Lydia’s short video to help you know where to look.

Follow up with an exam.

Book an appointment with you vet if you noticed anything suspicious. Snip a piece of hair or mark the spot with a marker if you think it will be hard to find again later.

Keep a record of growths.

Use a worksheet of your pet’s silhouette to circle with a black ink pen any suspicious lumps and bumps you’ve found. Now use this same chart the next month to circle with blue pen. Continue monthly to help you keep track of any new or increased growths, and bring the chart to your pet’s next vet visit. Print our Bumps Handout to help you keep track.

Older Pets Just Need a Little Help from Their Friends

We love our pets, and it’s been a joy being with them through the years. They are there for you and you’re noticing that perhaps now, perhaps they need a bit of help from you. As pets get older it’s hard for them to tell you what their changing needs are. I always like to point out that old age is not a disease; pets slow down not just from “getting older,” but because they’re dealing with arthritic joints, or underlying diseases that lead to muscle wastage and weakness. These are things that can be managed, or even treated, to ensure pets aren’t suffering in silence.

What was once the easiest of jumps onto their favourite sleeping spot could now be a daily chore. A ramp or small steps around the house is a good idea to get onto the bed or outside to the toilet. Even just moving their bedding, litter trays, or food and water bowls to more accessible areas in the house is the solution.

Cats especially love being warm, and their heat-seeking behaviour will increase as they get older due to loss of body fat. Pet heat mats and beds ensure your furry friend is kept as toasty as they’d like to be when sitting on you isn’t an option.

Many owners find that their pets are going to the toilet in inappropriate places. Doing a bit of investigative work could let you know that your old cat isn’t naughty, but struggling to get into the litter tray because of creaky old joints. Or your furry senior needs to go more frequently due to underlying medical issues (mainly kidney disease or hormonal disease like hyperthyroidism or diabetes), and hence wants the tray to be cleaned more frequently, or have multiple litter trays. Dogs may need to be let out more frequently. If these issues arise, your vet may recommend a urine and/or blood test to check if these problems can be fixed.

And don’t forget to give them a bit of a once over every month. Check their coats for matts, as some animals just aren’t nimble enough to groom those odd spots anymore. Check their nails as they can be very brittle and wear down more slowly, requiring them to be clipped more frequently. There has been the odd occasion where they grew so much that it curled back into the animal. This is obviously painful for the animal and completely avoidable. And check them all over for lumps and bumps so we can deal with them early if needed.

So, just like our bodies get a bit of wear and tear and needs a bit of extra TLC as we age, so do our beloved pets. It can be so rewarding to see them living full and pain free lives.