New For Dental Month: Maxi/guard

MAXIGUARD® oral cleansing products have been used by veterinarians worldwide for the last 20 years and are consid

ered the most effective and user friendly products available for companion animals, horses and exotics. The MAXIGUARD® range consists of products suitable for maintaining oral health as well as those recommended for advanced periodontal cases, post oral surgery and pre and post dental cleaning.

All MAXIGUARD® products contain Zinc which is antibacterial and reduces the anaerobic bacteria responsible for plaque formation and halitosis. Maxiguard Oral Gel formulation also contain Vitamin C which stimulates collagen production and aids gingival repair for treatment

of periodontal pockets and gingival recession.

MAXIGUARD® products are are available in gel and wipe formulations to suit patient requirements and owner preference. MAXIGUARD® wipes and OraZn gel have no Vitamin C and are suitable for maintaining oral health, oral gel has Vitamin C and is suitable for treating periodontal disease as well as maintaining oral health. The products are applied once a day and may be used with or without brushing. Gels are applied to gums above the back molars which stimulates the salivary glands to distribute the product to the whole oral cavity. Only a small amount is required. Wipes are used by gently rubbing the teeth and gums daily.

MAXIGUARD® is a natural product and safe for daily use. Laboratory evaluations demonstrate that dosing twice per day at the recommended small volume, will deliver considerably less zinc intake than recognised toxic levels or even the required daily intake from the diet. Natural oral compounds like zinc ascorbate/Taurine are generally recognised as the safest approach to oral care, especially in animals where the product is ingested. Many home care dental products contain Chlorhexidine which can increase plaque/calculus formation, stain teeth brown, and decrease the pet’s sense of taste. MAXI/GUARD® is Chlorhexidine free and does not have these side effects.

New For Dental Month: Oxyfresh

Oxyfresh is an easy way to support pet dental health and strengthen their gum tissue. Safely and effectively helps aid in the fight against plaque and tartar, promotes healthy gums, and gives them the freshest breath.

  • Bad Breath – The patented blend of Oxygene® and zinc helps to clean the teeth and eliminate bad breath
  • Effective – Oxyfresh helps maintain normal healthy teeth and gums…safely
  • Tasteless and odourless – Even the fussiest dogs & cats can’t detect the clear Oxyfresh in their water
  • Non-Toxic – Xylitol, chlorhexidine, alcohol & dye free formula, 100% safe for dogs, cats, and other pets
  • Convenient – Just add 5ml (capful) to water bowl (1L) daily
  • Affordable –  Costs the pet owner less than 1 coffee per week and comes with a 100% money back Guarantee
  • Size – 50 servings / 250ml

Finally, pet dental homecare made easy!
Oxyfresh non-toxic water additive and dental gel solution is a must-have when it comes to fresh breath and the overall dental health of dogs and cats.
By the age of 3, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease which can take years off a pet’s life. That’s why Oxyfresh with its patented blend of Oxygene® and zinc was developed. It safely and effectively helps cleans the teeth and gums, freshens bad breath and is suitable for all animals including dogs and cats.
Unlike other products, Oxyfresh pet dental water additive is completely tasteless and odourless so even the fussiest dogs or cats can’t detect it.

100% MONEY BACK iM3 GUARANTEE Oxyfresh pet products are unmatched for excellence and effectiveness and are backed by a 30-day 100% money back guarantee.

Behaviour Training!


Tracy Irons, previous director of Adelaide Veterinary Behaviour Services and Director of VetCraft Designs, ran a behaviour training day with us a few months ago. One of our receptionists, Ella, has written a few words on some of the ways that it has helped her to understand our patients and make them feel comfortable in our clinic.

As a receptionist, I am usually the first point of contact for your furry friends when they come to visit. The importance of this role in making your pets visit as stress free as possible, became very clear after our behaviour training. While we, as receptionists, are not the ones wielding needles or poking fingers where they shouldn’t go, our pets generally can’t tell the difference. This is evident when a dog hides under the waiting room chairs or does a nervous wee (totally normal by the way! Please don’t feel embarrassed if your pet has an accident in clinic, we’ve seen much worse!). Prior to this training, it was my understanding that, like many humans dogs and cats crave comfort and touch in times of anxiety. Tracy explained to us that often if an animal is hiding, it means they need space (hence the hiding!). In these cases, it is best for us to leave them alone, offer for them to wait outside, suggest to the vet that they might want to do the consult outside or even in our back reception area. I found this so helpful because I previously found myself unintentionally ignoring these signs and trying to comfort with treats and praise. Instead, now I like to communicate with the owner about how “Fluffy” is doing today, would it be okay if I gave them a treat, are they comfortable with pats (if it is not visibly obvious). Similarly, if a cat is hiding in the back of their cage and being vocal, they’re not really going to benefit from a curly haired lunatic staring in their safe space, talking in a baby voice. It is best to cover them with a feliway sprayed blanket (calming pheromone spray) and try to make the waiting room as calm as possible. We want this experience to be a positive one as your pets care is our primary goal. If there is something that your pet needs, feel free to tell us!

While understanding and working with each animals individual needs is helpful, Tracy taught us that sometimes it is just not enough. Some issues can be solved through behaviour training, while other issues like general anxiety need clinical treatment. This is where medication can come in handy! Many owners struggle and stress over bringing their animal to the vet and possibly will put it off to avoid the experience. It doesn’t have to be this way! Medication can calm your pet and make the consult a positive experience for everyone. I have had so many thankful clients that wish they had used medication earlier and probably a few dishevelled vet nurses who would say the same! It can also be a great long term treatment of anxiety and other behavioural issues. It is often hard for an owner to differentiate between training and behaviour problems so coming in for a consult with the vet can be helpful. If we find that the issue can benefit from training then we can refer you to a behaviour specialist. If we find that your pets issues are clinical then we can discuss medication. Call us on 0297972555 for further information!

– Ella


What is GingiShield™ Antibacterial Enamel Sealant? GingiShield is a clear sealant applied to at-risk teeth to kill harmful bacteria and helps prevent the formation of plaque, reducing the risk of periodontal disease (gum disease).

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plaque and leads to bad breath, tooth loss, bone loss, and heart, kidney, and liver disease in both dogs and cats. ​

GingiShield is the same product used by dentists and cleared by the FDA to seal and protect children’s teeth, but formulated for veterinary use. GingiShield is non-toxic and is safe for dogs and cats of all sizes.

GingiShield is the only sealant with patented SELDOX antibacterial protection – safely killing bacteria and inhibiting plaque formation. Additionally, other veterinary tooth sealants must be reapplied frequently between dental cleanings, while a single GingiShield application lasts a year or longer.

Can GingiShield be applied at home? No, GingiShield must be applied only by veterinary professionals. Application requires specialized equipment and training. GingiShield is applied during routine dental cleaning.

Dental Month Special Offer!

This year for Dental Month, we will be offering free GingiShield treatments on problem teeth for pets having a dental procedure! Please call the clinic on (02) 97972555 to book your pets dental procedure.

Urine Testing

Chronic Kidney Disease and Your Senior Pet

Chronic kidney disease, and the signs to look out for

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) occurs when the kidneys are unable to perform their job of filtering blood, removing waste and returning fluids to the bloodstream, as a result of structural and/or functional abnormalities in one or both kidneys for 3 months or longer. As a consequence, waste products (urea, creatinine, hormones etc.) and excess fluids build up in the body. Signs may present as increased urination, increased drinking, decreased appetite, gastrointestinal signs (vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, anorexia), lethargy, weight loss, muscle wasting. This disease is more common in older animals, which is why we suggest annual health checks for your senior pet!


I think my furbaby has CKD signs. What should I do?

Visit your veterinarian for a CKD workup. Where CKD is suspected, a routine investigation will be carried out. This often includes blood and urine tests.

If diagnosed, your vets may conduct further tests to stage the disease based on the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS) staging. IRIS staging can assist with the development of appropriate, logical treatment plans for each CKD stage.

What can I do to help manage CKD?

Management is targeted to keep the excesses and deficiencies minimal. The use of prescription renal diets have been shown to be the most important intervention that can prolong survival time in CKD patients. All animals with CKD stage 2 to early stage 4 should be placed on a renal diet! These renal diets are designed to control the intake of phosphorus, protein, sodium, B-vitamin, and soluble fiber and are enriched with Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and antioxidants. The single most important thing you can do to increase the acceptance of renal food is gradual transition over 3-4 weeks.


Royal Canin offers renal diets, such as the renal special and renal. Renal special is basically the same as renal diet, but for fussy patients that will not eat the normal renal diet. There are other brands that support renal diet too, such as Hills k/d, Specific CKW heart and kidney support and Eukanuba renal diet.

*Renal multi-function + hydrolysed protein, renal support + advanced mobility support, renal support – A (Aromatic), D (Delectable), E (Enticing), F (Flavorful), S (Savory), T (Tasty) are not available in Australia and New Zealand. 

Early CKD may not have any symptoms

Kidneys have a greater capacity than needed to keep us healthy. This is why you can donate one kidney and stay healthy, or you can have kidney damage without any symptoms as your kidneys are still doing its job to keep you feeling well. In the early stage, it is possible the only way to know if your pet has kidney disease is to get their kidneys checked with blood test and urine test. It is recommended that a full health check be performed every 6 months. Early Renal diet, a senior diet that has reduced protein and phosphorus, may be recommended when the dog is diagnosed in CKD stage 1. They should be switched to a renal diet should the creatinine elevate outside of reference range.

We provide Royal Canin renal and Hills k/d at Summerhill Village Vet 🙂

We can also order specific food for you! Call us on 02 9797 2555 to inquire.

Brown Dog ticks & the new disease of Ehrlichiosis

Brown dog ticks & the new disease of Ehrlichiosis.


What is a brown dog tick?

The Brown Dog tick gets its common name from its overall reddish colour. It has 6-8 legs, is an oval shape and becomes grey-blue when engorged.   In the past we were pleased when a dog got one of these on them because at least it wasn’t the dreaded paralysis tick but now we aren’t so blasé.


These ticks have been found to cause Ehrlichiosis, an emerging disease found in dogs caused by a tick-borne bacteria called Ehrlichia Canis. Symptoms of this disease can resemble many other conditions with similar signs so if you are unsure, your veterinarian can examine and discuss diagnosis and treatment options.   It hasn’t been found in NSW yet but that’s is only a matter of time & if you do go travelling interstate then your pet is definitely more at risk.


According to National pest & disease outbreaks, the brown dog tick has been confirmed in parts of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and in South Australia. An in depth look at the brown dog tick, where it has been found and information on the current conditions of travel with your dog can be found here


Tick prevention


Traveling with your dog can increase the risk of being exposed to this disease. We recommend that if you are travelling to areas where the brown dog tick is present that you can do the following to reduce their risk of contact:

  • Using tick prevention such as Bravecto spot-on or chews
  • Inspecting your dog regularly for ticks, especially if they have been in a tick infested area. To do so, run your fingers through your dog’s coat, over their skin and feel for any abnormal bumps. Pay attention to the head and neck, inside the ears, o their chest and under their front legs, between their toes and around their mouth and gums.

Avoid travelling with your pet to areas where significant tick populations occur unless you have them well protected.



How Do Dogs Get Heartworm?


The heartworm cycle begins when a mosquito bites an infected dog. The mosquito swallows the blood containing tiny larvae (baby pasrasites), and develops the larvae further inside the mozzie. The mosquito then deposits the now-infected larvae into another dog the next time it feeds.

What Does Heartworm Disease Looks Like?

The infected larvae mature slowly over six months until they reach full adult size, which can be up to 30cm long. The worms attached to the walls of major blood vessels & inside the heart itself, increasing the heart’s workload and restricting bloodflow to the lungs, kidneys and liver.

Many dogs with heartworm have no obvious symptoms. Visible symptoms may take as long as a year or more to appear when much of the damage has already been done. Dogs with severe heartworm infestations have a cough and are clearly unwell. Sudden death can also occur.

By the way cats don’t get heartworm very often but in them it causes sudden death rather than a cough.

How Vets Diagnose Heartworm?

If a dog has not been on prevention &/or has symptoms we can take a sample of blood & run a test in-house.

Can Heartworm Be Treated?

Yes, but treatment is risky, difficult and costly.

How is Heartworm Prevented?

ProHeart SR-12 is a yearly injection that takes away the need for you to remember a monthly treatment.

Other heartworm preventions include a liquid applied to the skin or a monthly chew or tablet.


The good news is that veterinary heartworm preventions work very, very well.

Santa Paws 2021!

Halloween and Your Pets

Halloween is around the corner and we are cautioning pet owners to be aware of the stresses and dangers that come with the tricks and treats.

Halloween in Australia is not as popular as in the United States, but we are seeing an increase in trick-or-treating and often kids appear at the door not dressed as they normally are. You don’t have to look scary (to be frightening to animals) – you just have to look different. Up to 20 per cent of pets already have an anxiety disorder and any change in routine can be upsetting to them.

When pets get scared, they can run away, become aggressive or become anxious.

Even if your dog or cat is the most placid animal, on Halloween people look different and behave differently, and this can cause your pet to react unexpectedly.


Tips for a safe and stress-free Halloween for pets

If you know your pet will be worried, talk to us about anti-anxiety medication (not sedatives, which do not decrease anxiety or fear). There are also pheromone collars and diffusers to help pets with mild anxiety which we can prescribe.

Keep your pets indoors and stay with them if you can. Black cats have been the target of malicious acts and are best kept inside during this time.

If you’re going out and nobody is home, put your pet away from the front door. If people come knocking on the door, make sure your dog or cat cannot run out when you greet them.

Make sure your pet is microchipped and carries an identification tag on the collar – with all contact details up-to-date, in case your animal goes missing,

Keep lolly wrappers, decorations and lighted pumpkins out of your pet’s reach. No chocolate! And if you decide to dress up your pet, ensure the costume doesn’t restrict movement, vision, hearing or ability to breath.

Wearing a costume can be stressful for some pets so don’t dress your pet unless you know they enjoy it.

Also, best not to take dogs trick-or-treating as they may become excited and uncontrollable.  You don’t want a frightened vampire dog on the loose!