What is Myxomatosis and how do I keep my rabbit safe?

There has recently been an emergence of Myxomatosis affecting rabbits in the innerwest, if you are a rabbit owner you might want to read the following to ensure your furry friend stays safe and healthy.

About Myxomatosis

Myxomatosis was a virus introduced to Australia in the 50’s to control the feral rabbit population, unfortunately it is still prevalent today and can affect domesticated rabbits. Successful treatment for it is rare in affected rabbits and once present it has a rapid progression leading to death within 14 days. As such, prevention is the key focus when tackling Myxomatosis.

How is it spread?

Myxomatosis can be transferred via the affected rabbit coming into close contact with other rabbits. It can also be transferred by insect bites such as from mosquitoes or fleas.

Can I vaccinate my rabbit against it?

Unfortunately there are no vaccinations available in Australia to protect against Myxomatosis however there are a few safety measures available to keep your rabbit as safe as possible.

 

An example of a mosquito proofed hutch

  • Install a fly/insect net around your rabbits outdoor enclosures
  • Keep your rabbit indoors especially during summer or in the early mornings and evenings when mosquitos and fleas are most prominent.
  •  Stay up to date with your rabbits flea protection – speak to your vet about which product and dosage is safe for your rabbit as certain flea-preventative medications can have adverse affects on rabbits.
  • Ask your vet about rabbit friendly insect-repellant.

How do I know if my rabbit is affected?

If you suspect your rabbit may have the virus it is important to bring it to a vet ASAP to prevent its suffering and to separate it immediately from other rabbits.

Common symptoms to look out for include:

  • Pus-like discharge from eyes, nose, genitals and anus

    Watery eyes in affected rabbit

  • Watery eyes
  • Swollen eyes and genitals
  • Inappetence
  • High fever
  • Drooping and swollen ears
  • Laboured breathing in more advanced stages

(More symptom pictures and further information on rabbit vaccinations)

 

 

 

Pet Emergency Care in Veterinary Hospitals

As a pet owner, you must be familiar with vets and their veterinarian clinics. However, vet hospitals are very different from veterinary clinics. Vet hospitals are generally much more prepped and equipped to deal with emergent situations pertaining to your pets.

So, in a regular situation under a controlled setting, you may opt to visit a veterinarian clinic. However, a vet hospital becomes a preferred choice under unforeseen and sensitive situations where immediate attention is needed.

At a typical vet hospital, pet emergencies are taken much more seriously with a sense of urgency. They are prepped beforehand to deal with the demanding situation. They strive to be well-equipped with materials, instruments, and staff to better fulfill the needs of the situation.

This post is aimed at creating more awareness about veterinary hospitals and their services.

Facilities at Veterinarian Hospitals

The knowledge of what services you can avail for your pet is always good to obtain beforehand. Pet parents can benefit greatly from such insights. The following are some services offered at vet hospitals that you need to know about beforehand:

1. Tests for Diagnosis:

Veterinary hospitals are well geared with their testing equipment such as X-rays and diagnostic centres. A versatile vet hospital has an array of machinery to suit different types and breeds of pets. Ranging from in-depth brain scanning to detailed x-rays, pet hospitals are set in place to meet the need of the hour

2. Surgery:

Having this facility saves lives to a great extent. A vet hospital houses a professional fleet of veterinary surgeons that work round the clock and are experts at it. A Five Dock animal hospital will be well-suited to meet such emergencies.

3. Round The Clock Care:

Veterinary clinics get a limited time to function. However, hospitals are bound by no such timelines. They function 24×7, providing stellar medical facilities to all pets and breeds alike. Vet clinics have their set hours where they consult and create a diagnosis. But in a Five Dock veterinary hospital, there are multiple shifts.

As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to be aware of all the veterinary services around you. Emergencies come unannounced and all you can do is be best prepared for them. You should check with your local vet hospitals and clinic to know exactly which service is offered where. It is always advisable to keep your preparation strong, so at times of emergencies, you don’t fret.

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.