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.

Help! I found a stray kitten

Almost everyday we get phone calls from people who have found themselves in possession of a little stray kitten – or sometimes even a litter of stray kittens!

Unfortunately due to the number of stray cat colonies around Sydney there is always an abundance of homeless kittens. Despite the good intentions of the community to Trap-N-Release (TNR), this problem will not disappear anytime soon.

As such, we have made a guide to ensure the best outcome for the kittens.

Stray kitten(s) with a mother

McShooty and Stevie were our ex-adoption kittens. They were strays who had a feral mother who is part of a community TnR & feeding program.

If you have encountered stray kittens that are still being attended to by their mother please make sure NOT to separate them! You should contact any reputable rescue group to organise a TNR. This allows the mother cat and her kittens to be taken off the streets for appropriate treatment. For the mother cat that usually means being desexed to prevent future stray litters. Depending on the nature of the cat and her kittens it is most likely the rescue group will attempt to re-home them however if the mother is extremely aggressive and hence unable to rehome then she will most likely be released back to where she is found once she is desexed and treated for any existing medical conditions.

Stray kitten(s) without any signs of a mother

Kittens that are alone are not necessarily without their mother- sometimes they can appear to be abandoned but in reality their mother is out gathering food or in the process of relocating her litter. To avoid making the mistake of separating a kitten from their mum, try to stick around (out of sight to avoid frightening them) and observe for a while to see if the mother does return.

If this is a case of no mother cat being present then you should aim to safely trap the stray kittens and bring them to their nearest vet*, the vet protocol from here on is to scan the kittens in case they have any microchips (if they are chipped then they would most likely have a home and are probably lost).

If the kittens are not microchipped and are clearly not a missing pet then it is up to the vet on what needs to be done next.

A litter of 3 ex-adoption kittens (Chandler, Ross and Joey) we had taken on from another clinic to rehome.

Vet clinics are not rescue groups, hence are not always able to hold-onto and rehome stray animals- this is because most smaller clinics only have the capacity and resources for hospital patients. Sometimes however, and this is the case for our clinic- the vet will have the availability to rehome the stray kittens in which case they will take them off your hands and handle all treatment and later adoption.

If the vet advises you that they are unable to keep the kittens you’re next best options are to either:

a) contact reputable rescue groups (there is a list of them and their contact details at the end of this post).

b) foster the kittens yourself and handle the rehoming (if you do decide to foster/keep the kittens you can read our Kitten Care handout for information on owning and caring for kittens) – if you do end up fostering the kittens you can talk to our staff about receiving discount rescue rates for all their treatment (that is only if you are not intending to keep them as your own pet and are definitely adopting them out)

c) contact other nearby vets- just because one vet does not have the space, that does not mean other clinics do not. We have previously taken on stray litters from other clinics who were unable to.

List of Cat Rescue Groups in Sydney:

Leptospirosis: Should I be scared?!

As you may already be aware, there have been five recent cases reported of Leptospirosis in dogs around the inner-city area of Sydney. We understand that this would cause a lot of concern for all dog owners in the inner west as such we have put together this short summary to shed some light on the chances of your dog coming into contact with the bacteria as well as what symptoms to look out for if you suspect your dog may have it.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Leptospira. Leptospirosis has many different strains (also known as serovars). Each serovar infects different animals including dogs, cattle, pigs and horses. Leptospirosis is very responsive to current antibiotics but organ failure can result in death.
Leptospirosis does NOT affect cats.

It is more common in Queensland where it is humid and warm and generally less of a risk in Sydney. It is spread through the urine of rats (disease hosts) and infected dogs, and the bacteria can live for months to years in soil and water.

Want more information? We’ve put together a printer friendly handout for you to keep handy!

Introducing Knose Wellness Plans!

I have great news for pet owners struggling to budget for the best health care for their pets.

As a result of suggestions brought to us by our clients, we are about to launch the option of regular monthly payments to take care of all of your pet’s preventative health care needs!

I know, it doesn’t sound too sexy, but it is very cool!! You will now have the option of a small monthly subscription to cover your routine pet care, instead of a big bill at vaccination time, or a hundred-odd dollar online parasite product purchase each year.

How does it work?

It’s a bit like joining the gym, but we are joining up your pet instead. We set up an automatic monthly payment which you can include in your household budget to help you keep your finances in order. You bring your pet in when they are due for their regular health checks and vaccination…these visits are already paid for, no big bill on the day. We send you all of their flea, heartworm and worming products at the time they are needed…directly to your door! We can also send you an email or sms to remind you to give them on the right day.

How does this help me?

We have tried to spread the costs of these essential items throughout the year to make budgeting easier. We have also endeavoured to make giving parasite prevention simple. You don’t have to think or remember when to give anything. As busy people I think this is an absolute must. We have also researched the costs and offerings of many companies and found a way to have this all done for our clients in a way that they are ahead financially!

But aren’t online products cheaper than buying them at the vet?

Well, it used to be the case. Online companies have huge buying power, and a small independent vet buying a few packets of products from a wholesaler cannot compete with big companies buying products by the pallet direct from drug companies. The great news with our new subscriptions is that we have partnered with another independent company called Knose in order to ensure the cost of your vet visits and parasite products is LESS than if you were buying from the cheapest online pet store. It’s brilliant!

What happens if my pet gets really sick?

Your wellness plan subscription is designed to cover your pet for routine disease prevention, not for illness and injury. The cost of these areas of pet health care are covered by your pet insurance and we strongly urge all of our clients to continue to have their pets insured. Our new subscriptions are really designed to cover the routine disease prevention which is NOT traditionally covered by pet health insurance.

What happens if I want to stop my subscription?

You can stop your subscription at any time. If you have already had your vaccinations we need you to fix us up for what you have already used and nothing more. There are no penalties for discontinuing.

I’m curious and want to know more…

Great! Give us a call, an email, pop in or watch our website for the official launch next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you use Advocate as part of your pet’s regular parasite prevention treatment?

Well we have some good news! During March only we are offering $25 OFF ANY 6-pack of Advocate* purchased in clinic for both cats and dogs.

Advocate offers a broad range of parasite protection as one application covers your cat/dog from nasty intestinal worms, fleas, ticks, heartworm and mites.

Prevention is always drastically cheaper (and less stressful!) than treatment, so if you have any questions or concerns about what product is best for your pet please do not hesitate to have a chat with us by dropping by, calling 02 9797 2555 or emailing contact@summerhillvillagevet.com 🙂

Click to see printable handouts on fleas & ticks or heart worm & intestinal worms

*To redeem this promotion all you have to do is purchase a 6-pack of Advocate in-clinic and our receptionists will automatically put the discount through for you.

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)

 

 

 

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!