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.

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!

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.

What to Expect Before, During, and After a Pet Dental Cleaning

A pet’s dental cleaning is very important so as to maintain hygiene and avoid any future dental issues. Many pets suffer from toothaches or mouth related issues after the age of 3. This can make them irritable and may impact other organs too. Regular cleanings at home are essential but professional examinations are just as important.

It is advised to take your pet to the nearest dental clinic for a checkup and other cleaning purposes. Summerhill Village Vet Clinic Australia offers the best dental care services for animals. This article will explain what to expect before, during and after a pet’s dental cleaning.

Preparing for Dental Cleaning (Before):

Visit your veterinarian and ask them if your pet is fit enough for a dental cleaning process. They may check your pet’s heart rate among other things. Before giving the anaesthesia, any abnormalities should be checked. Your pet should not be given any food or water 12 hours before this process so as to avoid vomiting during the process.

Also, ask your veterinarian in if your pet needs any antibiotics prior to the cleaning. Some dogs who suffer from serious illness need antibiotic treatment a week before dental cleaning.

At the Time of the Cleaning Process (During):

If you are wondering what the veterinarian does during this process, they start by testing your pet’s health condition. After this, it’s time for the anaesthesia. A large chunk of tartar that gets accumulated on the teeth is removed and any infections in the mouth will be examined and treated.

Additionally, your pet’s teeth should get polished after all of the removals.

Post Clean (After):

The most important concern after dental treatment is when to resume your pets’ regular diet. You should start your furry friends diet 12 to 48 hours after the process has been completed. You can ask Summerhill Village Vet Clinic about what specific diet would be ideal for him and if there are any specific medicines your pet might benefit from.

It is advised that you give soft food to your pet. Even liquid diets would be preferable. It is also advised not to brush your pets teeth for a few weeks after the clean as it can be tender and there’s really no need.

Conclusion:

So these were some of the things you should do for your beloved pet after he gets a painful treatment done. Above all this, your love and care are expected the most. Summerhill Village Vet offers the utmost care for your pet and also offers consultants if you have any doubts. You can consult them for the best treatment.

Dogs and Noise Phobia – How to Deal with Your Dog’s Fear

Noise phobia is very common among dogs and many other animals. Dog owners suffer a great loss because of this when their pets damage their property in fear. This fear of noise is severe among dogs and can be seen or noticed easily by their activities. Some dogs engage in escape activities when they experience this kind of fear. Escape activities can be like jumping out of the window, digging under the round, chewing doors or any other furniture, climbing fences and many others. To treat your pet dog or even stray dogs for that matter, you need to take them to a good animal hospital like Summer Hill Village Vet.

Dogs possess sensitive hearing; even a low pitched noise can hurt their ears. They hear much louder than us, hence can get scared by noise easily. Noise phobia in dogs can arise by lightning, cracker noise, gunshots, loudspeakers etc. Some of the physical changes that you might notice in your dogs are crying, pace, tremble, or even widely opened eyes. So, if your pet is suffering from noise phobia, take it to a nearby animal hospital and take consultation from a good vet.

6 Tips to Deal with Your Dog’s Fear of Noise

Now that you know noise phobia in dogs is common and how your dog responds to it, you should know how to deal with this problem. So, here are the 8 important tips you need to follow to deal with your dog’s fear from noise:

  1. When your dog gets frightened and comes to you, never ignore it. Shower all your love and hug your pup in order to calm them down. This will ensure a feeling of safety.
  2. Visit your vet and speak to them about the problem. Summerhill Vet Clinic can really help you to better understand the phobia and provide you with guidance.
  3. Music can calm anyone; why not try it with animals? Play some good music in low volume so that your pet can ignore outdoor noises and stay calm and peaceful.
  4. Medication can also help in curing this problem. Proper drugs advised by a vet like Summerhill Vet can really help in minimizing the fear affects in dogs. The drugs may include antidepressants and tranquilizers to lessen their fear.
  5. Essential oils are effective for relaxing and de-stressing. Try putting a few drops of it on the dog’s collar to lessen their fear responses.
  6. If your dog fears from storm and thunders, never leave him outdoors in such a weather condition. He might injure himself or try to run away from outdoor enclosures when frightened by any noise caused by storms.

Noise phobia in dogs is something which can’t be ignored. It can become severe if not addressed. We recommend consulting a veterinary clinic like Summerhill Village Vet and get the medication for your pet very soon.

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?

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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!