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What happens when your pet comes in for a dental procedure…

Dentals for your cat or dog is one of the routine procedures our vets do regularly at Summer Hill Village Vet.

It can be a bit daunting booking your pet in for a dental as unlike humans, they require general anaesthetic since we need them to be still to have a proper look in their mouths.

If you have any concerns or questions about what a dental for your cat or dog means, we have put together this short video following one of our well loved patients ‘Trixie’ through her admission all the way through to her discharge.

You can read the following for tips on how to maintain your pet’s dental health:

My cat is missing

We have put together a guide to help owners with lost cats. Whilst it is not a guaranteed way to find your missing cat, we have found that a lot of these tips have had some success.

A lost cat is one of the most heartbreaking things a pet owner can experience. Unfortunately having an outdoor cat will always carry the risk of kitty not returning home and going missing regardless of what precautions you take (a safety-release collar with your phone number is aways a good idea to have on an outdoor cat).

Having a completely indoor cat does not also guarantee that your cat may never go missing – indoor cats are still prone to running out of an open window or door! For most cases, particularly for indoor cats, the missing cat is hiding somewhere very close to home so it is a good idea to regularly do a scan of your immediate area (look under nooks and crannies and other small places where your cat may have become trapped)

Tips to help find your cat:

An example of a ‘Missing Flyer’ used by one of our staff members who was luckily enough to have been reunited with her missing cat after more than a month!

These tips are based on real success stories (the sooner you are able to carry out the suggestions the higher your chance of finding your cat).

  • Set up a litter tray with some used litter from your cat around the entry points of your home.
  • Set up a food bowl with your cat’s favourite treats (preferably ones with a strong scent such as roast chicken or sardines) around your home.
  • Rent a humane cat trapper from your local vet or purchase one from Bunnings. Set up the trapper near your home and cover it with your cat’s towel/blanket and bait it your cat’s favourite food (again try to use foods with strong scents). It is important you check the trapper at least twice a day to ensure you don’t accidentally catch someone else’s cat! And also to change the food regularly.
  • Print as many Missing flyers as you can and drop them in your neighbours’ mailboxes (try to cover as many houses as possible, a block is a good minimum)
  • Put up as many Missing Flyers as you can on telephone poles (again around your block is a good minimum). You may find some people tearing them down, it is important to keep putting them up again to gain as much visible coverage as possible.
  • Post about your missing cat on as many Facebook Lost Pet Groups as possible.
  • Go out late in the night when it is most quiet with roast chicken and call out for your cat.
  • Call your usual vet and notify them of your lost cat, ask them to change your cat’s microchip status from ‘home’ to ‘missing’.
  • Call all your local vets to notify them of your lost cat and provide them with a detailed description as well as your contact details.
  • Contact your local pounds to notify them of your lost cat in case it has been impounded (which is usually the case if not chipped)

There are cases of people being reunited with pets that have been missing for more than a year!

Whilst it is easy to lose hope of ever seeing your cat again it is important to remember to not give up. Our own staff member Beatrice had found her lost cat after more than a month of searching, she followed all of the points we have provided and her eventual success was the result of a letter box drop.

We also post ‘Missing Cat’ posters on our clinic window and on our Facebook page so please feel free to email us your flyers if your cat is missing.

Once you do find your cat make sure you book a visit to your usual vet ASAP for a general heath check.

Tick Season

We had our first paralysis tick patient last week. A little poodle had just returned from a trip to the bush when his owner noticed a paralysis tick on his ear!

 

Ticks aren’t always immediately visibly, they can be in hidden places such as in between your pet’s toes.

His owner was vigilant and kept up to date with his flea and worming treatment however not all flea products protect against ticks.  Luckily his mum did the right thing and brought him to us straight away with the tick she managed to pull off for identification.

 

We have also had a couple of clients report to us that they have seen ticks around their yards! Warmer weather is definitely tick season and if you plan on going to any bush area with your four-legged friend it is important to confirm that the parasite protection you are using includes ticks.

Cats are also susceptible to ticks so be cautious if your feline goes outdoors or in particular has access to overgrown, leafy areas.

 

We stock a couple of products that protect cats and dogs against ticks so if you have any doubts feel free to drop by our clinic or call us for a chat.

If you would like more information on ticks, what symptoms to look out for in particular and what to do you can read on here

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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Perfecting the Art of Potty Training Your New Pet

Everyone gets excited thinking about bringing a new fury ball of joy home. You start thinking about playing games with it, feeding it, and developing a real bond with your new play mate! But something you may not be considering, is potty training… not the most enjoyable part of getting a new pet. However, potty training your pet is essential. Summer Hill Village Vet offers puppy classes and consultants for you to gauge a better idea and understanding of how you can train your new friend.

Insights into Potty Training Your Pet

Before you start training your pet, decide on a place where you will take them to go to the toilet. It can be a corner in your backyard, or in the garden where you will probably take them for a walk. Alternatively, if you have a cat and you don’t have a cat door, you might be using a litter box. You can also ask consultants at Marrickville vet clinic for any suggestions.

You need to make sure that your pet has a healthy diet and consistent walks after they eat in order to provide them with their opportunity to go to the toilet.

Whenever your pet tries to pee inside, don’t scold him. Scolding him or beating him will make him angry, irritated and even stubborn. Sometimes you can put his nose in his pee a little bit, and this will help him to understand what he’s doing is wrong. Also, don’t forget to take him for regular checkups at Summer Hill Village Vet so as to avoid any serious illness afterward.

Keep an eye on your pet always. This will make sure that you notice the signs they give you when it’s time to go to the toilet. Some dogs start barking or circling around, scratching and sniffing when they need to urinate. You need to observe him carefully. When you learn what sign your pet is giving, immediately take him out to the place where you want him to poop. If you are not able to figure it out, you can always address the issue with Summer Hill Village Vet.

If during keeping an eye on him, you catch your pet starting to poop or urinate, immediately say no. This will ensure he understands you don’t want him to eliminate indoors. He will go out and eliminate in the place you want him to. This will make it a routine. So keeping an eye certainly helps! Every time you notice him pooping indoors, say no immediately.

So these were some of the tips that can help you while potty training your pet. Along with training, dental cleaning and health check-ups are also necessary for your pet. Summer Hill Village Vet offers the best services and care for your pet. Book an appointment soon!

Do Dogs Smile? Understanding Pet Facial Expressions

Facial expressions are as much important integral aspect of the social behaviour of other animals as they are to humans. Each facial expression of your furry friend carries meaning, and it takes some understanding to figure it out with pin-point accuracy. Dogs, being the most common pets in human society, grab more attention than other animals with their facial expressions.

Dogs are often referred to as humanised animals that are capable of picking up human emotions. Is the other way around equally true? It depends on how accurately a person reads their pets body language and facial expressions of. Unfortunately, only a handful of people understand how to do this with finesse.

The fact that dogs are able to emote themselves, beggars a pertinent question – do dogs smile? The vet care specialists from Summer Hill Village Vet believe they do.

How To Find Out When Your Dog Smiles?

Unlike humans, who utilise their facial expressions to communicate their thoughts and feelings, animals depend on their body language to communicate via non-verbal communication. An important element of a dog’s communication to its master includes facial expression, tail carriage, the position of its ear, and, of course, its posture.

  • A slightly opened mouth with perked ears and a relaxed tail is indicative of a relaxed mood and a friendly demeanour.
  • On the other hand, pinned back ears, low body, and a tucked tail add up to the fact that the man’s best friend is in a fearful mood.

How can one find out whether a dog is smiling or not? According to the caretakers of dogs at Summer Hill Village Vet it solely depends on how a canine is feeling at a given point in time. Dogs are likely to smile when they are happy or in a relaxed frame of mind. You weren’t wrong if you felt that your pet friend was smiling at you when you found it in this sort of mental state.

Now that you know how to find your pet canine in a happy mood, ensure that you complement it duly in a natural way to reciprocate its emotion.

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?

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!