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Introducing Anti-Anxiety Packages for your Cats and Dogs!

After working-from-home for the past few months it can be a stressful transition for your pets having to deal with you returning to work.

We have come up with our very own Anti Anxiety Pet Packages to help your pet through this change.

What do these Anti-Anxiety Packages include?

For Dogs:

  • An Adaptil Collar suited to your dogs size
  • A dose of pre-consult anxiety medications tailored to your dog’s needs
  • A course of 3 x Canine Massage Therapy sessions with our trained Nurse Jessica
  • A behaviour consult with one of our vets
  • An Adaptil bandana (you can spray this with Adaptil and tie it around your dog’s collar so they can smell the anxiety-relieving pheromones)
  • A Frank Green Keep Cup for yourself! (limited stock)
  • A package of yummy dog treats

For Cats:

  • A Feliway spray bottle or diffuser refill if you already have the plug-in at home
  • A dose of pre-consult anxiety medications tailored to your cat’s needs
  • A weekend of boarding at our clinic (including feliway)
  • A behaviour consult with one of our vets
  • A Feliway blanket to bring to consults over your cat’s carrier
  • A Frank Green Keep Cup for yourself! (limited stock)
  • A package of yummy cat treats

To celebrate the launch of these packages we are currently running a competition through Instagram or Facebook to give away 3 x Free Anti-Anxiety Packages to three lucky winners!

How do I enter?

If you have an Instagram account make sure to follow us and post a photo of your pet ‘working from home’ with the hashtag
#SHVVrelax and a short 50 word explanation of how your pet would benefit from one of our anti-anxiety packages.

If you do not have an Instagram account then just message our Facebook page with your entry.

We will be posting our own staff’s pets working from home regularly to give you inspiration.

Deadline for entries is Sunday the 19th of July 2020 so get snapping 🙂

 

 

Help! My dog doesn’t want to stay home alone. What can I do?

Everyone loves a little alone time but we are social animals at heart and don’t like being on our own for too long – and you may have noticed this is exactly the same with your paw friend. You can tell they aren’t happy when you leave the house and how madly excited they are on your return. So we’ve put together some top tips for spotting if your pooch is uneasy being left alone and how to help them cope when you leave the house.

1. Don’t Leave Me This Way!

By their nature your dog is a pack animal, it loves family and guess what…you’re their family! That’s why they come running up to you with such enthusiasm whenever you’re around. When your dog is just a puppy they learn things very quickly, and if they had an unpleasant experience being alone as a puppy this will carry on into their adult life.

Similar to people, often our fears come from something that happened when we were very young and hence we didn’t understand. So if your dog was left alone as a puppy and they didn’t have access to a comforting place, they will worry this is going to happen again. There’s also worry they won’t know where their next meal will be coming from – it’s why you might find little treats like bones, hidden in strange places around the house.

 

2. Body Talks

Like a baby crying out for its mother, your dog will try to grab your attention. Barking, whining and howling are the strongest indicators that your dog can’t bear to see you leave them alone! Similarly, being that little bit naughty, such as scratching at the doors and attempting to escape aren’t fun, so take this as a warning sign. We’re all naturally skilled at knowing how to pull on our loved one’s heart strings and your canine companion is no different; acting ‘upset’ by hiding and giving the cold shoulder is one of the ways your dog is trying to stop you from leaving!

 

3. How can I help my dog stay home alone?

There is no better feeling than returning to a safe space when life gets a bit too much. Whether this is the family home, a place in the park or just hiding under your duvet, we all need a moment to feel protected once in a while. As you’ve probably guessed by now, our canine companions have the same needs; it could be a dog crate, a certain room in the house or their dog bed. Imagine a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign around this safe space for whenever your dog is spending time in their comfort zone. ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser is the perfect helping hand, making your dog’s safe place that bit more relaxing. Plugging the diffuser into this room gives off ‘comforting messages’ in your absence, making them feel even more secure in their environment when home alone.

 

4. Tips to Help My Dog Keep Calm

Like the super nanny of dogs, one of the most well known tricks is to avoid making a fuss about your departure.This goes hand in hand with tiring your fluffy friend to before leaving because what could be more perfect than leaving your dog in the mood for an afternoon nap whilst you’re away!

No one likes to be left with nothing to do, especially not our excitable companions, so for times when your dog just wants to keep playing be sure to leave them with fun toys or food puzzles to keep their mind occupied.

Crucial to this is also not to make a big deal when you return. Your pooch will naturally be over the moon to see you, but tru not to make it into a big deal. BY playing it cool upon your return your dog will begin to realise that time alone is part of the normal way of life. So give it a few minutes, let yourself settle in, your dog will no doubt be demanding attention, and then once they’ve calmed down a little bit you can shower them with love.

 

So there you have it, some top tips on how to help your dog stay home alone. Remember – the best thing about being away from your pooch is you get all the love in the world when you return ! Just, you know, play it cool 🙂

Canine Myofunctional Therapy – Dog Massages!

We have decided to increase our range of services we now offer you Canine Myofunctional Therapy (CMT) also known as dog massage. We want to educate people about the benefits of dog (canine) massage as well as help their furry friends. This is why we sent one of our nurses to Melbourne to study and practice CMT. Jess has been we us since 2013, she has a certificate in Animal Studies, Veterinary Nursing and is now a certified Canine Myofunctional Therapy practitioner.

CMT can help pets with arthritis, recovering from orthopaedic procedures and with mobility & flexibility issues.

So what is Canine Myofunctional Therapy?

Canine Myofunctional Therapy or CMT is in the most basic of terms, a massage treatment for dogs which involves diverse massage techniques and stretching.

 

 

 

What are the benefits of canine massage?

  • It stimulates the release of endorphins which can help decrease pain but also reduce stress and anxiety
  • It will improve blood circulation
  • It helps with joint lubrication and range of motion
  • When added to good veterinary care, it can speed recovery time from an injury or surgical procedure
  • Improves athletic performance
  • Massage can encourage the body to heal itself
  • Improves circulation and dilates blood vessels
  • Stimulates lymph circulation
  • Speeds up elimination of wastes and toxic debris
  • Relaxes tight muscles
  • Relieves tension
  • Increases nutrition to the tissues by improving general circulation
  • Improves interchange of substances between the blood and the tissue cells, heightening tissue metabolism
  • Increases the excretion via the kidneys of fluids, inorganic phosphorous salts and waste products of protein metabolism
  • Lengthens connective tissue, breaks down or prevents the formation of adhesions and reduces muscle fibrosis
  • Improves circulation and nutrition to joints and speeds up the elimination of harmful deposits
  • Helps lessen inflammation and swelling in joints and therefore alleviate pain
  • Increases blood supply and nutrition to muscles without adding to the load of lactic acid produced through voluntary muscle contraction
  • Enhance muscle tone and increases range of motion
  • Endeavours to free motion and correct damaged muscles by releasing adhesions
  • Stimulates internal organs to work efficiently

When do we recommend it?

  • Massage after (orthopaedic) surgery:

Often dogs are reluctant to use a limb after a painful procedure, muscles weaken and they are less able to use that limb leading to muscle atrophy. Return to normal function is slowed down and can even become impossible.

Canine massage can help your dog make a smoother recovery, returning to health faster and reducing the pain.

  • Flexibility and mobility:

Pets of any age can benefit from CMT. Young active dogs who get carried away wrestling and playing in the park can also strain muscles. Massage can help your pet regain the flexibility and mobility.

 Do you have a dog with arthritis?

Arthritis is a disorder of the joints; it can have many causes. The most common cause is from old age but can also be caused from an injury that affects the joint. It can even be congenital, for example arthritis can develop from hip dysplasia.

Canine massage will not cure arthritis but it will increase the release of synovial fluid which acts as a lubricant in the joints. It will also increase the dog’s range of motion and help prevent its muscles from atrophying due to lack of activity.

  • Stress and anxiety:

Stress and anxiety are a common issue in dogs of all ages, getting a massage provides great benefits for your pet’s psychological well-being. It reduces stress and stimulates the release of endorphins which will help your little one feel more relax and enjoy their visit to the vet.


Our products and services

  • Post-operative massage
  • Relaxation massage
  • Geriatric care massage and advice
  • Arthritis care massage and advice
  • Qualified nurse examination
  • Internal referral to Veterinary care if indicated: consultation, radiographs, prescription medications

Some examples of contraindications:

Massage has a lot of benefits but there are also some contraindications that have to be considered before getting your pet massaged. Always ask your veterinarian for advice if you are unsure.

  • Severe fear or trust issues, as the dog might never fully relax and enjoy the benefits of a massage
  • Human aggression
  • Some skin issues
  • Malignancies
  • Some stages of pregnancy

Update on Covid-19 and Pets

At Summer Hill Village Vet we are constantly monitoring the Covid-19 situation with respect to our pets and to keep you accurately informed.

Our information is primarily sourced from:

  • World Health Organisation,
  • Australian Government Department of Health,
  • NSW Veterinary Practitioners Board and
  • Australian Veterinary Association.

To date there have been NO CASES of transmission of virus from animals to humans.

WHO reports that the primary source of SARS-COV-2 transmission remains human-to-human contact.

This does not mean however that the virus cannot be found living on animals.

There have been a few cases of humans transmitting the virus to an animal: it has been reported in a dog, in cats, in ferrets and even a tiger!


What does that mean for us as pet owners?

It means we need take some common-sense precautions which we have summarised below:

  1. Keep your pets in your “isolation bubble” to prevent other people from transferring the virus on to their bodies.

Avoid letting other people pat your dog in public.

We want to prevent your pets from acting the same as any other surface you might touch in public.

Don’t panic if someone does touch your dog for some reason…you can always just give them a bath (soap kills coronavirus).

You will see us maintaining the integrity of your “bubble” in the clinic by using masks, hand washing, alcohol based hand rubs and sometimes gloves.

  1. Contact your vet if you are diagnosed with coronavirus and we will advise you on the current recommendations for your pet.

At this point we would advise you to keep your pet isolated in your home, and minimise close contact (such as smooching with your face, etc).

We recommend good hand hygiene before and after handling your pet and their food/water bowls.

If there are non-infected members of the household it would be better if they looked after the pet.

We would also advise you to make a care plan for your pet in the unfortunate event that you are hospitalised.


Please feel free to call us with any questions or concerns you may have.

If you have a specific situation you would like to discuss please reach out by calling

02 9797 2555 or email us contact@summerhillvillagevet.com.

We are happy to provide more detailed information on any topic if needed.

Emergency boarding is available for cats if required.

We have protocols and procedures in place for dealing with folks who are self-isolating because they are at risk, as well as for folks who are unfortunate enough to become infected with coronavirus.

Always call us first and we will advise on best way forward to treat your pet under your individual circumstances.

FAQs about the Coronavirus

Corona FAQs

Q: What is SHVV doing to make their hospital as safe as possible for me and my pet?

A: We are monitoring AVA, NSW Government & WHO guidelines & updating our practice protocols constantly. We are asking clients who are unwell to stay at home, keeping employees home if they are unwell, cleaning surfaces within the clinic & maintaining distance as much as possible. Please help us by following our requests to stand back from reception, use hand-sanitisers etc.

Q: What can I do to help keep SHVV a safe place?

A: We need to minimise contact time between people so please

  • Limit the number of people presenting your pet to just one owner if possible
  • When arriving for your appointment, please wait in your car
  • Please phone us from your car on arrival and we can return the phone call to welcome you into the clinic when we are ready to see your pet.
  • Please use hand sanitisers located in the clinic.
  • Please phone ahead to order required prescription medicine repeats or food, worming and flea control in advance so we can arrange to have them ready for you without the need to wait.

Q: My pet needs to be seen by a Vet but I’m in self-isolation (maybe I have tested positive to COVID-19). What can I do?

A: Call us! We will discuss options – rest assured we will find a way to care for your pet. Please do not break quarantine and put other people at risk.

Q: I need to come to the Vet hospital but I don’t want to (because I’m elderly or immunocompromised). What can I do?

A: Call us! We will discuss options – rest assured we will find a way to care for your pet. Options include dropping-off medications, house-calls or collecting your pet to be examined at the hospital.

Q: How does COVID-19 spread?

A: The World Health Organisation states: People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Q: Can I catch Covid-19 from my pet?

A: The World Health Organisation states: While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.

Q: Can humans catch COVID-19 from animals?

A: The World Health Organisation states: Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in animals. Occasionally, people get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people. For example, SARS-CoV was associated with civet cats and MERS-CoV is transmitted by dromedary camels. Possible animal sources of COVID-19 have not yet been confirmed.

To protect yourself, such as when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals. Ensure good food safety practices at all times. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.

Useful links:

Coronavirus: Information for looking after your pets

Update on taking care of your pets during the coronavirus epidemic

We know this is an anxious time for everyone and you may be concerned how best to look after your pet in this current situation.

Until advised otherwise, we are open as normal – here are some guidelines to help both humans and animals stay safe and healthy.

If your pet needs veterinary attention and:

  • You have been overseas within the last 14days
  • You’re experiencing symptoms
  • Need to self-isolate

Please phone us for advice and we will make a plan together with you.

In line with social distancing recommendations, we are keeping waiting times to a minimum.

We ask you to:

  • Limit the number of people presenting your pet to just one owner if possible
  • When arriving for your appointment, don’t come straight in, take a look through the window and if there is no clear space to sit away from other people, stay outside if possible
  • Please phone us if you are waiting outside or in your car, and we can return the phone call to let you know when the waiting room is fairly empty or to welcome you into the clinic when we are ready to see your pet.

Please use hand sanitisers located in the clinic.

Please phone ahead to order required prescription medicine repeats or food, worming and flea control in advance so we can arrange to have them ready for you without the need to wait.

Call or email us with questions and check our web site for updates.

We are working hard to ensure we can continue to provide complete veterinary care.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. This situation is rapidly evolving, and we will provide updates as required.

Note that this is a rapidly evolving situation and advice provided here is reflective of the evidence at hand. For up to date information on the COVID-19 situation in Australia go to health.gov.au

 

Information about the dog in Hong Kong who tested positive:

Puppy’s First Vet Visit

Congratulations on your new family member! A new puppy is always an exciting time for the entire family.

Who can resist the wagging tail, puppy kisses and all too big paws of a growing pup

Whether you are a veteran puppy parent or not, it is always a good idea to bring your new little friend for a vet check – even if they are completely healthy and up to date with vaccinations.

The reason that we encourage a first vet check for your puppy is so that we can check for any health conditions that are not always obvious (for example heart murmurs or funny knees).

Another good reason for a first puppy check is that you can ask our vets any questions you have concerning your puppies health, training and future plans (this can range from discussions about diet, pet insurance, vaccination frequency, appropriate parasite prevention, dental health, toilet training and etc.)

We have complementary puppy packs for your pups first visit which gives you all the information you need to give your little friend the best start in life, you can access one of the puppy care plans here.

Make looking after your new puppy easier with our Pet Wellness Plans!

Lastly, we have Pet Wellness Plans that allow you spread the costs of your new puppies health needs as well saving you time and money.

These plans mean you never have to pay for your puppies vaccinations up front and also mean all their necessary parasite protection is delivered automatically to your front door whenever they are due.

We also include 20% off your puppies’ desexing, free microchipping and four free standard vet consults on these plans!

Read more about our Wellness Plans or Sign up directly here. 

What to expect for your puppies’ first vet visit and vaccination

 

Is your pet holiday ready?

Preparing for the holidays can be stressful- to help make things easier for you Dr Lydia has put together a checklist to ensure you don’t need to have that last minute emergency visit to the vet!

Print a copy of the checklist below and take some time to go through it – if you notice there are some things you aren’t sure about please feel free to call us on 9797 2555 so we can make sure you and your pet have a fun and safe holiday!

Pet Holiday Checklist 

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.