Case of the Month

Hypothyroid disease … … And why your dog isn’t really lazy afterall! “Sweet Pea” is a six year-old Pyrenean Mountain dog that came to see Dr Anthony because she wasn’t herself. She seemed painful to get up and down and was not as interactive with the other dogs she lives with. Her owner had also noticed her coat had changed and she had “dandruff”. She had also gained weight. It can be easy to assume that any middle-aged to older dog that is struggling to get out of bed has arthritis. In fact, through a thorough work up of Sweet Pea’s symptoms we were able to determine that inability to get up and down easily was not actually due to arthritis but a metabolic disorder called Hypothyroidism. Her work up included blood tests and x-rays (in which we could not see evidence of any joint disease such as arthritis). The blood test showed a low thyroid hormone level and elevated cholesterol. This prompted the vet to test for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone which was found to be high. This means her brain is telling her body to produce thyroid hormone but her thyroid gland isn’t doing as it’s told! The good news for Sweet Pea is that her Hypothyroid disease is easily controlled by supplementing her with thyroid hormone tablets. Even though it has only been a couple of months, she is back to her usual self but will require treatment for the rest of her life. Hypothyroid disease is a metabolic disease of dogs whereby their thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. In over 90% of dogs this...

Pet Dental Month – August

Bad breath is a sign of dental disease, so if your cat or dog’s breath makes you gag this may be a cause for concern. August is Pet Dental Month we are encouraging local pet owners to take an active role in keeping their pets teeth and gums healthy.  According to the latest studies, dental disease is one of the most frequently diagnosed health problems for our pets.  By the age of two, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of dental disease.   % 80% of dogs by age 3 have dental disease % 70% of cats by age 3 have dental disease Dental disease and mouth pain can affect a pet’s quality of life, appetite, behavior and general well being. Dental signs to watch out for: Bad breath Chewing on one side of the mouth or pawing at the mouth Red, inflamed or bleeding gums Tooth loss Going to the food bowl but not eating Excess salivation Build up of yellow-brown tarter around the gum line. The bacteria associated with dental disease can spread through the blood stream and cause damage to internal tissues and organs. Dental disease has been linked to numerous health problems in dogs, including liver, kidney and heart disease. Pets can’t brush their own teeth, but pet owners can help to protect their pets from dental disease by combining a good dental homecare program, with regular dental examinations and a complete and balanced clinically proven dental food. Warrnambool Veterinary offers FREE dental checks for our clients.  If we recommend a dental procedure for your pet during dental month, you will...
Neil Chesterton Lameness Seminar

Neil Chesterton Lameness Seminar

 Wednesday 29 August 2018 Dr Neil Chesterton presents Understanding Lameness: A risky business Common lameness conditions and their risk factors Dr Neil Chesterton, New Zealand, is an international expert on lameness prevention. Neil’s interesting and informative two-part talk will cover common lameness conditions and their risk factors. If preventing lameness is a high priority on your farm this seminar is not to be missed. Date: Wednesday 29 August 2018 Time: 6:45pm for 7pm start Location: Flying Horse Bar & Brewery, Raglan Parade, Warrnambool. RSPV: By 5 pm Tuesday 28 August 2018 Warrnambool Farm Desk 5561 7666 or Terang & Mortlake Veterinary Clinic 5592 2111 Light supper provided Download Seminar...

Care of Downer Cows

Dr Phil Poulton from the Tarwin Vet Clinic in Leongatha, Gippsland spoke at a Farmchat day a couple of years ago. Phil has completed a PhD looking at nursing outcomes for Downer Cows. Phil had some key take-home messages to improve outcomes in the nursing of Downer Cows: Act early in the treatment of these animals  Don’t leave them out in the elements – move them correctly into a protected area with soft bedding Give non-steroidal anti-inflammatory early, such as Tolfejec, Key or Meloxicam Ensure they have access to food and water Roll from side to side to relieve pressure on muscle tissue He has found many animals suffer from secondary conditions like mastitis, hypothermia, dehydration & muscle damage which will generally be the cause of death rather than the primary condition. Lifting needs to be done with care - if using a set of hip clamps then a chest strap should also be used and move only short distances. Otherwise, the bucket of a front end loader is ideal.  Warrnambool Veterinary have developed an easy-to-use flow chart for the potential causes of Down Cows along with a Guide on the Care and Management  of Downer Cows. To order a copy of these valuable resources please contact the Farm Desk on 5561 7666 or email to...

Dirty Cows – Managing Endometritis in Cattle

OVERVIEW OF ENDOMETRITIS Endometritis is a mild, chronic infection of the uterus. It is very common, affecting up to 40% of post-calving cows. The uterus contains pus and there may be discharge from the vulva. The cows do not seem sick and will still eat, milk and cycle normally. However until the infection clears, they will be unlikely to get pregnant.  Some dirty cows are noticed by farmers if they have vaginal discharge or are obviously smelly. However, many do not show any outward signs. Time and money can be wasted in trying to join cows with underlying infections.  There are other types of uterine infections. Pyometra is another type that occurs when the cervix closes and pus is trapped in the uterus, stopping the cow from cycling. Metritis is a severe infection that can cause sick cows, milk drop, fever and even death. These will be treated differently by the vet.  Reduced general health Cows or heifers in poor body condition Poor nutrition Milk fever Downer cows General stress such as: adverse weather, transport, overcrowding, other diseases Reduced uterine health Twins Difficult birth Uterine tears Dead calf Assisted calving/caesarean Retained foetal membranes Diagnosis of endometritis  It is best to check all cows for endometritis 7-28 days after calving to make sure infections can be cleared up in time for the upcoming mating season. Some farmers prefer to only check the “at-risk” cows or those with obvious vaginal discharge, however this means a lot of cases will be missed.  Diagnosis requires a vet to examine the reproductive tract for pus. A grading system can be used depending on the...