Watch out for grass seeds!

By Dr Mark Lewis BVSc In the spring and summer months we often have dogs presented to us with problems caused by grass seeds. Just one of these simple and apparently harmless seeds can in fact cause severe health problems and in the country our pets come into contact with millions of them each spring and summer! The shape of grass seeds means that they move forwards and a grass seed left embedded in the coat will quite quickly penetrate through the skin. Once the grass seed has pushed through the skin it will track its’ way along through the body causing infection and tissue trauma. After playing in the grass dogs will often have grass seeds lodged in their coats, the most common place for grass seeds to lodge is between the toes on the paws but they can also lodge in other areas. It is very important to check your dog all over, with special attention to the area between the toes after he or she has been walking through long grass. If a grass seed enters the paw it will then move up the leg causing swelling and lameness. The other common place for grass seeds to cause problems is in the ear shown in the photograph on the left. If a seed lodges in the hair near the ear canal it will move down the actual ear canal until it reaches the eardrum. If the grass seed is left in the ear too long it will then rupture the eardrum and enter the middle ear. At this stage there is often irreversible damage. When a...

Polite Pets – Training tips for your dog

Ten top tips for training dogs Courtesy of the Australian Veterinary Association, with support from Royal Canin & Ceva Animal Health It’s much better to prevent behaviour problems than to have to deal with them later on – so starting out on the right foot with your puppy is essential. The best way to train your dog, is to reward them when they do what you want. This technique is known as reward-based training and it is the most humane and effective way to train your dog. It also makes training fun and helps strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Using training techniques that a dog doesn’t like can be dangerous for both owners and dogs. Punishment techniques can cause fear, anxiety and aggression in dogs, and they can also damage the connection you have with your pet. Ten training tips Puppies benefit enormously from socialisation. They need regular, friendly, social contact with humans and other dogs, particularly in the first 16 weeks of life. Friendly socialisation has been shown to decrease fear of other dogs and people, and improve a dog’s ability to cope with new situations. Research has shown that dogs that have not been socialised are more likely to develop antisocial behaviours. Puppies should attend a puppy socialisation class taught by experienced, qualified trainers. Puppies attending these classes should be healthy and have received their first vaccination. All dogs should progress to transition classes and adult training classes so that socialisation and education continue for life. Always use reward-based training with your dog. Rewards may be in the form of a food treat or...

Pet Dental Month – August 2017!

  Pet Dental Month – August 2017 Healthy Set, Happy Pet! Warrnambool Veterinary is running a pet dental month promotion throughout August to raise awareness of pet dental problems, their prevention and treatment. An initiative of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), the title of this years campaign is: Healthy Set, Happy Pet!   Providing your pet with good oral care is essential for them to enjoy a healthy and happy life.  The aim of Pet Dental Month is to educate pet owners about the benefits of annual dental health checks and regular tooth brushing for older pets. Warrnambool Veterinary supports this promotion with our Free Dental Health Checks. Four out of five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease which may go unnoticed by their owners. Pets often won’t show pain. Even pets with sore gums, infected mouths and broken teeth will continue to eat so owners may not see any problems. So how can you tell if your dog or cat has a toothache? Your pet’s breath should not smell bad. Bad breath is a sign of infection. Gums may be red and inflamed and the teeth stained with tartar or they may start dropping food. Annual dental health checks are an ideal opportunity for owners to find out if their pet has existing problems which have gone unnoticed. Dental health checks also help ensure bacteria and poisons from dental infections do not spread to the heart, liver and kidneys through the blood stream. We also recommend regular tooth brushing and many cats and dogs can be trained to enjoy having their...

Arthritis and Joint Pain Management for Your Horse

  Arthritis and Joint Pain Management for Your Horse Introducing 4CYTE™ and EPTALIS® Osteoarthritis (arthritis) is a very complex disease that affects a large proportion of the horse population. Because of this, joint support for horses is extremely important regardless of age, and type of activity you and your horse partake in. Young horses can be affected as well as older horses. Clinical Signs and Symptoms There are two main clinical signs associated with arthritis: pain, exhibited as lameness, and effusion (swelling) of the joint. The two signs do not always occur together initially, but as the condition progresses both become apparent. Lameness may be subtle initially, and may present as the horse being reluctant to perform certain activities/movements, such as refusing jumps, through to overt lameness present at the trot or even at walk. Effusion of the joint results from the accumulation of synovial fluid within the joint, due to increased production and decreased removal. Based upon the severity of the clinical signs, combined with severity of changes on x-rays (radiographs), the most appropriate treatment regime can be developed. Treatment will not reverse the changes present, but is aimed at reducing the rate of progression of the disease, rendering the joint pain-free, and prolonging the athletic career of the horse. The response to treatment can be a very individual horse-thing, so it can take some time to find what treatments and management work best for each individual horse. 4CYTE™ Equine is a one-of-a-kind scientifically proven joint supplementation for the equine industry targeting all key areas of joint function. Epitalis is a patented plant extract with unique properties that...

Chocolate Toxicity

  Chocolate Toxicity Chocolate and Dogs Just Don’t Mix! Our dogs love a tempting treat like chocolate not realising a chocolate treat could kill them! Chocolate contains a product called Theobromine which causes vomiting, diarrhoea, hyperactivity and excitation, muscle tremors, seizures, cardiac (heart) abnormalities, and in severe cases death. The level of Theobromine varies with the type of chocolate, there is more in baking chocolate and dark chocolate than there is in milk chocolates and white chocolates. Also small dogs will become ill with smaller amounts of chocolate As a guide a 5 kilogram dog could develop theobromine poisoning after eating just 80 grams of milk chocolate or 30 grams of dark chocolate or just 10 grams of baking chocolate. No amount of chocolate is safe for your dog! Even the smallest piece can cause serious illness. If your dog eats chocolate seek veterinary attention immediately. We may be able to induce vomiting to prevent absorption of the toxins. If toxic signs have developed the dog is likely to need hospitalisation, intravenous fluids and supportive care for a number of days. So don’t feed your dogs chocolate treats and don’t leave chocolate laying around! If you think your dog has eaten chocolate call your vet immediately on 5561 2255!...

New Options For Arthritis Treatment in Dogs

  New Options For Arthritis Treatment in Dogs Arthritis or osteoarthritis is a common condition affecting many dogs and cats. It is more common in older dogs of medium to large breeds, but can affect any animal of any size. Arthritis often develops slowly, and can affect one or any joints. Often in animals it is secondary to conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia or cruciate ligament damage, or can simply be due to wear and tear on the joints due to old age. Signs of Arthritis Signs of arthritis in our pets are many and varied and may include: reduced activity reluctance to walk or play stiffness in the legs (especially in the mornings or after a sleep) difficulty getting up limping / lameness difficulty climbing stairs or jumping into the car lagging behind on walks licking or chewing at the joints yelping in pain when touched personality change (possibly aggression) and reduced appetite. Treatment options for Arthritis Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) have previously formed the basis of pain relief for animals suffering from arthritis. However, a relatively new product called 4CYTE™ has become available for dogs. This product is one of a kind, in that it has been rigorously tested and proven to be as, or more effective than NSAIDs in controlling the symptoms of arthritis. Most importantly however, is that this product has no known side effects, and is therefore the safest treatment option available for arthritis in your canine friend. How does 4CYTE™ work and how is it different to other arthritis treatments? 4CYTE™ is a new generation neutriceutical containing a blend of potent marine...