Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre
231 Frankston-Flinders Rd
Frankston, VIC, 3199

nurses@frankstonvet.com.au
www.frankstonvet.com.au/
Phone: 03 5971 4888
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Winter is here and with it comes our continuing focus on senior pets - in particular their mobility.

Remember that even if the weather is cold, our older pets still benefit from staying active. Regular short walks for dogs and playtime for cats keeps their joints moving, the brain active and helps prevent weight gain.

 


 

On the Queen's Birthday weekend, the Centre will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as usual and closed on Monday, when the Animal Emergency Centre Frankston will provide urgent care for our patients.

Contents of this newsletter

01  Is your pet a senior citizen?

02  Help your senior pet stay happy and healthy

03  My dog's done his knee!

04  Flu season is here

05  Chicken therapy

01 Is your pet a senior citizen?
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Is your pet starting to age a little?

Did you know that cats and dogs are considered senior citizens after the age around 8 years? As they reach their golden years there are a few things you need to watch out for.

Obvious changes might include:

  • stiff legs
  • weight loss or gain
  • hearing loss
  • forgetting toilet training

It's crucial to arrange more regular check ups with us during these senior years. We recommend at least twice a year.

We will monitor your pet closely for:

  • sore joints
  • new lumps
  • dental disease
  • vision changes
  • heart changes

We may also suggest blood tests, urine tests and blood pressure measurements to make sure your pet's organs are all healthy. Diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis can be successfully managed if detected early.

Ask us for more information about keeping your senior pet happy and healthy. 

02 Help your senior pet stay happy and healthy
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Caring for a senior pet is an important job and your furry friends are relying on you to guide them through their twilight years.

Here are our top three tips for senior care:

1. Keep your eyes open for changes in behaviour, weight, appetite, thirst and urination. The presence of a cough, a change in sleeping habits, stiff joints, a new lump and accidents around the house can all be a sign of underlying illness. Instead of putting these changes down to 'getting old' arrange a check up with us.

2. Choose a premium diet suitable for a mature pet. These help to maintain ideal body condition and will improve longevity. Ask us for a specific recommendation for your pet.

3. As mentioned above, a regular health check (ideally every 6 months) is absolutely essential for your ageing pet. Your pet can experience significant changes in a single year (equivalent to 6-8 human years). A veterinary examination will allow us to pick up on any issues as soon as possible and start treatment if necessary.

Phone us if you have any questions about your senior pet, as we will always be able to give you the best advice.

03 My dog's done his knee!
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It's footy season but your dog doesn't need to be on the sports field to do his ACL!

Rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee is one of the most common injuries we see in dogs. This injury can lead to painful arthritis in your dog's knee if it is not treated effectively.

Plenty of dogs will 'snap' the ligament after suddenly jumping off a height or turning quickly. These dogs won't be able to stand on the injured hind leg. Cruciate ligament disease can also be a degenerative condition and older dogs may present with an intermittent lameness and a thickened knee joint.

Veterinary examination of the dog under sedation or general anaesthetic will enable diagnosis of a ruptured ACL (we feel for inappropriate movement of the knee joint). Radiographs will identify any evidence of swelling within and around the joint and any arthritic changes that may indicate progressive disease.

Surgery to stabilise the joint is the best option for treatment. Small dogs may respond to conservative treatment (rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication) but due to instability in the joint, there is a high risk that these dogs will develop arthritis and these patients must be carefully managed.

There are different surgical techniques available and we will be able to give you more information on the most suitable type for your dog.

If you think your pet might be injured please call us for advice.

04 Flu season is here
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With flu season in full swing, now's a good time for us to answer the common question, can my pet get the flu?

Dogs and cats cannot catch human flu, but suffer from their own version of coughs and colds, and infection can occur at any time of the year.

Dogs might contract canine cough (often referred to incorrectly as kennel cough) and cats can suffer from cat flu (commonly caused by a herpes virus).

Canine cough

Is a highly contagious disease that's passed from dog to dog by moisture droplets spread by coughing, runny noses etc. Your dog might be infected at the local park or at a boarding kennel due to the large number of dogs in one area. Vaccination is given annually and is very effective at protecting your pet against the worst symptoms of this disease.
Your dog may still contract a milder form of canine cough, even if he is vaccinated, but this usually resolves by itself.

Cat flu

Is also highly contagious and can cause severe illness, especially in elderly cats or kittens. Vaccination is highly effective and while it won't always prevent cats from developing flu, it helps reduce the severity of the condition. Flu vaccinations are given annually and are an important way to help keep your cat stay happy and healthy.

To check if your pet is protected against these diseases, please call us and we can easily look up your pet's vaccination history and give you the best advice. 

05 Chicken therapy

Meet the 'Hensioners,' the little chooks making big changes in the lives of elderly human patients. We all know that dogs and cats are great companions for our elderly population but did you ever think that a chicken might be able to help fight depression and dementia?

Click here to watch the story. 

Elderly woman with two chickens