Middle Brighton Veterinary Centre
762 Hampton St
Brighton, VIC, 3186

enquiries@middlebrightonvet.com.au
www.middlebrightonvet.com.au
Phone: 03 9592 9811
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Welcome to February!

After a very busy December it was nice for Anna & Murray to have some down time and take their children to NZ. They flew into Christchurch and spent a few days exploring the city and surrounding areas and enjoyed catching up with one of their ex vet nurses, Sarah and her young baby, Blake. They then hired a car and headed to the west coast via Arthurs Pass. The weather had turned by that stage so they missed out on a few activities - never the less the still managed a bike ride, lugeing at Queenstown and an exhilirating zip line adventure. All good fun but of course nice to be back home, and great to go away know that the clinic was in the good hands of Dr Kirsty, Dr Andy and the nursing team.

Puppy preschool is about to start for the year - we have already seen a number of puppies - all very gorgeous! We will have a very large class so will divide into two smaller classes to make the course enjoyable for everyone. Our first class will be on Tuesday 7th February at 7pm.

Hills have released a new diet for dogs, Derm Defense, aimed at dogs with allergic skin disease. This diet has the effect on the immune system to reduce the inflammatory response to environmental allergens. It also stabilises the skin barrier and supports skin and coat health. The end result is a less itchy dog! This diet is available in wet and dry formulations and like all Hills products has a money back guarantee for palatability.

This month Anna will have some time off for business management and Dr Andy once again will step in to keep the clinic running smoothly. 

We hope you enjoy the newsletter - if you have a particular topic that you would like covered then please let us know!

NZ family
Contents of this newsletter

01  There's something wrong in ear!

02  Recognising heart disease in your pet

03  The most dangerous worm of all

04  Preventing fly bites

05  Who stole the cookie?

01 There's something wrong in ear!
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If you think your pet has smelly, dirty or red ears it is time for a check up with us. Ear infections are very common at this time of the year and it's important that we visualise the canal and make sure your pet is not in any pain.

The ear contains its own 'mini environment' and this can be easily disrupted by heat, moisture and self trauma (for example from itching due to allergies). Bacteria and yeast love the change in environment and begin to increase in numbers, resulting in a very unhappy ear canal and an uncomfortable pet.

Watch out for:

  • Shaking of the head
  • Rubbing ears along the floor or furniture
  • Itching behind ears with paws
  • A head tilt
  • Flicking of the ears (especially cats)
  • Discharge - may be smelly and can be black, white or yellow
  • Hot and red ears

We will use an otoscope (a fancy tool with a light) to examine your pet's ears and make sure there is not a foreign body such as a grass seed contributing to the problem.

A sample must be taken and stained with special chemicals to identify the type of bacteria or yeast under a microscope. This enables us to prescribe the correct medication for your pet and gives the ear the opportunity to heal as quickly as possible.

The good news is, we have lots of very effective medications available as well as some treatments that can help prevent recurrent ear infections - just ask us for more information.

If you think your pet might have itchy or smelly ears arrange a check up with us ASAP. The longer you leave an ear infection, the more painful the ear becomes and the harder (and more expensive) it becomes to treat. 

02 Recognising heart disease in your pet
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With Valentine's Day in February, there's never a better time to talk about your pet's heart health.

Knowing the early signs of heart disease can really make a difference to your pet’s life. It means you can seek medical help from us, we can start treatment early, your pet will feel better and in most cases live a longer life. 

As a general rule, heart failure affects the pumping mechanism of the heart and oxygenated blood does not travel around your pet's body effectively. This can have an impact on your pet's overall health as blood ends up pooling in their lungs and/or abdomen leading to detrimental changes in other organs. 

Note that our feline friends seem to be very good at hiding signs of heart disease (and it's often harder to pick up these changes at home as we don't tend to take our cats for a walk around the block!).

The signs to look out for in both dogs and cats:

  • Laboured or fast breathing - the most common sign in cats 
  • An enlarged abdomen
  • Weight loss or poor appetite

Signs to look out for in dogs only:

  • Coughing, especially at night
  • A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks
  • Weakness or fainting associated with exercise

If we are concerned about your pet's heart we will initially recommend a blood test, X-rays and an ultrasound of the heart. An ECG or further examination with a heart specialist may also be required.

Thankfully we have a number of medications available to help improve your pet's heart function and management of heart disease is advancing quickly. 

If you think your pet is showing one or more of the above signs, it is important that we see them for an examination, as early treatment can help your pet lead a longer and happier life.

03 The most dangerous worm of all
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Heartworm is spread by mosquitoes and it is the most dangerous of all the worms for our pets.

Think about this: wherever there are mosquitoes, there is the risk of heartworm.

When an infected mosquito feeds on your pet's blood, the heartworm larvae enter the blood stream. These larvae mature into worms that can reach up to a scary 30 cm in length!

The worms can eventually become lodged in your pet's heart leading to heart failure. It is at this point that the disease can be fatal. Dogs are more commonly affected by heartworm disease but cats may also be at risk.

Prevention of heartworm is far better than an attempt at a cure but choosing the right heartworm medication can be confusing, especially with so many options on the market.

You need to be aware that many of the intestinal 'all wormer' tablets do not prevent against heartworm infection.

There are topical treatments, oral treatments and a yearly injection for dogs. Ask us for the most suitable prevention for your pet - we will make sure your pet is protected.

04 Preventing fly bites
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Flies are back in force this summer and they can be a real nuisance for your pet. 

Did you know that some fly species will actually bite around your pet’s ears and nose causing painful and infected sores?

Look out for dried, bloody scabs at the edges of your pet's ears and around the nose.

The best thing you can do is ask us about the very effective topical treatments we have available to help repel these annoying insects and follow these tips to help your pet out at home:

 •  Remove any dried blood from fly bites ASAP as the blood will attract more flies
 •  Don’t leave pet food in bowls to spoil outside - flies love this!
 •  Clean up your backyard (dog faeces, rubbish) to reduce smells that may be attractive to flies
 •  Try and give your pet a place to escape from the flies such as a kennel or a cool room

Ask us for more information on protecting your pet from pesky pests this summer.

And don't forget, we are the best people to give you advice on the best parasite prevention products for your pet.

05 Who stole the cookie?

Check out this funny video of two black labradors Harley and Loa. One of them stole a cookie off the counter and you just have to see what happened next!

If you're short on time, skip to 1 min 25 secs.