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Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre
231 Frankston-Flinders Rd
Frankston, VIC, 3199
Phone: 03 5971 4888

As the Festive Season approaches, this month's newletter contains lots of good tips for keeping your pet safe and well over the holiday period.

Frankston Heights Vet Centre will be open as normal during this time, closing only for the public holidays.

If your pet needs urgent care on those days, the Animal Emergency Centre Frankston will be open throughout. 

Thank you to all our clients for trusting us with the care of your beloved pets in 2017. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2018.

Contents of this newsletter

01  Leo and the Christmas ham

02  When to take your pet to the vet ASAP

03  Traveling with your pet

01 Leo and the Christmas ham
iStock 623523726

Leo the ten year old schnauzer usually loves Christmas. And it isn't because of all the new toys he finds in his stocking, it's because he usually gets some leftover ham! That was until last Christmas.

On Boxing Day last year, Leo developed a painful and potentially life threatening condition known as pancreatitis. Leo's pancreatitis came on very quickly. He was vomiting, hunched over in pain and was becoming dehydrated. He was admitted to hospital and treatment was started immediately. Blood tests would confirm that he was suffering from pancreatitis but early treatment was vital. This involved pain relief, medication to manage nausea and rehydration via an IV drip.

When a meal is eaten, the pancreas secretes enzymes required for digestion. In some cases, an overly fatty meal (such as leftover ham) can trigger a “leakage” of these enzymes and the severe inflammation results. This can happen either all of a sudden (acute), or over time (chronic). In both cases, a pet can end up very unwell and in some cases, the condition can be life threatening.

After a few days in hospital, Leo was discharged with strict feeding advice and a low fat diet. The likelihood of pancreatitis striking again is high so there will be no more leftover ham for Leo this Christmas. He will be getting a low fat treat and lots of toys instead!

It is not uncommon for us to see pets with pancreatitis and other gastric upsets over the festive season so please take extra care around meal times and don't let your pet overindulge!  

If you are worried about your pet you should always phone us for advice.

Oh and if you need a laugh you should check out these hilarious Christmas pet illustrations via We think all people with pets will be able to relate to at least one!

02 When to take your pet to the vet ASAP

The Christmas period can be a busy time for everyone. It can be easy to get swept up in the festivities and not realise your pet is unwell.

Here are ten situations when you should seek veterinary attention immediately:

  1. Trouble breathing - respiratory problems can be life threatening 
  2. Weakness and collapse - can indicate internal bleeding, heart problems, poisoning
  3. Seizures - can be caused by toxins and other conditions
  4. Panting, restless, unable to get comfortable - can indicate bloat, heat stress
  5. Profuse haemorrhage - bleeding externally is obviously an emergency but if your pet has suffered trauma such as being hit by a car, or falling from a height you should see a vet ASAP
  6. Struggling to urinate - this can be life threatening, particularly in male cats
  7. Not eating or drinking - some pets may skip a meal here or there, others may always clean up their food bowl so if they stop eating it's an indication something's not right
  8. Vomiting and diarrhoea - a one off vomit and episode of diarrhoea may not be an emergency but if it persists over the course of the day, dehydration can quickly set in so you should get your pet checked out as soon as possible
  9. Pain - if you think your pet might be in pain, you need to seek veterinary attention. Your pet might not always show a limp or vocalise when they are in pain and may simply be inactive or quieter than usual
  10. Known exposure to toxins - don't wait until it's too late. See a vet ASAP if your pet has ingested something he shouldn't (think chocolate, snail bait, rat bait, grapes, raisins, human medication just to name a few)

There are many more reasons you might need to seek urgent veterinary attention. If you think something's not right with your pet you should always phone us for advice. 

03 Traveling with your pet

Are you travelling with your pet these summer holidays? It can be lots of fun and your pet will love being included in the adventure but you should consider the following before hitting the road:

  1. How healthy is your pet? You don't want to take your pet on a road trip if they are unwell. Arrange a check up with us if you are worried.

  2. Check vaccinations and parasite prevention are up to date before you leave. Are you visiting a paralysis tick area? (these ticks can be fatal). Is your pet protected against heartworm, fleas and biting flies? We can help you when it comes to using the right protection.

  3. Pets can easily become lost in an unfamiliar area. Is your pet microchipped and are the details (appropriate phone numbers) attached to the chip up to date? It's a good idea to put a collar on your pet with your details on a tag - this allows you to be reunited ASAP if your pet becomes lost.

  4. Don't forget to make sure your pet is securely harnessed or secured in a travel crate for the trip. The laws for restraining your pet differ from state to state so check the laws before you leave. Unrestrained pets are dangerous and can cause, or be severely injured in an accident.

  5. Things to pack: food, fresh water, travel water bowl, dog lead, dog poo bags, bedding. A basic first aid kit is also a good idea - ask us for more information.

  6. If your pet gets nauseous in the car, you should ask us about the medication we have available to help reduce motion sickness. We also have a pheromone spray available for both cats and dogs that can help reduce anxiety on car trips. Ask us for all the details.

Happy travels!