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Mira Mar Veterinary Hospital
58 Cockburn Rd
Albany, WA, 6330
Phone: 08 9841 5422

April is upon us again, and with it comes not only Easter this year, but also Senior Pet Month!  Please read on for our fantastic Senior Pet Month offers for 2019.

Last month we got to say a big Happy Birthday to both Dr Jim and nurse Andrea, and had fun working out how old they are in weeks on the puppy age blackboard (Jim was the winner at 2392 weeks old!).

Please be aware that the clinic will be CLOSED on:

  • Good Friday (April 19th)
  • Easter Monday (April 22nd) and 
  • ANZAC Day (April 25th).  

As usual one of our experienced veterinarians will be available for emergencies by calling the after-hours mobile phone on 0428 936 020.

We hope you enjoy this edition, and have a happy and safe Easter!

Dr Jim
Contents of this newsletter

01  Puppy Preschool Classes from March

02  We love our 'Golden Oldies'!

03  Blood tests are magic

04  My cat is so hungry but is still losing weight

05  Keep pets safe this easter

06  What does your cat's personality say about you?

07  Check out these posers!

01 Puppy Preschool Classes from March
newsletter collage

Two full classes of gorgeous puppies to keep nurse Andrea on her toes!

Puppy Preschool was very busy in March, with nurse Andrea having to conduct classes on two nights each week to fit in all of the gorgeous puppies!

Congratulations to the following little legends:

Tuesday class:  Toby, Leo, Abbey, Koji, Sadie, Coco

Wednesday class:  Rex, Kirby, Vesper, CC, Ivy, Zena, Sienna

Puppy Preschool is heaps of fun and provides essential socialisation for your puppy.  If you have a dog aged between 6 and 16 weeks of age, call the clinic on 98415422 to book them in!

02 We love our 'Golden Oldies'!
senior pet 2019 collage

Seniors Month is back at Mira Mar Vets!

In April we focus our thoughts on the health and wellbeing of our older patients.

We know that from around 7 years of age (even a bit younger for giant breed dogs) our pets can commonly begin to develop 'hidden' problems.  These can include the early stages of kidney and liver disease, heart disease and abnormal thyroid gland function.  Also, conditions such as arthritis and dental disease become more common for our pets.


  • Our senior health assessment includes a full health check, weigh in and blood pressure measurement as well as screening blood tests. This assessment is available for your old friend all year, but in Arpil, this assessment costs just $175 PER SENIOR PET (and includes a free revisit health check in 6 months time).
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition will be giving away some very clever pet food bowls (with a built in digital scale) valued at $50 with specific food purchases this month.
  • 'Super owners' bringing their mates to Seniors Month also get a reward- a free coffee from our neighbours at Reeves onCampbell!  
  • Don’t miss our Facebook Photo competition either - there is a Bravecto flea treatment to be won every week throughout April

Please call the clinic to book your special friend for their senior health assessment this April….and feel free to tell your friends- this offer is open to anyone who loves their 'Golden Oldie'.

Dr Jim Darmody at Mira Mar Vets

03 Blood tests are magic

Many people cower when we mention the following words: blood test. But did you know that these tests are virtually magic when it comes to getting an insight into your pet’s general health?

From a blood test, we can decide if your pet is dehydrated, has underlying kidney disease or liver disease, and assess your pet's red and white blood cells. We can also rule out common diseases (such as hyperthyroidism in the case below). Early detection of diseases via a blood test can allow prompt treatment and greatly improve your pet’s quality of life.

The ins and outs of a blood test

+ Most blood samples are taken from the jugular vein in the neck. This vein provides us with a good sample as quickly and painlessly as possible.

+ The majority of pets are more relaxed when blood is taken from their jugular vein. If necessary, a smaller sample can be obtained from a vein in the leg but these veins are generally 'saved' for administering injections or intravenous fluids.

+ Once the blood has been collected we place gentle pressure over the vein to prevent any bruising. We don’t tend to apply a bandaid but a liver treat (instead of a lollipop) is essential.

+ Your pet’s blood is placed into tubes appropriate for required tests. Some tests can be run on machines in the clinic but there are certain tests that require more extensive equipment and so the blood sample must be sent to an external laboratory.

It's important to realise that blood tests are an essential part of good veterinary medicine and can be critical when diagnosing and managing diseases.

Ask us if you have any questions about your pet's health, we are always here to help. 

04 My cat is so hungry but is still losing weight

It’s not an unusual presentation, an elderly cat that is losing weight but is ravenous day and night.

Once we have ruled out diabetes, another common cause of these symptoms may very well be the endocrine (hormonal) disease hyperthyroidism.

This disease is not uncommon in older cats and is caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormone from the thyroid glands. It results in an out-of-control metabolic rate and this upsets the regulation of carbohydrates, fats, and protein as well as the function of the heart. If untreated a cat can become seriously unwell.

Signs of hyperthyroidism

+ Weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite
+ Vomiting
+ Increased thirst and urination
+ Poor coat quality

Fortunately, the vast majority of cats that develop hyperthyroidism can be treated very successfully and most cats will make a complete recovery. 

There are different options for the treatment of hyperthyroidism and the treatment of the individual patient depends on how well the kidneys and the heart are functioning. In most cases, it involves life-long daily medication and regular blood, urine and blood pressure tests.

If you think your cat might be showing some of the signs mentioned above you should call us for advice and arrange an appointment for appropriate blood and urine tests.

05 Keep pets safe this easter

It’s not long before the Easter Bunny is set to make some deliveries but when it comes to your pet’s safety this Easter, there are a few hazards to watch out for (and they are not all as obvious as you think.)

Chocolate - the most obvious one!
Chocolate contains a derivative of caffeine called theobromine. Dogs have trouble digesting theobromine and ingestion leads to hyperactivity, tremors, panting and a racing heart, vomiting, diarrhoea, and seizures. Theobromine ingestion can be fatal in some dogs. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Seek veterinary attention immediately if your dog has ingested ANY amount of chocolate. In most cases, if we are able to make your dog vomit we can prevent any nasty side effects.

Hot Cross Buns - the sneaky hazard
The sultanas and raisins in these delicious buns can cause acute kidney failure in dogs due to the possible presence of a toxin on the grapes. Keep these off the menu at all times and watch for any that happen to drop on the floor (a common issue if you have little kids!). Call us for advice if your dog ingests any.

Easter lilies - beautiful but deadly
These beautiful fragrant flowers can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. The stems, leaves, flowers and stamen are all potentially dangerous, as is the water the flowers are stored in. If you are worried about your cat you should call us and we will advise you on what you to do.

If your pet ingests any of the above over the Easter period call us immediately for advice. It's also a good idea to have emergency number on hand if it is out of our normal opening hours, just in case your pet needs to be seen urgently:  0428 936 020.  We sincerely hope you never need to call it!  

06 What does your cat's personality say about you?

We don’t want to open a can of worms here but if your cat is a little temperamental, have you ever considered that it could be mirroring you?

Research undertaken at Nottingham Trent University in the UK has shown that there are similarities between behaviours exhibited by people and the behaviour of their cat. It suggested that a cat might absorb and then mirror certain personality traits from their human carer and there may be parallels with the parent-child relationship. 

3,000 cat owners were surveyed, asking a series of questions that assessed people's agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism, and openness. They found a number of correlations that not only predicted the cat's own personality but also it's welfare.

Interestingly, a more neurotic human personality was linked with cats that were cited as having a "behavioural problem". This might have been seen as aggression, anxiety or fear, or stress-related behaviours in the cat. Furthermore, the cat owners who were assessed as being more extroverted were more likely to have felines who enjoyed being outside. 

Obviously more studies need to be undertaken to investigate a possible link but it’s important to be aware that aspects of our personality could be impacting our feline friends in both positive and negative ways.

You can read more about the study here.

07 Check out these posers!

We've got some feel-good pics for you this month. Have a look at these dogs who walk and pose together every day.

We can't quite work out how the dog walker gets them all to sit perfectly still for a photo but we are pretty impressed. Check them out here.