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Wauchope Veterinary Clinic
59 High St
Wauchope, NSW, 2446
Phone: 02 6585 1626
News from Wauchope Vets and Spring time in the Hastings

Spring time has arrived at last, so we are seeing the usual problems, diseases and issues that come with the warmer temperatures and onset of breeding season! 

Longer daylight hours mean thousands of cats start looking for mates and moving into new territories, leading inevitably to cat fights and resulting in abscesses (see our video posts on Facebook from 23rd Sept for a good example).  We have seen (and are expecting a lot more) tick paralysis cases, despite the availability of effective preventatives, including a new spot on for cats (at long last!).  A dry winter and spring so far (Ticks are more active in warm wet weather), so please ensure your pet is up to date with an effective preventative treatment.  

We have seen a few birthdays of late and the arrival of a baby boy to Dee-Ann Sheehy, who many of you may remember fondly from her previous work here many years ago! Dee-Ann is now living in north Queensland on a large cattle property out of Claremont. 

Ashleigh Saville (who worked with us until March last year) has become engaged to her long-time partner Adam and we are all looking forward to a good party in Gloucester in March next year!

Ali and Emily (two of our Vet Nurses) are both (separately!) in the final throws of organising their weddings in the coming weeks/months, so there is a lot of excitement building in our clinic!

Tinto is really starting to show his age. Tinto is now 13 years old and is certainly slowing down due to his on-going back issues. Michael recently started medicating him for 'Doggy dementia,'' as we noticed he was a bit unsettled and disorientated.  The difference has been quite remarkable. Tinto has been sleeping better, is more engaged and much more settled (not getting up and wandering around aimlessly). Despite his other daily anti-inflammatories for is back, Tinto is starting to struggle on slippery floors and has to be helped up into Michael's car every time.  Michael made a very simple cheap ramp to assist Tinto. Next time you visit, Tinto is likely to be sleeping soundly (and deafly) under the reception desk, but he certainly appreciates being woken for any pats, tickle or treats at any time! 

Otherwise, spring time in the Hastings will certainly entail many more puppies, calves, kittens and breeding issues, especially in older non-desexed pets. If you are reading this I suspect we are preaching to the converted, but please help us to get more people on board with responsible pet ownership. You can certainly help by sharing our Facebook posts, newsletters and encouraging people to come and see us BEFORE they decide on buying an expensive pet, that may or may not be the best option for them! 

We continue to do a lot of work with Wally's Doggie Rescue and Port Macquarie Animal Welfare in rehoming, desexing, treating and training abandoned puppies and helping them to find new long-term suitable homes! Please consider helping some of these pets if you possibly can!

Best regards and please hug your pet! 

Michael and the team at Wauchope Vets


Keep your pets safe this halloween

There's no denying it, Halloween has become more and more popular in Australia over the past few years. Traditionally an American celebration, Halloween is now a crazy opportunity for people to dress up and have a party. People love getting their pets involved too, but it's really important to think about their health and wellbeing so they remain happy and safe in all the craziness.

Here are our top tips:

1. When trick or treating is in full swing (and in the days after), you should make sure your furry friend doesn't get access to these treats too. This particularly goes for chocolate, which can be highly toxic to dogs. Please give us a call if you think your pet may have eaten something they shouldn't.

2. Costumes should be optional. Cats generally hate being dressed up in a costume and can become very distressed and this applies for many dogs too. If your pet does let you dress them up, be careful not to let them overheat.

3. Pumpkin lanterns can be hazardous - especially with a candle inside. Take care and keep them out of reach of your pets and don't leave them in areas where they can be knocked over.

4. Trick-or-treaters can leave the gate open and let your pet out. Make sure your pet is securely contained if you have trick-or-treaters at your house. It's also a good time to make sure your pet is microchipped and all details are up to date - please ask us for more information.

5. Some pets are 'party poopers' and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are having a Halloween party, make sure there is a safe and quiet place for your pet to retreat to.

On another note, it's a good idea to keep your pet inside over Halloween. Some people are strangely superstitious around this time and we don't want your pet getting caught up in a silly prank.

If you have any questions or concerns about your pet, we are always here to help, please call us on 6585 1626.

A little bit thirsty?

Is your pet a bit thirstier than usual? Are you filling up their water bowl more often, or have you noticed them drinking from the shower or toilet? An increase in thirst can be one of the first signs of kidney disease and if you are worried you should arrange a check up with us.

The kidneys contain thousands of little factories called 'nephrons' and their job is to work out how much water should be conserved in the body. Once damaged or destroyed, nephrons do not function properly and can't regenerate. As a result, the body doesn't conserve enough water, so your pet will need to drink more to stay hydrated.

Toxins, drugs, a change in blood pressure and particular diseases can harm the nephrons and your pet may not show any signs until 75% of these nephrons are damaged.

Other than increased thirst, please watch out for: 

- Increased urination
- Weight loss
- Lethargy
- Lack of appetite
- Vomiting

There are plenty of other diseases with similar signs of kidney disease (such as diabetes), so it is important that we investigate further. Measuring your pet's water intake over 24 hours is a good place to start. A blood test, a urine test, blood pressure and an ultrasound of the kidneys may then be necessary.

The take-home message is that if you notice any changes in your pet's thirst, it's best to arrange an appointment with us as soon as possible. If we detect that your pet's kidneys are not working properly, the earlier we initiate treatment, the better.

Why urination habits matter

It's not only a change in thirst that can indicate an underlying issue with your pet. Subtle changes in urination habits can be a sign of kidney disease and diabetes, but they can also indicate a urinary tract infection or even a behavioural issue.

Changes may include:

- Urinating more often
- Blood in the urine (sometimes only a pink tinge)
- Straining to urinate
- Urinating in unusual places (cats urinating out of their tray or ‘spraying urine’ on vertical surfaces)
- Excessive grooming of genital area
- Leaking or dribbling urine

Please don't ignore these signs, as some urinary tract diseases can cause your pet pain and discomfort. Male cats, in particular, can suffer from a severe and potentially life-threatening condition known as a urinary obstruction. Please call us immediately if you notice your male cat is having trouble passing urine and read on below to find out more.

It's a good idea to begin to take notice of what are the normal urinary habits  for your pet, this will help you recognise if there is something 'not quite right' as early as possible.

Rocky can't go

By now you know Rocky the cat. Rocky is a very clean cat and always uses his litter tray perfectly.

Recently Rocky was leaving little patches of bloody urine in strange places. One evening, Rocky’s owner came home from work to find Rocky scratching at his litter tray without passing any urine. An urgent veterinary examination was required.

On examination, it was discovered that Rocky had a large hard and painful bladder. He was diagnosed with a urinary obstruction, a condition where the urethra that takes urine from the bladder to the outside world is blocked. This is a potentially life-threatening condition and Rocky needed urgent stabilisation and catheterisation, to unblock his bladder.

There are many causes of urethral obstruction in cats  such as stress, viruses, bacteria, diet, decreased water consumption, physical inactivity, urine retention, and urine pH that may all contribute. Male cats are at greater risk for obstruction than females, because their urethra is longer and narrower.

After a few days in the hospital, Rocky was able to comfortably pass urine on his own.

To prevent recurrence of Rocky’s problems, he was started on a special urinary diet. This commercially prepared food is available in both dry and wet forms and is formulated to help keep the urinary tract healthy and reduce the risk of repeat obstructions. 

We are pleased to say that Rocky has adapted well to his new diet and is happily using his litter tray again.

If you ever notice your pet is having trouble passing urine, you should call us for advice as soon as possible on (02) 6585 1626.

Tennis heroes

There's been plenty in the media recently following an upset at the US tennis open, but here's a heartwarming tennis story for you! It has been reported that shelter dogs are being 'employed' as ball boys and girls at the Brazilian Tennis Open. 

The initiative originally started in 2016, where four shelter dogs took to the court to help collect the balls. They won over many hearts and were all adopted. One was even named Serena after Serena Williams!

Fast forward to 2018 and six more dogs were allowed on the court, fetching balls during the warm-up and winning many more hearts! What a great initiative to help find loving homes for these dogs! You can read more here, and see some footage on YouTube here