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Narre Warren Veterinary Clinic
459 Princes Highway
Narre Warren, VIC, 3805
Phone: 03 9704 6463
Is your pet itchy?

For the months of OCTOBER and NOVEMBER we will be discussing all things skin - including skin disease, allergies and parasite control. 

All patients are welcome to come into the clinic for a FREE FLEA CHECK with one of our nurses, and why not discuss a suitable parasite prevention for your fur baby while you're here! 

Follow our facebook pages for more facts and freebies! 

derm defense
Spring is here! Is your dog scratching?

While most of us can't wait to see a bit of sunshine, Spring can also bring with it a number of factors leaving your dog scratching and miserable!

Keep reading to find out what might be behind that constant itch, and what we can do to help make your furry friend more comfortable. 

What causes skin conditions?

Common causes include:

Allergies: Your dog may be allergic / intolerant to either dog food or environmental factors like dust, pollen or mould.

Parasites: Fleas, lice and mites can all cause mild to severe skin irritation.

Hormonal Imbalances: Dogs with too much or too little of certain hormones are prone to skin problems.

Infections: Bacterial infections can cause skin problems.

We can perform a number of tests to try and identify the cause behind our pet's skin conditions. 

Does my dog have a skin condition?

Your dog’s skin should be smooth and soft with no flaking, redness or signs of irritation. It should be neither too dry nor too oily and have no areas of hair loss. Signs of skin disease include the following:

  • Red patches, spots or pimples
  • Scabs, crusts or thickened skin
  • Hair loss
  • Flaky or scaly patches
  • Bad skin odour
  • Itching, scratching, licking or rubbing

MPORTANT: Skin discomfort can have many causes. If your dog is showing signs of irritation, speak to our team so we can help to diagnose and treat the condition. 

How can the right dog food help?

Some skin conditions can be cleared up quickly, while others need lifelong management. The good news is, most dogs with skin conditions can be helped if you feed the right dog food, even if the cause of the condition is not nutritional. Speak with us to help decide the appropriate dog food recommendation for your dog’s needs.

Some important nutrients that can help heal and protect your dog’s skin include:

Protein: High-quality protein provides the building blocks to repair damaged skin. Feeding unique protein sources, such as venison or duck, can also help reduce reaction in dogs with a food allergy or intolerances to more common ingredients.

Essential Fatty Acids: A dog food containing high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, found naturally in fish oil, will help nourish and protect your dog’s skin, prevent dryness and help control inflammation.

Antioxidants: Vitamin E and other antioxidants are vital in helping to maintain your dog’s healthy immune system, and protect it from cellular oxidation caused by free radicals.

Combining these nutrients in a single dog food provides a convenient way to manage your dog's skin condition.

The importance of nutrition

The food your dog eats plays an important role in his overall health and well-being. Balanced nutrition is an essential part of an active, healthy lifestyle. When your dog has a skin condition, it’s even more important to feed the right dog food.

For accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian and ask them to recommend the best food for your dog’s skin condition.


puppy preschool grads
Puppy Preschool Graduates

Congratulations to our recent Puppy Preschool Graduates: Milly, Avery, Ava, Butler, Mia, Duke, Evie, Pablo, Winston and Chewy. 

The Narre Warren Vet Clinic, in conjunction with Berwick Veterinary Hospital, proudly offer regular puppy preschool classes. These sessions provide a fantastic opportunity for puppy socialisation and owner education, in a safe and knowledgeable environment. 


Meet the Team - Alicia

Alicia joined the team in January 2018 as one of our dedicated receptionists. She loves getting to know our clients, greeting our canine friends with a cuddle, keeping baby possums warm inside her jacket and of course hanging out with Leroy, our clinic dog.

Alicia has completed her Certificate III in Animal Studies and has recently commenced her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing. She has also volunteered in South Africa at a research through conservation park with lions, tigers and cheetahs.

She enjoys travelling, outdoor activities, painting and photography.

Alicia had a much-loved rescue staffy, Thunda, who was three years old.

Meet the team - Jess

Jess - Practice Manager - Berwick Veterinary Hospital & Narre Warren Vet Clinic 

Jess has worked in the veterinary industry for over 12 years. She has been involved with the clinics for several years while also completing a Bachelor of Animal Science and Management at the University of Melbourne in addition to a Bachelor of Veterinary Bioscience at the University of Adelaide.

After becoming a Mum in 2015, Jess re-joined the team, stepping into the position of Practice Manager in 2017. Jess has a special interest in business development and loves working alongside the team to provide an exceptional service to our clients and their furry friends.

Jess shares her home with husband Jacob and their two young kids Ayden and Madison. Their family wouldn’t be complete without their two golden Retrievers Abbey and Jaxson, Fedel the cat and Ayden’s pet fish – Nemo and Thomas.

In her spare time Jess enjoys horse riding and spending quality time with her family and friends– camping, fishing, golfing and spending time at the beach have become the favourites!

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, 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.

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. Call us if you think your pet might 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, this goes 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 - ask us for more information.

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

And finally, 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. 

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

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. Seek veterinary advice 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 are 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 and stress, viruses, bacteria, diet, decreased water consumption, physical inactivity, urine retention, and urine pH 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.

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