Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre
231 Frankston-Flinders Rd
Frankston, VIC, 3199
Phone: 03 5971 4888
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This month our practice focus remains with behaviour, but concerning our senior companions.

The brain of dogs ages in a very similar way to those humans with Alzheimers. As dogs live longer, Canine Cognitive Disorder has become a condition increasingly diagnosed.

Unfortunately there are no clinical tests which can prove Canine Cognitive Disorder. However reduced circulation and damage to the brain cells result in a combination of behaviour changes which can lead us to a diagnosis.

Typically our oldies become disorientated, suffer altered interaction with us and other pets, change their sleep patterns and forget their learned behaviours such as house training.

This can be really distressing for the household, but importantly, it is something that can be treated.

The good news is that early detection, use of medications to improve brain circulation and restore nerve cell function and some retraining can bring our old dogs back.

Please ask us for more information at your next visit and grab a behaviour questionnaire at reception. We can definitely put new life in the old dog!

WALDHeP 2009 2
Contents of this newsletter

01  Help for heart murmurs

02  Mum's the word

03  Why microchipping is essential

04  "Please sir, can I have some more?"

01 Help for heart murmurs

Following new findings from a worldwide study on canine heart murmurs, there is now medication available to delay the onset of heart disease in many of our older patients with murmurs.

Dr Will is now able to offer cardiac ultrasounds to assess the hearts of these patients for the shape and size of the heart chambers and the stretch of the heart muscle. These findings determine if the medication is going to be of benefit.

To keep these studies accessible and affordable for as many patients as possible, we will be running ultrasound days when Will and our team will be available to scan several patients.

If your dog is diagnosed with a heart murmur and you would like to know more about please ask at your next visit.

02 Mum's the word

With Mother's Day this month, we thought now would be a good time to share a few things about pregnancy in dogs. Here are some key facts:

  • Pregnancy (or the gestation period) in bitches normally ranges from 58 to 65 days with an average of 65 days

  • During pregnancy your bitch should be on a balanced diet. Ask us for the best recommendation. It can be dangerous to supplement her diet with extra calcium or vitamins
  • Vaccinations should be updated prior to mating
  • A bitch should be dewormed with an all wormer at week 4 and 6 of pregnancy. This is important to ensure she does not infect her newborn pups. You should vaccinate your bitch prior to mating to ensure maximum immunity is passed on to her puppies.

When a dog gives birth to puppies it is known as "whelping", and the bitch usually rests between the delivery of individual pups. The rest time can range from fifteen minutes to an hour, but you should seek veterinary attention if:

  • Half an hour has passed since the onset of abdominal contractions and a puppy has not been born or;
  • Half an hour has passed after the birth of a pup, your bitch is still having strong contractions and there is no sign of another pup

We will be happy to assist you with any queries you have regarding your dog's pregnancy and whelping.

Click here to see 16 animal expressions that perfectly capture what motherhood is all about!

03 Why microchipping is essential

The recent floods in Queensland and New South Wales have sadly resulted in hundreds of displaced pets.

Natural disasters are an important reminder as to why it is essential ALL of your pets are microchipped. 

When a lost pet has a microchip, they can be scanned at any vet clinic or animal shelter and the details attached to the chip found on a central database. 

Unfortunately, for many microchipped pets, the contact phone number assigned to the chip is incorrect and this makes the chip useless.

Now is the perfect time to make sure your pet is chipped and check the contact details attached to your pet's microchip

If you don't know your pet's microchip number please drop by with your pet and we can scan it for you. If you already know the microchip number you can jump online to update any details.

It's also a good idea to have an ID tag with your name and phone number attached to your pet's collar as this can speed up the lost and found process.

Ask us for more information about microchipping your pet. 

04 "Please sir, can I have some more?"

There's a new cat video doing the rounds on the internet which some of you may have seen - click here to check it out. 

We can hear you asking now, "How did these cats get so good at ordering food?"

These cats are a perfect example of how animals learn by positive reinforcement. Their behaviour is continually strengthened by a reward (in this case, a treat).

They would have initially been rewarded with a treat when they moved their paw towards the bell and then again when they touched the bell. Eventually the cats would have touched the bell so that it rang and that's when the treats kept coming! 

This is an excellent reminder that the best way to train our pets is to use a positive reward to reinforce good behaviour.

When it comes to training your pet, we are always here if you need any help.