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Narre Warren Veterinary Clinic
459 Princes Highway
Narre Warren, VIC, 3805

nurses@narrevet.com.au
Phone: 03 9704 6463

Berwick Veterinary Hospital
58 Clyde Rd
Berwick, VIC, 3806

nurses@berwickvet.com.au
Phone: 03 9707 2655

Come along and learn about responsible pet ownership and animal welfare at the Casey Pet Expo. The team from Narre Warren Vets will be there to talk with local residents about health care plans and puppy preschool and will be available to perform FREE nurse health checks on your canine friends! You might even be lucky enough to catch our clinic dog Leroy! 

FREE ENTRY

Venue:
Wilson Botanic Park Berwick,
668 Princes Highway, Berwick (Melways ref: 111B6)

Saturday 19th May

11:00am - 3:00pm 

*** Dogs on leads welcome!

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Contents of this newsletter

01  Puppy Preschool Graduates

02  Nurse Casey's exciting news!

03  Dr Tracy - our very own acupuncturist

04  Dr Vicky's radio debut

05  The best ways to care for a senior pet

06  Can my dog get dementia?

07  Lenno's dry eyes

08  Children and dogs - keeping everyone safe

09  "The Family Dog" video

01 Puppy Preschool Graduates
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We had quite the crowd join us at Puppy Preschool last month – so much so that we ran two consecutive groups for the month!  

Congratulations to the graduates of the Tuesday class – Oscar, Hunter, Ella & Ted. 

Congratulations to the graduates of the Thursday class – Ella, Floppy, Bear, Winston & Kora.

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. 

DID YOU KNOW THAT OUR HEALTHCARE PLAN MEMBERS RECEIVE 10% OFF PUPPY PRESCHOOL CLASSES?

02 Nurse Casey's exciting news!
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Nurse Casey and partner are very excited to announce that they will be welcoming their first baby in October 2018! Congratulations! 

03 Dr Tracy - our very own acupuncturist
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Dr Tracy has been very busy attending her first Acupuncture workshop of the year. She's now confidently treating a number of our patients, helping to relieve painful conditions such as arthritis.

Here is Macneal during his first acupuncture session with Dr Tracy at Berwick Veterinary Hospital. Macneal has previously had a CT scan and been diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease. This is where the disc in his back is compressing his spinal cord. This occasionally becomes aggravated and causes him great pain. Unfortunately, the location of the lesion makes surgery too risky for Macneal. He is being managed with significant pain relief, muscle relaxants, exercise management and now acupuncture! He was a very good boy for his session -  get well soon, Mac!

If you'd like to find out more about acupuncture and the possible benefits for your pet, please contact the Berwick Veterinary Hospital on 03 9797 2655. 

04 Dr Vicky's radio debut
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If you missed our Dr Vicky last month as she joined Extra Butter with Cindy and Dazzz don't fret - we have a copy of the segment right here! Have a listen and find out all about itchy skin and how we can help your pet!

https://www.mixcloud.com/extrabutter/dr-vicky-wade-berwick-veterinary-hospital-9-april-2018/

05 The best ways to care for a senior pet
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Did you know that dogs and cats are considered senior when they reach 8 years of age? Most importantly, senior pets require some extra special attention to help keep them happy and healthy.

Here are some of the best ways you can care for your senior pet:

1. Regular health checks

More regular health checks are absolutely essential for your ageing pet. There can be many changes that occur to your pet's health over a year (equivalent to 6-8 years in human years). A check up every 3 - 6 months will help us pick up on any changes and allow us to initiate a treatment plan to help your pet live a healthier and more comfortable life.

2. Appropriate diet

Our ageing pets have changing nutritional requirements. Older animals may be less able to cope with excessive nutrients or particular deficiencies. We recommend you feed your senior pet a complete and balanced premium food suitable for a mature pet. These help to maintain ideal body condition and will improve longevity. Ask us for a specific diet recommendation.

3. Keep an eye out for changes

Fluctuations in weight, appetite, thirst and urination can be a sign of an underlying disease. As can the presence of a cough, a change in sleeping habits, stiff joints and accidents around the house. It's also a good idea to run your hands over your pet every week and feel for any new lumps or bumps. If you find anything new or unusual, arrange a lump check with us as soon as possible. And don't be tempted to just put these changes down to 'getting old' as they are not normal!

Phone us if you have any questions about your senior pet, we are here to give you the best advice.

06 Can my dog get dementia?
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Yes! Doggy dementia (also known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) has been recognised for some time and has many similarities to Alzheimer's disease in humans.

Some of this signs of the disease can be subtle so you may not even realise your elderly canine is suffering from the disease. 

Watch out for:

- Disorientation and confusion
- Lack or decreased levels of interaction with family members or other pets
- A disturbance in sleep patterns, pacing at night, unable to settle
- Forgetting toilet training
- Reduced activity levels
- Barking for no reason, staring at walls, getting stuck in corners

The most important point to remember is that there are many other diseases that can lead to any of the signs of dementia so diagnosis involves assessment of your pet and is a process of elimination. This is just another example of why regular checkups are essential for a senior pet. 

The good news is that we have a prescription diet available that may help improve brain function as well as medications that may improve the condition and others to help reduce any anxiety your pet may be experiencing.

Ask us for more information if you are worried about your pet.

07 Lenno's dry eyes
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Lenno having the quality of his tears assessed using a Schirmer tear test.

Meet Lenno. Lenno is an 8-year-old cavalier cross who snores very loudly and is obsessed with food. We will be following Lenno's health journey over the next few months. 

Lenno is considered a senior dog and has regular health checks to manage his early arthritis. 

At a recent visit, Lenno's eyes looked a bit red. They also had a mild yellow discharge and so a thorough eye examination was performed. 

A routine tear test (known as a Schirmer tear test) indicated that Lenno's tear film was not sufficient enough and confirmed Lenno was suffering from a condition known as dry eye. 

A lack of 'healthy tears' means the eye is not nourished properly and without tears, the eye becomes very dry and uncomfortable. This condition can be very painful if not diagnosed and treated properly. It can also lead to secondary problems such as corneal ulcers and even blindness.  

It is most commonly caused by an immune-mediated condition that leads to damage to the tear producing glands. Breeds that are predisposed to the condition include the English Cocker spaniel, West Highland White terrier, Cavalier King Charles spaniel and Shih-Tzu. Other breeds include the Yorkshire terrier, Bulldog, Pekingese, Pug and Lhasa Apso.

Lenno will need to be given eye drops every day for the rest of his life to manage the condition and we will update you on his progress next month (as well as venturing into the management of his arthritis).

In the meantime, if you ever look in to your pet's eyes and notice any redness, change in size or colour, discharge or squinting you should arrange a check up with us ASAP. Eye conditions can be extremely painful and generally require swift veterinary treatment. Call us if you are worried.  

08 Children and dogs - keeping everyone safe
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When it comes to children and dogs, many people say that supervision is essential. But it is critical to understand that supervision alone may not always be the way to prevent a dog bite.

The key to helping prevent a dog bite is being able to recognise when a dog is feeling stressed or threatened. It's important to be able to pick up on the signs and intervene before it's too late. 

Everyone needs to know what to look out for and this includes parents, grandparents, friends and the babysitter. No matter how "trustworthy" or safe you think a dog is, it always pays to take care and remember that kids can push dogs to new limits or even unintentionally hurt a dog. 

Some of the stress signals to watch out for in dogs:

1. Lip licking (not in the context of food)
2. Yawning when not tired
3. Whites of the eyes visible
4. Immediately standing and leaving the environment 
5. Turning head away
6. Hiding behind another person or furniture
7. Ears back 
8. Tail low or tucked between legs and only the end wagging

If you notice any of these signs you should separate the child and the dog immediately. Never allow a child to be around a dog when there is food involved and take care if a child is in a dog's territory (such as a dog bed). These can all lead to increased stress for a dog.

We also encourage you to watch and share the video below that expresses how a dog might feel when put under stress by young children.

If you have any questions about your pet's behaviour, please ask us.

09 "The Family Dog" video

Here's a short video on YouTube created by "The Family Dog" that expresses how a dog can feel when put under stress by young children. It might give you a different perspective on how kids and dogs should interact.