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Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre
231 Frankston-Flinders Rd
Frankston, VIC, 3199
Phone: 03 5971 4888

This month we start with an update on identifying and managing eye problems. Dr Isabella Gartrell is currently studying different techniques in eye surgery and will soon be able to use these new skills in the care of our patients at Frankston Heights.

Dr Andrew Turner, our specialist ophthalmologist, continues to visit the practice every 6-8 weeks, providing advanced care to our patients and the wider community.

We also focus on Isabella's other area of expertise - diabetes. Although this is a life long disease in dogs, treatment is usually very successful, and with high tech glucose monitors replacing constant hospital admissions and blood tests, managment has become far easier for our patients. 

Read on and enjoy!

Contents of this newsletter

01  Keeping an eye on the eyes

02  Lenno's diabetes

03  Don't wait 'til it's too late - vaccinate!

04  Inflatable veterinary hospital set to save lives

01 Keeping an eye on the eyes

When it comes to your pet’s eyes, if you think you can see a problem, chances are, there probably is one. Eye issues can be serious and that's why it is always best to have your pet assessed as soon as possible if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Conditions such as conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, uveitis and glaucoma can be very painful and if left untreated, can go downhill rapidly.

Things to watch out for (pardon the pun!): 

1. Squinting or excessive blinking

2. Swollen eyelids or swollen eye 

3. Increased redness on the white of the eye

4. Discharge from one or both eyes 

5. Your pet's third eyelid (usually hidden in the corner of the eye) is easily visible or is very red

6. Your pet is continually rubbing their eye

7. You pet is suddenly bumping into furniture or walls

We ask that you resist the urge to place any left over ointment or drops you might have at home (dispensed for a human or animal) in your pet's eyes before we have had the chance to examine your pet. This is because there are some medications can that make certain eye problems worse and lead to further complications.

If you ever notice something’s not right with your pet’s eye, you should call us right away for advice.

02 Lenno's diabetes

You may remember Lenno the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross from our previous newsletters. Over a weekend in August, Lenno suddenly started drinking copious amounts of water and urinating far more than what would be considered normal. He had also been very hungry over the past month (more than his usual self!) so a veterinary examination and some blood tests were in order.

A simple blood test was performed and it indicated that Lenno had high blood glucose (blood sugar levels). A urine test also confirmed the presence of glucose in his urine. A diagnosis of diabetes mellitus was made.

Diabetes is a disease where the body fails to produce enough insulin to help move sugar from the bloodstream into the cells for energy. For dogs, it is similar to type 1 diabetes in humans and patients generally require the administration of insulin once or twice daily.

The four main signs to watch out for:

1. Increased appetite

2. Weight loss

3. Increased thirst

4. Increased urination

Management of diabetes is life-long and involves regular blood tests, diet management and monitoring. Dogs usually require insulin treatment for life whereas cats may go into remission (the type of diabetes cats are prone to more closely resembles type 2 diabetes in humans). Some patients do not respond as we would expect so further investigation into other diseases may need to be considered.

We are happy to report that Lenno is responding well to treatment. He will require regular monitoring over the next few months until he is stabilised on an ideal dose of insulin. 

If you notice any changes to your pet’s daily habits such as a change in appetite or thirst, it’s a good idea to arrange a check up with us as soon as possible as there are many endocrine diseases that can present with similar signs. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent secondary complications that can in some cases be life threatening.

If you are worried about your pet you should always call us for advice.

03 Don't wait 'til it's too late - vaccinate!

Vaccination is one of the most important tools we have available to help keep your pet healthy. Vaccinations are safe, have minimal (if any) side effects, and we recommend them because they work.

With the summer holidays fast approaching and many pets going into boarding, now is the time to make sure your furry friend is up to date with their vaccinations. If they are overdue, they may require a booster vaccination so you need to get in early to avoid any headaches when it comes to admitting them to a cattery or a kennel. 

Why do we recommend vaccinating your pet? 

Vaccinations protect against fatal diseases: many diseases that are potentially dangerous to pets are completely preventable with the right vaccinations.

Vaccinations protect other pets in the community: when there are a greater number of pets vaccinated, the spread of disease is greatly reduced (something known as herd immunity).

Vaccinations ensure you can board your pet: if you need to board your cat or dog, either for a family emergency or a holiday, your cat or dog must be up to date with their vaccinations.

Vaccinations protect your pet at their most vulnerable: If your pet is sick, their immune system may already be compromised and this may leave them vulnerable to disease. Vaccinations ensure that they are protected even in this state.

Vaccinations save money: the cost of vaccinations is minimal when compared to the cost of treating a preventable disease.

There are a number of diseases we can vaccinate against, but your pet’s general health, lifestyle, and location will determine the exact vaccinations necessary. We can help you make an informed decision about what is best for your pet, and we can also do a blood test to assess your pet's immunity prior to vaccination if required.

Remember, when it comes to vaccinating your pet, we will give you the right advice. Call us today to check up on your pet’s vaccination status.

04 Inflatable veterinary hospital set to save lives

An amazing new inflatable veterinary hospital has been launched in South Australia ahead of the bushfire season.

It is intended to help provide a place for SA Veterinary Emergency Management staff to work out of in the event of a bushfire.

It will give them the ability to care for and save the lives of wildlife affected by fires, treating animals for burns, smoke inhalation and dehydration.

 The hospital can be set up in only ten minutes and is the first of its kind in Australia.

You can read more about this exciting new initiation here