Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre
231 Frankston-Flinders Rd
Frankston, VIC, 3199
Phone: 03 5971 4888
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Our first Newsletter for the year! and we wish everyone a healthy and happy 2017

For those of you who entered our Christmas competitions - the advent calendar on our facebook page, and "Guess the Pet" in clinic, the answers are coming very soon!

Many congratulations to Julie Cowan - a long time client, and volunteer, secretary and training coordinator for Search and Rescue Dogs Australia. She correctly matched the most pets to their Frankston Heights owners and won the hamper full of goodies.

Our focus for January is Diabetes. Did you know that Dr Isabella Gartrell has post graduate training in Diabetes management? She is our go to vet for the very special care and monitoring our diabetic patients need. Please ask for Isabella if you have any concerns about you diabetic pet.



Contents of this newsletter

01  Avoiding heatstroke

02  How you can help our Australian wildlife this summer

03  Watch out for grass seeds!

04  Attention all dog owners

05  Dog's reaction to a new kitten

01 Avoiding heatstroke

The heat is on and as we battle our way through summer, spare a though for your pet.

Our pets are super susceptible to heatstroke. They can't sweat all over like humans do and they only produce a tiny amount of sweat through their footpads. The only way they can attempt to cool themselves down is through panting.

Heatstroke (also known as heat exhaustion) can be very dangerous and even fatal. It doesn't necessarily need to be really hot or humid for heat exhaustion to occur so it’s important to be able to recognise the signs and know what to do.

Keep an eye out for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Exaggerated and noisy panting
  • Drooling
  • Weakness or collapse

If you are worried about your pet, bring your pet to us immediately (or seek emergency veterinary care). It's best to place your pet in front of the air conditioner or a fan while you are in the car. You can also place wet towels on hairless parts of the body (footpads and groins). 

Tips to help prevent heatstroke:

  • Don't leave your pet in the car - the internal temperature of a car can become like an oven in minutes (even on a mild day)
  • Avoid exercising your pet in the heat of the day
  • Consider clipping your pet's coat to help them stay cool 

If you are ever concerned about your pet in the heat you can always call us for advice

02 How you can help our Australian wildlife this summer

After a few hot days, it is not uncommon for our wildlife to become dehydrated and suffer from heat stress.

You might notice wildlife coming down to ground level searching for water (especially possums and koalas).  Birds will open their beaks or hold their wings away from their body and some animals will even have burnt feet from walking on hot tarmac or a hot roof. 

How you can help our native friends:

  • Place shallow containers of water around your garden at varying heights (remember to put a stick or rock in them so if animals fall in they can get back out again)
  • Keep cats and dogs inside and supervised at all times to prevent them preying on vulnerable wildlife

If you find an animal suffering from heat stress call us as soon as possible and we can give you the best advice. 

03 Watch out for grass seeds!

As the grass starts to dry off you need to keep your eyes peeled for the dreaded grass seed... who knew that something so small and innocent could cause so many problems!?

Certain types of grass seeds are shaped like a pointy arrow with a needle-like tip and once they are caught in your pet’s fur they can start to burrow aggressively into your pet’s skin with no way of escaping.

If the seed does not exit, a painful abscess can form and this may lead to the need for surgery to remove the seed or remnants.

Keep an eye out for a lump or swelling (particularly between the toes), excessive licking, pain or pus and bloody discharge from a small wound.

Occasionally a grass seed will end up in your dog’s ear canal leading to intense irritation. If you notice your dog is shaking his head or appears itchy around the ears, a check up with us is essential.

We recommend that you check your pet for grass seeds daily and after every walk - concentrate under the paws, between the toes, around the ears and in the armpit region. You'll be amazed how many seeds can become hidden in your pet's coat - and they are just waiting to cause trouble!

A keen eye will prevent grass seeds becoming a problem so be vigilant and don’t let these little nuisances take hold.

04 Attention all dog owners

We are often asked: why is it necessary to vaccinate against kennel cough even though my dog isn't boarding?

Here are the facts. Kennel cough's correct name is canine cough. It is commonly spread via water droplets through the air and can be transmitted between ANY dogs. It is often incorrectly referred to as 'kennel cough' and this is simply because the boarding kennels are a common place for it to be transmitted (given the high numbers of dogs in one area).

But ANY dog can contract canine cough; at the park, at the groomer, doggy day care and even walking down the street! As it can be spread through water droplets, a communal water doggy bowl at your local cafe may even be a potential source.

Vaccination is the key as it protects your dog against the worst strains of the disease (the ones that can typically cause nasty pneumonia). It's important to realise that dogs can still contract a cough even if they are vaccinated but it's never as bad as if they aren't vaccinated.

If you have any questions about vaccination and your pet, we are the best people to ask for advice!

05 Dog's reaction to a new kitten

Did your pet get something awesome for Christmas? We couldn't help but share this hilarious video with you to help kick start your New Year with a laugh.

Check out this pooch's reaction when he finds out there's a new kitten in the house!