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Mira Mar Veterinary Hospital
58 Cockburn Rd
Albany, WA, 6330

admin@miramarvet.com.au
www.miramarvet.com.au
Phone: 08 9841 5422

It's February and summer is in full swing in Albany.  

We've had some interesting and challenging cases this past month, with a couple of dogs eating things they shouldn't, ending up with an intestinal blockage and requiring emergency gut surgery.  One dog swallowed a large piece of ball, while another dog swallowed the whole end off a rope chew toy!  Luckily, both dogs are now doing well after their surgeries, and we hope they have learnt their lesson!

We've also had to perform surgery on two female dogs with uterine infections.  In these cases an emergency desexing procedure is required to remove the pus-filled uterus (see photo).  This is a common condition of un-desexed female dogs, and is a timely reminder to ensure that if your dog is not being used for breeding, it is in her interests to be desexed to avoid the complications that can arise.

This month's newsletter has information on ear problems, insect irritations and heart disease.  These are all conditions that we see regularly in our practice.  We hope you enjoy reading it!

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One of the uterine infection cases during surgery. What you can see in this image is the whole uterus filled with pockets of pus, which give it a lumpy appearance.

Contents of this newsletter

01  Congratulations Jodie!

02  There's something wrong in ear!

03  Recognising heart disease in your pet

04  Preventing fly bites

05  Who stole the cookie?

01 Congratulations Jodie!
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Congratulations to our vet nurse Jodie, who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in January!  After a bit of a rough start, both mum and bub are home and doing well.  We wish their growing family all the very best.

02 There's something wrong in ear!
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If you think your pet has smelly, dirty or red ears it is time for a check up with us. Ear infections are very common at this time of the year and it's important that we visualise the canal and make sure your pet is not in any pain.

The ear contains its own 'mini environment' and this can be easily disrupted by heat, moisture and self trauma (for example from itching due to allergies). Bacteria and yeast love the change in environment and begin to increase in numbers, resulting in a very unhappy ear canal and an uncomfortable pet.

Watch out for:

  • Shaking of the head
  • Rubbing ears along the floor or furniture
  • Itching behind ears with paws
  • A head tilt
  • Flicking of the ears (especially cats)
  • Discharge - may be smelly and can be black, white or yellow
  • Hot and red ears

We will use an otoscope (a fancy tool with a light) to examine your pet's ears and make sure there is not a foreign body such as a grass seed contributing to the problem.

A sample must be taken and stained with special chemicals to identify the type of bacteria or yeast under a microscope. This enables us to prescribe the correct medication for your pet and gives the ear the opportunity to heal as quickly as possible.

The good news is, we have lots of very effective medications available as well as some treatments that can help prevent recurrent ear infections - just ask us for more information.

If you think your pet might have itchy or smelly ears arrange a check up with us ASAP. The longer you leave an ear infection, the more painful the ear becomes and the harder (and more expensive) it becomes to treat. 

03 Recognising heart disease in your pet
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With Valentine's Day in February, there's never a better time to talk about your pet's heart health.

Knowing the early signs of heart disease can really make a difference to your pet’s life. It means you can seek medical help from us, we can start treatment early, your pet will feel better and in most cases live a longer life. 

As a general rule, heart failure affects the pumping mechanism of the heart and oxygenated blood does not travel around your pet's body effectively. This can have an impact on your pet's overall health as blood ends up pooling in their lungs and/or abdomen leading to detrimental changes in other organs. 

Note that our feline friends seem to be very good at hiding signs of heart disease (and it's often harder to pick up these changes at home as we don't tend to take our cats for a walk around the block!).

The signs to look out for in both dogs and cats:

  • Laboured or fast breathing - the most common sign in cats 
  • An enlarged abdomen
  • Weight loss or poor appetite

Signs to look out for in dogs only:

  • Coughing, especially at night
  • A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks
  • Weakness or fainting associated with exercise

If we are concerned about your pet's heart we will initially recommend X-rays and an ultrasound of the heart. An ECG or further examination with a heart specialist may also be required.

Thankfully we have a number of medications available to help improve your pet's heart function and management of heart disease is advancing quickly. 

If you think your pet is showing one or more of the above signs, it is important that we see them for an examination, as early treatment can help your pet lead a longer and happier life.

04 Preventing fly bites
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Flies are back in force this summer and they can be a real nuisance for your pet. 

Did you know that some fly species will actually bite around your pet’s ears and nose causing painful and infected sores?

Look out for dried, bloody scabs at the edges of your pet's ears and around the nose.

The best thing you can do is ask us about the very effective topical treatments we have available to help repel these annoying insects and follow these tips to help your pet out at home:

 •  Remove any dried blood from fly bites ASAP as the blood will attract more flies
 •  Don’t leave pet food in bowls to spoil outside - flies love this!
 •  Clean up your backyard (dog faeces, rubbish) to reduce smells that may be attractive to flies
 •  Try and give your pet a place to escape from the flies such as a kennel or a cool room

Ask us for more information on protecting your pet from pesky pests this summer.

And don't forget, we are the best people to give you advice on the best parasite prevention products for your pet.

05 Who stole the cookie?

Check out this funny video of two black labradors Harley and Loa. One of them stole a cookie off the counter and you just have to see what happened next!

If you're short on time, skip to 1 min 25 secs.