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Middle Brighton Veterinary Centre
762 Hampton St
Brighton, VIC, 3186

enquiries@middlebrightonvet.com.au
www.middlebrightonvet.com.au
Phone: 03 9592 9811

Welcome to December - traditionally a very busy time here at the clinic. We recommend calling a few days ahead of schedule to secure an appointment - most weekdays there should be three vets on duty to help out with the urgent cases and emergencies that will inevitably develop. We always advise that if your pet is under the weather that an examination is conducted early in the day so we get your pet back to tip top condition ASAP.

Last month Dr Kirsty commenced her maternity leave as she is due to have her first baby later this month - she has remained well over the month - we will let you know very soon what the stork brings! If only it was that easy.

We welcomed Dr Marcus Cheung to the clinic - he will be with us for the next six months and like Murray has an interest in surgery, so will be helping out in both consultations and surgeries. He has additional qualifications in acupuncture that can really assist arthritic dogs, easing their discomfort. The course is similar to cartrophen - weekly for 4 weeks and can be perfomed simultaneously.

As we head towards Christmas we have decided to have some FB fun and have a competition for the funniest pet video - there are 3 categories - one for dogs, for cats and also for bunnies. The rules are pretty simple, the video needs to be your pet that is registered here at the clinic and entries uploaded to our FB page. The winners will be anounced on 22nd December 2017 @ 3.30pm and will receive a hamper for their pet!

We have a number of dogs at the clinic that help out in the local community, aka working dogs, and we thank them and their owners for their efforts. Picured here is one such dog, Pearl, who is spreading some festive cheer. Thanks Pearl!

As another year comes to an end we would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and safe New Year. We hope that you get to have some down time with your family. We thank you for your support in 2017 & entrusting your special pets to us at the Middle Brighton Vet Centre and we look forward to extending that same level of care into 2018.

Pearl-with-glasses
Contents of this newsletter

01  Puppy Christmas Party

02  Working dogs

03  Funniest pet video FB competition

04  Traveling with your pet

05  Leo and the Christmas ham

06  When to take your pet to the vet ASAP

07  Why does my pet lick his feet?

08  Top tips for preventing an itchy pet

01 Puppy Christmas Party
Monty

Despite the poor weather on the weekend our Puppy Christmas Party went ahead as planned at Dendy Park on Sunday 3rd December.

Given the wet weather we elected not to have the doggy spa - we felt that taking home a wet dirty dog was ideal! But some dogs always manage to find a puddle and Monty was no exception!

The pups had a great time - the winners were:

The Best Outfit - Wally

The Smartest  Puppy -  Noodle

The Dogs that had the most fun - always a difficult decision - Monty & Roxy

The Cutest Dog - Cookie

All the pups had a great time, taking home a little toy, a Christmas bonbon and some special treats made by Dr Anna!

02 Working dogs
Jack

Jack

Pearl

Pearl

Tango-Story-Dog

Tango

Whilst most of our pets are having fun at the beach, the park or relaxing on the couch, we have a number of pets and owners that are doing big things to give back to the community and we applaud them all.

We have Jack, a loving Springer Spaniel that is part of the Responsible Pet Ownership program and goes into the local schools on a regular basis to educates children from ages 4-12 on living safely with dogs and responsible pet ownership. Well done Jack and Co!

Then we have Pearl, a calm Spoodle, that is part of the Delta Therapy program where she visits Mayflower retirement village bringing joy to the older people in our community that miss the joys of companionship that dogs give. Thanks Pearl and Co!

We also have Tango, a gorgeous Golden Retriever that is with the Story Dogs Program, whereby young children read a story book to Tango to make reading fun for children, so they become confident longlife readers.  Great job Tango and Co! The Middle Brighton Vet Clinic sponsors Tango, to assist Story Dogs in their literacy goals.

To read more about each organisation and how you can help in their goals

Responsible Pet Ownership for Children

Delta Therapy Dogs

Story Dogs

03 Funniest pet video FB competition
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This month we are having a little fun FB competition.... So grab your phone and upload a short (30 second) video of your pet having fun and upload it to our FB page.

There are 3 prizes on offer - one for dogs, cats and bunnies.

Competition winners will be announced on FB on Friday 22nd December, 2017 at 3.30pm.

Click here to see a cute bunny https://www.facebook.com/LADbible/videos/4107125229334636/

04 Traveling with your pet
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Are you travelling with your pet these summer holidays? It can be lots of fun and your pet will love being included in the adventure but you should consider the following before hitting the road:

  1. How healthy is your pet? You don't want to take your pet on a road trip if they are unwell. Arrange a check up with us if you are worried.

  2. Check vaccinations and parasite prevention are up to date before you leave. Are you visiting a paralysis tick area? (these ticks can be fatal). Is your pet protected against heartworm, fleas and biting flies? We can help you when it comes to using the right protection.

  3. Pets can easily become lost in an unfamiliar area. Is your pet microchipped and are the details (appropriate phone numbers) attached to the chip up to date? It's a good idea to put a collar on your pet with your details on a tag - this allows you to be reunited ASAP if your pet becomes lost.

  4. Don't forget to make sure your pet is securely harnessed or secured in a travel crate for the trip. The laws for restraining your pet differ from state to state so check the laws before you leave. Unrestrained pets are dangerous and can cause, or be severely injured in an accident.

  5. Things to pack: food, fresh water, travel water bowl, dog lead, dog poo bags, bedding. A basic first aid kit is also a good idea - ask us for more information.

  6. If your pet gets nauseous in the car, you should ask us about the medication we have available to help reduce motion sickness. We also have a pheromone spray available for both cats and dogs that can help reduce anxiety on car trips. Ask us for all the details.

Happy travels!

05 Leo and the Christmas ham
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Leo the ten year old schnauzer usually loves Christmas. And it isn't because of all the new toys he finds in his stocking, it's because he usually gets some leftover ham! That was until last Christmas.

On Boxing Day last year, Leo developed a painful and potentially life threatening condition known as ,pancreatitis. Leo's pancreatitis came on very quickly. He was vomiting, hunched over in pain and was becoming dehydrated. He was admitted to hospital and treatment was started immediately. Blood tests would confirm that he was suffering from pancreatitis but early treatment was vital. This involved restricting food, pain relief, antibiotics and rehydration via an IV drip.

When a meal is eaten, the pancreas secretes enzymes required for digestion. In some cases, an overly fatty meal (such as leftover ham) can trigger a “leakage” of these enzymes and the pancreas starts to digest itself. This can happen either all of a sudden (acute), or over time (chronic). In both cases, a pet can end up very unwell and in some cases, the condition can be life threatening.

After a few days in hospital, Leo was discharged with strict feeding advice and a low fat diet. The likelihood of pancreatitis striking again is high, and in some cases the development of diabetes, so there will be no more leftover ham for Leo this Christmas. He will be getting a low fat treat and lots of toys instead!

It is not uncommon for us to see pets with pancreatitis and other gastric upsets over the festive season so please take extra care around meal times and don't let your pet overindulge!  

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

Oh and if you need a laugh you should check out these hilarious Christmas pet illustrations via boredpanda.com. We think all people with pets will be able to relate to at least one!

06 When to take your pet to the vet ASAP
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The Christmas period can be a busy time for everyone. It can be easy to get swept up in the festivities and not realise your pet is unwell.

Here are ten situations when you should seek veterinary attention immediately:

  1. Trouble breathing - respiratory problems can be life threatening 
  2. Weakness and collapse - can indicate internal bleeding, heart problems, poisoning
  3. Seizures - can be caused by toxins and other conditions
  4. Panting, restless, unable to get comfortable - can indicate bloat, heat stress
  5. Profuse haemorrhage - bleeding externally is obviously an emergency but if your pet has suffered trauma such as being hit by a car, or falling from a height you should see a vet ASAP
  6. Struggling to urinate - this can be life threatening, particularly in male cats and dogs
  7. Not eating or drinking - some pets may skip a meal here or there, others may always clean up their food bowl so if they stop eating it's an indication something's not right
  8. Vomiting and diarrhoea - a one off vomit and episode of diarrhoea may not be an emergency but if it persists over the course of the day, dehydration can quickly set in so you should get your pet checked out asap
  9. Pain - if you think your pet might be in pain, you need to seek veterinary attention. Your pet might not always show a limp or vocalise when they are in pain and may simply be inactive or quieter than usual
  10. Known exposure to toxins - don't wait until it's too late. See a vet ASAP if your pet has ingested something he shouldn't (think chocolate, snail bait, rat bait, grapes, raisins, human medication just to name a few)

There are many more reasons you might need to seek urgent veterinary attention. If you think something's not right with your pet you should always phone us for advice. 

07 Why does my pet lick his feet?
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Licking and chewing of the paws is a common problem for our pets but it definitely shouldn't be considered normal! Cats tend to pull at their toes nails and dogs like to lick in between their toes. 

There can be many causes:

Allergies: This is a common cause of foot chewing. Ingestion of a food, contact with grasses or plants and inhalation of pollens are common causes of itchy skin (especially at this time of the year)

Parasites: mites can burrow into the skin and cause irritation and flea bites can cause generalised itching

Pain: licking to relieve pain caused by arthritis or the presence of a foreign body such as a grass seed

Boredom: just as people with anxiety might bite their nails, our pets can develop a physical response to psychological stress - some pets will develop an obsessive-compulsive disorder

Hormonal imbalances: thyroid disease and adrenal disease can lead to superficial skin infections and itchy skin

If your pet has itchy feet (or is itchy anywhere else) a consultation with us is essential to help improve their comfort levels - we have many things up our sleeve to help them feel better.

08 Top tips for preventing an itchy pet
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Itchiness can be excruciatingly annoying for your pet. Itching quickly leads to trauma of the skin and can lead to secondary skin infections that require antibiotic treatment.

Your dog may bite, lick or scratch at themselves with their legs. Cats on the other hand are more likely to lick at particular areas and hair loss is often the first sign of an itchy feline. 

Here are our top tips for preventing an itch:

1. Be vigilant with flea treatment all year round. Fleas are  a major cause of an itchy pet and regular use of a flea treatment is the cheaper and easier option! Ask us for the best flea treatment available as there are some new and very effective products now available.

2. Biting flies can be a real problem at this time of the year but we can help prevent them - ask us how

3. Keep your pet's skin and coat in top shape to provide a good barrier from allergens - ask us for a premium diet balanced in essential fatty acids

4. Only ever wash your dog in pet shampoo and conditioner - some products can help improve the barrier of the skin, protecting from allergens - ask us for a good recommendation

5. Some pets may find relief with an antihistamine or a medication that can help to reduce the immune system's response to the allergen - we can provide you with more information about what might be suitable for your pet

If your pet is itchy you should arrange a check up with us.