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


As Christmas approaches and 2018 draws to a close, we would like to wish all of our Frankston Heights family a happy and safe festive season. 

It's been a great year for Frankston Heights with a big focus on community, some new team members to help us share the love, of course Lucy's award as Practitioner of the Year!

It's an absolute pleasure caring for our patients, whether welcoming the newest family member, keeping things on track in the middle years, or readying ourselves for a sad goodbye.

We thank you for trusting us with your pets' health and wellbeing and look forward to continuing to care for them in 2019. 



Contents of this newsletter

01  Christmas and New Year hours

02  The twelve pet hazards of Christmas

03  Does my pet need sunscreen?

04  Don't fear the fireworks

05  Travelling with your pet this summer?

01 Christmas and New Year hours

As usual at Frankston Heights, we be open over the Christmas and New Year festive season, closing only on the public holidays as follows

Tuesday      December 25th  Closed

Wednesday December 26th  Closed

Tuesday      January 1st       Closed

On Christmas and New Year's Eve we will finish at 5pm to allow eveyone time to enjoy their celebrations.

The Animal Emergency Centre Frankston will be open throughout the public holidays, providing emergency care, and they will refer patients back to Frankston Heights for any ongoing treatment needed.

02 The twelve pet hazards of Christmas

We'd like to make sure your pet stays happy and healthy this silly season so here's a list of twelve potential pet hazards you need to watch out for this Christmas:

1. Christmas dinner and leftovers are too rich for our pets and can cause nasty tummy upsets and even pancreatitis. Stick to 'pet approved' treats.

2. Macadamia nuts are popular at Christmas and can be toxic for dogs leading to muscle weakness, vomiting and tremors.

3. Sultanas, raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs.

4. BBQ skewers can be catastrophic for pets so take care to ensure your pet doesn't accidentally ingest a skewer (which falls on the ground for example) and never feed your pet cooked bones - both can lead to the need for emergency intestinal surgery.

5. Chocolate - dogs can't metabolise the theobromine in chocolate and ingestion can lead to an increased heart rate, tremors, seizures and even death. The darker the chocolate the more toxic and the size of the dog and amount ingested also plays a part in the severity of the symptoms.

6. Decorations such as tinsel and fairy lights are very attractive to pets but can lead to a gastric obstruction if eaten.

7. Ribbons from presents are super attractive to cats and if ingested can lead to a nasty gastric obstruction requiring emergency surgery.

8. The Christmas tree might be an attractive indoor 'pee tree' but can also be a falling hazard.

9. Lots of guests can cause your pet to become stressed and even lead to them trying to escape - make sure they have a safe and quiet place to retreat to.

10. Christmas lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. The stamen, leaves, pollen and stems are all potentially toxic as is the water they are stored in so it's best not to have them in the first place.

11. Snakes are out and about and will be all summer so take care in long grass, around water or areas where there are rodents (grain sheds and chicken pens are common places.)

12. Heatstroke - never leave your pet in the car during the warmer weather, even on a mild day the temperature inside a car can reach dangerous levels in minutes. Leaving a window down will not help either so don't risk it! Minimise walks in the heat of the day - especially for breeds at risk such a French Bulldogs and Pugs.

If you have any questions about the health and safety of your pet, we are always here to put your mind at ease. Please ask us if you need any advice or information.

03 Does my pet need sunscreen?

Summer is in full swing and it's time to think about sun protection for your pets but does your pet actually need to need to slip, slop, slap? The answer to this question is not so simple and it depends on many factors.

You should think about applying sunscreen to your pet if:

+ they have a thin coat or a light coloured coat,

+ they like to lie in the sun for extended periods of time outside or in a sunny window, or;

+ if they have exposed or pink skin around areas such as the nose and/or tips of the ears and the belly,

Ideally products flitering all UVA and UVB should be used. Particularly as UVA is not blocked by glass and can cause skin damage and some cancers. For pets there are no registered products that achieve this, however there are alternative human sun screens we can recommend.

Ingestion of Zinc containing sunscreens can cause anaemias and camphor may cause oral toxicity so always check the ingredients. 

There are also UV rash vests available for dogs who spend extended periods outside or at the beach, hats and nose covers.

The best bit of advice is to always provide ample shade for your pet and remember that the best protection is avoidance so try to keep your pet out of the direct sun especially between the period of peak UV rays (between 10am - 3pm.)

We can recommend a suitable sunscreen for your pet, ask us for more information.

04 Don't fear the fireworks

As the festive season is in full swing and New Year's Eve approaches, you can bet there will be fireworks going off somewhere. You might enjoy the show but your dog may find fireworks excruciatingly loud and absolutely terrifying.

Here are our top tips to help keep your dog safe and calm during the event:

1. Bring your dog indoors during fireworks or if you know they are scheduled

2. Firework and thunder fear can get worse with each event - speak to us about medications to reduce anxiety

3. Make sure you keep all windows and doors closed and all gates secure

4. Provide a small, dark and safe place for your dog to retreat to - a blanket over a table can help

5. Try to arrange a family member or friend to stay with your dog during the fireworks if you can't be home

6. If you dog feels secure and less anxious when held, consider a jacket to replicate this - there are several on the market.

You should also make sure your dog is wearing an identification tag and is microchipped (and that the details are up to date), just in case there is an escape.

Speak to one of our staff for more information or if you are concerned about your pet.

05 Travelling with your pet this summer?

If you are travelling with your pet these summer holidays there are a few things you need to think about to help keep your pet happy, healthy and safe.

+ A good place to start is by asking the question: Is my pet healthy? You don't want to take your pet on a road trip if they are unwell. Arrange a checkup with us before you go for peace of mind.

If your pet is on medication do you have enough for the trip? And if your pet is on a specific diet, do you have enough to last while you are away?

Are your pet's vaccinations and parasite prevention up to date? This is extremely important if you are visiting a paralysis tick area as these ticks can be fatal (particularly east coast of Australia.) And is your pet protected against heartworm, fleas and biting flies? We can advise you on the most effective parasite prevention for your pet.

+ Pets can become lost in an unfamiliar area so you should confirm your pet is microchipped and all 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 contact details on an identification tag, this allows you to be reunited ASAP if your pet becomes lost.

Are you travelling to an area where there might be snakes? If your pet is usually a 'city slicker' you might not have ever had to worry about snakes. Make sure you know where the local vet is and who to call after-hours if there is an emergency, it's a good idea to put their phone number in your mobile contacts.

+ And finally, if your pet gets car sick, 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 furry friends!