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

Phone: 03 9592 9811
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Happy New Year!

We are really looking forward to an exciting year ahead with lots of well dogs, cats and bunnies. January is always a tricky time for pets, not only with the hot weather but there are a few nasties for our pet out there. Over the break Murray and Anna got on their push bikes for a leisurely bike ride along the Yarra River only to be reminded of the presence of snakes - a big yellow sign just near Macrobertson Brigde. Yikes! So even in suburbia be minful of snakes... but then there are nasties with in the house too. We have had a number of pets with pancreatitis over Christmas - in dogs it seems to be related to fatty foods so dont be tempted to feed fido any left overs containing fat. Though cats also get pancreatitis - fat has less of an impact.

The other nasty that may be out there is myxomatosis - there have bee some reports of bunnies being affected by the horrible disease, which is fatal for rabbits. There is no vaccine available and our recommendations include keeping bunnies inside or in an insect proof outdoor run. Keeping bunnies in during peak mosquito times - early morning and late afternoon is also wise. For more information regarding myxomatosis and general rabbit care the Rabbit Clinic website is great.

Anna & Murray are about to have some time off - they are off to NZ to see the South Island. Their girls are going with them - may be the last family holiday for a little while as Olivia their youngest is doing VCE this year. The clinic will run as normal during their absence with Dr Kirsty and our regular locum vet, Dr Andy Woodward. Andy is a great vet with many strings to his bow - click here to find out  more about Andy.  Anna will be back on deck Friday 27th January and Murray is back on Tuesday 31st January.

Puppy Preschool will be starting up again in Febuary - so if you are interested in joining the give us a call to book your place!

A reminder that we will be CLOSED on Australia Day - Thursday 26th January - and refer clients to the number of Emergency Centres in Melbourne, with CARE in Collingwood best for bunnies.


Zermatt chilling out in our Cattery

Contents of this newsletter

01  Avoiding heatstroke

02  Watch out for grass seeds!

03  Attention all dog owners

04  How you can help our Australian wildlife this summer

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 your pet, ideally the lesser haired 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 - some days it's simply best to skip any exercise
  • Dont take the ball to the park on hot days - especially if your dog is ball crazy
  • Consider going to the beach rather than the park
  • Clipping your pet's coat to help them stay cool 
  • Keep your pet inside on hot days - really important for outdoor bunnies who dont have the opportunity to burrow to stay cool

Heat stroke is most common in dogs and out door pets -if you are ever concerned about your pet in the heat you can always call us for advice

02 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!

Poor little Willow, a gorgeous Springer spaniel, was in the clinic just this week with Dr Murray removing 2 grass seeds from him - one in his ear canal and the other between his toes! 

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

03 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.

We have recently updated our Vaccination protocol with part of the Canine Cough vaccine administered by subcutaneous injection and the remainer is given orally offering greater protection against illness.

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

04 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. 

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!