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Mira Mar Veterinary Hospital
58 Cockburn Rd
Albany, WA, 6330
Phone: 08 9841 5422

Welcome to our December and Christmas newsletter edition!

We can't quite believe that the 'silly season' is already upon us!  We wish all of our patients and their people and safe and enjoyable Christmas, and hope that 2020 brings them good health and happiness.

The changes to our regular opening hours over the Christmas period are as follows:

Tuesday 24th December:  8am - 4pm

Christmas Day:  CLOSED

Boxing Day:  CLOSED

Tuesday 31st December:  8am - 4pm

New Year's Day:  CLOSED

As usual, our experienced vets are available on our after hours mobile number 0428 936 020 at any time for any emergies that might fall over the times that the clinic is closed.



christmas cat4
Contents of this newsletter

01  Welcome Caitlin!

02  Watch out for turtles!

03  How to decorate a Christmas tree

04  Keep your pet safe this Christmas

05  Top tips for traveling with your pet this Summer

06  What you might not know about microchips

07  The truth about Toxoplasmosis

01 Welcome Caitlin!

We would like everyone to welcome our newest team member Caitlin!

Caitlin first found her passion for animals when she did work experience with us when she was in Year 10.  Since then, she has been doing work placement with us one day a week over the last two years while she has been completing not only Year 11 & Year 12, but also two certificates in Animal Studies!  

Now that she has finally graduated from school with an extensive array of awards, we were very quick to snatch her up and to offer her a Veterinary Nursing traineeship, which we are thrilled about! 

So without further ado, welcome Caitlin!  Please feel free to pop in and say hello if you are in the neighbourhood.

02 Watch out for turtles!
turtle collage

The x-ray of the turtle showing her eggs, and the eggs that were saved.

Please remember to slow down around town - especially near Lake Seppings - and if you find an injured turtle please take it straight in to your local vet clinic.

Last month we had an adult long-necked turtle brought it to us that had been hit by a car, but unfortunately she had a badly fractured shell, and we were unable to save her.

We did however, perform an x-ray on this little lady to see if she had any eggs that could be saved. To our surprise, she did - 13 eggs!  Eleven of the eggs were able to be extracted, and have now been passed onto a carer to be incubated for the next 3 - 8 months.  So hopefully with some luck, we will have a new group of hatchlings to add to the turtle population next year!

03 How to decorate a Christmas tree

It’s that time of the year again! Time to get out the decorations and Christmas lights and put up the tree! Take a look at this super helpful dog and let us know how you like to celebrate the festive season with your pet via our Facebook page.

Check out the video here.

04 Keep your pet safe this Christmas

Christmas is a risky time for your pet. There is lots of food around, people, parties and changes in routine - so you may not be able to keep an eye on your pet as much as usual. To help keep your pet safe this festive season, here are a few things to keep at the front of your mind:

Dinner time can be dangerous!
Keep all human and party food away from your pet - leftovers are notorious for causing upset tummies and episodes of pancreatitis. Don’t forget that chocolate, grapes, raisins and sultanas are all poisonous to dogs. Never feed your pet cooked bones and if you are having a BBQ, watch out for meat skewers that are very attractive to our pets but extremely dangerous if ingested.

Keep your paws off!
Don't leave edible gifts (such as a box of chocolates) under the tree as you may have a furry friend who chooses to unwrap and consume them! Keep cats away from the sweet-smelling Christmas lilies - as ingestion of any part of these plants can lead to acute kidney failure.

Christmas decorations are better left alone
Secure your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip or fall, especially if your cat enjoys climbing! Cats are also attracted to tinsel, string and sparkly decorations but if swallowed, these can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction.

Festive fireworks and summer storms can be scary
As a minimum, if you know fireworks are scheduled or there’s a storm on the way, plan ahead. Keep your dog indoors with a television or radio turned up. Make sure all windows are closed and all exits are secure and if possible have a family member stay with your dog for security.

If you are concerned about your dog's anxiety, come and speak to us as we will be able to offer you more advice and information.

05 Top tips for traveling with your pet this Summer

As we all gear up for the summer holidays it’s important to take a moment to think about your pet. If you are traveling with your furry friend, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself to help keep your pet safe and happy.

+ Is your pet healthy? Is there anything you need to get checked out before you go? A change in thirst or urination patterns might indicate an underlying disease. Smelly breath can be a sign of a painful tooth. You don't want to take your pet on a road trip if they are unwell or in pain. Arrange a checkup with us before you go for peace of mind.

+ Are your pet’s microchip details up to date? Pets can become lost in an unfamiliar area so you should confirm your pet is microchipped and all the details associated with the chip (such as your address and phone number) are up to date.

+ Is your pet on any special medication or a prescription diet? Do you have enough for the trip? Do we need to do a special order for you to help get you through? If your pet is on any compounded medication you may need to allow extra time for this to be prepared. And if your pet is on a prescription diet, do you have enough to last while you are away?

+ Are your pet's vaccinations and parasite prevention up to date? Are you visiting a potentially deadly paralysis tick area and is your pet protected? Is your pet protected against heartworm, fleas and biting flies? We can advise you on the most effective parasite prevention for your pet.

+ Are you traveling to an area where there might be snakes? Make sure you know the signs of snake bite are, 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.

Happy travels furry friends!

06 What you might not know about microchips

With summer comes plenty of fireworks and often a large spate of summer storms that can be very unnerving for your dog. On top of this, the recent bushfires in QLD and NSW have resulted in many displaced pets. These events only highlight the importance of a microchip, but there’s a crucial step in the microchipping process that many people forget!

The majority of microchipped pets will be reunited with their loving owners but this all depends on whether or not the contact details attached to the chip are UP TO DATE. The most heartbreaking cases are when an animal is microchipped and taken to a pound but when the chip is scanned and the number looked up on a central database, the details are not correct and the owner cannot be located.

Unfortunately, for many microchipped pets, the phone number contact assigned to the chip is either disconnected or doesn't exist and this makes the chip useless!

Do you know what contact details are associated with your pet’s microchip? Have you moved or changed your phone number recently and updated your contact details? You can check your details by entering your pet’s microchip number onto Central Animal Records - if you don't know your pet's microchip number, you can pop in to see us, so we can scan your pet, and give you the number.

We also recommend you have an ID tag attached to your pet's collar as this can speed up the lost and found process. Remember, a microchip with an up to date phone number is essential for the microchip process to work!

07 The truth about Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is one of the most well known zoonotic diseases - meaning it can be transmitted from animals to humans. The problem is, there’s heaps of misinformation out there and some of it leads to unnecessary concern and anxiety for cat owners.

Toxoplasmosis is caused by infection with Toxoplasma gondii (T gondii), a coccidian parasite that is present around the world. Cats can be infected with the parasite but research shows that owning a cat does not increase your risk of being infected by this parasite. The majority of human infections are thought to occur through the ingestion of undercooked meat (containing tissue cysts) or contaminated fruit or vegetables that have come in contact with contaminated soil.

Although the risk of transmission of T gondii from a cat to its owner is very low, it can be reduced further by following these recommendations:

+ People in ‘high risk’ groups (e.g. pregnant women, immunosuppressed individuals, young children) should not have contact with or handle the cat’s litter tray
+ Wear gloves when handling cat litter and wash hands thoroughly after cleaning a litter tray
+ Empty litter trays daily and dispose of litter safely
+ Cover children’s sandpits when not in use to prevent cats using them as litter trays
+ Feed only properly cooked food or commercial cat food to your cat to avoid infection
+ Fruit and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before eating
+ Meat should be cooked to a minimum of 58°C for 10 minutes or 61°C.
+ Microwaving is not safe as the heating is uneven
+ Freeze meat at -12°C to -20°C for three days before consumption

    If you have any questions or need more information we are always here to help.