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

Phone: 03 9592 9811
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Welcome to July!

We have had a very busy start to the year and we are excited about the months ahead. Last month we welcomed to our team, Charlotte Chisholm as Senior Vet Nurse. Charlotte first came to our attention when she filled in as a Locum nurse in 2015 for a few months - and we were taken with her compassion, care and professionalism that we invited her to become a permant member of staff! Charlotte will be involved in all aspects of Vet Nursing - Reception, Surgery, caring for hospitalised patients as well as the training and mentoring the nursing team. Welcome Charlotte!

We said a fond farewell to our Nurse Patrycja who, as many of you will know is acutally a vet from Poland. Patrycja had been working with us during the day and studing hard on her days off to become recognised as a vet in Australia. We are delighted to say that Patrycja passed her written exams and has taken up a position as a trainee vet at Greensborough - Dr Kirsty initial clinic after she graduated! it is a small world. Nurse Sharnie also left the clinic to fulfill her long term dream to work as a surgical nurse in a referral practice -we wish her well. 

We also said farewell to our long standing Vet Locum, Dr Andy Woodward, as he returns to England after having lived and worked in Australia for the past 18 years. It is sad too to see Andy go as he has been our go to Vet over the last few years as we all needed some time off to recharge our batteries.  Andy has been with us the last 7 weeks as Dr Kirsty had some time off for a holiday & to attend the Australian Vet Association Conference. Dr Anna & Murray had some time off to concentrate on some admin work and then spent a week at Falls Creek with thier girls - fortunately no injuries to report - just a few aching joints!

Next month is Dental Health Month which we are really excited about - we will let you know more next month about our Preventative Dental Program and how it can help your pet live a longer healthier life! 

Contents of this newsletter

01  Vomiting and diarrhoea and when to see us

02  What you need to know about pancreatitis

03  Can my dog eat that?

04  Things your cat shouldn't eat

05  Cones of fame

01 Vomiting and diarrhoea and when to see us

Vomiting and diarrhoea are two words most people don't want to talk about, let alone have to deal with when it comes to their pet. Thankfully, we have a summary of what you need to know so you don't have to dwell on these words for too long!

Most dogs and cats suffer from either (or both) of these at some point in their life. A common cause is 'dietary indiscretion' which is just our way of saying your pet ate something he shouldn't.

If your pet is well and has a vomit or a bout of diarrhoea you should withhold food for a few hours (gastric rest), offer fluids for rehydration and feed a bland diet for a few days. After this, your pet will most likely recover without a problem.

Unfortunately there are times when vomiting and diarrhoea become a little more serious and that's when you need to call on us.

You should seek advice if your pet:

  • Vomits more than once
  • Has multiple bouts of diarrhoea
  • Seems lethargic or is off his food
  • Might have ingested something he shouldn't
  • Has been losing weight recently
  • Blood is present in the vomit or diarrhoea (fresh red blood or old dark blood)
  • Distended abdomen

If you have a puppy or a kitten with diarrhoea or vomiting we recommend you get them checked with us no matter what as their little bodies don't have much reserve and they can go downhill very quickly. The same holds true for senior pets or those with pre existing health issue.

It's best to ask us for advice if you are concerned about your pet. We might not be able to clean your carpet but we can help put your mind to rest!

02 What you need to know about pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a painful and potentially life threatening condition and requires veterinary attention as soon as possible. 

The pancreas releases enzymes to help digestion. These enzymes usually don't start to work until they reach the small intestine but if a dog or cat has pancreatitis, these enzymes become active as soon as they are released. This causes inflammation to the surrounding tissue and organs. In severe cases, the enzymes start to digest the pancreas itself causing extreme pain.

Knowing the signs can enable us to start treatment quickly and effectively and help reduce the severity of the condition.

Watch out for:

  • Hunched back
  • Vomiting - 90% of dogs will vomit, but only 35% of cats
  • Lethargy
  • Appears uncomfortable or bloated in abdomen - 58% of dogs show abdominal pain, but only 25% of cats demonstrate abdominal discomfort
  • Diarrhoea
  • Not wanting to eat

A high-fat diet is a major cause of pancreatitis in dogs, especially for a dog who gets a large helping of fatty food in one sitting (such as human left overs or a rich marrow bone).

Obesity in dogs, hypothyroidism, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and certain medications or other toxins can also predispose a pet to pancreatitis. Some dog breeds such as miniature schnauzers are also more susceptible indicating there may be a genetic component. 

Though both dogs and cats can suffer from pancreatitis - the causes and signs do differ for dogs and cats - in cats the signs are often vague and no specific making a diagnosis of pancreatitis tricky in some cats!

Treatment involves intensive fluid therapy, anti vomiting drugs, pain relief, gastric rest and then reintroduction of a low fat food, often for life. A dog that has had a bout of pancreatitis is much more susceptible to repeat attacks in the future so diet management is essential. Also some patients that have suffered from pancreatitis go on to develop diabetes later in life.

We are always happy to answer any question you have about your pet's health. Ask us today.

03 Can my dog eat that?

Are you aware of some of the potential doggy dangers out there? We've compiled a quick list for you below.

This list is not complete and these are just a few of the hazards we find people forget about or are not aware of.

Grapes, sultanas and raisins: induce kidney failure in some dogs

Macadamia nuts: cause weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea

Avocados: lead to a stomach upset and the pip can also cause an obstruction if ingested

Onions, leeks, garlic and chives: ingestion leads to destruction of red blood cells

Chewing gum: contains Xylitol and this can cause weakness and seizures

Apricot, cherry and peach pips and apple seeds: contain cyanide and may cause poisoning

Corn on the cob: the corn might be digested, but the cob may lodge in the small intestine causing a blockage

Chocolate: you've probably heard this before, but remember chocolate is toxic to dogs and ingestion of just a small amount can be fatal - cooking chocolate and dark chocolate are the most dangerous

Rodent bait: can lead to blood clotting problems 3-14 days after ingestion

Snail bait: can cause seizures and even death 

Stockings, undies, socks: are all attractive to dogs and can cause a nasty intestinal obstruction

If you think your dog might have ingested something that's on this list you should seek veterinary advice immediately. 

04 Things your cat shouldn't eat

Cats can be a bit fussier when it comes to what they will and won't eat but they can of course get themselves into trouble too.

Again, this list is also not complete and if you are worried about your cat you should always ask us for advice. 

Watch out for:

Household products: cooked chicken bones, dental floss, yarn, string, lights, hair scrunchie & tinsel can lead to intestinal blockages - we even had a kitty that ate part of a pedicure toe separator!

Certain chemicals: Keep these locked away: antifreeze, bleach, detergents, fertilisers, herbicides, insect spray (e.g.ant rid) and rodent bait

Common houseplants: can be hazardous to your cat's health: lilies can cause kidney failure, and poinsettias and tulips can also cause problems

Human medicines: medicines such as paracetamol and antidepressants pose a serious threat to your cat, so keep them in a place they can’t get into 

Dog flea and tick medication: a cat that shares a house with a dog that has had pyrethrin or permethrin flea treatment is at risk. These can KILL your cat. Ask us for the safest flea prevention for ALL of your pets 

If you think your cat might have ingested something toxic you should phone us for advice.

05 Cones of fame

Have you heard the term cone of shame?

Also known as the Elizabethan collar, buster collar or bucket, we commonly dress your pet up in one of these after surgery to prevent your pet getting to his wound or pulling out his sutures.

Unfortunately for shelter pets looking for a new home, those wearing cones are less likely to be adopted. That was until a clever lady came up with the idea to decorate the cones and call them cones of fame. This resulted in these dogs finding new forever homes!

Read more here.