Mira Mar Veterinary Hospital
58 Cockburn Rd
Albany, WA, 6330

Phone: 08 9841 5422
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Welcome to our July newsletter!

Wow, hasn't Winter arrived with a flourish?  We're seeing quite a few pets feeling the effects of arthritis from the recent very cold weather.  If you suspect your pet is showing signs of pain or struggling to get out of bed, there's a lot we can do to help!  Give the clinic a call.

In this month's newsletter is all about your pets tummy!  There are articles outlying what our pets shouldn't be eating and some of the common (but not very pleasant) conditions associated with intestinal disease.

We're undergoing some staff changes at the moment, with the upcoming departure of long term veterinary nurse Aimee, but we will be welcoming some new and old faces over the coming weeks, so be sure to pop in and say hi!

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Contents of this newsletter

01  Farewell Aimee

02  Vomiting and diarrhoea and when to see us

03  What you need to know about pancreatitis

04  Can my dog eat that?

05  Things your cat shouldn't eat

06  Cones of fame

01 Farewell Aimee
Aimee Harrison small2

It with great sadness that we farewell long term vet nurse, Aimee Harrison, this month.  

Aimee has been at Mira Mar Vets since 2012 when she was a high school student in a workplace traineeship, and has been a wonderful staff member - she has a kind nature, an inquisitive mind, is constantly striving to learn and has a real passion for your pet.  She has been running the puppy preschool for the last 18 months, and we are sure that many people and their pets will miss her happy greeting when they arrive at the clinic.

Aimee has embarked on and graduated from her Certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing in her time at Mira Mar Vets, completing her studies while juggling full time work.

We will miss her smile, her great sense of humour and her love for life, not to mention her dedicated vet nursing skills, and her very neat handwriting!

Aimee is leaving us for the bright lights of Perth, and we wish her every happiness and success in her new adventure and workplace.  Good luck Aimee!

02 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 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

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.

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!

03 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 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
  • Lethargy
  • Appears uncomfortable or bloated in abdomen
  • Diarrhoea
  • Not wanting to eat

A high-fat diet is a major cause of pancreatitis, 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, hypothyroidism, diabetes and certain medications or other toxins can also predispose a dog to pancreatitis. Some breeds such as miniature schnauzers are also more susceptible indicating there may be a genetic component. 

Treatment involves intensive fluid therapy, anti vomiting drugs, 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.

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

04 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. 

05 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: chicken bones, dental floss, yarn, string, lights and tinsel can lead to intestinal blockages

Certain chemicals: taste especially good to cats. 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 supermarket pyrethrin 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.

06 Cones of fame
elizabethan collar

Spot the difference?

Have you ever wondered how 'Elizabethan collars' got their name?  

It all stems from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in England (late 1500's) where it became the fashion for ladies and men to wear large frilled collars that framed the head.  

As it turns out, this collar shape is also excellent for preventing our pets from causing themselves damage from licking or chewing!  Also known as 'buster collars', 'bucket collars', 'cone collars', 'cones of shame' or 'lamp shades', they do look a bit silly, but serve a vital purpose.

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. The finished products are amazing, and they have resulted in more of these dogs finding new forever homes!

Read more here.