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

Phone: 03 9592 9811
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Welcome to May. Last month was busy at the clinic, so it was nice to have a little time off over Easter and ANZAC day to catch up!

We have unfortunately had a number of dogs that have inadvertantly got access to human anti inflammatory medication and become quite unwell. Such medication is extremely toxic to dogs causing stomach ulcers, bleeding and can also damage their kidneys. It serves as a reminder that all medication needs to be kept well away from our pets at all times. Though most poisonings we see are in dogs other species can also be affected - as last month we had our friend Spider the cat, and also Dr Anna treated a poor bunny with rat poison. We are happy to report that all our patients are doing well :)

Puppy Class has been fully booked this year and our lastest graduates can be seen on our website Our next class is due to start 9th May.

We welcome back our regular stand-in vet, Dr Andy Woodward this month as our Vets have some time to recharge their batteries. Dr Kirsty will be attending the Annual Australian Veterinary Association Conference at the start of June. No doubt she will return with the lastest and greatest treatments for us all. Andy is a great vet who has been working for us for a number of years. He will be working with us for 6 weeks from mid May.

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter!

Contents of this newsletter

01  Amazing Wilson!

02  Arthritis - what to watch out for

03  How to help an arthritic pet at home

04  Why microchipping is essential

05  Mum's the word

06  "Please sir, can I have some more?"

01 Amazing Wilson!

Meet Wilson - a cute young chocolate lab puppy! One night Wilson was out for a stroll and like most puppies strained on his leash to get under a bush.

Unfortunately Wilson got more than he bargined for (and his owners too) as at that very moment he inhaled a gum nut! The gum nut quickly lodged in his lower airway and Wilson was in strife.

He came to the clinic late one evening and saw Dr Murray, who quickly took an xray and referred him to the local Emergency Centre for further investigation & breathing support as he was struggling to get air into his lungs. It was only when a CT scan was performed that vets could see what was going. Wilson then had an anaesthetic and the gum nut was retrieved! 

It is truely moments like these that you wish that they could talk!

02 Arthritis - what to watch out for

Arthritis is a nasty disease. It sneaks up on our pets and always seems to rear its ugly head as the weather starts to cool down.

Many people put the signs of arthritis down to "getting old" but have you ever thought that your pet might actually be in pain?

Remember - your pet doesn't necessarily have to have a limp to be suffering from arthritis as some of the symptoms are subtle.

Signs of arthritis in cats:

  • Landing in a heap when jumping down
  • Hesitant to jump down from your lap or from the furniture
  • Reluctant to climb fences or trees
  • Scruffy or matted coat as they are no longer able to groom easily

Signs of arthritis in dogs:

  • Stiff and sometimes sore when getting up after lying down- especially in the morning
  • Trouble jumping up onto furniture or into the car
  • Behaviour changes - growling or grumpy when sore joints are touched
  • Muscle loss especially over spine, the hips and around the hind legs

The good news is we have plenty of tools up our sleeve to help your arthritic pet become more mobile and pain-free. We will put a treatment plan in place and slow down the progression of this disease before your pet's quality of life is affected.

The month of May is a great time to arrange an arthritis check up with us.

03 How to help an arthritic pet at home

If your pet is diagnosed with arthritis, there are plenty of things you can do at home to help them feel more comfortable.

We recommend a multi-pronged attack as this helps to reduce the need for large amounts of medication and will lessen the potential side effects of any one treatment.

6 tips for an arthritis-friendly home:

  1. Keep your pet lean to help reduce the load on their joints
  2. Consider feeding a diet specifically formulated for arthritis (ask us for the best recommendation)
  3. Continue to exercise your pet in moderation; gentle daily walks for dogs help keep the joints moving and muscles toned
  4. Provide a warm and comfortable bed with plenty of padding
  5. Use a portable ramp to help your dog in and out of the car
  6. Provide an additional piece of furniture (like an ottoman) so your cat doesn't have to jump so high to reach his favourite spot

Ask us for more information on how to make your home arthritis-friendly.

04 Why microchipping is essential

The recent floods in Queensland and New South Wales have sadly resulted in hundreds of displaced pets.

Natural disasters are an important reminder as to why it is essential ALL of your pets are microchipped. 

When a lost pet has a microchip, they can be scanned at any vet clinic or animal shelter and the details attached to the chip found on a central database. 

Unfortunately, for many microchipped pets, the contact phone number assigned to the chip is incorrect and this makes the chip useless.

Now is the perfect time to make sure your pet is chipped and check the contact details attached to your pet's microchip

If you don't know your pet's microchip number please drop by with your pet and we can scan it for you. If you already know the microchip number you can jump online to update any details.

It's also a good idea to have an ID tag with your name and phone number attached to your pet's collar as this can speed up the lost and found process.

Ask us for more information about microchipping your pet. 

05 Mum's the word

With Mother's Day this month, we thought now would be a good time to share fun facts of the length pregnancy, called gestation in a variety of species:

  • Mice 20 days 
  • Rabbits 31 days 
  • Koala 30-36 days
  • Cats 64-67 days
  • Dogs 58-68 days
  • Otters 60-70 days - Dr Anna's most favourite animal ever!
  • Tigers 93-112 days
  • Horses 11-12 months
  • Giraffes 13-15 months
  • Elephants 18-22 months - those poor mums!

Click here to see 16 animal expressions that perfectly capture what motherhood is all about!

06 "Please sir, can I have some more?"

There's a new cat video doing the rounds on the internet which some of you may have seen - click here to check it out. 

We can hear you asking now, "How did these cats get so good at ordering food?"

These cats are a perfect example of how animals learn by positive reinforcement. Their behaviour is continually strengthened by a reward (in this case, a treat).

They would have initially been rewarded with a treat when they moved their paw towards the bell and then again when they touched the bell. Eventually the cats would have touched the bell so that it rang and that's when the treats kept coming! 

This is an excellent reminder that the best way to train our pets is to use a positive reward to reinforce good behaviour.

When it comes to training your pet, we are always here if you need any help.