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Frankston Heights Veterinary Centre
231 Frankston-Flinders Rd
Frankston, VIC, 3199

nurses@frankstonvet.com.au
frankstonvet.com.au
Phone: 03 5971 4888

It's wonderful to start the New Year with a good news story! Dr Anaban Ghosh of Companion Animal Consultancy and Surgical Services will be providing his orthopaedic expertise to Frankston Heights Vet Centre in 2018.

Anaban has a wealth of experience especially in knee reconstruction surgery and fracture repair.

Luckily he was on hand last week to repair little Jaffa's fractured tibia. Huge thanks to Anaban for donating 50% of his fee when he heard Jaffa was a Dogs for Kids with Disabilities pup.

 

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The Australia Day holiday is approaching, and Frankston Heights Vet Centre will be closed on Friday 26th January but open as usual over the weekend. The AEC Frankston will provide emergency care on the public holiday.

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Contents of this newsletter

01  We 'ear you've got a problem!

02  Summer hazards

03  Snake bite - what to watch out for

01 We 'ear you've got a problem!
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Ear problems are common at this time of the year so if you've noticed anything out of the ordinary with your pet's ears, it's important we take a look.

The ear canal is its own mini environment and this can be disturbed by heat, moisture, allergies and foreign bodies (grass seeds are a major culprit).

A change in this mini environment allows bacteria and yeast to flourish resulting in a very unhappy ear canal and a miserable pet.

You should look out for:

  • Discharge - often smelly and may be black, white or yellow in colour
  • Hot and red ears
  • Shaking of the head or a head tilt
  • Rubbing ears along the floor or furniture (dogs love to rub on the back of the couch!)
  • Itching behind the ears 
  • Flicking of the ears (mostly cats)

If your pet has a suspected ear problem, we will need to examine the canal with an otoscope. This allows us to rule out the presence of a foreign body and inspect the canal for signs of irritation and infection.

To identify if bacteria or yeast are present, a sample is taken and examined under a microscope.  This enables us to prescribe the correct medication for your pet and gives the ear the opportunity to heal as quickly as possible.

Really nasty ear infections and foreign bodies such as a grass seeds may require your pet to be sedated or undergo a general anaesthetic. This allows efficient flushing of the ear and safe removal of a foreign body.

If you think your pet has an ear problem you should arrange a check up with us ASAP. The longer you leave an ear infection, the more painful the ear becomes and the harder it is to treat.

02 Summer hazards
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Long summer days and balmy nights mean we are often out and about with our pets more than other times of the year. Here are a few summer hazards we always like to remind you to watch out for:

Heat exhaustion:

It can be easy to over do it in the heat and our pets are super susceptible to heatstroke. Keep an eye out for excessive, exaggerated or noisy panting, drooling, weakness or collapse. If you think your pet might have heat stroke, 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 hairless parts of the body (footpads and groins).

Hot underfoot:

Many people forget that footpaths, decking, tin roofs and bitumen roads get incredibly hot during the summer. Even sand can sometimes be too hot to walk on. This can cause painful burns to your pet's paws so be extremely careful in the heat. If it is too hot for you to walk on in bare feet, it will be too hot for your pet!

Grass seeds:

These pesky little beasts can wreak havoc. Certain types of grass seeds are shaped like a pointy arrow with a sharp 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 bloody discharge from a small wound.

We are here to help keep your pet healthy and comfortable over the summer months. If you are worried about your pet you should always ask us for advice. 

03 Snake bite - what to watch out for
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With changing weather patterns as well as a wet start to summer for many parts of Australia, snakes are being seen in urban areas previously thought to be 'snake free'.

It's a good idea to be remind yourself of what to watch out for when it comes to snake bite.

Remember that different species of snakes possess different types of venom so these can cause varying symptoms that appear anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours after a bite.

Watch out for: 

  • Salivation (drooling)
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Rapid breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Hind limb weakness
  • Lethargy

Tips to help your pet survive a snake bite:

  • Seek veterinary attention immediately, even if you only suspect your pet has been bitten. It is better that your pet is checked over rather than wait until it's too late
  • Keep your pet quiet and still - this is critical to help reduce movement of the venom around the body
  • Do not attempt treatment options such as cold packs, ice, tourniquets, alcohol, bleeding the wound or trying to suck out venom in place of getting your pet to the vet - they are a waste of precious time
  • NEVER attempt to kill, handle or capture the snake as you risk being bitten too

Always be vigilant and supervise your pet when they are off leash. Keep them inside from dusk (snakes like to hunt at night) and take care in off leash areas and around rivers and dams.

Click here to see a one very happy dog enjoying the long grass (we probably wouldn't recommend letting your dog do this in the Australian summer!)