We all know that for some dogs, coming to the vet is not their favourite activity.  There are ways to try and reduce the anxiety level and negative associations with the clinic.

For many dogs the anxiety they feel stems from the negative association they have formed.  This makes sense as most dogs only come to the vet when something is wrong or they are due for a vaccination.  These dogs have come to associate the vet with experiences they view as negative such as nail trims, ear cleanings, vaccinations and taking blood samples.  Over time this experience becomes rooted in their brain and they become anxious even if nothing is being done to them at that visit.  Thankfully we can do things to create a more positive emotional response.  We create positive experiences to have ‘happy visits’ where only good things shall happen. 

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AUTUMN CROCUS: Highly Toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver & kidney damage and respiratory failure.

AZALEAS: Even eating a few leaves can result in vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling. Without immediate attention, depending upon consumption and the pet’s bodyweight, the animal could fall into a coma and possibly die.

CYCLAMEN: The roots of this seasonal flowering plant are especially dangerous.  If ingested, they can cause severe vomiting and even death.

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Bloody and discolored urine is a common reason cat parents seek Veterinary help.  It’s incredibly upsetting to see drops of blood in a litterbox, on bedding or on the floor.  Sometimes you can’t see the blood until the urine is examined with a microscope or detected on urinalysis.  The two major causes of blood in in cat’s urine are cystitis and feline lower urinary tract disorder or FLUTD. 

Blood in the urine is called haematuria.  Haematuria can be identified by the presence of pink, red, brown or black urine. 

Cystitis is a general term referring to inflammation in the urinary bladder.  In cats, diseases of the lower urinary tract, the bladder and the urethra are often categorized by the term FLUTD. 

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It has never been easier to incorporate furry friends into Christmas plans with so many great dog-friendly campsites and pet-friendly accommodation around Australia.  If you are holidaying with your pet’s, remember to pack their bags too - bedding, food, medication & bowls.  So that pets can be identified easily should they become lost while holidaying, ensure registered microchips are up to date with your personal details.  Most importantly, never leave your pet alone in a locked car, as they can die very quickly from heatstroke, even in milder weather. 

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Too many treats, especially at this time of year, can add lots of unnecessary calories to our pet’s diets.  It is these treats, not over-feeding, that is the largest contributor to the bulging bellies we are seeing more often in practice.

Dog or cat treats should be less than 10% of the daily calories our pets consume, however this is a hard concept for pet owners to understand.

To many pet owners, “Food is Love” and they do not consider or understand how many calories can be packed into a treat. 

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 A dog with itchy skin is a common problem faced by pets and their owners.

Just as in humans, itchy skin can have many causes, such as nutritional deficiencies, allergies or parasites. 

The most common allergens are environmental such as pollens, dust mites, flea saliva, weeds & grasses.  In addition to this, dogs can have food allergies, just as we would. 

Nutritional deficiencies can cause itchy, poor quality skin.  Diets lacking enough essential fatty acids will be evident with dry, flaking skin and a dull coat.  The correct balance of omega-3 & 6 fatty acids help maintain healthy skin and promote a strong immune system.

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Until we experience an issue with our pet’s teeth, owners would not be aware that 80% of dogs and 70% of cat’s overs 3 years of age have some form of dental or oral disease. 

There are many ways to help prevent dental disease:

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With the festive season almost upon us there tends to be a lot more table leftovers and scraps.  As family, we like to share this Christmas cheer with our four-legged family-members so they are not missing out.  We just need to be aware of what foods animals are unable to tolerate.

Dogs and cats differ in their ability to metabolise certain drugs and compounds compared to people, which is why animals should never be medicated with human drugs or fed certain food that people eat. 

Some foods, such as chocolates, grapes and onions are absolute poison for your pet.

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Heatstroke (hyperthermia) is the elevation of the body’s temperature and is a life threatening condition requiring immediate treatment. Dogs left in hot cars, pets exposed to extreme heat when left outdoors, lack of adequate shade or being exercised in hot weather can all lead to heatstroke.  Heatstroke is most common in dogs, especially “brachycephalic” breeds (those with short muzzles eg British Bulldogs, Pugs etc).

Other predisposing factors can be diseases of the pet’s airways or obesity. The veterinarian will look into the underlying cause once your pet is stabilised.

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Guinea pigs come in all shapes and styles from short to long coated, with spots, stripes and solid colors. Their life span is approximately 6 years. They make a great pet for children if handled frequently and gently. They do not require vaccinations or routine worming and have minimal health problems if fed and cared for correctly. 

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