Christmas is by far our favourite time of year. Whether you celebrate this holiday or another one, the magic that surrounds this time of year is infectious. Strangely enough, it is also our busiest time of year.  Working with animals always keeps you on your toes - you never know what to expect when you press the button to shoot that X-ray of the vomiting Labrador who eats everything without a second thought! 

This is a problem throughout the year with all different breeds, as there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what they will ingest. Christmas tree ornaments, batteries, bows/ribbon on presents, string/cooking twine and tinsel are probably the most commonly ingested items. As you can see from this X-ray this guy swallowed the Christmas decoration without chewing it. 

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With holidays almost upon us, it is important to check if you will be travelling to a high-risk tick area and require tick prevention treatment.

The paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus) is a dangerous parasite that affects both humans and pets along the east coast of Australia. In humans, it causes a severe local skin irritation. In pets it can cause paralysis, vomiting, breathing difficulty and death.

The Eastern paralysis tick are travelling to Melbourne by hitching a ride on pets, people or belongings that have visited these infested areas.  Ticks are known as “deadly, blood-sucking critters” which is an ideal description.  They like to live in bushy, native terrain and long grass. 

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Threatened Species Day was declared in 1996 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the death of the last remaining Tasmanian Tiger at Hobart Zoo in 1936.  This is a day to reflect on what has happened in the past and how similar fates could await other native plants and animals unless appropriate action is taken. 

Australia is home to more than 500,000 animal and plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. In NSW alone there are close to 1000 species at risk of extinction.  Saving threatened species is important for a healthy and diverse environment.

The day also celebrates the amazing work that is being done by passionate conservationists, researchers, volunteers and community experts.

Activities this year are limited with lockdown, but there are still ways to get involved:

SEED Citizen Science Hub 

  • Explore environmental projects
  • Stay up-to-date with science projects and events
  • Tune into their live -brush-tailed rock-wallaby cam
  • Help animals from home by getting involved in online activities, quizzes and planting trees for our threatened wildlife.



 Yes, it can be done!

People are often surprised to learn that rabbits are more than capable of learning how to use a litter tray.  Rabbits are naturally very clean and will instinctively use a designated place as a toilet, just like cats.  The advantage of toilet training your rabbit is that you will be able to let it roam free around the house without worrying about accidents.

Rabbits need at least 30 hours per week to run and explore outside of their cage. This socialisation, while out of their cage also makes training easier.  Start with a designated toilet area, preferably a corner, with a tray filled with a suitable litter.  This may be straw, hay, natural fibre or paper pellets. Do not put litter anywhere else as it can cause confusion as to where the bunny loo is. 

In the first week only change the litter when it is really dirty-it needs to be impregnated with your rabbits smell to encourage your him to use the same place in the future.  Initially your bunny will be shy and hide, but then become more curious and want to explore its environment.

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In the current rat and mouse plague, extra care needs to be taken to help protect our birds of prey, natives and pets from accidentally ingesting rat sac.

Rat baits are dangerous and potentially deadly to animals and people that consume them.  The baits are normally flavoured to make them more attractive to rodents and these can also entice other animals to eat them. 

The clinical signs of rat bait poisoning vary considerably depending on the size of the animal and how much and what kind of rat bait they ingest. 

There are different kinds of rat bait available, the most common are anti-coagulant poisons that stop the blood from clotting normally, resulting in excessive bleeding.  

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