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07 5441 3333
18 Lamington Terrace, Nambour QLD 4560

It’s time to focus on your pet!

We’re not rushing to get to work, take the kids to school & sports or going to the gym and we’re not frantically trying to get the housework done. So what do we do with this extra time we suddenly have? Use the time to ‘Focus on your pet!’.

COVID-19 has been terrible for humans in so many ways but our pets have benefited from it! Something we weren’t expecting! As a lot of people are home more, they’re noticing issues that have gone unnoticed. Here’s a few interesting things we’ve noticed since COVID-19 changed the way we live;

1. We’ve seen an increase in ‘limping’ cases.
This is largely due to the dog having arthritis but was not been picked up by owners. Now that people have more time, they’re walking the dog more which is causing them to feel stiff and sore. Is the walk causing it? No! There is an underlying arthritis issue that has gone untreated and walking is making it more obvious. This is great news as owners are noticing and bringing them in! We can therefore diagnose the arthritis and get them out of pain. Good news for dogs and cats!

2. We’re vaccinating more.
We can only guess that this is because people are now understanding the importance of vaccination. Without vaccination, viruses spread quickly! It’s great to see more people coming in and vaccinating their pets! During this visit, we’re also finding nasty lumps, ear issues and skin issues that were missed by owners.

We recently had a dog visit our sister practice for surgery to remove a lump. During this visit, we ran a blood test to make sure the kidneys and liver were able to cope with an anaesthetic. The blood test showed something a little strange so we called the owner to get permission to perform an Ultrasound to investigate further. Thank goodness the owner said ‘Yes’ because the Ultrasound showed the dog had a terrible case of bladder stones (see pictures below). These stones would have been causing a lot of pain and discomfort for the dog. Sometimes signs of pain are interpreted by owners as the pet ‘just getting old and slowing down’ or ‘being lazy’, when in fact they’re signs the pet is suffering and in pain. The dog who is generally ‘lazy’ can suddenly become active again, like a puppy! This dog was lucky he had great owners that were willing to investigate. He’d be feeling so much more comfortable now! It’s cases like these that remind us why we became veterinary professionals – to help animals – but you have to bring them in first if we’re to help them. A vaccination and check up is a good place to start.

   

3. We’re cleaning more teeth!
People have more time to sit on the couch so are cuddling up to their pets more. These cuddles are bringing the bad breath closer! This is great news because we can address the teeth and gum issues which are causing the pet pain. Now that people have more time, they’re focusing on their pets and addressing these issues. Great news for pets!

4. We’re removing more lumps
Again, more time is being spent with the dog cuddling, so owners are noticing lumps and bumps. This is great news because if it’s a cancerous lump we’re getting it off quickly which could save their life! Focusing on your pet could save their life.

5. We’re seeing an increase in gastrointestinal issues
This is something that you can address yourself. Stop feeding your pet human foods! Because we’re at home more, we’re feeding out pets more ‘table scraps’. Left over sandwiches from the kids, biscuits and other food they don’t normally have access too. While we feel great to give the dog a treat, the dog doesn’t feel great afterwards. We’re seeing lot of dogs with sore crampy belly’s from eating food they shouldn’t be eating. We can take away the discomfort at the practice but you can stop if from happening in the first place by asking all family members not to feed the dog table scraps. Buy some dog appropriate treats and put a day’s worth in a small bowl on the kitchen bench for feeding. Tell the family they are approved snacks for the dog so the family can still get the fuzzy feelings from rewarding the dog but the dog won’t suffer for it.

6. We’re seeing more stressed cats
Sadly, some cats don’t like having us at home more. We’d like to think they’d be really happy to have us hanging around more but most cats have a routine and they don’t like it being messed up. The kids are at home all the time, the house is noisier and their favourite spot to sleep during the day is no longer available. This can cause enormous stress for cats and as a result they start urinating inappropriately (peeing all over the house!). There are natural medications that you can buy over the counter, without seeing the vet which are excellent in reducing stress in cats. If you reduce the stress you can stop them from peeing.

Stress can also change the bacteria in cats bladders causing urinary tract infections. Difficulty peeing (sometimes it looks like they can’t poo), straining and blood in the urine are all signs of a urinary tract infection. If your cat shows any of these signs, please get them down to see us as quickly as possible. This is not something you want to sit on as it could be an emergency situation. If your cats bladder is ‘blocked’, it can quickly kill them if they don’t get veterinary attention fast enough.

7. Lily Toxicity
We’re isolating, so family members are sending flowers as gifts. This is lovely, except there are often Lily flowers in the bunch. All parts of the Lily plant are toxic to cats if eaten, so if you have cats, you can’t have Lily flowers in the house. Lily toxicity causes complete kidney failure in as little as 36 hours and can be fatal. If you’re sending flowers, tell the florist to not use any Lilly flowers.

Covid-19 – Our new policies

WE’RE LOOKING AFTER OUR HUMANS SO THEY CAN LOOK AFTER YOUR PETS! 

As business owners, Michael & I have always had a commitment to our community and staff and want to keep everyone as safe as possible! 🥰

By now, everyone has heard of COVID-19 and the risks it poses. Wherever your opinion sits on the spectrum, we ask you to respect our new policies to do our bit to slow the spread of the virus and reduce our staff’s chance of contracting it. 🙏

Our new policies are in place from today at all locations. The following apply to you:

1. Overseas Contact 🦠
If you have been overseas in ANY country in the last 14 days, please do not come to the clinic. Not self-isolating is in breach of the Federal Government’s mandate and is against the law.

2. Cold & Flu symptoms 😷🤧
If you have symptoms of cold or flu, please call us prior to arriving at the clinic. We will collect your pet from the car and take him/her into the consultation room to complete the usual exam. We’ll call or Facetime you in the comfort of your car so you’re part of the consultation – just not physically.

Sounds a bit weird I know but the world is a bit weird at the moment and we don’t want pets going without the veterinary care they may need. You can use this ‘Drive thru’ service even if you’re well but don’t want to come into the practice. This is especially good for those at greater risk like the elderly or people with medical conditions that leave them vulnerable.

3. Appointment times 
Please stick to your appointment time. If you’re running late, its often no problem, but please let us know in advance, as this can cause bottlenecks in the waiting room. The fewer people waiting the better.

4. Reduce numbers 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦
Consider reducing the number of people you bring to the consultation. We normally love the whole family coming and they still can, but if you have a choice, limit who comes in. Maybe Facetime the kids at home and make it fun! Again, we don’t want you to avoid the vet if your pet needs us, so if you have to bring the kids, bring them – we have strict cleaning measures in place.

5. Payment 💵
Please use credit cards as payment where possible to reduce physical contact.

6. Use our hand sanitiser! 🆒
It’s on the front counter so give yourself a squirt on entry to keep us all safe.

7. Check your medications 💊
Consider purchasing important medication ahead of time. We have full supply now but we don’t know what’s going to happen. We are not encouraging panic buying but it is wise to get a couple of boxes of your medications to be prepared. My dog is on heart medication & he’d be in big trouble without it. If your pet has a serious condition or relies on their medication, get a box now. This also applies to prescription food. Don’t panic buy but be ready.

We will do everything we can to continue to be available to you and your pets and keep visiting us easy and safe. Remember we also offer Vetpay and Zipmoney to those needing an extra hand financially.

Stay safe everyone. 🙂

Why doesn’t my pet’s flea product work any more?

I only put the stuff on the back of his neck last week and there’s heaps of fleas – why doesn’t this stuff work anymore?!

Sound familiar? It does to us – I hear this at Lamington Terrace Vet Surgery all the time.And yes, I do agree that some products don’t work as well as others and some maybe don’t seem to be working as well as they used to.

But… usually the efficacy of the product (or how well it works) is just fine – there is just some other contributing factor that may be affecting it. Some of the common things that can reduce the effectiveness are

  • Frequent swimming – especially in salt water
  • Frequent bathing – especially with medicated shampoos – if your pet has been prescribed a medicated shampoo for a skin condition, you should switch to one of the oral flea control tablets
  • Incorrect application dose or application technique – “splitting” tubes of spot on into 2 doses is a common problem; I actually find some spot on products can be difficult to apply really well especially in really short haired dogs – I find it tends to want to dribble off.
  • Incorrect re-application interval – the idea of regular application is to continue the level of the active ingredient at a concentration that will kill fleas before they get a chance to feed and lay eggs. If the flea takes a bit longer to die then it can already have produced a couple of hundred eggs that will all become fleas in a further 6 weeks or so.
  • Some dogs have a defective “barrier function” of their skin and this can affect how some spot on products distribute over the body. These patients need a different type of flea control.

More often than not, however, the fleas are “hitch hikers”! Yep, just looking for a free ride back to your place!They jump on your dog when you’re out walking, you notice them once you’re back home.If you’re flea control programme is a good one then these fleas will be dead before they get a chance to lay eggs. The problem with most hitch hiker fleas is that they come in on a friend’s pet or a stray cat that wanders through your yard.

If these animals don’t have good flea control then they act like little salt shakers and as they move, flea eggs fall off them into the environment. Then, depending on the weather, in a matter of weeks or months you have a big hatching of fleas into the environment.

Remember that 95% of the flea life cycle is spent OFF the animal, in the environment.

I hope this has given you some food for thought about flea control. There are so many products out there claiming to be the best flea control but what works best really does depend on your individual situation

Wet Weather Blues

When will we get some fine weather again? It seems like in the last 12 months it’s either been bone dry or soaking wet. There has been no happy medium.

Our pets all start to go a little “stir-crazy” in the wet weather – our dogs are sick of not being able to go for a long walk, the cats can’t sun themselves on a comfortable window ledge and we all seem to be a little down in the dumps when the sun doesn’t shine!

At my place, the dairy goats are most unimpressed. Dairy goats hate getting wet, they run for the shed at the first drop of rain and refuse to leave. The wet weather also brings its share of potential health issues for our pets and farm animals.

At Lamington Terrace Veterinary Surgery we have seen many cases of gastroenteritis and don’t forget the paralysis ticks are still there lurking in the background waiting for a couple of sunny days. For goats, the wet weather brings with it hoof problems like foot scald and soft feet that bruise and become overgrown easily. It’s important to have a dry sheltered area. Once the sun comes out, so do the worm eggs hatch so for grazing animals, especially goats, keep the pasture length a bit higher and monitor the faecal worm egg counts closely.

Next time, I’ll provide information on how to do a faecal egg count so you know if and when to drench your grazing animals.

Dental health for dogs and cats

Four out of every five dogs and cats over the age of three years have some sort of dental disease which becomes more severe with age. This can be a real problem for pets and owners because it can lead to more serious problems such as illnesses related to the heart, liver and kidney.

You should check your pet’s teeth regularly as pets often won’t show pain. Even pets with sore gums, an infected mouth or broken teeth will continue to eat so you may not notice they have problems.

Dogs are pack animals and showing weakness is not part of their nature. They need to eat to survive so won’t go off their food until the pain is unbearable.

Signs of toothache or an infection in the mouth to look out for in cats and dogs include bad breath, red and inflamed gums and stained teeth. Your pet may also start dropping food when they are eating.

It’s important that pets have regular health checks at the vet. Dogs and cats age much more quickly than humans, and it’s important to catch problems early if you want to ensure a long and happy life for your companion animal.

Checking your pet’s teeth will be part of your annual health check. Annual dental checks are an ideal opportunity for owners to find out if their pet has an existing problem which has gone unnoticed. Dental checks also help ensure bacteria and poisons from dental infections do not spread to the heart, liver and kidneys through the bloodstream.

Vets also recommend regular tooth brushing. Tooth brushing is safer and more effective than chewing and many dogs and cats can be trained to enjoy having their teeth brushed, especially if started when they’re young. Although bones are a popular treat that you may be using for dental care, they can cause problems such as broken teeth and gut obstruction.

Download the factsheet and checklist below:

Dental Fact Sheet / Checklist

Monitoring Heart Disease

If your pet has been diagnosed with heart disease it is really important that they are regularly monitored. At Lamington Terrace Vet in Nambour one of the things we recommend is a simple test that you can do at home – measure the breathing rate while your pet is sleeping. It should be under 30 breaths per minute.

If you are regularly measuring this then you will be alerted to any upward trend that could indicate your pet is developing congestive changes in the lungs. Dr Leisa has found a great App for iPhone that helps you measure and record resting respiratory rates. It is called Respiratory Rate Calculator and it allows you to enter the pet’s details, the target breath rate and to schedule reminders.

It has handy information on how to measure and calculate the breath rate and will display the results in graph form. You can even send the results straight to us!

For more information about heart disease, contact us at the clinic. Also check out the articles on “Heart Disease”, “Changes Due to Congestive Heart Failure” and “Do you know if your best friend is at risk of heart disease”.

Is your dog eating your home

Or overly agressive? Is your cat leaving smells where it shouldn’t? Or worse?

Your pet’s behaviour matters. It can cause embarassment for you and frustration and annoyance for others too …. We can help you!

Our proven behavioural imporvement process can change this for you fast:

  • We quickly identify the main trigger of the pet’s behaviour – this is the key to success
  • You will quickly have more control over your pet
  • You’ll learn to love them again and avoid any more embarassing slip-ups

Don’t suffer in silence. If you are having behavioural problems with your pets, don’t wait – don something about it!