Pets and Puberty: A Guide for Owners and Breeders

Sooth your Poodle: Help Your Puppy Get Through The Teething Craze

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sooth your Poodle: Help Your Puppy Get Through The Teething Craze

Teething can be a real nightmare for you and your little buddy. This phase can set in at 3-4 weeks of age. If you are not well equipped, you will have a hard time loving him, and this might be the best time for some tough love. So how do you know that the teething phase has begun? Signs to look out for The first thing you should know is that puppies use the sensory abilities of taste and smell to feel the objects around them. Just like you use your hands, a puppy learns from a tender age how to distinguish one object from another by sniffing around and biting stuff. During the teething phase, the puppy will take this to a whole new level, biting on chair legs, shoes and just anything that is within sight. You might want to keep anything within reach behind the closed doors of your closet. If you’re going to leave the house, lock the pooch in a room that is clear of anything precious. Give him a distraction This is probably not the best time to teach your puppy some new tricks as he is likely to get easily distracted. However, teaching him some basic discipline will stick. Don’t get physical at this moment; it will only make him more rebellious, so go soft on him. Give him a tasty distraction. Play tag, on one hand, using something you don’t want him touching and on the other, hold a tasty treat and when he lets go reward him with the tasty treat. Play with buddy on the carpet, and whenever he bites, even gently, let out a sharp cry to show discomfort, and walk away remorsefully, this way, he will learn his boundaries. Soothe the pain A distraction alone won’t do the trick. The puppy needs something to chew on. A good treat that will work the trick is to prepare some cold chews. Get a damp napkin, soak it in some chamomile herbal tea and freeze it. Herbs relieve a great deal of pain. This will give him something to chew on, in place of your favorite sheets or curtains. Some puppies are comfortable chewing on plain ice cubes. Throw in a few ice cubes in his food. While you’re at it, grab some chew toys from your local store and throw them at your little pooch, a few at a time. Fill a few of them with dog biscuits and peanut butter for him to chew the pain away. Tip- it’s important that you become familiar with your pet’s mouth at this delicate time. It’s best to have a veterinarian perform an oral examination to assure the overall health of your...

read more

Dementia In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment Options

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dementia In Dogs: Symptoms And Treatment Options

Dogs are living longer thanks to advancements in veterinary medicine, but the aging process can still impact the health of your dog’s brain. The cognitive decline that is characteristic of dementia can occur when aging causes rapid deterioration of your dog’s brain cells, and this can lead to changes in behaviour and awareness. Diagnosing the condition early can improve the treatment outcome, so being aware of the symptoms of dementia in dogs is worthwhile for anyone with a pet dog. Symptoms Dogs with dementia will appear disorientated and can have prolonged periods of irritability. They may not be able to recall training cues or remember where to get a drink of water. It’s also not uncommon for dogs to lose interest in socialising and grooming, and some dogs experience incontinence and frequent night waking.   Treatment Options Your vet will confirm your dog has dementia by taking details of their symptoms and health history. They will take a sample of your dog’s blood to rule out other conditions that can have the same symptoms, such as thyroid dysfunction or low levels of vitamin B12. A diagnostic MRI scan can be arranged if your vet is concerned your dog may have a brain injury or tumour. When your vet is confident your dog has developed dementia, they will discuss a treatment plan with you. Dementia can’t be cured, but cognitive decline can be slowed and cognitive functioning can often be improved. Your vet can work with you to develop a daily routine that provides enough mental stimulation and exercise for your dog. Having enough mental stimulation may slow the progression of the illness. Additionally, the vet may recommend that you make changes to your dog’s diet, as certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, selenium and vitamin E, are linked to brain health. You may be advised to change the brand of food you give to your dog or advised to give your dog certain supplements. Dopamine, a chemical required for the transmission of signals in your dog’s brain, can be bolstered using drugs, such as selegiline hydrochloride, and increasing dopamine levels may improve your dog’s memory. This can be particularly useful if they’ve forgotten key parts of their training, such as where is acceptable to relieve themselves. Beginning a treatment regimen in the early stages of dementia can ensure your dog is able to enjoy a good quality of life for longer. So if you’re concerned about your dog’s cognitive health, book a consultation with your vet....

read more

These Signs of Myxomatosis in Your Rabbit Demand Immediate Medical Attention

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on These Signs of Myxomatosis in Your Rabbit Demand Immediate Medical Attention

Myxomatosis is a viral infection that poses significant risk to pet rabbits. In fact, it has been estimated that 90% of the Australian domestic rabbit population is susceptible to the disease – significantly more than the 40% susceptibility rate seen in wild rabbits. Usually fatal, the disease is often carried by blood-sucking insects, and any signs of it demand swift attention from a vet. Here are the top signs that you need to keep an eye out for that signal a vet emergency. Signs of Parasites Since rabbits are usually infected with myxomatosis thanks to fleas, ticks, and other such creatures, one of the earliest signs that your rabbit might be in trouble are the same signs that you’ll notice if they have a few bites. Pronounced scratching or rubbing against the furniture is a clear indication that your rabbit may have been bitten. If they do seem to be scratching and rubbing more than normal, try running your fingers through their fur to see if you can feel or see any bite marks. If you see them, it’s well worth taking your rabbit to the vet. Catching myxomatosis early is always going to be for the best. Swelling Myxomatosis causes fluid to accumulate under the skin, leading to a noticeable swelling around the head and face. The lips, nose, and eyes will often be particularly affected, with swelling in these areas giving the rabbit a sleepy appearance; this will get worse until the rabbit’s eyes are blocked entirely. Ears may also start to swell, causing them to droop. Less noticeably, the anus and genitalia may appear swollen. Runny Eyes One problem with myxomatosis is that it is often initially confused with conjunctivitis; the eyes will frequently start to run during the disease’s early stages. However, myxomatosis is also likely to cause a build-up of thick pus that discharges from around the nose and eyes. Lethargy Rabbits usually like to run and play during the day, but those that are suffering from myxomatosis will not seem so keen. Of course, your rabbit’s activity level is always going to decrease during their lifetime, but any sudden drop in energy levels should be considered a cause for concern. Myxomatosis is usually fatal, but it can be treated if caught early. Additionally, the disease is extremely uncomfortable for a rabbit to live with, so it’s often more humane to put them down before the effects become more pronounced. If you think your pet has been infected, make sure you visit a vet as soon as you...

read more

Cane Toad Poisoning And Your Dog

Posted by on Jan 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cane Toad Poisoning And Your Dog

The giant cane toad is a non-native pest species that’s found in many areas of Australia.  Cane toads produce a highly toxic secretion from glands in their skin, which can be extremely dangerous to dogs that might come into contact with toads in your garden.  But how do you know if your dog has been poisoned, and what action should you take?  Symptoms of cane toad poisoning Curious dogs often mouth slow-moving cane toads to see what they are.  As a defensive response, the toad will release a toxic secretion through skin glands situated behind its neck.  The toxin is absorbed through the skin membranes in the dog’s mouth and is then transported around the dog’s body in its bloodstream. If you suspect that your dog has come into contact with a cane toad, look out for the following symptoms: drooling and salivation red, slimy-looking gums signs of distress, for example whining and pawing at the mouth vomiting disorientation and shivering convulsions If the dog does not receive urgent veterinary treatment, it may ultimately suffer cardiac failure and death. First aid It’s vital that you contact your vet immediately if you suspect cane toad poisoning.  In the meantime, here’s what to do.  Wear rubber gloves to protect yourself from the toxin. Wipe the inside of the dog’s mouth using paper towelling to remove any residual poison, keeping your dog’s mouth positioned downward to prevent him from swallowing.   Try to wash the dog’s mouth out using a slow-trickling hose, allowing the water to drain out of the front.  This helps to get rid of any poisonous slime that might still be present.   Use a wet cloth to wipe around the gums and tongue, rinsing the cloth out thoroughly between wipes. This action may be enough to alleviate symptoms in mild cases of cane toad poisoning.  In more severe cases, the more poison you can remove quickly, the more likely it is that your dog will make a full recovery. Prevention Cane toads are nocturnal, so always keep your dog indoors at night if you have toads in your area.  Dead toads can also be poisonous to pets, so remove any that you find.  Always wear gloves and, if possible, pick up the carcass with a spade, rather than by hand.  Burn the carcass in a spot that’s out of reach of your pets.  In conclusion Cane toads poisoning is potentially fatal to dogs.  If you think your dog has been in contact with a toad, always consult your vet for advice immediately, and contact your local pest control company to deal with the toads on your...

read more

When Does Your Dog Need Emergency Veterinarian Care?

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Does Your Dog Need Emergency Veterinarian Care?

A family dog needs regular medical checkups just like humans do, and usually these checkups can be done annually or as recommended by your veterinarian. However, sometimes your dog may need an emergency trip to the vet to address a severe health issue or other urgent situation, and in some cases, this can be a matter of life or death for your dog. Note some conditions that warrant a trip to an urgent care or 24-hour emergency veterinarian and the symptoms to look out for in your dog. 1. Severe injuries A cut or simple bump or scrape may not warrant a trip to an emergency care clinic for your dog, but if the dog continuously bleeds without stopping or seems overly aggressive toward you and the family, this means it needs emergency care. When a dog is severely injured it may try to protect itself even from its caregivers, so note its temperament along with the injury itself. If you cannot safely approach your dog, call for assistance and, if necessary, muzzle the dog before putting it on a stretcher made of bed sheets; this will allow you to safely and gently carry the dog to your car and get it to an emergency vet. 2. Heatstroke Always provide your dog with shade and adequate water during summertime, and never leave it outside in extreme heat. Your dog can suffer heatstroke very easily, especially those with thick coats of fur that keep their body heat inside. Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, lying down for long periods, and a higher body temperature. Your dog may also seem lethargic and listless, and you may notice a weak or rapid pulse. 3. Paralysis or damage to limbs If your dog tries to stand but obviously has difficulty with a limb, or cannot even stand at all, this can mean it has suffered a severe injury or may have developed arthritis that is now very severe and painful. It’s never good to simply pull your dog up and expect it to stand as you could be putting pressure on a damaged limb and causing additional pain. Instead, gently carry your dog without putting pressure on the part of their body that is in distress and take them to an emergency care clinic. If your dog has been injured, it may have a broken bone that needs setting or otherwise need urgent care for internal injuries, or it may need special assistance for their arthritis or other...

read more

Understanding Poisoning In Dogs

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Your dog is at risk of poisoning from common household cleaners, petroleum products, pest control poisons, antifreeze, and some foods such as chocolate. If you witness your dog ingesting a poisonous substance or fear they may have, take them to your vet immediately as some poisons can be fatal or cause kidney failure. Here’s what you need to know about poisoning in dogs: Symptoms Symptoms will vary depending on the ingested substance, but can include: Vomiting Diarrhoea Confusion Fever Lethargy Difficulty breathing Excessive salivation Stiff muscles Seizures Loss of balance and co-ordination Diagnosis Your vet will take a detailed account of your dog’s symptoms and health history. If possible, take the substance you think your dog may have ingested and a sample of their vomit to your vet’s surgery. This can speed up their diagnosis and potentially save your dog’s life. The vet will want to take blood samples from your dog to test for the presence of common poisons, but may start a broad poisoning treatment regimen while they wait for the test results. Treatment The aim of treatment is to either remove the poisonous substance from your dog’s body or neutralise it before further absorption occurs. Certain poisons can be neutralised with an antidote, but if no antidote is available your vet will try one of the following techniques for purging the poison from your dog’s body: Enemas – When enemas are inserted into your dog’s rear end they stimulate their bowel and encourage intestinal emptying. This option can be a little messy, but it’s a quick way of cleaning out your dog’s digestive system. Your dog will remain in the vet’s surgery until blood work shows no evidence of poison in their system. Activated charcoal – This remedy is given as a drink and can be administered through a nasogastric tube if your dog is unable to drink it on their own. Activated charcoal works by absorbing the poisonous substance, which is then removed from your dog’s body along with the charcoal when they have a bowel movement.   Gastric lavage – This involves washing out your dog’s stomach by inserting a small tube and flushing their gastrointestinal system with water. Diuretic drugs are often administered alongside gastric lavage to encourage the secretion of the extra water and poison through your dog’s urinary tract. Additionally, if your dog is dehydrated from vomiting, your vet will give them intravenous fluids to balance their electrolyte levels. Once your dog has been treated, your vet will want to keep an eye on them to ensure they haven’t experienced any long-term damage such as kidney failure. Don’t assume because you’re a responsible pet owner your dog will be safe from the risk of ingesting poison. Unfortunately, your dog can get hold of bait left out by irresponsible neighbours or ingest a poisoned dead animal that may have found its way into your garden. Stay vigilant at all times, and if your dog experiences any of the symptoms of poisoning schedule and urgent appointment with your vet at clinics such as Warnbro Veterinary...

read more

Keep Your Dog Healthy on the Hiking Trail

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Taking your dog hiking can be extremely enjoyable, and it’s great for their health to get some added exercise. However, making mistakes on the trail could endanger your doggie, so follow this simple guide to make sure that their health is never put in jeopardy. Understand the Capability of Your Dog Dogs usually have enough enthusiasm to suggest that they’re ready for anything, but that isn’t always the case. It’s up to you to gauge whether a particular hike is going to be too much for them, and there are a few standard things to consider. A smaller dog might not want to go as far, and even those with high energy levels might find certain terrain difficult. Thick coated dogs are more suited to hiking in cooler temperatures, or at least under shade, whereas dog’s with small amounts of hair will struggle in the cold. Be Vigilant Against Ticks Ticks can spread diseases and cause illnesses, so make sure you keep your dog away from the trail during seasons in which they tend to be prevalent. Even outside of those times, make sure that you thoroughly check your dog when it comes off the trail. Use your fingertips to search the dog’s coat. Ticks are mostly found in front of the front legs, but can appear all over, even in places you might not expect, such as between the paws or under the collar. Should you find one, use a pair of fine tweezers to pull it out. Grasp close to the skin, and avoid putting pressure on the tick’s body. Keep Protected   Keeping your dog vaccinated is always important, but it becomes even more vital if you’re going to head out on the trail. Additionally, ensure that flea and worming treatments are up to date, and keep and adequate stock at home. It’s all too easy to pick up those pests when you’re exploring the great outdoors. Just ask your vet whether any additional vaccinations or treatments are needed. Water Safety Dogs dehydrate much faster than humans, so make sure you carry plenty of water – or a water treatment kit – when you’re engaging in longer hikes. Remember that dogs need to be protected from unclean water as much as you do. Try to stop them drinking from rivers, puddles, and lakes. The best way to do this is by supplying plenty of your own water. Bring a collapsible water bowl to make life easier. Protect the Paws The pads on a dog’s paws can take a beating, but prolonged walking and running on difficult terrain might still cause injury. This is especially true when you’re hiking through rocky landscapes, but is also an issue with ice, snow, or intense heat. Dog boots provide good protection and last for a long time. However, some dogs don’t take to them. If this is the case, just make sure that you stop every once and again to check for cuts, scrapes and bruises, and pay attention to the dog’s gait. Enjoying the trail with your four-legged friend can be great fun if you take sensible precautions like those listed above. However, if your dog suffers any kind of injury on the trail then make sure to take them to a vet as soon as possible.   For...

read more

Is Your Guinea Pig Off His Food? Why This Could Relate to Dental Problems

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Continuous eating is vital for a guinea pig’s health. Their gut must always be moving in order for them to survive, which is why when you check on your guinea pig they’ll either be eating or sleeping. It’s quite a shock to watch your guinea pig for a length of time and not see them eating, or to offer them a piece of vegetable and for them not to eat it. If your guinea pig isn’t eating, they may have a problem with their teeth. Signs of dental problems As a guinea pig constantly eats, so their teeth continually grow. You should make sure you guinea pig always has access to hay and water, as well as a specifically designed wooden house or toy for them to gnaw on to keep their teeth worn down. But even with the correct diet and stimulation, teeth can still grow awkwardly. Signs of dental problems to look out for include: Interested in food and will take if from you, but won’t eat it. Eating slower than usual. Exaggerated ear movements when eating. Eating soft food only, such as eating the cucumber flesh but not the skin. Drooling or always has a wet chin. Starting to lose weight. Not eating, whatever the reason, is very serious in guinea pigs and you should take it to a veterinary clinic as soon as possible. While you’re waiting If you cannot see your vet straight away, you will need to keep food going into your guinea pig. Try offering your guinea pig their favourite foods. Grass is often soft enough to be eating despite dental problems. Cut the grass so the guinea pig doesn’t have to pull it, and offer them handfuls. In an emergency you may need to hand feed them. Soak some pellets in warm water and then feed this mixture through a syringe gently, going in at the side of the mouth to prevent choking. Your vet can advise you on the amount of frequency with which to hand feed, and this will depend on the guinea pig’s weight so weigh them first. For example, a guinea pig weighing 1kg will need approximately 60 grams of pellets mixed with 100ml of water. Treatment Your vet will take a good look inside your guinea pig’s mouth, as well as give an overall check of their body, and may also do an x-ray to check for any problems with the teeth. Treatments will depend on the diagnosis and can range from a small procedure to get rid of any sharp points to surgery to remove affected teeth and abscesses. During recovery, your guinea pig may be prescribed probiotics which help to keep their gut moving while they’re still unable to eat. Try feeding your guinea pig their favourite foods to help them realise they can eat again. It can be scary when your guinea pig stops eating, but if caught early and treated immediately, your guinea pig can make a full...

read more

Understanding Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) In Dogs

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic condition that causes inflammation anywhere in your dog’s gastrointestinal system, with the large and small bowel being most commonly affected. Although the cause of IBD is not known, it’s thought an environmental or genetic trigger may cause the immune system to overreact, which can result in inflammation. Some breeds, including Irish setters and French bulldogs, seem to be at greater risk of developing IBD, but the disease can affect any dog. Here’s what you need to know about IBD in dogs: Symptoms Common symptoms of IBD include: Diarrhoea or constipation Vomiting Flatulence and abdominal rumbling Weight loss Fatigue Blood in stools If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, have them examined by your vet as soon as possible. Diagnosis Your vet will take a detailed account of your dog’s symptoms and combine this information with diagnostic testing to form a complete picture of your dog’s health. The following tests can be used to diagnose IBD in dogs: Complete Blood Count – This test can detect inflammation and anaemia, which can affect your dog if their intestines have been bleeding. Urinalysis – This test is useful for identifying bacterial infections and dehydration, which can result if you’re dog’s had chronic diarrhoea. Faecal Examination – Examining your dog’s faeces can rule out parasites as the cause of their symptoms. It’s also a useful test for detecting inflammation and intestinal bleeding. Barium Contrast – Your dog will be given a drink containing barium sulphate, which enables their intestines to be seen more clearly when x-rayed. The test is useful for identifying areas of the bowel that have narrowed due to inflammation or areas of bowel wall that have thickened, which indicates disease activity. Treatment IBD cannot be cured, so the aim of treatment is to control the disease and ease your dog’s symptoms. Immunosuppressive medications are often used to bring your dog’s overactive immune system back within the normal range. Your dog will need regular bloodwork while on this type of medication to ensure they are receiving the optimum dose. Antibiotics will be prescribed if your dog’s bowel is overrun with bad bacteria, which can happen during periods of disease activity. Your dog will be given intravenous fluids if they are dehydrated. Additionally, you will be given advice on how to manage their diet as they may be limited to food that’s easy to digest. Intestinal inflammation can make it difficult for your dog to absorb some vitamins and minerals, so your vet will give you advice on supplementation. Your dog can maintain a good quality of life after diagnosis as long as you adhere to their medication schedule and the dietary advice offered by your vet. If you’re concerned about your dog’s intestinal health, schedule an appointment with your vet such as Baw Baw Paws Vet Clinic and have them checked...

read more

4 Dog Emergencies You Should Never Ignore

Posted by on Mar 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

There may be times when it’s obvious that your pet is having a health crisis or emergency and needs to visit the vet at once; gashes and other wounds or extreme vomiting are obvious signs of health emergencies that need medical attention. However, it’s good to understand other common signs of serious health concerns for a pet so you know to get your dog to a vet as quickly as possible. Note the following. 1. Difficulty Breathing Dogs often pant in warm weather to cool themselves, but any other type of difficulty breathing can signal a serious health concern. If your dog is making unusual or alarming noises when breathing or is pursing his or her lips during breathing, this often means an obstruction or collapse of breathing passages. You typically don’t have much time to respond, so get your dog to a vet as quickly as possible. 2. Abdominal Swelling or Distension When a dog looks obviously bloated with a distended stomach, this often means that the gastric system has become dilated. This is a very serious health condition and can be deadly for a dog. If you notice a distended stomach along with unsuccessful attempts to vomit as well as the inability to get comfortable, this requires emergency intervention. 3. Seizures Seizures often mean that a dog has ingested something toxic. If you notice seizures and especially if your dog has recently been outside or is vomiting, you need to get your pet to a vet immediately. Toxins can be absorbed into your pet’s system very quickly and seizures and excessive vomiting are very dangerous in of themselves. If you know something that your dog has eaten that may be toxic such as a wild animal, note this to your vet. 4. Not Eating or Drinking Any dog might pass up the occasional meal if they’re too tired or are being finicky and don’t like what’s being served, but if your dog goes more than one day without eating, and especially if your dog is not drinking water as well, you need to visit the vet immediately. This can mean a sickness in their digestive system or in the case of extreme fatigue, any other health condition that is causing them to be excessively tired. Going too long without eating and drinking can make the sickness even worse, so visit your vet (like those at Ivanhoe Veterinary Clinic) as soon as you notice that your dog is avoiding food and has no interest in the food or water...

read more