Services

Health Checks

Pets, on average, age five to eight times faster than humans. By age two, most pets have already reached adulthood. At age four, many are entering middle age. By age seven, many dogs, particularly larger breeds, are entering their senior years.

Because pets age so rapidly, major health changes can occur in a short amount of time. The risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and other serious conditions all increase with age.

Since pets are living longer these days, chances are that many may experience a potentially serious illness during their lifetime. Annual health checks can help your veterinarian diagnose, treat or even prevent problems before they become life-threatening. They’re also a great opportunity to ask us about nutrition, behaviour or any other issues.

Call us today to book a health check for your pet with one of our vets.

The Most Important Annual Health Screenings for Adult Dogs and Cats:

  • Vaccinations
  • Parasite check
  • Heart check
  • Dental health
  • Blood testing
  • Blood Pressure Monitoring
  • Chemistry panel
  • Urinalysis
  • Additional exams for senior dogs (7+ years)
  • Osteoarthritis check
  • Xrays – Chest, Abdomen, Hips and Stifles (to name a few)
  • Thyroid check
  • Additional exams for senior cats (7+ years)
  • Renal disease screen
  • Thyroid check

Cat Vaccination

Vaccinations have revolutionised control of infectious disease in our pets. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect the pet population as a whole. Responsible pet care requires kittens to be given their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives. Adult cats require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease.

Kitten Vaccination

Kittens are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first couple of months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary for a kitten.

Adult Cat Vaccination

The immunity from kitten vaccination weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.

A Guide to Cat Vaccination

Initial vaccination programs should provide at least two vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart against some or all of the following; feline panleucopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, starting at or after 8 weeks of age. Three vaccinations, 2 to 4 weeks apart, against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are also recommended if your cat is going to have outside access.

After Vaccination Care

Following vaccination your cat may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact us for advice.

Please give us a call to discuss a suitable vaccination regime for your pet kitten or cat.

Infectious Diseases of Cats That We Vaccinate Against

Feline Enteritis (Also known as Feline Panleucopenia)

It is very contagious and the death rate is high, especially under 12 months of age. Pregnant cats may lose their young or give birth to kittens with abnormalities, quite often with brain damage. Symptoms are depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood and severe abdominal pain.

The virus spreads so easily that heavily contaminated areas may need cleaning with a special disinfectant. Cats that do recover may continue to carry the virus for some time and infect other cats.

Feline Respiratory Disease (Catflu)

It is caused in 90% of cases by feline herpesvirus (feline rhinotracheitis) and/or feline calicivirus.

Feline respiratory disease affects cats of all ages, especially young kittens, Siamese and Burmese cats. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers.

Fortunately, the death rate is low except in young kittens, but the disease is distressing and may persist for several weeks. Recovered cats can continue to carry and spread the infection for long periods, and can show signs of the disease again if they become stressed.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

Feline AIDS is a disease caused by infection with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and affects the cat’s immune system. Their natural defence against attack by other diseases may be seriously affected, much in the same way as human AIDS.
This disease is not transmissible to humans.

FIV is almost always transmitted by bites from infected cats. The virus that causes the disease is present in saliva.
While some infected cats show no sign of disease, others may display initial symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes.

As the disease progresses, symptoms may occur such as weight loss, sores in and around the mouth, eye lesions, poor coat and chronic infections.

Eventually, the immune system becomes too weak to fight off other infections and diseases. As a result, the cat may die from one of these subsequent infections.

Unfortunately in Australia, a lot of cats are infected with this virus.

Dog Vaccination

Like cats, vaccination of pups and dogs is essential for a healthier life. Adult dogs require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease.

Puppy Vaccination
Puppies are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first few months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary in a puppy.

Adult Dog Vaccination

The immunity from puppy vaccination weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations, as required, will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.

After Vaccination Care

Following vaccination your dog may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact us for advice.

Infectious Diseases of Dogs That We Have Vaccinate Against

Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is a disease that affects dogs of all ages but is most serious in young pups and older dogs. The virus attacks the intestines causing bloodstained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Dogs often die from severe dehydration despite intensive veterinary care.

It is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread. The virus is so persistent that the infected dog’s environment needs to be cleaned with a potent disinfectant to prevent spread to other dogs. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, especially in summer.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk.

Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage.

Canine Hepatitis

Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper is extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.

Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. In severe cases death can occur within 24 to 36 hours. Dogs that recover may develop long term liver and kidney problems and can act as carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.

Canine Cough

Canine cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious diseases, which can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper.

Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is distressing for pet dogs and their owners. It is a major problem for working and sporting dogs. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.

Canine Coronavirus

Canine coronavirus is another contagious virus and causes depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea especially in young dogs. Diarrhoea may last for several days in some cases. Although most dogs will recover with treatment, coronavirus has the potential to be fatal, especially if other infectious agents such as parvovirus are present.

Canine Leptospirosis

Canine leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some areas and can cause high death rates. It is spread by the urine of rats and is usually transmitted to dogs by contaminated food and water, or by rat bites.

There’s an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as rubbish dumps or green sugar cane cutting areas. Incidence can also increase after long periods of wet weather, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate. Leptospirosis is an animal disease that can be passed to humans who may then suffer a persisting “flu like” illness.

Intestinal Worms

There are two broad categories of worms that may affect our pet dogs and cats, intestinal worms and heartworms. Please see our heartworm page for more information.

Worming is one of the first health care issues pet owners need to address as pups and kittens are the most susceptible. As their name suggests, intestinal worms are parasites that live inside your pet’s intestines. These worms range in size from small to surprisingly large (up to 18cm in length). Regardless of their size however, they all have negative and potentially deadly effects.

Most species of animal, as well as humans, can be infected with intestinal worms including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, fish, birds and reptiles.

Common Intestinal Worms in Australian Pets are:

  • Roundworm
  • Tapeworm
  • Whipworm
  • Hookworm

If your pet has a large number of worms it may find it difficult to maintain body condition and it can lose weight. In some cases it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even anaemia (a low red blood cell level). Occasionally, heavy intestinal worm burdens can cause death.

Worms sometimes have complex lifecycles which involve a period of existence and development outside your pet. Understanding the life cycle of a specific worm is important so that strategies for treatment and prevention can be designed and implemented. For instance, some tapeworms need to pass through fleas to complete their lifecycle, so flea prevention is an important method of controlling tapeworms.

It is important to maintain a routine worming treatment for your pets, to reduce the incidence of infection and to reduce environmental contamination. There are many worming treatments available for the various worm infections that occur in our pets. These are available as tablets, spot-ons, or pastes. Re-infection is a common problem, particularly in pets that are in contact with a heavily contaminated environment. Another very important reason to worm your pets is to protect your family; as children in particular can become infected with certain dog and cat worms.

Below are Some Tips to Consider Regarding Worm Prevention:

  • Promptly clean up pet faeces
  • Practice good hygiene, always encourage children to wash their hands regularly (especially after playing in dirt or sandpits, playing with pets or prior to eating)
  • Prevent children from playing where the soil may be contaminated
  • Keep your pet’s environment clean
  • Always dispose of dog faeces in public parks and playgrounds

Heartworm

There are two broad categories of worms that may affect our pet dogs and cats, heartworm and intestinal worms. Please see our intestinal worm page for more information.

Heartworm, or Dirofilaria immitis, is a parasite that is spread by mosquitoes, so you pet does not even need to be in contact with other pets to become infected!

Heartworm has a complicated life cycle. Infected dogs have microfilaria, an immature form of heartworm, circulating in their bloodstream. Microfilariae are sucked up by mosquitoes when feeding on the blood of infected dogs. The immature parasite develops into a heartworm larva inside the mosquito, then a single bite from a carrier mosquito can infect your pet (dog or cat).

As the worms mature in the heart they can cause a physical blockage as well as thickening of the heart and associated blood vessels. In the earlystages of infection there may be no visible signs, however, infection may eventually lead to signs of heart failure(reluctance to exercise, lethargy, coughing) and even death. Heartworm is present throughout most of Australia (except Tasmania and arid areas).

Thankfully, heartworm is very easy to prevent and should form part of your pet health care routine. We have very effective preventative treatment options available including tablets, chews, and best of all, an annual injection for dogs administered by one of our vets. If your pet has not been on heartworm prevention we strongly recommend a heartworm test prior to starting a prevention program, followed by a repeat test 6 months after commencing.

Flea Control

Fleas are most often seen during the warmer months but as we keep our homes nice and warm throughout winter, we see fleas all year round. Only a small part of the adult flea population actually lives on your pet. The fleas’ eggs and larvae live in the environment and can survive for up to a year, so it is important to not only treat your animal directly for fleas but also decontaminate the environment as well. Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest cycle and regularly vacuum/clean carpets. We do not recommend flea collars or flea shampoos alone as they fail to address the environmental flea infestation.

Fleas will tend to jump onto your pet only to feed and then jump off again. Dogs and cats can have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis or FAD. Treatment of FAD can be complicated and veterinary consultation is recommended.

Some Signs That Your Pet May Have Fleas Include:

  • Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump
  • You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region)
  • It can be difficult to find the fleas, but is relatively easy to check for flea dirt. Simply moisten a cotton ball, part your pet’s fur and place the cotton ball on the skin over the rump. If the cotton ball takes on black specs surrounded by a reddish area, this may be flea dirt and can indicate that your pet has fleas.

Warning: Some brands of flea treatments for dogs are potentially lethal when applied to cats. Always seek veterinary advice about the best flea treatments for your pet.

Tick Control

The main tick of concern for pet owners is the Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyclus) as it can cause paralysis and death within 2-4 days of attachment. Whilst Paralysis Ticks occur naturally only in certain geographic areas (mainly along the coastal eastern seaboard of Australia) they can attach to pets who visit these areas during the warmer months, particularly if they are allowed to run through scrub. Ticks may also hitch a ride back with you or a neighbour in cars, rugs, towels or plants.

If you notice a tick on a pet ring please call us immediately to make an appointment to have it removed. Most pets require treatment. You may remove the tick first if you can’t get to a vet straight away. To do this, grasp the tick firmly where it attaches to your pet’s skin and give a quick sideways pull. It is better not to try and kill the tick first as the dying tick may inject more of its potent toxin into your pet. If you are not confident removing the tick please call us immediately.

Even when a tick is removed, treatment is usually required. If you are unable to attend a vet clinic, your pet should be kept cool and quiet whilst being closely monitored for 24 hours. If your pet starts to display any signs of tick paralysis, such as vomiting, weakness, staggering, breathing difficulty, or altered bark, seek immediate veterinary attention as this is a genuine veterinary emergency. If your pet is showing any of the above signs, do not offer food or water as these may be accidentally inhaled in tick-affected dogs.

Treatment of tick paralysis includes searching for and removing all ticks. This may include clipping the animal completely and/or the use of medication to kill remaining ticks. Tick antiserum is administered to counteract the toxin and supportive care is provided during recovery. This can be costly in comparison to what it would cost to use tick prevention initially.

However, no tick prevention is 100% effective and should always be used in combination with daily searches of your pet. Searching your pet shouldn’t cease once you return from tick-affected regions but should continue for at least 7 days after returning home. Use your fingers to feel over the entire body, especially under the collar, on the face and around the front of your pet. Don’t forget to check carefully between the toes, under the lips and in the ears.

Dentistry

Dentistry is a rapidly growing area of veterinary science. We have seen a greater awareness over the last 25 years of its importance to the overall health of the animals we treat.

Just like humans, pets’ teeth need looking after too! The health of their teeth and gums has a significant impact on their overall quality of life. Imagine how your mouth would feel, and smell, if you never brushed your teeth. Imagine having a really bad toothache and not being able to tell anyone about it!

Dental disease begins with a build up of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris, can cause plaque to accumulate on the tooth. As calcium salts are deposited, plaque turns to tartar (brown or yellow material starting near the gum line of the tooth). Without proper preventive or therapeutic care, plaque and tartar build-up leads to periodontal disease, which affects the tissues and structures supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can cause oral pain, tooth loss and even heart or kidney problems.

Common Signs of Dental Disease in Order of Severity, Include:

  • Yellow-brown tartar around the gum line
  • Inflamed, red gums
  • Bad breath
  • Change in eating or chewing habits (especially in cats)
  • Pawing at the face or mouth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth

If your pet is showing any of these signs of dental disease please book an appointment to see one of our veterinarians. Early assessment and action can save your pet’s teeth!

How Can I Prevent Dental Disease?

Long-term control and prevention of dental disease requires regular home care. The best way to begin this is to accustom your pet from an early age. Dental home care may include:

  • Brushing teeth daily – just like us! This is the best form of dental hygiene. Pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are now available. Please do not use human toothpaste formulas on your pet as they are not designed to be swallowed and may be toxic.
  • Feed pets raw meaty bones or special dental diets. This can help reduce the accumulation of tartar.
  • Use dental toys, enzymatic chews, or teeth cleaning biscuits, all of which may help keep the teeth clean.

Regular and frequent attention to your pet’s teeth may avoid the need for a professional dental clean under anaesthetic, and will also improve your pet’s overall health.

What Does a Professional Dental Clean Involve?

It is the same as a scale and polish done by a dentist for us. However, unlike us, our pets won’t sit still or open their mouth to allow a comprehensive cleaning of their teeth. For this reason our pets need to have a general anaesthetic for a professional dental clean. Your pet will need to be assessed by one of our veterinarians. The degree of dental disease will be assessed to determine if extractions, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories will be required.

The assessment may also include a physical exam, blood tests and urine tests to ensure they are healthy prior to having an anaesthetic. Once anaesthetised, we can give the teeth a thorough cleaning using our specialised dental equipment. When your pet goes home we will also discuss methods of reducing dental disease in the future.

Radiography (Xrays)

Our hospital is fully equipped to take radiographs (often called X-rays) of your pet. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires radiographs. Radiographs are a very important tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving bones, the chest or abdomen.

What happens to my pet when it is booked in for radiographs?
Most of our patients are admitted into hospital for the day to have radiographs taken, unless it is an emergency and we’ll take them immediately. We ask that you bring your pet in unfed on the morning of admission, as they will most likely be sedated or anaesthetised to allow us to take the best quality radiographs possible.

Once the radiographs have been taken we will give you a call or book an appointment for our veterinarians to show you the images and to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.

How are Radiographs Made?

Taking a radiograph is very similar to taking a photo, except we use X-rays instead of light rays. The usefulness of radiography as a diagnostic tool is based upon the ability of X-rays to penetrate matter. Different tissues in the body absorb X-rays to differing degrees. Of all the tissues in the body, bone absorbs the most X-rays. This is the reason that bone appears white on a radiograph. Soft tissues, such as lungs or organs, absorb some but not all of the X-rays, so soft tissues appear on a radiograph in different shades of grey. We will demonstrate and explain the radiographs when your pet goes home.

Clinical Pathology

Clinical pathology involves the laboratory evaluation of blood, fluids or body tissues in order to identify existing disease. Common laboratory tests include blood chemistries, complete blood counts, blood clotting times, urinalysis, faecal tests, biopsy examination, cultures and infectious disease testing.

Our animal hospital is equipped with an in-house laboratory that allows our veterinarians to quickly perform many of these diagnostic tests to achieve an accurate and rapid diagnosis. This is especially important in very ill animals and those requiring immediate or emergency treatment. Some more specialised tests may need to be performed by an external veterinary laboratory.

Our in-house laboratory can provide results within minutes. Specialised testing may take 12-24 hours for blood results or up to 14 days for biopsy results, depending on the nature of the test being performed. Ask your veterinarian when to call for your pet’s laboratory results.

Specialist Referrals

When an animal develops an unusual illness or injury, there is often a need for specialised expertise and equipment to properly diagnose and treat the problem. If your pet has a problem that requires this level of expertise we can refer you to a specialist that has earned our trust and confidence in order to give your pet the optimal chance of recovery.

Australian registered veterinary specialists undergo a rigorous training and examination process to obtain their qualifications, and like human specialists are considered to be the epitome of knowledge in their field. We work closely alongside the specialists and together can offer optimum care for pets that require this service.

Specialists are independent veterinarians and set their own fees. It’s a good idea to ask them about costs when you call to make an appointment.

Our sense of responsibility doesn’t end just because you’ve taken your pet to a specialist. If you find yourself faced with difficult decisions regarding the recommended treatment, please don’t hesitate to call us. We’ll be pleased to help you evaluate your options.

We’re happy to discuss and organise a specialist referral if required by your pet.

Desexing

Desexing or neutering your pet is a surgical procedure that prevents them from being able to reproduce. In male pets it is commonly referred to as “castration”, and in female pets as “spaying”.This is the most frequent surgery performed by our vets, and generally your pet is home by the evening of surgery.

The most common age to desex your pet is between 4 and 6 months, however they are never too old to be desexed.

There are Many Benefits to Desexing Your Pet Before 6 Months. They Include:

  • Preventing unwanted litters, which can be very costly, and may add to the already overwhelming number of stray animals that are put down each year
  • Prevention of testicular cancer and prostate disease in males, and it can help prevent pyometra (infection of the uterus) and mammary tumours (breast cancer) in females
  • Stopping the “heat” cycle in females
  • Decreasing aggression towards humans and other animals, especially in males
  • Being less prone to wander, especially in males
  • Living a longer and healthier life
  • Reduction of council registration fees

Common Questions About Desexing

Will desexing affect my pet’s personality?

Your pet will retain their pre-operation personality, possibly with the added bonus of being calmer and less aggressive.
“Should my female have one litter first?”

No – it is actually better for her not to have any litters before being spayed.Her risk of developing breast cancer increases if she is allowed to go through her first heat.

Will it cause my pet to become fat?

Your pet’s metabolism may be slowed due to hormonal changes after desexing,however this is easily managed with adjusting feeding and ensuring adequate exercise. There is no reason a desexed pet cannot be maintained at a normal weight.

Is desexing painful?

As with all surgery, there is some tenderness immediately after the procedure, but most pets will recover very quickly. We administer pain relief prior to surgery and after surgery too.Your pet will be discharged with a short course of pain relief medication to take at home for the first few days after the surgery. In many cases, your pet will likely need some encouragement to take it easy!

Will my dog lose its “guard dog”instinct?

No, your dog will be just as protective of their territory as before the surgery.

What to do before and after surgery?

Before surgery:

  • Make a booking for your pets operation.
  • If your pet is a dog, wash them the day before surgery as they are unable to be washed after until the stitches are removed.
  • Do not give your pet food after 10pm the night before the operation and do not give them any water after 8am on the day of surgery.
  • A blood test may be performed prior to surgery to check vital organ function.
  • The vet will perform a thorough physical examination before administering an anaesthetic.
  • Some pets will require intravenous fluid support during surgery. This will be discussed with you prior to the procedure.
  • To ensure your pet is as comfortable as possible, all pets receive pain relief prior to desexing and to take home for a few days after the procedure.

After Surgery:

  • Keep your pet restrained and quiet as the effects of anaesthetic can take some time to wear off completely.
  • Keeping them quiet is also essential to allow the wound to heal.
  • Food and water should be limited to small portions only on the night after surgery.
  • Follow any dietary instructions that the vet has provided.
  • Ensure all post-surgical medications (if any) are administered as per the label instructions.
  • Ensure your pet’s rest area is clean to avoid infection.
  • Check the incision at least twice daily for any signs of infection or disruption (eg. bleeding, swelling, redness or discharge). Contact the vet immediately if these symptoms appear. Do not wait to see if they will spontaneously resolve.
  • Prevent your pet from licking or chewing the wound. Special cone-shaped collars assist with this problem. A single chew can remove the careful stitching with disastrous effects.
  • Ensure you return to us on time for routine post-operative check-ups and removal of stitches.

Orthopaedic

Orthopaedic surgery encompasses any surgery that is related to bones or joints. It includes procedures such as fracture repairs, ligament repairs and spinal surgery to name a few.

Our veterinarians’ high level of expertise and our practice’s fully equipped surgical suite allows us to perform certain orthopaedic surgical procedures that your pet may require. These may include:

  • Cranial cruciate ligament repair
  • Fracture (broken bone) repair
  • Amputations for severe injuries or bone cancer cases

Complicated orthopaedic cases, such as spinal surgery, will need to be referred to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon. Our veterinarians will assess each case individually and provide the best advice for you and your pet.

 

Emergency Procedures

We provide you and your pets with an after-hours emergency service for critical illness or injury. We hope your pet never needs us for an emergency however, common emergencies relate to car accidents, heart conditions, poisoning and a range of injuries.

Upon arrival, your pet will be assessed by one of our veterinarians. We will aim to provide an estimate of the costs involved with your case, however, please be aware that with emergency procedures costs can vary depending on what services and treatments are required. Our veterinarians will keep you updated regularly during the course of your pet’s stay in hospital. In some cases we may need to refer to a veterinary specialist centre or 24-hour emergency facility.

Microchipping

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is injected under your pet’s skin. It can be done during a normal consultation. The microchip is embedded with a code unique to your pet and is the most effective form of permanent identification. This code is placed onto a national computer database, so it is particularly useful in the return of lost pets. They can also assist where the ownership of an animal is in dispute. In some states of Australia microchipping of pets is now compulsory.

If a pet is ever lost and is handed in at a veterinary clinic or animal shelter a microchip scanner is passed over the animal to reveal the unique code. The vet or animal shelter can then refer to the database to identify the name, address and phone number of the owner, so they can be reunited.

If your pet is not microchipped please give us a call to make an appointment to have one inserted. If you find a lost pet please call us to arrange a scan, we can reunite microchipped pets with their worried owners.

Washing and Grooming

Grooming is an important part of pet care. Depending on the breed, age,and health of your pet, grooming may even need to be a part of you and your pet’s daily routine. Many breeds require less grooming than this, but regular grooming always helps to keep your pet healthy and comfortable. Some breeds don’t shed their hair effectively (eg. Poodles) and require grooming by a professional every 6-8 weeks. Long haired cats can particularly benefit from regular grooming as it helps prevent the formation of knots on the skin and hairballs in the stomach.

Our Professional Grooming Services

We offer a full range of grooming, clipping and washing services for cats and dogs of all sizes and breeds.
Our professional grooming service has many specialised grooming tools like curry brushes, clippers, stripping combs, slicker brushes, rakes and dryers. These tools enable us to tailor the grooming service to the particular needs of your pet, for an overall optimum result.

We also wash your pet (if appropriate) with a suitable shampoo and conditioner. This makes all the difference in the grooming stage and really brings out the shine in your pet’s coat.

Grooming at Home

We encourage you to also engage in regular grooming with your pet at home. There are numerous benefits of regular grooming, for example:

  • Decreased chance of skin problems
  • Optimal skin cleanliness and comfort for you and your pet
  • Improved monitoring of health issues like cuts, heat, swelling, lameness, or changes in temperament.
  • Enhanced behavioural routines with obedient submission during grooming periods
  • Closer bonding with your pet through regular contact

Nail Chipping

Regular nail clipping, or trimming, should be part of the routine care of your pet. It is essential for elderly and indoor pets, whereas outdoor pets may wear their nails down naturally. The requirement for nail trimming can vary depending on breed, age, level of exercise and the environment in which your pet is kept. Working and herding breeds of dogs are active and generally have compact feet with well arched toes that angle the toenails downwards towards the ground. If these dogs are active on hard surfaces such as gravel, rock and concrete, their nails may not need trimming until they slow down with age and exercise less, however you will still need to attend to their dew claws (the little claws on the inside of their front legs that don’t touch the ground) regularly.

Other breeds may have nails that grow more forward than downward, and therefore no matter how much exercise they get on rough ground, it is unlikely they will wear down naturally. Some dogs may benefit from having the tips of their nails taken off once every week or two, however for most it will be longer than this, and you will have to decide what is right for your dog by inspecting its nails on a regular basis. Certainly if you notice a change in the sound of your dog’s nails on hard floors this is a pretty good indication that it is time for a trim.

Cats also require nail clipping, with the frequency depending on their lifestyle. Indoor-only cats will need more regular nail trims whereas outdoor cats may naturally wear their nails and require less frequent trimming.

What happens if my pet nails get too long?

If a pet’s nails are allowed to grow, they can split, break or bleed, causing soreness or infection in your pet’s feet and toes. Long nails can get caught and tear, or grow so long that they can curl backwards into a spiral shape that can make walking very painful for dogs (it’s like walking in shoes that are too small).Cats are able to retract their claws so this is less common for them, however,cats do still need to have their nails regularly clipped (especially if they don’t get much natural wear and tear).

Uncut nails may curl so far that they pierce the paw pad, leading to infection and debilitating pain. Nails should be inspected and/or trimmed on at least a monthly basis. If not, the quick tends to grow out with the nail, making it nearly impossible to cut properly. It is very important not to cut the quick of a nail as this is rich in nerve endings and very painful for the pet. If you do accidentally cut into the quick, pressing the nail into a bar of soap will effectively stop the bleeding.

We have a variety of nail clippers that suit different pets – from the very small to the very tall. Make an appointment today to have your pet’s nails checked. We can also teach you how to do it if you would prefer to cut them yourself.

Boarding Advice

Before considering whether to board your pet please check their vaccination records to make sure they have been vaccinated within the past 12 months. If your pet is due for a booster vaccination make sure this is done well ahead of the boarding period. It is a good idea to contact the boarding facility to check their individual policy as to how soon before boarding a vaccination can be administered.

When choosing a boarding facility, there are a number of factors to consider, such as:

  • How big are individual kennels?
  • Is there any natural light?
  • Will your pet have access to a run during the day?
  • How many kennels are there in the complex? Fewer kennels may mean a quieter, calmer stay.
  • Do the kennels smell bad? If so, this can indicate poor hygiene or ventilation problems.
  • Are the staff/owners welcoming, friendly and polite?
  • Did they require proof of vaccination? Vaccination is a legal requirement to help prevent the spread of disease.
  • Are there signs of overbooking or overcrowding?
  • Do they provide food or can you provide your own pet’s specific diet?
  • Can they medicate dogs if required?
  • Which veterinarian do they use in an emergency?

You will need to inform the boarding facility of any health problems your pet may have had or is prone to. If medication is to be administered you should let them know at time of booking. Write down the dose, frequency and name of medication.
If on long term medication, please ensure you bring along extra just in case. Please provide the boarding facility with our details in the event that your pet needs veterinary attention in your absence.

An ideal boarding facility for your pet has a relaxed, calm atmosphere, created by having fewer kennels/animals, a design that minimises stress and allows maintenance of a high standard of hygiene.

Please give us a call to discuss boarding and determine if your pet is up to date with the required vaccinations.

Nutritional Advice

Along with regular exercise and veterinary care, careful nutrition is the best way you can contribute to your pet’s prolonged good health.

These are the basic nutrients every pet needs:

  • Water is the most essential nutrient in any diet. Your pet’s body is made up of approximately 70% water and will quickly perish without it. Ensure your pet can access fresh, clean water at all times.
  • Carbohydrates supply energy and come from sugars, starch, and fibre from plant sources. Carbohydrates help energize the brain and muscles, making your pet bright and active.
  • Fats also supply energy and in the right amounts help build strong cells and promote nutrient absorption. Too much fat however, can lead to such obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis.
  • Proteins are required for a healthy coat, skin, and nails. Your pet’s body uses the amino acids in proteins to make enzymes and hormones in the blood stream and to maintain a healthy immune system. Proteins can come from plant and meat sources, but cats and dogs need a high-quality animal protein.
  • Vitamins and minerals help regulate many body systems. For example, your pet needs the minerals calcium and phosphorous for strong bones. Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E and C help boost your pet’s immune system during times of stress.

How do you make sure your pet’s diet is healthy?

We strongly recommend that you:

  • Feed premium pet foods. Premium foods offer high-quality ingredients, are made by companies specialising in nutritional research, and show a solid track record of quality and palatability. Feeding generic pet foods may lead to obesity, irregular bowel movements, or excess intestinal gas.
  • Make sure the food is fresh. When you purchase pet food, check for freshness and purchase only the amount necessary for your pet. Store pet food in a cool, dry place and keep it tightly closed. Discard uneaten food and always place fresh food in a clean bowl. In general, hard food (or “kibble”) is preferred for maintaining dental health and minimizing tartar build-up. Soft, canned food tends to be more palatable and can be stored for longer.
  • Feed the right amount. Ask us or check the label for how much to feed according to your pet’s ideal weight (not necessarily the same as their current weight). Avoid feeding pets as much as they want or feeding a large amount at one time. Doing so can lead to obesity, gastrointestinal upset, or even bloat, a life threatening condition.
  • Maintain a daily routine. A regular schedule will help your pet keep normal bowel movements and avoid indoor accidents. Younger pets need to be fed more frequently, as they are usually more energetic and burn more calories.
  • Avoid “people” food. Your pet’s digestive system is simpler than yours and can be easily upset by changes. Feeding table scraps will result in an unbalanced diet, can cause stomach upsets or even life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas.

Life Cycle Feeding

Your pet’s nutritional requirements will change as they age. Puppies need puppy food because it is higher in energy, calcium and protein, but feeding it to an adult dog can lead to obesity.

Likewise, older pets need diets restricted in fat and supplemented with fibre for their optimum health. Many premium senior diets also contain additives to assist in the management of arthritis and can make your pet more comfortable.
Please give us a call to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs. We will tailor a diet specifically for your pet that will give them the optimum quality and length of life.

Remember, you are what you eat, and so is your pet!

Dog Care

Owning a dog provides companionship, loyalty and affection for people of all ages and is an invaluable addition to families and individuals.

However, it is important to find the breed of dog most suitable to your particular lifestyle and be aware of the responsibility that comes with dog ownership before you adopt or purchase a dog.

As your vet, we are willing to discuss the many aspects of dog care, including breed-specific medical problems and routine health care such as vaccinations, flea and tick control, desexing and worming that your future dog may need.

After purchasing your puppy or dog, there are several important aspects of their care, to consider:

  • We strongly recommend that you insure your new dog. Please see our information sheet on insurance for more about this topic.
  • Suitable bedding such as washable rugs, cushions or blankets need to be provided in a weatherproof kennel or indoors.
  • A secure area such as a dog-proof yard is essential. Your dog should never be left unsupervised when tethered.
  • All dogs need daily exercise and mental stimulation to help avoid behavioural and health problems. Dogs view their human owners as being part of their pack and can develop behavioural issues if they feel neglected or excluded. It is also vitally important that dogs are socialised with people and other dogs from an early age in order to learn appropriate interactive behaviours.
  • All pets require a minimum of one health check a year. On average, dogs age five to eight times faster than humans, allowing major health changes to develop in a relatively short amount of time. The risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and other serious conditions all increase with age. However, a visit to us helps us diagnose, treat or even prevent health problems before they become life-threatening. Routine vaccinations, flea and tick control and worming are also recommended. A visit to us is also a good opportunity to ask about nutrition, behaviour, and other issues.
  • Nutrition is an important part of your dogs care. A healthy and balanced diet is essential. This will provide protein to build the body; fats for skin and coat health; carbohydrates for energy; and minerals and vitamins for good bone development and healthy tissues.
  • It is essential to keep your dogs teeth clean. A regular dental care routine will minimise tartar build-up on your pet’s teeth. Never give your dog cooked bones, as these can be brittle and easily splinter, causing harm to your dog.
  • Fresh water bowls must always be available for your dog. They should be kept clean and placed in the shade.
  • Grooming and brushing is essential, particularly for long-haired breeds. This helps remove dust, dead skin, loose hairs, grass seeds, and tangles and it also assists to shorten the coat moult, which occurs every autumn and spring. Dirty or smelly dogs should be bathed. However, keep in mind that frequent shampooing can strip the natural oils from the coat and cause skin dryness and irritation.

Our staff are always keen to discuss routine health care for your current or future pets. For further information about pet care, please phone our helpful staff during business hours.

Cat Care

Cats can make excellent companions and are wonderful pets. However, with an average lifespan ranging from 15-20 years, owning a cat is a long-term commitment and their needs must be carefully considered.

Before you bring your cat or kitten home, we suggest you contact your local council and enquire about its regulations regarding such things as night curfews, compulsory containment within a property, desexing and microchipping.

A cat’s housing needs are simple. Whilst they will usually find a corner that suits them best indoors or outdoors, provide them with a basket, box or chair in a place where they feel safe and protected. Increasingly, people are using cat enclosures for outdoor cats. Placed in a weatherproof area, they keep them safe from neighbourhood cats and protect local wildlife. Indoor cats generally live longer and lead healthier lives.

It is recommended a scratching post be available for your cat to keep their claws in good condition for climbing and defending themselves. This will also reduce the chances of your furniture being scratched.

Cats like to be clean at all times. As a result, cats can easily be toilet trained if a litter tray filled with dry earth, sand, or cat litter is available. The litter tray should be cleaned daily to remove faeces and the litter itself changed frequently. Ensure the litter tray is placed in a quiet and private location. You may even need multiple trays if you have more than one pet cat. A good rule of thumb is one tray for each cat plus one extra.

All cats need to exercise. As cats naturally like climbing and perching themselves up high, trees and fences, for example, provide good opportunities for them if they have outdoor access. Indoor cats, however, will use furniture to climb and perch. Once again, having a scratch pole or indoor cat gym will give an indoor cat an effective alternative. Providing higher perching locations will also give your cats a more enriched environment.

Most cats require grooming assistance from their owners to remove excess hair. This helps in the reduction of furballs/hairballs and matted/tangled fur, which if left, may result in a visit to us. Except at moulting time, short haired cats are able to groom themselves adequately. In contrast, long haired cats require daily grooming by their owners. Furballs or hairballs can cause appetite and weight loss, and in a worst case scenario, result in surgery. During the moulting season daily brushing is essential and food designed specifically to assist with the reduction of hairballs will also help your cat process shed hair. Unlike dogs, you should not need to bathe a cat.

Most cats are grazers, so we recommend feeding small amounts often. They require a high protein and fat diet. There are many formulations of cat food available and we recommend discussing your cat’s individual nutritional needs with us to choose the most suitable formula. Raw chicken wings/necks are excellent in maintaining good dental health.

Ensure a fresh water bowl is accessible at all times, especially if they have a dry food diet. Whilst many cats love to drink cow’s milk, it’s not recommended as they can be lactose intolerant and experience stomach upsets.

Cats require a minimum of one health check per year. Regular visits help us diagnose, treat or even prevent health problems before they become life-threatening. Routine vaccinations, worming and flea control form the basics of feline medical care. We can also provide additional guidance on nutrition, behaviour, training and life-stage treatments available.

We welcome you to book an appointment with us to discuss how to keep your cat in optimum mental and physical health.