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Gastro and Gut Upsets

Diarrhoea and Vomiting in Pets: Guidelines for Care

Diarrhoea is defined as the frequent evacuation of soft or watery stools.
Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of stomach contents through the mouth.

Vomiting and diarrhoea are symptoms commonly linked to various issues collectively known as gastroenteritis. The severity can vary significantly, with some cases being quite serious, such as poisoning, and others being relatively minor, like dietary indiscretion. If a fever is present, an infection may be the underlying cause. Many infections that result in diarrhoea and vomiting are contagious, so if you have a multi-pet household, it is crucial to isolate other pets immediately to prevent the spread of potential infection.

You should assess your pet for signs of dehydration, such as skin tenting or tacky gums. Contact your vet, especially if the pet is young or appears unusually lethargic, as diarrhoea and vomiting can quickly lead to dehydration.

Avoid giving over-the-counter or prescription medications without veterinary approval.
Veterinary staff will be able to provide general advice over the phone, but please keep in mind that phone advice can only ever be general. A specific care plan requires a physical examination.
If vomiting persists for more than 24 hours or your pet is lethargic, not eating/drinking or the vomit has blood in it, bring your pet straight into the clinic.

If your pet’s diarrhoea lasts for more than 48 hours, or your pet is acting sick, such as being lethargic or loss of appetite, seek immediate veterinary care.
For an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, it is essential to have a consultation with a veterinarian.
A vet will assess your pet and if necessary determine the underlying cause and develop a tailored treatment plan.

Ignoring these symptoms or attempting to treat them without veterinary guidance can lead to complications, so seeking expert advice is crucial to ensure your pet’s health and recovery.

Puppy Preventive Healthcare

Puppy Vaccination & Safe Socialisation Guidelines

Newtown Veterinary Clinic offers a preventative healthcare program tailored to the unique needs of your pet. This program is based on current research and recommendations from global vaccination guidelines and information from vaccine and preventative care medication manufacturers.

The guidelines are continually evolving, and recommendations may vary depending on disease prevalence, environmental conditions and your puppy’s lifestyle and risk of disease exposure. Our vets work collaboratively with pet owners to create the best preventative healthcare plan.

Vaccinations
There are 4 main infectious diseases that we routinely vaccinate for:

  • Canine Parvovirus (aka. Parvo)
  • Canine Infectious Hepatitis (aka Adenovirus)
  • Canine Distemper Virus (aka Distemper)
  • Canine Cough (aka Kennel cough)
    • Bordetella Bronchisepta 
    • Parainfluenza Virus

We vaccinate for Parvo, Distemper and Adenovirus because they have the propensity to become very severe, even fatal, in dogs and even more so in puppies. Through routine vaccination, we can minimise the likelihood of your pet contracting these diseases.

Kennel Cough is caused by two main viral factors (some bacteria are also involved; however, we cannot vaccinate against bacteria). It is a disease that is spread rapidly through large congregations of dogs (such as those in a boarding kennel or at a dog park). It causes clinical signs of coughing with lots of mucous production. Through vaccination, these clinical signs can be minimised, and the effects disease lessened.

Vaccinations for puppies require a total of 3 boosters.
The timeline for these is as follows:

  • 1st vaccination: 6-8 weeks of age
  • 2nd vaccination: 10-12 weeks of age
  • 3rd vaccination: 16 weeks of age
  • Adult vaccinations: occur yearly after the completion of the 3rd puppy vaccine 

The chart at the end of this document displays how this coincides with other preventative healthcare measures.

Parasites (Internal and External)
There are 4 main parasites that we prevent for:

  • Fleas
  • Ticks / mites
  • Intestinal worms
  • Heartworm

Current recommendations suggest that puppies should receive a worming product once every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old, then once a month until they are 6 months old, and finally at regular intervals for life. Some products require monthly application, others require once every 3 months. Your vet/nurses will discuss with you which option may be best for your family.

Fleas and Ticks/Mites
These parasites attach to the animal on the skin. These ectoparasites are easily prevented by the application of a parasite prevention product.

Intestinal Worms
Dogs can be affected by a few different kinds of worms, namely roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tapeworm. All of these find homes in the intestines of our pets and can cause varying signs of disease (some cause diarrhoea, others cause intestinal bleeding). These intestinal parasites can be prevented by the application of a parasite prevention product.

Heartworm
As is suggested by the name, heartworm is a worm that lives in the heart. This worm can go undetected, and some animals can live with this parasite and never show clinical signs. However, for those that do show clinical signs, treatment options are limited. It is for this reason that we strongly suggest finding a parasite prevention product which covers heartworm in addition to the intestinal worms and ectoparasites.

Diet
All puppies require a diet that is rich in nutrients and suited to the needs of growing. As such, we recommend a diet that is specifically for puppies. Your vet can assist you in choosing a pet food suited for your family.

Desexing
Desexing is not recommended before 6 months of age. When to desex your dog does depend on various factors including breed, size and health. We will discuss the ideal time to desex your dog to ensure the best outcome.

Socialisation
We advocate for the early socialisation of puppies between 6 and 16 weeks of age, which is the essential learning stage for behavioural development.
For all puppy social experiences before vaccinations are complete, owners should maintain vigilance by following these steps:

  • Avoid areas frequently visited by dogs with unknown vaccination or disease status
  • Early socialisation is best achieved if you know and can organise socialisation with other puppies or dogs that are known to be healthy and vaccinated

NVC’s Puppy Preschool classes are conducted in a safe and clean environment, each puppy that attends must be up to date with vaccinations. This is the best way to ensure we don’t exposure you puppy to any potential illnesses and diseases. 

Identification
All dogs are required to be microchipped. Most often, the microchip is implanted when the puppies are still with the breeder. It is the new owner’s responsibility to ensure that the details are updated. This requires a “change of ownership” form to be completed. Once this form is completed, it must be submitted to council, where it will be processed and updated on the registry. 
Our team can assist you in checking that your details are up-to-date.

Dental SPA

DENTAL SPA

A Dental SPA Day at Newtown Vet Clinic involves a Scale & Polish and Assessment of your pets teeth.

Once the Vet has assesed the health of your pets teeth, we are able to book your pet in for a SPA. Under general anaesthetic we do a full mouth of radiographs and scale and polish the teeth. We chart the mouth and make a plan for any future oral surgery/extractions that may be required.

WHY A DENTAL SPA?
At Newtown Veterinary Clinic, we like to provide options to our clients. Dental disease can often be hidden beneath the gum line, making it difficult to assess its extent without radiographs. These X-rays allow us to accurately evaluate your pet’s oral health and determine the necessary treatments.

When we usually book your pet’s dental procedure, we send through an estimate of the costs as prices for oral surgery can vary. Your pet may require no extractions or multiple extractions, resulting in a wide range of potential costs. We understand that the uncertainty around costs can be concerning for many pet owners.
A Dental SPA means your pet has their scale, polish and assessment including radiographs first, this allows us to see if extractions are required, and we can schedule this next procedure for a few weeks time.
This saves you money as the radiographs and scale and polish are not repeated, the extractions are planned and a definitive dental cost provided for the procedure.

We will always call you during the procedure, to inform you of any teeth that need to be extracted and the associated costs. You will be able to make the decision if you would like to continue with the extractions at this time or schedule for a later date. This cost is in addition to the Dental Spa fee and priced based on oral surgery time.
Note-: we do not like to continue dental procedures beyond 2 hours. If the required oral surgery is extensive, then we will sometimes stage the procedure to ensure safety for our patients under anaesthetic.

Dog Rehab

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Dog Rehabilitation

Dogs are very resilient creatures, but sometimes they need help recovering from an injury, illness or a bit of extra support for our senior arthritic friends. This is where canine rehabilitation comes in.

What is canine rehabilitation?

Canine rehabilitation is a form of physical therapy that focuses on restoring a dog’s mobility, strength, function and can give relief from pain and discomfort. 
Rehab can help dogs recover faster and more completely than if they were left to heal on their own.
It can also help prevent future injuries by strengthening muscles and improving their range of motion. Dogs of all ages can benefit from rehabilitation, from puppies with developmental issues to senior dogs with arthritis.

What does rehabilitation involve?

Rehabilitation involves a specifically trained vet nurse working with the dog to complete a combination of therapeutic exercises and techniques to help regain their mobility, strength, and function.
The rehab nurse will create and implement a rehabilitation plan that is tailored to your dog’s specific needs, they will monitor the dog’s progress and make adjustments to the plan as needed. They can also provide owners with guidance on how to continue rehabilitation exercises at home.

What exercises and techniques does my dog complete?

Depending on the requirements and plan for your dog’s rehabilitation, there are a number of options for exercises and techniques that will be personally tailored to fit your dogs needs. 

We also have the option to measure and fit your dog for a custom made brace to support their recovery.

Brace wearing – A brace is a specialised device designed to provide support and aid in the rehabilitation of dogs with injuries or conditions affecting their limbs. Such as hip dysplasia, arthritis and ligament tears. These braces are often used to support the joint or limb affected by the injury or condition, reducing pain and inflammation, and promoting healing and recovery. In addition to providing support and facilitating healing, they can also help prevent further injury by stabilising the affected limb or joint during physical activity

Range of motion exercises – ROM exercises aim to maintain or improve the motion and flexibility of their joints. The ROM can be assessed by gently manipulating each joint in a dog’s body through its natural flow of movement.

Strengthening exercises – These exercises help build a dog’s strength and muscle mass to improve their balance and coordination, and enhance their overall physical fitness.

Balance and coordination exercises  These may involve standing on a balance board or performing other activities that challenge a dog’s stability to help improve their physical fitness and coordination. 

Hydrotherapy – Hydrotherapy involves using water’s resistance to help dogs recover from injuries. It can help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and increase range of motion, while exercising in a low impact environment. 

Massage therapy – Massage therapy can help reduce pain and stiffness in dogs. It can also help improve circulation and promote relaxation.

If your dog is in need of rehabilitation, having someone to offer encouragement and guidance can make all the difference. 
Talk to us about how our rehab nurse can help get you and your furry friend off on the right paw. 

CALL NEWTOWN VET CLINIC

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Insuring your Pet

Pets are part of our families, they bring joy, companionship, and unconditional love. However, as much as we love them, they can also become a financial burden if they require unexpected medical attention. This is where pet insurance comes in. Pet insurance can help you cover unexpected veterinary bills and provide peace of mind in knowing that your pet will receive the best possible care without the added stress of a financial burden.

Pet Insurance provides financial protection, like humans, pets can fall ill or get injured unexpectedly. In some cases, these illnesses or injuries can require expensive medical attention, such as surgeries or hospitalisations. Pet insurance can help you cover these costs, ensuring that your pet receives the necessary care without breaking the bank. It can also:

  • Prevent difficult decisions: When faced with a sick or injured pet, the last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for their care. Without pet insurance, you may be forced to make difficult decisions about your pet’s treatment or even consider euthanasia if the cost of treatment is too high. Pet insurance can prevent these difficult decisions by providing the financial support you need to provide your pet with the best possible care.
  • Cover a variety of treatments: Pet insurance can cover a wide range of treatments, including surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, and potentially even alternative therapies like acupuncture or hydrotherapy. This means that no matter what your pet needs, you can rest assured that you will be able to provide it without worrying about the cost.
  • Save money in the long run: While pet insurance does require a monthly premium, it can save you money in the long run by reducing the cost of unexpected veterinary bills. By paying a small amount each month, you can avoid large bills down the road, which can be especially important if your pet requires ongoing medical care.
  • Provide peace of mind: Perhaps most importantly, pet insurance provides peace of mind. You never know when your pet may require unexpected medical attention, and having pet insurance can provide comfort in knowing that you will be able to provide them with the care they need without the added stress of a financial burden.

Pet insurance is an important investment for pet owners. It can provide financial protection, prevent difficult decisions, cover a wide range of treatments, save money in the long run, and provide peace of mind. So, if you haven’t already, consider investing in pet insurance for your furry friend, have a chat with us today.

Parasite Protection

You can sign up to the Parasite Prevention Program, which sends you out monthly parasite control so you never forget an application!

Intestinal Worms

When it comes to intestinal worms in your pet, such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworm and tapeworm, prevention is much better than cure.
Intestinal worms are parasites, if your pet is not protected they can easily become infected resulting in serious illness. Some intestinal worms are also transmittable to humans, simply by patting your infected pet the parasites can infect you.

The worms affect your dog or cat’s digestive system, and only take a couple of weeks to mature from larvae to adult worms. Once the larvae have matured the cycle begins, the worms lay eggs which mature into adult worms etc.
It can be difficult to see symptoms of an intestinal parasite until the late stages, which is why it is important to have regular worm treatment in place.

Signs your pet could have worms include:

  • You may see worms in faeces or vomit
  • Your pet starts losing weight
  • A change in fur, becoming dry and coarse
  • Increased appetite, weakness and diarrhoea

If you notice any of these symptoms make an appointment for a consult, we will assess your pet and ensure the appropriate treatment is provided.
There are so many different worming and parasite protection products on the market, you can make an appointment to discuss the best option for your dog or cat with one of our nursing team.

Fleas

Fleas are external parasites that live on the coat and skin of animals and survive by feeding on the blood of their host. What can start as 1 or 2 fleas can quickly turn into an infestation, and breaking the life cycle of the fleas can take months as the flea eggs can lay dormant for up to 6 months.
Initially, the fleas will cause small irritations from biting your pet, if not quickly treated this can lead to severe itchiness, secondary skin infections and even anaemia!

As with all parasites, prevention is the key. It is very important to discuss the best preventative treatment for your pet with us, there is a huge amount of options on the market. Some products are not cat friendly, others can vary in frequency of application, depend on the weight of your pet, and have options of spot-on or tablet treatments. We can recommend the best product to suit your lifestyle and send you reminders when your animal is due for their next treatment, ensuring you stay on top of the medication.

Heartworm

Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal disease that affects dogs and cats. It is caused by a parasitic worm called Dirofilaria immitis, which is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.

The life cycle of the heartworm is complex and involves several stages. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up microfilariae, which are immature heartworms, along with its blood meal. The microfilariae develop into infective larvae inside the mosquito and are then transmitted to a new host when the mosquito bites again.

Once inside the new host, the larvae migrate to the heart and lungs, where they grow into adult worms. As the worms mature in the heart they can cause physical blockages and thickening of the heart and associated blood vessels, leading to a range of symptoms including coughing, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, heartworm infection can result in heart failure and death.

Fortunately, there are very effective preventative treatment options available including tablets, chews, spot-on’s and even 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.

Regular heartworm testing is also recommended for dogs and cats, even if they are already on a preventative regimen. Testing can detect the presence of heartworms before clinical signs appear, allowing for early treatment and better outcomes.

Please call us to discuss the best parasite prevention for your pet

Common Household Toxins

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There are lots of things around the house that can be toxic to your cat or dog, it is important to know what they are so you can keep them out of reach. If you suspect or know that your dog has ingested something toxic, call us for advice. We can assess your pet and induce vomiting to get the toxins out of your pet’s system, we can also hospitalise your pet if they require further support.

Chocolate is the first one that comes to mind when you think about food that is poisonous to dogs, but there are a number of other human foods and products that are also toxic to dogs

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Grapes and grapes products such as sultanas
  • Fruit stones inc apple seeds, cherry pips, peach, apricot and plum stones
  • Coffee and caffeine
  • Xylitol (sugar-free sweetener)
  • Alcohol
  • Potato peelings, green potatoes and rhubarb leaves
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts including macadamia nuts
  • Tobacco
  • Corn cobs
  • Spoiled or mouldy food

Besides foods, there are other items found around the house that are toxic to pets

  • Detergents and cleaning products
  • Human drugs and medication eg vitamins, Ibuprofen, Paracetamol, Ventolin
  • Some plants and flowers like lilies, tulips and daffodils to name a few
  • Batteries
  • Baits like rat and snail bait

If your pet is displaying signs they have eaten something toxic, like vomiting, diarrhoea, shaking, seizures or trouble breathing call us so we can assess your pet. If it is outside of our business hours call Geelong Animal Emergency.

Call Now – 03 5221 5333

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Dental Disease

Dental Disease

Just like humans, our pets are vulnerable to gum disease and problems with their teeth. Alarmingly, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats suffer from some form of dental disease by the age of three.
When there is a build-up of bacteria, food particles and saliva on the teeth plaque is formed. Plaque sticks to the tooth surface above and below the gum line, it appears as a yellow-brown on the teeth, if not removed plaque will calcify into tartar (also known as calculus).
Over time the bacterial infection in tartar causes irreversible changes to occur, these can include the destruction of supportive tissues and bone, resulting in red gums, bad breath and loosening of teeth. This same bacterial infection is also a source of infection for the rest of the body (such as the kidney, liver and heart) and can make your pet seriously ill.
Ultimately, dental disease results in many pets unnecessarily suffering tooth loss, gum infection and pain. It also has the potential to shorten your pet’s lifespan.

How do I know if my pet has dental disease?

Our vets can examine your pet’s teeth on a regular basis and discuss options with you, if necessary we can make a follow-up appointment for a professional dental clean.
The professional dental teeth clean is completed while your pet is anaesthetised, this allows our experts to carry out a thorough dental examination, and clean all teeth without distressing your pet.
A complete dental examination involves charting all present teeth and evaluating their condition, including the degree of tartar, gingivitis (gum inflammation) and any pockets in the gums around the teeth. Our veterinarians will then remove the tartar above the gumline using a special ultrasonic scaler, just like a dentist uses for our teeth. The teeth are then polished using a dental polisher and specialised fine-grade paste.
If the dental disease is not severe the procedure will end here, however, if certain teeth are so severely affected they cannot be saved, extractions will be necessary.
Once all dental work is complete, your pet may be given an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory injection, pets are generally able to go home on the same day.
 
Following a professional dental clean, a plan needs to be implemented to minimise build up of tartar again, and will depend on the severity of your pet’s dental disease.  This may involve regular tooth brushing, feeding raw meaty bones and/or a special diet. It is recommended that all pets be examined 6 months after dental cleaning to determine the effectiveness of your dental care routine.
 

How can I minimise ongoing dental disease?

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

  • Pet Oral wipes to wipe over and clean your pets teeth daily
  • Brushing teeth daily using specialised pet toothbrush and toothpaste. DO NOT use human toothpaste as these may be toxic to your pet!
  • Feed specially formulated dental food
  • Use dental toys, enzymatic chews, or teeth cleaning biscuits
  • 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. 

Read about our Dental SPA option here

Arthritis

Understanding Arthritis

Arthritis is a relatively common degenerative condition affecting the joints, it is a widespread issue among dogs and cats. Arthritis leads to stiffness, reduced mobility and discomfort, while traditional treatments often focus on pain relief, recent breakthroughs in the Veterinary industry have paved the way for new and advanced arthritis management and treatment options.
Supplements such as Antinol Rapid and new monoclonal antibody injections are proven to suppress inflammation and significantly reduce pain, enhancing the well-being of our furry companions.

The Role of Supplements

Supplements including Antinol Rapid have gained popularity in recent times for their potential to support joint health. Packed with essential nutrients such as glucosamine and chondroitin, and some packing anti-inflammatory ingredients like green-lipped mussel and epitalis, supplements aim to promote cartilage repair and reduce inflammation.
Many pet owners have reported improved mobility and increased comfort in their dogs after incorporating recommended supplements into their daily routine.

Monoclonal Antibody Therapy

A recent and very exciting Veterinary Science breakthrough is Monoclonal Antibody (MoAb) therapies, these injections have shown great promise in managing canine and feline arthritis.
The MoAb injection works in a more direct way than traditional treatments, specifically targeting the inflammatory pathways. The treatment neutralises and blocks the nerve growth factor, resulting in :

  • Reduction in nerve sensitivity
  • Decreased inflammation
  • Alleviation of joint pain
  • Slowing of further joint damage
  • Minimising of side effects while maximising efficacy
  • Potential reduction in the progression of Arthritus

Combining Approaches for Comprehensive Care

Incorporating traditional supplements like Antinol with innovative Monoclonal Antibody therapies provides a holistic approach to managing arthritis in pets. The combination of these methods present a multifaceted approach to tackling inflammation, supporting joint health and enhancing overall well-being in arthritic canines & felines.

As veterinary medicine continues to evolve, the options available for managing pet arthritis will continue to expand. Innovations such as new and enhanced supplements, traditional medications and new Monoclonal Antibody therapies present groundbreaking approaches that hold the potential to revolutionise how we care for our furry companions. Consultation with a veterinarian remains crucial to tailor treatment plans based on individual pets’ needs, ensuring a personalised and effective approach to arthritis management.

Rabbit Care

Rabbits are fantastic pets with plenty of character and sociability. They enjoy the company of humans and make great pets for introducing children to animal ownership. They are quiet, clean, and easy to train, making them an ideal pet for those who work or are often away from home.

To ensure your rabbit’s safety, it’s essential to provide a predator-proof enclosure. A suitable hutch should be divided into two compartments, one with wire mesh for natural light and fresh air and the other enclosed for protection from weather and as a secure sleeping place. The hutch floor should be covered with newspaper and bedding material like straw or hay to provide warmth, comfort and prevent pressure sores.

It’s crucial to choose a location for the hutch that considers extreme weather conditions and ventilation. In Australia, rabbits are particularly sensitive to hot summer temperatures and may die from heat stroke if the hutch isn’t in a cool, shady area.

Your rabbit should have at least two hours of exercise outside of the hutch each day. Regular handling and brushing to remove dead hairs and tangles are beneficial to keep your bunny tame and healthy. It’s also important to check for grass seeds stuck in their eyes, ears, and nose daily and ensure their rear end is clean and dry to prevent fly strike.

Feeding and nutrition are vital to maintaining your rabbit’s health. Many commercial rabbit foods lack enough fiber and contain too much fat and sugar. Rabbits are herbivores and need a diet consisting mainly of vegetables. Grass or hay is an essential component of their diet and helps wear down their continuously growing teeth while preventing boredom. Ideally, your bunny should be fed 85% hay and 15% vegetables such as Asian greens or endive (lettuce and cabbage can cause diarrhoea). Treats such as fruits, root veggies(carrots), capsicum and pellets should only be offered in small amounts (1 – 2 tablespoons per day per rabbit). Fresh water should always be available using both a drip feed bottle and an open container.

Regular veterinary care is crucial for rabbits. They should have routine check-ups, including vaccinations against calicivirus and desexing to prevent reproductive cancers in females. Calicivirus has been used to control and reduce the feral rabbit population in Australia since 1996, and healthy rabbits should be vaccinated every six months to help protect them.

If you’re considering getting a rabbit, it’s important to understand the responsibility that comes with their care. Providing a safe and comfortable home, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and veterinary care will ensure your furry friend lives a happy and healthy life. If you have any questions about rabbit care or need further advice, don’t hesitate to book an appointment with us to discuss how to keep your rabbit in optimal health.

If you would like to discuss how to keep your rabbit in optimal health, give us call

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