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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 more about Dental Malocclusions

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

Nail Clipping

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’s 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 backward 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.