All posts by AP

Cat Names (2013)

Jasmine1Here’s what our clients have been naming their cats for the last three years.

Male Cats:

  1. Max
  2. Leo
  3. Charlie, Felix, & Zac
  4. Benji, Darcy, Harry, Jasper, Memphis, Oscar, Pepper, Puss, Sheldon, Simba, Thomas & Wally

Female Cats:

  1. Coco
  2. Molly
  3. Milly, Pepper, Ruby, Zoe
  4. Lilly, Lucy, Luna

Some admirable names for the more unique cats:

For the boys, Ambassador Spock, Apollo, Banjo, Donald Duck, LIttle Al, Noddy, Stinky (!?) and Toulouse, and amongst the girls, Atilla, Bb, Clawdia, Dog (?!), Laxmi, Shredder and Xena.

You can compare this with a similar list from 2012.

AMRRIC visits Yuendumu (September 2012)

This should have been posted many months back, but we were celebrating our Open Day, so here now is a link to a short article that Helen wrote after her stint helping with an AMRRIC (Animal Management in Remote and Rural Indigenous Communities) visit to Yuendumu.

Helen-does-surgery-in-the-kitchen_0We’ll try and get some other photos from that trip up too. And then there’s Canberra Mob’s most recent trip to Utopia (April 2013)… more from that soon, too.

 

Acupuncture

At Hall Veterinary Surgery, we offer acupuncture as an integral part of the total veterinary health care system. This is provided by Helen Purdam who certified with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 1993.

By integrating veterinary acupuncture with western veterinary science, we can offer further treatment options to improve outcomes for our patients.

There are times when conventional medicines prove insufficient for adequate management of common chronic disease such as osteoarthritis and back problems. Acupuncture can improve the comfort and mobility of these pets.

Many of our clients have commented that their pet seems to “just feel happier” after their treatment.

Patients are chosen for acupuncture therapy based on a full clinical examination and temperament. Radiographs are helpful, however they are not required.

Acupuncture treatments take 30 minutes. A program of three treatments at weekly intervals initially is followed by top up treatments as required. The majority of pets tolerate acupuncture well. Light reversible sedation is offered to our more bouncy patients.

 

Bringing your dog into Tasmania

Tasmania is the only state in Australia that is free of hydatid tapeworms. And they want to keep it that way. So if you visiting Tasmania with your dog – and several of our clients do – then it is worthwhile reading Tasmania DPI’s brochure about Bringing a dog into Tasmania.

In short,

Before a dog can enter Tasmania, its owner must have evidence that it has been treated with praziquantel at a dose rate of 5 mg/kg body weight within 14 days before entry to Tasmania. The evidence can be:

  • A statement by a vet;
  • A statutory declaration by the owner; or
  • Other evidence of treatment (such as the pill packet) that is carried by whoever accompanies the dog into Tasmania.

So you can treat your dog yourself and hang on to the packet, or come in to the practice and we’ll worm your dog and give you a statement to wave at the authorities.

 

Smart Puppy Buyer’s Guide

The RSPCA have released a Smart Puppy Buyer’s Guide which provides some very good guidance on where to buy your puppy. Whilst buying a dog from the RSPCA or other shelters or rescue organisations is often saving that animal’s life, sometimes people are after a specific breed.

The RSPCA recommends only buying from reputable breeders who provide a high standard of care for all their dogs, so that you know your animal is not coming from a puppy-farm. Depending on the breed, you will want to talk with the breeder to see if they are taking steps to reduce the risks or incidence of inheritable disorders (eg hip dysplasia or heart valve defects).

The brochure also encourages early desexing of your new puppy, as part of responsible ownership.

So if you are looking to buy a puppy, please first of all see what’s available at your local pound, RSPCA or animal shelter. If you must purchase elsewhere, always look for a reputable breeder. And read the Smart Puppy Buyer’s Guide.

Reward-based training

Dogs play an important part in many of our lives. With proper training from an early age, they can learn to interact with people in a positive way.

With this in mind the Australian Veterinary Association has developed a set of practical recommendations for vets and dog trainers on training methods based on positive reinforcement.

Reward-based training: a guide for dog trainers outlines the benefits of reward-based training and identifies some of the problems associated with alternative training methods. It also includes a number of case studies, examples of training and comprehensive list of references for further reading on the subject.

Jim Riach – Veterinarian

JimI grew up on a farm, went to school in Dubbo, then studied Veterinary Science in Sydney, graduating in 1990. I started my vet career in mixed practice in Armidale, NSW, and eventually married one of my clients. After a stint in the UK, I worked in Taree for a couple of years before moving to Canberra in 1998.

These days I mainly work with small animals but have recently achieved my dream of returning to life among the cows on a small acreage.
Our pets include Jack the Border Collie, and two children. I have a fascination with chimps and chimp behaviour. It’d be good to meet one someday. My other interests are indoor cricket (I’m keen but hopeless), gardening, travel, reading, photography, golf and bushwalking.

Pet Insurance

(This post is archived on our website at https://www.hallvet.com.au/about/pet-insurance/)

Some perspective…

According to the Australian Companion Animal Council,

  • vet fees only account for about 1/4 of the cost of your pet,
  • about 1/3 is spent on other services (toys, kennels, grooming, holiday accommodation etc) and
  • the rest – nearly 1/2 – is spent on food.

Big Bills

But there are times when vet bills loom large because of accident or illness. In the last four years at Hall Veterinary Surgery, about 90% of invoices over $1000 were for dogs. They included conditions as diverse as dog-fight injuries, pancreatitis, surgery for cancers, blocked waterworks, broken bones or cruciate ligaments, snake bite, heart failure, car accidents, tick paralysis, vomiting, diarrhoea, and chemotherapy for cancer.
Big bills hit young pets as well as old.

Budgeting

If unexpected vet bills would blow your budget, you could try one of these strategies to minimise the fallout:

  1. Pet insurance costs range from about $18/month (cats, accident only) or $33/month (dog, accident only) up to $65/month (dog select breed, accident/illness.
    Depending on pre-existing conditions and payout limits, pet insurance will reduce the impact of most big bills. Some plans work on a co-payment system, which reduce the premium if you pay 20% or more of any bill.
    Most insurance companies reimburse you after you’ve paid the vet.
  2. A low-fee credit card kept for emergencies only.
  3. Self-insure by putting a monthly contribution into an interest-bearing account. This is the most cost-effective method for small costs; you don’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions and you can economise on multiple pets -as long as they don’t all get sick at the same time. You can also budget for costs that aren’t covered by the pet insurance companies. These include vaccinations, worming, flea and tick protection and wellness programmes. The average monthly costs below will give you an idea of what to put aside. If a big cost comes up before you’ve accumulated enough you’ll still have to bridge the gap.

Total Spend

The table below shows amounts carers spent on individual pets over the last four years. It breaks this down to the average monthly cost of vet care and the percentage of dogs and cats in that spend category. This is the average per pet for all products and services offered at Hall Vet Surgery, including flea and tick products, prescription diets, dental work, big surgeries, cancer treatment, desexing and vaccinations.

Total spent over 4 Years Ave per Month Dogs Cats
$500 $10 54% 38%
$1,000 $21 28% 17%
$2,000 $43 9% 4%
$5,000 $104 1% 0.4%
$10,000 $208 0.1%

So you can think of the percentages as indicative of the chance that your pet will cost at least that much in vet bills. eg if you own a cat, there’s a 1:250 chance your cat might total $5,000, or a 1:10 chance that your dog might cost over $2,000 over four years.

Pet insurance is more cost-effective if your pet is unlucky enough to have a bad accident or becomes ill. But you have to have your pet insured before it happens!