Category Archives: general

Herbal treatment

Pet owners who prefer herbal treatments or have animals with chronic problems will be pleased to hear that  animal herbalist Nicki Froescheis, who is a German-trained veterinarian, has moved to Canberra. Nicki has European postgraduate training in herbal treatment for pets.

Nicki says that herbal treatment is useful for chronic diseases such as arthritis, bladder inflammation, palliative treatment for cancers, immune disorders, dementia and skin diseases as well as many other problems. Herbs are not much help in life threatening conditions or problems which come on suddenly.

Nicki assesses each individual patient and tailors the herb formula accordingly. Appointments can be made with Nicki on 0404 127 973 and she will arrange to meet you at Hall Vet Surgery.

Nicki’s own website is at www.herbalpetcare.com.au

Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis

Dogs affected with haemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) vomit and pass diarrhoea with blood in it.  It develops rapidly and sometimes owners just find their dog collapsed.

HGE is more common in small breeds of dogs. A very high red blood cell concentration, measured as the packed cell volume, PCV, or haematocrit is characteristic of HGE. Most normal dogs have hæmatocrits of 37-55%. Dogs with HGE have hæmatocrits over 60%.

We don’t know the exact cause of HGE.

We rule out other causes of vomiting and bloody diarrhoea while we start emergency treatment for HGE.  These causes include stomach ulcers, trauma, worms, other gut parasites, gastrointestinal tumours, intestinal obstruction, foreign bodies, parvovirus, and coagulation disorders.

Dogs with HGE are very ill and if left untreated die. In most cases, it runs its course in a few days with intravenous fluid therapy to combat the dehydration and shock. We give other treatments like antibiotics, anti-ulcer medication and corticosteroids as indicated.

If intravenous fluid therapy is not given the haematocrit continues to rise and the blood becomes so thick that it can hardly flow. A clotting disorder called disseminated intravascular coagulation develops which is often irreversible and fatal.

Corneal ulcers

The cornea is the transparent front part of the eyeball that admits light to the eye.

A corneal ulcer is a hole in the top layer of the cornea. The most common cause of corneal ulcers is trauma. Grass seeds, a cat scratch, shampoo and sticks cause most of the corneal ulcers we see at Hall Vet Surgery.

Dry eye develops because of abnormal tear formation in older dogs and is also a common cause of corneal ulcers.  Some diseases that affect the whole body like diabetes mellitus, Cushings disease, and hypothyroidism sometimes predispose a dog to corneal ulcers, too.

A corneal ulcer is very painful.   The affected dog rubs the eye and squeezes it tightly closed. The eye looks red and watery.

Superficial corneal abrasions are difficult to see. A drop of fluorescein stains the area of ulceration and shows it up clearly under a special blue light.

A superficial corneal abrasion generally heals within 5 days. Antibiotic eye drops or ointment prevent bacterial infections.  Atropine eye drops or ointments relieve spasm and pain.

If the corneal ulcer is deep or slow healing or a descemetocele has formed we protect the eye and promote healing with a surgical overlay of conjunctiva, the third eyelid or the upper and lower eyelids.

Atropine relieves the pain from the ulcer but dilates the pupil making the dog sensitive to light. Do not be alarmed if the pupil stays dilated for several days after the last dose.

Atropine travels down the tear ducts to the mouth and because it tastes bitter causes drooling and pawing at the mouth in some dogs.

When the fluorescein stain test is negative your vet will tell you to discontinue the treatment. This is usually after at least 5 days of treatment.

The normal cornea has no blood vessels in it. When it is ulcerated blood vessels grow in from the white part of the eye, the sclera, to heal it and may obstruct vision. If they don’t retreat once the ulcer is healed we clear them with cortisone drops or ointment.

Old kidneys need more water

Oscar

Cats with kidney disease all need more fluids. If your cat has kidney problems or is just getting on a bit you should encourage more water consumption.

Provide a choice of water bowls: many cats favour metal or porcelain bowls while others prefer plastic bowls filled to the brim. Put one in the laundry and another on the porch. Fill some from the kitchen tap and others from the laundry tap. Your cat is a connoiseur of water and will taste the difference!

Water fountains are popular with some pusses. If your cat runs when she hears water running into the basin then she will like a water fountain. We have Drinkwell water fountains for sale at Hall Vet Surgery.

A little chicken, beef or fish stock added to the water tempts some cats to the bowl.

Increase the amount of wet food you offer your cat. You can also add more water to cans, sachets or fresh meat.

If your cat is a dry food fiend then soak some of the dry food in water. Even if he doesn’t accept it the first time you offer it he might the fourth or fifth time.

Have you found any tricks to increase cats’ fluid consumption? Hit the comment button below and tell us all!

Free dental check

Last chance to bring your dog or cat in to Hall Vet Surgery for a free dental health check!

Book before 31st August and bring your pet in for a free dental check.

Learn how to keep your pet’s mouth and teeth clean and healthy.

Dental health is essential to overall health in our pets.

4 out of 5 pets live with dental disease, infection and pain but are very good at hiding it from us.

Make sure your pet is happy, healthy and pain free.

Phone 6230 2223 to make an appointment for a free dental check during Hall Vet Surgery’s dental month.

Cat Care Information Evening

You are invited to Hall Veterinary Surgery’s

Cat Care
Information Evening

On Wednesday 21st September, 2011, 7pm

at Hall Pavilion

Gladstone Street, Hall ACT

Learn why your cats behave (or misbehave) the way they do, how to care for your older cat and why regular checkups are vital to cats’ health and comfort. Win heaps of prizes and join us for supper.

Entry is FREE but you MUST R.S.V.P. by 14th September, 2011

Phone 62302223, or talk to one of our Receptionists

 

 

Muffin mania – the dangers of sugar free sweetners

Riley is an energetic Pointer cross who helped out with the baking once too often. A couple of hours after eating a whole batch of apricot rough muffins he started drinking every bowl of water in the house dry. His owner Jenny brought him in to see us when she found he’d vomited the water up all over the lounge.

Used under licence from iStockPhoto.comRiley was very flat by the time we saw him. His gums were yellow and he was very dehydrated. The muffins contained what seemed like a list of very healthy ingredients but alarm bells rang when Jenny said that she’d used a sugar free sweetener containing xylitol instead of sugar.

While xylitol is quite safe for humans it is very toxic to dogs. It causes liver failure in dogs and is fatal if not treated intensively.

Xylitol is also found in many chewing gums and in Rescue Remedy pastilles. Wrigley’s list xylitol as an ingredient on the labels of their EXTRA Professional sugarfree chewing gums, Strongmint and Spearmint flavours. One to two sticks of one of these gums can make a small dog very ill. A whole packet might kill a Maltese terrier.

Riley spent a week in intensive care on a drip and with a combination of agents to support his liver. Next baking day he is banished to the back yard until all the muffins are eaten – by Jenny’s children!

Free dental check in August

August is dental month at Hall Vet Surgery.

Bring your pet in for a free dental check this month and learn how to improve dental health.

Phone us a few days ahead to make an appointment.

Dental health is essential to overall health in our pets as well as ourselves. Dogs and cats hide pain from us. Often they have just got used to a level of dental pain that would cripple us on the first day!

Make sure your pet is happy, healthy and pain free . Phone for an appointment during Hall Vet Surgery dental month.

Cat care

Calling all cat carers! Mark Wednesday 21st September in your diaries. Hall Vet Surgery is holding a cat care information evening at the Hall pavilion.

Learn why your cats behave (or misbehave!) the way they do, how to care for your older cat and why regular checkups are vital to all cats’ health and comfort.

Entry is free.

We have heaps of give-aways and prizes for everyone and a delicious supper to cap the evening off.

Secure a seat by phoning 6230 2223, emailing vets@hallvet.com or telling one of our receptionists at your next visit.

Don’t miss out on a fun-filled chance to improve your cat’s quality of life!

Puppy vaccination changes

Pups should be have their final vaccination for distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus at 14-16 weeks according to the latest recommendations from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.

High levels of protection from the dam may interfere with the pup’s own immunity up to the age of 14 weeks, according to recent research. As we cannot be sure of any individual’s level of protection we recommend that all pups have a last vaccination after 14 weeks.

We have changed our puppy vaccination protocol to 3 vaccinations: at 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks and 14-16 weeks.

Some breeds, such as Rottweilers, are late developing immunity to parvovirus, and we have always recommended a third needle for them.