Category Archives: Today’s News

Introducing Contactless Consults

In this rapidly changing COVID-19 time, Hall Vet Surgery has decided to radically change the way we do consultations and admissions so that we can minimise any possible transmission of the virus.

You Will Need:

You will require access to a mobile phone and a credit/debit card for payment (we are no longer accepting cash).
We ask that all cats and rabbits arrive in a pet carrier.
All dogs must be on lead.

The Contactless Consultation Process:

In short, when you arrive at the clinic for consultation or admission, please remain in your vehicle and call us on 62302223 to notify us of arrival.
When safe to do so, reception will direct you and your pet to the designated drop off zone where we will conduct a hand over. Your pet will be brought into the clinic with us and you will return to your vehicle where you will await a call from the vet to begin your consultation.
During the consultation you will still be able to tell us your concerns and ask us questions, and we’ll still be able to give your pet a physical examination, explain diagnoses and treatment options.

We’ll be sad not to see people’s smiling faces in our consultation rooms, but we are very serious about maintaining health and safety for you and for our staff, so that we can maintain the well-being of your pet.

Stay safe and look out for each other.
Hall Vet Surgery
(02) 6230 2223

COVID-19 Update 23rd March 2020

Hall Vet Surgery will remain open for as long as possible to ensure we can care for your furry family members. As always, maintaining the health and safety of our staff, our clients and our patients is our highest priority.

It is yet to be confirmed whether we are considered an essential service, however we will continue to service our community until we are advised otherwise or it is no longer considered safe to do so.

In order to ensure we can continue to help you, we have increased our precautionary measures in the hospital;

  1. If you are arriving for an appointment we ask that you please stay in your vehicle and phone us on 62302223 to notify us of your arrival. DO NOT enter the clinic until a staff member has advised you to enter. We will be minimising the number or people in the waiting room at any given time to ensure we are executing appropriate social distancing in the practice.
  2. We ask that you please limit the number of people attending your appointment to only those that are required to be present, to limit traffic through the practice.
  3. We ask that you pay with card where possible to avoid unnecessary risk associated with handling cash.
  4. If you are experiencing any cold/flu like symptoms please advise us over the phone before booking an appointment. We will still find an appropriate way to help you.

We have lots of ideas in the pipeline, such as contactless consultations, phone consultations and home delivery for essential items such as food and medication. If you are in self isolation or are just looking to decrease your risk/exposure but don’t want to do so at the expense of your pet’s health, please contact us. We will do our best to find a solution for you.

We will continue to adapt with the situation and update advice as we receive it. If we need to make changes to your upcoming appointment, we will contact you directly. Please notify us if you need to update your contact details.

We’d like to thank you all for your cooperation on this. It is a difficult time for all but rest assured we will be doing everything in our power to remain available to assist you and your pets.

Stay safe and look out for each other.
Kind regards, from all of us at Hall Vet Surgery.

COVID-19 Key Points & Our Response

We have received multiple enquiries recently around the current COVID-19 pandemic and whether companion animals have any relation to it’s spread.
The OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) has released the following information on it’s website;
“The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. To date, there is no evidence that companion animals can spread the disease.”

At Hall Vet Surgery the health and safety of our patients, their owners and our staff is our top priority. We want to ensure accessing health care for your animals remains as safe as possible for everyone involved. In the surgery we have ensured that there are hand sanitation stations throughout the clinic for your use, and have ramped up our own hygiene protocols.

We are currently brainstorming alternative solutions for members of our community who may be unwell, in self isolation or are considered high risk, ensuring they are still able to access essential items for their pets such as food and medication. If you fall into this category please contact us via phone on 6230 2223 for more information.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and follow the guidelines of the Australian Veterinary Association & The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.

For more information you can contact us on 6230 2223 or at reception@hallvet.com.au

Outbreak Warning: Potentially fatal cat viruses in the Canberra area

Two viruses, one a new strain and the other a resurgence of an old virus are causing concerns for our feline friends and their owners around Canberra.

Virulent strain of cat flu (feline calicivirus)

In March this year and now again in June/July, vets around Canberra have seen sick cats suffering from a particularly virulent form of a cat flu virus, FCV-VSD (Feline calicivirus – virulent systemic disease)

While typical signs of flu in cats include mouth ulcers, sneezing and perhaps lameness, the virulent strain can cause a much more severe illness. Signs are usually more severe in adult cats than in kittens and fatalities are common. Whilst the normal flu vaccination may offer some protection, even fully vaccinated cats can succumb to the virulent strain.

Affected cats show some or all of the following signs – loss of appetite, lethargy, high fever, swollen limb(s) and/or head, jaundice, difficulty breathing, mouth ulcers and sores on the nose, ear tips and skin. These signs are similar to those reported in previous outbreaks in the US and Europe.

Fortunately, most infected cats in Canberra have recovered due to prompt diagnosis and supporting treatment.

The virus can survive in the environment for around one month. It is highly contagious and spreads easily to other cats via hands, clothing, shoes, bedding, food bowls and litter trays. The greatest risk of spread occurs in multi-cat environments such as shelters and boarding catteries. Fortunately spread in the wider community has been limited and the outbreaks seem to ‘burn out’.

Researchers at Sydney Uni are investigating the virulent strain and vets have been submitting mouth swabs from any suspect cases for testing.

If your cat is showing any of the signs listed above, please call us on 62302223 to arrange an appointment. An initial assessment may be done in the car by a vet kitted out in gloves and disposable gown to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

 

Feline enteritis

The resurgence of the deadly virus, FPV (feline panleukopenia virus) which was almost eradicated 40 years ago by vaccinations, has been confirmed in various locations throughout Australia, including Melbourne and Canberra.

FPV is highly contagious and can be fatal to the affected cat.

The most common form of FPV presents as a three to four day history of high temperature, lethargy, loss of appetite and may progress to vomiting and diarrhoea. However, in cases of very severe infection, cats can die very suddenly with no apparent signs.

FPV in cats is caused by parvoviruses, which are small DNA viruses. The main one is feline panleukopenia virus but parvoviruses that infect dogs can also cause the disease in cats.

Disease control relies on strong herd immunity and that can only be achieved by keeping pets up-to-date with their vaccinations.

We recommend that kittens are vaccinated starting from 6-8 weeks of age and then every 4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old.

Cats receiving their first vaccination after 16 weeks of age only need one dose with a booster at 6-12 months and then every three years thereafter.

The modified live F3 vaccine used at Hall Veterinary surgery provides highly effective protection against this virus.

PLEASE NOTE:
Strict disinfection procedures have been implemented at the surgery so please do not be offended if we ask you to leave your cat in the car and phone us when you arrive for your appointment, we have your cat’s health as our top priority.

Holidays

Hall Veterinary Surgery will be closed on the two upcoming ACT public holidays.

Family & Community Day Monday, 25 September 2017
Labour Day Monday, 2 October 2017

We’ll reopen with normal business hours on each of the following Tuesdays. Enjoy your holiday time with your pet!

Rabbit owners – new calicivirus strain requires vaccination every 6 months

We now have Calicivirus Vaccine back in stock, please call us on 6230 2223 to make an appointment.
A young girl is holding a rabbit in her hands.
Warning for all rabbit owners: To control wild rabbit populations a new strain of Calicivirus has been released.
In order to protect pet rabbits from this virus, the Department of Primary Industries is recommending that pet rabbits are now vaccinated EVERY 6 MONTHS with Cylap® Calicivirus vaccine. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) state that this vaccine has not been tested against the new strain of Calicivirus but have suggested this more intensive – but off-label – use of the existing vaccine be used. This protocol can be discussed with your vet.

Pet rabbits that have not been previously vaccinated should receive two vaccinations, one month apart, and then every 6 months for life. Newborn rabbits should be vaccinated at 4, 8, and 12 weeks old, and then every 6 months for life.

Until this latest Calicivirus release, the vaccination schedule was to vaccinate your rabbit every 12 months – this has now changed to six months. Please call reception at Hall Veterinary Surgery on 6230 2223 to check your pet rabbit’s vaccination status.
In addition to altering the vaccination from yearly to twice yearly, ensure your pet rabbit has NO contact with wild rabbits;
  • avoid feeding from potentially contaminated grass;
  • wash your hands between handling rabbits and
  • maintain good insect control for your pet rabbit.
More information available at: http://www.ava.com.au/rabbit-calicivirus

Increase in Mosquito activity leads to Heartworm Warning for Dogs

The dramatic rise in mosquito numbers means pet owners need to be vigilant with their dog’s heartworm treatment. 

Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is spread by a mosquito biting an infected dog (or ferret or fox) and ingests the heartworm larvae.

The next step is the mosquito buzzing off and biting another dog and infecting them with the heartworm larvae.

Without preventative products on board, the larvae continue to develop, eventually reaching the heart and lungs where the adult worms can strangle the heart and congest the lungs.

Year round treatment is required for all pet dogs.

If you are unsure when your dog last had a heartworm treatment please call Hall Veterinary Surgery on 6230 2223.

Where heart worm prevention has been intermittent or lapsed, our vets will restart prevention and advise a blood test to ensure your pet is still heartworm free.

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.

Heat stroke

(We published this back in 2011, but with the coming very hot days at the end of the week, we thought it best to mention again…)

Death from heat stroke is common in dogs in hot weather, especially if it is humid as well. Every summer we see dogs that overdo it in the heat.  When heat generation exceeds heat dissipation, body temperature goes up to dangerous levels.

Some animals are more likely to develop heatstroke than others. Working dogs who don’t know when to stop or who are not allowed to cool off in a trough or under a tree overheat rapidly on a hot day.

Flat-faced dogs with breathing difficulties, like pugs, boxers and Staffordshire bull terriers, cannot lose heat as quickly as they generate it in hot weather. No matter how much they pant, their temperature continues to go up.

Sometimes obese or overweight dogs over-reach their fitness levels and collapse in hot and humid weather.

Dogs or cats confined in poorly ventilated areas without water and shade on a hot day risk developing heatstroke, also.

Early signs of heat stroke are high body temperatures, often over 40 degrees centigrade, excessive panting and rapid heart rate. Many dogs vomit and develop diarrhoea, often with blood in it. They soon collapse, bleed and fit. The gums are dark and red but towards the end become pale and ashen.

Heat stroke is an emergency. Wet your dog to the skin to start getting the temperature down and phone your vet. Most dogs require treatment with a drip and drugs to prevent shock.

Prevent heat stroke by making sure your dog has plenty of water and shade at all times.

Avoid mustering or running on hot days. Early morning or late evening is safer for stock and dogs.

Flat-face and overweight dogs should never exercise in the heat of the day. Know your pets’ limits of fitness and retreat into the cool before they reach them and overheat.