It’s just been so HOT this summer! And it’s not just us humans that are being affected, our pets are feeling the heat too.
Here are 10 great tips for keeping your pets cool this summer: (in no particular order)
1. Clip long haired dogs and cats fur shorter
2. Create a shaded area, not just a tree, but even a shade cloth under a tree.
3. Give them a kiddie-pool to cool off in
4. Put water in an ice-cream container, throw in a few treats and freeze, then give it to your dog the next day as a frozen treat.
5. Always provide fresh water in a shaded area, and throw some ice cubes in there when you are home.
6. Special beds or vests with cooling gel can be purchased for dogs or cats
7. Instead of a hot walk, take them for a swim or play in the sprinklers, or have a water fight with the hose.
8. Go for walks in the early morning or evening, and bring cold water in a bottle for drink breaks. Don’t forget that your dog can get scorched paw pads on the hot concerete during the heat of day!
9. Put sunscreen on their noses/ears, especially animals with white fur and pink skin
10. Never leave them in a car unattended during summer time.
We have a new vet Stuart Mc Morrow, who is here for 6 months while Veronika is on maternity leave. He is on a year’s sabbatical after 10 years of service at a charity vet clinic in Scotland. Prior to NZ, he volunteered in a veterinary clinic in Fiji. Stuart’s interests are in surgery, orthopaedics, and reconstructive surgery. Also here with him are his wife and 2 children. Waiting for them back in Scotland are ‘Barney’ the border terrier, and ‘Marge’ their cat, who are being looked after by some very good friends. In his spare time, Stuart plays a bit of golf, goes running, and of course enjoys spending time with his family.
Last week, little Minnie was brought into our clinic with a foot that was dangling in a strange way!
We took an xray, and immediately saw that she had broken her radius and ulna. She was very brave the whole time.
After ordering in some tiny plates to repair her leg, our new vet Stuart Mc Morrow took her into surgery and plated the bones back together.
After surgery, she was quite sleepy that evening, but by the next morning she was bright and alert and eating breakfast with gusto!
We will be seeing her for post op checks, and monitoring her progress. All the best of luck Minnie! (in the photo below, the Left leg was the broken one, the Right leg has a IV line for fluids in it)
Some vet clinics have a clinic cat that hangs around reception and cuddles up to clients. However our clinic is facing a very busy main road and despite the nurses being sorely tempted to keep the many stray kittens and cats we have had brought in, we have managed to resist the temptation.
However, we do have 2 clinic budgies. It started off with ‘Splat’ the blue budgie that had escaped and splatted into someone’s window. Then, a year or so later, when we were complaining how lonely Splat was getting, a client came in with a baby blue budgie saying it just fell out of a tree (it must have escaped from somewhere too) so we ended up keeping that one too as companion for Splat.
Our two budgies used to live in reception and they used to squawk and chirp at all our clients, as well as entertain the dogs and cats. Some people have asked where they are now? We had to move them into the staff room because they were getting a bit drafty from the air conditioners blowing into their cage. So there they live, in a sunny and warm room, squawking loudly over the top of us when we have staff meetings or just try to hold a conversation. And scattering their bird seed husks everywhere for us to clean up. It’s a pretty cruisy life.
Rosie is a very sweet natured young cat who came into our clinic with a fractured acetabulum (hip socket). We gave her lots of pain relief and cuddles, and decided that she needed surgery to remove the femoral head (the ball that fits into the hip socket to join the hip and femur bone). This would prevent the femoral head from rubbing against the fractured acetabulum, which prevents painful arthiritis in the future. Rosie went through her hospital stay and surgery like a trouper, she kept up the good spirits and purred the whole time. The photo above is Rosie on the surgical table before being anaethetised. She has got some sedatives and pain relief on board, hence the slightly spacey eyes! We wish her all the best of luck for her recovery. Below is the radiograph taken of her hips, note the fracture of her hip socket on her Right side.
Shorty is a loveable Maltese Terrier cross who arrived at our clinic very unwell. We found out that she had Pyometra (a uterine infection), and that same day we speyed her. Here she is for her post op check a few days later, doing very well. Now she is back to her normal happy self, and we are very pleased with the results. Isn’t she just a cutie?
We have 2 new veterinary nurses, Catie and Fabio. They joined our team in May. A big welcome to them!
Catie studied Veterinary Nursing at CPIT in 2011. She has 2 Greyhound-Cross dogs, ‘Pi’ and ‘Worm’ and a cat called ‘Rosie’.
She also has a horse called ‘Ronnie’, and she enjoys riding at local competitions. Catie even finds time to teach horse riding at her local riding school!
Fabio has a degree in Veterinary Medicine, and has practiced as a vet in Brazil. He moved to NZ a few years ago, and has joined our team in May. He is currently preparing to sit his NZ Board exams. Fabio loves sports, fishing, surfing, and plays soccer in the weekends. He lives with his lovely wife Samantha, and their chocolate labrador ‘Margot’.
Christchurch has become awfully chilly over the last couple of weeks! Here is Muffin having the best snooze ever next to the fireplace. She is so happy, last winter she was in a cracked and freezing house in Bexley, pressing her nose to the oil heater, and this year she has a warm home with a fireplace and heatpump. Purrrrr….
This is Brownie, a small dog with big personality. Brownie came into our clinic very unwell with lead poisioning, and he was very trembly and sleepy. He had intensive care and IV fluids with Calcium EDTA added several times a day to bind the lead, and he is now so much better, a very active dog! So different from the one that first came to our clinic. It’s so good to see, and we are very happy with his recovery!
Recently, we have had a few bunnies in our clinic with ‘Fly Strike’. What is it? and how can we prevent this painful and distressing condition from affecting our pet rabbits?
Fly Strike is when flies are attracted to your rabbit and lay eggs on and around their bottom. These eggs turn into maggots, and the maggots burrow and feed on the rabbit’s skin tissue.
How Did This Happen to my Bunny?!! There is usually an underlying condition that causes your bunny to have a dirty bottom from soft faeces or thickened urine, or that causes lethargy so they do not move away from their droppings. Another cause may be that the cage has not been cleaned often enough and the flies are attracted to the dirty cage.
What are the Signs of Fly Strike? Depression, not active as usual, staying in one corner or area of the cage, off food, flies are hanging around the cage, a wet or dirty bottom with wounds, a bad smell.
How is this Treated? By the time you notice wounds and maggots on your rabbit’s bottom, it is time to bring him/her to the vets. They will be painful and possibly in shock. When they get to the vets, they will need a general anaesthetic or sedation in order for the vet or vet nurse to pick out each and every maggot. Then we will wash their bottom in a broad spectrum antibacterial solution to make sure we wash the eggs and dead skin out. After the wash, we blowdry the fur, then clip all the fur carefully around the affected area (sometimes it can be on their legs, tail, stomach, and back as well as the bottom), and then we wipe the bare skin gently with antibacterial solution, apply a healing gel into the wounds and antibiotic creams around the affected area. Your bunny may also be placed on fluids to help recover from dehydration and shock. It is quite labor intensive!
Daily antibiotic injections and creams are applied, as well as daily cleaning and inspection for any more maggots that may have evaded the first clean-out, until the vet decides that your rabbit’s wounds are healing and drying up nicely, and your rabbit is back to normal eating and drinking, as well as regular toileting and activity. This can take a few days or over a week at the clinic.
How Can I Prevent Fly Strike? The best way is the most obvious way, to check your bunny’s bottom daily! If it starts to have soft poos or a mucky bottom, then bring it to the vets to assess exactly why your bunny is starting to get soft poos. Also, pay attention to how active your bunny is naturally. In this way, you will quickly notice when he/she is starting to become more quiet and lethargic, which leads to sitting in their toileting areas, which attracts flies.
Clean out their dirty hay and newspapers a few times a week. Of course if you have more than one bunny in the cage, you will need to clean it more often. Keep their cage clean!
Teach them how to use a litter tray, so you can easily clear that out daily. It’s easy! Just place clean newspaper and hay into a litter tray with some of their already soiled newspaper or hay (so they get the idea) and place it in the corner of their hutch where they like to toilet.
Place a mesh fly-screen in front of their cage wires so that flies cannot get in.
‘Buzz Off’ spray is available to purchase. This is a an insecticide that keeps away flies and mosquitos that is safe for use around bunnies. You can spray it around the cage (but not areas where the bunny chews on the wood or onto their food area), and you can gently spritz a bit in the air around their fur so it settles in a mist onto the fur. It is not for rubbing into the skin.
Ok, there’s our advice on Fly Strike in Bunnies, hope it was useful! And we hope your bunny will never have to experience this distressing condition.
Some Pictures are below, but they may be upsetting to some people. So please proceed with caution!
Just couldn’t resist snapping a photo of Gemima, a very cute 8 year old pomeranian who came in for a dental today. Looking still very sleepy after her anaesthetic.
As was requested, here’s some pics of nurse Victoria’s mini dachshund puppies at 6 weeks old. By this time, they were running around, practicing their barks, whines, and cute puppy-dog eyes, and getting into a lot of mischief while looking ultra-adorable. The dapple girl is staying with the breeder, but the other two black and tan girls are now happy and settled in their new homes.
All of us at the vet clinic are planning to do the City to Surf on Sunday the 25th March. Check out our new t-shirts with the vet logo. Should be a good day, but a shame we can’t all bring our dogs to tire them out on the 10km walk/jog!
Little Pomeranian Teddy came into our clinic with a very twisted looking foot after jumping from his owner’s arms, bouncing onto the sofa, and onto the floor. We immediately took him in and gave him pain relief and put him on IV fluid therapy for shock. When he was stable we sedated him for x-rays. The first x-ray view did not show any breaks, but a dislocated wrist area, which the vet manipulated and popped back into place. Here’s the x-ray below.
The second x-ray we took showed a fracture of the Radius and Ulna bones! As it was a pretty clean break, we put his leg in a cast. In another month’s time, it sh0uld be all nicely healed, as long as Teddy doesn’t do any more jumping!
Gemma is a miniature dachshund who belongs to one of our vet nurses. In late December, she had a cesearian and 3 lovely female puppies were the result! Here’s a photo of them at 1 week old. They are very healthy and chubby little pups without a care in the world except for drinking milk, sleeping, and growing. Their eyes are closed at the moment, they should open around 10-12 days old. We will post more photos of their growth and development.
Christmas is only 3 sleeps away! And all of us at the vet clinic are looking forward to some sunny days off to spend with friends, family, and our pets. We are closed on the 25th, 26th, and 27th of December, and on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of January. Otherwise, opening hours are as normal (Mon-Fri 7:30am-7pm and Sat 9am-1pm, closed on Sundays)
This afternoon 3 young women came in with a cat wrapped in a blanket. They told us they had accidentally run it over with their car.
So, what happens at a vet clinic when someone brings in a cat/dog that’s been injured and there is no name tag or microchip for us to find the owner?
Firstly we dealt with the comfort of the cat. Assessed it’s pain. It’s a young female cat, she can’t walk and looks like it may have a broken pelvis. So we gave her pain relief and a tiny bit of sedative. Then, we called the SPCA. The SPCA agreed to fund us some money to treat the cat with fluids (for shock and dehydration), pain relief, and vet assessment. So, we are going to keep her comfortable overnight and hope that her owners ring around the vet clinics and look for her. Otherwise, we might call other vet clinics around Christchurch tomorrow and see if anyone has reported a young female tabby missing. In cases like this, you can see why it is so useful to just microchip your pets.
Guy Fawkes can be a scary time for pets, there are loud bangs, crackles, and big bursts of light in the sky. The SPCA have released a checklist of things we can do to minimise their anxiety and prevent any runaways during fireworks time.
SPCA Auckland’s Guy Fawkes Checklist:
1. Stay home with your pet – they’ll be less stressed with someone they trust
2.Keep them indoors – where they won’t see the flashes and the bangs will be
muffled. Close doors and windows and draw the curtains.
3. Put a collar and registration tag on your dog – if your dog panics and bolts,
it will help rescuers reunite you.
4. Move horses and farm animals away from fireworks – and make sure all fences
are secure. Stable horses where possible.
5. Take special care of elderly or nervous pets – consult your vet for the best
advice on keeping them calm.
6. If your animal goes missing, please contact your local vet clinics and SPCA,
and register your lost pet at http://www.petsonthenet.co.nz.
We saw Mrs Bird again earlier in the week for the removal of her stitches. She has recovered very well from her surgery and her surgical area has healed nicely. Yay!
Mrs Bird had a nasty mass removed from her abdomen yesterday, Nicki our Veterinary pathologist is looking at the cells today to see what it may have been. The surgery went smoothly and we kept her nice and warm post op, so she has recovered well. It took us a rather long time last night to sort out Mrs Bird’s head collar so she can’t peck her stitches, but we finally made one out of x-ray film!
Billy’s concerned owners brought him into our clinic when they found he couldn’t use his back legs. After some xrays and tests that ruled out any broken bones, we told his owners that he may or may not gradually recover the use of his back legs. They were keen to hope for the best, and he has stayed at our clinic having all his needs cared for by the nurses and vets. He’d been with us for a few days when we had a great idea! Why not ask Elena (our animal physiotherapist) if she could do some physio and laser treatment on him? So far, Billy has had 3 treatments of physio and laser therapy, and he is slowly but surely improving! He now has withdrawal reflex in his back legs, and is gaining a bit more strength in them too. Elena has taught the nurses some exercises they can do with Billy a few times a day to help strengthen his muscles. We have all fallen in love with this brave little bunny, he’s sweet and friendly and will shuffle his way towards you, especially if you have some dandilion leaves! We will be updating our blog about his progress, and we all have our fingers crossed for his recovery.