Torquay Veterinary Hospital

29 Surfcoast Highway, Torquay

 

Monday to Friday - 9:00am til 6:00pm

Saturday - 9:00am til 1.00pm

 

 

Anglesea Veterinary Clinic

1A Diggers Parade, Anglesea

 

Monday to Friday - 8:30am til 9:30am

Clinic Newsletters:

 

CURRENT NEWSLETTER 

September 2019 - Every Child needs a Pet

Growing up and finding your place in this world is an amazing and somewhat daunting adventure.  How ideal if children had a pal they could talk to anytime, about anything, who would never judge them, who would be happy to see them every time?

 

That ideal does exist... a pet!! Whether it be a cat, a dog, a bird, a horse, a bunny, a guinea pig, a fish, a rat, or even a pet sheep, the list goes on, as do the benefits of owning a pet.

 

Not only will this companion provide eternal friendship and love, it teaches children responsibilities and how to care for someone else. 

 

It teaches children how to interact with others (away from the screen), and depending on the type of pet, it can help them stay active.

 

Pets are proven to lower stress levels, enabling children to escape the day-to-day challenges faced.

 

The sad loss of a pet also helps to introduce the circle of life, and assists in the way children learn to process grief.

 

All these qualities that are shared with a pet become part of everyday life and relationships.

 

If you need any advice on what pet might best suit your family please contact us at Torquay and Surfcoast Veterinary Clinics 52614137.

 

 

 

 

 

PREVIOUS NEWSLETTERS:

August 2019 -  Dental Hygiene

 

Oral hygiene is an often-overlooked but important factor in your dog and cats overall health.  If your pet has a toothache or sore gums, they could be dealing with pain and stress that you may not even know about.  Left untreated, bacteria introduced by the problem can enter the bloodstream and affect the heart, kidneys or liver as well as causing very smelly breath.  Veterinarians report that an estimated 85 percent of dogs over age 4 are suffering from some form of periodontal disease, a painful oral condition that can lead to tooth loss and infection.

 

Unfortunately, pets can't care for their teeth themselves, but they can help by gnawing on the right product. A good long chew can help scrape away plaque and dirt, and most dogs are happy to comply. Natural choices include rawhide or smaller raw bones.  Never give harder items, such as cooked bones as these can fracture teeth or splinter in the digestive tract and cause further problems. 

 

Specially formulated prescription diets such as Hills oral care T/D can help keep your dogs and cats teeth clean and help control oral bacteria and plaque build up.  The diet is formulated with a unique kibble shape that helps scrub away laden plaque in your pets mouth. The product is clinically proven to reduce plaque, stain and tartar build up.  Brushing you pets teeth with a uniquely designed toothpaste is also a great option for hygiene.

Pets with persistent periodontal disease require a routine clean, scale and polish of their teeth under general anaesthesia by your veterinarian.

 

Call the clinic on 5261 4137 to get a dental checkup

 

 

July 2019

Desexing:

 

 

Desexing both cats and dogs is a world-wide recommendation with July being 'National Pet Desexing Month'.   There are a range of medical and behavioural benefits in doing so, apart from the obvious reason of minimising unwanted litters.

 

Entire male pets have higher testosterone levels increasing their tendencies to roam, to mount others, be more dominant and aggressive.  Desexing reduces these hormones - in turn reducing these urges, making them more manageable, with less fighting and wandering.  It does not change their character or personality.

 

Entire male and female pets urine is often more pungent and used to mark their territory. Following desexing this problems is often eliminated or at the very least reduced. 

 

The medical benefits to desexing are enormous.  The reduced risk of developing mammary carcinom​a (breast cancer) in females and prostate disease in males.  Mature entire females commonly develop a life threatening uterine infection called ‘pyometra’, this would not happen in a desexed female.

 

Common myths of making pets fat, lazy or needing to have a littler first are indeed 'MYTHS'.  Even the costs involved out-weigh those of an undesexed pet in the long run.

 

It is day procedure, and preferably done around 6 months of age, but can, and should still be done even if your pet is older. 

 

Please take advantage of the specials on offer for desexing in the month of July, phone the Torquay and Surfcoast Veterinary Clinics on 5261 4137, we aim to provide the best life-long care for your pet.

 

 

May 2019

Vaccinations 

Vaccinations are an important part of preventative health care for pets, in protecting them from common infectious diseases.  In recent times the deadly parvovirus has made a resurgence.  There is no cure for this disease and supportive treatment only, is all that can be offered.  Even with intensive treatment only approximately 85% of patients will survive.  

 

Puppies and kittens are at the highest risk of contracting these diseases.  They receive 3 boosters, 4 weeks apart, starting at the age of 6-8 weeks.

 

They are not fully covered for protection until after their final 16 week vaccination.  It is important to take care during this time not to expose them to the diseases.

 

Dogs should receive a C5 vaccination yearly, which protects against parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis and kennel cough. The C5 vaccination is required for all dogs going into boarding kennels, as the highly contagious Kennel Cough is easily spread in this environment.

 

 

Cats receive an F3 vaccination, which covers feline herpesvirus, calicivirus and feline enteritis (two of these lead to 'cat flu', often a life long problem). Additional vaccines can also be requested and discussed, including Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and feline chlamydia. 

 

 

A booster is then given annually or triennially.

 

Senior Pets

senior pet


When is my pet considered a senior? It depends on the variations in size and breed of your dog/cat, but on average around the age of 7yo (larger dogs) to 9yo (smaller dogs/cats)!! It seems so young doesn't it? but this is roughly the equivalent of a 50-75yo person.

 

Just like the senior human family members, our pets are the same.  We can expect to see both mental and physical changes. Common changes we start to see might be arthritic change, sight loss, hearing loss, senility, and more. The key is trying to establish if it is a normal change or a symptom of a treatable medical condition.  

 

Regular exercise is still so important but may need to be modified, to suit these new ageing needs.  You may start to notice them slowing down, knowing if this is normal or due to arthritis takes a collaboration between you and your vet along with a physical examination.  If arthritic change is found there are many beneficial treatments and management advice that can assist in keeping them comfortable.

 

Nutritional needs start to change.  'Diet' modification can play an important role in maintaining a healthy weight and can aid in maintaining and supporting healthy organs.  A blood and/or urine test is a great way of detecting early liver or kidney changes to help select appropriate foods.


With most not having brushed their teeth daily, dental disease is a very common problem.  So take a look, are their teeth clean? does their breath smell? if you answered yes, then a dental might be needed.  


Keeping a keen eye for temperament and health changes means they can be addressed quickly by you and your vet. Remembering that one human year equates to approximately seven dog years, so what seemed normal 6 months month’s ago can change drastically in a very short time.  

 

Skin Allergies in Dogs 

 

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from skin allergies. In general, an allergy is an extreme or 'hypersensitive' response by the body's immune system to offending substances called 'allergens', often resulting in redness and itching of the skin sometimes leading to infection also. This may be seasonal or year-round, depending on the cause. 

 

Common allergens include fleas, dust mites, certain foods, grasses and pollens. 

 

Treatment varies widely and an appointment at the vet is needed to establish what will be the most effective and to plan for ongoing management, depending on the cause.  Treatments may include allergen avoidance, a low-allergen food trial, anti-inflammatories, topical solutions and shampoos, omega-3 and -6 fatty acids or immunotherapy to desensitise the dog to the specific allergen.

 

Arthritis:

 

Arthritis is the medical term for inflammation of the joints. The most common type seen in dogs and cats is degenerative joint disease (also known as osteoarthritis), which is a chronic erosion of joint cartilage resulting from long-term stresses on a joint. This can be due to an old injury, excessive exercise or poor joint conformation or simply old age. It usually starts to show in older animals, but can be seen in some younger pets as well.

 

Signs of chronic arthritis include:

  • Swollen, painful joints
  • Stiffness when walking or getting up, especially in colder weather
  • Reduced activity, reluctance to walk very far
  • Limping
  • Difficulty climbing stairs
  • Behaviour changes, eg. irritability, depression 

How can we manage it?

The aim of arthritis management is to reduce joint inflammation and keep your pet comfortable, ensuring they have a good quality of life as they get older. Management options include: 

  • Weight management – keeping your pet at a healthy weight can significantly reduce stress on joints
  • Gentle exercise – swimming and walking are great for building muscle without too much stress on joints
  • Joint supplements – glucosamine and chondroitin (eg. Joint Guard) as well as omega-3 and essential fatty acids (eg. fish oil) help protect the joint cartilage. These can all be found in Hills J/D complete dry food for dogs.
  • Cartrophen injections – These injections have been shown to reduce destruction of cartilage and help replace it, as well as increasing joint blood flow and lubrication. The injections are given once a week for 4 weeks, followed by a booster every 3-4 months. At present Cartrophen is not registered for use in cats.
  • Anti-inflammatories – significantly reduce pain and swelling in arthritic joints. These are available for dogs as tablets (eg. Carprofen) or liquid medications (eg. Meloxicam). In cats, Meloxicam liquid can be used. It is recommended that pets on these medications have regular health checks to ensure there are no kidney or gastrointestinal problems, especially as they get older.
  • Pain relief – while anti-inflammatories provide excellent pain relief in most arthritic pets, some need extra help. Tramadol (a narcotic) and Gabapentin (which reduces pain perception) may be prescribed in advanced cases of arthritis, or where anti-inflammatories cannot be used.

Ear Infections (Otitis)

  

As vets, ear infections are one of the most common problems we encounter in dogs at the clinic. They can be extremely painful, and owners will often notice their dog shaking or rubbing its head or pawing at its ears.  Often there is a strong-smelling brown discharge coming from the infected ear, and the skin around it may appear red and sore. 

 

Some dogs are predisposed to otitis due to the shape of their ears, or it can occur when there is a change to the microclimate within the ear canal, eg. an increase in humidity (due to swimming, or hot weather), grass seeds, parasites, allergies, or a tumour. This can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast within the ear, resulting in inflammation and infection. 

 

Most ear infections can be treated with antibiotic/anti-fungal ear drops.  However, in some cases with excessive dirt or hair, or suspicion of something else down the canal, an anaesthetic is required for a thorough ear clean and examination. In many cases swabs are taken to determine the type of bacteria or yeast causing the problem, to ensure we are using the correct treatment.