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What should I look out for my pets in Spring, New Farm Vet

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Spring has sprung and along comes the muggy heat. While many of us would head straight to the beach or pool to cool ourselves down in the waters, some of our four-legged friends might not have that opportunity to do so. 

Here are some tips  from New Farm Vet on preventing heat stress when you bring your dog out for some outdoor activities this Spring:

  • Check daily maximum temperatures before heading out with your doggie. Early morning or evening is ideal – lots of sunlight still for you to enjoy till about 8pm. Avoid the hottest part of the day and your pooch will enjoy the walk even more. Realise also that the pavement or path is a lot hotter (and retains heat) compared with the grass. Here's a tip: touch the pavement with your hand to check how hot it is.
  • Try to head to places that have cool shady areas such as picnic shelters / gazebos in a park or near tall leafy trees. This allows your furry kid to move around and seek shade when needed. Our favourite dog park is New Farm Park and Spring Hill Park, and there are many large shady trees to shield my staffies from the sun rays.
  • Bring water with you. There are many commercially available water containers that you can fold easily and put it in your bag or attach to the lead handle. Seek out parks that have water fountains for dogs.
  • Never leave your pet in a car even if you do not think it is a hot day - and that's even with the windows down parked in the shade. Neither should you leave your pet on a back of a yute/truck without adequate shade and water. Temperature on a spring’s day in Brisbane can easily reach hazardous levels for your dog. Remember that you can be distracted, or something might suddenly keep you occupied - if you're not with your pets, they should always be securely in place at a location where there is water, shade and safety. This should not be a place that has these things temporarily.
  • If you really have to bring your pooch out on a hot day for a picnic or beach outing, heed the above suggestions PLUS: bring along a spray bottle. Misting your dog, especially in the face and paws, helps to ease the discomfort from the heat. I personally would also bring a towel soaked with water and put it into a chiller bag with some ice in it - but make sure the towels aren't too icy cold. Wipe your dog down several times a day to help cool him down. This bag also doubles up as your EMERGENCY SUMMER PET PACK. - if your dog is in heat stress, immediately cool your dog down with the wet towels and go immediately to an emergency vet hospital. These towels cannot be too cold (slightly cooler than room temperature is fine) as this may send a dog undergoing heat stress into shock.   Similarly, you can also drench him with bottles of cool water you have stashed inside the chiller bag.


New Farm Vet's tips to identifying heat stress in your dog:

  •  Excessive panting
  •  Excessive salivating
  •  Vomiting
  •  Diarrheoa
  •  Collapse
  •  Seizure

IF YOU SEE THESE SIGNS, HEAD IMMEDIATELY TO A VET HOSPITAL. Time is of the essence. If this will not delay you, while transporting your dog to the hospital, actively cool your dog with cool water or wet towels, and apply a fan if possible.

Take extra precaution with long haired, overweight, young and older animals. Breeds that are “flat-faced” or have short nose, such as Frenchies, Boxers, Bull dogs, Pugs and Pekinese are more susceptible to heat stress.

Don’t forget to slip-slop-slap on doggie-friendly sunscreen for your pooch!


If you are looking for a trusted New Farm Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Is my dog a boy or a girl, Fortitude Valley Vet?



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Imagine my surprise when I was doing a routine female dog desexing surgery at Fortitude Valley Vet to find two testis attached to what seemed to be a uterus with vas deferens, instead of ovaries! Upon closer examination of this doggie's genitals, it seemed like a tiny penis protruding out of the vulva. How interesting!

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It is national desexing month in July. Click here, here and here to find out why you should desex your pet.

Here at Fortitude Valley Vet, every desexing surgery comes with intravenous fluid therapy (to minimise drops in blood pressure under general anaesthetic and ready access to the circulatory system to administer drugs), local anaesthetics (to minimise pain) and additional pain relief (anti-inflammory medicine to reduce swelling).


If you are looking for a trustworthy Fortitude Valley Vet, please do not hesitate to contact us at (07) 3216 0045. We are located in Shop 15, Emporium, 1000 Ann Street. Ample free parking on-site. 

Kedi and Fortitude Valley Vet

KEDI movie New Farm Cinema Fortitude Valley Vet movie launch cat kitten

BRISBANE CAT LOVERS MUST NOT MISS THIS EVENT!


Fortitude Valley Vet has joined New Farm Cinemas, Lucky Cat Café and Soapy Moose to bring you a night full of meowing fun for the launch of the movie, Kedi.

Movie-goers will be able to pet adorable pussy cats (and maybe adopt one or two of them) this Thursday 15th June 2017 from 6.30pm. There will also be cat-themed stalls selling adorable jewelleries, kitten-themed greeting cards, mugs, socks, collars for your own cats and much much more!

Dr Nic will also be onsite to answer your feline-inquisitive questions about your own cats.

Kedi is about the hundreds of thousands of cats that have roamed the metropolis of Istanbul freely for thousands of years, wandering in and out of people's lives, impacting them in ways only an animal who lives between the worlds of the wild and the tamed can. Cats and their kittens bring joy and purpose to those they choose, giving people an opportunity to reflect on life and their place in it.


If you have any questions regarding your cat, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet, Shop 15 1000 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley, Emporium. (07) 3216 0045.

Help! There are tartar on my dog's teeth, Spring Hill Vet!

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Help! There are tartar on my dog's teeth, Spring Hill Vet!


Dental plaque glowing under UV lighting. How eerily cool is that! Click here to read more about dental care.

Fortitude Valley Vet offers FREE dental health checks! No appointment needed, just walk-in and one of our friendly staff assist you and your pet.

If you are looking for a Spring Hill vet clinic, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet, Emporium, Brisbane.

Help! My dog is feeling the cold, Brisbane Vet!

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Continuing on from yesterday's blog on Winter tips for your dog in Brisbane.

Help! How can I help my dog in winter, Brisbane Vet?


Should I clip my dog's fur in winter, Brisbane Vet?

Brushing your dog's coat is important not only as this keeps the fur nice, clean and shiny, it also helps to prevent any fur from matting. Dogs that wear jackets for a long period of time can get their fur matted underneath the fabric, and this can create discomfort. Also, some pet parents will leave their dog shaggy over winter but this often leads to skin problems and matting. Keep up the appointments with your local dog groomers because you dog’s fur still needs regular washing and trimming to make your pet comfortable.


Is my dog getting fat in winter, Brisbane Vet?

It generally takes more energy to stay warm when it is cold, so you might need to feed your outdoor ranging dog more during this winter. On the other hand, indoor dogs conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter and are less likely to exercise much when they do go outside, so you might want to keep a close eye on your furry kid's weight. Remember that cold weather is a great time for longer walks with your dogs (as much as it is tempting to just stay warm at home). You will feel fantastic walking your dogs.

What can I do to help my old dogs, Brisbane Vet?

You may notice as the months get colder that your grey-muzzled dog is starting to struggle / struggling to get out of bed. This could be a sign of arthritis. Like humans, winter can be brutal to those achy joints. Besides using orthopaedic dog beds, it is important to have adequate exercise and to keep your dog’s weight under control, you might need to give your pooch some oral joint supplements or visit your local vet for some anti-inflammatory medicine. Acupunture and hydrotherapy are good alternatives to help keep your geriatric dog comfy.

Should I see Brisbane Vet for a health check in winter?

Your pet will cope with the winter better if it is healthy. This is especially important for older dogs that require check-ups before any arthritic treatment can be dispensed. Some pet parents think that parasites are less of an issue during winter but fleas love a heated house to breed! Pets living in the warmer areas of Australia will still need to continue tick, heartworm and intestinal worming treatment regularly.


IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A TRUSTED Brisbane VET, PLEASE CONTACT FORTITUDE VALLEY VET, AT (07) 3216 0045.

Help! My dog is feeling the cold in winter, New Farm Vet!

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If you're anything like me... you're probably wondering where the last four months have gone. Just like that, winter is upon us!

We're pretty fortunate that here in Australia, most of us enjoy a relatively mild winter (or none at all if you’re fortunate to live up North). And while you’re reaching for your second mug of hot cocoa, with your furry kids snuggling up next to you, it certainly is time to assess whether your favourite furry companions are appropriate protected from the elements. Here are my top tips for making sure your pets are comfortable in winter, particularly our senior dogs!

Help! How can I help my dog in winter, New Farm Vet?


Does my dog's physical characteristics make a difference, New Farm Vet?


Some dogs tolerate cold more than others – these are often dog breeds that are bred for colder weather like Samoyeds, Siberian Huskies and Chow Chows. They don't mind the chilly weather. In fact, some of them might surprise you on your walks by gleefully jumping into a freezing puddle without any hesitation! Contrast this with lean or short-furred dogs like Greyhounds or Whippets who will feel the slightest drop in the mercury – these breeds may need to don a coat depending on where you reside. Then, consider the age of your dog. Puppies and geriatric canines should be kept indoors where possible because they are less able to regulate their body temperature.

Should I keep my dog outdoor, New Farm Vet?

If your pooch spends the majority of its time outside then ensure that you’re providing them with proper outdoor housing to keep the chill away. Choose kennels that offer rain and wind protection and make sure to check that there are no gaps in the construction. I also prefer kennels that are raised to keep the cold from coming up from the ground. The roof of the kennel should also be sloped to ensure any rainwater is moved quickly away from the kennel. Location is also key – if you are able to face the entrance of the kennel away from wind, or locate the kennel on a sheltered porch, this will greatly enhance your dog’s comfort.

There should be nice, thick bedding inside the kennel, maybe even a little fleece blanket for your dog to snuggle into. You can throw a couple of old blankets over the kennel to add further insulation on particularly cold days – and of course, consider keeping your dog indoors on particularly cold nights. A hot water bottle (please use warm water only) placed into your pet's kennel goes a long way. I generally don’t encourage the use of electric underpads as they can cause skin burns or pose a danger to dogs that chew a lot.

Should I keep my dogs indoor, New Farm Vet?


Indoor dogs can still get cold at night, particularly if you have tiled or concrete floors. A raised cushioned bed with blankets in a place away from drafts will be ideal. Or you can be like me, spoil your furry kids by letting them onto your bed. They double up as feet warmers.


Stay till for tomorrow's blog on more winter tips.


If you are looking for a trusted New Farm Vet, please contact Fortitude Valley Vet, at (07) 3216 0045.

Help! My dog's eyes turned white, Bowen Hills Vet!

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Help! My dog's eyes turned white overnight, Bowen Hills Vet!


This pooch developed cloudy eyes overnight after eating a big fat sausage! Corneal lipidosis (fat deposit on corneal) is pretty uncommon and is triggered by high fat diet. This is a reversible condition but do seek the advice of your vet immediately if this happens to your doggie. Some diseases can manifest this cloudiness in the eyes with permanent changes when treatments are not initiated.


If you are looking for a Bowen Hills vet clinic, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet, Emporium, Brisbane.

Help! Why is my dog barking so much, Newstead Vet?

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Help! How do I stop my dog from barking too much, Newstead Vet?


I often get complaints from my clients that their doggies bark too much. It is sometimes tricky to get them to see that barking is normal behaviour for dogs. However excessive barking can become a problem and a source of strife within your family and your community. One way of finding out the severity of barking is to ask your neighbours if your pooch barks when you go out. Does your pooch bark all day or only at certain times of the day? You could also try installing a nanny cam and see for yourself.

Why is my dog barking so much, Newstead Vet?

Dogs bark for numerous reasons and hence solutions can vary from one pooch to the other.

Here are some reasons that may be causing your four-legged companion to bark excessively.

Is my dog bored, Newstead Vet?

You have seen it on telly before: a bored kid is a destructive kid! Exercise your pet in the morning before you go out to work. Not only is it good for your pet's mental and physical health, it is also good for you. Try feeding them a meal in the morning to encourage them to take a nap (very much like how I would love to sometimes!). Leave interactive toys out for him / her to play with. If you like, alternate access to different toys daily - this keeps the toy 'fresh' and exciting for your dog. One stimulating game I like to play with Diesel and Dolce is “Seek”. I hide some of their favourite toys around the house and get the doggies to search for them. Doggie day care has become popular recently and it is a great way for your furry kid to socialise with other doggies and keep him / her out of trouble. How about a dog walker? I spent a few summers walking dogs as a part-time job for busy professionals - and I found that it really made a huge difference to the anxiety levels of the dogs after a good 30 minute wallk.

Is my dog anxious, Newstead Vet?

This is a very common behavioural problem I see in the clinic. There are several treatments available but many owners are quick to jump onto drugs. I agree that training can sometimes be frustrating and unrewarding but I still prefer a “non-evasive” method. The goal is to train your pet to be calm whenever you are out. It pays to ignore attention-seeking behaviour and only reward your furry kid for being relaxed. Try not to pay attention to your pooch 30mins before you leave and repeat the same action after you come back into the house. Again, it is important to only reward your pet when he or she is calm and relaxed.

Another useful method is desensitising your four-legged companion to stimulus associated with you leaving home (e.g. picking up your keys, putting on your work clothes, etc). Try picking up your keys and not leaving the house. Make sure you ignore your pet if he or she shows anxiety. Reward when calm. More advanced training include taking short leaves away from home and gradually increasing the time your doggie is left alone at home. Exercise and toys are always a good addition to the above training methods.

Is my dog afraid of something, Newstead Vet?

Is there construction work occurring nearby? Noise coming from your neighbours? Sometimes normal noises you encounter everyday (such as lawnmowers and thunderstorms) can cause fear in your pooch.

Is my dog an attention seeker, Newstead Vet?

Occasionally when I look at dogs barking at their owners, I can  imagine them saying “Look at me! Look at me daddy! Look at me! Wee! Look look look at me!” You can simply modify this attention-seeking barking by ignoring them. Try avoiding eye contact, not talking to them or walking away from them. Reward your furry kid only when he or she is calm and relaxed.

Is my dog territorial, Newstead Vet?

Is your neighbour’s dog inciting your pooch to bark? Do you live on a busy street with many passer-bys? Try associating these stimuli with rewards. It is important to only reward when your doggie is relaxed and not barking. Organise a play date with the dog next door or get your neighbours to give treats every time they walk passed.


If you have tried the above methods and are still not having any luck, then perhaps it is time to consult a veterinary for medical intervention.


If you are looking for a trusted Newstead Vet, please contact Fortitude Valley Vet, at (07) 3216 0045.

Help! What is this fatty lump on my dog, Teneriffe Vet?


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Help! What is this fatty lump on my dog, Teneriffe Vet?


Lipomas, or fat tumors, are benign tumors of fat cells. They are commonly seen in middle-aged to older fat dogs. However some breeds, such as Labradors, Doberman, Schnauzer, and Cocker Spaniels, seem to have a higher chance of developing these lumps.

How do they feel or look like, Teneriffe Vet?

Lipomas tend to be round and slow-growing. Common places to find them are at the chest, abdomen, limbs or armpits. These fat lumps usually do not cause problems until they start compressing adjacent organs when they grow too big.

Areas of concern are on the chest or near/on moving limbs.

How do we know if the lump is a lipoma, Teneriffe Vet?

To accurately diagnose this tumor, a sample of the lump is sent to a pathologist to be analysed. However, many vets may only do a fine needle aspirate (a needle is inserted into the lump and samples sucked out to be viewed under a microscope), and physical examination to diagnose this problem. Surgical removal is usually not necessary unless they are growing on the areas of concern as mentioned above or the lump is getting to a large size.


If you are looking for a trusted Teneriffe vet, please contact Fortitude Valley Vet, at (07) 3216 0045.

Help! Does my dog have heartworm, New Farm Vet?

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Help! Does my dog have heartworm, New Farm Vet?


The incidence of heartworm infection is decreasing in most regions of Australia due to widespread use of heartworm prophylaxes (singular: prophylaxis) but this disease can still be found where ever mosquitoes exist, especially in warmer regions of Australia like Brisbane.

What causes heartworm disease, New Farm Vet?

Heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) is a parasite that is spread by mosquitoes (Culex or Aedes spp.). The heartworm's lifecycle starts inside a mosquito, gaining entry into your pet’s body via a mosquito bite. The juvenile parasites then enter the blood stream after spending some time in the muscles and tissues. Eventually the parasites migrate into the heart and lungs where they grow into adult worms.

When should I start heartworm preventive medication, New Farm Vet?

Heartworm preventive medication should start from 8 weeks of age. However, it is extremely important that you are certain that your pet is free from heartworm disease before starting medication. Hence, if your furry kid is more than 6 months old and has not been on preventive medication, or you are thinking of recommencing preventive medication after a break in treatment (usually greater than 6 months), then you will need a heartworm test. This is crucial as potentially life-threatening reactions can occur if preventive medication is given to a pet that has heartworms.

When in doubt - have your vet give your dog a heartworm test even if the interval between treatments is less than 6 months.

How can heartworm disease be prevented, New Farm Vet?


The following chart lists out some of the more popular active ingredients used in several brands that are effective in preventing heartworm infection.


Active Ingredient
Route
Brands
Diethylcarbamazine

Daily oral pills. If more than 48hrs of treatment is missed, then a heartworm test should be performed prior to recommencing medication. Alternatively, a dose of ivermectin can be given and continued monthly (i.e. adopting the alternative treatment below).

Dimmitrol
Macrolides
(Ivermectin, moxidectin, selamectin and mibemycin)
Monthly prevention. Oral or “spot on” applications available. Most commonly used ingredient. Frequently combined with other ingredients to act as a wormer and flea control. Do not give ivermectin to Collie breeds (Border collies, Sheepdogs, Shelties and Aussie Shepherds).

Heartgard, Interceptor Spectrum, Sentinel Spectrum, Revolution, Advocate, Proheart, Milbemax.
Moxidectin
Annual injection. This is a slow-release preparation (not a vaccine!). Start from 12 weeks of age.

Proheart SR 12



What if my dog has heartworm disease, New Farm Vet?

The most important point to consider is that your vet must be certain that your pooch really has a heartworm infection. If a single test returns positive, further diagnostic tests, especially radiographs of the thorax, are recommended. There are 4 classes of heartworm infection and each class has their own recommended therapy. Melarsomine is the drug of choice to kill adult heartworms. Speak to your vet if you are concerned.


If you are looking for a trusted New Farm Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! My dog has cherry eye, Bowen Hills Vet.

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Help! My dog has cherry eye, Bowen Hills Vet! 


This is an all too common story - you woke up one morning and found a red mass projecting from the corner of your puppy's eye. This mass is actually the tear gland of the third eyelid that has popped out of position. It is called "cherry eye" or prolapsed gland of the third eyelid.

What breeds are commonly affected by cherry eye, Bowen Hills Vet?

Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Pekingese, Shih-Tzu, Lhasa Apso and Poodles seem to be pre-disposed to this condition. Although this problem is not painful, your pup may start pawing at the eye and cause self-trauma. In addition, prolonged exposure of the gland may compromise the function of tear production, resulting in soreness in the eye.

 What are the treatments available, Bowen Hills Vet?

Surgical replacement of the gland back into the third eyelid is the only permanent solution to this problem. Some vets may attempt to reduce this swelling temporary by using local anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory drugs. However, cherry eye tends to relapse if not surgically corrected.

Don't DIY by pushing the gland back in, you may cause permanent damage to your dog's eye!


If you are looking for a trusted Bowen Hills Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! My dog has hip dysplasia, New Farm Vet. Part 2.

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Help! My dog has hip dysplasia, New Farm Vet.


What are the treatment available if my pet has hip dysplasia, New Farm Vet?

Treatment options are influenced by a number of factors including severity of the disease, age and size of your pet, activity level, owner preferences, cost and whether referral to a specialist surgeon is needed. Often a combination of treatments may need needed to help manage this problem.


1) Weight loss - Just like us, humans, reduction in body weight will place less stress on the hips. Often weight loss is the only treatment your pet need to manage this problem. Hip dysplasia is commonly seen in overweight pets.


2) Moderate exercise -  Maintaining strong pelvic and hind limb muscles helps strengthen the hip joint and reduces wear and tear. Many hip dysplasia affected pets stop exercising as they are in pain. However, this may set off a vicious cycle where less exercise results in weak pelvis and hind limb muscles that further destabilise the joints, making them more painful. Try using a hydrothread (underwater treadmills), swimming, or walking uphill.


3) Natural oral supplements - We are familiar with the anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3 in Fish oils. Less inflammatory response results in less pain perception. It is recommended to take 1000mg pill per 5kg to help decrease pain. Glucosamine and chondriotin sulfate stimulate synthesis of synovial fluid and inhibit degradation and improve healing of articular cartilage. 250mg of glucosamine and 200mg of chondroitin per 5kg is recommended. It may take up to 6 weeks before any improvement is noticed.

4) Anti-inflammatory medicine - Pentosan polysulfate has been touted as a "natural" anti-inflammatory medicine with minimal side effects. It aids in normal remodeling of the cartilage to improve the contour of the hip joint. However, it can take up to 4 weeks before any signs of improvements are detected. Non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs are the go-to medicine if you desire quicker pain relief for your pet. It is crucial that your pet does not have any kidney problems before starting long term NSAIDs as this type of drugs may damage the kidneys if not used correctly.

5) Surgical treatment - The above options do not halt or reverse the progression of destructive changes in the joint. Many animals will need surgical corrects some point in their life. There are several surgical procedures that can help treat pets with debilitating hip pain and lameness. However the procedure selected is dependant on several factors such as age, size of your pet and activity level. Operations include rearranging the bones of the pelvis (Triple pelvic osteotomy), removal of the femoral head (femoral head ostectomy), or total hip replacement.


If you are looking for a trusted New Farm Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.


Help! My dog has hip dysplasia, Teneriffe Vet. Part 1.

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I think my dog has hip dyplasia, Teneriffe Vet.


In a normal hip joint, the head of the femur (thigh bone) fits snugly into the joint socket (hip joint). Hip dysplasia is characterised by the development of a poor fit between the femoral head and the hip joint, resulting in instability in the hips. This leads to abnormal wear and tear, causing pain and further degeneration in the joint.

Hip dysplasia is more commonly seen in larger dogs and cats than in smaller animals. It is postulated that there are 2 main factors affecting the development of hip dysplasia - genes and environmental factors.

Are there genetics involved, Teneriffe Vet?

Certain breeds are more pre-disposed to this problem. St. Bernard, German Shepherds, Labrador and Golden retrievers, Rottweilers and Maine Coons are some known breeds that carry the genes that pre-dispose them to this disease. There is a 75% chance your pet will develop this problem if both parents suffer from this disease. Hence, it is important to find out if a pet you intend to own, in the future, has his/her parents' hip scores determined. Hip scoring is a procedure used to determine the degree of hip dysplasia in pets via a series of x-rays.

What about environmental factors, Teneriffe Vet?

Rapid growth rate is often thought to influence the development of hip dysplasia in very young animals. It is advised that you feed 25% less food to a growing pup or kitten to slow growth rate. Some vets suggesting changing from puppy/kitten to adult food from 4 months old on to limit nutrition. As for adult pets, obesity increases the pressure on the hip joint and may contribute to the excessive wear and tear on the joint. Other environmental factors include excessive exercises that traumatise the hip joint or inadequate exercises resulting in weak pelvic muscles, causing instability of the joint.


What are the signs, Teneriffe Vet?

Earliest symptoms of this disease often manifest themselves between 4 months to 1 years old. Avoidance of exercise, "bunny hoping" when running, stiffness when rising from the floor, reluctance to jump or difficulty in climbing the stairs often are early signs of hip dysplasia. Muscle atrophy of the hind limbs are is as the disease progresses.

An audible click may be heard coming from one or both hips when the dog is walking. In other times, a Wobbly gait is one of the earliest signs you can see in a puppy with hip dysplasia.

Your local vet will often become suspicious of hip dysplasia if manipulation of the back legs and hip joints causes your pet pain during a physical examination.


What happens if I suspect my pet has hip dysplasia, Teneriffe Vet?

Seek the advice of a vet. Physical examination and history taking will indicate if your pet is at risk of this disease. However, radiography and x-rays taken of your pet's hip are the only definitive diagnosis of hip dysplasia. A positive otolani test also provide additional evidence of this disease.

Stay tune for tomorrow's blog post on treatments available for hip dyplasia.


If you are looking for a trusted Teneriffe Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.


How do I take care of a guinea pig, New Farm Vet?

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Hi New Farm Vet, I just adopted a guinea pig, what should I do? 


Guinea pigs housing requirements are quite similar to a rabbit. These adorable creatures can be housed outdoors or totally indoors.

What type of enclosure should I use, New Farm Vet?

It is recommended that a guinea pig be housed in an enclosure that is at least 30cm by 60cm wide. Since cavies do not jump or climb, the height of the enclosure needs to be 30cm high and can be left opened (beware of predators if housed outside!).


Should be easy to clean and "chew-proof", New Farm vet?


Like rabbits, avoid wire mesh floors as they cause harm to their feet and lead to pododermatitis.
Guinea pigs produce a lot of urine and faeces so make sure that the enclosure is well ventilated to prevent the build up of ammonia. The fumes can irritate the eyes and respiratory tract. Place the enclosure in a dry, draft and rain free area. Heat stress is a common fatal illness, so make sure the temperature in the enclosure ranges between 18-25 degrees Celsius.

What to put in the enclosure, New Farm Vet?

Line the enclosure with hay, straw, shredded newspapers or recycled paper pellets. Avoid wood shavings or saw dust as they may cause respiratory problems.

Caves, like rabbits, love to explore. Leave cardboard boxes, pvc pipes or thick layer of hay/straw for them to hide and burrow. This also provides mental enrichment.

Provide at least two water bottles for your cavies just in case one gets clog up with food. Avoid using water bowls as they tend to be easily soiled and cause wetting of the enclosure.

Should I give any behavioural enrichment toys, New Farm Vet?

4 main points to satisfy:

1) Socialise
2) Gnaw and chew
3) Tunnel, explore and play
4) Hide and rest.

Toys include toilet paper rolls, paper bags, bird or cat toys. Tree branches are ideal for chewing.

Guinea pigs enjoy exercise outside their enclosure. Just remember to guinea pig proof your home! Plug any tiny holes you can find to prevent escape.

Can I house my guinea pig with other animals, New Farm Vet?

Guinea pigs are very sociable animals, so they enjoy the company of other cavies. Groups of female only or desexed males only are suitable. Similarly, grouping girls with desexed boys are OK too. Any introductions should be on neutral territory and under supervision.


If you are looking for a New Farm Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! Which vaccinations should I give my dog, Bowen Hills Vet?

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Should you vaccinate your dogs yearly because your local vet says you should? And do you know what you are vaccinating your dog against? Read on to find out why you should vaccinate and what you should vaccinate against.

Which type of vaccines should I give my dog, Bowen Hills Vet?


Core vaccines Vs Non-core vaccines

Core vaccines are given to dogs to protect them against severe, life-threatening diseases that are present in many parts of the world. On the other hand, non-core vaccines are generally considered non-essential but are given to dogs that have high exposure to less-threatening diseases such as kennel cough.

I recommend what is termed as 'strategic vaccination' in the veterinarian industry. This considers a variety of factors to decide on a course of action that involves just the use of core vaccines or a combination of core and non-core. The factors that should be taken into consideration include the dog’s age, lifestyle (indoor VS outdoor), immune status (estimated using serological titre - used to determine the amount of antibodies present in the dog) and environmental risk (presence of diseases in the region).

What type of vaccine is given to my dogs, Bowen Hills Vet?

The most frequently administered vaccines in Australia are the C3 or C5.

C3 is a core vaccine that protects against canine parvovirus, canine distemper and canine hepatitis.

C5 includes the core vaccine of C3 plus non-core vaccines to provide additional protection against canine parainfluenza and Bordetella spp. In some countries (such as Southeast Asia and the United States), the rabies vaccine is considered a core vaccine. The following presents information on the core diseases:

Diseases and symptoms:

Canine distemper: Common in Southeast Asia. A range of neurological signs observed including seizures, loss of balance, blindness, coughing and diarrhoea.

Canine hepatitis: Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, liver failure.

Canine parvovirus: Fatal bloody diarrhoea, anorexia, vomiting.

Rabies: Change in behaviour, paralysis, aggression.


When to give my dog the vaccine, Bowen Hills Vet?

Generally, core vaccines are given when your pup is 8 weeks old, and then at 12 weeks, followed by another at 16 weeks old. A booster is given at 15 months of age (a year later) and every year after that. If your adult doggie has never been vaccinated, he will require 2 doses of vaccine at 4 weeks interval. It is now a legal requirement in Australia for puppies to have their first vaccination before being sold or adopted by new owners.

So do I choose a 3-yearly cycle or an annual vaccination, Bowen Hills Vet?

Decide for yourself. Some argue that vaccines may cause horrible side effects and others think that this may possibly be a ploy for vets and drug companies to make more money.  In my years of experience, I have never had an adverse vaccine reaction, except for localised swelling, in a puppy because I use a reputably vaccine brand. Experts have consistently shown that disease outbreaks are common in communities with reduced vaccination rates. Parvovirus outbreaks are very common near major cities in Australia.

It is important to note that dogs living in kennels require non-core vaccine (Kennel cough vaccine) on a yearly basis to keep kennel cough at bay (very much like how you would get a yearly flu vaccine).

My recommendation is to choose a yearly cycle of vaccination as I rather be safe than to be sorry. Parvovirus can strike puppies and adult dogs with high mortality rate. In my opinion, yearly vaccination is the only way I am sure that my dogs are protected against these nasty viruses. If you do decide on a 3-yearly one, remember to visit your local vet annually for the kennel cough vaccine and health check. And if you still remain unconvinced, do a serological titre test to measure the amount of antibodies present in your furry kid to guard against nasty diseases on a yearly basis.


If you are looking for a Bowen Hills Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! My beardies have bone diseases, New Farm Vet.


3 types of bearded dragons are commonly kept in Australia; the Eastern Bearded Dragon (Pogona Barbata), the Pygmy Bearded Dragon (Pogona  henrylawsoni) and the Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Bearded dragons love the sun and it isn't uncommon to see them basking on the road side, on your fence posts or on large rocks in your garden. They are docile and gentle animals and relatively easy to care for. They are rather flighty, so if you're keeping one as a pet, be mindful of open doors, windows or if they're in the presence of other pets.


Help! My dragons have metabolic bone disease, New Farm Vet.


Most diseases affecting Bearded dragons can be traced back to husbandry problems so it pays to research on their requirements. Bearded Dragons are omnivores and diet is similar for all 3 species. Crickets and cockroaches are their preferred meat supplement while leafy greens and sprouts provide a suitable source of vitamins and minerals. They are prone to Metabolic Bone Diseases and resulting limb fractures due to low bone density. Supplements that contain Calcium and Vitamin D3 can be given to prevent MBD. Another method is to "gut load" crickets (or their food supply) by raising the insects on insectivore mix food and then dusting them with calcium. It is also important to provide adequate UV light to the dragons daily for calcium absorption. Natural sunlight that is not filtered through a window or glass enclosure are ideal if not, special UV lamps can be used.

Inadequate supply of water can also lead to development of Gout - uric acid crystals depositing in joints.  It is essential to provide water that is clean and not soiled by faeces or food. Elevate the water bowl if possible.

As with other reptiles, bearded dragons are cold blooded animals and require heat to carry out normal metabolic functions. The enclosure should have a temperature gradient that allows the dragon to seek out warmth when needed. Regularly check the heat source such as heating pads and hot rocks to ensure that they are working properly. Thermal burn wounds take weeks and even months to heal. Suitable substrate and structures in the enclosure must be provided to help prevent skin diseases such a dysecdysis (problem with sloughing). Be careful when you keep two Beardies together. Fights are common especially between males, and can result in bite wounds and fractures.

When Bearded Dragons are well taken cared of, they can live up to 15 years and provide you with lots of company. And remember, all reptiles are protected by Australian law and prohibitions generally exist against the collection of reptiles from the wild. Legal requirements vary from state to state so please check out with your State or Territory National Parks and Wildlife Service.


If you are looking for a New Farm vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! Should I let a tenant keep a pet, Fortitude Valley Vet?


Help! Should I let a tenant keep a pet, Fortitude Valley Vet?


To start helping you to find the correct answer, let's look at a couple of statistics that Fortitude Valley Vet has found on the web:

A survey published by the REIA has found almost a third of the landlords would allow pets in their rental homes, whilst 39.3 percent would not, with the rest undecided.

RSPCA has indicated that 63% of Australian Households have pets but a whopping 42% of pet-owning renters could not secure a home.

This would suggest that there is a very high number of prospective tenants with pets that are having a lot of difficulty finding a rental property.


I have asked a few of Fortitude Valley Vet's clients who are rental estate agents for their advice. And this is what they have suggested:

Pet owner tenants are more likely to be houseproud, and would take more effort to ensure your property is well-taken care of.

Pet owner tenants are more likely to stay longer at properties. This would also suggest that they are more likely to accept yearly rent increase as tenants know it is difficult to secure another property.

Pet owner tenants are more willing to pay a premium to stay in pet-friendly rentals as they know there is a huge lack of supply.

Pet owner tenants are more likely to be honest and upfront from the start about their pet situation.

Consider asking for a Pet Resume to help you decide if the particular pet's breed, age, activity level and health would be suitable for you. References from a vet or previous landlord/agent would be helpful.

 It is also important to ask the Body Corporate if approval is required for pets. Many apartments in Fortitude Valley, Newstead and Teneriffe often have an application process before a pet is allowed.

I hope this helps you to determine if you would like to have a tenant with a pet. Come see us at Fortitude Valley Vet, Emporium, Brisbane, if you have further questions.

Help! How do I squeeze my dog's anal glands, Teneriffe Vet?



The anal glands/sacs are a pair of small glandular structures, located inside the anus (imagine the anus to be a face of a clock and the glands are located at the 4 and 8 o’clock position). Each sac has a small duct that empties a foul-smelling fluid that is normally squeezed out onto faeces every time your dog defecates.  When your pet is unable to void this secretion properly, it can lead to blockage, infection and abscess formation.

Small dogs (particularly overweight specimens) such as miniature poodles, toy poodles and Chihuahuas seem to be predisposed to this problem. It is also reported that chronically soft faeces and poor muscle tone can contribute to anal gland problems.

Help! How do I squeeze my dog's anal glands, Teneriffe Vet?


How do I know if my dog has anal gland problems, Teneriffe Vet?

Signs vary according to the stage the condition has reached. I like to call the initial signs “the itchy bum syndrome”. Your dog will drag or scoot his bottom on the ground as if he is relieving an itch. Occasionally you can smell the odour or even find wet smelly patches on your carpet. Some dogs will lick their anal area and others will chase their tails. The area around the anus may also become inflamed from trauma caused by scooting or licking. Blocked anal glands can quickly become infected, leading to the formation of an abscess if not treated appropriately. The abscess formed can be very painful and can rupture through the skin.

It is important to note that dogs suffering from food allergies or intestinal worms can cause similar signs. Make sure your dog is up to date with his worming routine using an all-wormer (including tapeworm).

What are the treatments available, Teneriffe Vet?

Blocked anal glands can usually be relieved by carefully squeezing out the contents which involves inserting a finger into your pet’s anus. I do not recommend owners to DIY this as you may cause more harm than good. Visit your local vet to get this done professionally.

A less “invasive” method is to put a tissue on the anus, place your thumb and forefinger just below the anal opening. It will be roughly at the 4 and 8 o’clock position and gently pinch in and squeeze. Blocked glands can sometime be felt as two firm bubbles underneath the skin at this area. This method is less effective at emptying the glands. When in doubt, always consult your local vet and ask him/her to show you how to do it. Watch my How-to video on expressing anal glands down beforelow

Infected glands are usually painful and will require general anaesthesia. The glands are flushed and antibiotic administered. Abscesses will require lancing, flushing and a drain inserted to prevent further pus accumulation.


There is a high recurrence rate of all types of anal gland diseases especially infection and abscess formation. Some experts recommend removal of anal glands (anal sacculectomy) if glands are required to be emptied every few weeks. The operation involves delicate surgery as the anal glands lie within the anal sphincter muscle and very close to the nerves and arteries supplying the anus.  However when the surgery is performed well by a skilled surgeon, the results are excellent and healing is rapid.

How often should I have my pet’s anal glands emptied, Teneriffe Vet?

Let your pet decide for you. If you find your pet scooting, then it is probably time to pay the vet a visit.

What else can I do to help my pet with this problem, Teneriffe Vet?

Bulking up their faeces with physllium husk may be a good idea. Similarly, you can try adding pumpkin to their diet to increase fiber intake. As with a lot of other diseases, exercise will be beneficial for your pet by strengthening up his muscle tone and shedding the extra pounds.





If you are looking for a Tenerrife vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! My dog is prone to heat stress, Newstead Vet

heat stress dog puppy fortitude valley vet emporium newstead teneriffe


It has been rather cool lately in Brisbane but heat stress can occur at any time throughout the year and it can be fatal. I nearly lost Diesel to heat stress many years ago while I was out with him on an evening walk in spring so now I am pretty vigilante ensuring that Diesel does not overheat again. However, this doesn’t mean we have to walk or engage in outdoor activities with your four-legged companion only at night!

Help! My dog is prone to heat stress, Newstead Vet.

Tips on preventing heat stress this summer.


  • Check daily maximum temperatures before heading out with your doggie. Early morning or evening is ideal – lots of sunlight still for you to enjoy. Common sense dictates to avoid the hottest part of the day and your pooch will enjoy the walk even more. Realise also that the pavement or path is a lot hotter (and retains heat) compared with the grass. Here's a tip: touch the pavement with your hand to check how hot it is.
  • Try to head to places that have cool shady areas such as picnic shelters / gazebos in a park or near tall leafy trees. This allows your furry kid to move around and seek shade when needed.
  • Bring water with you. There are many commercially available water containers that you can fold easily and put it in your bag or attach to the lead handle. Seek out parks that have water fountains for dogs.
  • Never leave your pet in a car even if you do not think it is a hot day - and that's even with the windows down parked in the shade. Neither should you leave your pet on a back of a yute/truck without adequate shade and water. Temperature on a summer’s day can easily reach hazardous levels for your dog. Remember that you can be distracted, or something might suddenly keep you occupied - if you're not with your pets, they should always be securely in place at a location where there is water, shade and safety. 
  • If you really have to bring your pooch out on a hot day for a picnic or beach outing, heed the above suggestions PLUS: bring along a spray bottle. Misting your dog, especially in the face and paws, helps to ease the discomfort from the heat. I personally would also bring a towel soaked with water and put it into a chiller bag with some ice in it - but make sure the towels aren't too icy cold. Wipe your dog down several times a day to help cool him down. This bag also doubles up as your EMERGENCY SUMMER PET PACK. - if your dog is in heat stress, immediately cool your dog down with the wet towels and go immediately to an emergency vet hospital. These towels cannot be too cold (slightly cooler than room temperature is fine) as this may send a dog undergoing heat stress into shock.   Similarly, you can also drench him with bottles of cool water you have stashed inside the chiller bag.
  • Bring your dogs indoors on hot days. If you cannot, consider getting a clamshell sandpit and fill it up with water for your dog to play in.


How do I know if my dog has heat stress, Newstead Vet?

  •  Excessive panting
  •  Excessive salivating
  •  Vomiting
  •  Diarrheoa
  •  Collapse
  •  Seizure
  • Dark red gums

IF YOU SEE THESE SIGNS, HEAD IMMEDIATELY TO A VET HOSPITAL.

Time is of the essence.  While transporting your dog to the hospital, actively cool your dog with cool water or wet towels, and apply a fan if possible.

Take extra precaution with long haired, overweight, young and older animals. Breeds that are “flat-faced” or have short nose, such as Boxers, Bull dogs, Pugs and Pekinese are more susceptible to heat stress.

Otherwise, enjoy the great outdoor and don’t forget sunscreen for your doggie!

If you are looking for a Newstead Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.