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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.