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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

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).

(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.
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.