With Cat Month coming to a close, we thought it only fitting to highlight the amazing work of our friends at the Cat Protection Society in Greensborough.
For those who aren’t aware, the Cat Protection Society (CPS) was formed in 1989 after the old Greensborough Shelter was renovated. Since then they have advocated for education in the community focusing on the responsibilities of cat ownership.
With many of our clients bringing in their new additions from the CPS, we have built a wonderful relationship over the years. We have promoted their cat adoption and fostering program, and in that time they have referred clientele to our practice for use of our hospital facilities and surgeries.
As well as this, with each winter bringing us donated blankets and towels from our wonderful community, they are divided between local shelters such as Animal Aid in Coldstream and the CPS in Greensborough.
For those looking to adopt or become involved in fostering, all cats at CPS have been given a clean bill of health and are ready for their new furrever/foster homes. The Cat Protection Society is located on Elder Street, Greensborough and is open 7 days a week.
Although we use the month of September as our feline focus, Cat Month is all year round at Eltham Veterinary Practice!
With our dedicated cat corner and advice on hand with our lovely staff, be rest assured they’re in good hands when they come through our doors
Ahhh... the leaves have fallen, the extra blanket is on the bed, thongs have been swapped for shoes and socks and you're just about to lean back with your hot cuppa, and that's when you hear it. It's a barely audible sound, but its persistent, there it goes again.. and again.. its getting closer.... and just as you're on high alert, in comes your best mate "Freckles". She is a mixed breed pooch who has been a part of your family for perhaps around 7 years or maybe its now 10 years? You become aware that somewhere along the way, weeks turned into months that then became years.... and now as dear old (and sometimes slightly pongy!) Rover sits with you the realisation creeps in that those creaking sounds weren't the door that needs a spray of WD40, it was in fact "Freckles" aging joints.
Now realistically we know we've taken some liberties in our story, we know you don't hear joints creaking quite like that but - if you could, wouldn't it be a handy reminder to get your pet “WD40'd? OK.. there we go again with our fanciful story telling.. obviously we don't spray pets with lubricant spray!
So lets cut straight to the chase, when was the last time you looked at your pet...we mean really looked at your pet. Not taking a glance over to check that your pooch is in the corner with his usual chew toy and that the cat is in her favourite sleeping spot. We mean taking a moment out from the daily grind to look, and assess where you think your pet is at in terms of their health and lifestyle.
With our pets aging so much faster than us, its easy to forget that the years really do fly by, and before you know it - that cute little bundle of fluff is now hitting their senior silver whisker years.
With the weather turning, now is the best possible time to ensure that your pet (whether they be dog, cat, rabbit or even something else!) is ready for the cooler months ahead.
We're confident that you'll be pleasantly surprised by the abundance of options and suggestions that we can share with you to increase your furry friends health and lifestyle during these colder months. Our idea's are tailored to your pets individual needs and might include simple changes to your home environment allowing for easier mobility access, or perhaps an easy to feed speciality diet for mobility improvement or possibly even medication.
We would love for you to come in and see us, or call us to discuss what we can suggest for your furry family members.
We are lucky to be your pets healthcare team and we never take for granted the significance of our position and role within your family. This is why we are continually looking for ways to improve the total well being of your pets life. As pet owners and animal lovers ourselves we understand that our pets happiness is paramount to their health and well-being and our goal is to help you provide your pet with just that!
If there’s one thing most Australian’s understand it’s don’t mess with our wildlife. We are infamous for our dangerous animals; whether it’s deadly snakes, jellyfish, octopus, sharks, crocodiles or spiders. So it should come as no surprise to us that we have a species of ticks, known as Ixodes Holocyclus, which can cause total paralysis in our pets – resulting in their unfortunate death unless treatment is sought immediately.
Where are Paralysis Ticks found?
If you live on the East Coast of Australia, from North Queensland to Victoria, you and your animals are at risk from Paralysis Ticks. Their natural hosts are bandicoots, possums, kangaroos and koalas. You’ll find these ticks lurking in bushy, scrubby edges of parkland, long grasses and at the edge of rainforest areas. After rain the wet weather flushes ticks out onto the tips of shrubs and grasses, where they wait for passing hosts to brush by, hoping to catch a meal and a ride.
Paralysis Tick Identification
There are three types of ticks we commonly encounter in Australia – the brown dog tick, bush tick and paralysis tick. It’s the female adult paralysis tick that poses the biggest danger to your pet. As the female paralysis tick sucks blood from its victim, it secretes toxins into its host – it’s these toxins that can affect the nervous system and can ultimately lead to death. The most common place to find a tick on a dog is towards the front of its body. The mouth, ears and around the collar are the big hotspots, as well the armpits of dogs and between the toes and paw pads.
If a tick is located it should be removed as soon as possible. To remove a tick you must pull out the tick as close to the skin as possible to ensure you remove the head. Tweezers or specific ‘tick removing’ tools pulled firmly and steadily will do the trick. Paralysis ticks are notoriously hard to extract without breaking but once they are detached they are dead and cannot continue to produce toxin or burrow. However, if it very important NOT TO SQUEEZE the tick when trying to remove it; this can result in it regurgitating its ingested contents into the victim – causing even more damage.
When in doubt you should always bring your pet to the closest vet clinic to remove and identify the tick.
Tick identification is critical as it will help you decide if your dog needs close monitoring. It’s important to remember that even though a paralysis tick has been removed the signs can worsen over the next 24-48 hours. Remember to check your pet thoroughly for other ticks, where there is one, there could be others – and often it’s on the second or third sweep when we discover other stragglers hidden away.
Paralysis Tick Symptoms
It takes a couple of days of attachment before the toxins begin to develop. The signs may be subtle at first – lethargy, loss of appetite, panting, coughing and regurgitation. You may also experience a change in the bark of your pet. As the toxins progress the dog can start stumbling until the back limbs become very weak. Eventually the paralysis becomes so severe that the animal cannot stand or lift its head and its breathing becomes quite compromised.
At the end of the day prevention is far better than cure. There is an anti-serum available which is quite successful, but only if treated early enough.
There are a number of tick repelling and tick killing agents on the market. Sprays, rinses and collars all containing certain levels of tick poison seem to be the readily distributed in shops but are often quite ineffective. The best option is to discuss prevention with your veterinarian; they should be aware of the current best products to use.
In short, remember these important points;
Although you may not think so, grass seeds are one of the most common problems encountered by pets (especially dogs!) over the warmer months. Once tangled in the fur, they can easily penetrate the skin and are notorious for the way they manage to burrow deeply into the body. Many unsuspecting owners may not realise the extent to which their pet has been affected until the seed has already penetrated well into the skin! In many cases, surgery under deep sedation may be the only option for removing a stubborn seed. Grass seeds tend to become more prevalent from late spring up to the end of summer.
Grass seeds are shaped in such a way that it they only trek inwards once caught in your pet’s coat. Their pointed head and arrow-shaped fibres enable them to cling and tangle in fur, and their awn makes travelling backwards extremely difficult. They can become lodged almost anywhere on or in a dog given enough fur and time!
The seeds are sources of infection that cause inflammation and painful swelling, which then develop into an abscess. They tend to require surgical removal, as they usually cannot be broken down by the body alone. It is therefore not simply enough to provide antibiotics to eradicate the seeds as although they will initially tackle the infection and reduce the initial swelling, it will keep returning as long as the seed remains in the body.
Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms depend on where the seed initially lodges and begins to migrate. Here are the most common locations:
Nose: Commonly we will see bloody nasal discharge if your dog gets a grass seed stuck in this area. This is usually accompanied by continuous sneezing and rubbing of the nose or face.
Ears: Your dog may shake or scratch their ears, rub their head along the floor or walk at a tilted angle. The ear might also be sore to touch and the dog may constantly hold their head to one side.
Skin: The dog may try to remove the grass seed by licking and chewing a specific area. The awn might visibly protrude from the skin, which could appear swollen and red with pus or blood. From here the seed can move into the abdomen or chest, in which case surgery is definitely required to remove it.
Feet: Signs of a grass seed in the feet are swelling, redness and sometimes a small weeping hole between the toes. Dogs will often try to lick or chew the affected area. They may also limp or hold their leg up. A seed can travel from the feet up through the leg, all the way up to the chest or joints.
Depending on how deeply embedded the seed is, it may be possible for the vet to extract it without too much discomfort to your pet with the appropriate instruments. If the seed is quite embedded then anaesthesia or deep sedation will be required so the area the seed has penetrated can be thoroughly explored and cleaned. Medications are often required afterwards to reduce pain and clear up any infection the grass seed would have caused upon entrance through the skin.
There are some measures you can take to reduce grass seeds becoming a problem in your beloved pet.
First, try to stay away from walking your dog in fields with long grass as much as possible - stick to areas where it has been cut short. This includes keeping grass in your own garden short!
Second, ensure that any excessive hair around the paws, ears and arm pits are trimmed on a regular basis - especially over grass seed season - so the seeds cannot easily catch on and tangle in the fur.
Third, make sure to check your dog’s body thoroughly for grass seeds after every walk – particularly between the toes! Take note of anything that looks unusual or any different behaviour or symptoms your dog may be exhibiting.
If you think they may have a grass seed stuck somewhere in their body, or they are displaying some strange behaviour, take them to the vet before it becomes too late to do anything about it. The earlier the problem is identified, the quicker (and cheaper!) it can be treated before it spreads too far and becomes a serious surgical problem.
Christmas and New Year’s are just around the corner!
Although this is a fun time full of celebration and relaxing this is also the time of the year when veterinary clinics see a surge in all kinds of pet toxicities.
There are certain human foods that you should not feed your pet under any circumstances. Many of which are perfectly suitable for human consumption but may be toxic for your pet.
Here is a list, in alphabetical order, of common human foods that are unsafe or toxic for pet consumption.
Alcohol – Alcohol can cause not only intoxication, lack of coordination, poor breathing, and abnormal discomfort - but potentially even coma and death due to organ dysfunction (primarily the kidneys).
Avocado – Avocados contain ‘Persin’, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and heart congestion.
Cooked Bones – When it comes to bones, the danger is that cooked bones can easily splinter when chewed by your dog. This can cause severe irritation to the stomach lining and bowels. Raw bones, however, are appropriate and good for maintaining your dog’s dental health – assuming your dog is crunching them properly!
Chocolate – Chocolate is very toxic to dogs and should be avoided at all costs. Not only does it contain caffeine (which is enough to harm your dog by itself) but chocolate contains theobromine and theophylline, which can cause panting, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors and can damage your dog’s heart and nervous system.
Coffee – Coffee is an important part of many peoples day, but it poses the same toxic risk that chocolate does towards dogs – avoid at all costs!
Corn on the Cob – This is a sure way to get your pet’s intestines obstructed as they are often swallowed whole. They usually always require surgical removal – failure to do so results in vomiting, intestinal damage and eventually death.
Fat Trimmings/High-fat meat – Fat is delicious, your dog will love nothing more than to eat any offered fatty foods – such as sausages or meat trimmings. Unfortunately for them, however, their pancreas simply can’t handle such an enriched quantity of fat and they often get a condition called pancreatitis; resulting in lethargy, vomiting and inappetance – often days after they have ingested the fatty meal. Hospitalisation is often required.
Garlic – Garlic is related to onions which are toxic for dogs – it can cause severe anemia. Avoid it.
Grapes and Raisins – This is one that lots of dog owners are unaware of. Grapes contain a toxin that can cause severe liver damage and kidney failure in pets. While the exact quantity of grapes that is required to cause toxic damage is unknown it is best to simply avoid it.
Macadamia Nuts – These contain a toxin that can inhibit locomotory activities, resulting in weakness, panting, swollen limbs, and tremors as well as possible damage to your dog’s digestive, nervous, and muscle systems.
Marijuana – Marijuana can adversely affect your pup’s nervous system and heart rate, and induce vomiting.
Milk and Dairy Products – Dogs are lactose intolerant and can’t properly digest dairy foods. Dairy will often cause flatulence and diarrhea in dogs.
Onions and Chives – No matter what form they’re in (dry, raw, cooked, powder, within other foods) - onions are some of the absolute worst foods you could possibly give your dog. They contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate); both of which can cause severe anemia (and possibly death!) as they very quickly damage red blood cells.
Tobacco – A major toxic hazard for dogs (and humans). The effects nicotine has on dogs are far worse than on humans. Nicotine can damage your pup’s digestive and nervous systems, increase their heart rate, make them pass out and ultimately result in death.
Xylitol – A sugar alcohol found in gum, lollies, baked goods, and other sugar-substituted items. Xylitol, while causing no apparent harm to humans, is extremely toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, even death for your pup.
Yeast (on its own or in dough) – Just like yeast rises in bread, it will also expand and rise within your pup’s tummy. Make sure they don’t get any or they could get very uncomfortable and require their stomach to be pumped under anaesthetic!
Overall: When in Doubt, Ask a Vet!
If your dog is acting strangely, or experiencing even minor symptoms including weakness, lack of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea – particularly if you think they may have consumed something they shouldn’t have - seek a veterinarian’s attention immediately.
It’s far better to be safe than sorry.
Heat exhaustion, also often referred to as heat stress or heat stroke, is a life-threatening condition that occurs in animals of all kinds. In our hospital we frequently see this in dogs over the hot summer period. When dogs and cats are not able to dissipate heat adequately, their body temperature soars well above the normal range of 37.5 to 39.0 degrees Celsius. If their body temperature ever rises beyond 40.5 degrees Celsius then there is a high risk that internal organs may start to get damaged. Kidney failure, liver disease, clotting problems, bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, gastric ulceration, seizures and coma are a few of the conditions that may occur. Even with aggressive treatment, prognosis can often be quite poor.
Heat stroke occurs most often when animals with problems cooling themselves are exposed to excessive heat and/or humidity. A few health factors associated with heat exhaustion include:
Environmental factors obviously play a huge role in causing heat exhaustion. Sadly, every summer you will often hear of children or pets that have died after being left in a hot car.
If you have a pet prone to heat stroke, please keep them out of the heat whenever possible. Heat stroke can develop in as little as five to ten minutes. A common story we hear is a geriatric pet that goes outside and then can’t get back through the doggy door or struggles to position themselves out of the sun. Symptoms to watch for include rapid breathing, a depressed or sad attitude and dark red gums. They may also experience vomiting and diarrhoea. If the pet is not cooled off quickly, their condition continues to rapidly deteriorate into bloody vomiting or diarrhoea, collapse, seizures and problems breathing.
The RSPCA have provided 10 useful tips to help your pet avoid heat exhaustion in hot weather:
We all like to have our pets with us when we’re out enjoying the sun, but whether it’s the beach or a football game, sometimes the safest and most loving thing to do is leave them home!
Just as in humans, snake bite envenomation can be a life threatening event for dogs and cats and prompt urgent medical treatment is critical for your pet's survival.
Snakes are found throughout Australia and are typically only active over the warmer months between September to March. They are often encountered on walking trails and are usually found basking in the morning or afternoon sun.
In Victoria we have three main species of snakes; Tiger snakes, Brown snakes and Red-Bellied Black snakes. Tiger snakes can vary from mostly black in colour to light brown with dark stripes, they usually like to live near a water source such as a river. Brown snakes and Red-Bellied Black snakes appear as their name suggests, and both prefer more arid and dry locations.
Sometimes the diagnosis can be easy; often owners will be aware that their pet has been near a snake or playing with a snake - either due to finding a dead snake or witnessing the event itself. Other times the history may not be so clear, a common situation we are presented with is a dog who has been out on a walk, was heard yelping while exploring around in tall grass or bushes, and then shortly afterwards seems to become very wobbly on their feet or starts to vomit. Cats are commonly bitten by snakes too, however they will usually present weak and lethargic often 24 hours after being bitten.
DO NOT attempt to kill the snake!
This puts YOUR OWN LIFE AT RISK and the information acquired is simply not worth the danger!
The symptoms related to snake envenomation can vary and may include:
TYPES OF VENOM
Different species of snakes have different chemicals in their venom, and so a Tiger snake envenomation can look very different clinically from a Brown snake envenomation. The types of toxins in snake venom can be separated into 4 broad categories:
Neurotoxins: Affect the nervous system, most importantly the respiratory system Haemotoxins: Attack red blood cells
Cardiotoxins: Attack the cells of the heart and other musculature
Cellular toxins: Cause the generalised destruction and necrosis of localised cells
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Understanding this can help explain why your vet may suggest different tests to check to see if your pet has been bitten by a snake or not. The first thing that is undertaken is a thorough clinical exam.
The clinical exam allows the veterinarian to look for any dysfunctions in the neurological, cardiovascular or respiratory system of your pet. This might include vomiting, weakness or a collapsing episode, or even a shallow and weak breathing pattern. It might also include signs of excessive salivation, muscle tremors or large dilated pupils. Cats often present very weak and floppy.
If the diagnosis is not clear and if we would like to make sure we are not missing a snake envenomation in the early stages. Sometimes it is necessary to employ a number of tests to make a diagnosis of snake bite; this can include snake venom detection, blood and urine tests.
The treatment for a snake envenomation is the administration of intravenous snake anti-venom. The longer between the bite and treatment, the greater the chance of serious secondary complications or even death occurring.
Treatment can be quite expensive; most snake envenomation cases require at least two anti-venom vials which make up the bulk of the expenses incurred. Some cases also require intravenous fluid or oxygen therapy. For this reason, your vet may offer you some diagnostic tests to rule out a snake envenomation and avoid expensive and unnecessary treatments.
Given these expenses, we strongly recommend that you consider health insurance for your pet if you feel your pet may be at risk of snake envenomation in the future.
Generally, on a warm, sunny day between September and March, if your pet is showing any signs of vomiting, weakness, breathing problems or vagueness- especially after a walk, then PLEASE seek urgent veterinary attention. Clinical signs may not be immediately obvious, but every minute is vital when dealing with snake envenomation.
Has your dog kept you awake at night with its annoying scratching or licking?
Have you noticed that your dog has a bad odour?
If so, chances are that your dog may have an underlying allergy or skin infection which is now driving you both nuts!
One of the most common reasons for visiting your veterinarian, particularly during the warmer months, is for investigating and treating an itchy dog. To accurately diagnose and treat your dog, we first need to obtain a thorough history from you which helps us rule in or out various causes and conditions. The next step is to perform a thorough physical examination of the itchy patient; this might also lead into additional pathology tests such as skin scrapings, cytology on ears, lump samples and blood/urine tests.
The list of conditions and diseases that can cause itchiness is extremely long and complicated, but there are two big common culprits: Fleas and Allergies.
Fleas are extremely common, particularly during the warmer months of the year, when fleas become more prevalent. They are spread through the environment usually through wildlife and feral cats. Fleas are often overlooked as a cause of allergies as pets with flea allergies don’t always have visible fleas. This is because a single flea can cause so much of the irritation; an allergy develops in response to the saliva the flea injects into the skin when it feeds.
This category can be further broken down into three main categories; contact, food and ‘atopic’.
Contact allergies are the easiest allergy to understand. Affected pets tend to lick their paws and scratch their bellies and armpits - which develops into an inflamed irritated rash - once they come into contact with a surface they are allergic to; commonly being grass, plants or types of weeds. This occurs mostly in Spring when plants are in their fast phase of growth and the environment is full of pollen.
Food allergies are interesting as affected pets might not develop obvious symptoms; such as an upset stomach or diarrhoea. Instead, affected pets may simply get itchy and lick there paws. Most food allergies in dogs and cats are towards a meat protein; such as chicken, beef, lamb or kangaroo. This is something that tends to develop over time, which means your dog or cat may have been eating something for several years before symptoms begin to appear.
‘Atopic’ causes are harder to explain. They can also be very difficult to diagnose and treat in pets; often being diagnosed by exclusion (ruling out all other causes). Atopy is essentially a blanket term used to describe ‘other things’ that can cause itching in dogs and cats. This group consists of environmental causes such as dust mites, pollens and molds – all of which tend to be difficult to eliminate from your pet’s world.
Many of the conditions described above may appear similar on initial examination however, once a diagnosis has been made, your veterinarian will develop a treatment protocol which may involve medications, lifestyle changes and medicated shampoos.
Itchy dogs can be frustrating at times but by being persistent with flea control and skin care and following your veterinarian’s treatment advice your dog will really appreciate your diligence AND there will be no more licking or thumping on the floor at night keeping you both awake!
Previously I discussed how good dogs are at hiding their dental disease. Well guess what? Cats are even better at hiding it!
Owners are sometimes in shock when, during a routine consultation, they are informed that their cat has an infected or broken tooth. This surprise usually comes from the fact that their cat never displayed any obvious signs of pain or discomfort and they have been eating quite well.
Cats with dental disease typically display one or all of the following clinical signs:
-Swollen face or jaw
-Chewing oddly (almost as if they have a foul taste in their mouth)
-Inappetance (which can lead to weight loss)
-Rubbing at face
-Pain (vocalising, hiding away, not themselves etc.)
Periodontal disease is by far one of the most common chronic diseases processes affecting cats. This is something we discover routinely, even in young cats! Typically, you notice inflamed and reddened gums and yellow discolouration on the teeth (tartar). If there is a severe tartar or plaque build-up, then a quick general anaesthetic and dental scale is recommended as the first line of treatment.
Home-care is by far the most important step in the management of dental disease.
Diet is an incredibly important factor when discussing dental health. Avoid feeding your cat poor quality diets or soft foods (such as tinned food or meat) as this promotes tartar and plaque build-up. There’s a reason the saying “You are what you eat” exists! Instead of spending your money on poor quality supermarket food and ruining your cat’s teeth you should invest in higher quality dry food; you will save FAR more in the long run. This is where premium dental prescription diets (such as Hill’s feline t/d diet) truly shine as they are especially formulated to help reduce tartar/plaque build-up.
Raw bones also have a place in managing dental disease. Cats can devour an entire rabbit or mouse so don’t be fooled into thinking they can’t eat raw bones! When feeding raw bones to cats you must be sure that the bones are small enough that your cat can chew on them properly. Some examples include chicken necks, ribs and wings.
Owners can sometimes even consider brushing their cat’s teeth! This will definitely pose as a challenge for middle aged or older cats that have never been exposed to such a sensation! However, we often see good results in younger cats getting used to having their teeth cleaned. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t try to brush all your cat’s teeth in one session, pace yourself over the course of weeks to get them desensitized and used to the taste and sensation. If they tolerate it and you can perform in a few times a week then you can drastically reduce the future build-up of plaque and tartar.
At the end of the day, if your cat is non-compliant, then book them in for regular dental scales – such as every 6 to 12 months. This may sound like an expensive option but is in fact cheaper in the long run. Your cat will only be exposed to a short general anaesthetic and 10-15 minute dental scale. This is in contrast to your cat requiring a massive and very expensive dental procedure every few years; including tooth extractions, dental x-rays and long courses of medication (antibiotics, pain relief).
Call us now on 9439 0004
Eighty percent of dogs over the age of three suffer from some form of dental disease. That's a lot of pets with painful or smelly mouths! And if your fluffy companion hasn't seen the dentist in the last year or two, chances are that they might be one of them.
Imagine how your teeth would feel if you didn’t brush for a few days. Well, for pets who can’t brush their own teeth, this feeling gets worse and worse. All that food, bacteria and plaque solidifies to form tartar which allows the gums to get infected.
Infected gums become red, painful and may even bleed. Eventually, the infection spreads to the structures that hold the teeth in place causing weak or loose teeth. The infection isn’t just restricted to the mouth; all that bacteria can work its way into the bloodstream which can then spread to areas such as the heart and kidney, causing even more serious health problems!
At Eltham Veterinary Practice we see many pets with dental disease, even young pets. We can discuss home dental care, but if left untreated, eventually the teeth will need to come out to relieve pain.
If you’re concerned about your pets dental health or you notice bad breath, tartar, drooling or eating difficulties, please give our friendly team a call to book a physical examination in the comfort of your own home with our veterinary house call service. Our veterinarian will be able to let you know the current health of your pet (including their teeth!) and the best course of action to take if any intervention is required!
Call us now on 9439 0004
Are you feeling a bit stiff and sore getting out of bed on those cold mornings?
That is exactly how many of our pets are feeling on those cold winter mornings due to the subtle but very common effects of arthritis. Unfortunately for them, they can’t tell us about that sore hip or troublesome knee! It’s up to us to interpret their changes in mobility and take the appropriate steps to alleviate their discomfort and keep them as active and healthy as possible. Most people expect their dogs or cats to clearly demonstrate any pain or discomfort through howling or whimpering, but this is rarely the case as they are quite good at hiding their pain.
Take little Angus for example. I recently saw Angus for a veterinary house call on Bridge Street in Eltham. Looks can be quite deceiving as he is actually a geriatric 14 year old puppy who acts like he’s 2! He was having trouble moving around the backyard as of late and really struggling getting upstairs in general. After a physical exam, I diagnosed him with a common condition affecting many pets over the age of 7, especially around winter, known as arthritis.
Luckily for him I had many tricks up my sleeve and he is now back to acting like the puppy he wants to be; no longer requiring constant supervision or having to be carried by his loving owners!
Most signs of arthritis are really subtle. Here's a quick list of things to look out for that may indicate your pet could be in pain and suffering from arthritis:
- Difficulty getting up, stiffness or limping, particularly after sleep or resting
- Hesitation/difficulty jumping up on high surfaces (couches, beds) or climbing stairs
- Taking a long time to lay or sit down and get comfortable
- Reduced exercise or a tendency to lag behind on walks, despite being very keen initially to go out on their walks
- Favouring/lifting a leg while walking, yet happily running on it when distracted
- Difficulty crouching to go to the toilet; often shaking and shivering in their hind legs
- Slight behavioural changes, snapping when picked up or being grumpy in general
We hate seeing older dogs suffer because they have become too debilitated and weak. If these pets could talk I imagine they would be crying out for some basic pain relief and that is the least we can, and should do, for our best friends. It’s very satisfying for us to see a pet regain their joy for life, like Angus, and bounce around like a puppy once we start them on some appropriate treatment for their arthritis.
Call us now to organise a house call appointment on 9439 0004