Paws, Claws and More – Summer Edition 2019


November of 2019 saw some of the most dangerous and catastrophic fires the nation has ever seen. Among the hundreds of homes, millions of hectares and, sadly, four people lost in these blazes, as many as 350 koalas perished, and hundreds more are left homeless and injured. This phenomenon has worsened the extinction crisis we were already facing. The bushfires in and around Port Macquarie in devastated a genetically diverse koala population. Approximately 75 percent of the fireground footprint is prime koala habitat. Fears of this beautiful species vanishing has intensified and become even more real. You can make a difference, by donating to the services dedicated to the treatment and rehabilitation of our beautiful Aussie icons.


If you find wildlife impacted by fires in NSW, please contact

WIRES Rescue Line on 1300 094 737


Christmas Eve 7:30am – 6:00pm

Christmas Day: Closed

Boxing Day: Closed

New Year’s Eve: 7:30am – 6pm

New Year’s Day: Closed

Heat Stroke and Pets

Heat stroke, otherwise known as heat stress or hyperthermia, is a very serious and often fatal

condition experienced by dogs and cats throughout Summer. As the weather warms up, it is vital to know the signs and how to prevent this deadly occurrence. Dogs and cats do not have the same number of sweat glands as humans. We are covered with pores, whereas our pets are limited to their paw pads and noses to perspire. This, as well as thick or long coats, can cause our animals to feel the heat a lot more than we can. Therefore, prevention is important, as is keeping a close eye on your pet for any symptoms. An animal suffering from the effects of hyperthermia will be panting excessively, drooling, seem agitated, present very red or pale gums, may begin vomiting, have an elevated heart rate and in serious cases, will experience seizures, muscle tremors, extreme lethargy and may collapse or fall into a coma .

The rapid onset of such symptoms is why heat stroke is so deadly.

However! You can prevent this from happening to you and your beloved this summer! By ensuring you have provided adequate shade with ventilation, clean drinking water, and reduce exercise – the risk is drastically lowered. The number one contributor to heat stroke and hyperthermia related deaths is cars.

The interior of a car on a 29-degree day has been shown to more than double from 20 degrees to 44 degrees in TEN MINUTES!

A further 10 minutes triples that figure to a deadly 60 degrees. If you see an animal in a car on a hot day unattended – do not hesitate to call 000. Even with the windows down and in the shade, the interior of a car can kill “your best mate in just 6 minutes”!


Something Fishy…

On Sunday the 17th of November, we had a phone call from a concerned owner. His dog had a fish hook caught in his lip. Accidents happen, right? The bizarre part however – the dog’s name was FISH! Fish the Great Dane had a fish hook stuck in his lip! 







After a bit of a giggle, the girls sprung into action. Fish was sedated, and we examined the area. The hook hadn’t pierced all the way through, and instead was nestled deep within the midline. Due to the design of fish hooks and their barbs, it could not be simply pulled out. Instead, Vet Emily Burton pushed the hook through, before cutting the tip and now exposed barb off. This

allowed the remainder of the hook to be pulled out with ease! Luckily for Fish, this was not a very serious situation, as he didn’t end up with any obvious bleeding – only some slight swelling. And a life lesson too! Fish’s dad says he decided that the bait he had on his line would be the perfect snack, and cut their fishing trip quite short! Needless to say, Fish won’t be so easily hooked again!


Housing Your Reptile – Functional vs Decorative

Whilst it may be desirable to have your reptile housed in an attractive decorative enclosure, the truth is that it may not be the best option in keeping them healthy and happy. In many respects, the less complex the setup, the easier it is to maintain and, therefore, more suitable in terms of maintaining good health. A glass enclosure such as an aquarium is great for viewing your reptile but is a very poor thermal insulator and can be stressful for very secretive species. This can be overcome but entails cost and thoughtful design and sometimes the reptile owner only realises their error when something goes wrong. Timber is a far better material for insulating reptile enclosures but lacks the transparency. A timber structure with a sliding glass front door makes a good compromise.

The contents of the environment are another important factor. You should always aim to duplicate a reptile`s natural environment but you must consider the implications of unsuitable substrate. A desert species may look great with a sandy habitat but utilising this medium in your enclosure is disastrous.

Sand is probably the worst substance to have on the floor of your setup. It absorbs waste material and harbours disease, can become ingested by your reptile and is generally a disaster waiting to happen. Don’t forget that you are limiting your reptiles movements to a small area and this must remain clean and hygienic. Plants, both living and dried, are another problem material. They look great but living plants will die quickly and decompose, dramatically raise the tank`s humidity through transpiration and are a factor that can lead to health issues. Large snakes such as pythons will quickly crush and destroy plant setups through their movements and they are very hard to maintain in an attractive way.

Most large reptile collections are housed on newspaper or similar, easily cleaned or discarded flooring. It may not look good but is perfect for keeping reptiles healthy. I believe that a compromise can be achieved that looks attractive but is easy to maintain and is good for your reptile. I use a newspaper floor that is covered with clean, pest free local leaf litter that has been dried thoroughly. Add a few dried sticks or bark sheets to the litter and you have an easily discarded, cost effective and attractive environment that will satisfy your reptile`s needs and be pleasing to look at. Be wary of commercially available enclosure materials that are pushed by reptile shops. They want to sell products for profit and have little regard for correct housing requirements. The answer is to recycle newspapers and use locally sourced and cost free natural materials. It takes a little more time to produce but saves you money, looks great and, above all, leads to happy and healthy reptiles. Your reptiles will thank you for the effort if they could.


The largest member of the kingfisher family, the Kookaburra is one of Australia’s most iconic natives.

These strong looking birds have large heads and big beaks, and are usually brown in colour with white bellies. Depending on the species of kookaburra, there are occasionally streaks of blue feathers on the wings and tail (these are known as Blue-Winged Kookaburras).

Kookaburras are most famous for their ‘laugh’ that echoes throughout Australian bushland and suburbia. This call is a way of marking territory during breeding season (September to January), as they maintain the same area year round. Nesting in tree hollows and termite mounds, these birds mate for life, and rarely have more than one clutch per season. Once their young reach independence, most stay with their parents to defend territory and aid in raising their future siblings.

Their non-selective diet includes snakes, lizards, rodents and the odd small bird. Primarily, however, they rely on insects and invertebrates for their daily intake. The kookaburra certainly is a ‘kooky’ character we all know and love!

BREED BIO – French Bulldog

A member of the non-sporting group, the French Bulldog is an amazingly popular lap dog. Often confused with a Boston Terrier, these pups are brachycephalic, meaning they have a squashed face. They also sport “bat” ears, a naturally occurring upright standing ear shape that is never cut or altered, and short, bowed legs. This breed is dubbed the ‘small tank’, as they are compact, muscular dogs with flat, short coats. These adorable pooches thrive on attention, and are ideal for single-person environments. While suitable for city life, the Frenchie is able to be happy in any household. They don’t need a great deal of exercise, yet still enjoy playing and walking with their owner. Their short coat is easy to be kept clean, however face wrinkles need to be tended to regularly.

These pooches can be quite precious, often selling for $3500 and up! The most expensive French Bulldog sold for a whopping $100,000 . This pooch, dubbed ‘Micro Machine’ resides in Houdini House, Los Angeles. He’s bred over half a million dollars worth of puppies, and his semen alone costs around $5,000 per sample!

Staff Profile – Tia Williams!

The newest member of our team, Tia is an 18 year girl that loves animals more than anything in the world! She even owns12 pets herself! These include two cats, two dogs, a cockatoo, a galah and six rats! While a lot of work, Tia says she wouldn’t give up her zookeeper lifestyle for the world! Come in and see Tia today!