Paws, Claws and More Summer Edition 2020!

Heat Stroke!

With the hot summer months in full swing it is important to remember that our pets can be just as affected by the sun as we are. Heat stroke is a real danger and can lead to potentially fatal consequences. It occurs when the internal body temperature increased above it normal levels, which in extreme cases can cause organ shutdown or cardiac arrest.

Dogs especially cannot sweat like we can to cool down. While they do have some sweat glands in their pads, they usually cool off by panting.

Certain animals are more at risk than others. Those which short flat faces are especially prone (think pugs, bulldogs), those that are overweight, the very old or very young and any dog that is overly active without rest.

Common signs of overheating include

– Excessive panting

– Less responsive than normal, dizziness, lack of coordination

– Bright red gums or tongue

– Collapse, loss of consciousness

– Vomiting or diarrhoea

– Convulsions

If you are concerned you pet is becoming overheated, then quickly take them somewhere cool, apply wet towels over their body (or let them sit in some water but make sure to watch them), offer fresh water to drink and if possible place them in front of a fan. If they continue to show signs of distress then please take them to a vet immediately for treatment.

Make sure to always have a shaded area available for your pets, plenty of drinking water and even a cool shallow doggie pool to play in.

Before venturing out on a hot day, make sure you have a plan. Avoid the hottest parts of the day, check the ground to make sure it is safe for your pets to walk on, bring fresh water for them to drink and avoid excessive exercise if it’s hot outside.


Pets can overheat even with the windows down or if the car is in shade. It only takes 6 minutes for a dog to die in hot car!


Australian Natives:

Approximately 90% of the animals native to Australia are found nowhere else, including the kangaroo, koala, echidna, platypus, wallaby and wombat. Australia is the smallest continent and is sometimes referred to as the world’s largest island. This relative isolation has created an ecology like no other!

Here are just a few interesting ones:

Fitzroy River Turtle

This freshwater turtle has the unusual ability to breathe through its bum. This special adaptation enables it to remain underwater for an incredible 21 days at a time to feed underwater for longer periods and hide from predators. This turtle can only be found in the Fitzroy

Basin in south-eastern Queensland. Sadly, feral animals like foxes, cats and pigs, as well as pollution, murky water and sedimentation have rendered them vulnerable on the Australian threatened species list.


The Cassowary

Is a flightless bird belonging to the same family as the emu and ostrich. The correct name for a flightless bird is Ratites. They are found in northern Queensland, Northern territory and Papua New Guinea. The Cassowary is an impressive bird being a close relative of the dinosaurs, with is prehistoric like features. They have a Brown Casque, this is a hard triangle helmet on top of the head.

They have vibrant blue and purple necks with red wattles on the side of the neck (dangly bits). This leads down to the body where shiny black feathers that are smooth and soft, unlike their relatives whose feathers are brown and harsh in texture.

There legs resemble that of the dinosaurs with the skin looking almost like scales. They have three toes, with a deadly nail on the end. The middle toe is used like a dagger when feeling threatened and can cause considerable damage to whom it is inflicted on. They use their powerful legs mainly to get around quickly if need be or to dig at the ground for food. Their main sources of food are the tropical fruits that grow in the rainforests they live in.

The cassowary is extremely important to our rainforests survival. Being fruit eaters (Frugivorous) they are able to eat the large fruit and their seeds. They will digest the fruit but defecate the seed out, which is fertilising it at the same time. This is giving the trees the start they need.

The Cassowary lays eggs that are a green to dark teal in colour. They lay between 5 to 8 eggs, the female then leaves the incubating to the male, he carefully turns them over and inspects the eggs, adding litter (leaves) as required to maintain the temperature. He fiercely guards the eggs and chick from the females and predators. The eggs take about 50days to hatch, when they do the chicks are a mixture of orange, brown and cream to blend in with the fallen leaves.

Cassowaries are considered threatened but are not endangered as of yet. Many things threaten their existence. Such as human existence, via habitat loss, being hit by a car, Feral pigs and dog attacks.


The Numbat is an endangered small marsupial that survives in southwest Western Australia. Due to its small size, the Numbat is hunted by many animals like feral cats, foxes, dingoes and birds of prey. Because it solely survives on termites which are active by day, the Numbat is the only diurnal (opposite of nocturnal) marsupial.

It spends nights hiding in hollow logs or burrows that are too narrow for its predators to enter.

The Pharaoh hound or Kelb tal – Fenek originated in Malta and are an interesting looking dog who resembles the dog often seen in ancient Egypt hieroglyphs and images. They are graceful and elegant as well as powerful and athletic, strong without bulkiness or excessive muscle.

As a puppy they start out with blue eyes and as they mature they develop into amber or brown eyes. They have a long muscular neck that flows down to the chest area. The Pharaoh hound is considered a deep chested dog. Meaning they have a large rib cage with a small waist.

They’re really cool thing is that they will ‘blush’ when they are excited or happy. Their nose and ears turn a pinkie colour, a lot like our cheeks do.

Their front legs are long and thin, standing straight. Their back legs also have this demeanour but with more of a curve in them. They have a short haired coat, even though it is short it still means they will moult.

They are used to hunt rabbits, by having multiple dogs a mixture of male and female, they will work together and help to flush the rabbits out. When they find the rabbit, the female will give chase while the others spread out to stop it from darting of to the side or into somewhere else. Chasing it into the hole the hunters will then release a ferret with a bell on its neck which the dogs will follow the sounds above ground and catch the rabbit when it flies out of the hole whilst running away from the ferret.

Welcome Back Dr Dolly!

We are pleased to let everyone know that Dr Dolly is back from Maternity leave. While she has enjoyed being at home with her babies she is looking forward to seeing all her clients and their fur babies again.


Our Christmas Dress Up Competition was so difficult to judge! Thanks for all your entries!

We attended the Local Business Awards last night. Huge thank you to everyone for your votes to get us through to the finals!

Thank you to all our Vet Nurses!

We celebrated Vet Nurse Day on Friday October 9!
As I’m sure you are all aware, we have an amazing supportive and super talented team of vet nurses here. They are the glue that holds everything together – from looking after our sick patients in hospital, to monitoring and keeping our surgery patients safe, to kisses and cuddles when animals come in for their appointments. We hope everyone realizes and appreciates what a talented and beautiful staff we have here.
To all our fabulous nurses, and any and all vet nurses out there, thank you for your tireless work and motivation!

Important changes at Mount Hutton Pet Hospital

Due to the ongoing situation surrounding Covid-19 and the stresses it brings with it, MHPH has decided to temporarily reduce our hours. We hope that by doing this it will allow us to continue to provide the same high level of care for both our clients and our patients, while allowing our staff the time needed to complete all tasks asked of them.

Our current Covid-19 Trading hours are as follows:


Consults are still by appointment only and we ask all clients to try and arrive 5 minutes prior to their appointments.

We ask that you wait outside when you arrive and one of our friendly nurses will come to greet you. We are allowing one person to come into the clinic with the pet when the vets are ready for them, we ask that you sign in on our Covid-19 attendance sheet and sanitizer your hands with the products provided.

Thank you to all our wonderful clients for being truly understanding during this crazy time. xx All

After Hours Emergency care will now be provided by AREC- Animal Emergency and Referral Centre at 4 Lang Road, Broadmeadow. Phone: 1300 838 66

Mount Hutton Pet Hospital is now a FINALIST for The Australian Local Business Awards. Just to be nominated is such an honour and now we are finalists!! We are so thankful to our hardworking team, and wonderful clients and all their furry, feathery, and scaly friends! We still need your votes, please head on over to The Business Awards website and search for Mount Hutton Pet Hospital. It takes only 1 minute to vote for us, just don’t forget to finalise your vote by confirming the email they send you. Thank you again, from all the MHPH team!


Congratulations to Dr Dolly and her husband Steve on the birth of their daughter Willow. With their son Theodore they now have a perfect pigeon pair. We wish them all the happiness in the world and look can’t wait to have Dr Dolly back next year.


It’s Tick season once again and we are already seeing cases in clinic. Please make sure your pets are up to date with flea and tick me

dication! If you’re unsure about what’s right for your pet please contact the friendly MHPH staff and we can go through all the options with you.

Peacock Mantis shrimp Odontodactylus scyllarus, more commonly known as the Peacock or Rainbow mantis shrimp. Despite their name they are not shrimps or a mantis, they are stomatopoda.

Stomatopoda means they have gills on the abdomen instead of around the face or neck. The body of the mantis shrimp is comprised of a short thorax (chest) Followed by a long abdomen with their gills and six legs. They can grow up to 50cm in length, but more commonly 15cm. Their eyes are on long stalks with the ability to move them independently so they can see on coming prey, predators or foe. The eyes have 12 to 16 different colour photoreceptors in the retinas, meaning they can see three times more colour than humans.

Not only can they see more colours and clearer than humans they also have the ability to detect cancer cells according to the researchers at the University of Queensland. They believe the compact eyes can detect the lesions and activity of neurons before there are visible tumours. The thorax has strong claws that sit in an almost praying mantis position. This arm position along with the bright colours is where the peacock mantis shrimp gets its name from. These arms can extend out at an extraordinarily fast speed which can be the speed of a bullet shot from a 22 calibre rifle. That is an amazing 2736 KM per hour. With this method of punching they are called a smashing predator. Punching their pray in the face / body. This will kill their prey; they mainly eat coruscations or fish. With this blow it will either break apart he coruscations and weakening them or for the fish this will kill them.

Despite their aggressive behaviour and defences they still have predators; these being larger fish, humans and specifically the yellow fin tuna are the main threat. The mantis shrimp is also monogamous, meaning they will stay with the same partner their whole life.

This story is a warning for the owners of all the chewers and destructive dogs out there!

Freya, a 12 month old great dane, was just not herself at the start of one week. She came in for a check-up and some xrays as she continued to feel unwell, was very lethargic and started vomiting and going off her food. After some xrays and no improvement, it was suspected that she may have something stuck in her intestines.

On xrays, her intestines appeared larger than normal and full of gas. Normal intestines should have gas, fluid and faecal material moving through all the time. Freya’s xrays showed little change over the course of the day. No change is one of the biggest clues to an obstruction in a part of the intestine. The decision was made to go to surgery to investigate. Lucky for Freya, a blockage was discovered and removed.

The culprit? Almost 1m piece of blanket! Her owners had taken it from her almost 2 weeks earlier after tearing it to pieces. It had stayed in the stomach until part of it migrated through into the small intestine and then became stuck. Complete obstructions from foreign objects can be life threatening if not corrected quickly. Stomach acid and other ingested contents became backlogged behind the obstruction, like a bucket overflowing. Clinically, animals commonly present with inappetence, vomiting, lethargy and an inability to keep food or water down. A history of being a chewer or destroyer of toys, bedding or any other foreign material is also common.

A common example are Labradors with their love of chewing everything are common culprits! Unlucky for Freya, her kidneys became injured after surgery as a secondary complication. She had to be hospitalised for a few days on medication and intense intravenous fluid therapy. After a few days she was much brighter, eating like a champion and her bloodwork had returned to normal (her kidneys were better!). She was then able to be sent home after almost a week in hospital.

With Halloween becoming a growing trend in Australia, last year we held our very first Halloween costume competition on our Facebook page. It was so much fun and such a success that we are doing it again this year!! To enter simply post a pic on the competition post on Facebook or email it to us at

Staff Profile – Jacqui

Jacqui graduated with her vet nursing certificate in mid-2018. Originally from Sydney, has been nursing in Hornsby since 2017, moving to MHPH in 2018. I have a Staffy cross called Randall and a Bearded Dragon called Bernie. I am especially interested in wildlife and zoo species, having volunteered at the Australian Reptile Park for 2.5 years and previously owning a Spotted Python. I really enjoy specialty surgery cases and interesting internal medicine cases.

Did you know… At MHPH we have a very special clinic pet called Dr Jangles.

He is an 11-year-old Carpet python. He enjoys lounging around in the sun and the occasional walk around the clinic with our nurses. He earned his Honourary Doctorate by observing countless hours of Veterinary work in our clinic. He isn’t the cuddliest of pets but we sure think he’s cute!!