Summer Edition Paws, Claws and More!

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With everyone busy getting ready for Christmas and the New Year, it can be easy to forget that our pets need a little more attention than normal at this time of year. As the days are getting longer, they are also heating up and we need to make sure our pets stay nice and cool.

Here are a few tips and ideas to help keep your pet cool.

Make sure they have access to plenty of shade. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water available.

Make up some doggie ice blocks the night before and give them before you go to work or have neighbour give one during the day.

If you’re taking your dog for a walk, try to not to do so in the middle of the day and if the ground is too hot for you, it’s also too hot for your pet.

  • The beach is a great place for you both and your dog to cool off but watch out for hot sand.
  • If you have an indoor cat, make sure they have access to a cool place to lie e.g. Bathroom or laundry tiles.
  • If you keep your dog, inside make sure there is a window open or leave a fan on.
  • NEVER leave your pets looked in a hot car!
  • Birds get hot too, keep their cage in a cool spot and make sure they water available to bath in and drink.

 

Summer Storms & Fireworks = Stray Pets!

During the summer months there is always an increase in the number of lost pets reported. This can be due to storms and fireworks, which can frighten some animals and cause them to act irrationally and then try to escape the situation by jumping the fence and running away.

Lonely pets that are left at home while their owners are on holidays sometimes escape out of boredom.

Tips for keeping your Pet Safe & Secure:

  • Make sure your pets microchip details are up to date and that your pet wears a collar & tag with your contact

details.

– If your pet is frightened of storms and thunder talk to your vet about the best way to help them.

– Make all fences and gates secure so they can’t escape

– Consider boarding or have someone pet sit, if your pet is going to be left home alone while you go on holidays.

If you do find a lost pet that has no pet tag the best thing you can do is to call your local council ranger or take it to the RSPCA

Observations of a Vet Nurse 

There are always two sides to every story.

While the keyboard warriors of the internet are intent on telling everyone theirs, we often choose not to comment, as with all bullies, it is a reaction and a fight they are seeking. Unfortunately, this means our side if often left unheard and their comments unchallenged. In our industry, you must develop a tough skin and even the most seasoned veterinary professionals have cases that will cause them to lose sleep and reduce them to tears. While it is a highly rewarding jobs in many aspects, it’s also extremely difficult and sometimes you just have to make peace with the fact that not everyone can be saved. We have so many truly exceptional, caring and appreciative clients that bring their pets to see us and honestly, these people are what keep us going when the trolls of the world are trying to drag us down. We often don’t speak out about how poorly we, and many in our industry, are treated daily and this pandemic has only made things worse.

The stress and pressure this has added, combined with the ever-increasing workload, has crippled our industry. This combined with a nationwide veterinarian shortage, has left ours and many hospitals across Australia understaffed and overwhelmed. Australia has also seen the biggest boom in pet ownership over the last 2 years. While this is a wonderful thing, it has also increased our workload dramatically and while we endeavour to provide all our clients and their pets with care, unfortunately there are only so many hours in the day. At some point we have to say no. Otherwise we cannot provide the time and care to the patients we are already seeing.

When I first graduated nursing in 2003 you would get the odd person who abused you but since it was either face to face or over the phone, these situations could often be diffused through discussion and addressed then and there. Unfortunately, social media and the ease of leaving anonymous reviews entitles some people to leave slanderous and often false and misleading things online. These can often produce unsupported witch hunts, sometimes even by people completely uninvolved in the original incident and with the sole purpose of being rude and horrible.

More and more in the media we hear about people in our industry taking their own lives. While I have been fortunate enough to not know any of these people directly, I do know many skilled vets and nurses that have left the profession completely due to the poor treatment by the general public and the mental and physical stress this job involves.

What people need to remember is that there is no Medicare or PBS for pets. Medical equipment is expensive. Time taken to train and develop skills to treat your pets is expensive. If we truly charged appropriately for our services, then many people wouldn’t be able to afford care.

At the end of the day, we are a small family business with staff to support. Please do not call us greedy or heartless for asking you to pay your pet’s bill. It is our job. You wouldn’t expect any different from a café or retail store.

Please take the time to think before you rant on social media – often there is someone on the other end of your accusations who is just as upset about the situation as you. We are people with emotions, and we become as attached to your pets as you are.

If you ever have any issues or concerns please contact us directly, we are more than happy to discuss these with you and solve any problems then and there.

In saying that, we want all our wonderful clients to know we love and appreciate them. Thank you, even the smallest gestures of kindness and your kind words make our day, and we gush about them amongst ourselves every time

Even with the best of husbandry, occasionally situations arise that have no obvious cause or origin. Sudden changes in environment or housing or feeding can trigger problems but, even in a constantly maintained habitat, disease can still occur.

Therefore, in the following articles, I will deal with the most commonly encountered diseases that can arise and their treatment options that are available. In the majority of cases Veterinary assistance is required and the use of scheduled medication is necessary but occasionally simple changes to husbandry or treatments will suffice. If systemic or generalised disease is the result of infection then antibiotics are essential and in specific conditions a failure to treat with these medications will almost certainly have fatal consequences.

I realise that Veterinary treatment may involve some expense but, as with any pet, budgetary provisions must be made to cover these possibilities. Probably the most common reason for visits to Veterinary hospitals with small animals such as dogs, cats and pocket pets is skin disease so it is appropriate to start with the reptile equivalent. This condition is commonly called Scale Rot and the scientific term is Ulcerative or Necrotic Dermatitis. In reality, Scale Rot is divided into two distinct forms – Necrotic Dermatitis and Vesicular Dermatitis but these are merely two stages in the same overall disease process. This condition occurs most commonly in snakes but is also seen in lizards. A separate disease of tortoises and turtles called Septicaemic Cutaneous Ulcerative Disease [SCUD] presents with similar signs but will be discussed in a separate article. As with most reptile diseases, scale rot most commonly results from poor husbandry methods but it must also be emphasised that even reptiles kept under the most ideal conditions can still develop this condition.

The most likely environmental reason for scale rot to develop in reptiles is the presence of an overly moist and humid substrate, complicated by contamination with faeces. The resultant bacterial infection of the scales in contact [most commonly the belly] produces the classic scale rot lesions. An improper or abrasive substrate combined with excessive moisture and an improper cleaning routine is a recipe for disaster. Other less likely factors such as thermal burns from heat pads or vitamin A and C deficiency are possible but not as common. Excess moisture can result from something as simple as an overturned water bowl so close attention to your reptile habitat on a regular basis is essential. Failure to remove the reptile`s faeces is part of this routine. A moist contaminated substrate contaminated with reptile faeces allows bacterial and fungal growth which, especially if combined with an abrasive material, will lead to microscopic scale erosions.

Some of the worst materials in this regard is soil, wood shavings or coconut husk. The scale damage, in turn, becomes progressively more severe, leading to the typical symptoms. Should the reptile be in a shedding cycle, disease is much more likely to occur. The most common bacterial causative organisms are the gram negative Aeromonas and Pseudomonas species. These bacteria are common reptile flora and are particularly resistant to treatment. The end result of untreated infection is almost invariably septicaemia and death.

Some clinicians believe that arid or dry country species are more likely to be affected. Scales on the underside of the body are most commonly affected as they are more in contact with contaminated bedding but occasionally scales in other areas are found to be diseased. Early signs of this potentially fatal disorder are reddish or sometimes black discolouration of affected scales. Only a few scales may be affected at the start and they may appear dry or flaky. Reddish scales on the belly may also be seen in snakes preparing to shed so it can be hard to identify early symptoms. If left untreated at this early stage, the affected scales often progress to a softened and swollen appearance with the formation of fluid-filled blisters. This is the Vesicular Dermatitis stage. The vesicular stage then proceeds to a more erosive and ulcerative condition that is characterised by extensive scale death and tissue necrosis. The diseased scales may then slough and the underlying sub-cutaneous tissue becomes exposed. An exudative discharge is commonly seen at this time. As dead and diseased scales are sloughed, the reptile becomes seriously ill and septicaemia, toxaemia and death will result. It should also be noted that death can occur at any time during the progress of the disease, even in the early stages. This may be result of the type of bacteria involved.

Congrats to our Senior Vet Nurses

Recently Jodi, Jenny, Sherridan and Miranda all
obtained their Registered Veterinary Nurse Qualification!
This is a role taken very seriously within the veterinary nursing community, it was put in place to encourage continued education and helps maintain the highest level of
veterinary nursing standards.
We are very proud of their achievement.

 

Grooming Training Course
Mount Hutton Pet hospital has recently started up a new training
program. Grooming training is for our young puppies and even
some older dogs that aren’t use to the grooming environment.
With this program your furry friend will get to know and love
grooming, they will experience new things like baths, blowdrys,
brushing and even getting used to being on the grooming table
and being clipped.
Your pet visits us twice weekly for 4 weeks, each week they get
bathed, interact with the other dogs at playtime and get taken for
toilet breaks. You can leave them with us all day or just for a few
hours the choice is yours! Interested in grooming school?
Enquire with our staff today!