News

We are so proud to share with you our nomination in the Australian Local Business Awards!
Just to be nominated is great, a huge thank you to all our team and most importantly, to you!
Please click through to vote- you will need to confirm via email. Thanks again!
– Ray, Donna and the team

Paws, Claws and More – Winter 2020 Edition

Download the full version here

Mount Hutton Pet Hospital would like to thank all of our valued clients for your patience, tolerance and loyalty during the last 2 months of COVID-19. All of our staff has endured roster changes, opening hour changes and clinic routine changes, to ensure we keep you all safe and healthy, while still making ourselves as available as possible. This pandemic has been stressful for everyone, and we really appreciate the tolerance and adaptability everyone has shown during such a strange time.

Our normal trading hours will resume from Thursday 18th June, with some new changes to be implemented, to make it safe for us to continue assisting your pets. Bear with us while we finalise all the details, and keep an eye out on our social media for further updates closer to this date. Sending a BIG thankyou from all the staff at Mount Hutton Pet Hospital.

Congrats!

Ray, Donna and all our lovely staff would like to wish Dr Dolly, her husband Steve, and their son Theodore, the best of luck on the pending arrival of their 2nd (human) baby! We all cannot wait to see if this next bundle is a little boy or girl! Good luck Dolly! We will all miss you while you’re away!

Dr Emily’s Editorial

Something some people may not realise, is that grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs and cats. This happened to one of our patients recently and luckily his owners noticed right away and brought him straight down for treatment.

The consumption of toxic levels can lead to kidney failure and fatal anaemia (lack of red blood cells). The level of toxicity is not known, so unfortunately, we cannot determine how many grapes will cause a problem in your pet, potentially only a very small amount. There is still much to be discovered about exactly what happens.

Common clinical signs seen with grape toxicity include:

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea (often develop within a few hours)
  • Weakness, shivering
  • Inappetence (not eating), increased thirst
  • Abdominal pain

Sometimes within 2 days, severe and irreversible signs and problems may develop.

Diagnosis is generally made by a history of finding partially eaten or missing grapes.

Treatment (if caught early enough) is emesis, the induction of vomiting to get the grapes out of the stomach. Sometimes activated charcoal is given afterwards to help minimise the absorption of any parts of the grapes into the blood. If we believe your pet’s ingestion is severe, we may recommend further treatment of intensive fluid therapy for a few days in hospital and then some bloodwork to check the state of the kidneys.

If caught early, there is a good chance of no lasting effects but please, keep all grapes and raisins (and anything they may be in, for example fruit cake at Christmas, raisin cookies or hot cross buns at Easter) far away from the hungry mouths of your pets!

Meet Dr Melanie!

Meet Dr Melanie, our new team member who has graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in the Bachelor of Veterinary Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. She has since then relocated from Sydney to Newcastle to embrace her passion in becoming a veterinarian. She loves caring for all animals ranging from the furred to the feathered, and of all shapes and sizes. She enjoys learning with a curiosity and interest in everything, always striving to provide the best care for her patients.

Although she misses the bustling city life and abundance of food in Sydney (massive foodie!), Newcastle is the perfect new place to be as she enjoys relaxing at beaches, going on nature walks, and just appreciating the sunrise and sets over the beautiful Lake Macquarie and beach horizons, taking many photos with photography as one of her hobbies.

Post COVID19

How to help your furry companion adapt to a quieter lifestyle

During this pandemic, our animals have experienced a lot closer relationship to their owners than possibly ever before! So, one thing to keep in the back of your mind for the coming weeks and months, is how your pet will feel as we slowly return back to work, social outings and daily routines, leaving our pets home alone once more.

Animals can pick up on our feelings and emotions, and for many, these last few months have been particularly stressful. We are concerned that a lot of dogs in particular may experience separation anxiety as their environment once more changes, so we have put together a few ideas to help your dog adapt to their quieter days once more:

  • Start to introduce toys back to your pets that are designed to be played with on their own. For example, kongs for dogs and cats, filled with their favourite treat, may provide entertainment away from you for a period of time, showing your pet that they can be entertained without the help of their human family. You could also start giving their breakfast in a food toy, to keep them occupied for a period of time in the morning, around the time you would usually leave for the day.
  • Give them designated time during the day outside or away from you (this is mainly aimed at our canine companions). Give them a new toy or a treat, outside, and show them that even though you are still home, they can be occupied away from you. You could also do this, and leave the house, drive around the block, and return, to the house, to see what reaction you get from leaving them at home.
  • Once you return to normality and your pooch is staying home, ask your neighbours to listen out for any abnormal barking, or to pop their head over the fence and check that your pet isn’t stressed, nervous, or being destructive. If someone can tell you about their behaviour when you’re not there, you have a better chance of helping your pet adapt in the future.

If you have any concerns with your pets behaviour or would like any further information about how we can help your pet, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly nurses on 4947 1311.

Go Native!

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Scientific name: Cacatua Galerita

Life span: up to 40 years in the wild, 80-90 years in captivity.

Introducing Tuppence, a 52-year-old Sulphur-crested Cockatoo we helped to rehome. 

Tuppence had spent his whole life with one family and then due to unforeseen circumstances, had to find a new home. To get him ready, his nails and beak were trimmed, as they were a little overgrown, and he has been put on a strict diet as he was slightly overweight due to munching excessively on his favourite food, sunflower seeds.

He shares his new habitat with Joshua, a 71-year-old Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and is gradually coming out of his enclosure to walk around his new yard where he can trim the garden, dig in the dirt and play with wooden toys and cardboard boxes.

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo is one of Australia’s most iconic birds and has been known to live up to eighty plus years of age in captivity. These beautiful large white parrots are easily identified due to their distinctive sulphur-yellow crest, dark grey-black beak and yellow wash on the underside of their wings. Males and females are very similar at first glance, however at close range the female can be identified by its’ red-brown eye. The males’ eye is a much darker brown.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos are commonly found around suburbia and also in a variety of timbered habitats. They aren’t a migrating bird so remain in the same area all year round. Their range extends throughout the northern and eastern part of Australia and Tasmania, however a small population has now become established in Western Australia.

Normal diet consists of berries, seeds, nuts and roots. They will also take handouts from humans. Feeding normally takes place in small to large groups, with one or more birds watching for danger from a nearby perch. When not eating, some will bite off smaller branches and leaves from trees. These items are not eaten, however. The activity may help to keep the beak trimmed and from growing too large. We wish Tuppence all the best on his new adventure!

Ray’s Corner

Reptiles as a suitable pet and which one is best for you

In the first installments of my reptile reports, written several years ago, I discussed the suitability of reptiles as everyday pets and the question of which type was most suitable. Given the time that has passed since that first report and, since many people may not have read that article, I thought that I would cover that important question again in a more recent edition.

Without doubt, reptiles make unique and interesting additions to any household but also carry the same responsibilities as their mammalian counterparts in terms of proper husbandry and welfare. Reptiles are completely different to say, a dog or cat, with regards to their upkeep, maintenance and housing. Where a dog or cat is free to roam within the boundaries of their owner’s home, a reptile must be confined if it is going to be kept for any length of time and not escape.

Make no mistake, mammals and reptiles’ function in entirely different ways with regards to behaviour towards their keepers. Dogs and cats are far more complex creatures than reptiles with emotional complexity and a need for social bonding with their owners. Reptiles, on the other hand, have a far more basic behaviour pattern with little regard for any emotional interaction with their keepers. Reptile owners will certainly develop a close attachment to their pets but it will never be the same as the bond that develops between mammals. Reptiles are far more orientated towards survival and the attainment of the basics of life than the need for social or emotional fulfilment. As a consequence, people with a need to bond closely with their pet will probably be disappointed with the reaction that they receive from a reptile.

Both mammals and reptiles have aspects of their personalities that are appealing to people but I, personally, think that dogs and cats are far more demanding in regard to their husbandry requirements and level of interaction that they must have from their owners. A reptile, in the majority of cases, will be happy just to have a comfortable environment to inhabit and a regular supply of food and won’t be emotionally shattered if they don’t get “cuddles” from their owners. In addition, reptiles have no need for a structured exercise routine and are more concerned with energy conservation than unnecessary expenditure.

In mammalian terms, it’s a very feline way of thinking. The important basic differences between these two groups of animals are fundamental to their successful upkeep and physical health. Mammals are very complicated creatures with many aspects to their personality that require attention. They function on many levels and are fairly challenging to keep completely happy and healthy. Reptiles, on the other hand, have fewer basic requirements for their survival and have less need to interact with their keepers. This situation also has serious implications for reptile keepers as a failure to satisfy any of these basic needs will have drastic consequences for the health of their pets and will create potentially life-threatening scenarios.

In short, don’t keep a reptile if you want or expect the same sort of interaction as you would receive from a dog or cat. Reptiles are very simple animals with few basic needs and minimal emotional rapport with their owners. Unfortunately, a failure to meet these simple requirements will have serious consequences for their health. Both mammals and reptiles make rewarding and interesting pets in their own different ways but never think of them as functioning in the same manner or you will never understand them or their behaviour. I am reluctant to even label reptiles as “pets “as it tends to create the wrong impression in peoples’ minds about their behaviour and husbandry but, for the sake of simplicity, they will be termed as such in my articles.

In my next report I will discuss the different types of reptiles that can be kept and their various advantages or disadvantages as pets.