44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: 03 456 2345
Contents of this newsletter

01  Make 2015 your pet's best year yet

02  Epic fail at obedience

03  Dogs really do love us!

04  Uh oh - grass seed season is here

05  The itch, lick, scratch routine

01 Make 2015 your pet's best year yet

"Would you mind calling the vet to make sure my vaccinations are up to date?"

Does your pet have any New Year's resolutions? Here are our top tips to help make 2015 their happiest and healthiest yet. 

1. Flip the lip

Up to 80% of dogs and cats suffer from dental disease. This can lead to all sorts of systemic illnesses as well as pain and discomfort. Start the year off with a dental check up with us. We'll be able to provide you with a dental disease prevention program and advise you if any further treatment is necessary. 

2. Weigh in

Don't let your pet become a part of the obesity epidemic. Bring them in for a free weight check up this month. Start the year off by being conscious of how much you are feeding them. We have some excellent weight loss diets available and can help support you to keep your pet's weight in the healthy range.

3. Prevention time

Are your pet's vaccinations up to date? Do you have their parasite prevention program sorted? We know how busy things get around Christmas and it's easy to forget about that monthly flea treatment. Now is the best time to get organised and start afresh. Prevention is always better (and more economical for you) than a cure! 

Our team are the best people to source the most up to date and accurate information when it comes to your pet's health. Call us today and we will make sure you are on the right track. 

02 Epic fail at obedience

We couldn't help but chuckle when we saw this video of a Golden Retriever failing his obedience challenge. 

Has your pet failed when it comes to obedience? Share your funny story on our My Pet Stories Facebook page

03 Dogs really do love us!

A recent study undertaken in Budapest confirms that our canine friends really do love us.

MRI scans were performed on a group of dogs to investigate their brain activity when exposed to various smells. 

When the dogs were exposed to their owners' aroma, this caused an activation in the "reward centre" of their brains. It turns out, dogs actually prioritised the smell of their humans over anything or anyone else (even other canines!)

You can read more about the study here

04 Uh oh - grass seed season is here

Grass seeds with needle-sharp ends can burrow into your pet's skin


It's grass seed season again and unfortunately these little terrors can cause your pet serious problems. 

There are some types of grass seeds that are shaped like a pointy needle and once caught in your pet’s fur they can start to burrow aggressively into their skin. 

If the seed does not exit, a painful abscess can develop. This invariably leads to the need for surgery to remove the seed or its remnants.

What to look out for:

  • excessive licking  - often one of the first signs
  • a swelling or lump - especially between toes, under armpits
  • pus and bloody discharge from a burst abscess

Occasionally a grass seed will end up in your dog’s ear canal causing major irritation - your pet may shake his head violently or turn his head to the side. Ear infections present in a similar manner so a check up with us is always essential. 

Top tips: 

Keep your pet out of long grass and keep their fur clipped short - especially around the feet.

Check your pet's coat for grass seeds daily and after every walk - concentrate under the paws, between the toes, around the ears and in the armpit region. You'll be amazed how many seeds can become hidden in your pet's coat - and they are just waiting to cause trouble!

05 The itch, lick, scratch routine

Fish flavoured foods can cause skin and gastrointestinal allergies in some cats

With the warm weather comes the pesky things that cause allergies. Fleas, ticks and other biting insects commonly set off an attack of the itches.

Pets can also be allergic to grasses, trees, plant pollen, dust mites and moulds, as well as certain foods.

Itchy dogs may bite, lick or scratch with their legs. Cats tend to over-groom (constantly lick) certain areas, causing hair loss.

Itching quickly leads to self-inflicted trauma of the skin and this causes secondary infections. Treatment becomes more complicated and more costly once infection occurs.

Top tips: 

  • Be absolutely vigilant with flea treatment all year round. Fleas are a major cause of itchiness and regularly using a flea treatment is cheaper than treating an itchy pet!
  • Keep your pet away from known 'problem' plants - including Wandering Jew and Paspalum grasses
  • Avoid fishy foods for cats - you may be surprised but these can often be an underlying cause of allergies (skin and gastrointestinal)
  • Some pets may find relief with an antihistamine - ask us for information

The good news is, we can prescribe certain drugs to help break the itch, lick and scratch cycle. We can also perform allergy testing to help get to the bottom of the problem.

Call us today for advice.