44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: 03 456 2345

We are delighted to announce that Krystle Kelly, one of our hard working veterinary nurses has gotten another New Zealand first.
Krystle is the first veterinary nurse to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitative Practitioner through the prestigious University of Tennessee.
Following an arduous eighteen months of study that started with a block course in South Africa, and culminated in exams (written and practical as well as a presentation) last week in Yokohama, Japan.
She also has completed numerous case studies during the year.

We are very proud of her achievement and applaud all of her hard work. Please join us in congratulating her.
Krystle can be booked for physical therapy and/or laser sessions through our normal reception.

Contents of this newsletter

01  Grass Seed Season

02  Feeding tips for top health

03  Keep your pets' paws away from these foods

04  What's a therapeutic diet?

05  Why microchipping works

01 Grass Seed Season
Grass Seed

Late summer and autumn is when we are particularly on the lookout for injuries caused by migratory grass awns. “Barley grass” seeds have sharp barbs pointing from the stem end to the tip.

When a seed becomes attached to an animal’s hair/coat these barbs mean it will be prevented from moving backwards and any movement will only be in one direction. This causes the seed to migrate through the fur and into the skin. Skin folds and natural canals such as ear canals and the crevices between toes are common places for these seeds to migrate and cause problems. When on an ear the animal shows signs of suddenly becoming very painful when touched around the affected ear, often scratch or rub the ear on the ground and shake their heads vigorously.

Seeds between the toes cause swelling lameness and often incessant licking of the affected foot. Less commonly seeds can be inhaled (causing coughing) then migrate through the lungs, diaphragm and classically become lodged just below the spine in the abdomen, where an abscess forms.

Recently Michelle diagnosed and retrieved a grass seed from under the third eyelid of a cat! (see picture)

This is also a common finding in guinea pigs when they are bedded with hay, we recommend shredded paper for these wee guy’s beds.

02 Feeding tips for top health

Many people struggle when it comes to feeding their pet and one of the most common questions we get is  "How much should I feed my dog or cat?”

The good news is that the right answer for how much to feed most pets can summarised with some simple rules: 

Invest in a nutritionally balanced diet
Stick to something that’s nutritionally balanced - ask us for a recommendation. 

Measure, Measure, Measure and be consistent
This is essential if you want to get your pet's portion just right. Stick to the same brand and formula.

Assess if you're feeding too much or too little
We'll be able to help you decide if your pet has a healthy body condition score and you will need to adjust as necessary. 

Don't Forget That Treats Count
Treats are food too, and they’re usually more dense in calories.

Take in to account exercise levels and age of your pet
Younger and more active pets may have a higher calorie requirement than the quieter and older pet. 

Remember that we are the best place to seek advice when it comes to feeding your pet and always keep in mind that every animal is different...take these two dogs on YouTube for example!

03 Keep your pets' paws away from these foods

When it comes to tucker time for your pet, here's a list of foods to keep off limits:

Chocolate, coffee and caffeine - these contain theobromine and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even death in dogs

Grapes, sultanas and raisins - can cause sudden kidney failure in dogs

- can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs

Garlic and onions
- damage red blood cells and cause life threatening anaemia

Macadamia nuts
- can cause weakness, vomiting and joint pain

Chewing gum
- contains xylitol, an artificial sweetener that leads to low levels of insulin and low blood sugar, vomiting and collapse

Please phone us for advice immediately if your pet eats any of the above foods - we can often induce vomiting and help reduce the toxicity. 

04 What's a therapeutic diet?

At some point in your pet's life, we may prescribe a therapeutic diet. 

These diets are created specifically to prevent or delay the onset of many medical conditions and may help control existing diseases.

A good example of this is a diet for chronic kidney disease. These diets are balanced with a carefully controlled protein content to help meet the body’s needs while not overburdening the kidneys. They are also low in phosphorous and sodium and this can improve kidney function, help pets feel better and even live longer lives.

Kidney disease isn’t the only health issue that may respond to dietary management. Therapeutic diets can also be helpful in the management of diabetes mellitus, heart disease, food allergy/intolerance, liver disease, skin problems, joint disease, cancer, obesity issues, dental disease, brain changes associated with ageing, lower urinary tract disease, gastrointestinal conditions, or when a pet is recovering from surgery.

Ask us whether a therapeutic diet might be suitable for your pet.

05 Why microchipping works

After a large spate of Summer storms and plenty of fireworks through the silly season, hundreds of terrified dogs have thankfully been reunited with their owners. 

The National Pet Register received a total of 663 calls from New Year's Eve through to January 2nd. They facilitated 262 reunions over the three day period - almost twice the usual three day average!

Most were brought back together with the help of a microchip AND up to date contact details. This is a great example of why microchipping your pet works. 

But it's also a timely reminder to check the contact details attached to your pet's microchip. Unfortunately, for many microchipped pets, the phone number contact assigned to the chip is either disconnected or doesn't exist - this makes the chip useless! 

If you don't know your pet's microchip number, we can scan it and point you in the right direction when it comes to checking your contact details.  We also recommend you have an ID tag attached to your pet's collar as this can speed up the lost and found process. 

Remember, your pet can't phone home but a microchip with up to date phone numbers will enable someone to phone home for them!