44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: 03 456 2345
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There are times when our canine friends become ill or injured and require blood transfusions as part of their lifesaving treatment; for example blood loss due to trauma or rodenticide poisoning or when the dog’s immune system starts attacking its own red blood cells (Immune-Mediated Haemolytic Anaemia). Unfortunately unlike human medicine there is no local easily accessible canine blood bank in the South Island so we rely on fresh donations at the time of need.


At Humanimals we have a register of dog owners who have volunteered to be contacted so they can bring their dog in to donate blood when a blood transfusion is required; currently it is mostly staff dogs. However we are always looking for canine donors to add to this register.


An idea dog blood donor is:

  • Healthy and fit
  • Aged between 1 and 6 years
  • Over 25kg (lean but not over-weight)
  • Have up-to-date vaccinations
  • Wormed regularly
  • Has a friendly and calm nature
  • Blood type DEA1.1 negative (universal donor) - we will blood type to check
  • Non-brachycephalic and non-Japanese breed (sorry no Boxers, Bull Mastiffs or Akitas)

The donor must not have had:

  • puppies
  • or a blood transfusion.

If your dog meets the above criteria and you are interested in having your dog on our blood donor register please contact the clinic or speak with one our staff members at your next visit.


Contents of this newsletter

01  Slimanimals

02  Guilty dog

03  Is your pet a bit portly?

04  Don't be tempted

05  Recognise heart disease

06  Snail bait is serious

01 Slimanimals

Here at Humanimals we have your pets’ best interests at heart. A big part of what we do is helping to cure animals that are already sick but we also offer client education and advice so that we can prevent illness from occurring in the first place.

A major factor nowadays that adds to ill health in our pets is obesity; just as it is in people. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention “54% of our cats and dogs are overweight or obese”.* This is a US study but the same numbers apply to our pets here.

 The following are just a few diseases that can be exacerbated or even caused by being overweight:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Respiratory diseases

Also, a heavy pet is less inclined to want to exercise so is likely to become even more overweight! If you are concerned about your pet’s weight or have been told during a recent consultation that your animal would benefit from losing weight or even just want some nutritional advice then we can help. Our trained nurses hold weight loss clinics called “Slimanimals” where we can tailor a diet specifically for your pet. We will monitor their weight loss and give a nutrition and exercise advice plus lots of encouragement!

A slim pet is a happy pet and happy pets make happy owners so call us and speak to one of our nurses today.



02 Guilty dog

With a focus on portly pets this month, we've got the perfect YouTube video to share with you. Do you have a guilty pet in your household? 

03 Is your pet a bit portly?

Is your canine companion a couch potato or your feline friend a bit flabby? Your pet is not alone as more than 50% of our pets are overweight.

Carrying a few extra kilos puts our pets at risk of heart disease, respiratory disorders, osteoarthritis and diabetes. The scary thing is that most people aren’t even aware that their pet is overweight.

Watch out for:

  • When you look down from above, your pet will have lost definition of his waist. Instead of an hourglass figure he might look more like an egg, or even a barrel on legs!
  • You can no longer ‘easily’ feel his ribs when you run your hands over his sides
  • A very obese pet may have neck fat, a pendulous tummy as well as fat over the hips

The very best way to determine whether your pet is overweight is to drop in for a weight check with us. This will allow us to score your pet’s body condition and, if necessary, start a weight management plan.

Getting your pet to lose weight is easier than you think! Physical exercise will help but it is crucial you are feeding your pet the correct diet and the right amount - something we can help you out with. There are diets available that will actually help your pet lose weight - including one to increase your pet’s metabolic rate.

Remember, when it comes to fighting the flab, we are here to help. 

04 Don't be tempted

It might be tempting to feed your pet human scraps as a treat but you may be doing them harm and causing excessive weight gain.

Keep this calorie translator in mind when you are having trouble saying ‘no’ to those adorable eyes!

For a 10kg dog:

  • One biscuit = 1 hamburger for a human
  • 30g piece of cheese = 1.5 hamburgers for a human
  • One hot dog = 2.5 hamburgers for a human

For a 5kg cat:

  • One potato chip = ½ a hamburger for a human
  • 30g piece cheese = 2.5 hamburgers for a human
  • A glass of milk = 3 hamburgers for a human!

Drop in at any time and we'll weigh your pet. We'll also advise you on treats that are suitable for your pet and are light on calories. 

05 Recognise heart disease

Heart disease tends to sneak up on pets and clinical signs might not appear until your pet is in serious trouble.

Knowing the signs of heart disease and starting treatment early can make a big difference to your pet's quality of life and longevity.

The most common form of heart disease leads to a failure of the pumping mechanism of the heart. It is often referred to as congestive failure as it results in pooling of blood in the lungs and other organs.

Look out for these signs

In both dogs and cats:

  • Laboured or fast breathing (get to know your pet’s sleeping respiration rate - SRR)
  • An enlarged abdomen
  • Weight loss or poor appetite

In dogs only:

  • Coughing, especially at night or after lying down
  • A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks
  • Weakness or fainting associated with exercise

If you think your pet might be showing signs of heart disease, call us for an appointment. Early treatment of this insidious disease will help your pet love a longer and happier life.

06 Snail bait is serious

Spring has sprung and with new shoots in the garden there may also be snail bait about.

Snail bait pellets look just like dog kibble so dogs often eat the pellets by mistake. Even so called “pet friendly” products are dangerous for animals.

There are three types of snail bait:

  1. Metaldehyde- green pellets
  2. Methiocarb - blue pellets
  3. Iron EDTA (Multiguard) - brown/yellow pellets

Metaldehyde and methiocarb act on the nervous system causing increased stimulation and can be fatal if immediate veterinary treatment is not given.

Multiguard is less toxic but can cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea, or may cause damage to the liver, spleen, heart, kidneys or brain. Treatment is still recommended.

Signs of snail bait poisoning to look out for:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Depression or restlessness
  • Rapid heart rate & panting
  • Vomiting & diarrhoea
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures

If your pet has ingested (or you think your pet might have ingested) snail bait, call us immediately for advice.