44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: 03 456 2345
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At last all of our renovations and improvements are complete.

Our waiting room has new vinyl and the bricks painted giving the area a bright, spaceous feel.

The new scrub-bay for our theatre and sterile supply room is working well - the viewing window into the theatre has proved a hit with visitors.

The piped oxygen system passed its inspection first time, so is all set.

Krystle's physio room has had a make-over too, with new vinyl and the dark bricks painted to give that space more light. The bonus is we can use this space for puppy classes - much better and easier than the waiting room.

The dental and xray area is also complete, although the team are still settling on the most ergonomic arrangement - luckily everything is on wheels.

We are all really pleased with the results and hope they reflect an improvements in services for our patients and clients.

Thanks to all of the trades-people for their effort - we really appreciate it.



We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our clients a safe and happy Christmas and best wishes for 2016!!



Remember to book early for appointments to get the time and date you prefer.

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Contents of this newsletter

01  Congratulations

02  Prevent a crisis this Christmas

03  Ditch the itch this Christmas

04  Rabbits as pets

05  Rabbit Vaccination Day

06  AIDS - is your cat protected?

01 Congratulations
Dr Michelle Russell Veterinarian

Congratulations to Lisa and Michelle!

Lisa completed her Diploma in Veterinary Nursing in November. This involved a great deal of work on her part on top of her fulltime job. Well done!



Michelle completed the Low Stress Handling Course through Dr Sophia Yin's animal behaviour company in the US. Michelle also did this on top of her fulltime role as veterinarian and doing a paper as part of her Masters in Veterinary Medicine.  Well done Michelle.



We are really proud of them and the rest of our team and their commitment to ongoing education and contstantly building on their knowledge and skills.

02 Prevent a crisis this Christmas

Here are our top tips to help prevent a Christmas catastrophe and keep your pet healthy and happy this Christmas.

Keep leftovers off the menu!

Don't be tempted to feed your pet leftovers. Christmas dinner is notorious for causing upset tummies and nasty episodes of painful pancreatitis in our pets. Never feed cooked bones and watch out for skewered meat that falls from the BBQ - we don't want to have to remove one of those from your dog's stomach!

Be on hazard watch

Be on the look out for hazardous things your pet might find interesting. Cats love Christmas ornaments, electrical wires, ribbon, string and wrapping paper but all of these can cause major problems if ingested. Candles and burning oils are also dangerous. Remember that ingestion of stems, stamen or the flowers of Christmas lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.

Make festive plans for your pet

Give your pet plenty of love and attention over Christmas - it is a busy time of year and your pet will pick up on this. Make sure you plan out some fun for your pet on Christmas Day and remember to keep them safe and secure during festive fireworks.

Don't forget: We have some great treats and presents available to help stuff your pet's Christmas stocking so drop by to check them out!

03 Ditch the itch this Christmas

Without doubt, the best gift you can give your pet this Christmas is comfort. And we don't mean a king sized bed or a back massage! The most simple way to make sure your pet is comfy is to prevent itchy skin. 

Allergies to fleas, grasses, trees, plant pollen, dust mites and moulds as well as certain foods can all set off an attack of the itches. 

Itchy dogs will bite, lick or scratch with their legs whereas a cat will constantly lick at particular areas, causing hair loss. 

Itching quickly leads to self-trauma of the skin and this causes secondary infections that require (expensive) antibiotic treatment.

Top tips for preventing an itch: 

  • Be absolutely vigilant with flea treatment all year round. Fleas are THE major cause of an itchy pet and regular use of a flea treatment is cheaper and easier than repairing the damage. Ask us for the best flea treatment available
  • Keep your pet's skin and coat in top shape to provide a good barrier from allergens - ask us for a premium diet balanced in essential fatty acids 
  • Wash your dog in pet approved shampoo and conditioner - ask us for a recommendation
  • Some pets may find relief with an antihistamine or a medication to help reduce the immune system's response to the allergen - we can provide you with more information so enquire now

If you have an itchy pet at your house call us for advice. We will make sure your pet is as comfortable and itch free as can be! 

04 Rabbits as pets
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 Once only thought of as a pest in New Zealand, rabbits are becoming a more common companion pet.  Rabbits are intelligent and will learn to be house trained to use a litter tray, so they can be an indoor pet. There are some key points to maintain the health of a pet rabbit.

A common health problem is related to the teeth.  The front incisor teeth continually grow but are worn down naturally. Sometimes these teeth need to be trimmed – this is best done using a high-speed dental burr as “snipping” the teeth can cause them to fracture, resulting in a more significant problem. The molar teeth at the back normally wear by mechanical action but sometimes these can overgrow too. These teeth cannot be easily visualised; if overgrown, they need to be treated under a general anaesthetic.

Teeth issues can present with a number of signs: weeping eyes; not eating and weight loss; drooling; jaw abscess; not grooming properly. Teeth issues are most often related to the diet fed to the rabbit. Diets that don’t contain enough fibre [“roughage”] will lead to tooth overgrowth and often gut problems. An ideal diet for a rabbit includes quality hay and grass (85% of total diet), some leafy greens (10% of diet) and a small amount of high-fibre pellets (5% of the diet). A small amount fruit once or twice a week is ok.

Occasionally, rabbits will have problems with lice and mites.  These are readily treated once diagnosed.

Rabbits do like to breed! So de-sexing them should be considered to prevent unwanted litters.  A more important reason to desex female rabbits is that about 80% or more female rabbits will get uterine cancer by the age of 5 years if not desexed. Male rabbits can become aggressive and urine spray if left entire, so desexing helps in management.

Other than requiring vaccination, rabbits will live a healthy life as a friendly pet if the above husbandry points are implemented.

05 Rabbit Vaccination Day

Rabbits can catch calicivirus, a virus that is usually deadly within 2-3 days. Your rabbit can become infected by contact with an infected rabbit or other animals or insects that have been in contact with infected rabbits. An isolated backyard rabbit can become infected by contact with contaminated food, hay, water, clothing, cages, and water bottles. Your rabbit may develop any of the following signs: go off food, develop red eyes, paralysis, wobbliness, foamy discharge from the nose, difficulty breathing. Or your rabbit may die without showing these signs. If your rabbit becomes infected with calcivirus there is no cure, only supportive treatment. Although a small number survive, the majority die even with supportive care, such is the nastiness of this virus.

Thankfully we can prevent your rabbit becoming infected by vaccinating at 2 1/2 – 3 months and then by revaccinating every year. The vaccine comes in 10 dose vials and once opened needs to be discarded after 10 hours. In order to make vaccination as economical as possible, we are instigating 4 annual rabbit vaccination days.

Our next one is February 4th, then June 2nd, October 6th and then February 2017.

06 AIDS - is your cat protected?

It's World AIDS Day on 1st December so now is as good a time as ever to alert you to the fact that your feline friend can also develop the disease. 

What causes Feline AIDS?

Feline AIDS is caused by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which affects the immune system of cats. FIV acts in the same way as the human form of HIV, destroying the immune system and leaving a cat susceptible to infections, disease and cancers. Once a cat has been infected, FIV can then progress to feline acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, also known as Feline AIDS.

How is FIV spread?

The virus is most commonly spread from cat to cat through saliva (via a bite wound) but can also be transmitted by a mother cat to her kittens across the placenta or through her milk. Close to 22% of cats in New Zealand are thought to be FIV positive. Any cat that ventures outside and has contact with an infected cat is at risk. Thankfully FIV cannot be transferred to humans. 

Can I prevent the disease? 

There is good news for cats and cat lovers as there is a vaccine available to help prevent FIV infection - ask us about the vaccination program available to help protect your cat. Given that a successful vaccine has been developed against FIV, there is hope that an effective vaccine against HIV will be developed in the future.