44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: 03 456 2345
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We hope all of our clients and their pets have had a great holiday - for those still enjoying a break from work and school, we hope the weather improves for you (we are jealous!)

The clinic continued to work on all sorts of cases over the holidays, including a caesarean section on Christmas day, and a potential one on the 27th, but luckily mum managed to do it on her own whilst at the clinic. We also saw the usual smattering of gastro-intestinal upsets.

Humanimals staff would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours the very best for 2016 - health and happiness!


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Contents of this newsletter

01  Potential poisons at home

02  More Household Potential Poisons

03  Rabbit Vaccination Day

04  What to do if your pet starts to feel the heat

05  How to prevent flies annoying your pet

01 Potential poisons at home

Better to be safe than sorry.

As much as we try to monitor and control our pets activities, there are times when their naturally curious nature leads to the discovery of things best left well alone. Often, we attend to pets with sudden onset vomiting and diarrhoea. It is not uncommon that they have eaten something that has caused a stomach and/or intestinal upset -  the rubbish bag and tasty “treats” discovered while out for a walk are often the culprits.

Of a greater worry is the effect of snail poison and car radiator “anti-freeze” solution. “Snail bait” is often used to control those garden pests but unfortunately for pets, the active ingredient – metaldehyde – is highly toxic even in small amounts. Sadly, most pets that ingest snail bait do not recover, even when the poison has only just recently been eaten. If you think your pet may have eaten snail bait, call us immediately for advice.   If you have pets and you are a gardener, ensure that the snail bait is placed securely in containers that a nosey pet cannot get access to.

Most car owners leave changing the radiator coolant to a mechanic. There are still some folk who do like to carry out their own car maintenance and will replace the coolant. Ethylene glycol is a common ingredient of radiator coolants.  It has a sweet taste that is attractive to pets, especially cats. Cats are highly sensitive to the toxic effects of ethylene glycol – just a teaspoonful is sufficient to be toxic. The early signs of toxicity are staggering and in-coordination, often referred to as the “drunken sailor” state. When presented and treated at this stage, the chances of a successful result are better. If the ingestion has occurred more than 2 hours before being noticed, there is a much reduced chance of full recovery. 


For any potential toxin you have at home or in the garage, store it in a lockable cupboard. If you see your pet acting strangely, call us for advice as the earlier the treatment the more likely there will be a positive outcome.



02 More Household Potential Poisons

In addition to  chocolate and raisins, which were covered in a previous edition of newsletter, a relatively recently described poison for dogs (and possibly rabbits) is the artificial sweetener xylitol. In quantities as low as 0.1 g/kg (100 mg/kg) xylitol can cause severe, sometimes fatal, illness in dogs. T

To date there has been no report of xylitol poisoning in cats. Xylitol is found in increasing numbers of foods marketed as low sugar including chewing gum, sweets and recently (at least overseas) peanut butter. It will be labelled on the pack as a sweetener, followed by its name or the code number 967. Safe in humans, in dogs the pancreas is tricked into releasing large amounts of insulin in response to the presence of this molecule. This causes a huge drop in blood sugar – often within 30 minutes of eating the product. Low blood sugar leads to dullness, weakness, collapse, trembling and fits. Untreated it can be fatal.

In larger doses this poison can cause acute liver failure, which more often than not is fatal even with treatment. So check all product labels for xylitol and keep all foods which contain this ingredient safely stored where dogs cannot get to them. If you think your dog has eaten some, then call the clinic with as much detail as you can as soon as possible so we can treat with the best chance of success.


03 Rabbit Vaccination Day

Don't forget Rabbit Vaccination Day is on Febraury 4th. Please book early to ensure you get the time that suits you best.

04 What to do if your pet starts to feel the heat

Our pets can’t sweat all over their bodies like humans can. They rely on panting to get rid of the hot air and only produce a small amount of sweat through their footpads. This makes them extremely susceptible to heat exhaustion in hot and humid conditions.

Heat exhaustion can be particularly dangerous and even fatal so it’s important to be able to recognise the signs and know what to do.

Watch out for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Exaggerated and noisy panting
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Vomiting 

What to do if you suspect heat exhaustion:

  • Bring your pet to us immediately (or seek emergency veterinary care)
  • On your way here you can cool your pet by applying wet towels to hairless parts of your pet’s body (groins or paws)
  • Place your pet in front of the air conditioner or a fan while you are in the car

If you are ever worried about your pet in the heat call us for advice

05 How to prevent flies annoying your pet

Flies are proving to be a real problem this summer. Populations are at an all time high and these annoying insects can really bother you and your pet. Some fly species will actually bite around your pet’s ears and nose causing painful and infected sores.

Here are some things you can do at home to help your pet:

1. Ask us about the very effective topical treatments available to help repel flies and prevent fly bites

2. Clean up your backyard (dog faeces, rubbish) to prevent flies being attracted to the smells

3. Don’t leave pet food or dog bones out - they will attract flies 

4. Make sure your pet has a place to escape the flies such as a kennel or a cool room

5. Remove any dried blood from fly bites as the blood will simply attract more flies.

Phone us for more information on protecting your pet from all pesky parasites this summer. We are the best people to give you advice on the most effective products available for your pet.