44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: 03 456 2345
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As any hay-fever sufferer will know, spring time can cause great distress to those with allergies. This applies to our pets as well, but our pooches are more likely to show this through ear and skin inflammation. If your dog is scratching at their ears or chewing at their feet, they may need some help.

A skin check-up involves looking for and treating any bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections. Once these are ruled out or treated, there are many options to help keep your pet comfortable over the allergy season. Our veterinarians can discuss topical options such as shampoos, creams or sprays that may help calm the skin, or pills if the inflammation is more severe.

There are also special diets available which focus on improving the skin barrier and reducing inflammation – we have seen some great results. Royal Canin are currently running a Springtime Skin Challenge with discounts on their Veterinary Dermatology diet range for those who sign up, so if a special diet has been recommended for your pet, now is a great time to try it out.


iStock25824162MEDIUM dog scratching
Contents of this newsletter

01  Fleas Spring Into Action

02  Vaccination reminder

03  The silent disease

04  World class in-house laboratory equipment

05  Check out these brilliant photos

01 Fleas Spring Into Action

fleas being combed out

The weather is getting warmer which means cranking up the barbecues, fishing out the sunscreen and looking out for fleas. Fleas are a common source of irritation for our pets, and are also associated with causing allergies or skin infections, spreading tapeworms and they can bite us as well.

If you want to check your pet for fleas, take a fine-toothed comb and run it through their fur, paying close attention to their neck and lower back. Place the debris on a wet cloth. Look for dirt that turns red when it contacts the water – this is flea dirt. If you find fleas or flea dirt, you will need treatment for your pet and your home - 95% of the flea population live in the environment! Prevention can be the best approach. Ask us about the best option for keeping your pet free of fleas.


02 Vaccination reminder

Is your pet ready for the Christmas holidays? If your pet is boarding over the holiday period and isn’t up to date with his vaccinations now is the time to get things in order.

Most boarding facilities require cats to have a minimum of three vaccination (given in 1) and dogs five vaccination given in one injection but an intranasal one may be required) but it's best to check with the facility your pet is booked in with now - before it's too late!

Vaccinating your pet is one of the most important things you can do to ensure they lead a healthy life.

Our top reasons for vaccinating are as follows:

1. Vaccinations protect against preventable diseases.

2. Vaccinations are substantially less expensive than the cost of treatment for the diseases they protect against.

3. Vaccinations protect your pet from transmissible diseases in boarding facilities, at parks and even when they visit us (if your pet has to be hospitalised for any illness, their immune system may already be compromised so you want to make sure they are protected, otherwise they may have to stay in isolation)

Your pet’s health, lifestyle and where you live may affect which vaccinations are necessary and we will determine the most appropriate vaccination program for your pet.

If you have any questions about vaccinations please ask us for the most up to date information. We are more than happy to discuss what your pet needs and why, so call us today.

We are running a prize draw for all of those pets vaccinated during October and November - check our Facebook page for pictures of the great prizes; one for dogs and one for cats.

03 The silent disease

We often refer to kidney disease as the silent killer as it can sneak up on your pet and signs may be subtle and hard to notice. This type of kidney disease is referred to as chronic kidney disease and is something we may detect in an older cat.

In other cases, kidney disease can come on quickly following an insult from a toxin, a certain drug or a disease. This is referred to as acute kidney disease and might for example occur in a dog who has eaten grapes or sultanas that contain a kidney toxin.

The kidneys contain thousands of little factories called nephrons and their job is to work out how much water should be conserved in the body. Once damaged or destroyed, nephrons do not function properly and can't regenerate. As a result, the body doesn't conserve enough water so your pet will urinate more and will drink more to stay hydrated. Surprisingly, your pet may not show any changes on blood tests until 75% of these nephrons are damaged.

 Signs to watch out for:

  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • weight loss
  • vomiting
  • lethargy

Measuring your pet's water intake over 24 hours and bringing us a morning urine sample are two things you can do to get the investigation process started. A blood test, urine testing and a measure of your pet's blood pressure may then be necessary. If we detect the kidneys are not working properly, the earlier we initiate treatment with diet modification the better.

There is also now a new medication available that can help reduce protein loss through the kidneys and can help slow the progress of this insidious disease. Ask us if your pet requires this medication.

If you are worried about your pet you should phone us for advice.

04 World class in-house laboratory equipment

new in-house laboratory suite of equipment

In October we have had a major upgrade to our in-house laboratory machines from global leaders IDEXX Laboratories.

Having an in-house laboratory allows us to perform a wide range of diagnostic tests that help us care for your pet. These can be simple laboratory tests to more complex diagnostic tools that aid us regarding your pet’s health, all available in a matter of minutes. This new suite of equipment allows us to expand the range of tests than we can perform in-house, rather than waiting for transport to external laboratories.

Whether it is a critical emergency, in the evening, weekend or prior to surgery we can have the results in a very short space of time.

Blood tests are available immediately on your pet's files and for viewing via our client management system. It has the added benefit that important trend graphs from any previous testing can be easily viewed. Results can also be easily emailed to you.

Where we cannot run a sample in-house, we send it to an external lab and usually have results in 24 hours.  As IDEXX also own the external laboratory that we use there is greater opportunity for collaboration and consultation with their clinical pathologists.

Call us today to find out more about our facilities and how we are dedicated to providing care for your pet.

05 Check out these brilliant photos

We came across some pretty special photos this month.

Have you ever seen a dog trying to catch a treat mid air?

Click here for some of the best slow motion pics you'll ever see!