Humanimals
44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012

reception@humanimals.co.nz
www.humanimals.co.nz
Phone: 03 456 2345
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Christmas Hours

Contents of this newsletter

01  Thank you and best wishes

02  Keep your pet safe this Christmas

03  Christmas present inspiration

04  Itchy and scratchy

05  Feline AIDS - can we prevent it?

01 Thank you and best wishes
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All of the staff at Humanimals would like to thank you for allowing us to care for your pets in 2016; we appreciate your trust.

During the year we have had to say goodbye to some of our patients (and sadly clients who become friends too) and our own pets; we know what a difficult time this can be. We also know that the joy and humour that our pets bring to our lives far outweighs the sadness at only having them for parts of our lives.

That joy is most adequately expressed in the rascally pups and mischievious kittens as they start the adventure of life.  You only have to take a brief dip into the internet to see some of the crazy antics that make us laugh out loud.

We hope you all have a lovely Christmas and holiday season and all of the very best wishes for 2017. Have fun and stay safe.

02 Keep your pet safe this Christmas
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It's fun to involve your pet in the Christmas and New Year celebrations so here are our top tips on how to keep them safe. 

Paws off the following
Chocolate, grapes, raisins and sultanas are poisonous to dogs. Always keep your pets away from the Christmas table (Christmas ham is very attractive) and secure the lids on rubbish bins. Christmas cake is definitely off limits and please don't leave edible gifts under the tree! Remember that cats should be kept away from the sweet-smelling Christmas lilies as these can cause kidney failure even if just a small amount of the plant is ingested.

Leave leftovers off the menu
Don't be tempted to feed your pet leftovers - most are too fatty for our pets and can cause upset tummies and nasty episodes of painful pancreatitis. Never feed cooked bones and watch out for skewered meat that falls from the BBQ. Also dispose of the kebab sticks very carefully and securely as they can be very tempting to dogs and can cause considerable internal damage if eaten or even just chewed.

O Christmas tree
Secure your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip or fall. Don't let your pet access tree water and keep any wires and batteries out of paws' reach. Tinsel and Christmas lights: Kitties love these sparkly "toys" but if swallowed they can lead to an obstructed digestive tract. Soem are made of glass that when broken can cause lacerations.

Fear the fireworks 
If you know fireworks are scheduled, plan ahead. Keep your dog indoors and put them in a room with a television or radio turned up. If possible have a family member stay with them during the fireworks. Make sure all windows closed and all exits secure. Speak to us if you are concerned about your dog's firework anxiety, as we will be able to offer you some more helpful advice. 

03 Christmas present inspiration
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We know you love including your furry friends on your Christmas gift list so if you're looking for inspiration this year, look no further!

Here's a dog who was given the best present she could hope for: a life sized version of her favourite toy.

Click here to watch a video of her reaction! 

04 Itchy and scratchy
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The most simple way to make sure your pet is comfy this summer 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 itchy and scratchy show at your house! 

Itchy dogs will bite, lick or scratch with their legs however a cat will constantly lick at particular areas, causing hair loss. This quickly leads to self-trauma of the skin which causes secondary infections that require medication.

Our top skin care tips:  

  • Be vigilant with flea treatment all year round. Fleas are THE major cause of an itchy pet and regular use of a flea treatment is easier (and cheaper) than fixing the itch. Ask us for the best flea treatment available
  • A premium diet balanced in essential fatty acids is essential in keeping your pet's skin and coat in top shape. This will provide a good barrier against allergens - ask us for a recommendation
  • Always wash your dog in pet approved shampoo and conditioner - we have these available all year round 
  • An antihistamine or a medication to help reduce the immune system's response to the allergen can reduce the itch - we can provide you with more information so enquire now

If you have an itchy pet at your house it is best arrange an appointment with us. We will help keep your pet happy and healthy this summer.  

05 Feline AIDS - can we prevent it?
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Feline AIDS is caused by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which affects the immune system of cats.

The virus 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.

The virus is spread from cat to cat through saliva, often via a cat bite wound. A mother cat can also pass the virus to her kittens across the placenta or through her milk. FIV cannot be transferred to humans.

Close to 20% of cats in New Zealand are thought to be FIV positive and the scary thing is, any cat that ventures outside and has contact with an infected cat is at risk. 

Can we prevent the disease? 

Cats that are kept inside 100% of the time are generally safe, that is unless they accidentally escape. This is not uncommon so why put your cat at risk? Thankfully there is a vaccine available to help prevent FIV infection. All cats require an initial course of three vaccinations and then yearly boosters to maintain protection.

Ask us for more information if you are worried about your cat or would like to commence this vaccination program.