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44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: 03 456 2345

Dr Susan Robb joined us at the end of October.

Hi, I’m Sue Robb, the new veterinarian with Humanimals. I’ve previously worked as a companion animal veterinarian in Alexandra and in an Emergency Clinic in Christchurch, but took a short sojourn in the North Island to get married. Between us, my partner and I share 5 adult children, one granddaughter, one dog and three cats, and we hope to add chickens and milking sheep to the mix in the middle of summer.

Animals, especially cats, have been my passion since I was a toddler: I feel so privileged to be a veterinarian and be allowed to work with my special interest. More recently, this has extended to Yellow Eye Penguins, Little Blue Penguins and an assortment of New Zealand natives. My other interests include photography, touring, publishing, and software design.

Sue Robb oct 17
Contents of this newsletter

01  Vet Nurse of the Year

02  Dr Michelle Mills

03  Streetwise Dog Training

04  Vaccinations - ask us for the right advice

05  Correct use of antibiotics

06  Crazy cat markings

01 Vet Nurse of the Year

Each year the New Zealand Veterinary Nurse Association runs the Veterinary Nurse of the Year competition in conjunction with Hills Pet Nutrition. This year Sara Best, one of our fabulous veterinary nurses was nominated by Victoria Cossou, another of our great team; further citations were given in by the practice, other colleagues and clients.

They say if you want something done, give it to a busy person - Sara is one of those busy people! A wonderful, involved mum of three, with horses, cats and Enzo the dog, she completed the National Diploma in Veterinary Nursing this year, with her assignments often bringing generous commendations by the lecturers for the quality and depth of her work.

Her role here at Humanimals is varied, but she is the principal staff member for ordering the necessary supplies to keep things running. However, her true forte is customer service, she is immensely kind and supportive, regularly going over and above for people. This is reflected in her interactions with her colleagues...when the chips are down for staff members, with family illness or the like, she is the first to offer help or glorious home-baking.

Whilst Sara came third in the national competition, we still think she is the top, and couldn't be more proud.

Well done Sara, thanks for being YOU!!

02 Dr Michelle Mills
michelle and lily

Dr Michelle Mills was one of a select handful of veterinarians invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Auckland by Idexx Laboratories at the beginning of the month. She was amongst a distinguished group of veterinarians and veterinary specialists who met to discuss the evolution of diagnostic tests for medical conditions in companion animals.

The depth and breadth of the knowledge she brought back is still being shared and explored but be assured if there is a benefit for you and your pet we will find it and advice you accordingly.

We are fortunate enough to have an excellent in-house laboratory, that is on standby 24/7, always ready for us to use, with results in minutes. In critical cases these minutes can make all of the difference.

03 Streetwise Dog Training
dog and traffic

What is it all about?

Streetwise is aimed at teaching the dog the heel and to ignore strange people, dogs and obstacles on the street; how to cope with large volumes of traffic on lead, being tied up with the owner disappearing from view. Any other problems you are experiencing with your dog.

We will be walking around the dog friendly streets of South Dunedin. Come and join us for some fun learning.

Day:  Saturday

Time: 10am

Location: Humanimals Veterinary Hospital (carpark)

Age: 16 weeks and upwards (never too old to learn!)

Cost: $20/session

04 Vaccinations - ask us for the right advice

Vaccination is a hot topic in the media at the moment. There's plenty of information and scare tactics floating around on social media and so when it comes to vaccinating your pet, we want you to get the right advice.

The take home message is that vaccination is one of the most important tools we have available to help keep your pet healthy. Vaccinations are safe, have minimal (if any) side effects and the reason we recommend vaccinations is because they work.

These are the top reasons vaccinations are so vital:

  1. They protect against deadly diseases: many dangerous diseases are completely preventable with the correct vaccinations.
  2. Vaccinations save money: vaccinations are substantially less expensive than the cost of treatment for the diseases they prevent. 
  3. You can board your pet with other animals: if you ever plan to board your dog or cat he must be up to date with his vaccinations - what would happen if you had a family emergency and boarding was the only option?
  4. Visits to the vet hospital: if your pet is sick, their immune system may be already be compromised so you want to know they are protected.

There are many diseases we are able to vaccinate against but your pet's health, age, lifestyle and where you live  - even where you holiday may affect which vaccinations are deemed necessary - we can help you make an informed decision and are always happy to discuss vaccinations with you.

When it comes to vaccinating your pet, we will give you the right advice. 

05 Correct use of antibiotics

One of the greatest threats to human and animal health is antibiotic resistance and the emergence of 'superbugs'.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that 'unless urgent action is taken on the use of antibiotics in humans and animals, the world is heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill'.

In the veterinary world, we are taking notice of these concerns and doing our bit to help prevent a global catastrophe. In fact,  veterinarians have guidelines in place to ensure they are not overprescribing or misusing antibiotics.

Here are some essential things to understand:

  1. Antibiotics can only be helpful in the presence of a bacterial infection. They cannot treat viral infections and are not needed in clean wounds
  2. We sometimes need to identify the type of bacteria present to help choose the most appropriate antibiotic and this involves taking samples for culture and sensitivity testing. This may need to be done at an external laboratory
  3. If your pet is prescribed antibiotics you must always use them as directed and finish the course, even if you think your pet is 'better' - stopping too early can lead to the development of resistant bacteria
  4. A revisit may be necessary to check your pet's and extend the course of antibiotics if necessary
  5. Never start any 'left over' antibiotics you have before you get your pet checked with us

And finally, please don't ask us to prescribe antibiotics (in any form: tablets or eye or ear medication) without a consultation as it is unethical and it's against the law!

06 Crazy cat markings

Here are some pretty cool cats!

Check out their crazy fur markings - from cinnamon rolls to the cat burglar, which one is your favourite?

Click here to view them at Bored Panda.