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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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Clinic staff news

With everyone, including our clinic team, tryng to enjoy what little summer sunshine we are having, we have a few new faces amongst the more familiar faces you are used to.

We have Monika, veterianarian from Australia who will be with us until mid-Febraury so that some of our hard-working veterinarians gets some much-needed time off to recharge their batteries.

Sophie is covering one of our veterinary nurses who is off celebrating a significant birthday with family from overseas.

We know they will provide you with the great service you expect and lots of smiles too.

We are also delighted to let you know that Catie, our head veterinary nurse, gave birth to her first child earlier this month. Mum and babe doing well.

 
Happy and healthy ears

Summer is a great time to take your dog swimming but did you know that an innocent dip can lead to an ear infection for your dog?

We like to think of your dog's ear as its own 'mini-environment'. This environment can be easily disrupted and swimming is a common way for water to enter the canal and upset the balance. Heat, self-trauma (for example from itching due to allergies) and foreign bodies such as a grass seed can also mess things up too.

Unfortunately, bacteria and yeast love the change in environment and begin to increase in numbers, resulting in a very unhappy ear canal and a sad and uncomfortable pet.

Signs your pet might have an ear problem

- Shaking of the head

- Rubbing ears along the floor or furniture

- Itching behind ears with paws

- Hot and red ears

- Discharge - may be smelly and can be black, white or yellow

- A head-tilt 

What to do
If you notice any of the above symptoms, arrange a check-up with us. We will need to examine the ear canals and check for signs of infection and/or inflammation. We also need to make sure there is not a foreign body such as a grass seed contributing to the problem.

A sample of what's in the ear must be taken and stained with special chemicals to identify if there is any bacteria or yeast present. This also enables us to prescribe the correct medication for your pet and means the ear will improve as quickly as possible.

If you think your pet might have an ear problem it's best to arrange a check-up with us ASAP. The longer you leave an ear infection, the more painful the ear becomes and the harder (and more expensive) it becomes to treat.

You should also ask us about the best way to clean your pet's ears after they go swimming as this can help prevent future ear infections and keep your pet's ears happy and healthy. 

 
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Summer humour

In this month's Reader's Digest "all in a day's work", reader Elizabeth Bennett reports on a friend who was a police officer in the dog squad.

One night, he was dispatched to the scene of a possible burglary and discovered the back door of the building ajar.

He let the dog out of his car and commanded it to "enter and seek."

The dog lunged through the doorway, then froze and backed out. Her friend was puzzled until he investigated further. Then he noticed the sign on the building: Veterinary Surgery.

 
Four hidden summer dangers

1. Check under the car
Don't forget to check under your car before you drive off - cats, in particular, like to seek out the shade provided by a car and are often asleep, putting them at risk of being run over. A toot of the horn before you move the car is always a good idea. 

2. The hidden danger on our streets
Ever heard the term 'this pavement is so hot you could fry an egg on it?' The hidden danger on the street this summer IS the street!

Believe it or not, the pavement can get so hot in summer that it can cause burns and blisters to your dog's paw pads. We recommend you stick to walking your dog in the cool of the day and take the softer (grass) route to the park. You can try booties to protect the paws but most pets won't tolerate them. 

3. Pools are not always safe
Pets don't always like the water and many can't even swim. Never force your pet to get in the water and never leave your pet where they can access a body of water without supervision. Consider using a floatation device such as a life jacket for extra safety. 

Don't let your pet drink the pool water as it can be toxic and always provide copious amounts of fresh drinking water. Wash your pet off after a swim as chlorinated water, in particular, can irritate the skin and eyes. 

4. Beach beware 
If you take your pet to the beach beware of saltwater toxicity. Dogs are often inclined to ingest a whole heap of saltwater at the beach and this can lead to vomiting and diarrhoea. Keep them supervised and always provide plenty of clean and fresh drinking water. 

Also be aware that it's not just the pavement that can burn your pet's paw pads - the sand can become extremely hot too. 

 
Flat-faced dogs can't stand the heat

It's time to crank the air-conditioning for flat-faced dogs such as the Pug, French Bulldog and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These dogs (known as Brachycephalic breeds) are not very well designed for our hot summer months and are very susceptible to heat stress.

Dogs are not able to sweat like humans and they rely heavily on panting to regulate their body temperature. Brachycephalic dogs have shorter muzzles and as a result, air-flow is restricted in and out of their mouth. This essentially makes it harder for them to effectively exchange hot air for cool, and they can easily overheat.

Brachycephalic dogs can be quite variable in terms of the degree of shortness of their muzzles and this means that some brachycephalic dogs will cope relatively well in the heat but others may find even a slight increase in temperature a challenge. Some of these dogs also have narrow nostrils (nares) making it even harder to draw in air to pant, putting them at greater risk of heat exhaustion.

 How to keep these dogs safe

- Know the signs of heat stress (read below for more information)

- Provide a cool environment for these dogs at all times and never leave them outside in the heat

- Keep airflow up with fans and preferably keep them in air conditioning

- Never exercise them in the middle of the day and skip exercise all together on extremely hot or humid days

- Avoid trips in the car unless absolutely necessary and never leave your dog unattended in a car even on a mild day

- Provide a shallow wading pool and frozen treat ice blocks to help keep them cool

- Keep your dog's weight under control as obesity can increase the risk of overheating