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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
 
Recognising a broken heart

We're not talking about a broken heart from lost love here but instead heart disease.

Most of the signs of heart disease are related to a decrease in the function of the heart. The signs can be subtle and sometimes hard to detect. Being able to recognise some of the early signs of this disease can make a big difference for your pet. It means we can initiate medical treatment and in most cases, ease the workload on the heart, meaning your pet will live a longer and healthier life.

Look out for these signs:

+ Coughing, especially at night

+ A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks

+ Laboured or fast breathing

+ Weakness or fainting associated with exercise

+ An enlarged abdomen

+ Weight loss or poor appetite

This example of why at least an annual check-up with us is important. We will always listen to your pet's heart as part of any physical exam and this allows us to detect any changes early. Sometimes we will hear a murmur (abnormal blood flow) or an arrhythmia (irregular rhythm). These may be reason for us to perform more tests such as x-rays, ultrasound and an ECG.

There are some excellent medications available to help a pet suffering from heart disease and the good news is that these can help your pet live a longer and near normal life.

If you are ever worried about your pet's health, you should call us for advice. 

 
This study was EPIC!

Recent groundbreaking research into canine heart disease is changing the way we treat one of the most common heart conditions.

It is estimated that one dog in ten may suffer from some type of heart disease and there it's a particular type of heart disease called mitral valve disease that can lead to congestive heart failure, reduced quality of life and an overall shortened lifespan.

The EPIC (Evaluation of Pimobendan In dogs with Cardiomegaly) Study was the largest veterinary cardiology study in history. This groundbreaking study set out to answer a key question: Can a particular drug (pimobendan) delay the onset of congestive heart failure (CHF) in dogs with mitral valve disease?

The study, which began in 2010 and ran through to 2015, included investigators at 36 study centres in 11 nations across 4 continents. Investigators were held to rigorous scientific standards, and an independent team compiled and reported the findings.

The results concluded that dogs who received pimobendan experienced a 15-month delay in onset of clinical signs of CHF, cardiac-related death, or euthanasia. Some have described these results as 'epic' (pardon the pun!)

And the best news is that with x-rays and an ultrasound of the heart, along with the guidelines from the results of this study, we are now able to determine which of our patients with mitral valve disease will benefit from medication and which can be placed on a monitoring program. This means we can help your pet live a longer and healthier life.

If you have any questions about the management of heart disease or anything to do with your pet's health, we are always here to help.

 
A healthy mouth equals a healthy heart

Did you know that if your pet is suffering from dental disease they may be at risk of heart disease too?

When dental disease strikes, plaque and tartar that accumulate on the teeth lead to infection of the gums. Bacteria from this infection travel in the bloodstream around the body and can cause infection in the heart. This commonly occurs in the heart's lining and valves and is known as endocarditis. 

And it's not only the heart that is affected; the kidneys, liver and lungs can all be damaged by the bacteria.

Thankfully many of these problems can be reversed if dental disease is treated and the health of your pet's mouth is improved. 

Top tips for the prevention of dental disease

1. Lift your pet's lip and have a look and a smell. If you notice any yellowing of the teeth or redness of the gums OR your pet's breath smells a bit 'off', it is time for a checkup with us.

2. Regardless of whether you think something's not quite right, get your pet's mouth checked regularly by us. The earlier we spot an issue the better the outcome. Dental checkups at least once a year should be non-negotiable. 

3. Get your pet eating the right diet. It's essential that our pets chew their food! There are some excellent dental diets available and they work really well so ask us for the best recommendation.

4. Brush your pet's teeth. This is considered gold standard but just make sure you use a pet-approved toothpaste.

Don't be tempted by offers of 'anaesthesia free dentistry." This somewhat 'shonky' form of teeth cleaning is simply cosmetic and it fails to address the root of the problem (removing the plaque and tartar and subsequent bacteria from under the gum-line). You can read more information about this here.

We recommend a dental check-up at least once a year. Call us to book your pet in for a dental check-up today as you might be improving the health of their heart too. 

 
bluebottle jelly fish

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/109779948/thousands-of-australians-stung-by-bluebottle-jellyfish-armada

Jellyfish stings

Amazingly, despite being surrounded by stunning beaches and lots of them to walk our dogs on, we don't actually see too many jellyfish stings.

Should you see jellyfish in the water or washed up on the beach, keep your dogs away from them - on a leash if necessary. Teaching them the "leave" command from puppyhood is a great preventative measure.

If your dog does get stung it is helpful to be able to identify the jellyfish that has caused the sting as treatments can vary according to the species. Snap a photo if you can!

For jellyfish the first aid action is to wash with copious amounts of sea water. For some jellyfish fresh water can actually activate the stingers. It is not advised to used vinegar or urine as has been suggested by some.

Use a towel or the like to remove the tentacles. Do not touch the jellyfish or you may be stung too.

After removing the stingers apply warmed fresh water, or warmed sea water if that is an option.

Stop your dog from licking the area.

Call your veterinarian and seek further advise - some pets may require some pain relief or anti-histamines.

It is important to seek urgent attention if your dog has been stung around the face or mouth.

 
running max
More police dog confessions

It seems our article prompted some more police dog tales:

Like the case of a dog on another "seek" role investigating a break-in at a department store only to go on full alert and barking at a mannekin on display.

Or the other who stopped during a tracking mission to howl at the moon, before carrying on with his search. This same dog launched himself into a fast flowing river to follow an escaping offender...and got him!