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Camms Road

Veterinary Clinic Cranbourne

Useful Pet Info

Looking after your pets at home is key to providing them with a full and healthy life. You may find the following information useful when considering a number of common problems, issues and concerns with your pet.

NOTE: This is not a replacement for consulting with a vet. If you feel the need to contact a vet about any problem you might be having, don't hesitate to give us a call on (03) 5996 7653

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Desexing

Spaying (female) and castrating (male) is a surgical procedure that is performed under general anaesthesia when dogs and cats are older than 5 months of age

Desexing has many benefits including:

  • Reducing unwanted or unexpected heats (seasons), litters and stray
  • Reducing behavioral problems such as escaping/roaming, aggression/fighting, cat abscesses, urine marking
  • Reducing the risk of cancer (breast, testicle), pyometra (uterus infection), prostate disease
  • May qualify for cheaper council registration fees

There are many 'old wives tales' about desexing:

  • Desexing does not cause pets to get fat – this is usually due to overfeeding
  • Pets do not need to have a season (heat) nor breed before desexing (simply adds to the thousands of unwanted pets destroyed every year)

Dental Care, Hygiene and Plaque Control

Periodontal disease is a common disease of dogs leading to infection, discomfort, bad breath and eventually tooth loss. Over-accumulation of plaque on tooth surfaces, changes in the bacterial mix and inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) progress to destruction of gum and bone (periodontitis).

Dental problems are more likely if the dog has poor dental occlusion, is short-faced, has long hair or skin disease with hair caught around teeth, or doesn’t chew hard abrasive objects. As vets, we regularly check pets’ teeth and if necessary perform a dental scale and clean under general anaesthesia. Home care with brushing is a labour of love (research shows poor compliance). The most practical way to control plaque is to feed a nutritionally complete balanced commercial diet and allow the dog to chew hard and abrasive objects on a regular basis.

Oravet Dental chews are available at our clinic and provide an enjoyable dental chew treat action combined with Delmopinol which destabilizes plaque and tartar. Used regularly they can dramatically reduce dental plaque and calculus/tartar and also improve bad breath (halitosis).

We also recommend adding hard baked biscuits such as 4x2 (larger dogs) or 2x2 (smaller dogs) or similar to your dog’s diet. They are an excellent aid in the removal of plaque for dogs and give good exercise to teeth and gums. They are readily digestible, very palatable, easy to store and available to purchase at the clinic. They are a great treat that can aid in dental hygiene and help prevent periodontal disease. Further alternatives are the various rope, rubber or nylon chew toys available or various rawhide products including knot bones, tanned ears, strips, etc. It is important to match the treat to the pet and not all products suit all dogs.

We do NOT recommend feeding BONES of any type to pets – ever.

Many dogs have gut problems with bones, they make a mess, are often buried and in some dogs, are dangerous. We do not enjoy seeing cases suffering bone-related complications such as constipation, food poisoning, foreign bodies, caught between teeth, ruptured bowel, death, etc.

Cats can have similar problems with their teeth but most are not as keen to chew objects as dogs are. Many of the high-quality super-premium foods such as Advance Cat Foods (available through the clinic) help maintain dental health.


Common Dog Diseases

Canine Parvovirus is a disease that affects dogs of all ages but is most serious in young pups and older dogs. The virus attacks the intestines causing blood stained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Dogs often die from severe dehydration despite intensive veterinary care. It is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread. The virus is so persistent that the infected dog's environment needs to be cleaned with a potent disinfectant to prevent spread to other dogs. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, especially in summer.

Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk. Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage.

Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper, is extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become infected; however, it is usually worse in young dogs. Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. In severe cases, death can occur within 24 to 36 hours. Dogs that recover may develop long-term liver and kidney problems and can act as carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.

Canine cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious diseases, which can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Direct contact is not always needed and simply sniffing where an affected dog has coughed may spread infection. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper. Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is distressing for pet dogs and their owners. It is a major problem for working and sporting dogs. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.

In puppies, we also vaccinate against Canine coronavirus, another contagious virus that causes depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea, especially in young dogs. Diarrhoea may last for several days in some cases. Although most dogs will recover with treatment, coronavirus has the potential to be fatal, especially if other infectious agents such as parvovirus are present.

Also included in our puppy vaccination protocol is Canine leptospirosis, a serious disease risk in some areas that can cause high death rates.


Common Cat Diseases

Feline Enteritis, also known as Feline Panleucopaenia, is a dangerous viral disease affecting cats. It is very contagious and the death rate is high, especially under 12 months of age. Pregnant cats may lose their young or give birth to kittens with abnormalities, quite often with brain damage. Symptoms are depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood and severe abdominal pain. The virus spreads so easily that heavily contaminated areas may need cleaning with a special disinfectant. Cats that do recover may continue to carry the virus for some time and infect other cats.

Feline Respiratory Disease, otherwise known as 'Cat Flu', is caused in 90% of cases by Feline Herpesvirus (Feline Rhinotracheitis) and/or Feline Calicivirus. Feline respiratory disease affects cats of all ages, especially young kittens, Siamese and Burmese cats. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers. Fortunately, the death rate is low except in young kittens, but the disease is distressing and may persist for several weeks. Recovered cats can continue to carry and spread the infection for long periods.

Feline Chlamydia causes a severe persistent conjunctivitis in up to 30% of cats. Kittens are more severely affected by chlamydia when also infected with 'Cat Flu', and Chlamydia can be shed for many months. Vaccination against cat flu and chlamydia helps protect against clinical disease.

Feline Leukaemia (FeLV) is a serious disease of cats caused by Feline Leukaemia Virus. The virus attacks the immune system and may be associated with lack of appetite, weight loss and apathy, pale or yellow gums, vomiting, diarrhoea, reproductive problems, increased susceptibility to other infections, leukaemia and tumours. Many cats may be infected and show no signs at all. About one-third of infected cats remain chronically infected and may shed virus in their saliva, tears, nasal secretions and urine. The disease is then spread to uninfected cats by mutual grooming, fighting, sneezing or even flea bites.

Feline AIDS* and seriously affects the cat's immune (disease defence) system. This disease is not transmittable to humans. FIV virus is present in saliva and is almost always transmitted by bites from infected cats. While some infected cats show no sign of disease, others may initially have fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include weight loss, sores in and around the mouth, eye lesions, poor coat and chronic infections. Eventually, the immune system becomes too weak to fight off other infections and diseases and the cat may die. Unfortunately in Australia, a lot of cats are infected with this virus.

*An FIV vaccine is available requiring 3 initial doses and annual boosters (not currently included within the F5 vaccine).


Puppy Dietary Advice

Puppies have very special needs for their growth and development.
They must be fed a complete, balanced and nutritious diet providing just the right balance of protein, energy, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Under or oversupply of these nutrients can be harmful.

Home-brewed diets based only on meat, rice, pasta, veggies, cereals, and scraps are not always balanced unless a vitamin, mineral and calcium supplement are added. Always use supplements intended for puppies (not people), and remember to follow directions carefully so you do not under-dose nor oversupply.

Many people prefer to use commercial puppy foods because they are practical, ready to use, and are fully balanced. In fact adding calcium and supplements will only oversupply a diet of mainly commercial puppy foods. Select the correct life-stage diet, e.g. a puppy should only be fed puppy or growth diets (not adult dog food and not cat food).

Commercially balanced puppy foods are divided into two groups:

  1. Supermarket quality such as Pedigree PAL puppy food (tin, pouch) and Meaty Bites, Lucky Puppy, Purina puppy formulas (dry)
  2. Super premium high quality brands include: ADVANCE Growth diet (tin and dry), Puppy Rehydratable (dry), Large Breed Growth (dry), EUKANUBA and HILLS SCIENCE DIET puppy foods (dry) Super premium puppy foods are optimally balanced, highly digestible, and palatable and usually result in low volume, firm droppings. The ADVANCE range available at this clinic is Australian Made. EUKANUBA and HILLS are imported from the U.S.A.

If you choose to feed a mixture of home-brewed and commercial foods, only add a portion of the calcium and vitamin/mineral supplements to match the portion that is home-brewed. The commercial food portion is only balanced for itself. To make life easy, we suggest feeding 80-100% commercial puppy foods and then not adding any supplements.

We suggest you DO NOT FEED BONES of any sort because of the many problems that they can cause. Alternatives for dental care include daily brushing with a dog toothpaste (not human), Oravet chews (if over 6 months old), hard treats (e.g. 4x2’s, 2x2’s, Bonios, Dentabones) and a large range of toys based on rope, nylon, rubber and rawhide.

When puppy first arrives home, try to keep it on foods it is used to – never suddenly change an animal’s diet. Slowly introduce any new foods by weaning from one diet to another. Variety confuses dogs and leaving food out all day teaches them to be picky, even fussy. It is best to feed the same mix of food each meal and to allow 5-15 minutes of undisturbed time for eating. What is not eaten is taken away and no food given until the next scheduled meal.

Fresh water should always be available. As milk may cause diarrhoea, it is best avoided or wean onto milk very slowly by starting with tiny amounts of watered down milk. It is preferable to use low lactose milk such as DIVETELACT (powder) or PETS OWN MILK (pack).

The following things are toxic (poisonous) to dogs and must be avoided. Foods containing anything from this list should NOT be fed:

  • Onion, Garlic, Grapes, Sultanas, Raisins, Chocolate, Cocoa (Carob is safe)
  • Paracetamol (Panadol, Tylenol, Dymadon, etc.)
  • Human pain-killers (ACT3, Actaprofen, Brufen, Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, Naprogesic, etc.)
  • Tea-Tree essence, Pennyroyal essence, many herbal essences and extracts
  • Household poisons and pest baits (snail and rat/mice poisons, etc.)
  • Many cleaning products and fuels can also be quite dangerous

Kitten Dietary Advice

Kittens have very special needs for their growth and development.

They must be fed a complete, balanced and nutritious diet providing just the right balance of protein, energy, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Under or oversupply of these nutrients can be harmful.

Home-brewed diets based only on meat, with small amounts of rice, pasta, veggies, cereals and scraps are not always balanced unless a vitamin, mineral and calcium supplement are added. Always use supplements intended for kittens (not people), and remember to follow directions carefully so you do not under dose nor oversupply.

Many people prefer to use commercial kitten foods because they are practical, ready to use, and fully balanced. In fact, adding calcium and supplements will only oversupply a diet of mainly commercial kitten foods. Select the correct life-stage diet, e.g. a kitten should only be fed kitten or growth diets (not adult cat food and not dog food).

Commercially balanced kitten foods are divided into two groups:

  1. Supermarket quality such as WHISKAS kitten food (tin), WHISKAS WHISKETTES kitten food (dry), FRISKIES GO-CAT kitten chow (dry).
  2. Super premium high-quality brands include ADVANCE formula growth diet (dry), IAMS & HILLS SCIENCE kitten (dry).

Super premium kitten foods are optimally balanced, highly digestible and palatable, and usually result in low volume, firm droppings. The ADVANCE kitten food available at this clinic is Australian made. IAMS and HILLS are imported from the U.S.A.

If you choose to feed a mixture of home-brewed and commercial foods, only add a portion of the calcium and vitamin/mineral supplements to match the portion that is home brewed. The commercial food portion is only balanced for itself. To make life easy, we suggest feeding 80-100% commercial kitten foods and then not adding any supplements.

We suggest you DO NOT FEED BONES of any sort because of the many problems they can cause. Alternatives for dental care include daily brushing with a cat toothpaste (not human), hard treats and toys designed for chewing.

When your kitten first arrives home, try to keep it on foods it is used to – never suddenly change an animal’s diet. Slowly introduce any new foods by weaning from one diet to another. Variety confuses cats and leaving food out all day teaches them to be picky, even fussy. It is best to feed the same mix of food at each meal and to allow 5-15 minutes of undisturbed time for eating. What is not eaten is taken away and no food given until the next scheduled meal.

Fresh water should always be available. As milk may cause diarrhoea, it is best avoided or wean onto milk very slowly by starting with tiny amounts of watered down milk. It is preferable to use low lactose milk such as DIVETELACT (powder), PETS OWN or WHISKAS MILK PLUS (pack).

The following things are toxic (poisonous) to dogs and must be avoided. Foods containing anything from this list should NOT be fed:

  • Onion and Garlic, Grapes, Sultanas, Raisins, Chocolate, and Cocoa (Carob is safe)
  • Paracetamol (Panadol, Tylenol, Dymadon, etc.)
  • Aspirin (Aspor, Disprin, etc.)
  • Human pain-killers (ACT3, Actaprofen, Brufen, Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, Naprogesic, etc.)
  • Tea-tree essence, Pennyroyal essence, many herbal essences and extracts
  • Household poisons and pest baits (snail and rat/mice poisons, etc.)
  • Many cleaning products and fuels can also be quite dangerous
  • Lilies and many ornamental plants

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