Summer days are great for us, but can be hard work for our animals. At VETPlus we are seeing many summer and heat
related problems. Here are some you may want to watch for:
Heat exhaustion: Pets will show excessive panting, and may become very distressed. You should never leave your
pet in a parked car, even for a few minutes, or in the hot sun where they cannot seek shade and water. Panting is the
main way cat and dogs cool down, so panting will increase if they are too hot. Ensure you provide shade, and put a
fan on, and dampen their fur, if this doesn’t help seek veterinary advice immediately.
Heart disease: Your pet will show excessive panting, maybe a cough (often worse at night), lethargy or becoming
tired easily when walking. Small dogs are prone to heart valve degeneration with age, and large breeds to heart muscle
problems. If you know your dog has a heart “murmur” you should only do very mild exercise at the coolest time of the
day with your pet. There are many excellent medications for heart disease now, and it can vastly improve your pet’s
quality of life by treating this problem.
Laryngeal paralysis: Does your old Labrador sound like it is really struggling to breathe in? This could be the
problem, and it gets worse with the heat too, as excessive panting can cause swelling to the larynx (voice box) and
narrow the airway further, and in some cases cause life threatening problems. Usually surgery is the best option to
fix this problem.
Grass seeds: Don’t forget to check in-between your dog’s toes, around their “armpits”, and ears, and keep fur in
these areas as short as possible to prevent seeds imbedding in skin. Avoid long grass if possible, as seeds can get into
eyes as dogs run too.
Itchy ears and skin: Hot weather leads to increased skin humidity, especially if your dog swims. This makes
a perfect environment for bacteria and yeasts to grow, causing infections. Check ears and skin every few days for
redness, discharge, or trauma from them scratching. Early treatment of these problems is always best, and keeps up
the flea treatments too, even if you don’t see the little critters.
If you are concerned or would like to book a summer check up please call the friendly team at VETPlus on 0800 VETPlus.
This article may come in handy to those of you that may have missed milkings due to our power cuts. Please get in touch with us if you require any further assistance.
Why You Should Vaccinate your Dog!
Parvovirus (Parvo) is a common infection affecting dogs. We have recently seen some cases in young dogs, so we are advising everyone to be on the lookout for this nasty infection. We recommend vaccination of all dogs for this disease, especially puppies.
Signs of the disease are: vomiting, diarrhoea, collapse, intestinal bleeding and sometimes death. The symptoms start 5-12 days after exposure to the virus, and the diarrhoea may not start until1-2 days after the vomiting. It can be hard to tell with young puppies if they are affected as they do develop vomiting and diarrhoea from all sorts of reasons, so a veterinary check is always the best idea.
If they are to survive dogs usually always need intensive veterinary care with IV fluids, and unfortunately despite all treatment efforts some do not. Prevention by vaccinating is much better (and cheaper) than trying to cure it.
Parvovirus is very persistent in the environment so it is difficult to prevent exposure. It can last for years, and this is why we recommend all dogs be vaccinated. Ideally we recommend puppies receive vaccinations at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age or earlier if considered at risk. Adult dogs should also be vaccinated, especially if they are on farms or in isolated situations. Annual boosters are recommended. Dogs undergoing the vaccination course must be kept away from public areas, parks, the lake and dog exercise areas, as they are not fully protected until 10-14 days after their final vaccination.
Don’t forget, if you are planning on going away over the summer you need to have your cat or dog vaccinated to leave them at a boarding facility. Some animals will require two doses, 3-4 weeks apart, so you need to do these now to ensure your pet is ready for the holidays.
If you have any questions about Parvovirus or any other vaccinations please phone us for more information 0800 VETPlus.
Fleas Glorious Fleas!!!
Around this time of the year we start seeing more and more problems associated with flea infestation of pets. Fleas can cause a constant irritation and annoyance for affected pets. Unfortunately some animals are hypersensitive to flea saliva causing a disease syndrome known as flea allergy dermatitis. For these animals one bite can lead to a vicious cycle of biting and scratching which often causes a nasty bacterial skin infection and hair loss.
Most of the fleas in a household are usually not on the animal. The flea has a similar life cycle to the butterfly, involving eggs, larvae, pupae (cocoons) and adults. Eggs are laid on the animal and then fall off in bedding, on to carpet, floorboards and soil. The larvae hatches quickly, feeds on the faeces of adult fleas and then spins a cocoon within several weeks. The cocoons can lie dormant for up to 1 year before the adult flea emerges. Warm temperatures, high humidity, floor vibrations and carbon dioxide can stimulate the cocoons to hatch. This can be a particular problem when a house has been empty for an extended period of time. Suddenly the hustle and bustle of animals and people can cause hundreds of fleas to hatch at the same time.
Irritation is not the only problem associated with fleas, they also can carry tapeworm which can infest cats and dogs.
The best way to tell if your pet is infected with fleas is to place a piece of white paper underneath your animal, and then with a flea comb, comb any debris out of your animal’s coat concentrating on the lower back and base of the tail area. Drip water onto any material that falls off. If it turns red then you know your animal has fleas. This works because fleas consume blood only, and the flea faeces (flea dirt) that falls off is therefore dried blood.
As with any disease, the best way to treat disease is to prevent it occurring in the first place. Come in and talk to the friendly staff at VETPlus about the options you have with flea control.
Our VETPlus farmers all had a great night recently to celebrate the end of calving! The Annual Farmers Party which is usually held in July had a very Mexican feel to it. From Piñatas to Super Hero’s, Sombrero’s and Poncho’s, there was plenty of variety.
There was plenty of dancing and singing along with some fantastic looking outfits! Best dressed female was Mo O’Hanlon and best dressed male went to Hamish Lee. The best dressed couple were Mario and Lisa Arnold while the best dressed VETPlus staff member went to Hayley from our Taupo clinic.
The award for Best Behaved Heifers at Heifer Teat sealing went to Aaron Karaha and the crew from Tuaropaki Dairy Unit. The lucky number drawn was won by James and Abigail Wotherspoon.
Thank you to everyone who came along, we must also thank our very loyal sponsors Provet NZ, MSD Animal Health, Bayer NZ, Virbac, Zoetis NZ, Boehringer Ingelheim and Ethical Agents as without their support this evening would not be possible.
Check out the photos on the VETPlus Facebook page:
October is Breast Cancer month and VETPlus has a few things going on so we can raise some money for the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. We have plenty of PINK merchandise for sale and have been very lucky to have been given some gifts from our suppliers. We have made up 3 hampers to raffle and these are available now at VETPlus Taupo, Reporoa and Rotorua and until the 31st of October. $3 per ticket. VETPlus Reporoa held a Pink Walk in Reporoa, it was a great evening for our rural community - VETPlus also went Pink for a Day!
There are many different worm species that can affect cats and dogs in NZ. Here is a short list of worms that can affect your pets.
Roundworms – Roundworms can affect cats and dogs, in fact this family of worms affects almost every mammal on Earth. These worms are so numerous, that almost every single puppy and kitten is born already infected. They can cause a ‘pot bellied’ look in animals with a large burden. They are capable of causing disease in people, which usually presents in children as a fever and abdominal pain.
Tapeworms – The most common tapeworm found in pet cats and dogs is the flea tapeworm. Pets can be infected by accidentally consuming fleas that are carrying worm larvae. The end segments of mature tapeworms containing eggs are passed out of animals, and look like small grains of rice that can be littered around bedding and carpet. As well as the flea tapeworm, cats can be infected with a similar tapeworm from eating rodents.
Sheep measles – The worm that causes sheep measles is also a tapeworm, closely related to the hydatid tapeworm, which NZ has now successfully eradicated. The lifecycle of sheep measles involves dogs and sheep or goats. Prevention of this disease relies on not feeding raw sheep or goat meat, and regularly worming dogs.
Hookworms – These worms are rarely found in NZ, but occasional cases have been reported. They live off blood and can cause severe blood loss in affected animals. People can be affected when the larvae tries to burrow into exposed skin leading to a red itchy rash.
Whipworm – These are small worms that affect dogs, they are almost invisible to the naked eye. They can cause severe diarrhoea, flatulence and loss of weight.
The best way to prevent disease is to worm your pets with veterinary worm tablets. Puppies and kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. Once they reach 12 weeks of age, a 3 monthly cycle can be started.
We have a Worm Programme; this ensures that your animal is always up to date with worm products with these sent directly to you throughout the year.
VETPlus Taupo welcomes Holly and Hayley to their team.
Holly Rabone - Veterinarian
Holly graduated from Massey in 2014 and has worked as a mixed animal vet in Tauranga for the past two and a half years. This has given her great experience with a diverse range of species from cats and dogs to chickens, alpacas, sheep, goats, cattle and horses. She has recently moved to Taupo to join us as a companion animal veterinarian and to be closer to the ski fields! She is currently completing a Master’s degree and has a special interest in soft tissue surgery, oncology and cardiology. When not at work Holly will be enjoying all that the outdoors has to offer. She loves skiing, tramping, mountain biking and anything on the water. She also dances competitively in West Coast Swing and has competed overseas.
Hayley Looner - Veterinary Technician
Hayley is our new full time PA Veterinary technician who recently joined the team at VETPlus, she is based in our Taupo clinic. Her studies include animal science and zoology and has made a career from working in science as a Research/Laboratory Technician. She has a farming backround, is well travelled and worked a season on a sheep farm in Scotland in the snow. She has lived in Taupo for 4 years now and is still getting used to the cold. In her spare time she is an avid horse rider who also plays hockey, netball and keeps up with the all blacks.
Murphy’s Mum Fiona brought her 10 year old Labrador in, to take advantage of our senior health check.
She had noticed he was slowing down and was lame on his right front leg. Murphy was suffering from Arthritis but hadn’t noticeably complained or appeared to be in pain. It was suspected that Murphy being a stoic Labrador was probably in more pain than he was letting on.
We took some bloods from Murphy and did a wellness check and these showed that his kidney and liver functions were good.
As part of our senior health check our patients are entitled to a weeks free trial of a Non steroidal anti- inflammatory which helps treat painful conditions like arthritis.
Murphy went home with his trial and showed a marked improvement with his activity levels and mobility.
Optimizing your pets weight is extremely effective when managing Arthritis. Murphy had gained weight over the last few years, so we discussed ways to address and deal with this.
Arthritis in dogs does not always present as an obviously painful condition. Dogs with chronic pain become less playful and less mobile , so the signs of arthritis can be subtle. They may hesitate or refuse to climb into a vehicle or climb stairs. As the disease progresses they may lose the ability to walk or perform normal daily activities.
It's Senior Health Check time NOW @ VETPlus! Phone 0800 VETPlus to discuss your senior pet.