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.
Now daylight saving has finished there is no denying winter is on its way and it is time to find the electric blanket and get out the woolly hat. Cold weather and dark nights can take their toll on us, well how about our pets? Here are some ways we can help our older dogs get through the winter whilst maintaining optimal health.
Having a high quality diet is essential whatever your dog’s life style. Some dogs especially those that are kenneled will be prone to weight loss as they burn more energy keeping warm on the colder days and nights. If your dog does spend time kenneled it is important to consider the size of the kennel, dogs can curl up to be very small and during the winter months it is best that they fit snugly into their kennel. Kennels can also be insulated and warm beds provided. Use of a well fitting good quality dog coat will also help.
However the majority of older dogs which live inside will actually find themselves becoming less active as winter arrives potentially struggling with weight gain. Stiffness can also be a problem for our older pets and is exacerbated by the cold. Be aware of your pets weight and exercise regime, slim and trim is good as is maintaining a constant amount of regular exercise. Both supplements and diets containing glucosamine and chondroitin are available which will help maintain the health of your pets’ joints. Provision of a soft or raised bed, out of draughts will help prevent pressure points and calluses developing.
If you have any questions regarding your pet’s diet, weight or health please come into one of our clinics and ask our staff. We have a range of ‘Winter” products – call in and see how you can win beds for your pet and a wool underlay for yourself!
One of the more interesting or unusual jobs we are involved in is helping the staff at Kiwi Encounter with some of their Kiwi eggs that are not following ‘the script’ when it comes to hatching.
In some cases we have to xray the egg to help identify where the chick’s bill is to ensure it is pointing into the air sac at the top of the egg. This air sac allows the chicks to breathe as they enter into the hatching phase.
In some cases the bill is not in the correct position (malpositioned) and the staff at Kiwi Encounter have to find where the bill is and place a small hole in the egg shell to allow to chick to breathe. In some cases they may even have to assist the chick to hatch.
The timing of any assistance needs to be very precise because this final stage of incubation is when the chicks ‘internalize’ all the yolk in the egg providing the chicks with energy/food over the first few days of life outside the egg.
Taking on all the waifs and strays is a occupational hazard as a Vet Nurse. This is not helped by my belief that every animal is destined for a particular home and that everything happens for a reason. Little Lucy Pig was no exception.
One morning while on a break, I was having a chat to hubby about possibly purchasing some pigs. A wonderful couple came into VETPlus Rural with a little bundle. Inside was a 3 day old piglet. She had been found in a trough of water half drowned after wondering too far from mum. She had a very low temperature and lungs full of water. The owners of the piglet kindly offered her to me as her mum was struggling with her rather large litter. This was a sign how could I not take her after having that very conversation!
Despite being told by several Vets that she would most likely not survive, with expert care from Chris, Claire, Michelle and Mel she is now thriving. At first we had to get up every hour to our demanding little bundle and after a few days she gave us an extra hour between feeds. She is now four weeks old and has gone from a tiny 1kg to a stroppy determined 6kg’s. Her favorite game is hide and seek with the cats and running around with the dogs.
by Terri Nathan Veterinary Nurse
Tana was re-homed from the pound by a lovely family. When she came to her new family she was very overweight, she lost a small portion before she came to visit us at VETPlus Taupo.
We first recorded her weight at 13.1Kg, but most likely she was about 14kg when her new owners adopted her. After examination the vet found her teeth were in a bad way, but it was necessary to reduce her weight before going under an anaesthetic as it would have been too high of a risk . Due to her very poor teeth she needed a soft diet, the owner fed her part wet and part dry Hills Metabolic (Hill's Prescription Diet™) soaking the dry diet to make it easier for her to eat.
The weeks passed by and Tana and her owner continuously worked hard on her new diet and she gradually lost the weight, in preparation for her dental her ideal weight she was 10kg. Tana had her dental and is doing really well and maintaining her ideal weight, Tana’s owner also said she has a new lease for life.
In New Zealand it is believed over 40% of dogs and over 30% of cats are overweight or obese. Being overweight can cause great strain on joints and the heart and in cats can lead to illnesses such a diabetes. A small 5kg dog with 1kg extra of body weight is roughly equivalent to 15kg on human weight.
VETPlus offer weight loss clinics with our nurses, if you are concerned your pet is overweight and are ready to take that step to give your pet a happier healthy life then please contact one of our clinics.
At VETPlus, it is our goal to provide you and your working dogs with the best possible service and range of health products to enhance their well being. Dogs require large amounts of animal protein to work to their full potential. Traditional cereal based biscuits meant that on biscuit day we were effectively feeding our working dogs like vegetarians and wondering why they couldn’t hold up to a full days work.
Eukanuba Premium Performance contains high levels of animal proteins and fats to ensure your dog has all the energy and stamina it requires to do a full days work. Eukanuba can either be fed as a sole diet, or in conjunction with farm kill. Either way dogs on Eukanuba will receive meat every day, even on biscuit day.
Eukanuba now offer a loyalty programme for customers who purchase Eukanuba Premium Performance, for every 10 bags purchased you'll get one bag FREE!