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 other causes, so a veterinary check is always the best idea.
Dogs usually always need intensive veterinary care with IV fluids if they are to survive, 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 to it. It can last for years, and this is why we recommend all dogs be vaccinated. Puppies should receive vaccinations at 6, 9, 12 weeks of age or older, with high-risk cases having a booster at 16-18 weeks. Adult dogs should also be vaccinated, especially if they are on farms or in isolated situations, as contact with the virus could cause illness in these cases. 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 12 week 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 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.
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!