Malvern Veterinary Hospital
547 Dandenong Rd
Armadale, Vic, 3143

askthevet@malvernvet.com.au
www.malvernvet.com.au
Phone: 03 9509 7611
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Autumn Grooming Special 

At Malvern Vet we have four fabulous, highly skilled dog groomers ready to pamper and preen your pets, helping them to look their absolute best for all occasions. We have grooming appointments available Monday to Friday and now on Saturday mornings for your convenience. Please book in early to avoid disappointment.

Mention this article and recieve 20% off your April groom

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"The Perfect do "

Contents of this newsletter

01  Chocolate - it's no good for dogs

02  Vomiting and when to worry

03  Anzac animals

04  Buzzing about

05  Keeping a rabbit as a pet

01 Chocolate - it's no good for dogs
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Keep ALL chocolate out of paw's reach

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Sultanas and raisins are also off limits for dogs so keep hot cross buns out of reach

The Easter Bunny is on his way and about to make his deliveries. This is a great time to remind you to keep ALL chocolate out of paw's reach.

Our clever canines are designed to seek out any morsel of chocolate - big or small, wrapped or unwrapped!

The problem ingredient for our pooches is the derivative of caffeine in chocolate (called theobromine). Unfortunately dogs have trouble digesting theobromine and ingestion lead to: 

  • Hyperactivity
  • Tremors, panting and a racing heart
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Seizures

Theobromine ingestion can be fatal in some dogs. 

As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is - so keep that cooking chocolate safely hidden away.

It's best to call us immediately if your dog has ingested ANY amount of  chocolate. In most cases, if we are able to make your dog vomit we can prevent any nasty side effects. 

Don't forget - sultanas and raisins can cause acute kidney problems in dogs so you'll also need to keep hot cross buns off the menu this Easter.

02 Vomiting and when to worry
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If you are worried about your pet, phone us for advice

There are many causes of vomiting - and overindulging on chocolate is just one of them.

Other causes include pancreatitis, an intestinal obstruction from a bone or a piece of string (especially in cats), liver or kidney disease, or endocrine diseases such as diabetes.

If your pet has had a good old technicolor yawn, what should you do?

Assuming your pet is bright and otherwise well after a one-off vomit, keep a close eye on her over the next 24 hours. It's best to withhold food for a few hours (gastric rest) and offer fluids for re-hydration. Providing a bland diet (steamed chicken and rice) for a few days may be all she needs.

More worrying is a pet that has had more than one vomit in a short period of time and seems quiet and lethargic. 

As a guide, you should call us for advice if your pet:

  • Vomits more than once
  • Seems lethargic or quieter than usual
  • Has diarrhoea or isn't producing faeces
  • Has been losing weight recently
  • Has lost her appetite
  • Ingested something she shouldn't - toxins, rubbish or human food scraps

So if your pet has the tummy wobbles, or you have a hunch that something's not quite right, you should phone us. We are always happy to help and examine your pet for piece of mind. 

03 Anzac animals
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WWI German camera pigeon

Later this month we will remember the incredible sacrifices made by our troops. Anzac Day also an opportunity to remember the remarkable acts of bravery performed by animals in war. The Dickin Medal is awarded for these exceptional acts. Dogs, horses, birds and one cat have all received this medal. 

Of Australian significance is Pigeon 139 who was on board a ship near New Guinea in 1945 when a severe tropical storm hit. As a last resort, an SOS message was attached to the little guy and he returned the message to home base 40 miles away. Help arrived and the army boat, vital cargo and crew were rescued. 

Simon the cat received the award posthumously in 1949. Simon served on HMS Amethyst and disposed of many rats even though he had been wounded by shell blast. His behaviour was deemed 'of the highest order' - something we'd expect from a cat!

The Dickin Medal has been awarded 65 times since 1943. The recipients comprised 32 pigeons, 29 dogs, three horses and the one cat. In 2014 the first and only Honorary Dickin Medal was awarded to war horse Warrior on behalf of all animals that served in World War I.

Read more amazing animal stories here.

04 Buzzing about
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Magnified image of the stinger of a bee

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Dogs and cats love to investigate everything with their noses, mouths and paws including buzzing insects! This makes the nose, mouth and paws prime spots for bee and wasp stings.

In most cases, there will be mild swelling and tenderness at the sting site. You should try remove the tiny stinger as quickly as possible to stop the venom spreading (although this can be hard in the fur!).

You can scrape the stinger out with a credit card. This is better than using your fingers or tweezers as the venom sac may rupture and release more irritating venom.

Apply a cold compress (damp washcloth) to reduce swelling. If your pet is licking the area constantly or is in pain, phone us for an appointment and we will give your pet an antihistamine injection.

When does your pet need emergency care?

Seek veterinary advice immediately if your dog is having trouble breathing (this sometimes occurs if the swelling is inside the mouth or near the trachea) or seems to be in pain. 

Some dogs and cats may be severely allergic to bee stings. These pets may go into anaphylactic shock (and even die) if they don’t receive immediate veterinary attention.

Look out for:

  • vomiting within 5-10 minutes post sting
  • pale coloured gums
  • collapse

These pets need urgent care with intravenous fluids and steroid injections. They will be even more sensitive to stings in the future and need careful veterinary management.

To help prevent bee stings, keep your pet away from flowering trees and plants (especially ground cover). Don't leave fallen fruit, meat and uneaten pet food around and cover rubbish and compost bins - all of these are attractive to European wasps.

05 Keeping a rabbit as a pet
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An Angora rabbit needs regular grooming

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Fresh hay is essential for rabbit health

Rabbits are not only good at delivering Easter eggs, they also make fantastic pets! They are great company and can be very cuddly. Rabbits are very clever and can be toilet trained, walk on a lead and play games. Their cheeky antics are amusing and enjoyable to watch.

There are many different breeds of rabbits and each has their own unique personality and behaviour traits. Before choosing a rabbit it's best to do some research into what would suit your lifestyle. For example larger breeds need more space and long haired breeds require a lot of grooming. Talk to us for more information. 

It's a common misconception that rabbits are a low maintenance pet. They require a high level of care, proper housing and good environmental enrichment to live a happy life. Rabbits are highly social animals and should be kept with other rabbits as companions. Depending on their breed, rabbits can live for approximately 6-12 years.

Of utmost importance is diet and dental care. It is absolutely essential to pet rabbits a diet high in fibre (lots of fresh, good quality oaten hay is best). This helps keep their teeth healthy and maintain good gut function. A veterinary check up (at least yearly) is very important to assess dental health and vaccinate against the potentially fatal Calicivirus.  

You can find out more about rabbit care by visiting this website

Did you know that it is illegal to keep rabbits as pets in Queensland? It is thought the rabbits that escape or those that are released by their owners into the wild pose a threat to the environment and agricultural industries. However there is a campaign to allow domestic rabbits as long as they are microchipped and desexed.