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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Welcome to Malvern Daniel

Last month we said farewell to the wonderful Dr Nicola Dawes as she embarks on motherhood for the first time. We wish her all the very best and know that she will be a wonderful mum !!

This month we welcome to the Malvern team Dr Daniel Mitchell who will be filling Nicola's maternity position. Dan graduated with a Batchelor of Veterinary Science from Melbourne University in 2002. Since then he has worked in both large and small animal practice around Melbourne and across Australia. Dan has a particular interest in orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery, dentistry. anaesthetics, pain control and geriatric health . Dan enjoys teaching vet students and aspiring veterinary nurses. Originally from northern Victoria, outside of work Dan has a passion for scuba diving and horse riding, loves to travel and enjoys the great outdoors

Dan is really looking forward to meeting you and your pets so pop in and introduce yourselves.

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Dr Dan and Barney

Contents of this newsletter

01  Is your pet over the hill?

02  Three common senior pet questions

03  Top reasons to adopt a senior pet over a puppy or kitten

04  Heating up the fleas

05  Look into my eyes

01 Is your pet over the hill?
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The thought might not have even crossed your mind … but could your pet be starting to show his age?

Most people are not aware that cats and dogs are generally considered ‘senior’ after the age of about 8 years. Whilst the majority of our furry friends are well off showing ANY signs of slowing down at this age, there are a few things you need to watch out for.

Obvious changes might include grey hairs around the muzzle, the occasional accident around the house, hearing loss or stiff legs. Beyond the changes you can see, there can be a slowing metabolism and changing nutritional requirements.

So if you have a senior pet, it's important to arrange more regular check ups with us. We will watch for trends in your pet's weight, check they don't have sore joints and examine them for new lumps or bumps. A thorough dental check, eye check and heart check is also important for a senior pet.

We may also suggest blood tests, urine tests and blood pressure measurements to make sure that, internally, all is going along nicely.

If you have a senior pet call us and arrange a check up today - we can help your pet live a longer and healthier life.

02 Three common senior pet questions
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1. Can my pet get dementia?

Yes - we now know that, like humans, dogs and cats can suffer from dementia. Common signs include becoming lost in usually familiar surroundings, loss of toilet training, trouble finding doors and stairways, sleep disturbances at night, separation anxiety and staring at walls. We can help you support your pet through this - just ask us for more information.

2. Can I still exercise my pet as he gets older?

Yes - consistency is the key and this will help keep him mobile and lean. Don’t overdo it and avoid repetitive exercise such as throwing the ball twenty times over as this can place added stress on joints. We can advise you on an exercise regime for your senior pet. 

3. Do I need to change my pet’s diet as he gets older? 

Yes - senior pets need a well balanced diet that is generally lower in calories, but still has adequate protein, fat and fibre. Some pets will require diets high in essential fatty acids for arthritis support. We are the best place to seek advice when it comes to a senior diet. 

If you have any questions about your senior pet we are always here to provide you with the best possible advice. 

03 Top reasons to adopt a senior pet over a puppy or kitten
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If you're looking to add a new addition to your family you're probably considering a cute, cuddly little puppy or kitten. But if you're wanting a true companion (and possibly less work!) then a senior pet might be the better option.

Here are some good reasons why a senior pet can be a good choice:

1. Senior pets are mostly toilet trained which means you have more time to play with your new friend

2. You know what you are getting when it comes to size, coat length and temperament

3. Senior pets are generally more mellow, relaxed and independent 

4. You are saving a life and giving a pet a second chance - and you'll be surprised how most pets seem to know it!

We can point you in the right direction when it comes to adopting a senior pet - ask us for our recommendations. 

04 Heating up the fleas
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Fleas love winter. Why? Because their eggs love a warm house to hatch in!

If you've suddenly noticed your dog is itching or your cat is over grooming or, heaven forbid, you have itchy ankles, it could be FLEAS!

Flea eggs require a warm temperature to hatch so if you've turned the heating on to keep warm you might have turned on flea hatching too. 

That's why it's super important to apply flea treatment all year round.

Ask us for the most suitable flea prevention for your pet. 

05 Look into my eyes
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We finally know why you love your dog like a child. Scientists have shown that when you look into your dog's eyes, it triggers a spike in the "love hormone" oxytocin in both humans and the dog. This is the same mechanism that helps mothers bond with their newborn babies.

The study, conducted at The University of Japan, suggests that the dog literally 'hijacked' the parent-child bonding mechanism.  

You can read more here.