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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Do You Have Pet Insurance ?

At Malvern Vet Hospital we understand that pet insurance cover, like any insurance can be invaluable to help with unexpected veterinary fees if your pet has an accident or develops a serious illness. As a pet owner, providing proper health care for your pet is one of the expenses you must be prepared for. However as a new pet owner , the amount of infomation you are bombarded with can be overwhelming. Pet insurance is often overlooked and forgotten until the animal is older or unwell.. The Australian Veterinary Association strongly supports pet insurance and at malvern vet we believe pet insurance is important too. It provides peace of mind for pet owners. We have compiled some important points for you to consider.

Choosing suitable pet insurance can be daunting as there are so many companies to choose from. In fact many of the policies are underwritten by the same company. Therefor the cover offered is often similar. It is important that you do your own research, based on your individual pets needs ,breed and age. All policies are different  and its important to read the fine print. The cover provided by different policies varies considerably, ranging from accident only to lifetime policies. Some have seperate accident and illness policies.

All pet insurance policies have exclusions and its important to investigate what these are. Some examples are pre existing conditions, routine dental work and routine preventative treatment.

Here are some companies that we suggest you have a look at

Petplan, Medibank, RSPCA, Petsecure, Prosure, Bupa, Woolworths ( we have an informative hand out with more Pet insurance infomation along with company brochures. If you would like any of this please call the clinic. We are happy to post it out to you or you are welcome to collect it from the nurses at  reception )

 

 

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Our loved ones

Contents of this newsletter

01  The super helpful pooch!

02  What's an endocrine disease?

03  Diabetes case study

04  A bit about Addison's disease

05  How blood testing works

01 The super helpful pooch!

Is this the most helpful dog ever? We couldn't believe it when we saw what Grace the Golden Retriever was capable of! Click here to see the video on YouTube.

02 What's an endocrine disease?
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An endocrine disease is a fancy medical term used to describe a disease caused by a hormonal imbalance. These diseases are pretty common and can unfortunately affect your pet’s quality of llife.

Endocrine diseases can even be life threatening if they are not diagnosed and treated correctly (diabetes and Addison's disease are good examples).

Endocrine diseases can develop because 1) a gland is not functioning properly or 2) the control of the gland is faulty.

When too much hormone is produced, the disease is referred to as a hyper disease. Tumours and abnormal tissue growth commonly cause an overproduction of hormone.

A hypo disease occurs when too little hormone is produced. Endocrine glands that are destroyed, removed, or simply stop working cause these diseases.

The following changes may be an early indication of an endocrine problem:

  • Changes in appetite and thirst
  • Changes in weight
  • Changes in coat and skin
  • Changes in behaviour

Diagnosis of the cause of the endocrine disease is absolutely essential if treatment is to be successful. Sometimes diagnosis and treatment can be costly and not all endocrine diseases behave as we predict they will, so communication between vet and owner is very important. Management of these disease may involve multiple vet visits and blood tests until the disease is under control. 

If you notice any of the mentioned changes above, phone us to arrange a check up for your pet. Early intervention is very helpful when it come to the treatment of endocrine disease.

03 Diabetes case study
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Molly the Cairn Terrier visited late one afternoon. She had been ‘off colour’ for a few days. Molly usually had an excellent appetite but over the past few weeks she had lost a lot of weight. 

On examination, Molly was dehydrated and had lost 20% of her body weight over three months. A blood test revealed her blood sugar levels were very high and a diagnosis of diabetes was made.

A quick urine test also showed that there was glucose in her urine and unfortunately confirmed the presence of ketones, a potentially life threatening condition that can occur when the body can no longer cope with the disease. 

Diabetes in pets is similar to type 1 diabetes in people and generally needs administration of insulin once or twice daily to control the condition. The body fails to produce enough insulin to help move sugar from the blood stream into the cells for energy.

The four main signs include:

  1. Increased appetite
  2. Weight loss
  3. Increased thirst
  4. Increased urination

Molly needed intensive care. She was placed on an intravenous drip and insulin therapy was commenced. Thankfully she responded well and started to improve overnight.

Treatment of diabetes is life long and involves regular blood tests and monitoring. Some patients do not respond as we would expect and further investigation into other diseases sometimes needs to be considered.

If you notice any changes to your pet’s daily habits such as a change in appetite or thirst, it’s a good idea to arrange a check up with us as soon as possible.

04 A bit about Addison's disease
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Addison’s disease (or hypoadrenocorticism) is a sneaky endocrine disease that can be confusing as it often mimics other conditions. The disease is results in a reduction in corticosteroid and mineralocorticoid secretion from the adrenal gland.

Deficient production of both these hormones can produce a wide range of often vague symptoms including:

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Dehydration and weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Shaking
  • Weight loss and lack of appetite

Patients will often present in an acute crisis and need critical care to save their life. 

After they are stabilised, treatment involves daily medication as well as regular blood tests to ensure electrolyte levels are kept in check. Some animals will need additional medication during more stressful times (such as car trips). There is also an injection available that can be given every 25-28 days and many dogs respond very well to this.

Addison's disease is a perfect example of why regular check ups with us are important.

If you notice any changes in your pet (as subtle as you may think they are), it's always a good idea to mention them to us. Routine blood tests may be all that is needed to detect a disease and treatment can start to improve your pet’s quality of life. 

05 How blood testing works
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Have you ever wondered what happens when we take blood from your pet?

Most blood samples are taken from the jugular vein in the neck. This vein is large enough to provide a good sample and allows us to collect the blood as quickly as possible. This is important as blood will start to clot if it is not collected quickly enough and this can affect the results.

Most pets are also more relaxed when blood is taken from their jugular however, if necessary, a smaller sample can be taken from a vein in the leg.

Once the blood has been collected we place pressure over the vein for a minute or so to prevent any bruising. This can sometimes be hard in wriggly patients!

The blood is placed into tubes appropriate for required tests. Some tests can be run on machines we have in house but there are certain tests that require more extensive machinery and so the blood sample is sent to an external laboratory.

Blood tests can give us a wealth of information about your pet's health. For example, we can work out if your pet is dehydrated, has underlying kidney disease or liver changes and we can get lots of information about your pet's red and white blood cells. All of this helps diagnose any underlying health problems and will improve the level of care we can provide to your pet.

If you have any questions about your pet's blood tests we are always happy to help.