Summer Newsletter 2011




  • Summer scratching 
  • Ticks & Fleas 
  • Pet Insurance 
  • Breed profile: Boxer Dog 
  • Clinic news


Like most insurance, people usually don’t think about getting covered until it’s too late. Consider this your wake up call! Unfortunately many pets can become unexpectedly ill or suffer an accident, sometimes costing thousands of dollars – and there is no Medicare for pets. When your pet is sick or hurt, the last thing you want to worry about is trying to figure out how you’ll pay the bill.
We recommend getting all new puppies & kittens insured – at least for their first 12 months – this way you can see  whether your pet is going to be likely to need the insurance or not and cancel the policy if you don’t think its worthwhile.
There are a number of companies and policies to choose from ranging in cost & coverage. A typical policy will cost about $20-30/month but you can get basic coverage from as little as 30c/day.
An alternative is to set-up a separate bank account for your pet and organise a monthly direct debit. This way if your pet doesn’t get sick, you can treat yourself!
If you have any queries about pet insurance please don’t hesitate to ask or call.


The best way to prevent fleas? Easy…..treat your pet year round. If you’ve been slack over winter now is the time to get back on track before you find yourself in the middle of an infestation that will take months to clear. Remember there are 2 parts of flea control that should be addressed:  
1. environment: wash all bedding in hot water regularly & if necessary use flea bombs.
2. animals: all in-contact animals need to be treated. Spot-ons are very popular and include Revolution, Advantage, Advocate & Frontline. For the dogs there is a brilliant new product called Comfortis. It is a monthly tablet that we are having great success with, especially for those frustrating allergy cases. For the cats we recommend revolution or advantage. Another option is the Program injections, which last for 6 months.
Ticks are rarely a problem in this area but if you plan on travelling up or down the coast you need to use tick prevention. There are several options: a spot-on such as Advantix, tablets such as Proban or tick collars. Remember: no treatment is foolproof, so checking your dog for ticks daily is also recommended.
If you find a tick, best to visit the local vet ASAP – for correct removal, assessment & treatment of your pet.  


Everyone loves summer right? Well everyone except itchy dogs & their frustrated owners. The combination of warmer weather & more allergens means summer can become a scratch-a-thon. There are many reasons for dogs to scratch, which is why the first step to solving the problem is getting to the vet.
If your dog does turn out to have allergic skin disease there are a number of treatment options available. Some mild cases can be managed with a combination of adjunctive measures such as: rigorous flea prevention, vitamin & fatty acid supplementation, anti-histamines, dietary changes, anti-biotics & topical treatments including shampoos.
More commonly though dogs will need one of the following to get relief:                             
   1. dermatologist visit for allergy testing and desensitisation: pros – gold-standard treatment; cons – cost, intense regime requiring long-term commitment, not always successful.                                                
   2. cyclosporine: pros – minimal side effects; cons – more expensive.                 
   3. cortisone: pros – cheap & effective; cons – inconvenient short-term side effects & potentially nasty long-term side effects. NB, There is a new & effective topical cortisone product that avoids side effects – please ask!                                     
If your dog is keeping you up at night call to book them in & we’ll give them & you a well-deserved break from their scratching!  


History: The breed was developed in Germany in the late 1800s, where its ancestors were used for baiting bulls.
Appearance: medium-sized dog with a short, smooth coat in tones of red and brindle with white markings.
Temperament: Boxers are eternal puppies: bouncy, outgoing and energetic. They adore attention but may be destructive or problem barkers if neglected. Can be protective of the family.
Requirements:  A backyard with high fences is recommended as some Boxers are excellent jumpers. A daily walk of 30 minutes is ideal.
Suitability: Boxers are best suited to active households who will give it the physical and mental stimulus it needs to thrive.
Health: Boxers live for 8-9 years. Cardiac disease affects up to 50% of Boxers. Most pets can live with minor problems but a few will be seriously affected. Cancerous tumours are common so lumps & bumps should be checked immediately. White Boxers are at risk of blindness, deafness and skin cancer. Our best advice is to buy from a reputable, registered breeder & get your puppy vet checked.


As usual Spring was a fairly busy time for us here in the Clinic. Raoul managed to get away with the famiy for a short break during the October school holidays. Jason is being kept busy by new baby daughter - Ava.......and looking after Bluey - an injured Blue-tongued lizard! Bree has started puppy school again. Rach has been hand rearing an orphaned baby brush-tailed possum for the last few months. We have all had fun watching her grow up - opening her eyes & becoming furry. Now she is big enough she has been moved into a WIRES enclosure where she can learn to fend for herself before being released.

Enjoythe summer & we lok forward to seeing you next time you're in the clinic.

Raoul, Jason, Bree & Rach.