Winter Newsletter 2012



  •      Arthritis
  •      Caring for senior pets
  •      Clinic news


In winter pets get arthritis too! Pets are resilient & sometimes its hard to tell when they’re suffering from arthritic pain. Some signs include: stiffness when rising after sleep or rest, getting cranky when groomed or stroked, limping and reluctance to exercise. Your pet doesn’t have to suffer through the pain of arthritis, there are several ways we can help:

1. Chondro-protective drugs: directly target all joints by regenerating damaged cartilage and increasing lubrication within the joints. Given as a course of 4 injections 1 week apart, very cost-effective.
2. Anti-inflammatories: provide pain-relief and reduce swelling. Some older or sick animals may require screening blood tests to assess major organ function before commencing these medications.
3. Neutraceuticals: you may take these too - glucosamine, chondroitin, green-lipped mussel extract, omega oils etc. There are a several products available, feel free to ask.
4. Lifestyle changes: simple measures such as weight loss, sensible exercise, swimming and warm beds can also help to minimise the effects of arthritis.


Typically cats & smaller dogs reach their senior years at 8, for larger dogs its from 6-7. When your friend begins to slow down, put on a little weight or stiffen up they need your help and understanding. Unlike a person, your friend can’t take responsibility for their own care - your friend relies on you!
How does aging affect older pets?                
As your pet ages two kinds of changes occur. The first is age-related change such as hearing loss, changes in vision or reduced activity. These are normal and cannot be prevented. The second kind is pathological change such as heart disease, kidney disease, arthritis or dental disease. These can be preventable or at least successfully managed.
Maintaining a healthy approach            
The healthcare your pet receives throughout their lifetime can help minimise and prevent disease as they age. Proper health care incorporates preventative healthcare (vaccination, heartworm, worming), exercise, dental care, regular check-ups and eating a balanced diet.
Watch for the early warning signs 
Signs of  age-related diseases include:    
*Change in appetite, diarrhoea or vomiting
*Weight loss or weight gain             
*Confusion, disorientation, changed sleep patterns &/or loss of housetraining    
*Difficulty rising, walking or climbing stairs
*Persistent cough                            
*Appearance of lumps or bumps               
*Bad breath, plaque, or bleeding gums
*Excessive drinking and/or urination
It is common to assume these signs are a normal part of the aging process; however, these symptoms often indicate underlying disease. If you notice any of these changes contact us so we can discuss them with you.
What is a seniors’ check-up?          
We recommend senior check-ups at 6-monthly intervals (just one extra visit between annual vaccinations).
1. Peace of mind
Your chance to tell your vet about any changes of behaviour or physical appearance.
2. Hands on physical examination
We will palpate or feel your pet’s musculoskeletal system, abdomen, and head and neck areas for abnormalities. A stethoscope will be used to listen to your pet’s heart and lungs. Your pet’s eyes, ears and mouth will also be checked for age-related problems - such as cataracts & dental disease.
3. Diagnostic tests
We can now perform very sensitive tests on blood and urine to check the inner workings of your pet. These tests are a useful key to early disease prevention. 


We’re sorry to see Rach head back up to Queensland after working with us here for the past year. She was great to work with and we wish her all the best for the future. Jo is looking forward to stepping up from weekend duties to a full-time nursing role now.
As usual Bree has been busy with puppy classes but managed to fit in a little getaway in April. Raoul and Jason have also been kept busy in between cases by constructing our new animal cages & testing out the new x-ray machine.
We look forward to seeing you next time you’re in the clinic.
Raoul, Jason, Bree & Jo.