Summer Newsletter

Going away for the holidays?

Consider filling in The Dog Clinic’s Holiday Form! Keep a paper copy of your contact & payment details in clinic, as well as your dog’s carer’s contact on file while you are away, incase anything goes furry! You can set a limit on funds to be used & if the carer is authorised to make medical decisions on your behalf if we can’t reach you – it can also allow us to send your pet’s details on to the After Hours Veterinary Emergency Centre for overnight care if needed. The form will be shredded on your return, your EFTPOS card details are kept completely private. Pick up a copy from either clinic, or send us an email!

Looking for boarding, or house & pet sitters?

Send us an email & we can forward who we recommend in the Greater Hobart area.

First-Aid Kits

The Dog Clinic stocks St John’s Canine First-Aid Kits with the basics in first-aid; bandaging and dressing, gauze, antiseptic, scissors/tape/tweezers, gloves and a thermal shock blanket. Helpful to have on hand for your summer adventures! $30 while stocks last.

As the weather begins to heat up, we have a few things to watch out for to protect our pups!

Heatstroke

Heatstroke is an emergent life-threatening condition that can be rapidly fatal.

Cases require urgent vet care: prompt recognition & treatment is crucial in saving lives.

Effects of heatstroke:
– Organ failure
– Cognitive dysfunction
– Swelling of the brain
– Internal bleeding
– Blood abnormalities
– Death

What can cause heatstroke:
– Warm, humid temps & poor ventilation
– Lack of shade
– Inadequate drinking water
– Excessive exercise
– Brachycephalic breed (short-nosed dogs such as Bulldogs & Pugs), obesity, pre-existing heart & respiratory disease, age extremes (very young or very old) & pets with long/thick coats

Signs of heatstroke:
– Panting & drooling
– Bright red tongue & gums
– Convulsions, seizures or muscle tremors
– Vomiting or diarrhoea
– Glazed eyes
– Rapid heart-rate
– Dizziness & lack of coordination
– Staggering, weakness, or lethargy

What to do if you suspect heatstroke:
– Remove them from the hot environment immediately
– Phone ahead to The Dog Clinic or your nearest vet to advise your pet will be arriving shortly as an emergency.
– Cool your dog quickly by spraying lukewarm water to the fur & skin. Avoid cold water or ice as these will constrict the blood vessels in the skin, impairing heat loss
– Lay your dog on towels soaked in tepid water
– Fan your pet to maximise heat loss
– In practice, placing your dog on wet towels in the car & leaving the windows partially down to create a breeze as you drive to the clinic. Heatstroke is an emergency – even if your dog looks like they might be recovering, they should still always be checked by a vet!

Notechis scutatus, the Tiger snake (Photo – Stephen Zozaya)

Sneaky Sssnakes

Did you know that Tasmania has three species of snake, all of which are venomous? Puncture marks may not be visible, read on for the symptoms you should look out for.

There are Tiger snakes, Lowland Copperheads & White-lipped snakes. Do not attempt to catch the snake – they can be fatal to humans too! Most vets carry the appropriate anti-venom serums, & can run tests to confirm snake bites.

Symptoms of snake bites:
– Sudden weakness or collapse
– Drooling, shaking or twitching
– Paralysis of limbs
– Difficulty breathing
– Pain or distress: groaning, yelping, panting etc
– Loss of bladder/bowel control, blood in urine
– Vomiting
– Dilated pupils or difficulty blinking
– Bleeding or swelling of punctured area

If you suspect your dog has been bitten by a snake, it is vital that you take your dog to the closest vet immediately for treatment.

Depending on the amount of venom injected & the size of your dog, it can take anywhere between 15 minutes & 6hrs for the dog to become affected by the venom. Do not “wait & see” if your pet displays symptoms, early treatment is key to survival!

What to do if you suspect a snake bite:
– Keep your pet quiet & calm; this slows the venom spreading throughout the body
– Do not allow your pet to walk
– Call the nearest vet clinic so they can prepare for your arrival
– If you know where your pet has been bitten, immobilise the area, try to keep it lower than the heart
– Do not attempt to suck the venom from the bite or cut the bitten area.

If you suspect a snake bite after-hours, take your dog to AHVEC – the After Hours Veterinary Emergency Centre: 1300 302 912
37 Derwent Park Road, MOONAH

Bush Fire Risks

Symptoms of smoke inhalation & burns:
– Coughing
– Respiratory distress/difficulty breathing, coughing
– Changes in gum colour: pale, blue or brown
– Missing or singed hair, visible burns
– May be covered in soot or smell of smoke
– Limping or licking at feet (burned ground or embers risk burned pads)

If you suspect your dog is suffering from smoke inhalation, seek immediate veterinary attention, as this could be potentially life threatening.

If your pet has suffered a burn, immediate first-aid treatment involves applying tepid water to the area (ideally continuously for 20 minutes). Get your pet to the nearest vet for further intervention, which may involve dressings & medications depending on the severity of the burns.

Reduce the risk of burns & smoke inhalation:
– Keep your pets indoors if bush fires are in the vicinity of your home
– Keep the house cool with air conditioning if possible
– Relocate your pet to a safe place

It’s crucial to have an emergency plan in place in the event of a fire & evacuation.

Planning for your dog in the event of an emergency:
– Cage or carrier to transport & contain your dog
– Portable water & food bowls
– Small bag of your dog’s food
– Large water container for evacuation so your dog will have access to fresh drinking water
– Have a lead ready with identification & your contact on their collar

Salt Water Ingestion

Lots of our furry friends love a good run at the local beaches. Unfortunately, some dogs love the water so much, they have a big drink! Often, ingesting salt water will result in vomiting &/or diarrhoea, & there may not be any further problems. However, if a large volume is ingested & not brought back up, it can cause serious illness.

What does salt water do?

Salt water ingestion changes the electrolyte balance in the blood, leading to some serious consequences: Fluid around the brain, inflammation, stomach ulcers, haemorrhage, and death

Symptoms of salt water toxicity:
– Vomiting
– Diarrhoea
– Muscle tremors
– Seizures

Treatment
Treament of saltwater toxicity restores the electrolyte balance in the body by administering intravenous fluid therapy. This has to be done very carefully & slowly over a few days to try to minimise potential complications. If you suspect your dog has ingested a large amount of salt water, please seek vet advice ASAP

Other dangers of sea water
Recently there have been reports of high contamination levels at local beaches around the Derwent River. Always look for signs at the beach regarding water quality. If the water is not safe for humans to swim, it is not safe for dogs either!

Prevention is better than a cure.
Try to discourage your dog from drinking salt water; if your dog is intent on drinking it, they are safer kept on lead. Providing your dog with a drink before & during their beach trip may reduce their desire to drink salt water.

Other things to be mindful of during summer

Walking your dogs on hot surfaces

Often in the summer time, sidewalk pavements and sandy areas are much too hot to be walking your dog on – this can cause burned paw pads leading to great pain and discomfort, and sometimes infection depending on the severity of the burn. A good test to see if it is too hot to be walking your dog: hold the back of your hand on the pavement for 15 seconds, if it is too hot for you, it’s too hot for their little feets!
Alternatively (and the best idea to avoid heatstroke as well) is to walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening when outside temperatures have dropped.

Tick and Flea Season

Spring & summer are tick and fleas most active seasons – visit our website http://www.thedogclinic.com.au/health-checks/flea-and-tick-control/ for why we recommend using preventative medications, tick paralysis, & symptoms of ticks/fleas

Keep your dog up to date with their preventative medications, available over the counter at Sandy Bay & Taroona year round. The Dog Clinic team has extensive knowledge of the leading brands in tick and flea prevention, while stocking two of the most effective products, Simparica & Bravecto – we can help you work out which will be the most beneficial for you and your dog, including products we can special order. With competitive pricing & discounts when purchasing in bulk, The Dog Clinic also sends SMS reminders when your dog is due for their parasite prevention, or we have the option to add the Bravecto Program to your annual Worming Program (where we post their worming/tick/flea preventatives to you year round!) *Conditions apply