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Paws & Claws Spring 2018

Spring Is In The Air!

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner which makes us think of   gardening, barbeques, holidays and…fleas! v

Enjoy your barbeque but refrain from feeding the fatty off cuts to your pets. Dispose of any bones and skewers out of reach of your pets. It is a large and  complex surgery to remove a bone from the stomach or intestines of a dog.

Many of us are planning holidays and camping trips over the summer. Are your pet’s vaccinations up to date before their stay at boarding kennels?

Are your scripts current?  Heading into summer brings challenges with allergies in some pets so now is the right time to come and discuss the best medication available for your pet this season.

We are seeing cats and dogs with lots of fleas at the moment.  Ticks are just starting to make an appearance. Call into the clinic to discuss the best long term plan to keep your pet free of fleas and ticks.  We also have products and packs to treat the home.

Spring is the time for garden tidy ups and getting the vege patch under way.  Take care not to let pets have access to areas where insecticides, herbicides, snail bait or fertilizer have been applied.  Keep all poisons well out of reach of pets.

The warmer weather brings us to the main breeding season for cats. Last summer’s female kittens will be ready to fall pregnant (we are already seeing early pregnancies).  Male cats will be out looking for females and fighting along the way.   Give us a call to book your cat in for desexing – five to six months old is ideal.marley 6 weeks

Are you considering a new puppy this spring? Make sure puppy has had its full course of vaccinations plus two weeks before engaging in activities or walks in public places.  Puppy Preschool is a good means of socialization. Pop in or phone and we can advise when our next class will be starting.

If your older dog has been inactive during the winter months allow them to build up their exercise regime gradually.  A sudden long day at the beach chasing balls or a brisk walk around the Hatea Loop could lead to an unexpected injury.  Keep them active but build their strength gradually.

Never use human medications or disinfectants for your pets.  Using the wrong eye drops or ear preparations can lead to severe damage and long term problems.  Using the wrong pain relief can result in permanent kidney damage, intestinal bleeding or even death.  Always seek veterinary advice before medicating your pets.

New Puppy Owner’s Check List

“I’m  your new puppy. Thank you for letting me become part of your family. Here are a few things that you need to provide for me to ensure I am a healthy, happy puppy”.

Þ First vaccination at 6-8 weeks (preferably 6 weeks), and the last vaccination at 16 weeks. There will be a total of 3-4   vaccinations. The vet will work out a vaccination programme based on risk with you at first vaccination. Public places are to be avoided until 2 weeks after my final vaccination.

Þ When I am two weeks old you need to start worming me with “Endogard” once every two weeks until I am three months old.

Þ When I am three months old I need to be wormed with “Endogard” once a month until I am six months old.

Þ When I am six months old I will need to be wormed once every three months for the rest of my life.

Þ Puppy training is recommended at 6-16 weeks old. This will decrease the chance of developing behaviour problems as I grow up, and I will learn to socialise well with others. This needs to be done in a safe environment such as Puppy Preschool.

Þ I need to have access to drinking water at all times.

Þ I need nutritious, puppy specific food until I am 1 year old, and I need to be fed regularly during the day.

Þ I need to be de-sexed at six months of age to prevent  unwanted pregnancies, wandering and fighting.

Þ Puppy Insurance: ask instore about 6 weeks free insurance.

Þ I need a selection of toys to keep me occupied.

Þ I need a nice warm, comfortable bed that I can call my own.

Þ I need regular exercise to keep me fit and healthy.

Most of all, I need YOU!

New Kitten Owner’s Checklist

“I’m  your new kitten. Thank you for letting me become part of your family. Here are a few things that you need to provide for me to ensure I am a healthy, happy kitten”.

Þ First vaccination at 6-8 weeks (preferably 6 weeks), and the last vaccination at 16 weeks. There will be a total of   3-4 vaccinations. The vet will work out a vaccination programme based on risk with you at first vaccination.

Þ Once you get me home I will need treating for fleas.

Þ When I am two weeks old you need to start worming me with “Milbemax” once every two weeks until I am three months old.

Þ When I am three months old I need to be wormed with “Endogard” once a month until I am six months old.

Þ When I am six months old I will need to be wormed once every three months for the rest of my life.

Þ I need to have access to drinking water at all times.

Þ I need nutritious, kitten specific food until I am 1 year old, and I need to be fed regularly during the day.

Þ I need to be de-sexed at 5-6 months of age to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Þ I need at least 2 litter trays and plenty of cat litter.

Þ I need a selection of toys to keep me occupied.

Þ I need a sturdy scratching pole or cat climbing tree.

Þ I need a nice warm, comfortable bed that I can call my own.

Most of all, I need YOU!

First Aid For Pets

Have you thought of putting together a first aid kit for your pet?

It could contain the following – two or three sizes of non-stick dressings, tape, scissors, a roll of cohesive bandage (Vetrap), a crepe bandage, saline, cotton wool or swabs, incontinence sheet, gloves, foil emergency blanket, a cooling  towel.

This would give you a good basic kit to have at home or in the car to tide you over.

Would you know what to do in an emergency  situation?

Have a look at the free “First Aid for Pets New Zealand” app. This gives you free, easy to access first aid advice for pet  emergencies.

Leeann’s Trip to Rarotonga

I recently had the opportunity to volunteer some of my time at Te Are Manu Veterinary Clinic on Rarotonga. Te Are Manu is the only Vet Clinic in the Cook Islands and runs on volunteers and donations. They treat any animal on the island, including the stray dogs.

I flew in at 2am, and all of the donated items I took over were seized at customs (we got them back the next day!). I had a flower lei placed around my neck, causing some serious sneezing fits. I walked around the airport for a few minutes until a kind man pointed me in the right direction to find a shuttle which took me on a hair raising ride to the Te Are Manu volunteer house.

Showing up at the volunteer house in the middle of the night probably wasn’t the best plan as they thought I was coming the next day so I was greeted by a very bleary eyed and confused stranger, who had just arrived a couple days before.  Luckily she was awesome and showed me around the house, told me what time I was expected at the clinic and we both gratefully went to bed – me for about 4 hours sleep interrupted by barking dogs and crowing roosters which I would slowly get used to over the next 2 weeks.

I spent my time at the clinic working as a Vet Nurse with a Vet from Germany and another Vet and Nurse from Australia. Working with different people from all over the world was interesting, language barriers and different techniques can make things complicated but taught me a lot about communication and trusting  different ways of thinking. Most of the cases I saw were dogs that had been hit by cars as many of the dogs on the island roam freely which is very dangerous even when the speed limit is 50km/h. We had a good success rate though and were able to send most of our lovely  patients home again.

The rest of the time went fairly smoothly and we all had a few days off where we could go snorkeling, visit the local markets and drink lots of “Nu” coconuts. I even tried yoga on a stand up paddle board which was very tricky.

The people I met there were brilliant and I made some friends that I will definitely meet up with again. Rarotonga and its people are very kind and grateful. But the real reason I went and the reason I will go back again is the beautiful and gentle dogs that I met and cared for. All in all it was an amazing experience and I would love to go back again someday soon.

Written by Leeann Ruddell – Veterinary Nurse at Northland Veterinary  Group

Leeann has worked at Northland Vet Group as a Vet Nurse for the past 4.5 years. Unfortunately she is leaving us soon to move to a new city and new challenges. We sincerely wish her all the best for her future career.