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Pet Care Information

 


 

Quality Diets and Pet Nutrition

We are what we eat so the best quality food will give the best results. We stock a large range of imported and locally made foods for pets of all shapes and sizes and for all sorts of special requirements such as sensitive stomachs, hair ball formulas, sensitive itchy skins etc.

Specialised Nutrition and Prescription Diets

Specific diets can be of enormous help in managing some medical conditions eg Kidney & liver problems. These specific diets are perfectly balanced to help the body deal with the condition being treated

 

Vaccinationsnutrision

Vaccinating our pets is the best way to prevent some common and often fatal diseases of dogs and cats. A vaccination stimulates the immune system to react fast and effectively when an animal gets exposed to that particular disease. Common diseases in dogs that we vaccinate against are parvovirus , kennel cough , infectious hepatitis , distemper and rabies. Common diseases in cats that we vaccinate against are feline panleukopaenia virus, snuffles, and rabies. We use the following vaccination time protocols in our practice.

Dogs are vaccinated at 6 weeks, 9/10 weeks, 12/14 weeks and then annually for the 5 in 1 vaccine – for rabies at 14 weeks, 20 weeks and then every year.

Cats are vaccinated at 9 weeks, 13 weeks, and annually for the 3 in 1 – for rabies at 13 weeks, 17 weeks and then every three years.

We will send a reminder by post or by SMS to you when your pet is due for their check up and vaccination.

The annual visit for the vaccination also gives us an opportunity to do a thorough clinical examination on your pet which enables us to recognise diseases early, for example heart disease.
This means we can treat your pet earlier for the specific condition, and often have better results.

 

Deworming

vacination

Worms are very commonly found in dogs and cats in South Africa and can be a major source of disease and debility in our pets and can be fatal especially to young animals.
More over some worms can be transmitted to humans and cause severe problems. The close contact between our pets and ourselves means we must deworm our pets regularly with approved broad-spectrum medication that will kill round worms and tape worms. The frequency of deworming depends on many factors including age and region.

Please speak to one of our vets for more advice.

 

Weight and obesity

Weight problems in our pets are common and cause the same problems as with ourselves. Heat intolerance, stiffness, diabetes and heart disease are just some of the commonly encountered conditions. Reduced calorie foods are available to help pets lose weight safely and we have a weighing scale in our waiting room to monitor results. The difference in our pets lifestyle and activity once the have lost weight is astounding. Trained nutritional advisors are available to assist. We now have a weight clinic where we use a computer model to calculate calorific requirements accurately show results on a graph as we go along.

 

Arthritis

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Osteoarthritis is one of the most common debilitating diseases affecting dogs. 1 in 5 adult dogs shows signs. Often these signs are not recognised as pain by the owners and are attributed to “getting older.” We only appreciate that our friends are in pain when we give them pain killers and we see the improvement. Modern anti-inflammatories and nutraceuticals can have a significant effect on chronic pain, and can change lives. Cats are also commonly affected by arthritis but this often goes unrecognised as they dont show evidence of pain and stiffness. Treatments and diets are now readily available to help them also.

 

Lumps and Bumps

Lumps and growths are common in dogs and cats particularly as they get older. Owners are often too scared to have them checked out in case they are bad news. Not all lumps are cancerous - many are benign and can be easily, safely and permanently removed. Don`t leave them to grow large because then removal is very much more difficult and the lumps` character may change to make them more dangerous

All | Breeding | Dental | Diet | Disease | Emergency | Eye | General | Heart | Illness | Joints | Lifestyle | Skin | Symptoms | Worms

My pet is battling to pass a stool

Bowel movements - a serious situation

Ever notice your dog or cat in a hunched-up position either in the garden or in their sandbox and just not being able to “come right” with passing whatever it is they want to pass? In cats and female dogs, the posture of the animal when passing stool and passing urine is the same. It is therefore important to try and establish whether they are battling to pass a stool or alternatively if they are struggling to urinate. Both conditions may require veterinary attention and if the animal repeatedly hunches and strains with no apparent relief, it may be a sign that they need to see the vet.



What is the brownish yellow discolouration on my pet's teeth?

Discoloured teeth in dogs and cats

Just like humans, dogs and cats have two different sets of teeth. The first set, known as the deciduous teeth or “baby teeth", erupt between three to six weeks of age. The permanent or “adult” teeth start erupting around three months of age and are all present around six months of age.

The teeth are also very similar in structure to human teeth, with the crown that sits above the gum line and the root which is located below the gum line. All teeth are made up of an outer protective coating of enamel. Enamel is a very hard structure that protects the more sensitive dentin. The dentin sits over the even more sensitive pulp cavity which contains nerves and bloods vessels, which nourish the tooth.



I found a loose stool with blood and what looks like jelly on the kitchen floor this morning - what do I do?

Acute and Chronic colitis in dogs and cats

What is Acute Colitis?

Acute colitis is a common condition in pets and is characterised by a sudden onset colonic inflammation with a diarrhoea that may contain mucous and/or fresh blood.

Clinical signs

The most common symptoms are straining when defecating, mucous (the jelly you noticed) and/or blood in the stool, and increased frequency of defecation. Systemic signs of illness are generally absent and most animals are still alert, active and have normal appetites in spite of having colitis.



What do I feed my dog, how much and when?

Nutrition in dogs: guidelines to a well-fed pooch

Feeding your dog an appropriate well balanced diet for its life stage is vital to good health and wellbeing. Nutrient requirements differ depending on the breed and age of the dog and there are a few important factors to take into consideration.

Many people see dogs and cats as a similar kind of animal and therefore it is useful to understand the difference between the two species to better understand how to feed your dog properly.



My dog is scooting on its backside and I think it has worms

Anal sac disease in dogs

Many veterinarians are presented by concerned pet owners about the animal’s scooting or dragging their backsides along the ground by holding the back legs up in the air and pulling themselves forward by the front legs whilst remaining in a seated position. The owner often thinks that the animal may have worms and is trying to get the worms out their backside by dragging it along the ground. Although this is quite possible to be the case, especially in the case of tapeworm infestation, it is unlikely to be the cause. The most common cause for this behaviour is uncomfortable anal glands.



A sugar substitute fit for humans, which can be lethal to your dog

Xylitol Toxicity

What is xylitol and where can it be found?

Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol that is commonly used as a sugar substitute in human foods. It is found in and extracted from corn fiber, birch trees, hardwood trees as well as other fruits and vegetables.

Xylitol is a sugar substitute most commonly found in chewing gum, candies, breath mints, baked goods, cough syrup, children’s edible vitamins, mouth wash and tooth paste (all of the sugar free variety). There are many more human products on the market that may contain xylitol. It may also be purchased in a granulated form to be used for baking, or as a sweetener over cereals and in beverages. As society’s pressure to look lean and slim, and the need to diet increases, this sugar free alternative has grown drastically in popularity over the last decade.



What is trichobezoar?

Hairballs in cats

The elusive and very unpleasant hairball is something that every cat owner will experience at some point. Cats in general are very clean and well-kept animals and grooming is an essential routine for them to ensure their cleanliness. A healthy cat is one that grooms.  Hairballs are simply a by-product of your cat’s hygiene.

A trichobezoar, commonly known as a hairball, is a clump of indigestible hair, moistened by bile and digestive fluid that may or may not contain bits of food or other foreign material. Hairballs are not usually round in shape but rather drawn-out and the shape of a sausage. This is due to their passage through the oesophagus, the tube connecting the stomach to the mouth, which is long and cylindrical. Hairballs can occasionally resemble faeces but on closer examination one will notice it is made up of hair. It also does not smell like faeces although it does not have a particularly pleasant odour.



When is it more than just a tummy ache?

Pancreatitis

The pancreas is a small gland that is situated next to the stomach and first part of the small intestine in the front of the abdomen. As in humans, it performs two main functions in dogs and cats.

  1. It is responsible for producing some of the special chemicals called enzymes which aid in the digestion of food. Enzymes are usually inactive within the pancreas. They are activated when they are released into the small intestine through ducts. Enzymes break down the food into smaller particles which can then be absorbed through the intestinal wall into the blood stream.
  2. The other main function of the pancreas is to help regulate blood sugar. The pancreas produces special messengers called hormones. Insulin is one such hormone. These hormones tell the body when to release or store glucose into the cells.

Sometimes the digestive enzymes are released within the pancreas, instead of within the small intestine. When this happens, it causes severe inflammation and death of some of the pancreatic cells. This can affect surrounding abdominal organs, such as the liver. When inflammation occurs it is usually very painful and is described as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can be acute, where the inflammation is not associated with permanent damage or it can be chronic. A chronic pancreatitis results in the pancreas becoming smaller and harder than normal and this affects the function of this important organ. Pancreatitis can become very severe very quickly and cause your pet to suffer with intense pain so it is important for your pet to receive veterinary attention as soon as you suspect there may be something wrong.



Battle of the Bulge

Obesity

Most people, at some point in time, struggle to shed some extra weight. Obesity in humans has reached epidemic proportions and in a study released two years ago, South Africans were classified as the third fattest people on earth. Worse than this, is the fact that obesity in pets is following this trend and fast becoming a disease on its own. Some studies show that more than 50 % of pets are overweight. This alarming figure effectively means we are “killing our pets with kindness.” Obesity is defined as an accumulation of excessive amounts of body fat. Body fat increases when the amount of energy taken in (by eating food) exceeds the amount of energy used (by exercising). Vets classify a pet as obese if the animal weighs more than 15 to 20 % of his/her ideal body weight.  Body Mass Index or BMI which is commonly used in humans to define obesity is not commonly used in animals, because there is such a huge variation between and within different breeds. In animals, a Body Condition Score or BCS is referred to in terms of the animal’s ideal weight.



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