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High on the list of the many cringeworthy things we hope not to hear at a visit to the doctor is, “I’ll need a urine sample”, but we accept it as something that’s important in the diagnosis of potential problems and compliantly retreat to the toilet, plastic jar in hand. Our pets’ doctors also recognise the importance of pee in the provision of invaluable health insights, and without it illnesses can progress and are sometimes too late to treat by the time symptoms become apparent.

This simple and affordable test provides the opportunity for your vet to check the health of your pet’s kidneys and urinary system and look for other problems in their organs as well as signs of metabolic disease. An animal may appear completely healthy and not exhibit any signs of discomfort or issues until they have gone beyond the point where the disease is treatable. An annual urinalysis can catch difficult-to-detect diseases in their earliest stages and they can be an important way to ensure that your pet is healthy and disease-free. 

Most of us are familiar with microchips. They’re used for a variety of purposes including creating a permanent form of identification for pets.

Collars and tags can still be effective, but some animals don’t like wearing them, and there’s always the chance they can come off and be lost. Also, relying on this method means that if your contacts details change, you need to remember to get a new tag engraved.

Are microchips foolproof?

The effectiveness of microchips lies in accurate information being recorded against the chip, and people who find a lost animal getting the chip details checked. Of course, people may still respond to a notice that the lost pet’s owner has placed in various media, but microchips are one of the simplest and most effective ways of reuniting lost pets with their owners.

Often, we don’t think about our pet going missing until it happens, and it does… even with indoor pets. They can run away from a sitter, escape while you’re entertaining, or bolt during fireworks or a thunderstorm. Thousands of pets go missing every year, and sadly, many owners never find them. Minimise the risk of becoming one of them, by microchipping your pet and keeping your details up to date.

 

Don’t forget also, that microchipping of dogs and cats is now compulsory in South Australia. If you have any questions about microchipping, want to get your pet chipped, or you need to obtain your pet’s microchip number, please get in touch.

 

When the 8-hour working day was legislated in Australia in 1948, it didn’t include dogs, and we’re certainly lucky it didn’t. Being intelligent, loyal, and hardworking animals, dogs are suitable for many roles in addition to human companionship, and one of the areas in which they are used extensively is service. There are a variety of roles in which our canine friends excel, and they include assistance, rescue, and even lifesaving. Following are some occupations in which dogs have been working alongside us throughout history.

Taking dogs to work isn’t something that’s common in Australia, except perhaps in some small privately-owned businesses like the local service station or hardware store. Some restaurants and cafes now cater for patrons to brings their dogs, but they’re still somewhat of a rarity, and the “no-dogs allowed” policy is still fairly strictly adhered-to in most businesses. There are businesses where, for reasons of hygiene, it’s logical that pets shouldn’t be allowed, but is Australia behind the times when it comes to allowing companion animals to accompany their owners to work and other public places?

 

It’s not uncommon to see dogs in restaurants in some of the most sophisticated and large European cities, and surprisingly some very large dogs can be found in some of the tiniest and cramped cafes. Most are so well behaved that you don’t realise they’re there, until a Great Dane rises to its feet and accompanies its owner past your table when leaving. So, why is it less common in South Australian workplaces? It’s often to do with the absence of a clearly articulated policy so that both pet owners’ and other workers’ interests are protected. It also relies on the dog-owners being respectful of the impact their animal has on others – regardless of policy -  and in making sure that co-workers are comfortable sharing their space with a canine colleague.

 

There is evidence to suggest that having dogs in the workplace can help to lower stress and in some cases an even lead to increased productivity, but if you’re thinking of bringing your pooch to work there are some things you need to bear in mind. Following are some do’s and don’ts of dogs in the workplace.

Dogs are the perfect place for worms and parasites to live, and their habit of licking, sniffing and eating almost anything they find, means that there’s a high chance they’re going to come into contact them. Once they’re onboard there’s a bunch of things dogs also do that help them to be spread, such as, licking, grooming, and kissing… yes kissing, and we’re at risk as well as other dogs.

 

Dogs are therefore likely to encounter worms at some point, and there a variety of types of worms, each creating different dangers. Most, such as hookworms, tapeworms, whipworm, and roundworm live in dogs’ intestines. Heartworm, as the name suggests, live in dogs’ hearts and lungs. So, what’s the difference between them and how can they be prevented?

This week we’re covering a subject that is actually more about us than animals… dog bites and dog attacks, and how to avoid them. Being bitten can be traumatic, and anyone who’s been chased or lunged at by an aggressive dog will tell you how terrifying it can be. To know how to best handle these situations, trying to understand the dog’s perspective can help, however that can be difficult when you’re scared and feeling threatened. The ultimate objective when dealing with an aggressive dog is of course not to get bitten, and following are some tips on how to achieve this.

 

What influences dog attacks?

Firstly, let’s look at the circumstances surrounding dog attacks. There is ongoing debate about the extent to which dog breed influences the likelihood of attack on humans, but it is a complex issue. There is no definitive study of dog bites by breed, because the number of attacks by a breed increases in proportion to the popularity of that breed. In reducing the incidence of attacks there are many preventable factors much more significant than breed. 

We often only notice our dogs’ nails when they’re getting a bit too long, and it can be easy to forget them until we can hear them clicking on a hard floor while they’re walking. Even the most loving and dedicated dog owners can be unsure of the correct way to trim nails, and the job can sometimes be a little challenging, especially if your dog doesn’t like nail clipping time. In this article we aim to demystify the art of nail-clipping, and help you with some simple tips.

 

No acrylics here…

Dogs’ nails, like horses’, come in different colours and it’s usually determined by the colour of the surrounding skin and hair, therefore dark fur is usually accompanied by dark nails and white fur with white nails. Some dogs have bi-coloured nails, and nail colour can sometimes change as well. Changing colour is usually due to a harmless change in the pigment, but it can sometimes be a sign of a health problem, therefore if your dog’s nails change colour, you should bring it to the attention of your vet.

In our grandparents’ day chickens were commonly kept in residential backyards, but the growth of the poultry industry and the mass production of eggs, led to a decline in its popularity. These days however, as people are looking for healthier alternatives to supermarket-supplied, processed, and mass-produced foods, there is an increasing interest in keeping chooks. Even for those of us in the city, could they in fact be an egg-cellent pet?

We are all aware that exercise is good for us, but did you know that it is also very important for the health of our dogs?  Sadly, research has shown that as many as 40% of dog owners do not regularly exercise their dogs, and walk small or old dogs even less. Regardless of their size or age, all dogs should be walked and they love it!  At the very least, it is usually necessary to take them for a quick walk for toilet time, so why not make the most out of it?

 

It’s amazing how persistent your dog can be as a training partner…they don’t care about the weather, or your hassles at work, so there will be no slacking off! Dogs are great at motivating many of us to exercise when we might otherwise choose to skip the workout and sit in front of the TV.

 

It’s great for both of you!

“My dog ate Nurofen, what should I do?” is a question that you’ll hopefully never need to ask, but being aware of the risks of your pet accessing medicines, and what can be done to prevent it, is important for all pet owners. Ibuprofen, the active ingredient of Nurofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can be extremely dangerous for dogs, but Nurofen is just one of thousands of medicines that is dangerous to our pets.

 

How would a pet come into contact with medicine?

By world standards, Australians are big takers of prescription and non-prescription medication, and with many people taking them daily, the chances that one could be dropped on the floor or left in a place that’s accessible to pets, is quite high. Add to that the naturally inquisitive nature of animals, and the risk increases.

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I just wanted to say a big thank you so much for the staff and vets at Golden Grove and at Ridgehaven for everything they did for Qui Gon and for us while he was unwell.

You gave us appointments at short notice and even went out of your way to give us immediate appointments and made sure you got Qui Gon to see your amazing bunny doctors every time. You took such great care of Qui Gon and gave him wonderful care, you showed a lot of care towards him and us with his ongoing issues and when we had to make that awful decision to say goodbye you were honest about his prognosis and for that we are very grateful.

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Adelaide

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