Category Archives: vet

Daunting task of subject selection

Today I sat with over a hundred other parents and students and listened as the teachers at my son’s school talked us through the year 10 subject selection process.

There were lots of V words like VET, VETiS, VCAL, VCE it was VERY confusing!!

At the end of the hour session we were told to not panic!! Like that is even an option? How can you not panic? How can you be calm about something as important as your child’s future?

I think that this whole process could be made so much more easier if there was some system in place that allows you to see what career paths require which subjects. There probably is something like this available but we haven’t yet been made aware of it, so for the time being there is much for us to process.

Hopefully by the time the twins get to this point I will be expert on all of this, but for tonight I’m just a confused mum frantically reading through endless brochures trying to arm myself with as much information as possible to help guide my child through this daunting process.

Dexter is unwell

Dexter is unwell. The call came just on 3pm today from my eldest who had just come home after spending the day with his cousin. Dexter was squealing in pain which as far as my son could tell seemed to be coming from his back legs.

When I got home around 3:40pm I found Dexter shivering on the floor beside my son. He did run up to greet me and the twins (who I’d just picked up from school), but was unable to jump up and down as he always does whenever we come home. He couldn’t even sit down properly and from my first observation I could see that his hip joint seemed rather swollen at either side. Running my hand down his back and across his hips resulted in more screams of pain.

We called the Vet and Madelyn and I drove him down to the clinic, which fortunately is only up the road. Dexter couldn’t jump into the car by himself and so I had to lift him up which of course caused him more pain which resulted in more yelping.

Without an X-ray it is hard to determine what the problem is. The Vet was able to rule out knees and feet, the problem seems to be more lower back /spine and hip. It could be a pinched nerve, it could be arthritis, it could even be nerve damage.

The Vet gave Dexter an anti inflammatory injection and a pain killer injection and has sent him home with a bag full of tablets that he will need to take for the next 10 days. At the moment he seems to be comfortable although he was not able to get up on the couch or the bed, and has chosen a warm spot on the carpet in Madelyn’s room, where she has lovingly wrapped him up in her blanket.

To some people a dog is merely a pet, an animal they have taken in for one reason or another, but for us Dexter is a member of our family, he is the happy face that greets us every day, he is a best friend, a companion, fur kid and fur brother. The boys didn’t want to come to the vet today because they couldn’t stand seeing Dexter in so much pain. Hopefully Dexter has just pulled a muscle and will be back to his crazy bouncy happy ways in no time at all.

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Izzy’s Story

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Today I came across a very upsetting post by savingpets.com.au in regards to some really criminal behaviour that the RSPCA in Perth, Western Australia has been accused of. According to this article a beautiful timid King Charles Cavalier and her four, four week old puppies were euthanised for no comprehensible reason.

It is really is a sad day indeed when people running animal shelters are found to be harming animals instead of protecting them.

Here is the article about the RSPCA and Izzy, maybe if more people hear about this, something will get done to prevent other innocent animals losing their lives.
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The RSPCA WA is being questioned by the state government regarding their processes for euthanasia.

The WA Government has raised fears the RSPCA is destroying pets that could be kept alive.
Documents obtained by The Sunday Times reveal Agriculture Department boss Rob Delane was told of a case last year where medical histories did not support the destruction of some pets.

“It is unclear whether the RSPCA had sufficient grounds to destroy these animals,” a briefing note for Mr Delane dated May 2013 said

The notes prepared for Mr Delane warn the RSCPA’s processes were “inadequate”.

Even RSPCA staff seemed to have little faith in the ‘system’;

Revelations of the documents come as a former RSPCA regional inspector, who asked not to be named, also expressed concerns about the treatment of animals by the organisation.

The inspector, who resigned last year, said she would regularly try to rehome animals in country areas rather than bring them to the Perth shelter because she feared they would be put down.

“I wouldn’t take my animals up there,” she said.

“Some puppies would get put down at eight weeks and they would say they had behavioural problems,” she said……

The RSPCA remain unapologetic:

RSPCA state chief executive David van Ooren said no disciplinary action had been taken and the allegations in the report had not been substantiated.

An RSPCA spokesman said there were “very clear” and “well-developed” policies relating to the euthanasia of animals.

So how does this “well developed” policy work in practice?

The dog pictured above is Izzy. She was a breeding dog seized by the RSPCA under an alleged breach of WA’s animal protection laws. She entered the care of the RSPCA in March 2012. She was only a baby herself (probably less that two years old) but she was heavily pregnant.

Izzy was placed with foster carer, Cath (an experienced human midwife and dog lover) and her husband (a senior vet) so she couldn’t have been in more compassionate, capable hands. It was a new start to a happier life.

Izzy gave birth to four healthy babies; Izzy was ‘typical’ of many neglected dogs; sad, skittish and scared. She was terribly and heartbreakingly under socialised. The family worked hard to make her life peaceful, to give her good food and comfort, and to let her know everything was going to be ok. And under their care, Izzy showed she was a loving and competent mum – working hard to clean and feed her pups, growing them into cute little fat bellies.

Cath’s family worked hard to make sure these pups were getting all they needed to grow into healthy, happy dogs. Her daughter delighted in helping ‘socialise’ these babies and they learned to walk and eat solid food.

Not surprisingly, the family fell in love with these guys and considered adopting one themselves, but found that even as volunteers, the RSPCA adoption fees were prohibitive;

“We were going to keep one, but despite the fact I was volunteering my time to look after Izzy when she was pregnant and now raise a litter of puppies for them – they still want to charge me $700 for a puppy!!

Cath kept Izzy, and the four pups for a total of 4 weeks, before taking them back to the RSPCA for their scheduled check up. Cath assumed that she would drop them off in the morning, and pick them up in the afternoon, to continue her fostering.

“They simply wouldn’t give them back after I dropped them all in for a check over. I rang every day asking what was happening and when could I go back and get them. They kept fobbing me off. It was only after I asked for a meeting with the CEO and they realised I wasn’t going away that I was told they were already dead.

I had Izzy behaving and responding to us beautifully after a while. But they killed her and all of her pups. They didn’t indicate to me at all that they were at risk – they did it all without telling me.

My husband is a senior vet. We never saw the pups do anything strange behaviourally. Izzy was timid, but she was really coming good. And those pups were fine.”

Izzy and her pups were given a ‘behavioural assessment’ at the RSPCA kennel facility. All five failed.

Next, as is the procedure, each of these young dogs were held. Their leg was shaved. A syringe of poison was drawn. And then one by one they were injected until their lively, waggling bodies went limp and they were dead.

All under the RSPCA’s “well developed” policies.

The community has the expectation that animals entering RSPCA care will be given every chance to be rehabilitated. Pet lovers give tens of millions of dollars in donations every year believing that they are supporting life affirming processes. I don’t know a single rescue group who, if called, wouldn’t have found a place for these guys. But they didn’t survive being ‘sheltered’ by the RSPCA.

Izzy deserved a second chance. Her babies deserved a first one.
Our shelters should not be this way. They do not have to be. The killing has got to stop.

How to stop dogs from licking their stitches

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How to stop dogs from licking their stitches.

Firstly I’d like to start off this post by saying that Bolt my sisters beautiful lab cross blue heeler is on the road to recovery Thank God!

A big thank you to everyone for your kind words and well wishes, my family and I really appreciate them.

The Vet is very pleased with the way Bolt is healing, so it was a big thumbs up tonight. There was however one concern, despite my sisters efforts, and my nephews round the clock vigil, Bolt appears to be licking his stitches, particularly the ones on his back knee.

This got me thinking, how does one prevent a dog from licking his stitches? The vet did supply my sister with your standard Elizabethan Collar but like most dogs he just hates wearing it.

Research on the Internet has revealed that there are in fact many different kinds of collars for dogs (who would have thought? ). There is the Comfy Cone, which looks kind of like a vinyl cone with an inner foam rubber tube.

Then there is the Pro Collar, looks like a donut shaped collar, that almost resembles an inflatable.

The Soft E Collar which looks more like a life saving device, or a large frisbee that fits around the dogs neck.

And finally The Bite Not which looks nothing like an Elizabethan Collar it looks more like a blood pressure machine band and its Velcro straps can prove tricky especially for furry dogs.

All these collars can be purchased over the Internet and will set you back anything from $15 to $50.

In Bolts case the vet has suggested sterile bandages to cover the stitches as a deterrent, and also sleeping pills, as it appears that cheeky Bolt has been licking when everyone else is fast asleep.

There are also anti lick and chew bitter sprays available on the market for dogs that one can use to deter them from licking, but you must be careful not to get the spray directly on the wound / stitches but rather around it. These sprays can also be used on top of the bandage to prevent dogs from tearing them off.

Which ever method you choose to use make sure you have your veterinary’s approval they are after all the experts. In Bolts case, we are going with 24/7 round the clock vigils and the bandage and sleeping pill option.

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Gemma

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Money will buy buy you a good looking dog but it will not buy you the wag of his tail.

I don’t know who said this quote and I’m sure I have used it before and I know that I will use it again, because I just love it. But tonight I am reminded of this quote again as yet another friend of mines dog is diagnosed with a genetic defect, despite being a pure bred Labrador from a reputable breeder that they paid almost $1500 for. Like humans, dogs will suffer genetic defects it is inevitable, no matter how rigorously they may have been screened by the breeder.

Whether or not a dog will get sick will depend of how well the dog is looked after not how expensive it was to buy. Just like it’s personality will be shaped by its owner and the way he/she treats the dog.

However sometimes luck can also play a role and tonight my poor friend and her gorgeous black lab Gemma have simply been dealt a bad hand. Gemma is a gorgeous little girl who woke up this morning unable to use her back legs. An X-ray revealed a genetic defect that will require her to be confined for four weeks in order to heal up, before further test can be performed.

Exactly what is wrong with Gemma my friend could not say, to be honest I don’t think the Vet actually knows either but it is related to her spine and they believe it is definitely genetic.

My thoughts go out to Gemma tonight, the poor darling will need to be kept locked up in a small area and only allowed out on a lead to relieve herself. That’s not much of a life. Hopefully once the four weeks are up the Vet will be able to perform the test needed in which to make Gemma all better again.

Oh No……..

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The past few weeks I have been noticing that DT my beautiful cat appears to have lost a considerable amount of weight. At first I thought it was just that he’d shed his winter coat but lately I’m not convinced.

I picked him up the other day and it occurred to me that he felt so thin and bony, this is not like DT at all. Although DT is a Balinese cat which means very similar to the Siamese he is quite big for his breed and has always been a good size and weight. But lately this is not so.

The fact that DT is getting older could also be a reason for the weight loss, he appears to be acting normal, eating and drinking as per usual. So why the noticeable decrease in weight?

Nobody else seems to have noticed that DT has lost weight and even when I have pointed it out they merely shrug it off with the explanation that DT is a Siamese like cat, it’s in the genes for him to be thinner. Maybe they don’t realise the amount of weight loss because they are too afraid to pick him up, it certainly is more obvious then.

Unfortunately DT is a one woman cat, he does not take kindly to being picked up, or patted by others. Occasionally if he is in the mood he will let others pat him or pick him up but this is only on his terms.

I guess what scares me most is the thought that what if he has some form of kidney disease? Kidney disease is after all the largest killer of domestic cats. The only way to properly diagnose kidney disease is by blood test. So I guess it’s back to the Vet for us, ignorance is bliss but when it comes to my beloved boy I just can’t take any chances.

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