Cassie Handley is a 13 year old Labrador who has been a patient at the clinic since she was a puppy. She visited the clinic for her annual vaccination in July last year. At this visit Cassie’s dad was a bit worried that Cassie had put on a lot of weight (6 kilograms or 21% increase since the last visit 6 months previously) and that she seemed to be quite lethargic.
Dr. Liberty Hogg examined Cassie and had a discussion with Cassie’s dad about our health care recommendations for ageing pets. A blood screen was performed and the results confirmed Dr Hogg’s suspicion that Cassie was suffering from hypothyroidism (under activity of the thyroid glands). This means her thyroid glands were not producing enough thyroid hormone, a hormone that is important for controlling the body’s metabolism. Ninety percent of all cases of hypothyroidism in dogs is caused by inflammation or shrinkage of the thyroid gland generally due to an autoimmune condition. Rarely it can be caused by cancer.
**** PLEASE NO MORE DONATED ITEMS - SEE BELOW HOW YOU CAN BE OF MOST HELP ****
We have been absolutely blown away by all the people who have made contact wanting to donate and/or offer support to the Kangaroo Island bushfire affected region. We here at the Kangaroo Island Veterinary Clinic are committed to the treatment and survival of all animals; wildlife, companion animals, and livestock alike. The generosity in donating medical supplies, goods, and money to the wildlife has been in mammoth proportions, for which we thank you.
Christmas can be a great time to relax, to spend time with family and friends and to socialise and entertain. Food and drinks are often an integral part of the time spent together and very often this leads to the family pets being given food items that are not a part of their daily diet during the rest of the year.
Over my time as a veterinarian, I have seen a lot of pets suffering from the consequences of dietary indiscretions in the Christmas / New Year break and at Easter time. There are a number of conditions, ranging in severity from mild and transient to severe and life threatening, that can come from feeding your pets foods and table scraps that they are not usually exposed to and you might be surprised by some of the foods that can cause injury or death. So in this article I would like to explore the “don’ts” at Christmas to make sure that your pets stay happy and well and enjoy the time that you spend with them.
Is Giving Pets as a Gift a Good Idea?
We all love our pets and it stands to reason that anyone would be thrilled to receive a pet as a gift. But is it appropriate to give pets as gifts?
As much as you might long to see the way some one’s face lights up when they find a puppy or kitten under the tree on Christmas morning, giving a pet is more than a photo opportunity. Pets grow up and they represent a commitment to a new family member for many years. Before dreaming up ways to surprise someone with a pet, consider whether they are ready and able to take on that kind of responsibility.
You can find a lot of articles online warning against giving pets as gifts. However, studies conducted in recent years have shown that, contrary to what warnings suggest, pets received as gifts are actually less likely to be abandoned than pets either adopted or bought from other sources, including friends, pet shops, and shelters.
Stick-fast flea infestation is common in backyard poultry flocks on Kangaroo Island. The flea is mostly a parasite of poultry, however it will infest any animal. Severe infestations lead to anaemia and death, especially in young chickens or ducklings. The stickfast flea is found on all classes of poultry and also on native birds. Dogs, cats, horses, sheep and numerous native animals also spread the flea and it will bite humans.
The stick fast flea has been in Australia since the early 1900s. It the 1950s, this blood sucking insect became a serious problem in the intensive poultry industry and was one of the reasons why commercial egg producers moved to battery style cages. Removal of access to the ground quickly eradicated stick fast fleas from these flocks.