Enfield Veterinary Hospital
94 Coronation Parade
Enfield, NSW, 2136

enfieldvet@bigpond.com.au
Phone: 02 9747 3999
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To All the Friends of Enfield Vet and their Pets,

The focus of this month's newsletter is obesity in pets. Coming to the end of the Winter, we very often notice that our pets may have put on a few kilos with less walks, exercise and outdoor time compared to the warmer and sunnier months. Obesity in pets is a major problem and has multiple effects on their general health and particularly their overall mobility and comfort.

It is important for everyone to carefully monitor their pets' weights and get them weighed at the hospital if you feel there are any concerns. We are always happy to discuss the best ways for you to get them down to their ideal weight - usually with a combination of dietary restriction and more exercise. Please read the articles on obesity below and call us any time of you have any queries about your pet's weight and how this may affect their general health.

In other news, we are very pleased to announce that Sarah (one of our fantastic and dedicated vets) passed her membership exams in small animal medicine and has been admitted as a member of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists. This achievement is the one of the most challanging qualifications that a vet can undertake and it takes her skill, knowledge and expertise to the highest possible level for a vet working in small animal general practice. All of us at Enfield are very proud of her and her achievement!

As always, we hope you enjoy the newsletter and please don't hesistate to contact us with any questions.

The Team at Enfield Vet Hospital

Contents of this newsletter

01  Is your pet a bit portly?

02  Guilty dog

03  Don't be tempted

04  Recognise heart disease

05  Snail bait is serious

01 Is your pet a bit portly?
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Is your canine companion a couch potato or your feline friend a bit flabby? Your pet is not alone as more than 50% of our pets are overweight.

Carrying a few extra kilos puts our pets at risk of heart disease, respiratory disorders, osteoarthritis and diabetes. The scary thing is that most people aren’t even aware that their pet is overweight.

Watch out for:

  • When you look down from above, your pet will have lost definition of his waist. Instead of an hourglass figure he might look more like an egg, or even a barrel on legs!
  • You can no longer ‘easily’ feel his ribs when you run your hands over his sides
  • A very obese pet may have neck fat, a pendulous tummy as well as fat over the hips

The very best way to determine whether your pet is overweight is to drop in for a weight check with us. This will allow us to score your pet’s body condition and, if necessary, start a weight management plan.

Getting your pet to lose weight is easier than you think! Physical exercise will help but it is crucial you are feeding your pet the correct diet and the right amount - something we can help you out with. There are diets available that will actually help your pet lose weight - including one to increase your pet’s metabolic rate.

Remember, when it comes to fighting the flab, we are here to help. 

02 Guilty dog

With a focus on portly pets this month, we've got the perfect YouTube video to share with you. Do you have a guilty pet in your household? 

03 Don't be tempted
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It might be tempting to feed your pet human scraps as a treat but you may be doing them harm and causing excessive weight gain.

Keep this calorie translator in mind when you are having trouble saying ‘no’ to those adorable eyes!

For a 10kg dog:

  • One biscuit = 1 hamburger for a human
  • 30g piece of cheese = 1.5 hamburgers for a human
  • One hot dog = 2.5 hamburgers for a human

For a 5kg cat:

  • One potato chip = ½ a hamburger for a human
  • 30g piece cheese = 2.5 hamburgers for a human
  • A glass of milk = 3 hamburgers for a human!

Drop in at any time and we'll weigh your pet. We'll also advise you on treats that are suitable for your pet and are light on calories. 

04 Recognise heart disease
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Heart disease tends to sneak up on pets and clinical signs might not appear until your pet is in serious trouble.

Knowing the signs of heart disease and starting treatment early can make a big difference to your pet's quality of life and longevity.

The most common form of heart disease leads to a failure of the pumping mechanism of the heart. It is often referred to as congestive failure as it results in pooling of blood in the lungs and other organs.

Look out for these signs

In both dogs and cats:

  • Laboured or fast breathing (get to know your pet’s sleeping respiration rate - SRR)
  • An enlarged abdomen
  • Weight loss or poor appetite

In dogs only:

  • Coughing, especially at night or after lying down
  • A reluctance to exercise and tiring more easily on walks
  • Weakness or fainting associated with exercise

If you think your pet might be showing signs of heart disease, call us for an appointment. Early treatment of this insidious disease will help your pet love a longer and happier life.

05 Snail bait is serious
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Spring has sprung and with new shoots in the garden there may also be snail bait about.

Snail bait pellets look just like dog kibble so dogs often eat the pellets by mistake. Even so called “pet friendly” products are dangerous for animals.

There are three types of snail bait:

  1. Metaldehyde- green pellets
  2. Methiocarb - blue pellets
  3. Iron EDTA (Multiguard) - brown/yellow pellets

Metaldehyde and methiocarb act on the nervous system causing increased stimulation and can be fatal if immediate veterinary treatment is not given.

Multiguard is less toxic but can cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea, or may cause damage to the liver, spleen, heart, kidneys or brain. Treatment is still recommended.

Signs of snail bait poisoning to look out for:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Depression or restlessness
  • Rapid heart rate & panting
  • Vomiting & diarrhoea
  • Muscle tremors
  • Seizures

If your pet has ingested (or you think your pet might have ingested) snail bait, call us immediately for advice.