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,

October's newsletter takes a look at how to go about bathing your pets. Probably worth a read given the hotter weather is upon us and we have the opportunity to wash our pets outdoors more frequently.

Remember that the hotter weather also brings with it fleas and ticks. Please speak to us at the Hospital to make sure your pets' are using appropriate tick and flea preventatives over the spring/summer months.

This edition of the newsletter also talks about a new treatment for cruciate ligament rupture in dogs that is now available at Enfield Veterinary Hospital.

As always if you have any questions or need any advice please don't hesitate to call us or just drop in.

The Team at Enfield Vet Hospital.

Contents of this newsletter

01  Cruciate Ligament Rupture in Dogs

02  How to take a spa bath

03  Top tips on bathing your dog

04  Can I bathe my cat?

05  Kidney disease is thirsty work

06  Creating the best cat toilet

01 Cruciate Ligament Rupture in Dogs
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As many of you may be aware, it is very common for any dog older than 4 years to rupture the cranial cruciate ligament (or the anterior cruciate ligament/ACL) in the knee.

This is both an inflammatory and degenerative condition in dogs and is best managed with prompt surgery to prevent severe osteoarthritis in the knee joint.

There are various different surgical procedures that can be used to repair the ligament and the knee. Here at Enfield we are now performing one of the newest and most advanced procedures to repair the knee after the cruciate ligament has ruptured.

This procedure is called the Modified Maquet Procedure (a type of tibial tuberosity advancement). This is a procedure that has had great success in both Europe and the USA and has now become available in Australia.

The aim of this surgery is to get dogs' using their injured legs sooner and to reduce any further residual arthritis or lameness.

An x-ray image of the completed procedure is attached.

This exciting procedure provides a great alternative to many of the older techniques used and also to the process of specialist referral surgery which can somtimes be prohibitively expensive.

If you have any questions about this procedure please contact the Hospital and any of our vets will be happy to discuss the surgical technique and the expected recovery process.

02 How to take a spa bath

We've found a dog who loves a spa bath more than most people! 

Click here to watch Cuzzie the Puggle in action! 

03 Top tips on bathing your dog
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While we are on the topic of spa baths we thought we'd share our top tips for making bath time easier with your pooch. 

1. Choose the right shampoo - never use human shampoo (even baby shampoo) as it's the wrong pH for your pooch. If your dog is itchy, oily or has sensitive skin, we can recommend the most suitable shampoo for your dog. 

2. Pop some cotton wool in your dog's ears to prevent any water sneaking into the canal - don't forget to take it out after you've finished.

3. Provide a non slip surface - put a towel on the bottom of the bath, or a non slip mat to help your dog feel more secure and prevent slipping. 

4. Place a towel over your dog to prevent water going everywhere when the inevitable shake occurs.

5. Jam some steel wool in the plug hole to catch the wet fur and make cleaning up easier.

If you need any more information about bathing your dog you can always ask us for the most up to date advice. We'll even make sure your dog is clean enough to sleep in your bed!

04 Can I bathe my cat?
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When it comes to cats and water, things can get pretty hairy! Most cats hate being immersed in water and find the bath an incredibly stressful experience.

Thankfully you don't really need to bathe your feline friend as they are equipped to take care of their own personal hygiene. They have a rough surface on the top of their tongue that acts as a brush.

Having said that, some cats are better at grooming themselves than others so you may need to groom your cat from time to time to help remove dead hair and prevent matting. This is especially the case with longer haired cats. Matting can cause pain and discomfort, and in some cases, your cat may need sedation to have any matting clipped off safely.

Some tips to remember:

  • Always check for matting in the armpits and around the bottom
  • If your cat is overweight or arthritic she may not groom herself properly
  • A decrease in self grooming can be a sign of illness or pain - call us if you are concerned

You should NEVER wash your cat in a flea shampoo as these are almost always pyrethrin based and ARE POISONOUS TO CATS. You should also be aware that dogs bathed in pyrethrin shampoos can be a source of poison for your cat if she licks and grooms your dog. It is best to avoid using flea shampoo if you have a cat around.

Call us if you think your cat might have some grooming issues - we are always happy to help. 

05 Kidney disease is thirsty work
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If your pet is thirstier than usual it could be a sign of kidney disease. Sometimes the increase in thirst can be subtle but if you find yourself filling up the water bowl more regularly, or notice your pet drinking from the shower or toilet, you should arrange a check up with us.  

The kidneys contain thousands of little factories called nephrons and their job is to work out how much water should be conserved in the body. Once damaged or destroyed, nephrons do not function properly and can't regenerate. As a result, the body doesn't conserve enough water so your pet will need to drink more to stay hydrated.

Toxins, drugs, diseases or even just old age can harm the nephrons, and your pet may not show any signs until 75% of these nephrons are damaged.

Other than increased thirst watch out for:

  • increased urination
  • weight loss
  • vomiting
  • lethargy

Many other diseases present with similar signs to kidney disease (such as diabetes) so it is important that we investigate further. Measuring your pet's water intake over 24 hours and bringing us a morning urine sample are two things you can do to get the investigation process started. A blood test, urine testing and a measure of your pet's blood pressure may then be necessary.

If we detect that your pet's kidneys are not working properly, the earlier we initiate treatment the better.

It's best to arrange an appointment with us as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your pet's thirst. 

06 Creating the best cat toilet
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Photo credit: Marie Hennessy

When it comes to the loo, cats can be fastidious. They tend to like a quiet and private area (who doesn't?) and most prefer plenty of soil to cover things up.

If your cat uses a litter tray, there are some golden rules you should follow to help prevent any problems. 

  1. Provide a tray for every cat in the house plus an additional tray -  two cats should have three trays
  2. Place the tray in a quiet area 
  3. Remove faeces daily and change the litter entirely every 2-3 days
  4. Never use cleaning chemicals in the tray - rinse with warm water
  5. Don't use fragranced litter or plastic liners as cats hate these
  6. Some cats hate a covered tray as it traps the smell, while others prefer the security, so you might need to see what works for your cat

Remember that cats are very clean creatures and prefer deep litter and a large tray to toilet so they can bury their urine and faeces - this is usually why a sandpit is very attractive.

Finally, if your cat isn't using the litter tray correctly you should ask us for advice. There may be other medical issues such as a urinary tract infection complicating the problem or in some cases anxiety, both of which need veterinary treatment.