Enfield Veterinary Hospital
94 Coronation Parade
Enfield, NSW, 2136

Phone: 02 9747 3999
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To All the Friends of Enfield Vet and their Pets,

We hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and New Year, and that everyone is relaxed and happy to start 2016.

Our first newsletter for the new year focuses mainly on how to manage our pets in the heat - which is appropriate for the months of January and February when we see most of our cases of heat stroke.

Read the articles below for advice on how to prevent heat stroke in your pets. A lot of it is common sense but its always good to take precautions. Remember, dogs and cats need shade and water on hot days - bring them inside if you can. Never walk your dog in the heat of the day on days hotter than 30 degrees. Outlined below are some more tips to avoid heat stroke but, most importantly, remember to come and see us immediately if your think your pet is suffering from heat stress. Rapid intervention is vital to prevent serious internal organ damage or even death.

For any other advice over the coming weeks just give us a call any time - 97473999. The hospital is open throughout the holidays at our normal hours.

Once again, Happy New Year to you all and we hope that 2016 is a good one.

 The Team at Enfield Vet Hospital

Contents of this newsletter

01  What to do if your pet starts to feel the heat

02  How to prevent flies annoying your pet

03  Keeping our wildlife cool

04  The wombat who swam too far

05  Snakes about!

01 What to do if your pet starts to feel the heat

Our pets can’t sweat all over their bodies like humans can. They rely on panting to get rid of the hot air and only produce a small amount of sweat through their footpads. This makes them extremely susceptible to heat exhaustion in hot and humid conditions.

Heat exhaustion can be particularly dangerous and even fatal so it’s important to be able to recognise the signs and know what to do.

Watch out for:

  • Excessive panting
  • Exaggerated and noisy panting
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Vomiting 

What to do if you suspect heat exhaustion:

  • Bring your pet to us immediately (or seek emergency veterinary care)
  • On your way here you can cool your pet by applying wet towels to hairless parts of your pet’s body (groins or paws)
  • Place your pet in front of the air conditioner or a fan while you are in the car

If you are ever worried about your pet in the heat call us for advice

02 How to prevent flies annoying your pet

Flies are proving to be a real problem this summer. Populations are at an all time high and these annoying insects can really bother you and your pet. Some fly species will actually bite around your pet’s ears and nose causing painful and infected sores.

Here are some things you can do at home to help your pet:

1. Ask us about the very effective topical treatments available to help repel flies and prevent fly bites

2. Clean up your backyard (dog faeces, rubbish) to prevent flies being attracted to the smells

3. Don’t leave pet food or dog bones out - they will attract flies 

4. Make sure your pet has a place to escape the flies such as a kennel or a cool room

5. Remove any dried blood from fly bites as the blood will simply attract more flies.

Phone us for more information on protecting your pet from all pesky parasites this summer. We are the best people to give you advice on the most effective products available for your pet.

03 Keeping our wildlife cool

Summer can be tough on our pets but it can be even more challenging for our wildlife. After a few consecutive days of high temperatures our wildlife can become dehydrated and suffer from heat stress.

Heat stressed animals will:

  • Be weak, lethargic, confused or unresponsive
  • Come down to ground level searching for water (especially possums and koalas)
  • Birds will open their beaks or hold their wings away from their body
  • Have burnt feet from walking on hot tarmac or a hot roof (this requires veterinary attention)

Top tips to help our native furry friends:

  • Place shallow containers of water around your garden at varying heights (put a stick or rock in them so if animals fall in they can get back out again)
  • Keep cats and dogs inside and supervised at all times to prevent them preying on weakened and vulnerable wildlife
  • Become familiar with the information included on local wildlife websites such as Wildlife Victoria or WIRES

If you find an animal suffering from heat stress call us as soon as possible  - we will advise you on what you should do next.

04 The wombat who swam too far

We read about an amazing rescue last month and it only highlights how our extreme weather can seriously affect our wildlife.

Two fishermen were fishing on a lake in Tasmania when they found a wombat swimming 250 meters off shore!

Thankfully they managed to rescue the wombat and return him to dry land. The wombat was fine and waddled back in to the bush but it was thought he went for a swim to cool off – surprisingly wombats are quite good swimmers (but a 250 meter 'dip' is stretching it!).

You can read about the rescue and see photos here.

05 Snakes about!

Dogs and cats are curious creatures and at this time of year they can sometimes be found harassing a snake.

Different species of snakes possess different types of venom so if your pet is bitten, signs can appear anywhere from 15 minutes to 24 hours after a bite.  

The early signs of snake bite include:

  • Enlarged pupils
  • Salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Hind limb weakness
  • Rapid breathing

How can you help your pet survive a snake bite?

  1. Seek veterinary attention immediately
  2. Keep your pet as STILL AS POSSIBLE - this is critical to help reduce movement of the venom around the body
  3. Try to keep the bite site below the level of the heart and remove your pet’s collar

Even if you only suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake you should see a vet. It is better that your pet is checked over rather than wait and be sorry.

DO NOT try treatment options such as cold packs, ice, tourniquets, alcohol, bleeding the wound and trying to suck out venom in place of getting your pet to the vet - they are a waste of VERY precious time.

Please never attempt to kill, handle or capture the snake – you could also end up getting bitten.