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Enfield Veterinary Hospital
94 Coronation Parade
Enfield, NSW, 2136

enfieldvet@bigpond.com.au
Phone: 02 9747 3999

To All the Friends of Enfield Vet and their Pets,

Welcome to our November newsletter. This month's newsletter focuses on the importance of vaccinations for our pets. With recent nasty outbreaks of severe and virulent strains of parvo virus in dogs and calici virus in cats (both of which were associated with deaths) there has never been a better time to make sure your pet's vaccinations are up to date. There is often a lot of talk about the need and frequency of vaccinations in dogs and cats but rest assured at Enfield Veterinary Hospital we follow the lastest WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) vaccination protocols. These protocols are based on the lastest scientific research and are based in fact which is important to remember when we are exposed to a lot of information on the internet about vaccines which is often very ill-formed or false.

In this newsletter, there is also a topical article on tick paralysis. This is really important to read as this is the time of year when ticks become really prevalent. The new products available to prevent ticks attaching to our dogs (bravecto, simparica, nexgard) and cats (bravecto topspot) are all a major leap forward in protecting our pets compared to the products previously available - remember if you take your dog or cat to a tick prone area you MUST treat them with one of these products before you go (preferably around 4 days before).

Please call us if you need any advice on the topics discussed in this month's newsletter - we are here to help.

The Team at Enfield Vet Hospital

Contents of this newsletter

01  Does your pet need a vaccination?

02  Myth busters: kennel cough

03  Is your cat a bit wormy?

04  Tick tock

05  Man's best friend

01 Does your pet need a vaccination?
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The Christmas holidays are just around the corner (gasp!) and if your pet is going to be boarding this festive season, now is the time to check their vaccination status. Your pet may very well need a booster before they go into the boarding facility so read on to get all the details. 

You need to act swiftly to get things in order, especially if your pet is overdue for a vaccination or the vaccination is due while they are boarding. After all, you don't want the stress of being turned away from the boarding kennel or cattery when you are trying to leave for your holiday!

The best thing to do is give us a call, we can look up your pet's medical file and determine their vaccination history. We will let you know when their vaccine is due and if you need to come in for an appointment. It's also always a good idea to check with the boarding facility what their minimum vaccination requirements are as some places may differ.

Most boarding facilities require cats to have a minimum of an F3 vaccination. This vaccine protects your cat from Feline Herpes Virus, Feline Panleukopenia (Feline Parvovirus) and Feline Calicivirus.

Dogs require a C5 vaccination, protecting your canine friend from Canine Distemper, Canine Hepatitis, Canine Parvovirus as well as two components of canine cough; Canine Parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica.

Did you know that vaccinating your pet is one of the most important ways to keep them healthy?

Here are the reasons why:

1. Vaccinations protect against preventable diseases.

2. Vaccinations are substantially less expensive than the cost of treatment for the diseases they protect against.

3. Vaccinations protect your pet from transmissible diseases in boarding facilities, at parks and even when they visit us (if your pet has to be hospitalised for any illness, their immune system may already be compromised.)

If you have any questions about vaccinations and your pet, always ask us for the most up to date and accurate information. 

02 Myth busters: kennel cough
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It's not uncommon for us to be asked, "if my dog doesn't go to boarding kennels, why is it necessary to vaccinate against kennel cough?"

It's time to bust some myths surrounding this and here are the facts ...

Kennel cough's correct name is 'canine cough'. It is often incorrectly referred to as 'kennel cough' and this is simply because the boarding kennels are a common place for it to be transmitted (given the high numbers of dogs in one area.)

Canine cough is commonly spread via water droplets through the air and can be transmitted between ANY dog. Common sites of transmission include the park, at the groomer, doggy daycare and even walking down the street! As it can be spread through water droplets, a communal water doggy bowl at your local cafe may even be a potential source.

Vaccination is essential as it protects your dog against the worst strains of the disease (the ones that can typically cause nasty pneumonia). BUT it's important to realise that dogs can still contract a cough even if they are vaccinated. Thankfully the disease is never as bad as if they aren't vaccinated.

If you have any questions about vaccination and your pet, we are the best people to ask for advice.

03 Is your cat a bit wormy?
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When it comes to intestinal worming, it's easy to forget about your cat. Sometimes just the thought of giving your cat a tablet can give you nightmares! Never fear, we are here to help. We can either give your cat their worming tablet (they need to come and visit us but it's also a good time for a weight and dental check). Or we can provide you with a topical worming treatment so there's not even a tablet involved!

Don't ignore intestinal worming - it's an important part of caring for your pet. You might also want to familiarise yourself with the most common intestinal worms in cats, they are all rather interesting (in our opinion!)

1. Roundworms: These are common intestinal parasites and can affect cats of all ages. Eggs from these worms can be passed in the faeces and remain in the environment for several years. A cat may become infected after directly ingesting the eggs or after eating an intermediate host (such as a rat or mouse who has ingested the eggs). Some of these worms can even be passed from mother to kitten via the mother's milk.

2. Tapeworms: These long and flat worms are made up of many segments. These segments contain the tapeworm's eggs and are passed in the cat's faeces (they look like little grains of rice!). All tapeworms require an intermediate host (such as a reptile or rodent) to complete their life cycle. Some tapeworms are transmitted by cat fleas and infection can occur when a cat swallows an infected flea during grooming. Did you know that it is assumed any cat infected with fleas also has tapeworm?!

3. Hookworms: Hookworms can cause damage to the lining of the intestine and this may result in weight loss, bleeding and anaemia. Cats may become infected by ingesting the eggs from the environment, or from eating an intermediate host. In some cases, the larvae of the hookworm can even burrow through the cat's skin!

When it comes to protecting your cat against these ghastly intestinal worms, ask us for help, your cat's health depends on it.

04 Tick tock
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This is Annie. Annie is a 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier Cross who has all the energy in the world and always loves a cuddle on the couch at the end of the day. This Christmas she will be travelling to Mallacoota on the east coast for the quintessential Australian family Christmas.

BUT, there's a danger lurking along the coast and it could be potentially fatal... the paralysis tick. This creepy critter usually loves hanging out along the east coast of Australia (who wouldn't?!) and especially loves dense bush areas. 

Why does the paralysis tick cause so much trouble? Once the tick attaches to a host (such as your pet) it engorges itself with blood and injects a toxin. As the tick slowly grows in size, it continues to inject the toxin over days to weeks so symptoms can be gradual in onset.

Signs to watch out for:

- A change in voice; the meow or bark becomes softer
- Weakness in the back legs
- Vomiting, especially if it happens several times in a day
- A moist cough and difficulties breathing

If the tick is not removed and an anti-serum administered to your pet, your pet can die due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles.

Thankfully there are lots of tick preventatives on the market and Annie has been dispensed a treatment to start before she leaves for her holiday. If your pet needs tick prevention, it is best to discuss the most appropriate product with us. It is also important to realise that not one product is 100% effective so knowing the early signs and performing tick checks on your pet is essential.

Oh, and these little critters can also 'catch a ride', and are sometimes found in areas away from the coast. This is just another reason to make yourself familiar with the signs of tick paralysis. 

Ask us for more information if you have any questions about tick prevention (or any parasite prevention for that matter). We are always here to help. 

05 Man's best friend
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The term 'man's best friend' may be even more appropriate than ever. Recent research by an American psychologist has revealed that up to 42 per cent of middle-aged men are more likely to turn to their dog for emotional support during the tough times than they are their human friends or their partner. 

The psychologist, Dr Chris Blazina, suggests that men are often reluctant to seek help - either from their social circles or via medical treatment but a strong bond with a canine friend might, in turn, help isolated men reconnect with people. 

We think this just highlights another one of the great benefits of owning a pet. 

You can read more about this on the ABC website here or even listen to an interview with Dr Blazina via RN radio on Life Matters here.