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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,

Having finally reached December  we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We thank you for all your support over the last 12 months and for being such attentive and caring owners to your much loved pets - they are lucky to have you!!

This edition of the newsletter reminds us, firstly, of many of the pet health issues we see time and again cropping up around Christmas and the holiday season. It is not just the humans who binge in the silly season! Unfortunately, our pets often scavenge (or beg) for rich and unusual foods around Christmas, that can have devastating health consequences. In particular, we see many cases of pancreatitis - which can range from the mild to the life-threatening. The best rule of thumb is to call us for advice if your pet is sick after having eaten food that is unusual or very fatty.

The newletter also goes on to list and discuss all the other (Christmas!) medical emergencies we see in pets - at this time of year with lots of public holidays and reduced vet hours, it is vital to know when your dog or cat absolutely must be seen by us for medical attention. At Enfield Vet we are open every day of the holidays except Christmas Day (our public holiday hours are 10am - 1pm) - we are open as normal on all other days.

Finally, there is some really improtant information about fireworks (and thunder) phobias in dogs. There are plenty of medications available that can help ease your dog's anxiety and stress relating to these loud noises. Please call us if you need any advice or if you think your dog may need some medication over the fireworks and storm season.

Remember, if you have any concerns over the holidays please call us or come down.

Once again, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

The Team at Enfield Vet Hospital

dog santa
Contents of this newsletter

01  The twelve pet hazards of Christmas

02  Don't fear the fireworks

03  Travelling with your pet this summer?


04  Does my pet need sunscreen?

05  Pets are for life - a good reminder at Christmas

01 The twelve pet hazards of Christmas
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We'd like to make sure your pet stays happy and healthy this silly season so here's a list of twelve potential pet hazards you need to watch out for this Christmas:

1. Christmas dinner and leftovers are too rich for our pets and can cause nasty tummy upsets and even pancreatitis. Stick to 'pet approved' treats.

2. Macadamia nuts are popular at Christmas and can be toxic for dogs leading to muscle weakness, vomiting and tremors.

3. Sultanas and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs.

4. BBQ skewers can be catastrophic for pets so take care to ensure your pet doesn't accidentally ingest a skewer (which falls on the ground for example) and never feed your pet cooked bones - both can lead to the need for emergency intestinal surgery.

5. Chocolate - dogs can't metabolise the theobromine in chocolate and ingestion can lead to an increased heart rate, tremors, seizures and even death. The darker the chocolate the more toxic and the size of the dog and amount ingested also plays a part in the severity of the symptoms.

6. Decorations such as tinsel and fairy lights are very attractive to pets but can lead to a gastric obstruction if eaten.

7. Ribbons from presents are super attractive to cats and if ingested can lead to a nasty gastric obstruction requiring emergency surgery.

8. The Christmas tree might be an attractive indoor 'pee tree' but can also be a falling hazard.

9. Lots of guests can cause your pet to become stressed and even lead to them trying to escape - make sure they have a safe and quiet place to retreat to.

10. Christmas lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. The stamen, leaves and stems are all potentially toxic as is the water they are stored in so it's best not to have them in the first place.

11. Snakes are out and about and will be all summer so take care in long grass, around water or areas where there are rodents (grain sheds and chicken pens are common places.)

12. Heatstroke - never leave your pet in the car during the warmer weather, even on a mild day the temperature inside a car can reach dangerous levels in minutes. Leaving a window down will not help either so don't risk it!

If you have any questions about the health and safety of your pet, we are always here to put your mind at ease. Please ask us if you need any advice or information.

02 Don't fear the fireworks
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As the festive season is in full swing and New Year's Eve approaches, you can bet there will be fireworks going off somewhere. You might enjoy the show but your dog may find fireworks excruciatingly loud and absolutely terrifying.

Here are our top tips to help keep your dog safe and calm during the event:

1. Bring your dog indoors during fireworks or if you know they are scheduled

2. Try to arrange a family member or friend to stay with your dog during the fireworks if you can't be home

3. Make sure you keep all windows and doors closed and all gates secure

4. Provide a small, dark and safe place for your dog to retreat to - a blanket over a table can help

5. It's a good idea to put your dog in a room with a television or radio turned up

You should also make sure your dog is wearing an identification tag and is microchipped (and that the details are up to date), just in case there is an escape.

If your dog suffers from severe firework phobia speak to us as we may be able to prescribe a mild sedative to help your dog. This medication needs to be given well before the fireworks get going so it's always a good idea to check with your local council as to when fireworks are scheduled in your area.

Speak to one of our staff for more information or if you are concerned about your pet.

03 Travelling with your pet this summer?
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If you are travelling with your pet these summer holidays there are a few things you need to think about to help keep your pet happy, healthy and safe.

+ A good place to start is by asking the question: Is my pet healthy? You don't want to take your pet on a road trip if they are unwell. Arrange a checkup with us before you go for peace of mind.

If your pet is on medication do you have enough for the trip? And if your pet is on a specific diet, do you have enough to last while you are away?

Are your pet's vaccinations and parasite prevention up to date? This is extremely important if you are visiting a paralysis tick area as these ticks can be fatal (particularly east coast of Australia.) And is your pet protected against heartworm, fleas and biting flies? We can advise you on the most effective parasite prevention for your pet.

+ Pets can become lost in an unfamiliar area so you should confirm your pet is microchipped and all the details (appropriate phone numbers) attached to the chip up to date. It's a good idea to put a collar on your pet with your contact details on an identification tag, this allows you to be reunited ASAP if your pet becomes lost.

Are you travelling to an area where there might be snakes? If your pet is usually a 'city slicker' you might not have ever had to worry about snakes. Make sure you know where the local vet is and who to call after-hours if there is an emergency, it's a good idea to put their phone number in your mobile contacts.

+ And finally, if your pet gets car sick, you should ask us about the medication we have available to help reduce motion sickness. We also have a pheromone spray available for both cats and dogs that can help reduce anxiety on car trips. Ask us for all the details.

Happy travels furry friends!

04 Does my pet need sunscreen?
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Summer is in full swing and it's time to think about sun protection for your pets but does your pet actually need to need to slip, slop, slap? The answer to this question is not so simple and it depends on many factors.

You should think about applying sunscreen to your pet if:

+ they have a thin coat or a light coloured coat,

+ they like to lie in the sun for extended periods of time, or;

+ if they have exposed or pink skin around areas such as the nose and/or tips of the ears and the belly,

The most important take-home message is to make sure you only ever apply a pet approved sunscreen to your canine or feline friend. Any sunscreen that contains zinc oxide can be potentially harmful to dogs if ingested. Products containing salicylates can also cause problems in cats so it's always important to read the ingredient list.

There are UV rash vests available for dogs who spend extended periods outside or at the beach but these products aren't perfect as they don't cover areas of exposed skin under the belly which is no good if your dog is partial to a bit of sunbaking on their back.

The best bit of advice is to always provide ample shade for your pet and remember that the best protection is avoidance so try to keep your pet out of the direct sun especially between the period of peak UV rays (between 10am - 2pm.)

We can recommend a suitable sunscreen for your pet, ask us for more information.

05 Pets are for life - a good reminder at Christmas
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Christmas is always a good time to discuss pet ownership and remember that pets are for life and not just a cute Christmas present. The Christmas period can be a suitable time to think about getting a new pet, as you and your family may be around the house more to bond with a new furry family member and help them settle in. But it's also a good time to think about where you should get a pet from and adopting a rescue pet is ALWAYS a good idea.

Rescue animals make great pets and some people believe that these animals secretly know they have been given a second chance! Adult rescues make extra special companions - they are generally toilet trained and can be a bit calmer and wiser than a new puppy or kitten!

Whatever you chose, remember that a pet is for life and you need to ask yourself if you have the ability to take on the responsibility for potentially 15 plus years. Who will care for the pet when you go away? Are you able to provide appropriate health care for the pet and is the pet suitable for your lifestyle? We can help you make an informed decision so ask us if you have any questions.

You might want to also click here to see a funny video of a Christmas surprise that didn't exactly go to plan!