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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,

Easter is upon us again and, thus, many of us see an influx of chocolate in the home. This is also the time when we see a spike in the number of chocolate toxicity cases here at the vet hospital. A reminder to everyone that chocolate is toxic to dogs (especially dark and high cocoa varieties). Also, some lesser known toxic items that are often seen around Easter are: 1. Hot cross buns for dogs - due to the raisins which can cause kidney failure; 2. Lillies for cats - which are highly toxic to their kidneys.

This month's newsletter discusses what to do if your dog or cat eats any chocolate treats or other common toxic substances.

Also in the newsletter this month are some articles on the benefits of monitoring and screening bloods tests for our pets and, further, an article that talks about some diseases causing weight loss in older cats, a really common problem that we see daily.

Please read through the articles and feel free to call (or come in for a consultation) if you have any further questions.

Our Easter pubilc holiday hours are available on our website - we are open all the public holidays except GOOD FRIDAY.

Finally, best wishes for your Easter break from all of us.

The Team at Enfield Vet Hospital.

Contents of this newsletter

01  Keep pets safe this easter


02  Blood tests are magic

03  My cat is so hungry but is still losing weight


04  What does your cat's personality say about you?

05  Check out these posers!

01 Keep pets safe this easter

It’s not long before the Easter Bunny is set to make some deliveries but when it comes to your pet’s safety this Easter, there are a few hazards to watch out for (and they are not all as obvious as you think.)

Chocolate - the most obvious one!
Chocolate contains a derivative of caffeine called theobromine. Dogs have trouble digesting theobromine and ingestion leads to hyperactivity, tremors, panting and a racing heart, vomiting, diarrhoea, and seizures. Theobromine ingestion can be fatal in some dogs. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Seek veterinary attention immediately if your dog has ingested ANY amount of chocolate. In most cases, if we are able to make your dog vomit we can prevent any nasty side effects.

Hot Cross Buns - the sneaky hazard
The sultanas and raisins in these delicious buns can cause acute kidney failure in dogs due to the possible presence of a toxin on the grapes. Keep these off the menu at all times and watch for any that happen to drop on the floor (a common issue if you have little kids!). Call us for advice if your dog ingests any.

Easter lilies - beautiful but deadly
These beautiful fragrant flowers can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. The stems, leaves, flowers and stamen are all potentially dangerous, as is the water the flowers are stored in. If you are worried about your cat you should call us and we will advise you on what you to do.

If your pet ingests any of the above over the Easter period call us immediately for advice. It's also a good idea to have emergency numbers on hand if it is out of our normal opening hours, just in case your pet needs to be seen urgently.

02 Blood tests are magic

Many people cower when we mention the following words: blood test. But did you know that these tests are virtually magic when it comes to getting an insight into your pet’s general health?

From a blood test, we can decide if your pet is dehydrated, has underlying kidney disease or liver disease, and assess your pet's red and white blood cells. We can also rule out common diseases (such as hyperthyroidism in the case below). Early detection of diseases via a blood test can allow prompt treatment and greatly improve your pet’s quality of life.

The ins and outs of a blood test

+ Most blood samples are taken from the jugular vein in the neck. This vein provides us with a good sample as quickly and painlessly as possible.

+ The majority of pets are more relaxed when blood is taken from their jugular vein. If necessary, a smaller sample can be obtained from a vein in the leg but these veins are generally 'saved' for administering injections or intravenous fluids.

+ Once the blood has been collected we place gentle pressure over the vein to prevent any bruising. We don’t tend to apply a bandaid but a liver treat (instead of a lollipop) is essential.

+ Your pet’s blood is placed into tubes appropriate for required tests. Some tests can be run on machines in the clinic but there are certain tests that require more extensive equipment and so the blood sample must be sent to an external laboratory.

It's important to realise that blood tests are an essential part of good veterinary medicine and can be critical when diagnosing and managing diseases.

Ask us if you have any questions about your pet's health, we are always here to help. 

03 My cat is so hungry but is still losing weight

It’s not an unusual presentation, an elderly cat that is losing weight but is ravenous day and night.

Once we have ruled out diabetes, another common cause of these symptoms may very well be the endocrine (hormonal) disease hyperthyroidism.

This disease is not uncommon in older cats and is caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormone from the thyroid glands. It results in an out-of-control metabolic rate and this upsets the regulation of carbohydrates, fats, and protein as well as the function of the heart. If untreated a cat can become seriously unwell.

Signs of hyperthyroidism

+ Weight loss despite a normal or increased appetite
+ Vomiting
+ Increased thirst and urination
+ Poor coat quality

Fortunately, the vast majority of cats that develop hyperthyroidism can be treated very successfully and most cats will make a complete recovery. 

There are different options for the treatment of hyperthyroidism and the treatment of the individual patient depends on how well the kidneys and the heart are functioning. In most cases, it involves life-long daily medication and regular blood, urine and blood pressure tests.

If you think your cat might be showing some of the signs mentioned above you should call us for advice and arrange an appointment for appropriate blood and urine tests.

04 What does your cat's personality say about you?

We don’t want to open a can of worms here but if your cat is a little temperamental, have you ever considered that it could be mirroring you?

Research undertaken at Nottingham Trent University in the UK has shown that there are similarities between behaviours exhibited by people and the behaviour of their cat. It suggested that a cat might absorb and then mirror certain personality traits from their human carer and there may be parallels with the parent-child relationship. 

3,000 cat owners were surveyed, asking a series of questions that assessed people's agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism, and openness. They found a number of correlations that not only predicted the cat's own personality but also it's welfare.

Interestingly, a more neurotic human personality was linked with cats that were cited as having a "behavioural problem". This might have been seen as aggression, anxiety or fear, or stress-related behaviours in the cat. Furthermore, the cat owners who were assessed as being more extroverted were more likely to have felines who enjoyed being outside. 

Obviously more studies need to be undertaken to investigate a possible link but it’s important to be aware that aspects of our personality could be impacting our feline friends in both positive and negative ways.

You can read more about the study here.

05 Check out these posers!

We've got some feel-good pics for you this month. Have a look at these dogs who walk and pose together every day.

We can't quite work out how the dog walker gets them all to sit perfectly still for a photo but we are pretty impressed. Check them out here.