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   Sanford Vet clinic  

October 2010

1. Fireworks warning
2. Adopted and adored competition
3. You are what you eat
4. Feeding tips and tricks
5. Alfie's angry pancreas
6. Breed of the month - the Golden Retriever

1. Fireworks warning

The Geraldton Greenough Sunshine Festival week is on again during the school holidays ending on the 9th October with a fireworks display. Even though GWN festival mascot, Doopa Dog doesn't find fireworks frightening, the same can't be said for all animals.

If your pet finds the sound and sight of fireworks very distressing, it is very important to ensure that they are kept away and in a safe place when fireworks are going off.

Pet owners should take the following simple precautions to protect their pets:

  • Ensure pets are protected in a safe, secure environment preferably inside the house
  • Draw the blinds, have the lights on as well as distracting noise such as the TV or stereo
  • Keep cats inside the house during the night
  • Securely stable horses at a location away from the noise
  • Ensure pets wear identification and are microchipped with up-to-date details

If your pet has a severe noise phobia then talk to us about using sedatives during the fireworks event.

For more tips on managing fireworks and thunderstorm noise phobia click here to go to our website article

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2. Adopted and adored competition

Here is a beautiful entry we received for our adopted and adored competition. You will be able to read more entries at www.mypetstories.com.au over the next month.

Daisy [1995 - 2010]

After a call to the Fund for Animals, we had come to meet a fourteen month old Golden Labrador. It couldn't be this large (extremely overweight) white dog galumphing towards us! No preconceptions on her part though - she adopted us on the spot.

Daisy had never been allowed inside a house, but learned about toilet training very quickly. Not so quickly the fact that everything within reach on the coffee table wasn't a toy to grab and run away with!

An appropriate diet (on advice from our vet) soon resulted in a new, trim and healthy girl, as her coat changed from white to the most beautiful cafe latte hue.

Daisy gave us (and cat Sammy) her love and companionship for the next thirteen years. She was diabetic for the last of her fourteen and a half years, and presented herself for twice daily injections with her usual trust and stoicism. It was with the same loving acceptance that she seemed to understand when the time came to say goodbye.

Thank you for choosing us, Daisy.

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3. You are what you eat

We are often asked the question “what should I be feeding my pet?” and with so many choices out there, the decision can be very overwhelming. Dried food, tinned food, pre prepared pet meat, vegan diets and bones; the list is endless.

Many people like to cook for their pets and while this is not entirely a no no, it is difficult to get the balance just right to ensure good health. Check with us before you embark on a Masterchef extravaganza so we can give you some guidance.

Feeding a balanced or a complete commercial diet recommended by veterinarians is a great option. These premium foods are highly digestible which means your pet produces less waste and you get more value for money. Due to their high quality ingredients and excellent quality control your pet will also benefit in the following ways:

- optimal health and wellness

- great coat quality

- less chance of an upset tummy

- maintenance of healthy weight 

Pets need different diets at different stages of their lives or with different diseases. Puppies and kittens have different requirements to an adult dog or cat, and pets with arthritis or allergies may also require a specific diet.

Ask us for advice about the best diet for your pet.

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4. Feeding tips and tricks

Here are the top tips for feeding your pet:

  1. Keep human food and table scraps off the menu 
  2. Introduce a new diet over 5-7 days, gradually increasing the percentage of the new food to prevent any tummy upsets 
  3. To control calories measure out the quantity required, don’t just top up the bowl 
  4. Avoid creating a fussy dog; leave their meal down for 15-20 minutes, taking up what is not eaten and offering later 
  5. Cats prefer to be fed ad lib but be careful not to overfeed 
  6. Raw bones are great for your pet’s teeth and they act as a natural toothbrush BUT always feed them under supervision and don’t leave them lying around as they will attract bees. Ideally, your pet should spend 10 to 30 minutes chewing the meat. Try raw chicken necks for cats and raw lamb necks for dogs
  7. Be careful of pre-prepared pet mince and pet rolls, some contain the preservative sulphur dioxide which can lead to a thiamine deficiency, a vitamin essential to brain function 
  8. We do not recommend feeding vegan diets. These are not suitable for either cats or dogs
If you have any questions about feeding your pet ask us.


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5. Alfie's angry pancreas

Alfie the seven-year-old miniature schnauzer loves his food. After his owner Annie has finished her dinner, Alfie looks up at her with his beautiful dark eyes and as a result, Alfie often ends up with the leftovers in his bowl. Bolognese has always been his favourite. That was, until Alfie developed a painful and potentially life threatening condition known as pancreatitis.

When a meal is eaten, the pancreas secretes enzymes required for digestion. In some cases, an overly fatty meal can trigger a “leakage” of these enzymes and the pancreas literally starts to digest itself. This can happen either all of a sudden (acute), or over time (chronic). In both cases, a pet can end up feeling very unwell.

Poor Alfie’s case came on very acutely. He was vomiting, hunched over in pain and was severely dehydrated. He was admitted to hospital and treatment was started immediately. Blood tests would confirm that he was suffering from pancreatitis but early treatment was vital. This involved restricting food, pain relief, antibiotics and rehydration via a drip.

After a few days in hospital, Alfie was discharged with strict feeding advice and a low fat prescription diet. Pancreatitis is likely to strike again so there will be no more bolognese or left overs for Alfie.

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6. Breed of the month - the Golden Retriever

Who doesn’t love the Golden Retriever? With his big happy smile and eternal love for everyone around him, the Golden Retriever is a great family dog.

This intelligent and affectionate breed originated from Scotland during the mid 1800’s and was responsible for retrieving waterfowl and other game. Whilst they will always have the instinct to retrieve, the Golden Retriever's willing and adaptable nature make them an exceptional pet.

As they are very sociable dogs, they should not be left at home alone for long periods of time. Their long hair requires regular brushing to remove the undercoat and prevent matting and daily exercise is essential to maintain a healthy weight and a stimulated mind.

Some Golden Retrievers are prone to problems including Hip Dysplasia and eye diseases. A reputable breeder will be able to provide you with the puppy’s pedigree and will have certification proving to you that the pedigree has been examined for hip disease (called the PennHIP) and had their eyes examined by a veterinary eye specialist.

Key attributes of the Golden Retriever:

  • Loyal, sociable, kind 
  • Gentle yet active 
  • Friendly with other dogs 
  • Always have a smile on their face!
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  Sanford Vet clinic

42 Sanford St
Geraldton, WA 6530

PH: 9921 1797



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