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Sanford Frontline Comp

March 2011
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1. Kobus Vermeulen
2. Puppies and kittens: what you need to know
3. Leonard survives deadly Parvo
4. Desexing dogs and cats
5. Training tips
6. Helping out our flood victims

1. Kobus Vermeulen

Sanford Veterinary Clinic is pleased to welcome our new Veterinarian Kobus Vermeulen to the clinic. He is originally from South Africa and studied in Ghent, Belgium. Graduating in 2004, he worked in the UK for 2 years in a small animal Veterinary clinic and in 2007 migrated to Margaret River, Australia with his family.

Kobus lived and worked in Margaret River for 4 years at a small and larger animal veterinary clinic working with Cattle, Horses, Sheep and Alpacas. He moved to Geraldton at the start of 2011 with his family to settle down and is glad to be in the warmer weather.

Kobus joined us two weeks ago and is thoroughly enjoying working at the clinic and living in Geraldton. When asked what he likes most about Sanford, he replied ‘Working with a good group of people in the clinic and to be able to get support and being in a very friendly environment'.

Kobus enjoys going to the beach to fish and swim and hopes to soon be able to go four-wheel driving around the beach and surrounding areas. Kobus's general interests are to travel and fortunate to have been able to fulfill that interest, he and his family are now able to settle in Geraldton and enjoy fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving.

Veterinary interests include all aspects of the Veterinary business including all types of animals from cats, dog's, pocket pets and large animals. Kobus is looking forward to enjoying the privileges of working in a team environment with all the wonderful staff at the clinic.

Kobus looks forward to seeing you all sometime soon.

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2. Puppies and kittens: what you need to know

Are you thinking about introducing a new furry friend to your family or have you already brought one home? Here are a few things you need to know:

Vet check
We recommend all puppies and kittens have a health check up with us in the first few days of you bringing them home. We will help you get started and will also make sure your new pet is healthy and doesn’t have any underlying problems.

A good quality, balanced diet is crucial for any pet. Many health problems are related to the wrong advice or a poor diet. We will advise you on the best diet according to the size and breed of your pet.

These are vital to ensure your pet is protected from potentially fatal diseases. Outbreaks of disease occur when pockets of people in our community stop vaccinating their pets. We will advise you on the best vaccination program for your pet.

Parasite prevention
Puppies and kittens are especially susceptible to parasites. Regular intestinal worming is essential. There are many products on the market and it can get confusing. Ask us for the most suitable parasite prevention for your pet.

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3. Leonard survives deadly Parvo

Leonard the twelve week old Labrador was quiet and listless. A visit to the clinic was in order when he started passing dark, black diarrhoea and wasn’t interested in eating, something that is rare for a Labrador! While he was being examined, Leonard vomited yellow bile onto the consult table.

A test confirmed that Leonard was suffering from Parvo, a life threatening but thankfully preventable disease caused by the Canine Parvo Virus.

Signs include:

• Lethargy
• Vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• Diarrhoea; usually bloody, and very foul smelling

Leonard was immediately admitted to hospital in an area of isolation to protect other pets. He was severely dehydrated and received intravenous fluids, antibiotics to prevent secondary infection and medication to help with his nausea. Thankfully, as Leonard’s diagnosis and treatment was rapid, he managed to survive this horrible disease. Sadly, this is not always the case.

Parvovirus is extremely hard to destroy and can survive in the soil for more than a year and is easily transmitted to dogs that are not protected.

Vaccination is vital in preventing this disease in your dog. Puppies must receive a course of vaccinations to ensure they have good protection. Adult dogs must be given boosters to maintain immunity. Speak to us for more information.

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4. Desexing dogs and cats

Our clients often have a range of questions relating to desexing their pet. Will it change my pet’s personality? (Answer: No) Will my pet still grow to normal size? (Answer: Yes)  We are happy to answer any question you have but here are some basic facts.

Desexing also known as neutering (or a spey in females and castration in males), involves removing the reproductive organs. Desexing not only saves lives but it benefits your dog or cat.

Your pet is less likely to:
• wander or get into fights
• to spray and mark their territory
• to suffer from anti-social behaviour

Pets that are desexed:
• can live longer, healthier lives
• are generally more affectionate and better companions

The surgery, for both males and females, requires your pet to go under a general anaesthetic. Your pet will be admitted to the hospital for the day and will be discharged later in the afternoon.

To prevent licking and infection of the wound, some pets need to wear an Elizabethan collar (as Rusty is modelling on the left).

Your pet needs to be kept quiet following the surgery and the wound monitored daily for any redness or discharge. 

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5. Training tips

Whether you have just brought home a new puppy or kitten or a rescue pet, training should begin straight away. It is easy for a dog or cat to pick up bad habits quickly, especially when they are settling in. If you let your puppy sleep in your bed initially, this is where he will expect to sleep for the rest of his life and it may not be as fun when he grows to be a hairy 20kg adult dog!

Make sure you decide on a few ground rules early and stick to them. Short training sessions (up to five minutes) create routine and stimulate your pet’s brain.

Here are a few things to remember:

  • Be consistent
  • Always reward your pet when he is doing the right thing
  • Dogs especially learn by positive re-enforcement; use treats, pats and a positive voice as a reward
  • Ignore any undesirable behaviour

Dog training classes are an excellent opportunity for your pup to learn some basic manners but most importantly, socialise with other dogs his own age. Your pup will gain confidence with different doggy personalities making visits to the park in the future much more enjoyable.

Kittens need lots of stimulation so providing a range of toys is important. Scratching posts and climbing poles are also an excellent source of entertainment. If you want to see the feline fun involved when playing with a laser pointer, watch this YouTube video.

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6. Helping out our flood victims

It has been a heartbreaking couple of months across Australia.

The flood disaster in Queensland and then Victoria has resulted in the displacement of hundreds of people and their animals. Cyclone Yasi has since caused further destruction and devastation. Pets, farm animals and wildlife have all been greatly affected.

Welfare groups do not directly receive funding from the Government in these natural disasters but you can help by donating to one of the legitimate organisations listed below.


Animal Welfare League:


You can follow live facebook and twitter updates by clicking any of these links:  

RSPCA QLD Facebook

Animal Welfare League Facebook
Animal Welfare League Twitter

Our thoughts are with all of the people and animals who have been affected by these disasters.

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  Sanford Vet clinic

42 Sanford St
Geraldton, WA 6530

PH: 9921 1797


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