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July 2011
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1. Pet of the month competition
2. The silence of arthritis
3. Does your dog have arthritis?
4. Is your cat hiding something?
5. A good time to vaccinate
6. Our amazing senior pets competition

1. Pet of the month competition

Sanford Veterinary Clinic and ‘Cammi' the Clinic cat would love you to enter your pet in our new ‘Pet of the month' Competition. Each month we will upload your pet's photo onto our Facebook page with a short description of them. You can do this by sending your photo to our email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Each month we choose one winner and you will receive fantastic prizes. The prizes can include; dog or cat biscuits, flea products, shampoos, beds and some fun toys for your pet. Your pet's photo and a short story will then be published in the next month's newsletter that we send our clients through email. To ensure you get the newsletter go to our website www.sanfordvet.com.au and enter in your email address. We look forward to seeing your pet's photos sometime soon.


Pet of the Month winner for May

Cammie the clinic cat and all the team at Sanford Veterinary Clinic would like to congratulate ‘Champagne' sent in by her owner Diane winner of the Pet of the Month photo competition for May! They have won a bag of premium Royal Canin cat food (not fish flavored), cat bowl, mug, Frontline notepad and a cat toy. Enjoy!

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2. The silence of arthritis

There is no doubt that our pets suffer more from arthritis during the colder weather so now is a great time for an arthritis check with us. Arthritis is a disease that can sneak up on your pet and most of the signs are subtle so your pet can be suffering in silence.

Arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD) affects the smooth cartilage that covers the ends of the bones of a moveable joint. This smooth cartilage provides a surface to help the joint, such as the knee move comfortably.

As DJD progresses the cartilage becomes worn and the ends of the bone become exposed and rub together. You can imagine this causes your pet considerable pain. DJD can occur over a lifetime of simple wear and tear. Pets that are carrying a few extra kilos have increased stress on their joints so they are at increased risk of DJD. Injury to a joint will also predispose your pet to DJD.

A key point to remember is that the signs of DJD are different for cats and dogs. Keep reading this newsletter to find out more.

There is plenty we can do to slow the progression of arthritis and help your pet live a pain free life. It is important we rule out any other problems first so a consultation with us is essential. We can then discuss a suitable treatment plan for your furry friend. Click here for some tips on helping your arthritic pet at home.

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3. Does your dog have arthritis?

Dogs are pretty stoic and their lives are full of running, jumping and playing. They are good at putting on a brave face and a wagging tail so that they can continue to go for their daily walks. Aside from an obvious limp that many would associate with a dog being in pain, there are more subtle signs such as:

Reduced mobility

  • Difficulty jumping in to the car, up on the furniture or climbing stairs
  • Stiffness especially in the morning
  • Difficulty getting up or lying down; you may notice your dog slowly lower himself down

Reduced activity levels

  • Reluctance to walk, play or chase the ball
  • Sleeping or resting more, especially in one place
  • Lethargy

Other signs:

  • Weight loss and muscle loss, your dog may have a sunken look over his thighs or shoulders
  • Licking or chewing at joints
  • Less tolerant towards children and other dogs - a usually gentle dog may growl or bite because the dog is feeling sore
  • Reduced interaction with you and your family
  • Increased anxiety, pacing, unable to get comfortable

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4. Is your cat hiding something?

Because cats are relatively small and very agile they can hide or cover up mobility difficulties caused by arthritis. This is a survival tactic to prevent them from appearing vulnerable to predators. Unlike dogs, cats with arthritis don't generally limp and their pain often goes unnoticed.

Signs to look out for:

General mobility:

  • Your cat may hesitate when jumping up or down from your lap or from the furniture
  • She may not land very gracefully when jumping down
  • Will be reluctant to climb the back fence or climb trees
  • Will be reluctant to move freely in and out of cat flap or even the litter box especially if it has high sides

General temperament





General appearance

  • Matted or scruffy coat; she may be too sore to turn around and groom herself
  • Your cat’s nails may not wear down as quickly as they once did simply because she is less active



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  • She may be less tolerant around people and be reluctant to be picked up or moved
  • Hissing, scratching or even biting when touched
  • More withdrawn and less likely to interact with you or other pets she usually tolerates

5. A good time to vaccinate

With notorious human winter coughs and colds about at the moment, it is a good time to think about vaccinating your pet. Vaccination is an important way to protect your pet against potentially contagious diseases some of which may be fatal.

Vaccines help your pet’s body prepare in advance to fight illnesses. A vaccine gives the body a sneak preview of a bacterium, virus or toxin, allowing it to learn how to defend itself in advance. If the body is ever invaded by that particular pathogen after the vaccine has done its work, the body’s immune system is ready.

It is important to realise that most vaccines work by preventing your pet from becoming ill but may not prevent it from becoming infected. The risks of vaccination are generally extremely low. A severe reaction to a vaccination is very rare. Some pets may experience a mild reaction for 24-48 hours after a vaccination. Signs may include your pet being quiet, off their food or sore around the injection site. If you are worried about your pet after a vaccine has been administered you should always call us.

Ask us about the best vaccination schedule for your pet as this varies depending on your geographic location and your pet’s lifestyle.

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6. Our amazing senior pets competition

Here is just one of the entries we received in our amazing senior pets competition. You can see more at www.mypetstories.com.au

Our amazing senior pet is our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Chandler. He will be 15 on September 11th this year.

Despite being pretty much deaf now, Chandler still has lots of life in him. Coming home at the end of a long day, we are greeted by our senior dog who, knowing that it is dinner time, prances around like a spring lamb.

Taking him for walks down to the local oval, where he is allowed to be off leash, Chandler loves to have a run with Baxter and Fletcher (his "brothers", aged 10 and 2), although Fletcher has a tendency to almost bowl Chandler over in sheer excitement and high spirits: on more than one occasion, Fletcher has jumped clean over Chandler to avoid a head on collision.

During a recent trip up to our family's holiday house up at Lake Eildon, despite not having been up for several years, Chandler recognised the place immediately, and wasted no time in heading straight into the very full lake for a swim.

Below is a photo of Chandler as an 11 week old puppy, in 1996, and another of him having a frolic up at Lake Eildon in 2010, aged 14. As you can see, he is a very happy, healthy little guy: he truly lives up to the adage "there's life in the old dog yet".

As you can see, my partner and I are very proud of our amazing senior pet!

Penny Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Chandler aged 11 weeks


Chandler aged 14

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Sanford Vet clinic

42 Sanford St
Geraldton, WA 6530

PH: 9921 1797



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