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March 2012 IN THIS ISSUE

7. Boredom busters

1. Pet of the month competition

There was no Pet of the Month Competition for January with school holidays and whatnot, but it has kicked off again from Feburary onwards so now is the time to send in your entry.

Sanford Veterinary Clinic and ‘Cammi' the Clinic cat with a bit of help from Vet Nurse Samantha would love you to enter your pet in our ‘Pet of the month' Competition. We will upload your pet's photo entry 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 "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Each month we choose one winner and they 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 our email newsletter that we send our clients. Subscribe to our newsletter direct from our website www.sanfordvet.com.au.

Also winners will be uploaded to our new website Photo Gallery at www.sanfordvet.com.au  (check out the past winners) as well as featured on our Facebook page. We look forward to seeing your pet's photos and short description sometime soon.


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2. Our logo has changed

You may have noticed that our logo has changed. We have updated our logo to a new, more modern design but you can rest assured that our friendly service and commitment to provide the highest quality of veterinary care to your pets is still the same. If you like the new logo please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of our website page at www.sanfordvet.com.au. We would love to hear from you!


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3. Why is my pet chasing his tail?

If you have ever watched a cat or a dog chase its own tail it can be rather amusing and perhaps even a bit concerning. This is especially the case if they’re an older pet and they have a habit of chasing their tail to excess, making them exhausted.
Also known as whirling, tail chasing is common in kittens and puppies. They think of it as a game, providing a source of amusement often when they don’t have another pet to play with.
Tail chasing is far less common in older pets and may be a physical or behavioural problem. Fleas, ticks, worms, allergies and irritated anal sacs can all lead to tail chasing in an attempt to ‘scratch the spot’ without being able to actually reach it! An examination with us will rule out these simple problems.
Tail chasing can also become a worry if your pet seems to be chasing their tail in an obsessive and compulsive manner, similar to OCD in humans. Certain breeds, such as Oriental cats seem to suffer this more than others, stress and boredom may play a role. Some animals may even manage to cause trauma to their tail in their frenzy.

If your pet is chasing its tail it is best to arrange an appointment with us so we can rule out any problems and put your mind at ease.
And on the subject of tails, you may also want to know why dogs sniff each other’s tails. We think this video explains it very clearly.


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4. Up the nose: protecting against Canine Cough

No one likes a cough especially your canine friend. Thankfully there is an intranasal vaccine available that gives your dog protection against the bacteria and viruses that cause Canine Cough (also known as Kennel Cough).

It may look funny as we administer the vaccine up your dog’s nose (with nasal drops) but it is very effective, especially prior to boarding at a kennel.

The vaccine mimics the disease as it is given the same way the bacteria and viruses enters your dog’s system; across the lining of the nasal passages. Your dog then mounts a strong immune response and the next time your dog comes in contact with the infection, it is less likely to suffer from the disease.

It takes four days for the vaccine to fully stimulate immunity so make sure you give us plenty of notice prior to boarding your dog at a kennel.


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5. Myth busters: fleas

Myth 1. A few fleas are no big deal A few fleas can turn into a massive infestation in no time at all and if your pet is sensitive to flea bites, this can make him very uncomfortable Myth 2. My pet only needs flea preventative a few months a year In warm, humid areas, fleas thrive all year round. Fleas can also survive in heated homes through winter. Year-round flea control is best for every pet in the household Myth 3. I’ve never seen a flea on my pet so I don't need to use flea control You are in flea denial! Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they are not there. A flea can jump on to your pet, take a feed and jump off, still causing itchy skin

Myth 4. My pet is wearing a flea collar and has regular flea baths so he is protected

Compared with the more advanced prevention, flea collars and flea baths are not effective at breaking the flea life cycle, allowing fleas to continue to reproduce

We only stock the best flea protection available and we will help you make the right choice for your pet.

One such product, Comfortis®, provides fast-acting, month-long protection in the convenience of a chewable tablet. It isn't affected by regular bathing and won't rub off on you, your clothing or your furniture. 

See a video testimonial on Comfortis® here


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6. I'm missing you

Dogs are social creatures and they can easily form strong bonds with people. It is therefore not surprising that they may feel anxious when they are separated from you.
Most dogs will adapt well to daily separation from their owners but unfortunately some dogs will become very distressed and even destructive. This problem is known as separation anxiety.
Signs include:

  • Barking, howling
  • Excessive chewing, digging
  • Destruction and scratching of barriers – near doors and windows
  • Pacing
  • House soiling

In some cases dogs can seriously injure themselves and may also severely destroy property. It can also be a very distressing problem for owners.

The good news is that there is something you can do. By putting in place some small changes, you can help reduce your dog’s anxiety.
At home:

  1. Before you leave the house take your dog for a walk 
  2. Don’t make huge fuss when you leave your dog or when you return, this helps reduce anxiety levels
  3. Start small - leave your dog alone for only five minutes extending to twenty minutes then an hour, then longer
  4. Leave your dog with plenty of stimulating toys, chews and mind games (see our article on boredom busters below)

We can also help. We have diffusers available that release 'feel good' pheromones to help your pet feel calm. For more information click here for cats and click here for dogs (UK website but the product is available in Australia). In severe cases we can treat your dog with medication to assist in reducing anxiety. Call us to arrange an appointment so we can help manage the problem.


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7. Boredom busters

Here are just a few great ideas to help occupy your dog when you leave him home alone. Save these as ‘treats’ for when you leave the house.

Kongs:

These are great time consuming treats. Fill a Kong them with beef stock or peanut butter and freeze them overnight. Wedge a treat such as a biscuit in the middle and your dog will love licking the frozen filling out until he reaches the treat. For more great ideas visit Kong Company’s awesome website at www.kongcompany.com

Puzzle balls:

These are perfect for stuffing with dry kibble or treats. Your dog will spend hours rolling the ball around to get the treats out. Just be careful not to feed too much!

Treasure hunt:
Scatter small pieces of liver treats or your dog’s kibble around the garden creating a treasure hunt. He will pick up the trail and spend time searching the garden
Frozen ice blocks:

Summer is a great time to leave your dog with a giant ice block. Use very dilute chicken or beef stock and freeze it in a margarine or ice cream container (depending on the size of your dog) and when you go out, your dog will have a long lasting lick block!

Background noise:
Leave the radio on so your dog has some background noise to help pass the time. Talk back radio or classical music is perfect for soothing canine nerves!


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  Sanford Vet clinic 42 Sanford St Geraldton, WA 6530
PH: 9921 1797
www.sanfordvet.com.au
 

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