Little Luna was barely more than a kitten when she became pregnant.
Luna was 11 months old and around two months pregnant, with a very large belly. Her owner brought her to see Ourvets Veterinarian Alice Finch because she was worried the babies might not be alive. She waddled across the exam table and flopped down behind the computer. “All of her energy was feeding the growing kittens, and not her own growth,” says Alice. “Pregnancy takes a major toll on the body – especially when the mother is very young.”
Cats (and dogs) can become pregnant from as young as six months old, so at Ourvets they recommend de-sexing around five to six months of age. The process is straightforward – pets will stay in at the clinic for the day; the vet will examine them and make sure they are fit for surgery; then the procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. “Clients will often report they are ‘back to normal’ by the following day but it is very important to keep pets quiet and limit exercise after the procedure to allow for healing,” Alice says.
Entire males and females are at higher risk of many cancers developing as they age. Females are also at risk of pyometra (infection of the uterus). This can be life threatening and very costly to treat. Entire males have a higher risk of prostate issues associated with high levels of hormones. Desexing eliminates many behavioural problems – often linked with aggression (which can play a part) but problems are often related to roaming and inappropriate marking. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s health, don’t hesitate to give your vet a call.
Luna was put onto a high energy diet and received regular checkups to make sure she made it through her pregnancy safely. Luna will be spayed once the kittens are weaned and the kittens will only go to homes that are aware of the benefits of desexing. Both Luna and the kittens are doing very well!
Scratch, scratch, scratch – veterinary clinic waiting rooms are filled with itchy dogs. It is an incredibly common and frustrating problem. Now, a safe new drug has put calm back into dozens of dogs’ lives.
Garfunkel poodle was so named for his puffball-head of apricot fluff. He was bouncy and energetic until around age five, when he developed a case of serious atopic dermatitis. He was miserable, extremely itchy and had chronic secondary infections, from infected ears, to red raw paws.
Ourvets Veterinarian, Thea Taylor, has been managing nine-year-old Garfunkel for the last four years with various medications including tablets, creams, sprays, shampoos and a special diet. The medications were either ineffective at controlling his condition or had adverse side effects. However, a new drug regime introduced six months ago has seen a dramatic breakthrough in his itch-scratch battle.
“The new drug is our most effective treatment so far, it has minimal or no adverse side effects and specifically targets only the itch,” Thea says. “We administer it as a convenient once-a-month injection. There are no pills to take, and the cost is comparable to other modern pharmaceuticals.
“The injection contains antibodies that bind to and neutralise ‘interleukin 31’, preventing this protein from playing its role in the itch cycle. This gives relief from itch for approximately one month in dogs affected by atopic dermatitis. It’s not a solution for every animal, but its promising results make it a fantastic new addition to our treatment options.”
Given seasonally or all year round, as required, families can now sleep at night without incessant scratching sounds. “Garfunkel is now vibrant and energetic and looks healthy and happier,” Thea says.
He loves coming in for his monthly shot as Thea has hypo-allergenic treats especially for him! “Garfunkel’s condition is serious and requires medication but is now well managed”
Garfunkel’s owner, Justine, says her once miserable, droopy-eared little dog used to constantly stop what he was doing to scratch. “Now he is back to his little puppy self – the difference is absolutely amazing!”
Phone Ourvets on 03-355 6747, visit 98 Cranford Street, St Albans or www.ourvets.co.nz. Open Monday-Friday 7:30am-7pm, Saturday-Sunday 8:30am-4pm, including most public holidays.
A huge variety of dietary options are available for our four-legged friends. Some great, some not so great – but how does a caring owner really know what is right for their pet? The topic of diet is one discussed often for humans but can be forgotten when it comes to our beloved animals.
In veterinary clinics, nutrition is often described as the ‘5th Vital Assessment’ – following closely from heart, lung, temperature and pain assessments. When a diet is looked at in conjunction with all these, it’s easy to see just how important it is – and why vet clinics are keen to start the discussion.
Is your pet’s diet right for them?
There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when looking for the right diet for a pet. This includes their age, activity levels, medical conditions or any allergies they have. A massive amount of information is available on the internet. However, deciphering what information is true, and then applying this to a pet, can be the difficult part. The best thing that someone can do for their furry family members is to discuss their pet’s diet with the professionals.
What benefits could you see?
Feeding a high-quality diet that is balanced by using good, well-sourced ingredients can improve energy levels, digestion, skin and coat quality. Smelly breath? There are diets that can assist with the prevention of dental disease. Arthritis? Diets exist with anti-inflammatory properties to help improve mobility.
During February, Ourvets had a focus on nutrition and encouraged pet owners to ask the questions to find out more. “We want pets to have the best nutrition that suits their needs – but equally, we want our clients to understand why we have made a certain recommendation for their pet,” says Ourvets Practice Manager, Sarah Clements. “Certain diets can replace or reduce the need for medication and can provide a hassle-free treatment for some ailments.”
For those that feel their pet could benefit from a specific diet or are unsure what benefits they would see from dietary planning and advice, the knowledgeable team at Ourvets is always on hand to discuss.