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Extending veterinary knowledge base: Ourvets


Ourvets is excited to welcome Dr Angela Hartman, a Veterinary Radiology Specialist.

 

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In January, the Ourvets team welcomed Angela in order, to provide a specialist referral service to Christchurch and the wider Canterbury area. Angela is the only Veterinary Specialist Radiologist in the South Island and already offers her advanced skill and knowledge to the Nelson and wellington area. Angela has been working in the veterinary world for more than 20 years – her goal: to benefit as many patients, clients and veterinarians as possible during her career.

With an extensive range of radiographic equipment – including digital radiographs, ultrasound and CT (the only small animal machine in the South Island) – Ourvets is equipped to support Angela with a wide range of diagnostic tools to assist in her decision making.

When not at the clinic or working from home, Angela likes to spend time with the many retired working dogs that she and her partner have rescued – as well as her rescued cats, pigs, ducks, cattle, goats and sheep.

“I could go on about these but you don’t have enough room on the page!” Angela says. “A dog’s love and trust are like no other relationship in life. The unadulterated love they give purifies my mind and makes me a better person. I will always be surrounded by dogs, dog hair on the carpet and all!”

Angela adds a wealth of knowledge and passion to the growing Ourvets team and they look forward to her working alongside them to offer clients the very best service.

 

To find out more about what Ourvets can offer you and your pets,

visit www.ourvets.co.nz or visit any of the practices – St Albans, Parklands, Riccarton and Halswell.

Across its multi-locations each veterinarian’s area of expertise fits together to create an extensive portfolio of veterinary skills and knowledge.

 



 

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Rosie on the mend: Ourvets


This issue, Veterinarian Dr Geoff Mehrtens, shares Rosie’s journey to recovery, thanks to expert care from Ourvets.

 

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Rosie was a happy, healthy six-year-old female Shih Tzu x Lhasa Apso who had become uncomfortable recently when urinating. A general examination of Rosie revealed no abnormalities; however, her owner Bridget had noticed that Rosie was peeing more frequently, often only small amounts and was sometimes forced to urinate in abnormal locations, which indicated that her urge to urinate was uncontrollable. She showed no signs of urinary leakage in her bedding, which was an important piece of information.

Some spayed female dogs develop an increased tendency to leak urine, often while they’re asleep, or very relaxed. Luckily, Rosie did not have this problem, however her urge incontinence required further investigation. Rosie was very co-operative and provided us with a urine sample during the consultation which revealed large numbers of bacteria present. It was late in the evening, so we elected to see her again the next day.

By then, Rosie’s bladder felt smaller and firmer on palpation, which raised a suspicion that perhaps something abnormal was within. Rosie was taken to ultrasound, which revealed a spectacular large, ovoid, smooth stone – the size of an egg – in the bladder. The bladder wall was remarkably normal considering what was rattling around inside it!

 

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With such a large stone, the treatment of choice was surgical removal. Special diets can dissolve bladder stones, but this would have taken far too long in Rosie’s case. The surgery ran smoothly, and within hours, Rosie was happy and comfortable, and actually went home the same day. Her post-op recovery was uneventful, she was the perfect patient and her urinary habits returned to normal within days.
The urinary stone was sent to the USA for analysis.

This is a wonderful service provided by Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Rosie’s stone was found to be composed of struvite crystals. Struvite issues are common in many small breeds and are usually associated with low-grade urinary bacterial infections. Treatment includes surgery and a long course of antibiotics, together with a special diet. Rosie will need careful monitoring to ensure she doesn’t develop another stone, but with care, she will continue to live a happy, active life.

 


Find out more about Ourvets at
www.ourvets.co.nz.


 

Ourvets

Kittens for kittens: Ourvets


Little Luna was barely more than a kitten when she became pregnant.

 

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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!

 


To find out more about Ourvets, visit www.ourvets.co.nz.


 

Our Vets

Canine hypothyroidism? – Ourvets

Is the family pooch getting a little portly, slow and lethargic? Without the usual tail-wagging vigour? There could be an underlying cause – especially if they are not eating more than normal. Unlike hyperthyroidism in cats, an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism in dogs can present with more vague signs and requires specific blood testing, so many dogs remain undiagnosed. Thankfully, a diagnosis and treatment can lead to a full reversal of
this autoimmune disease.

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Don’t assume that because your dog is old and chubby, that this is normal

“Don’t assume that because your dog is old and chubby, that this is normal,” says veterinarian Jonathan Busch at Ourvets in Parklands. “There are many vague and (seemingly) unrelated signs, such as a dull facial expression, lack of enthusiasm or tiring easily. Additionally, it could manifest as either vomiting, diarrhoea, urinary and skin changes or lacklustre, coarse, thinning fur. A vet may have done a general blood screen but found no diagnosis.
“To diagnose this disease, we need to do a combination of specific tests. Signs only manifest once 75 percent of the thyroid follicles are permanently damaged.”
It can happen to any breed, age or sex, with a slight bias toward larger breeds and those over five years old. Jonathan has four patients on hypothyroid treatment that he diagnosed after suspecting the condition. They include two five-year-olds: a once depressed, overweight English pointer cross, without a greedy bone in her body, and a malamute. He’s also successfully treating a 10-year-old staffy cross and a 10-year-old golden retriever, who regained her figure after reducing from an unusually hefty 52kgs.

After an in-depth consultation and non-invasive blood test, a positive result means a twice daily dosage of tablets, easily administered – disguised in a tasty treat! This is the same type of medication a human with hypothyroidism would take. Research into this difficult-to-diagnose condition is ongoing and a new medication is now available that could make treatment even easier. Following initial testing and diagnosis, treatment can completely reverse the condition by providing hormones the thyroid requires to function at full capacity.
“The prognosis is excellent for your dog then to live a full-term, long and happy life.”
Find out more about Ourvets at www.ourvets.co.nz.