Archive for Featured Posts

Please avoid giving fatty food to your pets this Christmas

Even if your dog doesn’t normally eat a high-fat diet, the introduction of a large amount of fatty food all at once can cause acute pancreatitis. … The most common symptoms of acute pancreatitis in dogs are loss of appetite, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Other symptoms you may notice include: Swollen abdomen.

The pancreas is a gland located in your dogs abdominal cavity that consists of cells arranged into small sections, or lobules. These cells produce a number of digestive enzymes, which are moved from ‘storage’ in the lobules via two excretory ducts into the intestine where they function in digestion.

Acute pancreatitis refers to a sudden onset of disease, while chronic pancreatitis is when it develops slowly and may linger for weeks or months. Chronic pancreatitis can also refer to recurrent bouts of acute pancreatitis. Despite acute pancreatitis usually being more severe, the symptoms can sometimes be mild, and chronic pancreatitis can sometimes be severe. Acute pancreatitis usually responds well and quickly to aggressive supportive treatments, while chronic pancreatitis tends to result in longer standing inflammation, and other irreversible changes such as fibrosis or atrophy.

While many of the signs of pancreatitis can be common to other illnesses, it is important to seek veterinary attention if you notice any of the following:

  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Hunching their back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain or distension in their belly – this may appear as discomfort or bloating in the abdomen
  • Diarrhoea

What causes pancreatitis

While a high fat diet is a common cause (including the sudden introduction of high fat foods), pancreatitis may also be caused by:

  • Diabetes
  • Endocrine diseases, including hypothyroidism
  • Genetics – Schnauzers, for example, have a higher likelihood of developing the condition
  • Obesity
  • Severe blunt trauma
  • Some medications or other toxins including cholinesterase inhibitors, calcium, potassium bromide, phenobarbital, l-asparaginase, oestrogen, salicylates, azathioprine and thiazide diuretics.

How is it diagnosed?

Your vet will ask for your dog’s medical history and ask about their dietary habits. As well as a physical examination of their belly, gums, hydration, heart and temperature, they will usually conduct blood tests to measure pancreatic enzymes and assess hydration. They may also rule out other causes with an abdominal ultrasound.

Treating pancreatitis in dogs

Treating pancreatitis is about managing your pet’s pain, improving hydration and avoiding triggers. Depending on the severity, your vet may:

  • Administer IV fluid therapy
  • Give medicine to stop vomiting
  • Give pain medication
  • Recommend a 24-hour food fast to rest the pancreas
  • Administer antibiotics if infection is suspected

To prevent further attacks, your vet will talk to you about providing a pancreas friendly diet – this will mean a low fat, high quality dog food, and no scraps from the table. If your dog has a predilection for scavenging their own treats, your vet will recommend strategies to keep them away from dangerous nibblies.

Some vets recommend digestive enzyme supplements which may work to reduce the work of the pancreas and inhibit pancreatic secretion. Despite its high fat content, some studies suggest a high level of fish oil may be helpful to reduce inflammation, but you should always chat to your vet before providing any supplements.

Is it fatal for dogs?

The short answer is yes, it can be if left untreated. However, by chatting to your vet, following their treatment protocol to the tee and ensuring your dog consumes a healthy, high quality low-fat diet with limited human or other high fat treats, you can reduce the risks.


Snake season is now upon us.

Please be very vigilant when walking your dog this summer…. As there have been a many already. To help protect your pets from possible snake bite, keep your property clear of rubbish and garden litter where snakes can potentially hide. Snakes are also are also attracted to food and water sources, so don’t leave your dog/cat food out all day to attract a hungry snake.

If you see your pet get bitten or suspect they may have, IMMEDIATE VETERINARY TREATMENT IS NECESSARY. Call 9796 5800 to let us know you are on your way, This way we can have our emergency team on standby ready for your arrival.

You can also teach your dog to stay away from snakes. Animal Ark wildlife education and training  run a snake avoidance program for dogs , which is quick, and effective protection for your pet.




To all our valued clients we wish you a Merry Christmas.

Our practice will be closed on the public holidays only, but we will have our usual after hours emergency service available.

Simply  call 9796 5800

Household dangers

Pet Proofing your home: Just as parents ‘childproof’ so should pet owners ‘pet proof’ for their four legged friends of the family.  Cats and dogs are naturally curious and love to explore their environment with their paws claws and mouths, but they don’t know what is dangerous and what is not … Its up to you to make your home a safe pet friendly environment. The following tips can help ensure that your pet enjoys a long, happy and accident free life in your care.

  • Don’t let young pets out on balconies or high decking areas.
  • Many household plants, including lilies, dieffenbachia, philodendrons, ivy and many more plants are extremely poisonous if eaten. Remove these plants or put them out of reach in hanging baskets.
  • Rat and snail baits are extremely tempting for dogs to eat, yet they very poisonous, potentially fatal and should not be accessible at any time.
  • Puppies and kittens love to chew when teething, so unplug, remove or cover electrical cords.
  • Plastic bags may be fun to play with but they can suffocate.
  • If your pet can put something in their mouth, they probably will. Don’t leave small, sharp, easily swallowed objects lying around.
  • Keep pets away from lawns and gardens treated with snail bait and chemicals.
  • Paint, petrol and other dangerous chemicals should be stored out of reach.
  • Cover swimming pools, spas and ponds- your pet might fall in and drown.
  • Never leave fishing tackle around. Dogs love the smell of old bait and will happily chew on a fish hook.
  • Keep pets away from spiders and snakes. If you think your pet has been bitten by a snake please head straight to your veterinarian. Let the hospital know you are on the way as this will allow an emergency team to be on stand by.

Follow these simple guidelines to keep your pets healthy and out of danger.


Cycads, Zamia and Sago Palm Toxicity

Unfortunately we have had an increase in the number of dogs ingesting these potentially deadly plants. All parts of these plants are poisonous, especially the seeds. These seeds contain large amounts poison called cycasin. It does not take much of this seed to result in the poisoning of pets sometimes only 2 seeds will cause gastrointestinal issues, possible liver failure and affect the central nervous system. even death.

Dogs typically present with non specific signs such as vomiting and lethargy, changes in the urine and possible liver failure. These signs are obviously non-specific to the ingestion of the seeds.

Unfortunately the survival rate for Cycad, Zamia and Sago palm poisoning in dogs is not very high. Long term recovery could be further complicated by chronic liver failure.

If you have any of these plants in your garden, play it safe and remove them.

With any poisoning the sooner you get your pet  veterinary attention the better.