Christmas hours, Heatwave, Vaccinations, Fireworks, Safety Tips, and much more..
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How are your pets handling the heat? Heat and humidity can be very dangerous for your pet. Without shade and water, pets can overheat, become ill and die within a short time. Here's a refresher of some tips and advice you can use to help keep your pets cool this summer:
~Provide plenty of fresh water. Two or more Bowl/Containers if necessary. Pets need fresh water inside and outdoors. When you go out, take water with you for your pet
~Watch out for hot pavement and beaches. Sensitive paws burn easily. Watch out for sunburn, short hair pets and those with pink skin or white hair are most likely to burn. 
~Provide a waddling pool, or similar for dogs to get wet in, for cats try brushing them with a wet towel. 
~Limit your pet's time in the sun and help it find shade.  Keep air circulating indoors for pets: use a fan or air conditioning.  Provide shade for pets when outdoors. A gentle sprinkle from a garden hose is also helpful to keep them cool.
~Watch how much pets eat and exercise, Eating too much during hot weather can lead to overheating so feed your pet less.  Also avoid exercise or vigorous activity with your pet during the hottest part of the day between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
~Fill a freezer safe cup with chicken or beef broth (preferably organic), For dogs, maybe add a small bone, piece of jerky, or their favorite treat and freeze.  You could also use the broth to make normal ice cubes for a small sized cooling treat. For Cats and Dogs, You could also grab a amount of their favorite wet food, put in a bag, snip the corner and "pipe" it onto a board and freeze. you could great creative and make it into shapes.
NEVER leave your pet in a parked car. If it is 30°C outside, the temperature in a parked car can reach 50°C in minutes—even with a slightly opened window or if the car is parked in the shade.
Watch for signs of heatstroke. Signs include:
  • Rapid panting 
  • Lots of drooling
  • Twitching muscles
  • A dazed look
  • Vomiting
  • Hot skin
If your pet has any of these signs, ACT QUICKLY!  Cool down your pet by wrapping it in a towel soaked with cool (not cold) water, or place it in a bathtub with cool water, or pour cool water over the pet. Consult your veterinarian if you think your pet has heatstroke. 

Who delivers presents to cats?
Santa Paws!

Who is Santa's favorite singer?
Elf-is Presley!

Why did the Rudolph cross the road?
Because it was the chicken's day off!

How many reindeer does it take to change a light bulb?
Eight! One to screw in the light bulb and seven to hold Rudolph down!

Be especially patient with your humans during this time. They may appear to be more stressed-out than usual. They may come home with large bags of things they call gifts. Do not assume that all the gifts are yours. Be tolerant if your humans put decorations on you.  They seem to get some special kind of pleasure out of seeing how dogs look with fake antlers.  Crazy.

The Christmas Tree:
They may bring a large tree into the house and set it up in a prominent place and cover it with lights and decorations.  Bizarre as this may seem to you, it is an important ritual for your humans, so here are some things canines need to know:

  • Don't pee on the tree.
  • Don't drink water in the container that holds the tree.
  • Mind your tail when you are near the tree.
  • If there are packages under the tree, even ones that smell interesting or that have your name on them, don't rip them open.
  • Don't chew on the cord that runs from the funny-looking hole in the wall to the tree.

Your humans may occasionally invite lots of strangers to come visit during this season. These parties can be lots of fun, but they also call for some discretion on the part of we dogs:

  • Not all strangers appreciate kisses.
  • Do not eat off the buffet table.
  • Beg for goodies by all means but do it........ subtly.
  • Be pleasant, even if unknowing strangers sit on your sofa.
  • Don't drink out of glasses that are left within your reach.

Likewise, your humans may take you visiting at Christmas.  Here your manners will also be important:

  • Respect the territory of other animals that may live in the house.
  • Tolerate children.
  • Turn on your charm big time.
  • A big man with a white beard and a very loud laugh may emerge from your fireplace in the middle of the night.  Do not bite him.
While we are having happy times and sharing joy around, keep in mind the safety of our pets.
  • Make sure your Christmas Tree is Secure, a kitten or cat that loves to climb can easily knock a tree over and hurt themselves.
  • Most homes have a sprinkle of Christmas lights during the Christmas season. Best to keep those cords neat and tidy, and out of sight of puppies and kittens. A kitten or puppy that's teething please be extra cautious, extension leads are wonderfully soft and highly desirable chew items.
  • To a bored pet, a Christmas tree looks like a big storage area of 100's of different colored balls in all sort of sizes. Ornaments hide exposed hooks and pins, check your ornaments for these to minimize the risk in case your pet does take the temptation to entertain themselves.
  • Tinsel and ribbon is just a shiny version of there favorite ball of wool. This can play havoc in the intestines if digested. Try to keep it up out of kitties reach.
  • Unopened gift can be to much for a good nose to ignore (be especially cautious of Chocolate). If your pet is unsupervised, might be a idea to ask Santa to leave the Pressies Christmas Eve instead of weeks before.
Spontaneous loud bangs, can send some pets into a frenzy, and
others into trembling balls of fur.
  • Keep your pet in a confined area - We recommend keeping your pet inside or out of harm's if there are fireworks displays planned in nearby parks and community areas.
  • Distract your pet by leaving a radio on.
  • Some pets will show signs of destructive behavior in their effort to move away from loud noises. Moving delicate items and furniture will help to protect your pet from harm if they are driven into a frenzy.
  • Acknowledging your pet's distress (cuddles, picking them up) will only encourage their feelings of anxiety.  Ignoring them can be difficult but is often the best method as long as they are not endangering themselves or others. By ignoring your pet you are reassuring them that there is nothing to be concerned about.
  • If all else fails, try relocating your pet to a safe haven.  
  • Make sure your pet has adequate id - just in case they do escape, make sure your pet can be clearly id with a pet tag as well as a microchip.

There is a lot involved when we plan to bring a new pet into our homes.
Vaccinations are a important stage of keeping them healthy, and
protecting them against unnecessary pain and discomfort.

When does your puppy or kitten need to be vaccinated?
At 8 weeks of age puppies should receive their first vaccination; this is temporary and needs to be followed up with another one at 12 weeks and then their last vaccination at 16 weeks old. After the 3rd vaccination you can then take your puppy out in public areas.

Puppies - What do you need to vaccinate against?
Parvovirus – a highly contagious viral gastroenteritis. Depression, loss of appetite, severe vomiting and diarrhea containing blood are some of the symptoms. Death can occur very quickly.
Distemper – a highly contagious disease producing symptoms such as conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, convulsive seizures and spinal cord damage. Treatment is often ineffective.
Hepatitis – in puppies can cause sudden death, whilst adult dogs can experience, weakness, fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite and bleeding.
Canine Cough – a complex disease caused by bacterium and a virus. Affected dogs will have a hacking cough persisting for weeks. In puppies and old dogs the disease can be devastating.

Kittens - What do you need to vaccinate against?
Feline Leukemia Virus – by attacking the immune system this virus makes cats more susceptible to infection and illness as well as prone to developing certain cancers. Symptoms are non-specific including weight loss, lethargy, and poor health. A blood test can detect if a cat is infected, however there is no treatment for this fatal virus.
Feline Enteritis – Onset of this disease is very rapid and can often be fatal. Symptoms include high temperature, loss of appetite, depression, vomiting and diarrhea.
Chlamydophila -  also known as Chlamydia, primarily causes conjunctivitis in young kittens aged 5-9 months.
Feline Respiratory Disease – also known as the 'cat flu', causes sneezing, coughing, eye and nose discharge, loss of appetite and sometimes ulcers on the tongue. This can lead to severe dehydration and debilitation which can be fatal. Some strains of cat flu can affect your kitten for life once contracted.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) – This blood-borne viral infection causes Feline AIDS which is commonly fatal. Vaccination is available, if your cat is considered to be at risk. The virus interferes with the immune system, and initial symptoms such as fever, sores, lesions and diarrhea progress to severe chronic infections as the immune system is overcome. There is no treatment or cure for the virus itself.

For Both Cats and Dogs: 
Heart worm –
Heart worms are passed via a mosquito bite to your pet. A pet effected by heart worm will have a infestation of long thin worms (up to 30cm long) lodged in the heart and vessels that feed on surrounding blood. Monthly and Annual treatment is available for the prevention of heart worm. Untreated, heart worm can can cause death in your pet.
Worming – Most common worms in Australian pets are roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm, and they can cause loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and in severe cases even death. Speak to our vets for the best treatment for your pets.

Are Booster Vaccines Necessary for Dogs?
Read more in our Pet Health Library!

Are you going away for a holiday? Can't imagine leaving your dog at home?
Good chance your pet feels the same. With some planning, you don't have to. 
It wasn't to long ago the choices you had was a kennel or pet sitter, while still
great choice, they can be costly and not suitable for some owners and pets.
Thankfully, now we have more choices, and with some extra planning,
your furry mate can enjoy the holiday with you. 



How are you travel ling? Car, plane or train, which ever your choice you need the correct restraints.
DRIVING, a safety harness or seat barricade are a popular choice.
FLYING & TRAINS, check with the airlines or train company for specific rules or regulation about dog carriers or even breeds. Some airlines offer a hire service so you don't need to buy the carrier.

Toilets and Hydration: 
Before you head of on your trip, make sure you have a easily accessible pet bag, which includes Water bowl,
treats, food, water, dog leash, any medications. Always make sure you have plenty of water on hand in case there's none available at rest stops.
Plan your trip and allow extra travel time for regular toilet and exercise breaks. Dogs easily suffer heat stress, never leave them unattended in the vehicle, consider window shades for extra shade while traveling.

It's a must to make sure all of your pets Vaccinations are up to date. A check up with your Vet before you head off is also recommended. It's a good idea to also make sure that micro chipping details and registrations are up to date. Hopefully there's not the need, but anyone can get sick on holidays, including your pet/s. Before you head off, find out where the local vet or pet hospital is. Make sure have packed any medication your pet will need for the duration of the trip.

These day finding pet friendly accommodation is easy as searching the Internet. Pet friendly Accommodation can range from pet friendly Farm stays, pet friendly B&B's, Camping, to Caravan parks. You don't need to head to the country either, some inner city hotels are pet friendly also.
Before you book, check with rules and regulations. size restrictions, bedding requirements, restricted areas. Try and pick a location that will suit your pets regular routine.

Temp Dog Sitter: 
So you're on holidays and see a great show you wanna see or get invite out for dinner, and its not pet friendly, what are you to do?? some pet friendly accommodations have a pet sitting service, inquire when you make your booking. If not, is there a local pet sitter?  better to have the information in case you might need it.

You can also travel with your cat as long as you take into account their personal needs. Make sure you check with the destination, some places may allow dogs, but not cats. The above information about traveling with dogs is relevant to cats also.
Traveling essentials:
  • Cat carrier. (possibly a light sheet to cover)
  • Food, water and bowls.
  • Toys and bedding. 
  • Litter and accessories.
  • Walking harness.
  • Introduce your cat to car travel gradually. for example: start with a short trip around the block, then down to the shops, slowly make the trips longer.
  • There's a good chance that the stress of the situation, that you cat might make wets, a waterproof sheet would come in handy in this situation, as would some paper towels and a pet safe disinfectant.
  • to increase your pets security, and help it feel safer, take along their favorite toy or blanket.
  • Make a habit of stopping every couple of hours for a toilet break and a drink of water, and to clean their carrier of any accidents (which should be done as soon as possible).
  • It can be a good idea not to feed your cat too large a meal prior to travel. Some pets are probable to experience car sickness. 
  • Open the window enough so your cat gets some fresh air, but not enough to be able to escape from.
  • Never leave your cat in a hot car, even for a few minutes, leaving a pet in a hot car is extremely dangerous and faces penalties in most states.
Copyright © 2016 Sugarland Vet Clinic, All rights reserved.

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