Researchers in Adelaide have recently reported the detection of a new type of canine parvovirus. Although this virus is new to Australia, it has been present
in many overseas countries since 2000, and is very closely related to parvoviruses that have been present in Australia for the past 40 years.
Experience from other countries that have this particular virus, as well as specific scientific studies, have shown that the current vaccines we use are
effective in providing protection against this new type. Similarly, although concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of tests used to detect
infection, studies have shown these too are effective for the new type.
So what do you need to do? If your dog is up-to-date with its vaccinations – nothing! Take your dog for a walk and enjoy Autumn.
However if your dog is unvaccinated, now is the time to schedule an appointment, as canine parvovirus, the old types and the new, can cause serious, and
in many cases, fatal disease.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on (03) 9731 2000.
There are two chemicals in chocolate that are harmful to cats and dogs: theobromine and caffeine. The darker the chocolate, the greater the level
of these chemicals and the less your pet needs to eat to cause a problem. Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs but dogs are more likely to scavenge
and therefore suffer from chocolate toxicity. If enough chocolate is ingested it can be fatal.
What are the signs of chocolate toxicity?
Initially your pet may appear restless, start vomiting and/or have diarrhoea and show an increase in thirst and urination.
If not treated, the symptoms progress to their heart and breathing rates increase. They may appear shaky and unstable on their legs, have seizures
and become unconscious.
What should I do if I think my pet has eaten chocolate?
If you think your pet has eaten chocolate or is showing any of the above symptoms call your vet immediately.
We are open 24/7 over the Easter period and we will be able to advise if your pet should be seen.
It helps us to have as much information as possible in order to assess what, if any, treatment your pet will need.
The questions we will ask include:
How much chocolate your pet has/may have eaten?
What time your pet ate the chocolate or had access to it?
What kind of chocolate your pet ate?
What is the weight of your pet?
Tips to protect your pet from chocolate toxicity:
If you’re having Easter egg hunts, keep dogs shut away in a completely different area of the property from where the egg hunt is held. Keep them away
until the hunt is over.
Keep count of how many eggs are hidden and account for them at the end to make sure they have all been found.
Ensure family members aren’t leaving chocolate around the house or dropping chocolate on the floor.
Make sure all chocolate is shut away not left accessible around the house. Dogs can be very agile at getting into things that you think are out of
If your pet has eaten chocolate or you suspect they have or your pet shows symptoms, call us immediately. Most importantly – if in doubt call us for advice!
We are always happy to help any time, day or night.
U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital’s Emergency & Critical Care service is ALWAYS OPEN.
The University of Melbourne has decided to discontinue its operation of the U-Vet Geelong Animal Emergency Centre and has worked with local veterinary
clinics to identify an alternative provider to continue this important service to the Geelong community.
U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital, the University’s 24-hour veterinary hospital serving Melbourne’s western suburbs and the surrounding area, will continue
to operate as usual and will not be impacted by these changes.
From 6:00pm on 30 March, Advanced Vetcare will provide out-of-hours emergency services in Geelong. Trading hours will remain as outlined below:
Opening hours: Monday-Friday: 6:00pm-9:00am. Weekends and public holidays: 24 hours.
Address: 102 Fyans Street, Geelong.
Phone: (03) 5222 2139 during opening hours.
Clients from U-Vet Geelong Animal Emergency Centre will be able to access their pet’s medical records from U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital on request.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on (03) 9731 2000.
It is important for pet owners to be aware that heat can cause heat stroke and be disastrous and fatal for pets. On hot summer days we receive a number
of animals presented with heat stroke and near death. Heat stroke is a dire emergency and one from which many do not recover.
Here are some tips to keep your beloved pets safe during the warmer weather.
Never leave your pet in the car on a hot day, even with windows down and in the shade, not even for a minute. It may take only 10 minutes for a pet
left in a car to die.
On hot days be mindful of pets outside, or enclosures unable to escape the heat, for example dogs in runs, and rabbit in hutches.
On extreme heat days bring pets indoors. If this is not possible make sure they have plenty of shade, fresh clean water and some iceblocks to lick
as a minimum. For pocket pets, you can freeze there sipper bottles so nice cold water comes out. Even an icepack in their cage!
Keep pets hydrated.
Other factors that increase pets’ risk of developing heat stroke are being in an enclosed space, humid conditions, overweight pets, exercising pets in
the heat, age of the pet, pre existing heart or lung disease, or if the pet is taken on holidays to a climate they are not used to.
Why does heat stroke occur? Living cells of the body have temperature tolerant limits. Go beyond these limits and the cells break down.
The longer the cell is above the 45 degree level, the faster cell death occurs, and the less likely the pet will recover. In fur-covered animals, they
have few sweat glands, and their main way of cooling off is by panting.
What are the signs of heat stroke? Signs of heat stroke are intense rapid panting, pounding heart, wide eyes, salivating, brick red
gums, staggering, and weakness. They can then collapse, become unconscious, then gums then go pale and dry.
What do you need to do? If you think your pet has heat stroke it is an emergency. For first aid, make sure the pet is put in a cold
area or shade. Start soaking the body with cool water. Make sure that the water soaks to the skin and doesn’t just run off the fur. Don’t’ use cold or
icy water, otherwise the superficial vessels at the skin constrict and the hot blood is trapped within the body, so the body stays hot still! Always seek
Veterinary attention immediately!
Just like humans, pets can suffer from life-threatening illness such as anaemia, toxicity, trauma or severe injury that could result in them needing a life-saving blood transfusion. The challenge with cats' blood is that it can't be stored like human or dog blood, that's why we are seeking cats who live locally to sign up to be donors.
What will be required?Owners must understand that they may receive a phone call at any time asking for emergency
blood donation from their cat. It's therefore preferable that donor cats live locally (within 20 minutes away from U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital).
Testing and blood compatibility. Firstly we must take a blood sample to check blood type compatibility with the cat who requires transfusion. Due to the complexity of cats' blood, compatibility
is critical. If your cat's blood is compatible we then run blood tests including haematology, biochemistry, FIV testing as well as a complete health check
- this is all performed at no cost to you.
What is the process? Most cats are sedated by our Anaethesia team before donating, so please don't feed them prior if you can although we understand this isn't always possible.
We collect the blood from your cat's jugular vein in their neck and we generally collect no more than 40-50ml of blood. After donating, your cat will be
placed on an IV drip and monitored closely through recovery, then fed and cuddled when they wake.
Our way of saying thank you! To show our appreciation, your cat will be smothered with lots of hugs, love and support and sent home with a large bag of food* as a massive thank you
for choosing to donate and helping save the lives of critically ill cat patients in need!
WE URGENTLY NEED LOCAL CAT DONORS!
We are hoping to build a list of owners and willing cats who are happy to be called (potentially late at night!) to help any cats in desperate need of
a blood transfusion.
Please see our Feline Blood Donor Checklist to see if your cat is suitable to be place on our database.
If you are interested in having your cat on the Feline Blood Donor Database please provide us with your best contact details and the
name, age, vaccination status of your cat. You can contact the Blood Donor Program directly on 03-9731-2328 or UOM-Blood-Donor-Program@unimelb.edu.au.
With summer on the way, pet owners are being warned not to let their dogs or cats become one of the estimated thousands of snakebite statistics recorded in Australia each year.
Dr Mark Davis says although the start of spring has been mild, there have already been three cases of snakebite treated at the University of Melbourne
U-Vet Hospital in Werribee. And Dr Davis expects dozens more.
“Snake bites are becoming more common as we increasingly have housing encroach on their natural habitat,” Dr Davis said.
“We’ve got growing populations and the snakes are still around, so we’ve got a lot more interaction. I think the numbers of bites are slightly increasing
year by year.”
The University of Melbourne U-Vet Hospital in Werribee sees an average of 50 to 75 cases each snake season, with dogs and cats bitten in equal numbers.
“It’s in their nature to go hunting for prey, including snakes – especially some breeds, then they get into a bit of a stoush,” Dr Davis said.
“It depends on who’s quickest who lives.”
It can often be difficult for owners to tell if their pets have been bitten, given bite marks are often indistinguishable.
Owners should look out for symptoms such as vomiting, dilated pupils, paralysis or difficulties moving.
New Zealander Kathryn Jenkins – herself a vet – moved to Point Cook about 10 months ago with her family and “adventurous” seven-year-old Burmese, Nemo. Recently,
Nemo returned from his usual outdoors trek looking a little worse for wear.
“He had vomited a few times, but we didn’t think much of this,” she said.
“It wasn’t until later that night that we saw he was a bit lethargic, had very large pupils – in bright light, which is not normal – and seemed a
bit puffy in the face.”
After consulting U-Vet staff by phone, she brought Nemo to the hospital where he tested positive to Tiger snake bite.
Tiger snakes, along with Brown snakes, are among the most common culprits when it comes to bites.
“I was feeling sick in my stomach and when he stopped crying halfway there (to the hospital) I thought he might have passed away, so it was a horrible
drive in,” Dr Jenkins said. Three days in intensive care and two vials of anti-venom later and Nemo is back home and recovering.
Dr Davis believes more owners are signing up for pet insurance to guard against the ever-present danger of snakes – and the associated costs of
treatment. “They’ve realised that there is no Medicare for pets, so if their pet needs a trip to the hospital, they want to be prepared for that.”
Snakebite remains a huge problem for Australians and their beloved pets. On average, almost 600 people go to hospital for treatment, while between two
and four people die each year from snakebite.
While there are no statistics on the number of pets affected, Dr Davis says it would easily number in the thousands.
Leading toxicologist Ken Winkel, also with the University of Melbourne, agrees snakebites are becoming more prevalent
“It’s an enduring problem – even in urban areas,” he said.
“The idea that you can’t get an urban life-threatening snakebite is, simply, incorrect.”
Symptoms to look for:
Sudden weakness or collapse
Blood in the urine
Rapid, shallow breathing
What to do:
Seek emergency assistance immediately
Keep pet as still as possible
Do not try to locate or kill the snake
Clear backyards of tall grass and rubbish piles
Take care walking pets near waterways or bushy areas
Keep pets indoors at dusk and at night if possible
Accommodation:10% off bookings at Quest Serviced Apartments, Synnot Street, Werribee, Vic 3030 Ph: (03) 8744 6000
This year we are extremely excited to welcome David Liss as our guest international speaker, alongside a wealth of inspirational local presenters.
Two half day workshop sessions on Friday provide opportunities to develop hands on skills in small groups. Saturday and Sunday are packed full of
lectures covering a variety of topics including behaviour, anaesthesia and emergency and critical care.
Take full advantage of the opportunity to update your knowledge and skills with useful tools that can be applied in your practice. Learn from passionate
and professional speakers hailing from a variety of backgrounds.
GUEST SPEAKER- David Liss, Veterinary Technician
David is a double board-certified veterinary technician specialist in emergency/critical care and small animal internal medicine and has diverse background
in emergency and critical care nursing. He has contributed to numerous veterinary texts and was awarded the Veterinary Technician Educator of the Year
award in 2012 by Western Veterinary Conference. David currently directs the veterinary technology program at Platt College in Los Angeles, works as
an ICU technician and runs his own consulting business.
Meet ‘Daisy’ the beautiful 56kg Leonberger who has been one of our regular blood donors at The University of Melbourne canine blood donor program. ‘Daisy’ is just about to hit retirement age so will no longer be able to donate her precious blood to help the many emergency patients presented at U-Vet Animal Hospital.
Each one of Daisy’s donations helped 3 dogs in emergency situations and we are so thankful that she has been part of the team!
Want to find out more about your dog becoming a blood donor?