Sacha is still away on maternity leave and Lucy is doing a great job filling in for her. Irina is bringing a great deal of technical expertise to her veterinary nursing role - and we love her accent!
Dr Leah is settling back into life on the Sunshine Coast with ease and she is proving a valuable and capable asset to our veterinary team.
Like last year, we are having a warm dry spring.
Snakes are about! We've seen a few on roadsides and we've had reports of snakes around residential areas and a few pets with snake bite on the Sunshine already this season. It's common for brown snakes to inhabit the dunes at the beaches, so keep an eye out and also keep a close eye on your dog at the beach.
The warm weather favours fleas, so best to start your pet's flea control program in Spring to help ensure good control over the summer months. The hot dry conditions make life difficult for intestinal worms to get from one pet to another, but this will change when the rains start. So now is a good time to check that parasite control programs are up to date.
The quality and safety of products that control parasites in our pets are continually improving, and our team are happy to design or update prevention programs that best suit you and your pet.
Snakes are about. Be vigilant around your yard and when taking your dog to the beach. Brown snakes are commonly reported on the beach dunes over summer in our region. Growing up the country we were always taught to have a clear view of where we put our feet and hands when outdoors in snake season.
Not all snakes are problem. Pythons do a great job of controlling rats and mice - unfortunately they are fond of guinea pigs too, so make sure enclosures are fully sealed with 'chick' size mesh to keep them out. Also, big pythons are capable of killing and eating cats and small dogs.
We have had the occasional Keel snake brought in by clients who think it may be a brown snake. Keel snakes are about the same colour as a brown snake but their scales are rough because each one has a 'keel' along it. Keel snakes are not a venom hazard and they are thought to be one of the few snakes that can eat a cane toad without succombing to the toad toxins. We have also had clients (and my Dad) mistake legless lizards in the garden for snakes. If in doubt about a snake in your yard, call in a snake catcher - they can remove the offending reptile if it is likely to be a hazard.
If you think your pet has been bitten by a snake, get it to us promptly (or take it to Sunshine Coast Pet ER if the surgery is closed). Note that most snake bites in humans occur when people try to catch or kill snakes, so to ensure your own safety, simply observe the snake carefully for shape, colour, patterns, behaviour etc. Snake venoms have multiple components producing multiple effects, so best for us to hospitalise and observe your pet. We can also run some tests to detect effects of venom and also test for the type of venom. Signs of envenomation can progress rapidly once they begin and the sooner a relevant antivenom is given, the better the chance of survival.
Treating a pet that has been bitten by a snake can be difficult, prolonged and expensive. Clients in that situation often tell us they wish they had take out pet insurance. We have information on pet insurance options at the surgery. You are welcome to call in and discuss the options with our team.
Over the last few years, parasite control products for use in pets have become more effective and even safer. Feel free to call in and chat to one of our team about the best products and regimen for your pet.
Using the website
Our website has a “Client Zone”, which contains information that we have developed over the years for the benefit of our clients. The information available covers feeding, desexing, pet insurance, behaviour problems and many other topics. The information is intended for OUR clients and can be accessed using the Practice Code that is printed at the bottom of any receipt that you receive from us. So, make sure you ask for a receipt next time you purchase a product or service from us, and check out the information that we have prepared for you.
You will also find a link to “Obay” on our website. Obay is an online store for the purchase of veterinary products. It is run by the same reputable supplier that we use to source products. Because shopping direct with our supplier means that we don’t incur any product handling costs, you are able to access cheaper prices by entering our Practice Code. We receive a commission on the purchases at Obay, so we are happy to provide advice and support regarding selection and use of the products. Please feel free to phone or visit to discuss which products are best suited to your pet and how best to use them.