Dr Angela's little boy has started to crawl and has transitioned well to family day care. So Dr Angela will be adjusting her work hours to match the availability of day care.
It's the second month of Spring on the Sunshine Coast, the weather is warming. Despite not having had rain for many weeks now, we've had word from the team at Sunshine Coast Pet ER that tick season has commenced. When the rains begin and the nights become warmer, conditions will also favour fleas, and the intestinal roundworm family, so preventative programs need to resume to prevent the build up of flea and roundworm eggs and larvae. Fleas especially, can overwinter as cocoons, ready to burst open and infest our pets at the first sign of Spring weather. The quality and safety of products that control these nasties are continually improving, and our team are happy to design or update prevention programs that best suit you and your pet.
Some years ago, in Sydney, a group of bikies arrived at the surgery with a sick dog. The dog had collapsed, was barely conscious, and was drooling and gasping. The bikies were convinced that the neighbour had poisoned the dog, and once they had organised veterinary care, they were planning to "get" the neighbour. After examining the dog, I "carefully" explained that the dog was running a temperature of 42o C, that it was the first "hot" day of springtime and the dog's usual one hour session of "fetch the ball" had resulted in collapse from heat exhaustion! The neighbour was now safe, however treating heat exhaustion can be very difficult.
Normal body temperature in the dog is around 38.5o C, with a maximum of 39.2o C (yep, that's about 2 degrees warmer than us), so dogs make good lap and/or foot warmers in winter. However, once the body temperature gets over 41o C, cells that do a lot of work (e.g. muscle, including the heart muscle) and cells that usually divide at a rapid rate (e.g. the lining of the bowel) can be damaged, or die. This can clearly become life threatening.
So how do we prevent the problem? It takes about 10 days for the thermoregulatory system to adapt to a change in climate (e.g. switching from cold to warm weather, or vice versa). If your dog exercises vigorously on a regular basis, reduce the duration of the exercise session by half on hot days that have been preceded by at least a week of cooler weather. Ensure ample water is available and allow your dog to pause and drink regularly during exercise sessions. Don't assume that your dog will know when to stop and rest. Some dogs are so fixated on some types of exercise (e.g. fetching a ball) they will literally continue until they drop! By then their body is being damaged.
Unlike us, dogs cannot release excess body heat by sweating - they are limited to panting. Listen to the sound of the pant - when it becomes harsh or raspy, stop the activity and cool your dog down with a drink of cold water and/or wet your dog with the hose and allow them to rest in the shade.
If your dog collapses during, or shortly after exercise, seek urgent veterinary attention. When you arrive at the surgery, let us know about the exercise prior to the collapse - the sooner we can identify the problem, the sooner we can start treatment to stop further tissue damage and support the function of the heart and bowel. Hospitalisation under veterinary supervision for at least 48 hours is recommended as damage to the lining of bowel often doesn't manifest until 24 hours after the event, and requires prompt, intensive treatment.
A very effective oral flea control product now comes in a formulation that also treats intestinal worms. Please contact our team to assess whether this product is appropriate 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.