Right now the Australian veterinary world is going through an upheaval like I have not seen in 30 years. And into this come the new crop of veterinary graduates, straight from university. To say I’m worried would be putting it mildly.Continue reading “My Concerns For The New Vet Graduates Of 2021 & 2022”
In this article you will see original research conducted at Walkerville Vet between 2010 and 2011. It remains unpublished, for reasons that will become clear. You will find a link to the full article at the bottom.Continue reading “Feeding Bones To Dogs Is Linked To Less Dental Disease”
If you have an allergy to cats, or know someone who does, then you know how debilitating it can be. Cat allergens are everywhere, and up to now there’s been precious little you could do except avoid cats altogether. Which for many people has not been possible.
So it was with great hope that here in Australia we awaited the arrival of Purina’s new food designed to reduce human allergies to cats and kittens. Imagine the possible benefits if it works:Continue reading “A Review of Purina’s Cat Allergen Reducing Diet”
If you have a small dog, there’s a good chance they’ll end up being treated with pimobendan. Often sold as Vetmedin® or Cardisure®, it’s the most common treatment for a very common condition: heart disease in dogs.
One disease in particular, myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) is said to account for 75% of heart disease and affects 85% of small dogs over 13 years old. Not all of these will need treatment, but many will. Later I’ll show you how to tell.
There is no question that recent advances have made MMVD much less of a death sentence than it once was. So it’s good to get to know pimobendan, the newest, and most commonly used of these treatments.Continue reading “Should I Put My Dog on Vetmedin or Cardisure?”
I want to warn you about three emerging and important toxins of cats. I also want you to see the link between these products and how they may be just the tip of the iceberg in household poisonings.Continue reading “New Cat Poisons: Hair Dyes, Hair Loss Treatments & Diclofenac”
When faced with arthritis in their dogs, owners often turn to products like glucosamine, turmeric or hemp oil. What always surprises me is how few dog owners try fish oil before I suggest it. I suspect the reason is that it’s hard to use well, and easy to get wrong.
Here I’m going to lead you through the evidence and end with advice on how to use fish oil most effectively.Continue reading “Is Fish Oil Good For Arthritis In Dogs?”
If we have to pick favourite diseases, mine is retinal detachment in cats. One day your cat goes suddenly blind, and the next they can see again. All thanks to a simple and low cost treatment.
However, for this to happen, you need to know what to look for, and act quickly.Continue reading “Help! My Cat Is Bumping Into Things”
Vets are businesses, and like any other their prices will vary. However, it’s very hard for the average consumer to understand what the price of any specific procedure means.
Here I’m going to help you, not by giving you the answers, by giving you the right questions to consider. Sometimes the difference will be due to the pricing policy, but often there are other factors at play.Continue reading “Comparing Prices Between Vets: What To Consider”
You’re playing with your dog, and the next minute one of their nails is sticking out sideways.
Sometimes they’ll yelp, or limp, but other times it just looks bent or dislocated. There may even be a little bleeding. What do you do?Continue reading “Help! My Dog Has Broken A Nail”
This week I’ve done two new things:
- Made a police report against a former client
- Complained to the Pharmacy Council of New South Wales
It was pure luck that we found out about the fraud, and it’s taught us all a valuable lesson: that the online pet pharmacy system is not fit for purpose. It must change.
As the friendly policeman said later, he could understand her actions because the temptation was put in her path. The real problem is that it was so easy.
Here’s what happened.Continue reading “We Need A Better Online Pet Chemist System”
As a vet I often get dogs brought to me because they have a bad smell. Here I’m going to lead you through every common reason for a dog to stink even after a bath.
While not all are simple to fix, after reading this you should have a good idea of what to do. I’ll rank them in rough order of frequency.Continue reading “Help! My Dog Smells Bad (9 Reasons Why)”
This is the story of Rowdie. She’s a survivor where many others aren’t. As you’ll see, I got lucky twice before solving the puzzle.
The food that nearly killed her is a leading brand of grain-free dog food you can buy at nearly any Australian supermarket. I wish I could tell you its name.
Here’s what happened.Continue reading “Dogs Are Still Dying From Grain Free Diets in 2021”
In 2021, Walkerville Vet’s policy for dealing with multiple missed and late appointments has changed. We would understand if you had not imagined the situation from a vet’s point of view before.Continue reading “Walkerville’s Missed Appointment Policy”
One of the most common tumours of dogs is haemangiosarcoma of the spleen. This is a malignant cancer of blood vessels found especially in large breeds like German Shepherds. But just because they’re common doesn’t mean that every lump on a dog’s spleen is malignant.
Many of these dogs can go on to lead a normal life with the right treatment. Others cannot be saved, and treatment could do more harm than good.
Here I’m going to help you decide what to do if a vet finds a mass in your dog’s spleen.Continue reading “Help! My Dog Has A Splenic Tumour”
You spend an hour standing around on the grass and nothing happens. Then, almost as soon as you come back inside, your puppy pees in the house right in front of you!
You’ve read all the tips for toilet training. You understand the theory. So why does this happen?
There’s actually quite a simple explanation and a not-so-simple solution. Be prepared for some basic neurology!Continue reading “Help! My Puppy Pees Inside Just After I’ve Taken Him Out”
This is a message to anyone still using GS- 441524 (commonly called “GS”) in Australia.
Back at the start I supported you when you were breaking the law. I even put my reputation on the line and stood up for you against threats of prosecution. My attitude was “let them try; they wouldn’t dare.”Continue reading “It’s Time To Stop Supplying Black Market GS”
Every few years there’s a story in the Australian media saying we should be keeping native mammals as pets. This always fills me with horror.
For I’m a vet working with pets in the Australian state with the slackest rules on owning native animals and I see the results. I also hold a Masters degree in Wildlife Medicine and Husbandry and have worked in zoological medicine.
I hope that by the time you finish this, you’ll understand why there are some animals who are uniquely suited to being pets, and others that almost never are. I’ll also debunk some common myths about keeping native animals everywhere, not just Australia.Continue reading “Why Native Animals As Pets Is A Terrible Idea”
Australian raw feeders are still coming to terms with the horse meat scandal that killed and maimed so many Victorian dogs. Given the potential risk of buying pet meats, it begs the question: is it worth it?
In my vet practice we support raw feeding, but that doesn’t mean we don’t also have a watchful eye. I’ll cover the risks first. By knowing them and their solutions, you can do it more safely.
Afterwards, I’ll feature some of the first evidence to show a benefit for raw puppy foods.Continue reading “Is A Raw Diet Good For Puppies?”
If you know your cat, there’s a sign of poor health that you can spot from across the room. But you have to get your eye in first.
It’s called a staring coat.Continue reading “Recognise The Staring Coat: An Early Sign Of Cat Illness”
One of the saddest things I see are cats with breathing difficulties. That’s because they’re almost always brought to the vet too late. In fact, by the time their owners notice, they often don’t survive the car trip.
Here I’m going to give you a very simple trick to recognise when a cat is struggling to breathe. If you do it successfully, your cat will probably be OK.Continue reading “Cat With Trouble Breathing? Here’s How To Tell”
Update 3 August: What a difference a week makes!
The Maffra District Knackery has now admitted that they processed horses from the Northern Territory.
Now read on to see why it was always the most likely explanation…
An outbreak of liver failure in Victorian dogs has been linked to raw meat from a local supplier. At least 14 dogs died and a further 30 were hospitalised.
I’ve been following the story carefully. The more we know the stranger it gets.Continue reading “The Dog Deaths From Raw Meat: What Went Wrong”
Try searching “can dogs eat almonds” and you’ll see dire warnings, like “7 Dangers of Almonds for Dogs” or “Why Almonds Are Bad for Dogs“.
This is absolute rubbish and internet myth-making at its worst. Why is everyone so afraid of almonds? Because they only read each others’ blogs instead of trusting evidence or experience.
It’s always safer to say ‘no’ than ‘yes’, isn’t it! Here I’ll go through each of those ‘seven ways’ and demonstrate their lack of accuracy.
And what do you know, they actually missed a real problem too.Continue reading “Help! My Dog Ate An Almond”
This week on our homemade diet page there is the grim spectacle of people telling other people off. One feeds their dog walnuts, and the other tells them they shouldn’t.
This debate is but a taste of what appears online. But who is correct?
Like with all internet myths, there’s a grain of truth in there. Let’s find it!Continue reading “Help! My Dog Ate A Walnut”
For such a common problem, there’s a lot we don’t know about hairballs in cats. It’s yet another example of our tendency to overlook the everyday and focus on the rare. This is to the cost of cats everywhere.
When there’s a lack of hard evidence, we only have experience to go by. So I’ll use mine to help you answer the key questions put to me by cat owners.Continue reading “Help! My Cat Has A Hairball”
I had two very enlightening conversations last week.
The first was from a frustrated ex- Cavalier owner who has been waiting over 12 months to get a Golden Retriever puppy. According to the breeders she’s talking to, she’s not even any closer.
The second was from the owner of a new (second) Golden Retriever puppy. She said that due to unprecedented demand, her breeder is only selling to people she’s sold to before.
Clearly, these two observations are flip sides of the same problem. So before I give you some suggestions, let’s look at what’s happening.Continue reading “Having Trouble Getting That Dog Breed? Think Laterally!”
I want to share with you a very sobering paper that should make us think harder anytime we feel a lump in a cat’s belly.
Five cats were presented to a veterinary teaching hospital with abdominal masses that could be felt during a routine exam. They all had the classic signs of intestinal obstruction: vomiting, listlessness and not eating.
The two eldest cats died. One, because her owner thought it was cancer and had her put down. The other, due to a delay in treatment, most likely due to a similarly fatalistic attitude.
The diagnosis in these five cases was a hairball. A thoroughly treatable problem.Continue reading “A Lump In Your Cat’s Belly Is Not Always Cancer”
Tearing or rupturing a cruciate ligament accounts for around 20% of the leg problems in dogs. That’s a massive risk, especially when you look at what’s needed to fix them.
That risk isn’t evenly spread either. Some dogs are much more likely to tear an ACL than others. Two of those four risks are under your control.Continue reading “What Causes Dogs To Tear Their Cruciate Ligament?”
- A new virus rapidly spreading worldwide
- A devastating second wave
- Uncertainty over vaccine protection and safety
We’ve been here before.Continue reading “How Parvovirus Began: The Story Of A Dog’s Own Pandemic”
When a cat injures their tail, it’s usually more serious than it looks. If you don’t make the right decisions there can be long term consequences more than just pain.
Here are the three common ways cats hurt their tails, and what to do about them. Please don’t read on if you’re squeamish.Continue reading “The Three Common Injuries To Cat Tails”
Two weeks ago I discussed when you should and when you shouldn’t clean a dog’s ears. Now let’s talk about how to do it and what to use.
Most of the techniques and products mentioned can also be used in cats.Continue reading “The Best Way To Clean Dogs Ears & How Often”
All vets have their favourite ear cleaners. However, what does the evidence say?
Unfortunately, it’s mostly based on products found in the UK and USA, but we can still use it to make some general rules for Australian dogs.Continue reading “The Best Dog Ear Cleaning Solutions”
Fast asleep he may appear, but as soon as a door or window opens, up comes his periscope head. If you aren’t quick enough, or the lock doesn’t click, he’s gone. Next thing, the whole family is out with torches (not the flaming kind but it feels that way) until he’s found and returned.
We do this because outdoor cats run a high risk of road trauma, fight abscesses and FIV infection. But sometimes he’s impossible to find. So I’ve always been interested in smart tech to help me, and recently I invested in an AirTag.
However, it may not be the best option.Continue reading “A Review Of Apple’s AirTag To Find My Cat!”
What could possibly go wrong? Quite a lot actually.
Ear cleaning can be a great way to improve the health of your dog’s ears but it can also cause a lot of harm. Therefore, it’s important to know if it’s the right treatment for your dog.
Here I’m going to help you recognise when ear cleaning is beneficial & when it’s harmful. Everything I say here also applies to cats.
In two weeks I’ll talk about how to do it and what to use.Continue reading “Should I Clean Inside My Dog’s Ears?”
With more people working from home than every before, there’s a new question: am I walking my dog too much?
And indeed, over the past year we have seen many dogs over-exercised. But then there are dogs like my Loki. One day last week he pulled me for 25km and then ran laps around the yard afterwards!
So it’s complicated, and there’s no one answer. Each day and each dog is going to be different.Continue reading “How Far Is Too Far To Walk A Dog?”
Possibly the most frustrating disease of cats is stomatitis. It can cause terrible suffering, and for a third of affected cats, nothing seems to work well. For the other two thirds, the only good option is an extreme one.
New treatments have made the control of stomatitis within the reach of more cats, and we may be on the cusp of even greater things.Continue reading “Gingivitis & Stomatitis In Cats”
All new puppy owners are in a hurry to go for walk, and can you blame them? But in doing so, they often make one of three mistakes.
- go out too soon
- exercise too much, or
- turn walks into bad experiences
All three can have lasting consequences, but each one is easy to prevent.Continue reading “You’re All Set To Walk Your Puppy- But Are They?”
This article is for settling in a puppy in the first few days after adoption. If your puppy is crying at night during these early nights, most of the advice you find online is not just unhelpful, it might even be harmful.
So let’s start with a few myths that need busting.Continue reading “How To Settle A Puppy In A New Home”
Convenia® is the most widely used antibiotic in Australian cats. Yet despite it having major problems no owner has ever questioned my decision to use it. Hopefully after this you will.
After all, part of the reason vets use it so much is because we think you want us to.Continue reading “Why The Most ‘Convenia-nt’ Antibiotic May Be The Wrong One For Cats”
OK, jokey title aside, this is serious.
Are you struggling under the weight of too many choices? Everyone telling you how you must use a certain food, or a special remedy? You’re in good company.
Linus Pauling was one of the greatest scientists of all time, but even that didn’t save him. Despite groundbreaking discoveries and a Nobel Prize, he is perhaps most famous for the wrong reason.Continue reading “Vet Sees People Manipulated By Clickbait, You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!”
Why is it that 41% of dogs with cancer are fed a homemade diet?
I support many owners who feed homemade and raw diets, and I try to practise evidence-based healthcare. Therefore, a statistic like this deserves a closer look.Continue reading “What To Feed Dogs With Cancer”
So your 15kg dog has torn an ACL You know that a lateral suture technique is no good at this size. One vet has told you need an MMP, another a TTA and. third a TPLO.
What do all these random letters mean for your dog? Which one is better?
Here you won’t find an opinion; you’ll find the facts from research papers that compare these cruciate surgery techniques. This is the most-studied surgical procedure in veterinary science.Continue reading “Which ACL Surgery Is Best For Dogs?”
New treatments for mast cell tumours have given dogs better chances than ever before. Here you can find out how to recognise a mast cell tumour and what to do if your dog has one.
Just a warning: this is no one-size fits all treatment!
In Adelaide, pauci sunt circuli in quo lingua latina docta est atque pauciores alta regula. Grex noster fortasse unicus sit.Continue reading “Si Hanc Intellegere Possis, Veni!”
For nearly my whole career, I have used and recommended Feliway® for situations involving feline anxiety and stress. These might be urine spraying, inter-cat aggression, or even trips to the vet and cattery.
I have always been reassured that there is strong scientific evidence for its effectiveness. So it took until 2021 for me to do a thorough literature review of my own. I was shocked by what I found.
It’s not that Feliway doesn’t work at all. It’s just that it probably doesn’t work for most of the things it’s been promoted for.Continue reading “A Critical Review Of Feliway For Cats”
Try any online search about canine anxiety and you will quickly come across Dog Appeasing Pheromone. Whether as DAP or by its brand name Adaptil®, you find many recommendations, quite a few articles and of course a lot of ads.
It sounds too good to be true. Can a harmless treatment undetectable to you or I really work to ease anxiety?Continue reading “A Review Of Adaptil For Anxious Dogs”
Driven by high levels of public approval, Australia is haphazardly but relentlessly moving towards greater containment of cats. I support cat curfews, and keep my own cat inside, but I still have concerns.
The big problem with cat laws in Australia is that they seem to be enacted by those who know the least about cats. It’s leading to unrealistic expectations and poor results.
I’ll discuss why that is in a minute, but to not sound negative I’ll start with the benefits of curfews.Continue reading “Cat Curfews & Confinement In Australia”
Adelaide, and Australia in general are slowly moving towards cat curfew and registration. In this article you can look up the current laws in your local Adelaide council area.
This article will be updated regularly so please let me know if you hear of any changes before I do. Absolute accuracy cannot be guaranteed.Continue reading “Cat Curfew & Registration By South Australian Council”
What do vaccine reactions in animals look like? Here are the four serious vaccine-related illnesses seen at Walkerville Vet in the 5 years 2016 to 2021.Continue reading “Vaccine Reactions In 4 Dogs”
I want you to see these pictures of severe facial sores in a dog. Note especially how quickly they developed and then went away with the right treatment. This is canine eosinophilic furunculosis.
I will discuss it and other causes of lesions on the face of dogs afterwards.Continue reading “Help! My Dog’s Has Sores On The Face”
Last week when I wrote about the shortage of Australian veterinarians, I laid the problems of our industry bare. Poor work conditions, inadequate support and low pay are just a few. They’re leading to what some people see as a crisis for the veterinary profession.
There’s something else contributing to the problem that I did not mention, because it’s tricky to bring up without blaming innocent people. It’s the deterioration of the relationship between vets and pet owners.Continue reading “Had A Bad Vet Experience? Please Read This”