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?”
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”
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”
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”
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?”
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”
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!”
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?”
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”
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?”
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”
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! Continue reading “Mast Cell Tumours In 2021: Surgery, Chemo or Stelfonta?”
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”
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”
As a short-sighted person, I don’t take good vision for granted. Therefore, when someone asks me “what exactly do dog see?”, I’m interested in a lot more than just colour vision.
In this article you will find the best evidence we have for:
Continue reading “How Well Do Dogs See Colours & Detail?”
- colour perception,
- ability to see detail,
- light sensitivity, and
- long and short-sightedness
Are you looking for a puppy in Adelaide? Then no doubt you have already seen how hard it is to get one. There’s a massive demand for new puppies, and seemingly a reduced supply since the new dog breeding regulations came into effect.
Traditional sources like breeders and shelters have long waiting lists. The only quick and easy way to get a puppy is from a pet shop. I perfectly understand if you’ve thought about it. But before you make the commitment, there are a few things to consider. Continue reading “Buying A Puppy In Adelaide”
Canine ehrlichiosis is cause for considerable alarm for the millions of dog owners around the country.ABC News 27/1/2021
The arrival of Ehrlichia in Australia has been devastating for some remote dog communities. However, there is no reason to panic, and prevention is easy.
Here I’m going to help Australian dog owners to understand the risks, and know how to easily prevent it. Continue reading “The Outbreak Of Ehrlichia In Australian Dogs”
What do dogs actually hear when we speak to them?
Is this the single most important question of dog ownership? Could getting it wrong be the reason why so many dogs end up unhappy or worse?
I’m not going to solve it, because in 2021 that still isn’t possible. What I can do is show you some tantalising recent science that’s starting to give us glimpses of the truth . And what is said is probably also true for how cats hear us. Continue reading “Using Evidence To Choose The Best Puppy Name”
If your pet is having surgery, then you already know the importance of fasting them beforehand. What you may not know is why and for how long.
Here is a quick summary, with details to follow.
How Long To Withhold Food Before Surgery
Continue reading “Fasting Dogs, Cats & Rabbits Before Surgery”
- Dog: 12-18 hours
- Cat: 12-18 hours
- Rabbit: NO fasting
- Guinea pig: NO fasting
- Ferret: 4 hours
- Rat: 1 hour
Oesophageal stricture is a rare but important problem for both dogs and cats. It happens when a narrowing forms in the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. This creates a partial blockage for food and water. Continue reading “Oesophageal Stricture In Dogs & Cats”
In 2021 there are two drugs your vet may use to anaesthetise dogs and cats: alfaxalone and propofol. You can discover more about each one at the links, but here I will compare them for safety and efficacy. Continue reading “A Comparison Of Alfaxalone & Propofol For Pet Anaesthesia”
Cushings disease is one of the most common diseases of dogs. The problem can be in getting an accurate diagnosis. Here I share some recent research that helps you know whether it could be the cause of illness in your dog.
This is important because no test is every 100% accurate. Continue reading “An Online Test Tool To Predict Cushing’s Disease In Dogs”
In places like Australia, we all know how dangerous the sun can be. It can be just as bad for our dogs. Here I will help you decide three things:
Continue reading “What Are The Signs Of Skin Cancer In Dogs?”
- Is my dog is at risk of skin cancer?
- What do I look out for?
- What do I do if it happens?
In the last few years, there has been a lot of concern among dog owners about leptospirosis. Not only is lepto a horrible disease, but vets now see it in places where it never used to be.
Here you can find the latest information on the risk to Australian dogs and what you can do to reduce it. Continue reading “Is My Dog At Risk Of Leptospirosis?”
Owners of dogs with chronic pain are increasingly asking me two questions:
Continue reading “The Use Of CBD Oil In Australian Dogs”
- Will CBD oil help my dog?
- How do I buy genuine CBD oil in Australia?
I saw a beautiful, not old dog recently, and before I even touched him I knew what was wrong.
He was a Bernese Mountain Dog with enlarged lymph nodes, and I knew he had cancer in the same way I know it when:
Continue reading “Why Cancer Is Common In Some Dog Breeds”
- a Rottweiler limps in a certain way
- a German Shepherd suddenly goes pale and weak, or
- a Staffie gets a lump on the leg
Emergency Info (details to follow):
If Your Dog Is Being Attacked
To separate dogs, try:
- Water sprays or buckets
- Aerosols and sprays (pepper spray is only legal in WA)
- Personal duress alarm (hold buttons on each side of an iPhone down for 5 seconds)
- A beach towel thrown over the aggressor
- Picking the aggressor up by the back legs (wheelbarrowing) is dangerous and should only done by the dog’s owner
Do not try to pull the other dog off. That’s up to their owner to do. You will get badly injured. Click here for your closest Adelaide Emergency vet.
Do not blame yourself. Often there’s nothing you can do due to the size and determination of the aggressor. You’ll probably also fail to get the owner’s details in the heat of the moment.
Now dive deeper… Continue reading “Dog Attacks: What To Do, How To Prevent Them”
Whether you call it neuter, spay, castrate or desex, the right time to get it done in dogs is a subject of much debate. This is because it varies from breed to breed. Recently, a study was published on the best age for neutering in Yorkshire Terriers. Continue reading “What Is The Best Age To Neuter A Yorkshire Terrier?”
Whether you call it neuter, spay, castrate or desex, the right time to get it done in dogs is a subject of much debate. This is because it varies from breed to breed. Recently, a study was published on the best age for neutering in West Highland White Terriers. Continue reading “What Is The Best Age To Neuter A West Highland White Terrier?”
Whether you call it neuter, spay, castrate or desex, the right time to get it done in dogs is a subject of much debate. This is because it varies from breed to breed. Recently, a study was published on the best age for neutering in Shi Tzus. Continue reading “What Is The Best Age To Neuter A Shi Tzu?”
Whether you call it neuter, spay, castrate or desex, the right time to get it done in dogs is a subject of much debate. This is because it varies from breed to breed. Recently, a study was published on the best age for neutering in Pugs. Continue reading “What Is The Best Age To Neuter A Pug?”
Whether you call it neuter, spay, castrate or desex, the right time to get it done in dogs is a subject of much debate. This is because it varies from breed to breed. Recently, a study was published on the best age for neutering in Shetland Sheepdogs. Continue reading “What Is The Best Age To Neuter A Shetland Sheepdog?”
Here I will lead you through the evidence for the best age to desex a dog. New research has shown us that the correct age varies between different dog breeds from six months up to 2 years. Continue reading “The Best Age To Desex A Dog: New Data For 39 Breeds”
Here I will help you identify a lump found under the skin of a dog.
Tumours and masses cause a lot of concern to dog owners. However, with some basic knowledge, and the right action, there’s nothing to fear. Continue reading “Lipomas, Fatty Tumours & Lumps Under Dogs Skin”
In 2020, the American Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) published its data on poisonings in dogs. This could be the best information we have on household dangers to our canine friends.
From a dog-owner perspective, it contains two important lists: the top 5 reported poisonings and the top 20 fatalities. As you will see, these are quite different. Continue reading “The Most Common & Serious Poisons Of Dogs”
It must seem strange for a vet to compare humans and dogs and find humans better. Well let me tell you, this is an exception to a general rule. Just read Why Dogs Are Better Than Humans and you will agree.
However, our inferiority tends to mask the fact that there are a few special areas in which we do better. And because we don’t recognise them, we tend to make bad assumptions and harm our dogs. So here they are… Continue reading “3 Ways Humans Are Better Than Dogs”
If you have an itchy dog, it gets very frustrating very quickly. Nothing seems to help for long, and everyone tells you something different. Is it the food, is it grass, is it mites?
This is an opinion piece, not a regular clinic article. I have been seeing itchy dogs for nearly 30 years and have yet to see one who cannot be helped. Here I’m going to boil down all the conflicting advice into my simple step by step approach. Continue reading “How To Stop Dogs Scratching In 8 Steps”
Some dogs you never forget. They are the ones you know you failed. Like Holly.
She came to me late one night for vestibular disease. And she certainly had all the classic signs:
- a head tilted to one side
- loss of balance and inability to walk
- rapid eye flicking called nystagmus
- even nausea and vomiting
It had been happening for two years, on and off, and she needed more of her medication. Except she really needed a whole lot more than that. Continue reading “Help! My Dog’s Head Is Tilted To One Side”
In 2020, Adelaide has been awash with stories of dog baits being found in parks. Just this month we had:
- green pellets found in a Thebarton park
- meat with pellets at Shepherds Hill
- kidneys stuffed with bait on the Torrens linear park
- and yesterday suspicious mince found in Bennett Reserve on North East Road (pictured)
Leaving aside the twisted motives of why anyone would do this, it’s important to understand the risks and what you can do if it happens. Continue reading “Dog Baiting In Adelaide: What To Know”