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”
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”
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”
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 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?”
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”
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?”
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?”
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”
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?”
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”
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
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”
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”
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?”
Update: By late 2021, we have successfully treated around 30 cats, with only a single failure in a neurological case. Doses of remdesivir are now higher than initially recommended. We now also have access to pharmaceutical-grade GS- 441524 in tablet form, which is both a little cheaper and easier to use for some owners.
Protocols remain at 84 days. Those going onto tablets are recommended to start with injections for the first 4 weeks.
Now read on! Continue reading “Treatment with Remdesivir for FIP in Cats”
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”
There is a very good reason why so many kittens come with sneezes, runny eyes or coughs. This is true whether a young kitten with continuous symptoms, or an older cat where the problem seems to get better and then come back.
Once you know it, a lot of other common cat illnesses start to make sense.
To understand the special nature of cat diseases, you need to look at how they began. So stick with me! What I’m about to discuss could be the most important health issue of cats. Continue reading “The Cause Of Sneezing & Watery Eyes In Kittens”
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”