This article aims to save pets lives and improve owners’ awareness of their rights. While I believe it is a discussion we need to have, it includes topics which may be upsetting to some. It in no way is intended to be read as criticism of the business practices of any veterinarian and is not referring to any specific surgery, clinic or hospital. At the end is a series of recommendations for what to do when faced with the need to make a quick decision. Continue reading “Myth 11: All Vets Charge The Same”
If there is there a saying that makes a dog trainer more cranky I’d like to hear it. This myth is responsible for a world of missed opportunities for our senior pets. Take it from us- the only thing stopping our pets learning through life is our own prejudices. Continue reading “Myth 10: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”
This is not a rant about the evils of the internet. It is a fantastic resource. But there are also traps and dangers, as I will share.
Continue reading “Myth 9: The internet will clear things up”
In our daily work the problems we see cry out to be publicised so we can warn others. The joy of writing these blogs is that these articles sometimes seem to write themselves based on what we are seeing and doing. There is no better example than this week’s. It might almost seem amusing to read these stories, but the results can be severe and lifelong. Continue reading “Myth 8: My dog knows when to stop”
Perhaps the biggest scandal of pet ownership in Australia is that there is no independent monitoring, testing or licensing of pet food products, and nowhere to turn when they cause harm. And equally shocking to vets is that it is easier to buy flea control products that are neither safe or effective than it is to buy good ones. Continue reading “Myth 7: If it is sold for pets, it must be safe”
Pippin is a bunny who lives with her mate in an outdoor tunnel home they have excavated by themselves.
Pippin came to us last week with a history of an inability to use her hind legs, which seemed to happen overnight.
Continue reading “Help! My Rabbit Has Been Attacked”
Following our killjoy post about Christmas hazards, now we’re going to tell you why your pet doesn’t need treats! And why they are happier without them.
In Adelaide, Rabbits, Chickens, Ducks, Guinea Pigs, Native Mammals and any other small pets commonly live in outside hutches, pens or coops. And without their owners being aware of the risk, they are in great danger. If they are not adequately protected, one night can be all it takes to lose them. Please read on but this story may be upsetting for some.
Why? Foxes! Some readers will be nodding in agreement, and others will be shaking their heads in disbelief. Believe it or not, we have a large and thriving urban fox population in Adelaide. During the day they are denned up somewhere, but at night they roam through our backyards easily climbing fences on the prowl for anything edible.
Cats are seemingly not at risk. Foxes and cats seem to regard each other as worthy adversaries and tend to ignore each other, but I would worry about a kitten out at night. But we need to remember that with cats, night also brings danger. Most cats hit by cars happen at night, probably misjudging the speed and distance of car headlights. Severe cat fights also tend to occur at night when the strays are on the move.
Small pets can live happily in yards for years without problems, then suddenly one nightmarish morning they are all found dead. Foxes will kill as many as they can catch, usually the whole group, and bury the bodies they cannot carry. A fox is a wily and cunning predator, and will attempt to break into animal enclosures if there are any weak points. The pets inside will sometimes die of neck fractures from their panic even if the attempt is unsuccessful.
Nature may be ‘red in tooth and claw’ but we like to imagine our pets don’t have to contend with such horrors. So here are our recommendations:
- Keep small pets inside at night, at least in the laundry or an enclosed patio area.
- Chickens and ducks must be locked in a secure coop with an enclosed roof every night
- House train your rabbit! It’s fun and easy for a patient person and then they can live with us at all times (if electical cords are protected and you don’t mind furniture legs being chewed)
- Screen rabbits from biting insects to help prevent myxomatosis.
But all of these animals will need time out of their enclosure to roam and explore. Rabbits particularly suffer from being kept permanently in hutches which do not protect them from extremes in temperature.
By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. These blogs are from a series regularly posted on Facebook and Twitter. We do not accept payments or incentives in return for stories. Like or follow our page or subscribe via email to read the latest.
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A lot of people make this mistake and it’s easy to see why. Puppy preschool is all about socialising dogs and if there’s a dog at home, surely this is enough. However, if anything, having a dog at home makes pups less social. I’ll explain why this is so. Continue reading “Myth 4: My second dog doesn’t need puppy preschool classes”