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Common Complaints

Managing Age and Arthritis the natural Way

Arthritis is a condition that literally means inflammation of the joint. The actual causes of arthritis are many, however, in older pets the most common is osteoarthritis. This is a chronically progressive disease that is most commonly caused by a long-term injury or possibly even conformational faults that have been present since birth. Certain diseases can also lead to chronic arthritis. Age is not an actual disease, but dogs that run heavy on their joints throughout life can wear them out early or strain them leading to the problem as they get older. Feel free to fill out our pain quiz to help assess your dog’s discomfort.

Advanced Hip Disease
Normal Hip

Signs of arthritis:

  • Decrease in willingness to exercise
  • Persistent or intermittent lameness
  • Unwillingness to jump 
  • Less grooming (cats)
  • Muscle wastage
  • Joint thickening

Your vet will diagnose arthritis via a range of techniques, including physical examination, x-rays, test therapeutic medication among other things.Once diagnosed typical mainstream treatments involve anti-inflammatory medication that includes pain relief. Human products are not appropriate for dogs. The medications listed below are natural therapies that can reduce or remove dependency on mainstream or “western” medications that while very effective in treatment can have unintended side effects.

Natural Therapies

Disease modifying osteoarthritis drugs (Pentosan polysulfate)

These medications are given as a series of injections: one injection a week for four weeks and the course of 4 injections usually needs to be repeated every 6-12 months. They act to stabilize joint membranes, help joint cartilage repair and improve joint lubrication. They provide significant improvement in a high percentage of arthritis patients with minimal (if any) side effects.

Glucosamine / Green Lipped Mussel / Shark / Bovine Cartilage Supplement

Glucosamine, a naturally occurring compound, is one of the more popular over-the-counter arthritis remedies. It is one of several natural substances, or nutraceuticals, that are known as chondroprotective agents, used in the treatment of arthritis in humans, dogs, horses, and other animals.

Glucosamine joint supplements are said to alleviate the symptoms of joint damage by boosting the repair of damaged cartilage, specifically articular cartilage, or the moist, spongy material that forms a cushion between joints. Joint supplements like Glyde Mobility Chews are often used as an early intervention and throughout the progression of arthritis, as they are safe for long-term use in most patients. Read more here

The best known components of green lipped mussels are Omega-3 fatty acids, including the fatty acids EPA and DHA, explains Petty. “Omega-3s work by reducing the level of inflammation associated with diseases such as osteoarthritis,” Petty says. Although this is the same compound found in fish oil, in the case of green lipped mussels, this is combined with other compounds that also fight joint inflammation and pain.

A good example of these compounds is eicosatetraenoic acid, or ETA. “The ETA is found only in green lipped mussels and binds cyclooxygenase, which is an enzyme that causes inflammation,” according to Dr. Judy Morgan, DVM, a certified and accredited veterinary acupuncturist and food therapist who combines holistic medicine with traditional Western techniques in her practice. “They also contain glucosamine, chondroitin, zinc, and magnesium, which are beneficial for joint metabolism.” Read More Here

You can also read about shark and bovine cartilage supplements here

We stock Glyde at Kalinga park which covers much of these products.

Fish oil

Fish Oil (salmon or menhaden body oil) appears to have antiproliferative activity in some tumor cell lines, antimetastatic activity in laboratory animals, and anti-cachectic activity in human patients.11,12 The benefits for patients with cancer are linked with the ability to attenuate systemic inflammation.13 It is frequently recommended for canine and feline cancer patients at a rate of 1 extra strength capsule (500-600 mg of DHA and EPA) per 5-10kg of body weight.  Preliminary findings suggest fish oil supplementation increases chemotherapy efficacy, improves survival, and helps to maintain weight and muscle mass in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).7,8 An EPA-enriched oral supplement improved tolerability of chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal cancer and when combined with chemotherapy, fish oil supplementation may delay tumor progression in patients with colorectal cancer.9 Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to have anticoagulant effects, however, results from clinical studies are mixed.

Kalinga Park has a Omega supplement available.


Turmeric has been shown to be anti- angiogenic, induces apoptosis and is anti-inflammatory. The dose
for dogs is one teaspoon per 25kg daily. The dose for cats when they will accept it is 1⁄4 teaspoon twice
daily. It is has been shown to be of more benefit when combined with black pepper and oil (golden
paste). (Credit Steve Denley – Balanced Veterinary Care)

1 cup water, ½ cup organic turmeric powder, ¼ cup coconut oil or bone broth, ½ tablespoon organic ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon Ceylon cinnamon. Simmer turmeric and water over low heat, stirring for 7 to 8 minutes until it forms a paste. Remove from heat and add oil or bone broth, pepper, and cinnamon. Feed 1 teaspoon/20 lb twice daily.


The flowers, leaves and stems of the Cannabis sativa plant have been used in herbal remedies for centuries as well as in more modern culture recreationally and therapeutically. Scientists have identified many biologically active components in cannabis, with the two best-studied components being delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (often referred to as THC), and cannabidiol (CBD). Other cannabinoids are being studied for their medicinal and therapeutic effects.

We have access to pharmaceutical graded products both cannabidiol isolates as well as full spectrum low THC products. Ask us about using CBD for arthritis. CBD does have interactions with a number of other medications its important to have a conversation that takes into account all your pets medical treatments

Studies conducted in the 1970s found that dogs have the highest number of THC receptors in their brains, more than any other animal studied, including humans. For this reason, dogs are very sensitive to cannabis products that contain THC, and pet guardians need to be very careful about giving THC to their dogs, so as to not create this adverse neurologic reaction. Very low THC cannabis, also known as “hemp” does not contain enough THC to create these adverse reactions. They are a better bet for pets, due to their increased safety. Some experts believe that THC is important to give along with CBD to address certain difficult to treat conditions such as cancer. With further research we will learn more about whether this is true. Hemp-based CBD extracts have been anecdotally reported to help dogs with epilepsy. For treating cancer, it is still unknown whether CBDs can work effectively as a single therapy without THC or other anti-cancer drugs. At this time, there are no published reports utilizing cannabis for pets with cancer.

Expert advice for Pet Obesity & weight loss

Obesity is one of the most common nutritional disorders seen in both cats and dogs. Animals that are overweight are predisposed to a range of health problems, including:

  • Diabetes. 
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease).
  • Degenerative joint and orthopedic disease (including arthritis).
  • Joint stress or musculoskeletal pain.
  • Respiratory problems.
  • Cancer and tumours.
  • Skin problems.
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Reproductive disorders.
  • Decreased quality of life.
  • Shorter life expectancy.
Overweight Pug
Funnily enough we don’t actually get that many overweight pugs at Kalinga…

So, what causes obesity? 

We love our pets a lot, but sometimes we can love them too much. By giving in to those adorable begging eyes and giving them extra treats, we are potentially causing them harm. Overeating and lack of exercise are the leading causes of obesity and ones that we luckily have control over. 

There can also be medical factors that could contribute to your furry friend weight issues; it is therefore important to talk to one of our vets before you embark on your pet’s weight loss journey. 

How do I know if my pet is overweight?

There are a few signs that your pet might be overweight, these can include:

  • Difficulty feeling your pet’s ribs.
  • Little to no waist.
  • A reluctance to exercise. 
  • A waddle to their walk.

Oh no! I think my pet is overweight. What do I do now?

If you have been a client of the clinic you will know that one of the first things we do at each visit it take a weight – its recorded on your pets file.  We can look back at this weight profile and make some informed decisions about whether weight is an issue.

There are also significant medical issues that can directly cause weight gain in dogs. Blood tests to rule out these conditions are an important part of the weight loss journey. Medications may be able to be used to speed up weight loss.

Finally, the staff have experience with a range of specifically tailored diets to help make the weight loss journey easier.

Separation Anxiety -Stress in the Post COVID World.

Separation anxiety is one of the most common, yet most underdiagnosed behavioural problems in dogs. The clinical signs of excessive barking, whining, howling, destruction, self-mutilation, urination and defecation can take a significant toll on both dogs and owners. Luckily, veterinarians now widely understand separation anxiety, and there are treatment options available to manage this condition and improve quality of life.

A dog with chewed up towels and shoes looking sad or embarrassed
The Anxious Dog

Separation anxiety is distress experienced on separation from you as the owner(s).

Anxiety is the “anticipation of future danger or misfortune”

– Dr K Seksel.

As dogs are social animals, it is normal for a puppy to become attached to their litter and then subsequently to the human family that becomes their home. Some dogs do not habituate to being without their owners and can develop significant separation distress. Some dogs may become destructive or vocalise if under stimulated and not provided with opportunities to exercise physically and mentally. However, signs of separation anxiety become apparent when they are linked to the owner(s)’ departures or absences, when they cannot gain access to them and when they cannot habituate to their absences over time. These dogs are anxious and are not “acting out” or trying to spite their owners, they are having a hard time.

Some possible signs of separation anxiety can include:

• A dug-up garden.
• A torn-up house.
• Neighbours reporting loud, repetitive barking, whining or howling.

You may also notice some signs of distress as you prepare to leave the house. Your dog sees cues that you are leaving (like picking up keys, putting on shoes or applying make-up) and begins to        bark, scratch, pant, freeze or show other signs of being distressed.

If you notice any of these signs of separation anxiety, please speak to your veterinarian. Depending on the case they may refer you to a veterinarian with further qualifications in behaviour or a veterinary behaviour specialist.

Part of the treatment plan may include:

• Medication and/or supplements to address the underlying anxiety.
• Encouraging independence using positive reinforcement exercises.
• Structured departures and arrivals which are low-key (calmly speaking to your dog, but not ignoring them completely).
• Offering your dog long-lasting chews, food puzzles and feeding devices for your times away (if they will eat in your absence).
• Continuing a program of physical and mental exercise and stimulation.
• A program of desensitisation and counterconditioning to cues that hint that you may leave the home.

Grass Seeds

Dogs running in grass

Queensland grasses are quite woody in comparison to southern grass types,  as a result, when the whether gets dry after we have had some rain. Grass’s go to “seed” – these seeds are often covered in small spines that allow them to stick to people and pets as they walk in our parks.   Without good preventative care  grass seeds can sneak their way into your pet’s paws, ears, nostrils, or eyes, and can cause some complicated health problems.

The best cure of course in prevention – after each walk hose brush your pet down with a comb to remove loose seeds and burrs.  Then rinse them off with plain old water.  

If grass seeds are not removed and are left untreated, they can cause some irritating issues. These can include:-

  • ear infections
  • abscess formation
  • ruptured eardrums
  • loss of an eye
  • or even an Aural Hematoma.


The most common presentation is an interdigital abscess

Treatment for grass seeds can be extremely complicated and often require an anesthetic.
Prevention is the key! To minimise the risk to your pet, we recommend t
he following;

  • Keep an eye on the length of your grass. Shorter grass is the best way to minimise the risk of grass seeds.
  • Check your pet daily for grass seeds. They could be hiding in their coat, toes, eyes, and ears!
  • Regularly groom your dog.
  • Avoid dry grass areas when taking your dog out.

If you suspect a grass seed might be bothering your pet, it is essential to see a vet as soon as possible to avoid further complications.

Call us on (07) 3357 1588. or book online today.

Scratching in dogs

Is the cause an Allergy?

The scratching dog is a complicated problem that involves many factors, there are other causes and signs but the starting point is almost always an allergy.

What are allergies?

An allergy is an abnormal reaction to common substances such as dust, pollen, fleas, grasses and plants, or certain foods.  The allergic reaction in dogs is triggered by exposure to these agents through inhalation. contact with the skin or via ingestion.  After becoming sensitized to an offending allergen, the dog is likely to remain so for the rest of its life.  Thus allergy control is the answer rather than a cure.

Do all dogs develop allergies?

It is possible for all dogs to exhibit allergies.  Statistics show that 15-20% of dogs experience allergy disorders.  Certain breeds, however, have been reported to be more likely to develop them.

What are the signs?

Dogs rarely experience the sneezing and watery eyes associated with allergies in humans.  Instead, the most common allergic signs in dogs include repetitive scratching, licking or biting of a localized area of the body.  This may lead to hair loss, scaly skin and even open sores.

What types of treatment are available?

A variety of treatments are available to control allergy. The most obvious of these is avoidance of the allergen. That's easy to say but often very hard to do because either we don't know what the dogs are allergic to, or it is actually impossible to avoid completely what they are allergic to. i.e. the grass or plants in the backyard or the neighbours flowering tree.  The use of anti-allergy drugs can also be useful. In humans, antihistamines are commonly used and very effective for allergy relief. in dogs, unfortunately, they are much less effective with only about 1/3 of dogs getting any relief at all.   The most effective treatment used to be corticosteroids such as prednisolone and these can be in the form of topical cream, tablets or injections which give immediate relief but have side effects if used long term.

Good quality diets, low allergenic diets, regular bathing in medicated shampoos, control of secondary bacterial and fungal infections of the skin and 100% flea control are important measures that will reduce the effects of allergies in your dog by keeping their skin healthier.

New Treatment Options

We now have a number of newer targeted treatment options available that have significantly less side effects than the therapies mentioned above! These treatments need to formulated and discussed on an individual pet basis. Make an appointment today to have you buddy checked out!

We have a questionnaire that helps assess response here.

APOQUEL inhibits the function of a variety of pruritogenic and proinflammatory cytokines.

APOQUEL inhibits the function of a variety of pruritogenic and proinflammatory cytokines.


I dont think it can be underestimated how important diet is to dogs skin health.    While true food allergy is quite rare, there is no doubt diet plays a major role in managing skin disease.

What is Immunotherapy?

This type of therapy inhibits the ability of antibodies to cause an allergic reaction.  The principal mechanism involves lowering the patient's sensitivity to offending allergens by injecting the patient routinely with a series of a low dose of an allergenic extract, much like a vaccine.  First the patient is allergy tested and then the vaccine is formulated specifically for those particular allergies.  The prescription dose is gradually increased over a period of time until a maintenance level is attained and symptoms are relieved.

Each dogs response to immunotherapy is unique, and the length of time necessary for improvement and the amount of improvement varies accordingly.

Corona Virus and Pets

Worried about your pet and Coronavirus?

We know some of our pet owners are concerned about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and can it be passed to pets?  Here is some information to help.

What you need to know about COVID-19 and your pets.

A report about a Hong Kong Pomeranian has caused concern among some pet owners. On the 4th March the Hong Kong SAR Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) reported that the dog tested “weakly positive” to COVID-19. Following confirmation that the dog’s owner was positive for the virus causing COVID-19. The Hong Kong authorities believe this finding may indicate the dog has a low-level of infection. The dog has not shown any clinical signs of disease and is currently being held in quarantine. At this stage there is no evidence that pets can play a role in the spread of this human disease, or that they become sick. COVID-19 is an ever-evolving situation, its best to ensure precautionary steps are taken when handling pets.

Precautionary steps to follow as a pet owner:

  • Follow good hygiene when interacting with your pets.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching any animal.
  • Avoid sharing food with your pets or letting your pets kiss or lick your face or mouth.
  • Keep your pet’s vaccinations and parasite treatments up to date and maintain regular veterinary health checks.

What should you do if your pet has been exposed to someone with COVID-19?

There is currently no evidence that suggests pet dogs or cats can be a source of infection to other animals or to humans. This virus is being spread from human to human. Should your pet develop an unexplained illness, contact your public health official and your local Vet. It’s important to explain that your pet has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 should this be the case.

Should I quarantine myself from my pets?

Pet owners who are or may become infected with COVID-19 should restrict close contact with their pets. Appropriate hand hygiene practices before and after handling pets is critical.

How should I get veterinary attention if I am quarantined and my pet is sick?

Kalinga Park can over veterinary consultations via Skype and other online platforms ring us on 0733571588 to discuss – we can also arrange medication delivery to your mail box for local customers.

For more information visit these websites ;

Pet Ear Care

Dog Sore Ear

Normal Canine ear

Of all the reasons a cat or dog requires a visit to the Veterinary Surgery, an ear problem is among the most common. Caring for a pet's ears does not need to be complicated, but they are not the same as a human ear and do require a little bit of TLC.

Their deep, curved ear canals make it difficult for air to get in and moisture to get out and moisture retained in the ear after swimming or bathing can often lead to infections. Spring and summer when it is hot and particularly when it is humid is the worst time of the year for ear infections. Not only are ear infections likely to occur but quite often they are difficult to cure.  In brisbane one of the most common underlying causes of ear problems is allergies, untreated it will lead to secondary complications.     Bacterial infestation, fungal infestation, ear mites and foreign bodies such as grass seeds are the also common causes of ear irritations.

Ten Important signs of Ear problems

It is important to know what early signs might indicate an infection so treatment can be started.

  1. Odour - bad odour coming from the ears
  2. Scratching at the ears
  3. Excessive discharge (usually yellow, brown or black)
  4. Inflammation - redness of the ear flap or canal
  5. Shaking the head or ears
  6. Obvious pain when touched around the head or ears
  7. Head tilted to one side or held down
  8. Stumbling or circling to one side
  9. Lethargy or depression
  10. Marked swelling of the ear flaps

If your dog or cat is showing any of these signs then a visit to the veterinarian is necessary, as there is a high likelihood an ear problem is present.

What can you do?

The best way to prevent ear problems is to establish a regular ear care program aimed at preventing such problems from developing.

Keep ears dry.  Ears should be dried thoroughly after bathing or swimming.

  1. Cleaning. A regular ear clean following your dog's bath using an alcohol-based ear cleaning solution such as Epi-Otic or Bayer Ear Cleaning solution will remove any dirt or wax buildup that may encourage infections. All of these cleaners are readily available over the counter at the surgery without consultation.
  2. Clipping/Plucking. It is important to clip or pluck the hair from around the ear canal. Dogs that do not shed hair such as Poodles, Schnauzers, Bichons, Labradoodles, Spoodles etc. often need to have hair plucked from the canals. This allows better air flow into the canal and prevents wax from being trapped thus reducing the chance an infection will develop.
  3. Controlling skin disease. Many ear infections are simply a continuation of a generalized skin condition such as bacterial or fungal infection. When this happens it is impossible to treat the ear infection without controlling the skin disease.

How to clean ears

Below is a general image on how to clean a dogs ears.  We have a range of cleaning products available.  One of which is a new product from Vetoquinol called Sonotix.

Wandering Jew and Canine Allergic Dermatitis (Dogs)

Tradescantia sp, commonly known as the Spiderworts, and even more frequently called “Wandering Jew”. Is an extremely common cause of contact allergies in our doggy friends. This plant is extremely common in the Queensland backyard, often accepted as a ground cover plant in some gardens. Here is a range of pictures of various subspecies and their flowers. As you can see the species can have many forms.

Wandering Jew is a common cause of contact allergies in dogs. The problem normally affects the underbelly, armpits and groin of the dog, as well as ears and face. Starting as pustules surrounded by red skin which the dog will self-traumatize – occassionally leading the bleeding and raw skin.

In the past few weeks I have seen at least 6 cases of confirmed allergy to this plant. The best recommendation I can give is to remove the plant from the garden. Failing that prevent their dog accessing the plant.

From the DPI QLD website.

In a recent review of this article I was able to identify another species of plant that may be incorrectly identified as Wandering Jew and is probably more common in south east Queensland.   This plant is not considered a noxious weed however does seem very good at proliferating in sunny areas.

I am still unsure as to whether this species is also allergenic but I suspect it might be. The plant has small hairs on the main stems that could plausibly cause allergic reaction in dogs.

General information

A native of South America, wandering jew ([wiki id=en]Tradescantia fluminernsis[/wiki]), also called Trad, is a fleshy-leaved creeping plant that grows as a ground cover.

A good, non-invasive native alternative to wandering jew is scurvy grass (Commelina diffusa).

Wandering jew is not a declared plant under Queensland legislation, however its control is recommended.

Scientific name Tradescantia fluminernsis
  • out-competes native vegetation along streams and gullies
  • smothers ground by sending out roots at each nodal point
  • green shiny leaves with parallel veins covered with small hairs
  • small white three-petalled flowers produced mainly in spring
  • stems and leaves are weak and easily broken
Habitat and distribution
  • establishes as thick carpet-like groundcover in moist, shady areas
  • considered a major environmental weed in subtropical and temperate rainforests
  • hand weeding to remove whole plant including roots and nodes is effective but labour intensive
  • herbicides effective
  • see the wandering jew fact sheet for more information
Declaration details
  • not a declared plant under Queensland legislation but may be declared under local government law


Based on this information and the fact that it causes problems for our canine companions I think it should be removed from gardens. To remove it your best bet is a good metal rake. “Rinse and repeat fortnightly as they say” Herbicides are not effective not to mention unhealthy.


Treatments depends on the severity of the case. Mild cases may just need a bath to wash away the allergens. Moderate cases may need an injection of cortisone to relieve the allergic reaction. Severe ongoing cases may need more intestive therapy with antibiotics, pain relief and anti- inflammatories.

Call us on 33571588 for more information