Tick Paralysis is here now!!

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Spring is here and with it comes an unwanted pest for dogs and cats – the Paralysis Tick.
A tick attached

New ticks hatch at this time of the year and are particularly toxic to dogs and cats. Many native animals have developed a resistance to the ticks poison, including their natural host the bandicoot, but unfortunately, most dogs and cats are badly affected if a tick attaches to them.  The paralysis tick injects a poison into the system which progressively paralyses the host animal. Early signs of tick paralysis include vomiting, a change of bark and faster breathing. This quickly progresses to hind and forelimb paralysis and finally death.

Traditionally we have very few ticks in the Kalinga / Wooloowin and Wavell Heights areas but this year seems to be a bit different. There seem to be a lot more ticks around. It is early spring we are finding ticks on dogs on a regular basis and have had several cases of paralysis. Perhaps all the rain we had last summer has created more favourable conditions. Similarly, you don’t have to travel too far from this area for ticks to be seen – notably the Sunshine Coast, a popular weekend and holiday destination.  Every spring and summer we have animals in the hospital with tick paralysis – the result of dogs picking up ticks further afield and bringing them home.

If you are taking your dog into tick areas we recommend the following precautions:

Best Practice for tick prevention

Daily Searching – Ticks are usually found from the shoulders forward in areas including the head, neck, face and forelimbs.

If found:-

  • Remove the tick using a firm pull. Grip the tick at the base of the head using tweezers or tick remover.
  • You can treat the tick with an insecticide (use a flea or tick rinse labelled for your pet) prior to removal if you’re unsure.
  • Do not delay in removal – proceed to the vet to have the tick removed if you cannot do it yourself.
  • Clean the site well using fresh water and possibly some correctly labelled disinfectant.

Bravecto – is the newest preventative control available.  It comes in the form of an oral chew.  Bravecto will last 3mths against Paralysis tick.

Coming Soon!!! Bravecto Spot On – this form of control will last up to 6mths – please contact us to find out more…

Alternative Preventatives

Advantix Spot On for dogs – Advantix needs to be applied fortnightly to prevent ticks

Frontline Top Spot and Spray – will also kill ticks for up to 2 weeks.  Should be applied at least 2 days before entering an infested area.  This is a popular and easy treatment.

Tick Collars – (similar to flea collars, but with a different active ingredient) are increasing in popularity and will kill ticks for up to a 3 month.  Certain tick collars have different requirements and must be used correctly to work.  Please contact us on 3357 1588 to discuss which collars would be most effective and how they need to be used.

Bathing – using an insecticidal rinse that kills ticks is a popular additional treatment.

Dog Sore Ear

Pet Ear Care

By | Common Complaints, Infectious Disease | No Comments

Of all the reasons a cat or dog requires a visit to the Veterinary Surgery, an ear problem is among the most common. Their deep, curved ear canalsNormal Canine ear 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. Bacterial infections, fungal infections, ear mites and foreign bodies such as grass seeds are the most common causes of ear infections.

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.

  1. Keep ears dry.  Ears should be dried thoroughly after bathing or swimming.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Canine Genetic Health Screen

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Kalinga Park Veterinary Surgery is excited to announce our new Puppy Screen/Genetic Screen for Mixed Breed Dogs. This test allows you to request a full genetic disease analysis to be carried out on a dog of a mixed or unknown breed. The test screens a wide range of genetic diseases and reports back with a rating of normal, carrier or affected and are available to individual owners and breeders.

Why is this test important?
If the background of your puppy or dog is uncertain it is nearly impossible to determine what genetic disorders your dog could possibly have inherited. This non-invasive test allows us to screen 26 common genetic disorders found in various breeds of dogs before any symptoms appear.

This test is also ideal for breeders wanting to determine the suitability of an individual dog for breeding purposes.

How is the test conducted?
Our qualified staff take two sample cheek swabs – it’s as simple as that!

Read More

Wandering Jew and Canine Allergic Dermatitis (Dogs)

By | Common Complaints, Uncategorized | No Comments

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. http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/cps/rde/dpi/hs.xsl/4790_7385_ENA_HTML.htm

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 (Tradescantia fluminernsis), 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
Impacts
  • out-competes native vegetation along streams and gullies
  • smothers ground by sending out roots at each nodal point
Description
  • 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
Control
  • 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.


Treatment

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

Rabies and Australia

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Rabies is a lethal disease that is endemic in most parts of the world. Only a few countries are considered Rabies free.

Rabies Distribution Map

Australia is, fortunately, one such country. This means that for animals being bought into or taken out of Australia there are important facts that must be addressed.

Here at the Kalinga Park Veterinary Surgery, all our veterinary staff is qualified to give advice on the medical procedures necessary to take your favourite companion overseas and get them back safely.

Important Points about Rabies:

  • Rabies is considered universally fatal to unvaccinated animals or people. Fortunately, in people that are aware they have been bitten, it is possible to get post-exposure vaccinations.
  • Rabies can affect almost all warm-blooded animals.
  • Rabies has an extremely long and varied incubation period. One child was suggested that the incubation period was around 6 years before she died from the virus.
  • Dogs account for 99% of all human rabies deaths. Urban Rabies (the subtype that affects dogs) is the sole cycle in South East Asia and is the dominant cycle in Asia, Central and South America, and Africa. Dogs are the host and while they may infect other species these species do not spread the disease but will die. There are other subtypes of rabies that can cycle in other hosts such as skunks, foxes, racoons and bats, the urban form is most important for Australia.

 

In Australia in most cases, it is unnecessary to vaccinate for Rabies. Most veterinarians do not obtain Rabies Vaccine due to cost and expiry.

Australia Quarantine maintains a register of authorized veterinarians who can administer the rabies vaccine, mainly to animals travelling overseas. If you are planning such a trip it is advised you contact an AQIS registered veterinarian such as those at the Kalinga Park Veterinary Surgery to obtain information regarding preparing your pet for transport. For large numbers of animals, we can provide significant discounts to testing and vaccination.

Australian Bat Lyssavirus

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What should you do if your Pet has eaten or been bitten by a Bat or Flying fox?

Potential Lyssavirus hostsImmediately call us on 07 33571588, there is a specific protocol in place to handle dogs or cats that have had potential contact with a bat or Flying fox infected with Lyssavirus.

Should I try and move the bat from the pet?

  • AT NO TIME SHOULD YOU ATTEMPT TO HANDLE A LIVING BAT.
  • IF YOU’RE NOT SURE DON’T TOUCH IT.
  • Even if the bat is dead I would advise against any direct contact.

What Should I do if I think I might have been bitten or scratched?

GO IMMEDIATELY TO YOUR NEAREST HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM

What can happen if I don’t get treatment or post-exposure vaccination for my Pet?

  1. Maybe nothing – if the bat wasn’t carrying Australian Bat Lyssavirus. The risk of infection is low. but the result of infection could be death, that’s a big risk!
  2. If the pet becomes infected, it will die usually within 90 days but it has been recorded for deaths to take as long as 27mths

You can call us and ask to speak to Dr Ben Charlton, to further clarify all of the points discussed above, the Queensland government has a protocol in place we follow to provide the correct treatment for these patients.

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Health Checks and Age

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dogs-thunderPets, on average, age five to eight times faster than humans. By age two, most pets have already reached adulthood. At age four,  many are entering middle age, and beginning around age seven, your pet enters his or her senior years.

Because pets age so rapidly, major health changes can occur in a short amount of time. The risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, heart disease and other serious conditions all increase with age.

Annual health checks can help us diagnose, treat or even prevent problems before they become life-threatening. They’re also a great opportunity to ask us about nutrition, behaviour or any other issues.

Identify your pets real age using the charts below then call us today to book a health check for your pet.

How old is your pet in people years?

Cats

Dogs

Age

All Weights

1 7
2 13
3 20
4 26
5 33
6 40
7 44
8 56
9 60
10 64
11 68
12 72
13 76
14 80
15 84
16 84
17 84
18 84
19 84
20 84

Age

0-20kg

20-50kg

50-90kg

1 7 7 8
2 14 14 16
3 20 21 24
4 26 28 31
5 33 35 38
6 40 42 45
7 44 47 50
8 48 51 55
9 52 56 61
10 56 60 66
11 60 65 72
12 64 69 77
13 68 74 82
14 72 78 88
15 76 83 93
16 80 87 99
17 84 92 104
18 88 96 109
19 92 101 115
20 96 108 120