Forrestfield Veterinary Hospital
313 Hale Road
Wattle Grove, WA, 6107

reception@forrestfieldvet.com.au
Phone: 08 9453 1290

High Wycombe Veterinary Hospital
548 Kalamunda Road
High Wycombe, WA, 6057

reception@highwycombevet.com.au
Phone: 08 9454 6915
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The last six weeks has seen some changes in our nursing staff at Forrestfield & High Wycombe Vet Hospitals.

One of our longest serving vet nurses, Philippa , decided to leave us after more than 9 years of service  to pursue a change of pace in the adrenaline rush & late nights of a Veterinary Emergency centre. She will be sorely missed by patients & clients alike, but we wish her well in her new endeavour, say thanks  for her great contribution to the hospitals & hope that she somehow manages to get enough sleep!  

The good news is that the breach has been filled for the time being by the return of another longstanding vet nurse, Donna, who took a break to spend more time with her family  late last year, but returns to the hospitals on a long term locum basis .  Having previously worked at the hospitals for 7 years, Donna again brings a wealth of experience , and a familiar face to all our clients & their pets,  to keep things running smoothly for everyone . Welcome back Donna !

Coincidentally ( but not related !) , late June was also  the starting  date for Brooke, our new trainee nurse. Brooke is the youngest member of our staff, and is currently studying her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, to become a fully qualified vet nurse.  Working in a part time role while she completes her studies, until now Brooke has mainly been involved in surgical nursing  to “find her feet”, so you may not have known she has joined our team. But her role will be expanded to other vet nursing roles over the coming months, so expect to see Brooke's smiling  face at reception, as well as many other duties. So don’t forget to say Hi! Welcome to the hospital team, Brooke.

Donna

Donna, Welcome back to the fold !

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Brooke looking after one of our patients

Contents of this newsletter

01  Don't turn away from bad breath

02  The ins and outs of a dental procedure

03  Dental care at home

04  OMG! My dog has warts

05  Are Kangaroos really left handed?

01 Don't turn away from bad breath
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Does your pet have dreaded doggy breath? Don’t turn away as bad breath can kill. Bad breath is generally caused by dental disease, a sneaky condition that likes to hide in your pet's mouth. Up to 80% of our pets might be suffering from this nasty disease and it is one of the most common problems we come across.

If your pet isn’t having to work very hard to chew their food,  or if your pets teeth are crowded together like in many short faced dogs, plaque and tartar build up around the teeth leading to irritation of the gum and an inflammatory condition called gingivitis. Eventually the gum separates from the tooth allowing small pockets of bacteria to accumulate. This bacteria can travel around your pet’s body, affecting the overall health of your pet.

You should not ignore this disease as it is very painful and can impact the kidneys, heart and liver. 

Signs of dental disease might include:

• Bad breath (also known as 'doggy breath')
• Drooling from the mouth or poking the tongue out
• Bleeding from the mouth
• A loss of appetite or weight loss

Sometimes the signs are subtle and you may not notice anything at all. This is just another reason why regular check ups with us are important as during a routine examination we will always examine your pet's mouth.

If we diagnose dental disease early enough, we may be able to implement a dental disease treatment plan and prevent further damage to your pet's teeth, giving you and your pet something to smile about!

02 The ins and outs of a dental procedure
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A general anaesthetic is required to clean your pet's teeth correctly

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You'll be more inclined to kiss your pet if they have a healthy mouth!

If we have diagnosed your pet with dental disease we will most likely recommend  a dental clean. This is a very common procedure and is essential in treating dental disease. If your pet is having a dental procedure there’s a few things you need to know:

A general anaesthetic is required

We can't ask our pets to say “open wide" while we have a look around. To make sure we are able to clean all the teeth and do it safely (we don’t want to be bitten!), a general anaesthetic is required. Your pet must be anaesthetised so we can properly examine the entire tooth. This includes the inner surface and all of the teeth right up the back to the mouth that you can’t see when your pet is awake. 

We use very similar equipment to human dentists

In some cases this is the exact same equipment! 
A scaling device is used to remove any plaque that is stuck to the teeth and, after scaling,  the teeth are individually polished.  Sometimes, we may recommend x-rays so we can assess the bony structures around the tooth. This provides your pet with gold standard dental care.

Extractions may be necessary

In some cases, bacteria may have already damaged the structures of the tooth, exposing roots and nerves. This is painful so it is best we remove any diseased teeth. A fractured tooth may also require extraction. Antibiotics, pain relief and a diet of soft and chunky food may be needed until the extraction sites have healed.

As involved as it may sound, a dental procedure will ensure your pet is happier, healthier and most importantly, pain free.

We are always happy to answer any questions you have about your pet's dental procedure. 

03 Dental care at home
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This is a very common question and thankfully we have lots of tools up our sleeve.

Here’s our top tips:

Get your pet chewing!

Every mouthful your pet takes should be hard work! Many soft food diets dont provide enough abrasion of the teeth to stop tartar from forming, so dental chews, or diets involving more chewing may be required.

We have excellent special dental biscuits available that are actually designed to clean the tooth as your pet chews. We can also advise you on the best chews and treats available when it comes to dental care. Not every chew on the market is entirely safe for your pet so it’s best to ask us for the guidance.

There are also special additives that make it harder for the plaque to stick to the enamel of the teeth.

Brush those pearly whites

Believe it or not, this is considered gold standard in home care but its not for everybody or every pet ! We have tooth brushes that enable you to get into the hard to reach places. We are also happy to demonstrate brushing with your pet. Keep in mind that it can take a few months for your pet to get used to the idea. Daily brushing is recommended (in an ideal world) however a couple of times a week is better than no brushing at all! If you are using a dental paste make sure it is safe for pets (human toothpaste is toxic)  You can watch this video for more information.

04 OMG! My dog has warts
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A wart on the tongue of a dog

Did you know that your dog can return home from the park with more than just a wagging tail...? Your dog can catch warts! There’s no need to worry but it’s best to read on for all the information.

Warts are caused by the oral papilloma virus. The virus is spread through direct contact with an infected dog or via contact with a shared ball, water bowl or frisbee. The virus enters through a break in the skin and in a couple of months, warts can pop up on the lips, gums, tongue and roof of the mouth or in the throat. In some cases the warts end up growing on top of one another creating cauliflower like lesions (yuk!).

Dogs with an immature immune system (generally under two years of age), are most likely to be infected, but the virus can occasionally affect older dogs (often those with compromised immune systems. 

The good news is that most warts will disappear without any treatment. In some cases they can bleed or become infected and may require a course of antibiotics. Occasionally, warts can interfere with chewing or swallowing and require surgical removal. Very rarely they may develop into cancerous growths.

Warts tend to look worse than they actually are and once your dog has immunity against the virus, it is unlikely that he will succumb to infection again.

If you ever notice anything unusual in your pet’s mouth we recommend an examination with us.

05 Are Kangaroos really left handed?
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In the first of its kind research, it’s been discovered that most Kangaroos are left handed!

It’s the first time that ‘handedness’ has been demonstrated in a species other than humans (who are mostly right handed).

The evidence comes from hours spent observing multiple species in the wild. It was discovered that most wild kangaroos tend to favour their left hands during common tasks like grooming and feeding.  You can read more here.

Have you ever considered if your pet is left or right ‘pawed’? Consider the following:

• If you teach your dog to shake, which paw does he offer you first and most often?

• Fill a toy with something delicious and put it in front of your dog. Which paw does he use to touch the toy first?

• Put something sticky on your dog or cat's nose. Which paw does he use to remove it?

• Place a treat or a piece of cheese under a couch, just beyond reach. Which paw does he use to try and get it out?

• Dangle a toy over your cat's head. Which paw does he lift to bat it?