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 figures are now in and its official!   National De-sexing  Month makes a real difference in the community .

As we told you in the July Newsletter, each year Forrestfield & High Wycombe Vet Hospitals participate in National De-sexing Month, as part of a national initiative with the aim to reduce the number of unwanted puppies & kittens  born each year. Although sterilisation is normally hugely subsidised by vets anyway compared to equivalent surgical procedures,  during July Forrestfield & High Wycombe Vets go even further & cover the majority of the cost of sterilisation and offer huge discounts so that those who have not got around to sterilising their pets, or simply cant afford to do so, take the plunge & get their pets done during National De-sexing Month with the extra cost incentive offered.

Unplanned pregnancies in dog & cats are a huge problem in the community. Animal shelters are overflowing with the many unwanted dogs, puppies, cats & kittens born each year, & sadly many are euthanased  because simply  there is not enough homes for them to go to. With cats, even more distressing is that many face horrific fates as permanent strays when dumped, scrounging for food  to survive, run over by cars, or becoming  feral & preying  on native wildlife. It makes sense  that the best approach is to stop the pregnancy from happening in the first place, by sterilising before the problem begins, and that’s what National de-sexing month is all about.

And it certainly seems to work based on this years figures!

During  this July alone, our hospitals sterilised 70 cats & over 115 dogs  and that’s a lot when you think about it  !! When you  extrapolate it out, considering each female on average can produce a litter of 5 or 6, that’s potentially hundreds of kittens and puppies  that don’t get added  to the problem, that’s a lot of pups & kittens that don’t suffer potentially horrible  fates .  But even more impressive is when you consider the impact over the last  5 years we have participated in the NDM initiative , where more than 700 dogs & cats have been sterilised at our hospitals under the program. Now that’s really making a difference !

Thanks go to all our dedicated vets & nurses for their extra hard work during July in achieving this great result , & thanks to all our great clients for showing the way with responsible pet ownership.

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The world's pretty frightening for an unwanted kitten

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Sterilisation month promotes responsible pet ownership

Contents of this newsletter

01  How to take a spa bath

02  Top tips on bathing your dog

03  Can I bathe my cat?

04  Kidney disease is thirsty work

05  Creating the best cat toilet

01 How to take a spa bath

We've found a dog who loves a spa bath more than most people! 

Click here to watch Cuzzie the Puggle in action! 

02 Top tips on bathing your dog
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While we are on the topic of spa baths we thought we'd share our top tips for making bath time easier with your pooch. 

1. Choose the right shampoo - never use human shampoo (even baby shampoo) as it's the wrong pH for your pooch. If your dog is itchy, oily or has sensitive skin, we can recommend the most suitable shampoo for your dog. 

2. Pop some cotton wool in your dog's ears to prevent any water sneaking into the canal - don't forget to take it out after you've finished.

3. Provide a non slip surface - put a towel on the bottom of the bath, or a non slip mat to help your dog feel more secure and prevent slipping. 

4. Place a towel over your dog to prevent water going everywhere when the inevitable shake occurs.

5. Jam some steel wool in the plug hole to catch the wet fur and make cleaning up easier.

If you need any more information about bathing your dog you can always ask us for the most up to date advice.

03 Can I bathe my cat?
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When it comes to cats and water, things can get pretty hairy! Most cats hate being immersed in water and find the bath an incredibly stressful experience.

Thankfully you don't really need to bathe your feline friend as they are equipped to take care of their own personal hygiene. They have a rough surface on the top of their tongue that acts as a brush.

Having said that, some cats are better at grooming themselves than others so you may need to groom your cat from time to time to help remove dead hair and prevent matting. This is especially the case with longer haired cats. Matting can cause pain and discomfort, and in many cases, your cat may need sedation to have any matting clipped off safely.

Some tips to remember:

  • Always check for matting in the armpits and around the bottom
  • If your cat is overweight or arthritic she may not groom herself properly
  • A decrease in self grooming can be a sign of illness or pain - call us if you are concerned

You should NEVER wash your cat in a flea shampoo as these are almost always pyrethrin based and ARE POISONOUS TO CATS. You should also be aware that dogs bathed in pyrethrin shampoos can be a source of poison for your cat if she licks and grooms your dog. It is best to avoid using flea shampoo if you have a cat around, especially considering there are so much better flea treatments avialable nowadays. Ask us for advice.

Call us if you think your cat might have some grooming issues - we are always happy to help. 

04 Kidney disease is thirsty work
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If your pet is thirstier than usual it could be a sign of kidney disease. Sometimes the increase in thirst can be subtle but if you find yourself filling up the water bowl more regularly, or notice your pet drinking from the shower or toilet, you should arrange a check up with us.  

The kidneys contain thousands of little factories called nephrons and their job is to work out how much water should be conserved in the body. Once damaged or destroyed, nephrons do not function properly and can't regenerate. As a result, the body doesn't conserve enough water so your pet will need to drink more to stay hydrated.

Toxins, drugs, diseases or even just old age can harm the nephrons, and your pet may not show any signs until 75% of these nephrons are damaged.

Other than increased thirst watch out for:

  • increased urination
  • weight loss
  • vomiting
  • lethargy

Many other diseases present with similar signs to kidney disease (such as diabetes) so it is important that we investigate further. Measuring your pet's water intake over 24 hours and bringing us a urine sample are two things you can do to get the investigation process started. A blood test and urine lab or in-house testing may then be necessary.

If we detect that your pet's kidneys are not working properly, sometimes the earlier we initiate treatment the better.

It's best to arrange an appointment with us as soon as possible if you notice any changes in your pet's thirst. 

05 Creating the best cat toilet
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Photo credit: Marie Hennessy

When it comes to the loo, cats can be fastidious. They tend to like a quiet and private area (who doesn't?) and most prefer plenty of soil to cover things up.

If your cat uses a litter tray, there are some golden rules you should follow to help prevent any problems. 

  1. Provide a tray for every cat in the house plus an additional tray -  two cats should have three trays
  2. Place the tray in a quiet area 
  3. Remove faeces daily and change the litter entirely every 2-3 days
  4. Never use cleaning chemicals in the tray - rinse with warm water
  5. Don't use fragranced litter or plastic liners as cats hate these
  6. Some cats hate a covered tray as it traps the smell, while others prefer the security, so you might need to see what works for your cat

Remember that cats are very clean creatures and prefer deep litter and a large tray to toilet so they can bury their urine and faeces - this is usually why a sandpit is very attractive.

Finally, if your cat isn't using the litter tray correctly you should ask us for advice. There may be other medical issues such as a urinary tract infection complicating the problem or in some cases anxiety, both of which need veterinary treatment.