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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As vets, one of the saddest things we have to do is put to sleep a healthy & much loved family pet because it has bitten one of the kids or their friends . Although there can be no real excuse for aggressive dog behaviour to family members, sometimes the biting incident is the result of the dog being “pushed too far “ and the whole incident could have been avoided in the first place by better understanding of the signs & the triggers that may lead a dog to bite, and appropriate behaviour by both dog AND the child.

Better education of what to look for and what to teach the kids is the key. That’s why Forrestfield & High Wycombe Vet Hospital have introduced information about Kids, Dogs and Biting into our Puppy Classes program, as there is no better time to start than when pups are young & both pups (& kids) get into good habits from the start.

Puppy classes are well known to be great for the socialisation of puppies, but don’t forget they are a great source of information for you, the puppy owner, as well, & this new addition about Kids, Dogs & Biting is another great example of how problems can often be avoided by training for all.

For more information on our Puppy Classes click here .

For those of you that don’t have a puppy but still want more information on the Kids vs Dogs discussion, there is a great blog article by animal behaviouralist Dr Sophia Yin, complete with some fun cartoon pictures that really highlight the issue, that you can view via this link.

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I love playing ball with the kids !!

Contents of this newsletter

01  The super helpful pooch!

02  What's an endocrine disease?

03  Diabetes case study

04  A bit about Addison's disease

05  How blood testing works

01 The super helpful pooch!

Is this the most helpful dog ever? We couldn't believe it when we saw what Grace the Golden Retriever was capable of! Click here to see the video on YouTube.

02 What's an endocrine disease?
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An endocrine disease is a fancy medical term used to describe a disease caused by a hormonal imbalance. These diseases are pretty common and can unfortunately affect your pet’s quality of llife.

Endocrine diseases can even be life threatening if they are not diagnosed and treated correctly (diabetes and Addison's disease are good examples).

Endocrine diseases can develop because 1) a gland is not functioning properly or 2) the control of the gland is faulty.

When too much hormone is produced, the disease is referred to as a hyper disease. Tumours and abnormal tissue growth commonly cause an overproduction of hormone.

A hypo disease occurs when too little hormone is produced. Endocrine glands that are destroyed, removed, or simply stop working cause these diseases.

The following changes may be an early indication of an endocrine problem:

  • Changes in appetite and thirst
  • Changes in weight
  • Changes in coat and skin
  • Changes in behaviour

Diagnosis of the cause of the endocrine disease is absolutely essential if treatment is to be successful. Sometimes diagnosis and treatment can be costly and not all endocrine diseases behave as we predict they will, so communication between vet and owner is very important. Management of these disease may involve multiple vet visits and blood tests until the disease is under control. 

If you notice any of the mentioned changes above, phone us to arrange a check up for your pet. Early intervention is very helpful when it come to the treatment of endocrine disease.

03 Diabetes case study
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The case of "Molly the Cairn Terrier" is typical of many cases we see. She had been ‘off colour’ for a few days. Molly usually had an excellent appetite but over the past few weeks she had lost a lot of weight and was drinking a lot.

On examination, Molly was dehydrated and had lost 20% of her body weight over three months. A blood test revealed her blood sugar levels were very high so a diagnosis of diabetes was made. In Mollys case the testing  unfortunately also showed the presence of ketones, a potentially life threatening complication when the body can no longer cope with the disease .

Diabetes in pets is similar to type 1 diabetes in people and generally needs administration of insulin once or twice daily to control the condition. The body fails to produce enough insulin to help move sugar from the blood stream into the cells for energy.

The four main signs include:

  1. Increased appetite
  2. Weight loss
  3. Increased thirst
  4. Increased urination

Molly needed intensive care. She was placed on an intravenous drip and insulin therapy was commenced and the process of stabilising her diabetes commenced, but it can be a long process.

Treatment of diabetes is life long and involves regular blood tests and monitoring. Some patients do not respond as we would expect and further investigation into other diseases sometimes needs to be considered.

If you notice any changes to your pet’s daily habits such as a change in appetite or thirst, it’s a good idea to arrange a check up with us as soon as possible.

04 A bit about Addison's disease
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Addison’s disease (or hypoadrenocorticism) is a sneaky endocrine disease that can be confusing as it often mimics other conditions. The disease results in a reduction in corticosteroid and mineralocorticoid secretion from the adrenal gland.

Deficient production of both these hormones can produce a wide range of often vague symptoms including:

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Dehydration and weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Shaking
  • Weight loss and lack of appetite

Patients will often present in an acute crisis and need critical care to save their life. 

After they are stabilised, treatment involves daily medication as well as regular blood tests to ensure electrolyte levels are kept in check. Some animals will need additional medication during more stressful times (such as car trips). There is also an injection available that can be given every 25-28 days and many dogs respond very well to this.

Addison's disease is a perfect example of why regular check ups with us are important.

If you notice any changes in your pet (as subtle as you may think they are), it's always a good idea to mention them to us. Routine blood tests may be all that is needed to detect a disease and treatment can start to improve your pet’s quality of life. 

05 How blood testing works
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Have you ever wondered what happens when we take blood from your pet?

Most blood samples are taken from the jugular vein in the neck or the cephailc vein on the front leg. These veins are large enough to provide a good sample and allows us to collect the blood as quickly as possible. This is important as blood will start to clot if it is not collected quickly enough and this can affect the results.

Once the blood has been collected we place pressure over the vein for a minute or so to prevent any bruising. This can sometimes be hard in wriggly patients!

The blood is placed into tubes appropriate for required tests. Some tests can be run on test kits we have in house but most tests require more extensive machines and so the blood sample is sent to an external laboratory. The lab collects the blood by courier & then emails the results throught to us when they are available and our vets interpret them.

Blood tests can give us a wealth of information about your pet's health. For example, we can work out if your pet is dehydrated, has underlying kidney disease or liver changes and we can get lots of information about your pet's red and white blood cells. All of this helps diagnose any underlying health problems and will improve the level of care we can provide to your pet.

If you have any questions about your pet's blood tests we are always happy to help.