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Forrestfield Veterinary Hospital
313 Hale Road
Wattle Grove, WA, 6107
Phone: 08 9453 1290

High Wycombe Veterinary Hospital
548 Kalamunda Road
High Wycombe, WA, 6057
Phone: 08 9454 6915

Meet Koda . Koda’ s feeling just peachy now, but this was certainly not the case when the  2½ year old male Siberian Husky presented to Forrestfield Vet Hospital in late February due to constant vomiting.

Vomiting is a very general sign in dogs caused by many different things, but when Kodas vomiting didn’t stop, Dr Jasmine strongly recommended investigation via blood tests & Xrays to narrow down the possibilities. The blood tests showed there was nothing wrong with his body organs, & there was no obvious foreign body obstruction visible in his chest  or bowel on his Xrays. He also didn’t have the normal gas appearance of an obstruction. Yet the horrible green vomiting continued. The team of Vets at Forrestfield Vet Hospital became concerned that Koda may still have a foreign body in his bowel that was not dense enough to show on an Xray, or maybe was sitting in the stomach where it could not be detected, so a specialist Ultrasound was recommended.

The specialist Veterinary Radiologist came out to Forrestfield Vets  & did the Ultrasound at our hospital that day, and sure enough, it showed a foreign body that appeared to have just left the stomach & had just entered the bowel, meaning Surgery to remove the object in the bowel was the only option. Koda’s  wonderful, dedicated  owners agreed to surgery, & within 24hrs  we had found & removed a Peach Stone from Koda’s bowel and he was on the road to recovery. Kodas owners remember him eating some peach flesh when it dropped on the floor, but had no idea he had actually eaten the stone as well!!  Unfortunately, seeds from stone fruits are sometimes exactly the right shape & size to be easily swallowed by dogs, but are too large to pass freely through the bowel after. Considering they are food ( & dogs just love stealing things) they are actually a relatively common foreign body we have to remove from dogs small intestines. So a good warning to all to take care where the seed goes when enjoying that peach !

The good news is that Koda has made a full recovery, & is back to his old self. Just hold off on the stonefruit please Koda !!

Koda 1

Koda wearing his "Cone of Shame" during recovery !


Koda's offending Peach stone after surgical removal.
Just the right size to get stuck!!

Contents of this newsletter

01  The magic of a blood test

02  The power of a wee sample

03  Unhappy hormones

04  Jackson is thirsty

05  A car made for dog lovers!

01 The magic of a blood test

Blood tests can give us a wealth of information about the health of your pet. They provide an insight into the health of many organs, help detect disease and can also confirm if your pet is safe to undergo anaesthesia.

From a blood test, we can work out if your pet is dehydrated, has underlying kidney disease or liver changes, and assess your pet's red and white blood cells. All of this helps improve the level of care we can provide to your pet.

So, what actually happens when we take blood from your pet?

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

Some  pets are also more relaxed when blood is taken from their jugular vein and there is minimal, if any discomfort. However some animals are more comfortable with a front leg sample. 

Once the blood has been collected we place pressure over the vein to prevent any bruising. Your pet should not require a bandaid but a liver treat (instead of a lollipop) is a must in dogs !

The blood is placed into tubes appropriate for required tests. Some tests can be run on machines we have in house but there are many tests that require more extensive equipment and so the blood sample is sent to an external laboratory.

Blood tests are an essential part of good veterinary medicine and can be critical when diagnosing and managing diseases. You should always ask us if you have any questions or are worried about the health of your pet.

02 The power of a wee sample

It's not only blood tests that give us an insight into the health of your pet. Testing your pet's urine is another essential part of good veterinary medicine.

Did you know that a small amount of urine can give us information about your pet's internal health, and rule out problems such as kidney disease and diabetes?

As part of a routine urine test, we usually test how concentrated your pets urine is. This gives us an idea of how well your pet's kidneys are working. We may also test for the presence of blood,  and look at pH, protein levels and glucose.  Often,  it is necessary to send your pet's urine to an external laboratory for testing (such as for deciding what antibiotics are appropriate if a bacterial infection is present.)

Collecting urine at home can be a bit overwhelming and we will be able to advise you on the most suitable technique for your pet. If you don't succeed at home we sometimes collect urine  direct from the bladder from pets using a very small needle (a painless and quick procedure.) This routine procedure is called a cystocentesis and is necessary if we need to collect urine without contamination.

We will advise you if your pet needs an urinary test but remember, if you think your pet's urination habits have changed it is best to phone us for advice.

03 Unhappy hormones

An endocrine disease is caused by an upset in the normal balance or regulation of hormones. These 'unhappy hormones' lead to a range of diseases that can greatly affect your pet's quality of life. 

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 just stop working cause these diseases.

Keep an eye out for changes in:

1. Appetite and thirst
2. Weight
3. Coat and skin
4. Behaviour

Some endocrine diseases such as Diabetes and Addison's disease (low levels of the adrenal hormones) can reach a crisis point and be potentially life threatening if not treated. 

There are multiple ways we can treat an endocrine disease but diagnosis of the actual cause of the disease is essential. 

Blood and urine tests are critical in the diagnosis and if we are suspicious of an endocrine disease, we will discuss the most appropriate tests for your pet.

04 Jackson is thirsty

Jackson the cat came in for a check up. He had been drinking copious amounts of water over the past month and even though he usually had an excellent appetite, he was looking 'a bit skinny.'

Examination revealed that Jackson was dehydrated and had lost nearly 20% of his body weight in just three months! A blood test indicated he had high blood sugar levels (glucose) and a urine test confirmed the presence of glucose in his urine. A diagnosis of diabetes was made.

The testing also confirmed the presence of ketones, signalling that Jackson was in 'ketosis', a potentially life threatening condition that can occur when the body can no longer cope with the disease.

Diabetes is an 'endocrine' disease where the body fails to produce enough insulin to help move sugar from the blood stream in to the cells for energy. It is similar to type 1 diabetes in people as patients generally require the administration of insulin once or twice daily.

The four main signs to watch out for:

1. Increased appetite, but with ...
2. Weight loss
3. Increased thirst
4. Increased urination

Jackson was admitted to hospital for intensive care. He was placed on an intravenous drip and insulin therapy in the form of injections was commenced. Thankfully he responded quickly and started to improve over the next few days.

Management of diabetes is life-long and involves regular blood tests and monitoring. Some cats can go in to remission if diet and weight are managed correctly, but dogs usually require insulin treatment for life. Some patients do not respond as we would like, so sometimes further investigation in to other diseases  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 as there are many endocrine diseases that can present with similar signs.

05 A car made for dog lovers!

This is not a promotion or a sponsored article. It's just a car that all dog lovers need to see! We especially love the retractable ramp - perfect for older and arthritic dogs.

Click here to check it out.