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Did you know that dogs can get bladder stones, just like humans? That's what happened to Brutus & Leila (pictured).

Bladder stones in dogs usually present as blood in the urine (haematuria), urinating more often (pollakiuria) and straining to urinate (dysuria-stranguria), but some dogs will have no signs at all and bladder stones can be found as part of a general exam!

If your pet has any of these signs and the vet is suspicious of bladder stones, sedation and x-rays (and sometimes ultrasound) will be necessary for diagnosis. Bladder stones damage the lining of the bladder and can cause obstruction of the urethra (the urine pipe to the outside) so once bladder stones have been diagnosed, a urinary catheter to alleviate any blockage may need to be placed. A sample of urine will also be collected and sent to the lab to test for infection and crystals which may be the beginnings of stones. 

In most cases, surgery is required to remove stones directly from the bladder itself. This surgery is called a cystotomy.

Once the type of stone had been determined, the vet will decide if specialised diet, medication or both are required to manage the condition. Most dogs are quite happy eating the food lifelong. So it must not taste that THAT bad! Note that there are many factors that contribute to the formation of bladder stones in dogs, and many are still unknown, so diet is NOT necessarily the cause, but that the prescription diets can be an effective aid in preventing recurrance.

So this brings us back to Brutus the Bulldog and Leila the Staffy who were both diagnosed with bladder stones over the last few months at our hospitals. Both doggies had their stones removed surgically and are now much more comforatble without their "rocks inside them ". Check out the size of the stones compared to the $2 coins!!! Brutus is now being managed with a prescription diet in conjunction with medication for his Urate uroliths and Leila is on a prescription diet for her Struvite uroliths.

If your pet is having any urinary issues or they are unwell in any way, book them in with one of our Vets for a health check.

To learn more about what services we provide, please CLICK HERE to view our website.

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Brutus and his stones

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Leila and her stones

Contents of this newsletter

01  Keeping an eye on the eyes

02  Don't wait 'til it's too late - vaccinate!

03  Lenno's diabetes

04  Inflatable veterinary hospital set to save lives

01 Keeping an eye on the eyes

When it comes to your pet’s eyes, if you think you can see a problem, chances are, there probably is one. Eye issues can be serious and that's why it is always best to have your pet assessed as soon as possible if you notice anything out of the ordinary. Conditions such as conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, uveitis and glaucoma can be very painful and if left untreated, can go downhill rapidly.

Things to watch out for (pardon the pun!): 

1. Squinting or excessive blinking

2. Swollen eyelids or swollen eye 

3. Increased redness on the white of the eye

4. Discharge from one or both eyes 

5. Your pet's third eyelid (usually hidden in the corner of the eye) is easily visible or is very red

6. Your pet is continually rubbing their eye

7. You pet is suddenly bumping into furniture or walls

We ask that you resist the urge to place any left over ointment or drops you might have at home (dispensed for a human or animal) in your pet's eyes before we have had the chance to examine your pet. This is because there are some medications can that make certain eye problems worse and lead to further complications.

If you ever notice something’s not right with your pet’s eye, you should call us right away for advice.

02 Don't wait 'til it's too late - vaccinate!

Vaccination is one of the most important tools we have available to help keep your pet healthy. Vaccinations are safe, have minimal (if any) side effects, and we recommend them because they work.

With the summer holidays fast approaching and many pets going into boarding, now is the time to make sure your furry friend is up to date with their vaccinations. If they are overdue, they may require a booster vaccination so you need to get in early to avoid any headaches when it comes to admitting them to a cattery or a kennel. 

Why do we recommend vaccinating your pet? 

Vaccinations protect against fatal diseases: many diseases that are potentially dangerous to pets are completely preventable with the right vaccinations.

Vaccinations protect other pets in the community: when there are a greater number of pets vaccinated, the spread of disease is greatly reduced (something known as herd immunity).

Vaccinations ensure you can board your pet: if you need to board your cat or dog, either for a family emergency or a holiday, your cat or dog must be up to date with their vaccinations.

Vaccinations protect your pet at their most vulnerable: If your pet is sick, their immune system may already be compromised and this may leave them vulnerable to disease. Vaccinations ensure that they are protected even in this state.

Vaccinations save money: the cost of vaccinations is minimal when compared to the cost of treating a preventable disease.

There are a number of diseases we can vaccinate against, but your pet’s general health, lifestyle, and location will determine the exact vaccinations necessary. We can help you make an informed decision about what is best for your pet, and we are always happy to discuss vaccinations with you.

Remember, when it comes to vaccinating your pet, we will give you the right advice. Call us today to check up on your pet’s vaccination status.

03 Lenno's diabetes

You may remember Lenno the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross from our previous newsletters. Over a weekend in August, Lenno suddenly started drinking copious amounts of water and urinating far more than what would be considered normal. He had also been very hungry over the past month (more than his usual self!) so a veterinary examination and some blood tests were in order.

A simple blood test was performed and it indicated that Lenno had high blood glucose (blood sugar levels). A urine test also confirmed the presence of glucose in his urine. A diagnosis of diabetes mellitus was made.

Diabetes is an endocrine disease where the body fails to produce enough insulin to help move sugar from the bloodstream into the cells for energy. For dogs, it is similar to type 1 diabetes in humans and patients generally require the administration of insulin once or twice daily.

The four main signs to watch out for:

1. Increased appetite

2. Weight loss

3. Increased thirst

4. Increased urination

Management of diabetes is life-long and involves regular blood tests, strict diet management and monitoring. Dogs usually require insulin treatment for life whereas cats may go into remission (the type of diabetes cats are prone to more closely resembles type 2 diabetes in humans). Some patients do not respond as we would expect so further investigation into other diseases may need to be considered.

We are happy to report that Lenno is responding well to treatment. He will require regular blood glucose curves in hospital over the next few months until he is stabilised on an ideal dose of insulin. He will also need to be monitored for potential complications such as the development of diabetic cataracts. 

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. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent secondary complications that can in some cases be life threatening.

If you are worried about your pet you should always call us for advice.

04 Inflatable veterinary hospital set to save lives

An amazing new inflatable veterinary hospital has been launched in South Australia ahead of the bushfire season.

It is intended to help provide a place for SA Veterinary Emergency Management staff to work out of in the event of a bushfire.

It will give them the ability to care for and save the lives of wildlife affected by fires, treating animals for burns, smoke inhalation and dehydration.

 The hospital can be set up in only ten minutes and is the first of its kind in Australia.

You can read more about this exciting new initiation here