Oh My Mozzie! They are everywhere. The big ones, the small ones and every size in between. You don’t dare leave the house without insect repellent for fear of being carried away by them. And they will only continue to get worse over the next few weeks.

After lasts weeks deluge, courtesy of ex-tropical cyclone Debbie, we were inundated with flood water, which although mostly subsided it has left some still water and puddles behind and this is providing the perfect conditions for mosquitoes to multiply.

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I saw a snake the other day near our garage. After the initial jumping, squealing and running away, I calmed down enough to realise it was only a green tree snake and I just left it alone and it went on its merry way.

Living on acreage in South East Queensland means we do occasionally see snakes, so it wasn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last time that I will have a snake encounter. But it got me to thinking about first aid for snake bites and what I would do if someone or one of the animals were bitten.

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The beautiful hot and humid Australian Summer weather has well and truly arrived! Here are a few things to remember to keep your pet happy, healthy and safe this summer.

Parasites
In the hot summer months parasites like fleas, ticks and worms thrive and can be detrimental to your pet’s health. It is important to keep flea treatments up to date, even if you don’t see any fleas on your pet. It is much easier to prevent a flea outbreak rather than eradicate one. Also be sure to use tick prevention, especially if you live in a tick area. The deadly paralysis tick can kill a pet within days, so be sure to use a tick treatment product and check your pet daily. With more mosquitoes around during summer it means that there is a higher risk of heartworm being transmitted, so be sure to stay compliant with your pets heartworm prevention. Also make sure your pet’s intestinal worming program is up to date.

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Everywhere I look at the moment there is fireweed, on the side of the road, in paddocks, in people’s backyard.img_1009

But what is fireweed? The botanical name for fireweed is Senecio madagascariensis and if you didn’t know any better it could just be overlooked as a normal weed with a pretty yellow flower, something like a dandelion. It is a small weed that grows to 50cm in height and in dry or harsh conditions it will often only reach 20cm. The leaves are bright green, narrow and about 2-7cm long. The flower is small (1-2cm in diameter), yellow, has 13 petals and found in clusters at the end of each branch. Each plant can have anywhere up to 200 flowers.

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dog-1228570_640Yes some dogs eat poo! It is disgusting and rather gross to think about but it does happen.

Coprophagia is the term given to the act of consuming faeces. Coprophagia is often seen in puppies but it usually stops as dog’s reach adolescence and adulthood. There are many reasons, both medical and behavioural, that a dog may eat their own (or someone else’s) faeces including;

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image source:  http://www.trulymadlykids.co.uk/

Image source: www.trulymadlykids.co.uk/

With Easter just around the corner I thought now was a good time to remind you all about how dangerous chocolate is for dog’s. Chances are you have heard that chocolate can kill dog’s and it’s not just an old wives tale, it is a fact! But why is chocolate so dangerous for dog’s?

There are two dangerous compounds in chocolate that are toxic to dog’s and other pets. These are Theobromine and Caffeine, they are both members of the drug class Methylxanines. Theobromine is the most dangerous compound and is found in the cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate. Theobromine is easily metabolised by humans but because dog’s process it more slowly it can build up in their system to toxic levels.

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flea-4blogFleas are the most common pest to bother pets and drive pet owners crazy. But did you know that they are actually very impressive little creatures.

The following are some interesting and quirky facts about fleas that you may not know;
* A flea can jump over 30cm high.
* Fleas can consume 15 times their own body weight in blood.
* They can survive for more than 100 days without food/blood.
* They have no ears and are practically deaf.
* Fleas can revive themselves after one year of being frozen.
* They can jump over 30,000 times without stopping.
* With every jump they will reverse direction.
* Fleas can pull up to 160,000 times their own weight.
* You can usually only see 5% of the flea population at a time.
* Flea circuses originated in the 1830’s but mostly died out by the 1940’s, with only a few still around today. A flea circus was an attraction where fleas were made to perform or look like they were performing tricks such as kicking balls, pulling miniature carts or rotating wheels.

If you would like more information on fleas or flea control and eradication please visit the vet-n-pet DIRECT Help Centre at http://help.vetnpetdirect.com.au.

Until next time,
Bec


beau-teeth-4blog

Beau’s teeth, showing the problem tooth before surgery and after surgery.

August is Pet Dental Awareness Month and coincidentally my dog Beau has just had a tooth infection.

One night I noticed a small amount of swelling under Beau’s eye and it was painful when touched. After having a little poke, smelling his breath (which was a little bit stinky) and having a look in his mouth I thought it must have been a dental issue. I took him to the vet the following day and they confirmed that yes it appeared to be a problem with the upper carnassial. Thankfully it looked like it was just in the early stages of the tooth infection and it had not caused him too much pain or discomfort but he did require surgery to remove the tooth.

So the following day Beau underwent dental surgery to remove the problem tooth. The root of Beau’s upper carnassial had become infected because the tooth had a fracture in it and then a bacteria was able to work it’s way into the root of the tooth and cause the problem.

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ticks-on-dogSpring has sprung and so have ticks!

In Australia, adult ticks are in their highest numbers during the warmer months of August to February. These little nasties can make your pets very sick and even cause death. As a pet owner you need to be aware of ticks and do your best to prevent your pet from falling victim to them. It is important to know how to check your pets for ticks and how to remove them if you do find one on your pet. If you live in a tick area it is very important to be diligent in tick prevention as well as checking your pets for ticks and knowing the signs and symptoms that may be seen if your pet does have a tick.

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doberman-1443758_77030795Vaccinating your dog is an essential part of their preventative health program. There are a number of highly infectious and life threatening diseases out there but you can vaccinate against some of them. For these diseases vaccination and prevention is always better for your dog as well as cheaper than trying to treat the diseases if your dog was to contract them.

All dogs should be vaccinated regardless of whether or not they visit kennels, play in parks or even if they don’t come in direct contact with other dogs. Dogs are generally social animals and it is very easy for them to contract diseases. Highly contagious diseases can be transmitted from dog to dog by coming into contact with an infected dog, an infected dogs faeces or urine or they can even pick it up just walking and sniffing in an area that an infected dog has been. It is also possible for people to transfer diseases to their dogs by walking through an infected area or patting an infected animal and then going home to their own dogs. This is why it is necessary to vaccinate your dog even if your dog does not come in direct contact with other dogs.

Vaccinations are available to protect dogs from some of the most contagious and life threatening illnesses that they may come in contact with. Following are the illnesses that your dog should be vaccinated against.

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