Lilly ArthritisMy dear Lilly has been suffering from arthritis since she was only three years old.  I first took her to see her Veterinarian thinking she had hurt her shoulder.  After an examination and x-rays it was determined that she was in fact suffering from Arthritis in multiple joints.  Then I realised that she had been suffering from a number of arthritic symptoms such as reduced activity, stiffness especially when getting up, finding it hard to sit or lie down, increase in weight, limping / lame and irritability.

Arthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD) doesn’t only affect humans, it is in fact one of the most common ailments suffered by our canine friends.  Arthritis is when the cartilage between the bones wears away and becomes rough.  Sometimes the cartilage deteriorates so badly that the bones will rub together.  The other part of DJD is when the synovial fluid in the joints becomes watery and thin, meaning there is less shock absorption inside the joint.  This painful degenerative disease does not discriminate and can affect dogs of any breed or age.

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Mind like a sieve? How to remember your pets monthly treatments
With such busy lives these days it’s very easy to miss our beloved pets monthly treatments. One of the #1 reasons why products can fail to work properly is due to lack of adherence to the recommended treatment intervals. There are a number of things you can do to try and make this task a little easier.

Many manufacturers include treatment reminder stickers with their products which you can stick onto your calendar. There are also options to sign up for email reminders at most of the major manufacturer websites.  Examples below:

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If you thought fleas were the only creepy crawly to worry about on your pets, you might need to think again. Many areas in Australia also have to contend with ticks and in some of those areas the paralysis tick is a very real threat to your pets life. We have compiled a few handy tips for you on how to keep your pets tick free.

Tick comparison. Image courtesy DPI Qld.

5  Tips to Protect Your Pet Against Ticks

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Are you sitting on a flea problem this winter?

It’s not a nice thought, but your favourite armchair could be hiding more than the odd biscuit crumb.  Unless you’ve been keeping up with flea treatments, you could be providing a warm winter shelter for fleas at various stages of their life cycle.

Many pet owners believe that fleas are only a problem in summer.  Fleas can survive during the winter months especially indoors where it remains warm.  Veterinarians recommends treating your pets year-round.

Your pet is likely to get fleas at some time  – unfortunately it cannot be avoided.  However, what we can do is get rid of them before they become a problem.  Regular grooming of our pets will allow us to see early stages of flea occupancy.

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Everyone loves the warm, lazy days of summer, especially our pets. After the long, cold winter, they finally get to go outside and romp around in the sunshine. However, there are some important things to think about during the warmer months in order to keep our precious pets safe and comfortable. So, we’ve compiled the top nine summertime safety tips to help you keep your pet happy and healthy.

1. Keep Pets Hydrated

The most important thing to remember in the warmer months is to provide clean, fresh water for your pet. It’s also good to clean the water bowl daily. Your pet won’t want to drink water with a foul taste, due to bacterial growth, which can also make your pet sick. 

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Trimming your pet’s nails is necessary, because untrimmed nails can catch in carpeting, furniture or clothing and will break and bleed, which is painful for your pet. In addition, untrimmed nails will become ingrown, which is extremely painful and may cause infection. Overgrown nails are also much more difficult to trim, because the quick, which supplies blood to the nail, will extend down further if the nails grow very long. Trimming your pet’s nails can be easy and routine with a few simple tips.

Start trimming claws or nails when your pet is very young to help them learn to relax, making the process much easier and more pleasant for you both. Trim nails regularly to get your pet used to the experience. Offering a treat and lots of praise will make trimming nails a positive one for your pet. If your pet is uncomfortable with nail clipping, trim just one nail or one paw each day.

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Fleas have been around for millions of years and there are more than 2,000 species of them on our planet. Voraciously hungry, they will seek out any warm-blooded animal for food. Although the bites usually cause minor itching and irritation, flea bite allergies are common. It only takes one flea bite to trigger an allergic reaction. Fleas are carriers of the dog tapeworm, which the dog picks up when it grooms itself and eats a mature flea with a tapeworm cyst. 

Thankfully, there are safe and effective spot on flea treatments for both cats and dogs available at vet-n-pet DIRECT, which provide excellent results at keeping fleas in check. There are spot on flea treatments that repel and kill ticks, so if ticks are a concern in your area, look for one of these combined products.  

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Water is one of life’s most important necessities. Your pet needs to have an accessible supply of clean, fresh water at all times in order to maintain optimum health. A lack of water can create major health problems in pets. A water deficiency of just 10 percent can cause serious illness, and 15 percent can lead to heart and kidney damage, possibly resulting in death. In addition, water is important for most body functions, including circulation and digestion. Water cleans out the body, filtering out waste and helps to regulate body temperature.

Fortunately, it is easy to provide clean, fresh water. There is no measuring needed, because a healthy animal will instinctively drink enough water to maintain proper body hydration. When the weather is hot and/or your pet is very active, be aware of the signs of dehydration, such as listlessness, panting, a dry mouth or sunken eyes; if you notice any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian right away.

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It is a common dog owner’s dilemma: your dog has started to scratch, bite and/or lick, and it is only getting worse with time. The first thing that comes to mind is that the dog has fleas. Fleas are the most common reason that dogs scratch, bite and lick at themselves. It is easy to detect the presence of fleas, because they are dark in colour and approximately as large as a pinhead. When you part the dog’s fur, you can see the fleas as they crawl around on the dog’s skin. Another way to see them is to place your dog on a white sheet or towel and brush the fur. Check the fabric and if fleas are the problem, they will be visible. Flea bite allergies are also very common. It only takes one flea bite to trigger an allergic reaction. There are a number of safe and effective spot on flea treatments and shampoos, available at vet-n-pet DIRECT that provide excellent results at keeping fleas in check.

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