Occasionally during an emergency or for a serious illness a dog may require a lifesaving blood transfusion. This is most commonly needed due to internal organ bleeding caused by trauma, from ingesting a toxin, particularly rat baits or illnesses like anaemia.

Some veterinary clinics have their own canine blood bank set up with stores of blood on hand for these situations. Other veterinary clinics may have a list of potential blood donor candidates that they can call on to give blood in the case of emergency. Like humans, dog’s do have different blood types and can even have more than one blood type in their system. Cross matching of blood type between donor and recipient will be undertaken before giving a transfusion.

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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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A vet holds a syringe of the Hendra Virus Vaccine.
Image sourced from www.abc.net.au/news

June to October has proven to be the most prevalent time for Hendra Virus and so far this year a number of cases have been confirmed in Queensland and Northern New South Wales. With Hendra Virus back in the news headlines I wanted to discuss the vaccination and in particular the risks and effects of this contagious disease on the veterinary industry.

Never before has there been a disease that can have such a detrimental effect on the horse industry, including both people and horses. Equine Influenza (EI), had an effect on all horses with horses falling ill and horse movement restrictions being in place for a number of months, but the difference between that and Hendra was that there was no risk to human life and only a few horses died. Hendra Virus by comparison, is so dangerous that all horses that have contracted the virus have died or been euthanased. So far seven people have been infected and four of those have died. There is currently no cure or registered treatment for Hendra Virus. It is this risk to human life which is causing veterinarians to question whether they should be visiting or treating unvaccinated horses. Some vets are reportedly already refusing to visit unvaccinated horses and I can only presume that this number may increase.

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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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Two vets examining dogSo you think you might want to become a vet?  You love animals, you respect them, you understand them and you want to help them.  Well perhaps your future is in veterinary medicine.

Becoming a vet in Australia involves a lot of work, usually five to six years of full time study.  There are a few universities in Australia that offer a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, these include;
*  University of Queensland
*  James Cook University – Townsville
*  University of Sydney
*  Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga NSW)
*  University of Melbourne
*  University of Adelaide
*  Murdoch University – Perth, Western Australia

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