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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Here’s some tips to help you get great pics of your pets.

Capture your pet’s personality:
When taking pictures of your pet, stay true to their character—just like you would for a portrait of a person.  Before you start snapping, consider what makes your pet unique and how you can best portray those qualities.  You’ll be more likely to capture your pet’s true personality if you take photos of them in a favorite spot or while engaging in a favorite pastime, like playing fetch or taking a nap in a sunny spot.

Try something new. For example, consider photographing your pet upside down! This yields a particularly amusing photo when the animal has droopy jowls, like bulldogs and boxers. Just roll him or her over, give their belly a rub, and take your shot!

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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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Paws ‘n’ licks…..Puddin’

Please meet our sponsored Chocolate Labrador puppy, named Puddin’. – born on 3rd March 2009.  Puddin’ will continue her puppy raising stage for 14 months in Perth before returning to Assistance Dogs Australia’s National Training Centre for further intensive training.  Vet-N-Pet Direct supports all Puddin’s food, heartworm/flea preventative treatment, vet care, etc.

We also sell some Assistance Dogs Australia merchandise on our website in the charities section.

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Dictionary.com defines the word, “docking,” as to clip short or cut off. The practice of clipping the ears and tails of dogs has been happening for centuries. There is evidence of tail and ear docking as far back as Roman times and some think possibly even earlier.

Tail docking today is the removal of a puppy’s tail, either quickly, with scissors or a knife, or slowly, with an elastic band. The cut goes through many extremely sensitive nerves in the skin, cartilage and bone. A registered veterinary surgeon or an experienced breeder performs this procedure without anesthetic when the pup is between three and five days old. Increasingly, veterinarians refuse to perform this unnecessary surgical procedure, which means that breeders are now docking more dogs themselves.

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Although you may love your shiny floors, there is a good chance that your dog doesn’t. Dogs often slip and fall on indoor flooring. Most times, the result is usually nothing more than a good laugh for you; however, many dogs get seriously hurt on slippery flooring. The result is quite often broken bones and/or contusions. Dogs often hit their chin on the floor, which causes pain and even tooth breakage. Puppies can easily injure soft tissue, because their muscles and ligaments have not finished developing. Another problem is that the dog will grow to be fearful of all smooth flooring.

For highly intelligent dogs, it only takes one or two slips for this phobia to imbed itself. In anticipation of slipping, a dog will often compound the problem by tensing its muscles and trying to grip the floor with its toenails, reducing traction and making it even less sure-footed. Quick action to overcome this fear is the best remedy. Try walking the dog on a leash across the floor, offering treats as it walks along. Another method is to place the food dish on the doorway that leads to the slippery floor, sliding it further into the room at each meal.

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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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Dogs bark in order to communicate their needs and feelings. Your dog barks for a number of reasons, like when it needs to go outside, when it wants to play and when it’s hungry. Your dog will also bark when it’s happy, sad, sick, bored or lonely. Even if your dog seems to bark without a reason, there is one, it’s just something that is small or hard to spot. It’s important to remember that dogs can hear and smell much better than humans can. Your dog may sense something that you don’t, and is reacting to it. If you’ve ruled everything out and your dog still seems to bark without a reason, such as at a blank wall, for example, have it checked out by the veterinarian.

Dog owners that spend a lot of time with their dogs and get to know them well can figure out why their dog is barking. Usually, the dog’s eyes and/or nose will point at the reason for their barking. The reasons for barking can be obvious, such as when your dog is standing at the back door while it barks at you. In this instance, you know that it needs to go outside. There are many types of barks. Learn to recognise what your dog is trying to tell you when it barks.

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