Most cat owners at some point will hear that terrible sound of 
their beloved cat hacking and gagging as they try to vomit up a hairball.  Just recently one of mums cats, “Kit Kat”, a three year old Burmese started this terrible process of eliminating hairballs for the first time.  Vomiting up hairballs is a common and normal process that most cats will go through at some point.

Cats in general are meticulous self groomers using their tongue to clean themselves.  The tongue has tiny hook like structures that help in the grooming process by removing the loose hair.  While grooming, some of the hair may be ingested but usually it will pass through the stomach with the faeces.  Occasionally the hair can build up in the stomach and the cat will need to vomit it up, this is a hairball.  A hairball looks more like a long thin tube of wet hair rather than a ball.

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It was nearly four years ago when an unlikely friendship developed here on our farm, between our dog Lilly, a Magpie and a Chicken.

One day my husband was out in the paddock when he found a
young Magpie that had fallen from its nest.  With no parents in sight and crows hanging around he decided it best to bring the Magpie home for me to look after.  The little fella was still young, he had some of his adult flight feathers but still couldn’t fly properly.  We decided to keep him in a box and feed him until Monday when I could get the vet to give him a check up.  After a vet check up established he just needed a little time to grow his feathers we continued feeding him and looking after him.  He lived in the house and on our deck in a cage most of the time unless we took him out with us for a walk around the stables.  Our dog Lilly became very fond of Buckley, as we affectionately named him.  They would spend a lot of time sitting together and he would chirp and sing to her while she looked at him rather intrigued as to what he was doing.

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October 1st to October 8th is RSPCA Awareness Week, with October 5th being a dedicated fundraising day; Happy Tails Day.

RSPCA stands for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The RSPCA is a wonderful organisation dedicated to preventing animal cruelty, helping all animals in need and promoting their care and protection. Every year the RSPCA cares for over 150,000 animals that have been surrendered, mistreated, injured or stray.  The RSPCA needs support from the community to help these animals as less than 3% of their funding comes from the government.

Friday October 5th is Happy Tails Day, which is a national fundraising event to help raise some much need money for this wonderful organisation.  As a pet owner or a lover of animals this is great opportunity to show your support for the RSPCA and the animals they help.

This year vet-n-pet DIRECT are happy to be offering the Happy Tails fundraising merchandise for sale on our website.  It is easy to help support this well deserved cause, simply follow the link, and make a purchase from the exclusive Happy Tails Day range and 100% of the proceeds will go to the RSPCA.

For more information on the RSPCA or Happy Tails Day visit the website at

Until next time,

Recently my mum and I were out with the dogs, doing some work with the
horses and we saw a big brown snake up in front of us.  When we finally stopped squealing and realised that the dogs were moving towards it we had to yell out to them.  Rose, my mum’s Kelpie x Cattle dog came back as soon as she heard my mum say “Rose Come”.  Lilly, my Dalmatian, took a little bit more convincing but did stay away from the snake and come back to me.  This has happened a number of times over the years and it reminded me how important it is to have control over your dog.

Dog training and obedience is an important and necessary part of owning a dog.  There are many benefits to dog training and obedience but I think the most important is that having an obedient dog is safer for both the dog and people around it.  If your dog is obedient you can call them away from dangerous situations like snakes or cars.  Dog training also helps form a strong bond based on trust and respect between you and your pooch.  Basic obedience helps a dog understand its place in a household and trained dogs are less likely to develop other behavioural problems like biting or jumping up. Dog training and obedience is fun and rewarding for both you and your dog.  It fulfills needs in your dogs life like exercise and mental stimulation as well as allowing them socialise with other dogs.

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It’s Springtime, so this season don’t forget to treat and prevent those nasties that affect our pets.

Picture courtesy of

Flea infestations can have a detrimental affect on your pets health.  Apart from being unbearably itchy the constant biting and rubbing can cause flea allergy dermatitis, broken skin and infections.  A severe flea or tick infestation can cause a pet to become anemic and very ill.   The paralysis tick can be very dangerous when it attaches to a dog or cat.  It affects the nervous system and causes paralysis, which if left untreated it can quickly lead to death.

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An example of poor dental health in a dog with plaque and tartar build-up on the teeth.

Do your pet’s teeth look like this?

Good dental hygiene in pets is sometimes overlooked, however it is a very important part of keeping your pet healthy.If a pet is having dental problems it can affect their overall health.  The animal may not want to eat as usual due to pain and inflammation.  When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, bacteria will grow and eat away at the teeth and gums.  The bacterial infection may not only affect the mouth, it can also affect other areas of the body like the kidneys, heart, liver and joints.  It is best to start dental care at an early age to help prevent problems in the future, however its never too late to start. To check your pets teeth, carefully and gently lift up their lips and have a look at their teeth and gums.

Signs to look out for that may indicate its time for a dental check up from the vet include,

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I love this time of year, foaling season has started!

As the days start to get warmer and longer again, it becomes time for the sleepless nights as you start to keep an eye on the mares that are due to foal.  I love driving past all the horse properties and studs and looking to see if they have got any new foals.

Over the years my family; mum, dad, husband and I, have foaled down nearly 50 mares, so that is a lot of foal watch and a lot of sleepless nights.  It’s a very exciting time when you are a few weeks out from your mares due date with the anticipation of “will it be tonight” that a little foal is born.

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Rides, showbags, animals, strawberry ice-creams, dagwood dogs, fireworks and more.  Thats right its Ekka time in Brisbane.

Yesterday was the first day of the 2012 Ekka and I decided to go with my family.  Walking around amongst the cattle reminded me of many years ago when I was in high school and a part of the Agricultural Show Team.  We use to show our sheep and cattle at local agricultural shows and the biggest show of all was the Ekka .  A couple of times I was a part of the team that took the cattle to the Ekka or RNA Show.  We would stay with the cattle throughout the show, for usually about 7 nights, sleeping in lofts amongst the lanes of cattle.  It was amazing, we had so much fun and we would learn a lot from the more experienced cattle farmers that were also there.  We would spend  our days with the cattle, preparing them for their judging, feeding, grooming and walking them.  We were always around, and answering questions from the public except when we would occasionally disappear to watch one of the few calves be born.

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Hip, Hip, Hooray!!! Today is the 1st of August which means I need a lot of carrots and a good singing voice to sing Happy Birthday to all our horses.

So we know that not all horses were born on the one day, but why is this date considered their birthday?

In the Southern Hemisphere we celebrate on the 1st of August but in the Northern Hemisphere the horses birthday is considered the 1st of January.  These dates were chosen to coincide with the start of the breeding / foaling season.  Originally this came about in the thoroughbred and standardbred racing industries.  The reasoning was because horses were placed in races according to their age so it was therefore easier to have all horses birthdate deemed as August 1st of the year they were born.  Although it began in the racing industries, these days many breeds and competitions consider August 1st the horses birthday.  It was decided to do it this way to alleviate confusion and to have overall fairness in competition.

So if like us and today you are celebrating your horses birthday I hope you give your equine friend a carrot and a cuddle, or maybe if they are lucky they will even get a cake, carrot cake of course.

Until next time,

My brother’s dog “Junior” is a 2 year old, 83kg, Great Dane. He is a beautiful dog but it seems that with a big dog comes even bigger, and more expensive, problems.

About 9 months ago Junior suffered from a case of bloat. Before going out, my brother fed him as per usual and when he came home about 4 hours later he was blown up like a balloon.  Junior was very distressed, his heart rate was really high, he was panting and his stomach was bloated.  My brother instantly knew that he was really sick and rushed him down to the emergency after hours vet clinic.  The vet told him that he was suffering from bloat with a twisted stomach and needed surgery immediately.

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