Critically ill or seriously injured pets require special care and attention to stabilize their condition. Our dedicated team of vets and nurses work to find out what treatments are needed provide supportive therapy to stabilize their condition and once it is safe to do so provide definitive treatments. Supportive care can include intravenous fluids to help maintain blood pressure and hydration, heat pads to help stabilize body temperature or in the case of heat stroke providing cooling, in some cases where pets have respiratory or heart problems oxygen can be provided via a nasal catheter or oxygen tents. Medications such as pain relief; corticosteroids to treat shock and other heart or respiratory drugs are also used to help our patients feel better.
While such times can often be distressing for both pets and their owners, we will do our best to support you through this difficult time by keeping you updated about your pet’s progress, the costs of treatment and ongoing treatments that may be required.
In order to provide the best possible care for our critically ill patients we may need to refer them to the Animal Referral Hospital Emergency Centre so that they can be monitored closely outside of our regular business hours. This allows high quality care to be available 365 days of the year and 24h a day.
An endoscope is essentially a long flexible camera allowing us to look down airways or the gastrointestinal tract.
Our long flexible endoscope is mainly used to investigate various gut problems. We have used it to remove chicken wings stuck in the oesophagus, a troublesome pair of pantyhose from a Labradors stomach and generally visiualise the oesophagus and stomach. This helps us to diagnose stomach ulcers, polyps or tumors, as well as problems with the oesophagus such as reflux. Biopsies can also be taken by using a special pair of forceps passed down the endoscope.
We also use the endoscope to assess the colon (the large intestine) again allowing us to look for ulcers, polyps or tumours.
Finally in larger dogs we can use the endoscope to remove foreign bodies such as grass seeds from the airways when these have been accidentally inhaled causing severe irritation and coughing.
Endoscopy is a very non-invasive way of assessing your pet’s gastrointestinal tract and sometimes the only way to remove foreign bodies from the airways. All we need is for the dog or cat to have a light aneasthetic so they do not bite the endoscope. Recovery after the procedure is very rapid.
Dental disease is one of the most common problems in pets today. While homecare can prevent dental problems owners are often unaware that their pet’s teeth have problems until they come in for their check up, or their pet’s bad breath alerts them to problems.
So what is involved in getting your pets teeth cleaned?
Firstly, as we use much the same equipment as human dentists use, our patients are required to be anaesthetized as the noise of the drills and scalers let alone the feel of it in their mouths will not be tolerated by dogs, much less cats. So to minimise the stress for our patients they are given a light anaesthetic. However as older pets can have problems with renal or liver function we advise a pre-anaesthetic blood profile before any anaesthetic is given. We also use intravenous fluids to further minimise any risk with anaesthesia.
Once anaesthetised, a thorough dental examination is carried out and if necessary dental x-rays are taken. The next step is to carry out any treatments, such as scaling of any tartar and polishing the teeth to reduce plaque adhering to the teeth. In some case extractions may be necessary for those teeth too badly damaged to save. If extractions are necessary we perform a local nerve block just as your dentist would to minimise any post-operative pain and also the need for increased anaesthesia. Antibiotics will be administered at the time of the extractions. Once treatment is completed the mouth is rinsed with an antibacterial solution, the anaesthetic is turned off and additional pain relief is given if extractions have been performed.
Once your pet has fully recovered from the anaesthetic, usually 2-3 hours, they are sent home. A full dental care plan will be discussed with you when your pet is discharged.
Dental care plans range from special dental foods, additives to the water such as Healthy Mouth, including raw, soft bones in their diet or in some cases tooth brushing. Any pets that have had extractions will need a recheck after 7 days to make sure their gums have healed sufficiently to allow them to begin their dental care plan. As part of any dental care program we recommend 6 monthly checks of the teeth to ensure their dental care plan remains effective.
Are you looking for a holiday destination for your cat while you are away? Why not take a look at WCVH Cattery. We offer 16 spacious condos with en-suite bathroom. These are ducted so any nasty smells quickly disappear and fresh air is constantly circulated. The small size of our cattery means we can get booked up at peak times such as Easter and Christmas but allows for plenty of personal attention for our guests.
A comfortable temperature is maintained throughout the year by a combination of in floor heating and evaporative cooling and for those guests requiring a little extra warmth snuggle safe heat pads are provided. The large floor to ceiling window provides plenty of natural light, as well an excellent spot for sunbaking.
The cattery is located away from the hustle and bustle of the hospital providing a quiet retreat and Feliway Pheromone and Music to Calm Your Cat are used to provide a relaxing environment.
Besides enjoying the privacy of the en-suite the elevated shelves provide the perfect spot to rest and supervise the cattery attendants.
A separate litter area allows for privacy and keeps the rest of the condo clean and we offer a variety of litters so it feels just like home (Cats can be very fussy about their toilets and may choose to hang on rather than use a litter that is unfamiliar to them). Trays are cleaned twice daily to keep them fresh and clean ready for when nature calls next time.
We offer a selection of premium quality dry food, as well as a variety of tinned foods and fresh meat to cater to even the fussiest eaters. Food is served twice daily in whisker friendly twin bowls to separate dry food and wet. We also offer large water bowls to make sure fresh water is always available. All dishes are made from stainless steel for hygiene.
To ensure a comfortable rest we offer a variety of bedding options, from baskets, to fluffy mats and cat sack beds, that are perfect for cats that love to snuggle under blankets.
To stimulate and entertain a variety of interactive toys, from kitty kong active balls, to food puzzle toys, and ball mazes are always available. There is sure to be the perfect toy for your cat.
To maximise the health of pets in our facility, all cats must have been vaccinated in the last 12 months to be accepted into boarding. If we find any fleas on admission cats are treated with Capstar to ensure we remain flea free.
If you would like to view our cat boarding facilities, please ask one of our reception staff for a tour. We would also be happy to discuss availability with you.
Please note: As our facilities are popular with our clients, peak periods such as Christmas, New Year and Easter need to be booked well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Does your dog’s behaviour drive you barking mad?
One of the most common reasons pets are surrendered to shelters such as the RSPCA is behavioural problems. However early intervention with behavior problems can resolve the issue and help you and your pet have a happy life long term. Not only does your pet’s quality of life improve but yours will as well. So neither one of you need suffer in silence any longer.
Weston Creek Veterinary Hospital offers a Behaviour Consultation Service to help understand your pets behaviour and find effective to solutions to your problems.
Some of the more common problems include:
• Separation Anxiety
• Thunderstorm Phobia
• Toileting in inappropriate areas
• Aggression towards strangers (animals and humans)
• Repetitive or stereotypic behaviour
• Scratching inappropriate areas (cats)
Behaviour problems are not easy to solve and require a lot of information that you as the owner will need to supply, as your pet cannot tell us. So part of the consultation process involves filling out a questionnaire. The consultation will also be longer generally taking an hour for the initial consultation. Video footage or sound recordings can be especially useful to help us assess behaviour issues.
Treatments are generally not a quick fix, but will take time and dedication. However with the right training tools and in some cases medication both you and your pet will once again enjoy your life together.
Here are some tips and hints to provide some basic information:
Each time your pet comes to see us at WCVH he or she has an examination. It might be as simple as a wound check after surgery or may be a full physical exam if your pet is unwell or in for vaccination.
For a full exam we usually start at the nose and work back examining the mouth for any problems such as ulcers of the lips or gums, dental disease such as dental tartar and check that the gums are nice and pink (the gums can be pale with anaemia). Next we check the eyes to make sure the eyelids are normal and there are no inward growing lashes or growths on the eyelids, we make sure the cornea (the surface of the eye) is normal and that the iris (the coloured part of the eye) is normal. Occasionally dark brown-pigmented spots can appear on the iris and these can be age related or indicate a possible melanoma. We also check the lens of the eye to see if this is developing a cataract (cloudiness). Sometimes we use the opthalmoscope to examine the retina of the eye. Then it is on to the ears, we check that there are no crusts or scabs on the pinna (the ear flap) as sometimes flies can bite the ears causing sores and then we check inside the ear for any discharge. Often we use the otoscope to look down the ear canal to the ear drum, especially if the ear has a discharge or we suspect a grass seed is trapped in the ear canal.
Having completed the exam of the head we move on to the chest and listen to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope. We check that the heart rate is normal and there are no heart murmurs (caused by leaky heart valves) present.
If this is all normal we move on to the abdomen where we carefully palpate the internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, spleen and bladder as well as the intestines. An enlarged organ can indicate inflammation or a tumour. Sometimes organs feel small or irregular indicating disease and the need for some tests. Then we check your pet’s temperature with a rectal thermometer. At this point if there are any kids in the room the giggles usually start happening.
Finally we feel all of the lymph nodes situated under the jaw, the shoulders, and inguinal area and at the back of the stifle (knee) and examine the skin for evidence of fleas or infection and we also feel for any lumps or bumps. If we find any growths we often take a sample using a fine needle to assess if the lump is of concern or can be left without further investigation. We also palpate the muscles of the body to check for any swelling or loss of muscle or any unevenness of muscle from one side to the other.
If your pet has a problem with a limp or seems to be sore we do a much more thorough exam of the legs, back and neck to try to locate the source of the discomfort, although quite often the excitement of coming to the vet and the unfamiliar surroundings suddenly makes them very brave and it is much harder to locate the problem area.
During a routine health check we also make sure that all the relevant routine preventative medications such as worming, heartworm, flea control and vaccinations are all up to date and that your pet’s weight is healthy. Like humans pets these days are often overweight and can suffer similar health problems to humans as a result.
The examination is also the perfect time to raise and concerns or questions you have about your pet’s health or behaviour.