Q. I’m thinking of getting a new puppy or kitten, what should I know?
A. Always know that a new pet is not only a privilege but also a big responsibility. Always remember these 5 important points:
• Tick, flea and mite control
• Adequate nutrition
Our veterinarians will kindly assist you with these 5 points during your new pets vaccinations visits.
Q. I think my pet is constipated, what should I do?
A. Pets can easily become constipated, if fed bones. Cats can also become constipated because of hair balls. Signs to look out for are straining, licking at the anus, uncomfortable on the abdomen and later poor appetite or even vomiting. If early signs appear ideally a laxative should be given. This can be obtained from the practice or laxatives such as cooking/olive oil or liquid paraffin can be given at home if the animal is still eating. However if animals are not eating, vomiting or appear depressed, it is better to seek veterinarian advice and often hospitalisation.
Q. My pet appears to be in pain, is there anything I can give for pain relief?
A. Ideally only registered animal medications should be used. If you have such medications at home always refer to the package insert or veterinarian’s instructions. Please refrain from using human paracetamol containing anti-inflammatories or pain medications. A safer medication would be aspirin only medications. However if possible rather seek veterinary advice.
Q. My dog has an itchy skin, what must I do?
A. Skin allergies/problems can often be extremely frustrating for both owners and veterinarians. Although a skin workup can become expensive, once resolved, it is well worthwhile.
Ideally a consult should be done as hair loss, lesions and itch behaviour can indicate the type of skin problem.
90% of skin cases are as a result of parasites. Consultations with skin scrapings or examinations can diagnose this and appropriate ecto-parasite treatments can be prescribed.
5-8% of skin cases are due to food allergies. Ideally dogs should be fed only a high quality veterinary diet. As all table scraps/human foods, treats and poor quality dog foods could be the culprits.
1-2% of skin cases are referred to as atopy. This means an individual is allergic to allergens in the environment such as grass, pollen, surfaces, detergents etc. These are challenging to identify and often palliative treatment is the only option.
Q. When is the right time to euthanase my pet?
A. As a pet owner you have the responsibility to prevent your loved one from suffering. This decision is never easy and often reassurance is needed. The right time to euthanase a pet is when quality of life in no longer optimal. This can be determined by the following question: Is my pet able to do his/her normal daily functions? Is it in a pain free manner despite chronic palliative medications?
Normal functions include:
Eating well and maintaining a normal weight
Normal pain free movement
Animals with severe traumatic injuries that can result in death are also candidates for euthanasia to prevent further suffering.