At Scottsdale Veterinary Services we offer a complete range of healthcare services. Your pet will receive a thorough physical examination and then if necessary we have numerous in house diagnostics including but not limited to blood and urine tests, digital xray and ultrasound.
HEALTH CHECKS >
Pets, on average, age five to eight times faster than humans. By age two, most pets have already reached adulthood. At age four, many are entering middle age. By age seven, many dogs, particularly larger breeds, are entering their senior years.
Because pets age so rapidly, major health changes can occur in a short amount of time. The risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity,arthritis, heart disease and other serious conditions all increase with age.
Today’s pets are living longer than ever, chances are that many may experience a potentially serious illness during their lifetime. Annual health checks can help your veterinarian diagnose, treat or even prevent problems before they become life-threatening.
They’re also a great opportunity to ask us about nutrition, behaviour or any other issues.
The most important annual health screenings for dogs and cats:
Adult dogs and cats (1-6 years)
* Parasite check
* Heart check
* Dental health
* Blood test
* Chemistry panel
Additional exams for senior dogs (7+ years)
* Osteoarthritis check
* Chest radiograph
* Thyroid check
Additional exams for senior cats (7+ years)
* Osteoarthritis check
* Renal disease screen
* Thyroid check
* Blood pressure check
CALL US TODAY TO BOOK A HEALTH CHECK FOR YOUR PET WITH ONE OF OUR VETS.
DOG VACCINATION >
Vaccination has revolutionised control of infectious disease in our pets. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect the pet population as a whole. Responsible pet care requires puppies to be given their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives. Adult dogs require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease.
Puppies are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first few months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary in a puppy.
Adult Dog Vaccination
The immunity from puppy vaccination weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations, as required, will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.
PLEASE GIVE US A CALL TO DISCUSS A SUITABLE VACCINATION REGIME FOR YOUR PET PUPPY OR DOG.
After Vaccination Care
Following vaccination your dog may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site. Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery. However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact us for advice.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES OF DOGS THAT WE VACCINATE AGAINST
Canine parvovirus is a disease that affects dogs of all ages but is most serious in young pups and older dogs. The virus attacks the intestines causing bloodstained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Dogs often die from severe dehydration despite intensive veterinary care.
It is not necessary to have direct contact with other dogs for the disease to be spread. The virus is so persistent that the infected dog’s environment needs to be cleaned with a potent disinfectant to prevent spread to other dogs. Outbreaks occur regularly throughout Australia, especially in summer.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect dogs of any age with young puppies being at highest risk.
Symptoms vary but can include fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease. Treatment is usually ineffective and the recovery rate very low. Dogs that do recover may have permanent brain damage.
Canine hepatitis is a viral disease which, like distemper is extremely contagious and often fatal. Dogs of any age can become infected, however severe cases are rare in dogs over two years of age.
Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. In severe cases death can occur within 24 to 36 hours. Dogs that recover may develop long term liver and kidney problems and can act as carriers spreading the disease to other dogs for many months.
Canine cough is a condition produced by several highly infectious diseases, which can be easily spread wherever dogs congregate, such as parks, shows, obedience schools and boarding kennels. Among the infectious agents associated with canine cough is the bacterium known as Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine viruses parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and distemper.
Affected dogs have a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks. It is distressing for pet dogs and their owners. It is a major problem for working and sporting dogs. Pneumonia can also be a consequence of infection.
Canine coronavirus is another contagious virus and causes depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea especially in young dogs. Diarrhoea may last for several days in some cases. Although most dogs will recover with treatment, coronavirus has the potential to be fatal, especially if other infectious agents such as parvovirus are present.
Canine leptospirosis is a serious disease risk in some areas and can cause high death rates. It is spread by the urine of rats and is usually transmitted to dogs by contaminated food and water, or by rat bites.
There’s an increased risk where high rat populations exist such as rubbish dumps or green sugar cane cutting areas. Incidence can also increase after long periods of wet weather, when rat populations are forced to move or concentrate. Leptospirosis is an animal disease that can be passed to humans who may then suffer a persisting “flu like” illness.
CAT VACCINATION >
Vaccination has revolutionised control of infectious disease in our pets. It is essential that all pets are adequately vaccinated to help protect the pet population as a whole. Responsible pet care requires kittens to be given their initial course of vaccinations, but this cannot protect them for the rest of their lives. Adult cats require regular vaccination to maintain immunity against disease.
Kittens are ‘temporarily’ protected against many diseases by antibodies received through their mother’s milk. These maternal antibodies decline in the first couple of months of their lives, however until they drop sufficiently they can also neutralise vaccines. This is why a series of vaccinations is necessary for a kitten.
Adult Cat Vaccination
The immunity from kitten vaccination weakens over time and your pet can again become susceptible to disease. Annual health checks and booster vaccinations will provide the best protection for the life of your pet.
PLEASE GIVE US A CALL TO DISCUSS A SUITABLE VACCINATION REGIME FOR YOUR PET KITTEN OR CAT.
A Guide to Cat Vaccination
Initial vaccination programs should provide at least two vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart against some or all of the following;
feline panleucopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, Chlamydia and leukaemia virus at or after 8 weeks of age.
Three vaccinations, 2-4 weeks apart, against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are recommended at or after 8 weeks of age.
After Vaccination Care
Following vaccination your cat may be off-colour for a day or two, or have some slight swelling or tenderness at the injection site.
Access to food and water and a comfortable area to rest are usually all that is required for a quick recovery.
However, if the response seems more severe, you should contact us for advice.
INFECTIOUS DISEASES OF CATS THAT WE VACCINATE AGAINST
Feline Enteritis (also known as Feline Panleucopenia)
t is very contagious and the death rate is high, especially under 12 months of age. Pregnant cats may lose their young or give birth to kittens with abnormalities, quite often with brain damage. Symptoms are depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood and severe abdominal pain.
The virus spreads so easily that heavily contaminated areas may need cleaning with a special disinfectant. Cats that do recover may continue to carry the virus for some time and infect other cats.
Feline Respiratory Disease (Catflu)
It is caused in 90% of cases by feline herpesvirus (feline rhinotracheitis) and/or feline calicivirus.
Feline respiratory disease affects cats of all ages, especially young kittens, Siamese and Burmese cats. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers.
Fortunately, the death rate is low except in young kittens, but the disease is distressing and may persist for several weeks. Recovered cats can continue to carry and spread the infection for long periods, and can show signs of the disease again if they become stressed.
Chlamydia (also known as Chlamydophila)
Feline Chlamydia causes a severe persistent conjunctivitis in up to 30% of cats.
Kittens are more severely affected by Chlamydia when also infected with “Cat Flu”, and Chlamydia can be shed for many months. Vaccination against cat flu and Chlamydia helps protects against clinical disease.
Feline Leukaemia (FeLV)
Feline Leukaemia is a serious disease of cats caused by feline leukaemia virus.
The virus attacks the immune system and may be associated with lack of appetite, weight loss and apathy, pale or yellow mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhoea, reproductive problems, increased susceptibility to other infections, leukaemia and tumours. Many cats may be infected and show no signs at all.
About one third of infected cats remain chronically infected and may shed virus in their saliva, tears, nasal secretions and urine. The disease is then spread to uninfected cats by mutual grooming, fighting, sneezing or even flea bites.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Feline AIDS is a disease caused by infection with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and affects the cat’s immune system. Their natural defence against attack by other diseases may be seriously affected, much in the same way as human AIDS.
This disease is not transmissible to humans.
FIV is almost always transmitted by bites from infected cats. The virus that causes the disease is present in saliva.
While some infected cats show no sign of disease, others may display initial symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, lethargy and swollen lymph nodes.
As the disease progresses, symptoms may occur such as weight loss, sores in and around the mouth, eye lesions, poor coat and chronic infections.
Eventually, the immune system becomes too weak to fight off other infections and diseases. As a result, the cat may die from one of these subsequent infections.
Unfortunately in Australia, a lot of cats are infected with this virus.
EQUINE VACCINATION >
HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU VACCINATED YOUR HORSE?
Time gets away on us all and we all tend to forget these things – unfortunately the consequences can be quite painful and totally avoidable by regularly vaccinating your horses.
We now stock all the following vaccines:
EQUIVAC 2 IN1 – used in the prevention of tetanus and in the control of strangles due to Streptococcus equi.
EQUIVAC S – used in the control of strangles.
EQUIVAC T – used to immunise animals against tetanus
EQUIVAC TAT – used in the prevention and treatment of tetanus in horses and can also be used in dogs, sheep, cattle and pigs. The minimum required dose should protect the animal if it is administered within hours of an injury occurring. For prolonged protection, however, a horse should be actively immunised using Equivac® T or Equivac® 2 in 1 on a regular basis.
It is much better to prevent than try to cure so please make sure your horses are protected.
CALL IN AND SEE US OR RING US ANYTIME TO DISCUSS YOUR HORSES VACCINATION NEEDS.
INTESTINAL WORMS >
There are two broad categories of worms that may affect our pet dogs and cats, intestinal worms and heartworms.
Worming is one of the first health care issues pet owners need to address as pups and kittens are the most susceptible. As their name suggests, intestinal worms are parasites that live inside your pet’s intestines. These worms range in size from small to surprisingly large (up to 18cm in length). Regardless of their size however, they all have negative, and potentially deadly effects.
Most species of animal, as well as humans, can be infected with intestinal worms including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, fish, birds and reptiles.
Common intestinal worms in Australian pets are:
If your pet has a large number of worms it may find it difficult to maintain body condition and it can lose weight. In some cases it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even anaemia (a low red blood cell level). Occasionally, heavy intestinal worm burdens can cause death.
Worms sometimes have complex life cycles which involve a period of existence and development outside your pet. Understanding the life cycle of a specific worm is important so that strategies for treatment and prevention can be designed and implemented. For instance, some tapeworms need to pass through fleas to complete their life cycle, so flea prevention is an important method of controlling tapeworms.
It is important to maintain a routine worming treatment for your pets, to reduce the incidence of infection and to reduce environmental contamination. There are many worming treatments available for the various worm infections that occur in our pets. These are available as tablets, spot-ons, or pastes. Re-infection is a common problem, particularly in pets that are in contact with a heavily contaminated environment. Another very important reason to worm your pets is to protect your family; as children in particular can become infected with certain dog and cat worms.
Below are some tips to consider regarding worm prevention:
* Promptly clean up pet faeces
* Practice good hygiene, always encourage children to wash their hands regularly (especially after playing in dirt or sandpits, playing with pets or prior to eating)
* Prevent children from playing where the soil may be contaminated
* Keep your pet’s environment clean
* Always dispose of dog faeces in public parks and playgrounds
FLEA AND TICK CONTROL >
Fleas are most often seen during the warmer months but as we keep our homes nice and warm throughout winter, we see fleas all year round. Only a small part of the adult flea population actually lives on your pet. The fleas’ eggs and larvae live in the environment and can survive for up to a year, so it is important to not only treat your animal directly for fleas but also decontaminate the environment as well. Wash your pet’s bedding using the hottest cycle and regularly vacuum/clean carpets. We do not recommend flea collars or flea shampoos alone as they fail to address the environmental flea infestation.
Fleas will tend to jump onto your pet only to feed and then jump off again. Dogs and cats can have a reaction to flea saliva resulting in a skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis or FAD. Treatment of FAD can be complicated and veterinary consultation is recommended.
Some signs that your pet may have fleas include:
Scratching, biting and hair loss, especially at the base of the tail and rump
You may see fleas (especially over the rump and in the groin region)
It can be difficult to find the fleas, but is relatively easy to check for flea dirt. Simply moisten a cotton ball, part your pet’s fur and place the cotton ball on the skin over the rump. If the cotton ball takes on black specs surrounded by a reddish area, this may be flea dirt and can indicate that your pet has fleas.
Warning: Some non-veterinary brands of flea treatments for dogs are potentially lethal when applied to cats. Always seek veterinary advice about the best flea treatments for your pet.
PLEASE CALL US TO DISCUSS AN APPROPRIATE FLEA CONTROL PROGRAM FOR YOUR PET.
The main tick of concern for pet owners is the Paralysis Tick (Ixodes holocyclus) as it can cause paralysis and death within 2-4 days of attachment. Whilst Paralysis Ticks occur naturally only in certain geographic areas (mainly along the coastal eastern seaboard of Australia) they can attach to pets who visit these areas during the warmer months, particularly if they are allowed to run through scrub. Ticks may also hitch a ride back with you or a neighbour in cars, rugs, towels or plants.
If you notice a tick on a pet that is not displaying signs of tick paralysis, remove the tick straight away.To do this, grasp the tick firmly where it attaches to your pet’s skin and give a quick sideways pull. It is better not to try and kill the tick first as the dying tick may inject more of its potent toxin into your pet. If you are not confident removing the tick please call us immediately to make an appointment to have it removed. Once the tick is removed your pet should be kept cool and quiet whilst being closely monitored for 24 hours. If your pet starts to display any signs of tick paralysis, such as vomiting, weakness, staggering, breathing difficulty, or altered bark, seek immediate veterinary attention as this is a genuine veterinary emergency. If your pet is showing any of the above signs, do not offer food or water as these may be accidentally inhaled in tick-affected dogs.
Treatment of tick paralysis includes searching for and removing all ticks. This may include clipping the animal completely and/or the use of medication to kill remaining ticks. Tick antiserum is administered to counteract the toxin and supportive care is provided during recovery. This can be costly in comparison to what it would cost to use tick prevention initially. However, no tick prevention is 100% effective and should always be used in combination with daily searches of your pet. Searching your pet shouldn’t cease once you return from tick-affected regions but should continue for at least 7 days after returning home. Use your fingers to feel over the entire body, especially under the collar, on the face and around the front of your pet. Don’t forget to check carefully between the toes, under the lips and in the ears.
WE ARE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SHOW YOU HOW TO DO A THOROUGH TICK SEARCH, PLEASE CALL US TO DISCUSS.
Dentistry is a rapidly growing area of veterinary science. We have seen a greater awareness over the last 25 years of its importance to the overall health of the animals we treat.
Just like humans, pets’ teeth need looking after too! The health of their teeth and gum’s has a significant impact on their overall quality of life. Imagine how your mouth would feel, and smell, if you never brushed your teeth. Imagine having a really bad toothache and not being able to tell anyone about it!
Dental disease begins with a build up of bacteria in your pet’s mouth. Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris, can cause plaque to accumulate on the tooth. As calcium salts are deposited, plaque turns to tartar (brown or yellow material starting near the gum line of the tooth). Without proper preventive or therapeutic care, plaque and tartar build-up leads to periodontal disease, which affects the tissues and structures supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can cause oral pain, tooth loss and even heart or kidney problems.
Common signs of dental disease, in order of severity, include:
* Yellow-brown tartar around the gumline
* Inflamed, red gums
* Bad breath
* Change in eating or chewing habits (especially in cats)
* Pawing at the face or mouth
* Excessive drooling
* Pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth
If your pet is showing any of these signs of dental disease please book an appointment to see one of our veterinarians. Early assessment and action can save your pet’s teeth!
How can I prevent dental disease?
Long-term control and prevention of dental disease requires regular home care. The best way to begin this is to accustom your pet from an early age. Dental home care may include:
* Brushing teeth daily – just like us! This is the best form of dental hygiene. Pet toothbrushes and toothpaste are now available. Please do not use human toothpaste formulas on your pet as they are not designed to be swallowed and may be toxic.
* Feed pets raw meaty bones or special dental diets. This can help reduce the accumulation of tartar.
* Use dental toys, enzymatic chews, or teeth cleaning biscuits, all of which may help keep the teeth clean.
Regular and frequent attention to your pet’s teeth may avoid the need for a professional dental clean under anaesthetic, and will also improve your pet’s overall health.
What does a professional dental clean involve?
It is the same as a scale and polish done by a dentist for us. However, unlike us, our pets won’t sit still or open their mouth to allow a comprehensive cleaning of their teeth. For this reason our pets need to have a general anaesthetic for a professional dental clean. Your pet will need to be assessed by one of our veterinarians. The degree of dental disease will be assessed to determine if extractions, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories will be required. The assessment may also include a physical exam, blood tests and urine tests to ensure they are healthy prior to having an anaesthetic. Once anaesthetised, we can give the teeth a thorough cleaning using our specialised dental equipment. When your pet goes home we will also discuss methods of reducing dental disease in the future.
WE ARE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SHOW YOU HOW TO DO A THOROUGH TICK SEARCH, PLEASE CALL US TO DISCUSS.
Our hospital is fully equipped to take radiographs (often called X-rays) of your pet. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires radiographs. Radiographs are a very important tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving bones, the chest or abdomen.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for radiographs?
Most of our patients are admitted into hospital for the day to have radiographs taken, unless it is an emergency and we’ll take them immediately. We ask that you bring your pet in unfed on the morning of admission, as they will most likely be sedated or anaesthetised to allow us to take the best quality radiographs possible.
Once the radiographs have been taken we will give you a call or book an appointment for our veterinarians to show you the images and to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.
Why do pets need to be sedated or anaesthetised to have radiographs taken?
When we have radiographs (X-rays) taken the radiographer asks us to keep perfectly still, often in unnatural positions. Most pets would never lie still enough, in the correct position, for us to take good quality radiographs required to diagnose their condition. Sedation and anaesthesia allow us to get the most useful radiographs possible.
How are radiographs made?
Taking a radiograph is very similar to taking a photo, except we use X-rays instead of light rays. The usefulness of radiography as a diagnostic tool is based upon the ability of X-rays to penetrate matter. Different tissues in the body absorb X-rays to differing degrees. Of all the tissues in the body, bone absorbs the most X-rays. This is the reason that bone appears white on a radiograph. Soft tissues, such as lungs or organs, absorb some but not all of the X-rays, so soft tissues appear on a radiograph in different shades of grey. We will demonstrate and explain the radiographs when your pet goes home.
Our hospital is fully equipped with an ultrasound scanner to assist evaluation of your pet’s condition if required. Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s case and conduct a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet requires an ultrasound examination. An ultrasound scan is a very important tool to help us diagnose diseases in animals, particularly for conditions involving soft tissues, such as those found in the abdomen, or the heart.
What is an ultrasound scan?
Ultrasound scanning is a painless procedure that uses high frequency sound waves (inaudible to humans) to produce images of structures within the body. When sound waves are directed into the body, some are absorbed by body tissues and others bounce back. The sound waves that bounce back are measured by the ultrasound machine and are transformed into an image on a screen. The images can be printed or recorded. Extensive training is required in order to correctly use this equipment and interpret these images.
Ultrasound scans are most useful for looking at soft or fluid-filled organs; like the liver, kidney, bladder and heart. It is less effective for examining bones or air-filled organs, like the lungs.
What happens to my pet when it is booked in for an ultrasound scan?
Most of our patients are admitted into hospital for the day to have an ultrasound scan done, unless it is an emergency and we’ll do it immediately. We ask that you bring your pet in unfed on the morning of admission, as they may need to be sedated to allow us to do the best scan possible.
The area to be scanned will be shaved, so your pet may look different when they come home. No pain is felt during an ultrasound exam, however, discomfort from pressure may be experienced. Sedatives may be necessary for those animals that won’t stay still or are uncomfortable. During the scan a water-soluble gel is applied over the clipped area to be examined and a transducer (probe) is placed on the skin.
Once the scan has been done we will give you a call or book an appointment for our veterinarians to show you the images and to discuss the diagnosis and treatment plan for your pet.
CLINICAL PATHOLOGY >
Clinical pathology involves the laboratory evaluation of blood, fluids or body tissues in order to identify existing disease.
Common laboratory tests include blood chemistries, complete blood counts, blood clotting times, urinalysis, faecal tests, biopsy examination, cultures and infectious disease testing.
Our animal hospital is equipped with an in-house laboratory that allows our veterinarians to quickly perform many of these diagnostic tests to achieve an accurate and rapid diagnosis. This is especially important in very ill animals and those requiring immediate or emergency treatment. Some more specialised tests may need to be performed by an external veterinary laboratory.
Our in-house laboratory can provide results within minutes. Specialised testing may take 12-24 hours for blood results or up to 14 days for biopsy results, depending on the nature of the test being performed. Ask your veterinarian when to call for your pet’s laboratory results.
SPECIALIST REFERRALS >
When an animal develops an unusual illness or injury, there is often a need for specialised expertise and equipment to properly diagnose and treat the problem. If your pet has a problem that requires this level of expertise we can refer you to a specialist that has earned our trust and confidence in order to give your pet the optimal chance of recovery.
Australian registered veterinary specialists undergo a rigorous training and examination process to obtain their qualifications, and like human specialists are considered to be the epitome of knowledge in their field. We work closely alongside the specialists and together can offer optimum care for pets that require this service.
Specialists are independent veterinarians and set their own fees. It’s a good idea to ask them about costs when you call to make an appointment.
Our sense of responsibility doesn’t end just because you’ve taken your pet to a specialist. If you find yourself faced with difficult decisions regarding the recommended treatment, please don’t hesitate to call us. We’ll be pleased to help you evaluate your options.
WE’RE HAPPY TO DISCUSS AND ORGANISE A SPECIALIST REFERRAL IF REQUIRED BY YOUR PET.