Vet Services Hawkes Bay Ltd

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Arthritis

Kathryn Sigvertsen                     

General stiffness, slowing down, difficulty rising...  Is it just old age? Our senior pets may show subtle signs or be quite obvious in their attempts to tell us about their problems.  One of these problems that we commonly see is arthritis.  Signs may include lameness in one or more legs, difficulty getting up in the morning, swollen or misshapen joints, or changes in behaviour indicating pain (lethargy or grumpiness in a previously well-tempered animal).  Arthritis can affect both dogs and cats although cats are often better at hiding the pain.  They may show more behavioural changes than dogs, with reduced activity or a reluctance to jump, lack of grooming in specific areas of the body as they find it hard to reach, or a seemingly poor appetite as they are reluctant to seek out a food bowl or jump up to an area they have previously been fed on (top of the freezer/washing machine etc).

Arthritis may be diagnosed by your vet during a clinical examination or annual health check, but will sometimes require x-rays to find or determine the extent and exact location.  Often there is a slow onset of changes and these can be difficult to notice when you are seeing your animals every day.  As age increases, the likelihood of arthritis also increases but we occasionally see problems in younger animals due to some underlying cause, such as a previous injury or joint surgery, poor conformation, or diseases such as hip or elbow dysplasia.  As the condition progresses, the joints become worn and the smooth cartilage layer covering the end of the bone becomes thin and damaged.  The bone also reacts by growing extra ridges or small spurs around the joint. 

Thin cartilage and misshapen joints become very uncomfortable and it is important to remember that arthritis can be a source of chronic pain for our pets.  Fortunately we have plenty of treatment options available and can tailor a treatment plan that best suits your cat or dog.  Because arthritis is a long term condition it requires monitoring to ensure that the plan is working – sometimes the treatments need adjusting to provide an adequate level of pain control without any untoward side effects from long term medications. 


Calici Virus confirmed cases in Hawkes Bay, are your rabbits vaccinated??

Read more >Monday 13th of May 2019: Vaccinating every year against the deadly Calici Virus is extreamly important.

We have had confirmed cases of the disease in Hawkes Bay within un-vaccinated rabbits, which unfortunately resulted in death.


Choosing your next puppy

Read more >Monday 13th of May 2019: Pet ownership is very rewarding but the decision should not be taken lightly as it is a long term and substantial responsibility.

When choosing your next puppy there are many things to consider; preferably a happy and healthy puppy and you should also think about the adult size and type of nature that will suit your family and lifestyle.


Ear Disease

Read more >Monday 13th of May 2019: Duck shooting doesn't seem to cause many concerns for our canine companions, usually only a few cuts and bruises that are insignificant compared to the enjoyment derived from the exercise.

However getting damp in water for long periods can give rise to a flare up of ear disease (otitis externa).

Some dogs seem prone to this, often due to an underlying skin allergy or just the makeup of their ear anatomy. Prolonged moisture in the ears promotes growth of yeasts and bacteria leading to irritation, inflammation and pain. This, left untreated, can lead to more serious middle ear disease that is hard to treat and deafness.


Starvation in the midst of plenty

Read more >Monday 13th of May 2019: Diabetes Mellitus is a disease condition where either the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or the body is unable to use insulin correctly and causing insulin resistance.


When to bring your working dog in to see us…in less than 24 hrs please…

Read more >Thursday 28th of March 2019: Over this busy time of year, it can be easy to overlook the working dog with the limp, or the dog that hadnât eaten last nightâs dinner. What can save you a lot of trouble, both in cost and lack of a worker, is knowing when your dog can wait to see us and when it needs to be seen as soon as possible.


Keeping your working dog working

Read more >Thursday 28th of March 2019: Working dogs are the hardest working and cheapest labour unit on your farm. Here are a few points to consider to ensure they are in optimal health and are able to give you their best.


Mis-Mating

Read more >Thursday 28th of March 2019: Mis-mating is always a hot topic. If this does occurs and you donât want to breed from that bitch in the future, we recommend having her speyed. Speying is a permanent solution and will not affect her working ability, saves you having to worry about her when she is on heat, and in most instances saves you money as you can reduce the amount of food you feed by about a third. If you donât want her speyed, the only other option is to abort the pregnancy. This uses a very expensive drug and is often more expensive than having her speyed. If you do want to breed from her in the future we recommend having her scanned 25 days after mating. At this point we can still give her the abortion drug. The abortion drug works best given < 21 days (99% effective) but if we scan her and she is not pregnant this will save you a lot of money. The injection given at 21-45 days is 95% effective. Give us a ring to discuss further if you have any questions.


ARTHRITIS- The biggest issue limiting working dogs performance

Read more >Thursday 28th of March 2019: This grading system is helpful to use as guide to get the most out of your working dog team. The following will be a brief description of the four grades along with their corresponding treatment options:


Stitch Up – What can you do to help?

Read more >Thursday 28th of March 2019: Unlike a surgical incision with smooth edges, a laceration is often jagged and irregular and as a result, there can be variable degrees of damage to the underlying tissue and structures depending on the depth and force of the trauma that caused the laceration.


Coughing and Wheezy Horses

Read more >Thursday 7th of March 2019: The classic âcoughing horseâ is a common sight and sound at this time of year, and often transient viral respiratory disease is to blame. But as much as we love to blame a virus, they are not always the cause!


Encysted Strongyles – Small worms, big problems

Read more >Thursday 7th of March 2019: âSmall Strongylesâ or âCyathostomesâ are the terms used for a group of over forty different species of parasites affecting horses. They tend to be the most prevalent parasite within the horsesâ gastrointestinal tract and although small, heavy burdens can result in big problems!


Stomach Ulcers and Gastroscopy

Read more >Thursday 7th of March 2019: Stomach ulcers (gastric ulcers) are a hot topic! Stomach ulceration is a somewhat confusing syndrome â the syndrome can have a multitude of clinical signs, ranging from very subtle performance issues, or picky eating, to weight loss and colic. There is also a multitude of products on the market which claim to help with ulcers, not all being equal.


Slug Bait Poisoning

Read more >Friday 30th of November 2018:


Pet Insurance

Read more >Friday 28th of September 2018: Many people know the importance of insuring their items, their house or car, even their own health. Fortunately we are also able to insure pets, for not only medical and surgical care but in some cases routine visits can be covered (including vaccinations and wellness checks/blood tests).


Fleas

Read more >Friday 28th of September 2018: When a flea bites, its saliva causes the dog to itch. Fleas not only cause skin problems for dogs and us but can also cause other disease such as anaemia, flea allergy dermatitis and tapeworms.


Healthy Teeth

Read more >Friday 28th of September 2018: Dogs, like us, have two sets of teeth during their lives. The deciduous (baby) teeth appear shortly after birth and are replaced by the permanents at around four to six months of age. Deciduous teeth cause few problems except where they are retained beyond about eight months of age. If this occurs, displacement of the erupting permanents may result.


Have you got an itchy dog?

Read more >Friday 28th of September 2018: During the spring and summer months we see high numbers of dogs with itchy skin.In the past, the only way to manage atopy (itchy skin) was through medications such as steroids and antihistamines but Royal Canin nutritionists and veterinarians have developed a new Prescription Diet specially formulated to help manage environmental sensitivities in dogs.


Fleas

Read more >Thursday 30th of August 2018: When a flea bites, its saliva causes the dog to itch. The adult fleas you see on your dog only represent 5% of the whole flea population. Flea problems can appear to come and go. This is because the immature stages of the flea (eggs, pupae) wait in the environment for the right conditions (Warmth, humidity and stimulation) When this happens they tend to hatch all at once onto the unsuspecting animal.


Ticks

Read more >Thursday 30th of August 2018: Ticks live in areas of long grass and dense shrubs. They wait for animals to come along, and then grab onto their fur. Once on the animal, they find areas of thin skin and attach with cement-like saliva to feed on blood.

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