Rob's Blog

The discussions

Dental radiology now at Seaforth Vets


Dental radiology is now considered a standard of care
We have just invested in new iM3 state of the art dental x ray equipment to better service patient needs. This is great news for all our patients
Full mouth x rays will now be included as standard with any cleaning proceed to help identify dental issues early
The whole procedure is performed under their anaesthetic for cleaning and takes around 15-25 min

COVID Lockdown June 2021


We are all aware of the new lockdown in Sydney regarding COVID. Pleease read how these restrictions apply to visiting the vet

click here

As vets we well understand the importance of vaccines. We encourage everyone to get their COVID vaccine as soon as possible, only then will there be an end to interminable lockdowns. Consider your own health and that of your family and community, so we can get Sydney back to normal life

Leptospirosis June 2021


A leptospirosis case was confirmed on the Northern Beaches in early June 2021. The dog was local to the Elanora/Narrabeen area and unfortunately died from the disease, at the specialist centre NVS at Terrey Hills

Since the inner city scare just over 1 year ago we have been rolling out the leptospirosis vaccine with each annual booster. We started in Sept 2020 so in principle we should have 75% of our registered dogs already covered. The acceptance rate amongst clients has been high, at about the 98% level, which is great

However if you dog's vaccination is due in the next few months (June/July/Aug 2021) they may be at risk and we are now advising not to wait, get it done ASAP. We do not want any more avoidable deaths due to thisi nasty bug


May Roundup


It’s been so busy since I last wrote! Sorry about that
Yes, the renovations have been completed, including the exterior
New since then is our purchase of a new ultrasound machine to add to the services we can offer
We will be purchasing IM3 dental radiology this June so watch this space for our new dental standard or care available at Seaforth vets
As for COVID we remain vigilant and encourage clients to avail themselves of hand sanitiser at the door. Scanning in is still optional
Did you know that our records show as 65% increase in puppy desexing since COVID started, reflecting a similar increase in the percentage of new pups registering at the vet


News Update


Christmas and new year have come and gone
The renovations are just about complete
Then there was a subdued Australia day
No heat strokes which was a wonder with the long period heat wave just ending
Now its back to school and a lull in activity while parents are getting things going there
So, we are heading into Feb and so far (touch wood) surviving COVID
Nurse Millie is back which is nice (for those who knew her 2 years back)
With all the holidays and disjointed January it will be nice to get back to a normal rhythm at Seaforth vets! Happy new year

Renovations under way


Oct and Nov will see a repainting of the whole building. We are having most done after closure but please forgive us for any inconvenience it may cause. Hopefully, fumes are kept to a minimum

Thank you for your understanding

Tick Season 20-21


Tick season is back again! Yes, that old chestnut, but each year we do lose loved pets to tick poisoning so we cannot aplogise for reminding you ad nauseum.

Have a look out our

tick update blog

to see how the season is faring. This is updated weekly. Our recommended

preventative pack

has not changed a whole deal from last year, here’s the link. Keep your pets safe

The response to our lepto vaccination push has been good, with the majority of dog owners coming on board

Leptospirosis In the lower North Shore of Sydney


Last week The University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospital identified two cases of Leptospirosis and advised all dog owners in Surrey Hills, Newtown and surrounding areas of the Inner West to vaccinate their dogs Last year there were eight identified cases in the Inner West of Sydney.

This week North Shore Veterinary Specialist Hospital identified a case of Leptospirosis in their local area of the lower north shore

At first Leptospirosis may cause dogs to become very lethargic, with an elevated body temperature, vomiting, and diarrhoea. It then often progresses to symptoms consistent with liver and kidney failure. Dogs become infected directly by being in contact with rat urine, if those rats are carrying the disease, or indirectly if in contact with contaminated water or soil. Dogs can also become infected by hunting and eating rats. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease which means that humans can become infected

Leptospirosis has not been identified on the Northern Beaches, however, The University recommends vaccination for those who live or travel to the Inner West with further recommends vaccination for those within a 5km radius of Artarmon or Crows Nest as shown - click image to zoom

Please speak with our staff about vaccinating your dog. Initially, it is a course of two vaccines approximately four weeks apart. Following this your dog should be vaccinated against Leptospirosis annually

Desexing of cats.... New Rules


Its been poorly publicised but new rules apply to the desexing of your cat

These rules have been introduced with the aim of

  • Reducing the stray population
  • reduced need to euthanase unwanted cats
  • reduce feral cat numbers
  • protect our wildlife

The new rule states kittens must now be desexed by 4 months of age. If not the owner will be subject to an additional $80 fee per in addition to the life time registration fee

We have generally advised desexing at 6 months. You can still do that, but it will now cost you an additioal $80 at registration to do that

We must comply with the law and obviously advise our clients of the changes

The surgery is doable but is fiddlier and some worry it may impact upon their kittens health. There is no definitive study to that effect


COVID Update at Seaforth Vets


We are beginning to slowly relax our COVID restrictions at Seaforth Vets, in line with community expectations. Maria discusses this in detail but the main points are

  • You can still request a contactless appointment at no additional cost
  • Two clients are now allowed in a consult room at any one time
  • Three in the waiting room at any one time
  • social distancing to continue
  • hand sanatizing to continue

The details

Click here

Behaviour problems in your pet


The other day it was pointed out that clients are not always aware, but atop Seaforth Vets is one of the best animal behaviour services in Australia! Headed up by Dr Kersti Seksel the service is known as SABS and you can read all about them


Anxity after Corona Virus

Corona has been good for pets, lots of people home sharing their time and space. However what will happen in the minds of our pets as we slowly return to work and school. Dr Kersti Seksel has written an article on this subject and has some suggestions on easing the stress for your pets.... Read her article on the subject here

Causes of Halitosis

Halitosis (bad breath) is a common presentation at the vets. However few clients think beyond bad teeth as the cause. Here's a list of things we vets have to consider when examining the mouth of your pet for a cause of hallitosis

  • Dental disease - either from calculus gum infections or rotten teeth
  • Epulis - excessive gum growth. This traps food particles which as it decays, stinks
  • Tumours - In the older dog tumours can develop in the mouth and often you cannot see them! They may be way back in the pharynx, involve the tonsils, be located under the tongue or involve the gums
  • Lip fold dermatitis - the classic example being that of the cocker spaniel. Excessive lower-lip skin folds. When they eat and saliva and food particles dribble into the folds and stew up. What a stinker
  • Foreign bodies or oropharyngeal injuries - Dogs are great at running onto sticks and injuring their pharynx. Cuts can develop into abscesses, particularly with stick injuries where part of the stick embeds in the back of the throat
  • Ulcers - can occur in dogs but more commonly in cats. Cats either cut their togue (licking out a sharp can!) or developed them as a result of having cleansed disinfectants from their feet. These are quite painful and once the ulcers become infected, they stink
  • Kidney disease - Uraemia can produce a foetid smelling breath with sticky saliva
  • Odours from deeper down - eg a smelly belch

All quiet on the western front

At Seaforth Vets we have been working along quite well with our new roster system and contactless consult options
We will continue in this vein until the government feels things can ease up a little. I would guess the time frame for that will be 4-8 weeks

New case numbers continue to flatten out (data from SMH), but this has occured largely because of social distancing and people adhering to the rules. Should they be relaxed too soon one could easily see another spike, as has occured in Singapore

We all have to keep up the good work done so far

Dracula's Dental Work

You are probably wanting to hear something other than anotehr corona virus update, so here's something interesting and funny

Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent
I hear from one client that Johnny the Burmese is growing teeth like Dracula. I was a bit bemused as to who Johnny was until 2-3 week later Johnny turned up for a routine check. Again, I hear his teeth are growing. I pointed out that unlike rabbits (whose teeth do continue to grow throughout life) cat’s teeth do not. So, a quick check on Johnny’s upper canine teeth showed they were in fact loose! And appeared to be getting longer as they were falling out under gravity. This very day I believe I was wearing my Einstein Field Equation T-Shirt (that no one every recognizes!) and thought this a rather funny consequence of the curvature of space time
Well, Johnny came in for dental work and indeed his upper canine were quite rotten and were removed. He’s doing much better now and his ego is intact as no one is laughing at his teeth anymore


Timetable changes

Due to the corona virus we have had to change you favourite vet's scheduled working days. We will revert to normal scheduling as soon as the crisis is over

The puropse of the changes are to ensure two independant teams operate so should one be affected by Corona Virus, the other can keep working, thus providing our clients with uninterrupted service

Click here to see the changes

Summary of our visiting protocols during COVID-19

Our pratcice manager Maria has put together a more detailed summary as follows

We are open for business as usual and we have implemented several precautionary protocols to help keep both our clients and staff members safe and well.  Aside from our continuous cleaning and sanitizing of all communal areas with hospital grade disinfectants, some other precautions we have in place are


        If you are feeling unwell or have concerns about coming inside, we can offer you a "Contactless Consult".   All you need to do is call us when you arrive and we will come and collect your pet from the car.   You are welcome to wait in the car or on one of the outside benches.   Our vet will then call you to discuss any issues or concerns that you may have with your pet


         Some clients are happy to attend the consultation in person – however, only 1 person will be able to accompany their pet into an appointment.   Where possible please leave your companions in the car or waiting on the outside benches


        Please be on time for your appointment – we would like to minimize the number of clients in the waiting room at one time.   We will do our best not to run late and will phone you if we anticipate the previous appointment running over


      We can bring our cordless Eftpos machine out to you or you can call with your credit card details and we can process the payment that way. We ensure that the machine and its protective cover are sanitized after each use


      If you would like to order food or medications we would ask that you pre-order and pre-pay, again this will help us to limit numbers in the reception area.   When you arrive to collect your items, please call us and we can do one of the following:  meet you at the door and pass the goods over / leave them on the outside bench for you to take or we can bring your items to you in your car


We will continue to prioritise life threatening cases before routine appointments, which may mean some delay in seeing you at your allotted time, but we will do our best to accommodate you

If you have any questions or concerns, we would be more than happy to help in any way we can – you can contact us on 99491288 or

or even check out our Facebook or Instagram pages


Further update COVID-19

A few days on….
What’s new since I last wrote? Just to let clients know that we are also performing
How they work….

  • Call to make an appointment as usual. You will be offered this option
  • The client arrives on time and from the car park they call reception that they have arrived
  • A vet will call you back to take case history
  • A nurse will collect your pet from the car park
  • The vet performs the examination and when complete and a plan of action decided (eg medications) they call you back to let you know your pet is ready to go home
  • Reception will inform you of your bill and you can make a contactless payment
  • Any follow up appointment can be made at that time

 Don’t forget you can now book online
Just call and you can if you wish pre-pay once we confirm they are ready to collect so minimising your wait time at the front desk
…speak soon


Corona Virus updates


They say a week in politics is a long time, well in the COVID-19 era it is even longer, as things seem to change buy the minute
It’s a week since I last posted so here’s my update
Clients should be aware that to date COVID has had no effect on our capacity to care for your pets health
We have instigated routine health measures to disinfect common areas, door handles, touch pads etc…twice daily before each consulting period
Staff are on higher alert to wash hands but given I do the 40-50 times a day it is harder to increase
Staff are well aware of self-isolating should anyone develop respiratory signs
As we consult by appointment only (unless an emergency) we should rarely have many clients in our waiting area at one time
Panic shopping has been one of the worst aspects so far. There are no shortages of anything in Australia
On that note we have no shortages at Seaforth Vets
Just shop as you did before the panic and you will see shops return to normal stocking levels in quick time
Finally we ask any client with respiratory signs to try and arrange for another family member to visit with their pet. If that is not possible please inform our staff when you call to make your appointment as we will ask such clients to please wait on the new benches outside our front door and wait until called in for your appointment. Sort of like when your dog has suspected kennel cough

Corona Virus and vaccines


Has been a terrible time for fake news and irrational panic
It’s a good time to reflect on the stupid trends originating in social media
So, take a deep breath, relax
No your dog or cat cannot give you corona virus
No your cat cannot give you corona virus
Its not a new virus its been around in many species for years
Cats and dogs have their own species specific viral strains
Most cats and dogs show no signs of illness when they do become infected
They may in turn shed the virus for about 2 weeks, keeping the wole thing going, which is the problem with infections that show no signs
As it is a common infection, eg most cats have by 1 yo been exposed to corona virus, then  performing  blood tests as a diagnostic process is pointless.
If they occur, signs in cats and dogs tend to be gastrointestinal and mild. A Faecal sample can be used to detect actual virus (PCR) as opposed to antibodies
Cats can get a serious form of coronavirus known as FIP which until recently is almost always fatal
Why this mostly benign virus becomes a killer in certain individuals is still poorly understood. Viral mutation and host immune defects are believed to be responsible
Is there a vaccine? There are but they are not considered useful or effective and currently not recommended. One wonders how then an effective human vaccine might be manufactured
However, one thing is for sure. These modern times of social media hysteria confirm we should adhere to vaccination as a great control measure in many diseases that could run riot; it is not a time to abandon proven disease control strategies due to social media conspiracy theories


Buying a kitten - a check list

Here is a useful download link to the Cat Group which provides a pdf checklist to use when purchasing a kitten

Click here to see the checklist

Why does my pet get repeated bladder problems

The most common signs that alert a client to urinary tract problems in their pet are

Straining to pass urine

Passing blood

If this is the first time it has happened your vet is likely to treat conservatively, ie use one or two medicines to see if the problem resolves simply. These are chosen on basis of age and species of the pet. Most times this will suffice. It saves the client a large expense and puts their pet through minimal stress of diagnostics

However, the problem will sometimes return within 2-4 weeks. This can be frustrating for a client, but it is telling the vet that this is a more complicated case than first thought

Why might it occur

There may be infection (in young cats cystitis is most often, 99% of the time, sterile, ie there are no bugs)

The blood might be from higher up such as the kidneys

There may be a bladder or urethral tumour

There may be bladder or uretheral stones

They may have concurrent diabetes and the sugar in the urine makes for a good culture medium

This is when investigation starts, so to obtain a more specific diagnosis, with a more specific treatment

Most commonly we will culture the urine to identify any bugs. For this the pet needs to be off any antibiotics for 3-4 days to ensure this can take place (ie it may still be an infection despite having been given a course of antibiotics, the bug may be resistant)

Imaging of the bladder can reveal stones and tumours

Both x rays and ultrasound may be employed

Large stones need to be retrieved surgically and analysed for their content. Diets can then be selected to minimise risk of recurrence

Tumours need to be resected, but the degree of difficulty depends where the tumour is

So, you see its not all that simple. Most vets will endeavour to keep costs down unless diagnostics are essential. We are on your side. We work up a case if and when necessary.
Dr Google can never replace the skills and intuition your vets brings to a case


Gaston Investigates a leak........


Gaston is our live in cat, AKA Mr Upstairs. He has a little life where small things amaze him. Last week the A/C developed a leak and he had to investigate... watch as he realises where the drops come from..Genius


Peace on earth....


Christmas over? Hope all went well. Judging by the fewer than average toxicities this year it did
Now ever onward to New Year and 2020. How can we head off issues before they arise? Mainly thinking of New Year’s Eve fireworks and if the rain ever comes, the storms!!  Keep in mind if you have a dog that goes feral at then sound of either rest assured, we can help. Get in touch well before the event and be prepared to help man’s best friend through it all, give us a call

You can now book online


For the past few weeks we have been experimenting with online booking. We are excited to announce that we feel we now have the perfect format for our clients. You can nowtry it for yourself

You can not only book an appointment, your pet portal allows you to

Change your contact details directly into our database

request a vaccination certificate

request a desexing certificate

View your pets details and modify as required

Add new pets

View all reminder dates for all your pets

Upload a picture of your pets

When you access you the pet portal, if you are an existing client, you will be asked to create an account and create your own username (an e-mail address) and password, this way your details remain safe and private

If you are a new client you can book an appointment off the bat and then create an account as above

We remind all users that this system is for none emergency use. If your pet has a medical emergency you must call us directly or if time does not permit just come straight up. The advantage of calling ahead is that we can ensure we have staff ready and waiting to deal with your issue. Finally please note that we are open on Sunday between 9-11am, but you must call first so we can discuss any special terms and conditions that apply

Don't forget to bookmark the page for quick access when needed

Echidna at North Head


It was great to see an Echidna just ambling bye as I went walking in North Head Manly the other day


Images from Greece and Croatia


Have just returned from Greece and Croatia, here are a few collage of cats I met along the way. Most tavernas have their own resident cats, who feel free to take a chair the suits


Feeding Raw Meat diets

These days many people feel that feeding a raw meat diet is the way to go. Super modern and all that
My advice is always be cautious when doing this
 My number one concern centres around contamination and subsequent illness
Even human grade meats are contaminated with bacteria. We are all aware of salmonella as a big risk factor when preparing poultry for human consumption. Well, hygiene levels in preparing raw pet foods is much lower than in human grade meats, so contamination is much higher. One study showed 20% of such diets contained unacceptable levels of bacteria. As such our pets are at a much higher risk of becoming ill. Think about it, faecal contamination of the slaughtered animal’s flesh is very easy to accomplish. In the UK feeding of feral deer has even be known to spread TB to dogs.
Then there is the issue of knowing what a balanced diet for our pets is. Its not so simple throwing raw meat into a bowl and expecting it to be balanced, it won’t be, so then you really have to learn that. This is especially important in puppies
So, if you really insist on buying raw meat for your pets then best consider cooking it first


Software Update


On the 7,8 and 9th of August we will be migrating to a new practice management software. So if we seem a little slower at the front desk please forgive us while we get used to the intricacies of this new software package. We are excited at the opportunities this new software will give us to serve you better. PS 7,8 and 9th are installation days so please be patient with our frontline staff, they will be doing do their best but if you see some hair pulling you will know why

The Lepto scare

Withe recent dog deaths from leptospirosis in the inner city of Sydney we have been fielding many questions about this disease and the risk to dogs on the Northern Beaches

The current status is that the Northern Beaches is safe. This of course could change with time, though we do not expect that to happen

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease. It is spread in the urine of dogs and rats (who are a reservoir host). It tends to reside in puddles. To keep your dogs safe avoid visiting inner city areas of Sydney. Prevent them playing in or drinking from puddles. If that is unavoidable have you dog vaccinated against leptospirosis. This involves two vaccines 4 weeks apart and yearly boosters if required. We do keep it in stock and are happy to carry out vaccination for any worried clients who just don't want to take the risk

By far the majority of dogs with lethargy, vomiting and diarrhoea do NOT have lepto. So do not panic. Lepto infections can be benign, chronic or acute. It is the acute form where the above signs are seen with typically concurrent kidney failure plus / minus liver inflammation. Diagnosis is by lab testing of urine (there are other tests as well). It can be treated with intravenous and oral antibiotics but can lead to death if left too late. The other issue is it is zoontic, ie can infect humans. So as always when dealing with dogs good hygiene is essential
No, it does not affect cats

On a final note, "where the hell have I been?" With the retirement of Terry things have been very hectic. Hopefully from here on in I can better maintain this blog, so please do keep returning for news and useful advice

Rat Rescue

Just a nice story about a rat rescue! The sewer rat got stock trying to emerge through a grid due to a mismatch in size. You must see how sad it looked, to understand why nine people worked to free it
Click here to see the pic
It’s nice to see this level of compassion for an animal irrespective of its species. We salute your kindness

Dog Food and Health Issues

There has been a rash of concern in the media over certain dog foods and treats
First, there has been the Hill’s pet food recalls where concerns over excess vitamin D in some of their diets have been claimed to cause kidney failure in some dogs in the USA. NB we can ascertain that none of the Hill’s products sold at Seaforth Vets were implicated. Hill’s have long had a great reputation for quality and safety as they do put a lot of research into their diets
There is also the issue of everyone wanting to go “grain free”, extrapolating from human diet fads to dogs. As a result there are now worries about this contributing to the development of Dilated Cardiomyopathy in dogs (a weak, thin walled, dilated heart)
Then there was the scare concerning melamine toxicity in pet foods from China in 2007 and again in 2009
The stories go on
What can we say? What advise should we give? You can never be 100% sure about any diet, that’s the truth. Home preparation? Yes possible, but then what guarantees do you have about the ingredients you choose? Is the diet balanced
Keep vigilant to media concerns, don’t panic, and choose reputable manufacturers, as the are less likely to have big issues! But they can happen as shown with the Hill’s diet scare. They trusted their suppliers and were let down
Avoid buying cheap diets is a good start. Cheap diets are cheap for a reason
Buying a pet food from your veterinarian can help. Why? Because You know we are up on what is safe and healthy and what is just a fad. We are unlikely to be hoodwinked by sharp marketing
The big cheap retail stores just cannot afford to offer the sound advice you can get from your local  veterinary surgeon


2018-19 Tick Season in review


 This tick season continued to show a downward trend of poisoning by 46% on last year which is great news (57% in last 3 years)
Animals dying for tick poisoning continues to fall which is great news
We believe this fall off is largely due to the introductions of the new, far more effective, isoxazoline tick preventatives
Since Bravecto has been introduced for cats this year we are hoping to see a good result again next year, particularly in reducing cat poisoning and deaths
Total tick poisonings treated were 28 [21 cats, 7 dogs] cf to last year 52 cases [32 cats, 20 dogs]
Of the poisonings 4 died [ last year 6 died]
This year the death rate was 14% [last year 12% ]

The final consults


 Dr Terry took his final consulting bow on Dec 18th and here are a few photos courtesy of Maria to commemorate those final consults

Sophie and family as the final cat visit


and Mogul and Tess as the final dog visit






 Refers to low blood glucose

Most commonly encountered in diabetic pets who have had too much insulin
However, it can occur in other situations such as

  • Xylitol poisoning in dogs. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in chewing gum. For us humans, no problems. However, in dogs it is toxic and can kill. Not only can it induce a severe hypoglycaemia it can damage the liver. Maybe you think this will never happen, but it does and occurred just earlier this month in a patient of ours. Luckily the dog survived by appropriate therapy
    Insulinoma. This is a tumour of insulin producing cells in the pancreas. Too much insulin again leading to a hypoglycaemia in a non-diabetic patient. Can happen in both dogs and cats, but more common in dogs
  • Addison’s disease. A disease of the adrenal glands where they produce too little cortisol
  • Liver diseases. The liver converts stores of glycogen into glucose for use in the body. So when it is ill so to can glucose levels critically fall
    Cirrhosis – end stage liver disease
    Severe hepatitis
    Glycogen storage disease
    Portosystemic shunts – where the liver is sort of bypassed, so it cannot do its thing
  • Sepsis. Ie severe infection where the body burns up its glucose faster than it can be replaced
  • Hunting dog hypoglycaemia. Again, the heavily exercising dog burns up its available glucose, compare this to the marathon runner collapse
  • Pregnancy again heavy demands on glucose can lead to hypoglycaemia
  • Severe malnutrition. Just not enough food, creating the delirium of starvation
    Treatment as you can imagine has to be directed at the underlying disease, but short-term emergency therapy consists of fluids and intravenous glucose administration


    Blood pressure in our pet cat and dogs


    Just as with humans, blood pressure plays an important role in veterinary medicine
    It is monitored daily with all our anaesthetised (GA) patients, where, in particular we are looking for a drop in BP (hypotension) while under GA. This must be corrected ASAP to minimise potential adverse side effects and its use has made anaesthesia much safer in veterinary surgery
    Cats are prone to hypertension as they age, especially related to kidney failure. Often the first thing a client might note is sudden onset blindness as a result of retinal detachment. If BP is corrected ASAP there is a good chance the retina will reattach and vision be restored. So, you can see it is really important we measure blood pressure in all our older cats with suspected kidney issues.
    Blood pressure can play a role in diagnosing Cushings disease (an adrenal gland problem common in old age) in dogs. It is an important parameter to measure when dealing with certain medicines that can inadvertently cause hypertension
    How do we measure it? Despite many bippy gadgets on the market still the most accurate way to measure blood pressure (in the GP situation) is with a Doppler. A cuff is placed on the patient’s forearm (sometimes hind leg or tail base). The Doppler probe is placed on the underside of the wrist joint and we puff up the cuff til the swooshing noise disappears and the pressure is slowly released til we hear the pulse again. Its surprisingly well tolerated by cats and dogs
    However we have to take into account “the white coat effect” where the sight of a vet can send the blood pressure rising in any fearful pet. So cool, calm and patience is all required

    Long awaited isoxazoline for Cats


    Ever since the introduction of isooxazoline tick products in the dog (Simparica, Nexgard and Bravecto) we have seen an amazing reduction in the number of tick poisonings in this species. 70% to be precise! Most important is the fact that all the dogs that were poisoned were NOT on any of the new products
    We have long awaited a similar product to be licensed for use in cats and it has just arrived! Bravecto for cats. What’s more is it is a product with 3 months duration of activity, so a single pack will take you through the whole of tick season. Limitations are kittens less that 12 weeks of age or cats weighing less than 1.2kg, which is not a big problem


    Down Mexico way


    What a busy year, I apologise for negelecting my proposed weekly blog

    Just back for a holiday in Mexico and thought I’d write a few notes about my times there
    As you might expect there are a lot of dogs. Many are strays but there are a lot of owned dogs as well. From what I saw in regard to the stray Perro, the Mexicans do respect them
    In Merida on the Yucatan peninsula I came across Adpota, an association who try to rehome strays, they really do care about their street dogs (see, you can run a google translate on the site)
    In Mexico city I came across this chap out walking his 8 Chihuahuas! He was a bit fed up with everyone wanting to stroke them, as you know, the breed are not all guaranteed to enjoy attention from strange children. Did you know that there is a whole state called Chihuahua? Abutting the Mexican border with the USA, they have been training their name sake army of dogs to keep Donald Trump out of Mexico

    New Video Endoscope at Seaforth Vets


    Sorry, I have been away for a while, but I'm back with a new video endoscope

    On a recent trip to Shanghai I was able to visit the factory that builds these and was highly impressed so I brought one home. Its all about service

    Its frustrating for clients when we have to refer them to specialists when in effect its just a lack of correct equipment limiting us. The new endoscope will allow us to investigate the pharynx, the larynx, oesophagus, the stomach and just beyond (the proximal duodenum). Then from the other end the rectum and colon. We have the ability to retrieve foreign bodies located in the oesophagus and stomach without the need for surgery. We can biopsy tumours in any of the mentioned locations. We can photograph and video our efforts so you can now see exactly what we saw. Great new technology. All at high resolution. Also coming soon we will be able to video examine the trachea and nasal passages all very exciting, all at you local vet

    Chocolate Toxicity at Easter


    Easter is here and so are the eggs
    Don’t forget that chocolate is toxic in dogs
    Signs of intoxication are from mild to severe in proportion to the amount of chocolate ingested
    Mild signs include diarrhoea, vomiting then to developing nervous tremors and even fits. In extreme amounts it can kill
    If your dog finds and eats your secret stash it is worth an early visit to the vet to prevent toxicity
    Your vet will invariably give them an emetic and treat (if) any presenting signs
    For cat owners…. Cats are too sensible to eat the stuff so no worries

    Dog attacks in the media


    Its always distressing to hear about children being attacked by a dog be it a family or neighbour’s dog
    Young children are especially vulnerable and should never be left unsupervised with their own or a neighbour’s dog. Note I say this without reference to breed as all dogs can attack a child. The larger more muscular breeds are capable of more damage and as a result they are often targeted by legislation as in Victoria. But breed targeting is well known not to work
    The problem is not one of breed but of dog owner responsibility. Choosing an appropriate family dog, socialising and training it are the most important aspects to minimising dog attacks
    If a dog attacks the blame should be placed squarely at the feet of the owner and not the dog itself. Humans are the ones with the logical thought process and ability to predict and reduce risks. We bring the child and the dog into proximity. It is our responsibility to ensure this only occurs in a controlled and safe manner. A lackadaisical approach to ownership puts children and others at risk


    Sorry about my leave of abscence on this blog but Xmas and New Year were sooo busy with lots to do. Anyway, the blog is back and I start the new year with some interesting news

    A recent study at the university of Melbourne has linked feeding raw chicken necks with Acute Polyradiculoneuritis (APN). This disease resembles tick paralysis to a degree and can be fatal. There is no known treatment. Most animals will eventually get better, but it can take up to 6 months to resolve, stressful for the dog and the owner
    The study shows that dogs fed chicken necks are 70 times more likely to get the disease, which is quite convincing
    The current recommendation is to cease feeding your dog raw chicken necks

    Fear of Loud Noises


    Just to remind all our dog clients that if you have a dog that turns into a jelly at the onset of the New Year’s Eve fireworks you can seek assistance from Seaforth vets
    These dog’s exhibit generalised noise phobias and often to pieces in storms. There reactions can be extreme such as destroying doors in a frantic effort to escape, in the process they may destroy their nails, causing significant pain and bleeding, it’s terrible. If they escape they often run manic in the street, causing or even getting hurt in car accident
    The good news is we CAN help, but you will need to discuss the issue with a veterinarian first. So if you find yourself in this situation please give us a call
    Have a great new year!!



    Feed your rabbits a crappy diet!!

    At a recent conference I attended a particularly pertinent lecture was given on rabbit diet. Sounds boring but it isn’t. I know we hammer on about diets time and time again, but it is imperative to feed a rabbit as close to what they would eat in the wild. Feed them a crappy diet! Rabbits require high fibre. So, plenty of long stemmed hay and straw should be the main component, the rest being fresh washed leafy greens. This is what kicks their engine over. Without it rabbits can get serious life-threatening gut disease. Yes, it looks boring to you, but you are not a rabbit! Rabbits like kids will happily eat the good stuff (their lollies) and then be too full to eat their hi fibres (the greens)
    Another important thing is that hi fibre gives rabbits something to do! In the wild they spend a lot of their day foraging and eating low quality foods. It in captivity it has a behavioural benefit, it prevents boredom
    Finally try to keep you rabbit active. Activity has a positive effect on the gut health


    Holidays and Ticks

    Yes thanks, I had a lovely holiday, here's a hello from a taverna cat in Crete

    Tick season is rather interesting. Since the advent of the new dog tick products tick poisonings have dramatically fallen. The last two years have been quiet and this season even quieter, but it is not until the end of the season I can be exact. So far we have only seen 12 cat poisonings with an 8% death rate and 8 dogs with a 38% death rate. Interestingly enough for the past 2 years there has not been one dog who is on the new products (Nexgard and Bravecto) that has died, a resounding endorsment for these products. Recall that the traditional figure of death rate is 6% nationally so we are running a bit high for dogs, probably reflecting they are not Nexgard covered or being brought in at a late stage

    It is imperative to have you pet checked by a vet should you remove a tcik and they are showing any abnormal signs such as breathing up, vomiting or wobbly walking. They may just be off colour. Act early for the best prognosis / outcome



    Hi, just so you know I'm off for a break and will return on 23rd Oct. You can keep up to date on what's happening at Seaforth Vet Hospital by checking out Maria and Veronica's Facebook and Instagram accounts. See you on my return, Rob


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    Chit Chat

    Tick season is off to a slow start as it has been quite dry. Expect things to accelerate once the rain starts
    Poor Benny the clinic cat has been unwell recently and despite detailed investigations we have not able to identify what is wrong with him. Send Benny your positive vibes for his improved health. I’ll keep you posted. Today he would not eat his dried chicken which is just not benny
    I’m off for a break and study leave from 23rd Sept – 23rd Oct. So this blog will go silient during that period but hopefully I will return will lots to say
    Jaqueline, one of our morning receptionists returns after a 5-week break. Libby has returned after a 2 weke break in Canada so if we seem a bit mixed up you can understand why. Veronica is off in November


    Tick season is here, beware

    Tick season is slowly creeping back. August was a slow start but we can expect the season to accelerate from mid Sept on

    Click here

    for the tickometer and this years preventative recommendations


    There is good news in the air for cats

    Zoetis announced that the European Commission has granted the company a license for Stronghold® Plus (selamectin/sarolaner), a topical combination of parasiticides that treats ticks, fleas, ear mites, lice and gastrointestinal nematodes and prevents heartworm disease in cats
    So this is good news for Aussie cats who are behind the curve on new treatment options for ticks. In Australia the Ixodes paralysis tick kill many domestic cats a year. This was true for dogs, but with the introduction of the new isoxazolines drugs (such as Nexgard and Bravecto, and more lately Simparica) poisonings have dramatically reduced. Figures at Seaforth Vets show a 70% drop in dog poisoning numbers this last 2 years and we have little doubt it is due to this new class of drug. We have great hope for a similar improvement in cats once Revolution Plus for cats is eventually released. However, we are yet to see research figures on its efficacy in Ixodes in cats, but I suspect they will be good

    The bad news is that for this tick season, beginning in the coming few weeks time, we will have to make do with what we have. Wwe are a year or so away from the newer products obtaining license for tick use in cats


    Planning for the future of your pet

    Do you have an older friend or friends with pets? Then I though this recent initiative by the NSW Trustee and Guardian was a good idea. It makes you consider about the options you would want for your pets should something happen to yourself

    its something you rarely think about while you are well, but something that would be very stressful to think about were you taken ill
    Have a read

    Click here


    Slowly winding up to tick season

    Sorry about the long over due blog but EOFY has kept me busy, thank goodness that is over

    Just a reminder that tick season will be upon us within 6 weeks, so think about starting your preventatives early. For dogs on Bravecto and Nexgard you are already ready! For those using top spots we recommend you think about a change over to these newer effective products sooner
    For cats its still topspots, namely Frontline every 2 weeks. We are all hoping industry will catch up soon and produce a wonderful new product like the above to keep all our cats much safer than is currently possible
    Having said that if you see a tick, then remove it


    Feline Pancreatitis

    Pancreatitis is well understood in dogs. In cats it’s another story
    A few years back a new test became available. The Feline Specific Pancreatic Lipase (FsPL). Subsequent to that a lot of vets were diagnosing pancreatitis left right and centre in cats. This is a problem as it is by no means clear that a positive test means that is what the cat is suffering from
    A positive FsPL test could be an incidental finding (eg chronic subclinical FP). So how can you be sure what a positive test means
    Of course you want to reconcile both the history and clinical examination with this diagniosis. But both can be vague and it can leave you in a difficult situation deciding
    Signs include, lethargy, pyrexia, inappetence, dehydration, vomiting, abdominal pain. The first five signs are none specific and can be a result of many things. Abdominal pain is rarely present in cats with FP. So as you can see it’s not a straight forward diagnosis
    Many times FP occurs in association with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and / or liver inflammation and this can help in the diagnosis
    The bottom line is not to jump to the diagnosis just because you have a positive test make sure you have eliminated other potential causes of what you see and when there are none, a diagnosis of FP seems a reasonable assumption
    To make things worse there is no specific treatment
    Great, a difficult to diagnose disease with no specific treatment! Make our lives difficult why don’t you cats
    We treat cases symptomatically. Pain relief if in pain. Antivomiting medicine if vomiting. Fluids if very unwell and dehydrated.  Antibiotics if deemed appropriate. Appetite stimulants if off their food. Steroids occasionally. Treatment may last from a few days to weeks


    CPD in Veterinary Medicine

    Did you know that all vets like doctors undergo a process of Continuing Professional Development? (CPD)
    Fresh out of vet school you are pretty much slap bang up to date on all that is new and happening in the vet world. As we get older that knowledge ages with us
    The licensing bodies of vets in Australia and around the world all monitor that registered vets partake in CPD, ie keeping their skills and knowledge up to date, ensuring that the public receive currently accepted  diagnostics and treatment regimes
    CPD takes many forms. We receive many professional journals each month. We maintain a library of current books that we often refer to. We attend traditional conferences here and abroad. We might log in and watch webinars or even be part of a large veterinary network of specialists such as VIN where we can obtain advice on difficult cases. We can phone and e-mail local specialists.  Pharmaceutical companies often run a series of seminars. Specialist centres such as SASH are particularly good at offering CPD points to attend evening talks in a whole variety of fields
    It all takes time and money on top of what is already a busy life. It is often motivating and fun. Bringing back new knowledge to the practice is a reward in itself, you would be surprized how soon you can put your new knowledge to work



    Issues in the news recently

    A new strain of canine parvovirus has been discovered in Australia. There have been no confirmed cases in NSW to date. Typical in house tests used by vets to diagnose parvo, fail to detect the new strain. Further the current vaccine does not protect against it, both of which are worrying. We’ll keep you posted
    BFF (Best Feline Friend) diet has been withdrawn for sale in a potential association with toxicity / deficiency. Signs are neurological (loss of balance, strange gait). There is a possibility that it may just be well know thiamine deficiency which is easy to treat. Again we’ll keep you posted
    Feline panleucopaenia (enteritis) virus has reared its ugly head again. As with many diseases good vaccination cover in the feline community tends to hide such nasty diseases but be aware it is still out there and to the question “do we really need to still vaccinate against feline enteritis?” the answer is yes


    Finally, good news, we can now offer all our new puppies and kittens with 4 weeks free PetPlan insurance, great news

    Click here to check this out


    Electronic tracking of you pet

    I was asked the other day whether there are any GPS trackers for pets. Everyone knows you can locate your iPhone or Android using a find my phone feature should you ever use it. I jokingly suggested he buy his dog an iPhone, he will not only look cool you will know where he is if he ever strays off
    With technology advancing so quickly I suspected there are many start ups offering such a device
    A search of the internet reveals a local company in Australia who does offer such a tracker
    Maybe they should have chosen a name other than PetRek though? Sounds a bit like they met with a car accident
    The device fits both cats and dogs. It works on GPS and GMS. The combo of the two methodologies helps increase accuracy of location. If you cat is locked in a garage GPS will be poor, this is where GMS (ie mobile phone sim card etc) comes in
    Battery life is about 2-3 days for normal use. This means you need to charge yet another device! However maybe they could invent a cat / dog bed with induction charging! Might keep them warm at night too
    Have a look at
    for a review of 13 other trackers on the market
    They are a good idea, let’s hope they prove as useful as the microchip has


    Accidental poisonings

    To lose a loved pet to an unintentioned poison must be one of the worst things so it’s good to be on your guard and anything you are unsure of ask the vet first

    Common toxins that clients are often unaware of include

    Onion / garlic toxicity in dogs

    Chocolate toxicity in dogs

    Grape toxicity in dogs – this also includes the dried variety (currents, sultanas)

    Xylitol poisoning in dogs. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener and is fine for humans, but in dogs it can be quite toxic. Be careful what low cal treats you give to your dog

    Paracetamol poisoning in cats. Don’t get tempted to give your limping cat a paracetamol tablet, it can be fatal

    The list is not exhaustive but just supplies you with unexpected examples to put you on your guard! The bottom line is ask your vet if you are unsure


    Soreness as it cools

    It always amazes me how the moment it gets cooler all the arthritic dogs start to come in. By those I mean newly diagnosed, as we know the cold weather will always aggravate an existing condition
    Clients seem surprised about the diagnosis but osteoarthritis (OA) is a while in the making, but can present acutely, when gingered up
    Besides being a chronic soreness, it can make dogs and cats grumpy, put them off their food and reluctant to go on walks
    The early signs have been there for a while, but can be subtle and you just did not know they were there. Stiffness the morning after exercise the day before is often an early sign. Cats not liking being picked up, bit grumpy, not jumping to previous heights etc can all signal early OA
    The good news is that this is one of those older patient conditions that are easily treated with lots of options
    So if you are suspicious your older dog (or cat!) is suffering from this disease contact us and we can help


    Looking for Gaston ? -

    Gaston is a lovely ginger boy kitten, who was sadly dumped on our door step a few weeks back. This young boy is full of fun and keeps Maria very busy as she works in her office upstairs. He is desparate for a loving family. If you are at all interested in a test drive please call Maria or Rachel on


    Thanks, Dr Rob


    Four weeks free puppy and kitten Insurance

    Coming soon
    As an authorised representative of PetPlan we are delighted to be able to offer all our new puppy and kittens with 4 weeks of free insurance. Cover is immediate for accident and illness and there is a 3 day waiting period for illness. Be sure to make use of this generous off, there are no obligations at all

    Combined with our free puppy / kitten checks thats a great deal


    Puppy and kitten free post purchase check

    Did you know we offer a free health check for your puppy or kitten after purchase? You will also recieve a free puppy/kitten pack and 4 weeks free insurance so you have nothing to lose and lots to gain. Contact us today and book your appointment


    Rabbit Calicivirus release imminent, while kittens also at viral risk

    The government will release the K5 variant of the Rabbit Calicivirus in the first week of March, earlier than expected. Please read the post below concerning this nasty virus

    At the same time it has been announced that Feline Enteritis Virus (also known as Feline panleucopaenia) has hit Sydney. It is more important than ever kittens have their first vaccine at 6-8 weeks old. Signs include acute onset diarrhoea and vomiting. They may feel hot and very lethargic nor will they drink or eat. Mortality is high. Those surviving this phase (lasting 2-5 days) may survive


    Welcome to a hot 2017

    Well you were all very good! There was little in the way of emergencies this Xmas and New Year. Having navigated that tremulous period we head into 2017. With high temperatures in early January the next big worry is Heat Stroke, and we have already experienced some cases

    Keep in mind that both animals and children die in hot cars every year. The same message is repeated yearly but it obviously cannot be repeated often enough. The temperature in a sealed car can rise rapidly as shown in the diagram

    If the outdoor temp is 35 C then within 10 min it can rise to an unbearable 46 C, within 30 min to 54 C. Without any way to cool the animal can go into shock and and suffer a terrible death
    Please be careful and do not risk leaving them in a hot car for what you might think is only a brief time


    Important news for rabbit owners and their vaccines


    The Australian Veterinary Association recommends that rabbits are now vaccinated against RHDV (calicivirus) as follows

    Kittens: At 4, 8 and 12 weeks of age, then 6 monthly for life

    Adults: 2 vaccinations 1 month apart, then 6 monthly for life

    This protocol is off-label and the current vaccine is not registered for 6 monthly use or for use against RHDV2 (see below)

    Basically we only have one vaccine and it is thought that increasing the frequency of vaccination will help protect against new strains of the virus

    The new virus strains

    Disease causing strains of this virus include

    RHDV 1 – The original virus released in 1995 to control wild rabbit populations. At that time a vaccine (and still the current one) was developed to protect pet rabbits and rabbits in breeding establishments. This vaccine has worked quite well

    Due to its falling efficacy of killing wild rabbits, researchers developed a newer potent strain, TO BE RELEASED IN Autumn 2017….

    RHDV 1 - K5 The updated “man-made” virus

    You may also have heard of

    RHDV 2 - First recorded in mid 2015 in Australia, 2010 in Europe is a naturally occurring variant

    All these virus strains kill rabbits

    So how do we protect our pet rabbits given these new threats?

    A limited study indicated that the current vaccine cross protects against V 1 – 5. It seems strange to me that they are willing to release a really nasty virus strain (V1 – 5) based on a limited study that suggests your pet may be safe if using the current vaccine

    In my view it is a highly unsatisfactory way to proceed, a sort of “Well ïf there is a big mess, we will deal with that later” hmmm

    Can you imagine them doing this to cats? Dogs?? There would be an outcry


    Just about there

    Wishing all our clients and their pets a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Hoping you all keep safe. See you in 2017


    A busy approach to Xmas

    Xmas is approaching fast and things are getting busy! December has been a real tick month, dogs fairing better than cats in survival rates. We look forward to the day we get an equivalent of Nexgard for cats

    Our main Xmas reminders are

      Avoid giving your dog the left over ham! unless you want to see them suffer painful pancreatitis

      Avoid dogs hacking the chocloate stash, tastes nice, but it is poisonous to them

      Avoid the cat chewing the xmas tree lights cable, in a dizzying flash they can be electrocuted, or at least have a burnt lip and whiskers

    and for new year....

    Dogs can be terrified with all those fireworks. If you have a dog that goes to pieces at the sound, then call us and we can help you lessen their stress

    Have a great Xmas and New year


    Cats in Morocco.....

    On every trip abroad I cannot help but seek out local cats. No matter where I travel, it’s amazing how I find similar characters to those I know locally in Australia. Cats don’t speak Russian, or Moroccan or any language. Wherever I am cats understand my English equally as well as Aussie cats (ie they don’t understand it at all!) So, cat language is all about behaviour, which is great, they have a universal language, Cat Esperanto
    I also like to judge a society on how they treat animals. Do they show understanding and show respect and compassion? Or are they dismissive and cold
    On my trip to Morocco I was pleasantly surprized how kind the Muslim population generally were to their stray cats. I never saw them chasing cats away or being cruel. In particular, I saw people with little of their own helping little lost kittens with food and water. They are not pets, just tolerated strays. They play their role in keeping vermin populations down. At the Alhambra palace in Spain there are quite a few cats which again are well tolerated. Local guides complain that tourists pay more attention to them than the palace at times
    Here are a few photos I took on the way

    This little ginger chap was in the Royal Stables in Meknes, all very friendly. Mum was nearbye keeping a watchful eye

    with a lot of trafic all about someone was keeping an eye on these little refugees in Essouaria

    And in Aroumd a cat showing poise as it watches the tourists march by




    Moving right along...

    After 18 years loyal service to Seaforth vets our practice manager Jane (Molchanoff) will be moving onto pastures greener. Jane will be taking up a new challenging position with Bear Cottage in Manly. We wish her well in this new venture
    Her last day at Seaforth Will officially be on Friday 23rd of Sept. but you may still see her around covering some Saturday shifts while staff are on leave

    Maria Scott (our long time morning receptionist) will be taking up many of the admin duties previously performed by Jane, so be nice to her

    There should be some new faces at Seaforth vets when you next visit, we are look forward to seeing you there


    Pet Registry News

    Clients now have better control over their pet's lifetime registration

    Kittens must be desexed before 4 months of age to qualify for discount registration. We recommend desexing at 4 months of age. Early desexing is safe for the details visit

      New owners will be asked to create an online profile to claim their pets once microchipped. They will use the microchip number, their contact telephone number or email to locate the pet on the registry
      Current owners will be asked to make a profile, update their details and claim existing pets on the registry through their new profile - this will require pet microchip numbers
      Owners can update their details and transfer pet ownership online making it easier for vets and approved persons to contact the owners of lost or injured pets


    Tick update and Lyme disease

    Clients are doing a great job protecting their pets this spring. So far it has been a quiet beginning to tick season, but you cannot be complacent. Sadly, we have already had one death. Keep up the good work. Prevention is far better than a cure (and a whole lot cheaper) when it comes to ticks. Our main concern on the Northern beaches is to avoid tick paralysis, as it is a killer

    I am occasionally asked by clients can dogs get Lyme disease? The answer is yes. The microbe responsible for Lyme is transmitted by ticks. In dogs the signs include acute onset high temperature with a shifting lamness (one leg to another) and lethargy. Occasionally kidney failure can occur. Definitive diagnosis is by antibody levels, but these take 3-5 weeks to rise, so at the time of illness you have to use indirect methods of diagnosis. Treatment is simple, with the antibiotic doxycycline. However if there is kidney involvment there are a number of other issues to address


    New specialists on the Northern Beaches

    Just getting the message out there that Dr David Collins and his colleagues are developing a new specialist centre for Northern Beaches pet owners. Known as NVS (Northside Veterinary Specilists) this service works out of the emergency veterinary centre at Terry Hills. Their services include specialists in internal medicine, surgery and dermatology. Physiotherapy is also available by Kristine Edwards. It's great to have something more local. We still continue to refer to SASH and Crows Nest, it just extends the choice for all our clients


    Pet Registry News

    In NSW for some time it is a legal requirement that your pet be microchipped and registered with the NSW Pet Registry

    A new feature is that clients can now create their own account on the registry that allows you to update your details - eg change of address, telephone number etc

    Please note that dogs desexed before 6 months of age get a reduction in registration costs, while for cats it is 4 months. Your vet can if necessary delay the 4 month date to 6 months (which has been the common desexing age) if they feel the kitten is too young to desexed for medical reasons

    click here to go to the pet registry


    Prophy dentals not just for Dental Month

    We are delighted to announce we are now carrying out prophylactic dentals at a knock down price. Its great to be able to offer dental work at a price that is affordable, and will keep your feline or canine friend smiling for years

    All our clients should shortly receive an e-mail of this offer. If for some reason you do not hear from us give us a call on


    and our receptionists will provide you with all the details


    Ticks are back... early

    I'm not usually writing about ticks this time of year, but please note we have had 2 tick poisonings cases in already. One dog and one cat, both have happily survived

    Last season with the introduction of Nexgard we saw a dramatic improvement (reduction) in tick poisoning in dogs. Unfortunately that product cannot be used in cats. However there is a new flea collar for cats that might just help and we will be promoting it this year at Seaforth Vets. Our reviewed tick prevention pack is now ready to view, read the details

    Read here


    The Mumbo jumbo of detox..

    I don’t know how many years I have been reading about detox. Being confined to the human field I have never paid too much attention to the issue, however I suspect they will start marketing to pet owners in the not too distant future, then it enters my domain

    If an animal is truly intoxicated, ie has been exposed to a toxin (a substance that causes illness or death), eg heavy metal poisoning, chocolate in the dog, paracetamol in the cat etc then it needs to see a vet! These are true toxins

    The vague toxins of the marketeer are never really mentioned. They like to provoke the thought / fear that your pet may be loaded with them, yet relax! they have the solution for cleansing them from your pet’s body. Phew, close call! Thank you Mr Detox

    In truth only your wallet will have been detoxed - of money - after all money is the root of all evil

    If you come across pet detox scams steer well clear. At best they will do nothing (other than make you poorer) or at worst could potential intoxicate your pet



    Wallace finds a home

    Stray Wallace the bunny came to us on the 14th June this year. Despite our best efforts no-one claimed him. The future was looking bleak for Wallace. However he proved to be such a lovely rabbit, seeking out attention whenever and wherever he could find it the staff fell in love with him! At one stage it was looking like we would have a pratice rabbit, but luckily for Wallace Virginia came to the rescue finding him a wonderful family home. A good ending to a sad cotton tail



    There are many aspects to writing prescriptions. Vets are not legally bound to providing prescriptions. So why, when, how much and what are the legalities we must follow? Read my new article that attempts to explain the many aspects to considered when and if we write prescriptions




    Making your life easier

    Finding it difficult to get to the vet? Then do not worry

     At Seaforth vets we have a comfortable ambulance we can use to

    Perform house calls, typically available from 2-4pm weekdays

    Collect your pet and transport it to Seaforth Vets

    Take your pet to out of hours hospital care

    Take you pet to specialist centres

    Maybe you are infirm and find the trip to the vets just too difficult these days? You may have a pet who just gets too stressed at the vets! Maybe it is a sad end of life decision where you want the whole family around in familiar circumstances. Either way knowing we are there to help is a comfort

    The ambulance has proved a great boon to the practice, and reflects our endeavour to provide new services to our clientele, making your life easier



    Insuring your pet, a great idea

    Many clients have already cottoned onto the usefulness of insurance for their pet
    When your pet is ill that is stressing enough but the added prospect of a large veterinary bill can make things even more stressful
    With insurance, if and when the worst happens to your loved pet you then at least have peace of mind that you do not have to worry about financing the treatment, you can say yes with confidence that the best possible treatment approach can be adopted for the best outcome
    “Vets are so expensive these days”. I have heard this view every year for the past 26 years as a vet.  We are not cheap, that’s for sure. You are employing the use of a highly trained professional every bit the equivalent of a human doctor or lawyer
    Back in the James Herriot days what vets could do was very limited. Clients were happy with the simple approach. These days’ pets truly are a member of the family and client expectations are very high. We pretty much do anything a human doctor can do with a massive range of diagnostics and treatments available. Meeting this expectation veterinary fees have risen, but keep things in perspective, the equivalent human case would often cost 3-5 times what a vet charges. Because of Medicare you do not see the true cost of human medicine. The politicians who do see the books and have to create budgets understand how expensive human medicine truly is
    So strongly consider insuring your pet
    Who do we recommend? We are not allowed to recommend any particular insurer. Rather we suggest you do your own research, particularly looking at the fine print as to what is and isn’t covered
    Our from desk has a list of all available pet insurers and is freely available on request

    New Gold Standard Vaccination protocol


    WSAVA Vaccine Guidelines 2016

    The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) have a vaccine guidance group (VGG) who meet periodically to produce guidelines for best practice in vaccination of cats and dogs. They have recently updated their recommendations

    Over the past 9 years they have identified what they refer to as core vaccines and non-core vaccines

    Core vaccines are what we should all be doing (eg parvo vaccines), and non-core refers to vaccines that may have local relevance depending upon where you live in the world, eg rabies vaccine
    In this part of Sydney, we only require the following vaccines

    For cats this means

    *Feline panleucopaenia virus (FPLV)

    **Cat flu vaccines

    Calicivirus (FCV)

    Herpes Virus (FHV)

    For dogs this means

    *Canine Distemper (CDV)

    *Canine Infectious Hepatitis (CIHV)

    *Canine Parvovirus (CPV)

    **Kennel Cough

    Parainfluenza virus

    Bordatella Bronchiseptica (a bacterial vaccine)

    The current recommendations


    * vaccines are given every 3 years

    ** vaccines are given yearly

    It has not been until this year that vaccine manufacturers have caught up so we can now fully comply with this in both dogs and cats

    Don’t worry, we will know which vaccine you pet requires when you visit

    Puppy and kittens

    We have long performed vaccinations at 8-9 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks old

    The new recommendation is that we should also perform a final vaccine at 26 weeks old as studies have shown that a significant percentage of animals after the 16-week vaccine do not have sufficient immunity until they have their first annual booster. So rather than wait 12 months we now give the first booster at 6 months old and refer to this as the fourth puppy/kitten vaccine. This coincides with Desexing at 6 months old

    At Seaforth Vets we are committed to Best Practice and we will be following the above guidelines, reviewing them with time as new guidelines become available

    The risks of over eating


    This is a not so funny story of a poor 2 yo Westie who ate himself death

    How is that possible

    The young dog broke into a 3 kg bag of a commercial dry food when left unsupervised at home. Sounds very innocent. He ate just over 1 kg of the food (he weighing 5.7 kg himself) doesn’t sound enough to be fatal. The thing is it was not the volume of food that did for him but the salt content of that food. This equated to 23 gm of salt (less than 4 teaspoons). However, salt can be fatal at 4 gm/kg which is what he ingested - hypernatraemia
    One would think that washing him through with intensive intravenous fluids would have correct the issue but unfortunately this failed to work, he succumbed and died from salt poisoning. Very sad. The take home message is keep your dry dog foods safe for the possibility of ad lib feeding as it can and has resulted in death


    You may never have to surgically desex you cat or dog again


    Block Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) in mammals and you block fertility
    Get the body’s own white cells to target GnRH and the result is infertility
    But GnRH is not targeted by one’s own body as it belongs to you! it is not foreign
    However, put the GnRH in an inactive virus shell and vaccinate with this and one can get the white cells to produce anti GnRH antibodies
    In this way GonaCon a vaccine for Deer in the USA has been proven a success
    But duration of immunity is limited due to the relatively short life span of the white calls
    Can we get cells with a long life to produce these antibodies instead?
    Bruce Hay of the Californian Institute of Technology Has identified muscle cells as a potential candidate
    If the system works these cells could continue to produce antibodies for around 10 years
    Just imagine then, no more surgical desexing, wonderful
    It’s something well worth working towards. Last year 2.7 million cats and dogs were euthanased in USA, extremely sad. Controlling reproduction rather than killing is the ethical way to go
    Also imagine the benefits to the wild rabbit populations in Australia
    It’s a cause well worth supporting

    link here to original article


    The Postman Knocks Twice... then runs


    In the UK one Bella Sampson, a 4 yo female cat has been labelled a potential hazard to the local postman who complained to his employers, the royal mail, that his fingers were at risk when posting the mail through the Sampson’s letter box

    Apparently Bella lies in wait and when the mail arrives she attacks through the letter box! Thinking it one big game
    On the other side of the door is the terrified postman who only sees her raking claws! As a result the owners of Bella have been advised to “restrain their cat at all times” or provide an "alternative safe" post box, otherwise deliveries will be suspended

    Read the full story here

    New Cat Vaccination Protocol


    Shortly we will be changing over to a triennial cat vaccine protocol similar to what we do in dogs
    This arises as at last manufacturers have separated the cat flu from the feline enteritis (FE) component
    FE becomes a 3-year vaccine and the cat flu remains yearly
    However what else is new is that kittens will now have a final (4th) vaccine at 26 weeks which generally will coincide with Desexing. The motivation for this comes from research suggesting that up to 1/3rd of kittens who had their last vaccination at 16 weeks fail to maintain their immunity to the first booster vaccination
    Most of the work here falls to the vets and not the client, our records will tell us what are due and when


    Buying online drugs


    In a recent media release the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has pointed out the risks of buying medicines online. We would like to add our weigh to this and note that up to 50% of medicines sold online are fake. Worse still they could potentially be toxic to your pet
    So if you care for your pet do not think about taking the risk
    We fully endorse any Australian supplier who have a fixed business address within Australia as they must be licensed and comply to the strict but excellent regulations in place to protect not only our health but that of our pets


    New drug for itchy dogs


    Over use or inappropriate use of prednisolone for itchy dog skins has been a contentious issue in veterinary medicine for at least the past 30 years! The problem is it works well, quickly and is cheap and why so many clients demand it
    However, from a Vet’s point of view we know that chronic use of prednisolone can cause may health issues. It has a list of side effects as long as your arm. Specialists rile at its overuse in general practice
    Chronic allergic skins may reflect contact allergy, food allergy or atopy and these can be investigated for specific treatment
    The good news is that there is a new drug on the market that can help control allergies of all types very effectively with minimal side effects and none of the long term safety issues associated with prednisolone, or the other highly expensive drug cyclosporin often used in chronic skins. Oclactinib has been in use in the USA for around 5 years with good reports of efficacy
    So if your poor old scratchy dog cannot get any peace and you are fed up with the side effects and worries of prednisolone make an appointment to discuss the possible use of oclacitinib in your dog
    Yes, at this stage there is no license for its use in cats, but the research is under way

    The grapes of wrath


    Easter is over, thank goodness so hopefully no more chocolate toxicity in the dog until xmas
    We had a call this week. “My dog ate 6 grapes” have I poisoned it?? Hmm
    Maybe 6 years back reports began to appear about grape toxicity in dogs. In excess they can cause renal failure. This is rather a strange discovery in my mind as dogs and grapes have both been around for thousands of years, yet we have only just discovered this? Another Hmm
    Maybe it has more to do with pesticides used in agriculture these days
    So how many grapes can be a problem? US specialists say as little as 0.7oz / kg of dog (yes, when are they going to use grams??). with the average grape weighing 5gm (this depends on which country you are in!) then this works out to be about 4 grapes per kg of dog. So a 18 kg staffie say would have to eat in excess of 72 grapes to risk poisoning. So I would not be overly worried about the 6 grapes reported above

    Comings and goings at SVH


    It goes like this. Nurse-wise
    Welcome Lara, Sinta, Jaimie and Brooke, goodbye Linda, Maya and Jess
    Linda went off to travel Australia with the grey nomads
    Maya back to Brazil and will resume her veterinary studies when she returns, but in QLD
    Jess has been studying accounting some time, and has made the move to that profession
    We will miss them all but would have loved them to have space it all a little better
    All the same they were a great help to Seaforth Vets and we wish them all the best of luck in their new lives
    What has happened this week
    The AVA informed me of the Lateline story on commercial pet food diets in Australia
    So what is it all about? It seems quite a few commercial cat food diets don’t stack up to what is on the side of the pack content-wise, brands are not mentioned
    We are told “This was a preliminary study that looked at samples from 20 cat foods. The authors found discrepancies between the contents and the labels.” and  the AVA stresses people should not panic
    I agree that pet food manufacturers need to deliver on what they promise on the side of the pack
    However, it should be noted that the study was performed by a student pursuing a master’s degree and needs further verification and also a response from the manufacturers
    There should be continuous in house quality control that ensures delivery of what is promised.  This does not mean their diets are injurious to your pet
    Now, Easter. Every year chocolate toxicity is a big issue. Be careful with those eggs. The dog will find them long b4 the kids! Unfortunately, chocolate is toxic above a certain amount in dogs so best just avoid it altogether. In extreme cases it can kill, so do not take the threat lightly
    Cats are smarter, they don’t like chocolate - they asked me to point this out

    Have a great Easter, see you next week, Dr Rob

    Welcome to my Blog


    Hi there, thanks for visiting my Blog. Hope you find it informative

    It's March already and predictably we are still very busy! It tends to be May before the year begins to quieten somewhat

    So it is the end of tick season. And a strange season it was. Less patients but more severe cases. Usually we see 6% mortality but this year it was more like 12%.  The reduced numbers I feel were mainly due to canine cases and the fact that we are encouraging uptake of Nexgard tick protection, this has been well embraced by our clients

    The message is, if you are still on a topspot then seriously consider updating to Nexgard when you finish your current supply

    The new website is up and running, all the information, more than 100 pages, all reviewed and now viewable from any mobile device, so that is great news

    Important News!! Ever hoped for more than prednisolone for itchy skins? Until now the options for allergic skin conditions has been referral for hyposensitizing  vaccine or expensive cyclosporine. Well it’s here at last, Apoquel for dogs. Read the details here and you will soon consider the switch to this much safer and very effective drug

     Well must go lot’s to do, see you back here next week, Dr Rob

    Easter and Rabbits


    Rabbit owners please be aware that the council (lovely people) will be releasing an even deadlier form of the calicivirus soon. Ensure your rabbits vaccines are up to date to avoid the tragedy of this nasty disease