Keeping you informed
Newsletter June 2021
As Sydney plunges into its second lockdown, we appreciate everyone’s patience and co-operation with our contactless consultations, to ensure we remain open to service our local clients and their pets. Let’s hope it’s a short-lived one this time and that everyone remains safe until vaccinations are more widespread within the population.
A single fatal case of canine leptospirosis has been reported in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. In addition to dogs that visit inner city and lower north shore regions, our recommendation for vaccination against leptospirosis has now extended to dogs that visit the Northern beaches. For further information, read our news article which explains the disease transmission and clinical signs.
A warm welcome to Dr Tee Brown, who joined our veterinary team in June. He is a dedicated experienced practitioner, who is focussed on animal welfare, treating the pets he looks after like his own.
We are pleased to have veterinary nurse, Frances Dunger, as our consult support nurse, assisting our vets with everything from blood collection to medicine preparation. Frances was previously one of our groomers and we are grateful she has remained part of our medical team, given her nursing expertise.
In baby news, we are excited to announce our very own Dr Kelly Toomey has given birth to a beautiful baby girl, Isabelle. Warm congratulations to Kelly and Chris!
As always, we welcome your feedback as we strive to improve our services at every opportunity. Please send your important feedback to our dedicated business manager, Elyse Staber, at firstname.lastname@example.org – we really appreciate your opinion.
With warm regards, from your locally family-owned Turramurra Veterinary Hospital team.
Canine Leptospirosis: Sydney Outbreak Update
Author: Dr Angus Donald (Senior Associate Vet)
Many of our pet owners may be aware of a recent case of Leptospirosis in Elanora on the Northern Beaches. The majority of canine leptospirosis cases since 2019 have been from dogs living in or visiting the Inner City and Inner West areas of Sydney.
What is leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that lives in our rat population. Dogs can become infected by eating diseased rats or drinking water contaminated with rat urine. It is extremely unlikely for your dog to catch Leptospirosis from general contact with other dogs. While the number of cases in Sydney is low, this is a serious disease with a high mortality rate in dogs and is a zoonotic disease (meaning it can spread to people).
How do I have my dog vaccinated against Leptospirosis at Turramurra Vet Hospital?
Dogs require two vaccinations, 2-4 weeks apart to provide protection then an annual booster. If you would like to have your dog vaccinated, it can be done at the same time as their regular vaccinations, or if these are not due soon, the vaccination can be performed separately.
Happy Car Travels with your Puppy
Author: Katie (Pet Behaviour Consultant)
Whether your puppy travels in the car for vet visits and puppy classes or they go wherever you go, ensuring your puppy is happy and safe while travelling makes future car travel a breeze.
Here are Katie’s top 5 tips for car travel with your doggy companion:
- Ensure your puppy is safely contained. Just like there are laws for travelling with young children in the car, there are laws for travelling with dogs. Your dog needs to be in a secured crate, in a car harness or in a cargo area of the car that is separated from the passengers such as in a wagon or SUV.
- Ensure your puppy enjoys their travel containment. Using the crate at home for feeding meals, taking naps and other positive opportunities, such as tossing treats inside, helps when they go in the car.
Pet Of The Month
Author: Rebecca (Clinical Nursing Manager)
This month’s “Pet of the Month” goes to the one and only Oberon!
Oberon doesn’t just have the most luscious whiskers and most enormous green eyes, but he is also one of the sweetest kitty patients you’ll ever meet.
On numerous occasions, Mr Oberon has had sleepovers with his Turramurra Vet Family while undergoing treatment for kidney issues. Every time he stays, he wins over all the staff and makes his presence known.
Congratulations Oberon, head into the clinic to collect your Pet Of The Month prize pack!
Q & A with Dr Angus Donald
1) What do you most enjoy about being a Veterinarinan at TVH?
I really enjoy working with the Turramurra Vet family because of our awesome team of veterinarians, nurses, receptionists and support staff. The practice culture is always positive and we have a strong focus on staff and patient wellbeing. I love that our clients care deeply for their pets, regard them as an integral part of their family unit and want us to give them the absolute best possible care. Now that I have been with Turramurra Vet for over 7 years, it’s also really rewarding to me being able to mentor our junior staff and to watch them grow professionally in their roles over the years.
2) Which are your particular areas of interest as a vet and why?
I have always particularly enjoyed all aspects of surgery and dentistry in dogs and cats. The satisfaction for me comes from being able to identify a problem, fix it and help my patient live a better quality of life. Working in the same practice for an extended period of time has also allowed me to watch my patients grow up all the way from the ‘baby stage’, while forming a great and lasting bond with their lovely owners.
3) Does being a veterinarian influence your role as a father?
I have learnt over my years as a veterinarian that one of our most important jobs is being able to communicate clearly with empathy, compassion and reasoning. This has become an important part of my parenting philosophy and I hope that I can help to pass these traits on to my boys. I also feel that since becoming a parent, I have become a more complete veterinarian. Being a vet definitely made it much easier to train the kids to sit on command!
Five Ways To Help Your Cat Love Their Litter Box
Author: Dr Gretta Howard (Senior Associate Vet)
Cats are very fussy creatures and when it comes to their toilet, they are very particular indeed. In fact, if the litter box is not maintained to a high feline standard, your cat may seek out an alternative, more desirable toilet spot within your home, which is not ideal at all.
1) Litter box design – Cats love a large, deep litter tray with plenty of litter so that they can dig and bury their business like they would outdoors
2) Litter box substrate – Most cats prefer the recycled newspaper substrate (e.g. Breeder’s Choice brand) or sand rather than the crystal or clumping litter
One of the least invasive, yet most diagnostically helpful machines in our practice, is the ultrasound machine. Our practice has invested in a high quality ultrasound machine, which is especially handy for use in pregnancy diagnosis, emergencies, such as abdominal bleeding, cardiac disease, bladder stone diagnosis and looking for certain cancers, in particularly those on the spleen.
Recently, the abdominal ultrasound machine was used to assist in the diagnosis of pyometra in a dog. In female dogs that are not desexed, they can develop an infection causing a pus-filled uterus, which can potentially rupture and cause toxic shock and death. Luckily our vet team managed to see the giant fluid-filled uterus on ultrasound and emergency life-saving surgery could be performed by Dr Pip Wines.
The advantage of using the ultrasound for investigation in animals, is that it is non-invasive (apart from a fancy haircut) and many pets can have the scan without sedation.
Sometimes for complex cases, a specialist level ultrasound is required, which a visiting veterinary specialist performs, usually on the Turramurra Veterinary Hospital premises.