Woollahra Vets News

New spot on omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplement boosts skin barrier function:

With the Spring/Summer allergy season upon us, there is a new product available to assist dogs and cats with skin allergies, itchiness and dermatitis. Essential 6 is a new omega 3 and 6 fatty acid supplement designed to improved the barrier function of our pet's skin. Dogs particularly have more sensitive skin than humans and both airborne and contact allergens can penetrate the delicate phospholipid oil layer which protects their skin and then cause the allergy reaction which produces inflammation, itchiness and dermatitis. Supplementing omega 3 and 6 fatty acids provides the body with the raw material it needs to produce the protective hydrolipidic layer. Previously this has been achieved through dietary supplements such as fish oils, but for the skin to benefit from the supplement, it has to be absorbed throough the digestive system and then transported to the skin, a variable process in some dogs and cats. Essential 6 bypasses the gastrointestinal tract and results in higher concentrations of the fatty acids reaching the skin and hair follicles for a more effective and durable protective barrier layer. It does this by being applied as a spot on treatment: similar to flea control spot ons, it is applied on the back of the neck and distributes itself over the coat over a 24 hour period. If applied weekly for 8 weeks, a thicker, more lustrous coat usually results and allergy prone dogs and cats are usually less itchy. Being a neutraceutical, Essential 6 has no side effects and can be applied to dogs and cats of all ages. Endorsed by specialist veterinary dermatologists, it is available without prescription from us but we recommend its use as part of a formulated allergy management plan. Contact us for more information about this   

Drinkwell water fountains and Eat Better Bowls:

We are now stocking Drinkwell water fountains and Eat BetterBowls as part of our commitment to optimal nutrition. Drinkwell fountains are designed to encourage pets to drink more water and provide pets with an interesting, enjoyable falling stream of water. They are particularly beneficial for indoor pets as part of an environmental enrichment program, and provide cats with urinary health problems an additional stimulus to drink. Designed by a veterinarian and imported from the US, the Drinkwell range comes in a selection of sizes for cats and dogs and with replacement filters, cleaning kits and additional capacity reservoirs. Eat Better Bowls have a unique wishbone design inside the bowl that slows down a pet's eating. Pets feel fuller on less food and there is less incidence of regurgitation in cats and of gastric dilation and volvulus [ "bloat" ] in large breed, deep chested dogs, both of which can be induced by overeating or eating too quickly. Eat Better Bowls are non slip and extremely durable, made of food grade K resin plastic and are safe on teeth and gums. They are dishwasher safe and come in three sizes and colours. Check out both of these new heath products when you're next at Reception.

How frequently should my pet be vaccinated? Is every year too much?

Recent media reports have highlighted the questions of how frequently adult dogs and cats should be vaccinated and are there detrimental effects associated with annual vaccination? Historically, annual vaccination of adult dogs and cats has been the standard recommendation in Australia. In June 2009 the Australian Veterinary Association ratified a new vaccination policy for dogs and cats and released a set of guidelines for its members. The policy and recommendations are based on European and American research in recent years which suggests that many adult dogs and cats can retain the protective antibodies produced by vaccination for longer than twelve months. The policy emphasises that: 1] vaccination should be determined within a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, based on attributes such as duration of immunity of available vaccines and an individual animal's requirements and/or risk factors; 2] every animal should be immunized and each individual only as frequently as necessary; 3] informed consent is important; 4] core vaccines should be administered to all animals to protect them against severe, life threatening diseases that have a global distribution. Core vaccines are canine distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus for dogs. Core vaccines for cats are feline enteritis and feline herpes/calicivirus [cat flu].

Research has shown that some adult individuals can retain antibody protection against core viruses for up to three years. The practical difficulty we face in practice is that there is not a cost effective, reliable, in-clinic test which can tell us each individual's current protection levels. Currently the cost of antibody blood testing is prohibitive and the process impractical. Additionally, lifestyle factors impact on each pet's risk profile for exposure to viruses. Kennel cough is not considered a core or fatal virus under the current policy, yet dogs who require kennelling, or who attend day care, training, grooming, dog walking or other social activities are still required by those service providers to prove annual currency for kennel cough vaccination. At present, most catteries also require annual F3 currency for feline boarders.

There are now several C3 canine vaccines registered in Australia for three year or "vet discretion" extended protection against the core viruses in dogs. None of the current feline vaccines are registered for other than annual use. Annual vaccinations administered with other than with their registered frequency are an off label usage, which can raise medico-legal conflicts for the practitioner who administers them. We currently stock the three year protection registered canine vaccine, but dogs who receive it still need an annual health check and potentially annual kennel cough vaccination also. An annual health check remains the cornerstone of preventative health care for our pets, as early detection of age related disease processes can mimimise their impact and ensure good ongoing quality of life. Our clients who elect a three year C3 vaccination for their dog will receive annual health check reminders as well as reminders for other annual health measures such as heartworm injections or kennel cough vaccination.

Current recommendations for puppies and kittens are completion of the standard three vaccination protocol for the core vaccines and to receive an annual booster vaccination twelve months after the initial protocol before a decision is made as to whether a longer vaccination interval is in that pet's best interest.

Please feel free to contact us for any further information concerning non core vaccines or to discuss your pet's risk profile at their next annual or regular health check. Copies of the AVA policy and guidelines are available upon request. We remain committed to the best possible preventative health care for your pets and recommend regular health examinations and discussions to ensure you can make the most informed decisions about health care. 

Acupuncture now available at Woollahra Vets

We're pleased to advise that acupuncture services are now available in house at the practice with an experienced veterinary acupuncturist. Dr Barry Nielsen is a veterinarian with over twenty five years clinical experience and has been a qualified veterinary acupuncturist for over ten years. The benefits of acupuncture as a complementary treatment modality are well known, particularly for structural problems such as arthritis. Barry recommends acupuncture particularly for elderly cats who have become reluctant to jump, become poor groomers, or who have difficulties toileting: all can be signs of arthritis. Cats are more resistant to medicating with conventional pain relief and arthritis management medications and can be more prone to side effects from them, so acupuncture is a safe and passive response to arthritis management. Treatment involves sedation and a day stay in hospital for the procedure but the benefits from a single treatment can last many months. Neck pain in dogs is also specifically responsive to acupuncture.

Please contact us for further information or to book an acupuncture session.

Pet Friendly Holiday Accommodation

As we all travel more frequently for business, pleasure and family needs, pet friendly accommodation and holidays become more important to us.

Two new websites are available which detail Australia wide pet friendly accommodation for all budgets and family sizes:



And for those of us who love Queensland's Sunshine Coast, check www.castawaysretreat.com.au

 Chocolate toxicity in dogs !

Although Easter comes but once a year, we all love giving and receiving chocolate regardless of the occasion. However, chocolate not only needs to be hidden from those we're giving it to, but out of reach from dogs in the household. Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, compounds called methylxanthines. Dogs develop a toxicity from chocolate because they have a lesser capacity than people to metabolise these compounds due to fewer detoxification enzymes in their liver and unique active metabolites that are produced. Unlike most of us dogs don't know when to stop eating chocolate, so will usually eat all they can find, even dark,bitter or cooking chocolate which has the highest theobromine levels. Methylxanthine sensitivity produces hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, and potentially death if ingested at a toxic level. Other effects seen are vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst and urination, and lethargy. Always seek veterinary advice immediately if your dog has eaten chocolate: if you know the type and amount of chocolate eaten and the weight of your dog, we can usually tell you if there is cause for concern.

Profender spot on cat wormer

We all know the difficulties associated with worming cats and the need to restrain, aim and avoid pain when administering worm tablets or paste to cats. Those days are now gone with release of Profender, Bayer’s new spot on wormer for cats. It works in the same way as spot on flea control products via a small amount of liquid easily applied to the back of the neck. Available in a convenient twin pack of three sizes for cats up to 8kgs Profender will make regular worming of your cat less stressful for all participants.











Lily Intoxication in Cats

Although lilies are commonly used in floral arrangements and cats often have access to them, many pet owners are unaware of lily intoxication
as a potential cause of kidney failure in cats. Indoor cats and especially kittens may be drawn to cut flowers as they are a novel feature in an otherwise very familiar environment that often lacks other form of vegetation. The toxic substance that causes kidney damage in lilies has not been identified but ALL parts of the lily are poisonous and the toxic dose is unknown: mouthing or ingestion of very small amounts is sufficient to cause illness. Cats appear to be unique in their susceptibility to this toxin, similar to their easy susceptibility to poisoning by human medications such as panadol, ibuprofen and aspirin.

 Signs of kidney damage caused by lily intoxication include vomiting, depression and loss of appetite followed by dehydration and increased thirst. Kidney failure can be diagnosed and treated but even early diagnosis and diligent intensive treatment does not guarantee a successful recovery. Indoor cats should not be exposed to the risk of this intoxication. Always advise potential admirers not to send lilies: keep life rosy for your cat and avoid pushing up daisies!