Finn's Corner


Feline Parvovirus

Recently an article was release notifying everyone of an outbreak of parvovirus in the feline population around Melbourne area. This virus is extremely contagious and thus we think you should know a bit about it.


Parvovirus is spread via a cat coming into contact with the infected faeces of another cat. It can also infect foxes and wild dogs making it hard to eradicate. It is a very resilient virus and can survive in the environment for months. Hence, locations such as shelters, where cats are housed close together, are at higher risk of an outbreak.


Although this virus can affect cats of any age, the risk of it being fatal is higher in younger cats and kittens. Symptoms of the virus include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, fever and in the later stage seizures. If you suspect your cat may have the virus, take it to your local vet clinic for assessment. Even with treatment after being diagnosed the mortality rate is still high.


All of the cats that tested positive for this virus in the latest outbreak were NOT vaccinated. Therefore the main message to take from this is that prevention is better than cure. The standard F3 vaccination covers your cat against parvovirus. So if your feline companion is not up to date with its vaccinations, then now would be the optimum time to book them in.



Are You Fire Ready?

Summer has arrived and with it so has the potential for bushfires. Many of you will be putting together your fire plans and contemplating what you would do if you needed to evacuate. In these circumstances don’t forget to include your animal companions in your evacuation plans.





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One idea that might come in handy is a pet evacuation bag. This bag would contain items like:
• A bottle of water
• A bowl
• A small amount of dry or wet food
• A towel/blanket
• Spare collar and lead
• Pet identification paperwork (which includes their microchip number, medical requirements and relevant history)
• Any medications your pet may be on
• Carry cage for cats
All of this would come in handy depending on where your pets are to seek alternate accommodation prior to being able to return home.


If you do have to leave them behind, placing a sign on your gate, letter box or front door indicating how many and what type of pets (including livestock) should still be on the premises can allow for CFA or SES crews to assess their welfare once the danger period is over. Making sure your dog or cat has an ID tag can allow for them to be accounted for and identified easily in emergency situations.




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Livestock that also have to stay behind should be kept on the property. Gates should not be opened to let them off of the premises as this could potentially put them and others in danger due to poor visibility as a result of the smoke. It is advisable to check with locals in the area to have designated checkpoints where livestock such as horses and ponies can be relocated to if there is sufficient time to evacuate them.


It is always best to be prepared!


With the varying hot and cold temperatures, along with still a decent amount of rain, we are currently noticing there has been an increase in the amount of cases of laminitis in horses. Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae in a horses hoof. In extreme situations the pedal bone in the hoof loses support and drops or rotates towards the sole of the hoof. It is a life threatening condition and should be treated accordingly. A horse which has been affected is more susceptible to be affected by the condition again.


There can be a range of causes including
Access to excessive amounts of lush pasture/hay/grain leading to excessive weight
Retained placentas in breeding mares
Trauma to the soles of the hooves


Reluctance to move
Leaning back to take weight off the front hooves
Laying down more than usual
Increase in pulse within the hooves
Pain in the sole of the hoof


Prevention is better than cure. This can be achieved by moderating food intake and providing a balanced diet. Restricting access to lush areas of pasture is sometimes warranted. Regular exercise is ideal and monitoring the horse for weight gain. An excessively cresty neck indicates a horse is carrying too much weight and should have their diet adjusted. Regular hoof trims and providing adequate hoof care is also vital.


If a horse is thought to have become laminitic, a Veterinarian should be contacted immediately. Usually these cases are treated with anti-inflammatories and dietary restrictions. All information is sourced from

Senior Month!

As you are already aware this month is Senior Month!




Although your cat or dog may not be looking old, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t undergoing some physical changes. You may notice that your senior companion is showing changes to their coat or skin, their teeth, behavior and even their sense perception. Other changes occurring in a senior pet that may not be observed can include alterations in their metabolism and organ function.


As your pet gets older their dietary requirements change. Hence, they need to be on a formulated diet that satisfies their needs. Be sure your senior companion is on a diet suitable for them. In support of Senior Month we are offering discounts on senior pet feeds including Royal Canin Senior and Mobility. Take advantage whilst this offer lasts.


Arthritis is also a common problem seen in older pets and that is why this month we are offering free arthritis consultations. If you have noticed that your pet is reluctant to participate in physical activity, displaying signs of lameness or symptoms of joint pain now is the best time to book in for a consult with our Veterinarians.



The Importance of Vaccinations

Recently researchers from the University of Sydney have been looking into cases of Feline Paneukopenia Virus (FPV). Although the virus has been thought to be eradicated through vaccinations an outbreak has occurred in the suburbs around Sydney.


Ensuring your pet is vaccinated is vital in reducing the risk of an outbreak like what is currently being seen. Over 50 cats and kittens have died due to contracting the viral disease. The cats that presented symptoms were mostly young kittens that had not yet been vaccinated or not yet completed their course of vaccinations.


Symptoms that may present if your cat or kitten contracts this virus include fever, loss of appetite, lethargy and vomiting and diarrhoea. Veterinarians believe the outbreak in Sydney to be the result of a significantly large population of cats not being vaccinated.


The best thing that you can do for your cat is to ensure that it is up to date with vaccinations! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call the clinic. For more information please go to the following link

Rabbit Calicivirus

Did you know that there is a new planned release of a variant form of the rabbit calicivirus across more than 600 sites in Australia this year? The RHDV1 -K5 variant is expected to be released in Autumn and is a contagious strain. It can be spread via direct contact with infected rabbits, fomites (items which may carry the infection such as equipment or clothes) and even via vectors such as flies.


Rabbits that have been vaccinated with the currently available vaccine are shown to survive the infection with the K5 variant. However, based on trials none of the un-vaccinated rabbits survived. It is due to this that we urge all rabbit owners to please vaccinate their beloved pets against calicivirus.




Other ways which you can help to minimize the risk of your rabbit being exposed to this virus can include:
– keeping your rabbit indoors
– ensure your rabbit is isolated from wild rabbits with adequate fencing
– ensure all equipment that your rabbit comes into contact with is cleaned regularly
– ensure all clothes worn are cleaned after handling your rabbit
– washing hands after handling
– controlling fleas and insects




More information can be found via the following link

Tick Prevention for Dogs

Have you ever thought about including a tick preventative in your current parasite control plan?


Although we are not in an area directly affected by paralysis ticks there are still other ticks that can affect our pets and livestock. Our location provides the ideal bush and shrub vegetation which accommodates these parasites. Ticks such as the bush tick, although nowhere near as harmful as a paralysis tick, can still irritate and cause discomfort to the host animals.


Brands such as Bravecto come in single packs and offer combined protection against both fleas and ticks. This product comes in a chew for dogs that protects against fleas for a 3month period and against ticks for a 4 month period. For more information visit



Another product that also offers a combined protection is Nexgard. Nexgard, like Bravecto is also a chew. This product however is given monthly for optimum effect. More information about Nexgard can be found via the following link



The advantage of using both of these products is that in comparison to spot-on treatments, owners do not have to worry about their pets getting wet after administering the products as they are given orally. At our clinic you can purchase tick removers like a tick twister which are easy to use. For any further questions feel free to contact the clinic on 5429 5711 or come down and have a chat to our staff.

You probably wonder what the big deal is with feeding your puppy and kitten on specific food. As you well doubt know we always recommend your newest family addition to be on a formulated diet rather than just any food. The reason for this is that too much of a particular nutrient in a puppy’s or kitten’s diet can be detrimental to their growth and wellbeing. The same can be said for not enough nutrients in the diet. The effects of these imbalances can cause significant long term health problems. Therefore feeding the right food to you puppy or kitten is vital during their growth and development stages.


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A properly formulated kitten or puppy food should have all of the necessary ratios of fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals to support skeletal growth, immune function, muscle and nerve function, energy levels, and maintenance of body tissues. The levels of these nutrients differ in pet foods that are designed for adult breeds. The diet you choose for your puppy and kitten should be based on their age, adult size and weight.


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We are halfway through National Desexing Month and we thought it might be a good idea to run through the benefits of desexing your pets.  Not only does opting to castrate or spey your pet help control the issue of overpopulation, but it also provides both health and behavioral advantages to both you and your beloved companions.  You may not know this but it also provides cost benefits to your community.


Did you know that more than 250,000 cats and dogs are put to sleep each year simply due to the fact that there are no homes available for them? (Brown, R 2010) Unexpected litters are often unwanted and finding homes for them can be extremely difficult. The result is a contribution to the number of puppies and kittens that end up in shelters and pounds across the country. Providing shelter, food and adequate care to support these abandoned animals places an extreme financial burden on local communities. Offspring that are kept require necessary nutritional and veterinary care which can also be costly to the owner.


Un-desexed pets can also place financial strain on their owners based on vet bills they generate from getting injured during escape attempts.  Females undergo heat cycles which make them want to escape their environment to find mates. Males will also try to wander to seek out females on heat. If these pets manage to escape they are likely to end up in fights, get lost or end up in car accidents, which are emotionally and financially draining for owners. As well as this dogs and cats can develop territorial behaviors such as urinating indoors or in unwanted places. Dogs can even display undesirable behavioral traits towards their owners or other people such as mounting their legs.  Generally neutered pets make better and more affectionate companions.


Choosing to desex your companion also increases your pets’ chances of living a longer and healthier life. Removal of their reproductive organs reduces the risk of them getting cancers or diseases associated with these organs. What is more important than your pets’ health!? For more information go to the National Desexing Network page accessed via the following link or feel free to call the clinic on 5429 5711 and have a chat to our friendly staff and take advantage of this month’s discounts.


As the temperature is cooling, it is time that we start to keep an eye out for lice in our herds. Lice populations significantly increase in winter, which is fast approaching. They prefer cooler skin temperatures and the denser winter coats. Generally lice are species specific and do not survive or breed on other animals or humans. For instance cattle lice will not affect sheep and vice versa. Hence we will discuss the effects of lice on cattle, horses and sheep including survival preferences, symptoms, and management.



Sheep are affected by different types of lice including body lice, face lice and foot lice. The body louse however  is the one most commonly seen. It appears to be more responsible for causing a serious problem compared to other types of sheep lice. Unlike lice on other species, lice affecting sheep survive at temperatures of 37°C and prefer a high humidity. Body lice do not like extreme changes in these conditions and in order to maintain survival will  move up and down the wool fibres. Hence, they cannot survive for long on fence posts or yards off of the sheep.

Lice on sheep are unique in the sense that they do not suck blood but rather feed on dead skin, as well as skin secretions and bacteria. This can result in a thickening of the skin.


Their life cycle is represented by the diagram below:

sheep lice

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Sheep that are recently infested with lice are more sensitive than those that have had them for long periods. Hence they will show more symptoms. Symptoms of lice infestation can take time to show depending on the size of the lice population along with sheep sensitivity. There are a variety of chemical treatment options available including pour-ons, dips and sprays which effectively treat lice on sheep.


More information can be found via the following link



There are 2 types of lice on horses, ones that bite and ones that suck. Biting lice on horses are usually observed around the back of the head and body whereas sucking lice are mostly found at the base of the mane, at the top of the tails and even around the fetlocks. Horses with longer winter coats are more at risk of lice infestations. An example of sucking lice is shown below:



In severe cases lice can cause weight loss and anaemia.

Treatments are often sprays, washes, powder insecticides or pour ons. If a horse is rugged or is consistently in work all rugs and gear should also be sprayed and left unused for 14 days. Even objects coming into contact with the horses such as brushes or blankets can spread the lice to other horses if not treated. Lice can live for a few hours off of the horse on fences or in stables where the horse has rubbed.


More information can be found at the following link



There are 6 species of cattle lice in Australia. These are very similar to those found on sheep and horses.

An image of cattle lice and eggs is displayed below:



Cattle lice have a life cycle of 3-6 weeks. The eggs can be seen glued to the hairs. In general insecticides registered for use on cattle do not provide adequate control against louse eggs, meaning that even after treatment is applied the eggs can still hatch and restart the cycle. When and how often to treat cattle depends on individual circumstances. There are 4 types of treatment available including sprays, pour-ons, insecticidal ear tags and certain worm drenches.


More information can be found at


General Symptoms of lice include:

  • damage to fences, yards and trees
  • hair loss
  • rubbing, biting and scratching
  • poor, rough coat
  • skin wounds and raw areas

Lice infestations are more likely to impact animals which are:

  • diseased
  • nutritionally stressed
  • aged
  • in poor condition


For more information on treatment product feel free to contact us at the clinic. Just remember no matter what product you use you must follow the manufacturers instructions and withholding periods.

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