Don't forget about our furry friends this weekend during the forecasted heat wave! Cats and dogs don't cool down like we do, they use techniques like panting and lying on cool surfaces to chill out. 🐱🐶🌬

Heatwave checklist:
- Access to cool shade 24/7 ☂️
- Fresh drinking water (can add ice) 💧
- Exercise before 9am or after 5pm 🏃🏻‍♀️
- Walk on grass!!!! Care for burnt feet! 🌱
- Access to shallow pool or sprinkler 🏊🏻‍♀️
- Go to groomer and get a summer cut 🎀

Signs of heatstroke:
- Rapid panting
- Bright red tongue
- Red or pale gums
- Thick, sticky saliva
- Lethargy
- Weakness & stumbling
- Diarrhoea & Vomiting (sometimes contains blood)
- Signs of mental confusion, delirium
- Muscle tremors
- Seizures
- Collapse

Keep in mind our squishy face breeds (Pugs, French bulldogs, Boxers, Bulldogs) are particularly prone to heatstroke!! If you notice any of these signs please call RIGHT AWAY!

Stay safe this summer season ❤
The Pines Vet

"Whats the perfect breed?"

The "Bulletproof breed"

People seem to have the misconception that getting a certain breed or mix of dog, ensures that they will be a "good dog"...

That's not always the case...
I'd like to use these 3 dogs as my example...
The dog on the left came to me at 4 months old, terrified of people, and pretty much everything. It took me 3 weeks just be be able to touch him... if you even looked at him, he would pee himself...
Dog in the middle, came to me at approx 2 years old, huge dog, dangerous dog... he would violently snap and go in kill mode towards human or animal... he didnt care.
Dog on the right, came to me at approx 4 years old, great with other dogs and small animals, but was a serious dog around people, bit me hard and challenged me every step of the way...

Usually when I tell their story, I get met with responses like... 

But they're goldens...

I cant believe a Golden Retriever would ever do that.

Someone must have abused them...

And so many more comments...

While each of them have certain "characteristics" of the breed...
Fluffy blonde fur, an inherent need to retrieve and carry things, love of water and so on...
Each of them has their own strengths and weaknesses.
3 dogs, all male, same breed... different animal.
Do I teach each of them the same? No
Do I expect them all to behave identically? No
Do I take for granted that they are gentle sweet souls that would never "retaliate" no matter what situation they encounter? No

My way of thinking when it comes to animals is...
Anything with teeth can bite you...
Always remember that.

Dog on the left has matured Into the sweetest, most loveable dog I've ever known in my whole life...as soon as he meets you, you are now considered best friends, not a mean bone is his body...at times, still a nervous boy
Dog in the middle, lives in a home with cats, sweet boy, not to be trusted un muzzled around other dogs or in a situation that he may find uncomfortable...a management dog
Dog on the right, sweet, sassy soul, extremely tolerant, and indifferent to most people...
If he doesn't know you, don't push him...
I know and respect his limits, but trust him to make good choices. He's never bit again...

Each dog has their own story, their own personality and character... they are the same breed, but not the same dog.
Selecting a reputable breeder, who genetically tests dogs for health and temperament, goes a long way in helping you get a dog true to character... 
but does not guarantee a bulletproof dog.

So please, respect each dog as a descendant of a predator, understand the importance of training and advocating for each and every dog as an individual and never expect that just because they are a certain breed, that will always act a certain way...

Written by Janet Hanley


This big handsome boy is Baxter. He's a German Shepherd X, weighing in at a modest 40kg. 

Months ago, Baxter had his first vet visit with us. He was fearful, anxious, shaking and suspicious. He would not willingly go into the consult room, and did not handle the vet visit well. Life was difficult.

Baxter is lucky enough to have incredible owners. 

Baxter was instantly introduced to a Dog Behaviouralist who visited his house on several occasions and came up with a behavioural plan customised to his needs. His owners noticed a difference within a week!

Months later, Baxter visits us again. He is happy, panting, playing and greeting everyone who walks past. He trots into the consult room with confidence and gives us all a kiss on the way out. Life is changed for both Baxter and his owners!

We cannot recommend behaviourists enough. If you have a pet that struggles with anxiety, aggression, fearfulness or anything please give us a call so we can recommend you onto a behaviourist! These problems have a chance at being fixed with the right work!

The Pines Vet


We say a warm welcome to December with festive season in full swing at The Pines!🎄🎅🏻 
Are you giving or getting a new puppy or kitten for Christmas? We want to make sure our new family members are happy & healthy - so we're offering FREE puppy & kitten health checks! 🐱🐶🌞

Requires appointment so please call 07 5665 7116 with any inquiries ❤ 
Tag your friends to let them know!

Merry Christmas from The Pines Vet. 💌

*any medication, diagnostic tests, vaccines not inclusive. Deal includes head to toe health check. Only redeemable once per animal, animal must be <1 year old, must be animals' first visit.
Offer available Dec '18 + Jan '19

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Tick Paralysis Case!

Sweet little Dusty came to us yesterday with wobbly back legs and trouble breathing. After a thorough examination, we found a tick crater. A tick crater is a small, raised scab where a tick has previously burrowed - evidence Dusty may be suffering from tick paralysis.
We immediately admitted her to hospital and started tick treatment. She stayed with us overnight and has improved so much she gets to go home today! ✨❤️❤️❤️
We'd like to thank Dusty's owners for their commitment and quick thinking to bring her down. 💞🐱

Any questions or concerns with your pets never hesitate to call us! The Pines Vet.



As December inches closer - just a reminder that we're closed on public holidays! We advise December appointments to be booked in advanced, as same-day appointments may be sparse! Hope you all have a happy and safe Summer <3

Any inquiries or bookings feel free to call our lovely team on (07) 5665 7116

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"Foreign body" is a term used to describe a foreign object that should not be in your pet - aka a grass seed, stick, bone, metal, or clothing/materials.
When ingested, these items don't easily pass through the digestive system and are at risk of getting stuck and causing a blockage.
In sweet Hudson's case, a blanket he ate got stuck in his small intestine 😔 Surgical intervention is the only way to remove it - this surgery is called an "Exploratory laparotomy"

As you can see in the photos below; Poor Hudson had very inflamed intestines, and our surgeons are removing material from several small incisions.



This sweet boys name is Willow. We got a distressed call from Willows Mum late at night - he was not moving and crying out in pain! 😓💔 We knew something was wrong and got him in straight away - turns out he had a URETHRAL OBSTRUCTION! 
Male cats are particularly susceptible to this condition - their urethras become blocked and they can not urinate. This has the potential to be life threatening! 
Willow was anaesthetised, and a urinary catheter was placed to unblock his urethra and empty his bladder. This catheter stays in place for a few days to ensure urine can flow safely. 
Willow will now be on a special diet for life to avoid this problem again. Commitment and a quick response from his owners saved his life!

Symptoms include:
Straining to urinate
Frequent/small urinations
Blood in urine
Painful vocalisation
Painful to touch abdomen
Loss of appetite 

Be sure to act quickly if your cat shows these symptoms! 

The Pines Vet



This lovely golden retriever is very lucky on this fine Friday. Grace had come to us for a routine dental procedure, but we came across a paralysis tick on her neck! Grace is extremely lucky we happened upon it, as her hair was long and thick - a ticks’ paradise! PLEASE keep your pets on tick prevention! There are a number of products on the market, and for cats too! If you purchase a 3 or 6 pack, you will receive 10% off! Pop in or all 07 5665 7116. The Pines Vet.



We are seeing a heart-breaking amount of tick paralysis cases this last month. As the weather gets hotter, these nasty parasites become more active and prey on our furry friends. PLEASE get your friends on tick prevention!!! For Oct/Nov, we will be offering 10% off all flea and tick prevention if you buy 3 or 6 months worth! Don’t fall victim to these horrible critters. Protect your pets!


20 Reasons Why Vets want you to neuter your pet!

The Pines Vet presents 20 of the million reasons why we always recommend desexing your pets.

1. Your male dog won't want to roam away from home looking for a mate.
2. Neutering provides major health benefits for your male - reduce risk of prostate and testicular cancers.
3. Your spayed female won't go into heat.
4. Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
5. Majority of dogs that end up at the Gold Coast City Pound are NOT desexed.
6. Your neutered male will be much better behaved! Desexing reduces dominance and aggression problems.
7. Your male dog will not cock his leg and mark his territory on every pole, tree, couch and object he can find!
8. It is highly cost-effective - The cost of your pet's spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your un-neutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
9. Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
10. Your pet doesn't need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
11. Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
12. Neutering reduces the risk of your dog being attacked by other male dogs - 13. Most Dogs we see who have have been caught up in a scuffle at the dog 14. beach or dog park are not desexed!
15. Neutering can reduce sexual behaviors!
16. Females can suffer from physical and nutritional exhaustion if continually breeding
17. Pets generally live longer and healthier lives
18. Reduces territorial behaviour such as cats spraying indoors
19. Less likely to suffer from anti-social behaviors. They become more affectionate and become better companions.
20. No need to find homes for unwanted or unexpected litters of puppies or kittens.

Give us a call today to enquire about desexing your furrbaby!
Ph 5665 7116

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Holiday Hazards

During Christmas, the holiday season usually means food, fun and time with our family and friends. Unfortunately it can be a difficult task to keep our furry companions safe over the Christmas holidays. Here a few simple tips to help avoid a trip the afterhours emergency vet!

Firstly, there is the Christmas tree!

  • Decorated in sparkling stringy tinsel, twinkling lights and shiny ornaments which are all very inviting to our pets.  Whilst most of these items aren’t toxic in their own right if ingested they pose serious risk of gastrointestinal blockages.  
  • Christmas tree lights go hand in hand with hazardous electric cords which are often confused by our pets as great chewing toys.
  • Then there are the presents…. although wrapped and disguised from our eyes, some with more pleasant aromas, like chocolates are easily sort out by our furry friends.
  • Ensuring our Christmas trees are pet proof is a must. By choosing a room that can be closed off, installing a baby gate to block a doorway or placing low lattice work around the tree can prevent access and keep a tree secure.  Also avoid placing objects and lights on the lower branches making a tree less inviting.   

Secondly, Christmas foods!

  • Many of the foods we consume over the Christmas period can be potentially hazardous and life threatening. Foods causing toxicities include chocolates, grapes and raisins found in Christmas puddings and mince pies, onions/garlic/leeks found in stuffing’s and sauces, foods containing artificial sweetener Xylitol and of course alcohol. 
  • Avoid feeding cooked bones from turkeys and hams. Cooked bones can easily splinter and are difficult to digest, posing a serious gastrointestinal risk.
  • High fat foods, including fat trimmed from meats can cause inflammation of the pancreas a very painful and life threatening condition.  

Thirdly, Christmas plants!

  • During the festive period it is common to decorate homes with Christmas plants or arrangements or be given flowers from guests. Poinsettia are very common Christmas plant and although are not particularly toxic can cause irritation to oral mucous and stomach, from being chewed upon, resulting in drooling and vomiting. Lilies are often very common to see in flower arrangements and are toxic/potentially fatal to cats.  Although real Mistletoe and Holly plants aren’t common in Australia it is worth noting that they can cause gastrointestinal upsets in our pets.

And lastly, don’t forget your pets!

  • Christmas time often means getting together with family and/or friends with people often coming in and out of your home. Guests often take away from the normal routine of everyday life.  As much as possible try to keep to regular feeding and exercise schedules and take time out to give your pets attention.
  • Some animals can become overwhelmed with all the festivities so ensure they have access to safe, stress free, quiet environments with readily available water and litter trays for cats.
  • It can be easy for a pet to sneak out with all the action going on. So make sure your pets are microchipped and/or their microchip details are up to date.

Bella's a little lighter now...

Bella, a gorgeous 8 y o Staffy, was referred to us after she showed signs of abdominal swelling, lethargy and had been rushed to emergency before coming to us the following day for a splenectomy - which is the removal of the spleen. A long and very serious procedure - due to all the blood vessels that must be individually stitched off - Dr Mel then removed a whopping 420-gram mass that had been growing off the side of her spleen. Fortunately the mass turned out to be benign and a very full-of-beans Bella returned to us for her post-op check looking like a new dog, a week later!

We're so glad Bella made a great recovery and that she can now go on to lead a full and healthy life with her family.

This is why we love what we do at The Pines Vet...saving lives, and making our fur friendies happy and healthy is the best reward we could ask for.


Dr Mel carefully stitches off vessels before removing the mass growth...

How Old is My Pet...?

We've all heard the saying for every human year, a dog has an equivalent seven years right...? Well, not entirely. Let's sort a few myths from facts with pet's ages because this month is Pet Seniors Month and there are many things we need to remember as our pets get older, mainly how to take care of them - adjust their diets, exercise and care accordingly.

With Dogs, there's a general rule, yes, that each dog year equates to approximately seven or so human years, however if you have a large breed dog, that number is slightly different which in turn means they age differently. We say around 7-8 years of age in smaller dogs can be senior and then between 4-6 for larger breeds. As a general rule, both cats and dogs become senior at or around the age of seven and this is when you need to look at their diet and what you're feeding your pet. You also need to ensure his or her dental health is in check and a checkover for any arthritic joints.

When your pet becomes senior, it is important they're getting antioxidants from a good quality food as well as regular vet checks. Where a younger dog might only need once yearly check and vaccination, a senior pet should have a health-check at least twice a year to ensure we are picking up any changes and of course if you see any change in behaviour, limping, loss of appetite, drinking more, urinating more, change in fecal matter these are all indicators you should come in and see us. Various diseases that can affect a senior pet can be:

  1. cancer
  2. heart disease
  3. kidney/urinary tract disease
  4. liver disease
  5. diabetes
  6. joint or bone disease
  7. senility
  8. weakness

As with any ailments, all of these things can contribute to the vast difference in your pet's health as it ages. If you've got any concerns, or would like to know your pet's actual age and how close they might be to seniorhood, bring them down for a visit. To help them along we're taking care of our senior fur friends with 20% off visits and surgeries booked in this month.

They love us more with each passing day...:)

They love us more with each passing day...:)

Do I really need to regularly de-worm my dog?


All dogs are likely to suffer from worms at some point in their life, so it's important to know all about them.

There are two main types of intestinal worms that affect dogs: roundworms and tapeworms:

Roundworms look like strands of spaghetti and can reach up to 20cm in length. They live on partially digested food in the dog’s bowel, and adults release microscopic eggs that are passed out into the environment in the dog’s faeces. If a dog sniffs, licks, or plays in an area containing contaminated faeces the eggs can be picked up on his muzzle and paws and then ingested.

Toxocara canis  &nbsp;(also known as  dog roundworm )

Toxocara canis (also known as dog roundworm)

Tapeworms have distinctive, flat segments and are found in the dog’s intestines. Tapeworm eggs need to be eaten by an intermediate host, such as a flea or a gecko and when a dog swallows the host he becomes infected.

Symptoms of worms can range from: NONE (!) to weight loss and being visibly underweight/worms in faeces, vomit, or around the anus/ bottom scooting/hunger/flaky skin/dull coat/diarrhoea/vomiting and less often: coughing/skin disease/constipation/breathing difficulties/reoccurring infections/lethargy, weakness, or swelling of the limbs.

All types of dog worms can cause Zoonotic disease. A zoonotic disease is a disease spread between animals and people. Children are often at greatest risk of zoonotic infections because of their play habits and affection for pets. Some of these can be very serious and cause permanent damage ie: roundworms can migrate through tissues and cause permanent blindness if in the eyes, hookworms can cause gastrointestinal problems and itchy skin lesions, tapeworms can cause diarrhea and itchiness and even hydatid disease- cystic or tumorous growths in the liver and other abdominal organs.

It's super important to realise and remember that even if your pet does not exhibit any signs of parasitism they could still be infected and therefore a source of infection for other pets and people too!

When a de-worming treatment is given it will rid your dog of any worms in his digestive tract. However, it won’t prevent reinfection so it’s important to have a year-round programme in place. How often you treat your dog will depend on the product you use, your pet’s age, and his lifestyle.

Please feel free to give us a call anytime or pop in to discuss your pets needs and to make sure they are well protected. 😊


Did you know?

  • Victorian ladies of the 1800's swallowed tapeworms to help them lose weight!

  • Tapeworm segments which pass out in your dog’s faeces look like grains of rice, but look closer and you’ll see them moving.

  • Other types of worms in dogs include the hookworm, whipworm, heartworm, and lungworm.

  • Female roundworms can produce up to 200,000 eggs a day.

Why should I desex my dog...?

Should you desex your pet? You keep it locked in your yard, or your home, take it for walks on a lead and are always aware of its whereabouts...right? So why the big deal? It's my pet, my choice! Well this is very true, we can't tell you what to do but we can tell you the reasons why you should because the health benefits far outweigh any adverse affects you might see from desexing...and your pet can actually live longer too!

You might think it will change your pet, make them gain weight or alter their temperament but with high levels of unwanted animals currently crowding our local shelters, combined with the fact your pet could be at risk of some serious conditions if not desexed, you might want to reconsider the options...

Yesterday we saw a beautiful little female dog, still barely a pup herself at just over a year old, present with a pup stuck inside her abdomen. On x-ray we could see the puppy was far too big for the mother to be able to birth naturally and as she had been labouring for some time, it began to threaten not just the puppy (that had already died) but the mother dog as well. Unfortunately the owners weren't aware their dog had even come on heat, let alone mated and fallen pregnant with what was suspected to be a much larger breed than herself.

desexing your pet can lead to much healthier longer life...

desexing your pet can lead to much healthier longer life...

Fortunately we were able to save the little mother dog and after removing her damaged uterus, she'll now go on to lead a healthy and happy life.

And there are some other very serious conditions that can arise from a pet not being desexed, such as an infected uterus (pyometra) in female dogs which can very quickly lead to death if left untreated. Various cancers - like mammary cancer in female dogs which if desexed before their first heat, means she has almost zero chance of ever contracting it as well as prostatic abscesses and cancers in male dogs and even behavioural issues within both male and females that will often settle once the pet has been desexed and hormones level out. On average, we see approximately four to five cases of pyometra come through the doors of The Pines Vet a year. That is four or five too many. All of which wouldn't have required emergency surgery had they been desexed.

This is how an inflamed infected uterus looks prior to removal.

This is how an inflamed infected uterus looks prior to removal.

You see it's not just about preventing your pet from having litters - or indeed even creating them - the benefits of desexing your fur friend mean they have a much better chance of going on to lead a healthy and happy life...which is what we all want :)


Urinary Disease in Cats: What to look out for...

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease


Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease, or FLUTD is one of the most common medical problems that we see in cats. There are a variety of conditions that affect the bladder and urethra. Cats with the disease will most often show signs of difficulty and pain when urinating, increased frequency of urination, and blood in the urine. Your cat, if infected, may also tend to lick themselves excessively and may urinate inappropriately (for example, outside the litter box.)

While it can occur at any age, we usually see the disease in middle-aged, overweight cats that get little exercise, use an indoor litter box, have little or no outdoor access, or eat only a dry diet. Factors such as emotional or environment stress, multi-cat households, and abrupt changes in daily routine can also increase the chances of your cat developing it.

The main causes are: urolithiasis (urinary stones); urinary infection; urethral obstruction (‘blocked cat’) and Feline Idiopathic Cystitis or FIC. Some urinary stones can be dissolved by simply a change in diet however others will need to be surgically removed. A urethral obstruction is most common in male cats and can become life threatening very quickly which is why it's imperative to see your vet immediately when you see any of these signs occurring.

Because there are many causes, it can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, therefore additional testing may include urine culture, blood work, x-ray or ultrasound to best determine the level of disease. The good news is, most cases can be successfully treated and result in a much happier cat. If you suspect your cat may be suffering from any of these symptoms or are simply concerned about the health and well-being of your cat, come in and see us...this month is Cat Month at The Pines. See our FB page for details :)

A visual of the urinary tract where disease and stones can occur

A visual of the urinary tract where disease and stones can occur