CHRISTMAS SPECIAL <3

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!

TICK AWARENESS ⚠️⚠️
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.

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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS - DECEMBER

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

FOREIGN BODY
⚠️ CAUTION GRAPHIC IMAGES ⚠️

"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.


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BLOCKED CAT

⚠️ BLOCKED CAT ⚠️
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

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PARALYSIS TICKS!

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.

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TICK EPIDEMIC

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!

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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.
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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.

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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?

YES!

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

More whiff than woof...stinky breath is more than you think


August - Pet Dental Health Month

This month is National Pet Dental Month and at The Pines, we're all about keeping our fur friendies healthy and happy - and most importantly, prolonging their lives. Dental disease is the most common condition occurring in adult dogs and cats, and is entirely preventable. In fact over 85% of pets over 3 years of age suffer from periodontal disease usually in the form of gingivitis, inflammation of the gums. Bad breath is the most frequent finding and complaint when dental disease if present. The food we feed our pets does not result in bad breath hence their breath should not be unpleasant for us. Many pets have much more subtle signs of disease that goes unnoticed by there owners for example; difficulty chewing and reluctance to eat, broken/loose teeth, excessive drooling, bleeding gums, pawing/rubbing at the face, chronic sneezing and nasal discharge and behavioural changes.  

But... the biggest danger is that the bacteria that is responsible for dental disease are released into the blood stream as the animal chews and can infect and damage the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs AND... could even contribute to many chronic disorders of inflammation and increase the risk of cancer.

We experience and know how how uncomfortable and even painful tartar, inflamed gums and rotting tooth-roots are leading to an extremely uncomfortable mouth. However It is rare for our pets to show signs of oral pain, leaving many to suffer in silence.

What can we do about it?
Routine veterinary check up should include assessment of teeth, gums and mouth. Once our pets have periodontal disease they need to have there teeth cleaned professionally. This means they will require a general anaesthetic to allow bacterial plaque to be removed from below the gum where disease is occurring and not just from the surface of the teeth. Unfortunately, pets just don't allow adequate examination of all teeth surfaces and do not tolerate adequate scaling and polishing when conscious and hence a general anaesthesia is required. Once a dental scale and polish has been preformed steps need to be made to prevent the re occurrence. Dental home care is crucial in maintaining good oral health and with a plethora of products available it can become quite overwhelming. Its important that an effective home care plan is tailored for each individual pet which is safe and suits both owners and pets lifestyle.

The month of August is national pet dental health month. In promotion of good dental health and well being of our pets at The Pines Vet clinic we are offering free dental checks and with any dental procedure booked in the months of August $100 off the total bill.

 

Time for the snip...? Here's 20,000 reasons why you should desex your pet

July is national de-sexing month

 

Desexing is part of responsible pet ownership and there are several health and behavioural benefits for both genders.

As cute as puppies and kittens are (they certainly are adorable), homeless and neglected animals are a serious issue in today’s society.  There are many proposed mathematical equations that can suggest the potential reproductive power of an adult cat or dog.   It’s suggested that in just two years one female cat and her offspring can produce around 20,000 kittens, and in only five years, one female dog and her offspring can produce approximately 20,000 puppies.  But….no matter how the math is done there are too many pets and too few homes. Many of these puppies and kittens become unwanted and they end up in shelters or are either just dumped to fend for themselves, often suffering from severe disease and starvation. Once in shelters many never find forever homes due to overcrowding and the strain on shelter resources.

Need a little more convincing?

 cute, but she doesn't need tobe a mummy...

cute, but she doesn't need tobe a mummy...

Desexing your pet can prevent life threating infections and reduces risk of serious health problems.

Current recommendations are to have both genders de-sexed around 6 months of age. Hence female cats and dogs are desexed prior to their first heat. This eliminates the risk of a condition called pyometra, a life threatening infection of the uterus and also the development of mammary tumours is virtually eliminated if done prior to the first heat.  Neither coming into season nor having a litter has been linked with personality and or behavioural changes that would not have otherwise occurred in normal development. In males the risk of testicular tumours is eliminated and reduces the risk of painful conditions such as infection and enlargement of the prostate and perianal hernias.

Still need a little more convincing?

 crossing their legs isn't going to fix the problem...

crossing their legs isn't going to fix the problem...

 

Desexing can help reduce and eliminate unwanted behaviours. Desexing only affects the behaviours in your pet that are influenced by the sex hormones which are often those behaviours that are far less than desirable. It does not affect their playfulness, friendliness, and socialization with humans. Rather it has effect on virtually eliminating their interest in roaming and wandering to find a desirable mate as well as reducing the unwanted arrival of cats and dogs at your property that have been attracted by intact animals. This then in turn reduces the likelihood of pets becoming lost, getting hurt in fights or sustaining injuries from other traumas such as being hit by a car, not to mention the unforeseen costs associated with pound pickups. Desexing reduces sexual behaviours such as urination and marking, inappropriate aggression (if trained to do so they will still defend owners and territory), mounting, vocalising, and also eliminates inconvenient bleeding and discharge in female dogs, unwanted pregnancies and sometimes the high unforeseen costs and time associated with problematic births, C-sections and nursing puppies. Desexed pets are often more focused and less stressed as the innate instinct to reproduce is gone and with this desire removed training and reinforcing the desirable behaviours is made easier.

Overall desexing has many health and behavioural benefits that can lead to longer, healthier, safer and less stressful lives for our pets. In support of National Desexing Month, at The Pines Vet we're offering 15% off all our Desexing procedures for the month of July when you mention either our ad on Facebook or this blog.  

How old is my pet in human years...? Why senior pets need our attention...

 

Pets age much faster than people and it can often be difficult to tell the difference between the normal ageing process and signs of disease. Aging in our pets not only varies between species but also by breed, body size and the individual pet. Some pets are particularly good at masking their discomfort or changes and so caring for our senior pets is not always an easy task.

Bringing your senior pet in for 6 monthly wellness examinations and annual diagnostics, to assess your pet’s internal organ health and function, can reassure you that your senior dog or cat is healthy. This also enables us to detect disease conditions early.  Often these disease conditions would go otherwise unnoticed until the wellbeing of our senior pets are affected. With early detection, recognition and treatment the prognosis of many diseases is improved, medical cost kept down and ensures your pet will live longer with improved quality of life and thus are more comfortable.

 use this guide to help determine how old your pet is in 'human years'

use this guide to help determine how old your pet is in 'human years'

With age risks of dental disease, joint and bone disease, cancer, senility, hormone disorders, heart, kidney and liver disease all increase. There is also a change in both nutritional requirements and daily exercise regimens that should be allowed for during the aging process.

Some of the early warning signs of aging and age-related diseases to watch out for include:

 different size breeds will show signs of age earlier than others...

different size breeds will show signs of age earlier than others...

 

Behavioural/neurological:                         

·       Interacting less or not seeking as much attention with family           

·       Confusion or disorientation                 

·       Vocalising for no reason

·       Change in sleep pattern

·       Episodes of shaking or tremors

·       Signs of aggression

 

Activity:

·       Lags behind on walks

·       Difficult rising, jumping or climbing stairs

·       Lameness

·       Difficulty negotiating litter tray (cats)

 

Skin and Coat:

·       Hair loss

·       Scratching, redness, chewing excessively or odour

·       Appearance of lumps and bumps

Body Functions:

·       Bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums

·       Difficulty chewing

·       Change appetite or eating habits

·       Weight gain or loss

·       Excessive drinking and/or urination

·       Loss of housetraining

·       Vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation or straining to toilet

·       Trouble with vision and or hearing

·       Coughing or increased panting

 

It is not uncommon for some of these signs to be part of the normal aging process however in some pets they can be signs indicative of early stages of underlying age-related diseases.

 Our senior pets need the love: regular health checks will help them stay healthy...

Our senior pets need the love: regular health checks will help them stay healthy...

 

During the months of June and July we are offering 20% off laboratory blood and urine tests with every senior health consultation booked. Call us on 5665 7116 to book your senior pet in for a wellness check.