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World Blood Donor Day

On the 14th of June we celebrate World Blood Donor Day.  Just like us, our furry friends can donate blood and save lives.  Imagine coming home to find your beloved pet collapsed.  You rush them to the vet to be told a blood transfusion is required to save their life. ...

Respiratory Viruses in Cats and the Need for Vaccination

“There will never be an effective vaccine against feline herpesvirus (FHV) and feline calicivirus (FCV)” our virology lecturer asserted to my 4th year vet class. That was 1974. By 1976 as a fresh-faced new graduate in Waitara I was using the newly launched cat...

Does Your Pet Fear Going to The Vet?

This is a very common problem. In a survey of over 25000 owners 41% said their dogs showed mild to moderate fear when going to the vet and 14% showed extreme fear. In other studies up to 80% of dogs were reported to be fearful at the vets. This runs counter to our...

Other Garden Hazards – Compost, Fertiliser, Poisonous Plants

Scout's Story Scout was semi-comatose in the back of the SUV when I went out to check on him. Murray had rung earlier to say Scout was ill after eating compost some hours before. “I’ve seen many dogs ill from eating compost but never comatose”, I commented. “But...

The Story of a Duck Called Rabbit

As a resident of Queen's Gardens I am sure Rabbit has gone by many names. But when I saw him “Rabbit” for unknown reasons popped into my head – and stuck. I am unsure how long he had lived at the Gardens for, but if you are a frequent visitor you may remember seeing...

Kill the Pests, Not Your Pet!

Slug Bait At this time of the year Nelson home gardeners are in full swing. One of the frustrations for gardeners is having garden pests destroy our good work. A few slugs can demolish a bed of lettuce seedlings overnight. Slug baits containing metaldehyde are...

Prostate Disease in Dogs

Prostate problems in dogs are common but are rarely as dramatic as Choco’s (see separate story). The most common signs are straining as if to pass stools (tenesmus), blood dripping from the penis, urinary tract infections, urinary leakage or sometimes difficulty...

Spring Pollens Can Cause Skin Allergies in Pets

Spring Pollens can Cause Skin Allergies in Pets In the past weeks clouds of yellow pollen have been seen blowing out over Tasman Bay from the pine forests of Rabbit Islands. The rain leaves slicks of yellow goo in our gutters. Skin irritation is the most common reason...

Tapeworms in Surprising Places

Tapeworms hit the headlines last week! The image of a slithering tapeworm segment reportedly found in a burger went viral (wrong metaphor!) last week. It looked to me like a freshly cast segment (proglottid) of the common tapeworm associated with flea infestations in...

Canine Cough is About

In this past week we have seen several dogs with canine cough and received a flurry of phone calls from concerned owners whose dogs had typical symptoms. For many, the initial description is “I think there might be something stuck in my dog’s throat”. Dogs don’t have...

Why is Daffodil Day important for your pet?

Because pets get cancer too, and it is not just the old ones. I remember my 10 year old son Thomas coming to me one morning saying “Dad, Bartok has got a big lump on his neck”. Bartok was our 9 month old Viszla puppy. Viszlas have very short coats and I was handling...