Newsletter 2017-02-24T06:43:52+00:00

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“Family” Changes

In this newsletter we farewell someone who is not so much a staff member, but a GVH institution. After many years of being a member of our little family, our practice manager Elisabeth Parrague has decided to seek greener pastures in the halcyon pastures of retirement. After so many years with us Lis is a familiar figure to many of our clients. She first started here in 1971, fresh off the boat from Chile with only a limited command of English. She's been here ever since, with only a brief period off to give birth to her two daughters. With a degree in medical technology from her native land, she fitted in well at GVH back in the days of Harry Cooper and Bob Ratcliffe, doing seemingly endless blood counts on racing greyhounds. Her English very rapidly progressed, to the [...]

When should I consider my dog or cat to be senior?

Signs of Ageing in a Dog Your dog's coat and the area around his muzzle begins to turn grey. Because your pet is getting older, it is important to know that skin problems may occur more often since the skin may be thinner, less elastic, and does not repair itself as quickly.   Your senior dog begins to slow down, has less energy and has trouble getting up or limping. Longer and more frequent naps are common side effects of ageing. A change in habits, including play, eating and drinking.   Weight changes are common in older dogs. Some dogs gain weight as they age whilst others lose weight. Dental problems can appear in older pets and can cause bad breath. Hearing, vision and other senses become less active when dogs get older.   [...]

Flea Control during the Winter Months

A common misconception is that fleas die off during the autumn/winter period when the outside temperature drops. As a result, many pet owners cease using flea control during this time.   The warm, heated home however provides the perfect environment for fleas to breed. Like many parasites, flea populations are strongly influenced by seasonal conditions. This year is proving to be a tough year for controlling flea populations.   Adult fleas are not only a nuisance to pets as a result of commonly cause dermatitis, but also in the home where they can present a problem to all family members. Even a modest flea infestation during winter can give rise to significant flea contamination in the home   The majority of fleas live off the pet and are unseen. Eggs and immature developing fleas, which account for 95 percent of [...]

Children and dogs

Studies have found that children left unsupervised with dogs are at a high risk of being involved in an incident. This was often found to be with family or known dogs, and many times followed harassment, inappropriate handling or accidental/deliberate stepping on the dog by the child. Sometimes young children want to chastise dogs and copy owners who may discipline young active dogs. It is very, very important that all dogs see children as something fun and positive in their lives. We can prevent dog bites and keep children and dogs safe by acknowledging that firstly all dogs can bite when given some specific circumstances. There is a point where individuals can no longer tolerate interaction. Animals must be given space and opportunities to leave the interaction safely without having to warn the child, feel trapped or-worst case scenario-to escalate [...]

Just some thoughts…

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines. Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something  

Did you know…

A group of cats is called a clowder. A male cat is called a Tom and a female cat is called a Molly, or Queen while young cats are called kittens. If left alone, a dog will spend up to 3 hours a day remarking its scent posts. Cat milk is 10% protein where cow milk is only 3%. For every human in the world there are one million ants. The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog." uses every letter of the alphabet. A housefly hums in the key of F. Apple and pear seeds contain arsenic, which may be deadly to dogs. A cat has 32 muscles in each ear. Cats have powerful night vision, allowing them to see at light levels six times lower than what a human needs in order to see. [...]

Letter from the cat: Day 983 of my captivity

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the [...]

Did you hear the one about…

Talking Dog for Sale He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a black dog just sitting there. "You talk?" he asks. "Yep" the dog replies. "So, what's your story?" The dog looks up and says, "Well, I discovered this gift pretty young and I wanted to help the government, so I told ASIO about my gift, and in no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.   I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running. The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for [...]

Comings and Goings

It is with heavy hearts that we recently bid farewell to vet Deepa Gopinath.  She has decided to devote the next little while to studying for her MBA at Macquarie Uni, and then who knows what will lay ahead for her.  Deepa will be filling in for us occasionally, so you may still see her around the traps every so often. We have two new general vets who have joined the GVH family. Andrew Neutze graduated from Sydney University in 2010, carrying on a family tradition.  Since then he has been working in metropolitan Sydney and he has a particular interest in emergency medicine.  He enjoys camping and snowboarding, and supporting his wife who is studying to become a paediatrician. Jayson Tuan graduated from Murdoch University in Perth in 2008.  He spent the first part of his career in general practice in [...]

It’s Spring time – Allergy time

Its springtime, the flowers are blooming, the grass is growing, the birds are nesting, people are sneezing and dogs are scratching. Is this all related? Well, the birds nesting isn’t, but the rest is.   Spring and Summer is when we most often see “allergic inhalant disease” (or atopy). This is a disease where the immune system is over reacting to pollens etc. The pollens are from flowering trees, grasses, weeds etc. In humans the most common symptoms are respiratory problems - sneezing and sinusitis; in dogs it is most commonly skin itchiness.   Interestingly, despite this being  considered an inhalant allergy, the sites they tend to scratch, lick or chew are often the sites we would think of as contact reactions i.e. the feet, belly and armpits. It is thought that there is some direct absorption of the allergen through the skin [...]

Otitis—Ear Infections

There are many things that dogs are good at and one of these is getting ear infections. Dogs have an L-shaped external ear canal which facilitates the trapping of moisture, yeast and bacteria. This combined with the limited ventilation of the L-shaped canal and the lid created by the floppy ears of some breeds means that the inside of the ear canal is the perfect dark, moist environment for bacteria and yeast populations to blossom, leading to ear infections, or otitis. Structural problems such as a narrowed ear canal can also predispose some dogs to developing otitis on a regular basis. Other dogs may develop frequent problems due to underlying skin allergies, which can also affect the lining of the ears as the ears are lined with a type of modified skin. Inflammation if the lining of the ears [...]

Heat Stroke

With the summer months upon us, heat stroke in our pets is a real and present danger. Heat stroke can result in a complete shut-down of metabolic functions and can become fatal in an amazingly short period. There are a few important preventative measures that will hopefully allow your pet to avoid being one of the unhappy victims. Never leave your pet in a car with the windows closed, no matter how short a period you think you may be away from the vehicle. Don’t walk your dogs in the heat of the day. Exercise them in the cool of the early     morning or the late evening. When you do walk your dog during summer, carry some water in a container for him to have a drink along the way. If he  becomes puffy and stressed, be prepared to let him rest for [...]

Did You Know—We Do Grooming @ GVH

Among the many services we offer at Gladesville Veterinary Hospital, we have a dedicated grooming    service to take care of your pet’s “bad hair day”. Our groomer Corinne Cucek is available every weekday by appointment. Corinne has been   involved in pet grooming since 1999 and joined the Gladesville team in 2013. Her skills range from a basic shampoo and blow dry to professional clipping of dog breeds such as Poodles and Schnauzers. She happily grooms cats for the purr-fect effect that our feline friends love. Every groom will routinely have nails clipped, ears checked, anal glands expressed and flea and tick treatments administered if necessary. One of the many advantages of having in-house grooming in the hospital is that if we have a dog or cat who is unduly anxious about the procedure, they can be sedated   under veterinary supervision. Sedation is sometimes [...]

Seasons Greetings

All at GVH would like to wish our clients and their pets the very best for the holiday season. Most of you will have been aware of some changes on our end, particularly our new  association with the Vetfriends group in May.   The team that cares for your pets remains the same and is dedicated as always to their   welfare. Thank you to all of you who have helped us in ways big and small. Some of us have had some personal challenges as well, and Pam in particular would like to thank so many of you who have offered their support over the past few months. We all feel very privileged to be able to join with you in the special moments that you share with your pets - both the good ones and the  more challenging [...]

Sydney University Award for Gladesville Vets

Three years ago, while working at Sydney University, Deepa Gopinath and Max Zuber became involved in a project aimed at developing a model of a dog's abdomen that could be used to train veterinary students to desex dogs and cats. They were working with a company called Studio Kite whose expertise was in manufacturing models for TV and films. The Bundy Bear is one of theirs. In the last year these models have been rolled out in the surgery training practical classes at the university and Max has been involved in assessing the progress of the students in developing their surgery skills while using these synthetic dogs. There has already been some international interest in the models, mainly from North America. Max is also in the process of organising a visit to the UK and Europe early next year where [...]

Heat Stroke in Animals

If your dog or cat becomes heat-stressed at home and you have air conditioning, use it. If the air conditioning system is confined to one room, put your pet in that room and be prepared to sit with her so she doesn't become stressed by your absence. If you don't have air conditioning, cover her with a towel soaked to dripping in cold water, and replace it with another cold water towel when it becomes warm. Another good way of helping to keep your pet cool is to get him to lie in front of a fan in front of which you have placed a bowl of iced water. Be particularly careful with smaller animals such as birds, rabbits and guinea pigs. They have a higher metabolic rate than dogs and cats, and they succumb to heat stress much more [...]


"Hotspots" are a familiar summer-time problem for many owners of long-haired dogs. A hotspot is basically a focal area of bacterial dermatitis. It occurs because the bacteria which normally live on the skin- the "normal flora"- are given better than usual conditions in which to grow. Given ideal conditions- at least from the "bacterial point of view", the normal flora ceases to be controlled by the defence mechanisms of the body, and start to grow out of control. The result is an area of very inflamed, painful skin covered in pus and scabs. The two things that bacteria like best are warmth and moisture.Both these things are in good supply in an average Sydney summer, especially in the more humid months towards the end of summer or during periods of rain. The problem may occur in any dog, but it's [...]

5 Tips for Safe Pets In Summer

It's that time of the year did that happen so quickly? The sun is (mostly) out, and with it there are days at the beach, BBQ's, holidays and festivities. Our pets are likely to enjoy all the extra attention from friends and relatives or they may accompany us on our holidays.While we are caught up in all the summer fun though, it is important to keep in mind that summer is the busiest time for vet hospitals for some very good reasons. Here are some things to stay on top of when it comes to your pets this season, so that they can enjoy the holidays just as much as we do.1.  Watch what they gobble: Our pets love a Christmas feast as much as we do. In fact, we often see patients that have eaten something silly, causing [...]

Pet Cancers- Lymphosarcoma

Lymphosarcoma (lymphoma) is a malignant cancer originating in lymphocytes, which are found in lymph nodes and almost all the organs and tissues around the body. As with all cancers, lymphoma occurs when some of these cells mutate into malignant cells, then divide uncontrollably into abnormal, cancerous tissue.   Lymphoma is probably the most common type of cancer in cats and not uncommon in dogs. Like most cancers, middle-aged to older animals are most at risk. However lymphoma is unique in that it can be associated with feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) infection in cats. Cats that are infected with FeLV can develop lymphoma as young as three years of age.   As lymphocytes and lymphoid tissues are found all over the body, lymphoma can occur anywhere. In cats, the most common sites are the lymph nodes, gastrointestinal system, inside the chest [...]

Being Alex…

Our front of house kitty tells it like it is....... Well I've spent the past month dodging injections, spitting out tablets and generally giving all these daft people my sternest of looks. They think I have some silly disease....Lint-oma? Late-oma? Lymph-oma? Who knows..... I'm sure they just make these things up sometimes so that they have something to do with their silly needles and machines. And even if I did have it, is it any wonder? I mean, an old fellow like me under all this stress...keeping this place running, keeping all the staff in line, all these mouths to feed (or at least just my own). It's a miracle I haven't ended up completely batty already!   Anyway, they're filling me up full of medicines that are supposed to make me feel better. They assure me it's not a [...]