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Huon Valley Veterinary Hospital

Dental

Does your pet have bad breath? While you shouldn’t expect your furry friend to have minty fresh breath 24/7, you probably don’t want to be on the verge of tears whenever he/she comes up to say hello!

Dental health is an important factor in maintaining your pet’s overall health.

Dental health issues can cause pain and additional health problems.

Dental care goes right along with routine checkups, healthy eating, and exercise.

Free Dental Check

If you are unsure if your pet needs a teeth cleaning or is suffering from a dental issue, make an appointment for a FREE DENTAL CHECK One of our nurses will check your pets teeth and will inform you if there is a problem or if anything needs following up.

They can also teach you how to brush your pet’s teeth.

Dental Appointment

Cleaning, polishing and extracting. These are all the basic components of veterinary dentistry. These dental procedures are performed by our Veterinarian.

First up is an oral exam of your pet’s mouth. Initial exams are important so that your veterinarian can get a better picture of the health of your pet’s teeth and gums.

X-rays may also be used to properly assess jaw health and tooth roots below the gum line.

Dental diseases typically manifest below the gum line, where it cannot be so easily seen.

This is one of the reasons why your pets thorough dental cleaning will be done under anesthesia.

Oral Health for Your Cats and Dogs

Yearly dental exams and cleanings are recommended for your pet, but you may get your pet’s teeth checked out sooner if you notice:

  • Bad breath
  • Refusal to eat
  • Excessive salivation
  • Missing or broken teeth
  • Extra teeth or baby teeth in adult pets
  • Abnormal chewing or constantly dropping food from the mouth
  • Pain, bleeding, or swelling in or around the mouth

Note: Take care when examining your pet’s mouth, it may be very painful for them and they may bite.

The most common dental health issue that can develop in both cats and dogs is periodontal disease. Your pet will likely show early evidence of this by age 3. It’s crucial that you be proactive in preventative measures so that conditions do not worsen for your pet as he ages. Periodontal disease can spread to affect the kidneys, liver, and heart.

What You Can Do at Home

Since frequently removing dental plaque and tartar is essential in preventing most common oral diseases, we recommend that you regularly brush your pet’s teeth in between their scheduled cleanings with us. Daily brushing is preferred but we understand that everyone has busy schedules, so brushing several times a week is also acceptable.

Generally, dogs are more agreeable than cats to having their teeth brushed, so exercise caution and patience with your kitty. Train your pets to tolerate brushing while they are young so that it doesn’t have to be a fight every time it’s time for dental care. Our experienced nurses can show you how to brush your pet’s teeth. If your pet won’t allow you to brush their teeth, you can try alternatives to brushing, such as water additives and dental treats.

We can also recommend the most effective dental products, diets, and treats appropriate for your pet to ensure optimal dental health.

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Desexing

Our team performs thousands of desexing surgeries every year.

All surgeries are performed in our purpose-built theatre where patients receive technological and nurse monitoring as well as pain relief during surgery and post-operative. Your pet will receive the highest standard of care at the Huon Valley Veterinary Hospital.

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Check ups and Consultations

The most important component of your pet’s healthcare is a regular check up.

All pet parents should bring their animals in for an annual wellness exam. This is important, not only because it ensures a more proactive form of care so that possible illnesses can be dealt with before they become critical and also because routine exams are essential for a happier and healthier pet overall.

Remember, senior pets (dogs and cats over 8 years of age) should receive more regular check ups. Six months for a pet is equivalent to 3 years between visits to the GP for humans!

What to Expect

When you bring your furry mate for a routine check up, our veterinary nurse or Doctor will first take a record of the weight, respiration, heart rate, and temperature of the patient. Afterward your veterinarian will examine the ears, nose, eyes, and mouth of your pet, as well as legs, joints and skin.

The vet will look for any abnormalities, such as lumps or masses, and then a plan will be made for diagnostics and treatment if required.

Perhaps it is discovered that your fur baby is overweight. You will be provided with tips from the veterinarian on healthy weight loss and diet plans and ways in which we can implement that treatment for your pet.

Why Check Ups and Consultations are Important

Catching any concerning health conditions early is the best way of increasing the chances of successful treatment as well as lowering the cost of overall care before any health issues can worsen.

Examinations give us a chance to evaluate the overall health of your pet, at the same time establishing a baseline for their unique body and tendencies. That way, any abnormalities can be caught much more quickly.

Detecting health problems early before they become more aggressive and life-threatening is the number one way we can ensure a longer and happier life for your pet. Pets already age much faster than humans, an annual vet exam is akin to you seeing your own doctor every 5 – 7 years!

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Admission and Discharge of Your Pet

Admission

If your pet is booked in for surgery please follows these guidelines:

  • Dogs and Cats cannot have food after 6 pm the night before, water is ok. Young puppies and kittens can be fed a small meal at 10 pm.
  • Rabbits and Guinea Pigs are to be feed as normal.

Please time your pet’s arrival between 8:30am and 8.45am to avoid being delayed.

  • Cats should be carried in a cat box for safety;
  • Dogs should be on a lead and under control.

Discharge

We will ring you after your pet has woken up from surgery and arrange a discharge time at your convenience. Most days surgeries will be ready for discharge and to go home after 3.00pm.

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Laboratory testing

Laboratory testing is an essential tool for helping to catch various conditions in your pet before they become serious illnesses. We rely on lab testing to tell us what our pets cannot and find out what is wrong.

Laboratory diagnostics help us evaluate their condition and determine any problems. Our laboratory diagnostics help us to get your pet on the correct treatment as soon as possible.

Laboratory Diagnostics

Laboratory diagnostic testing is usually performed when your pet is:

  • Examined after a trauma (such as a car accident)
  • Showing symptoms of illness
  • Preparing for surgery or dental procedure with anesthesia
  • Dramatic changes in weight loss, condition, or behavior
  • In the senior stage of life

Puppies, kittens, or any first-time patients may have diagnostic lab work done if we notice any symptoms of illness. We will thoroughly outline the need for such tests and explain the results to you.

Pre-surgical screening tests are recommended to determine if they are at risk of any complications under anesthesia. We consider your pet’s breed, age, sex, and symptoms when recommending laboratory tests.

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Nutritional Information

Feeding an optimal diet will prevent many health problems in your companion and helps to ensure that they live a long and healthy life. Skin and ear disease as well as more serious conditions such as metabolic diseases, arthritis and obesity can be controlled through proper nutrition.

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Parasite treatment

The Huon Valley Veterinary Hospital offers total parasite treatments for all pets. Prevention is the best approach!

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Vaccinations

Why should you get your pet vaccinated?

For the cost of a yearly vaccination you are protecting your pet against potentially fatal diseases such as Canine Parvovirus and Feline Calicivirus. Vaccinations have been successfully protecting our pets in Australia since the 1960’s. Regular boosters are necessary to continue this protection for life. Without regular booster vaccinations of the majority of the pet population, outbreaks of deadly diseases such as Distemper and Parvovirus may occur.

During your pets vaccination appointment with one of our veterinarians, a full health check will be performed. This also allows you the opportunity to ask as many questions as you like regarding your pets health, nutritional requirements, behaviours, or flea and worming treatments for example.

Which diseases is my pet being vaccinated against?

DOGS

  • Parvovirus – Severe gastroenteritis causing vomiting and bleeding from intestines. This virus can survive for extended periods of time in the environment (in excess of 12 months). This highly contagious viral disease spreads easily between dogs. Early symptoms include a loss of appetite, watery, bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. If your puppy or dog is showing any of these symptoms, immediate veterinary attention is required.
  • Distemper – Virus leading to flu like symptoms and severe seizures and paralysis with a mortality rate of 50%.
  • Hepatitis – Virus leading to acute liver failure with complications including blindness.
  • Canine Cough – The most common disease seen in practice that we can vaccinate for. Dogs develop a highly contagious cough that may develop into pneumonia.

CATS

  • Flu – Caused by Herpesvirus and/or Calicivirus, symptoms include sneezing, nasal discharge, conjunctivitis and fever. Eye and mouth ulcers are seen in severe cases and the disease can be fatal in susceptible cats.
  • Enteritis – Severe virus causing vomiting and bloody diarrhoea and often fatal.

RABBITS

  • Calici Virus

FERRETS

  • Distemper vaccination
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Compassionate Euthanasia

Deciding when is the “right time” to let your pet go is always difficult.

A natural death may mean prolonged suffering that we don’t always see, because dogs and cats are far more stoic than humans when it comes to pain.

Our staff are advocates for animals and will help guide you in the decision. We can answer any questions you have about your pet’s quality of life.

There are some choices surrounding the euthanasia of your pet, so it is worth considering these things before the actual day when you may be too upset to decide:

  • The euthanasia of a pet can be done at the hospital or at your home.
  • You can be present with your pet or leave them with our caring staff if you would prefer.
  • You may like to bury them at home in the garden, at the family holiday home, or we can arrange burial or cremation through a pet burial company.

You are welcome to take their collar with you, wrap them in a special blanket, cut a piece of their coat to keep – we are familiar with all your emotions and will accommodate almost any wish.

Putting your pet to sleep is a peaceful event. Please feel free to talk through the procedure with our staff beforehand. We sedate all pets before euthanasia, and often place an intravenous catheter before giving the final intravenous dose of anaesthetic agent.

“It wasn’t an easy decision or a pleasant one. But it was the right decision. And in the end Roxy did drift away on her favorite soft pillow, just as I had hoped.”

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Microchipping

In Tasmania, compulsory microchipping of dogs took effect from 1 July, 2011. From this date all dogs over six months of age must be microchipped and registered with a council.

If your dog is not microchipped an infringement fine of up to $1,200 may be enforced. If your dog strays or is lost, the council may microchip your pet without your consent. This cost must be paid before your dog is returned to you.

Why should I have my pet microchipped?

  • Microchips provide a permanent form of identification that cannot be changed or removed and this identification lasts for the life of the pet
  • If you pet ever escapes your yard and is injured a vet can contact you quickly in order to obtain permission for possibly lifesaving treatment.
  • A microchip cannot be lost, unlike a collar or tag
  • Microchips identify a pet anywhere in Australia and on a 24 hour-per-day basis compared with some council registration systems that only operate during business hours.
  • Microchips are simple to implant, and implantation only needs to be done once in an animal’s life.
  • Microchipping is inexpensive – a once-off minimal cost will identify your pet for life.
  • Valuable animals such as purebred dogs can easily be identified.
  • Similar-looking animals can be uniquely identified by their microchip and this can help resolve ownership disputes.

Microchips don’t replace tags and collars but supplement them. Most microchip suppliers provide plastic identification tags along with the microchip so owners get the best of both worlds.

How is the microchip inserted?

At Huon Valley Veterinary Hospital we may clip a small patch of fur, before cleaning the skin over the area. If your pet is awake a small injection of local anesthetic will be given before the microchip is inserted painlessly into the loose skin between the shoulder blades.

A microchip can also be implanted when your pet is being desexed.

Registering the microchip

After the microchip is placed on your pet, the chip’s number is recorded on the database for your pet’s entire life. You must contact the database whenever your details change.

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SPECIALISTS

Because Huon Valley Veterinary Hospital is aligned with other established and practices in Southern Tasmania, we have resources to provide referral to veterinary specialists for complex medical and surgical conditions.

Ultimately, it is always up to you to decide if you wish to proceed with a specialist consultation or advanced diagnostics for your pet. 

We work closely with you and the specialists in the follow up care and management of your pet’s health and well-being.

We can provide referral to specialists in the areas of: ophthalmology (eyes), oncology (cancer), dentistry (teeth), neurology (brain and nervous system), dermatology (skin), orthopaedics (bones), behaviour, soft tissue surgery, cardiology (heart), radiology (CT, MRI and other scans) acupuncture and recovery.

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