What if I have an after hours emergency with my pet?
Currently Dr.Beggs is our only veterinarian so while he tries to do most of the after hours cover himself,there are times when emergencies are referred to another veterinary clinic to allow Dr.Beggs time off with his family. The contact number of the emergency vet will be on our answering machine or on the cell phone message but we are fortunate that Windhoek Veterinary Clinic assists us in this regard. WVC's number is 228 405 or 081 124 1668 but is for emergencies only please.
Vaccination saves lives!
Despite much negative publicity regarding vaccines, there is no doubt that correctly administered vaccines save our pets from horrific,often fatal diseases such as Parvovirus(Catflu), Distemper in dogs and Panleucopenia and Feline Leukaemia in cats.We advise keeping your pets isolated on your property until 3 weeks after they have completed the full puppy or kitten course of vaccines to allow the immune system enough time to build up optimal defences.
The reasons to spay or castrate your pet.
Spaying pets before their first heat cycle reduces later risk of uterus infections, milk gland cancers as well as unwanted pregnancies and certain sexually transmitted diseases (brucellosis,TVT). Spaying also removes the hassle of cleaning up after your dogs' bloody discharge and keeping her physically separated from males for 3 weeks every 6 months.
The side effects of spaying such as weight gain and bladder incontinence can usually be easily managed. Castration prevents roaming,urine marking, reduces aggression and risk of many prostate diseases and cancer of the testis. Please ask our vet if you have any questions or need to discuss the matter in more detail.
Ticks and fleas- why bother?
Most of our pets will get exposed to ticks and fleas, some even on a daily basis. Ticks can transmit serious diseases such as Tick Bite Fever ( Ehrlichia and Babesia) or cause severe wounds from their mouth-parts (Hyalomma spp).Fleas can cause Flea Bite Allergy in 25% of adult dogs and 30% of adult cats , transmit tapeworms(Dipylidium spp) in dogs and cats ,and certain blood borne diseases(Hemobartonella/Mycoplasma) in cats.We advise monthly applications of Frontline Plus or Fibrotec as prevention of these problems.
How should I prepare my pet for a routine surgery such as spaying or castration?
We advise that pets do not have access to food from about 20h00 on the evening before their surgery and that you remove access to water first thing the next morning. We do this to reduce the risk of regurgitation of stomach fluid while under anaesthesia which can have serious side effects for your pet. Unless alternative arrangements have been made, we ask that all surgical patients arrive between 07h30 and 8h00 to be admitted to hospital .If there is anything else you want us to check or do ( such as check ears,anal glands,pedicure or install a microchip) please mention this at admission. Once your pet is in recovery, we will contact you to let you know and arrange a pickup time in the afternoon. All patients receive pain medication and a wound care pack to go home with.
How often should I treat my pet against parasites?
We advise that all pets be dewormed with a safe, effective product every 3-6 months. Young puppies and kittens,dogs which scavenge and cats which hunt, and any pets with contact with small children ( <7 years) should be done every 3 months routinely.Safe, effective tick and flea prevention should be applied every 4-5 weeks : we reccommend Frontline Plus or Fibrotec spot-ons because of their extreme safety profiles
What it is, the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatments, and if it is preventable.
What is separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a state of distress experienced by a dog or a cat (for our purposes) upon anticipation and/or the realisation of having been left behind by (separated from) the owner and/or other household members (including other pets). It is a behavioural or physical response exhibited by the affected animal and also has a biochemical component at play. It is not uncommon to find pets suffering from separation anxiety who also experience other anxiety-related conditions such as phobias of thunderstorms, loud noises and fireworks.
Making 2020 the best year ever for your pet
10 New Year's Resolutions for your Pet
As we enter a new year and a new decade, many of us make New Year’s resolutions for ourselves. This a great time to reconsider one’s priorities and establish the foundation for better living habits. Why not do the same for our pets?
1. Make sure they are safe
Depending on which part of the country you live, your surroundings may differ. These days in the big cities, most of us have high walls or fences around our properties. This is usually a great way of keeping unwanted intruders from coming into our personal spaces, but how does it affect our pets? Growing up behind large walls and being confined for most of their lives means that our pets are probably not street smart, at least not to the level of a few decades ago where most properties had no walls or fences around them. Many people these days have electronic gates controlled with remotes which allows one not to have to get out your car to physically open the gate when arriving home. Dogs are social creatures by nature and are also curious, which mean every time the gate opens, they are likely to be tempted to explore the outside and go and “take a sniff” on the pavement. If your dogs have been properly trained, they will likely respond to your calling them back into the property if they do run out. However, if they have not been properly trained, the likelihood of them running into the street and being hit by a car becomes a much bigger risk. Training can be high on your list of New Year’s resolutions for your dog, if you have not done so yet. If your dog is not properly trained yet, you will have to ensure there are means inside the property to prevent him or her from getting out the gate. This may take the form of physical barriers like a fence or alternatively may take the form of a correctional collar which the dog wears which emits a tiny electrical current any time the dog comes close to the motor gate, making them associate the vicinity of a motor gate with an unpleasant experience. This will prevent them from running out the gate.
My little dog is coughing often and sometimes seems to struggle to breathe.
What is tracheal collapse?
Tracheal collapse is a common cause of coughing and airway obstruction in dogs. The trachea, which is also known as the “windpipe”, provides the air supply from the outside to the lungs. The trachea can be thought of as resembling a vacuum cleaner pipe. It is a flexible but firm tube that is reinforced by strong cartilage rings. These rings are not complete but rather “c-shaped”, with the open end of the “c” facing to the inside of the neck with a ligament attaching from the one end of the C to the other. Sometimes these cartilage rings weaken and cannot hold their shape causing the trachea to narrow or even close, making it more difficult for air to pass through.
How that cute puppy came to cost you R 150 000
The true cost of owning a pet
We are approaching that time of year when people are considering what to gift people for Christmas and as is often the case, a cute puppy or kitten comes to mind. Many people do the noble thing of going to a shelter or a welfare organisation to adopt a puppy or kitten for a mere R 650. What they fail to realise is that that cute puppy or kitten is not just a R 650 worth purchase but more likely a R 65 000.00 one, or in some cases up to a R 150 000. How is that possible or what do you mean, you might ask?
My cat is eating like crazy and not picking up weight
Hyperthyroidism in cats
What is hyperthyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism is a condition that arises from an excessive production and secretion of active thyroid hormones by an abnormally functioning thyroid gland. First recognised in the late 1970’s, the frequency of diagnosis has escalated dramatically - currently it is the most common endocrine (hormone system) disease in cats and also one of the more frequently diagnosed disorders in the veterinary field. The condition is estimated to affect 1 in 300 cats.
My Dog is Pregnant
Midwifery 101 - What to expect when your dog is expecting
Is my dog pregnant?
In the days before high walls and fences in South Africa, it was quite common for dogs to roam around freely in cities and towns; and it was not uncommon to discover out of the blue, that your female dog at home may be pregnant without you knowing how she fell pregnant.
Having said that, in those days most people who had an un-spayed (unsterilized) bitch at home, would have known very well that she was “in season” or “on heat”, which is the time the female dog is ready to ovulate and mate, because the whole neighbourhoods’ male dogs would have been howling at the door for “a piece of the action”.
My Collie is bumping into things and seems to have difficulty with its eye sight
Collie Eye Anomaly
What is Collie eye anomaly?
Collie Eye Anomaly is an inherited condition affecting both eyes of many different Collie type breeds of dogs. Interesting to note, that not only Collie breeds are affected but also some other breeds. Affected breeds include Rough and Smooth Collies, the Shetland Sheepdog, the Australian Shepherd, the Border Collie, the Lancashire Heeler, and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.
From Kitten to Cat
Tiny fuzz-balls of cuteness - the perfect description for every kitten. We cannot resist them creeping into our hearts.
You have brought your new kitten home and realise it is dependent on you for its every need. For the kitten, the world is huge, brand new and can be a bit scary. Every sight, sound, smell, person and animal are a new experience. These first experiences are likely to influence their future behaviour.
My cat has suddenly gone lame in her hindquarters and seems to be in a lot of pain
Feline Aortic Thromboembolism
What is Feline Aortic Thromboembolism?
Feline Aortic Thromboembolism (ATE) is a condition in cats where a big blood clot settles and blocks the main artery (the aorta) running from the heart to the cat’s hind legs. The clot typically settles near the pelvis, where the aorta divides into the two main arteries that extend into the legs.
My cat's eyes are swollen and teary
Conjunctivitis in Cats
What is conjunctivitis?
Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is the thin semi-transparent mucous membrane lining the inside of the eyelids, covering the third eyelid. This membrane attaches to the globe of the eye at the level of the sclera (the white part of the eye). The back end of the word conjunctivitis (– itis) refers to inflammation which is a defense mechanism of the body and means swelling, redness, increased heat to the local area because of an increase in blood flow to the affected area, and pain or discomfort. Conjunctivitis is a very common condition affecting our household cats.