R AT & M OUSE B AIT P OISONING Every year we see many cases of cats and dogs poisoned with rat/mouse baits. Dogs will readily eat the baits, as well as some cats, but dogs and cats can also become poisoned by eating poisoned mice or rats. The active ingredients in these poisons (usually warfarin, brodifacoum and bromadiolone) cause a deficiency of vitamin K in the body and interfere with the blood’s ability to form clots. This can result in a bleeding disorder leading to internal bleeding and anaemia. It can easily cause death. The effects of rat or mouse baits are not immediate – often the symptoms of poisoning are noticed days after eating the bait. The symptoms can include lethargy or lack of energy, pale gums, painful or swollen joints, panting, coughing, swelling under the jaw, cold extremities, blood in the urine and bleeding from the nose or other orifices. Treatment of poisoning with rat baits may be as simple as supplementing the dog’s diet with vitamin K, but many cases require more intensive treatment and a blood transfusion. If you see your pet consume any rat or mouse bait it is advised to visit a veterinarian immediately so that vomiting can be induced so the animal does not absorb any of the toxin. Remember, you won’t see any immediate effects of the poison, but don’t let this fool you in to thinking that your pet may not be affected. If your pet displays any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, contact your veterinarian. Please also be vigilant if you are using rat or mouse baits and place them in bait stations or secure locations where dogs and cats will not have access to them, and remember to check them regularly. Also be very wary of any baits that may claim to be “pet friendly” – most of these are still very toxic to domestic pets, but are formulated to be less palatable. If you are concerned at all about your pet and think they may have had access to rat or mouse bait please do not hesitate to contact the clinic. NEWS Puppy Preschool commences on Wednesday April 10th from 7-8pm over 4 weeks. The classes are suitable for puppies from 8 to 16 weeks of age. Cost is $85 and includes a free bag of Eukanuba food and all puppies will be presented with a certificate and gift upon graduation. Contact the clinic for more details. New faces at the clinic Over the coming months you may notice some different faces at the clinic. In April, Annabel Cadzow will have a placement for 2 weeks and Kyra Wilhelm will have a 2 week placement with us in June. Both students are in their final year of Veterinary Science at the University of Adelaide. We hope that the students will enjoy their time at the clinic and gain lots of valuable experience. In April we welcome veterinary nurse Ashleigh Smart to the clinic, while Brenda Poland is on maternity leave. A UTUMN N EWSLETTER 2013 B USHFIRE A CTION It is crucial when planning your Bushfire Action Plan to think about your animals. If your decision is to ‘Stay’ or ‘Go’, you will need to PLAN if animals are to be relocated and to where. Provide shelter, water and the ability to safely move about as hazards approach. Do your best to ensure animals cannot wander at large, being both at risk and causing a hazard. Allow plenty of time to move animals if your decision is to ‘leave early’. Provide for animals in a wildfire shelter if they are to accompany you. Remember animals may be fearful and their behaviour may be abnormal. For more emergency information visit: www.cfs.sa.gov.au Reference: SA Veterinary Emergency Management Brochure. CLINIC OPENING HOURS OVER MARCH & APRIL The clinic will be closed over the Easter break from 29th March to 1st April, re-opening on the of 2nd April. We will also be closed on the 25th of April for the Anzac Day holiday. For emergency veterinary service please call (08)87521478. P REGNANCY T OXAEMIA Pregnancy toxaemia in cattle and sheep is a syndrome where the late pregnant ewe or cow has inadequate energy (glucose) to be able to supply both the needs of the foetus and herself. In the last quarter of the gestation period there is an exponential increase in energy requirements due to rapid foetal growth, mammary development and colostrum production. If these energy requirements are not met by the ewe or cow’s diet and body reserves hypoglycaemia, or low blood glucose, occurs. Hypoglycaemia is responsible for the early symptoms of pregnancy toxaemia, which include dullness, lethargy, loss of appetite and falling behind the mob or stumbling if driven. The body then attempts to break down fat reserves to provide energy, but with the lack in glucose the pathway to break down fats in the body cannot function properly leading to a build up in the production of ketone bodies resulting in excessive ketones in the blood (hyperketonaemia or acetonaemia). This leads to acidosis and further symptoms of increased depression, further decreased appetite, neurological signs (apparent blindness, staggering, stumbling), recumbency progressing to coma and death. Treatment of pregnancy toxaemia is often frustrating and disappointing. If the cow or ewe has progressed too far in the syndrome many of the symptoms can become irreversible. Treatment includes injection with 4-in-1 solution (contains calcium, glucose and magnesium), drenching with propylene glycol (“Ketol”) and/or electrolyte solutions containing glucose and sometimes inducing labour or aborting the pregnancy. Prevention is always better than having to treat these cases; if you are getting cases of pregnancy toxaemia it can be an indicator that the mob is sufficiently undernourished to cause bigger production losses due to poor lamb or calf survival and growth, break in wool growth, reduction in milk production and exposure losses. Risk factors for pregnancy toxaemia include anything that decreases feed intake (dental problems, lameness or other illness, low feed availability or lack of feed, yarding overnight, very cold weather), anything that increases energy requirements (twins, cold weather, shearing, stressful handling, disease), obese animals and mature age (older animals are more prone to pregnancy toxaemia). Ensure to match energy requirements with feed availability – you may need to supplementary feed and ensure it is adequate, also consider pregnancy scanning for twins and preferential feeding, keep handling of stock during late pregnancy to a minimum and avoid allowing pregnant cows and ewes to get too fat. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the clinic.
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