Lynwood Veterinary Clinic
568 Metcalfe Rd
Ferndale, WA, 6148

reception@lynwoodvet.com.au
www.lynwoodvet.com.au
Phone: 08 9451 3575

Hi everyone! This month's newsletter is all about food and diet. With all of the different options available and the conflicting information about what is the best diet to feed your pet, choosing a diet can be a complicated and confusing decision. Then there's the growing dilemma of pet obesity.

We hope you find this month's newsletter interesting and helpful. We'd also like to introduce you to one of our special patients who has been struggling with his weight, Digby the Border Collie. Remember you can bring your pet into the clinic anytime for a free weigh in and advice on diet and weight loss.

Bunny scales
Contents of this newsletter

01  Feeding tips for top health

02  Meet Digby!

03  What's a therapeutic diet?

04  Keep your pets' paws away from these foods

05  Mittens for sore paws

06  Why microchipping works

01 Feeding tips for top health
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Many people struggle when it comes to feeding their pet and one of the most common questions we get is  "How much should I feed my dog or cat?”

The good news is that the right answer for how much to feed most pets can summarised with some simple rules: 

Invest in a nutritionally balanced diet
Stick to something that’s nutritionally balanced - ask us for a recommendation. 

Measure, Measure, Measure and be consistent
This is essential if you want to get your pet's portion just right. Stick to the same brand and formula.

Assess if you're feeding too much or too little
We'll be able to help you decide if your pet has a healthy body condition score and you will need to adjust as necessary. 

Don't Forget That Treats Count
Treats are food too, and they’re usually more dense in calories.

Take in to account exercise levels and age of your pet
Younger and more active pets may have a higher calorie requirement than the quieter and older pet. 

Remember that we are the best place to seek advice when it comes to feeding your pet and always keep in mind that every animal is different...take these two dogs on YouTube for example!


02 Meet Digby!
Digby Dec 2012

Before: Digby is keen to leave the clinic after being told he has to start dieting!

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After: A much slimmer and happier Digby

Digby is a 7 year old male castrated Border Collie who was first seen at Lynwood Vet as a puppy. We didn’t see Digby for a few years and when Digby returned for a check up and vaccination in December 2012 we were shocked to see just how big he had become. Digby weighed in at 53kg! We explained all the risks of him being so obese and he was started on a weight loss plan.

While the weight loss has been gradual and at times challenging Digby is now a much healthier 33kg! He has lost a massive 37% of his body weight and though he still needs to lose more to get to his ideal body condition, he is much more active and happy. Digby’s owners have done a wonderful job of persisting with his diet. Regular weight checks have kept them on track. We look forward to seeing an even slimmer and healthier Digby for many years to come.

We stock a full range of Royal Canin diets for dogs and cats including the obesity range. Stop in at the clinic with your dog or cat for a free weight check and a chat about the best diet for your individual pet. Our experienced staff can advise you on body condition, amounts to feed and handy weight loss tips.

03 What's a therapeutic diet?
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At some point in your pet's life, we may prescribe a therapeutic diet. 

These diets are created specifically to prevent or delay the onset of many medical conditions and may help control existing diseases.

A good example of this is a diet for chronic kidney disease. These diets are balanced with a carefully controlled protein content to help meet the body’s needs while not overburdening the kidneys. They are also low in phosphorous and sodium and this can improve kidney function, help pets feel better and even live longer lives.

Kidney disease isn’t the only health issue that may respond to dietary management. Therapeutic diets can also be helpful in the management of diabetes mellitus, heart disease, food allergy/intolerance, liver disease, skin problems, joint disease, cancer, obesity issues, dental disease, brain changes associated with ageing, lower urinary tract disease, gastrointestinal conditions, or when a pet is recovering from surgery.

We stock a large range of prescription diets from Royal Canin and can also order specific diets from Hills and Eukanuba on request. Ask us whether a therapeutic diet might be suitable for your pet.

04 Keep your pets' paws away from these foods
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When it comes to tucker time for your pet, here's a list of foods to keep off limits:

Chocolate, coffee and caffeine - these contain theobromine and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and even death in dogs

Grapes, sultanas and raisins - can cause sudden kidney failure in dogs

Avocados
- can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs

Garlic and onions
- damage red blood cells and cause life threatening anaemia

Macadamia nuts
- can cause weakness, vomiting and joint pain

Chewing gum
- contains xylitol, an artificial sweetener that leads to low levels of insulin and low blood sugar, vomiting and collapse

Please phone us for advice immediately if your pet eats any of the above foods - we can often induce vomiting and help reduce the toxicity. 

05 Mittens for sore paws
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After the devastating bush fires in South Australia and Victoria earlier this year, we have a feel good story to share with you.  

Following these fires, a call was put out to help sew cotton mittens for our furry koalas. The mittens help to protect the koalas'  burnt paws as they heal.

The message went viral and was sent around the world. Since then, thousands of mittens have been sent from as far as the United Kingdom, America, China and Russia. This phenomenal response just shows the power of the internet and how compassionate people are when it comes to helping our wildlife.

The group who called for the donations, The International Fund for Animal Welfare, has been unable to count all of the mittens, but said they had thousands and did not need any more at this time. They are now calling for people to sew pouches for other wildlife affected by the fires. You can find out more here

06 Why microchipping works
Zebaby

After a large spate of Summer storms and plenty of fireworks through the silly season, hundreds of terrified dogs have thankfully been reunited with their owners. 

The National Pet Register received a total of 663 calls from New Year's Eve through to January 2nd. They facilitated 262 reunions over the three day period - almost twice the usual three day average!

Most were brought back together with the help of a microchip AND up to date contact details. This is a great example of why microchipping your pet works. 

But it's also a timely reminder to check the contact details attached to your pet's microchip. Unfortunately, for many microchipped pets, the phone number contact assigned to the chip is either disconnected or doesn't exist - this makes the chip useless! 

Recently we were lucky enough to reunite a stray cat with his family after being missing for over 2 years! His owner had moved house since he went missing but luckily her phone number was still the same. Though Zebaby seems so happy to be back with his family that he'll never wander far again, his microchip details have been updated straight away. Check out Zebaby on our Facebook page.

If you don't know your pet's microchip number, we can scan it and point you in the right direction when it comes to checking your contact details.  We also recommend you have an ID tag attached to your pet's collar as this can speed up the lost and found process. 

Remember, your pet can't phone home but a microchip with up to date phone numbers will enable someone to phone home for them!