Lynwood Veterinary Clinic
568 Metcalfe Rd
Ferndale, WA, 6148
Phone: 08 9451 3575
Banner image

Easter is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, possibly get away for a short holiday or camping trip with the family, and eat as much chocolate and hot cross buns as you dare! However there are some Easter hazards for your pets that you need to be aware of. This month's newsletter highlights the risk of chocolate toxicity, and what to do if your pet is vomiting. We are also doing a special promotion in April for "Lumps & Bumps" so read below for more details.

Contents of this newsletter

01  April is Lumps and Bumps Month

02  Chocolate - it's no good for dogs

03  Vomiting and when to worry

04  Client Survey

05  Anzac animals

06  Buzzing about

07  Keeping a rabbit as a pet

01 April is Lumps and Bumps Month
lump month

By simply looking at this lump we cannot tell if it is a inflammatory lesion, a benign mass or a malignant cancer.

Lumps and bumps are a common finding on the skin of dogs and cats, often becoming more frequent as they get older.  They can be caused by fluid, inflammation or infection, or the growth of abnormal cells (tumour). Tumours can range from quite benign or harmless growths to very aggressive cancers.

It is important to get any new lumps checked by your vet as soon as possible. This will allow early diagnosis and treatment. In the case of aggressive cancers early treatment will have a better chance of success and will often be less expensive than if the growth is larger and more advanced or has spread elsewhere in the body.

From looking at a skin lump we cannot often tell what type of lump it is. We will need to take a fine needle aspirate to help us determine if it is an inflammatory lesion, a benign lipoma, or a more serious lump (e.g. a mast cell tumour). This is especially important if the lump is in a place where removal may be difficult such as on a leg.  If the needle sample is not diagnostic, a surgical biopsy may be required. Sometimes the entire lump will be removed at this time and sent for histopathology to determine what type of mass it is, whether it is likely to have spread elsewhere in the body and whether it has been completely removed. This will let us know if further treatment such as chemotherapy is required.

During April, we are offering a free consultation to check any lumps on your pet. If surgery for a lump removal is recommended, we will give your pet a free dental scale and polish whilst under anaesthetic (conditions apply). Please call the clinic on 9451 3575 to make an appointment.

02 Chocolate - it's no good for dogs

Keep ALL chocolate out of paw's reach


Sultanas and raisins are also off limits for dogs so keep hot cross buns out of reach

The Easter Bunny is on his way and about to make his deliveries. This is a great time to remind you to keep ALL chocolate out of paw's reach.

Our clever canines are designed to seek out any morsel of chocolate - big or small, wrapped or unwrapped!

The problem ingredient for our pooches is the derivative of caffeine in chocolate (called theobromine). Unfortunately dogs have trouble digesting theobromine and ingestion lead to: 

  • Hyperactivity
  • Tremors, panting and a racing heart
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Seizures

Theobromine ingestion can be fatal in some dogs. 

As a general rule, the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is - so keep that cooking chocolate safely hidden away.

It's best to call us immediately if your dog has ingested ANY amount of  chocolate. In most cases, if we are able to make your dog vomit we can prevent any nasty side effects. 

Don't forget - sultanas and raisins can cause acute kidney problems in dogs so you'll also need to keep hot cross buns off the menu this Easter.

03 Vomiting and when to worry

If you are worried about your pet, phone us for advice

There are many causes of vomiting - and overindulging on chocolate is just one of them.

Other causes include pancreatitis, an intestinal obstruction from a bone or a piece of string (especially in cats), liver or kidney disease, or endocrine diseases such as diabetes.

If your pet has had a good old technicolor yawn, what should you do?

Assuming your pet is bright and otherwise well after a one-off vomit, keep a close eye on her over the next 24 hours. It's best to withhold food for a few hours (gastric rest) and offer fluids for re-hydration. Providing a bland diet (steamed chicken and rice) for a few days may be all she needs.

More worrying is a pet that has had more than one vomit in a short period of time and seems quiet and lethargic. 

As a guide, you should call us for advice if your pet:

  • Vomits more than once
  • Seems lethargic or quieter than usual
  • Has diarrhoea or isn't producing faeces
  • Has been losing weight recently
  • Has lost her appetite
  • Ingested something she shouldn't - toxins, rubbish or human food scraps

So if your pet has the tummy wobbles, or you have a hunch that something's not quite right, you should phone us. We are always happy to help and examine your pet for piece of mind. 

04 Client Survey
Bunny reception2

We are still hoping for more clients to complete our client satisfaction survey. Please follow the link below or pick up a survey form from the clinic. The information will help us improve our service to you and your pets by letting us know what you love or don't love about our facilities, staff and services. Any suggestions to improve our service will be greatly appreciated.

05 Anzac animals

WWI German camera pigeon

Later this month we will remember the incredible sacrifices made by our troops. Anzac Day also an opportunity to remember the remarkable acts of bravery performed by animals in war. The Dickin Medal is awarded for these exceptional acts. Dogs, horses, birds and one cat have all received this medal. 

Of Australian significance is Pigeon 139 who was on board a ship near New Guinea in 1945 when a severe tropical storm hit. As a last resort, an SOS message was attached to the little guy and he returned the message to home base 40 miles away. Help arrived and the army boat, vital cargo and crew were rescued. 

Simon the cat received the award posthumously in 1949. Simon served on HMS Amethyst and disposed of many rats even though he had been wounded by shell blast. His behaviour was deemed 'of the highest order' - something we'd expect from a cat!

The Dickin Medal has been awarded 65 times since 1943. The recipients comprised 32 pigeons, 29 dogs, three horses and the one cat. In 2014 the first and only Honorary Dickin Medal was awarded to war horse Warrior on behalf of all animals that served in World War I.

Read more amazing animal stories here.

06 Buzzing about

Magnified image of the stinger of a bee


Dogs and cats love to investigate everything with their noses, mouths and paws including buzzing insects! This makes the nose, mouth and paws prime spots for bee and wasp stings.

In most cases, there will be mild swelling and tenderness at the sting site. You should try remove the tiny stinger as quickly as possible to stop the venom spreading (although this can be hard in the fur!).

You can scrape the stinger out with a credit card. This is better than using your fingers or tweezers as the venom sac may rupture and release more irritating venom.

Apply a cold compress (damp washcloth) to reduce swelling. If your pet is licking the area constantly or is in pain, phone us for an appointment and we will give your pet an antihistamine injection.

When does your pet need emergency care?

Seek veterinary advice immediately if your dog is having trouble breathing (this sometimes occurs if the swelling is inside the mouth or near the trachea) or seems to be in pain. 

Some dogs and cats may be severely allergic to bee stings. These pets may go into anaphylactic shock (and even die) if they don’t receive immediate veterinary attention.

Look out for:

  • vomiting within 5-10 minutes post sting
  • pale coloured gums
  • collapse

These pets need urgent care with intravenous fluids and steroid injections. They will be even more sensitive to stings in the future and need careful veterinary management.

To help prevent bee stings, keep your pet away from flowering trees and plants (especially ground cover). Don't leave fallen fruit, meat and uneaten pet food around and cover rubbish and compost bins - all of these are attractive to European wasps.

07 Keeping a rabbit as a pet

An Angora rabbit needs regular grooming


Fresh hay is essential for rabbit health

Rabbits are not only good at delivering Easter eggs, they also make fantastic pets! They are great company and can be very cuddly. Rabbits are very clever and can be toilet trained, walk on a lead and play games. Their cheeky antics are amusing and enjoyable to watch.

There are many different breeds of rabbits and each has their own unique personality and behaviour traits. Before choosing a rabbit it's best to do some research into what would suit your lifestyle. For example larger breeds need more space and long haired breeds require a lot of grooming. Talk to us for more information. 

It's a common misconception that rabbits are a low maintenance pet. They require a high level of care, proper housing and good environmental enrichment to live a happy life. Rabbits are highly social animals and should be kept with other rabbits as companions. Depending on their breed, rabbits can live for approximately 6-12 years.

Of utmost importance is diet and dental care. It is absolutely essential to pet rabbits a diet high in fibre (lots of fresh, good quality oaten hay is best). This helps keep their teeth healthy and maintain good gut function. A veterinary check up (at least yearly) is very important to assess dental health and vaccinate against the potentially fatal Calicivirus.  

You can find out more about rabbit care by visiting this website

Did you know that it is illegal to keep rabbits as pets in Queensland? It is thought the rabbits that escape or those that are released by their owners into the wild pose a threat to the environment and agricultural industries. However there is a campaign to allow domestic rabbits as long as they are microchipped and desexed.