Lynwood Veterinary Clinic
568 Metcalfe Rd
Ferndale, WA, 6148
Phone: 08 9451 3575
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This month's newsletter is choc full of interesting articles just in time for Easter. Make sure you read the article on Easter hazards and keep those eggs and hot cross buns out of reach of your furry family members.

March is also known as Polite Pets month as a reminder that our pets' mental health is just as important as their physical health. Starting proper socialisation with your pets from early on and continuing training with positive reinforcement will set your pets up well to become happy sociable family members. If you have any concerns about your pets behaviour please talk to us - these issues don't go away by themselves and often get worse without professional help.

With the Easter break approaching its important to ensure your pets vaccinations are up to date before they need to enter boarding or go away with you on holidays. 

We will be closed on 25th March (Good Friday), 27th March (Easter Sunday) and 28th March (Easter Monday) - we are open on Saturday 26th March as usual from 8.30am to 3.30pm.



Happy Easter from Bunny the clinic cat and all her staff at Lynwood Vet!

Contents of this newsletter

01  What's off limits for your pet this Easter?

02  Why socialisation sets up your dog for life

03  What is positive reinforcement?

04  The cat who thinks he's a chimp

05  Help! My dog just ate my Lindt bunny!

06  An easy way to reduce your cat's stress

01 What's off limits for your pet this Easter?

Easter can be a dangerous time for our pets and there's a few things you need to keep off limits. Take note of the following!

1. Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine, a derivative of caffeine that cannot be metabolised by our pets (particularly dogs).

Ingestion can cause an increased heart rate, vomiting, diarrhoea, agitation, tremors, seizures and even death. Cooking and dark chocolate are the most toxic but ingestion of ANY chocolate can cause problems. Find out what amount of chocolate might be toxic to your dog here.

2. Hot Cross Buns

Many people are not aware that sultanas and raisins (and grapes!) can contain a toxin that causes kidney damage in dogs. Keep these off the menu at all times!

3. Easter lilies

These beautiful fragrant flowers if ingested can cause kidney failure in cats. The stems, leaves, flowers and stamen are all dangerous, as is the water the flowers are stored in.

If your pet ingests any of the above over the Easter period call us immediately for advice. Make sure you have emergency numbers on hand if it is out of our normal opening hours.

02 Why socialisation sets up your dog for life

Many people aren't always aware that the most critical time in your dog's life is during their first four months. Socialisation at this time with other dogs (both big and small) is one of the most important ingredients for a well behaved and sociable dog. Socialisation is not just about exposing your puppy to new experiences but providing him with positive associations with them by giving him things he loves such as food rewards or toys.

Here are some things to consider:

Puppies have brains like sponges
The more they are introduced to during this period, the better.  Making every experience a positive one while they are young will give them the confidence to deal with situations that aren't as pleasant when they are older. If they learn how to behave around other canines it will help make future outings and park visits much more pleasant!

Puppy school is the first event you should put on your dog's social calendar
Puppies will develop confidence and will learn how to interact with each other. This is a safe environment for socialisation as all puppies must be up to date with their vaccinations.

Puppyhood is also a good time to introduce your dog to different noises and experiences
Think about the vacuum, traffic, multiple car trips as well as longer stints at home alone. We can recommend some great boredom busters to keep your puppy stimulated while you head out. You want your dog to learn to be happy during 'alone time'.

Of course, good behaviour and training doesn't stop at the age of four months! It is crucial to continue with positive reinforcement and to reward your dog for good behaviour.

When it comes to pet behaviour, always ask us for the best advice.

03 What is positive reinforcement?
PPS news

Indi, a 10 week old Japanese Spitz, loves puppy preschool and is quickly learning that coming to the vet is great fun!

Positive reinforcement is when a reward is given following a desired behaviour. The reward is often a food treat, but can also be a quick play with a toy such as a tug toy, or even just a praise word and a pat. By rewarding the behaviours that we want, we encourage that behaviour and motivate the dog to repeat it.

It is essential that the reward is immediate - it has to be given within 3 seconds for the dog to associate it with the desired behaviour. The reward must be valuable to the individual dog and the situation. What may be rewarding when at home may not be as acceptable when out in public with other distractions.

Positive reinforcement training works humanely with ANY dog no matter the size or age. All dogs can learn and have fun. It can be used to develop self control and self confidence, and can be used to encourage dogs to think for themselves. It helps build a trusting happy relationship with your pet.

Our puppy preschool classes can teach you all about positive reinforcement training and get you started on the right path with your new puppy. Classes run for 5 weeks on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening and we accept puppies from 8 to 16 weeks of age.

04 The cat who thinks he's a chimp

We came across a great video this month and it's taking the internet by storm!

Here's a cat who thinks he's a chimp! How incredible is his determination?

Check out the video here.


05 Help! My dog just ate my Lindt bunny!

Like us, dogs love chocolate and they are very good at finding it! Not surprisingly, Easter is one of the busiest times of the year for vets when it comes to chocolate toxicities.

If your dog eats your favourite Lindt bunny (the one you were saving for last), here's what we will do:

We will ask you how much and what type of chocolate your dog ingested. This helps us work out just how dangerous the ingestion might be. Cooking and dark chocolate are the most toxic, followed by milk and then white chocolate.

The toxicity is also proportional to the size of your dog and the amount ingested. We use a calculator similar to this one. It is important to realise that any amount of chocolate can cause a problem so veterinary guidance is always recommended. 

Next we will probably induce emesis (which simply means we make your dog vomit). This is usually done using injection under the skin or application of a medication into the eye. Vomiting tends to occur relatively quickly.

If we don't feel enough chocolate has been vomited or if the symptoms are serious, a charcoal meal or enema may be given to help reduce the toxicity. Some dogs will also need further supportive care including fluid therapy.

Please phone us immediately, even if you only think your dog has ingested chocolate. We will be able to give you the best advice.

06 An easy way to reduce your cat's stress

Many people put off taking their cat to the vet as they feel it is just too stressful. As a result we don't get to see your feline friend as often as we should and inevitably health problems go unseen. Dental disease, heart disease, kidney disease can sneak up on your cat slowly, often without you noticing.

Thankfully there is a way you can help reduce the stress associated with vet visits. By using a pheromone spray in the cat carrier, your cat will feel more safe and secure. The pheromone spray is the same pheromone cats release when they feel chilled out and happy. We also recommend spraying it on a towel and covering the cat carrier to help your cat feel safe and avoid them making eye contact with patients of the canine variety!

The pheromone is also available as a diffuser and this is useful for cats that are having anxiety issues at home, such as during rehoming or when your are introducing a new pet or even a new baby. The diffuser can also help with toileting problems associated with stress. 

Ask us for more information about this product or about the pheromone options available for dogs.