Mira Mar Veterinary Hospital  
58 Cockburn Rd
Albany, WA, 6330
  November 2020  


Welcome to our November newsletter!  We hope you are enjoying the lovely weather that Spring is bringing, and keeping an eye out for the slithery creatures that are known to bite our pets when the weather is warm!  Be aware that we have already treated a number of dogs who have disturbed snakes in their yards or while out walking.  Please be diligent!

This month's 'cute and cuddly' photo comes from Nurse Andrea's two adorable kangaroo joeys (Storm and Pippa) holding hands in celebration of National Kangaroo Awareness Day which is held each year on October 24th.  So cute!

Our November edition of the newsletter is all about keeping your pet up to date with vaccinations and parasite prevention, as well as avoiding heat stress and checking their microchip registration details are current.  We hope you enjoy it!

  Puppy Preschool Graduates October 2020  

Congratulations to the latest clever batch of Puppy Preschool graduates from Mira Mar Vets!  

It was puppies of all shapes and sizes this month, ranging from the giant to the tiny! 

Well done to Gus, Lucy, Kupo, Bailey and Ayra.

Please call 98415422 if you'd like to book your puppy into our next class!


Please be advised that Mira Mar Vets will be switching to a new computer system in mid-November!  It is a dramatic upgrade from our old system, and will take a lot of getting used to...

We are deliberately making our bookings light for the week that we change over to try and avoid lengthy delays for all involved.  

We appreciate your patience as we learn our new program, and hope there isn't too much waiting time or confusion.  Wish us luck!

  Why vaccinations are vital  

Before you take your four-legged family member out and about for summer adventures, it’s important to keep them protected from common diseases by ensuring their vaccinations are up-to-date!

In Australia, dogs should be vaccinated as a minimum with the C3 vaccination – this protects against parvovirus, distemper and hepatitis. Most dogs also require protection against kennel cough. Depending on your dog’s particular lifestyle and the area you live in, we may additionally recommend that they are vaccinated against leptospirosis.

Cats are recommended to receive at least the F3 vaccination – this helps protect them against cat flu and feline panleukopaenia. Depending on your kitty’s lifestyle, they may also need to be vaccinated against FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeLV (feline leukaemia virus).

Sadly, we occasionally see cases of these particular diseases, with the vast majority occurring in unvaccinated pets. Episodes of these illnesses generally require at least a veterinary consultation and treatment to get your pet feeling well again, so to avoid this, just ensure that your pet is always up to date with their vaccinations.

Unfortunately, some of these diseases (such as parvovirus) can require your pet to have intensive care treatment in the vet hospital, and sometimes these diseases can even be fatal, especially in puppies, kittens or older animals.

Every puppy and kitten should receive a primary course of vaccinations (usually three separate vaccines between about four weeks apart), followed by their first adult vaccination one year later.

Thereafter, it’s best for your pet to have a health check annually, where our vets can assess your pet’s general health and discuss which vaccines are required each year to maintain their protection. Dogs or cats that go into daycare or boarding are generally always required to be up-to-date with annual vaccines.

If you are unsure whether your pet is up-to-date with their vaccines, ask our friendly team for advice!

  Are your pet's microchip details up-to-date?  

As we all start to spend more time outdoors, it’s especially important to make sure your pet is properly identified with an up-to-date microchip. Sadly, many stray pets with microchips are unable to be safely reunited with their owners due to incorrect or incomplete microchip registration details.

How should I register my new pet?

If you are adopting a cat or dog that has already been microchipped, you should receive a signed ‘Change of Owner/Details’ microchip form (with your new pet’s microchip number on it) from the breeder or previous owner.

You must then use this paperwork to register your pet as soon as possible with a national pet registry – this can be done at most vet clinics, and also online via the national pet registry websites.

This will link your contact details with your pet’s microchip number. This way, if your pet is ever picked up as a stray, authorised individuals or organisations can scan your pet to get their microchip number and search it on the national pet database to obtain your contact details.

What if my contact details change?

If you move house or change phone numbers, ensure you update your pet’s microchip contact details on your national pet registry as soon as possible. Animals in new homes can feel disoriented for a while and may be more likely to stray.

For previously registered pets, you can often change registration details online yourself, using your previously created registry profile. Otherwise, contact your local vet clinic for assistance in updating your pet’s record.

If you are not sure if your pet is microchipped or whether your details are currently up-to-date, just ask one of our friendly team for assistance.

  Animal News In Brief  

Image source: Hurriyet Daily News

How pretty is that cat in the limousine window?

If you have ever considered entering your feline friend into a beauty competition on social media, there may be more in it for you than you think. In the Sivas province of Turkey, if your cat has the right amount of charisma, they may not only be crowned number one but may also receive a luxurious limo ride around the city! This year’s graceful-whiskered winner, Mahir, seen pictured above with his owner, Hüseyin, got to experience all the bright lights and razzle-dazzle of celebrity life with his winnings. But it wasn’t all just glitz and glamour, the runners-up in the competition won free parasite control treatments.

Read more about Mahir and the beauty contest here.


Cute animal videos could scientifically lessen your stressin’

Animals can bring us so much joy, it can be hard to resist clicking play on a cute pop-up video of puppies or kittens so small and fluffy you just want to give them the littlest squish or nose-boop. In fact, it can be hard not watching the next five-to-fifteen cute videos after the first one - but what are these animal videos actually doing for us? A recent study from the University of Leeds in the UK has found that there might be a little more to it than what we had thought. The study measured levels of stress, revealing that its participants’ heart rates, anxiety rates and blood pressure each reduced after watching just 30 minutes of cute animal content. So, next time you’re in need of a little unwind time, just sit back, take a deep breath and queue up your favourite videos of some gosh-darn adorable animals.

Read about study on the effects of cute animal videos here.


Melbourne cat charity lending an extra lengthy paw in times of need

Earlier this year, Melbourne’s Maneki Neko Cat Rescue took on two extra special lodgers in a time of dire need. When a loving cat owner was to attend a rehabilitation program, she had no immediate family or friends who were able to care for her two cats, Brittany and Don. In the last few desperate days before needing to leave for the program, the Maneki Neko Cat Rescue stepped in and offered Brittany and Don free emergency boarding as part of their Feline Friends Assistance Program. The program provides families experiencing a major financial, emotional or health crisis with a safe place for their cats to stay.

Maneki Neko are currently running a crowdfunding appeal in order to expand their crisis accommodation facilities, you can donate to the appeal here.

  Keeping an eye out for ticks  

There are several species of ticks which can be a nuisance to pets, and they predominantly occur in rural, coastal and bush areas, so if your pet lives in or visits an area known for ticks, then it’s useful to be aware of how ticks can affect your pet.

The potentially fatal paralysis tick is only present on the eastern seaboard of Australia, however there are other tick species present in many areas of Australia and New Zealand and whilst these tick species are not potentially fatal, they can cause local irritation to your pet and can also transmit diseases.  As we mentioned a few months ago, there is an emerging bacterial disease of dogs in northern WA called Ehrlichiosis, which is transmitted by ticks.

Ticks attach to the pet’s skin, burrowing in and become engorged from sucking the pet’s blood. This causes local skin irritation to the pet. Some tick species can also transmit diseases to the pet, and sometimes these diseases may also be a zoonotic risk to people.

It is important to regularly check your pet for ticks, especially after exercising your pet in an area known for ticks. If you find a tick on your pet, you can remove it using a special tick hook tool, or seek veterinary attention for further assistance or if you have any concerns.

If you are in an area known for the presence of paralysis ticks and you’ve found a tick on your pet and your pet displays any unusual behaviour such as weakness or wobbliness in the leg, or any changes to their breathing, vocalisation or facial expression, then it’s important to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

If your pet lives in or visits an area where ticks occur, then it’s important to use a tick prevention product to protect your pet. Speak with our team for the best tick prevention advice specific to your pet and geographical location. Even if you are using a tick prevention product on your pet, if your pet is in an area known for ticks, it is still recommended to perform a daily tick check of your pet.

  Is your pet prone to heat stress?  

During the scorching summer months, our pets can feel a little hot and bothered too. Unfortunately, in some cases, this unpleasant heat stress can progress to dangerous heat stroke.

Pets that are more at risk of overheating include:

  • Snub-nosed (or brachycephalic) animals, including dog breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and cavalier king charles spaniels, and cat breeds such as persians or exotic shorthairs.
  • Very overweight animals.
  • Animals with very thick fur coats, such as huskies, malamutes or golden retrievers.
  • Older pets with pre-existing breathing difficulties.
  • Pets who are exercising exuberantly during hot conditions.

However, any pet kept in conditions where they cannot seek shade or have free access to cool water can be at risk.

On hot days, the best ways to protect your pet include:

  • Don’t exercise your pet during the heat of the day.
  • Ideally, keep them indoors in air-conditioning, or with access to a fan, cool tiles to lie on or at least some generous shade.
  • Always ensure your pet has free access to fresh water.
  • Give dogs the option of a paddling pool to play in.
  • Under supervision, offer your pet large ice cubes to lick or make your pet “ice-lollies” - frozen versions of their favourite treats!
  • Never leave your pet in the car.

If you think your pet may be suffering from heat stress, the best first aid is to gently hose or soak your pet in cool (but not cold) water. If they are alert and able to sit up, you can offer them access to water and monitor them closely. If your pet is panting heavily, seems lethargic or unwell, or if you have any other concerns - take your pet to the vet for immediate assistance.

Let’s all stay cool this summer!

  Worming – what are your options?  

Regularly worming your cat or dog probably doesn’t rate first on your list of fun pet care topics but it’s important to stay on top of – for the health of your pet, yourself, and your family!

Common animal intestinal worms such as roundworm, hookworm and whipworm can cause our pets to become unwell with vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss and weakness, especially in vulnerable puppies and kittens. Severe worm burdens can even be fatal to very young animals.

Some tapeworms, such as Echinococcus granulosus, can also pose a significant health risk to people. Dogs that have access to fresh livestock carcasses can become infected with this tapeworm. People can then be at risk of developing a potentially dangerous tapeworm infection if they inadvertently come into contact with the dog’s faeces.

It is recommended to worm puppies and kittens every two weeks up until they are 12 weeks old. Thereafter, it is recommended that your pet is wormed every three months. In rural areas, where pets have access to livestock, we may recommend administering an additional tapeworm treatment every month in addition to the quarterly all-wormer doses.

For routine worming of your dog or cat, it is best to use all-wormer products that include tapeworm prevention. These include products such as Milbemax, Popantel or Drontal. For specific tapeworm treatment, you can consider the use of products such as Droncit. Speak with the vet or veterinary nurse for worming advice specific to your pet.

To reduce the risk of getting worms from your pets, remember to always wash your hands after handling your pet!

If you have trouble worming your pet, just ask our helpful team for assistance.


This email contains comments of a general nature only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice. It should not be relied on as the basis for whether you do or don't do anything. 

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