Feeding Bones To Your Pet

Bones…. Wow! What a contentious topic! There are many who strongly advocate feeding raw bones to dogs (myself included) and then there are others who are dead against it. These opinions are often formed from prior experience and so there are a few things to go over first. The Risks Of Feeding Bones There will always be a small risk of complications with feeding bones. Some bones can get stuck in the mouth. Some bones are not well digested and can cause obstruction or perforation of the intestines. Some dogs do not tolerate raw bones and may vomit or have diarrhoea. Some dogs may even develop severe constipation when fed bones. However, if your dog or cat does not eat raw bones, they will definitely suffer from dental disease. Very few dogs will have good oral health if they do not chew on raw meaty bones. Dental disease is a painful, debilitating condition where the body is in a constant state of inflammation, trying to rid itself of an infection that will never go away. This is a terrible disease to suffer from and is a huge reason that pets suffer a poor quality of life. How To Safely Feed Bones To You Pet So, how can we feed bones safely? How can we ensure good oral health whilst minimising the risk of dangerous complications? By looking to the pet’s evolution and respecting what they would naturally be eating. To clean teeth and gums well, dogs and cats should be chewing through soft bones, cartilage, ligaments and meat. Dogs and cats if in a feral state would naturally predate birds, lizards and small mammals such as rabbits, possums, rats and mice. They would not naturally hunt a cow and eat the entire leg bones! These are far too dense and hard and can break their teeth. So since your cat and dog are domesticated and don’t have ready access to the bones of small prey animals, what type of commercially available bones should you feed? Raw chicken is the most readily available source of bone that is a biologically appropriate […]

Interview with Dr Karen Kan

Dr Karen Kan Interview It’s not everyday you get to do a radio interview and it’s certainly not everyday you do an interview on US radio.  But this is exactly what Dr Kelly Halls has recently done. Dr Karen Kan is a Holistic practitioner in the US and has been looking for a Vet to provide some information to her radio audience.  After a search of google she found Bentons Road Vet Clinic and was interested in our clinics approach.  Dr Kan enquired whether Dr. Kelly  would be interested in sharing her perspective on vaccines for pets in an radio interview.  Obviously Dr Kelly agreed.  Who wouldn’t want to share this vital information with as many pet loving people as possible. So if you’d like to learn how to better care for a faithful companion animal, this broadcast is an absolute must.  

Danger of Raw Feeding Cats – Why You Have To Get It Right.

Danger of Raw Feeding Cats: Why You Have To Get It Right I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking wait a second, Bentons Road Vet promotes raw feeding! Why are they now talking about the danger of raw feeding cats!!! Have they changed their minds??? The short answer is no, but you have to get it right otherwise you can run into trouble. Don’t stress though.  We are always here to help. But first we need to read a story about Pip (our honorary clinic cat). Does anyone remember Pip? The tiny scrap of a kitten delivered to our doorstep almost dead? She was stone cold and almost lifeless and we had almost given up on her. Then she started to move… and the rest is history. Little Pip Squeak found her forever home with Kim and her other cat Bubbles and has been living the good life ever since. Like most pets at our clinic, Pip has been fed a fresh, raw diet for most of her life and is very well and healthy. Recently, Kim started to source her cat food from the supermarket. These packets of vacuum sealed fresh meat were labelled as fresh and lean, fortified with thiamine, taurine and calcium.  Perfect you’d think! Fresh and Lean what could go wrong?  Unfortunately one thing.  And that one thing caused Pip to have a problem. Kim contacted us in a bit of a panic one day with a video of Pip behaving oddly. She was having trouble walking straight and kept falling over. She was very unbalanced. Kim was understandably very distressed as she was watching her little fur baby unable to function properly at all. Kim has always strived to do the very best for Pip. She was at a loss as to what was wrong or what to do. Thankfully the signs Pip was showing alerted me quickly to the most likely problem.  We were able to advise Kim to immediately feed a different type of food for a while. Pip rapidly recovered over the next few days. So what was the trouble? Bentons Road Vet […]

Surgery Day? How we care for your pet

Surgery Due – What to expect on the day Some people feel a level of anxiety when told their pet must stay at the clinic for a day to have a surgical procedure performed. It can be very daunting to leave your beloved fur-baby in the hands of someone else.  We understand the trust that this requires. Here is a description of what your pet will experience during a stay in our hospital.  Hopefully it will help you feel a little less apprehensive about their stay. Getting Your Pet Settled After being greeted and examined by the surgical vet in the morning and waiting for you to sign the admission paperwork, your pet will be taken through to the hospital area where they meet the surgical nurse on that day. This nurse will make your pet comfortable in a hospital cage.  These cages have padded mattresses, blankets and even a teddy to cuddle up to for small and anxious pets. You are welcome to bring in a favourite blanket, toy or one of your own articles of clothing that carries your scent. Please only bring one item as we don’t want to lose important things! Cats are settled into a separate area of the hospital and all pets have their own size appropriate space. All cages are labelled with the patient name, body weight and procedure. The surgery vet and nurse then order the surgery list for the day and prepare the surgery and equipment. What Happens Prior to Surgery Half an hour prior to the procedure, your pet is administered a premed.  This premed contains both a sedative and pre-emptive pain relief. They are then taken out for a toilet walk (not cats) prior to surgery.  Pets are then settled back in their cage while the premed takes effect. Once the premed has taken effect, gentle hands place an IV catheter and fluid therapy is started.  The vet then induces anaesthesia with a dose of medication into this fluid line. Once anaesthetised, your pet has an endotracheal tube positioned into the airway.  This is connected to the gas anaesthesia […]

Keeping Nutrition Simple

Keeping Nutrition Simple All clients of Bentons Road Vet Clinic have heard about the health benefits of feeding their pet a fresh and healthy real food diet, yet some people just really struggle to be able to commit to preparing a home cooked or a raw diet for their pet.  I too have small children in my life, I work full time, I run a family owned business…. I get it. It is not always easy! Sometimes it is all we can do to put nourishing food in front of our family. To then have to prepare for the dog too requires more time, energy and motivation than some of us have. So what can you do to improve your pet’s diet simply and quickly? Let’s consider our pet’s diet similarly to our own for a moment and think about what is lacking if we eat only convenience foods for a while. A diet of only cereal for breakfast, cheese sandwiches for lunch and McDonalds for dinner would leave us lacking in vitamins and minerals from vegies and fruit, fibre from vegetables, and omega oils from oily fish or pasture raised meats. And we would also really need to brush our teeth! If you feed your pet a dry food diet, add the following to quickly and inexpensively supplement their diet and improve their health: 1. Vitamins and minerals from vegies Add these to your pet’s food. If you cook vegies for your family, cook a little extra and mix it in with the dry food. Easy for dogs, cats will take a little convincing but even mixing a small amount of cooked cubed zuccini in with their canned food will help greatly. 2. Fibre Carnivores need bone in their diet to act as the fibre and firm their stools. Feeding chicken wings, frames or necks will add important bulk to their stools as well as providing calcium, other minerals and joint supplements to them. Bones can be fed at every meal but at least 2-3 times per week will still help. 3. Omega oils from oily fish   Fresh, raw wild caught salmon is of course the […]

Annual Health Exam: What are they and why are they important?

The Importance of the Annual Health Exam When an injured or an unwell pet is presented to a veterinarian, we have a mere 15-20min to make an informed diagnosis of what the problem is, what’s causing the problem, what the correct treatment is and how to prevent it happening again. Add to that the time needed to prescribe and dispense the correct treatment, bill the appropriate fees and write up the clinical notes, you can see why, when asked at the end of the visit, “By the way, is there anything else I should be doing for my pet?”, you may get short changed on that answer.  There is a vast amount of advice and information that can be discussed to improve the health and wellbeing of your pet.  But this needs more time to address properly than the last 30 seconds of your visit as you’re bundling your limping Kelpie into the car.  This is where the importance of the Annual Health Exam comes in. The Annual Health Exam is the visit where we can address all of your questions relating to feeding, housing, training and handling, without needing to focus on any illness or injury.  This is the consultation where we encourage you to bring in your list of questions.  The consultation where we can take the time to educate and discuss what things can be tweaked and improved.  This is what we love doing.  Helping you understand what makes your pet better and why.  This is what Bentons Road Veterinary Clinic is all about. Education and understanding is what we do! So what does an Annual Health Exam involve? Listed here are the points that are discussed in every Annual Health Exam.  Although this list is a little extensive it does give you an insight into how much is covered in this important visit. 1.     Weight assessment. Every pet has its Body Condition Score (BCS) calculated at every visit, often as the dog is still trotting into the consult room. This sparks a discussion on how much food your pet is eating and whether this should be altered [...]

Natural, Nutritional & Medical treatments for Arthritis

Natural, Nutritional & Medical treatments for Arthritis Just recently it is as though the One Upstairs suddenly flicked a switch; the heating went off and the rain and the wind started up. Instantly it felt like winter! Most of us grumble a bit and pull on an extra jumper but for some of our senior pets, the turn in the weather spells the beginning of a less comfortable time as aching joints begin to flare up in colder weather.  Pets with arthritis suffer when the weather turns a bit miserable. Arthritis can be a painful and debilitating disease and unfortunately it is a common complaint in our senior cats and dogs.  If you think your dog or your cat does have arthritis don’t despair, there are many different treatment options available. Unfortunately there is no cure for this type of arthritis.  Treatment is based mainly on prevention and in management of the pain and inflammation. Read on to hear how Polly has been managed over the years to improve her quality of life living with chronic arthritis. Pollys’ Story Polly is a 13 year old Labrador cross who was adopted by Jan & Peter from a dog’s home 6 years ago. She had previously lived with 3 different owners but has finally found her forever home. She is a beautiful gentle dog who loves cuddles and rolling on her back in the grass. Her absolute favourite thing to do is madly gallop into the ocean and swim in circles. As Polly grew older, her mum noticed she was stiff when getting up and was slowing down on walks. After a run on the beach and a swim she was lame in one of her back legs. Pollys’ Diagnosis Polly was diagnosed with arthritis from degenerative cruciate ligament disease. Like all Labradors, Polly lives for her next meal and as she was doing less exercise, she was slowly getting heavier and heavier! We changed Polly’s food to a raw diet naturally high in protein and low in starch to help with losing and maintaining a lean body weight. We also added […]

Pet Acupuncture: What is it and how can it help?

    Pet Acupuncture & Trigger point therapy Acupuncture is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been used successfully to treat animals and humans for at least 2000 years. It works by using fine needles to stimulate certain points along the body’s meridians (or energy channels). This helps the body to heal itself and restore itself to balance. Acupuncture stimulates physiological changes that affect all systems throughout the body. It can also stimulate nerves, increase blood circulation, relieve muscle spasms, and release endorphins (the body’s natural pain killer) or cortisol (a natural steroid and anti-inflammatory). It is not a cure-all, but can work well where indicted when used alone or in combination with conventional veterinary medicine. Benefits of Acupuncture Relieves pain Stimulates the body’s natural defence system Effective for a wide range of problems including chronic disease An alternative option when harmful side effects of a drug are a problem When surgery is not a feasible option acupuncture can be beneficial Helps recovery post-operatively When to use Acupuncture Before you decide any treatment approach it is important to get a good diagnosis and then look at all the treatment options, including acupuncture and those offered by conventional medicine. To get a diagnosis your pet may need to have blood and urine tests or x-rays. Acupuncture often complements the conventional treatment of veterinary disorders. How will my pet react to Acupuncture? When the needles is place there can be a brief moment of sensitivity. However, most animals tolerate this well, and once the needles are in place they generally relax or even fall asleep! The needles are very fine- much thinner than the needles we use to give injections. Trigger point therapy A trigger point is an irritable, taut band of muscle which is painful when pressed. Trigger points give rise to pain which is frequently chronic. Many dogs with chronic pain and lameness will have trigger points, and they may have a history of poor response to conventional medications. Affected dogs may be young athletic dogs, or older dogs with mobility issues. Dogs with chronic back pain may […]

Pet nutritional supplements: Are they necessary and what do we recommend?

  Supplements for Pets. Many of my patients go home with recommendations to include some form of nutritional supplementation into their diet.  I am often asked why would my pet need a supplement if I am feeding a premium brand of balanced dog or cat food? The answer to that comes in two parts. First the why? Most commercially prepared cat and dog food contains the minimum nutritional requirements for pets in a balanced formula. If the pet eats nothing other than that balanced diet, then they will receive the minimum requirements for maintenance (survival), nothing more. Many people add other foods to their pet’s diet (bones, family left overs, home prepared pet foods). Even though these added ingredients are all good quality, human grade food, they are not completely balanced.  Unfortunately their addition effectively dilutes out the other nutrients leading to an unbalanced diet. So do we recommend these added ingredients or not? Absolutely YES! More on this later. The other reason is that commercially prepared tinned and dry foods for adult pets typically only contain the minimum requirements for maintenance. That is they don’t have anything extra for growth, illness, pregnancy, stress or high levels of exercise. Supplementing these diets with extra nutrients can really boost your pet’s vitality. There are also some nutrients that do not survive the extreme processing temperatures such as anti-oxidants and omega-3 essential oils. So what is needed? In an ideal world, everyone would get all of their required nutrition from the food they eat. We all know that a richly varied diet of organic whole food ingredients, with balanced proportions of each of the food groups, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids would provide all of the necessary nutrients for us all.  Yet, many of us, if asked to list ALL of the vegetables and fruit that they ate in a given week, would struggle to list much more than potato, carrots, peas, bananas and apples. We are surrounded by a wealth of variety in available foods.  As a result of marketing, supermarket subsidies and plain old habit forming, we consequently fall […]

Our best tips to keep your pets coat healthy

A Healthy Coat With all of this wind around at the moment, many of us are suffering from extremely bad hair days! Just as important as it is for people to look their best, it is just as important for us to keep our pets’ coats in top condition too. A healthy glossy coat is a sign of a robust and happy pet.  While a dull, dry coat can be an indication of disease, allergies or nutritional deficiency. Here are our top tips for keeping your pet’s coat looking its very best: Nutrition The first and most important piece of advice we give is to provide your pet with excellent nutrition.  Proper nutrition will usually lead to healthy skin and a shiny coat. With healthy coats pets often have a degree of natural immunity to internal and external parasites. We all know that demodectic mange or lice on our pets is an indicator of poor health. We often find the pets who receive a fresh, natural and well balanced diet have fewer fleas and less frequently require chemical parasite prevention. An optimal diet consists of fresh and natural ingredients with ‘live’ nutrition.  Pets diets should be similar to the diet recommendations that healthy people follow (less processed and refined foods, more fresh wholefoods). It is vital to follow veterinary nutritional recommendations on balancing the diet to ensure mistakes are not made that can have serious health consequences. Washing Our washing recommendations vary depending on the dog we are discussing.  We are seldom mean enough to advise washing cats!  A short-coated dog with healthy skin may not need washing more than a few times a year.  Whereas a dog suffering from atopic skin disease or an inflammatory condition of the skin may benefit from fortnightly baths. All too often dogs are over-washed.  In some cases this can exacerbate the dry itch experienced by allergic dogs, making this condition worse. Reduced washing, or just wiping affected areas with a damp facecloth might produce better results than a weekly bath. The type of shampoo is also very important.  Save that medicated shampoo for when […]