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Tel (044) 533 3100
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Pet Tips

 Rabies information

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Identify your pets!

We have pets arriving at our hospital almost every week having been picked up on the streets. Most of these animals have no form of identification.There are various ways to identify your pets. Name tags and collars are still the most useful and they are a lot of fun too, with lots of colourful waterproof tags available today. The most reliable means of identification is a microchip which is embedded under the skin. This is compulsory if your pet is going to travel overseas with you. It is a good idea to have a tag on the collar telling people your pet is microchipped so that anyone who finds your dog/cat will take him to the vet to be scanned and identified. REMEMBER STOPPING YOUR PETS FROM ROAMING IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Don't waste animal welfare's limited rescources by forcing them to drive around fetching your dogs off the streets. If you have a dog that insists on roaming, please speak to your vet about possible solutions.

 

Parvo virus is still very much around!

Parvo virus is one of the viruses that we vaccinate puppies against with the 5 in 1 vaccination. We still see sick parvo puppies every month and many more puppies die every day because of infectious diseases like parvo. Many people are breeding and selling puppies without vaccinating them. MAKE SURE TO ONLY BUY A PUPPY THAT HAS A VACCINATION CARD SIGNED BY A VETERINARIAN IF YOU WANT TO MAXIMISE THE CHANCES OF BUYING A HEALTHY PUPPY. The first puppy vaccination is at 6 weeks old so any puppy old enough to home should be vaccinated. DONT BE CAUGHT OUT - VACCINATION IS COMPULSORY IF YOU WANT A HEALTHY DOG!
 

 

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Eclampsia in pets

My dog/cat recently had puppies/kittens and is starting to show strange twitches and spasms

What is eclampsia?

Eclampsia is a life-threatening condition in dogs and cats that have recently had a litter of puppies or kittens. It has been seen in pets that are pregnant or giving birth, but more commonly occurs one to four weeks after giving birth. It is a medical emergency caused by a sudden drop in blood calcium levels, usually due to calcium loss during pregnancy and nursing.



Pet heroism

Who is saving whom? How pets improve our lives

Carey was sitting on the kitchen floor; the low downlights hardly penetrating the shadows reflecting her sombre mood. It had been an incredibly tough year and she was at that point of wondering what it was all for. Her neighbours had moved out, friends were few and far between; there was hardly anyone to miss her – not immediately anyway. What was stopping her from doing something stupid with the paring knife in her hand? At that moment, the silence in her flat was punctuated by the unmistakable sound of little dog paws on tiles and then two fuzzy heads peeked out from behind the kitchen cupboard. Both her miniature pinscher and chiweenie flattened their ears against their heads and wagged nervously, but mustered all their courage to approach their teary-eyed human in that dark hole on the kitchen floor. With hands full of furry friends, there’s no room for despair and hopelessness. Carey had saved them once upon a time, and this was just their way of returning the favour. What was stopping her indeed?



Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs and cats

My pet tires quickly when playing or exercising and sometimes has a soft cough like trying to clear their throat

What is dilated cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy is a disease condition of the heart muscle that inhibits its ability to function properly. In the case of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the heart muscle is stretched and the muscle is thin and flabby, affecting its pumping ability. Dilated cardiomyopathy can affect both pets and people.

The heart is designed as a pump where each contraction pushes blood from the lungs to the rest of the body and back again. This allows the oxygen we breathe in to be absorbed in the blood and distributed to where it is needed. When the pump itself is affected, the distribution and flow of blood is compromised. In DCM, the bottom chambers of the heart, which are the power house for the pumping action, are dilated and thin, and unable to properly expel the blood presented to them from the lungs and body. This leads to a backup behind the heart. Depending on which side of the heart is more severely affected, this usually ends up with fluid and blood buildup in the lungs. In DCM, it is usually all four chambers of the heart that are stretched and affected, not just one side. This stretching of the muscle also affects the electrical conduction of the heart and its ability to pump at a normal rhythm.



COVID-19 and Your Pets: Update

The SARS-CoV-2 Virus

It has been more than a year since COVID-19, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, has been declared a worldwide pandemic. Much research has been done regarding many aspects of the virus, the disease process it causes as well as the spread of the virus. In the wake of the anticipation of South Africa’s ‘third wave’ of COVID-19 infections, this article serves as a follow-up discussion regarding information that has come to light in the past year.



Domestic pet poisoning

My pet may have eaten something poisonous. How do I know if she will be alright?

Poisoning is a common occurrence in domestic animals like dogs and cats. The most widely observed route of poisoning is via the mouth (orally), but topical poisoning and other routes of intoxication are also possible. No matter the route of poisoning, it’s critical to treat each individual case of poisoning as a matter of urgency, as some poisons could be life-threatening for the pet. In this article, we give an overview of the most commonly encountered poisons in private practice in this part of the world.



Malicious poisoning of dogs

I think my dog has been poisoned! What must I do?

What poisons are used on dogs?

The most commonly used poisons are organophosphates (malathion, disufloton, acephate, parathion), carbamates (Aldicarb, Temik/‘two-step’) and rat poison. Organophosphates and carbamates are insecticides used for both agricultural and household applications. Temik is often used despite being a restricted substance, and may be combined with other substances. The tiny bluish-black granules, which are white on the inside when crushed, are commonly hidden in something tasty such as a piece of sausage, polony, meat or bread. Clinical signs of poisoning start within minutes to hours after exposure to the poison. Temik can kill dogs very quickly or even suddenly due to a build-up of secretions in and/or paralysis of the breathing system.



Coughing

My pet seems to have a persistent cough. What caused it and what can I do about it?

Coughing is one of the most common syndromes veterinarians all around the world encounter during consultations. Coughing in itself is not a disease, but a symptom of something else in your pet. The onset, type of cough, duration and production will help the vet to get to the bottom of what’s going on inside your pet.

What is coughing?

Coughing is an audible, forceful expelling of air from the lungs usually in an attempt to clear the airways. Forceful expulsion of air should follow forceful inhalation for the whole action to qualify as a cough. A cough is actually a protective reflex of the body, which signals the presence of an underlying condition. Coughing is generally classified into two main categories namely a wet/productive cough or a dry/non-productive cough. A wet cough is one in which there is an accompanying fluid or mucous discharge seen with each episode; while a dry cough has no discharge or fluid.  



PERIANAL FISTULA

My dog has sores around his anus, which he is constantly licking. He also gets aggressive if I touch his tail and he seems uncomfortable and is just not himself. What's wrong?

Perianal fistulas are an extremely painful medical condition of the anal region of dogs. As the name describes, this condition involves infection in the skin and surrounding tissue of the anus. ‘Peri’ means around, the anus, while a fistula is a tunnel in the skin that connects an area of infection to the skin or glands. This condition is characterised by very smelly draining sinus tracts in the skin around the anus and sometimes the deeper structures beneath the skin up to the rectum. 



Corneal Ulceration

My pet's eye is half closed and there seems to be something in their eye

My pet’s eye is half-closed and there seems to be something in their eye

What is a corneal ulcer?



Chronic diarrhoea in dogs and cats

My pet has recurring episodes of loose stools

What is chronic diarrhoea?

Chronic refers to a disease that has been ongoing, either persistently or intermittently for three weeks or more. Whereas diarrhoea, as many of us can relate, is the passing of soft or loose stool. This stool is usually soft enough that it needs to be scraped up rather than picked up. It can range from the consistency of thick porridge to watery like soup.



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