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          at  Russell Vale ....



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Exotic Pets & Places in April
April , 2013
exotic header
Million Paws Walk 2013

A busy month and newsletter is coming up, but I shall start with a HUGE apology.
Sorry Sorry Sorry.... the photo shoot promised just didn't happen, but I haven't forgotton, and it will happen. Just not until May now, as in April, my family and I are holidays...I will need to find a new photographer as the one I had organized, well, we couldn't organize a suitable date.
On holidays in April
Many of you would've received a postcard with the dates of our break, but if you didn't, either blame Aussie Post or us.  Spare postcards are available at the vet hospital if you need that reminder of the dates, but it will be on our website, PocketVet app and Facebook.
But, we try to not leave people in the lurch... if your pet needs veterinary attention, our website   will have all the access information you need. 
But this month..yes, it is about Exotic Pets, Exotic Places & Exotic (award) Events this month.

Dr Liz & Pandora


Exotic Pets are not unusual.

Unusual Pet? Not any more


Chicken is friend, not food

More and more people are taking to lizards, snakes, chickens, frogs and spiders to be their life companions, instead of the traditional dog and cat (and rabbit).


And, there are special vets out there who look after these special ones.  I would love to say I am one of them, but I know enough about the medicine of these more unusual guys, to know I don't know enough.  But that doesn't stop me being part of the Unusual and Exotic Pets special interest group of the AVA and reading about them.


Here are some things you may or may not know about the more unusual pet.


Chickens: Do these guys do need worming? They do, but there is a health issue for us which is "withholding periods "(this means the days you can't eat the eggs or meat if you medicate the chickens with anything).  Information differs on how often to worm but it ranges from twice a year medication to twice a year testing for parasites.  I would suggest a combination of the two, as you need to know your chicken's parasite loading, as well as whether your worming medication is actually working.  And what worming to use?  Well, obviously the one that works, is safe, and easy to give.  In many cases, that is Panacur.


spider chow Spiders: The benefit here is you can pick your pet from your own backyard. The Golden Orb makes a fantastic web (as I found out when it snuck into my school bag when I was in Yr 9 - a great way to get out of English as I was sent to the Science Staff Room - even Mr Snyder (the science teacher) was too scared to get it out of my bag - It was put into a jar and I released it when I got home. I did  find an interesting site about pet spiders. Go here.



Fish: Many of the fish diseases need prescription medications to treat. Even if you don't have a traditional pet (dog or cat), maintaining a relationship with your local vet can  help with access to these antibiotics or other medications to help treat your sick fish (and sooner rather than later).  I subscribe to the busy musings of the fishvet (although I don't own fish) just to learn by osmosis!



Frogs: The most common injury of a wild frog is a broken leg from cat attack. They mostly die from  bacteria from us handling them rather than from the attack itself. Wear gloves, handle gently, and release quickly.


Do you know the frogs in your own backyard?  


 Snakes & Lizards:  Well these have almost become mainstream, with the Herpetological societies, and in Wollongong, we have at least two vets who are knowledgeable on these guys (I am not one of them... I like snakes & lizards, but only to pat the safe ones.)


Turtles: Turtles need to be submerged in water to feed. Long necked turtles are mostly carnivorous, whereas short necked ones vary from herbivorous to carnivorous. We see wild turtles with fractured shells, which can be repaired, assuming no internal injuries (often using dental compounds to repair).



 PS Be aware that many of these exotic pets may be protected species, and you may need a licence to keep them. For example, to keep snakes, lizards and turtles, you need a licence from the Office of Environment and Heritage.


PPS Some Exotic Pets also need to have annual vet checks, but also need regular parasite screens and blood tests - they are more likely to hide illness compared to the domestic dog or cat. A great site for exotic pet information is here.

Don't Step in the Poop Day



 For real... this is a real International day, and will be celebrated on the 25th of April (not intended to overshadow  a very important Remembrance Day, which is Anzac Day).


When there are arguments against Dog Parks or pet access to beaches, they always bring up dog poop.   Society is becoming less tolerant of our dogs and cats (just ask anyone who has received a complaint notice from Council about their dog who barks occasionally or rarely).

Dog poo

Stepping in it makes

for a yucky day.


How often do you walk your dog? 


Did you know that the recommended exercise for most dogs is 20 minutes twice a day?


Here are some Etiquette tips for walking your pet!


1. Pick it up - if your pet does the deed, then you need to do something to. It just takes a bit of forethought to make sure you have plenty of poop bags. Yup, its yucky having to carry poop around with you on your walk, but if you are at the beach or park, there are bins you can use.  


2. Hang on tight to your pet - It's the law.  Yes, your pet is yours, and should not be running loose all over the footpath, the road, or sniffing down someone's driveway. The law states your pet must be under your control in a public place, and this means a leash (not the horrible retractable leashes which are not suitable control).  Of course, the exception is the Leash-free areas.

  pushy dogs

3. Don't encourage "pushy" dogs -  Pushy dogs are not friendly, they are a step away from social aggression.  We all know the person who comes so close to us, they could almost climb into our clothes, and we know how uncomfortable that feels.  Many dogs feel the same way when other dogs do the same, but they may react in a less than socially acceptable way. Watch how your dog behaves around others dogs, and teach them to be by your side most times. 

 million paws walk 2013

4. Reward good walking behaviours -  take a bag of treats, and reward your dog every time it behaves nicely on your walk.  Ignore or downplay the unpleasant behaviours. 


Start training now for Million Paws Walk on May 19th. 


If any of you are registered, email us your fundraising page so we can help you out.

Exclusive Dolphin Tale Featurette:

Exclusive Dolphin Tale Featurette: "Winter the Dolphin"

I saw this movie a month ago on Austar/Foxtel and it was inspirational.  Get it for the kids these holidays. For all dolphins everywhere... you are amazing!

April Days! 




Who would've thought....

days of our lives



11th  National Pet Day


14th - National Dolphin Day


24th - World Veterinary Day
 - All About Vaccinations!


25th - Don't step in the Poop DayDickin medal for valour

25th - Anzac Day - Lest We Forget.


30th - National Hair ball Awareness Day





To vaccinate or not

world vet day 2013
Vaccinations for OneHealth



World Veterinary Day, Wednesday April 24th -



 How quickly we forget those diseases that used to kill us and our pets that vaccinations have reduced (distemper) or eliminated (small pox). Instead, some view vaccinations as harmful and unnecessary.


World Veterinary Day in 2013 is recognizing the importance of vaccinations in the health of our community - human and animal. 


Most vets recognize that vaccinations are not harmless, and many people know that I have refused to vaccinate pets for various reasons (usually medical).


Many clients may also be aware that Russell Vale Animal Clinic was the FIRST veterinary hospital in the Illawarra to offer the three year vaccine for dogs (true... to my surprise)big ears


And Russell Vale vets were one of the first, if not the first, to offer Vaccine Titre testing,


But there is a good reason why  Western Sydney &  Lake Illawarra were hot spots for Parvovirus a few years ago - and that is because of low vaccination rates in these areas coupled with a high young dog population.


Your pet's annual check up is a perfect time to discuss with me whether your pet should or shouldn't be vaccinated. Yes, that's right.... your pet should get a check up each year regardless of their vaccinations status, and in some pets (such as 7 years or older, it should be each six months).


We don't have a "one size fits all" vaccination protocol, but we do assess each individual pet's vaccine requirement each vet visit.


 Find out More about Vaccinations 1 yr vs 3


Astonishing Secrets...continues

Bellambivet Blog...

Astonishing Secret

 Astonishing Secrets was very revealing in March, with more to come in April & May. 


If it helps one loving pet owner and their pet in their time of need, then Charlie, the Town Crier, and I are happy. 


Feel free to share the Astonishing secrets with your friends, or use them as reference for the future.   

I always have ideas on what to write about in my blog, and the Astonishing Secret series (which will end in June), but if you have any suggestions, again, swing through an email! 

About Russell Vale Animal Clinic

As always, your pet's paws are always in my heart animalclinic logo ... our animalclinic family, and in March, that became official, with Dog and Cat retiring, and our logo becoming officially "Paws", as I affectionately call it.  If you want to know the history of Dog and Cat, and our changing logos over the years, then visit the bellambivets blog.


We are proud members of the Australian Veterinary Association, with continuous membership since 1987 (yes, that long... I started as a student, and never left). 


We try to provide up-to-date diagnostics and treatment options for your pet's medical condition, and hence, we may ask for time to research all options before presenting them to you (similar to you researching what you think your pet has using Dr Google but we speak with specialists or consult VIN (Veterinary Information Network)).


ava member logo


  Till next month.... 




We would love you to review us

Customer satisfaction is extremely important to us at Russell Vale Animal Clinic and word-of-mouth feedback is our main source of customers.  So if you like our service, we'd love it if you could take a moment to review your experience with us on - Word Of Mouth Online.

To review Russell Vale Animal Clinic and share your experience with others, just click here: 
It only takes a moment and we'd be so grateful.

If for some reason, you have not been totally satisfied with our service, please call or email us directly.  We would love the opportunity to rectify this.

Thank you very much for your help!

In This Issue
Exotic Pets are not Unusual!
Poop Day -- don't step in it!
Winter the Dolphin
World Veterinary Day 2013
Award Finalist
Closed for Holidays & Training
Pandora's 40th Birthday in September
Breaking News
Rabbit Calicivirus Alert

We have been warned that baiting rabbits with Calicivirus is going to start in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven in April 2013.

We recommend all bunny rabbits come in for their Calicivirus vaccination to protect them against this killer virus.   


We also recommend all rabbit housing is


checked that they are mosquito and fly proof - as this will protect our bunnies against calicivirus and Myxomatosis (and there is no vaccination available in Australia for myxo)

Award winning?

We Hope So but humbled to be finalist!

champion award


In 2012, we were finalists in the Local Business Awards for Outstanding Pet Services. In 2013, we were invited to enter the Small Business Champion Awards, and we are pleased to announce that we are finalists in the Pet Services section, next to 13 other contenders from all over Australia, with over 200 other businesses in the entire Award.


The Award night is Saturday, 13th of April in Sydney, which Tegan will be attending on our behalf.  Obviously, it is hard to attend from the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 

Keep fingers crossed for us!

Dr Liz Continuing Education 2013 
Our Calendar Page:
This year, I will be taking advantage of continuing education conferences around the country.... (I missed out last year as Dirk had to go to New Zealand for family stuff alot)  
How will you know the dates that the vet hospital won't be open or Dr Liz won't be in?

 PocketVet app, Facebook and on our calendar page on our website, oh... and not forgetting Animail Tails.... another reason to open it and see what is happening! 

May (hopefully)- AVA Annual Conference - Cairns, QLD.  From 26th to 31st May (I am hoping as I want to do the Dental wet lab)

Exotic Places.... with family
Dr Liz & family on holidays in April
A reminder that Dr Liz and Dirk will be on holidays from 9th April to 23rd of April.
Hopefullly, you will not need a vet... but if you do, take your folders that we have given you to your preferred local vet.  We don't recommend one over the other, as choosing a vet is a personal decision.
If your vet requires a full medical history for whatever reason, please email and Pandora (with Tegan's help) will get it to them.

If you want to read why we don't get a locum whilst we are away, read my blog.

Photography shoot will come


tinka kitty cat

 Well, the March photo shoot did not happen, so now I am back to finding a new photographer, and new dates.


This photo shoot is to grab professional photos of our animalclinic family pets for use on our website, facebook, and of course, the family album.


A BIG thank you to those who have already said "YES.... we are there" when the news went out in our earlier newsletters. 


AND... do you have a gorgeous photo  of your pet, and want it in our family album online, then send me  a jpeg copy, and we will get it online.


Want to check out our family album? We have photos of Jake, Feebie, Minnie and would love more.


Go here!



Just for Fun - 


cat fur
So busted! 
What are you doing to help your pet  cope with their hairballs? 
30th of April is Hairball control day.
Dogs get hairballs too - many dogs chew their fur to groom, as well as because they are itchy.
Paraffin Oil is what you need to help smooth the hair and make it easier to pass through the digestive system.
Essential fatty acids (fish oil) as part of their diet helps reduce hair shedding.   
Pandora's 40th Birthday
Pandora's Box
I am turning 40 in September!
Pandora is turning "40" this year, and we are going to have a party! 

Watch this space in upcoming newsletters, PocketVet or Facebook for updates.


Pandora says...
" You may not have seen me about much... this is because of a little kitten that was abandoned at the vets!  It has run of the waiting room, which is annoying me! She has even taken to my favourite spot... Dr Liz's chair"

Kitten Minnie
"Here is the "interloper" Minnie", says Pandora.
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