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For Happy, Healthy Pets... Always
High Five, my Friend!
August,  2013

Dr Liz @ Russell Vale vets


Did you know that the pets on our Animail Tails header are from the animalclinic family? 

They are, from left to right - Maya, Lexie, Smiles and of course, Pandora (the boss)  on the ewinnie the pooh friendshipnd!

Feel free to send me a happy shot of your pet to add to our animalclinic family photo album.

This months newsletter is jam packed - hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy putting it together.


I often  get asked how I find the time - well you always have time to do things that you enjoy doing!  They say that the measure of happiness is in the quality of your friends and family.


A reminder email will go out just before the RSPCA Cupcake morning, so keep an eye out for that! 


Preparations are underway for Pandora's birthday party in September.  It will be on a Saturday morning, and it will be for all of you - our animalclinic family and friends. Come along and have a family filled fun day with us. 


- yours for happy and healthy pets, always!    


Dr Liz

womo 2013 service award
PS Thank you to those who have reviewed us on WOMO. Did you know we have a google+ page too, if facebook or twitter is not your thing?  Everyone can review us... it is a great way to let others know what you know we are like. 

You put your left paw in....

And then you put your left paw out, you put your left paw in and you shake it all about..... Well, our pets can be left and right handed (pawed)  too - and can have fun with this old old game...but whether you are left or right handed  is called laterality. It has been shown that what paw you are, can determine whether you will pass Guide Dog School. 


August 13th is Left Hand Day, to celebrate all of those who have a preference of using their left hand, which is 10% of us. I am right handed, Dirk is left handed - between the two of us... well... no comment.   


 Catalyst on ABC in 2012 had a fantastic segment on factors which determined whether a puppy would be a successful Guide Dog - it came down to factors such as whether they were left or right pawed, the swirl on their chest and the pirate test (aargh, its true)


Watch the video here.


 Some interesting facts

- Most female dogs prefer the right paw, while most males prefer the left paw.

- studies have shown that dogs that show no preference for left or right are more likely to be fearful of loud noises

- Laterality tests are used to help select puppy candidates that are likely to graduate from Police School or Guide Dog School.


Every pet deserves a massage...
Calming Massage for Dogs from Dr Cam Day
Calming Massage for Dogs from Dr Cam Day
Oooh, aaah... that feels nice... a little bit to the left... bit to the right... just there...

Don't we all love a massage?  Don't we use it to relax ourselves when we are stressed?  

Our pets enjoy massage therapy also - as Dr Cam says, it can help 70% of pets.

Used with therapies such as Adaptil pheromone sprays or collars, calming music (Mozart works well), and vitamin supplements (Vitamin B and tryptophan), and thundershirts,  it can help the mildly anxious dog.
Thunderstorm season is upon us, so start training your pet to remain calm. The basic commands every pet should know is come, sit, stay and calm. 
I suggest in teaching calm on cue, use the " sit -down - stay - calm" routine - pets are creatures of habit, you will find that once trained, they will go from sit to calm easily.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the truly phobic (the pet that is so scared, that it will shred its feet trying to escape), unless you can place them in a sound proof room, or they are anaesthetised during the episode (obviously not a practical solution). 

Follow the bellambivet blog for these updates.  Help is always available. 

PS It is OK to re-assure and comfort a scared dog if you are calm yourself. Ask them to sit on their mat with their favourite treat or toy. 
Happy Friendship Day, says Winnie the Pooh!


Friendship DayWinnie the Pooh was declared the World's Ambassador for Friendship in 1998 - I can't think of anyone more fitting!


For our friends, for our furry friends.... you are all special.


On 4th of August, give your pet a big hug from all of us at Russell Vale vets.  




Old Faithful -

A Faithful Dog will play with you

And laugh with you or cry

He'll gladly starve to stay with you

Nor ever reason why


And when you're feeling out of sorts

Somehow he'll understand

He'll watch you with his shining eyes

And try to lick your hand


His blind implicit faith in you

Is matched by his great love

The kind that all of us should have

In the Master up above


When everything is said and done

I guess this isn't odd

For when you spell "Dog" backwards

You get the name of God.


Author Unknown



Celebrating Cats and wishing FIV away
Pandora is FIV protected
With every Feline Immunodeficiency test I do, I stand there and go -" please be negative, please be negative", as I know that the incidence of FIV in our area is higher than I would like it to be (well, I like 0% as a number,because one cat infected is one too many)


FIV is Feline Immunodeficiency virus and multiple Aussie studies show up to 15% of our cats (and could be higher) have been infected. 


In July, this repeated mantra did not work, with a very very special feline member of our animalclinic family, testing positive when she became unwell (not Pandora).




Whilst FIV is unlikely to cause full blown AIDS signs in the majority of cats, it does in some, and that is "some" cats too many.

August 22nd is "Take your cat to the vet day", and I know how much you LOOOVE bringing your cat into the vet! (you don't, I know). 

On August 22nd, I, Dr Liz, with Dirk, will be out on the road doing house calls to make sure our cats get the vet care that they deserve, without the stress of getting them to the vet hospital. 

Early bookings are essential... and can be done through calling Dirk on 42845988, txt 0401349849 your preferred time, or emailing lizvet@animalclinic.com.au. No online bookings as we may need to tweak the schedule to accomodate travel times.

I will start from 7 am in the morning, for those cats who are late sleepers, so I can grab them in their snooze mode!  

Our House Call Fees - Check up only $70.00
Vaccination including check up $ 85.00
FIV test $65.00 - done on the spot 
FIV vaccination  $120 for the initial course - 3 vaccinations at two week intervals or $35 for FIV booster.

First in, best dressed, as there limited appointments available.   

Call  42 845988    

Off the beaten track therapies for thunderstorms - worth it? or a scam?

When you have a pet that freaks out, and you aren't so keen to start them on anti-anxiety medications (such as Prozac and valium), then you need to try something, on animal welfare grounds alone.

There is no cure for phobias, only management using a combination of several things, and this sometimes doesn't work either.  What is known is that the sooner treatment is started, the more successful any treatment will be.

Other  remedies include Homeopet Anxiety Drops (a registered veterinary product) which we find does help a small number of pets (not all), home made rescue remedy, Adaptil or Feliway,  calming music and Thundershirts. We are big fans of Adaptil (for dogs) and Feliway (for cats), and this forms the basis of every behavioural consultation we do. We call it "happy juice". 

brandy bottle Recipe for a home made remedy - I don't know if it works, but it was recommended to me by a veterinarian who is experienced in homeopathy and acupuncture. Place Bach remedies  Mimulus, Aspen, Larch and Rescue Remedy into a 50 ml bottle containing 25% brandy and 75% spring water.  Dose 3-4 drops by mouth 2 to 4 times daily during storm season, then when a storm approaches, and dog becomes agitated, dose every 10-15 minutes for a few doses until dog settles.  Repeat more frequent dosage for subsequent storms as needed.

Thundershirts are a tightly fitted shirt designed to give the pet a feeling of calm through wrapping. They are available for dogs and cats (I wish they had a goat one, as our pet goat Pepe hated fireworks)

 We do have some handouts on our website on behaviour problems and solutions.

Away at conference... and you would never have guessed (I hope) 
Pet Travel Safelty
In this day and age of technology, did you know that I was at a conference for two weeks in July? 

Well, it was an online conference, and it was four hours of lectures per day, covering the latest on thunderstorm phobias, pain medication, chronic ear infections, hip dislocations, heart problems....the speakers were from all over the world - from the UK, Ireland, Canada, US, as well as our neck of the woods - Melbourne, Perth and Gold Coast. And I stayed in Wollongong... glued to a computer screen, with headphones and note pad! 

As a result of these awesome lectures, we will tweak our current protocols  especially in pain management (one of my many interests). We have purchased a syringe pump, and will start implementing Constant Rate Infusion pain control. Thunderstorm management still continues to be problematic, as there is no cure for it... a frustration for all pet owners who struggle to manage their pet during thunderstorm season.  Overall, lots of knowledge, and lots of stuff to review.

Let PocketVet app keep  you app-dated.

PocketVet is more than just an app so we can keep in touch with you  You can put in information about all of your pets, and set up your pet's reminders.   It has a link to off leash areas, Lists lost and found pets (New feature), and handy pet care information.

Of course, select Russell Vale Animal Clinic, and be kept in the loop of times of when we are open/closed, special events, medical alerts etc.

Available for iPhone and Android smart phones and tablets.

Mine is on my ipad and phone! So I get updates to know what I am doing too!

Get your PocketVet app now.


Pandora "the boss"

Thank you to those who open and read Animail Tails. 

July was an amazing, exhausting, but very fulfilling month - whilst each month is filled with deep moments of sadness (I know you know what I mean), there are equally moments of elation and happiness.

I received an amazing compliment the other day...the loving pet owner commented on how "enthusiastic" I was in discussing with her her pet's condition. 

I have been a vet for 24 years now, and as a solo veterinarian for the past 8 years, it is truly a compliment to still be called "enthusiastic". In a vets life, there are many days when enthusiasm is hard to muster.  

My enthusiasm comes from all of you... the loving pet owners who choose Russell Vale Animal Clinic, as "their pet's vet"... I don't magically create enthusiasm in a pot in the kitchen, throwing in a few magic "herbs and mushrooms" from the garden... the enthusiasm comes from the way you love your pets, and treat us when you come in to see us. That gives us all such a buzz. 

A BIG thank you for allowing me to still be as enthusiastic now, that I am an old vet, as I was when I first ventured into the consultation room as a newly graduated one in 1989. 

Yours sincerely, 


In This Issue
Left or right pawed?
Calming massage--aaah!
Happy Friendship Day!
Wishing FIV away!
Noise phobia treatment alternatives
Away at conference in July!
Important Dates, Dudes!
Pet Dental Month is HERE!
Pandora's surprise party
For Fun!
separation anxiety
Separation anxiety is not a laughing matter... would your pet be happier if they came to work with you?

As we are heading into thunderstorm season, book an appointment to discuss how to help your pet cope - it is serious enough a problem, for it not to be an "over the counter" or "phone advice" solution. 

You can also follow our blog to get the latest general tips and hints, and feel free to add your own comments too on what you found has worked and more importantly what hasn't.


Lillie smiling
For Happy, Healthy Pets..Always
August is super busy for us in a  fun kind of way. Thanks, Lillie, for being the happy face for August!  We have been seeing Lillie since she had her first vaccination with us 8 years ago.  
If the phrase "We're off to see Uncle Dirk" is mentioned to her, she gets soo excited - she loves Uncle Dirk! 
And she comes from Figtree to visit Uncle Dirk (and me). 

RSPCA Cupcake Day

- on Monday, the 19th of August from 9 am to 11 am we will be having a party at the vet hospital - again we are opening up for a cupcake party - there will be cakes, coffee and tea available (for a fee of course, with everything going towards the RSPCA)  


Our page is here..




See the photos below of some of the cake toppers we have bought - aren't they cute? and then they will go on the cakes we will make! 


  cupcake toppers

Last year we named our cakes - do you think we should do so this year? 


We had Pandora's Box (chocolate cake), Dirk's Delight(Lemon Poppyseed), just to name a few. 

Let me know what you think by emailing me.  



But yet there's more - ways to save money and protect your pet on RSPCA Cupcake Day- On Monday afternoon, we will donate 10% of every dog or cat or rabbit vaccination to the tally.  You pay the same, you pet gets the care, checkup and vaccination, and we will donate 10% of the fee ($8 per cat or dog) directly towards the tally. 

Book online as spaces are limited (there is only one of me)




 The eye specialist is coming - for the first time in a few years, the eye specialist is using Russell Vale Animal Clinic as their base when they visit the Wollongong, and the north.  They will rotate amongst different veterinary hospitals, visiting us each 4 months. 


Pandoras eyes


This will be on Tuesday, 20th of August 2013 from 9 am to 11 am, with appointments that can be made online or through calling us on 42 845988.


The appointment times are "guidelines only" but light refreshments will be provided to make things a bit more comfortable for everyone. 


 Feel free to share with those who need an "eye specialist visit". 


Dates we will be closed


We will be closed on Thursday, 22nd of August because of "Take your vet to the cat " day, where we will be doing housecalls for our feline family members.


We will also be closed (possibly) on Thursday, 15th of August because our youngest son may be running in his regional Athletics carnival - we missed his local school carnival, but we would love to cheer him on for his regionals.  Thank you for your understanding.



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August is Pet Dental Month 
Flip the Lip - is it Grade 1?
grade 1 dental
Red gums and smell is a sign of disease in your pet's mouth.  Bad breath in pets is not normal. 
Early intervention of any disease is my goal, but in the pet's mouth Grade 1 is the perfect time, as disease can be treated and any damage done, can be reversed. 

For a cat or dog < 20 kg only $170.00
For a dog > 20 kg $195.00

Book Now different logo  
Shh...it's a secret!  Pandora's surprise party!
Pandora's Box ... to be opened
Pandora is turning 40, and like any lady, is not willing to talk to us about it.  "I do not want a party... go away" she says, as she slinks towards her favourite spot on my filing cabinet. 

Whilst we know she will hide away, and pretend its not on, we are having a party for her anyway. 

Put this date in your diary...
Saturday - 29th of September 2013 
It will be 10 am to 1 pm, at the vet hospital. 

Cake cutting will be at 12 noon

We will have a jumping castle for the kids, food for everyone, lucky "gate" prizes, tours of the veterinary hospital and more. 

Entry is free. We hope it will be a fun day for all of the animalclinic family, and their extended family too. 

Pet Dental Month is here.... 
$249 It's Official... as it has been for a few years now... August is National Pet Dental Month where vets offer free pet dental
check ups for the month of August only ...
and as you know, at Russell Vale Animal Clinic, we offer them all year round, and focus especially on when our puppies and kitten are six months old, and then it is each six months thereafter. 

I have been busy writing about all things dental, in my bellambivet blog... here are some things in my Dr Liz's Dental Discussion.

I talk about Dental Xrays - we were the first in the Illawarra (we started in 2005).

I talk about the fear of the anaesthetic - this is what seems to stop alot of people of getting their pet's mouths treated for pain. 

I talk about the right time to actually treat the dental disease that your pet may have. 

And what vet doesn't love puppies  and kittens - I talk about the dental problems they may get too.

But Pet Dental Month is here, so book your pet in now for their free Pet Dental Check - you can call us on 42845988 or book online. 

What to know about what is involved in a dental packages? We have information on Grade 1 disease, Grade 2 disease online.

The reality is, if there is any redness of the gums, smell from the mouth or brown stuff sitting on the tooth - then that is dental disease, and it should not be ignored. 

Call us on 42 845 988 or txt 0401349849 or book online for your pet's FREE dental check. 



Book Now different logo    



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