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For Happy, Healthy Pets... Always
What is a Max?  
March 2014

russellvalevet @ gmail. com




Piper's version of conflict resolution

with our cat Dash!


 Welcome to another one of the mad Dr Liz's Animail Tails!


Firstly, an apology to our rabbit mad owners - nothing on rabbits in this issue, but next month - there will be!


Our new puppy, Piper's management training (aka Puppy Preschool) is going well, and she will taking up her full time role as Practice Manager soon!


Developing her Job Description is a challenge, as we have never had a Practice Manager of her calibre before. We do know that Dirk and I need to be better organised, and Pandora (the boss) just sleeps around all day, so she isn't much help (unless its meal time, then she is plenty helpful).


Piper's Job Description should include....

your suggestions please?


Do you think you know all about the different breeds that are out there?  Do you think that you could pick a dog's breed just by looking at it?  Have some fun with us on Facebook, where we try to figure out Max's breed.  More information below. 


And read on for Piper's DNA breed result too  


And finally, March is Polite Pets Month, where all things behaviour abound - from the wafts of Feliway and Adaptil as you enter the building, the liver treats,  the bandannas, and the information on anxiety and other behavioural problems (yes, I know that sounds like us all year round, but March is the official National Polite Pets Month with vets all over Australia).


Our bellambivets blog will feature our Behaviour Bytes series, where we will answer pet owners questions.... if you have any behavioural question which you will be happy to have answered in the blog, then email me  or post it on facebook.





Yours & Thank You!


Dr Liz on behalf of Pandora (the boss).
  PS This is our third year of Animail Tails online, and back issues are available online.
MaxGuess the Breed?  What is Max?
Max with his Dad
In October 2012, we added DNA testing to our list of services.
Max came in to see us for a DNA test as he was growing to be larger and looking different to what would've been expected.

The results were indeed a surprise, but explains alot of Max's behaviour (he is feisty, loyal, loving, energetic).  Whilst we can never label a breed, we do know that different breeds do tend to show specific traits - these are often the things we look for when we are out selecting a new family member (unless you are like us - where the dog chose us!).
Max with his Mum

What breed (s) do you think goes into the beautiful Max?
You can join our Facebook discussion on this, and put in your two cents worth.  If you don't have facebook, then why not email me directly? (just hit reply on this email and let me know)
The result will be revealed to all on Tuesday, 4th of March in the afternoon via Facebook.
Just to help you - he is now 8 months old, and is 32 kg, so he isn't a Chihuahua despite his ears!

A big Thank You to Max's mum and dad for allowing us to share his very beautiful face (and theirs!).

For more information  on genetic tests visit our DNA page  



  Like us on Facebook if you haven't done so already!
PIPERDrum Roll....Piper's DNA report is back! And..

The report is self explanatory - it is many pages long, but it is all summed up in this one diagram!  She is a pure Aussie Kelpie!
We have now ordered a Genetic Disease Health Screen for her, which will identify her genetic risk of specific diseases.  
Why do these tests?  Well, I like to know, and the technology is there to help us. The DNA test is only $125 and the Genetic Disease Health Screen is only $135, so it isn't the thousands of dollars that it is for people. 
Our DNA page has more information on these, and obviously, email me if there are any questions.
A guilty dog?  No... they are anxious and scared!


March, to the veterinarians ear, sounds like Polite Pets Month. It is the month where every veterinarian who loves animals, try to get the message out there that we live and breath animal behaviours all day - we are the experts in animals who "are not themselves" including behavioural issues.


After all, don't some of you talk about how scared your dog or cat is when they go to a vet ? (fortunately, not that common with us... our liver jerky, Feliway and Adaptil keeps the anxiety at a low level for most).  Don't most of you bring your pet to us when they are "not themselves"?


On a day to day basis though, many people aren't aware of the signs of anxiety at home, or worse, are aware, but think nothing can be done, or have "tried everything" (except ask the vet).


Signs a cat may be feeling anxious include

  • avoiding eye contact
  • staying low when movingdog blinking
  • moving away
  • urinating outside their litter tray
  • excessive meowing
  • can be aggressive

Signs a dog may be feeling anxious include

  • yawning, scratching and sniffing
  • avoiding eye contact
  • looking away
  • pulling the corners of the mouth back
  • salivating
  • pulling ears back
  • creeping around in slow motion
  • standing with tail tucked under

There are solutions,  but it is  question of starting sooner, rather than later.  There is always going to be a point when nothing can be done, and we need to do the unthinkable.  BUT, Most pets can be helped though, with guidance and dedicated owners.

  • avoid situations that could contribute to the problem
  • provide a safe place to cope or hide
  • provide a safe predictdable environment
  • teaching dogs to be calm and relaxed in various situations
  • Use of medications and pheromones (Adaptil for dogs, Feliway for cats).

For more information and handouts, visit our ABehaviourC page.





Bellambivets Blog
Did you know the Bellambivets blog has an international following, that we have been shared and tweeted by vets and animal lovers all over the world? 
We need you r help though, as the intention of the blog was to be a source of information for loving pet owners to help them help their pets - through our Astonishing Secrets, Behaviour Bytes and Dental Discussions (with more planned).
Of course, there are other parts too - which is opinionated,  and my 2014 Gratitude Project!
Can you help with suggestions on what loving pet owners would love to know about? or may need extra help with?
Visit our blog
Thank You!
Till next time
Pandora "the boss"

 I will be attending the Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference over in Perth - haven't decided how to get there yet, or if Dirk will come too, but it is on at the end of May 2014.


Continuing Education is a very enjoyable aspect of what I do, but it does take me away from the other enjoyable aspect, which is being there for you.


Since 2001, we have been the proud recipients of  the Annual CMAVA (Certified Member of the Australian Veterinary Association) Award, which is given for excellence in Continuing Education. In recent years, this program has changed, and we hope to be a part of the new Certification Program.


Just because we are small, and I am a solo vet, and a General Practitioner, does not mean that all of us here do not aim for excellence in general veterinary practice.



We are for happy, healthy pets.... always!



Till next time....


Liz, Dirk, Tegan, Piper and Pandora (the boss).

 ava member logo
In This Issue
What is Max!
Piper is a ?
A Guilty Dog?
Help Us?
For Fun
Save a Spider
New Flea Product
Puppy and Kitten Packs





 We have a limited number of Paw and Claw Club packs to give away.


If you have a new puppy or kitten, come in to pick up these amazing packs.  Both packs include a single dose of Revolution (suitable for pets < 2.5 kg) which provides Heartworm, Mites, Lice and Flea treatment for dogs and cats, and intestinal worming for cats only.  Plus a lot of other freebies just as a great Trick book for dogs, and Cat litter for cats.


They are FREE, but we have LIMITED numbers!




For Fun!

Piper, Tegan and I have been attending Puppy Preschool at four different venues, including one at Seaforth Veterinary Hospital (this is the one where I first learnt about Puppy Preschool back in 1992, and the one which Dr Kersti Seksel, a specialist Veterinary Behaviourist recommended as the best structured class(we agree).



Tegan and Piper at Seaforth Vet Hospital.

Many of you have taken your puppies to classes...can you send me your feedback on how you found them?



What you liked about it?


What you didn't like about it?


What you thought could be improved? 


As the first vet to run Puppy Preschool in the Illawarra back in 1992 , it is a project that is very very dear to my heart, even if we do not run them currently due to our family commitments.


Please email me your suggestions! 


More Fun!
Have you visited our Café and Library?


Piper in her new role as Practice Manager - testing out the seating!

 Our animalclinic café is open, and we are pleased to announce the opening of our animalclinic library too!

The café is free for all clients and offers soft drink, juice, tea, coffee and hot choccy's, with yummy treats too.


Our animalclinic library is growing too, and we are always looking for new books. Books can be borrowed for a Gold Coin donation to our 2014 Fundraiser, which is Pets in the Park.


Save A Spider... seriously!
spider chow
OK, I know that the pup above is not a real spider, but the thought of putting a real creepy crawly up here made me a bit squeamish (although I am in awe of spiders - the webs they weave, the lives they lead....)
Save a spider, by giving your household Huntsman a name (like we do).  This means that when Herman or Oliver or whatever you have named him turns up in the toilet at 2 in the morning, then instead of squealing, then you can have a conversation with him instead.

14th of March is Save a Spider Day!
The Smithsonian gives an amazing argument on why we should save a spider. If you are squeamish, then not a great site... if you are curious, then it is amazing!


 Days of our Lives

23rd of March is National Puppy Day days of our lives - a US National Day to promote animal adoption, not pet shop purchases.


20th of March - International Earth Day - every day we should respect each other and the beautiful planet we live on.


We have installed Solar Panels and Solar Hot Water and our gardens are "drought tough". We use energy saving devices, and reduce waste where we can.


What steps have you taken?

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on Google+Visit my blog 
Free Online Consultations

You may or may not know that we offer free online advice to all registered pets of Russell Vale Animal Clinic.


maya and shadow touching nosesIn other words, we are just an email away in asking for help.



This is available for you all of the time, all year round. This is what you deserve as part of the animalclinic family.


Of course, there will be times that a vet visit is needed, but for those little questions that don't really need a full consult, we are there to help, if we can.


Visit here for more information.


New Product - Flea Control



new product


 Activyl -is the first of the new range of flea products that will be introduced into Australia over the next few years to combat the increasing resistance the flea has developed to many of our current flea products.


Activyl acts in a different way to conventional flea products, in that it only becomes fully active once it is inside the flea - this is called bio-activation.


It spreads through the coat by the natural oils, it gets into the flea through contact and ingestion, and it is the flea's own enzymes that transforms it into the flea killing form. (evil against fleas, by the sounds of it)


It is suitable for dogs and cats, and we will be stocking the monthly packs (although it is also available in packs of six also).


Fast acting, quick drying, water fast, and unique! 


Exciting times ahead in the ongoing battle against the flea.