Animail Tails

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The Kindness Zone!

Love cats... gotta love cats! ..

I want to hug all cats!
I want to hug all cats!

Who else gets emotional when they can't hug every cat!

Cats Vs Water
Cats Vs Water

  August  2015

Aaah.... another Animail Tails is here.

This issue is about National Pet Dental Month, so book your pet in get your pet in now for their   free dental check (and a reminder that we offer dental checks all year round too, not just in August).  Also, this time of year is a common time for ear infections, so take care.

The bellambivet blog didn't get a "feeding" in July, but we promise that August and beyond will be well fed.

Looking through the past few years, there are some posts that have prove more popular than others, and these are the ones who are inspired by things you have said to or asked of me.  Thanks for being my muse!

Emergency Pain Relief

Sore Ears

Impossible Veterinary Questions to answer with a straight face

Buying Pet Products at the Supermarket

There are so many events going on in the next few months, it is hard to keep up... but there is ONE that I need you to remember - that is our Annual Open Day on Sunday 13th October 2015. 

Dr Liz

Let's have a Heart to Heart!
 Did you know that heart disease affect our pets too?

It is not always due to their lifestyle choice, but can be due to their genetics or medications. 

At each annual  vet check, a stethoscope is placed on your pet's chest  - to auscultate lung sounds, to check the heart rate, and to check for heart rhythm.

During these examinations, it is not uncommon to identify heart murmurs or irregular beats. If your pet has regular check ups, then we can answer the question "How long has my pet had a heart murmur?

Changes can occur in a matter of days (as it did in our previous dog, Teddy).

It is a misconception though that a dog or cat with a heart murmur will cough.  Actually, the most common thing we see is heavy breathing or panting, with some pets showing no signs at all, or worse, they walk down the fence line and drop dead with a heart attack!

An easy test to monitor for heart health at home is your pet's Resting Respiratory Rate (the RRR). There are many apps available to monitor that, such as the Heart2Heart by Boehringer.

 As soon as your pet's RRR is close to or greater than 30, your pet needs to see a vet urgently, as this is often a sign of impending Congestive Heart Failure.

Ask us or email us for more information.
Book Now different logo  Book now!
August is National Pet Dental Month with vets all over Australian offering free dental checks to all pets - dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, etc - if your pet has teeth then it deserves a dental check.

What are the signs of dental disease?
- a red line along the gum margin
- bad breath
- tartar more visible on one side of the mouth than the other
- dropping of food whilst eating, or tentative eating (although most pets will eat well even with severe advanced dental disease)
- discoloured or fractured teeth
- receding gums and/or mobile teeth

FREE dental checks are available for all of you and the pets of your friends all year round.  Call us on 42 845988 to book in now, hit reply or book online.

It's all about the Smile - Three Weird Things in the Mouth!
 How often do you look in your pet's mouth?  Me?  It is every time they come in to see me.
You - well, only you know that answer!
 I am sharing some weird things we have seen during a pet's dental check or when they have been under anaesthetic  - our  dental checks are not just about the tartar, but about overall oral health - including the tongue, cheeks, gums and position of teeth.

1. A row of hair going down the midline of the tongue
This is known to occur in Cocker Spaniels predominantly, but can occur in any breed.

No treatment is necessary - but it does bring a whole new perspective to "brushing the tongue"

2. Ulcers in the roof of the mouth, especially in the soft palate

We see this about once a year, and can be due to food or flea allergies, toxins or cancer.  Submitting a  biopsy for histopathology is always required for correct diagnosis. 

Treatment depends on the cause. Depending on the cancer, surgery or chemotherapy is possible.  With allergies, immunosuppressants and hypoallergenic diets are vital.

3. Lumps in the mouth

Lumps can be on the gum, on the cheeks, palate.  They can arise from the periodontal ligament, the bone, muscle, or they can be primary or secondary cancers. The more common nodules are due to severe periodontal disease.

 Treatment - usually a combination of radiographs and biopsy to find out exactly what it is, aswell as dealing with any other signs of disease in the mouth.
Book Now different logo
  Book online now - or call 42 845 988
We were winners in 2013 and 2014, and Finalists in 2012 and 2015 Illawarra Local Business Awards.

We want to thank all of you for the support and encouragement you give all of us at Russell Vale Animal Clinic.

Thank you to all of you who voted for us.

On the days when the going gets tough, and sad things need to be done, it is nice to know that there are still good people, with their awesome animals that are happy to come in to see us.

We thank you for your kind referrals and recommendations.  It is very much appreciated.

We are always happy for feedback - including any issues or concerns - we cannot fix or improve what we do unless you let us know. 

Ah yes..... when the going gets tough... there is always light.....

And in some pets, the light hits the wall when I look into their ears too!

Thanks to animalclinic family members Abby and JJ for sharing this.

Follow me on Twitter 


The "Ears" have it - an infection that is!
Ear diagram Ear infections are the most common recurring skin problem in dogs.

The reason is usually
1. The initial infection was not treated for long enough (usually because owners finish the bottle thinking that its a "course of treatment" with no follow up ear tests done.

2. The initial infection has been replaced with a different kind of infection.

3. The cause of the infection is still ongoing, with the most common being allergies, foreign bodies (grass seed), or nodules.

Do not use
- olive oil
- alcohol
- water
to clean your pet's ears.

Do use
- commercial ear cleaners - such as PAW Gentle Ear Cleaner, Troy Alpha Ear Cleaner (very useful for dogs who go swimming),  or if a yeast infection present, then use Dermcare Otoflush.
- an easy home made ear wipe solution is apple cider vinegar mixed with lukewarm boiled water in a 50:50 dilution.

In most pets, applying the ear cleaner onto a swab or make up removing pad, and only removing the excess from the top of the ear is all that is needed.

Why do we do ear swabs tests ? Or why can't we just dispense ear drops over the counter. 

Even though black waxy discharge could mean ear mites, it could also mean a malassezia yeast infection (in the picture they are the small purple coloured peanut (or snowmen) shaped organisms. Ear mites and yeasts are treated differently.

Even though a yellow or creamy discharge usually indicates a bacterial infection, the question is which one?  The usual culprits are staph or strep - these have predictable sensitivities to antibiotics, or it could be an E.coli, Proteus, Pseudomonas, in which case it can be difficult to know which is the right medication without either trial therapy with follow up ear swab cytology, or culture and sensitivity.

The Fat Ear Ear infections cannot be ignored - because if they are - they lead to this - a Fat Ear

 An "Aural Hematoma" occurs when a blood vessel ruptures on the ear flap, with the leaking blood lifting the skin of the underlying cartilage.

Because of the seperation of the skin and cartilage, sticking a needle in to drain it isn't enough - the space left behind is enough to allow more fluid to collect.

The treatment involves
- identifying the underlying cause - is it due to a foreign boy, ear  infection, allergies
- can me medical or surgical depending on the cause.
Medical treatment is effective in 40% of dogs, so we often head towards surgery.

Surgery involves removing the fluid, and then placing stitches in to keep the area compressed to try to get the skin to "glue" back onto the underlying cartilage.

Any questions about your pet's ear infection?  Hit reply and ask.

And, don't forget the bellambivet blog has many articles on helping pets with ear infections.

Watch out for our new Banner at Spring into Corrimal, as well as Wollongong City Council's Mini Pet Expos.

Make sure you stop in to say "Gday!"

Wollongong City Council
Responsible Pet Day
Bellambi Neighbourhood Centre (as above)
Mini Pet Expo
Tuesday 8th September 2015
12 noon to 3 pm

We will be at both events supporting Wollongong City Council and Responsible Pet Ownership. 

RSPCA Cupcake Day

We haven't registered this year as my cupcake making skills means that I should never give up my day job as a vet! , but we will be more than happy to help you sell yours.

Hit reply, let me know.

Watch out for an  email to let you know that we there will be cupcakes at the vets.

Are you going to the Dog Lovers Show?  We are too....hope to run into you there!

Russell Vale Animal Clinic will be there! 

We will be offering 
nail clips
anal glands
cheap microchipping

There will be competitions with some great prizes

Our list of prizes for our Open Day is growing, with our most recent support coming from Bayer with a six pack of Advocate for dogs and a six pack for cats.

Will share in the next newsletter what the prizes will be - we are aiming towards our First Prize being a Pet Owner's Dream!
Don't forget to stop in and say Hi! 

Our Open Day
 Sunday 11th October 2015
"For the Love of Animals"
is our theme for 2015.
We can confirm that
  • Cafe2U are back with their awesome coffees and frappes! (Thanks Karen and Spiro)
  • Get Wild are back but not only with a Reptile show, but also with some farmyard animals too
  • There will be facepainting for the kiddies (and the young at heart)
  • and our specially ordered super dooper jumping castle!

And yes, it is FREE!   

All we need is good weather :) 


It is our way of saying "Thank You" for being part of our animalclinic animal mad family!

Thank you again for reading, sharing, and asking me questions. 


Dr Liz

Ivory Coat Venison in
2 kg and 13 kg bags
Guess what?

Ivory Coat is now available in the 13 kg sizes, and that the much anticipated Venison has arrived.

Ivory Coat is an Australian Made, using Australian product Grain Free food, with range for puppies, adult dogs, and those who need a low fat food too. 

It has helped many pets with their skin, coat and ear infections, aswell as those with food intolerances.  



Is your pet rubbing their bottoms along the ground?  You have wormed them and it is still happening.

It could be their "anal glands" causing problems. 

Take advantage of this offer now!
Offer Expires 30/08/2015. Must Present Voucher at time of appointment. Value $25.00


We still see puppies, kittens and adults infected with intestinal parasites, and this is sad.

All pets need intestinal worming EACH three months.
Offer Expires 30/08/2015. Must Present Voucher. Only available for currently registered pets at Russell Vale Animal Clinic to a maximum of TWO pets only.


The water intake of a pet should be between 60 to 90 mls/kg. Anything more than that, definitely needs a check up!

Our urine test will check for sugar, blood, pH and concentration.
Offer Expires NEVER. Must Present Voucher and urine sample. Only available for currently registered pets at Russell Vale Animal Clinic. No consultation needed to test the sample, but consultation is needed and payable if we need to discuss an abnormal result.
Russell Vale Animal Clinic | 02 42 845988 |
17 Bellambi Lane
Russell Vale, 2518