Nutrition plays an extremely important role in your working dogs and pet’s lives. Get it wrong and you are not only facing obesity or weight loss, but a sub-optimal diet can have long term and damaging effects on the body.
In our clinic common problems we see associated with poor diet include chronic itchy skin causing a dry rash to more severe secondary skin infections; to runny stools or increased numbers of stools throughout the day and increased wind. Of course working dogs that are underweight and poorly performing often improve drastically with an increase in the quality of their diet.
For working dogs the ideal feeding combo is 50:50 high quality dry food (such as eukanuba premium performance) with frozen raw animal carcass. Any farm-kill must be frozen for a minimum of 14 days before feeding to dogs. If you are feeding mostly mutton/beef/rabbit etc it is essential to feed not just the muscle and bone, but cooked offal including heart, liver, kidneys and rumen/stomach contents. In combination these raw foods are a complete diet but feeding just beef/lamb brisket is certainly not and will lead to deficiencies. Any dogs needing a pick-me-up would benefit from a high vitamin/mineral supplement such as “MyBeau” which we have at the clinic. If you would like advice on how you can optimise your feeding regime for your working dogs please call in and see us.
For pets we have a new and “All Natural” food range in stock called Orijen and Acana. This food, for cats and dogs is a complete diet made of human-grade animal products and contains little or no grains and fillers that are often the main ingredient in cheaper foods. Dogs and cats were made to eat whole prey and we believe this food offers the best alternative to a diet they would eat “in the wild”.
So pop in this September for our special nutrition advice, free weigh-ins and some free food samples!!
Dr Julia Henken BVMedSci BVM BVS.
Pain in the Foot and Getting with the Times!
We are excited to launch our new practice website with up to date info, offers and practice pics. Please visit www.taihapevets.co.nz for more info and to tour the clinic and meet the team! For more info on getting your own website designed, contact Kieran Farr on 0212070242.
Whilst we have been busy with technological advances we have also been busy in the clinic with painful, pussy infections in the feet. Most commonly seen in working dogs as swollen joints in the feet, grass seeds between the toes and nail bed infections.
This month has been all about cracked and broken nails. When a claw is broken it can allow harmful bacteria to get up into the nail bed, causing pus to form beneath the claw and eat away at the fleshy quik. If not treated in time, this infection can penetrate the bone at the tip of the toe.
What we usually do to treat these nasty nail bed infections is cut away the nail, release the pus and apply a poultice dressing on the foot for a couple of days. A poultice does the important job of drawing pus, bacteria and dead tissue out of a wound, allowing the swelling to go down and healthy tissue to heal. Antibiotics of course play a crucial role in treating infections.
In very severe cases that do not respond to this sort of medical treatment, we have to resort to surgery. This usually involves removing the infected bit of bone and often we can spare the toe pad without having to amputate the whole toe. In the vast majority of cases, the dog can go back to full work after healing with no long-term consequences.
Dr Julia Henken BVMedSci BVM BVS(Hons)
Terrible Teeth in Taihape!
After seeing lots of Taihape dogs and cats recently with terrible teeth we have decided to run a “Dental Month” in July where you can bring your pets in for a FREE dental check and a FREE sample of toothpaste or dental food for those that need it.
Dental problems are in general often missed by owners and can lead to chronic pain, difficulty eating, bad breath, drooling, weight loss and even aggression.
The main forms of dental problems are gingivitis and periodontitis which are inflammation and infection of the gums and the tissues around the teeth. This is always caused by build-up of tartar and therefore bacteria on the teeth. Simply brushing your pets teeth, offering specific dental food and using certain treats like dental chews and carrots can make a huge difference.
Sometimes in severe cases the teeth and gums are so badly damaged that dogs and cats will need a “dental”. This involves an anaesthetic, an in-depth examination of your pets mouth, a full de-scale and polish to remove tartar and plaque, and the removal of any teeth that are causing problems. Recovery from a dental usually involves 5 days of soft food and then afterwards a comfortable and clean mouth.
It is important once the dental has been done to help prevent further tooth decay and tartar by keeping your pets mouths clean.
So come see us in July for your all-important dental check!
Dr Julia Henken BVMedSci BVM BVS
Taihape Veterinary Services Ltd
(06) 388 0863