Rat Bait Poisoning in Dogs and Cats

rat poison in dogs and catsThe team at Familypet Vet have seen an increase the number of animals suffering from rat bait intoxication recently in the Adelaaide area. We suspect this is because of the increase in mouse numbers, and so more baits are being laid.

Rat baits can contain any number of different poisons but most work by reducing clotting factors in the blood. So without thes factors the blood can’t clot and bleeding occurs which can be fatal. This poison is not species specific so this could happen to your cat or dog as well.

Dogs and cats can either be affected by eating the bait itself, or by eating mice or rats who have consumed rat bait. Symptoms usually take a couple of days to present themselves and include being more subdued than usual, pale or white gum colour, trouble breathing or unusual bruizing and bleeding.

The good news is that rat bait intoxication can be treated. If you see your pet eating bait, we can induce vomiting soon after at the veterinary clinic so that little of the bait is absorbed, and further treatment may not be required. If further treatment is required, vitamin K can be given by injection and tablet form for several weeks to help blood clotting while the toxin is in your pet’s system. The duration of vitamin K treatment depends on the active ingredient in the rat bait used, it can vary from a week to several weeks.

Basic Obedience Dog Training

Here at Familypet Vet puppy pre-school we will teach you and your puppy to following basic commands:

  • Sit
  • •Stay
  • Drop
  • Come

When teaching these commands, we try and get the puppies to know the action first, and then bring in the verbal command once they have mastered that action.



  1. Position yourself in front of your puppy, making sure he or she is facing you.
  2. Get the puppies’ attention by calling him or her and showing you have a treat.
  3. Hold the treat in your fingers and right in front of the puppies’ nose. Do not move your hand around otherwise the puppy will move, jump up, or on you.
  4. Raise your hand slowly upwards, keeping the treat in front of its nose and eyes and then over its head.
  5. Ideally, puppies’ nose will follow, head will go up, and bottom will go down.
  6. Reward straight away and give lots of praise!
  7. Once your puppy can do this well, start using the verbal command “sit” when the puppy sits down.
  8. Practise this every day, and get your puppy to sit for any kind of food or attention.

Dog Training


  1. Start by getting your puppy to sit.
  2. Hold a treat in front of your puppy’s nose and then lower your hand to the ground keeping your hand right in front of your puppy and between the legs/ paws.
  3. As you near the ground move the treat away from the puppy along the floor.
  4. The puppy should lower its body to the ground.
  5. Rewards within half a second and say drop.


** You may find your pup will want to lift their bottom/ or stand back up, while attempting to drop, if this happens just use your other hand to prevent them lifting their back end. Sometimes a bit of gentle pressure may be needed on their shoulders to get their front legs lying down.


  1. Get your puppy to sit. Position yourself right in front of your puppy.
  2. Hold a treat in front of your puppy’s nose without moving it.
  3. Start with moving with one foot only, stepping backwards once. Do this while keeping the treat right in front of your puppy so they don’t have a reason to move.
  4. Say stay and reward immediately.
  5. Repeat as above, gradually moving both feet, then eventually move further and further backwards.

** take this very slowly, moving a small distance every few days. Also when teaching stay, never call them to you, go back to them, and then reward.


  1. Always use a happy high pitched voice.
  2. Move away from your puppy, call their name and say come.
  3. Once they are at your feet reward immediately.

This is a good one to practise around meal time. Never punish for them coming, particularly after they have run off or not come straight away, otherwise your puppy will be too scared to come back to you.


This command is good for rewarding your puppy for calm “settled” behaviour. Have a treat handy, and when you notice your puppy sitting or lying quietly, say the word settle, and give your puppy a treat.

Over time, your puppy will the associate being calm and quiet with getting a treat, and in the future will help you to get them to settle down sooner when excited.


** When doing obedience training with your puppy, don’t go on for too long they will lose concentration quickly. 5-10 minutes is plenty. Pick a time that your puppy isn’t too lively, but not asleep either. If your attempting to do some training with your puppy and they are not paying attention, don’t force it, have a break, and try again in half an hour or so.


Parvo Virus Update May 2017

Parvovirus can be a deadly disease in dogs and puppies. Thankfully it can be prevented with appropriate vaccinations.

You may have seen the recent media releases about the new strain of parvovirus which has been detected within Australia. This new strain is called canine parvovirus 2c (CPV-2c), and while new to Australia, has been present overseas since the year 2000. There is no evidence to suggest that the strain here is any different to the CPV-2c strain detected overseas. This means we can use information gathered about this strain overseas here in Australia. The good news is that the vaccination we use here at Family Pet Vet has shown to provide good protection against canine parvovirus 2c, as well as the strains already present here in Australia.

The study that revealed this new strain of parvovirus in Australia was completed on cases that occurred in 2015, and since that time there have been no reports of a mass outbreak of canine parvovirus.

It is vital that all dogs are protected against parvovirus, even dogs that do not leave the house or yard, as parvovirus can be transmitted on shoes and other objects. The best way to ensure your dog is protected is to ensure they are appropriately vaccinated, and vaccinations are kept up to date. Symptoms include lethargy, depression, anorexia, vomiting and diarrhoea, often containing blood. Treatment requires intensive hospital care, and some dogs do not survive. If you notice these symptoms in your dog please contact the clinic immediately on 8323 8522 ( Mclaren Vale) or 83703500 ( Coromandel Valley)

Pet Insurance: Does your pet need it?


puppy sleeping




  • How much do you love your pet?
  • Do you go out of your way to include their needs in your own grocery list?
  • Do you worry about whether they have eaten yet or not when you are out of town for business?
  • Do you miss them when you go abroad to travel and wish you could bring them with you?

If you go through all these then you are certified pet lover.

There is no denying how important their role is in your life, that’s why you also want to give them the best you could.

Are shelter, food and water every day enough?

What if they get sick?

Are you financially prepared to take care of all their medical needs?There is no Medicare for Pets!

24% of us claim on our car insurance
17% of us claim on house insurance
40% of us claim on our pet insurance
60%of us claim on our pet insurance for pets over the age of 10

You’d be surprised at how expensive it can get to see them through their health condition and unless you have saved enough, it would really be financially challenging for you. This is the very reason why it is only logical that you get yourself the Pet Insurance that they need. After all, like any other insurance policy, it is an investment but you are buying PEACE OF MIND.dog insurance

Pet Insurance policies are like buying your money in advance. You think about the ‘what ifs’ that could happen to your pet and you make sure that you have enough money to cover it through.

Studies conducted show that one pet out of every three need medical attention each year.

How sure are you that your pet isn’t the one out of the three?

Unless you can see the future, you can never really say. One day they are perfectly healthy and the next, they become so sick they worry you. To get this worry off your list, get pet insurance. That should take care of the problem.

Diabetes, skin allergies and accidents on the road can happen to you as much as it can happen to your pet. As more medical advancements are introduced at Familypet Vet we will make sure your pet will benifit from these changes in technology and treatment,understandibly that comes wiht an increase in cost.

IF cost is your limiting factor. It could be the only reason that will get you to stop and think about whether to provide further help to your pet or not. But if they are part of your family, then nothing should get in the way, right?

It is heart breaking to be in a situation where you have to choose between your finances and your pet. Nobody would want to be in that position.

For the fraction of the cost, you can get your pets insured and you worry-less of whatever may happen to them.

When choosing an Pet Insurance policy make sure you take out a life time policy at Familypet Vet we recommend PetPlan for that reason.

the cheaper insurance companies will only cover you for a year and then they exclude that condition.

When you bring in your new puppy to Familypet Vet at Mclaren Vale( close to Seaford) or Coromandel Valley ( Close to Blackwood) in the Adelaide hills.


The insurance will save you from feeling helpless in the event that your best friend would need any medical attention.




Protect Your Rabbit

Rabbit in South AustraliaAs reported on the News a few days ago.In March 2017 the Australian Government will be releasing a new strain of the rabbit Calicivirus.

The first strain of Calicivirus (named ‘Czech’) was released in Australia in 1996 to help control environmental destruction caused by increasing wild rabbit numbers. A vaccine was created to protect domestic rabbits against this strain.

In recent years the Czech strain has become less virulent (effective) due to developing immunity, therefore a new strain (named ‘K5’) will shortly be released around Australia.

A pilot study has been performed and indicates that the current Calicivirus vaccine may provide some protection against the K5 strain, however it is unknown if it will provide adequate protection and is not currently registered to protect against this new strain.

We have been informed by the vaccine company of the following updated vaccination recommendations (Note: These are not proven to work, but will maximise the amount of protection)

We are to consider giving their initial vaccination as young as 4 weeks of age, repeated again at 8 weeks of age and again at 12 weeks of age. This is followed by 6 monthly boosters for life.

Rabbits 12 weeks and older that have not received a vaccination or are overdue for a vaccination are to have 2 vaccines 1 month apart. This is followed by 6 monthly boosters for life.

Rabbits up to date with vaccinations are now recommended to receive 6 monthly boosters for life.

Please note, these are suggestions from the vaccine company. They deviate from their approved label recommendations. This means they have no data to support the benefits or detriments of the increased frequency of vaccination. We need to monitor closely if vaccine side-effects become more prevalent.

Unfortunately we cannot guarantee immunity, however we can take all precautions until further information is released.

How is it spread?

Calicivirus is spread easily from contact with an infected rabbit’s excretions. It can also be spread via contact with contaminated bedding, clothes, cages, equipment and insects (especially flies and mosquitoes).

What are the symptoms?

Fever, restlessness, lethargy, poor appetite and bleeding from the nose and bottom. In many cases no symptoms are shown and the rabbit dies suddenly. If your rabbit displays any signs of illness, please contact us immediately. Although there is no remedy for Calicivirus we can provide supportive care.

What can you do to help reduce the risks of exposure?child and rabbit

  • Keep your pet rabbit indoors
  • prevent access of wild rabbits in to your yard. Don’t feed grass clippings that might have been in contact with wild rabbits 
  • Hanging Pest Strips ( available from Bunnings)
  • Decontaminate rabbit hutches and their materials with either 10% bleach or 10% sodium hydroxide solution on a regular basis
  • Avoid handling other rabbits than your own. If you come in to contact with another rabbit, decontaminate your hands and clothing.
  • Control fleas and other insects, especially flies, inside the house and outside.
  • Remove uneaten food from their hutch on a daily basis
  • Prevent direct and indirect contact between domestic and wild rabbits.
  • Wash hands, with warm soapy water between handling rabbits.
  • Good insect control is also important and will help reduce the risks of introduction of both RHDV and myxomatosis. Insect control could include insect proofing the hutch or keeping the rabbits indoors.
  • All cages and equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Disinfectants that can be used to decontaminate any equipment include 10 % bleach, 10 % sodium hydroxide, or parvocide disinfectants. If using disinfectants material safety data sheets must be available and consulted, prior to use. Autoclaving will also kill the virus.

We will keep you updated with any new information that is released.

For more information  World Organisation for Animal Health & Zoetis, RSPCA Australia Knowledge Base,AVA

Your new puppies health



Starting from a young age it is recommended you start an at home “health check”. Doing this is great for your puppy to get them to tolerate someone examining them, especially getting used to having paws touched (we find a lot of puppies/dogs have a fear of having the nails clipped and just generally held). It also helps us as veterinary practitioners to treat your puppy when needed. This can also be handy for yourself to notice when things aren’t quite right with your puppy/dog.

Child with Labrador retriever puppy/puppy health


  • Check their gum colour; the gums should be wet and pink. Also check teeth are clean and no build-up of tartar.
  • Check their ears that there are no smells or discharge, check they are not sore, or no thickening or redness.
  • Run your hands over their body checking for lumps and bumps.
  • For long haired dogs check in-between their toes for grass seeds.

Signs your puppy/dog may be unwell:

Vomiting                                                      Pain/yelping

Diarrhoea                                                    Shaking/tremors

Not eating or drinking                               Coughing

Stiffness/not wanting to move               Stiffness


How to Increase your litter size with progesterone blood testing

Progesterone testing has been a household name amongst breeders for several years now by breeders that take their craft seriously.

Large litter -progesterone test
We all know that identifying the ovulation time in your breeding bitch will give you a better chance of a successful mating and more puppies. Which is what every breeder want at the end of the day.
The progesterone test doesn’t always follow the physical signs the breeding bitch is displaying. So even if you are a master at reading you female dog’s oestrus cycle you might still be wrong because it doesn’t always signal ovulation when you think it is happening. Many other breeders have been caught out.
If you are breeding you are always going to be looking for a large litter.

singleton puppy-progesterone testing Having a singleton litter is not very cost effective and it might even cause problems since a single puppy is usually very large and very likely to cause problems at birth. The reason you ended up with a singleton litter is usually because most of the eggs had gone passed their fertilisation stage or hadn’t got there yet when you mated your bitch. You got lucky with one egg.
To maximise your chances of a larger litter it is important to know when ovulation actually occurs. This is done with progesterone testing. Taking a small bloodsample and running it in house ( Familypet Vet Coromandel Valley results in 2 hours) or sent of to the lab ( other vets, results the next day) will give you this accurate time.
On ovulation the progesterone level spikes and the eggs will take 2 more days to become fertile. This will give you the window to organise the stud dog.
When to breed depends on the sperm you are going to use
• Fresh sperm will stay fertile in the uterus for 2-5 days or more
• Chilled fresh sperm will last 2 days
• Frozen sperm only lasts 12-24h
So if the stud dog is handy mating should happen on day 2 and 4 after ovulation. With chilled sperm day 2 is your ideal day. Frozen sperm should be used on day 3 and preferably with surgical AI.

Because you are very accurate with your breeding you will catch the highest number of fertile eggs at the right time.
Progesterone will make it easier to predict due date. This will be exactly 63days after ovulation.
To make sure the pregnancy goes smoothly and reduce the risk of abortion it is prudent to check the progesterone level during pregnancy and supplement with progesterone if it drops before the due date. A low progesterone level is one of the common reasons for abortion and easily fixed.
If you live in the Adelaide Hills and would like to come and chat with one of our Team about the in house progesterone machine we have available. Please give us a ring on 08 83238522

It’s Puppy Pre-school Time

  • What is Puppy Pre-school?

It is a fun, four week course for yourself and your puppy that provides you with up to date information on how to give your puppy the best start at life. It encourages positive socialisation in a safe supervised environment.
Puppy Pre-school is your first step to responsible dog ownership.

The idea behind early training

Between 6-16 weeks of age, your puppy will undergo a crucial period of brain development for socialisation. The experiences he/she has during this time will affect later behaviour. Puppy Pre-school is a unique and safe place where your puppy can socialise with other young dogs and owners whilst developing positive relationships with staff and the Vet Clinic environment.   Dogs that attend Puppy Pre-school here tend to bound through our doors for years to come. They remember the building as a fun, safe environment rather than a scary one. Knowing your pet loves being at the clinic will put your mind at ease if your puppy is ever required to stay here for surgery or treatment.

What does the course cover?

Over the four weeks of puppy pre-school your experienced instructor will supply professional advice on numerous topics with plenty of time for group discussions and questions. Usually lots of funny stories are shared too!
Socialisation, toilet training, problem behaviours, nutrition, toys and enrichment, preventative health care, Desexing, pet insurance, doing a health exam at home and dealing with emergency situations are a few of the topics covered. Using positive re-enforcement, we also teach you how to train your puppy for the sit, drop and stay command.

We encourage all family members to come along to the classes to take advantage of the latest advice on successful puppy raising.
You will be supplied with a folder containing all the information on the topics discussed as well as free goodies throughout the course.
As an added bonus, the graduation certificate handed out at the end of the course can be used to obtain a discount on your puppy’s council registration as it’s registered as a form of training.

When, where and how much?

The classes are run for an hour in the evenings or Saturday lunchtime, one day a week for four consecutive weeks. The cost of the course is $80 per puppy, with discounts available for multiple puppy households.
Courses are held at regular intervals at both the Coromandel Valley and McLaren Vale clinics. Please contact the respective clinic for information on when their next class is starting.

puppy pre-school yorkie Sign me up!

 Mclaren Vale                     08 83238522

Coromandel Valley            08 83703500





Car Travel

Dog safe for travelling in a car

Fear of travelling in the car is a common problem experienced by many puppies/ dogs. The motion of being in a car often causes the puppy to be sick, and sometimes being ill may the negative experience that causes a fear of travelling.

Take small steps to teaching the puppy travelling in the car can be a good experience by using treats and praise for when the puppy is relaxed. Start off in a stationary car, then moving on to a quick 5 minute trip and so on. Doing this is going to be important if you are wanting to take your puppy on road trips, or to have a good experience of going to vet or even just the beach. In your car travel you want to teach your puppy that when they are calm and relaxed they get praise and attention, when they are unsettled they get ignored.

To prevent sickness with car travel, try not feeding or letting your puppy have a drink about an hour, half an hour before travelling. Puppies tend to grow out of car sickness quickly, if you’re having continuous problems contact us for help.

A good restraint can also help with those with anxiety. More importantly for you and your puppy’s safety. Start getting your puppy used from a young age of a restraint, whether it is a travel crate or correctly fitted harness.Please contact our nurses

08 83703500 For Coromandel Valley ( near Blackwood)

08 83238522 For Mclaren Vale (near Seaford and Aldinga)

they will be very happy fitting your dog with a car harness that fits and helps your dog feeling safe and secure.

Puppy Training

Dog Training BeagleLike humans dogs are very social creatures. In a wild state, they live as part of a pack that works as an effective hunting and puppy-rearing unit. Conflict is rare, and although much ritual posturing and communication goes on to ensure that all pack members understand the rules, pack living is harmonious.

Domestic dogs have evolved to be very different creatures from wild dogs or wolves. They live with us, in our homes, and in the process have monopolized our hearts, too. Yet under the surface of the cuddly exterior, some of the drives that keep a wild pack together remain. Dogs, like children, need boundaries and consistency.

They are unlikely to challenge rules that are always kept, but may become frustrated or confused if those rules are sometimes permitted to be broken. Dogs regard us as their “pack leaders” and it is sensible to start off in the way you intend to continue to ensure that your dog feels secure.

Dogs, do not denote rank structure or leadership by physical force or aggression. Instead, they use subtle signals that they recognize as indicators of rank. Many of these are very useful to us, and we can adapt them to the way we live to ensure that we communicate in a way the dog understands. Not all these social signals need to be enforced all the time, but many arc simply useful ways of ensuring that your dog maintains good manners.

Children and puppies can be best friends if basic ground rules about play and handling are established.

Canine social order is fairly basic. In simple terms, the higher your rank, the more rights and privileges you are afforded. By looking at these rights from the dog’s point of view, it is possible to see why some dogs learn to work the system and take advantage of their owners.

Give attention and lots of it when you decide, not when your dog does. Some dogs develop masterly strategies to ensure that their owner walks them, pets them, and feeds them when they choose, not the other way around. Ignoring attention-seeking can be quite difficult, particularly if you have a bright dog, but if you ever wonder why you can’t make a telephone call, why your visitors never seem to stay long, or why you can’t eat your meal in peace, maybe you should think about this.

Many people don’t mind if their dog sleeps on the bed or gets on the furniture, but think about this from the dog’s point of view. Being rewarded in this way day after day is wonderful, until the day a relative comes to stay or the dog’s paws are muddy. Suddenly it is not permitted to do these things and conflict can occur. If you are going to let your dog enjoy these home comforts, make ‘Sure you can move it with just one quiet command.

Toys are wonderful training tools but this works both ways. If you think that your dog is training you to throw the ball or play tug-o’-war whenever it asks, or if it walks off in the middle of a game to chew a toy alone, think about restructuring your games so you both benefit. Some dogs love to pit their strength against their owner when playing tug-o’-war. If yours is one of these, make sure you teach your dog to let go instantly with one quiet command.