New Dog and Cat Law 1st July 2018

Monday, June 18th, 2018


New laws for cat and dog owners will come into effect on 1 July 2018.

The laws and rules include:

  • Mandatory microchipping of cats and dogs -must be done by 12 weeks of age.
  • Desexing of dogs and cats born after the 1 July 2018 – must be done by 6 months of age unless delayed by an exemption granted by the Dog and Cat Management Board under veterinary advice.
  • Introduction of a statewide database, called Dogs and Cats Online – there will be no more council registration.
  •  There are new rules for breeders who sell dogs and cats.

These new laws will simplify dog registration processes, make it easier to reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners, and reduce the uncontrolled breeding of dogs and cats. This will improve overall animal welfare and reduce the numbers of healthy animals being euthanased.
For more information head to

Parvo Virus Update May 2017

Friday, May 19th, 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)

Protect Your Rabbit

Friday, February 24th, 2017

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

Arthritis In Pets

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

It’s getting c…c…c…cold!


Winter has well and truly set in. It’s this time of year you may notice your old dog or cat has a little more trouble getting up after lying, or rising from a sitting position. They may appear a little depressed and

reluctant to go for walks or have difficulty walking up or down stairs.

If your pet is displaying any of these signs, they may be

suffering osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis or degenerative

joint disease, is a common condition

in older pets or pets that have

sustained a joint injury. The disease

is the result of the breakdown of joint cartilage and bone.

. The disease is the result of joint cartilage erosion and the loss of joint synovial fluid. Cartilage and synovial fluid act as a cushion to protect the ends of bones at a joint allowing comfortable, unrestricted movement. When cartilage wears away faster than it can be replaced, the joint becomes stiff, mobility is reduced and the exposed bone and nerve endings cause pain and inflammation.


Symptoms include pain, stiffness and a decrease in the range of movement at the affected joints.





What causes arthritis?

Age: Unfortunately age catches up with us all and the many years of movement can contribute to progressive wear and tear on joints.

Excess weight: Carrying extra weight puts joints under more than normal strain, this heightens the chances of joint damage.

Breed: Although arthritis can occur in any breed, there are certain breeds that do appear more prone than others. Large breed dogs such as Labradors, Retrievers, Shepherds and Rottweilers are more likely to develop arthritis along with Persian, Siamese and Himalayan cat breeds.

Injury: Trauma to a joint can damage the ligaments and cartilage which increases the chances of developing arthritis later in life. A cruciate ligament tear is an example of a knee injury which is known to progress the disease.

Genetics: Congenital or hereditary predispositions may make some pets more prone to developing arthritis.

Infection: Although uncommon, conditions causing an infection within the joint capsule can damage tissue and cartilage progressing the disease.

How do I know if my pet has arthritis?

Dogs may develop signs of

  • Stiffness, especially when rising from a lying or sitting with walking frame
  • Reluctancy to go for walks or lag behinds when walking.
  • Difficulties going up or down stairs.
  • Aggression or pain when touched in affected areas.
  • Shaking or trembling of the limbs.
  • Grunting when changing positions


Cats may display signs of

  • Reluctances to jump, run or play.
  • Reduction of self-grooming.
  • A stiff gait or a limp when walking.
  • Aggression when handled.

old cat

What are the options?

What can you do?

There are a range of treatment options available for your pet, these include;

1Natural Remedies such as fish oil, Sasha’s blend, Pernaease powder and Technyflex can be purchased over the counter and can be used alone or in conjunction with prescription medication.


An excellent 100% natural supplement for arthritis or joint problems in animals is the Technyflex range. Using only Green lipped mussel powder with no fillers whatsoever, this powerful anti-inflammatory and pain reliever is sustainably grown on mussel farms in New Zealand; each batch is tested for high levels of active ingredients and there are no known side effects, so is totally safe and effective for long term use. It is an excellent natural alternative to NSAID without the potential kidney and liver contraindications. We use exactly the same product on humans so that you can be sure of the high quality and efficacy of these products for your pets. It comes in capsule or loose powder form and is readily eaten by most cats and dogs. Technyflex is dose dependant meaning the more you take, the more pain relief and anti-inflammatory effect you get. Therefore the dose can be varied depending on severity of symptoms and daily challenges such as hard work or cold weather. This product has a long history of efficacy and is registered with the Aust Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.


Specific Diets like Hills J/D food is scientifically designed with an ideal balance of nutrients to promote healthy joints. This food can only be purchased at Veterinary Clinics. Contact us at Familypet Vet 08 83703500(Coromandel Valley) a=or 83238522 (Mclaren Vale)

food Hills j/d







TLC( Tender Loving Care)– Ensure your loved one has a warm, padded bed out of the harsh elements. Cold weather affects the severity of osteoarthritis and lying on a cold, hard surface will only make the symptoms of the disease worse.Depositphotos_53631451_s-2015


If you believe your pet may be experiencing osteoarthritis, come in and see our friendly staff for tips on how to ensure the comfort of your four-legged friend this winter.

What can Familypet Vet do?

Cartrophen Injections. Cartrophen is a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug.

Its actions include:

  • Inhibiting enzymes that breakdown cartilage
  • Stimulating the production of lubricant and cartilage molecules
  • Improves blood circulation to arthritic tissues, thus improving nutrition to the joint
  • Stimulates protein production which assist blocking free radicals.

Cartrophen is given in a course of 4 weekly injections. Follow up single booster injections can be given by a nurse at a frequency suited to your pet, usually every 3 months.


Anti-inflammatories. Painkillers such as Previcox can be prescribed after consultation with the Veterinarian to help control the pain and inflammation symptoms associated with arthritis. Repeat prescriptions can be supplied over the counter if 6-monthly health check-ups are being undertaken.

NB: Please don’t give human pain killer tablets to your pets as these can be very toxic, especially to cats.


Where to go from here

If you believe your pet may be experiencing osteoarthritis, come in and see our friendly staff so we can design a winter warming arthritis plan for your fury friend.

If you have questions regarding any product mentioned in this article please contact 83238522 to speak to the lovely staff at McLaren Vale

or 83703500 to speak to the wonderful staff at Coromandel Valley.

Our pets give us so much, let’s ensure they have a comfortable, pain free time this winter.


Heartworm in Dogs and Cats in South Australia

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Unfortunately, it’s as scary as it sounds: worms that live in your dog’s heart and major blood vessels of the chest! Heartworm doesn’t need dog to dog contact it is transmitted via mosquitoes.
Heartworm disease regularly kills dogs in many parts of Australia, that includes South Australia. But it is also easily preventable.

How do dogs get heartworm?

• Mosquitoes transmit the disease to dogs by injecting tiny heartworm larvae through their skin.

• The larvae develop in the tissues and migrate to the heart where they grow into adult worms 10 – 15cms long.

• The adults live in the heart and the large blood vessels associated with the heart.

• They reproduce and release more larval offspring into the dog’s blood stream.

• These larvae are then taken by a mosquito during a blood meal and transmitted to another dog and occasionally cats and humans.

What are the signs that my dog may have Heartworm?

Clinical signs of heartworm in dogs

are due to the stress that adult worms cause to a dog’s heart and pulmonary arteries. The signs of heart disease or heart failure are:

• Lethargy
• Tiring easily with exercise
• Coughing and problems getting their breath
• Loss of appetite
• An enlarged abdomen

How do vets check for heartworm in dogs?

• A Blood test will identify if adult heartworms or their offspring are present
• Chest radiographs (Xrays) and ultrasound may also be used
• Clinical signs and supportive history, and risk of exposure

Can heartworm in dogs be successfully treated?

heartworm in dogsHeartworm can be treated, but it carries high risk for your dog and there are no guarantees of success. Your dog needs a series of arsenic-based injections or possibly even surgery to remove the adult worms from their heart. The main risk is blood clots forming around or on the dying worms in your dog’s heart. As with most of these sorts of things, prevention is better than cure.

Starting at 3 months of age, a range of products are available such as tablets, chews, syrups, top spots on the skin and injections .Some preventive treatments are daily, some monthly or an injection Annually.
Familypet Vet can advise you on the most suitable product for your puppy.
If your adult dog has been off heartworm preventative medication for longer than 6 months they will require testing before commencing any type of preventive treatment.
Heartworm can be found all through the mainland of Australia. South Australia is not the most affected state but cases still appear. This is mainly due to the traveling most Australians do throughout the states with their dogs and return to South Australia with infected dogs.

So prevention is the key.

If you are planning an interstate travel with your dog then come and speak to us at Familypet Vet about the best product to use for your unique situation.
In 2015 there have been 24 cases of heartworm confirmed in Adelaide.

Heartworm in Cats

Heartworm is rare but can be found in cats too. There are several confirmed cases in South Australia If you want to be sure your cat is not one of the few then treatment with Advocate will give you peace of mind.


Bondi Vet and Mclaren Vale Award

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Familypet Vet welcomes Dr Lizzie Davies

Familypet Vet Dr Lizzie Davis


Lizzie grew up in Blackwood and has 11 years experience. She has worked and travelled in different parts of Australia and the UK. She just returned from Queensland and says she is happy to be back in SA. She is not missing the croc and deadly jellyfish. Lizzie is very friendly and approachable, very skillful and intelligent. She has a miniature poodle called Charles( not in the picture)… We think she’s absolutely wonderful.

Please come and say hello to Lizzie and the rest of the Familypet Vet team at the Mclaren Vale Clinic.




Mclaren Vale Business Employee of the year Award 2015


Award winner Kelly and Nick West



We would like to say Congratulations to Kelly Armstrong for winning the Mclaren Vale Business Employee of the Year Award 2015.

Kelly has been working as a Veterinary Nurse since 2003. She joined our team at McLaren Vale in 2010 and has been a hardworking enthusiastic member of our team ever since. She is a joy to work with. Her friendly smile benefits our team, our clients and your pets.

Well Done Kelly!

For more information on the Mclaren Vale business Awards





Bondi Vet and Familypet Vet


Bondi Vet and Familypet Vet

A few weeks ago the girls at Familypet Vet Coromandel were pleasantly surprised with a visit from Bondi Vet Dr Chris Brown. He was in Adelaide to look after a poorly sheep and needed some extra medication which we could provide for him.

Dr Chris Brown kindly agreed to have some photos taken with your Familypet Vet Nurses, Vets and Principal Dr Nick West. He didn’t make it to Mclaren Vale but maybe next time.

Special Pet

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015


A big congratulations goes to a very special, loving and brave mum named “Vegas”, a four-year old American Staffordshire.

She came into the McLaren Vale FamilyPet Vet clinic on a Tuesday afternoon after she was having some difficulties delivering her second litter. That morning she delivered 3 puppies at home, however it had been a couple hours since she had pushed the last one out which became a worry. When she arrived at the clinic, Dr. Greg performed a comprehensive examination on her, he could feel that there were more puppies still to come.IMG_36451 As this is a common concern in whelping females, he decided to give her an injection to strengthen contractions encouraging a natural delivery. Vegas however continued to experience difficulties and returned to the clinic later that afternoon. At her second visit, Dr. Bernie Freytag took x-rays of her stomach which confirmed that she had multiple puppies left inside. An immediate decision was made to perform an emergency caesarean section (C-section) to deliver the remaining puppies safely. It was a nervous two hour wait for Vegas’ family as two nurses, Morgan and Tayla, assisted Dr. Bernie Freytag with the procedure. A C-section is a complex procedure that needs a well communicated team to work together to safely deliver the puppies. It is a surgical procedure in which the surgeon removes the unborn puppies directly from the uterus in a timely matter, which are then passed to the surgery nurses who perform an array of procedures to clear their chests of fluid and encourage them to take their first breaths, this being one of the most magical and memorable moments for staff within the veterinary industry. Shortly after the emergency procedure, we welcomed 5 more beautiful new puppies which were then united with the other littermates and Vegas after she recovered from her anaesthetic.

Since Vegas’ litter were introduced into the world, and we are pleased to announce that with all the love and support from her family, Vegas and her eight healthy puppies recovered well and have settled in at home. Vegas and her owner visited us at the clinic a couple days after the surgery to get her stitches removed, and they informed us that she has become a loving and wonderful mother to her eight strong puppies that are growing into beautiful and playful characters.


Clinic News

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

A new Vet!

Welcome Dr. Lizzie Davis! Lizzie has joined our team as she returns to her home state after living and working as a Veterinary Surgeon in Queensland for 4 years. Her skills are high, her work is thorough and her smile is contagious. Lizzie will be working mainly at Mclaren Vale and helping Dr Bernie Freytag and Dr Nick West help look after you and your pets. She is the proud mother of a gorgeous poodle.




A new Nurse!

We also welcome with open arms Morgan Smith! Morgan is a qualified, experienced Nurse who comes to us from the Adelaide Zoo. In the short time Morgan has been with us, she has already become a valued member of our team. Morgan will be taking over the runnings of Puppy Pre-school classes whilst Lindsay is on maternity leave. Morgan values good client relationships and hopes to extend her skills in the areas of radiology and dental nursing.


A new Progesterone Machine! …….What’s that?

The clinic has purchased a Progesterone machine which will be housed at our Coromandel Valley clinic. This flash piece of equipment has the ability to test levels of the hormone progesterone in a blood sample, determining when the best time to mate a breeding bitch is, increasing the chances of a successful mating or implantation. We are proud to be the only Veterinary Clinic South of Adelaide to house one of these machines. If you would like more information visit our website or drop in to either of our clinics to talk to staff or check out our progesterone information page

Servicing the greater Adelaide area, we have two convenient locations: