What's New at KVC
Welcome back Dr Peter, our locum who will be filling in for Jane over the next few months.
We will also be having a new locum - Dr Shari - for a few days over the next few months. Shari has been working as a vet for 8 years and has a special interest in unusual pets.
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PET CARE FACTS
Recognising Signs of Anxiety
Animals experience anxiety for similar reasons to humans, however it can be easy to miss the signs of discomfort if we are not used to looking for them.
If we ignore the signs of anxiety in our pets, then there is potential for it to get worse or for them to behave badly (such as biting) to get away from whatever is causing them anxiety.
Avoidance behaviours are the easiest to recognise and include: -
-geting up and leaving
-turning head away
-hiding behind person or object
-barking and retreating
-rolling over on back in a submisive way
Also common are displacement behaviours:-
- yawning when not tired
- lip licking
- sudden scratching when not itchy
- sudden biting at paws or other body parts
- sudden sniffing of the ground or other object
- shaking coat when not wet or dirty
Other signs include :-
- tail down or between legs even if it is wagging
- ears flattened sideways or backwards
Remember - it is a good thing that our pets show us they are uncomfortable or anxious rather than going straight to bite or scratch. We should never punish them for growling, leaving or demonstrating more subtle signs.
All pets should have a safe place, such as a crate or a bed that they can go to when they want to be left alone. All family members and visitors should be taught not to bother the animal when it is alone.
If yoy have a timid pet that is hiding a lot, try to coax them out with food or toys rather than forcing them to come out.
If you are having problems with anxiety for your pet, please make an appoinment to see one of our vets.
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Outbreak
There have now been 2 confirmed cases of rabbit deaths from Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (caused by RHDV2 virus) in Melbourne.
This is a viral disease that is related to the calicivirus previously released to control wild rabbit populations, and it is spread in the same way – mostly by biting insects but also by body fluids transfer.
There has been a lot of concern about this new virus among rabbit owners, and while acknowledging its its significance, it is important to remember this virus has been present in other regions (NSW and ACT) for at least 7 months. During this time it has caused local outbreaks, particularly in groups of rabbits (farmed or show rabbits). It has not decimated the pet bunny population in these regions.
However it can and will cause unexpected deaths in pet rabbits.
RHDV2 can cause death in young kittens (3-4 weeks) and a proportion of vaccinated adults. It is known that the currently available calicivirus vaccine does not protect all rabbits against RHDV2 but it does provide significant protection for many rabbits.
While an updated vaccine is being developed for RHDV2 in Europe, a revised vaccination protocol has been suggested by rabbit specialists, using the calicivirus vaccine currently available in Australia. This is: vaccinate kittens at 4 weeks, then at 8 weeks, and again at 12 weeks, followed by six monthly boosters.
This recommendation is off label and the choice to vaccinate more frequently needs to be be weighed against the risk of adverse events from the vaccine.
If your rabbit has not had a vaccination in the last 6 months and you would like to have your rabbit vaccinated, please phone the clinic on 9372 2733 for an appointment.