What's New at KVC
Our precious boy Charlie lost his 7 month battle with cancer last month. We are devastated and he has been greatly missed by all.
We would like to thank everyone for their cards and condolences on his passing.
CASE OF THE MONTH
Haemaphroditism in Dogs
"B" is 2 year old French Bull dog who was adopted from a breeder as she had failed to come into season. When she was presented for desexing, it was noted that she had an enlarged clitoris, with a small bone inside (called os penis - this is found in male dogs only). During her desexing surgery it was found that she had no uterus and also her "ovaries" appeared abnormal. Histopathology confirmed that she had testes instead of ovaries.
Haemophroditism is a rare congenital problem of dogs,characterised by development of a mixture of male and female organs. There are various types of presentation, depending on the individuals genetics. Most commonly owners will notice an enlarged clitoris (in females), or lack of testes in males or female dogs may fail to come into season. Otherwise they appear normal and seem to grow and develop normally. If the clitoris is very enlarged they may be prone to vulval infection and vulval discharge.
Treatment is desexing, which will usually involve removing ovaries or testes or "ovotestes" (a mix of both) from the abdomen. If the clitoris is very enlarged due to development of a bony os penis, this bone can also be removed surgically.
Fortunately, affected dogs will have no long term problems and go on to lead a normal life after surgery.
"B" made an uneventful recovery after surgery and is living a happy normal life.
PET CARE FACTS
With the increasing popularity of keeping backyard chickens in inner city areas we are seeing more and more chickens in our practice. Keeping pet chickens can be very rewarding, and not just for eggs. Chickens can make great pets and provide pest control, fertilizer and weed disposal in the garden. There are a few things to consider in keeping backyard flocks:
Ensure you buy your chickens from a reputable source. It is better to spend a little bit extra on well cared for, healthy birds than try and save money. There are a number of breeders selling birds for backyard flocks, and poultry auctions can also be a good place to source birds. It is extremely important that your chickens are vaccinated against Marek’s disease – a common and extremely contagious disease of chickens which is invariably fatal and untreatable once birds start showing signs. Ideally chicks should be vaccinated at one day old and must be vaccinated before five days old for the vaccine to be effective.
Foxes can be a real problem, even in inner city areas such as Flemington and Kensington. Foxes can dig into or climb over many chicken runs and can be devastating to a flock. It is recommended that chickens are housed securely at night to safeguard them from foxes.
Ensure you have clean, fresh water available at all times. Drinker type arrangements are ideal as they reduce soiling but it is vital that water is checked daily as chickens can be very good at quickly dirtying their water. Suspending the drinker can help. A good quality, balanced commercial diet appropriate for your chicken’s life stage should be fed, supplemented with green vegetable matter. A limited amount of appropriate table scraps can be fed. Food should be provided in a suspended feeder to reduce soiling and restrict access by rats and mice. Oyster shell or limestone grit should be provided ad lib to assist in grinding food within the gizzard and assist in shell formation.
Don't forget your chickens on a hot day - they can get over heated too. Make sure they have access to plenty of shade. A soaker hose can be used over the top of the cage to proide a fine water mist to help them cool down.