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Important information from DPIRD for Livestock Owners

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Recovering From Surgery

Over the next few months we will add links to help you care for your pet following both routine and non-routine procedures

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Preventative Health Care

Kittens 101
Congratulations on your new family member!
For the first few days, take things very easy, your new kitten will be confused by leaving their mum and siblings and we don't need to add any more stressors. Stick to the same food that they are used to and just let them get used to the household routine. 

Cat Carrier
Please choose a carrier that can easily be dissassembled and the top lifted off. If we can avoid dragging them out of their safe spaces this can really reduce stress at vet visits. If you can take off the door then we recommend keeping the carrier in the home for the cat to use as a hiding space. If it is familiar and smells right then it will be a lot less scary when they are shut in for a car ride.

Feeding
We want to establish good eating patterns and a balanced diet early. Every household has their own preferences, but at this stage we need to avoid creating a fussy cat or worsening any joint issues with an unbalanced diet. We recommend feeding a good quality kitten biscuit for at least 50% of the kitten's food intake, and a kitten wet food for the remainder.  Rather than looking at branding, check the sides and back of the packaging. We want to see the words 'Complete and Balanced' and 'meets the recommendations set by the AAFCO'. You do not need to exclude any specific ingredients as food allergies are incredibly rare at this age.  Kittens still have developing gut flora so keeping it simple and introducing new foods gradually will help minimise any tummy upsets.
Long term cats can easily be maintained on biscuits, but we recommend boys also receive at least some portion of their diet as wet food to increase their fluid intake as boys are more prone to problems associated crystals forming in concentrated urine.

Vaccinations
In our area we recommend that kittens receive 3 vaccinations between weaning and 16 weeks of age, at roughly 4 week intervals and not finishing before 16 weeks of age.

  1. A F3 vaccination at weaning (feline calicivirus, feline rhinotracheitis virus and feline panleukopaenia virus).

  2. An F3 (indoor cats) or F5 (cats who go outdoors, also covers feline chlamydia & infectious leukaemia) at 12 weeks. We try not to overvaccinate cats as there is a slim link between the FeLV adjuvant and increased incidence of injection site sarcoma.

  3. An F3 or F5 four weeks later (16 weeks)

  4. Thereafter we recommend annual vaccination and vet check for all cats. 

  5. We have a low local incidence of FIV in our area and encourage cats lead an indoor +/- cat enclosure lifestyle so we don't routinely carry the FIV vaccine. If we get sufficient numbers then this product can be ordered in.


Parasite Control
Please give your kitten an intestinal wormer fortnightly until it is 12 weeks old. From there you can start a monthly 'all in one' spot on product to cover fleas, heartworm, lungworm and intestinal worms. Good options include Moxiclear, Advocate and Revolution.
Every now and again it is worth also giving them a tapewormer or intestinal wormer depending on the product you are using. The new Nexgard Spectra SpotOn for cats is a true all in one and no tablets are required for parasite prevention

Toilet Training

Kittens are wonderful in that they come already toilet trained by their mum! Find out what kind of kitty litter they are used to and make sure they have familar litter in easy access when they first move in. Show the kitten where the tray is and they will use it happily as long as it is accessible. 

Sterilisation
Per the Cat Act, all cats need to be sterilised, microchipped and registered with the Council by 6 months of age. Only breeders registered with the Council are excempt from this. We can arrange to sterilise your kitten any time after they reach 1.2kg, with the majority of kittens being sterilised between 5 & 6 months of age. 

Microchipping
In WA, all cats need to be microchipped to be registered with the local Council. We can do this at any of your kitten visits. If your kitten was microchipped whilst in the care of your breeder then please make sure the chip details are correct and the kitten is now in your name on the national database.

Insurance
Kittens can be clumsy and make foolish choices, like climbing inside your furniture or eating hair ties. For this reason we recommend setting up some sort of emergency financial plan. This may be a structured insurance policy, credit card or savings account. 

Enrichment
You have a teenie tiny hunter. With social anxiety. As they develop they are going to want to practice those hunting skills and we would prefer they were not chewing on you or our wonderful native animals. Look into enrichment early and set up your household in a way that will keep your cat confident and content into the future. A great resource is Home - Fundamentally Feline. YouTube is also a great resource for DIY options.

Puppies 101
Congratulations on your new family member!
For the first few days, take things very easy, your new puppy will be confused by leaving their mum and siblings and we don't need to add any more stressors. Stick to the same food that they are used to and just let them get used to the household routine. 

Sleeping arrangements
Start out the way you want to keep going. Unless you want your dog to sleep in your bed for the next decade (or more), don't bring the puppy into the bed. Crates are a wonderful option as the pup can't get into too much trouble while you are in bed. The crate will also provide a lovely 'den' for your dog to use for the rest of its life. Crate training will also come in very handy if your dog ever needs strict rest, eg after surgery.
If your pup is going to sleep outdoors, make sure the outdoor area is sheltered from the weather and has lots of nice bedding to keep them warm (preferably not something they might eat!)

Feeding
We want to establish good eating patterns and a balanced diet early. Every household has their own preferences, but at this stage we need to avoid creating a fussy pup or worsening any joint issues with an unbalanced diet. We recommend feeding a good quality puppy biscuit for at least 70% of the pup's food intake. Ideally choose large breed puppy biscuits for large breeds, regular for most and small breed puppy biscuits for minis. Rather than looking at branding, check the sides and back of the packaging. We want to see the words 'Complete and Balanced' and 'meets the recommendations set by the AAFCO'. You do not need to exclude any specific ingredients as food allergies are incredibly rare at this age. Save the really good treats for training, and don't go too hard on the rich foods. Puppies still have developing gut flora so keeping it simple and introducing new foods gradually will help minimise any tummy upsets.
If the pup is still learning about hard foods, we recommend Advance Puppy Rehydratable biscuits as they can be softened to a porridge consistency and less water added over time so the pup learns to eat chewy things. 

Vaccinations
In our area we recommend that puppies receive 3 puppy vaccinations between weaning and 16 weeks of age, at 3-4 week intervals and not finishing before 14 weeks of age.

  1.  A C3 vaccine at weaning (6-8 weeks). This is for parvovirus, distemper and infectious hepatitis. This is considered a temporary vaccine and not expected to last very long in the pup's body, but helps to carry them through the weaning period as immunity from mum's colostrum wanes. If your pup did not receive this vaccine and is now over 8 weeks of age then we will likely just start with vaccination 2. 

  2. A C5 vaccine four weeks later (10-12 weeks). This comprises the C3 and the two main forms of Kennel Cough (Paraninfluenza virus and Bordatella).  The Bordatella vaccine may be given orally or included with the others in injectable format. 

  3. A C5 or C4 (depending if the oral vaccine was given last time) four weeks later (14-16 weeks)

  4. In Rottweillers and Dobermanns, mum's immunity can interfere with the pup developing an appropriate level of immunity until later in life. For these breeds you can consider an additional C3 vaccine at 20 weeks of age.

  5. Thereafter we recommend annual vaccination and vet check for all dogs. At this time we are not carrying the three yearly C3 vaccines as the dogs still need to come in for an annual check and Kennel Cough anyway. 

I recommend thinking of the kennel cough vaccines like a flu vaccine in that they are likely to prevent hospitalisation with pneumonia, but the pup can still get a cold. 
Titre testing for Parvovirus and Distemper are available after 6 months of age for dogs that cannot have further vaccinations for any reason. In this situation we recommend annual testing and Kennel Cough cover where appropriate. Reminders for titre testing and vet check will come as Annual vaccination reminders. 

Parasite Control
Please give your pup an intestinal wormer fortnightly until they are 12 weeks old. From then on they can start a monthly 'all in one' product appropriate for your lifestyle.
eg Advocate/ Moxiclear for suburban dogs that don't spend time on bush blocks/ bush walks. This will cover fleas, heartworm and most intestinal worms. Tapeworm tablet(s) every 3 months are also recommended.
or Nexgard Spectra/ Simparica Trio for dogs who will spend time in the bush. This will cover fleas, ticks, mange mites, heartworm and most intestinal worms. Quarterly tapeworm tablet(s) are also recommended.
If you find monthly treatment impractical, we can start an annual heartworm injection (Prohart SR-12) and quarterly intestinal worming and flea/tick/mite treatment (Bravecto). However the easiest and most cost effective time to start this is your pups first annual vaccination (16 months of age), as the Prohart needs several boosters if started while they are still growing.

Toilet Training
Be patient! Toddlers have tiny bladders and attention spans.  Punishment is just likely to teach your pup to hide where they are going to the toilet or wet themselves when they see you. Give them every opportunity to get things right and reward them when they get it right.

Take your pup to the designated toilet spot whenever they wake from a nap, finish a game, have a drink or have something to eat. And of course before bed time or if they are sniffing around looking like they need to go. Wait till they start, then make a huge fuss of them with lots of pats and rewards. If the pup squats in the house then pick it up take it direct to where you want them to toilet, even if you are carrying a doggy fountain the whole way. Then reward them for finishing the job in the right place.

Sterilisation
Per the amendments to the Dog Act in late 2021, all dogs need to be sterilised by 2 years of age unless you have special dispensation from the local Shire Council. There are links to the Dog Act and its amendments on our website. 
In general, we would like dogs to have finished their skeletal and emotional growth before sterilisation so they can be as healthy as their genetics will allow. Saying that, if your female dog is at risk of a teenage pregnancy or developing undesirable hormonal behaviours (cocking his leg in the house) then we recommend sterilisation sooner. 
Ideally we will sterilise girls before they lose the protective function of sterilisation against mammary cancer; ie before their second heat.  With boys we can leave them longer so long as their testicles are not doing their thinking for them. 
In broad strokes, this means we recommend sterilisation from around 5-6 months of age for small breeds (mature weight <15kg), around 12 months of age for medium breeds (15-25kg), around 18 months for large breeds (25-40kg) and 2 years for giant breeds (40+kg). 

Microchipping
In WA, all dogs need to be microchipped to be registered with the local Council. We can do this at any of your puppy visits. If your pup was microchipped whilst in the care of your breeder then please make sure the chip details are correct and the pup is now in your name on the national database.

Insurance
Pups will always do silly things including eating random objects and injuries due to foolish choices . We recommend having some sort of insurance policy to cover against this. This might mean a formal insurance policy, credit card or savings account. 
For some breeds we will strongly encourage an insurance policy as the breeds are well known for very expensive health issues at a much higher frequency than other breeds. This includes French Bulldogs, Australian Bulldogs, British Bulldogs, Pugs and Daschunds. Some of the Poodle crosses and Retrievers are also fairly notorious for eating foolish things during their puppy phase. 

Socialisation
The key socialisation window for pups is from birth to 20 weeks of age. In this time, they need to meet as many people and animals as possible, always in a positive and low key fashion. Like babies who haven't finished their whooping cough cover, we need to be sensible about how we do this so we don't expose them to infectious diseases. Try to socialise in closed environments like family homes and puppy classes and avoid public dog spaces until they have finished their vaccinations. Make sure the adult dogs they meet are polite and calm so the pup doesn't get overwhelmed or bullied. Make sure the pup meets dog-savvy cats early so it learns to be respectful. We encourage a 'paws on floors' policy from day one so your dog doesn't go jumping on someone's white couch when you are out visiting.
The more your pup sees and does in that crucial socialisation period the happier they will be in the future and the nicer a member of society they will be.
Want a more structured training and socialisation approach? We recommend joining a puppy class run by an IMDT approved trainer.Dogs United Training Academy | Perth WA | Facebook  is excellent. We can also recommend Leslie Lynam, a local trainer with years of experience.

Two Dogs

Your Legal Obligations

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Cat's Eye

Resources

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Pet Statue

Quality of Life & Euthanasia

Quality of Life and End of Life Decision Making

How do I know when it is time to say goodbye to my pet?

This is a personal decision for every family. We recommend several family discussions to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Sometimes loss comes rapidly and the family doesn't get any choice in the matter, but for older or unwell pets you can take your time and try to choose the best time for both your pet and yourselves. Your vet can give recommendations, feel free to book a consultation if you would like your pet assessed and an opinion from your vet.


The 'three things' approach

What are your pet's three favourite things in life?

Food? Walks? Jumping into bed with you? Beach trips? Interacting with the family? Chasing a ball? Pats and scratches?

If your pet can still enjoy these things the vast majority of the time, their life is probably pretty good

If their favourite activities are being impeded by pain or illness more than 30% of the time then their quality of life is starting to suffer and we need to be making plans to say goodbye in the near future.


The Quantitative Approach

Sometimes your heart wants to take over your head in these decisions. Or different family members are seeing your pet at better or worse times of day. Maybe one family member's life is being turned upside down by caring for your unwell pet and it is becoming unsustainable. 

In this situation we recommend printing out several copies of the Lap Of Love Quality of Life Scale and each completing the questionnaire. This scale assesses both the pet's and the family's quality of life and makes suggestions based on your findings. It is worthwhile comparing notes as you may not be aware of some of your family member's concerns. 

The scale can be found here- 

lap-of-love-quality-of-life-scale.pdf (lapoflove.com)


We think it's time. Now what do we do?

Contact your vet to make an appointment. They will want to know the following to allow them to book an appropriate time for the euthanasia.


- Would you like to be present at your pet's passing or would you prefer to say goodbye and leave them with us? 

- Do you desire a home euthanasia?


In clinic euthanasia can usually be done same day but home euthanasia will need to be prebooked, usually some days out, as it will take staff members away from the clinic for an extended period.

If you need a home euthanasia on short notice, please feel free to call us but be aware that we may recommend a home euthanasia service as we may not have staff free to come out.


- What would you like to do with your pet after their passing?


a) Burial at home- you can do this so long as you are not in a catchment area. If you have a home euthanasia then you will need to bury your pet or arrange pickup by a cremation company as we do not transport remains in our personal vehicles. 


b) Group cremation. This is performed by a private cremation company (we use Passing Paws). In this situation the pets are cremated as a group and their ashes are spread on a farm in Bullsbrook.


c) Private cremation with ashes returned to you. We routinely use Passing Paws but there are other cremation companies in Perth if you have a preference. Passing Paws will collect your pet from us within 24 hours and will call you within the following 48 hours to discuss your wishes. They do also offer an expedited service on request. Passing Paws contact information can be found at Cremation Of Pets | Funeral & Memorial Services Perth, WA (passingpaws.com.au) Passing Paws also offer a Bereavement Advice Service.


What will happen at the euthanasia?

If your pet is still eating, please bring lots of treats so we can make it as nice an experience as possible for them. 

There will be individual case to case variation, but the following is the usual approach to euthanasia at Mundaring Vets.


1. You arrive and are shown to a quiet space to wait with your pet. Where possible, we use the garden spaces or front office so you can take your time after your pet's passing and don't have to make way for the next client.


2. We will briefly take your pet to the treatment room to place an intravenous catheter (good for OH&S as better for our backs than crawling on the ground/ car and better lighting so we are quicker and keep things nicer for your pet). During this time the receptionist will be available to take payment if you don't wish to take care of things after your pet passes. An IV catheter allows us to perform the euthanasia without restraining your pet and in more privacy as we don't require additional staff in the space.


3. The vet joins you with your pet. This is your opportunity to ask any further questions and have a good cuddle. The vet can explain what to expect during and after the euthanasia and ease any concerns you may have about your pet's experience.


4. Your pet is sedated via the IV catheter using an intravenous anaesthetic called Propofol. This is administered slowly to effect so you can give cuddles and treats while your pet falls asleep. They will probably flush the catheter with some saline before and after the Propofol.


5. The green euthanasia solution is administered via the IV catheter. Generally the pet will slip away with no further signs. It is not unusual to take some big breaths and go to the toilet. They are not experiencing these movements, it is simply a part of the body shutting down. The vet will confirm your pet has passed before leaving you in privacy.


6. You can stay with your pet as long as you wish (until closing time). Please ask if you need a drink of water or more tissues. When you are ready, let the front desk know and a nurse will come to prepare your pet to take home for burial and help you to get them to the car. If staying for cremation then the nurse will move your pet to the treatment room to prepare them for collection. Special care is taken to ensure your pet is well identified, with both a handwritten tag and QR code so they can be traced throughout the transfer and cremation process. 

Resources

Image by Matt Palmer

Bushfire Preparedness

Aug 2022

Bushfire Preparedness

Dr Jessica Jackson 2022


Do you have a bushfire plan?


-              Will you stay or go?

-              When will you go?

-              Where will you go? 

-              Do you have a plan for your pets and livestock?


We recommend making a detailed fire plan, to do so you can visit: https://mybushfireplan.wa.gov.au


Additional things to consider for your pets/ livestock:


Pets

-              Have a pet emergency kit:

o             Pet emergency kit checklist:

             Pet registration/ licence papers

             Pet medications, medical and vaccination records

             Veterinarian contact details

             Food and water bowls

             Food and water for each pet for up to two weeks period.

             A familial pet blanket or bedding and toy

             A secure pet carrier, leash or harness to transport

             Rubbish bags or disposal bags and kitty litter

             Include recent photos of your pet for identification

-              Is your pet microchipped? Are your microchip details up to date?

-              Is your pet registered with your local shire?


Horses

-              Is your horse float trained?

-              Do you have a float or quick access to a float if needed to move your horse in a bushfire emergency?

-              Is your horse microchipped?


Livestock/ Farm animals

-              Is your farm animal halter/ lead trained?

-              Do you have a PIC number?

o             A PIC number is a property identification code for owners of livestock. This includes 

cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys, deer, alpaca, llama, camel, buffalo, emus and ostriches. It is a legal requirement

o             For additional information on PIC numbers visit: DPIRD

-              Do you have transport facilities?

-              Coordinate relocation of domestic animals and livestock with neighbours, friends or livestock associations as early as possible

-              If an emergency warning is current or on days of high risk, consider moving stock into a safe area before leaving your property for any length of time

-              In a bushfire, move animals to a closely grazed or ploughed paddock (preferably around the homestead) with drinking water, steel fencing and preferably shade. (Poultry etc can be placed in a temporary pen)

For animals in emergency situations affected by natural disasters contact:

-              The Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) will assess the health and nutritional requirements of livestock after a natural disaster strikes. For more information visit www.agric.wa.gov.au or call 9368 3333

-              RSPCA WA may provide support and relocation for lost and injured animals after natural disasters or more information visit www.rspcawa.asn.au or call 9209 9300

-              To report injured wildlife call the Wildcare helpline on 9474 9055 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Resources: Resources
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