Winter Fashion Jackets

Winter is here! Cold, wet and windy…

As we all know it can be a real struggle to get on with day to day life. It’s a much easier option to stay indoors in front of the heater on a cold winters day. If you do manage to get out its normally with multiple layers on.

Our Fur-babies feel the cold just like we do! It’s important to know how to keep them comfortable and warm during the colder months.

There are several ways to keep them warm while at home but what about when it’s time for their daily exercise or that quick trip down to the shops?

A jacket or coat is a great idea for any outside time. Especially for our Fur-babies with short hair or a slim body (like whippets, greyhounds or bulldogs just to name a few).

Some people even dress their pooches for fashion purposes (as well as warmth). And why not! It’s becoming a very common site to see Fur-babies out and about with their coats on, like one of our patients below, Reuben the whippet, who is co-ordinating coat and bandage!

So please make sure that your fur kid is “rocking” his or her own coat this Winter – it’ll ensure even more sloppy kisses for you!

Partnering with Verve Portraits, the Swan Street Vet clinic are giving away an amazing photographic experience for you and your special pet, valued at $1995.

Simply snap your stylish little or big fur-friend wearing their most fashionable winter woollies and upload this image to Instagram or Facebook.

Runner up will win an awesome jacket from Fuzzyard for this Pet Fashion Week which runs from August 27th to September 2nd. We know lots of your Fur-kids love dressing up!

We would love to see all their fashion-forward statements (as well as faux pas!) Head to our Facebook page for more information.

Good luck to all our fashionable friends x

Filed Under: Cats, Dogs, Furkids, jacket, Pets

Benefits of Pet Insurance

The story of “Twig” the wonder kid and how pet insurance meant she could get the best care and treatment!

Twig was a six week old kitten when she was adopted by Dr Jo through a vet friend.

Dr Jo immediately feel in love with Twig (named after a David Bowie song line). Her front two legs were bowed, this is known as varus. Even though there was hope they would straighten as she grew, Twig had a consultation with Dr Guy Yates at CARE, an orthopedic specialist.

By eight weeks of age when Twig was able to be insured with Petplan, her front legs had straightened out and the specialist surgeon was happy with her progress. The thought was to re-evaluate as she continued to grow with further x-rays or even a CT.

At the age of three months, the genetic wonder that is Twig developed yet another issue. She was seen to be lame on her left hind leg after a growth spurt so off again to Dr Guy she went for another assessment. More x-rays were taken and a diagnosis of a permanently luxated left patella (knee cap) was made. It was also discovered at that time that she also had a subluxated left hip and had mild hip dysplasia. A follow up CT was performed to assess all of her growth plates, but thankfully, these were all clear apart from her left hind leg.

Given the severity of her patella issue, it was decided that Twig would benefit from surgery sooner rather than later to try to ensure a functional knee for her as she continued to grow. So at the tender age of five months, she underwent specialist surgery with the wonderful Dr Guy.

The hardest part of the surgery was the minimum three weeks of confinement for Twig and being separated from her friend, eight month old Jellybean. A large cat enclosure was set up in the lounge room for Twig so that she could still be a part of the family but not be able to run free and compromise the surgery. Play dates were had with both Jelly and Dr Jo’s oldest (16y) feline fur kid Kutut so that Twig was never lonely.

After ten weeks, Twig had her post surgery check with Dr Guy and the great news is that she has healed beautifully! Even her left hip is improved since her knee is now functional and no more surgeries or anaethestics are needed. We wilkeep an eye on her hip over the coming months.

Twig Xray 2        Twig Xray

Twig is one very lucky kitty to have landed in Dr Jo’s cat heaven where her insurance has thankfully covered everything for her stifle and hip!


Twig and her best buddy Jellybean.

Filed Under: Animals, Cats, Dogs, Furkids, Pets, Uncategorized

5th Birthday Party


(A photo from Swan Street Vets 1st Birthday Party)

It’s been five years since we first opened our doors and hearts to the Fur-kids of Richmond and beyond.

We can hardly believe how the time has flown! Wow has it been fun!

To celebrate and thank all our amazing patients and their families we are throwing a party!

There will be lots of fun to be had by all!

There is going to be face painting, competitions, a sausage sizzle, interactive displays and plenty of GIVEAWAYS! Not to mention a special visit by Xavier from Wildlife Xposure! This will be a rare opportunity to have an encounter with some weird and wonderful creatures, including Australian native reptiles, exotic birds, and even a tame dingo!

We can’t wait to see familiar faces and make new friends!

The fun starts at 10am on the 20th August at Swan Street Vet. All welcome!

Follow us on Facebook  for event updates and more information. For more birthday fun download our Colouring Competition here. Winners to be announced 29th August.

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Filed Under: Animals, Cats, Dogs, Furkids, Pets

Surgery for intestinal blockage in cat

Odin Scheepers

Odin is a handsome Birman kitty who visited Swan Street Vet after he had been vomiting for a few days. On questioning the owners we found that Odin enjoys eating unusual objects like clothing, cushions and toys! Remember we are talking about a cat here, not a Labrador!

On physical examination he was found to have a very sore abdomen and his intestines were bunched together. Poor Odin had eaten something he shouldn’t have and this was causing a blockage in his intestines. This is known as a foreign body, causing a gastrointestinal obstruction.

Odin was placed on a drip and given pain relief before undergoing emergency surgery. It was found that he had eaten two lengths of wool, totaling one meter! Why? We suspect he wanted to knit himself a scarf.

During his surgery his whole abdomen was thoroughly examined. Both his stomach and intestines needed to be opened to remove the wool and allow his intestines to relax. Once the surgery was complete Odin’s recovery was continually monitored by the vets and nurses, ensuring he was comfortable. He recovered very well from his surgery and was able to go home the following day. He was a very lucky boy!

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There are many different reasons why dogs and cats can vomit. A few causes include dietary intolerances, infections, parasites, foreign objects causing obstruction, as well as liver and kidney problems. In Odin’s case he was vomiting because he had eaten wool that was causing an obstruction in his intestines.

Other signs that could indicate a problem include, reduced appetite, weakness, diarrhoea, weight loss, or your pet generally not being themselves.

If you notice any of these signs please seek veterinarian attention immediately.

Odin is doing very well at home and has recovered completely!

It’s probably best not to let your cat play with wool or string after all!

Cat with wool


Filed Under: Cats, Uncategorized

Dental Disease

Over the years our furry friends have become treasured members of our family. We have been adapting them to our human way of living and eating. Due to evolutionary lifestyle changes, we see different diseases advancing in them. In this blog we would like to touch on dental disease which has become a common health concern in domesticated dogs and cats.

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How does dental disease present itself to you?

Early signs of dental disease often go unnoticed if we aren’t lifting our pets lips routinely, to have a look at all of their teeth. Now this can be be hard to do, so we offer complimentary six-monthly nurse dental exams. These ensure we stay on top of any changes, as prevention is better than treatment.

As dental disease progresses you may notice bad breath, yellow or brown muck on your pet’s teeth or their gums might be red and inflamed which is painful. Once dental disease is advanced, your pet may start to have trouble eating, favour chewing on one side of their mouth or they may drool. If left untreated it can decrease the general health and wellbeing of your fur friend, as it can damage the heart and kidneys, all of which could decrease the lifespan of your treasured friend. In the worst case scenarios, pets lose their teeth due to the amount of decay they have suffered from.

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Canine mouth before and after COHAT.

There are many ways to combat dental disease in cats and dogs. Our aim is to capture and treat dental disease early to ensure all pets keep all of their teeth for their whole life!

The first step in combating dental disease in pets, is to focus on home care. This can be done by feeding a veterinary prescribed dental diet such as Hills T/d, treats such as Greenies, oral gels like Maxiguard, pigs ears or rawhide chews and even certain toys can also make a difference. The best way to prevent dental disease in our cats and dogs at home is to brush their teeth! Yes you heard it right, brush their teeth. Our team are experienced at teaching you how to perform this task. Check this video out for instructions from Dr Melanie

What do I do if I have noticed some of the listed symptoms above?

If you have noticed smelly breath or tartar on your pets teeth, call our friendly team to make a complimentary dental appointment with one of our nurses. Our nurse will be able to let you know the current health of your pets teeth and the best course of action.

Dental disease is graded depending on its severity. Veterinary professionals grade the amount of plaque and tartar on the teeth as well as the amount of inflammation to the gums, otherwise known as gingivitis.

Often a dental clean under anaesthetic may be required to ensure the teeth and gums have the best chance of a long and healthy life. Once a professional dental prophylaxis has been performed and the teeth are squeaky clean, we can focus on home care.

What does a dental procedure at Swan Street Veterinary and Wellness Centre include?

At Swan Street Vet we ensure your pet receives a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment or COHAT.

This begins with a conscious oral exam on your pet, we may use a dental UV torch to identify the extent of plaque formation on the surface of the teeth, as the light makes the plaque glow ‘pink’. We will gauge if there are inflamed gums, or obvious abnormalities to the mouth. As I am sure you can appreciate, not many dogs and cats are happy about their mouths being held open for too long and we do not want to put any pet under unnecessary stress. Therefore the best way to assess the health of all teeth is to have a light general anaesthetic. Dog and cat molars are often hard to see until they are asleep and these teeth commonly have health problems.

All patients requiring a COHAT under anaesthetic will undergo a full health exam and a pre-anaesthetic blood test to ensure they are well enough to proceed.

Once your pet has been granted a fit bill of health, they will be admitted to our quiet hospital. We will administer a premedication which consists of sedation and pain relief. They will be placed on an intravenous drip. The intravenous fluids help to keep your pet hydrated, maintain their blood pressure throughout the anaesthetic and ensure a smooth and quick recovery.

Each and every pet’s anaesthetic will be monitored by a dedicated veterinary nurse using advanced monitoring equipment.

Our team will take photos of your pets teeth before and after we clean them, so you can see the results.

The vet will assess each tooth, probe the gingival pockets and record their findings on a dental chart, you will also receive a copy of this.

We will then perform oral radiographs. Quite often a tooth can look healthy above the surface, but underneath the gum line the tooth roots can be unwell, causing pain and concern for you fur-kid. Without dental x-rays, conditions under the gum line can go unnoticed, especially in cats, as 60% of each tooth is below the gum. See our pictures below, which demonstrate why dental x-rays are so important.

As you can see the below teeth have tartar but otherwise look OK.

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Upon x-ray we found two oral resorptive lesions on the lower teeth.

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These two painful teeth were surgically removed.

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Research tells us, that most dental build up begins under the gum line. Without an anaesthetic most pets will not allow us to clean under their gums. If they did but then happened to move while we were doing this, we could cause pain and trauma to the mouth and patient. Research also tells us that hand scaling teeth alone can cause scratches and damage to the tooth surface leading to further damage and build up of plaque and tartar.

We use an ultrasonic dental scaler and polisher, much the same as the one your dentist would use on your teeth. Our modern equipment means the best treatment and care for your loved one.

All pets will be given pain relief at our discretion depending on the severity of the disease. If we clean the teeth before the dental disease is too advanced, there shouldn’t be too much pain associated with the dental prophylaxis, but again we don’t want any pet to experience any discomfort at any stage.

So if you are concerned about your pets dental health or they are suffering from bad breath, tartar, drooling or eating difficulties, please give our friendly team a call to book your complimentary dental exam with a nurse. If you would like a tour of our facilities, feel free to ask. We will thoroughly care for your fur-kid and their dental health every step of the way!

Filed Under: Cats, Dental, Dogs

Christmas – How To Keep Your Pets Safe

Christmas and New Year are just around the corner. We all love to spend this time of year with family and friends; overindulging on goodies such as BBQ’s, roasts, chocolate and plum pudding just to name a few.
We know your fur babies will be right by your side during the festivities, so we thought it was time for a reminder on potentially harmful foods, treats and hazards for your pet. Dog_cat Christmas

Christmas Decorations
Christmas trees are a wonderful reminder of the festivities ahead and decorating them can be fun for the whole family. To keep your tree pet-friendly, try following these tips:

  • Secure your tree – unbalanced trees can cause injuries to your pet
  • Protect from soil – don’t let pets eat the soil or water around your tree
  • Tinsel and decorations – cats and dogs love decorations, but chewing and playing can quickly turn into swallowing. This can lead to vomiting, dehydration, gastrointestinal obstruction and in the worst case, surgery. Ensure these ornaments are always out of reach
  • Wires and batteries – keep these out of reach too! Chewed batteries can lead to burns of the mouth and oesophagus
  • Wrapped presents – any food under your tree can be sniffed out and snacked on late at night, meaning potential distress or sickness for your pet and disappointment for young children too!

What’s Off the Table?
There will be lots of delicious food on the table this time of year and whilst it is tempting to give these to your pet, prevention is better than cure!  Here are some common examples of household toxins.

  • Chocolate – containing the toxic ingredients theobromine and caffeine, eating chocolate can lead to serious illness in your pet, including vomiting diarrhoea, and even seizures, heart abnormalities and death
  • Anything sweet – fine for you maybe, but artificial sweeteners can lead to vomiting, depression, low blood sugar level and liver damage. Some peanut butters even contain xylitol.
  • Grapes, raisins and sultanas – these fruits can be toxic and lead to kidney damage. Signs may include depression, vomiting, diarrhoea, reduced appetite and kidney failure,
  • Macadamia nuts – can lead to weakness or paralysis of the limbs, gastrointestinal signs, lethargy, and muscle tremors
  • Leftovers fatty foods, bones or spicy foods – many of these foods e.g. sausages, can lead to an upset stomach or pancreatitis
  • Onion, garlic and chives – these can lead to stomach upset and damage to the red blood cells

Thankfully there are safe treat options to feed to your pet this Christmas. These include:

  • Pigs ears
  • Raw hide chews
  • Greenies
  • Hill’s Metabolic treats

If your pet has special dietary needs or is on a prescription diet, please ask our friendly team to discuss suitable treats for them too!

Christmas Plants to Avoid
Christmas plants might look and smell wonderful to us, but for a curious pet these festive plants can be dangerous:

  • Mistletoe and Holly – these can lead to gastrointestinal upset and Mistletoe can also lead to heart problem
  • Lilies – all lilies can lead to kidney failure in cats if ingested (any part of the plant, flower, pollen, or plant water).
  • Poinsettia – this beautiful plant is synonymous with Christmas but it also toxic to both dogs and cats. It can lead to irritation of the mouth and stomach, sometimes leading to vomiting.

You can check plants and flowers that are safe for your pets here.


Filed Under: Cats, Dogs

They’re all Ears

Due to the anatomical structure of canine and feline ear canals, there’s a good chance that they may experience an infection at some stage. Some breeds are more prone to ear infections and many owners are often unaware that there’s a problem until the condition is quite advanced. Are you checking your pet’s ears often enough?

Veterinary nurse at Swan St Veterinary Clinic, Nicole Lewy, says that ear infections are one of the most common problems diagnosed in small animal practice. ‘Human ear canals are relatively short and straight. On the other hand, dogs and cats have a longer, almost L-shaped canal, which limits air flow and creates a moist environment – perfect for bacteria and yeast to grow. And it’s generally worse in floppy-eared breeds or animals with hairy ear canals. Pets with skin allergies are also prone to ear infections.’  … Read more

Filed Under: Cats