Canberra Veterinary Emergency Services 24/7 Emergency Veterinary Care in Canberra Thu, 18 Apr 2019 03:10:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Canberra Veterinary Emergency Services 32 32 Happy Easter Canberra! Easter is full of delicious sweats and treats… but these can be deadly to your pet! Please be aware of the dangers and know how to keep your best friend safe this Easter! Thu, 18 Apr 2019 03:10:30 +0000 /?p=714 1. Easter Chocolate: Humans aren’t the only ones with a sweet tooth! Chocolate contains the compound, Theobromine, which causes hyperactivity, elevated heart rates, arrhythmias and seizures in Pets. Toxicity depends on the type of chocolate and dose ingested so please always call your Vet to see if your Pet needs Veterinary attention. 2. Artificial sweeteners – Xylitol: Sweets that have artificial sweeteners in them such as Xylitol are toxic and can cause hypoglycemia, seizures and acute and sudden liver failure. Even a small amount can be toxic so please seek Veterinary attention immediately! 3. Easter Lilies: Easter Lilies are beautiful but ANY part of them is toxic to cats and can cause acute kidney failure. Cats are curious and like to investigate or chew Lilies so please make sure that if you have a cat, you don’t have Lilies this Easter! 4. Hot Cross Buns and Sultanas: Grapes, Raisins and Sultanas can all cause acute kidney failure in pets! Hot Cross Buns are delicious but are full of these these dried fruits so please make sure that your pet does not have access to these this Easter. 5. Plastic Easter Eggs and Easter Grass: If contaminated by or associated with chocolate, these objects can cause gastrointestinal obstructions or injury. Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service is open 24/7 over the Easter Long Weekend: – Thursday 18th April: Open 6pm – Easter Friday 19th April: Open 24hrs – Saturday 20th April: Open 24hrs – Easter Sunday 21st April: Open 24hrs – Easter Monday 22nd April: Open 24hrs If you are not sure if you need to come down, please call our friendly staff on 6225 7257 and they can triage your enquiry over the phone and advise if your pet needs to be seen. We would like to wish you and your Pet a Safe and Happy Easter! Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service, compassionate and experienced Emergency and Critical Care when you need it the most.

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Summer is coming… beware of Heat Stress and Flystrike! Fri, 07 Dec 2018 07:33:59 +0000 /?p=704 Its starting to feel a lot like… Summer!

As temperatures climb in Canberra, it is certainly starting to feel a lot like Summer out there! So please don’t forget that our pets feel the increase in temperatures even more than we do…

Our little pocket pet friends (especially rabbits and guinea pigs) are very sensitive to increases in temperature so please make sure that you are prepared, can recognise the signs of heat stress (please keep a close eye on them!) and know what to do if these occur.

Signs of heat stress in rabbits and pocket pets include:

– Lethargy

– Panting/ increased respiratory rate

– Decreased responsiveness

– Collapse

– Convulsions/ seizures.

What to do if you see these signs in your pet:

– Wipe down their ears with a damp cloth to cool them down

– Place a wet towel on them

– Rush them straight to the vet.

Some helpful things to do to reduce the risk of heat stress for your rabbits:

– Keep their hutch out of the sun or under shelter/ shade

– Provide a cool surface for them to lie on ie. ceramic tiles or wet soil

– Provide lots of fresh water and even add ice cubes!

– Fill plastic bottles with water and freeze these, bunnies love lying against them

– Apply a fan or light water mist if possible!

– If the temperatures are over 30degrees, bring them indoors.

Please also be mindful that flystrike occurs very quickly in these warm conditions, so please be sure to check your bunnies daily to ensure that they are clean and do not become afflicted.

Please contact your vet immediately if you think that your bunny (or pet!) is suffering from the heat.

Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service, Compassionate and Experienced Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, when you need it the most.

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Snake Bite… What you can’t afford not to know… Sat, 03 Nov 2018 06:18:06 +0000 /?p=700 The temperatures are rising and the snakes are coming out of hibernation… over the past week alone, Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service has seen 9 patients after they were bitten by snakes…

The prognosis for recovery from snakebite can be good – statistics are 91% of cats who receive antivenom and 75% of dogs will survive but this depends on how much venom is injected and also how quickly treatment is received…

This photo is of beautiful Charlie who presented on Sunday after her owners saw her vomit and collapse in the backyard in the morning… but then start to walk and act like her normal self again? Her quick thinking owners knew that this meant that Charlie needed veterinary attention fast and they rushed her down to CVES. Laboratory tests showed markedly prolonged clotting times and Charlie promptly received her life-saving Snake Antivenom. Thanks to her quick thinking owners, Charlie made a fantastic recovery and was discharged home to her loving family the next day to continue her recovery.

Did you know that acute collapse and apparent recovery can mean that your pet has been bitten by a snake? The signs of snakebite vary with the species of snake (mostly Brown Snakes, Tiger Snakes and Red Bellied Black Snakes in Canberra) and can manifest anywhere from 1-24 hours after the bite actually happened. Effects of a snake bite can range from a coagulopathy (inability to clot the blood) to paralysis. Shortly after the animal is bitten, they will often vomit, become weak and collapse but then appear to recover? Rather than a mild envenomation, this actually means that the pet has received a multiple-lethal dose envenomation and needs urgent veterinary attention! Other early signs to be aware of include:
– Dilated pupils,
– Weakness or unsteadiness on their feet,
– Shaking,
– Hypersalivation or frothing at the mouth,
– Diarrhoea,
– Muscle tremors or seizures,
– Bloody urine or
– Difficulty breathing progressing to respiratory arrest.

Please share with your friends and family… when your pet has been bitten by a snake, do not waste time trying to apply tourniquets, cold packs or trying to remove venom from the wound, get your pet straight to the nearest vet as every minute counts!

Please also never try to catch the snake! This will only endanger your own life & delay your pet’s treatment. Laboratory tests can be used to diagnose and guide treatment… please seek professional help to remove a snake from your property!

If you are out enjoying this beautiful weather with your pets, please keep them on a lead and out of the long grass and away from rocks where snakes like to hide or sunbake. If you do see a snake, give it time to go away, most pets are bitten when they attack or harrass snakes.

Thank you to Charlie and her loving family for letting us share her story in the hope that this information can help others recognise the early signs of snake envenomation.

Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service, Compassionate and Experienced Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care when you need it the most.

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Did you know that it is Illegal to Breed or Sell a Dog or Cat in the ACT without a Licence? Wed, 11 Jul 2018 12:58:04 +0000 /?p=684

With recent updates to the Domestic Animals Act 2000 (Section 72), both the acts of breeding and selling a dog or cat in the ACT is a strict liability offense!

Please find the new updates to the Act at:

Please share this information with anyone you know who may be thinking of breeding or selling, it is important information for all responsible pet owners to be aware of.

Cases requiring Emergency Caesarian sections always carry with them heavy emotional, financial and ethical considerations to both clients and Veterinary clinicians, so please be aware of the Law and be prepared to be a responsible pet owner. Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service supports legitimate and responsible breeding of cats and dogs and for more information, our Caesarian Policy can be found on our website.

Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service, Compassionate and Experienced Emergency and Critical Care Veterinary Services, when you need it the most.

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Human Medications… Not Safe for Pets! Tue, 19 Jun 2018 20:23:46 +0000 /?p=676 Never give Ibuprofen (Neurofen, Advil) to dogs or cats! These may be one of the most common human over-the-counter medications and while they have a large safety margin for humans, pets have different sensitivities to them and they can be fatal.

While well-intended owners may administer these medications to their pets at home if they are in pain or injured or playful pets may knock over a bottle or packet of pills and ingest an unknown quantity, the consequences can be disastrous.

Prognosis unfortunately depends on amount of Ibuprofen ingested and time until the pet is presented for treatment. A single tablet typically contains 200mg of Ibuprofen, so depending on the size of the pet, the safety margin can be narrow.

Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs called Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs) and inhibits an enzyme called ‘Cyclooxygenase.’ There are different types of Cycolooxygenase enzymes that are involved in the production of chemicals called Prostaglandins which are produced when the body is both injured (as part of the inflammatory process) or as are needed for normal body functions. Ibuprofen cannot discriminate between these however and affects both of these equally.

Early toxicity involves ulceration to the stomach as Ibuprofen interferes with Prostaglandins that control normal blood supply to the stomach and production of its protective mucous coating. This can be manifest as vomiting (with or without digested blood) and diarrhoea.

Interruption of blood supply also affects the kidneys which can lead to a metabolic disaster that can lead to permanent kidney damage depending on the amount of Ibuprofen ingested and time until treatment was commenced. If toxicity is severe, the patient can also stop producing urine, which makes the prognosis much worse and treatment must be aggressive.

The final level of toxicity involves the neurological system and can manifest as seizures and coma.

Meet Otto, a gorgeous Daschund puppy who ingested an unknown quantity of Ibuprofen while his owners were out of the house… Otto presented to his Regular Veterinarian but his symptoms progressed rapidly due to the lethal dose of Ibuprofen that he had absorbed and he presented to Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service early one morning when he had started seizuring at home. We were able to control Otto’s seizures but the next 48 hours involved a complicated fluid treatment protocol needed to diurese his kidneys whilst slowly correcting the catastrophic electrolyte imbalance that had occurred as a result of his gastrointestinal and kidney damage. Otto was the perfect patient and never complained about his frequent blood tests and monitoring and with his owner’s constant love and support, responded slowly to treatment and within 48 hours was discharged into his regular veterinarian’s care before finally heading home.

As with many poisonings, if the patient is seen promptly (within an hour or two), emesis or vomiting can be initiated but due to the rapid absorption of most of these products, it may already be too late. Treatment is usually commenced and follows a standard protocol of 48 hours of fluid diuresis and close monitoring of kidney function values whilst protecting the stomach and gastrointestinal tract from ulceration with strong antacids and misoprostol, a prostaglandin that is protective for the stomach.

Some of the most common medications that should not be given to pets and can have serious consequences: Anti-Depressants, Blood Pressure medication, Paracetamol (especially cats!), Benzodiazepines and Sleep Aids, Non-Steroidal Antiinflammatories, Human vitamin supplements (especially Iron supplements) and the Contraceptive Pill.

Never give any human medications to your pet without first checking with your veterinarian and if your pet does accidentally ingest any of these, please call your veterinarian immediately and they will advise if further treatment is necessary.
Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service – Compassionate, Experienced Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, when you need it the most.

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Snail Baits… Not just toxic to Snails… Wed, 13 Jun 2018 13:05:47 +0000 /?p=672 With the onset of the wetter Autumn and Winter weather well and truly upon us, it is timely to remind Pet Owners about the dangers that Snail Baits or ‘Molluscicides’ can pose to your pets.

Garden snails are most abundant in the cooler, wet weather of autumn and winter and with increased numbers, the destruction that they can cause to gardens and crops may cause many people to despair and reach for SnailBbait… but before you do, please think of your pets and the potential danger that this may pose to them!

Snail baits contain the pesticide, Metaldehyde, which is commonly available in pellet or liquid form. Metaldehyde primarly affects the nervous system and can cause clinical signs to occur as quickly as within an hour of ingestion. These include vomiting (due to irritation of the stomach), weakness, hypersalivation (drooling), muscle tremors progressing to seizures, respiratory failure and rapidly, death.

Immediate treatment can be lifesaving. Vomiting is induced to decontaminate the stomach as well as enemas to hasten elimination from the gastrointestinal tract. Activated charcoal is given to bind any chemical that may have been absorbed into the circulation. Treatment is largely supportive but if seizures are severe, this may even include inducing anaesthesia so that continuous gastric lavages and enemas can be performed to remove all possible metaldehyde from the intestinal tract.

This is Beanz, a gorgeous 4yo female Cavalier X who presented to CVES after her owners found her eating Snail Bait. When she presented to the clinic, Beanz was only showing mild muscle tremors and was slightly over-reactive to stimulation. Vomiting was induced and only a small amount of Snail Bait was produced but unfortunately this was only the beginning…

Shortly after admission to hospital and commencing treatment, Beanz developed grand mal seizures which were so severe that she needed to be anaesthetised to control them. She remained under anaesthetic for nearly 4 hours overnight while repeated gastric lavages and enemas removed a seemingly impossible amount of Snail Bait from her system. It was hard to imagine that such a little dog had eaten so much Snail Bait! After nearly 4 hours her gastric lavages and enemas finally showed that all the Snail Bait had been removed from her system and Beanz was able to make an uncomplicated recovery from anaesthesia. She was discharged home to her loving family that night, as though nothing had ever happened!

We would like to thank her wonderful owners for sharing her story and for helping us to raise awareness of the risks that Snail Baits can cause – not just to snails but also to our beloved pets.

Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service, Compassionate Experienced Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, when you need it the most.

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Pets in the Park – Helping Milly Get Home Again! Wed, 30 May 2018 12:36:08 +0000 /?p=666 Congratulations to Dr Dilly and Pets in the Park in helping this very special patient get home safely again!

Pets in the Park is a wonderful charity that cares for the pets owned by people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service is proud to support this organisation, its clients and its patients.

Please read their heartwarming story below on beautiful Milly, who presented to CVES over the weekend for a bleeding splenic tumour (cancer). CVES has proudly donated its professional time and services but if you could assist Pets in the Park to continue to provide care for special people like Milly, all donations are very gratefully received and can be made by following the link at the end of the story.

Please share this story with your friends also – public recognition of this wonderful charity helps the people and pets who need it most!

For more information, please search for @CanberraPITP on Facebook or follow the link: to read more about the very special work that these wonderful volunteers do.

Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service, Compassionate and Experienced Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, when you need it the most.

Story Posted by Pets in The Park
This story is shared with Millys humans permission.

Late on Friday one of our volunteers answered a crisis call from one of our clients. Our Canberra facebook person is not a vet (for future reference) and made sure to follow up with one of the PITP vets and was able to arrange an emergency consult at CVES.

Milly was seen on Friday night as she had been “off” for a couple of days and the ultrasound done showed a mass in her spleen. There was a risk of it rupturing and bleeding in to the abdomen so she had emergency surgery on Saturday to remove her spleen. Prior to surgery she blood tests and chest X-rays down to make sure she was a good anaesthetic candidate and they were all normal.
Milly went home yesterday and is spending her time recovering with her very grateful human.

PITP would like to thank all the staff at CVES, especially Dr Dilly who answered the crisis call and got things happening and Dr Tracy and Dr Katy who looked after Milly and over the weekend.

This was an exceptional case and can not always be done but we do try our best. This is also an example of how we use our donations. Although the vets and nurses volunteer their time, the supplies and costs of surgery do need to be covered.
This sort of surgery would normally cost around $3000 (including the vets time)

To help us to be able to continue to support animals like Milly we rely on community support. If you would like to help us continue to do what we do please think about donating. We are a registered charity and all donations are tax deductible – this is the link…

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Happy Easter 2018! Fri, 30 Mar 2018 02:31:33 +0000 /?p=662 Happy Nearly-Easter!

Although Easter may be full of 4 days of delicious indulgences for us, many of these can be toxic to our pets and pose some very real dangers that all pet owners should be aware of…

So please join us for 4 days while we explain the 4 Toxins of Easter!


Yes! The days surrounding Easter are filled with this delicious sweet treat in all its forms… and it tastes as good to pets as it does to us! But unlike us, our pets are very sensitive to Theobromine (a methylxanthine) and depending on how much they eat will determine the severity of their toxicity…

The content of Theobromine (and therefore how toxic it is) is greatest in Baking Chocolate (making this the worst for pets), followed by Semisweet or Dark Chocolate and then Milk Chocolate. White Chocolate has virtually no Theobromine but it can cause Pancreatitis in pets because of its high fat content.

Theobromine ingestion and toxicity can cause:
– Vomiting & Diarrhoea (Gastrointestinal signs)
– Aggitation/ Hyperactivity
– Tremors, progressing to Seizures
– Accelerated heart rate (tachycardia) and abnormal rhythms
– Death in severe cases.

Chocolate toxicity calculators are used by vets to calculate the severity of the toxicity depending on how much chocolate (Theobromine) the pet has consumed.

The treatment for Chocolate Toxicity varies and depends on how much chocolate was eaten by the pet and when this was consumed.

1. Decontamination (inducing vomiting) is the most important treatment for pets who have ingested Chocolate as long as it is performed within 4-6 hours of the chocolate being eaten (while it is still in the stomach).
2. Activated Charcoal is a substance that can be given to pets to help reduce the absorption of Theobromine from their circulation and therefore severity of its toxic effects.
3. Symptomatic and Supportive Therapy: these include Intravenous Fluids and control of any tremors or seizures, depending on the severity of the toxicity.

Chocolate toxicity can be fatal so please, if you know that your pet has consumed any, do not wait to see if they develop clinical signs – by this time it is too late. Early detection and decontamination (vomiting) can save lives.

Are you looking for a safe alternative to give to your pets as a treat this Easter? Carob is a chocolate substitute that does not containe Theobromine and tastes… almost as good! There are delicious pet-friendly carob treats at many pet stores so please indulge your pets with these delicious alternatives!

If you have any Pet Emergencies or After-Hours Veterinary requirements, we are open 24/7 and our compassionate and experienced team of Emergency Veterinarians and Nurses are here from THURSDAY 29th March and we DO NOT CLOSE until 8am on TUESDAY 3rd April.

Not sure if you need to come down? Please give us a call: 02 6225 7257 and our friendly staff will help triage your enquiry and advise you on the best treatment for your pet.
Canberra Veterinary Emergency Service, Compassionate, Experienced Emergency Veterinary care, when you need it the most.

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What to do if you find an Orphaned or Lost Duckling Tue, 14 Nov 2017 12:09:02 +0000 /?p=655 What to do when… you find one of these little cuties!

Yes! Spring is in the air & new life is all around… and sometimes it also gets lost or separated from its mother!

It is the time of year when we often receive calls from concerned people who have found separated or orphaned clutches or individual ducklings. So here are some quick tips on what you can do if you are concerned about ducks or ducklings in your neighbourhood…

If you have been observing a clutch of ducklings that appears to have been separated from their morther for some time, the best thing to do is to contact ACT Wildlife (0432 300 033). This wonderful organisation has specially trained wildlife carers that are skilled in the area of rescuing and rehabilitating sick, injured or abandoned native fauna and they will be able to assist in their rescue.

If you have found a single or small clutch of ducklings and are able to safely catch them, you can of course take the to your local veterinarian (or us afterhours! We love them!) and they will be checked for any injuries before a Wildlife carer is contacted.

Here are some tips for looking after them while you wait for a carer or are transporting them to your local veterinarian:

– The most important thing to remember with ducklings is that they must be raised with the intention of releasing them into the wild. The biggest hurdle towards this is that they imprint very quickly, so even though they are adorable (!), please handle them as little as possible.

– Ducklings in care should not have water to swim in. They do not have water proofing on their feathers and these will become saturated if they get wet and the ducklings will die from hypothermia.

– Provide them with just a small enough amount of water to drink (a shallow lid or container is perfect). Ducklings must drink while they eat or eat wet food.

– Please do not feed them bread or human food! The best thing to do is to contact a Wildlife Carer or take them to your veterinarian immediately. If necessary, they can be fed duck or chick starter mix.

– Ducklings need warmth (they usually hide under their parent’s wings) so a hot water bottle or heat lamp/ source is ideal.

– Ducklings can jump and scramble surprising heights! A deep container or cardboard box lined with newspaper is perfect to transport them in temporarily.

Thank you for caring for our Wildlife & please remember to never hesitate when calling about or bringing them into us – we love them equally and feel very privileged to be able to care for our native fauna as we do the furred, feathered and scaled members of your family.

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Tick Season 2017 Begins… Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:17:04 +0000 /?p=647 And so it begins… Number 1 Canberran Paralysis for Tick Season 2017!

For those who question: “Are there Paralysis Ticks in Canberra?” … Meet Harry, the gorgeous 2yo Old English Sheepdog and living proof that there ARE Paralysis Ticks in Canberra. Thank you to his wonderful owners for allowing us to share these photos and his story.

Harry has not left Canberra. Nor have his owners. There have been no possible connections to Coastal areas or warmer climes. Harry suddenly began showing signs of weakness and breathing difficulty last weekend and was rushed to his Regular Veterinarian, who identified and removed an Ixodes Holocyclus Paralysis Tick and commenced treatment. He was transferred to CVES over the weekend for stabilisation and care and we are pleased to announce that he made a full recovery and was discharged home on Sunday.

This was 9 days before the beginning of Spring and local temperatures are barely exceeding mid-teens… dog and cat owners, PLEASE PROTECT YOUR PETS! Talk to your regular veterinarian and make sure that you use tick prevention… Paralysis Ticks CAN and DO survive in Canberra and are warming up along with the weather.

We are passionate about spreading the word about the presence of local Paralysis Ticks because we don’t want your pets to be affected! For many years it has been thought that the climate in Canberra is too cold and dry for Paralysis Ticks to survive but the cases that we are now seeing are suggesting otherwise… There are many new fantastic Tick Prevention products on the market which now make Tick Paralysis a PREVENTABLE DISEASE. So please talk to your Regular Veterinarian and make sure that your pets are protected!

We will keep you posted with a tally of patients who present with local Canberran Paralysis Ticks, but please make sure that you use Tick Prevention and that your pets do not become a statistic!

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