Category Archives: Blog

Skin checks at Kingston TAH

You’ve checked yours, now what about theirs?

Australians know the importance of regular skin checks for their own health and well being.

Many dogs and cats have skin lumps that worry their owners.  If you find any unusual lump or swelling on your pet you should ask your vet to check it out.

Skin lumps in dogs and cats can be sampled easily and examined microscopically to determine their exact nature.  Many worrying lumps will be benign, but some may be malignant and potentially life threatening.


Skin Checks

Cost concerns may leave these bumps unchecked by a vet so at our Kingston Tasmanian Animal Hospitals clinic we are offering a 20% discount off all lumps and bumps consultations until Christmas.

Visit our Kingston clinic at 2/11 John Street.  Phone 6229 9345 for an appointment.

Contact us for more information or visit our facebook page.

Grass seeds

So it’s that time of year again when stone fruit is plentiful, flowers are blossoming, lambs are frolicking in the paddocks and pollen fills the air just to make it’s way in to your sinus’ causing the inevitable tingling feeling of the dreaded hay fever. It is also the season for grass seeds.


We had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful little Rusty on Wednesday morning who had been having trouble with his left ear. We tried to have a look down his ears while with his dad in consult but it was just too painful for him to tolerate. We decided to admit him for an anesthetic to make it more comfortable.







He said goodbye to his dad and came out into the hospital with nurse Romy. We gave him a sedative to relax him before his anesthetic, this also allowed us to place his cannula and fluid line. He had a cuddle with Dr Liz and then was put under his anesthetic and the procedure began.


Removing the grass seed from Rusty’s ear

We assessed both his ears to check for grass seeds and signs of infection. We found that he had a rather large grass seed in his left ear with a low grade yeast infection. Thankfully he only had one grass seed and it was removed easily. To treat his ear infection we prescribed some ear drops to take home.DSCN5355

Nurse Romy then got him settled into his nice warm recovery bed to monitor his wake up. We gave his mum a call to let her know the procedure was completed and that everything went smoothly.

 Both his mum and dad came in to talk to nurse Ashley about his recovery and medications before he went home.

We wish Rusty a speedy recovery at home and cant wait to see him again for cuddles at his revisit.


Ruby’s Soft palate, Nares and Spey procedure




Ruby was in for surgery at the Bellerive clinic with Dr Gareth on Monday, She was in for desexing,  soft palate and nares surgery.  Some breeds of dog have an elongated soft palate which can cause an obstruction in  the larynx and prevent normal breathing. It its very common in brachycephalic (short nosed) dogs and is often repaired in young animals before it causes any major breathing difficulty.

Sutures in Ruby’s nose after her Nares procedure

Soft palate surgery is a delicate procedure which involves exposing and removing the elongated palate through an intra-oral approach without damaging any of the structures of the larynx or mouth. The excess soft palate is carefully measured before removal. Once the tissue has been excised the nasal and oral mucosa are sutured together with a soft absorbable suture material.

Elly and Ruby 3
Ruby and her big sister Elly


Dr Gareth and Nurse Keeley during Ruby’s procedur

Brachycephalic breeds usually have restriction of their nostril openings (nares) as well as an elongated soft palate so this is usually repaired at the same time. Resection of a part of Ruby’s nares involves resecting a piece of cartilage and tissue at the opening of the nostrils. This opens the nostrils and allows improved air movement when breathing.

She was also desexed during the surgery and this involves making an abdominal incision through to the abdominal cavity to locate the ovaries and uterus. The major blood vessels are ligated and the ovaries and uterus are removed. the wound is then sutured closed with special absorbable suture.

Ruby being closely monitored by nurse Keeley as she recovers

She recovered very well but still needed to be cared for over night to ensure she was kept comfortable and there were no breathing complications post surgery. She was transported to the After Hour Veterinary Emergency Center (AHVEC)

Elly and Ruby 2
Ruby with her sister Elly and mum Leah

She went home on Tuesday to her beautiful sister Elly and her mum Leah, She was looked after by Elly on Tuesday night and was nearly back to normal by the next day.

Protecting your cat against Feline AIDS

Protecting your cat against Feline AIDS

cat fight 2



Protecting your cat against Feline AIDS.

Q. What is FIV and Feline AIDS?

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) causes serious illness in cats. FIV in cats is very similar to HIV in humans. It damages the cat’s immune system, making them very vulnerable to secondary infections (AIDs). There is no direct treatment for the virus and it is an incurable disease. With supportive care, some cats can cope with the virus for several years, however the disease is usually fatal.

Q. Is my cat at risk?

FIV is most commonly spread by bites and scratches. Any cat that goes outdoors and may come into contact with other cats is at risk. This includes stray cats and your neighbour’s cats. Cats are very territorial and most cats will, at some point in their lives, get a bite or scratch from another cat.

FIV is also spread by mating – another good reason to have your cat desexed!

Q. How can I protect my cat?

Fortunately, there is a vaccine available to protect your cat against FIV. The vaccine is very effective. This is NOT part of the standard core vaccine (F3) that is recommended for all cats to protect against cat flu and parvovirus. It is an optional extra recommended for at-risk cats. We recommend that all cats with access to outdoors should be vaccinated against FIV.

If your cat is not vaccinated, we strongly recommend keeping him or her indoors at all times to prevent contact with other cats.

Vaccine protocols

FIV protection is given with an initial course of 3 vaccines, followed by an annual booster every 12 months. It can be given at the same time as the cat flu (F3) vaccine. Depending on your cat’s age, a blood test may be required before the vaccine course. This is to ensure that your cat is not already infected before starting vaccinations.

Blood test

Initial course



Not required

3 vaccines, 2-4 weeks apart


Healthy adult

Antibody test

3 vaccines, 2-4 weeks apart


After an injury

Wait 6 weeks before antibody test

3 vaccines, 2-4 weeks apart


If overdue by

>3 months

PCR test

Restart the course with

3 vaccines


If you would like further information about FIV

or would like to arrange vaccinations to protect your cat,

please ask one of our vets or nurses.

Myxomatosis in Rabbits

Myxomatosis in Rabbits

Sadly, we have recently seen many cases of myxomatosis (Myxo) in pet rabbits. There seems to be an outbreak at the moment.

Myxomatosis is a fatal virus of rabbits. It has been deliberately released to control populations of wild rabbits, which are a significant pest in Australia. Unfortunately, the virus can’t tell the difference between wild rabbits and beloved pets! There is no effective treatment and the disease is almost always fatal within a week or two.

Signs rabbit myxo

  • Redness or swelling around the eyes, ears, nose or bottom area.
  • Poor appetite
  • Quiet, flat behaviour

Risk factors

Myxo is spread by mosquitoes and by direct contact between rabbits. Rabbits who live outdoors are most at risk. Mosquitoes can get into most rabbit hutches easily. Wild rabbits can also sniff noses with pet rabbits through the hutch walls.


There is no vaccination against Myxomatosis available in Australia. The best prevention is to protect your rabbits from mosquitoes. This may involve:

  • Keep rabbits indoors as much as possible, especially at peak mozzie times (dusk to dawn)
  • If they are outdoors, apply mosquito netting to the hutch.


If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact the clinic.

Ear Infections in Dogs

Ear Infections in Dogs

Has your dog been diagnosed with an ear infection? This is a common and frustrating problem in many dogs.An understanding of why infections occur and how they can be managed may help you to keep your dog comfortable and itch-free.

Causes of infectiondog ear

Ear infections are usually caused by “opportunistic” bugs and are not contagious. There are many factors that can predispose a dog to infections. These include:

  • Allergies to certain foods, plants or environmental allergens

  • Poor air flow due to hairy or floppy ears

  • Water in the canals from swimming or bathing

Ear infections can be a recurring problem. If your dog has one now and then, we usually just treat them as they flare up. If you dog has infections very frequently, it may be worth trying to figure out if there is an underlying cause such as an allergy. Allergies are common in dogs and it can be very difficult to figure out what they may be allergic to.

Diagnostic tests

If your dog has been scratching or shaking its head, pop in to your vet for an ear check. This involves:

  • Ear swab (Cytology). A swab is used to collect a sample from the ear and examine it under the microscope to look for bugs. This picture shows a yeast (fungal) infection, however bacterial or mite infections are also common.

  • Ear scope (Otoscopic exam). This means putting a small scope with a light source into the ear canal. This checks for inflammation, narrowing canals, foreign bodies (such as grass seeds) and ear drum rupture. Some dogs will allow this exam while wide awake, but others may need a sedative or anaesthetic to have a proper look.


  • Ear ointments may be prescribed by your vet. An accurate diagnosis is required to ensure your dog is getting the right anti-fungal or anti-bacterial ointment. In simple cases, we recommend treating for 10 days and then rechecking the ear to ensure the infection is cleared. In some cases, longer treatment may be required.

  • Ear washes. If an infection is severe or does not respond to ointment alone, your vet may recommend an ear wash to be used at home. This can help clear up an infection and also to prevent furture infections.

  • Thorough ear flushing may be required in severe infections. This involves a general anesthetic and thorough, gentle cleaning of the ears.


  • Avoid swimming or getting water in the ears during bathing.

  • Some dogs benefit from using a gentle ear cleaner at home every few weeks.

  • Dogs with very hairy ears may benefit from “ear plucking” by your groomer. However, this is quite irritating and it can sometimes make things worse! Talk to your vet about whether this may be appropriate for your dog.

  • If food allergies are suspected, your vet may recommend a special diet.

  • Make sure to get your dogs ears checked as soon as they show any signs of irritation. Early treatment with the right medication gives us the best chance of success.


Dr Grace Woodward 2015

Tasmanian Animal Hospitals

Parvovirus – What you need to know??

Parvovirus – What you need to know??


Recently there have been a large number of dogs affected by parvovirus in hobart and surrounding suburbs. Below are a few important facts about parvovirus and how to protect your loved one from such a horrible disease.

Why is Parvo so dangerous?

  • Parvo is extremely contagious to dogs. The virus is shed by infected dogs, and it can survive in the environment for years.. It is resistant to the effects of heat, alcohol, detergents and most disinfectants. Therefore, most patients with Parvo will not pick it up from direct contact with an infected dog, but through contact with the same environment (eg. footpaths, parks etc)
  • The virus has an incubation period of 3 – 10 days. This means that a dog can be infected with the virus (and therefore spreading the virus!) for days before they begin to show signs of being unwell. This makes it very hard to control.
  • There is no ‘cure’ for Parvo – once a dog is infected, the only way to help them is through a prolonged period of hospitalisation and aggressive supportive therapy. This treatment is often a very costly exercise, and sometimes despite our best efforts and with every treatment available, we are not able to save all patients with Parvo.

How can I protect my dog from Parvo?

VACCINATE, VACCINATE, VACCINATE! Puppies must receive three separate vaccinations (given at 6 – 8 weeks, 10 – 12 weeks and 14 – 16 weeks) to ensure they are protected against the virus. Adult dogs need a full vet check and vaccination review yearly to protect them for life.

In addition to vaccinating, you should also take precautions to protect your new puppy in the period leading up to their final puppy (14 – 16 week) vaccination. Don’t let your pup socialise with unvaccinated dogs, and don’t let them contact public areas where infected dogs may have been – carry them if you are unsure about the environment outside your home.

What are the symptoms of Parvo?

  • Vomiting – often severe
  • Diarrhoea – often foul smelling, sometimes with blood or mucus present
  • Reluctance to eat or drink
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Fever

It is important to note that not every dog infected with Parvo will show all the above symptoms, but these are the most common.

If you have any queries regarding parvovirus then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Injured & orphaned wildlife on our roads

Injured & orphaned wildlife on our roads

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Tasmania is home to a variety of beautiful native wildlife. Sadly, many animals are killed on our roads.

At Tasmanian Animal Hospitals we will triage and treat all wildlife at no charge. We work with wildlife carers and Bonorong to ensure we can return native animals to the wild whenever possible.

Here are a few basic tips on what you can do to help injured wildlife.

Always have a thick towel and gloves in the back of your car in case of emergencies.

A cat carrier or cardboard box is also very useful.

What should I do if I see an animal hit by a car?

  • Your safety is a priority. Don’t stop or get out of the car unless it is safe to do so.
  • Approach the animal quietly and calmly. If it does not run away, it is probably seriously injured or in shock.
  • Pick it up using thick gardening gloves, welding gloves or a thick towel or jumper. Be cautious as scared animals can bite.
  • Place the animal in a box and secure the lid.
  • Take the animal straight to the nearest vet clinic. If we are closed, try AHVEC or Bonorong.

Native animals can die from stress alone, so keep handling to a minimum. Keep the box in a dark, warm, quiet place until it can see a vet.

Do NOT try to feed the animal, handle it or take photos.

What should I do if the animal has died?

  • If the animal is a marsupial, it may have a baby in the pouch. You can open the pouch to check the teats for young.
  • If young are present (or you don’t feel comfortable to look inside), please bring the mother in to the clinic for our vets to check.
  • Do NOT try to remove a baby from the teat as this can cause jaw damage.
  • If no babies are present, please remove the body to the side of the road. If left on the road it could attract Tassie Devils, who may then also be hit and killed.tassie devil

How can we prevent the injury or death of wildlife on the road?

  • Avoid driving at dusk, night or dawn, as this is when native animals are most active.
  • Slow down in bush areas or at night. Keep under 80km/hr.

What else can I do to help?

If you are passionate about helping wildlife, why not become a wildlife rescue carer? Carers are involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of injured wildlife. Some will also bottle-raise orphaned wildlife. Training courses are available through Bonorong.

Remember, native animals should never be kept as pets. It is illegal to keep native wildlife without a license.

For more info, check out our local experts in wildlife – Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary.


Dr Grace Woodward