Veterinarians can provide vaccination against Hendra virus in horses from 5th November 2012. Due to its availability under the Minor Use Permit conditions there are some very strict restrictions that are in place.
At this stage the vaccination procedure is as follows:
- Horses receive two vaccines exactly 21 days apart. This timeframe is absolutely mandatory
- For both vaccines horses need to have a health examination by the vet to ascertain they are well enough to proceed
- It is also mandatory that they are microchipped before their first vaccine. Your microchip will be recorded in a national register
- Horses need to be at least 4 months old to receive the vaccine. It is not recommended in stallions or pregnant mares. The effects of the vaccine on fertility has not yet been ascertained
- The vaccine will be recorded by your veterinarian in a national database.
It is predicted that the vaccine will require an annual booster, but this is still in research stage and is not confirmed.
There were site reactions in about 30% of the horses tested, and this generally presented as swelling (2cm x 2cm). These reactions were reported to resolve quickly and with no treatment.
Obviously the vaccine is a preventative for Hendra Virus, and not a treatment. If you suspect your horse has contracted Hendra contact your vet immediately.
Many of we humans have had surgery and know how difficult it can be to recover. Imagine if you didn't understand what had happened? Your pet's recovery from surgery may be made smoother by following your vet's advice. Make sure you talk to your vet afterwards and understand what it is you need to do to care for them properly. If you are unsure about any of the directions always ask, your vet will only be too happy to clarify because they want the best recovery experience for you and your pet - no question is silly!
There are a few questions that often pop up:
Can I feed my pet tonight?
Your pet may not feel like eating that evening, and food may induce vomiting. If they appear hungry or looking for food you might try a little, unless your vet indicated otherwise.
Where can I put them?
Your pet may still be a bit groggy after the anaesthetic and will need a quiet place to rest it off. It is a good idea to keep your pet away from other pets and children, so it might be worthwhile confining them to the laundry or bathroom. In most cases confinement is recommended post-surgery so wounds are not aggravated by running about.
My pet appears drowsy, is this normal?
It may take the evening for your pet to recover from the anaesthetic, in some cases they may not be quite their normal self until later the following day. Your pet's behaviour should return to normal after a day or two; if this does not happen contact your vet for advice.
Will my pet need a bucket around its neck?
An Elizabethan collar might be recommended to keep your pet from aggravating and removing its stitches. Whether it is necessary will depend on your pet and the nature of their surgery/wound. If you do not go home with a collar but find your pet becomes interested in the stitches call your vet for advice. The cost of a collar is a fraction of the cost of having the stitches replaced by your vet!
My pet appears painful, is this normal?
Be rest assured, all pets receive pain relief before going home from surgery. The stoic nature of our pets makes them masters at hiding pain. If your pet exhibits any tell-tale signs contact your vet: hiding, aggression, pacing, whimpering, pacing, loss of appetite, or increased breathing rate. It is essential your pet's pain is managed for their welfare.
Hopefully your pet's surgery journey will be an uneventful one. Never be afraid to ask your vet questions; we truly want the best recovery possible for your pet.
Every year vet practices are inundated with ill dogs and cats, struck down by the paralysis tick. Paralysis Ticks, a native species to this country, are more common on the East coast of Australia (unfortunately that means us), and generally use native wildlife as a host. Some domestic pets have reportedly built up resistance to the parasite, but this is via repeat exposure at low levels (and if contact did not kill them in the first instances).
Emily's cornish rex Maru was having a few issues of late. Since Emily had adopted her she was gaining weight more slowly than she would have liked, was a slow eater, and had stinky breath. And we mean stinky! Other than that, Maru was quite content in her home and settling in well. She would sometimes lick her mouth, and not just straight after eating, which also was a bit odd.
Oh to have a holiday! Most of us go on a holiday no more than once a year, and one of our greatest concerns is making sure our animals will be in safe hands while we're away. Next time you're planning a holiday why not take your dog along as well? It'll mean you won't have to worry about their welfare while you're away, and you'll have the added bonus of your best mate by your side!