VetHQ Newsletter
News and information for wellcare of our pets

Full Steam Ahead for 2013


2013 started with a sting.

My family’s week of R+R over New Year in Canberra turned into excitement when Tammy, my wife, got bitten by a red back spider whilst swimming in the family pool. The next 72 hours saw us in an out of the Emergency Department.  We returned to Sydney a little less rested than we expected, to find, the sting turned to bite as we found out that we would loose the public car park in Kiaora Lane with the new Kiaora Land Development starting (finally). For our parking arrangements please check our web site and the article and map below.
But none of this will stop the team or myself at Vet HQ. 2013 is full steam ahead!

We welcome Dr Nicky Goldberg to our team of vets increasing our numbers to 4 full time and 1 part time. Nicky has been working with us for 5 years in the capacity of a veterinary student on weekends. When she graduated I did not feel I should pass up on the opportunity to employ such a remarkable person. Nicky has impressed me with her compassion for animals, her eagerness to learn and her accomplishment of veterinary degree (with the modern equivalent of honours. She is at present spending time with Tammy, Caryn and myself in consult and in hospital until she beds down the practical skills required to look after all of you our clients.

We also have increased our qualified Veterinary Nurses to 7 including Jemmah out front. Jenna (or to avoid complication J.J.) has started a new position as a client services veterinary nurse. She will be working predominantly with the consulting Vets and will help admit and discharge surgeries and will be running nurse consults such as weight advice, puppy advice, and dental health care. She comes to us with 8 years of nursing experience. Jen is our third new face and will be backing Jemmah up at reception. That’s right Jen not Jemmah and certainly not JJ. When I first met Jen I asked her where her accent was from. She said “Geoff, don’t worry if you cant understand me, the more you get to know me you will easily start to understand me!” What could we say with a comment like that, she had to be hired. Ainslee is the final new face of 2013. Ainslee is no stranger to us as she worked previously with the team at Pet Resorts Australia. She is the perfect addition to our day care team. The only person we have temporarily lost is Fie who unfortunately has been unable to work with a disc protrusion in her lower back. She is heading under the knife (no not with us, I offered but she politely declined) and we wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming her back to work.

Continuing Education is very important to us and this year we congratulate Kristina on gaining entry to Tafe Certificate II in Vet Nursing. She is joining us in Hospital one day a week as a trainee. Caryn is doing an ultrasound course in March, Tammy is doing a cardio – respiratory course in June, I am doing a Musculoskeletal workshop in May and we a running an internal competition for one of the nurses to go to Melbourne to the Veterinary Nurse Conference in March. Alyssa is still progressing through the UNE practice management diploma and who could forget Raphaella who is getting to the end of her masters in psychology. We have also enlisted the services of Crampton Consulting this year to question, review and train all staff on customer service and internal team work. The initial steps have already been rewarding. Congratulations to Jemmah for getting a massive score on her mystery shopper phone call.

On a final note as my team increases to almost 25 you may ask how we fit. Over the next 6 weeks we will be making a few changes internally at Vet HQ. We will be creating another consult room and dividing off the staff room and lab/pharmacy area. 7 years on, why stop!
If you have any concerns about anything, please drop me an email or Facebook us or just call ( I know its novel but it does work).

Best Wishes and happy Autumn
Geoff Golovsky


Building a Better Double Bay


On Tuesday 29th January work will begin on the new multilevel car park in Kiaora Lane – with a new Woolworths, Dan Murphys, Thomas Dux and Café Precinct being constructed behind our building.  It is expected to take 15 months.  Please follow the link for information and a 3D walk through of the project.
Kiaora Lane will remain OPEN the entire time so access to our 2 parking spots and back entrance will not be affected.  There will be a traffic controller on the corner of Manning Road and Kiaora Lane so please inform him/her when visiting Vet HQ and there will be no issues regarding access.  30 minutes free parking will be available on New South Head Road from 10 am.  Woollahra Council has guaranteed  that Vet HQ clients will receive 2 hours free parking at the Cross Street Car Park  when visiting our Clinic – a member of staff will verify your parking ticket.   
In addition we will be offering a Pet Valet service.  We will have a buzzer at our back door for use if you are unable to find parking.  A member of staff will admit your pet for day care, grooming or cat boarding so that you will not have to leave your car.  For consultations a member of staff will accept your pet  until you have been able to safely park your car,  if our spaces are in use.  We will also be offering a Nurse House call Service for simple procedures such as anal glands, arthritis injections and nail clips and an additional House Call service on Wednesday evening (4 – 7 pm)  as well as our Wednesday morning service which we presently offer.    Our scheduled House Call Services are at no additional charge.
Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance to you and your pet during this time. Our aim is to provide uninterrupted service to you during the construction period.
Geoff Golovsky and the team at Vet HQ


Hello my Name is Nicky


Hi my name is Nicky Goldberg and I’ve recently started working as Vet HQ’s 4th full time veterinarian. Having worked at Vet HQ part time over the last 4 years in dog day care, reception and as a nurse, I have already met many of you and your animals.
My passion for animals and keen interest in medicine drove me to pursue a career as a vet. During my years of studying veterinary science at the University of Sydney, I volunteered as a wildlife rescuer for WIRES, spent time at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, checked wild bores for exotic diseases by helicopter in the Gulf of Carpentaria with Quarantine, performed my first puppy caesarean at the RSPCA and delivered twin calves in Bega. Having spent a significant proportion of my university years with my arm up a cows you-know-what, I’m enjoying settling back into the eastern suburbs where I’ve grown up and working with the animals which I love and am most passionate about.
I have a keen interest in surgery and enjoy the challenge of difficult cases. I look forward to seeing you and your beloved pets over the next year.

Summer's Biggest Looser


......not because he put on a tie dyed shirt or bought a pair of trendy Ray Ban Wayfarers but because he lost 5 kg. It’s possible and here is the proof. Well done Fletch!

Chocolate Toxicity 


With Easter just around the corner again, it comes to that time of the year when the number of four legged friends raiding the home chocolate stash spikes.

Chocolate is a toxic substance to our canine (and feline) friends alike – induced by the active ingredient theobromine which can result in seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle  tremors and heart palpitations.

Baking chocolate has the highest percentage of theobromine (as a general rule) followed by dark chocolate and milk chocolate, and white chocolate contains no theobromine so possesses little to no risk.

If there is any doubt that your pet has ingested chocolate then contact your veterinarian as soon as possible – as we can administer a medication to induce vomiting so that any remaining chocolate can be brought up before it is absorbed into the bloodstream.

The sooner your pet is treated, the better the prognosis in the long term. Generally most of our patients will bring up the offending food and be sent home within a few hours. All patients should be monitored closely at home in the following hours to ensure that there are no symptoms that develop – such as the vomiting, seizures or diarrhea.

If a large amount of chocolate has been ingested and absorbed, your pet may need to remain in hospital on intravenous fluids so that the internal organs can be supported as best possible. We will tailor your pets’ treatment accordingly.

As always, if you have any queries or concerns, please contact us here at Vet HQ.

Lily Toxicity in Cats


With Valentines Day just passed and Mother’s Day on the horizon we all like to receive a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Lilies have become increasingly popular because of their beautiful colour and smell. Unfortunately an unknown toxin in the plant makes them particularly poisonous. Ingestion of even a tiny amount of plant can lead to kidney failure and death can occur. The gastrointestinal and nervous systems may also be affected.
What parts of the plant are toxic?
The flower is the most toxic component, but all parts of the plant are toxic. The smallest of plant pieces, if ingested can be toxic. These flowers also produce a large amount of pollen, and this too can be toxic. The pollen is yellow to orange (depending on the lily) and gets everywhere. Cats that have pollen on them should be bathed, as they ingest pollen as they groom themselves.
What are the signs of Lily poisoning?
Signs may occur as early as 6 hours after eating. They include vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite and shivers. Signs of kidney failure soon follow. These include and increased thirst, dehydration, increased urination initially that can develop into decreased or no urine as the kidneys shut down.
Death can occur. Kidney failure may occur up to 36-72 hours after ingestion.
How is it diagnosed and treated?
If you have lilies in the house and your cat shows any of the above signs, a vet check is recommended ASAP. Studies have shown that cats whose treatment is left for more than 18 hours after ingestion of the plants have a much worse outcome. Early aggressive intravenous fluid therapy gives your cat the best chance. Medication to protect the gut lining is also given.
Tinga, a beautiful 1year old Tabby cat was the baby in the family. His owners thought he would be safe from the dangers of the world being an apartment cat- no chance of car accidents or cat fights, no nasty dogs to battle with and  no access to things that he shouldn’t eat…
Unfortunately, his mum liked flowers. As a special treat to herself and to brighten up the apartment she bought some beautiful Oriental Lilies.
Tinga thought they were fun to play with too. While his owners were at work, he did the typical young cat thing. He slept, he woke, he ate, and he followed the sun around the apartment and played with things…including the newly bought flowers. When his owners came home from they found him to be quiet. They found vomit around the house containing chewed leaves. A quick call to the Vet HQ after hours emergency number and they were soon at Vet HQ.
Urine tests showed that Tinga’s kidneys had already started to show signs of damage but thankfully blood tests revealed that his prognosis would be good with aggressive intravenous fluid therapy and gastric protectants.
Tinga made a speedy recovery and is as gorgeous as ever but there are no more lilies allowed in the house!

Pet Valet


Autumn 2013

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