VetHQ Newsletter
News and information for wellcare of our pets

What's new in June

June 2014
As most of you know I had a 2 week holiday last month, but what you may not know is that my internet connection dongle thingy did not work, so for the first time since Vet HQ began in 2006 I did not log on to the work operating system for 2 weeks. I did get a few texts and phone calls but all in all the team at HQ did a fantastic job and I had a wonderful holiday. I have uploaded a video onto the Vet HQ youtube site of me SUP surfing for those of you who have no idea about what it is.  It’s not the best example of the sport but I am improving.

What’s New?
Tammy and Peter got married in April.
Raph and Kain got married (Depending on when this gets published..Yesterday ).
Kiaora Lane has opened – Yippee (Woolworths, Dan Murphy’s and 490 Car spots).
Bessie, our giraffe has arrived and is now a permanent fixture on the back of our building.
There is a new Vet HQ website about to be launched and Dr Geoff’s blog will start via the new website.
Movers and Shakers!
Danijela has dropped all her weekday shifts and will only be working on Sunday only. Her son, Keanu, is in the musical Strictly Ballroom and is an understudy to the main character. Danijela will be supporting Keanu over the coming months.
Caitlyn joins us in Day Care. She has come from a hotel background and we welcome her to the team.
Annabelle has replaced Danijela on reception in the afternoons. Annabelle has been a part of the Veterinary industry for many years and has a wealth of experience to be able to help you with any enquiry you may have.
Natasha, finally but by no means least, has joined us as a Veterinary Locum  till the end of July filling in for all the vets who I have to give holidays to, apparently.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter. Let us know what we can do to improve this and also our communication to you. We love feedback. 


The problem with supermarket dog food

As I was driving home from Vivid festival on Sunday night with 1 screaming child, one sleeping child and one waving a lightsaber in the car I realised I had no food for the dogs dinner.  I made a quick pit stop to the local supermarket to get food, I couldn’t not feed the dog – well I could but if anyone at work found out I would get chastised.

 In the pet food section there was a selection of brightly packaged poor quality dry and canned foods. They all used the slogans ‘natural’ and ‘complete’ and ‘wellness’ but when I looked at the ingredients they all had low protein less than 10% and high filler. Marketing is an amazing thing – just look at McDonalds, bright coloured, poor quality, highly flavoured food. 
 I moved on to the fresh meat section. As expected there was the terrible sulphur dioxide soaked so called fresh meat. The meat was bright red and full of preservatives despite saying ‘no significant preservative’.  In the human consumption meat section a porterhouse was $16.00 (organic grain fed blah blah). I probably would have got an $8.00 steak for the dog but $16 was a bit much. 
I finally resorted to a product called four legs lamb and veggies. To be honest I was not completely satisfied with the product but it was the best on offer so I took the packet and gave it to Snap. After a bit of sniffing and looking and wondering, he did eat it, and I am happy to say 48 hrs later no significant issues downstairs.

We all fall into this trap of no food for the dog. Keep these tips up your sleeve for when it happens:
1.    Missing a meal is ok (he had missed breakfast so I thought that twice in one day was a bit much)
2.    Good quality dry food (Hills, Eukanuba, Royal Canine and Advance) and raw human consumption meat and bones are optimal. Tinned tuna and salmon in spring water are great for cats.
3.    If your caught the top supermarket lines are iams, optimum and purina
4.    Avoid the poor quality dry foods and all canned and sachet foods.
5.    Never feed so called fresh animal meat as it contains the preservative Sulphur Dioxide.
*If your pet has a specific dietary condition please talk to us first and it is better to skip a meal then compromise your pet.

Geoff Golovsky

389 New South Head Rd
Double Bay
NSW 2028
Tel 93261255


Grooming at Vet HQ 

Finally the tide of change has worked in our favour and probably for the first time since we opened in 2006 I can say our Grooming program is running beautifully. I never forget the first bath we did, or should I say I did. Lulu came out of here smelling better than when she came in but boy did she look like a drowned rat. The owners mentioned to me that perhaps I should stick to the vet work and find a good groomer.
I believe I now have the ‘A’ team.

Bianca, our head stylist has trained up Mariko and Louise to an excellent level and we now have a well oiled Grooming HQ team. We expect to increase our numbers by 30% over the coming months. If you are interested in making regular bookings then email If you prefer more of a drop in service, no guarantees but call up and speak to one of the receptionists.


The value of dental x-rays


Over two thirds of each tooth lies underneath the gum where we can’t see it. The only way of assessing the health of a whole tooth is with a dental x-ray. In fact, studies have found that 50% of animals with abnormal findings during their dental examination will have undetected problems which can only be diagnosed with x-rays. At Vet HQ we are one of very few clinics with dental radiography so we can provide the best dental healthcare for your pet.
Harry’s teeth have been monitored monthly as part of our Gold Class program and during a regular check we noticed that he had a small fracture of one of his top teeth. We performed a dental under anaesthetic to remove this tooth as fractured teeth can be painful and lead to infection.
During the dental procedure, we noticed that Harry was missing some of his bottom teeth. There are a many reasons why a dog may not have as many teeth as they should. They may have fallen out, broken off, been removed previously in a dental procedure or may be stuck under the gum. Occasionally, some dogs just have fewer teeth than the average and never developed them in the first place.

In Harry’s case we took some dental radiographs to determine why he was missing the teeth and found that he in fact had his premolars on both sides but they were hidden under the gum and were growing sideways into the adjacent teeth.

Harry’s x-rays. The red arrows point to the 1st premolars on both sides of the lower jaw which are stuck under the gums

Not only could these unerupted teeth (ones which are stuck under the gum) cause problems to the teeth next to them, but they were both at great risk of becoming dentigerous cysts. A ‘dentigerous cyst’ is when fluid forms around an unerupted tooth and causes destruction of the surrounding bone. You can see a small amount of fluid forming around the Harry’s unerupted teeth in his x-rays above.
When the cyst continues to grow, it can result in jaw fracture and in Harry’s case, even though they were not causing any problems at the moment, if we did not remove them, the bone destruction would have left him with a broken jaw within a years time. 

This x-ray and photo show a more advanced dentigerous cyst resulting in gum swelling in 2 different dogs

When the gum was opened, you can see the unerupted tooth which caused the cyst

Harry was lucky that we were able to detect the problem in time and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without dental x-rays.

Oscar was "not quite right"

Oscar is sometimes known as Oscar the Grouch because his moods can be a bit feisty.
So when Oscar came in for his yearly physical examination and vaccination we knew our exam had to be thorough but fast, as his patience with us is only short.

At home, his mum said he had been “sort of normal but not quite right.”  It’s a great opportunity to use your regular check up to chat to your vet about any little concerns.
After all you know your pet better than anybody else on this earth. Pets are individuals just like people.
Two people with a sore toe or a belly ache may ache in two totally different ways but the one thing that their loved ones will notice is they will behave differently from when they are pain free and healthy. Listen to your intuition and if you feel your pet is not behaving properly, be proactive instead of silently worrying about it and book in for a check up. Quite often they can be explained easily e.g. a sore tooth, a little allergy or even worms but in Oscar’s case a simple physical examination made this vet feel very, very worried. Vets are able to feel various organs when feeling an animals’ abdomen. Of course this is always easier in thinner or relaxed animals. In Oscar’s case an irregular, lumpy mass could be felt in the front part of his abdomen.
Knowing the anatomy of the abdomen, we can immediately place this lump in the area of the liver, stomach, gall bladder or pancreas. It certainly didn’t feel normal and our immediate fear was that a tumour was causing the irregularity. It would certainly explain why Oscar was “not quite right” at home. Thank goodness his mum voiced her concerns and brought Oscar in for a check up.

Further tests were required. A radiograph of the abdomen showed a mysterious array of densities and lines within the stomach. The liver and other organs appeared normal.
The x-ray allowed us to formulate a diagnostic plan to work out what was going on in the stomach – were the densities in the stomach just mass of weird foreign material that Oscar had eaten or were they growths or a tumour within the stomach wall??? The only way to find out was to have a look.

Our first step was to insert an endoscope (long flexible telescope and light) into Oscar’s stomach. We saw masses of hair ties, string, and hair forming a large dense matt. Thank goodness it wasn’t a tumour. The next challenge was removing it all. This was achieved with an exploratory laparotomy – we operated on Oscar’s stomach and removed almost a half a kilo of elastic hair ties, chewed bikini straps and hair. 
We were all amazed at how many he had eaten. Now the girls in Oscar’s home are much more careful in putting their hair ties away and closing their cupboards!
The moral to the story is that you are your pet’s best friend and carer – if they are behaving just a bit oddly and it can’t be explained, it may be because of a health issue. Put your worries at bay and seek veterinary attention. Best case scenario is that your worries can be allayed with a simple explanation; worse case is that something is found that requires further attention… but at least being caught early will increase the likelihood that something can be done to improve the comfort of your pet.


Vet HQ Frequent Buyer Card

June 2014

Vet HQ
389 New South Head Rd
Double Bay
NSW  2028
P: 02 93261255
F: 93261266
Our Vets:
Dr Geoff Golovsky
Interests: Surgery, Oncology, Talking (as much as you want)
Dr Caryn Wun
Interests: Internal Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging (xray/ultrasound), Behaviour
Dr Tammy Poon
Interests: Surgery, Dermatology, Cardiorespiratory disease
Dr Nicky Goldberg
Interests: Preventative health care, Dermatology, Dentistry
Dr Ilana Mendels (part time)
Our Nurses:
Kate Fahy VN Head Nurse

Jenna JJ Luskey VN
Client Services Nurse

Sonja Marksteiner Senior VN
Louise Hansen VN
Kristina Karlson Trainee VN
Tessa Carroll Trainee VN
Our Animal Attendants:
Ainslee Maher
Marcel Tabuteau
Caitlyn Wright
Our Reception Team:
Elle Wright Trainee VN
Jenn Dodd
Danijela Kis
Raphaella Osborne
Annabelle Selleck
Our Dog Stylists:
Bianca Bennett Head Stylist
Mariko Shimizu VN and Groomer
Our Vet students:
Imogen Game
Business Manager:
Alyssa Carter
Hospital Hours:
7.30am-7pm Mon-Fri
9am-1pm Sat
10am-1pm Sun
Consultation by appointment
Emergency till 11pm (Mon-Fri)
P: 0434635226
After Hours:
For emergencies after 11pm and on weekends out of hours please contact:
East Side Veterinary Emergency
10 Newcastle Street Rose Bay
P: 1300792802
Or North Shore Vet Specialists
64 Atchison St Crows Nest
P: 94364884
Our Values:
To provide pets with the highest standard of professional and ethical Veterinary care
To offer a complete, balanced and individualised health care service to pets and owners
To provide supportive and clear communication to pet owners
To maintain the highest level of learning and continuous education for staff and clients
Our Purpose:
To provide the highest quality pet care and be an integral link between you and your pet

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