VetHQ Newsletter
News and information for wellcare of our pets

Big Changes ……. Big Changes

As some of you know the last month has been a bit busy for me personally and the team at Vet HQ. About 6 weeks ago I was informed of a local practice that had gone into voluntary administration. Fast forward a busy 10 days of negotiations and Vet HQ now has a branch practice in Darlinghurst. We have been running Darlo now for 4 weeks and the dust is starting to settle.
I would like to welcome our new Darlinghurst clients to their first of many Vet HQ quarterly newsletters. Hopefully you will all be very happy with the community that is Vet HQ, and the fact that we strive to treat your pets like you would expect to be treated and we aim to be an integral part of the bond between you and your pet family. The Darlo practice will be run as an independent facility with an Xray room and sterile surgical facility being installed in over the coming week. We already have upgraded the laboratory facility to the latest in state of the art technology. The practice already boasted the best in Dental technology including dental xray. We have placed a full hills pet food stand in reception and will soon have some more retail products. The best news to Darlo clients is 7 minutes away we have our main facility in Double Bay, one of the largest Vet Hospitals in the eastern suburbs. Double Bay is open 7 days a week and contains everything that you need for the best in sub specialist veterinary care. 

To my Double Bay clients, I do not expect you will see or notice any change. Double Bay will run as it always has, and Darlinghurst will be run independently. Apart from the settling in period I don’t expect any staff to spend significant time away from Double Bay. I myself will not consult at Darlinghurst. I am currently looking for a full time vet to be at Darlinghurst and I welcome Leigh Davidson who is part time at Darlo and I welcome the three exceptional nursing staff, Lauren, Emma and Bella.
And what else is big and getting bigger!!!!! Not sure I should introduce it that way but a BIG congratulations to Troy, Tammy and Jen who will all be going on Maternity leave (in that order) over the coming months. That will bring our growing family of kids from 5 to 8. To these amazing staff, good luck and enjoy your mat leaves and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2018. 

Is there anything Bigger? Yara has joined our customer service team. She has fit in brilliantly and together with Cheshire, Jen and Ainslie runs the hospital better than the control tower at Sydney airport. Elizabeth Rowlands has taken Troy’s maternity leave. Elizabeth has come from Queensland (don’t hold that against her) and holds a law degree (don’t hold that against her) and a commerce degree as well as first class honours in Veterinary Science. We welcome her and look forward to her starting with us in mid July. Ofir Schwarzmann has accepted Tammy’s maternity position. Ofir graduated from Sydney University and is a local bought up in Bondi. Ofir has an impressive CV, has glowing references and we look forward to her joining the team in August. 

That’s it from me. 

Bring on the second half of 2017. If you’re not already tuning into my Geoffisodes on Facebook and YouTube have a look. Geoffisode’s are my new Blog. Like us on Facebook to be a part of the community.

See you all soon. 

Click here to watch the latest Geoffisode

Love That Pet Darlinghurst has been purchased by Vet HQ


New Strain of Parvo Virus


With a case of parvovirus in hospital this week, I thought it important to update you all again on parvovirus. Firstly as long as you dog is up to date with vaccinations, the rest of this article is for information purposes only as your dog is protected. If you pet is not up to date please make an appointment ASAP as parvovirus can be deadly to your dog.

As Many of you will undoubtedly have heard, a new strain of parvo virus has been recorded in Australia. The strain CPV-2c has been reported in the Northern territories and Queensland. We would like to share with you the information you need.

The disease:
Parvo virus is a dangerous infectious disease that targets the lymphoid tissue (immune system) and lining of the small intestine. It is particularly dangerous to young puppies, but can also be a risk for old or immune-compromised dogs.
The symptoms of parvo virus can be; a profuse, often bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, lethargy, inappetance, fever and sudden death.
The virus is spread through direct contact with contaminated material, usually faeces or vomit, however the virus is very hardy and can easily survive in the environment for 6 months, allowing breakouts to appear from nowhere.

Treatment of parvo can be challenging, there is no direct cure for the virus itself, and once symptoms show the damage has already been done to the gut. This means treatment is primarily supportive. 
Antibiotics are used to help prevent secondary infections, the damaged gut and weakened immune system will allow bacteria to leak into the body causing more complications
Fluid therapy and nutritional support, the damaged gut leaks fluids out of the body and has difficulty absorbing the nutrient the body needs, giving fluids, electrolytes, sugars and in some cases proteins by a drip help to support the body while it fights the infection and prevents dehydration.
Despite our best efforts parvo is a very dangerous infection, even with treatment the death rate can be as high as 50% in sick puppies.

Parvo virus is one of our core vaccinations, all puppies should receive 3 doses of the vaccination by the time they are 12-14 weeks old, they then get a booster the following year and as an adult they are vaccinated every 3 years against parvo virus.
The importance of vaccinating adult dogs is not just for their protection. In fact parvo virus rarely causes disease adult dogs (although kennel cough, distemper and hepatitis which we also vaccinate against can). But adult dogs can carry parvo virus to at risk individuals. An important benefit of vaccinating adult dogs is “herd immunity”
Herd immunity means that the disease cannot spread effectively. By vaccinating the majority of the population, we prevent carriers from spreading the infection to those individuals that cannot be vaccinated due to age or sickness.

Many diseases come in different strains, these can be associated with different severity, rates of infection and mortality. Some diseases, such as the flu, have wildly different strains that each require their own vaccination.
Parvo virus comes in 2a, 2b and 2c strains worldwide. Our vaccinations are based on the 2b strain (the most common strain). Luckily 2c has been around the rest of the world for some time and we know that our 2b vaccination has cross protection against both 2a and 2c strains.
This new outbreak required no additional action, other than insuring your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, or if you have puppies that they are not put into at risk environments until they have received at least 2 injections.

If you have any questions about vaccinations or disease prevention, please feel free to speak to us, in person, on the phone or by e-mail.

Good Health
    Dr Tony

When a cough might not be just a cough?

Coughing is a protective reflex which serves to clear the airways of built up mucus or harmful material within the respiratory tract.  There are many different causes of coughing, some more serious than others but a trip to the vet and a thorough history can allow us to narrow down the list and determine whether further tests are warranted. 

Common conditions causing coughing in dogs. 
-    Kennel cough (infectious tracheobronchitis). 
This is an infectious disease which causes a hacking cough (often sounds like gagging) and the dogs will often cough up white foam. They will usually be otherwise bright and happy but the cough may worsen with exercise or when pulling on the lead. We offer yearly vaccinations against this disease, which although not fully protective (similarly to the human flu shot) it does reduce the chances that such an infection will be serious. 
-    Foreign body in the trachea (windpipe) or oesophagus.
This can include grass seeds or bone fragments. Here at Vet HQ we have an endoscope (camera) which can allow us to look inside the trachea for any foreign material. 
-    Dental disease and secondary upper respiratory tract infections.
Another good reason to get your dog’s teeth regularly checked and cleaned! The high levels of bacteria found in plaque and tartar on the teeth can predispose dogs to a greater risk of throat infections. Vet HQ offer 6 monthly scale and polish under an anaesthetic for a reduced cost to keep oral hygiene at its best.
-    Bronchitis.
Often secondary to environmental allergens including dust, smoke, room deodorizers. 
-    Pneumonia
Infection of the lungs. This can be secondary to foreign material (such as grass seeds), vomiting (where some of the vomitus is breathed into the lungs) or infections (such as kennel cough). This can be a serious condition and requires further diagnostics including chest x-rays to assess the lungs and rapid treatment with an appropriate antibiotic. 
-    Lung tumours.
Usually seen in older dogs. This can be diagnosed with a chest x-ray. 
-    Heart disease.
Heart disease can affect any age and any breed. Symptoms can include coughing (especially whilst lying down), not exercising as much as usual, sudden collapse/fainting, panting at rest or increased respiratory rate (faster than 30 breaths a minute when sleeping). A chest x-ray will allow us to check the heart size and look for fluid build-up within the lungs. Further tests include an ultrasound of the heart to measure chamber size. 

When should you be concerned
A thorough history and physical examination is recommended for any cough to determine the underlying cause. An urgent consult should be made if your dog is having the following symptoms:
-    Sudden collapse.
-    Struggling to breathe (neck is often extended forward and elbows may be pushed outwards).
-    Breathing with abdominal effort (with each breath the abdomen is moving in and out).
-    Pale gums
-    Unable/unwilling to lie down/rest.
-    Lethargy (not interacting as normal) and inappetance. 

We will then be able to determine whether any further tests need to be done and what treatment will be able to help. 

Please follow the link to see a video on Peanut who presented with aspiration pneumonia. We are really glad he is doing so well and if your pet is coughing like this we recommend a check up ASAP.

Dr Troy 



Blood Pressure

Having our blood pressure measured is something that we come to expect on a visit to the doctor. Have you ever wondered why it’s not an every visit test for your pets as well?
Our blood vessels have the diameter of a pencil, so when the doctor places the blood pressure cuff around our arm, the vessel is big enough to hear a pulse through. In our pets, the blood vessel is the width of the lead on the inside of a pencil, so in order for your Vet to hear the pulse, we must use a special device called a Doppler crystal to pick up the sound of the pulse and amplify it.
At Vet HQ, we have two devices for blood pressure reading.

In people, hypertension can occur without any other disease process going on – we all know how stress and lifestyle can affect our blood pressure. In people this is called essential hypertension. In pets, hypertension is usually seen as a consequence of a disease process such as hyperthyroidism (hyperactive thyroid gland), Cushing’s disease (hyperactive adrenal gland), adrenal gland tumours and kidney disease. We encourage all owners of pets with these conditions to talk to their Vet about having their blood pressure checked.
Why is high blood pressure important to recognise?
Target organs are the parts of the body that are most affected by a particular disease condition. The target organs for blood pressure are:
  • Heart: where blood pressure can cause heart murmurs, heart muscle disease, heart rhythm disturbances. All of which can have serious effects on your pet’s long term health.
  • Central Nervous System: where high blood pressure can lead to seizures, cerebro-vascular accidents (like a stroke) or any neurologic sign
  • Eyes: where hypertension can cause blindness, retinal detachment, glaucoma and intra ocular haemorrhage.
  • Kidney: Hypertension commonly causes damage to the kidneys and is a major cause of chronic end-stage renal disease in humans. In small animal patients, clinically relevant damage to the kidneys is usually seen only in patients with preexisting renal disease; of course, this tends to be relatively common since renal disease is the most common cause of hypertension in small animal patients. This becomes a vicious cycle-kidney disease causes hypertension and hypertension worsens the kidney disease.
A geriatric check is recommended for all animals over 8 years of age. It would include a full physical examination, a comprehensive blood tests and blood pressure measurement. Pro active health care is all about catching things before they are serious, so that we can manage and be prepared for the changes to come. Our pets are such special part of the family that we often wish they could live forever. We can’t do that, but we can at least help them to live as long and comfortable a life as possible.
It’s the least we can do for all the love they give us.
Dr Caryn.

June 2017

Vet HQ
389 New South Head Rd
Double Bay
NSW  2028
P: 93261255
F: 93261266
F: Vet HQ Double Bay
F: Vet HQ Dog Day Care
You Tube: Vet HQ Double Bay
Instagram: Vet HQ

Vet HQ Darlinghurst
350 Victoria Street
NSW 2010

P: 93582566
F: Vet HQ
Our Values:
1.  Together we are more successful
2.  We care - every time- all the time
3.  We do the best we can
4.  We communicate directly, honestly and empathetically
5.  We are responsible and we are the solution
Our Purpose:
To provide the highest quality pet care and be an integral link between you and your pet
Our Guarentee:
No one will work harder to look after your pets.

Our Vets:
Dr Geoff Golovsky
BVSc(hons) MANZCVS (Surgery)
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 Nikki Goldberg
Interests: Surgery, Dermatology, Dentistry

Dr Tony Knapp
BSc (hons), BVSc, MRCVS
Interests: Cat Medicine and soft tissue surgery

Dr Troy Jackson
BSc(hons), BVetMed(hons) MRCVS
Interests: internal medicine, ophthalmology, and emergency and critical care
Dr Leigh Davidson
BVSc, BAppSc
Interests: Internal medicine, online consulting and social media

Dr Elizabeth Rowlands
BVSc(hons), LLB (hons) BCOMM

Dr Ofir Schwartzamn

Our Nurses:

Jenna JJ Luskey VN
Client Services Nurse

Astrid Jeffs Senior VN
Elle Purdie VN
Hayley Vanderhilst VN
Mariel Valladolid VN
Tessa Carroll VN
Mariko Shimizu VN
Amy Butler VN

Lauren Bingham Head VN
Emma Murdoch VN
Our Trainee Nurses:
Isabella Peterson
Bethany Rutley
Our Animal Attendants:
Caitlyn Wright
Kristie Ashworth
Jessica Brogna

Our Reception Team:
Chescia Tunley Reception Manager
Jen Dodd Senior Receptionist
Ainslie Maher
Yara Kusmandari 
Our Dog Stylists:
Mariko Shimizu VN and Groomer
Amy Butler VN
Vicky Zhao
Rie Otsubo
Yuki Saito

Our Vet students:
Erina Leask
Manali Subramaniam
Anna Sundqvist
Jess Fenyo
Operations Manager:
Alyssa Carter

HR Manager:
Kate Fahy
Hospital Hours Double Bay:
7.30am-7pm Mon-Fri
9am-5pm Sat
10am-1pm Sun
Consultation by appointment

Hospital Hours Darlinghurst:
7.30am-7pm Mon-Fri
9am-1pm Saturday
Closed Sunday
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

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