VetHQ Newsletter
News and information for wellcare of our pets

Words from the super coach


Rio was playing with another dog in the park and next thing her owners new she had her eye closed. She had a superficial corneal ulcer on the eye visible in the photo as the bright green horizontal lines. This was probably caused by blades of grass or perhaps the nails of the dog she was playing with. Interestingly Staffys seem to keep their eyelids open more than other breeds making them more susceptible to irritation and ulcers of the eye. With some appropriate medication I have no doubt she will make a complete recovery.

Am I a Staffy? Everyone has played the game of “If I was a dog what breed which one would I be?” I am not sure that I would call myself a Staffy, however I do keep my eyes open on the goal and very rarely do I falter. It's hard to believe we are already halfway through 2015. It has been an interesting year and an amazing journey.
We have upgraded our Ultrasound machine to a brand new state of the art machine that has taken our Diagnostic potential to a whole new level. Although we will still need a Specialist every now and then our in-house capabilities have been extended. With this installation we had an ultrasonographer from New York spend the day training the Vet Team.

We have also commenced laparoscopy or Key Hole Surgery. Follow the link below to view a liver biopsy that we recently did to confirm unfortunately for this dog nasty cirrhosis of the liver.

Over the coming month we will be saying goodbye to some very valuable team members. I would like to thank Bianca from grooming and Louise from our nursing team for the many years of devotion to Vet HQ. I have no doubt that they will continue to have success and happiness in the future in whatever path they choose to follow.

Remember like us on Facebook and keep up to date with all the happenings at Vet HQ.

Pele with a 'pus' ball not football


Pele is a 5 year old male neutered domestic shorthair (ginger) who loves to explore his local surrounds. Last week his owners noticed he had a swelling on the side of his face and also that his eye didn’t look 100% comfortable – so they brought him in for a veterinary check.

It was found that he had a scab on the side of his face, and when this was lifted off there was a large amount of purulent (pus) discharge that oozed out. When his mouth was opened we also found that there was a large opening behind his large upper molar tooth (on the same side as the swelling on the cheek).

Pele was given an antibiotic injection and pain relief and the following morning we anaesthetized him to investigate the abscess (pocket of infection).

Abscessation can happen from cat fight wounds – as the bacteria are introduced under the skin when the other animal bites through, or scratches them. The bacteria then proliferate and the area will appear swollen, hot and sore. Often we will see the abscess burst as the pressure under the skin can no longer hold the infection in, and the original wound will open up.

It is very important to remove the infection, and to clean the “pockets” of infection thoroughly so that healthy tissue can heal over. A general anesthetic allows us to probe the area and determine how big the area affected is. If the “pocket” is large, then a drain may need to be placed. Drains are used to allow the fluid to be removed from the site, as this will ultimately impede the healing capability of the wound.

Sometimes, we also need to take xrays of the area, depending on the location of the wound. This is because we need to determine if there is joint or bony involvement,  as treatment duration and type of antibiotic used may change depending on the area involved.

In Pele’s case, due to the fact that we also saw a possible infection in the mouth, we took a dental and skull xray. We found that he did actually have a fracture – of the zygomatic arch (see the xray).

Thankfully, there was not a lot of displacement (movement) so no intervention was required. We then opened the wound on the side of his cheek, flushing with saline and probing to determine the extent of the infected pocket. The area on the cheek was found to be approximately 7cm in height and 4cm in width extending from the base of his ear to his chin, and swelling up to the margins of his lips. Based on this, we elected to place a penrose drain into his face.

The infection opening into the mouth was probed as well and found to be communicating with the wound in the face! Based on this we flushed this area thoroughly as well with saline to remove as much of the bacteria as possible.

Due to the fact that there was a fracture of the bone in his face, and potentially nasty bacteria in the abscess, we placed Pele onto a type of antibiotic used more commonly in cases of osteomyelitis (or bony infection). A longer course (14 days) was also prescribed so that we could be sure that we were treating him adequately, as the effects of a true bony infection in that area could be devastating.

Pele’s drain has been kept in for 3 days (until there is no more fluid at the exit points) and he has been sporting a delightful Elizabethan collar, so that he would not scratch or irritate the sutures or drain on his face.

Both cats and dogs can sustain abscess infections, so if you are ever unsure about a swelling or pain on your animal, contact us here at Vet HQ. All domesticated pets should ideally be kept indoors from dusk to dawn, not only to protect themselves, but also the native wildlife. 

Need Help?


There is Hair all Over the House!!

Hair loss has so many underlying causes. There is the normal shedding of hair that occurs on a day to day basis. This normal hair loss does not lead to bald spots. The coat will be shiny and healthy and the skin underneath will be smooth and normal in appearance and smell.

If the hair loss is associated with any of the following, such as scabs, scale, redness, itchiness, greasiness, smell  or baldness  then the cause could be anything ranging from allergies (plants, grass, pollen, food or atopy), infections (mites, bacteria, fungal/ yeast) or hormonal imbalances.

We can sometimes tell the most likely cause based on the distribution of the itchiness and inflammation, but some other times a series of tests (skin scrapings or blood tests ) and questions are required to narrow down the cause. This is important so as to only treat what is needed.

Can you tell just by looking at the following pictures what is causing the problem?

Just in these pictures alone we have flea allergy, malasezzia dermatitis, bacterial interdigital dermatitis and a mite infection. The difficulty in skin disease is that the skin only has so many ways to react to feeling irritated.

You may see hair loss, redness, pimples, greasiness, thickening, change in colour with many different conditions. Each one of these conditions needs a different medication.

Sometimes we get inquiries asking for “something to stop the itchiness”.. Hopefully by seeing the similarity in appearance between many different skin problems you can understand why our receptionist will often say “ I think you better see a vet”.  Why?  To choose the right treatment we may need to perform skin tests to look for bacteria, mites or yeast. As each requires a different medication. Sometimes all 3 exist at once! Dr Google unfortunately can’t always distinguish between different skin conditions on surface appearance alone.  

So, when you find fur all over the house and your dog or cat, guinea pig or rabbit is chewing, biting or just silently going bald, the best option is ALWAYS to get a check up to allow the vets to perform the necessary tests to treat your pet correctly.

Fixing Boo’s Cough


Boo is a beautiful 9 year old Domestic Shorthair cat who visited us at Vet HQ because she had a persistent cough for 6 months.

To investigate her coughing further we did some blood tests. Blood tests can actually tell us a lot about what is happening in all different areas of the body. The blood test showed that Boo had an increased number of red blood cells. One role of the red blood cells is to carry oxygen around the body to where it is needed. When there is a problem with the lungs, the body produces more red blood cells to help carry more oxygen to the tissues. So even a blood sample can give us clues as to what is happening with the lungs.

We then took some x-rays of Boo’s lungs which looked very unusual. As you can see from the x-rays below, there are numerous white splotches within in the lung fields which should normally be black. This indicates that there is calcium build up in the airways, a result of long term inflammation. The large white circle in the middle is normal – it’s Boo’s heart.

Normal chest x-ray

Boo’s chest x-ray

The next procedure we did was collect some fluid from the lungs and looked at which cells were present to try to determine the cause of the inflammation. The predominant cell present was an inflammatory cell called an ‘Eosinophil’ which tells us that the cause of inflammation is most likely an allergy or a condition such as asthma.

Boo was started on a ventolin puffer to help open up her airways as well as a steroid puffer to help to decrease the inflammation. She has improved so much that she hasn’t coughed since the puffers were started. While cats need to get used to using puffers, Boo knows that there is a treat to be enjoyed immediately afterwards.

Dog Training

June 2015

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
Instagram: Vet HQ
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 Ilana Mendels (part time)
Dr Julie Ashton (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 VN
Mariko Shimizu VN
Amy Butler VN
Our Trainee Nurses:
Tessa Carroll Trainee VN
Caitlyn Wright Trainee VN
Our Animal Attendants:
Ainslee Maher
Rebecca Benedetti
Our Reception Team:
Elle Wright Trainee VN
Jen Dodd
Annica Guest VN
Annabelle Selleck VN
Our Dog Stylists:
Bianca Bennett Head Stylist
Mariko Shimizu VN and Groomer
Our Vet students:
Imogen Game
Talia Jacobs
India De Bres
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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