VetHQ Newsletter
News and information for wellcare of our pets

The evolution of pet education

I remember my childhood red kelpies very fondly. Apparently I was not as well trained as the dogs! Whenever my parents wanted me, they would just call the dog and count on me running after it.
I have countless memories of growing up with my family dogs but very few of them associated with going to the vet (maybe it’s just slight Alzheimer’s kicking in). I would wash the dog every few months, give the dog a can of pal and a bone once a day and that was that. So why do I encourage you to bring your pet into our clinic so often, feed the food you do, and train as we do? [dont know how to change this train part to make it sound better???]
Many things have changed over the past 30 years. The major change is education and knowledge. We know a lot more and can do a lot more to help prevent and treat diseases. It is therefore my job to help educate you, my clients, on what is available. I don’t pretend to be a philosopher, however change is inevitable. The world we live in is dramatically changing and we are on a rollercoaster of learning.
If I can help you keep your pets healthier and happier for longer then my job is done. I understand that this is sometimes a burden and costly, however animals are a responsibility and a commitment. At Vet HQ, we believe in offering the best care and service for you and your pets.

Below are some links to Pet plan insurance. Speak to us about how insurance can help with the care of your pet.


Teach your dog some class



Getting your pet de-sexed 

Getting your pet de-sexed is a simple day surgery procedure. For female dogs and cats it is usually carried out before their first heat (between 5-6 months of age). The heat is the period when a female animal can become pregnant.

On the day of the surgery, your pet is brought to Vet HQ on an empty stomach. The last meal before the surgery day must be no later than 10pm the night before eg if surgery is booked for Tuesday, then the last meal is before 10pm on Monday night.
Water can be available during the night but should be taken away in the morning. Please allow your pet to empty their bowels and bladder before arrival if possible.

Recently we have seen the consequences of not being desexed in two cases that has lead to extensive surgery in older dogs.

The first was in a 12 year old cocker spaniel. Multiple lumps were felt around her nipples. De-sexing before the first heat can remove the possibility of breast cancer occurring.

The second case was in a 8 year old dog who presented in-appetent, thirsty, lethargic with a vaginal discharge. She was diagnosed with a pyometra. The uterus is designed to grow babies, but unfortunately it can also be a breeding ground for a nasty infection. The swollen uterus, in the picture below was full of pus. She required a massive surgery to remove the infected uterus. De-sexing of female animals involves removal of the ovaries and uterus. Their absence means that infections are not possible. 

In male animals, de-sexing involves castration or removal of both of the testicles. It is also a day surgery. Conditions seen in non de-sexed male dogs include prostatic disease, testicular cancer, increased risk of anal gland tumours and dog fight wounds.  In male cats we see an increased tendency to roam and fight.
Vet HQ advocates the routine de-sexing of pet animals. The risks of the surgery and anaesthetic in animals between 5-6 months of age is minimal and the benefits far outweigh the risks involved in not de-sexing.

Diabetes and cats

Julius is a 13 year old domestic shorthair indoor only cat – with a history of urinary tract disease (both bacterial urinary tract infections and also blockages in the past). His owner recently noticed an increased thirst (and urination), increased hunger, lethargy and change in behavior - and at his 6 weekly nail clips we have found that he has been losing weight. Suspicious of him developing diabetes due to the above symptoms, we performed a urinalysis which means we use a sample of his urine to check for glucose and evidence of urinary tract infections.

His urine sample showed that there was a large amount of glucose, and a blood test revealed his blood glucose was sitting at 28.0mmol/L which is a much higher level than the range we expect in cats (5.0mmol – 12.0mmol/L).

Diabetes occurs when there is a problem with the pancreas that disrupts its ability to produce a hormone called insulin. Usually insulin is produced by the pancreas and this allows the body to absorb and utilize glucose from the food ingested (and therefore maintain blood sugar levels).  It also secretes digestive enzymes into the small intestine.

Management of diabetes requires us to start Julius on twice daily home injections with insulin. It also means that we need to regulate his diet and portion sizes as this can cause fluctuations his blood glucose levels as well. In some cats we can see remission if we can control the blood sugar well over the initial 6 months (that is, that no further insulin therapy is required).

For now, this means that we need to monitor Julius’ blood glucose levels – we perform a curve and test his blood every 4 hours during the day to check his sugar levels are appropriate. Some adjustment may need to be made to his dosing but it also means regular checks of his urine to ensure that he doesn’t develop a secondary urinary tract infection (glucose in the urine means that bacteria will find it easier to proliferate and replicate in the bladder).

If you have concerns about your cat or dog and change in behaviour or eating and drinking patterns, please contact us here at VetHQ. 

Our Team



Giving Bentley back his ‘spring’


Bentley is a gorgeous 2 year old British Shorthair cat who used to spend his days entertaining himself by jumping up on top of cupboards and windowsills. He visited Vet HQ recently because all of a sudden, he seemed to have lost his ‘spring’ and could no longer jump. Even in the consultation room, he would fix his eyes on the examination table wanting to jump up, only to lift himself about 5cm off the ground before landing. We could tell he was frustrated!

On examination he had very sore hips and we decided to take some x-rays to work out what was going on. Bentley was found to be suffering from an unusual condition called Capital Physeal Dysplasia Syndrome which is reported in young, male, overweight (Bentley prefers the term “well nourished”) cats. It means that Bentley essentially had fractures (broken bones) across the tops of his thigh bones on both sides. 

This is Bentley’s x-ray. His legs are in the frog position. The bone outlined in green is his right thigh bone and the part outlined in blue is his right side of his pelvis. The hip joint is where the thigh bone meets the pelvis. The red arrow marks out the fracture at the top of the thigh bone. Look at the other side which isn’t highlighted and see if you can spot the same fracture (seen as a black line on the x-ray) on the other leg.

We performed a surgery called a Femoral Head and Neck Ostectomy (FHO) which is a procedure that is often performed in dogs and cats with hip fractures or hip dysplasia. The hip joint is made up of a ball (of the thigh bone) and socket (of the pelvis). During this surgery, we actually cut off the ‘ball’, the round part, of the top of the thigh bone which usually sits within the concave part of the pelvis. By removing that fractured portion, we also get rid of the pain. The body will build enough scar tissue to stabilise the joint but still allow movement.

This is an x-ray after Bentley’s first surgery to remove the fractured ‘ball’ part of the thigh bone of his right leg. This will stop his pain. We will do the same to the left leg in 2 months time.

Bentley recovered really well from his surgery and was walking around within 2 days. He has been on a diet since his diagnosis and has already lost 400 grams. He is going to need physiotherapy performed by his owners daily and we plan to perform the same surgery on his other hip in 2 months time after which he will be painlessly jumping around the house again.

A Warning For All Rabbit Owners

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service are going to release Calicivirus into the rabbit population in late March. Their aim is to control the feral rabbit population but it is a serious threat to the pet rabbit population. 

The virus is not harmful to other animals but will kill rabbits exposed to it and there is no treatment. While it is being released mainly on the north shore, it spreads through rabbit-to-rabbit contact and via mosquitos.

Protect your rabbit by vaccinating them against Calicivirus, keeping them inside during the evening when mosquitos are most active and putting a mosquito net around their enclosure. 

If you own a rabbit, please bring them into Vet HQ for a vaccination as soon as possible.


Vet HQ Frequent Buyer Card

March 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)
Dr Kirsten Hunt (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
Our Reception Team:
Elle Wright Trainee VN
Jenn Dodd
Danijela Kis
Raphaella Osborne
Our Dog Stylists:
Bianca Bennett Head Stylist
Mariko Shimizu VN and Groomer
Our Vet students:
Imogen Game
Benji Sofar
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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