VetHQ Newsletter
News and information for wellcare of our pets

What's new this Spring

10 years on and no itches here!

September 2014

On September 5, 2004 I got married at Jones Bay wharf Pyrmont. Ten years on its hard to not be proud of my wife Tammy, my kids, and of course my second family at Vet HQ. It seems this year more than any other year the teamwork has clicked and we are working as a well oiled machine. Our new website, I hope with the additions of a Blog section, News section, and welcome video are just a few innovative steps we are taking to keep you all up to date with what’s happening and continuing to offer you the best possible service.
Education wise in the last quarter:
  • Nicky has been to a Australian Veterinarian Association (AVA) Small Animal Conference
  • Elle and Alyssa have been to a Communication conference
  • Tammy continues to spend one day a week at a specialist centre
  • I have attended and presented at the AVA Practice Management conference
  • On Saturday 20 September we will be having our annual Staff training day. 
Staff wise,  we are very sorry to See Raphaella  leave us after four and a half years. Raph, is about to commence her Masters in Clinical Psychology and we wish her all the best of luck. When she started working for us in 2010 she was going to do the odd shift here and there. Her infectious nature and kind and caring attributes means we will miss her sincerely. Annabelle has joined our reception team. Annabelle has devoted her life to the Veterinary industry and she is certainly not a newbie. She informed me I was not able to say how many years experience she has in the industry. Although only part time we are very pleased to have her on board. Amy is our new Junior groomer and that finalises the new team.

With the loss of Raph we are looking for  a vibrant person to join our dynamic happy motivated team in the position of junior client services. Experience is not essential as long as you have the people skills and the motivation to learn about the animal industry. Experience in administration, with an eye for detail is important. As part of the job involves marketing and event management, interest and experience in this area including use of photo shop would be an advantage. If you are that person or know that person email

Don’t forget summer means Fleas and Ticks. Take advantage of our gold class program and flea compliance program and be vigilant.

More info at:

Final topic: Christmas Breakfast in the park December 6. More details to follow.



How can my pet have a flea allergy when it DOESN'T have fleas?


When your pet scratches and licks itself there are many causes. The skin can only react in so many ways to itchiness. It will become  red, hot, hair may fall out and if the scratching is persistant - small ulcers and sores may develop.

As vets, we can work with you in trying to find the underlying cause. Sometimes it’s as simple as a reaction to a new bed or new diet or plant.

An allergy to fleas is by far the most common cause of itchiness in our pets. The itchiness in dogs is usually at the base of the tail, flanks, backs of the thighs and around the head. In cats it can be anywhere over the body.

In some animals,  fleas are obvious. Large numbers of fleas or flea dirt (flea poo) can be seen.

In other cases a FLEA ALLERGY exists. This is quite often where we hear the statement “ that can’t be the cause, because my dog /cat doesn't have fleas. How does this happen???

In true allergies, large numbers of fleas are not necessary for itchiness to occur. In people with a bad peanut allergy, even the smallest amount of peanut can set off a serious allergic reaction. Some individuals are unlucky enough to have a greater sensitivity to insect bites and even a small number (even as few as one) can cause a considerable reaction in sensitive individuals.

This happens in BBQ around Australia every summer. How often have you heard people say “ oh, the mosquitoes just love me”  The mosquitoes are likely to be biting everyone, but some people are more sensitive and get extremely itchy. This is exactly the same situation for dogs and cats with a flea allergy. These pets will react to the flea bite, lick and chew themselves for well after that one flea has been swallowed or jumped away. So the absence of fleas does not rule out fleas as a cause of itchiness.

How is it treated?

Once the cause is identified, the skin reaction must be treated. This can include treating any infection, inflammation, heat rash and of course keeping the fleas at bay.

The strange and frustrating thing is that pets with a flea allergy may have very few ( if any) obvious fleas. However, these pets require a more aggressive level of protection than the average pet. Monthly treatments are rarely enough.

Best option is to follow and repeat the below schedule:
1st of the month – apply advantix spot on flea control
15th of the month – give Comfortis oral flea control

If your pet is itchy, get them checked. We may be able to find the cause simply by eliminating the various causes based on the distribution of the itchiness. Please call us to make an appointment to discuss your pet’s skin health AND COMFORT.

Dr. Caryn Wun

Flea Compliance 


Colouring Competition

If your kids can colour in or you want to give it a whirl.  Do your best artistic creation of our birthday card for your chance to win $100.00 worth of colouring in materials.  Download your stencil  at
Or click here to download the file.
Winner drawn at our Christmas breakfast in the park Saturday 6 December 


New Website

Don’t forget to have a look at our new website

We would love your feedback on our facebook site or via email. We also have a new video dedicated to the services we provide. Its at the bottom of the home page or press the link

And of course don’t forget to keep a watch for Dr Geoff's Blog updates.  


Quick thinking saved Patch's life


Patch is a 5 year old Cavoodle who is very lucky to be alive, thanks to his quick thinking owner. He has never had any health problems before, but one night when his owner came home from work she knew something wasn’t right and called Vet HQ’s after-hours number and rushed him into the clinic.
He was so weak when he arrived at the clinic that he could hardly stand up and was barely responsive. His temperature was just 32 degrees (normal for a dog is at least 37.8 degrees), his gums were bright red, his blood pressure was extremely low and his heart was beating twice as fast as it should have been. Patch was in shock and his body was starting to shut down. When his owner told me, “I’m no vet but I’m pretty sure he is dying”, I couldn’t help but agree.
Within 10 minutes he was on an intravenous drip, had methadone pain relief and was started on IV antibiotics. We began warming him up using heat mats, blankets, a hairdryer and hot water bottles. Blood and urine samples were taken and multiple tests were run in-house to try to work out the cause of Patch’s severe illness.
Patch’s blood and urine tests showed numerous abnormalities. In fact, not one parameter was normal. We knew something very serious was going on but more tests were needed to determine the cause.
Radiographs and ultrasound were performed but revealed no major pathological abnormalities. They did however show us that Patch’s stomach was full of contents which would not usually be abnormal, but was in this case, as Patch hadn’t been fed for 24 hours. Had Patch eaten something he shouldn’t have while his owners were at work?
In most cases of presumed toxin ingestion we either make the dog vomit or we put them under general anaesthetic and pump their stomach. In Patch’s case, he was too unstable for either of these. So instead, we continued to warm him up, increase his hydration and blood pressure with intravenous fluids, kept him comfortable with pain relief and gave him supportive care against any toxic effects on his body.
By 2am all of Patch’s blood test results had improved significantly and by 10am he was bright, wagging his tail, running around and his blood and urine levels were all back to normal. It was an extraordinary difference to the state he was in just 12 hours previously.
We never found the real cause for Patch’s near-death experience. We can only assume it was some toxin ingestion from the garden. If only he could tell us!
We have continued to monitor Patch and he is doing really well. He was as close to death as they come and had his owner not called our after-hours number as soon as she found him he would have certainly not survived.
Please keep all human medications/drugs, toxic plants, fertilizers, toxic foods (e.g. chocolate), cleaning agents and baits out of reach of your pet and save our after-hours number in your phone in case of emergency – 0434 635 226. We run this service from 7pm-11pm weeknights. 
September 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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