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February Newsletter
This month's newsletter is full of interesting stories about the cats and dogs we've seen and treated over the last couple of months. We feature 'Lupi' and his 'Canine Calm Coat' which has helped him to stay calm and manage anxiety after the recent earthquake and aftershocks. 
We meet 'Captain' who caught Feline Leprosy, and  'Luna' our stray kitten who has an extremely rare condition that's only ever been recorded in one other cat.
Check out photos of 'Doy' who joined the Fat Fighters club mid-last year and is nearly at her goal weight of shedding 10kgs! 
And we couldn't leave you without Pet of the Month, and photos of puppies from the first Puppy Preschool of 2016. 
Canine Calm Coat for Lupi - Post Earthquake
'Lupi' was extremely anxious after the recent 5.7 earthquake. He was shaking and panting, following his owners around, and even started to dig a safe 'cave' in the backyard! His owner is our vet Veronika, and after doing some research, she decided to try the 'Canine Calm Coat' on Lupi. She put the snug merino coat on at 5pm, and a couple of hours later, Lupi was calm and asleep. The previous night, he was restless and unsettled. Lupi has been wearing the coat during the day (except if it's really hot day) and the night, and Veronika has noticed a real difference in his demeanor. The compression of the calm coat feels like a hug or a swaddle (which calms babies down too!), as well as putting acupressure on the area of the dog's body that releases feel-good hormones. The canine calm coat comes in handy in Christchurch with the earthquakes and aftershocks, but it can also be used in other potentially stressful situations such as during thunderstorms, fireworks, car travel, or moving house. We are now selling the merino calm coats in clinic, so if you think it may help your anxious dog, come in and check them out.
Ever Heard of Feline Leprosy?!
'Captain' is a healthy young male cat who was brought to our clinic in November last year with a painful hard lump on his tail. He went home with antibiotics and pain relief. But one week later, the lump was still there, so our vet Helen took a fine needle aspirate (FNA) of it, and Nicki the vet pathologist diagnosed Feline Leprosy from the cells that were present on the slide. Helen started Captain on a specialised combination of antibiotic drugs to reduce the infection. 
In January we removed the lump from Captain's tail (which had shrunk a lot since he'd started the medications), and so far his tail has healed up very well. 
How did he catch Feline Leprosy? It could have been caused by a rat bite. 
Symptoms to look out for are a hard, hairless, painful and possibly ulcerated lump that is not a cat bite abscess.
Is it infectious to humans? Feline Leprosy is different from human leprosy, and generally cannot spread to healthy humans. However we would still recommend hygiene practices such as washing your hands thoroughly before eating and after playing with your infected cat. 
Can my other cats catch it? Feline Leprosy must enter your cat through wounds such as a bite or scratch. So, there is a possibility, but there is low risk of your other cat also contracting it. 
How can I prevent my cat from catching it? Keeping your cat indoors overnight, should reduce hunting and fighting and hopefully reduce the risk of your cat catching Feline Leprosy.  We see only a couple of cases of this each year in our clinic, so it is not common.
Kitten with a Very Rare Condition
Little Luna has a very rare condition called 'Malakoplakia'. It is some times seen in people. She is a bouncy happy healthy kitten but has had blood in her urine from a very early age. After many tests on her urine and finally a biopsy of her bladder wall it was found she has this rare condition.
Her bladder wall is very thick due to what is believed to be an unusual immune reaction to an infection due to a bacteria (E.coli). A particular cell called a 'macrophage' infiltrates the bladder wall making it very thick and also making it difficult for antibiotics to penetrate and kill the bacteria.
There has been only one other case described in the veterinary medical journals of a kitten just like Luna and after several months of antibiotics she was cured. We are very hopeful we can cure Luna. She is one very special little kitty. 
And happily, Luna has been given a home with Nicki our Veterinary Pathologist, who has been working on Luna's case since she came into our clinic as a wee stray.
Pets Fighting the Fat
2016 is the year to help your cat or dog lose some of that unhealthy weight that is affecting their quality of life. Overweight pets are more prone to ailments such as hypertension, diabetes, joint pain, cruciate ligament rupture, as well as being an increased anesthetic risk. Our clinic runs a dedicated weight loss program to help you decide on the best weight-loss food for your pet, as well as calculate how much your pet should be eating per day. You will meet up with our head nurse Zoe Hyett to thoroughly discuss ways to curb the treats and increase your pet's activity during the day. 
There is currently a Royal Canin promotion of 15% off your first 2 bags of weight-loss food, and 20% off your 3rd bag, as well as a special gift! Phone us on 332 6632 to book a Weight Loss consultation with Zoe. 
Royal Canin 'Satiety' food is a fully balanced weight loss diet that has been proven to reduce hunger, support joints, as well as maintain lean muscle mass. 
Below is a photo of 'Doy', a 8 year old female Labrador cross, who was 40kg when she started on Royal Canin Satiety food in June 2015. Now she weighs 31.8kgs, not long to go until she reaches her goal weight of 30kg! Losing 10kg is awesome, good job 'Doy' and your dedicated owners. 
First Puppy Preschool of 2016!
We are off to a brilliant start, the first puppy preschool of 2016 has graduated with great results. They learned how to socialize nicely with each other, as well as the basic commands. Our vet nurses Becky and Caitlyn are friendly and approachable, with lots of helpful advice on how to care for your new family member. They also love getting your feedback, and are constantly making improvements to our puppy preschool sessions.
Congratulations to Emily Keefe for this stunning photo of Jack! Emily has won a bag of premium pet food for Jack. Join our Facebook Page to enter in Pet of the Month photo competitions. 

FREE Vaccination and Health Check!

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*core vaccinations only - Dogs - Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and/or Kennel Cough. Cats - Feline panleucopaenia (or infectious enteritis), feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus (both causes of “cat flu”).

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