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October Newsletter

It's Spring! Baby birds are sometimes found out of their nests, here's how to figure out whether it needs your assistance or not!  
Are you interested in what it's like to spend a day in the vet clinic? Have a read and we'll give you some idea of what a typical day is like. At our clinic, we love upgrading our equipment. Our most recent purchase is Heated Anesthetic Circuits to keep your pet cozy warm under general anesthetic. 
We announce the Pet of the Month Winner!

What to do if you find a Baby Bird? 
Welcome Spring! During this season, you may find a baby bird that has fallen out of  it's nest. Some baby birds are young enough to need some help, but some fledglings do not need our 'help' as they are spending time on the ground learning to fly. Here are some guidelines to determine whether the baby bird needs your help. 

If the baby bird has little or no feathers: 
Gently and quickly return the bird back to it's nest.
If the nest has fallen out of the tree, securely wedge it back and put the baby bird back in.
If the nest is destroyed or you cannot find it, you can make a nest out of a small takeaway container or margarine container. Punch holes in the bottom (for drainage) and line the container with paper towel and bark shavings or leaves, Secure the 'nest' with duct tape in a branch fork near the old nest or near where you found the baby bird. The bird should call out and be fed by it's parents. 

If the baby bird has feathers, it's eyes are open, and it can move away from you:
Ideally you should leave it alone. Fledglings initially fall out of the nest (or are encouraged by their parents) and stay close to the ground (in bushes or low branches) when they are learning to fly, and start flying with short hops from branch to branch. 

 

If the bird is in immediate danger of being attacked by a cat or dog:
Remove the dog or cat from the area. Put the bird in a nearby bush, shrub or tree limb, out of harm's way. Don't stay in the immediate vicinity of the bird (if you want, you can hide and watch!) – the parents are probably watching and will not approach if you stay around. 

 

If you are certain the bird is an orphan:

Prepare to transport the bird to a rehabilitation facility or vet clinic. Carefully place the baby bird in a small open container lined with paper towels, and place both in a cardboard box. Keep warm until you have reached the facility.

 
A Day in our Vet Clinic
Ever wonder what it's like to work in a veterinary clinic? Yes one of the perks is we do get to cuddle puppies and kittens! But did you look at our feet? we are all wearing running shoes, because we are running around all day. 
7:00am: The hospital nurse arrives early as she wants to have time to care for and medicate the patients that have stayed overnight before opening the doors to the public. She cleans litter trays, checks drips, gives morning medications, dishes out breakfasts and walks the dogs.


7:30am: Clinic is open and the reception nurse starts admitting surgical patients for the day while the hospital nurse prepares sedation and anesthetic drugs, plus sets up the surgical and dental equipment.
9:00am: Heather and Veronika arrive, plus the surgical and consult nurses. Heather starts the morning consults, and Veronika starts checking over the hospital patients, giving any extra medications, and phoning owners to update them about the plan for their pet today. We start with sterile surgeries such as young spays or neuters first, and then any orthopedic surgeries, and finish up with non-sterile procedures such as dentals or dealing with cat bite abscesses.
 

11:00am: Two cat spays have been completed, and in the meantime, the consulting vet has admitted 3 more patients into hospital. One elderly cat who has been losing weight and off their food, one bouncy Labrador with itchy ears who needs sedation so we can examine his ears more closely, and one lethargic puppy with diarrhea. The hospital nurse and a consult nurse put the puppy on IV fluids, and take a sample of his diarrhea to test for giardia, then take bloods from the elderly cat and start running the tests. They prepare the sedation and reversal drugs for the Labrador. Meanwhile, the vet and her surgery nurse keep working through the surgical patients. 


Nicki Shackleton, our veterinary pathologist arrives and sets up her microscope in a consult room, and begins to look at blood smears and fine needle aspirates (FNAs) of lumps and bumps, to see what type of cells exist. She reads all the histories and catches up with the vets to chat about the results from the samples she has received.

  
12:00pm - Heather is running late in her consults as a couple of them had more complicated issues to discuss. She spends extra time going through medical, behavioral, and environmental options with an owner whose cat is inappropriately urinating throughout the house. She is pretty relieved when one of the nurses hand her a coffee.
1:00pm - Veronika is now working on extracting teeth from a dental patient, it has taken longer than she expected as there are a lot more teeth to remove than she originally thought. She eats some tim tams and a nurse has made her a chai latte to keep her going. The nurses rotate their lunch breaks (if they are lucky), they're supposed to take 30 minutes but they are usually back running around the clinic within 10-15 minutes after wolfing down their lunches. 

2:00pm - the hospital nurse (with some vet input) finishes writing up the notes for the surgical and hospital procedures, prepares post surgical pain relief medications plus any extra drugs, she also writes up instructions about all the patients to pass on to the evening nurses/vets. Heather has finished her consults and is checking the blood test results from the elderly cat that she admitted earlier in the day. She grabs the hospital nurse to help sedate the Labrador to clean his ears and put some of the discharge on microscope slides. The reception nurses tidy, stock up, vacuum and mop the consult rooms, reception, and lab area. They start unpacking the order of pet food and medication that arrives every afternoon.

3:00pm - Heather's first afternoon consult has arrived, she grabs some biscuits from the staff room table before heading into the consult rooms again. The morning nurses 'handover' the patients to the afternoon nurses and the afternoon vet who has just arrived. They explain all the procedures that have been done, medications and care that need to be given this evening, and any information to be passed on to the owners.
4:00pm - Veronika finishes writing up all her patient notes and completes her last phone call. She rushes out the door, daycare will be cross at her for being late to pick up her kids again.
5:00pm - There are now 2 nurses and 2 vets left in the clinic.  Heather has finished her afternoon consults and is catching up with clients on lab results from a lump removal last week, and will stay a bit longer to do some admin. The evening hospital nurse vaccums and mops the surgical and treatment area, cleans the cat, dog, and rabbit ward, and cleans and disinfects each cage every time a patient is discharged to go home. She will make sure all the patients that are going home have been medicated, and have their IV fluids removed before their owners come to pick them up. The dogs that are staying the night are walked outside, and everyone is given some dinner.
6:00pm - The overnight patients are fed and medicated, IV fluids and pumps are checked. The evening nurse makes sure the patient's hospital charts for tomorrow are filled out with the correct instructions for care and medication. 
7:00pm - the consulting vet is running a bit late and has just started her last consult. So the nurses clean and stock up the consult rooms and wait for them to finish.
7:30pm -  The vet has checked over each patient staying overnight, the last consult room has been tidied, and the clinic is locked up.
Keeping Our Patients Warm!
A longstanding issue with general anesthetics is trying to prevent hypothermia while the patient undergoes surgery or dental treatment. 
Hypothermia is pretty serious, it delays wound healing, increases wound infection rates, impairs immunity, and significantly increases the time it takes to recover from anesthetic. 
To keep our patients warm, we have been using electric heat pads, and hotties, as well as multiple blankets.
But now we have bought the latest technology of Heated Breathing Circuits, so the air that your pet breathes under general anesthetic is warm. Not only do we have heated circuits for dogs and cats, but also one for small animals such as rabbits, mice, rats, and birds. Small animals are largely at risk of hypothermia under general anesthetic as they have a larger surface area to body/weight ratio.  The circuits are computer controlled to deliver exactly the right temperature oxygen.
We've been finding a lot of success in preventing the common drop in body temperature during general anesthesia, and are very happy with our new breathing circuits. 
So you can rest assured when your pet is in the clinic for surgery or dental treatment that they are kept as warm as can be! 
 

FREE Vaccination and Health Check!

Here's how! Download our At The Vet's app to collect one loyalty point each time you visit and spend over $50 (on anything in our clinic, including medical treatment). When you have 12 Loyalty Points, you will receive a free vaccination* and health check for your pet!
Scan the QR code or go to https://atthevets.appsme.com to get the app.
*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”).


 

Pet of the Month!

Pet of the month winner: MURPHY
Congratulations Murphy! Looking stylish and supporting our rugby team.  Hopefully he will be wearing this when we face the French this weekend!

For your chance to win a FREE bag of premium pet food, send us a super-cute pic of your furbaby.
Email your photo to clinic@atthevets.co.nz or enter our monthly Facebook Pet of the Month competition.
 
Visit our website to learn about our staff, take a tour of the clinic, keep up with news, and read about the services we offer.
Use the contact page to email us, request repeat prescriptions, and request appointments.
At the Vets is now open 7 days - with no weekend surcharges!

You can always book an appointment with us and don't forget to like us on Facebook.
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03 332 6632

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