Our goal during your pet’s consultation at The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic, is that you leave with a complete understanding of your pet’s condition or illness. We will explain why certain tests, surgery or medications might be required, as well as any ongoing care.
We believe that owner education and understanding is the key to providing the absolute best outcome for your pets.
Consultations are 20 minutes in length, but in some situations we may need to consider extended consultations to better explore your pet’s condition.
We strongly encourage you to contact the clinic after the consultation should you need further clarification of anything discussed.
Annual Health Checks & Vaccinations
Vaccinating your pets against preventable diseases is a key component of responsible pet ownership as it helps reduce the risk of your furry family members becoming unwell from several severe, potentially life-threatening diseases.
At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we believe every dog and cat should be appropriately immunised, and each individual animal should be vaccinated only as frequently as considered necessary to provide protection. Our vaccination protocols are customised within a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, based on attributes such as duration of immunity of available vaccines and your individual animal’s requirements.
The Annual Health Check
A thorough physical examination and health assessment is performed by our veterinarians prior to your pet receiving their required vaccination. This is an extremely important aspect of their annual check as animals cannot tell us when something is wrong, and they age at vastly different rates to humans.
At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we believe that the opportunity to detect potential problems sooner allows earlier intervention and in many cases better outcomes.
Your pet’s overall health assessment is determined by our veterinarians via a combination of distant examination, hands-on examination and discussions with you as their owner.
An annual health check is strongly recommended even if we determine that your pet does not need annual vaccinations.
Vaccination recommendations traditionally were considered a simple and straightforward part of routine animal care, but nowadays they are considered much more complex and there is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the immunisation schedule. It is for this reason, we often find clients are confused by the various recommendations made by breeders, veterinarians as well as family and friends.
At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we follow the guidelines and recommendations made by both the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) when vaccinating your pets.
These recommendations divide the vaccinations up as follows;
- Core vaccines– should be administered to all animals to protect them against severe, life-threatening diseases that have a global distribution.
- Non-core vaccines– are required only by those animals whose geographic location, local environment, or lifestyle places them at risk of contracting specific infections.
- Not recommended vaccines– are those that have insufficient scientific evidence to justify their use.
As mentioned above, there is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach to vaccinating pets with respect to the types of vaccines and the timing of the vaccines. At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we recognise that requirements for vaccination will differ based on the individual animal, situation and veterinarian–client–patient relationship. As such, it is not possible to give all-inclusive guidelines for vaccinating dogs and cats, however our ‘standard protocol’ is as follows;
- 6-8 weeks: C3
- 10 weeks: C5
- 12 weeks: Pi2
- Annually: C5* (NOTE: Duramune C3 component is administered only every 3 years
- 8 weeks: F3
- 10-12 weeks: F3
- 14-16 weeks: F3
- Annually: F3
Further reading regarding vaccination guidelines can be found at;
WSAVA – https://wsava.org/global-guidelines/vaccination-guidelines/
AVA – https://www.ava.com.au/policy-advocacy/policies/companion-animals-health/vaccination-of-dogs-and-cats/
Vet Voice – https://www.vetvoice.com.au/ec/pet-ownership/vaccination-for-pets/
Canine Parvovirus (CPV-2)
Canine Distemper Virus (CDV)
Canine Adenovirus (Hepatitis, CAV)
Parainfluenza Virus (PI, Pi2, ‘Kennel Cough’)
Bordetella bronchiseptica (Bb, ‘Kennel Cough’)
Feline Parvovirus (FPV, Feline Panleukopenia, Feline Enteritis)
Feline Calicivirus (FCV, Rhinotracheitis, ‘Cat Flu’)
Feline Herpersvirus (FHV-1, ‘Cat Flu’)
Chlamydia felis (‘Cat Flu’)
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV, ‘Feline AIDS’)
Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)
Vaccination reactions or adverse vaccine experiences are defined as any side effect, unintended consequence or lack of protection associated with the administration of a vaccine product. Although incredibly rare at approximately 2 in every 10,000 they can be distressing for both you and your pet.
Adverse reactions may include any injury, toxicity or hypersensitivity reaction associated with the vaccination. The good news is that the great majority of adverse reactions are transient and self-limiting.
If you feel that your pet may be experiencing an adverse reaction, please contact The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic on (03) 9563 9711.
Titre testing or serological testing is a method of assessing relative levels of immunity prior to vaccination. Although the tests have been around for several years, unfortunately serological testing cannot determine true protective immunity when a patient is challenged after contracting the disease. Other influencing factors such as the presence of any cell-mediated immunity, virulence, and dose of the viral challenge cannot be accounted for. Despite these pitfalls, serological titres continue to be used in lieu of more accurate tests.
At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we are closely monitoring this developing aspect of medicine, and will be sure to offer it once we feel it is a safe and reliable option when developing your pet’s bespoke vaccination protocol.
Pet rabbits also require vaccination against Calicivirus, an infectious disease that leads to death in unvaccinated rabbits.
The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic recommends the following protocol when vaccinating your rabbit/s;
Juvenile: 8 weeks of age and again at 12 weeks of age
Adult: yearly (or every 6 months in endemic areas where prevalence is high)
In addition to vaccinating rabbits against Calicivirus, it is also especially important to minimise exposure to mosquitoes which can carry the disease and infect susceptible rabbits.
Parasite prevention is a vitally important part of pet ownership – as well as preventing annoying, serious, and potentially fatal parasites in your pets, certain parasites are zoonotic, meaning that they can be transmitted to humans!
Our veterinarians will discuss your pet’s individual risk profile to determine what level of parasite prevention is required.
Fleas not only cause itchiness, irritation, and discomfort to your pet, they also transmit tapeworm. In addition, many cats and dogs will also suffer from Flea Allergy Dermatitis, a hypersensitivity reaction to the flea’s saliva causing intense itchiness despite a (perceived) lack of fleas.
Once considered a ‘warm weather’ parasite, central heating and indoor pets have allowed this parasite to thrive all year round. Fleas are contracted from the environment and rarely by direct pet-to-pet contact. In a multi-pet household, ALL pets should be treated for prevention to be effective.
Many species of gastrointestinal worms exist, but they can broadly be broken down into 4 main types – Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms and Tapeworms. The different types of gastrointestinal worms can cause a variety of different clinical symptoms and diseases in your pets, with some of them also being zoonotic.
Gastrointestinal worms are contracted from the environment via the ingestion of faeces of other infected animals or ingestion of eggs or larvae in the grass and soil. They can also be contracted from fleas or passed on to puppies and kittens by their mother.
Please be aware that not all products will prevent all types of gastrointestinal worms. Our staff are available to discuss your pet’s risk profile and recommend the appropriate prevention to protect both you and your pet.
Heartworm is a potentially fatal parasite that is transmitted from one animal to another via the bite of an infected mosquito. Once infected, the larvae (juvenile heartworms) migrate through the body until reaching the heart and lungs where they increase in length (up to 25-30cm) and reproduce. For obvious reasons, these worms can lead to potentially fatal disease in dogs and cats hence prevention is far better than attempted treatment.
A wide variety of preventative products are available, each with their own respective lists of pros and cons. It is important to note that with certain products, if there has been a lapse in your pet’s heartworm prevention, they must be tested (blood test) for the disease before recommencing a preventative program.
There are 16 different species of tick that feed on domestic animals and humans in Australia! The most concerning tick is the paralysis tick which, as the name suggests, causes paralysis and ultimately death if left untreated. Fortunately, there is no resident population of paralysis tick in metropolitan Melbourne, but the occasional ‘hitchhiker’ tick can still be disastrous.
The treatment of paralysis tick is complicated, expensive and without guarantee. It is far better to prevent this parasite rather than try and treat it. Please discuss your pet’s risk profile with our staff, especially if you travel to far eastern Victoria or interstate (eastern Australia) where paralysis ticks are found.
A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification for your dog or cat. It is the most effective form of identification for your pet allowing a great many dogs and cats to be reunited with their owners after going missing. It is a mandatory requirement in Victoria to have your dog or cat microchipped and penalty notices can be issued by the local council.
The microchip itself is quite small – about half the size of a grain of rice – and is implanted via a needle under the skin between the shoulder blades. Each microchip has a unique identification number that is recorded to a database registry along with details about the animal and the owner.
Unfortunately there are multiple databases across Australia making things tricky at times, however Pet Address (http://www.petaddress.com.au/) allows you to see which database your pet is on.
In most cases, your new puppy or kitten will already have been implanted with a microchip prior to you picking him/her up, although if it has not been done, we can implant it for you. It is especially important that you fill in the appropriate paperwork to update the database details from the breeder to you.
In addition, if ever you move to a new house or change your contact details, be sure to inform your pet’s respective database of this change.
Although mandatory in dogs and cats, microchips can also be implanted into other small animals such as rabbits, birds, reptiles, and fish.
Imaging refers to a variety of diagnostic imaging modalities including x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound, and endoscopy. These various tests may sometimes be required to better understand what is wrong with an animal, just as is the case in human medicine.
At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we have a digital veterinary x-ray machine capable of taking high quality images in a very short amount of time (depending on how cooperative our patient is!). As x-rays are frequently the first imaging modality undertaken, this allows us to investigate illness and injury promptly for the best possible outcome.
Ultrasound and endoscopy are also extremely useful imaging modalities, but the results are highly dependent on the person performing the procedure. It is for this reason that we utilise the expertise of Dr. Clint Yudelman (Internal Medicine Specialist) to perform these procedures at our clinic.
The results of any imaging performed at The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic will be discussed with you by one of our experienced veterinarians. Additional tests, procedures and treatments that may be required based on the results of the imaging will also be discussed with you.
When required, advanced imaging in the form of CT and MRI is especially useful for certain brain and spinal conditions (amongst other things). We can arrange for referral to a specialist veterinary facility for these advanced procedures to be performed.
Laboratory & Diagnostics
At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic, we offer a comprehensive range of both in-house and external veterinary pathology tests and services to aid in the diagnosis of illness in your pet.
Our in-house blood analysis machines allow us to run and interpret samples fast and efficiently which is especially useful when dealing with critically unwell patients. Some samples require more advanced testing in which case we forward them to a specialist veterinary laboratory.
Our frequently used microscope enables us to evaluate samples from lumps, skin, ears and urine from your pet. These samples can often be evaluated, and results discussed with you, in the same initial consult to facilitate prompt treatment plans.
Dental related issues are the most common conditions veterinarians encounter and treat in clinical practice. Unfortunately, the old adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’ means that dental care is often overlooked as a critical part of responsible pet ownership.
By 2 years of age 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some degree of periodontal (dental) disease. Despite its prevalence, it is still alarmingly grossly underdiagnosed and undertreated. When left untreated, dental disease causes significant oral pain and discomfort, as well as halitosis (bad breath) and ‘rotten teeth’ requiring extraction.
Severe dental disease can lead to other more severe local consequences such as abscesses, fractures and oronasal fistulas, as well as systemic diseases such as heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease and diabetes.
At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we have an impressive array of dental equipment including digital dental x-ray, ultrasonic scaler, polisher, drills, burrs and various hand instruments, to enable us to perform all but the most specialised of veterinary dentistry procedures.
Although much of the equipment used and procedures performed are identical to those of human dentistry, the biggest challenge we face as veterinarians is patient compliance. Dogs and cats will not tolerate dentistry procedures to be performed awake, so to minimise their stress, eliminate their pain and increase our ability to gain the best possible outcomes, all animals receiving a dental procedure do so under general anaesthesia.
All dental procedures performed at The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic are day procedures, requiring no overnight hospitalisation. The same precautions and monitoring outlined in the Surgical Services section are also performed during dental procedures as your pet’s safety is our number one priority.
There are several ways to attempt to reduce the amount of plaque and tartar accumulation on your pet’s teeth, but as is the case for humans, no matter how hard you try you cannot prevent it altogether. It is vitally important to realise this fact to manage your expectations of dental disease in your pet.
We stock a range of products to aid in your pet’s oral care including toothbrushes, dental chews, and dental diets. We strongly recommend the use of a dental diet in all cats and dogs over 1 year of age, unless other concurrent medical conditions also requiring specific diets prevent it from being fed.
To book your pet in for a dental procedure, or to discuss the procedure or oral care techniques with a nurse, please contact The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic on (03) 9563 9711.
Inpatient hospital stays may be required in order to achieve the best possible outcome for your furry family member. Sometimes these stays are just for a day or two, but in some cases, they can be a week or longer.
Our primary goal is to provide your pet with the highest standard of medicine and veterinary care while staying as an inpatient at The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic. In saying that, we also consider compassion, comfort, and the minimisation of stress also just as important for our inpatients.
Our hospital has been designed to be open, allowing our veterinary staff to easily observe patients without having to disturb them or unnecessarily opening their hospital cage. Specialised veterinary bedding is utilised to provide comfort, warmth, and dryness during their stay.
Regular communication and updates are paramount in keeping you informed of the health status of your pet. We routinely provide daily telephone updates but encourage you to visit your pet (where appropriate) after arranging a time with the nursing staff.
In some critically ill cases, our veterinarians may discuss referral to an emergency facility for more intensive round-the-clock care to increase the chances of the best possible outcome for your beloved animal.
At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we have a well-stocked pharmacy containing a range of both prescription and over-the-counter medications to enable us to provide the medications your pet needs, when needed. In some circumstances however, a custom-made medication may need to be ordered from a compounding pharmacy to suit the needs of your pet.
These are medications that legally require a prescription to be dispensed by a veterinarian for an animal under their care. As is the case in human medicine, you cannot obtain these types of medications without a valid prescription.
Sometimes your pet may need a short course of a prescription medication such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or ear medications. This medication will be dispensed to you at the end of the consultation in which your pet is being examined for that issue. Please understand that just because your pet has had a similar complaint in the past, we are unable by law to simply dispense more of the same medication without a consult.
For pets requiring longer term medications, such as those for chronic and lifelong conditions like heart disease, kidney disease or diabetes, we offer repeat prescriptions to make life that little bit easier. To be eligible for repeat prescriptions, your pet must be under the care of a veterinarian at The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic, have had a consultation with one of our veterinarians within the past 6 months, and be up to date with all required monitoring (eg. blood tests) of the medication and/or condition.
We encourage all owners of pets on long term medication to provide 24 hours’ notice so that it can be approved by a veterinarian (like a pharmacist would) and made up for collection. If your pet requires compounded medication, please provide 1 weeks’ notice…we kindly ask that you do not request it on the day you run out!
Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications
These are medications that do not require a prescription to be purchased by a pet owner. Some examples include parasite prevention, ear cleaners, medicated shampoos and conditioners, arthritis supplements and probiotics. Please feel free to discuss the use of these products with our helpful veterinary nurses.
Some diseases of animals are chronic, lifelong conditions that are managed rather than cured. For these pets, a strong and trusting relationship between veterinarian, owner and animal is required to achieve the best quality of life possible.
At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we take the time to discuss, in detail, your pets condition including an overview of the disease itself, what to expect along the journey, use of medications, required ongoing testing, as well as prognosis.
Where possible, we will also provide you with additional support information in the form of handouts or websites that may be of benefit for a better understanding of your pet’s condition.
Palliative & End of Life Care
This is an incredibly sad and difficult time for all pet owners. At The Furry Family Veterinary Clinic we understand that each and every pet deserves a peaceful and dignified ending. Watching the quality of life fade in a beloved furry family member takes a significant emotional toll on everyone, and we are ‘privileged’ as veterinarians to be able to prevent further pain and suffering.
Euthanasia is a very private and personal time for all pet owners, and we believe that the process should be ‘all about you and your pet’ and attempt to fit in with your wishes as much as possible. We allocate additional time to allow the process to be a slower, calmer, and more peaceful ending.
It is also important to consider aftercare arrangements, which like euthanasia itself, is a very personal decision. Our compassionate staff will help you to determine what is best for you and your pet and facilitate the appropriate arrangements via our highly ethical and highly regarded external provider Edenhills who provide a wide range of options.