Friday, December 31, 2010

Cairns snake eats cat

Cairns vets often treat pets which have eaten strange things.  In this case the pet was the meal.

Read Cairns Vet pet advice and Pet news on the web.

Huge Cairns Snake

Cairns is host to a lot of amazing native animals, including some stunning snakes: check out this video

Read Cairns Vet pet advice and Pet news on the web.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Strange things animals eat

Cairns Vets have cut some funny things out of pets over the years, but this list has some really strange ones!  A good reason to consider pet insurance.

Animals eat the weirdest things: in 2010 the 60 most unusual objects Occupied

December 31, 2010 – 1:20 am

Posted: CT Tuesday, December 14, 2010, 08:00

Brea, California, December 14, 2010 / PRNewswire / – With nearly 2,000 foreign body ingestion has received complaints last year, veterinary legislation Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) – oldest and largest supplier of the nation of pet health insurance – a bunch of animals, the food was inedible objects. Many of the normal intake appeared again and again, socks, towels, sticks and stones alternative "snacks" are popular pets. Other topics included are not that common. Below is a list of some of the most notable has been removed from the stomach of dogs and cats VPI-insured in 2010. All animals recovered and insurance payments for eligible expenditures.

Estrogen patch / brush makeup

Tubes of denture adhesives

Death poisoned vole

Pen Ink

The plastic nose teddy

Magnetic locks portfolio

Glass Christmas ornaments

Hearing aid


Pen box


Avocado pit

Dental floss

Tea and coffee

Pain relief tablets / pellets BB / highlighter

Door Store


16 steel wool

Pseudoephedrine / mushroom / snail venom / buffer

20 cherry pits


Barbecue Brush

Home Cables

Razor blades

Uncooked rice (one pound)

Wallpaper glue

Globe Tape

Poultry (whole)

Deer Antler (in part)

Extension Cable

Correa / 3 sticks butter


Part of the wool rug

TV Remote Control

10.4 / Canadian currency cents / three arcade tokens

Foot-long submarine sandwich


Wooden toy train


Chew Round (whole)


Money (paper)

Oil-contaminated soil

Rosary Crucifixes

25-30 dirty diapers

Whirlpools mixture

Bathroom cleaner / garden plants

Bone duck

SOURCE Veterinary Pet Insurance

Source: PR Newswire

Dodgy vet struck off for malpractice

Most vets are really fantastic dedicated people who are committed to helping their clients and patients.  Like any industry, there can be some dodgy operators and Veterinarians are governed by the Veterinary Surgeon's Board, who will investigate complaints and malpractice.  If you have concerns which you cannot resolve with your vet they can assist you.  As most problems stem from poor communication, its best to talk to your vet and let them know your concerns.  Most vets will refer you to the veterinary surgeon's board if your remain dissatisfied.

Read Cairns Vet pet advice and Pet news on the web.

Vet struck off for feline dishonesty

December 30, 2010 - 5:04PM

A NSW veterinarian lost his licence after a tribunal found he failed to treat a cat suffering from fatal seizures and for delivering "sham ashes" to the owner of a second cat.

Dr Terrence Johnson also faked entries in his drug register, repeatedly acted in a dishonest manner and flouted his suspension from working, the tribunal ruled.

On Thursday, the Administrative Decisions Tribunal cancelled his veterinary practitioner's registration and said he could not reapply for at least four years.

Dr Johnson, a vet since May 1986, mainly practised at the Hawke Drive Veterinary Hospital at Woolgoolga in northern NSW.

The tribunal found him guilty of both professional misconduct and unsatisfactory professional conduct.

The doctor admitted many complaints against him including deceiving a cat owner about the circumstances of her pet's death at the hospital and creating false records about it.

The diabetic cat was hospitalised on September 16, 2008 and died there on the 19th, but Dr Johnson did not inform its owner of the death until four days later.

He lied, saying he was with the cat when she died on the 21st and that he had put her to sleep as her kidney had collapsed.

The tribunal accepted evidence from hospital staff who said Dr Johnson was told about the cat's deteriorating condition and the need for urgent attention, but he did not attend her.

One worker described the cat's seizures as "sort of convulsing like straightening out all her limbs and stiffening and throwing her head out and just howling basically".

"He failed to adequately review or assess her or administer necessary treatment to her including treatment to alleviate her pain or suffering," the tribunal said.

"He left the hospital without making any arrangements for her care in his absence."

In a separate case, Dr Johnson was found to have lied to a cat owner about how he disposed of its corpse and then threatened her after she complained.

The owner gave Dr Johnson permission for her cat to be euthanased in January 2009 and when she asked to retrieve the body was told it would be kept at the hospital for a week.

Instead, the tribunal found Dr Johnson directed it be taken to the tip before the week was up.

Realising his mistake, he told the woman the cat was taken to the crematorium and arranged for his then girlfriend to deliver a box of ashes.

The tribunal said he repeatedly lied to the woman and organised "for the delivery of sham ashes".

Even so, the tribunal acknowledged Dr Johnson had "obviously been professional and caring to numerous clients and their pets over the years" and had been under extreme stress.

Confine Cairns Pets during fireworks

Many Cairns Pets become scared and run away during fireworks and storms: this weekend we can expect both.  Confine your pet, and ensure they are registered, tagged, and microchipped.  Council pounds and shelters like YAPS and RSPCA are often inundated with runaways and abandoned pets at this time of year, so consider donating time or goods to help them cope with the influx.

Cairns dog saved from drowning

Learning CPR is a vital skill for everyone, but its unusual to use it on a dog!  Cairns Dog owners should be careful with their pets around flooded waterways as drowning is a real risk.  Standing water can also harbour Leptospirosis from rat urine, so dogs at risk of exposure should be vaccinated.
Read Cairns Vet pet advice and Pet news on the web.

Kiss of life is dog's best friend in rough water

Cait Bester

Thursday, December 30, 2010

© The Cairns Post


A KURANDA woman jumped into floodwaters to rescue a drowning dog then gave it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to bring it back to life.

Petra Lovey yesterday told how she jumped into the Barron River after seeing Jerzy the border collie-cross dive into the swollen waters and get swept under a bridge.

"The last thing I saw were her eyes looking at me as she was swept under the old wooden bridge," Ms Lovey said.

"The Barron River flows like a torrent so it didn't take much for her to be sucked under the bridge."

Clare Hensley, who was walking Jerzy, feared the worst but Ms Lovey was determined to save the dog.

"Jerzy was fighting it - she was completely submerged and she would have been submerged for about two minutes," Ms Lovey said.

"I knew she would come through the other side but it was a matter of trying to spot her as she came through.

"I saw a little speck of black in the water so I jumped in, everyone was screaming out to me that she was gone, but I wasn't going to give up. Somehow I found her body and grabbed her."

Jerzy was lifeless when Ms Lovey and Ms Hensley got her out of the water.

"Clare started to perform CPR but was unsure how to do it properly on a dog so I took over," Ms Lovey said.

"Jerzy was flat - she was gone.

"But after a few compressions somehow there were signs of life."

Ms Lovey said she had experience in caring for animals but had never had to react so urgently.

"I used to be a zookeeper and I have worked many years in veterinary clinics, so I knew what I had to do, but this is the first time that I have had to perform resuscitation ever," she said.

"I have never had to use CPR on a human and now I have brought a dog back to life.

"I wasn't going to give up - I didn't even think twice about giving her mouth to mouth.

"I treated her like a child and you wouldn't give up on a child so I wasn't going to give up on Jerzy."

Jerzy's owner April Hahne, her husband Scott and their two young children had been visiting family in the area and headed home yesterday morning with a sore and sorry dog.

Mrs Hahne said she took Jerzy to the vet on Sunday afternoon where he stayed for three nights.

There were tears of happiness when Mrs Hahne thanked her hero personally yesterday.

"Jerzy is my first baby," she said.

"She just isn't a dog - she is very much part of our family and I am so thankful for Petra and Clare for saving her."


<strong>Close call:</strong> Jerzy the border collie-cross was rescued from the Barron River and then revived through mouth-to-mouth by Petra Lovey (left), who was helped by Clare Hensley.

Close call: Jerzy the border collie-cross was rescued from the Barron River and then revived through mouth-to-mouth by Petra Lovey (left), who was helped by Clare Hensley.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cairns RSPCA Pet Calendar

Cairns RSPCA peforms vital work helping Cairns animals .  The RSPCA relies heavily on the support of the community both through individuals and groups like "Friends of the RSPCA", who produce a calendar featuring Cairns Pets.  Purchasing the Calendar helps support the RSPCA, so grab one for your wall today!

Read Cairns Vet pet advice and Pet news on the web.

RSPCA Calendar is out again this year!

The 2011 RSPCA Calendars can be purchased for $20 each or 2 for $30 and can be purchased from the Cairns RSPCA Shelter, Corner Arnold & Greenbank Streets, Stratford, from Petstock in Mulgrave Road or The Feed Shop, 12-14 George Street, Gordonvale.

Last year's calendar raised $14,000 much needed funds which helped to buy dog kennels for weather protection and security for puppies, wall mounted fans to help keep the animals cool throughout the shelter during the hot summer months, two industrial washing machines, purchase of a rescue boat, trailor and equipment for the RSPCA inspector. All of these items would not have been possible without the generosity of everyone who supports the RSPCA.

Rescue boat and trailor purchased with funds raised from the RSPCA calendar.

Thank you to everyone who has helped the Cairns RSPCA shelter.

Queensland pets at risk as tick serum runs low

Cairns pets are still falling victim to tick paralysis.  The paralysis tick season is normally drawing to a close in December but with the unusual weather this year it is hard to predict what will happen.  Cairns vets have stocked up on paralysis tick serum in advance as supplies run low due to surging demand around the country.
Paralysis tick.
Paralysis tick.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cairns Birds world first: albino kookaburras.

The first recorded albino kookaburras have been found on the Atherton Tablelands near Cairns.  Birds with albinism are rare and usually do not survivie in the wild.  The birds are being cared for by wildlife carers at a refuge south of Cairns
Read Cairns Vet pet advice and Pet news on the web.

Albino kookaburras found in north Queensland in a world-first discovery

Lisa Martin
December 6, 2010

Comments 42

One of the albino blue-winged baby kookaburras.

One of the albino blue-winged baby kookaburras. Photo: Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital

What's believed to be the world's first albino blue-winged kookaburras are feathering a new nest in Queensland's far north.

Staff at a wildlife sanctuary south of Cairns are caring for what they have called "a miracle sent from heaven" after the two six-week old siblings were blown from their nest during a storm.

"We didn't know that they existed. No one I have spoken to has ever heard of, or seen, albino blue wing kookaburras before," Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital founder Harry Kunz said today.

'From heaven' ... an albino blue-winged kookaburra.

'From heaven' ... an albino blue-winged kookaburra. Photo: Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital

"Somebody found them and thought 'They're babies, that's why they're not coloured yet.' But no, they're actually albino.

"They are a miracle, sent from heaven ... a world-first."

Mr Kunz said it was extraordinarily lucky the babies were found, in the Tablelands forest, before predators got them.

Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital founder Harry Kunz with the albino kookaburras discovered in north Queensland. Click for more photos

Albino animals are all white

Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital founder Harry Kunz with the albino kookaburras discovered in north Queensland. Photo: Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital

  • Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital founder Harry Kunz with the albino kookaburras discovered in north Queensland.
  • An albino peacock.
  • An albino echidna.
  • An albino red neck wallaby.
  • 'Snowflake', an extremely rare albino gorilla in Barcelona Zoo, 2003.
  • A zookeeper holds a six-month-old rare albino howler monkey named
  • An albino skink.
  • An albino baby alligator at an aquarium in Sao Paulo, 2008.
  • An albino tiger in captivity, Mexico City, 2008.
  • A rare albino rattlesnake at the Australian Reptile Park.
  • Tania Sanelli with her three-year-old albino ferret Brucey.
  • An albino kanagaroo.
  • An albino alligator at St Augustine Alligator Farm, Florida.
  • A TV screengrab of a rare albino southern right whale calf and its protective mother off the coast of Perth, 2006.

"They would never make it in the wild, they have just come out of the nest; snakes or other birds and kookaburras would have killed them because they have no camouflage.

"We can never release them, they would be dead within a week."

Albinism is a congenital disorder caused by a lack of melanin pigment in humans and animals.

Mr Kunz said the birds were being fed mice and chicken by hand and would be taught to hunt their own food at the wildlife sanctuary.

He plans to hold a competition to name the birds, which people could enter by making a donation to the wildlife hospital.

RSPCA investigating Xmas pony abuse

RSPCA Queensland is investigating alleged animal abuse after a shetland pony was severely injured by being dragged behind a vehicle on Xmas day.  RSPCA is also very busy over xmas managing pets abandoned over the holiday period.

Read Cairns Vet pet advice and Pet news on the web.

Shetland survives Christmas Day torture

 |  December 27, 2010

A SHETLAND pony is lucky to be alive after being cruelly dragged by a rope behind a car on Christmas Day in Queensland, the RSPCA says.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty says it was at first thought the pony would have to be put down because it was in so much pain following the incident on Murphy's Creek Road, east of Toowoomba.

The pony sustained severe lacerations to its legs, and its hooves were torn and bloodied.

"He's going to pull through," Mr Beatty told said.

"We need to find out who it belongs to and more about what happened."

Mr Beatty said witnesses confronted two men who had been dragging the pony in a brown 1988-89 VN Holden Commodore who then let the rope go and sped off at about 1pm (AEST) on Christmas Day.

The pony was transferred to the RSPCA's Fairfield shelter, where it remains under veterinary care.

"It was in considerable pain and had difficulty walking or even standing," said RSPCA Queensland's assistant chief inspector Tracey Jackson.

Wildlife fatalities largely due to pets

Dogs and cats are great pets but we need to remember they are predators and unless confined they can cause havoc with native wildlife.  Cairns Pets are in one of the most ecologically rich areas of Australia, so are among the most likely to cause damage.  There have been recent reports of Cairns Dogs attacking wildlife such as kangaroos and wallabies, while Cairns Cats are a constant cause of small animal and bird mortality.Dallas McMillan
Read Cairns Vet pet advice and Pet news on the web.

Wildlife attacks blamed on cat, dog owners

06:58 AEST Tue Dec 28 2010

Irresponsible pet owners are being blamed for the "shocking" number of dog and cat attacks on native wildlife in Australia's eastern states.

Almost 17,000 attacks on native animals have been recorded in the past five years by prominent animal welfare groups who say the results are just the tip of the iceberg.

The figures only include injured or orphaned animals, and not the many hundreds of thousands which die or go unreported, according to the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES).

WIRES general manager Leanne Taylor said most cases are likely to be related to domestic dogs and cats rather than feral animals which usually eat their prey.

But the real culprits are people who don't supervise their pets, she said.

"Cats and dogs only do what they have evolved to do to survive and that is to hunt their prey for food," she said.

"We shouldn't demonise them for doing this but (we) should take the responsibility for their behaviour ourselves."

WIRES collated the statistics with Sydney Metropolitan Wildlife Service (SMWS), Wildcare Australia (WA) in Queensland, and Wildlife Victoria (WV).

In a joint statement, the agencies said the figures "add up to a shocking picture of irresponsible pet ownership".

They reveal that in Victoria, cats were responsible for 1631 attacks on native animals while 1163 dog attacks were recorded during the five-year period.

Nearly 70 koalas were either killed or injured by dogs, WV said.

Sixty attacks on kangaroos were recorded, along with 143 attacks on blue-tongue lizards by dogs.

More than 1100 possums were injured or killed by cats and dogs.

Among them were some of the more rare species including the eastern pygmy possum, Mitchell's hopping mouse and the mountain brushtail.

WIRES figures show 10,936 attacks on wildlife for NSW - almost evenly split between cats and dogs - with more than 4700 of those in Sydney alone.

That figure jumps to 6646 when SMWS's recorded attacks are included.

The organisation also says one of the most attacked animals by cats in Sydney is the ringtail possum.

In Queensland, Wildcare Australia (WA) recorded 1128 dog and cat attacks over the five-year period from December 2005 to November 2010.

WA says 318 birds, 486 possums and 134 reptiles were injured, orphaned or killed by cats and dogs, adding that the Gold Coast City Council area "topped the list for irresponsible pet ownership" with a reported 356 attacks.

Brisbane City Council followed with 245 and then Logan with 137.

WIRES said pet owners can help reduce the number of attacks by preventing their cats and dogs from roaming uncontrolled or unsupervised.

"We also recommend people buy or build enclosures for cats so they can get access to outside safely, and with dogs, keep them on-leash on beaches and in wildlife areas," Jilea Carney of WIRES told AAP.

Dogs and cats should also be desexed to stem the flow of unwanted animals, she said.

The agencies said there are other wildlife groups in each state which would also have their own figures.

"You could only imagine what the national figure would be," Ms Carney said.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Think twice before giving a pet for Xmas

Only one sleep till Xmas, and many children are anxiously awaiting Santa and their parent's gifts in the morning, while Parents run around choosing the ideal gift for their kids.  Its important to remember that if you child tires of the latest action figure or computer game, it really doesn't matter, but if they tire of a pet its not OK to just discard it... many unwanted Xmas presents end up as strays, or going to shelters.  While staff as Shelters like the RSPCA and YAPS in Cairns work tirelessly to find homes or as many stray pets as possible, 10s of thousands of unwanted pets are put to sleep around Australia every year: many around Xmas time.

Dallas McMillan
Cairns Veterinary Clinic 

Read Cairns Vet pet advice and Pet news on the web.

Dogs and cats can't be re-gifted

IF you are thinking of giving a pet as a gift this Christmas, forget the surprise element and first ask the recipient if they would like one.

Kate Butterworth, of the Animal Education training facility at Mothar Mountain, with Cr Julie Walker, council animal shelter manager Rebecca Brazier, and enforcement officer Ron Potter.

IF you are thinking of giving a pet as a gift this Christmas, forget the surprise element and first ask the recipient if they would like one.

That is the heartfelt advice of Gympie RSPCA workers who say too many unwanted animals, originally purchased as presents, are handed in to them after Christmas.

“Ask them first or they’ll probably bring it here and tell you it ran away,” said Gympie shelter manager Rebecca Brazier.

The message is backed by Gympie councillor Julie Walker, obedience trainer Kate Butterworth, and council enforcement officer Ron Potter, who spoke of the greater responsibility placed on pet owners by new State Government legislation, requiring all new pets in Queensland to be microchipped.

“The legislation has been in effect since December 12,” Cr Walker said.

It requires any new cats or dogs given away or sold, to be microchipped and registered with council.

Cr Walker said the region had been subject to compulsory car registration by-laws for years.

“There was a little bit of a backlash at first, but people accepted it.”

“Dog registration came in 2003.”

The RSPCA also wants pet owners to remember their animal friends when it comes to Christmas celebrations. They say a lot of human food, including anything with onions or chocolate, can be highly toxic to pets.

According to recently-released research by, 72 per cent of dog owners admit to feeding their dog under the Christmas table, and 84 per cent revealed they will have a present under the tree for their pooch.

The study, conducted by the Pfizer Animal Health website, surveyed more than 300 dog owners across Australia. But a bit extra at Christmas won’t hurt, they say, adding that 12 per cent of owners admit their dogs gain weight at Christmas.



Strange things dogs eat

Dogs often eat non food items, in some cases resulting in severe disease such as poisoning or obstruction requiring hospitalisation or surgery.  Cairns Vet Clinic has seen many different causes of illness in Cairns dogs from eating strange things.  Some examples include
Fish hooks
Plastic bags
Corn cobs
Childrens toys
Dynamic lifter
Blood and bone
Palm seeds
Read the article below for some more bizarre things dogs have eaten and needed surgery to remove. 

The weird and dangerous things pets will eat

wendy hauser pic 

Dr, Wendy Hauser has seen the wide range of things pets will eat.

The diet of some dogs and cats has featured an astonishing array of items including a television remote control, knives, underwear, a hockey puck and a 6-inch Kong toy.

But as odd or amusing as that may appear it is also dangerous and sometimes tragic, says a Centennial veterinarian.

“I treated a dog once that ate some socks,” said of Coal Creek Veterinary Hospital. “I had to do five separate intestinal resections. He didn’t survive.”

Watching out for what pets eat is especially important at this time of year, when holiday food and packages under the tree tempt animal palates. Also, people may be too busy to supervise inquisitive pets properly.

We all know about pet hazards like chocolate, tinsel and antifreeze. But Hauser has treated pets with more exotic tastes.

“I had a Standard Poodle that ate a straight razor blade right off the handle,” she said. “It didn’t even get any cuts in the mouth.”

Another dog she treated had devoured a sizeable rubber gasket from a dog toy. “He did great,” she said.

One of her most memeroble stories is about a Cairn Terrier that downed a sustance that a man used to kill moles. The substance contained strychnine.

“As the man and his wife fretted in the waiting room while the dog was treated, she told him: ‘If the dog dies, I’m divorcing you.’ The man, who had experienced a heart attack, clutched his chest. As it turned out, the dog lived, they stayed married and he never had another heart attack,”

Why do pets eat strange things?

A big reason is boredom, Hauser said. Another is that some animals have OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder). Some have gastrointestinal issues. And for some it’s simply anxiety.

Hauser suggests two things to reduce the chances of your pet eating something harmful:

* Environment – Make the animal’s environment as safe as possible. Remove tempting or hazardous objects.

* Supervision – Watch what your pet does. If you can’t,put it in a safe part of the house. Consider a wire mesh muzzle when the animal is alone. For longer periods, consider putting the animal in a kennel.

“And remember that even the best-behaved animal can be attracted to things like trash and chocolate,” Houser said.

The Veterinary Pet Insurance Company has come out with a list of the strange things dogs or cats ate in 2010. Here some of the items:

* jellyfish
* glue
* estrogen patch/make-up brush
* tube of denture adhesive
* dead poisoned vole
* magnetic purse clasps
* baseball
* hearing aid
* bed sheet
* fishhook
* watch
* 16 steel wool pads
* barbecue brush
* jumper cables
* uncooked rice (1 pound)
* wallpaper paste
* squirrel
* balloon ribbons
* bird (whole)
* deer antler (partial)
* extension cord
* pin cushion
* foot-long submarine sandwich
* fire log
* wooden toy train
* rosary crucifix

And finally, my favorite anecdote from a story by ABC’s 20/20.

Nancy from Garland, Texas, told the TV program: “We had a basset hound named Hildegard several years ago. She ate the remote control for the TV one day. I came home from a shift at the hospital to find her relaxing on the couch watching Oprah! ”


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TV Vet gives pet gift advice

"Bondi Vet" star Dr Chris Brown gives some great advice if you are considering giving a pet as an xmas gift, and shares some funny stories.
Cairns Vet Clinic suggests you carefully consider the cost and responsibility of pet ownership before choosing a pet as a gift, but if you do choose a pet consider adopting an abandoned pet from a Shelter such as the RSPCA.
23 Dec, 2010 04:00 AM
STAR of Bondi Vet and former Merewether resident Dr Chris Brown laughs when recalling his veterinarian father Graeme rushing to animal emergencies in the middle of Christmas Day lunches and gift-giving sessions.

‘‘The most bizarre one was when I was about eight and we had just started Christmas lunch,’’ he said. ‘‘Dad got a call that a Pekingese had eaten half a Christmas ham and in the process of vomiting up the ham, one of his eyes had fallen out.

‘‘Not only did we lose Dad, but I lost my appetite for lunch.’’

It’s been a busy year for Dr Brown, filing stories for The 7PM Project, shooting the third series of Bondi Vet to screen next year and continuing to treat animals in his veterinary clinic.

‘‘The highlight was going over to do the story on the oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico,’’ he said. ‘‘I landed with jet lag and was overwhelmed by the human story and animal story and had 48hours to get all of them and fly back to Australia.’’

Dr Brown will appear on The 7PM Project tonight before driving up to Newcastle tomorrow with kelpie Rusty. His cat George likes routine and is likely to stay in his Bondi home.

‘‘We always go for a swim at the beach first thing in the morning, but won’t be carrying on a tradition that we’ve had for the past three years called The Minute Of Truth,’’ he said.

‘‘The idea is that you give the present and nominate one minute of truth to tell the person whether you really like it or not.

‘‘It amused me and my brother, but the concern was that the grudges formed in that minute would carry on for rest of the day and ruin Christmas Day.’’

Dr Brown will not be taking an extended holiday with girlfriend, former Packed To The Rafters actress Zoe Ventoura, until at least the middle of the year.

Dr Brown has some advice for those who are thinking of giving someone an animal as a Christmas present.

‘‘Get them a pet book or a collar and leash, make them part of the process,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s one of the most fun things anyone can do, so don’t surprise them, give them the pleasure of choosing it.’’

Cairns dog paddle-boards

Cairns dog "Tully" loves to go for a surg with her owner Ash, and livens up local beaches with their paddle-board rides.

Beaches doggie paddle is all above board 

Just walking the dog: Ash Bul and his kelpie-cross Tully enjoy a paddle and a play on Cairns' beaches. Picture: VERONICA SAGREDO

IF you've seen Ash Bul surfing on his paddle board along Cairns' northern beaches - no, you are not going barking mad.

That is a dog riding shotgun on the front of the board, and she's loving every minute of it.

Mr Bul said Tully, a kelpie-cross, jumped on his 2.7m board one day and has been addicted to catching waves ever since.

Since Mr Bul bought a more canine-friendly stand-up paddle board, Tully goes along for a 4km ride from Yorkeys Knob to Kewarra Beach three days a week.

"Some people walk the dog, I just paddle mine," Mr Bul said.

"She just wanted to be part of the show.

"She's got a lot of character … she draws a lot of attention"

Mr Bul, an Earlville resident, said the Hawaiian-style paddle board was perfect for gliding along Far Northern beaches and was a perfect alternative to surfing.

Cairns pets need care in hot weather

We've had very hot weather lately, and this article is a great reminder of the needs of animals during temperature extremes.  Our summer can be very hot but also wet and humid, which can result in skin problems if dogs can't stay dry.


It's not just people who feel the heat during Queensland's festive season - your pets also need protection from the potential harmful effects of the hot weather.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin and Member for Morayfield Mark Ryan today talked to primary school children about the importance of animal welfare over the summer months.

Mr Ryan said speaking at Morayfield State School that animals needed to have water, food and appropriate shelter available to them at all times, but especially when the temperatures soared.

"All animal owners had a legal duty-of-care to their pets and we're keen to teach school students about the value of good animal welfare," Mr Ryan said.

"Pet owners who would never knowingly harm their pets need to make sure they do not make the mistake of ignoring their special needs during this time of the year.

"If your family is going to be away from home even if it is just to spend a few days at the beach, you need to make arrangements to ensure your pets are cared for.

"The best option was to book family pets into a good boarding kennel or cattery.

"Alternatively, arrange for a responsible person to visit your home daily to care for your animals," he said.

Mr Mulherin said pets need company and it is neglectful to leave a dog in a yard for long periods without a person to care for them.

"All pet owners or those in charge of an animal have a duty of care to provide food, water and appropriate shelter. This is particularly important during scorching summer heat and the wet season," Mr Mulherin said.

"Pets should never be left in a hot car, not even for a short while, as intense heat can quickly cause heat stroke and death.

"Biosecurity Queensland's Help an Animal Smile website for children is an enjoyable way for parents to help their children learn about responsible pet ownership.

"The school holidays are a great time to foster good animal care skills with your kids and the website has fun and interactive downloadable games, quizzes and activity books.

"It is a great source for parents as well with tips, fact sheets and important information on pet owner's duty of care to their animals."

For more information on animal welfare or Help an Animal Smile activities, visit and click on 'Animal welfare & Ethics', then 'Kids' pages' or contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.

Biosecurity Queensland is now on twitter. Follow us @BiosecurityQld.

1000s of animals dumped before xmas

RSPCA is urging people to think seriously about the responsibity that comes with owning a pet.  Over 2500 dogs and 1300 cats have been dumped in the lead up to Xmas holidays.  Many people don't realise that the cost of buying a pet is small compared with the cost of keeping a pet, and that owning a pet is a life long choice.

Pets for life

BRIDGEMAN DOWNS: Pets are for life, not just for Christmas. This is the message from the RSPCA, struggling to cope with a dramatic jump in the number of pets dumped in the lead-up to Christmas.
More than 2500 dogs and 1300 cats, many of whose owners have simply not made accommodation plans for them, have already been dumped at animal shelters across Queensland in the past two months.
Puppies and kittens often feature as long-awaited Christmas gifts in households across the country, but the RSPCA warned families to think about whether they could handle the long-term care required.
RSPCA’s acting communications director Anna Hartley said the dumpings were expected to increase over the Christmas holidays.
``Please remember that owning a pet is a long-term commitment that comes with emotional and financial responsibility,’’ Ms Hartley said.
``Adopting or purchasing a pet is the most inexpensive part of owning a pet.
``It’s the pet food, council registration fee, obedience training, boarding kennels or cattery if you go away, routine visits to the vet and flea treatments that add up.
``Consider these costs over a 10 to 15-year period and be prepared for more.’‘
Bridgeman Downs resident Miyerla Pereira adopted 3-year-old miniature fox terrier-chihuahua cross Jogy from the RSPCA’s Fairfield shelter last month.
Ms Pereira decided to adopt a family pet after her husband Lester was forced to give up two dogs to the RSPCA several years ago.
``They told me that if they did not find a home for the dogs, they are put down,’’ Ms Pereira said.
``But if you are going to get a dog, I tell people they have to have a plan about looking after them. They are more than an animal, they are like a child.’’

Cairns animals weather warning.

Cairns animal owners need to prepare now for severe weather expected over Xmas.  Outdoor animals like horses and livestock should be given shelter if possible.
Pet owners may need contingency plans in place if flooding or heavy winds force evacuation or cause pets to run away.
Ensure your pets are microchipped and wear a collar with their name (or a brand for cattle and horses).

Horse owners prepare for worst, Queensland warns

December 23, 2010

Owners of horses and livestock in Queensland need to be ready for weather emergencies, state officials have warned, as heavy rain threatens for Christmas.

With flooding already a problem for many Queenslanders this summer, and more on the way, Biosecurity Queensland is urging livestock and pet owners to have contingency plans in place.

Animal biosecurity and welfare project leader Warren Lehmann said heavy rain was expected along the coast in the coming days from Cairns down to Gladstone and also in the south east of the state.

"Central Queensland and the Dalby area have recently experienced heavy rain and flooding, and it looks like there is more on the way over the Christmas weekend," he said.

"Owners of horses and livestock need to be ready in the event that they have to take urgent action.

"People need to be extra vigilant when handling their animals at this time as they can become jittery before a storm and are more easily upset and spooked."

Tips for livestock owners in preparation for a severe weather event:

o If there is time, move animals to safer grounds before any high winds set in.

o Ensure livestock bears some form of identification, such as a brand, so they can be identified and returned should they become displaced.

o Ensure that stock registers are up to date and kept in a safe place.

o Move stock to a safe area before leaving your property for any length of time. Check with your local council and other relevant agencies about emergency animal shelters and yards.

Lehmann said if a cyclone or severe storm was approaching, animals should be moved under solid cover if possible.

"Secure any loose objects on the farm as they can become flying missiles in high winds, so ensure the area is clear of clutter, particularly where animals are kept," he said.

"In extreme circumstances on farms, you may have to consider opening gates or cutting fences so stock can escape danger and be collected later.

"In the event of a flood, either move your horses and livestock to high ground or ensure they have easy access to high ground.

"Producers are advised to mark gates and water locations on maps of their properties if someone has to move stock for them."

Lehmann said pets should also be included in household or farm emergency plans.

"Ensure your pets are properly identified by name tags and keep emergency phone numbers handy for your vet, local animal welfare agency and pet information and advisory services," he said.

"Plan to have enough food, water and medical needs for your pets. It may be safer to leave your pet at home in a safe place than to take it with you. Remember, most evacuation centres don't take pets so plan to leave them at home."

Queensland man fights to keep pet croc

A proserpine man may lose his pet crocodile of almost 50 years after advising authorities of change of ownership

Legal stoush looms over pet croc

Tracey Ferrier
December 22, 2010 - 2:49PM


    A north Queensland man is braced for a legal battle to keep a beloved pet croc that's been part of his family for almost 50 years.

    John Casey, 49, was just two years old when Charlie joined the family as a six-inch hatchling after her mother was shot by a hunter in 1963.

    His late father Alf lovingly hand reared the estuarine croc, taking her for walks in the north Queensland town of Proserpine, down the pub for a beer, to school fetes and even a ball.

    "My father used to just let her walk in front of him down the street," Mr Casey told AAP on Wednesday.

    "She's been in just about every pub from Rocky to Cairns. We've got photos of her propped up at a bar in Proserpine when she was about seven feet long."

    These days the now three-metre croc is confined to a specially designed pen next to Mr Casey's Proserpine home.

    But he fears she'll be taken away after the state government issued him with a long list of demands if he wants to keep Charlie at home.

    Mr Casey says he was trying to do the right thing when he applied to have his father's permit to keep Charlie transferred into his name after his recent death.

    But he says the government only issued him with a temporary, 12-month permit and Charlie will be relocated unless he meets an onerous set of demands.

    He insists there's no way Charlie can get out of her existing enclosure, which is three metres high, enclosed in reinforced mesh and surrounded by concrete walls to ensure she can't dig her way out.

    "That pen was made to a plan supplied by parks and wildlife," he said. "There was never a problem before, but suddenly there's one now."

    He says the government seems to be concerned about a caravan park situated next to his home, about 50 metres from Charlie's pen.

    "But the caravan park was built in 1985 and the pen was built in 1987. Now it's a problem?"

    Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones says she feels for Mr Casey but he must address legitimate safety concerns.

    "That's why he's been granted a 12-month permit to keep Charlie but with conditions related to public safety and the crocodile's welfare," she said in a statement.

    Mr Casey must show that there's a proper enclosure, that he has the capacity to catch Charlie if she gets out, and is properly looking after her health.

    If that happens, authorities will consider renewing his permit when it expires in October next year, Ms Jones said.

    But Mr Casey says the timeframe for some of the conditions will expire in just a few weeks and he's engaged a lawyer to take the matter to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

    "One of the silly things they want me to do is put signs up all around that say 'Danger Crocodiles Keep Out'. Anyone in that caravan park is just going to say 'oh there's a croc, let's go and have a look'."

    Mr Casey fears his beloved, "docile" Charlie will end up at a crocodile farm.

    "She's always had an enclosure of her own," he said. "If they try to put her in with another croc, she'll either kill or be killed.

    "I feed her, I look after her water, I look after everything in her pen. She comes when I call her name and I can actually pat her. It'll be devastating if she's taken away."


    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Queensland Pet wins weight loss competition

    Cairns Pets are really feeling the heat this year, all the more so if they are overweight.  Cairns Vet Clinic offers a pet weight loss program called PetFit, which is supported by Hill's Pet Nutrition.  Every year PetFit rewards the dog who has lost the most weight:  Read below for more details.

    Queensland Dog Wins National PetFit® Slimmer of the Year Competition

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    • Almost 50 percent of pets in Australia are overweight; a higher percentage than the USA.1
    • Over 41 percent of dogs2 and over 32 percent of cats3 are estimated to be clinically overweight or obese.
    • Less than 50 percent of Australian pet owners are aware of what their pet actually weighs or what it should weigh.4

    Hill's Pet Nutrition and Australia's all time Biggest Loser, Bob Herdsman, today announced the 2010 PetFit Slimmer of the Year. Queensland resident, Kirra the cattle dog, has won her battle with excess fat by shedding 10.4kgs, almost a third of her body weight, to take out the title.

    The eight year old red cattle dog and her owners, the Lowth family, have beaten cats and dogs Australia wide, who were all seeking to lose the kilos, to reach a healthy weight and win the coveted PetFit Slimmer of 2010 title. "Over the years Kirra started to put on weight. It was a combination of our busy lives, not taking her for a walk everyday and over feeding her that led to her weight problem. She got up to 33kg,her eyes were bloodshot and it was hard for her to stand up and sit down," said Kirra's owner Melina Lowth.

    "On our yearly visit to Ormeau Veterinary Surgery for her vaccinations, Lisa Larman, the pet nutritionist, gave us advice on how to manage her weight. It was then that we started on the Hill's PetFit program. We wanted to get our happy Kirra back. We started taking her on walks everyday and monitoring how much food we gave her. The whole family was involved and understood that she could no longer get the extra treats that she started to expect. As the weeks and months went by we started to see the weight fall away. She has lost 31.52% of her body weight and is now down to 22.6kg and we are just thrilled," concluded Mrs Lowth.

    Obesity can lead to serious health conditions for cats and dogs including heart disease, arthritis and diabetes, making it one of the biggest health issues facing pets in Australia. The Hill's PetFit Slimmer of the Year competition, now in its 12th year, helps our four legged friends to lose weight through the easy to follow, veterinarian-supported Hill's PetFit program.

    Nutritional Advisor, Lisa Larman of Ormeau Veterinary Surgery, has been helping Kirra and her family on their weight loss journey. "I am so excited that Ormeau Veterinary Surgery has helped another pet and family to take out the title. This is our third Slimmer champion in a row, and testament to just how important good nutrition advice and support is for our pet owners."

    "Kirra is a very worthy winner. The Lowth family, Melina, David and their two young daughters, have tirelessly followed the PetFit program, putting Kirra on a strict diet and exercise regime, and it's been a real family affair with Kirra's two young owners coming to the weigh-ins every two weeks," said Ms Larman.

    Bob Herdsman, who lost over half his body weight on The Biggest Loser and remains the Biggest Loser of all time said that exercising with your pet is a great way for both pets and their owners to get fit and lose weight. "I had to work hard and learn the importance of exercise and healthy eating when I was on the Biggest Loser. We need to take the same approach with our much loved pets. The Lowth family's success should be an inspiration to all pet owners. This achievement may encourage others to enroll in the Hill's PetFit Program in 2011," said Mr Herdsman.

    Kirra will receive a $2,000 Flight Centre travel voucher for her owner, plus a year's supply of Hill's Pet Nutrition pet food for herself.

    As Kirra and the Lowth family celebrate Kirra's weight loss victory, Hill's Pet Nutrition is encouraging pet owners to add an extra New Year's Resolution to their 2011 list and help their dogs and cats shed the kilos to be fit and healthy in 2011.

    Hill's Pet Nutrition is delighted that the PetFit Slimmer of the Year Competition had its highest enrolment yet in 2010 and continues to support and inspire pet owners to help their pets lose excess weight by discussing strategies, setting targets with their local vet and undertaking regular pet weigh-ins and weight assessments.

    As the Christmas season approaches all pet owners are encouraged to feed their pets in moderation so that they can enjoy a healthy and happy holiday season.

    For more information visit

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Xmas season is pancreatitis season

    Every Christmas, thousands of dogs around Australia get sick as a result of eating inappropriate foods, usually given to them by well meaning owners and their friends and family.
    Fatty foods like crackling, pork bones and the like are a common cause of pancreatitis.
    Xmas deserts containing sultanas, like Xmas cake and pudding are toxic to dogs.
    Common Xmas snacks like macadamias and chocolate also commonly poison dogs.
    Do your dog a favor: give them dog food, treats or an appropriate bones (like a chicken neck for a small dog or brisket bone or chicken frame for a larger dog), not human leftovers.
    Have a merry Xmas.

    Cairns cats need jingle bells

    Save a bird, bell your cat this Xmas.  Most cats need 2 bells to be effective.

    Give your cat a bell

    VETS are encouraging Ipswich cat lovers to get their moggie into the festive spirit this Christmas with a new set of jingle bells to help save Australian wildlife.

    Australian Veterinary Association's Dr Anne Fowler said every year thousands of wildlife species were destroyed by wandering pet cats that were simply responding to their natural hunting instinct.

    “It is estimated that domestic cats kill around 75 million native Australian animals a year – that is around three wild animals for every man, woman and child in Australia – every year,” Dr Fowler said.

    “Something as simple as a new collar with one or two bells can help to give native wildlife a fighting chance, and Christmas is a great time to give your cat the gift of a smart new collar and bells. After all, our family pets love to get into the Christmas spirit too.”

    Animal Welfare changes to protect Turtles, Dugongs

    The practice of hunting dugongs and turtles then prolonging their death, such as by cutting off their fins or leaving them on their back in a boat is currently legal (for aboriginals only) due to a loophole in animal welfare legislation.  Queenslanders are sick of animal cruelty being condoned under the guise of traditional hunting: the state opposition is taking action to change this.
    Next please: shark finning: sharks are caught, their fins removed, then thrown back into the water to eventually drown.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    Xmas time is kennel cough season.

    Christmas time for many pets means a week or two at the cattery or boarding kennels.  Remember to vaccinate your pet annually so they are up to date: you don't want to be rushing around taking your pet to the vet at the last minute!  Cairns Vets have seen a lot of kennel cough this year, and this problem often peaks during holiday season when many pets are boarded. 

    19 Dec, 2010 04:00 AM
    VETS are expecting large numbers of deadly canine cough this year, especially during the Christmas pet boarding and family holiday season.

    "Canine cough is a highly contagious infection which is spread quickly between dogs when they are in close contact, such as when boarding or on holiday with the family," said Queensland president of the Australian Veterinary Association, Dr Jodie Wilson.

    "We're already seeing unusually high numbers of sick dogs in NSW, and these cases tend spread in waves much like with human flu.

    "So far vets are treating much more severe cases than we normally encounter, with older dogs being particularly susceptible.

    "We usually see a rise in the number of cases during the school holidays as more dogs are boarded and are socialised more, so we're very concerned to see such high numbers appearing even before the holiday season arrives.

    "It's really important that dogs are up to date with their vaccinations to help prevent the disease.

    "Canine cough can cause serious problems unless caught early.

    "Signs of canine cough include a harsh, dry hacking cough, as well as retching, sneezing and vomiting in some cases.

    "The disease normally lasts between 10 and 20 days," Dr Wilson said.

    Effective prevention can be provided through regular vaccination, and most kennels will require proof of vaccination before they will allow a dog to board.

    If you have concerns that your dog may have contracted canine cough, visit your local vet immediately for treatment.

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Sad Xmas for dumped pets

    Heaps of our clients and other concerned Cairns Pet owners have donated food and supplies to the RSPCA to help them over this busy Xmas period: Thanks Heaps

    Dumped pets ruin Christmas for RSPCA

    BRISBANE: The RSPCA is urging people not to behave like animals this Christmas by dumping unwanted pets at its welfare shelters.

    Every year in Queensland, up to 12,000 unwanted, dumped cats and kittens are put down by the RSPCA. And up to 400 kittens are dumped at the RSPCA’s Fairfield Shelter each week during peak cat-breeding season in spring and summer.

    RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said the increasing numbers of people surrendering their pets during the festive season was a “huge problem”.

    “Each year many people don’t plan for boarding kennels over the Christmas holidays and so they abandon their pets to us, and then get another dog the following year,” Mr Beatty said.

    “It’s crazy and just so irresponsible. Owning a pet is a privilege.

    “And a lot of people don’t understand what they’re getting into when they get a pet.

    “You have to choose a breed of dog or cat that fits your lifestyle. For example, don’t choose a big dog if you have no yard and no time to care for them.”

    Mr Beatty also urged caution when buying a loved one a kitten or puppy as a Christmas present.

    “If you are buying a pet as a present, you need to make sure it’s compatible with the prospective owner,” he said.

    “A pet isn’t something you just wrap up and put in pretty paper under the Christmas tree it’s not a toy.

    “People have to be educated on how to look after a new puppy.”

    For more information, visit

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010

    Cairns Cats need microchipping and registration

    Cairns Cats will now need to be registered, collared and tagged or face fines of $200 under new laws passed yesterday.  Registration will initially be free for desexed cats: another reason to get your cat desexed.Call Cairns Vet Clinic to book your cat in for desexing and microchipping today.

    $200 fines under Cairns cat rego laws

    Roger Dickson

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    © The Cairns Post


    CAIRNS cat owners will receive a $200 fine if they fail to register their pets.

    Under new laws passed by Cairns Regional Council yesterday, owners of cats that have not been desexed will have to pay $35-a-year registration.

    Desexed cat registration will be free until mid-year, but pets must still be registered with a veterinarians notice verifying they have been desexed.

    All cats, whole or desexed, must technically be registered by Monday but owners will be given until early March to comply or face the hefty fine. The $200 fine is based on State Government guidelines.

    The council will consider what fee for de-sexed cats will apply in upcoming Budget discussions but it is understood a sliding fee similar for de-sexed dogs will apply. Both cats and dogs under 12 weeks old, cats and dogs to be sold or given away, and already adult dogs deemed dangerous must also be micro-chipped.

    Cats will be required to wear a collar with a tag similar to those already worn by registered dogs.

    The RSPCA, which has put down 385 cats and kittens this year, applauded the council’s move which brings it into line with many other local governments in Queensland.

    "I think it’s fantastic," Stratford shelter boss Yoni Rankin said.

    "I know it has worked very successfully in getting owners to get their cats desexed in other councils."

    Brinsmead veterinary surgeon Max Fargher said microchipping would greatly improve the chances of lost or stolen cats being reunited with their owners.

    "From my perspective this will also help reduce the stray and euthanasia problem," he said.

    However, Dr Fargher was against the legislated use of tags, saying cats were renowned for their intolerance of collars.

    Caring: RSPCA Stratford shelter manager Yoni Rankin, with kitten Smokey, is in favour of cat registration programs. Picture: TOM LEE