Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dog microchipping legislation

I've had a few enquiries following my post about microchipping Cairns Pets about microchipping laws and how it affects different regions such as Cairns and the tablelands: The legislation governing compulsory microchipping was first introduced into some councils in 2008 but became required across all QLD councils on 11 December 2010.  All pups and kittens aged 12 weeks and under at the time the law was introduced into your area must be microchipped.  Here is a list of when different councils introduced the compulsory microchipping legislation.

Hendra virus alert after horse dies in Queensland: humans and horses in quarantine

A Hendra virus outbreak near Beaudesert in S.E. Queensland has left two properties in Quarantine, with vets and other animal handlers possibly exposed to the deadly virus.

About Hendra Virus

Hendra Virus is a very serious infection which has only emerged as an important pathogen in the last 25 years.  So far it is known to be deadly to horses and humans.  Hendra virus is carried by fruit bats but rarely spreads to other species.  Horses are thought to occasionally become infected from exposure to feed or water contaminated by infected fruit bats: probably from their urine, faeces or reproductive fluids.  Humans have caught the infection from infected horses.  There are no known cases of direct human infection from bats.  Equine hendra virus infections are uncommon but diagnosis is becoming more common as vets and horse owners become better educated of the risks of Hendra virus.

Hendra virus causes a wide range of symptoms in horses including fever, respiratory and neurological problems.  Initially the symptoms were thought to be fairly specific and vets watched for a respiratory and neurologic signs together.  As the number of cases studied grew it has become apparent that Hendra virus can present with a wide range of symptoms to the point where many sick horses have symptoms which could be early stages of hendra virus, adding to safety and treatment challenges for equine vets.

So far of 7 confirmed Hendra virus infections in humans 4 of the victims died, with 2 of these being vets.  There have been 14 clusters of Hendra virus infection identified in horses in that time.

Read more about Hendra virus at CSIRO

Read the latest Hendra virus news, like  (Excerpt below)

Dallas McMillan

Cairns Vet Clinic

Read more about Hendra virus at Cairns Pet News

Hendra virus

TESTING TIME: DPI officials and vets test horses at an Equine Nursery during a previous Hendra oubreak. Picture: Jeff Camden

Hendra alert after horse killed by deadly virus south of Brisbane

THERE has been another outbreak of the deadly Hendra virus in Queensland, with one horse dead and two properties quarantined.

A horse fell ill on a property at Kerry, near Beaudesert south of Brisbane, and died after being moved to a second nearby site at the weekend. Both properties have been quarantined.

Tests have confirmed it had Hendra, a virus that's killed four of the seven people infected with it since its discovery in 1994.

A vet called to care for the sick horse and seven other people who had contact with the animal now face a series of tests and preventative drug treatment.

Acting Chief Health Officer Aaron Groves said: "At the moment we know people have come in contact with the horse but they need to have come into contact with the horse when it's been ill.

 "The virus can affect the horse quite quickly. Humans need to come into contact with the horse's saliva and horse manure.

"We know the vets have come into contact and we suspect another few people may have come into contact with the horse at some stage."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Microchip success stories and FAQ

Cairns Vet Clinic uses CAR Microchips ( and often get questions about how microchips work etc: their webpage has some great photos and tips which are worth a read if you want to know more about microchipping.    They also have some great stories about succesful recoveries, and some less successful, like this one....


We recently received an email from a person in New York... Yes New York, USA, advising us that they had found a dog which was microchipped & listed on our database, here in Australia!


They were obviously keen to locate the owner so that the dog, a beautiful 6 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback, could be reunited with them, but unfortunately the owners had not updated their contact details when they had either moved to the USA, or at least, re-homed the dog overseas, so contact with them wasn't possible! Unfortunately, we don't know what happened to this pet after that!



CAR have over 1.6 million animals on their database and have helped in the recovery of over 341,000 lost pets.

Read more microchip stories at
Under their products page you can also order a council-type tag so people can contact the registry without taking their pet to the vet: excerpt below.

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

To provide additional assistance to the implanted microchip in ensuring your lost or stolen pet is returned home , consider having a Central Animal Records (CAR) tag fitted to your dog or cats collar.

These tags are uniquely numbered and are cross linked to your microchip record, and carry the CAR phone number as a point of contact.

The real value is that if a member of the public finds your dog or cat ,there is capacity to return your pet home to you without the need for the member of the public to transport your pet to a microchip scanning centre.

How does it work?
Using the Phone number on the tag ,our CAR operators are contacted by the finder of your pet. The finder simply quotes the unique number from the tag worn by your pet. Our operators obtain finders name and contact number/s.
We then retrieve your details from the database, and contact you to advise that your pet has been found and provide you with the details of that person including contact details ,so that you can arrange to call them and collect your pet.
In many cases, pet owners have been contacted before they even realised that their pet had even slipped out of its yard! It works that quickly!

Puppy and kitten microchipping now required by law for Cairns Pets: don't be dudded when buying a pet


I like to keep an eye on what's happening on Cairns Pet related social media, and I often see puppies and kittens advertised for sale without microchips.  Remember this is illegal now: if someone is trying to sell you an un-microchipped pet then they are dudding you: theres also a good chance they haven't done other essential preventative care like worming and vaccination.
Don't buy a pet (or even be given for free) a pet that hasn't had basic preventative care: we often see puppies and kittens run up expensive vet bills due to worms which could have been easily and cheaply prevented.  For the best advice on Pet supplies and puppy and kitten health care, speak to your local vet.

Puppies and kittens from Pet shops should cover these basic health care issues (though there can be other problems with pet shops)
Another way to get a pet which has had good preventative care including microchipping, vaccination, worming and desexing is to visit a local animal shelter.  This also helps prevent overbreeding and the euthanasia of unwanted animals.

Dallas McMillan
Cairns Vet Clinic 


Cairns Region pet accommodation and shelters: Mareeba Animal Refuge

Cairns Vet Clinic tries to keep local pet owners updated about local pet accommodation (Boarding facilities, pet friendly accommodation), shelters and other pet news.  Mareeba animal refuge has a very long history of helping animals (as Friends of the animals) on the tablelands and have recently (about 3 years ago) moved to new facilities  to me so I can't tell you many more details but its worth keeping them in mind if you are looking for a new pet, or need to board your dog when you are travelling to the tablelands.

Mareeba Animal Refuge's website features sections on the history of the refuge, lost and found pets, pets available to rehome, boarding facilities, volunteer opportunities and more.  Read more about Mareeba Animal Refuge at their website (  Excerpt below

Cairns city has several other shelters and boarding kennels if you aren't on the tablelands.  For more information about Cairns Dog Boarding kennels and catteries and Cairns Pet Friendly Accommodation visit Cairns Pet news.

Cairns Pet Holiday accommodation: Mareeba Animal Refuge

Mareeba Animal Refuge (MAR) is currently run and managed by Jennifer Walsh, who has many years experience in the care of animals. Jennifer is also a trained Homeopath and Natural Therapist and she has instigated many treatments in the care of the animals in this field as well.

"Friends of the Animals" was originally established in Herberton around 2000 by our founder, Fiona Buchanan who had many years of work in animal welfare before she was drawn to the Atherton Tablelands because of the great need here.

Already elderly,she began a gift shop in Herberton and worked long hours in the shop as well as caring for several neglected and abandoned dogs in her own home. Later, a gallery coffee shop was established next door to the gift shop and these are both now thriving businesses staffed solely by volunteers with all proceeds either coming to us or assisting low income earners with desexing programmes.

The original aim was to build a refuge in the Wongabel Forest on land purchased with the assistance of Cairns Animal Welfare, however after receiving too much opposition from local residents the land was sold and the idea abandoned. Shortly thereafter, Council put up the tender on the former TSPCA site in Mareeba. We applied and won, taking over on November 17, 2007. Sadly, Fiona passed away in August 2007 just before her dream was realised.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Twitter for dogs: Puppy tweets. Goodbye spam, hello "chum"

Puppy tweets device lets your dog tweet all day long

Read dog tweets from a human (tweets about dogs) @Cairnsvet on twitter.

 Read more Cairns Pet News from Cairns Vet Clinic

Cairns Pet Accommodation - YAPS Boarding for dogs and cats

As part of our feature series on Cairns Pet Friendly Accommodation and Cairns Boarding Kennels & catteries we are featuring YAPS Boarding Kennels and for dogs and cats.

YAPS (Young Animal Protection Society) offers boarding and cattery facilities as well as being a large and well established non-profit animal refuge and charity.  They are located on MacGregor Rd, Smithfield, about 10 minutes north of Cairns Airport, so they are conveniently located if you are flying out or driving from Cairns city to the North (like Port Douglas) or west (to Kuranda and the tablelands).

YAPS offer long and short term pet accommodation in their dog boarding kennel and cattery.  They also take in stray and surrendered pets and care for them until they can be rehomed.  If you are looking for a new pet, YAPS, along with the Cairns RSPCA  (who also offer dog and cat boarding) are two of the main places you should try.

YAPS have a really great website with heaps of information about their shelter, boarding kennel and cattery, and the many animal welfare projectss they are involved with. 

For more information on YAPS pet accommodation, boarding, cattery and shelter operations: Visit

I have included a short excerpt below, but this is only a fraction of the information about their work: their website covers heaps more like their Boarding Kennels, Lost and found pets, Pet adoption program, pet care and training, Staffy Rescue and how to make a donation of goods or cash.


Dallas McMillan

Cairns Vet Clinic

Read more on Cairns Pet Friendly Accommodation and Cairns Boarding Kennels & catteries  at Cairns Pet News.

YAPS Cairns dog and cat Boarding

Yaps Animal Refuge and Boarding Kennels


Cairns Queensland Australia


Phone/Fax: (07) 4057 6373


Yaps Animal Refuge Shelter rescue dogs and cats in Cairns Queensland Australia .. Yaps Boarding Kennels are the biggest and best in Cairns .. we rehome abandoned .. abused and unwanted animals.

Our shelter protects many cats and dogs until the right families come along .. some live out their days with us as permanent guests .. all facilities run successfully because of dedicated staff .. volunteers .. supporters and members.





The Young Animal Protection Society Inc. is a non profit organization that cares for Homeless and Unwanted Dogs and Cats.

Animals come to Yaps from various avenues .. animals found wandering the streets .. often abandoned and abused are picked up by the Cairns City Council Animal Control Officers or the General Public .. sometimes it is a persons living or personal circumstances that have changed and they can no longer keep their pets so they voluntary surrender them in to Y.A.P.S care.

The overall goal of the organization is to provide a service aiming at excellence to the Cairns and surrounding district in the area of animal welfare.

The refuge started at its current location .. Lot 2 McGregor Road Smithfield in 1985 and has gradually increased in sized as volunteer and donations of material became available.

As an Animal Refuge .. Y.A.P.S is one of very few in the area to provide a service to the community that takes in these homeless animals .. thus getting these animals off the street and re housing them back into society as healthy desexed animals.

Yaps has clean and spacious Boarding Kennels for both Cats and Dogs.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cairns dry season is flea Season for pets

Ahh, the dry season in Cairns: this is where we all remember why we live here: beautiful days, down at the park with your dog, walking along the beach.  Everything is just perfect.... hang on, what's that?  Its a flea on your pet's coat.  And another one.  My god, there are heaps of them.

Yes, the Cairns dry season is flea season for pets. 

Why fleas in winter in Cairns? Fleas don't like it too wet, but they like it warm.  That means in most of populated Australia the flea season is summer, but in Cairns our wet season is too wet but the dry season/winter is just right.  Its about now we start seeing people coming in complaining of fleas that they can't control in spite of having "tried everything" (often they only actually got as far as flea powder and a flea collar though, which doesn't really count.

Flea control in Cairns requires year-round flea treatment.

Fleas are often a year round problem in Cairns.  Even if they are not, your flea control strategy needs to be year round.

There are many effective flea products which work well when used as directed: the new generation spot-ons and tablets are particularly good.  They key with all flea control though is consistent use.  Waiting till you have a plague to treat your pet for fleas is ineffective.  If you have been slack recently (lulled into a false sense of security by low flea numbers over the wet season) you may be in for a surprise, and you should act now to avoid problems soon.

Only 1% of fleas in your pet's environment are actually on your pet.

The vast majority of fleas (including their larvae and eggs) are not on your pet, but in the yard, your house, your furniture and your pet's bedding.  That's why relying on pet flea treatment for immediate results is ineffective.  For every flea you see and kill on your pet there are a hundred more waiting to jump on.  And more being born every minute!  For this reason environmental treatment and flea treatments that prevent eggs from hatching are often more important than just killing the fleas on the dog or cat today.

Ask the Cairns Vet team about Flea control tailored to your pet.

Everyone's situation is different, so coming up with the right flea control for your pet relies on knowing their home, habitat and habits, as well as the need for tick and other parasite control.  The Cairns vet team are the experts in flea control and pet health.  Ask them today for the best way to prevent and treat fleas in your dogs and cats.

Dallas McMillan
Cairns Vet Clinic.

For more advice, come and see the Cairns Vet team at Pease St, Aeroglen or Gordonvale, or read Cairns Pet News

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Aged siamese cat, blue collar found on Jensen St on 6 June 2011: contact Cairns Vet Clinic

Cairns Vet Clinic seeking owner of a lost Siamese cat.

Cairns Vet Clinic on Pease St has had a client bring in a lost cat which they found on Jensen: He's a very old siamese cat with a blue collar, no microchip.  He is not very well and we are seeking the owner urgently.  If you know who this could be please contact us on 07 4032 9999

If you have a cat which goes outside please make sure it has a collar and microchip so it can be returned to you if found.

Cairns Vet Clinic

Friday, June 3, 2011

Dugongs and turtles slaughtered near Cairns: (WARNING - may disturb)

Shocking Cairns Dugong slaughter and video

 got a tweet from Colin Riddell about the alarming hunting of Dugongs and Turtles around Cairns.  This has been in the media on and off over the years and we tend to forget about it, but of course it still goes on.  This dugong and turtle hunting is legal under the Native Title act, but the cruelty and waste often involved makes it hard to justify.  Many Australians are happy for traditional hunting activities to occur, but the idea of people in boats shooting multiple dugongs in a morning outing doesn't fit with this.

Dugongs are intelligent mammals like dolphins and whales, and the people of the world are increasingly opposed to their hunting and slaughter.  Check out Colin's website Save Australian Dugongs and Turtles , and learn about the shocking hunting of dugongs and turtles around Cairns and elsewhere on the Australian Coast.

Dallas McMillan

Vet in Cairns

Read more about Cairns pets and animals

Excerpt  covering Dugong slaughter near Cairns below:

Read more at Save Australian Dugongs and Turtles 



My recommendations on alterations to the native title act 1993 

1. A moratorium to be imposed ASAP to determine sustainable numbers by scientific study with full indigenous involvement for transparency.

(a) Alternative meat / protein must be provided via subsidy by the government to communities directly affect by the moratorium at the same price they could buy it in cairns/port Douglas or cooktown.

 2. Turtles and dugongs must be dispatched humanely. Humanely must be defined .

 3.Permits must be issued by DPI or similar body to elders nominated to issue. This would help restore respect to elders , as it stands now elders have no back up for non compliance.

 4.Government rangers and indigenous rangers with full prosecution powers.

(a) To be appointed to monitor permit use , this would help elders to refuse family/relations demanding extras. And skulls or shells to be kept for proof of permit compliance .

(b)Any extras found skulls or shells action to be instigated .This would give the elders a strong excuse to refuse extras as they can say they are heavily monitored.

5.Any breach by anybody to be prosecuted by severe penalties.

6.No killing of sea turtles and dugongs by anyone in green zones especially high tourist areas ,e.G. Great barrier reef.

7.Any animal on the endangered or vunerable to extinction species list to be excluded from killing by anyone .

8. If it is determined there are none to be taken in any given declared area because of lack of numbers , so be it.

9. Use traditional methods if no permit system ,or if permit system exists use any means as long as permit system is strictly adhered to .

10.Traditional needs to  to be determined

Yet no one at all counts or knows how many are killed you wonder if it is run by morons?  See in the section below of the native title act 1993 that allows this slaughter, note it is devoid of process ,just motherhood statements !

Photo Taken by Ryan McClellan: Friend him on Facebook
Ryan also owns an Eco-Friendly clothing line that works with non-profits and environmental organizations, check it out at Born of Water .

This is dugong hunting taken from famed Australian documentary maker Ben Cropp .
It was filmed right here in Australia in the Torres straits.
The full video is called THE ELUSIVE MERMAID, and is available on Ben Cropps website . I highly recommend it.
Ben has many other videos available on ocean and land animals.
Note it is a pregnant female AND you hear the commentator say Ben SAW 12 KILLED in the 10 days he was there.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pet Shop problems

We've all had the experience of seeing those supercute puppies and kittens in pet shop windows, and feeling the urge to take one home.  You might have even bought one that way.  Or you might think its cruel to keep them in shop windows to be pointed at and constantly be discturbed by window tapping and peering faces.

What is the real problem with pet shops?

There is another darker side to pets in pet shops though.  Unfortunately many pets in pet shops are sourced from puppy factories or backyard breeders, who are breeding dogs purely for profit, with little regard for the quality, welfare or health of their produce except where it impacts the bottom line. 

Because the pets are sold from a respectable pet shop, it can mask the true origin of these pets: often caged female dogs or cats subjected to litter after litter and little quality of life.  This also means the puppies and kittens do not receive adequate socialisation or exercise so can suffer behavioral and health problems which would be avoided or detected in pets raised in a family home.

Alternatives to buying from a pet shop

How can you avoid supporting this trade if you are looking to buy a pet?  Consider buying from one of many high quality animal shelters such as the RSPCA, YAPS (in Cairns) or other animal welfare organisations.  The best of these will carefully screen pets for behavioral and health issues and help you choose a pet which suits your family, lifestyle and other needs. 

If you really want a purebred pet, insist on visiting the pups and getting to know the breeder and their dogs or cats.  This will help you choose with confidence and also alert you to any suspicious problems.  Reputable breeders encourage you to visit: they want to screen you too!  Puppy farmers just want the payment. 

For more information about problems with pet shops check out this RSPCA article.

If you do buy a pet from a pet shop, breeder or shelter be sure to get a health check with your local vet to pick up common problems.

Cats in Cairns Cat Show

Pet Lovers who fancy showing the world their lovely moggy would do well to check out the Australian National Cat Inc. Cairns Cat show

Cats in Cairns Cat Show.

The Cats in Cairns Cat show will be held on Sunday 19 June at Brothers Leagues club, Anderson St, Cairns.

For more details contact Linda 0409845130

The cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children/pensioners and $10 for a family.  There are also junior handling classes.

There will be community judging, and education on cat breeds.  Its also an opportunity to talk to breeders and cat enthusiasts.

If you would like to enter your pet into the Cats in Cairns show and for all enquiries please contact ANCats on 1300 PET CAT (738 228) or see


For more information about Cairns cats  or pet supplies visit Cairns Vet Clinic