Morley Vetcentre
20 Rudloc Rd
Morley, WA, 6062
Phone: 08 9275 3000
Contents of this newsletter

01  February funnies

02  Is your pet left or right 'pawed'?

03  The itchy and scratchy show

04  Case study - the itchy cat

05  Test your dog's IQ

01 February funnies

We've got a great video for you this month. We are still asking ourselves 'where did he learn to do that'?

Remember to share any videos of your pet on our My Pet Stories Page!

02 Is your pet left or right 'pawed'?

Have you ever wondered which paw your pet might use to hold a pen? You might be able to find out as a veterinarian in the USA has developed a test that can help determine if your pet is left or right 'pawed'. 

Researchers have been studying right brain-left brain connections in dogs and cats and are also investigating horses and their preference to lead with a particular leg in the canter. You can read more about the research here.  

How to find out if your pet is a 'leftie' or a 'rightie':

  • If you teach your dog to shake, which paw does he offer you first and most often?
  • Fill a toy with something delicious and put it in front of your dog. Which paw does he use to touch the toy first? 
  • Put something sticky on your dog or cat's nose. Which paw does he use to remove it?
  • Place a treat or a piece of cheese under a couch, just beyond reach. Which paw does he use to try and get it out?
  • Dangle a toy over your cat's head. Which paw does he lift to bat it?
  • When your dog wants in to come in the door, which paw does he 'knock' with?



03 The itchy and scratchy show

Fleas are a common cause of itchy skin

It is that time of the year again. With the warm weather comes the pesky things that cause allergies. Fleas, ticks and other biting insects commonly set off an attack of the itches! Pet can also be allergic to grasses, trees, plant pollen, dust mites and moulds as well as certain foods.  

Itchy dogs may bite, lick or scratch with their legs. Cats tend to over groom (constantly lick) certain areas causing hair loss - such as in Tigger's case below.

Itching quickly leads to self-trauma of the skin and this causes secondary infections. Unfortunately, treatment becomes more complicated and more costly once infection occurs. 

What can you do at home?

  • Be absolutely vigilant with flea treatment all year round. Fleas are a major cause of an itchy pet and regularly using a flea treatment is cheaper than treating an itchy pet! 
  • Keep your pet away from known 'problem' plants - including Wandering Jew and Paspalum grasses
  • Avoid fishy foods in cats - you may be surprised but these can often be an underlying cause of allergies (skin and gastrointestinal) 
  • Some pets may find relief with an antihistamine - ask us for information

If you have an itchy and scratchy show at your house call us for advice as the earlier we intervene the better.

04 Case study - the itchy cat

Tigger the three year old moggie had been busily grooming for weeks. His owner thought he was simply taking care of himself to impress the females until a nasty lesion was noted on Tigger's inner thigh.

A visit to the vet revealed an ulcerated lesion, technically known as an eosinophilic plaque. This is just one of a group of skin problems referred to as eosinophilic granuloma complex (EGC).  

The eosinophil, a white blood cell, is sent to a particular spot of skin in response to a something foreign, such as an allergen (e.g flea saliva). This results in inflammation.

If these cells do their job and leave, the inflammation will subside. Occasionally they continue to work in the area for long periods and an itchy and uncomfortable lump appears.

There can be multiple causes involved including flea and food allergies. Diagnosis is by process of elimination. 

Tigger had a few specs of flea dirt around his neck (a great spot for fleas to hang out as the cat can't groom them off). So Tigger's EGC was probably set off by a flea allergy. He was given three weeks of antibiotics and started on a good quality topical flea product. Medication was also necessary to help settle his itch and he is once again a happy cat!


05 Test your dog's IQ

Most of us have some idea of whether our dog is switched on or not. But are you the parent of a Canine Einstein? 

Click here to see the six steps of the Dog IQ Test.

It will test your dog's adaptive intelligence including their ability to solve problems, understand language and learn social cues. There are even some videos demonstrating how to perform the tests. 

Let us know how your dog performs by posting a picture of your dog and their score on our My Pet Stories Page!