August is Pet Dental Health Month!

08/13/2015Here at The Unusual Pet Vets we care a lot about your pets teeth!This is why we are taking part in Pet Dental Health Month. For the whole month of August we will be offering a 20% discount on all dental check consultations. We will also be running a raffle for those clients who do bring their pets in for dental checks. The prize at the end of the month for...

Here at The Unusual Pet Vets we care a lot about your pets teeth!

This is why we are taking part in Pet Dental Health Month. For the whole month of August we will be offering a 20% discount on all dental check consultations. We will also be running a raffle for those clients who do bring their pets in for dental checks. The prize at the end of the month for the lucky person who is selected, will be a $100 gift voucher that can be used on any UPV product or veterinary service of the clients choice!

Teeth are so important and can be the cause of many medical problems in our exotic species, so call us today to book in your pets next dental check!

Oxbow Critical Care

08/07/2015Oxbow Animal Health is an internationally-recognized brand committed to serving the needs of small exotic animals by providing superior nutrition.One of our favourite and most used product of theirs here at The Unusual Pet Vets, is their Critical Care Powdered Supplement Feed.Critical Care is a premium recovery food which can be given to herbivores suc...

Oxbow Animal Health is an internationally-recognized brand committed to serving the needs of small exotic animals by providing superior nutrition.

One of our favourite and most used product of theirs here at The Unusual Pet Vets, is their Critical Care Powdered Supplement Feed.

Critical Care is a premium recovery food which can be given to herbivores such as rabbits and guinea pigs that are unwilling to eat their normal diet due to illness or surgery. This specially-formulated product contains all the essential nutrients of a complete diet as well
as high-fibre timothy hay to ensure proper gut physiology and digestion.

Critical Care is our go-to product for any rabbit or guinea pig that is not eating, and we recommend it to all our clients for their pets at home first aid kits.

It is available in a few flavours—apple and banana, aniseed and a fine grind formula and is stocked at both our clinics for purchase.

Pop in and grab some today!

HAY, did you know?

08/03/2015As we all know, rabbits and guinea pigs should always have hay available to them around the clock. We recommend that 70% of their diet should consist of hay to keep their teeth and guts healthy. But, did you know that there are many different types of hay?The most common type of hay to feed rabbits and guinea pigs here in Perth is oaten hay. Oaten hay is h...

As we all know, rabbits and guinea pigs should always have hay available to them around the clock. We recommend that 70% of their diet should consist of hay to keep their teeth and guts healthy. But, did you know that there are many different types of hay?

The most common type of hay to feed rabbits and guinea pigs here in Perth is oaten hay. Oaten hay is high fibre and low protein which makes it excellent to feed your pets, as well as making an excellent bedding material.

However we do know that there are many fussy rabbits and guinea pigs out there. Lucky for their owners we also stock some other varieties of hay for them to try. These include Timothy Hay which is available in 3 flavours, Botanical Hay and also Orchard Grass. These hays are produced by Oxbow and are often more appetising which makes them an excellent alternative for fussy eaters!

Lucerne hay is another option. It is a high fibre hay with more protein, energy and calcium than oaten hay. Because of this increased calcium content, lucerne hay is currently not recommended as the predominant hay in your pet’s diet, and should not be given to rabbits or guinea pigs with a history of urinary disease.

It is, however, a great hay to feed young or lactating rabbits, as they have a higher need for calcium, and can be given as an occasional treat hay to adult rabbits.

Always remember to check your hay before you feed it to your pets – black spots on hay stalks or a moist smell can indicate the growth of mould. Also look out grass seeds, which can get stuck in long coats or stuck in their eyes and noses.

And always remember – the greener it is the more your pet will love it!

PET OF THE MONTH – August 2015

08/01/2015This is BENNY a male cockatiel that came to see us with a prolapse of his cloaca. After some surgical intervention to replace the prolapse he made a full recovery! The above photo is Benny after surgery in his little recovery bed! Isn't he cute.

This is BENNY a male cockatiel that came to see us with a prolapse of his cloaca. After some surgical intervention to replace the prolapse he made a full recovery! The above photo is Benny after surgery in his little recovery bed! Isn’t he cute.

Scurvy in Guinea Pigs — and the importance of Vitamin C

07/19/2015What do guinea pigs and pirates have in common?This sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but there is a common medical condition that both guinea pigs and pirates suffer from, and that is scurvy. Also known as hypovitaminosis C. This occurs because both guinea pigs and humans cannot make their own vitamin C, and must ingest adequate levels in their die...

What do guinea pigs and pirates have in common?

This sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but there is a common medical condition that both guinea pigs and pirates suffer from, and that is scurvy. Also known as hypovitaminosis C. This occurs because both guinea pigs and humans cannot make their own vitamin C, and must ingest adequate levels in their diets. Most other mammals are able to make their own vitamin C, and it is mainly humans, some other great apes, and guinea pigs that cannot. Guinea pigs require 10-50 mg/kg daily to maintain good health.

Vitamin C is an important cofactor in the production of several enzymes and tissues, particularly collagen. Collagen is the “glue” that holds all our cells and tissue together, and so the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency often are caused by the lack of maintenance of this collagen matrix. Symptoms include lethargy and unwillingness to move, painful joints, poor condition, weight loss, dental issues, bruising or hemorrhage, diarrhea, and a rough coat or alopecia.

Hypovitaminosis C is easiest to diagnose in consultation with the client. A thorough history is warranted, going into detail about the diet. In terms of diet, find out what the guinea pig is fed every day, especially in terms of fresh vegetables and fruit. A guinea pig should consume 80% of the daily diet in hay or grass, with 5% being a pelleted diet formulated for guinea pigs, and the remaining 15% fresh fruit and vegetables. The fresh fruit and vegetable component is the most important part of maintaining adequate vitamin C intake. Vitamin C deteriorates and breaks down with storage and processing, meaning that even if the owner provides supplementation or the pellets containing vitamin C, it is difficult to rely on those sources solely for vitamin C.

Vegetables high in vitamin C that are suitable for guinea pigs include parsley, broccoli, kale, and red capsicum. Other dark green leafy vegetables are also a good source of vitamin C, and Chinese vegetables such as bok choy or kai lan are other options, as they are easy to find and store while maintaining good level of vitamins and minerals. Avoid vegetables such as iceberg lettuce as they contain a high amount of water and not a lot of nutrition. Guinea pigs that develop scurvy will often require supplementation with injectable vitamin C to increase the rate of recovery, as well as prevent further deterioration. They can then be maintained on an oral supplement while the diet is being improved.

Oxbow produces a good tableted vitamin C supplement that can be fed as a treat. Inwater vitamin C additives are often not appropriate as the vitamin tends to degenerate as the water is stored and comes into contact with light and air.

With good owner education and co-operation, many guinea pigs will do well after a diagnosis of scurvy. With guinea pigs that present for other conditions, it is still a good idea to investigate and evaluate the amount of vitamin C in the diet, and supplement the diet if needed.
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