Crackers’s Clinic Chronicles – September

Cracker’s Clinic Chronicles

Welcome to the CHVH spring newsletter and hope you and your cute and cuddly furry pets are enjoying the warmer weather.


This quarter’s newsletter covers pet insurance, some new flea and tick treatments as well as details of what to do if you find any displaced or injured Australian wildlife.    September is Animal Pain Awareness month and the signs to watch out for which may indicate your pet is in pain.


The fight against tick paralysis

 Join Coffs Harbour Veterinary Hospital in the fight against Tick Paralysis.

Tick paralysis is the single biggest cause of death and severe illness on the Coffs Coast.

While ticks are present all year round in our area, it is spring which creates the greatest risks to our pets.  Tick numbers increase rapidly over the next few weeks.

Newer products to the market such as Nexgard and Bravecto has resulted in a dramatic reduction in tick paralysis cases in our hospital but it is still a far too common occurrence.

To help owners join the fight, Coffs Harbour Veterinary Hospital will be selling Bravecto at a significantly reduced price over the coming spring months.  Make sure your pet is protected in the battle against paralysis ticks.





CHVH will still be offering the buy 4 get 1 free loyalty scheme until end December.

Come in and see us today, whilst stocks last.


The signs of tick paralysis


The early signs of tick paralysis often suggest that your pet may have something caught in it’s throat or the back legs seem a little wobbly. Other commonly noticed changes are vomiting, heavy breathing with a grunt and alteration to your pet’s vocal sounds. While signs vary from patient to patient the usual course is a progressive paralysis with subsequent loss of use of back and front legs. Some animals, especially cats, may become distressed, anxious and confused.

If you suspect your pet may have a tick or be affected by tick paralysis contact us immediately and don’t be tempted to offer food or water as tick paralysis can often affect their ability to swallow.


Prevention is the best treatment, so ask us today for the best preventive treatment options for you and your pet.



Pet Census 2016


Take part in the Pet Census 2016, run by Petplan.  The Census seeks to explore four main areas relating to human-animal relationship, pet purchasing, health and finance, social relations and family life.

The Census runs from 1st September 2016 to 1st November 2016 and is available at


Have your say in Australian pet ownership.  The Census should take about 20 minutes to complete and no personal data needs to be provided. The results will be available in December 2016.


Pet Insurance


We strongly recommend that pet owners consider buying pet insurance to protect their furry loved ones (and their wallets) from some of life’s most unfortunate accidents.


How does pet insurance work?


Each company differs slightly when it comes to protecting your pet, however pet insurance works on the same basic principles as most other forms of insurance.



Unlike insurance for people, where you have co-payments and different coverage amounts for different procedures, pet insurance works differently. You pay your vet directly, and then submit for reimbursement through your pet insurance provider. The pet insurance company will then review and pay the agreed upon percentage of the bill for items that are covered by your policy.   Generally we can assist you in submitting your insurance claims and ensuring the company receives all the information they need.  Next time you visit CHVH, please provide us with the provider name and policy number of your pet insurance company.


Why is it worth it?


You’ll never have to choose between your wallet and your pet.


Sometimes deciding whether or not to have a procedure is one of the hardest things you will have to do as a pet owner. By having pet insurance, you can take the financial aspect out of the equation and base your medical decisions purely on what’s best for your pet.


Statistics show that one in every 3 pets will require emergency treatment each year. Just like other forms of insurance, pet insurance helps cover the cost of the unexpected.


A variety of plans to suit your needs


Pet insurance can be tailored to fit your budget and needs. If you sign up when your pet is young, you have more options to choose from. Some plans cover accidents only while others cover accidents and illness.  A few plans even cover routine care such as vaccinations and chekcups.


Puppies and Kittens – 4 weeks free


Once a puppy or kitten (less than one year of age) has had its health check with one of our vets, we can sign them up for 4 weeks free insurance with Petplan.  Please ask us to sign you up at your puppies or kitties appointment.


There is no obligation after this time to continue with Petplan but it will give you coverage while you research all the plans and decide which one best suits you and your pet.


Long Term Prescription Medication from CHVH


Please remember to call ahead if you require a script or repeat dispensing of medication for your pet.


To continue to obtain repeat medications or a script, your pet must have been seen by one of our Vets within the last six months.


To avoid delays, please call ahead to ensure that we have the medication in stock and can have a Vet authorise the dispensing or sign the prescription.


Animal pain awareness month – september


It can be very stressful to see your pet in pain and be unsure about what to do for them. Equally stressful is not knowing IF your pet is in pain. Identifying the (sometimes subtle) symptoms of pain in our pets is the first step to getting them back on track and doing the things that they love with their family.


Here is a great resource from the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management that can help you identify some of the warning signs of pain in your pet.


Should you notice any of these symptoms or your pet is behaving in way that is out of the ordinary, please contact us for an appointment.


Because their pain is our pain


It was once thought that animals did not experience pain in the same way people do. But research supports that if a condition is thought to be painful to us, it will also be painful to our furry friends as well, even though they may go to great lengths to hide it from us. So, at CHVH proper pain management is provided to all patients undergoing a procedure which is or may be painful.


Wildlife has Sprung in Spring


During springtime we  start to spot more of our Australian wildlife and may come across those that are in harm’s way or injured.

This advice comes from W.I.R.E.S which is the volunteer organisation in NSW set up to rescue and care for native animals.

DO NOT approach snakes, monitor lizards (goannas), bats (flying-foxes or microbats),large macropods (kangaroos or wallabies) or raptors (eagles, falcons or hawks). These animals require specialist handling and MUST be rescued by trained wildlife rescuers. Please call WIRES or check their website to identify the species if you are unsure.

Improper rescue can hurt or distress the animal and the rescuer which is why WIRES train all its volunteers. Please exercise caution when handling wildlife.

Often young birds will be found on the ground after falling from nests. It is normal for fledgling magpies to fall out of the nest and spend a couple of days on the ground, with parents feeding them whilst they master the tricky art of flying.

Sick or injured wildlife

If you have found a sick, injured or orphaned animal, remove any threat to the animal.   This includes keeping all people and pets away from the native animal, to minimise stress to the animal for vet transport or until a rescuer arrives.

All wildlife that is sick or injured needs to be assessed by a vet before going into care.  It is critical to get sick and injured wildlife vet treatment as quickly as possible.

If it is safe to do so, please contain the animal in a warm, dark, quiet place.  For example, gently wrap the animal in a towel and place it in a ventilated box with a lid and transport it carefully to the nearest vet or wait for the rescuer to arrive.


Do not give the animal any food or water, unless instructed to by a vet or WIRES

At CHVH, we will receive and assess wildlife free of charge. If you can, please call us beforehand to let us know you are coming.

Call WIRES to report and let their Rescue Team know if you have taken an animal to us or another vet.

For more information, please see the WIRES website.

Hendra Policy Update


CHVH has updated its policy regarding treating horses that are not vaccinated again Hendra Virus (HeV).


Due to the serious health risk to humans handling infected horses, CHVH will no longer provide veterinary care to sick, unvaccinated horses, ponies or donkeys.


CHVH strongly recommends that vaccine be given to all healthy horses over 4 months old.  The current recommended protocol is for 2 initial doses of vaccine 3-6 weeks apart followed by a 6 monthly booster and 12 monthly boosters thereafter.


At CHVH, both Dr Vicky McClure and Dr Blair Kennedy are accredited to vaccinate horses.  Please call us today if you would like further details of this policy or to find out how to vaccinate your horse to ensure that your horses will continue to receive necessary veterinary care.


Meet the Staff – Cathy

Vet Nurse Cathy has been caring for you and your pets for going on 15 years!  She completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2003 and has since completed a basic pet dental course and business administration certificate.


You will notice Cathy really builds rapport with both clients and patients and strives to ensure people and pets all feel comfortable and at ease when coming to see us at CHVH.


At home, Cathy cares for many furry and feathered pets including 4 dogs (Tia, Duggan, Molly and Scrappy), 4 cats (Bones, Sparrow, Evie and Elena) as well as a few chickens and quails (Drumstick, Cinnamon, Dale and Gail).  Cathy loves photography and was recently awarded a commendation for a photograph in the Marnie Yates photo competition.