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Feline friends indeed: Ourvets


Visiting a vet can be stressful for our feline friends, which can put owners off taking them. One local clinic, Ourvets, has received global recognition for its attention to cat care and wellbeing to ensure a stress-free visit, every time.

 

Ourvets has achieved accreditation as a Cat Friendly Clinic to recognise its high standard of care which promotes wellbeing for all cats visiting or being hospitalised in its veterinary clinic.

The global programme is developed by the International Society of Feline Medicine, the veterinary division of leading feline charity International Cat Care.

Ourvets Riccarton Team Leader Catherine Daniel says the accreditation reinforces the team’s dedication to caring for their cat clientele – and ensuring each visit is as stress-free as possible.

“The criteria includes having separate dog and cat waiting areas, feline-friendly hospitalisation cages, and veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats,” she says.

“It also recognises our approach to handling cats sensitively and respectfully, as well as staying up to date with the latest knowledge of feline medicine.”

Under the programme, a clinic must prove rigorous adherence to a set of criteria including provision of facilities and demonstration of staff activities and attitudes aimed at reducing stress in cats, both as in-patients and out-patients.

“We always want to make sure a trip to our clinic is as stress-free an experience as possible for our cat patients and their owners. By undertaking Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation, we’ve committed to delivering high standards of cat care, with compassion and expertise.”

Ourvets has clinics in St Albans, Halswell, Parklands and Riccarton, which cater for all animals – not just cats.

Ourvets has one of the South Island’s only veterinary CT scanners, as well as digital radiography, ultrasonography, in-house diagnostics and a team of highly experienced and dedicated vets and veterinary nurses across animal medicine, orthopaedic and soft tissue surgeries and oncology. Plus two luxurious catteries – a must-book for the pending festive season.


 

Are routine blood tests helpful for your pet? Wigram Vet and the Good Dog Spa


Wigram Vet and the Good Dog Spa’s Geoff Mehrtens tells Metropol how screening blood tests can greatly enhance a vet’s understanding of your pet’s health and uncover many underlying illnesses.

Blood tests make a difference to cats’ and dogs’ wellbeing, sometimes a lifesaving difference.

“Blood tests are great value for money and vets love having that background information,” says Geoff.

“Your pet’s blood tests could literally be a life saver.”

Geoff says many underlying diseases such as chronic renal or liver failure, hormonal diseases like Cushing’s Disease, as well as diabetes and hyperthyroidism (in cats in particular) can all live undetected to the untrained eye.

“Undetected these diseases can cause irreversible damage to vital organs. However, early recognition can allow early and successful treatment and management to allow your pet to live to a healthy old age.”

Whether it’s peace of mind or to investigate a concern, speak with Geoff and the team at Wigram Vets and the Good Dog Spa about obtaining a pet blood test.

Max’s story:

German Shepherd Max had chronic intermittent skin problems.

His owners were frustrated, treating the same issue, year-on-year with no progress.

A more in depth workup including blood tests showed that he was hypothyroid.

Max is now on the road to recovery.

Cleo’s story:

Cleo’s owners were at their wits end with her inappropriate urination, and ready to say goodbye. She was elderly, depressed, and losing weight.

Routine bloods confirmed that she was a diabetic. Now her diabetes is well controlled she is back to being a loving, revered member of the family.


 

Why weight matters: Wigram Vet


Bella is a wonderful example of how a successful weight loss programme can lead to a major improvement in wellbeing. Bella’s owners love her but as she crept up to a biggest ever weight of 48kg there came a turning point when she became lame in her left hind leg. A tough love conversation was needed

 

Bella really looks forward to her swim time with Kate. We love the new look of her figure and mobility,” says Troy, owner of Bella.

 

At her current weight, Bella was a very poor candidate for a surgical repair of a ruptured cruciate for instance.

Bella had tried several diets, but Labradors have a food drive that defies any but the most well-organized of plans.

Bella is now a curvy 39kg and is on a happy path to her goal weight of around 32kg.

“We have achieved this with a combination of clever diet and exercise in our underwater treadmill. Her transformation is amazing,” says Wigram Vet Geoff Mehrtens.

Underwater treadmill exercise has many benefits for overweight dogs.

Even elderly arthritic dogs enjoy exercising in a carefully managed warm water environment.

Underwater treadmill exercise is a great way to rebuild wasted muscles. Muscle mass rapidly increases with minimal risk of injury to stressed ligaments and joints.

Geoff says, “Bella is more lively, enthusiastic and her skin has improved. She has literally shed years off her life and is looking forward to getting back to her previously active lifestyle.”

Obesity is a sensitive topic and unfortunately the clear benefits of a healthy bodyweight are often lost in a debate that becomes blurred by other issues.

At Wigram Vet and the Good Dog Spa they try to incorporate holistic wellness into their approach to your pet’s health. In modern western society many dogs and cats suffer from being overweight.

There are many studies that clearly show a link between obesity and decreased quality of life.

It can lead to osteoarthritis, cardiovascular issues and inflammatory disorders affecting ligaments, joints and skin.

Does your dog have difficulty rising or lying down?

This could be a sign of osteoarthritis and your dog may be trapped in a vicious cycle of feeling too sore to move and exercise.

If you would like to know more about the ‘K9FIT FOR LIFE’ program, please contact Wigram vet and the Good Dog Spa.


 

Essential Care: Ourvets


Over the last month of COVID-19 restrictions, Ourvets St Albans remained open to provide essential care for all our furry friends. It hasn’t been an easy process – frequent changes to the guidelines around what ‘essential care’ was permitted, long hours, understandably anxious clients and sick pets have made for a very challenging time. We caught up with the team about what life has been like inside the veterinary clinic.

 

 

Protecting our staff and our clients has always been front of mind when decision making during lockdown.

We needed to close some of the Ourvets clinics so that we could separate our staff into teams.

This was to ensure there would be no crossover of staff – if a team member became sick, one team would be removed, rather than taking out our whole workforce and potentially needing to close shop altogether.

We needed to ensure staff were safe and that our ability to provide essential care to pets wouldn’t be compromised.

We were very excited when Ourvets Halswell reopened and could once again provide essential information and care for clients and their pets.

While we have continued operating, our wonderful clients have not been allowed into the clinic for over a month.

This has been one of the hardest things for clients and we get it! It’s been challenging for us too.

We’ve all been feeling the emotional strain of not being able to comfort clients through difficult situations or simply to spend that extra time talking things through with them.

As many companies across the world have been looking for different and new ways to work, our team has been no exception.

We’ve introduced different ordering systems, phone systems and communication to clients, as well as developing completely new processes to operate safely in clinic.

The ideas that have come from this period have been so great, they will continue on, even once we’re back to normal.

This is not over yet, but we’re optimistic that together we can all get through this.

Our veterinarians, veterinary nurses, receptionists and managers are all doing their best. Please remember to be kind to them so that they can continue to look after you and your furry family members.

We look forward to seeing our wonderful clients and their gorgeous pets again soon.