There are infectious and potentially fatal diseases which can affect your dog or cat. Ensuring that your dog or cat completes an initial course of vaccinations and then receives regular boosters is very important. read more
PLEASE DO NOT DELAY & MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO VACCINATE YOUR PET TODAY!
Worms may pose a threat to your family as well as your pet. In pets, worms can cause anaemia, malnutrition, and gastroenteritis. We offer a comprehensive range of over the counter deworming products to suit both cats and dogs. read more
PE is the FRIENDLY CITY for fleas all year round
the flea life-cycle takes 3-4 weeks but can be as fast as 2 weeks or as slow as 6 months depending on environmental conditions
5% of the flea life-cycle (i.e. adult fleas) takes place on the dog or cat - this is what you can see!!
95% of the flea life-cycle (i.e. eggs, larvae and pupae) takes place in the environment - this is what you cannot see!! read more
At Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic we encourage you to have your dog or cat spayed or castrated. Research has shown that pets that are spayed or castrated live longer. Spaying or castrating also reduces the risk of certain types of cancer and other health problems. If you have any questions or wish to make a sterilisation booking, please contact us.
CANINE BILIARY (BABESIOSIS)
Biliary is a serious tick-borne disease of dogs that occurs mostly in summer. However, Port Elizabeth is a frost-free area so ticks do not disappear totally in winter making it possible for biliary to occur throughout the year.
The biliary parasite is transmitted to the dog via the tick's saliva when an infected tick bites a dog. read more
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FELINE BILIARY (BABESIOSIS)
Biliary is diagnosed by examining a stained blood smear and finding the biliary parasite present in the red blood cells.
Typically a cat with biliary will:
have pale or yellow gums (depending on how advanced the disease is)
Contrary to popular belief and social stigmas attached to this condition, mange does not only affect dirty or neglected animals. These are two common forms of mange in dogs, namely demodectic and sarcoptic mange. read more
About 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some sign of dental disease. The toxins released from the bacteria in the mouth can result in kidney, heart and liver disease. Regular tooth brushing at least three times a week with a pet toothpaste will help prevent dental disease. There are also oral rinses, antibacterial gels, dental chews and dental diets available at Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic. read more
LUMPS & BUMPS
If your pet has an unusual lump or swelling that lasts for more than a few days please make an appointment so that our vets can check it out. Most lumps can be cured if they are caught early enough. Swellings can be: bruising or fluid build up, abscesses, cancers. Some common lumps and bumps are: fatty lumps (lipomas), sebaceous gland cysts, mast cell tumours, histiocytomas, warts, mammary tumours, lymphoma and squamous cell carcinomas. read more
Hip Dysplasia is a disorder affecting the hip joint of medium and large breed dogs. It occurs when the ball and socket joint of the hip does not fit together properly, and causes instability of the joint, pain, and lameness in the young dog and leads to arthritis later in life. If you are considering purchasing a medium or large breed puppy, ask the breeder if the parents have been hip scored. read more
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Arthritis means inflammation of joints. It causes pain and stiffness in the joints. Is your dog or cat .... read more
Diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin and so sugar builds up in the blood and eventually appears in the urine. Signs that your pet may be a diabetic include: increased thirst, increased and frequent urination, weight loss, cataracts (dogs) .... read more
LABOUR IN BITCHES
Pregnancy lasts on average 63 days (58-68 days).
During the last 2-3 days before birth, bitches seek darkened places and solitude, show nesting behaviour and are restless. Labour is divided into 3 stages .... read more
Urinary incontinence means the loss of ability to control urination. If your dog is incontinent you will find damp patches where your dog has been resting. The most common cause of incontinence in bitches is a weakness at the outlet of the bladder. This condition can be managed using medications which tone up the muscle in the urethra. read more
Your cat marks its territory with urine and faeces. The reasons for a cat spraying indoors are different from those that make it urinate indoors in the wrong place. Indoor spraying occurs because your cat is anxious, unsettled, frightened, or insecure. read more
BLADDER OBSTRUCTION IN CATS
Please make a appointment immediately if your cat is straining to urinate and only produces a few drops of urine or none at all. Sometimes, crystals or stones can cause a blockage in the urethra. Urine can then build up in the bladder and can quickly cause kidney damage. Bladder obstruction is an emergency and can be fatal. read more
BLADDER STONES IN DOGS
There are several different types of bladder stones in dogs. Your dog may have blood in the urine, urinate frequently (passing only very small amounts of urine) and strain while urinating. Some stones may be able to be dissolved by feeding special diets. Other stones or very large stones, may need to be removed by surgery. read more
Small dog breeds are more likely to have leaky heart valves and so a heart murmur can be heard. Large and Giant dog breeds are more likely to have enlarged hearts. There are lots of medications available which help maintain heart function. If you are worried about your pet's heart please make an appointment to see one of our vets. read more
A dog that has not been given any instructions, training, or boundaries cannot possibly know what you expect of him. Teaching your dog how you want him to behave will lead to a saner household and a happier and healthier dog. Puppies that are exposed to a variety of positive influences during this early learning phase tend to be better equipped socially as adults. We welcome you to attend our Puppy School at Southern Cross Veterinary Clinic.
Please contact us for a comprehensive list of dog training available in Port Elizabeth.
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EPILEPSY IN DOGS
Epilepsy is a disorder of recurring seizures or fits. A fit involves uncontrollable muscle activity such as paddling, loss of consciousness, salivation, involuntary urination and defaecation.
If no cause of the fit can be identified, the condition is diagnosed as primary or idiopathic epilepsy. Some breeds have a higher risk of developing epilepsy, for example Labradors. read more
Signs of ear disease: scratching of the ears, shaking of the head, discharge in the ears, redness or swelling of the ear flap, odour and sore ears.
Causes of ear disease: infections - bacteria and/or yeast, parasites - ear mites, allergies - food or environmental .... read more
This is a very serious and life threatening condition. The condition is more likely to develop in large breed dogs with a deep, narrow chest, for example Great Danes. Dogs who eat quickly, exercise soon after eating or have a nervous, anxious temperament are at a greater risk. If you suspect that your dog has gastric dilatation and torsion, contact us immediately. read more
FELINE MILIARY DERMATITIS (FELINE ECZEMA)
The cat will have lots of small, crusty, inflamed bumps (like millet seeds hence the name). These can be on the head or base of the tail (often due to fleas) or cover a large amount of the body. The condition is managed with regular flea control, special diets, nutritional supplements, medications to treat any infections on the skin and to stop the cat from scratching. read more
An abscess is an accumulation of pus, often as a result of bites from fighting. A cat's mouth has lots of bacteria which enter the wound caused by a bite. Abscesses are often found on the legs, head, neck, and base of the tail. read more
BEAK AND FEATHER DISEASE
This is a contagious and fatal viral disease and most birds diagnosed are under two years old. The virus is spread in the droppings and feather dust of infected birds.
Feather plucking appears as loss of feathers on the body and neck with normal feathers on the head. Behavioural problems such as boredom, stress, lack of sleep are the most common causes. read more
VOMITING AND REGURGITATION IN BIRDS
Regurgitation is the forceful expulsion of the contents of the mouth, oesophagus or crop. The food does not look digested and this can be a normal behaviour in birds. Vomiting is the expulsion of the contents of the proventriculus, ventriculus or intestine and is a sign of illness. It is often difficult to distinguish between regurgitation and vomiting. read more
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Dogs and cats require regular grooming to keep them healthy. A major benefit of regularly grooming your pet is that you will quickly notice any changes to your pet's body and so our vets will be able to have a look sooner. read more
Hairballs develop when a cat grooms and then ingests the hair. The hair forms into a ball or mat and can cause problems if it obstructs the passage of food. Hairballs can also cause constipation. read more
Housetraining your new puppy requires time and patience. Most puppies should eliminate within an hour after eating. Take your puppy outside to eliminate after eating, drinking, sleeping or playing. Teach your puppy where you want him to eliminate by selecting an area .... read more
Crate training is an excellent way to teach good behaviour. The crate needs to be large enough so that your dog can stand up and turn around. The crate cannot be any larger than this when using it for housetraining .... read more
SEPARATION ANXIETY IN DOGS
Is your dog well behaved when you are home but acts out when he cannot be with you? The acting out includes destructive behaviour, excessive barking, excessive coat licking, eliminating indoors .... read more
Feline Asthma or Feline Allergic Bronchitis is a lung condition associated with narrowing of the airways, increased airway secretions and so airway obstruction. The cause is often not found but can be triggered by stress or environmental change such as moving house, new smoker in the house or using a new type of cat litter.
Feline acne is when "blackheads" develop on your cat's chin. The cause is unknown but factors involved include stress, poor grooming, contact or atopic dermatitis, immunosuppression .... read more
RINGWORM IN CATS
Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection of the skin which can be spread directly (animal to animal or animal to person) or indirectly (from contaminated objects or the soil). There are several organisms which can cause ringworm. Ringworm is often seen in young, long-haired cats. read more
Allergic dermatitis cannot be prevented and often cannot be cured but limiting exposure to allergens will help to reduce the clinical signs. Allergic signs can be seasonal. Some breeds are more likely to develop certain types of allergies. read more
CHRONIC KIDNEY FAILURE IN CATS
Chronic kidney failure is a very common problem in older cats though all breeds of any age can be affected. Persians and Abyssinians are more susceptible. The waste products of food digestion are normally carried in the blood to the kidneys to be filtered and excreted as urine. When the kidneys fail .... read more
FELINE INFECTIOUS PERITONITIS
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal disease of cats caused by a mutated coronavirus. The coronavirus mutates only in certain cats so research has suggested .... read more
GASTROENTERITIS IN DOGS
The occasional bout of vomiting or diarrhoea which lasts only for a day or two is quite common in dogs due to their indiscriminate eating habits. Signs of gastroenteritis: vomiting and diarrhoea which continues for more than a few days or gets worse ....
Lymphoma (also called Lymphosarcoma or Malignant Lymphoma) is one of the most common cancers which affects our dogs. The term lymphoma is used to describe a group of cancers that stem from the white blood cells (lymphocytes). These white blood cells play a key role in helping the immune system fight off infection. Lymphoma can affect any organ in the body, but is often found in organs such as the lymph nodes, the spleen ... read more
INTERVERTEBRAL DISC DISEASE
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is the term used to describe herniation or rupture of one or more of the discs that are found between the vertebrae (spinal bones). The most common symptom of IVDD is pain. Dogs with either neck pain or back pain may be reluctant to walk, or to go up or down stairs, display muscle tension in their neck and/or back, and vocalise .... read more
CRANIAL CRUCIATE LIGAMENT RUPTURE
Cranial cruciate ligament rupture is more usually the result of a disease process extending over months or years. It is caused by a combination of several factors. Dogs can lose a third of the thigh muscle mass in their affected leg within 2 weeks of cruciate repair surgery and this muscle loss can continue for up to 5 weeks post-surgery. Therefore it is very important that physical rehabilitation begins immediately post-surgery and continues for at least 5 weeks. read more
Patella luxation is one of the most commonly diagnosed orthopaedic conditions in dogs. Luxation almost always occurs towards the inside (medial patellar luxation) of the leg, although in roughly 10% of cases luxation occurs towards the outside (lateral patellar luxation). The anatomical cause of the patella's luxation may be that the groove on the front of the femur is too shallow, a weak or stretched patellar ligament, or .... read more
PHYSICAL REHABILITATION FOR PETS
The goal of physical rehabilitation is to give your pet the best quality of life for the longest possible time. Physical rehabilitation speeds up recovery from injury, surgery, or other physical problems. Physical rehabilitation restores the best possible function whether your pet is an athlete living life in the fast lane or enjoys a more laid back lifestyle. In providing physical rehabilitation, we strive to .... read more
ACUPUNCTURE FOR PETS
Acupuncture is the practise of inserting fine, solid needles into the body for pain relief or, in some cases, to help the body deal with other diseases. Acupuncture works through the nervous system. The needles block the pain messages and encourage the brain and central nervous system to produce more of the body’s natural painkillers. In conditions that are not painful, acupuncture may help to reset the body’s normal functioning.
Pain is the most common indication for acupuncture. Usually this means pain associated with arthritis, but also .... read more
None of us likes to see our pets in pain. Whilst acute pain is beneficial in the short term, promoting protection and adaption so as to prevent further injury and allow healing to occur, chronic pain is not beneficial at all. In either case we want to find ways to relieve and manage our pet’s pain and that's where pain management comes in .... read more
Veterinary chiropractic is a manual method of treatment used to complement traditional veterinary medicine and surgery. As a manual method of treatment, veterinary chiropractic seeks to restore and maintain the proper functioning of the joints of the spine and extremities. In making adjustments to these joints animal chiropractic aims to ensure the best possible function of your dog or cat’s nervous system and body. It is therefore a holistic approach, recognising the connection between biomechanical dysfunction and the entire nervous system of the body. read more
Laser therapy is a non-invasive modality which aids quicker recovery. It can be used to treat a large range of acute and chronic conditions. Laser therapy can be used on its own, or as a complement to other therapeutic modalities. Laser therapy has been demonstrated to accelerate tissue repair and cell growth, reduce fibrous tissue formation, improve vascular activity, increase metabolic activity, stimulate immunity and promote improved nerve function. It also has anti-inflammatory and analgesic (anti-pain) effects. read more
PLATELET RICH PLASMA REGENERATIVE THERAPY
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is a regenerative medicine therapy which seeks to harness the wound healing and tissue regenerating properties of the patient's own blood. Platelets naturally contain anti-inflammatories, growth factors, cell differentiators and stem cell attractants that work together to accelerate wound healing and tissue regeneration. Using a concentrated platelet sample from the patient, PRP therapy supports the body's natural processes of regeneration in order to promote healing, pain relief, and mobility. read more
Herbal medicine employs herbs as therapeutic tools. Herbs are used for medicinal purposes according to two schools of thought or philosophies: western herbal medicine and eastern herbal medicine. Both offer natural treatments that can be used to benefit our pets, either alongside conventional medical treatments or as alternatives.
FOOD ALLERGY AND FOOD TRIAL INFORMATION
The exact mechanisms of food allergy/intolerance are not fully understood in pets. Contrary to people, these reactions can be quite delayed in time, usually taking days to a few weeks to develop. Only a small variety of foods (mainly animal proteins and a few grains) are clearly implicated in dogs and cats according to the current veterinary medical literature. Adverse reactions to chicken, beef, dairy products (cow milk, cheese and yogurt) and wheat account for over 75% of all the reported cases in dogs. read more
SPONDYLOSIS IN DOGS
Spondylosis deformans is a condition that affects the vertebral bones of the spine and is characterized by the presence of bony spurs or 'osteophytes' along the edges of the bones of the spine. A bony spur may develop in a single spot on the spine; more commonly, there will be multiple bone spurs in several different locations along the spine. The most common places .... read more
STEM CELL THERAPY FOR DOGS
Stem Cell Therapy is a regenerative medicine therapy. Stem cells are the body’s raw materials. They can generate new cell types and can be injected into an affected area to promote the repair response of diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissue. Stem cells have the potential to address many different disease processes, but by far the most recognised application in the veterinary field is the use of Stem Cell Therapy to address osteoarthritis.
Elbow dysplasia is a skeletal condition affecting the elbow joint. This condition arises from abnormal growth and development of the bony structures that form part of the elbow joint. This skeletal condition is a common cause of forelimb lameness in young dogs, and it is a condition that worsens as the dog grows and matures, since the malformation of the joint leads to degeneration, and this leads to an increase in pain. Primarily a genetic disease, elbow dysplasia is commonly seen in large and giant breed dogs. read more
FIBROCARTILAGINOUS EMBOLISM (FCE)
Fibrocartilaginous embolism, often abbreviated to FCE, is sometimes referred to as a ‘spinal stroke’. It is a sudden onset condition affecting the spinal cord. It involves the sudden interruption of the blood supply to part of the spinal cord.
The clinical signs of FCE are highly variable, what you observe will vary depending on the level of the spinal cord that is damaged. Some dogs may lack coordination. Others may be paralysed. Whilst some might vocalise when the injury occurs, pain is not a feature of this condition. read more
OSTEOCHONDRITIS DISSECANS (OCD) IN DOGS
Osteochondritis dissecans, often referred to simply as OCD, is a disease affecting the cartilage in certain joints. It is most often seen in the shoulder joint, but can occur in the knee, elbow and ankle joints. A cartilage flap is formed, generally during development. This flap causes pain and inflammation in the joint ... read more
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