Pet News

Welcome to the Petplan Pet News Feed. Here you will find links to current pet related news and stories.

The Petplan Pet News Feed is a blog created to share current pet related news and stories. Petplan Australiasia Pty Ltd claims no credit for any stories or images unless otherwise noted. Stories and images on this blog are copyright to their respectful owners and (whenever possible) a link to the original content is provided. If there is a story or an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please e-mail with a link to said story and/or image and it will be promptly removed.

  • Bushfire Bobby keeping pets safe from bushfires

    Bushfire Bobby keeping pets safe from bushfires

    WITH the summer fire season upon us, a Warrandyte North woman is helping link pet owners with volunteer animal carers on high fire danger days.

    Jennie Hill started a small Facebook group for people in Warrandyte last year and was overwhelmed by the response.

    “Originally it was set up just for people with pets in Warrandyte but the link was shared in the Dandenong Ranges, Seymour and other high risk fire areas,” Ms Hill said.

    “It went crazy.”

    She said there had even been interest Australia-wide so she created a new non-profit group called Bushfire Bobby.

    Read more by clicking here

  • Deadly Heartworm Risk

    Deadly Heartworm Risk

    In Australia, canine health experts have joined forces to ensure that the millions of unprotected dogs are not left unprotected from the potentially deadly heartworm disease. Following concerns that some vets and dog owners are not discussing preventative care options, an expert panel has developed Australia's first heartworm prevention guidelines to remind people of the real risk of the disease. Heartworm is a serious and potentially deadly disease caused by parasites that are found in the arteries of the heart (or sometimes the lungs) of cats and dogs. Heartworm is spread by mosquitos. A mosquito bites an infected animal and then when that mosquito bites a second animal, the tiny heartworm larvae are injected into the animals skin and the larvae develop in the tissues. Fore more information visit the Petplan Blog on Heartworm Disease.

    Image: Briar Gate Blvd Animal Hospital

  • Dog Poison Alert in Perth

    Dog Poison Alert in Perth

    Vets have warned dog owners to take care while walking their pets at a park in Perth's southeastern suburbs following three cases of poisoning. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) said two of the dogs, which had been walked at Rushton Park in Kelmscott, had died after suspected 1080 poisoning. The poison is used to kill pest species such as foxes and feral cats. 

    If dog owners suspect their dog may have been poisoned, they should seek immediate veterinary attention. The AVA has provided vets and emergency vet hospitals in Perth with guidelines for treating potential 1080 poisoning cases. Click here for full story from Perth Now News.

  • Dogs Feel Grief Like Humans

    Dogs Feel Grief Like Humans

    Recent research studying the emotional capacity of dogs has shed some interesting light onto how our furry friends really feel. According to some brain-imaging studies, when humans feel grief, it’s the primitive parts of the brain that are activated so it's no surprise that dogs - and other animals - have the capacity to feel sad. Read more at The Herald website.

  • Three Legged Wonder Dog

    Three Legged Wonder Dog

    Zorion the wonderdog has a unique quality that makes him agility course achievements even more spectacular. Although he only has three legs his spirit and his drive have not been dampened and his recent success at the Australian National Agility Competition is evidence of that!

    Zorion is a handsome, energetic Kelpie who lives with his pet parent, Amy, on the Sunshine Coast. He had his leg amputated when he was just shy of a year old after he jumped from the back of a parked ute and suffered a chipped femur and dislocated hip. Luckily this accident and surgery didn't set him back and he recovered quickly and is happy and healthy and making a name for three legged animals in the agility world.

    Story & Photo Credit: Brisbane Times

  • Sully the Heroic Tabby

    Sully the Heroic Tabby

    Cats are often portrayed as mischevious and sometimes even villainous, think Lady and the Tramp and Cinderella; however, Sully the Tabby Cat is living proof that our fenine friends make great heroes! Just ask Craig Geeves, the Melbourne man who recently escaped what could have been a deadly fire all thanks to his beloved cat. Sully woke up Mr. Geeves in the middle of the night with shrill cries, alerting him to the fact that the house was ablaze and, luckily, both escaped unscathed. If you know a four legged hero be sure to tell us your story on our Facebook page or send us an email.

    Story & photo credit: ABC

  • How to Save on Pet Expenses

    How to Save on Pet Expenses

    Whether you are already a pet owner or you are considering bringing a dog or cat into your family you are likely aware that owning a pet can be expensive. The pet industry in Australia is booming with $6 billion dollars spent annually on our furry friends. The basic necessities - food, veterinary care, leash, collar, kennels - can add up quickly. On top of that, pet parents are tempted with new pet toys, pet clothes, and pet accessories that can cost a fortune.  Money saving expert, Jon Lal, has released his top tips for saving money on your pet's expenses and we want to share them with you (plus a few of our own)!

    1. Create a pet budget - track your pet expenses over the month then create a resonable budget for your pet.

    2. Manage pet food costs - ensure you get your pet the right food as it will make a difference to your pet's health. Ensure you are feeding your pet the correct amount to avoid 'wasting food'.

    3. Compare prices - call a multiple pet supply stores or shop online to compare prices. Do the same for services like grooming, or vet care.

    4. Shop at sales - in store sales, online sales.

    5. Plan for emergencies - pet insurance provides you with peace of mind and allows you to avoid major out of pocket expenses for vet treatment.

    6. The best things in your pets life are free - spending time with you, of course!

    Source: Yahoo Finance.

  • Renting With Pets

    Renting With Pets

    Pet owners know that finding a rental property is extremely difficult and horribly frustrating. There are only a small margin of pet-friendly apartments available and a massive amount of competition for said apartments. In Australia, where there are more pets than people it seems rather disappointing that only a small percentage of properties allow pets in rental apartments and this is forcing some pet owners to take drastic measures, in some instances pet owners are 'hiding' their pet at the property and in extreme cases putting their pet down. If you are faced with the challenge of renting with a dog or cat here are some steps we recommend:

    1) Include a brief biography of your pet in your application. Small, calm pets are more likely to be accepted.
    2) Include your pet's veterinary history.
    3) Get Pet Insurance! Having pet insurance shows that you are a responsible pet owner.

    The Australian Veterinary Association and the Australian Companion Animal Council have published a series of guides for landlords and renters that will hopefully help make this prejudice against pet owners history. You can access the AVA and ACAC guides here.

  • Over Thinking Your Cat's Happiness?

    Over Thinking Your Cat's Happiness?

    Are you overthinking your cat's happiness? Recently a study was conducted that asked 530 Australian cat owners a number of questions about their cat and their habits as owners and the statistics that have come back reveal a huge soft spot for our furry friends. According to The Herald "two-thirds of Australia's 2.4 million cat owners reportedly "think about their cat's level of happiness on a weekly basis". At Petplan we think it's great that pet owners are truly passionate about the happiness and well-being of their pets! 

  • Ugliest Dog and a Heart of Gold

    Ugliest Dog and a Heart of Gold

    Peanut, a Chihuahua-Shih Tzu  cross, was officially named the World's Ugliest Dog Contest in California. Peanut's sweet and energetic personality more than make up for his bulging eyes, crooked teeth and bald patches of skin (a result of extreme burns that he endured as a puppy). Peanut's pet parent, Holly Chandler, who rescued the abandoned pup is hoping that her darling dog's claim to fame will help spread awareness about abused animals and has pledged to use the $1500 USD prize to put towards veterinary treatment for abused dogs. Paws Up for Peanut and his pet parent!

    Source & Photo Credit:

  • Cat Comes Back After 13 Years

    Cat Comes Back After 13 Years

    A Geelong family is thrilled after they realised the stray cat that appeared on their doorstep was actually their missing pet returning home after 13 long years. The 17 year old cat was in poor form with matted fur and a lice infestation and it wasn't until owner Paula had taken her into her local veterinary clinic that it dawned on her that this may in fact be her beloved, lost pet. The missing cat, Shelby, has distinct markings and after comparing the photographic evidence Paula had kept for all these years with the marking on the stray she and the team of vets who helped treat the cat decided it was definitely Shelby. It is always great to hear of these happy reunions and makes you stop to think how devestating it would be to lose your own furry friend. If protected with a Petplan pet insurance policy you have access to cover that provides financial assistance to help you find your lost dog or cat. Get a free quote now: Petplan Pet Insurance Policy Options.

    Source: Huffington Post UK

  • Surprise Surgery Sets Pet Owner Back $6500

    Surprise Surgery Sets Pet Owner Back $6500

    Unfortunately some people learn the hard way how expensive veterinary bills can be. Damien Mayhew recently paid over $6,500 to have his beloved dog, Jerry, treated for a ruptured cruciate ligament. It was fortunate that Damien was in a financial position that allowed him to cover the cost of Jerry's veterinary treatments; however, he now realises the true value of pet insurance. Damien is now singing praises for pet insurance, encouraging pet owners to "Do yourselves a favour, if you have pets, get them insured" in his interview with The Daily Telegraph. Dr. Dave Nichols, Petplan IVC Partner and managing director of Dr. Dave's Vets and Pets, also weighed in reminding people that insuring their pet allows them to avoid having to make the shattering decision to put their animal down if they could not afford to pay for treatment. 

    Source: The Daily Telegraph

  • First Time Rare Xolo Pup Born In Australia

    First Time Rare Xolo Pup Born In Australia

    Meet Annata, the first Xoloitzcuintle puppy born in Australia was delivered earlier this month at Kudah Veterinary Practice in Kelmscott, Western Australia. The Xoloitzcuintle, also called the Mexican Hairless Dog or Xolo for short, is a rare breed that has risked extinction many times. The puppy was born via IVF thanks to sperm that was imported from Norway for a whopping $3,000. The pup's owner has said she hopes to give the unique puppy to a passionate pet lover in Australia. Source & Photo: Perth Now.

  • Vegan Diet Nearly Kills Kitten

    Vegan Diet Nearly Kills Kitten

    Protein is an essential part of all cats diets, especially kittens who require the nutrients for their body and mind to develop properly. Experts suggest at least 80% of a cat's diet should consist of protein. Unfortunately vegan kitten owners were unaware of this fact and fed the kitten a diet of potatoes, pasta and rice milk. The critically ill kitten was brought to Lort Smith Animal Hospital in Melbourne, Australia and received emergency treatment and some much needed meat. The kitten has recovered and appropriate action has been taken to ensure the owners have been made aware of the dietary requirements of cats. Story: Huffington Post.

  • Dogs, The New Truffle Hunters

    Dogs, The New Truffle Hunters

    Step aside little piggies, dogs are the new truffle hunters in town! According to The Western Australian there is a team of canines that make up Truffle Dogs WA who assist their two legged counterparts in tracking truffles in Western Australia including the areas around Manjimup. Truffles go for over $2200/kilogram and Western Australia produces over 80% of Australia's truffles. Story and photo here.


  • Rethinking the Dog Park

    Rethinking the Dog Park

    Fiona De Rosa, dog beahviourist and urban planner, has a thing or two to say about dog parks: “We must look at the dog needs and dog behaviour and I think that is the thing that’s missing,” she told The Advertiser. Some of her suggestions for making dog parks a safer and more enjoyable place for pets and pet parents:

    • CHILDREN must be closely supervised and must not play on equipment dedicated for dogs
    • CLEARLY stated park rules and etiquette should be displayed
    • TAPS and seats should be away from entry gates to avoid large concentrations of dogs
    • AGILITY equipment is not essential and poses risks to untrained dogs
    • SEATING should be minimal to encourage owners to spread out with their pets and avoid conflict

    Story and photo credit: Perth Now

  • Heroic Dog Saves Owner From Shark

    Heroic Dog Saves Owner From Shark

    Sky has proven that dogs are humankinds best friend and most loyal companions by jumping in to shark infested water to save his pet parent. Franz Van Derpoll was spear fishing off his boat when two sharks began circling him. Sky, his faithful friend, jumped in to intervene, sacraficing her life to save the man who had saved her from the streets of Johns Creek Harbour. Story and photo credit: Care 2.

  • How Pets Protect Unborn Babies

    How Pets Protect Unborn Babies

    This awesome infographic video points out the pros of having a pet during pregnancy. Produced by Minute Earth the fact based film clip shares information that prospective parents are sure to find valuable including the following:

    • If a pregnant woman lives with a cat or dog while the child is 30% less likely to develop allergies as a child.
    • Bacteria from dog slobber, pet fur and muddy paw prints may allow a baby in the womb to develop resistance to the bacteria.

    For more awesome information and a fun video check out the video, How your dog can protect you before you're born on YouTube.

  • Red Dog Returns, Blue Dog Prequel Announced

    Red Dog Returns, Blue Dog Prequel Announced

    Red Dog fans listen up! Producer Nelson Woss has announced that a Red Dog prequal is in the works. Blue Dog will follow the early years of Red Dog, a kelpie famous for its travels around the Pilbara in Western Australia's north in the 1970s. The movie will be filmed in the Pibara area and the locals could play extras in the new film, just as they did in the original film. According to ABC News Mr. Woss has been looking for the next canine film star at a Perth animal shelter. Story and Photo Credit: ABC News.

  • Base Jumping Dog Has Audiences Divided

    Base Jumping Dog Has Audiences Divided

    It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Whisper the Miniature Australian Cattle Dog! This daredevil dog takes to the sky with pet parent, Dean Potter, who has created special gear that allows his furry friend to accompany him on his adrenaline packed adventures. The video, which has had nearly 200,000 views in 48 hours, has audienced divided. Is it cool or cruel? You decide. You can check out the video on YouTube.

    Photo Credit:

  • Meet Poppy, Oldest Living Cat

    Meet Poppy, Oldest Living Cat

    Poppy, the 24 year old cat from Bournemouth, has been awarded the Guinness World Record for the oldest living cat. Poppy's pet parent, Jacqui West, says that her beloved cat still has a lot of life left in her: "Poppy is definitely the top cat and she is still quite feisty. If one of the other cats tries to eat her food she will bite them on the ear." Full story and photo credit: Yahoo News.

  • Cat Surprises Owner with Drugs

    Cat Surprises Owner with Drugs

    We've all heard of drug sniffing dogs but a New Zealand cat could be the latest hero in the battle against drugs. Over the weekend a pet cat in Ashmore has brought home a bag full of drugs and dropped it at his pet parent's doorstep. The pet parent immediately called the police who are not praising the cat for bringing forth evidence that could possibly lead to a drug bust. Full story and photo credit: RT.

  • Port Adelaide Fines 170 Unregistered Dogs

    Port Adelaide Fines 170 Unregistered Dogs

    Port Adeliade Enfield Council has issued 170 unregistered dog owners with fines between January and March. This is four times the number of fines that were issued last year in the same period. Why the crackdown? According to the council’s community development director, Stephen Melville, "Too many unregistered dogs ended up in shelters because staff could not find their owners." Registering a dog costs $65; however, there are discounts available for dogs who are desexed and microchipped. Further, you may be eligible for a $100 voucher towards desexing and microchipping. Full story and photo credit: Adelaide Now.

    For more information about Microchipping Legislation in Australia check out the Petplan Blog.

  • Fresh Meat Poisons Dog

    Fresh Meat Poisons Dog

    Bambi the Shih Tzu became violently ill, shaking, collapsing, and requring immediate veterinary care. The cause? Raw meat. Her beloved pet parents had opted to treat their precious pooch to fresh mince from a butcher rather than regular canned dog food. The Daily Telegraph reports "sulphur dioxide is added to some pet meats at unregulated levels to preserve the meat and mask the signs of putrefaction, but high concentration of sulphur dioxide can cause thiamine deficiency and lead to neurological problems in dogs and cats." Story & photo credit: The Daily Telegraph.

  • SA Lawyer Says: Insurance is Important for Dog Owners

    SA Lawyer Says: Insurance is Important for Dog Owners

    Adelaide lawyer, Mal Byrne, stressed the important of protecting your pet and yourself with third-party liability insurance. Byrne says, "If you want to own a dog you should be able to accept responsibility for any damage caused by having the proper insurance policy." Read the entire article on

    Petplan is proud to be the only Pet Insurance company in Australia to offer clients with dogs the option of third party liability insurance with Petplan Covered for Life policies. To find out how affordable it is to protect your dog with Petplan visit our website for a free, quick quote.

  • Missing: $5000 Stud Dog

    Missing: $5000 Stud Dog

    Police are investigating the disappearance, and possible theft, of Storm. The six-year-old Australian cattle dog disappeared from the Maryheather stud in Snake Valley. Storm is related to a Best in Breed Winner and has a desireable "double mask", meaning he has a patches on both eyes. Read the full story on the Illawarra Mercury Website (photo credit).

    At Petplan, we're pet people, too, and we know how important your furry friends are. If they go missing we want to help you bring them home! Petplan Pet Insurance provides clients with the option for coverage against loss by theft or straying and provide pet owners with up to $2,000 to use for advertising and as a reward. Visit for more information about Australia's best pet insurance company.

  • Can Your Dog Hear Your Gender?

    Can Your Dog Hear Your Gender?

    A scientific journal has recently released an article about research conducted to determine whether or not your pet dog categorizes humans as by their gender. In particular, they wanted to see if dogs the use the two main cues we attend to: visual appearance and voice. To test this, dogs were sat opposite a speaker, on either side of which stood a man and a woman. The sound of a man or woman’s voice was then played through the speaker, and the scientists looked to see whether the dog looked towards the man or the woman. Photo credit and full story: Scientific American.

  • Fewer Felines, Result of WA Legislation

    Fewer Felines, Result of WA Legislation

    Perth will likely see a drop in the number of cats in the coming year. This prediction is attributed a result of the cat legislations which requires all cats six months and older to be sterilised, microchipped, wearing a tag in a public place and registered with the local council. The law has been in place for six months. The push for responsible pet ownership is designed to increase community awareness and decrease the number of unwanted cats that are euthenised. Read the full story on The Age website.

  • This Lab has a Unique Job, Bee Keeper!

    This Lab has a Unique Job, Bee Keeper!

    Bazz the Labrador from South Australia has a very unique job, he is a beekeeping dog. Bazz's pet parent, Josh Kennett, is a bee keeper. Josh has trained Bazz to detect bee diseases that could potentially damage or destroy the bee hive. Bazz's special suit was designed to protect him from bee stings. For more information about Bazz or about the bees visit the Daily Mail website.

  • Kiff Awarded Best in Show

    Kiff Awarded Best in Show

    Kiff created Sydney Royal Easter Show history when he became the first bull mastiff to win the coveted Best in Show title. It is the first Best In Show for Kiff, and pet parent, Brooke Turner. Kiff had previously won the Best in Group Utility prize, allowing him to be nominated for the Best in Show award, which he won ahead of six other dogs from the Toy, Terrier, Hounds, Gun Dog, Working Dog and Non-Sporting categories. To read Kiff's full story visit the Perth Now website.

    Photo credit: Perth Now News

  • Owning a Dog Isn't Cheap

    Owning a Dog Isn't Cheap

    In recent years dogs have gone from family pets to full blown family members! While most dogs used to be backyard pets they now have a permenant spot on their owners beds and sofas. Further, dog owners have contributed to a $3.5 billion industry that gives dogs access to products and services that were 'human only' just a short while ago. Dog have their own salons, clothing lines, advanced nutrition programs, psychologists, hotels... The list goes on! Read more about it in the Sydney Morning Herald.

  • Beautiful Tribute to Red Dog

    Beautiful Tribute to Red Dog

    The City of Subiaco commissioned a beautiful life sized statue to commemorate Koko, the Red Cloud Kelpie who played Red Dog in the feature film. The statue was unveiled on Friday at the Dogs' Refuge Home in Shenton Park. Read the full story on The Western Australia webpage.

  • Terminally Ill Dog Fulfills Bucket List

    Terminally Ill Dog Fulfills Bucket List

    Riina Cooke has made her beloved pet's dreams come true! Romeo, the gorgeous boxer, was diagnosed with an inoperable form of bone cancer and his pet parent decided that she was going to fulfill his bucket list. Romeo was treated to a steak dinner, McDonalds cheeseburgers and a birthday in the park. You can read the full story on Today Pets.

    Photo and story credit:

  • Dog Survives 24 Days in Mine Shaft

    Dog Survives 24 Days in Mine Shaft

    Arnie's story of survival is truly amazing! The Staffy x Kelpie cross disappeared nearly a month ago in the bushlands near the Grampians. Arnie went chasing after a hare but never returned to his pet parents. His pet parents hoped for the best, but began to expect the worst, as there had been no sign of Arnie for over three weeks. Miraculously Arnie was discovered 25 days later in an old mine shaft. Although he had lost quite a few kilograms he has managed to bounce back quickly and his pet parents are very happy to have him back. You can read the entire story in The Herald Sun.

    Story and photo credit: The Herald Sun

  • Mmmmm.. Cookie Dough for Dogs

    Mmmmm.. Cookie Dough for Dogs

    Mmmm cookie dough! Unfortunately this treat isn't for you - it's for your dog! Australian owned and operated 'Billy G's Gourmet Cookie Dough' has launched a new product called 'Billy G's Gourmet Doggie Biscuit Dough Treats'. These treats have been sampled and overwhelmingly approved by a ‘focus group’ of doggies including Kailua the leader of the pack, Billy G’s family puppy. Click here for the related news story from The Satelite. If you'd like more information about how to get your paws on some doggie dough visit the Australian Fundraising website.

    Photo credit: Australian Fundraising

  • April is Horse Vaccination Month

    April is Horse Vaccination Month

    During the month of April leading vets and some famous names in equestrian are pushing to raise awareness of the importance of horse vaccinations. Olympic equestrian silver medalist Megan Jones, who is helping to promote Vaccination Month, says "vaccination is vital" according to News Mail, and the vets agree!

    The Vaccination Month Campaign aims to boost the number of horses being vaccinated against dangerous, infectious diseases. Tetnus, stangles and herpes vaccines play an important role in preventative horse health. It doesn't take long to have your horse vaccinated and much more affordable than treating your horse if it does contract an illness. Horse owners are also being reminded that the time of when the majority of Hendra outbreaks occur is right around the corner. Contact your local veterinarian for more information about vaccinations and your horse.

    Full story credit: News Mail

  • New Pet First Aid App

    New Pet First Aid App

    Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmacuticals have released a new iPhone and iPad app called 'First Aid for Pets'.  The pet first aid app is an educational tool that contains many helpful and potentially life-saving articles for quick reference in the event of an emergency or potential health risk for your pet.

    This app  is designed specifically for users in Australia and is able to link with your local vet clinic to provide fast access to contact information in the event of an emergency. You never know when an emergency situation could happen so it is always best to be prepared. It is also a good idea to create your own Pet First Aid Kit. It's quick and easy to put together and very inexpensive.

    Australian users can download the 'First Aid for Pets' app for free from the iTunes store. Unfortunately this app is not available to New Zealand users at this time. New Zealand users can download a similar app called 'Pet First Aid' from the iTunes store for a small fee.

  • Soniq the Home Security Hero

    Soniq the Home Security Hero

    Soniq the heroic Husky is being applauded for his bravery and rightfully so. In the early hours of the morning on March 24, 2014 Sheree and Troy woke up to find an intruder in their backyard. When confronted the intruder became agressive and punched Troy in the face. That is when Soniq, Sheree and Troy's pet dog who has no guard dog training, intervened. He lept between the intruder and his pet parents and chased the intruder off of the property.

    “The actions displayed by this dog are truly heroic and demonstrates the amazing human-animal bond,” the Animal Welfare League spokeswoman Jade Ellis told the Leader Messenger. "He definitely deserves a lot of doggie treats as a reward for his efforts and we would consider starting up dog bravery awards in the light of this dog’s actions,’’ she said.

    Story and photo credit: The Leader Messenger

  • How to help your dogs with allergies

    How to help your dogs with allergies

    Dogs will have allergies when some irritant in the environment, their food, or even fleas attacks their body.  And some dogs have extreme reactions to allergies.  As with any allergy, the first thing you need to do is identify the type of allergy your dog might have.  As always, a good place to start is by discussing the allergy with your veterinarian.

    The symptoms that usually occur if your dog has allergies

    Some of the most common symptoms that your dog has allergies include the following:  Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin; excess scratching, itchy, runny eyes, itchy back or tail, sneezing, itchy ears, diarrhea, paw chewing, constant licking and/or swollen paws. Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin, itchy, runny eyes, itchy base of tail (usually fleas), itchy ears, ear infections, diarrhea (usually food allergy).

    As mentioned above, relieving symptoms without addressing the source of the problem is a short term fix.

    Click here to read the full article...

    Source File: PetPav

  • Why is your dog scratching excessively?

    Why is your dog scratching excessively?

    Dogs will scratch themselves for many reasons and sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the cause.  Of course, the daily scratch is natural and expected.  But, when your dog starts to scratch one area excessively, there is an issue that needs to be addressed.  But, trying to determine the exact cause of the scratching or itching is sometimes difficult because it can be medical, allergies or just boredom.

    Below are some tips to help determine why your dog is scratching and suggestions for relief:

    Your dog might have fleas

    Fleas are the most common reason why your dog is scratching.   Check your dog’s hair and body for any fleas that you might find.  Your dog can easily pick up a flea from another dog when you are outside and it infests your home.  Give your dog a flea bath immediately and check with your vet for the best recommendation for fleas or flea bites if the initial bath doesn’t stop the itching.

    Click here to read the full article...

    Source File: PetPav

  • Cats at risk from deadly virus outbreak

    Cats at risk from deadly virus outbreak

    Unvaccinated cats group-housed in private shelters are highly susceptible to feline panleukopenia.

    The once vanquished viral disease feline panleukopenia has caused the death of scores of cats in Sydney in recent weeks, investigations into the outbreak by researchers from the University of Sydney show.
    Blacktown City Council is the latest to announce an outbreak, last night issuing a statement saying its Animal Holding Facility would be closed to cats and it was placing a hold on adoptions and cat rescues until the outbreak was under control.

    The symptoms are fever, lethargy and loss of appetite, followed by vomiting and diarrhoea. In severe infections cats can die suddenly with no signs.
    Sydney veterinarian Dr Tanya Stephens, owner of Haberfield Veterinary clinic, said she had not diagnosed a case for 40 years. That was until about two weeks ago when her practice diagnosed the disease in four rescued stray kittens, which later died after a short illness.
    The disease has also struck three animal shelters in western Sydney, resulting in the deaths of more than 50 cats. Affected cats were mostly kittens that had not yet been vaccinated, or were not fully vaccinated.
    DNA sequencing by University of Sydney Professor Vanessa Barrs has confirmed that the strain of virus causing the outbreak in Australia is feline panleukopenia virus (FPV).
    It coincides with several large outbreaks of parvovirus in dogs in NSW, around the Shoalhaven area as well as the Riverina region and Tamworth.
    “The message for pet owners is make sure your dogs and cats are vaccinated against these deadly infections,” said Professor Barrs, from the Sydney School of Veterinary Science and Marie Bashir Institute.
    “Disease in cats is caused by parvoviruses, small DNA viruses. The main one is feline panleukopenia virus but parvoviruses that infect dogs can also cause the disease in cats.”
    However, there is no risk for humans as the disease cannot be passed on to them.
    FPV, also known as feline enteritis, is a deadly viral infection of cats that was first discovered more than 100 years ago. With the uptake of vaccinations, disease virtually disappeared from Australia in the mid-1970s.
    The current outbreak is particularly dangerous because it occurs in the middle of summer, when there are larger numbers of kittens around, which are most susceptible to the disease.
    The research by Professor Barrs and her colleagues indicates that current vaccines should be effective. “The current outbreak seems to be caused by a lack of mass vaccination, especially in shelter-housed cats,” Professor Barrs said.
    “The disease had previously re-emerged in Melbourne cat shelters a few years ago but despite warnings, cats have not been vaccinated in many shelters because their risk of disease was perceived to be lower than in dogs, when in reality the risk to cats is high.
    “When less than 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated, there is a perfect storm for the emergence of a disease epidemic. The current outbreak is a timely reminder that maintaining immunity in populations of animals where effective vaccines are available is essential”.
    The University of Sydney is researching the current panleukopenia outbreak and is keen to obtain samples from confirmed cases. For further information contact Professor Vanessa Barrs. 

    Source File: Pet Industry News Newsletter, 13th February 2017
  • Bone Marrow Cancer Treatment for Dogs

    Bone Marrow Cancer Treatment for Dogs

    Doctors Edmund Sullivan and Theresa Westfall at Bellingham Veterinary have made some amazing advances in pet cancer treatments. When their beloved golden retriever, Comet, fell ill with lymphoma they new they had to find a way to treat it other than the common way which would have been a death sentence. They decided to attempt something that had been used in human cancer treatment before but never in pet cancer treatment. The procedure involves removing and preserving bone marrow stem cells (a painless procedure), radiation therapy is used to treat the cells and through DNA analysis, the patient's cells are checked for the presence of tumor cells before they are reinjected. More than 100 dogs have been cured with this treatment and it has greater than a 50% success rate. Want to know more about pet cancer? Visit our Pet Cancer Information Page.

  • Aussie surfing dogs make a splash

    Aussie surfing dogs make a splash

    The Noosa Festival of Surfing wrapped up over the weekend in Queensland and the Australian surfing dogs at the event made a splash in newspapers overseas. We have to say - we totally get the newsworthiness! What could be more charming than a smiling dog cruising through the sea on a surf board? At Petplan we love seeing dogs being active and enjoying the ocean but it is important to remember that you and your pet should always exercise proper water safety. Our blog has more information

    Photo and story credit: The Daily Mail UK. Full story available online at

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