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Breeze’s Blog – How to make the Vet visit less scary

It’s very hard for dogs to go into a vet clinic if we haven’t been there before.  There are strange smells and noises and we can detect fear and stress in other animals who may be there because they have been hurt.  Having a stranger handle us all over is difficult to accept and so we get a bit tense and worried.

It really helps if we go to a clinic we are familiar with and see someone we know.  Vets North runs puppy school and dogs who have attended this become very relaxed about visiting the Clinic for other reasons later in their lives.  Puppy school is such fun.  We learn how to understand what our owners want from us to keep them happy and we have fun playing with other puppies and their owners.

If you have adopted an adult dog, bring him or her to visit the clinic once or twice weekly for a while.  Talk to the nurses and receptionists and encourage your dog to take treats from them.  I particularly recommend the liver rewards!

Lots of Licks



Breeze’s Blog – Car Travel

Hi everyone, today I want to talk about canine car travel!  I love the car now but I didn’t at first because it was noisy, scary and I felt sick.

It’s best to introduce young puppies to short regular trips in the car from early on.  Before you collect your puppy, purchase an Adaptil collar from your vet and put this on the puppy before he or she goes into the car.  This collar is impregnated with a pheromone (a special substance similar to one that our mothers produce from glands near their nipples) that keeps us calm, happy and makes it easier for us to settle into our new homes).  The pheromone helps with car travel because sometimes the reason we feel sick is that we are tense and apprehensive.  Sometimes we need other medication to stop carsickness too, similar to the sea legs tablets humans take.  Mostly though, if we have an Adaptil collar early on we will love the car and won’t get sick.

Older dogs also benefit from Adaptil collars while we get used to travel.  If we cannot go out every day for a while, using the Adaptil in a spray form on a bandana that is then tied around our necks is a more cost effective way of helping us because you can use it only on the days that we must travel. You can spray the car 10 minutes before we get in too. If you use a bandana, spray it at least 10 minutes before putting it on us so that the alcohol fraction evaporates first.  Otherwise it can be a bit unpleasant.

Start with short trips to somewhere really pleasant such as the beach or the park or to a relative’s place where there are treats waiting or other dogs to play with.

On days when you can’t take us out, give us a treat or a Kong to eat in the car while it is parked at home.

Most of us quite like looking out the window and watching the world go by.  It’s nice to have a comfortable bed in the car so if we are tired on the homeward journey we can sleep.

To keep us safe it is best to have a car with a back part that can be partitioned off.  That way if you have to stop suddenly we won’t go through the windscreen.  Elsa put foam on the metal grid that separates the back of her wagon so that if we hit it during a sudden stop we won’t be hurt.

If you don’t have a car that is suitable for this, you can get harnesses for us that attach to the seat belts and keep us safely on the back seat.  These can sometimes be uncomfortable so make sure they fit well.

Happy travels!

Lots of licks


Breeze’s Blog

Hi my name is Breeze . I am a 3 year old speyed female Labrador pointer cross.  I live in Coatesville with Charlie, a 1 year old male golden retriever (a pain most of the time but he can be fun!) and 3 cats , a chicken, some guinea fowl, 2 horses, 3 Alpacas and 2 highland cattle.  I spend my days playing with the other animals, helping out on the property, or helping Elsa with difficult dogs that need to learn how to behave around other dogs.  We usually take a break and go to the beach once or twice weekly.

I was born in a Humane Society foster home.  My mother was a golden Labrador.  I don’t know who my father was.  When I was 10 weeks old I went to a new home on a farm with a young couple. Soon after I arrived they separated and I was left in a barn all day for the next 6 months.  It was lonely, boring and sometimes scary.  I was always hungry.  Eventually the Humane Society heard of my plight and rescued me.  One month later Elsa and Adam arrived.  I found it difficult to approach people because I wasn’t used to strangers but these two sat on the ground and I just felt happy about interacting with them.  I sat on Adam’s knee and he gave me a big hug.  They talked to my foster people for a while and then lifted me into the car.

I was scared travelling, I hadn’t been in cars much.  I was sick half way there.  I stayed at Adam’s first.  He has a lovely garden with lots of interesting nooks and crannies but there was a lot of city noise around and I was frightened.  I went to Elsa’s at the weekend and it was much quieter there.  Sometimes Elsa would pick me up during the week too.  It was often hard for her to find me at first because I used to hide when I heard people coming.  Adam used to take me to Meola Reef.  I was scared at first but soon looked forward to playing with the other dogs.

Gradually I got used to everything and settled in and then my knee became a problem.  I had surgery at Veterinary Specialist Group to fix my knee cap, because it kept popping out.  After surgery I went to stay at Elsa’s because she is a vet and could look after me while I recovered.  She has a lot of flat area too so when I was able to walk again it was ideal for me.  Elsa had an old dog called Pierrot who looked after me and told me lots of stories.  He helped me to learn not to be scared of things.

I decided that I preferred life on the farm so moved in permanently.  It’s just as well because a year later I needed surgery on my other leg.  Just before that Pierrot died (he was 14 and his hips gave out.) Elsa was devastated and she really needed me.

Nine months ago, Charlie arrived.  He was 13 weeks old and urgently needed a home.  Elsa took him with the intention of finding him a new owner.  We looked after him and no one seemed to want him so he stayed.  He is fun to play with and I am teaching him manners and how to help Elsa with problem dogs.  He is really naughty at the beach because he runs up to people when he is all wet and sandy and insists that they should pat him!  I just look the other way and pretend he isn’t with me!  He is settling down gradually.

I will be writing about the world from a dog’s perspective.  I have had a lot of experiences in my short life and I really want to help people understand their dogs.  Do send in questions if you would like me to try to explain some doggy behaviours.

Bye for now. Lots of licks.


Gibbs Diet Update – November 2015

For those of you trying to keep your pets weight down don’t get demoralised if the weight doesn’t stay off, just keep at it.  For those of you following clinic cat Gibbs diet journey he certainly has fluctuated alot from his beefy 5.46kg days.  Unfortunately at his weight in today is still sitting at the 4.56kg mark.  With a goal of 4.3kg some days the goal feels impossible.  All the dog and cat treats are now on lockdown and fingers crossed he doesn’t help himself to the Christmas treats next month.

Small Block Holders Course – 2016

Our popular Small Block Holders Course is starting again in March 2016.

The course will run for two hours, once a week over six weeks.  Common animal health conditions in sheep, cattle, calves, horses, pigs etc. will be covered along with worm control, legal requirements & animal handling.  Extensive written information will be provided, along with product samples backed up by an enlivening verbal & visual presentation from Mark Anderson!

Course numbers are limited so a quality learning environment is achieved.  The course will be held in the meeting rooms at Vets North Helensville.  There will also be a hands on field day at the end of the course where we get out & about on the small block & put some theory in practice.

Please see the flyer for further information.

SBC Flyer Winter 15

We have had alot of interest in running a Small Block Course at VN Kumeu, so please get in touch if the Kumeu venue is preferred.

Small Block Course – Application Form 2016 March

Gibbs Diet Update – October 15

Hiding the treats Gibbs was helping himself to last month has worked and his weight has fluctuated between 4.5kg & 4.6kg throughout October.  With his ideal weight being 4.3kg at least he’s heading in the right direction again.  We are pleased to report he is alot more active and entertaining than he was earlier in the year.  However sleeping an the sunny spots is still his No 1 pastime.

Gibbs – Diet Update September 15

Gibbs is proving to be a hard patient on the weight loss front this month.  He has put on weight!  The team have been very careful with his food ration of Royal Canin Satiety and not over feeding him.  However what he gets up to after dark is the real challenge.  His new habit is to break open the dog food samples and help himself when no one is around.  So we are all going to be extra vigilant and hide everything he is stealing and see how well that works.

Gibbs Diet Update – August 15

For those of you following Gibbs diet progress we can finally report he has started losing some more pounds!  He has been on a plateau for some weeks now weighing in at 4.66kg.  His weight today was 4.56kg so hiding the beef jerky has worked!  He has an ideal weight of 4.3kg so some work to do, perhaps he loves his Royal Canin Satiety a little too much.

New – Small Block Sheep Course

Are you a small block or lifestyle owner who has an interest in learning more about sheep?  If the answer is Yes, our newly introduced Sheep Care Course may be just what you are looking for.

Held at Vets North Helensville, over an evening between 6pm – 8.30pm.  You will be provided with take home notes and the session is very interactive and an opportunity to not only learn more about sheep, but also get those burning questions answered by an experienced Vet.

Bookings are being taken for the next session scheduled for late August.  Please see the attached document for more information.

Sheep Course Winter 15

Gibbs Diet Update

Gibbs latest fortnightly weigh-in was on 29th June and unfortunately he has not lost any weight over the last few weeks.  Too many sneaky dog treats is what the Team at Vets North Helensville think, along with too many cat naps in the new pet beds!

Annual RVM Meeting Time

The time has come around again to set up next season’s restricted drug lists for the dairy farmers.  Dairy farmers will be contacted shortly by Clinic staff to schedule a suitable time to meet with Mark at VN Helensville clinic so the RVM lists can be created and/or updated.

It is very useful if all farm staff are present at the RVM Meeting as this is an opportunity to make sure they understand appropriate drug use along with the withhold times.  We also want to take this opportunity to set up dates for vaccinations, dehorning, pregnancy testing etc. Money is going to be tight next season so working more efficiently is important.

RVM meetings should not be seen as a cost but as an opportunity to rationalise drug use and to ensure that appropriate and cost effective choices are being made.


Pre Lamb Drenching of Ewes

The treatment of ewes pre lambing with long acting drench products can be very beneficial to both the ewes & lambs body weight at weaning.  However, it is the most risky thing you ever do in regards to developing drench resistance on your farm.  This is a decision that should never be undertaken without professional advice on the product to use, which stock to drench, grazing management over lambing and in fact whether to drench at all.

Pre-lamb drenching of the ewes is often done at the same time as their pre-lamb 5 in 1 vaccine booster.  Be aware that Nilvax and combination drenches are not a good mix as both contain Levamisole and toxicity may result.  If feeding brassica in late pregnancy then iodine supplementation should be considered to prevent goiter.

We will be contacting our sheep farmers to arrange a meeting on farm to discuss these and other issues.  If we have not contacted you feel free to give us a ring.  The responsible management of long acting drenches is something that we take very seriously.


Gibbs Slims Down

Many of your will be familiar with Gibbs who is our Vet North Helensville clinic cat.  He loves to hang out at reception & greets everyone human & furry alike.  His other favourite task is sleeping in all the great beds we have for sale. We noticed Gibbs was getting a little porky back in March weighing in at 5.44kg when he really should be around 4.1kg.  With great support from our Royal Canin rep started him on their Satiety diet.

We are pleased to report that he is slowly loosing weight and weighed in today at 4.56kg so close to his target of 4.1kg!