Page 1

JUNE 2018 $6.95 GST INCL.


Top tips for end of financial year page 21

FEAR FACTOR How vets can

educate clients to prevent dog bites page 12

THE SECRET OF SUCCESS Practitioners reveal their best business tips page 16

JAYNE’S JUNGLE As senior vet for the Canberra zoo, Dr Jayne Weller has found her dream job page 28

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Contents June 2018

Cover story

Wild things


Hers is one of the most coveted jobs in the country. Meet Dr Jayne Weller, senior vet at the national zoo.

News + events

The latest in the veterinary world



New cat virus found; a treat-tossing camera; treating BRD; accessing veterinary medicines, and more.


Your world Nice doggy


There’s a lot of misinformation about dog attacks so how can vets educate owners and keep themselves safe?

Your business

The secret of my success


Vet business coach and author, Dr Diederik Gelderman, discusses success and a positive work-life balance. Tax time tips


Putting in place simple tax strategies can make a big difference to the bottom line for veterinarians.


Got you covered



Public liability insurance is critical for vets who run their own practice but what other insurance options will keep your business fully covered?

Your tools

Product guide



Discover the latest and best pet foods and products. Tools of the trade


Reviewed by vets around Australia.

Your life

The gentle way


46 Associate Editor Editor Kerryn Ramsey Kathy Graham

PRACTICE For all editorial or advertising enquiries: Phone (02) 9660 6995 Fax (02) 9518 5600

Art Director John Yates

Digital Director Ann Gordon

Sales Director Adam Cosgrove

Contributors James Gallaway, Frank Leggett, Clea Sherman, Sarah Thomas, Chloe Warren

4,750 - CAB audited as at March 2018.


Despite a serious arm injury, Dr Andrew Dallimore is helping to change kids’ lives by teaching judo.

Vet Practice magazine is published 11 times a year by Engage Media, Suite 3.06, 55 Miller Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009. ABN 50 115 977 421. Views expressed in Vet Practice magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor or Engage Media. Printed by Webstar.

Commercial Director Mark Brown Editorial Director Rob Johnson

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Scientists have yet to understand the effect of hepadnavirus on cat health.

New cat virus found

Australian scientists have identified a new feline disease similar to hepatitis B in humans after discovering a virus previously unknown in cats. The discovery, published recently in Viruses, could affect both human medical research and the health of our feline friends. Researchers from the University of Sydney were looking for cancercausing viruses in the tissue of an immunocompromised cat when they made their finding.

The tentatively named domestic cat hepadnavirus is in the same family as hepatitis B, and was initially identified in a sample of lymphoma. “Until now, we didn’t know that companion animals could get this type of infection,” Professor of Feline Medicine at Sydney Julia Beatty said. “We obviously need to understand the impact of this infection on cat health.” Professor Beatty noted that similar viruses could cause hepatitis and liver

Remote treats

The first treat-tossing dog camera that lets owners toss treats to their dogs from anywhere is now available in Australia. Designed by US-based company Tomofun to help dog parents care for their pups in real-time all the time, Furbo Dog Camera is the first dog camera designed with an interactive treat-tossing system. Owners can simply take their dog’s favourite rounded treats, drop them into the top, and watch remotely as their pooch chases the treat through the air. “As a dog parent, the hardest part of my day used to be the moment I would leave for work and hear my dog crying,” Furbo Dog Camera co-founder Maggie Cheung said. “Other solutions allowed me to watch


cancers in other species, but that there was no risk to humans or other pets from the newly discovered cat hepadnavirus. Once the scientists identified the virus, they tested stored blood samples from adult pet cats. To the team’s surprise, they found evidence of infection with the hepadnavirus. “Apart from its relevance for feline health, this discovery helps us understand how hepatitis viruses— which can be deadly—are evolving in all species,” Professor Beatty said.

what he was doing remotely—but didn’t allow me to truly interact with him or to help keep him occupied during the day when he was lonely. “We created Furbo Dog Camera out of our personal need as dog parents, and we can’t wait to give other dog mums and dads the same ability to stay close with their furry loved ones from anywhere.” Furbo Dog Camera—which is designed with AI recognition technology as well as the input of over 5000 dog owners, vets and dog trainers—also includes barking alerts so owners can know when their animal is in distress, and a blue and yellow light scheme tailored to a dog’s visual capabilities.

news Treating BRD

UQ vets help dogs with cancer An innovative Australian pilot study for dogs with cancer has achieved some positive results. The study of cancer treatments is being conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland’s School of Veterinary Science in conjunction with colleagues at the ANU and the University of Sydney. One treatment involved directly injecting immunotherapies into the dogs’ tumours “to ‘wake up’ the immune system so it recognises the foreign cancer and starts to destroy it”, said UQ senior pathologist Associate Professor Rachel Allavena. This resulted in 20 per cent of the dogs being cured of their cancer. For some of the other dogs, expected survival time was

A vaccine is one treatment being trialled.

extended—from eight weeks to 12 months in one case, and 17 months in another. Dr Allavena said the team was also trialling a vaccine made by extracting proteins from the dog’s own cancer, customising it for each canine patient. “In dogs which respond to the vaccine, the cancer melts away or stops growing,” she said, adding that canine cancers had similar appearance, behaviour, genetics and environmental causes to human cancers, so the study effectively advances both human and canine medicine. Owners of dogs that may benefit from participating in the trial can contact Dr Annika Oksa Walker by email at

Welfare risks being managed Dr David Beggs, spokesperson for the Australian Veterinary Association’s cattle group, has developed a new program, known as WELFARECHECK®. He describes this as a tool for veterinarians to use with their farmer clients to produce a farm animal welfare plan, ensuring that any major risks to animal welfare are recognised and managed. “The Livestock Production Assurance (LPA) program is the Australian livestock industry’s on-farm assurance program

covering food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity,” Dr Beggs said. “It provides evidence of livestock history and on-farm practices when transferring livestock. “One key requirement of the LPA program is animal welfare. Our newly launched WELFARECHECK® program ensures farms satisfy the LPA animal welfare requirements. It works by allowing details to be entered and recorded regarding how welfare risks are being managed or might be better managed on each farm.”


Virbac Australia has just launched a brand new combination treatment designed to tackle bovine respiratory disease (BRD), a major cause of economic losses to intensive farming systems. “This disease costs cattle producers not only in treatment, labour and cattle deaths, but BRD also results in performance losses due to reduced milk production and weight loss,” Virbac technical services manager and veterinarian Dr George Cox said. Considering the potentially devastating effects of BRD, Virbac Australia has been working to develop a new medication that offers a benchmark in the treatment of BRD. Its goal has now been realised with the recent launch of a treatment that combines an antibiotic with a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). “Recovery time in cattle with bovine respiratory disease can be vastly improved by administering an NSAID together with an antibiotic,” Dr Cox said. “This new medication is the firstgeneration combination to do just that—and it’s delivered with one injection, once a day over three to five days, improving the bioavailability of both drugs and minimising the impact on production, to give animals the best chance of a full recovery.”

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news Accessing vet meds The World Veterinary Association, the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe and the Federation of Companion Animal Francophone Veterinary Associations have all thrown their weight behind a campaign led by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association to secure equal access to veterinary therapeutics for veterinarians around the world. Ten WSAVA member associations have also endorsed it. The WSAVA’s new Therapeutics Guidelines Group (TGG), which spearheads the campaign, has also appointed its first chair, Dr Luca Guardabassi—a professor of One Health Antimicrobial Resistance at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. In a survey of its members conducted by the WSAVA during 2016-17, 75 per cent of respondents confirmed that the problems in accessing veterinary medical products hampered their ability to meet the needs of their patients and 20 per cent assessed the impact of this issue as resulting in a severe restriction on their ability to provide a high level of care. The WSAVA launched its campaign

earlier this year to tackle these problems and is calling on all its member associations to endorse its position statement on the issue and to support its campaign. It is also calling on other veterinary associations to become cosignatories of the statement. “Difficulty in accessing therapeutics to treat patients is a critical issue for companion animal veterinarians in many parts of the world,” Dr Guardabassi said. “It causes huge frustration and means that many thousands—probably millions—of animals do not receive optimum care. It’s a situation which requires urgent change and we are determined to bring this about.”


In the story ‘Give a Little Bit’ in the April issue of Vet Practice, the clinic in India referred to was not established by Dr Mike Heath. The clinic referred to is Dharamsala Animal Rescue and it was established by Deb Jarrett in 2008. Both Dr Heath and Dr Sonia Thakur are volunteers there. Our apologies to Dr Heath for any embarrassment caused by the error.

Toilet and litter tray troubles for cats Cats are the second most common pet in Australia with 29 per cent of households owning one. But with increasingly more cats living inside, it seems not all owners are providing their puss with an adequate toilet, much to the animal’s detriment. Dr Andrea Harvey from the University of Technology, Sydney and International Society of Feline Medicine, and Master’s student, Dr Gabrielle Lawson (University of Edinburgh and The Cat

Clinic Hobart) recently conducted an online survey of 12,010 cat owners in Australia, questioning them on lifestyle factors including feeding, toileting and environmental enrichment. “With close to half of the respondents being multi-cat households, the most significant deficiency we identified was inadequate provision of toileting facilities and insufficient cleaning of litter trays,” Dr Harvey said. “On top of this, the incidence of urinary


tract problems was found to be significantly higher in multi-cat households, those with low numbers of litter trays, less frequent cleaning of the trays of faeces and the use of crystal type litter.” Dr Harvey said these findings are very significant given that urinary tract disorders are a common cause of illness and mortality in cats and that elimination outside the litter tray has been identified by the RSPCA as a reason for people to relinquish their cats.

news Ouch, that’s loud Dogs who show fear or anxiety when faced with loud or sudden noises should be routinely assessed for pain by veterinarians, a new study has found. When animal behavioural scientists from the UK and Brazil examined cases of dogs with a sensitivity to either loudness, different pitches, or sudden noises, they found those with subsequently diagnosed musculoskeletal pain were more sensitive to noise. Their findings, published recently in the journal, Frontiers In Veterinary Science, suggested that pain, which may be undiagnosed, could be exacerbated when a noise makes the dogs tense up or ‘start’, putting extra stress on already inflamed

muscles or joints, causing further pain. The dogs then associate that pain with a loud or startling noise, causing them to develop a sensitivity to noise, and to avoid those places where they have had bad experiences with noise— for example, a lively local park, or a louder room in the house.

The researchers said that veterinarians should ensure that all dogs with behaviour problems associated with noise receive a thorough physical examination to see if pain could be a factor in their fear or anxiety, so that undiagnosed pain can be treated, and any behavioural issue tackled.

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There’s a lot of misinformation about dog attacks, not helped by sensational media reporting that often follows an incident. So, what are the facts and how can vets educate owners and keep themselves safe? Chloe Warren reports


DOGGY ONE OF THE MAJOR mistakes journalists often make in their coverage of dog attacks is to focus on the dog’s breed. Unfortunately, it’s normal for a dog attack to trigger discussions around tighter policies on breed restrictions. Following the tragic dog attacks earlier this year, however, vets and animal behaviourists were quick to assert that further restrictions would unlikely be a successful means to prevent further attacks. Alternatively, one of the effective measures we can take to reduce the number of aggressive dogs being bought as pets is to ensure that breeders are properly educated. As outlined by veterinarian, animal behaviourist and zoologist, Dr Kate Lindsey, “While there’s no such thing as an aggressive breed, genetics have a major role to play in a dog’s behaviour. We’ve known for a long time that if you have anxiety or mental health issues in your family, those can be passed from generation to generation. It’s the same for animals—and aggression in dogs is almost always rooted in anxiety.” Dr Lindsey asserts that preventive measures, as well as the provision of basic

education, can be easily implemented by vets who are in regular contact with breeders. “If a breeding bitch comes into the clinic with behavioural problems, they should be sterilised to prevent these problems from being passed onto future generations. It’s something that can be easily changed.” As well as this unnecessary focus on breed, some news outlets use fearmongering to gain traction. While it’s not necessarily true that we need to be afraid of dogs, it is true that we need to be wary of them. In speaking with Dr Claire Stevens—or the ‘InstaPetVet’ as she’s more commonly known—the vet explains just why we shouldn’t get too complacent. “Some dogs do look like fluffy toys, and if you’ve got a well-behaved dog at home, you can presume that all dogs behave like that,” Dr Stevens says. “But it’s important that we supervise children around dogs, especially if the dog is eating or sleeping.” Dr Stevens also emphasises the role of education in reducing dog bite incidence rates, especially for children. “It’s the community’s responsibility— parents, schools and vets—that children are educated about dog behaviour. I’m a parent myself—I’ve got a two-year-old and I’m


“It’s not in a dog’s nature to be aggressive, so if they are showing signals of aggression then they are likely to be just trying to protect themselves, their food, their owner or their property.” Dr Claire Stevens, veterinarian


pregnant—and I’d never leave my kids alone with a dog. It’s because I’m a mum that I’m so passionate about this issue of dog safety.” Dr Stevens has teamed up with PetSafe to deliver a safety awareness campaign, ‘Be Educated, Be Aware, Be Prepared’, which has been promoted across social media and on television. “It’s not in a dog’s nature to be aggressive, so if they are showing signals of aggression then they are likely to be just trying to protect themselves, their food, their owner or their property. We need to be compassionate in how we avoid that,” explains Dr Stevens. So how do we develop this compassion? The answer isn’t surprising—it’s through education, not just for children but for everyone. Dogs can and do communicate but unfortunately, many of us just don’t know how to listen. These are issues that vets can help with, and Dr Lindsey encourages all graduates to ensure that they have skills in this area before going into practice. She’s concerned that not all university curriculums value these communication skills as much as they should. “Whenever I have vet students and newly graduated vets come through, they always say, ‘Why isn’t this part of the curriculum; why aren’t we learning it?’ Universities need to understand how important it is for us to understand the language of the animals that we’re treating,” Dr Lindsey says. “I’ve got all these clients that tell me, ‘My dog goes from zero to 100’. But at some point in that sequence, the dog has tried to tell you it needs space. They’ve learned that those things don’t work so they don’t go from zero to 100 in terms of emotional arousal, but behaviourally that’s what we see.” One of the ways a dog can learn that their communication methods are ineffective is through inappropriate training. And unfortunately, sometimes it’s the irresponsible trainers who have the best marketing campaigns and attract the most desperate and vulnerable. “It’s important that clients know that their local pet expert is their vet. Sometimes people will just get onto Google and go to the first training school they can find,” laments Dr Lindsey. She says that one of the worst things a trainer can do is punish a dog’s means of communicating their anxiety, such as a growl. “It doesn’t

“It doesn’t make sense to use punishment on a dog with anxiety manifesting as aggression. If you’re punishing someone that’s frightened, you’re just going to make them more frightened.” Dr Kate Lindsey, vet, animal behaviourist and zoologist

make sense to use punishment on a dog with anxiety manifesting as aggression. If you’re punishing someone that’s frightened, you’re just going to make them more frightened.” In truth, if a client is concerned about the behaviour of their dog, the first port of call should be their vet, not behavioural or training classes. A good


opportunity is during annual check-ups. Vets also need to look out for their own safety during these check-ups. It’s recommended that even animal professionals approach every dog with caution, and to assess whether a muzzle or even sedation is necessary in extreme cases. “I’m educating my vet colleagues to ask about behavioural concerns in every check-up. There are all kinds of conditions which precipitate behaviour problems, and if you don’t treat those, the dogs are not going to get any better,” says Dr Lindsey. “If the dog does need training, a vet can refer clients to an appropriate trainer. People shouldn’t be leaving it to Google.” Another major factor in dog training— which needs to be managed carefully by both vets and trainers—is the client’s expectations. It’s not realistic to expect that any dog can be moulded into the behavioural shape the owner desires. “A lot of people come in with the expectation that they want their worried dog to like all people or dogs, or to be able to be in a cafe being touched by strangers. Those goals are not likely to be reached. Having realistic expectations is the ground-zero for behaviour management.”

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“Business is really simple—really, really simple. Just be nice to people, treat them as individuals and listen to them.” Dr Diederik Gelderman



Veterinary business coach and author, Dr Diederik Gelderman, has interviewed highly successful practitioners about success and a positive work-life balance. Turns out it’s possible. By Kerryn Ramsey


secret of my

success DR DIEDERIK GELDERMAN’S new book, Veterinary Success: Secrets Revealed, explores the path successful practitioners have taken to create a thriving business and have a rewarding life. His in-depth interviews cover a wide variety of vets who have managed to balance work, career, family and lifestyle—all while running successful veterinary practices. Dr Gelderman believes there is more to being successful than just making money. It’s about living a passionate and balanced life without ever underestimating the value of family, friends and following your heart. Vet Practice has decided to turn the table on the good doctor and subject him to a good grilling…

What ignited your passion to be a veterinarian?

My father was an Olympic show jumper. We had a horse stud in Maitland and I grew up riding horses and competing. However, I really wanted to be a pilot. I sat the exams and received a scholarship but was informed I would never make captain because of my glasses. I could only ever rise to first officer. Being quite achievement driven, I decided that wasn’t good enough so my natural second choice was vet school.

What didn’t they teach you at university that you now know is crucial to your success as a practising veterinarian? Communication. Technically I was a very


good vet when I graduated. It took time and practice to build up my surgical skills and speed but the basis was there. Unfortunately, I was a very poor communicator with clients and staff. In fact, one of my best clients said to me, “Diederik, you’re a great vet and that’s why I keep coming back to you. But you’re an arsehole of a person.” After I recovered, I went and learned as much about verbal, written and non-verbal communication as I could. I’ve been continually learning about communication ever since.

What were the three major challenges you faced in your career? First and foremost, communication—but we’ve already talked about that. Secondly, knowing when to say no to clients and


give them boundaries. This took me a long time to learn. I spent ridiculous amounts of time at work. By the time I learned to say no and spend more time recovering, relaxing and enjoying family and friends, I was divorced and had had a nervous breakdown. I wish I’d learned this lesson much earlier. Thirdly, learning to manage the practice as a business. When we moved from a couple of rooms on the side of our house into a multimilliondollar, state-of-the-art building, we almost went broke. This was because I had no idea of how to manage and lead a much larger team. There is much more to managing a real business than the small family practice I’d been running up till then.

What do you believe holds most vets back from achieving their goals? For business goals, the answer is making things too complex. Business is really simple. Just be nice to people, treat them as individuals and listen to them. In turn, they’ll give you their custom, come back more often and tell their friends about you. A veterinary practice should be all about the clients and the patients. With respect to non-business—what holds most vets back is fear of failure, fear of getting it wrong and fear of making a mistake. They procrastinate and don’t

In Dr Gelderman’s book, vets show there is more to being successful than just making money.

Australian vets who appear in Veterinary Success: Secrets Revealed discuss their essential business tips when running a practice… “I was branded a feminist early on in my career when I thought I was just being a humanist and pointing out the obvious disparities between males and females in the profession.” Dr Barbara Fougere, All Natural Vet Care, Russell Lea, NSW

“Success is living life on your terms.” Dr Gary Turnbull, East Port Veterinary Hospital, Port Macquarie, NSW

“Find a practice which supports the highest standard of quality care. Don’t settle for going somewhere where corners are cut.” Dr Debbie Delahunty, Horsham Veterinary Hospital, VIC

“Look for a great mentor, within the profession or outside, who is going to be your sounding board as you make big career decisions.” Dr Glen Richards, managing director, Greencross

“I’ve only been able to achieve what I’ve been able to achieve because of work.” Dr Geoff Golovsky, Vet HQ, Double Bay, NSW

“Avoid focusing only on improving your veterinary skills; also learn business skills.” Dr Glen Kolenc, Pet Vets, Petersham, NSW “Success is about feeling fulfilled as a person and as a professional. Feeling that I’ve developed, grown as a vet, as a mother, as a wife, as a colleague, as a business partner, as everything.” Dr Isabelle Resch, Inner South Veterinary Centre, Narrabundah, ACT

do anything. With a medical or surgical case, you have to make sure things are done perfectly or the patient dies. But 98 per cent of the time, perfection is not needed. Vets need to be more concerned with making the decision right and not so much about making the right decision.

months to turn things around. If I couldn’t then I’d give up being a vet. Obviously, I managed to turn things around. In 2004 we won the AVA Practice of Excellence Award and came third in the Australia-wide (all businesses) customer service awards.

If you had the chance to do it all again, is there anything you’d do differently?

We will see vets becoming commoditised for many people. There will be advances and encroachment of telemedicine into what we do. Corporate practices will continue to standardise their medicine and surgery to fit in with a certain price range. And many clients will be okay with this. However, the increasing depersonalisation of society and the loss of real connectedness will see a certain proportion of veterinarians become more relevant, more in-demand and more important to a small percentage of our current clients. These clients are happy to pay a fair fee for us to do the best for their dogs, cats, pocket pets, horses, birds and fish.

I’d learn communication from day one. I’d be less arrogant and less of a know-it-all. I’d ask for help. I was taught that asking for help was showing weakness—something I still struggle with to this day.

When did you realise the importance of the business side in a practice? When I almost went broke in about 2000. I lost over $175,000 in one financial year and didn’t know about it until tax time in the next year. Then I lost $75,000 in the next year. I drew a line in the sand and gave myself 12


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VP047_20-23_Top Tax Tips.indd 20

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Putting in place simple but smart tax strategies as the end of the financial year looms can make a big difference to the bottom line for veterinarians. By Clea Sherman

Tax time tips WITH SO MANY things to manage when running a business, vet owners can find it challenging to stay on top of financial affairs. Here, the most effective thing you can do is to seek the advice and guidance of a professional who understands your business. While the specific actions you take depend on your situation, there are some general steps to optimise your results at tax time.

Be prepared According to Paul Catanzariti of BOQ Specialist, a key strategy for veterinarians is to prepare early rather than leaving everything to the last minute as the end of the financial year (EOFY) approaches. “Generally speaking, you should have relevant information and paperwork ready and meet with your accountant

prior to 30 June to see what needs to be done before the end of the month,” says Catanzariti, who is a financial specialist with over 20 years’ experience. When you meet with your accountant or financial advisor, show up armed with profit estimates for the year and information relating to any debts as well as amounts your business is owed. You should have documentation relating to your Business Activity Statements, your sales transactions and your expenses so your accountant can clearly see your financial position. During the year, “business owners often make the mistake of looking at their profits without taking tax into account,” shares Emma Louis-Renshaw of the taxation and consulting company, RSM Australia. “This is where they can fall into trouble.” At all times, your business should be working with those responsible for

managing its finances to make sure there is money put aside for tax payments. This will go a long way to reduce stress when the tax bill comes in. To stay in control, you can also speak to your accountant or financial planner about making regular PAYG-style payments based on forecasts of your annual earnings.

Look for ways to minimise tax By being proactive ahead of time, you can make a plan for increasing your tax deductions. This could involve making pre-payments on loans or leases or writing off bad debts. Many of the costs of running a vet practice can potentially be written off as tax deductions, including insurance policies, utility bills, subscriptions and business-relevant training courses. “You can also talk to your advisor about superannuation payments for your employees,” says Louis-Renshaw,

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who is an assistant manager within RSM Australia’s business advisory department. “These payments can be tax deductible so it can make sense to plan how and when you will make the contributions.” Personal superannuation payments are also tax deductible to a point. Both LouisRenshaw and Catanzariti suggests speaking with your accountant or financial planner for specific advice about how boosting your own super can benefit you at tax time. When it comes to business loans, veterinary practice owners may be eligible to claim tax deductions on the interest charged on repayments. “You should also be able to claim deductions based on the depreciation in value of your business assets,” says Catanzariti, who has been helping vets with loans and financing for over 15 years.

Spend, spend, spend

Go digital By now, the financial transactions of your practice should be managed electronically via a system such as MYOB or Xero. As tax time nears, if you haven’t already done so, Louis-Renshaw recommends upgrading to a cloud-based system. “Bring everything into the cloud so you don’t have to worry about backing up file-based data,” says Louis-Renshaw. “With these systems, you can see data

and reports in real time and so can your bookkeeper or accountant.” Louis-Renshaw adds that record keeping is important to ensure tax compliance. “You should always retain source documentation for five years in case you have to substantiate any claims. As much as possible, keep electronic copies of documents relating to your tax expenses.”

Plan for the future The EOFY is an excellent opportunity to familiarise yourself with your profits, losses and overall income. This will provide you with an understanding of where your business stands financially and will lay a foundation for forward planning. Vet practices can also consider revising their prices and staff salaries around June/July. “Take a look at which parts of your business are earning you the most money and also review how other clinics are charging, earning and profiting,” suggests Louis-Renshaw. You can conduct your own research about how other businesses set their pricing and pay their staff via a platform, such as At tax time, you may wish to review

your business structure. Rolling over into a different structure may help you minimise tax in the coming financial year so speak to your advisor about the right strategy for your practice. As a business advisor who works with vet practices and many other small businesses, Louis-Renshaw also reminds directors that tax time is a good time to look forward to review your retirement plan, even if it is a long way off. “Look at your exit plan, whether you want to sell, hand over to another vet or otherwise. Have a strategy in place to work towards.” In Catanzariti’s experience, it is essential to involve the right people at tax time. “I often come across vets with time management issues. They’re busy running their practice and they struggle to find the time to deal with paperwork. This is why having a good bookkeeper or practice manager is so important.” As the end of the financial year approaches, take a step back from the day-to-day and see how your business is operating. Look at cash-flow planning, budgeting, allocating funds for future obligation and you will be able to create a financially sound business in the next financial year and beyond. Mar 2018

Of course spending without good reason is never advisable. However, if your business has excess cash, the weeks before tax time can be a good time to spend it. If you purchase a vehicle, a new machine or a piece of equipment up to the value of $20,000 before 30 June this year, it will likely be eligible for a tax deduction, so long as it is used or ready for use before the end of the financial year. Eligibility applies to items such as computers, waiting room furniture and anything else that can be considered an asset. Should you be considering making a big-ticket purchase, upgrading or replacing existing equipment, speak with your advisor to make sure you can include it as a tax-deductible business expense. Other business expenses are also tax deductible. “Marketing costs can also be deducted so if you are planning on running an ad campaign, it might make sense to outlay the funds before the end of the financial year,” suggests Louis-Renshaw.

22 VP047_20-23_Top Tax Tips.indd 22

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“We operated out of my living room for a week or two and every day needed a new plan of action to keep the practice alive. We looked hard for silver linings.” Dr Angus Hayes, partner, Bowral Veterinary Hospital


Public liability insurance is critical for vets who run their own practice but what are the other business insurance options that will keep your business fully covered? James Gallaway investigates

Got you


VETERINARIAN Kay Weller was alone in the Bowral Veterinary Hospital when she heard the explosions. A fire, burning in Reekies Tyres next door, had LPG fuel tanks on a forklift blowing up in the flames. As the fire took hold, Dr Weller, who was alone in the practice with a small group of pets, had to move fast. “It was unusual and fortunate for us not to have had any surgery on the day the fire happened,” says business partner Dr Angus Hayes. “We actually had a dog booked in for a caesarean but she gave birth to pups at home the day before.” As blazes go, the tyres and motor vehicle equipment in Reekies provided conditions for the perfect storm. That afternoon, the intense fire raged for hours as fire crews worked to extinguish the blaze. Inside the


hospital, Dr Weller, with the assistance of local police first on the scene, got animals out as the fire reached the roof of the tyre shop. “Again, we were lucky,” says Dr Hayes. “It was only a small group of dogs and a cat. The police—some of whom were our clients—were a great help.” When it was over, Reekies Tyres was left in a pile of toxic smoking ash. “Because the remains of the tyre shop were leaning on our practice, our building was considered unsafe to enter for a very long time,” explains Dr Hayes. “We got a peek inside and found that the fire had spread through our roof. The structural concerns made it weeks before we could properly rescue whatever was salvageable.” Every day that followed, until they were up


and running four months later, required calm resolve to deal with uncertainties and changing plans. “We went through our insurance policy to be sure we were covered and got phone lines and the server up and running with client records,” says Dr Hayes. “We operated out of my living room for a week or two and every day needed a new plan of action to keep the practice alive. We looked hard for silver linings. “We had to keep our clients informed and build strong connections. But Australians, particularly in rural areas, are sensitive to the catastrophe fires bring, even if it’s just people stopping by with messages of support and offering to help.” Dr Hayes says the practice eventually settled on a shopfront in the main street of Bowral. “The local market let us have a stall where we could reach out to clients. And our clients were understanding about the challenges we faced in keeping our patients supplied with food and medications.” He says, also, that working out of the shop front taught him new things about setting up a practice. “Leases are for business premises that often have only one tap, but a vet will need many more, plus suitable floor coverings, in a building that can secure animals. “We got a new roof, new ceiling, new walls and lighting, and it was great to have a new colour scheme. I certainly would have chosen a less dramatic way of going about it though. We had business interruption insurance, which covered us for wages and other costs while we were in difficulties. “Of course, we had the full range of other insurance for public liability and professional indemnity, but the ‘business interruption’ cover really helped us through,” says Dr Hayes. “It’s a sobering moment when vets work through their strategy and planning with our account managers,” says Matthew Richardson, client partnerships executive with Guild Insurance, the principal insurance partner of the Australian Veterinary Association . “They begin to understand what can happen if their insurance is not up to date. “We work through their insurance portfolio thoroughly and discuss all possible scenarios: what would a veterinarian

Essential business insurances for veterinary practices l Professional indemnity insurance: Let’s start with the basics. Vets need to insure themselves for professional indemnity. Guild Insurances’ Matthew Richardson says this is an insurance essential for practice owners to protect themselves from the professional advice given by themselves, employees, consultants, contractors and locums. “Vet practices are in a more significantly litigious environment than ever,” he says. “Recent increases in litigation and reported incidents have mirrored increases in cost involved in defending our clients. Without a specialised, professional indemnity insurance policy specifically designed for the industry, the assets of vets—both on a business and personal level—are at great risk.” l Public and products liability insurance: Along with professional indemnity, public and products liability insurance should be mandatory due to the risk of paying compensation and legal expenses for third-party personal injury and/or property damage. l Worker’s compensation insurance: Owners at a practice have a legal obligation to insure direct employees, and in some cases, contractors. Insurance covering this should be in place before any employees are hired. l Management liability insurance: Management liability protects you against employment practice liability, statutory liability, and the personal assets of the directors and officers as well as theft by staff. l Business asset insurance: Business asset insurance covers assets such as buildings, contents, stock and machinery, when they have to be replaced or repaired in the event of a natural peril (storm, wind, water), a disaster such as a cyclone, the actions of a criminal, or, in some cases, accidents. l Business interruption insurance: The fire that devastated the Bowral practice showed how business interruption insurance can help a practice pay for a temporary facility, and cover a downturn in lost revenue and the wages of employees while the practice recovers. “Policies should be reviewed annually to be certain the level of cover is in line with requirements and current circumstances,” says Richardson.

require if their practice is unable to trade? It’s about realising there are worst-case scenarios and deciding on how to protect yourself through transfer of risk.” Richardson also recommends that people avoid cutting corners with insurance. “Saving money by cutting back


on coverage and policy limits is a faulty strategy that can lead to financial disaster. Our Emergency Animal Disease Response insurance policy is the first of its kind and the only one that provides specialist cover for veterinarians involved in the outbreak of a notifiable disease.”

That moment when you help best friends reunite There’s nothing else like that moment. That moment when the patient is headed home, and you know his family will follow through on your treatment plan. Because they read it already on your website. They’re the stories you’d like to tell every day.

And you can tell them, if you have the time. A regular blog post for your business can tell that story to new and existing patients. It gives you a chance to counter the wild opinions of Dr Google. And more than anything else, it helps new patients find you.

Go to or call us on (02) 9660 6995 to find out more. Engage_Ad_Puppy_v2.indd 30

We’ll help you tell your best stories 5/11/2015 5:08 pm


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difficult to produce milk for just one. Solo has a new harness for his daily walks and his keepers want Dr Weller to check the fit. He lives in one of the enclosures adjoining the main vet clinic with his somewhat unlikely best friend, Zama, a border collie/Belgian malinois cross. “It’s pretty sad to grow up by yourself when you’re a social creature,” says Dr Weller. “And they just love each other.” Zama’s purpose is to provide the interaction that the social cheetahs need, and the pair feature on the zoo’s Meet a Cheetah program where the public can play with the two boisterous companions. Solo is one of 75 species among the zoo’s 180 animals, and Dr Weller says he’s been one of her biggest successes since she started at the zoo in early 2016. “He’s been a real challenging case throughout his life. He’s absolutely healthy and beautiful now but there have been times where I have thought, ‘Wow, this is really hard’,” she says.

“It’s high pressure because cheetahs are so endangered. There’s a lot of emotion behind the cheetah; everybody loves them. We want them to breed well in captivity, and to have a successful breeding here was pretty amazing to start with. Then to only have a single cub and know that there’s possibly going to be some problems along the way was pretty stressful. “Each time he had an issue, I would get him through it. I just felt very satisfied that I was doing the very best that I could and practising really good medicine.” Dr Weller, who is 36 and originally from Sydney’s Campbelltown, says this role is her absolute dream job, despite a path towards it that was anything but smooth. In person, her warm and affable nature doesn’t mask a clear singlemindedness that has led her to one of the most exciting veterinary roles in the country and to spearheading a massive period of growth at the national zoo. She says she can’t remember what


“I suspect many vets like myself have dreamed about being an exotics vet but only the rare few, like Jayne, acquire the education to translate that into a reality.” David Simpson, owner, Animal Referral Hospitalw

From left: Hosing down the infected hoof of Hummer the giraffe; feeding Hummer for some positive reinforcements after his hoof treatment; and feeding deer Spotty and Penny, one of whom has an infected eye, while Hannibal the alpaca looks on.

first triggered her ambition to work with animals, but it was always there. “I always wanted to be a vet from when I was really little,” she says. “Apparently I told my parents that when I was six. Mum says she doesn’t remember taking me with an animal to the vet, so she doesn’t even know where it came from.” Dr Weller says she was a good performer in school but sadly her grandfather became ill in her later years and it impacted her HSC results. Falling short of the marks for a veterinary science degree, she did a Bachelor of Arts and Science at the University of NSW, which combined her passion for zoology with her interest in music (at the time she was a keen violinist and played in a string quartet). After finishing her degree, she approached Sydney University about veterinary science, but again fell short of its strict criteria. In 2004, Dr Weller began working as a zookeeper at Mogo Zoo on the

NSW south coast. A vet consulting at the zoo, Mary Atkinson, spotted her potential and brought her into working in her clinic—“I still say my surgery skills came from watching her,” Dr Weller says— and encouraged her to keep pursuing veterinary science. As a now mature-aged student, Dr Weller was finally accepted by Sydney University in 2007. “It started to change, the way of letting people in,” she says. “They still wanted you to be excellent at test-taking. But, they also wanted you to be practical and good at communication because there’s no point in being a vet, dealing with people every day, and not being able to communicate.” Having had her persistence pay off, she knew that exotics were the path for her. “I always wanted to work with different animals,” she says. “Apparently, I said to my mum that I wanted to be a vet for animals that didn’t have anybody to look after them.”


Her first job was at the University of Sydney’s Avian Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital at Camden, which she was offered straight out of vet school. Working with about 60 per cent pets and 40 per cent wildlife, it was often a gruelling job, with 70-hour weeks where she was often left to her own devices in running the clinic. She left the job in 2013 and, after a stint at an animal sanctuary in Malawi, became senior vet at the Animal Referral Hospital in Homebush under Dr David Simpson and Dr Sarah Goldsmid, while at the same time obtaining an advanced practitioner certificate in zoology medicine through the University of Edinburgh. She set up the exotics service, treating a mix of 80 per cent client-owned animals and 20 per cent wildlife, and says she learnt much about how to run a clinic as a profitable business. Dr Simpson says he always relished the opportunity to work with Dr Weller. “She


Dr Weller oversees the hand-reared cheetah, Solo, and his best friend, Zama, a border collie/ Belgian malinois.

has an honest, earnest, humble but fun personality,” he says. “I suspect many vets, like myself, have dreamed about being an exotics vet but only the rare few, like Jayne, acquire the education to translate that into a reality.” She was then approached about working at the National Zoo and after a six-month trial of working a three- and two-day split across the hospital and the zoo, she landed the job. Dr Weller’s normal zoo schedule is 25 hours a week with Fridays off and generally 9am-5pm hours, although she is on call 24/7. As the sole zoo vet, she says the workload is manageable “most of the time. There are some weeks where I think, ‘Oh wow, we need somebody else’, because it’s very hard. I’m trying not to be just a fire engine. I don’t want to just fix the problems as they’re happening; we want to do a lot of preventive stuff. So that’s where it becomes quite busy.” For example, nutrition is a huge part of her job. She says there isn’t always data on animals’ diets and so it can be trial and error in making improvements. One success has been overhauling the

diets of its five red pandas, who she says, were doing a lot of pacing activity. “Before they were getting quite a bit of fruit, and what’s happened is their pacing has reduced quite a lot,” she says. “We think it’s because their energy in fruit is quite high. So they get spikes like a kid. You give them a sugar hit, they go crazy for a few hours, and then they have this huge dip. And I think that’s what was happening with them.” In May last year, the zoo unveiled renovations which added 12 hectares onto the existing seven-hectare site, including new homes for white rhinos, maned wolves, zebras and giraffes. Dr Weller expects breeding programs to be a much larger part of the zoo’s activity in the future, and the renovations have also included a completely new vet clinic which opened in December and has tripled her workspace. It includes a separate sterile area for surgery and holding enclosures for quarantine and recovery purposes. It also includes $250,000 of state-ofthe-art equipment including a digital X-ray system, ultrasound equipment and full lab set-up. “It’s about always


aiming towards providing gold-standard medicine at all times to every animal in the collection,” she says. “That’s my go-to motivator for every day.” National Zoo owner Richard Tindale, who bought the zoo with wife Maureen in 1998, says, “At the time when we were recruiting, we needed a veterinarian to not only care for the animals here but also to help with the construction of our vet centre. Jayne was a great fit for this. “The zoo grew very quickly and it has been a relief to us all to have Jayne here. We are excited about future programs that could eventuate, like reproductive technologies or being involved in research projects with other zoos, universities and in situ conservation efforts.” Dr Weller’s advice for young students or practitioners is to push through the early years, where there’s a danger of burn-out, and that all experiences contribute to the end game eventually. “I’m not competitive but I am dogged,” she says. “If I want to do something, I will eventually do it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how much I have to do to get there.”


Nutrition product guide

Vet Practice magazine brings you the latest pet foods and products



Nutrition product guide title

The compliance conundrum Owner compliance can be a tricky issue, especially when it comes to following a nutritional recommendation. In general practice, owners will usually comply with a nutritional recommendation if their pet has food intolerance or urinary issues, as they can perceive the benefits when episodes cease or decrease in frequency. Conversely, there is no better example of the frustration a lack of compliance can provoke than in patients suffering from renal failure. We’ve all read the research on chronic kidney disease and we know there is a definite benefit to these pets in consuming a kidney diet. Somehow transferring this information to pet owners can be a struggle. We explain why the pet needs to be on a renal food and a few months later, we ask if the pet is eating the renal diet. They say, “Yes, he likes the dry biscuits … and he also loves some chicken and tuna with it!” So, why aren’t owners following our dietary recommendations? One possibility is that the benefits of the food or the dangers of NOT feeding the food aren’t immediately obvious. If the pet eats other food, nothing drastic happens, so the owner perceives that straying from the prescribed diet is no big deal. They may want to feed their pet variety or believe he is fussy. That’s why they need to know about wet and dry forms of therapeutic foods, as well as the availability of different flavours. Then they aren’t tempted to supplement a prescription food with unsuitable alternatives. “Fussiness”, whether actual or perceived, is one of the reasons we recommend transitioning gradually to a new food: 1-2 weeks in dogs and 3-4 weeks in cats. In fact, this is the most important factor in ensuring successful transition to a life-enhancing or even potentially life-saving, therapeutic food. Transitioning a sick pet, let alone a well one, can be a real challenge. A rule of thumb is NOT to feed the food you want the pet to be on long-term while it is in hospital, feeling stressed and unwell. This

Get everyone in the practice on board There is nothing worse than recommending a certain food or product/service, but it’s undermined by another staff member. Make sure there are protocols in place and establish a collaborative culture.

Dr Annabel Robertson of Hill’s Pet Nutrition

is important for cats and dogs with kidney failure. Here, make the transition to k/d™ after the patient is feeling better at home. Remember, this success often lies in transitioning to k/d™ earlier in the course of disease, or at least getting them onto a phosphorus-restricted diet (eg. high-quality mature or senior diet) early on. This will make life a bit easier when we need to transition the pet to a renal diet. So, what else can we do as clinicians to improve pet owner compliance when it comes to food? The answer is, surprisingly, quite a lot! In fact, when owners aren’t compliant, it’s often our fault, due to the lack of an effective recommendation or simply a lapse in communication.1 Making an effective recommendation is actually the largest barrier to owner compliance! If your advice is to feed a renal food but you don’t specify the brand, you risk the client leaving your clinic with no food at all. Have you ever suffered from decision paralysis? This results from having too many options—it’s too hard to pick so you end up not buying anything at all. By recommending a single option, we are minimising the likelihood the client will suffer from decision paralysis.

Don’t prejudge a client’s situation As vets, we often prejudge the client’s willingness to take action or spend the necessary amount of money, but we can’t let our perceptions of the pet owner impact our recommendations. We are the pets’ advocates. In a 2003 AAHA study on compliance in veterinary practices in the USA, cost was only a small barrier (10%), and only 4% of owners abandoned diets due to cost.1 We need to stop blaming cost as the reason for non-compliance and instead focus on how we can improve our recommendation and follow-up. Remember to follow up In the AAHA study, following up with owners whose pets were put on a new diet increased owner compliance three fold.1 Following up with clients shows you have general concern for their pets’ health. Try and schedule the follow-up appointment before the client leaves the clinic or arrange for a nurse to call them in a week to see how they are going with the new food. Making a specific recommendation and following up with clients can have a big impact on client compliance. It is as simple as getting every staff member to commit to making a recommendation that represents the best interest for the pet. Most importantly, it’s a quality of care issue and will lead to better treatment outcomes for your patients. In addition to this, it’s the immeasurable amount of personal fulfilment and gratification you will feel, knowing you have helped that pet live a happier and improved quality of life!

1. American Animal Hospital Assoc. ‘The path to high-quality care: practical tips for improving compliance’, AAHA Press, 2003. Article supplied by Dr Annabel Robertson BVSc (Hons) MANZCVS MBA. Technical Services Veterinarian, Hill’s Pet Nutrition



Now, your clients’ cats can enjoy a variety of irresistible tastes, while maintaining your therapeutic recommendation.

NEW Pouch Varieties

Hill’s™ Prescription Diet™ pet foods offer great tasting nutritional support when your patients need it most. TMs owned by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. © 2018 Hill’s Pet Nutriton Pty Ltd. HIMA-HB-1801AC7B. HPACOR2883. 03/18. S&H.

Also available in other flavours


Nutrition product guide

Introducing PRO PLAN Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Canine Formula Passionately dedicated to pets for
the past 120 years, Purina has an expert team of over 500 veterinarians and nutritionists worldwide who have pioneered breakthrough nutritional advances in the PRO PLAN Veterinary Diets range. This range of prescription diets has had extensive success globally for the past 25 years, delivering significant clinical advantages and results you can rely on. Gastrointestinal conditions are one
of the most common conditions presented to veterinarians in small animal practice. There are many different causes of these conditions from abrupt change in diet to infectious causes and allergies. Gastrointestinal conditions can impair a dog’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Therefore digestibility and fat source are an important consideration in gastrointestinal diets. PRO PLAN Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Canine formula is the only clinical diet for GI disorders which contains high levels of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are easy to digest and absorb. The traditional approach to nutritional management of canine gastrointestinal disease has been to recommend
lower fat diets as most of canine small intestinal disorders result in fat malassimilation. While fat restriction is beneficial for gastrointestinal disorders, it is more important to provide highly digestible fat sources. The type of fat should be taken into consideration when choosing a diet for dogs with gastrointestinal disease. The most common fat types found
in dog food (even diets designed for gastrointestinal disease) are long chain fats such as long chain triglycerides (LCTs), which can be some of the most complex nutrients to digest. Since fat digestion and absorption are often impaired in gastrointestinal disease, LCT restriction may be beneficial. Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs)
are easier to digest and absorb by an impaired gut than LCTs, taking only 3

steps to digest compared with 8 steps for LCTs. They can be digested and absorbed directly into the portal circulation even when hepatic, pancreatic and intestinal functions are compromised.1 MCTs are also smaller molecules than LCTs, are broken down more rapidly in the gut and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream or cells avoiding the lymphatic system and without needing to be incorporated in chylomicrons.1 Medium chain triglycerides should be of particular interest for dogs suffering from EPI4 (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency), IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), lymphangiectasia and pancreatitis. Dogs with chronic pancreatitis benefit from MCTs as they reduce the stimulation of the exocrine pancreas by blunting CCK (cholecystokinin) release. In addition to being the only gastrointestinal diet that contains MCTs, PRO PLAN Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Canine formula is the only therapeutic canine diet which contains a natural source of immunoglobulins from colostrum. Immunoglobulins in colostrum have been shown to help stabilise the intestinal microflora, reducing the risk of stressrelated diarrhoea, supporting gut health and aiding nutrient absorption.2,3 EN Gastroenteric Canine is also highly digestible to promote high nutrient


absorption and minimise dietary
load on the compromised gut and contains prebiotics to support the intestinal mucosa. GI disorders can be among the most challenging to diagnose and treat due to the multitude of conditions that can cause vomiting and diarrhoea in dogs and the complexity of making a specific diagnosis. PRO PLAN Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Canine formula is
an effective nutritional approach
to help manage acute and chronic gastrointestinal, hepatic, pancreatic and hyperlipidaemic conditions in dogs, and is an effective and proven option for your patients. 1. Johnson RC et al. (1990) Medium Chain triglyceride lipid emulsion; metabolic and tissue distribution. Am J Clin Nutr, 52: 502-508. 2. Giffard CJ, Seino MM, Markwell PJ, Bektash RM. Benefits of bovine colostrum on fecal quality
in recently weaned puppies. J Nutr 2004: 134:2126S-2127S. 3. Satyaraj E, A Reynolds, R Pelker, J Labuda, P Zhang and P Sun. 2013. Supplementation of diets with bovine colostrum influences immune function in dogs. Brit J of Nutr. 110: 2216–2221. 4. Rutz G. M. et al 2004 Effects of exchange of dietary medium chain triglycerides for long chain triglycerides on serum biochemical variables and subjectively assessed well-being of dogs with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. AJVR Vol 65 1293-1302.

1st and only veterinary prescribed gastrointestinal diet to use Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)

MCTs, a source of fat which is easily digested and absorbed to provide readily available energy With colostrum, prebiotic and low fibre to help support intestinal health Highly digestible to promote optimal nutrient absorption Excellent palatability Indications include management of Inflammatory bowel disease and Pancreatitis

Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets Canine EN Gastroenteric is a versatile diet for the management of: •

Gastritis and enteritis

Vomiting and diarrhoea

Inflammatory bowel disease


Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

Malabsorption and maldigestion



For more information about Purina® Pro Plan® Veterinary Diets, please contact 1800 738 238


Nutrition product guide

Oralade: The first choice for acute gastrointestinal issues

Early nutritional support is essential for a successful outcome in many acute gastrointestinal diseases. Here are highlights from an article by Jörg M. Steiner, PhD, DACVIM, DECVIM-CA, AGAF

One of the physiological principles that plays an important role in the gastrointestinal tract is that alimentation of the gastrointestinal mucosa is achieved both by supply of nutrients through the blood, but also through direct absorption of nutrients from the intestinal lumen. Many patients with acute gastrointestinal diseases, such as acute pancreatitis or acute haemorrhagic gastroenteritis, show vomiting and/or anorexia. This in turn leads to an overall decrease in the uptake of nutrients that can be digested and absorbed. The lack of nutritional support of enterocytes and thus the intestinal mucosa has an impact on intestinal barrier function and could lead to bacterial translocation and even sepsis. This overall lack of supply of nutrients and energy is contrasted by an increased demand for nutrients and energy. Many acute gastrointestinal diseases are associated with damage to enterocytes in the lining of the GI Tract. Naturally they must be replaced by new tissue, which requires nutritional building blocks as well as energy. Because of this imbalance of nutrient and energy supply and demand during acute gastrointestinal conditions, these conditions are often associated with a loss of body mass and other complications. There are some important guidelines for the nutritional support of dogs and cats with acute gastrointestinal diseases:

Early nutritional support for improved outcomes Nutritional support should be initiated as early as possible in dogs and cats with acute gastrointestinal disorders. Using resources from the body for repair places additional demands on an animal that is already experiencing major stress from acute illness and this can have a negative impact on outcome. However, providing nutritional support can reverse this imbalance and thus have a positive impact on outcome. Nutritional support of a patient with acute gastrointestinal disease During the acute phase of GI disease, it can be difficult to find a suitable diet, which is readily consumed by the patient and does not place additional stress on the intestinal mucosa. Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) may be a great choice.

It is important to note that patients who are moderately to severely dehydrated do require intravenous rehydration, but ORT products contain small quantities of nutrients that can easily be assimilated, and these will usually be preferred over water by most patients and can be offered alongside IV fluids, and as they are withdrawn. One example of such an ORT product is Oralade. It has been shown to be well consumed by both dogs and cats. ORT has an added benefit that it stimulates overall oral intake of patients that are anorexic, which may stimulate food intake. ORT may alleviate the need for a feeding tube. When the animal has returned to a normal appetite, the suitable GI diet should be chosen with the specific characteristics, depending on the gastrointestinal disease at hand. To request the full article by Dr Jörg M. Steiner, contact DLC or download now at

Oralade is an effective oral rehydration therapy product for veterinarians..

l Nutritional support should be initiated as early as possible, l Enteral alimentation should be chosen whenever possible, and l The condition of the patient must be considered when choosing a diet.


Non-specific gastroenteritis? Feed don’t fast

Palatable Oral Rehydration & Microenteral Support

Oralade is a dietetic complementary feed to help in the management of acute intestinal absorptive disorders, such as recovery from acute diarrhoea, as well as pancreatitis and post-GI surgery. It contains a balanced level of electrolytes, including sodium and potassium, with easily digestible sugars and simple amino-acids in an isotonic solution. It is low in phosphorus and highly palatable, making it ideal for renal patients. This product is also suitable for diabetics and hypoallergenic patients.

Visit DLC at Stands 90-93 for more information or email

Highly Palatable Isotonic Formula Fast Hydration Amino acids & Prebiotics for Gut Health Nourish Enterocytes Easily Digestible Zero Fat

Proud to be a of the AVA Conference

DLC Australia Pty Ltd phone 1300 785 405 •

Manufactured by. Macahl Animal Health 38 Corrigan Hill Rd Moy Dungannon Co Tyrone N.IRELAND BT71 6SL


Nutrition product guide

Digestive health and its importance for maximising nutrition It is all well and good to recommend a high quality, nutritionally balanced and superior diet for your patients, but if they have sub-adequate gut health, many of the nutrients present in their food will not be readily available. As Hippocrates famously said, “All disease begins in the gut�, so we need to prioritise our care of this important organ. The gut is the largest immune organ within the body, containing over 65% of all the immune cells and over 90% of all Ig-producing cells. Therefore, a significant part of the immune system can interact with the food that enters the gut. The intestinal wall acts as a semipermeable epithelial barrier, and increases its surface area to maximise nutrient absorption due to the presence of villi and microvilli. These microvilli are covered in mucous in which billions of commensal microorganisms thrive and compete for nutrients. It is the epithelial cells that line the intestines that produce IgA and antimicrobial peptides. Probiotics are an excellent way to improve gut health and therefore maximise nutrient absorption from the diet. They function in several ways, including hampering attachment of pathogenic microbes, stimulating immune response and increasing activity of host antibodies, competing with pathogenic bacteria for nutrients (therefore reducing their numbers), and restoring damaged epithelial lining in cases involving inflammation. It has been shown that probiotic cocktails (containing multiple strains) are more efficacious than single strains in certain veterinary situations. When selecting a probiotic supplement, it is important to be sure that the strains listed are specific for animals, that the

product contains enough live organisms per dose to be able to exert therapeutic benefits and that the product has been quality tested to meet label claims. Prebiotics are indigestible oligosaccharides that are fermented within the large colon. Adding prebiotic fibre to a probiotic supplement can enhance the efficacy of the probiotics as they work together synergistically. Prebiotic fibre, such as is found in certain legumes, grains and grasses, can be a beneficial food


source for the healthy microbes that are resident within the gut, as well as any of the probiotic bacteria that are introduced in supplemental form. Indications that suggest a pre/probiotic supplement may be a beneficial adjunct to a patient’s diet include: either acute or chronic diarrhoea of infectious or noninfectious forms, in cases where immunity is sub-par and requires modulating, and potentially as a preventative against the development of allergies.

The Gut Friendly Bacteria

Improving digestive balance using probiotics

PAW Digesticare 60™

Probiotic & Wholefood Powder • Multi-Strain Formula to restore digestive balance during periods of intestinal dysfunction. • Multi-species (dogs, cats and other companion animals). • Micro encapsulation technology to resist the strong acidity in the stomach. • 60 Million CFU per 2g. • Contains fermented superfoods.


12 VetEd points

The cost to attend this course is $400. This covers instructor fees, manual, course materials, certification, catering and other mental health support information. What is Mental Health First Aid?

Who can attend an MHFA course?

Mental health first aid is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem, or who is experiencing a mental health crisis. Like physical first aid, mental health first aid is given until the person receives professional help or until the crisis resolves.

Veterinarians, veterinary nurses, practice managers, students and new graduates.

What’s covered in the course?

Register here SYDNEY 25-26 JULY 2018 8.30am to 4.30pm,

Explore mental health problems such as depression, anxiety problems, psychosis and substance misuse problems. Participants will then learn the practical, evidence-based communication techniques to reach out to those in need. Take-home resources include a 140-page manual, information sheets and facts sheets will also be provided. The course has been developed by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Australia and is delivered by Rosie Overfield from Provet/ Crampton Consulting. Rosie is an accredited MHFA instructor and has worked in the veterinary industry for nearly 20 years.

Greencross Vets Support Office 6/372 Eastern Valley Way, Chatswood MELBOURNE 19-20 SEPTEMBER 2018 8.30am to 4.30pm, BOQ Specialist Bank Lvl 49, 120 Collins Street, Melbourne Brisbane participants

This course is highly valuable and a great tool in the vet profession. I would like to see every vet clinic in Australia with a MHFA certificate holder within and have this recognised in the award as a legislated qualification. Sam Morton, Greencross A wonderful initiative. Should be blanketed across all industries. We can not press forward fast enough with this training. It will save lives. For more information

Ashley Ruttle, Tamborine Mountain Veterinary Surgery It was fantastic! The content and delivery were both of a high standard. Essential for all vet practices to be involved. Rosie made it a great experience for all of us. Patricia Clarke, Manly Road Veterinary Hospital

02 9431 5000

Proudly supported by

Š Australian Veterinary Association Ltd 2017. ABN 63 008 522 852



This month, our vets review a portable blood pressure monitor, a laryngoscope, a nebuliser system, and a treat pouch.

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Flexineb C1 by Dr Sasha Miles, Brisbane Bird & Exotics Veterinary Services, QLD The Flexineb C1 is a complete nebuliser system for small animals. It is used with saline or with medications, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and steroids.

SunTech Vet20 BP Monitor by Dr Evan Kosack, Lennox Head Vet Clinic, NSW This is a portable blood pressure monitor that can be run off mains power or batteries. It has an easy-to-read screen and is simple to use. What’s good about it The Vet 20 is a handy, well-designed, stable unit. The cuff can be fitted on the patient while it’s in a cage and then be left to settle down. Once the animal is calm, the extension tube is attached between the cuff and the machine. Multiple blood pressure checks can then be run without disturbing the animal. This is particularly useful with cats. The cuff can be attached to the tail or a limb, though sometimes you have to experiment to see what the animal tolerates best. The manufacturer suggests that the cuff be attached at heart level. While a tail can be used if the animal is standing, a front limb usually works well if they are lying down. Settings allow for small animals up to 8kg, or larger dogs over 8kg, depending on the cuff size. The digital display shows the diastolic, systolic and mean arterial pressure. It also allows an average to be derived from up to 50 stored measurements. It’s handy during surgery, dentistry and in intensive care. The cuff can be attached to different parts of the animal depending on which part you are working on. What’s not so good Occasionally, it can be difficult to discern which cuff is the best size to use and then deciding whether the results are artefacts or real. It just requires a bit of swapping around if you’re not quite certain. If the animal moves around too much, the results can be disturbed and you need to wait for the unit to run the algorithms again. Where did you get it Vetquip (


What’s good about it We mainly use this nebuliser with rats, birds and guinea pigs that have respiratory infections. Every other nebuliser we’ve used has been very loud and it can really stress out the animal. The Flexineb is so quiet, you can only tell it’s running by looking at the ‘on’ light. It is much less stressful for the animals. It comes with a mask for dogs, cats, rats and well-behaved guinea pigs but most of the time, we put the smaller animals in a chamber called a Flexineb Aerosol Box. This works very well. Just recently we used it on one of our nurse’s rats and he brought up a whole lot of mucoid discharge that was in his lungs. The portable unit is small and can be run on batteries. The battery is rechargeable so we just plug it in between patients. It also has a filter system that prevents drugs and medications going into the air. This is good for the health of the people operating the unit. What’s not so good It goes through liquid very quickly and then automatically turns itself off. We have to keep a close eye on it otherwise we’re not nebulising the patient for long enough. Where did you get it Trindall Equestrian Services (



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Treat Pouch (regular) Laryngoscope

by Laura Townsley VN, Blakes Crossing Veterinary Surgery, Blakeview, SA

by Dr Abbie Stott, Montrose Vet Centre, TAS I use a laryngoscope every time I anaesthetise an animal. It enables me to clearly see the back of the throat and the larynx when I need to put in an endotracheal tube. What’s good about it My laryngoscope has a light source situated on the end that gives an extremely clear view. This makes it a more accurate tubing method because you can actually see what you’re doing. Using a laryngoscope means there is little chance of accidentally placing the tube in the oesophagus or causing any damage to the back of the throat. When working in such a sensitive area, it’s preferable to have no trauma or irritation in order to reduce the risk of complications. While it’s important that vets can tube an animal without using a laryngoscope, it is much easier when the epiglottis is out of the way. Having a light source positioned halfway down the animal’s throat allows for beautiful visualisation. The probes come in different sizes so they can be used for a variety of animals and dog breeds. Some are longer than others to account for variation in size ranging from a chihuahua to a labrador. I also use it with cats. After use, the probe is simply wiped down with chemical sterilisation and dried. It’s a very handy piece of equipment. What’s not so good The only downside would be if a vet or nurse relied on it all the time. In an emergency situation when a laryngoscope isn’t readily at hand, you still need to be able to place an endotracheal tube quickly and safely. Where did you get it DLC ( has a range of laryngoscopes available.

I use this treat pouch when training at puppy school, during behaviour consults or when undertaking obedience classes. I fill it with liver treats or some chicken and use it as needed. We run puppy school four nights a week, obedience classes twice a week and behaviour consults happen at all different times. This treat pouch certainly gets plenty of use. What’s good about it Its main advantage is that it’s very easy to clean. When using treats, particularly chicken, the pouch can end up very smelly. It’s a simple matter to handwash it. I have also thrown it in the washing machine and it was fine. There is an adjustable strap so you can wear it around your waist. It also comes with a clip so you can attach it to your pocket or belt loop. It’s a sturdy bit of equipment and the material and the buckle have never broken or given me any problems. There are a couple of mesh pockets on the outside to hold clickers, poo bags or whatever you need. A small magnetic button on the top of the bag holds it shut. This stops anything falling out when leaning over during a session. I’ve been using this treat pouch for over a year now and it has been a great addition to my training sessions. What’s not so good I can’t think of one negative about this product. It’s a simple little thing that’s well designed and makes my working day easier. Where did you get it Black Dog Wear (



The gentle way Despite a serious arm injury, Dr Andrew Dallimore of Dandenong Ranges Veterinary Centre in Olinda, VIC, is helping to change kids’ lives by teaching judo.

often searching for something for their child because they are frustrated with the inaction of the schools. “I’ve seen judo give these kids discipline, respect and self-worth. They have the confidence and the ability to recognise right from wrong. It also shows them how to identify and avoid dangerous situations, including bullies in and out of the schoolyard. When a situation can’t be avoided, they have the tools to defend themselves. A boy told me recently that he finally defended himself


against a much bigger boy and dropped him on his butt in front of the principal. The principal handled it really well and a good result was achieved all round. “Judo has a gentle nature that appeals to me. It’s all about respect and teaches you how to work with people rather than against them. It’s a full contact sport where we work together in training with no egos. It teaches avoidance and non-violence but if a situation turns ugly in real life, it’s a highly effective martial art.”

Interview: Frank Leggett Photography: Kerry McCashney

“When I was 14, I took up judo because I was short, tubby and getting bullied at school. First of all, it taught me to avoid fights. I started gaining discipline and worked hard at my training. The thing I like about judo is that you can defend yourself without hurting someone. There is a saying in judo, ‘When the enemy comes, welcome them, and then send them on their way.’ It means that when they attack, use their energy and momentum against them. “I really liked judo and stayed with it all through my teen years. In my twenties, I reached a point where I could teach judo. Unfortunately, I was teaching a bricklayer when my arm was damaged. Heavy people and joints do not mix! It was a freak accident, nothing aggressive, but it severed my brachial artery. I was just two weeks away from earning my black belt and forced to give up judo. I thought I may never return to it. “Eight years later, I was settling in at Dandenong Ranges Veterinary Centre and there was a local judo club nearby. The opportunity presented itself to train some of the local kids who weren’t having the best time. I just took it very easy until my arm gained some strength. “I had taught kids in the past and run anti-bullying programs. Anyone can attend our judo classes but it is usually kids who are being bullied. Parents are

Watch out, bullies— Dr Andrew Dallimore teaches kids judo to give them confidence.

Get a taste of the good life with double points

Let your practice expenses shape your next adventure this end of financial year. Use your BOQ Specialist Signature credit card to purchase new equipment, fit-out or a motor vehicle, then convert it into a BOQ Specialist finance contract which settles before 30 June 20181, and for every eligible $1 you spend we will reward you with 2 Qantas Points2 or 2 Velocity Frequent Flyer Points.3 Fees apply.* . To find out more, visit or speak to one of our finance specialists on 1300 131 141.

The issuer and credit provider of these products and services is BOQ Specialist – a division of Bank of Queensland Limited ABN 32 009 656 740 AFSL and Australian credit licence no. 244616 (“BOQ Specialist”). Terms and conditions, fees and charges, lending and eligibility criteria apply. Any information is of a general nature only. We have not taken into account your objectives, financial situation, or needs when preparing it. Before acting on this information you should consider if it is appropriate for your situation. You should obtain and consider the relevant terms and conditions from BOQ Specialist is not offering financial, tax or legal advice. You should obtain independent financial, tax and legal advice as appropriate. We reserve the right to cease offering these products at any time without notice. 1 To earn 2 Qantas Points or Velocity Points per $1 of eligible spend, the equipment, fit-out, or motor vehicle acquired on the credit card must be financed with BOQ Specialist on a fixed term contract greater than 12 months and settled by 30 June 2018. For definition of eligible spend, refer to Available for lease, chattel mortgage, asset purchase or escrow (drawdowns must be in amounts of $10 000 or more). * A documentation fee of $445 and 1.5% credit card processing fee applies. For those applying for a BOQ Specialist Signature card, this must be done by 30 June 2018 and an annual credit card fee of $400 will apply. 2 You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions, available at Qantas Points are earned in accordance with and subject to the BOQ Specialist Qantas Rewards Program Terms and Conditions, available at Qantas Points will be earned on eligible transactions only. Please allow 6-8 weeks after purchase for points to be credited to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account. BOQ Specialist recommends that you seek independent tax advice in respect of the tax consequences (including fringe benefits tax, and goods and services tax and income tax) arising from the use of these products or from participating in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. 3 To earn and redeem Velocity Frequent Flyer Points you must be a Velocity Frequent Flyer member. Velocity membership and Points earn and redemption are subject to the Member Terms and Conditions, available at, as amended from time to time. Please allow 6-8 weeks after purchase for points to be credited to your Velocity Frequent Flyer account.

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Vet Practice June 2018  
Vet Practice June 2018