Most people don’t bother to insure their dogs, but the cost of not doing so can lead to heartbreak and tough decisions. 

Tina Eliott likes to boast her tiny 18-month-old Griffon Bruxellois is an $11,000 dog.

That’s not the exorbitant price she paid for Nugget, but the medical bill for months-long treatment required to fix up the little girl’s front legs after she took a tumble from a high balcony.

Fortunately for Tina, a few weeks before the accident, she had taken out an insurance policy on Nugget, so her insurance company footed the massive bill. If it hadn’t, Nugget would have gone the same way many other dogs go when medical costs force owners to put their financial well-being ahead of the health of their pet.

“We’re an...

vetwise logoHow often do you think about common poisons around your house and garden and the consequences if your pet got hold of them? Chances are, rarely. Increasing your awareness of the dangers, and knowing what to do in the worse case scenario, will give your pet a better chance against accidental poisoning. 

It is important to know what the signs of poisoning are so that you can correctly identify the problem. They range from depression and restlessness to vomiting, difficulty breathing, tremors and even convulsions. If skin or eyes have been exposed to toxins, your pet may rub or scratch the area, salivate excessively, and vomit.

If you do suspect your pet has been poisoned it’s vital remain calm. While it can be very upsetting to see...

vetwise logoA pet’s chances of surviving a traffic accident, or any other accident, are vastly improved by the decisions and actions of the first people on the scene. And, as with any first aid, it is a good idea to review your knowledge on a regular basis. 

When we see a pet hit by a motor vehicle, our instinct is to pick it up and rush off to the vet. However, doing this may actually reduce the chances of a happy outcome. 

Don’t panic! As with any emergency, take a minute or two to assess the ABCs. But, before you do this, there are two important things you need to do. Firstly, make sure that you and the animal are not in further danger from traffic. Next, be aware that you will need to take special care around hurt animals, as they are...

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Hairballs, also known as furballs or as trichobezoars, are accumulations of hair formed within the stomach or intestine. Their presence has been reported in rabbits but is primarily seen in cats.

Hairballs are easily recognized if your cat vomits one up, as they look like a tubular matt of fur varying from 1- 6 cm in length. Most cats prone to hairballs have no symptoms of discomfort prior to vomiting. A healthy cat will display no symptoms other than intermittent vomiting. A rare but extremely serious problem occurs when a cat attempts to vomit a hairball but fails to do so. The hairball moves out of the stomach, but gets lodged in the oesophagus. Immediate pain and distress are evident with the cat drooling saliva and...