A dog in the family can be a wonderful source of companionship and there are many benefits for children in growing up with a pet. It is important however, that children learn sensible behavior and interact safely with dogs. Being “dog safe” is a priority.


Never leave a child under seven unattended with any dog.

Constantly supervise and manage children and dogs. Many children get bitten by trusted family or neighbours dogs. While there is no “safe period” during childhood to adolescence, the highest risk age group in Australia is under ten years of age, with severe bites occurring to the head and neck.

Create supervised activities that can be safely initiated between children and dogs, such as training, tricks or calm games.

Be aware that children raised with tolerant and friendly dogs may be at risk with other dogs.

Learn and educate

Learn to interpret dogs so you can judge a dogs behavior when interacting with a child and heed any early warnings.

Identify and discuss dogs body language with the child. Explain situations in which it would be inappropriate to approach a dog and other situations where it would be friendly and safe.

Children observe and model adult behavior so it is vital that adults interact appropriately with dogs in a manner that children can copy.

Teach Children

Not to tease, hurt or interact excitedly with any dogs.

To interpret and respect dogs

How to interact appropriately with friendly dogs and ignore others.

How to behave if they feel threatened by a loose dog.

To inform adults if they feel threatened by a dog.


Be aware that all dogs tolerance may reduce with age, pain, stress, high excitement levels, specific situations and constant exposure to children.

Create secure areas to isolate your dog from children for occasions when supervision is not available.

Seek professional assistance if you are at all concerned.


Mudgee Veterinary Hospital staff attend local public schools to educate children how to be safe around dogs on a regular basis, inviting children to interact with SPOT, our loyal dalmation dog and learn all about safe pets out there. If you need any information about your dogs behavior please call the friendly staff who will assist you. 



With Easter fast approaching this weekend we need to be aware of how toxic chocolate is to animals. Although chocolate is one of our favourite foods it contains a substance that is toxic to animals. Poisoning is common in dogs because of their habit of rapid consumption. Remember to keep your chocolates and cake goodies safely away from your pets. Chocolate poisoning is caused by excessive intake of the methylxanthine alkaloids in chocolate, coffee and tea.  This drug causes blood vessels to restrict, a rapid and weak heartbeat and they stimulate the nervous system. The biggest threat is from cooking chocolate, followed by semi-sweet chocolate, milk chocolate and hot chocolate.

The signs of chocolate poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea 2-4 hours after intake, and chocolate in the vomit may be obvious. Nervous stimulation leads to hyperactivity, tremors and seizures. The heart rate becomes increasingly rapid and irregular. Excessive urination may result from the diuretic (water clearing) action of the chocolate. Advanced signs include stiffness, excitement, seizures and extreme response to noise, light and touch. Heart failure, coma and death can occur in 12 to 36 hours after the intake.

If a combination of chocolate ingestion, vomiting, nervousness or weakness is seen, take your dog immediately to your Veterinarian. There is no antidote for chocolate poisoning, therefore it is best to keep all chocolate goodies well out of the reach of your pets so chocolate poisoning can be prevented.


While its easy for us to throw on  an extra jumper or two, what about our pets? They have to bare it all. They cant suddenly grow a longer coat to cope with the frosty weather. Now is a good time to take your pet to your Vet for a winter checkup. Older dogs and cats are especially prone to the adverse effects of winter. Arthritis is one of the most common winter conditions to cause pets discomfort. In cold weather, many dogs or cats have difficulty rising after snoozing for a while. Some pets are stiff and sore after exercising. Limping and shortened gaits are common signs of arthritis. Keeping your pet warm can often play an important role in managing these conditions.

To keep a pet comfortable and warm at night why not give it a hot water bottle? This can be as simple as a plastic soft drink container filled with hot water from the tap. Cover the container with a  towel or an old woollen jumper. Never use boiling water as your pet may chew the container and burn itself. It is vital that the water bottles, including the rubber ones, are insulated with a thick covering of material to prevent burns. This is especially important for disabled or infant pets that may be unable to move away from the heat source. What may feel comfortable to touch can become dangerously hot when the animal has been lying on it for a few minutes. There is also a new range of microwave-able hot water bottles or pads. These hold their heat for most of the night. Thermostatically controlled heat pads can be placed in a pets basket to provide warmth as well. An old sock filled with rice and heated in the microwave for 2 minutes is another good heat pack. The rice  is also safe if your pet happens to eat it!

Of course you can give your dog the latest in dog coats. These can provide great comfort, especially if your dog has no fat layers or little hair to keep them warm. If your dog sleeps outside you should provide him with a warm kennel. The floor should be elevated to keep your dog off the ground. Place thick bedding in the kennel, eg. sheepskin-like material.

Remember while you’re warm and toasty this winter, don’t forget your pets and call into Mudgee Veterinary Hospital to checkout our large range of dog coats.





Eclampsia in bitches, also known as milk fever, is an acute life threatening disorder that is a result of low blood calcium due to heavy milk production in lactating bitches. This metabolic disease mainly affects smaller breeds of dogs and generally occurs when the puppies are 2-5 weeks of age. A poor diet with low calcium can predispose bitches to eclampsia and the use of calcium supplements during pregnancy can also increase the risk. Large litters may require supplemental feeding.

Signs of eclampsia include restlessness, nervousness, muscle spasms, high body temperature, limb rigidity, uncoordinated movements, panting, seizures and death. Eclampsia is fatal if untreated so it represents a medical emergency. Treatment involves administration of calcium , glucose and  lowering of body temperature. Eclampsia may  be prevented by weaning and handrearing the puppies once the crisis is over.

Do not use calcium supplements in the pregnant bitch and ensure she gets a high quality, balanced diet. The staff at Mudgee Veterinary Hospital can advise you on the best diet for your dog and the amount to feed, plus whether extra calcium is required after whelping.

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Here are some photos of a horse that had multiple sarcoids (5 in total).

This case was successfully treated, and the horse is sarcoid free