Welcome to another edition of the Village Bark from Vets in the Village St Lucia. This month has been pawsome, with St Lucia community events and birthdays, new staff, and a life saving surgery. This month we have an extra special patient of the month who underwent a world leading surgery for a weakened heart. And finally we ask Dr Ellen if eating one chocolate egg this Easter really is a pet emergency. Keep reading to find out more!

St Lucia Dogs, St Lucia Vet group of dogs

Thank you to our beautiful St Lucia community for joining us for our community event celebrating Paddington’s birthday. Together, we raised over $200 for Hummingbird house – Queensland’s only children’s hospice providing specialised palliative care services to babies and children with life limiting conditions. We had a wonderful morning at vets in the village filled with face painting, pup cakes and pawsome fun in the dog play area. Paddington and Eddie we’re certainly exhausted after such a fun day!

Our St Lucia Vet family has grown! Introducing our newest senior veterinary nurse, Britney. Britney is a ray of sunshine, brining 4 years of veterinary nursing experience having worked at a range of clinics around Brisbane in including Emergency, ICU Critical Care and General Practice clinics. Brit lives with her husband Brodie, in Ipswich and is Fur-mum to Wesley Bones, Mr Snuggles and Bentley. When Britney doesn’t have scrubs on she is spending time with her family and taking Wesley to walking tracks of Mt Cootha and taking road trips around Queensland. Please give a warm welcome to Britney next time you’re in The Village.

This month’s award goes to a very special boy named Winston who has recently undergone a remarkable surgery to fix his heart. Winston was diagnosed with a heart condition called myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD). Winston has been on daily medication to help improve his heart muscle strength, however even with this medication on board his life expectancy was reduced. Lucky for Winston, his very dedicated owners enlisted the help of Specialist Cardiologists from Vet Specialist Services and a team of Specialist Veterinarians from Shanghai, China to perform a revolutionary V-Clamp procedure on Winston’s heart. A technique well-established in human medicine but new in veterinary cardiology, Winston is only the 4th recipient in VSS history to undergo such a procedure that has offered him the potential for improved survival and quality of life. The complex yet effective surgery saw Winston recovering remarkably fast and home with his family 2 short days after undergoing such an incredible medical milestone. We are so proud of you Winston.

Do you like Chocolate? Because I bet your pet does as well. As a vet, Easter means two things. Chocolate AND a lot of question about pets eating chocolate. So I thought I would unwrap everything you need to know about the sweet stuff to keep your pets safe this Easter season. Chocolate is toxic to dogs. It contains a compound called ‘theobromine’ which pets can’t metabolise like humans can. It acts as a central nervous system stimulant, causing seizures and vomiting & diarrhoea if ingested. BUT don’t worry, it’s not always as bad as it seems…

Fact #1 it depends on the type of Chocolate The darker the Chocolate, the higher the cocoa content and the more dangerous it is. That means pure Cocoa powder (used for cooking) and dark chocolate are the most dangerous to our furry friends. Milk chocolate, with less cocoa is therefore less dangerous and white chocolate, without any cocoa at all, rarely poses any threat of toxicity.

Fact #2 it depends how much was eaten Luckily, the volume of milk chocolate a pet has to eat is sometimes surprisingly high. This means if you pet sneaks a small milk chocolate easter egg, chances are they will be okay (depending on their size). However if they’ve been greedy and gobbled up a load of eggs they might be in serious trouble, that’s why it’s best to ALWAYS contact us to run the calculations and be safe.

Fact #3 time is crucial If you have caught your pet in the act or soon after & get them to us in time, we can make them vomit to help empty their tummies of chocolate (sorry doggo). We only have a short window, so contact us immediately if you’re concerned.

Fact #4 cats are special In my whole career I haven’t seen a cat eat chocolate! They surprisingly don’t have a sweet tooth and tend to stick away from chocolate (but please keep an eye out just in case).

Wishing you all a very happy Easter! We hope you enjoy your time with friends & family. We will be closed easter Friday to easter Monday (inclusive). If you need any food, toys or medication before the break, please give us a call on 07 3377 3400 and we’d be happy to help.