LS News_Winter2007

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                                          WINTER 2007


                               Libby Lenton
                               finds love at
                                  Lort Smith

 In this edition:
 Teaching old
 dogs new tricks
 The pitfalls of
 overweight pets
    Keeping                                                      & Snappy
                                                     Short the CEO
    your pets                                        Update from
                                                         EACH OUT was the theme of         from our new divisional managers
    and Our hospital,                               R    this year’s Annual General
                                                    Meeting, where staff joined board
                                                                                           who spoke of improved hospital,
                                                                                           veterinary and shelter services, new

    healthy                                         members, donors, volunteers,
                                                    corporate supporters and
                                                    members to review the work of
                                                    the Hospital over the past 12
                                                                                           staff structures and training
                                                                                           initiatives and increased community
                                                                                           awareness and support. We also
                                                                                           recognised the incredible contribu-
     t’s a well known statistic that one in         months (2006). We were again           tion of two of our PALS volunteers,
    Ithree pets will need unexpected
    veterinary treatment every year.
                                                    honoured this year to be joined
                                                    by our Patron, Lady Southey as
                                                                                           Joan Ray and Michael Tucker. Joan
                                                                                           and Michael have respectively
                                                    well as other distinguished guests     managed, co-ordinated and
    Consider this. If it was your dog               including Mr. Lindsay Tanner MP  ,     assessed the PALS pet therapy
    diagnosed with adrenal carcinoma, would         Shadow Minister for Finance (our       program for over 20 years.
    you be able to seek specialist veterinary       Guest Speaker) and Mr. John
    treatment if you knew the cost would                                                   My own report while detailing the
                                                    Vogels MP Shadow Minister for
    come to $16,000?                                                                       great progress that the Hospital
                                                    Agriculture. The Honourable
                                                                                           made in 2006 focused more on my
    This is an example of a sometimes               Bronwyn Pike, Minister for
                                                                                           vision for the future, one charac-
    impossible and heartbreaking situation          Health, unable to join us on the
                                                                                           terised again, by new services and
    that many pet owners find themselves in.        day sent her best wishes via
                                                                                           programs that broaden our reach in
    For Lort Smith, treatments like this place a    video.
                                                                                           the community. My hopes and
    huge burden on our overall delivery of          The AGM is a great opportunity to      aspirations for the Lort Smith
    veterinary care which is why, after a great     take stock of the valuable role Lort   Animal Hospital in 2007 are
    deal of deliberation to make sure we            Smith Animal Hospital plays within     extremely high as we look to build
    found the best deal possible for our            our community and of the many          on our achievements of the past
    clients and supporters, we have teamed          ways that we are reaching out to       year. I thank everybody who has
    up with Petplan Australia.                      make a positive impact on the lives    been involved with the hospital in
    Petplan specialises in health insurance for     of so many people and animals.         any capacity for their hard work and
    cats and dogs and was one of the first                                                 dedication and urge them to
                                                    A unique musical element kicked
    companies (in the UK) to enter the market                                              continue with us as we follow in
                                                    off proceedings with Lort Smith’s
    back in 1976. Since then millions of pet                                               Mrs. Lort Smith’s great tradition.
                                                    Executive Officer, Kristilee,
    owners have chosen Petplan to look after        performing along with members of       Ric Holland
    their pets and give them peace of mind.         jazz band ‘Snap Happy’. Other          Chief Executive Officer
    And because the people at Petplan are           highlights included presentations
    passionate about animal welfare, not only
    have they formulated a choice of compre-
    hensive and low cost insurance policies
    for pets, they are also helping us to
    continue our work caring for lost,
    abandoned, mistreated, sick and injured
    animals by very generously donating 10%
    of every new policy introduced by the Lort
    Smith Animal Hospital, back to the
    To find out more about how Petplan can
    provide peace of mind over your pet’s
    health requirements and how you can
    help support the Hospital at the same
    time, visit our website or call the Lort
    Smith Development Office on 9321 7214.

Front cover:
Libby Lenton and husband Luke Trickett with Bella

2       Lord Smith Animal Hospital
                               Pedigree joins
                                                                 Lort Smith

                                                                                       Paul Gale, animal trainer, Libby Lenton
                                                                                       with newly adopted Bella and Di Aitkens,
                                                                                       Lort Smith’s Director of Operations

Pedigree joins forces with                Lort Smith’s CEO Ric Holland, who is       Australian Swim star, Libby Lenton
                                          also the National Director of the Animal   recently experienced the heartbreaking
Animal Welfare League of
                                          Welfare League Australia, has              sight of seeing lost and abandoned
Australia to rescue                       commended Pedigree for their               dogs in a shelter waiting for someone
homeless dogs.                            commitment to dogs in need;                to love them and take them home.
                                          “squarely focused on rehoming lost,        Libby had herself decided to expand
    bout 15,000 years of friendship
A   between people and dogs is
pretty strong evidence to support the
                                          abandoned and unwanted dogs, this
                                          program will make an enormous contri-
                                                                                     her family by adopting a dog from Lort
                                                                                     Smith as part of the Pedigree Adoption
“mans best friend” theory. However
despite this obvious and well
documented bond, over 25,000 dogs
                                                  Every dog                           Libby has now partnered with
                                                                                      Pedigree to highlight the plight of
find themselves in Animal Welfare                                                     shelter dogs. “Every dog in every
Shelters across Australia each year.
                                                   has their                          shelter has their own story to tell;
                                                                                      they all have great personalities and
Aiming to reverse this trend, Pedigree           own story;                           they all just want to be loved.” Libby
has recently joined forces with the
Animal Welfare League to launch the
Pedigree Adoption Drive which seeks
                                                they all just                         If you would like to adopt a shelter
to draw attention to the plight of                                                    dog or support the Pedigree Adoption
shelter dogs by supporting a campaign
                                                 want to be                           Drive log onto www.pedigreeadoption-
to find them loving homes and new                                           
owners.                                                loved
As the Victorian arm of the Animal
                                          bution to the lives of thousands of
Welfare League, the Lort Smith Animal
                                          people and these wonderful dogs that
Hospital will be the centre for all
                                          will receive a second chance at life
Victorian adoptions and is fully behind
                                          through the Pedigree Adoption Drive.”
the program.

                                                                                                    Lord Smith Animal Hospital   3
                    Lort Smith’s
        Asylum Seekers
    very year thousands of dogs and         As the Victoria arm of the Animal           Like all Lort Smith services our shelter
E   cats are brought through the
emergency doors of Lort Smith as
                                            Welfare League Australia and the
                                            largest charitable veterinary hospital in
                                                                                        receives no government funding and
                                                                                        relies on the generosity and support of
abandoned or surrendered animals            Australia, Lort Smith passionately          people in the community to continue
and strays in need of urgent medical        supports the care and rehoming of           to operate.
attention and shelter.                      shelter animals. We provide this vital
                                                                                        If you are interested in supporting our
                                            service so that animals that would
Cardboard boxes full of underweight                                                     shelter please consider making a
                                            otherwise be put to sleep get a
kittens, lost dogs that have been hit by                                                donation today by filling in the
                                            second chance at life.
cars, stray cats with chronic cat flu or                                                attached form or calling our
cats and dogs that have outgrown                                                        fundraising office on 9321 7286.
their welcome and are no-longer
wanted, are just some of the cases we
                                              finding these                             Believe us, every little bit helps:
see here daily.                              unwanted pets                              • $20 will feed a malnourished cat
                                                                                          or dog for two weeks
So far this year our staff at Lort Smith    new loving homes
have taken in or treated over 10,000                                                    • $50 could vaccinate a stray dog
animals in need of care. That’s over 75        is what Lort                               against heartworm
animals a day. Animals brought in by
people who can no-longer look after          Smith has done                             • $150 would treat a shelter cat for
                                                                                          cat flu
them, or afford their medical                  for 75 years
treatment as well animals that simply                                                   • $250 will pay for a patella operation
have nowhere else to go.                                                                  to fix a dogs slipped knee cap that
                                            The Cost of Sheltering                        if left untreated would cause serious
We shelter these animals, feed them
                                                                                          arthritis later in life
and where necessary provide the             Animals in Need
critical veterinary care and rehabilita-    Our shelter and animal welfare service      • $1000 would fund our kitten foster
tion they need to recover to full health.   costs close to one million dollars a          program for a month
After all, caring for animals in need       year to operate. Each animal we             If you would like to know more about
and finding these unwanted pets new         shelter and rehome costs between            our shelter, rehoming or foster care
loving homes is what Lort Smith has         $500 and $1000 depending on its
                                                                                             Deputy Head contact Di Aitkin on
                                                                                        programs, please Vet, Sasha Herbert
done for over 75 years.                     state of health when it comes to us.        9321 7264.
4   Lord Smith Animal Hospital
                                                                                                           please help us sponsor a shelter animal

                                                                                                           For the last 75 years Lort Smith has served the community by looking after animals that
                                                                                                           have nowhere else to turn. We do this without any government funding and rely on the
                                                                                                           support of animal lovers like you.
                                                                                                              As little as $10 a month (just thirty two cents a day) will support this vital work and
                                                                                                           make an enormous contribution to the welfare of the thousands of animals at risk of harm.
                                                                                                              Help us continue our vital work by committing to a regular donation. Simply fill in the
                                                                                                           form below and help make a difference to the lives of animals in need.

                                                                                                           MAKE A REGULAR DONATION                                                         donate online
story                                                                                                      Yes I ‘d like to help sponsor a shelter animal:

                                                                                                                       $10 a month                   $20 a month
                                                                                                                                                                                    $35 a month

                                                                                                                       $50 a month                   0ther $                a month
   ester was brought into Lort
L  Smith’s emergency department
as a three month old puppy that                                                                            MAKE A ONE-OFF DONATION
had been accidentally run over and                                                                              I can’t commit to a regular gift at this time, but I’d like to make a one off
needed to have his leg amputated.                                                                               donation:
Unfortunately the family                                                                                               $20              $30              $50          $100            0ther $
concerned did not want a three
legged dog so he was surrendered                                                                           RAFFLE ORDER
to Lort Smith. Lester was brought                                                                             I would also be willing to sell raffle tickets to help Lort Smith
back to good health by our veteri-
                                                                                                           Please send me:
narians and fostered during                                                                                                                                       Payment method for raffle tickets:
                                                                                                                 1 x book of 15 tickets            $30
recovery and rehabilitation until                                                                                                                                    I enclose payment for raffle tickets
he was ready for rehoming.                                                                                          2 x book of 15 tickets         $60                 I would prefer to pay for raffle tickets
                                                                                                                    3 x book of 15 tickets         $90                 when I return them
Then along came Giaan Rooney,
Olympic gold medal swimmer and                                                                             Personal details (please PRINT clearly)
future mother of Lester. “When I                                                                           Name
first saw Lester I could not believe
someone had given this beautiful                                                                           Address
dog away because he didn’t suit                                                                                                                                                        Postcode
their lifestyle anymore or because
he wasn’t seen as being perfect. He                                                                        Telephone (B)                                                  (H)
has given me so much love and joy,                                                                         Mobile                                                         Fax
I could not imagine my life without
him or think what would have                                                                               Email
happened to him if Lort Smith had                                                                          Language spoken at home                                                     Date of birth
not come to his rescue”
                                                                                                           PAYMENT DETAILS
                                                                                                           I would like to make my payment by:                                                                over
                                                                                                                                                                                               All don     fully ta
                                                                                                                direct debit from my bank account (please send details)                               now
                                                                                                                                                                                               $2 are       ble
                                                                                                                cheque or money order (one off donations only)                                      deducti
                                       Photo courtesy of Adore Magazine and Petrait Animal Photography

                                                                                                                payable to the Lort Smith Animal Hospital
                                                                                                                VISA                     Bankcard                      Mastercard

                                                                                                           Total amount enclosed or to be debited from my credit card is $

                                                                                                           Card Number __ __ __ __|__ __ __ __|__ __ __ __|__ __ __ __

                                                                                                           Name on Card                                                                Date

                                                                                                           Signature                                                                   Expiry date

                                                                                                                I do not require a receipt

                                                                                                                Please send me information about leaving the Lort Smith Animal Hospital
                                                                                                                a bequest in my Will

                                                                                                           Thank you for assisting us to care for the animals in need.
                                                                                                           Please fill in this form and return in the reply paid envelope provided.
                                                                                                           Alternatively return by fax to (03) 9321 7211
                                                                                                           Development & Fundraising Department
                                                                                                           Lort Smith Animal Hospital
                                                                                                           24 Villiers Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051

                                                                                                         Lort Smith Animal Hospital respects your privacy. We store information to advise you of
                                                                                                                                                                                                    donate online
                                                                                                         client and hospital updates and fundraising events. If you would like to know more about
                                                                                                         your rights and our obligations you can view our Privacy Policy on our website: If you
                                                                                                         no-longer wish to receive correspondence from us please tick here or call 9321 7286.

                                                                                                                                                                                     Lord Smith Animal Hospital        5
      Learn about
dog psychology
    ort Smith has recently introduced       to as many social settings and envi-     if you have a young dog, start now.
L   a program to improve training for
all animal management officers,
                                            ronments as possible so it will not
                                            be afraid of things when it is older.
                                                                                     Paul Gale provides the following tips
                                                                                     on some of the most common
enabling them to better understand
                                            “Most of a dog’s bad behaviour is the    challenges facing dog owners.
and modify certain behaviours of the
                                            result of what the owner has allowed
dogs they work with.                                                                 Who is the boss?
                                            the dog to do. It’s also a problem if
The training, by well-known trainer         people attribute human-like qualities    In order for your dog to obey the rules
Paul Gale, means animal management          to the dog. This shows a lack of         he must understand that, in regard to
officers working in Lort Smith’s shelter    understanding of what the dog is         the family members who compose his
and rehoming program are all trained        about.” Paul said.                       “pack”, he is on the bottom of the
to the same level. They are also better                                              ladder and that you are “the leader of
able to read a dog’s body language                                                   the pack”. When a dog goes to a new
and understand how a dog may react                                                   home but cannot identify the leader,
in a difficult situation.                                 People phone               he will assume that role for himself
                                                                                     and will not follow your instructions.
Di Aitken, Operations Manager at Lort                        us to ask if            Some ideas to teach your dog that you
Smith, said dogs that have some
minor behavioural problems, can now
                                                            we will take             are the boss:

receive special training and are better                       their pets             • Limit the amount of toys available to
prepared to go to a new home.                                                          the dog at any one time, and occa-
                                                           because they                sionally take his favourite away from
“We have people phoning us to ask if                                                   him and put it in a drawer for a few
we will take their dog because they                              cannot
                                                                                       hours. The dog will come to under-
cannot manage them anymore. Now
                                                          manage them                  stand that they are your toys, not his.
our animal management officers can
use their training to support these dog                        anymore               • Feed him after the family has eaten,
owners to change this unwanted                                                         and always make him obey a few
behaviour rather than having to                                                        commands like “sit” or “drop” before
                                            There are several dog-training organi-     allowing him to eat.
surrender their pet, ” Di said.
                                            sations in Melbourne, including those
Paul Gale’s weekly lectures to Lort         that not only train dogs, but train      • Never let the dog sleep in his
Smith staff began about four months         owners to train their own dogs. Paul       master’s bedroom.
ago and already Di believes the staff       recommends that dog owners find out      • If you allow your dog inside, do not
are using a more uniform approach to        what kinds of training methods and         let him sit on the couch with you,
handling dogs. As well as the lectures,     equipment suit their personal beliefs      but on the floor at your feet.
Paul is on call to help with a particular   and are best for their dog.
issue staff may encounter with a dog.                                                • When you give a command, be sure
                                            It’s Never Too Late                        to use a tone of voice that leaves no
Paul believes almost every dog can be       There’s a saying that ‘you can’t teach     doubt in the dog’s mind that he has
trained and the best time to begin the      an old dog new tricks’. Well ignore        a command to obey
teaching is at 8 weeks of age when a        that piece of advice. According to dog
remarkable eight-week ‘window’ of           trainer Paul Gale, you can most          • Train your dog to sit or drop and
great learning is available. This is the    definitely teach a dog tricks and good     await a command before allowing
time when a pup should be exposed           behaviour at almost any age. However,      him through gates or doors.

6   Lord Smith Animal Hospital
Your dog jumps on everyone
in the house and anyone who                he’s not
There are many ways to deal with this      fluffy, he’s

problem, but the easiest is to
understand that your dog cannot jump
up on people if he or she is sitting.
Train your dog to sit/stay reliably and
then set up situations where he would
normally jump up, such as friends
visiting your house. When they knock       Recognising and
on the door, put your dog into a sit/
stay until the visitors have entered
                                           managing obesity
and gone into another room. Then           in pets.
release your dog (give him the release
command), lavishly praise him and
give him a doggy treat.
To teach your dog to sit, follow this
routine for 10 minutes a day until he
obeys reliably.
Give the command “sit!” in a loud,               hy do pets gain weight?               the equivalent strain placed on a little
clear voice. At the same time grasp
the back of the dog’s collar with your
                                           W     Basically because we feed
                                           them too much. Other factors can
                                                                                       Maltese terrier that is 3kg overweight
                                                                                       or a Labrador that is 15 kg
right hand and gently push down on         contribute such as a lack of exercise,      overweight.
the dogs rear back, just forward of        disease, medication, genetics and
where the tail joins the body. Initially                                               How can you tell if your pet is over-
                                           behavioural disorders that increase
he will not understand what “sit!”                                                     weight and what can you do about it?
                                           appetite. However even these pets
means, but he will come to                 cannot put on weight if we give             Firstly you need to learn a condition
understand that the sound “sit!” is        them a well balanced diet in                scoring technique for assessing how fat
associated with the action of sitting.     appropriate quantities.                     or thin your pet is. The condition score
When his bottom touches the ground                                                     of your pet relates to the shape of the
                                           Why is it a problem for pets to be
say something like “good dog!”, then                                                   body and how much fat obscures that
                                           overweight? Overweight pets suffer a
the release command (I recommend                                                       shape. Ask your vet to teach you how
                                           wide range of ailments as both a direct
the word “free” as a release                                                           to assess condition score.
                                           and indirect consequence of obesity.
command because you can change             Garfield, the overweight domestic           Once you have established that your
the inflection and tone of the word        shorthair cat, is exactly the type of       pet is indeed overweight and have
easily) and then give him his favourite    patient we see frequently for Feline        assessed any associated medical
doggy treat.                               Lower Urinary Tract Disease. FLUTD          conditions you can develop a weight
This training takes consistency,           can result in a blocked urethra that        loss program for your pet. The
persistence, patience and repetition.      prevents cats from urinating and could      biggest challenge you will face is in
                                           result in death due to build up of toxins   identifying and undoing bad feeding
Reward your dog for any effort or          and even bladder rupture. Overweight        habits. Try making a food diary over
improvement he makes.                      cats cannot groom themselves                two weeks. Involve everyone in the
                                           properly and loose their mobility. They     house and neighbours and visitors
                                           are more prone to diabetes, cardiovas-      too. Write down the amount of every
                                           cular and fatty liver disease.              single food item given to the pet. You
                                                                                       may be surprised how much he is
                                           Overweight dogs carry a greater risk
                                                                                       getting on the sly! If you have a
                                           of arthritis, heart disease, pancreatitis
                                                                                       roaming cat it may be time to
                                           and even skin diseases. It is really
                                                                                       consider building him an aviary and
                                           quite unfair to ask Cassie the Cavalier
                                                                                       keeping him confined. Your vet can
                                           King Charles to run her weight off
                                                                                       help you develop the program which
                                           when her failing heart cannot keep up
                                                                                       may include measures of food
                                           with the demands the extra weight
                                                                                       restriction, prescription diets or home
                                           places on her. She needs plenty of
                                                                                       cooked meals.
                                           love but less food. Dolly the
                                           Dachsund has a long back that is            Once you have chosen your approach
                                           already her weakest point. Imagine          persevere, be strong and give cuddles
                                           asking her to carry more weight! We         and play time as rewards instead of
                                           wouldn’t dream of asking our 80 year        food. Good luck!
                                           old grandmother with severe arthritis
                                                                                       Dr Sacha Herbert
                                           to carry a 30kg backpack all day,
                                                                                       Senior Vet
                                           would we? Certainly not! Yet this is

                                                                                                        Lord Smith Animal Hospital   7
Q: I’ve been told by the vet that my dog                                                                                                                             RAFFLE
has a heart murmur. What does this                                                                                                                                   VOLUNTEERS
mean? Will he require medication?
A   : A heart murmur is a term used to
     describe problems with the heart,
notably the valves inside the heart chambers.
Normally these valves snap shut during the                                                                                                                           With only four months to go
contraction process as the heart pumps                                                                                                                               to the close of Lort Smiths
blood out. Sometimes in older dogs these                                                                                                                             inaugural raffle we still have
valves do not shut as tightly as they should,
                                                                                                                                                                     many tickets to sell and need
allowing some blood to leak through. If you
were to listen to the heart with a leaky valve                                                                                                                       volunteers to assist with the
using a stethoscope, you would hear a                                                                                                                                sale of these tickets. The
whooshing type sound, which is known as a                                                                                                                            prizes are fabulous so the
murmur. The murmur becomes louder as the                                                                                                                             tickets at $2.00 each virtually
severity of the condition increases.
                                                                                                                                                                     sell themselves. If you could
Not all dogs will develop heart murmurs. Those                                                                                                                       possibly assist in selling raffle
with murmurs are often detected when they
                                                                                                                                                                     tickets to your friends, family
are middle age or older. However, just because
a dog develops a murmur does not mean it will                                                                                                                        members or work colleagues,
require medication. It will depend on how the                                                                                                                        please contact our volunteer
dog is clinically, i.e. whether it is showing any                                                                                                                    and fundraising office on
symptoms or not. Symptoms include exercise                                                                                                                           9321 7288.
intolerance, coughing especially when resting
or laying down, and shortness of breath.
It is important to note that medication used to
                                                                                                                                                                     Winter Wool Required
                                                                                                                                                                     As we settle into winter and the rain
treat heart murmurs is not directly treating the
                                                                                                                                                                     comes (thankfully), our volunteer
heart valve itself but rather the symptoms the
                                                                                                                                                                     knitters are busy whipping up some
dog displays. There is actually no medication
                                                                                                                                                                     coats for our shelter dogs. But they
which can repair the damaged heart valve. The
                                                                                                                                                                     are running out of wool. If you knit
medication helps to improve the quality of life
                                                                                                                                                                     and are able to donate any wool
for the dog, and will be required for the rest of
                                                                                                                                                                     please contact our volunteer office
his life. The good news is that dogs that have
                                                                                                                                                                     on 9321 7288
heart murmurs which are not showing clinical
signs do not usually require any medication. A
regular check up is recommended though for                                                                                                                           A Great Supporter Who
peace of mind.                                                                                                                                                       Left an Indelible Print
                                                                                                                                                                     Readers will be sad to hear of the
Dr Patrick Cheah
Head Vet                                                                                                                                                             death of Merle Brown, who, with her
                                                                                                                                                                     husband Ron, printed the Lort Smith
                                                                                                                                                                     newsletter for many years. Merle
                                                                                                                                                                     also subsidised much of the
 LORT SMITH ANIMAL HOSPITAL                                                                               FL             ROYAL
                                                                                                              EM                                                     hospital’s printing which made a

 24 Villiers Street,                                                                                              IN

                                                                                                RT                  G                                                significant contribution to our
                                                                                            O                          TO

 North Melbourne 3051                                                                    C

                                                                                     A                                    N             GRATTAN
                                                                                                                                                                     growth, development and capacity to

                                                                                  H                                                               ST
                                                                                                                                                       ROYAL PA

 Tel: 9328 3021 Fax: 9329 5347

                                                                                                                    AY 8K                                            help even more animals in need.

                                                                                TN                                                                                                LW                R

                                                                                                                E 2A                    D
                                                                                         ST                    M E


                                                                   O'SHANA                                     PA
 Weekdays 8.30 am – 7.30 pm

                                                                                 SSY ST


 Emergency service 7.30 pm – Midnight




 Weekends 8.30 am – 5.00 pm

 Emergency service 5.00 pm – Midnight
 Dog and Cat Adoptions: All dogs and cats are sold desexed, microchipped,
 vaccinated, wormed and with one month’s free veterinary treatment. The hours of
 sale are from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm seven days a week. Please call for an appointment

 Editor: Cath Hoban Contributor: Rosie Hoban Photography: Belinda Russo Design: Ros Caré

 8    Lord Smith Animal Hospital

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