Robs Ramblings: Mirror, Mirror on the wall…… Who is the most toxic of us all?



Red bellied blackCone Shell Funnel web spider Irukandji jelly fish   paralysis tick






Box jelly fish

poisonous snake





How many of the above poisonous creatures can you identify?
As far as deadly toxins are concerned, we are spoilt for choice locally with the following all being pretty nasty:
Box jellyfish,
• Irukandji,
• Inland taipan,
• Stonefish,
• Funnel web spider,
• Common death adder,
• Cone shells,
• Red back spider,
• Red bellied black snake
• Lionfish.
But size for size the Paralysis Tick gives them a run for their money! Unfortunately, every year we see many dogs who have been struck down by these small but toxic parasites.
E mail us at if you would like us to send you a free e book on tick paralysis which will tell you all you need to know about this nasty disease.
The Australian Geographic has a great article on Australia’s most poisonous animals. It is amazing that any of us make it to adulthood!!

Welcome Dr Lauren!

Many of you will already have had the pleasure of meeting Dr Lauren Fraser, who joined us at the beginning of September. Our overriding aim at McDowall vets is to make veterinary care friendly, approachable and convenient. With this in mind, we realised as we continued to grow, that we needed another vet to help increase the consult times available to you, so after an extensive interview process, we hand-picked Lauren.
We are really excited to have her join our team; she is an exceptional vet of the highest calibre, with lots of experience with both dogs and cats, but more importantly has the high level of empathy, compassion and gentle bedside manner that our clients have grown to expect when visiting us.
Having an extra vet allows us to offer more appointments and means that we will now have two vets consulting every evening until 7pm, which hopefully allows you to have more access to those later after work appointments which are so useful when trying to fit everything into the busy working day.
It will also allow us to perform more house calls for our clients when required. We realise that for many pets, a home visit is a lot more practical and less stressful. Please give us a ring to arrange a home visit if required.
Lauren adores cats and has a young Jack Russell puppy called “Hippo” (don’t ask!!) Feel free to say “Hi!” when you are next passing by.

 Dr Lauren Albany Creek Vet

Dr Rob’s Ramblings: The Pleasure of Pets!

cat_love at mcdowall vetAs I was lying sick in bed this week with the “man flu” trying to sleep, our cat “Mocha” came and gave me a huge amount of attention! Firstly she pushed her face up against mine and started purring until I stroked her and then she continued to nudge up against me and purr gently, nudging my hand whenever I stopped. Her cold nose reminded me to keep going whenever I hesitated. Soon I started to feel slightly better and my spirits lifted as I spent some quality time with my cat. She then cuddled up next to me and kept me company while I recovered. I couldn’t help but marvel at how lucky we are have to have such loving creatures in our lives who endlessly show us all the best human attributes and none of the worst.
*Empathy                                            *Compassion
*Love                                                   *Adoration
*Loyalty                                              *Sympathy
*Companionship                                *Joy
*Exuberance                                      *Sense of Humour
*Protection                                        * Patience

pets mcdowall vets

We would love to see pictures and hear stories of your pets best displaying these wonderful attributes. Please upload your picture or story  to our facebook page The ones getting the most likes will be short – listed to be awarded our inaugural annual McDowall Vets Medal Of Gratitude! ” The Mogie”

Dr Robs Ramblings: It’s Raining Itchy Dogs and Cats!

Itchy dog Albany Creek vet     Itchy dog McDowall vet






What a beautiful weekend we have just had. It was wonderful to feel the sun on my skin and the warmth in the air as I took Roxy for a walk. The kids were ahead on their bikes and all was right with the world! The Jasmine is flowering, filling the garden with a beautiful scent. Spring is definitely in the air!
Unfortunately, for many people this statement is met with dread as it signals the start of hay fever season. Did you know that many of our pets are similarly affected? However, instead of sneezing, and having a runny nose and eyes (although occasionally we see these symptoms), dogs usually develop itchy skin. In animals these inhaled or contact allergies are called atopy and we are seeing a tonne of them at the moment.

Itchy skin Everton park vet

For many it will start with itchy feet. You may find that your evenings are being disturbed with the constant licking and slurping noises made as they try to relieve the irritation. The symptoms can rapidly progress to generalised redness and even ear ear infection Bridgeman Downs vet It is really important to stop this irritation in its tracks before it causes secondary skin infections, so if yours is an itchy dog, prone to grass allergies, now is the time to make sure that they restart low doses of their anti – allergy medication to prevent a flare up.

Itchy dogs and cats can be very frustrating to treat and live with, as it can often be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause without undergoing dermatological testing. I recommend keeping a diary of your pets itch score and their diet, exercise patterns, time of lawn mowing and bathing as well as any other variables that may play a role in the allergies. Often you can start to see a pattern develop and then avoid the most troublesome allergens or at least plan in advance for next year.

So, to summarise, if your pet is a chronic “foot licker”, he or she is likely suffering from allergies. The good news is that we can certainly help to control these and there are lots of different options available now days. Hopefully, with the correct treatment, we can ensure that you both return to getting a peaceful night’s sleep!Dog pain McDowall vet

Why we recommend and LOVE puppy school!

Cooper from Albany Creek Vet puppy school

Cute Cocker Cooper

Who doesn’t love puppies!! We have the best jobs ever here at McDowall Vet Practice, and never is it more evident than during our free puppy school meetings! These run every Monday and Tuesday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30pm and each course runs for one month. Because we believe so strongly in the positive benefits of dogs attending puppy school, we have made the decision to offer this class free to our clients, which is quite unique – we are the first vet practice in Australia to offer this service! Our puppy school is run by our wonderful, friendly certified veterinary nurses Laura and Steph.

There are so many benefits to attending Puppy school. Firstly it allows your bundle of fluff to experience positive socialisation with puppies of differing sizes- and with other people from outside their family. Often this is the first time puppies have seen another dog apart from their litter mates and it can be quite a culture shock! It is really fun to watch puppies mature and come out of their shells over the 4 weeks of puppy school. Ultimately, a well socialised dog is a happy one and means you are much more likely to take them out and about with you exploring.

Coco Sienna from Everton Park vet puppy school

Cuddly Coco Sienna

We offer a relaxed and safe place for puppies to have fun and experience new things. Our practice is a clean, disinfected and controlled environment, so we are happy that puppies who have not yet had their full set of vaccinations can safely mix with other puppies who are at the same stage. Laura and Steph watch closely to make sure that nobody becomes too overwhelmed by the experience or picked on by bigger dogs!

Another benefit of attending puppy school with us is that it allows your puppy to become accustomed to all the sights and smells of the clinic. Most dogs only visit the vets when something bad happens and so naturally, they can find it a daunting place. If we can make your dog’s first few visits a fun and happy experience, the next time they have to visit us, it’s not so scary for them- or for you! Our puppy school graduates usually come bounding through the front door and often are confused as to why all their friends aren’t there as well!

We will also go into more detail on all of those puppy care topics like diet, flea and tick control, toilet training, teething, prevention of biting and so on which Rob, Tara and Jenny may have discussed with you already. In this environment we can spend more time on the topics and give you plenty of time to ask questions about anything that is concerning you. We know how “full on” those first few weeks of puppy ownership can be!

Another aim of puppy school is to get our puppies to learn basic commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘drop’, and you will learn how to gently train your pets and get them to start toeing the line! However this isn’t the main focus of puppy school – we are more interested in teaching the puppies to be well socialized than obedient- at least during this stage in their life! And of course the main idea behind puppy school is to have fun!

Newton from Mcdowall vet puppy school

Giant Newton – the Dane!

Puppy school 101 also teaches our fluff bags to recognize the body language of other puppies and become aware of what is socially acceptable in the doggy world. They’ll learn that some dogs want to play and others don’t; that some are shy and some want to be the centre of attention. They will learn the behavior that other dogs display when they are interested in interacting and when they want to be left alone, which can save them some trouble as they get older and mix with more dogs that they don’t know.

Observing the puppies in a busy environment also allows us to identity some of the common problems that puppies can develop, such as guarding food, social anxiety or jumping up. If noticed, we will work with you to help resolve them before they become a more serious problem as the puppies grow into dogs.

In summary, we LOVE our Puppy school and I am sure you will to! It allows us to really get to experience the characters of the individual puppies and start to become great friends with them. If you are passing the clinic on a Monday or Tuesday evening and would like to brighten up your day, just pop your head in and say hello!