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Eltham Veterinary Practice
Cnr Main Rd and Mt Pleasant Rd
Eltham, VIC, 3095
Phone: 03 9439 8650

Blanket Drive

Local animal lovers are being asked to help homeless dogs and cats this winter by donating old blankets and towels to the Eltham Veterinary Practice’s annual blanket drive.

Vet Steve Pryor said a staff member first had the idea of a blanket drive a couple of years ago because they wanted to help lost and homeless animals.

“A lot of our staff, as you can imagine, are very committed to looking after sheltered dogs and finding homes for dogs that are surrendered, or lost” he said. “Blankets can be old and we can wash them if they are not super clean. The societies are always really rapt to get them.”

We will donate the blankets as they come to the Cat Protection Society, The Lost Dogs’ Home and the R.S.P.C.A. Director of the Cat Protection Society, Dr Carole Webb said they were grateful for the blanket drive.

“The real winners here are our lovely moggies, who get nice, warm blankets to snuggle into during these colder months,” Dr Webb said. The Lost Dogs’ Home noted “It gives staff at the home enormous pleasure to be able to make up lovely, cosy beds for our animals to sleep in.”

We have already had a huge response from very generous clients and well wishers in the area, so much so that we are having to store some of the blankets in another building! But the more the merrier, your blankets and towels are the most tangible of gifts, and they are sure to be lovingly drooled on and snuggled in — and perhaps occasionally chewed on — by their grateful recipients.

lenny me
Contents of this newsletter

01  Pet Winter Woolies Competition

02  Keeping your pets safe in Winter

03  Case Study

04  Feeling the cold or something else?

05  What causes arthritis?

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01 Pet Winter Woolies Competition

It’s the beginning of Winter and to celebrate being able to snuggle up on the couch with your best friend, we are holding a Pet Winter Woolies Competition. We want you to show us how your furry friend stays warm in Winter. 

Upload a photo or a video of your pet in their Winter best to our My Pet Stories Facebook page by midnight June 15th. The photos with the most ‘likes’ will be eligible for some great prizes! 


02 Keeping your pets safe in Winter

Here are three top tips for keeping your pet safe in the cooler months:

1. Protect your pet from the elements

Although the best method of protection for most dogs is to keep them indoors in cold weather, a dry, draft-free shelter can be used for dogs that live outside. Take extra care to make certain he is comfortable and can get in to and out of his housing easily. A bed lifted off the ground is essential. Cats are good at finding a warm spot to snuggle but make sure they don't get too close to the fire or the heater. 

2. Maintain grooming for the season

If you normally have your pet's hair kept short during the Summer, allow it to grow a little longer during Winter for extra warmth. Make sure you remove loose hair and check for matts under the legs and behind the ears. Keep your dog's nails short, especially the dew claws on the inner forelegs. 

3. Animal clothing

If it is extremely cold, animal coats or jumpers can help keep your pet warm. Be sure to remove your pet's garment in the house, especially if your house is warm to prevent overheating. 

Click here to see a hilarious video of a few dogs getting in to the Winter spirit.

03 Case Study

Max the 10-year-old Labrador has a heart of gold. He loves his family, his daily treats and he especially loves going for walks. When Max gets in the car he gets super excited as it means a walk at the beach is on the cards.

Recently Max had been hesitating before jumping into the boot of the 4WD. He was also less enthusiastic about climbing the stairs in the back garden so he was brought in for a check up.

Max was found to have painful hips and his knees. He was also carrying a few too many kilos, a common problem for a food obsessed Labrador!

Radiographs of Max’s hips and knees under a general anesthetic revealed early signs of arthritis so a treatment and weight loss program was developed.

Max was started on a course of anti-arthritis injections. This drug helps to slow the breakdown of the cartilage in a joint, improving the fluid in the joint to help it glide more easily. You can read more about the drug at Following a course of four injections, Max was happy to jump in to the car again and will have follow up injections for the rest of his life.

A restricted calorie diet was essential for Max as he had at least 3kg to lose!

Max is also allowed a daily chew that contains Glucosamine sulfate and Chondroitin sulfate, both of which may also help to improve joint function.

The good news is that Max is now a happier dog and with regular check ups, will live a more comfortable life.


04 Feeling the cold or something else?

Can your dog jump in to the car easily?

Is your cat hiding something?

In the colder weather, we all find it a little harder to get out of bed in the mornings. Even our pets enjoy sleeping in but have you considered that your furry friend may be struggling to get moving because of sore joints?

Arthritis is a disease that can sneak up on your pet. The signs are very subtle and differ considerably between dogs and cats.

Some of the signs to watch out for:


  • Difficulty jumping in to the car, up on the furniture or climbing stairs
  • Stiffness especially in the morning
  • Difficulty getting up or lying down; you may notice your dog slowly lower himself down
  • Reluctance to walk, play or chase the ball
  • Sleeping or resting more
  • Lethargy
  • Less excited to greet you, less interactive 


  • Hesitating when jumping up or down from your lap or from the furniture
  • Ungraceful landing when jumping down
  • Reluctance to climb the fence or climb trees
  • Withdrawn, less interactive
  • Reluctance to move freely in and out of cat flap or even the litter box
  • Matted or scruffy coat from not grooming well due to pain
  • Nails may not wear down as quickly due to less activity

Don’t assume that it’s just old age or that nothing can be done. Your pet may be in pain and something can be done! If your pet is showing any of these signs, arrange a check up with us. The earlier we detect a problem, the sooner your pet can be helped and the progression of arthritis can be slowed.


05 What causes arthritis?

Overweight pets are at risk of developing Arthritis

Arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), affects the smooth cartilage that covers the ends of the bones of a moveable joint. This smooth cartilage provides a lovely soft surface to help the joint, such as the knee move comfortably.

Wear and tear on joints, injury, infection, defects such as hip dysplasia, stress from excess weight and even immune diseases can all lead to damage to the cartilage. This initiates the process of DJD and as the disease progresses, the cartilage becomes worn and the ends of the bone become exposed and rub together. Ouch! You can imagine this causes your pet considerable pain.

There is plenty we can do to slow the progression of arthritis and help your pet live a pain free life. It is important we rule out any other problems first so a consultation with us is essential. We can then discuss a suitable treatment plan for your furry friend and if medication is necessary.

In the mean time, here are a few things you can do at home: 

  • Keep your pet’s weight in a healthy range to reduce the load the joint has to bear
  • Provide a warm, dry and comfortable place to sleep in, up off the floor and away from draughts, good padding is essential
  • Reduce the number of stairs your pet must climb, consider installing a non slip ramp
  • Exercise your pet in moderation, gentle daily walks for dogs help keep the joints moving and muscles toned, non weight bearing exercise such as swimming can also here to see a cute kitty enjoying a swim