Sasha Berridge-Lathouras

Role: Vet nurse
Pets: Marley the Labrador. Phiebie the horse. Peppa the pig and all the chooks. Have too many others to name them all!
Family: Husband Christopher.
Time in the veterinary industry: I have been working for 10 years from when I started studying. I started at Tweed Coast Vet early 2019.
Special interests:  I particularly enjoy surgical nursing.
Hobbies?  In my spare time, I enjoy horse riding and photography.

Surgery

Your pet is in safe hands at Tweed Coast Vet. With one surgical theatre for major procedures, and an additional two for minor procedures we are able to take care of almost all of your pets needs. All of our surgery rooms are well equipped with adjustable tables, fluid pumps, and equipment to monitor breathing and heart rates, blood pressure and temperature. We even have an ECG for the times when we need it. 

We almost always like to have met and examined your pet’s overall health before any surgical procedures. Occasionally we can do this on the same day as the surgery, so call us if your pet hasn’t seen us in a few months.

What to expect for Routine Surgery

For most procedures – eg speys, castrations, lump removals and wound repairs – your pet is only with us for the day. We ask you to withhold food overnight before the procedure and drop your pet off in the morning. We usually arrange a time that suits you that afternoon to pick your pet up.

We recommend fluids with all procedures, however in young pets and short procedures, if cost is a specific concern and your vet considers your pet’s general health good we are able to discuss other options.

Most de-sexing procedures (speys and castrations) have no stitches to be removed. The sutures are placed just under the skin, and dissolve slowly over time. This can form a small hard lump at the site of the surgery. If you are worried about the size of the lump, or the lump is not hard please call us.

For lump removals and wound repairs, we often put external stitches in to avoid that small lump. It also means you will need to return to visit us 10 days after surgery to have the stitches removed. This visit is of no charge and allows us to check that everything has healed well.

As for those cones you see some pets wearing after surgery? We are able to provide them (although you will need to decorate them if you want them as pretty as that sunflower above!). If your pet is prone to licking and chewing we recommend them. We often find pets dont need them, but in some situations it is essential. We always talk to you about your unique situation.

Femoral fracture repair

What to expect in non-routine procedures.

We perform a lot of “non-routine” surgeries at our clinic. This includes removing bones from stomachs, repairing broken bones, fixing torn ligaments, and removing tumours from your dogs abdomen. If we tell you your pet needs their spleen removed, or their cruciate repaired, we would consider it a non-routine surgery (even though we do it all the time).

These surgeries are “bigger” than routine surgeries, in the sense that they take longer and your pet is under anaesthetic for more time. Sometimes we can send your pet home the same day but often we will keep them in over-night. We do not have 24 hour monitoring, but we do have someone checking on them after hours to make sure all is well. We often keep your pet on fluids overnight as they were under anaesthetic for a long time. Keeping them in hospital also allows us to use some stronger pain relief if they need it. Crucially though, it also keeps your pet confined. If your pet goes home after a big procedure and jumps on the bed or plays with your other pets, it can risk damaging the still healing surgical site.

If your pet is highly anxious though we try to take this into account and if it is safe to do so, we send your pet home. We know every pet is an individual, and every home situation is unique, so we take this into account with every surgery. This also applies to those cones, or Elizabethan collars

Additionally if your pet does require 24 hour monitoring after a surgery, we are able to send you and your pet to the emergency after hours clinic to be more closely monitored.

Bigger procedures like this almost always have external stitches and are checked 10 days after surgery. There is no extra charge for this follow up visit unless further medications are required.

Cat Vaccinations

CORE VACCINATIONS (These make up an F3 vaccination)

Panluekopenia 

This virus has also been called ‘cat parvo’ in the media. Similarly to parvo in dogs, it causes bloody vomitting and diarrhoea in cats. It also wipes out the cats immune system. Fortunately we see it rarely as it is preventable simply by vaccinating your pet.

Calicivirus 

Calicivirus and herpesvirus together form what is known as cat flu. The symptoms are usually a discharge from the eye and nose. They can also cause fevers and make a cat inappetant. The biggest problem however is that once a cat is infected they are often infected for life. The flue like symptoms come and go, depending on how run-down your cat’s immune system is. They can continue to be a source of infection for other cats in the household as well. We recommend vaccinating cats that are infected as it can frequently decrease the symptoms and severity of the flue outbreaks.

Herpesvirus

Herpesvirus also causes cat flu, but unlike calicivirus, it can also cause ulcers in the eye and the mouth which can be hard to treat and difficult to resolve.

 

NON-CORE VACCINATIONS

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

FIV is transmitted through fighting and mating.  Desexing will prevent the latter, but vaccination is still recommended when cats roam outdoors and have the potential to get into fights.  The primary course is 3 injections 4 weeks apart, followed by annual boosters.

Dog Vaccinations

At Tweed Coast Vet, Cabarita, we have tried to keep things simple for you. We keep up-to-date with the latest research and guidelines released by the Australian Veterinary Association, so that you don’t have to. This page explains about preventable diseases in DOGS.  For information on cats, please check out the CAT VACCINATION page. We have also provided a recommended Puppy and Kitten Vaccination Protocol with our usual recommendations. Please note these may change according to your personal circumstance.

DOGS:

In-line with the current Australian Veterinary Association guidelines we offer an annual KC vaccination and a triennial C3 vaccination, which combined form the same as the old C5 vaccinations. This is the minimum requirement for entering boarding kennels. This vaccination combination will cover parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and bordatella. Our area is particularly prone to kennel cough

CORE VACCINATIONS

Parvovirus is a disease you hear about in the media a lot. It is frequently fatal, and when it is not fatal it is painful, long and drawn out. It is a virus that attacks rapidly growing cells in the dog’s body – including the bone marrow, and the lining of the stomach and intestines -which causes bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. This results in a very sick, weak, anaemic animal with no immune system left to try and battle the virus. Because it is a virus, it does not respond very well to antibiotics, and for the most part all vets can do is provide supportive care until the patient starts to respond themselves.

The vaccination is very good – once you have a fully vaccinated dog the vaccination can be given every 3 years, but it does take several treatments to be fully effective in young puppies. (See our Puppy and Kitten Vaccination Schedule Page for more info). The disease is usually found in areas where there is a low level of vaccination in the community. Fortunately on the Tweed Coast we have a reasonable rate of vaccination, but we still see parvo frequently enough that we strongly recommend vaccination in all puppies and adult dogs.

Adenovirus (hepatitis) is an inflammation of the liver, which can be fatal We frequently see hepatitis in dogs, but the number of these cases that is caused by adenovirus is unknown. It is a disease that can cause sudden death in young animals, and cause permanent scarring and damage to the liver in older animals, who will then go on to shed the disease in their urine and faeces. Infected animals are often feverish, “sick” painful and vomit.

Distemper virus is extremely rare in our region. It used to be very common – a disease that caused a neurological symptoms such as twitching, paralysis, and seizures, along with eye and nasal discharges. It often was fatal. Fortunately, routine vaccinations have made this disease extremely rare, although it has not quite been eradicated yet.

NON-CORE VACCINATIONS

Bordatella Bronchiseptica and Parainfluenza virus

Although Kennel Cough (caused by bordatella bronchiseptica and parainfluenza) is not a part of the core vaccination, it is the minimum requirement to place your dog in a kennel. The KC vaccination is like the flu vaccination in people – it needs to be given every year to provide protection

In the Tweed Coastal region in particular, we see a lot of kennel cough, even in dogs that don’t leave their yards. As kennel cough is airborne, and can be spread much like the common cold in humans, we assume this is from dogs in close proximity to your fence, or yard, or drinking from your water bowl out the front (if you have one). Kennel cough is rarely fatal. Usually it is merely annoying, keeping both the owner and the pet up all night for weeks on end. It causes a deep, hacking cough, that sometimes results in vomiting a small amount of clear fluid.  It doesn’t respond well to treatment and sometimes can take several weeks to resolve.

Yearly Health Checks

Jasper, our clinic cat.

Your pet’s yearly health checks are an essential part of caring for your pet’s well being because our pets age so much more quickly than we do. On average there are about 7 dog years to every human year (although that can change depending on a dog’s size).

Each year we recommend coming in for a check up to ensure that your pet is in peak physical condition.

These yearly check ups usually involve:

  • A discussion about vaccinations and preventative health
  • Heart & lung checks
  • Dental checks
  • Eye examinations
  • Ear examinations
  • Coat and skin checks
  • Joint examinations
  • Routine blood and urine tests if indicated

As your pet gets older, we start to recommend yearly urine and blood tests.

Call us to book a yearly check up today. 02 6676 3199