3 Key Signs Your Pet Has Heatstroke (And What To Do About It)

Summer for us humans usually means going to the beach, eating ice cream, or turning on our air cons and relaxing at home. Summer for pets is a little different. While they may get to spend more time outdoors, they can’t decide to eat something cold or turn on a fan. This means that during summer, our pets are at risk of suffering from heatstroke – a potentially fatal condition that we have seen time and time again at our Cranbourne veterinary clinic. To help you recognise heatstroke in your pet, we have put together this quick guide of symptoms to look out for.


#1: Increased panting and salivation

Our bodies deal with heat very differently to the way our pets’ bodies do. While we have sweat glands all over our bodies to help cool us down, cats, dogs and pocket pets only have sweat glands in small, limited areas (such as around their feet and noses).

When they want to cool down, they will also try to pant, which of course only works to a certain extent. When your pet overheats, they might therefore try their best to keep panting to cool themselves down.


#2: Muscle tremors and seizures

After rapid panting fails to cool your pet down, often breathing will become slower. In some cases, breathing can even stop. This is when your pet may collapse and start to experience muscle tremors and seizures.


#3: Nosebleeds or blood in vomit and diarrhoea

Heatstroke can occur within minutes. Blood in your pet’s vomit or diarrhoea can indicate that small blood vessels have burst due to overheating. Nosebleeds can also be indicative of internal overheating.


Have you noticed any of these symptoms?

Heatstroke is an extremely serious veterinary emergency. If you notice any of these three key signs of heatstroke in your dog, cat or pocket pet, the first thing you must do is arrange to see a vet immediately.

In the meantime, you should also:

  • Help to cool down your pet by removing them from the hot environment, spraying or applying cool (not cold) water, and then using a fan to speed up the cooling process
  • Wetting the areas around your pet.

Vets in Cranbourne is a Cranbourne veterinary clinic that is dedicated to supporting the local community of pets and pet owners. If you have noticed any signs that your cat, dog or pocket pet is suffering from heatstroke, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our vets on (03) 5995 3444 immediately.

All About Myxomatosis

Warm weather and heavy rains this summer have seen a spike in Myxomatosis cases around Melbourne. But just what is Myxomatosis? In today’s blog, we are giving you a run-down on Myxomatosis and just how deadly it can be for your pet rabbit.


What is it?

Myxomatosis is a virus contracted by rabbits from insects that bite (such as mosquitoes, lice and fleas). It is a virus that – once contracted – is almost always fatal. The mortality rates for pet rabbits with Myxomatosis are between 96-100%.


Symptoms of Myxomatosis

Symptoms of the virus are generally easy to spot. These include:

  • Moist and swollen eyes, nose, mouth and genital area
  • Milky discharge from the eyes
  • Swollen, droopy or crusty ears
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy/disinterest in the world around them
  • Difficulty breathing

In some cases, rabbits can die within just 48 hours after exhibiting these symptoms. For this reason, it is vital that you contact a vet as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary.


What happens if my rabbit has the virus?

The first thing you should do is to contact your veterinary clinic so that you can receive further medical advice. Unfortunately, treatment for Myxomatosis is not often successful and your rabbit may need to be humanely euthanised if it has already contracted the virus.

You should also isolate your pet rabbit immediately to prevent the virus from spreading. Take extreme care not to cross-contaminate food bowls, toys or any other items that your rabbits might share. Speak to one of our veterinary teams about the best disinfectants to use for cleaning of enclosures and items your rabbit has had contact with.


How to prevent Myxomatosis

In some cases, rabbits may die before showing any symptoms. Therefore, prevention is definitely the way to go – especially because there is no guaranteed cure for Myxomatosis. Unfortunately, we are unable to vaccinate against Myxomatosis in Australia so the only prevention is to stop your pet from being bitten by insect vectors.

These are some things you can do to try and prevent your rabbit from contracting the virus:

  • Cover the hutch with insect-proof netting, even if it’s indoors
  • Be wary of the time of day that you have your rabbits outside – avoid dusk, night time or early mornings (as these are when mosquito numbers are high)
  • Use a monthly treatment of Revolution for flea prevention and treat all other pets in the household with a regular preventative as well
  • Avoid having bodies of unmoving water in your yard such as ponds and bird baths; these are perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes and will attract them
  • Insect traps or zappers can also be used to help reduce the number of mosquitos near your rabbit, however, you may accidentally reduce the number of useful insects in your garden when using these

The virus can survive in your home environment for quite some time, so you should avoid bringing a new rabbit home for four months after a case of Myxomatosis. You should also thoroughly disinfect the rabbit hutch and items inside the hutch. Finally, speak to your vet to see what kinds of flea prevention medications and dosages your rabbit might need.


Vets in Cranbourne can help to advise you if your pet is susceptible to (or displaying symptoms of) Myxomatosis. Please give us a call as soon as possible on (03) 5995 3444 if you have any concerns relating to the virus.

Dr Kevin’s advice on bunnies as pets

Rabbits make great pets. They are lovable, inquisitive creatures that are full of personality. Rabbits are a good alternative to cats and dogs but what else should you know when you’re considering a bunny buddy?

Rabbits can live outside in a run or as house trained indoor companions that can even sit with you on the sofa. Your pet bunny can also be trained to use a litter tray!

Rabbits are excellent for those who maintain a busy schedule throughout the day, but it’s important to remember that bunnies thrive on companionship so if you are not around much they would love another rabbit to hang out with. In fact, rabbits that live in pairs actually live longer.

In regards to health, most of the problems we see with bunnies are associated with their diet. It is really important that they are fed a diet full of hay, grass and leafy greens (seeds and pellets are treats only). Give us a call when you are thinking about getting your bunny and we can organize a health check and a discussion about diet, vaccinations and general care.

Via:: Dr Kevin Pet Advice

The “Hay & Veggies” diet for your rabbits

Did you know about the “Hay & Veggies” diet?

Offer an unlimited amount of fresh grass, grass hay and weeds to your rabbit.

The “Hay and Veggies” diet consists of lots of hay, fresh grass, weeds and fibrous grasses, plus a large and varied selection of greens and vegetables every single day. This is undoubtedly the most natural way to feed your bunny and is highly recommended.

Examples of green foods (offer in large quantities)

Broccoli (leaves and top)

Brussel Sprouts


Celery (leaves are good)

Dandelion greens (and flower)


Swiss chard (any colour)

Leafy green lettuce (NOT iceberg)


Carrot/Beet Tops

Water cress

Baby greens

Go with the seasons and offer a large variety of vegetables – especially leafy green items. Do not be tempted to offer only the favourite veggies!

Follow the same guidelines as listed for selecting and using green foods with the exception of the amount. Only offer a small amount (up to a handful) of any combination of the foods below. You will note that these are mostly fruits:

Kiwi Fruit









Peas in the pod





Edible flowers from the garden such as roses, nasturtiums, day lilies, pansies and snap dragons. We do NOT recommend feeding bananas and grapes as some bunnies become addicted to these foods! Avocado is best NOT fed at all as some toxicities have been reported.

Forbidden Food for Rabbits

Never feed any commercial rabbit treats or high carbohydrate snacks that include those found in the following list;

Dried Beans





Refined Sugar


Dried Corn



Dried Peas

Wheat…….or any other grains

Via:: Dr Kevin Pet Advice