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SUN: 9:30AM - 2:00PM

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77 EDWARD ST
CARLTON - NSW 2218
+61 2 9587 9611
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Transforming Lives 365 Days of the Year

Miracles aren’t just for Christmas, with our team working tirelessly throughout the year to transform the lives of the stray and neglected pets who frequently arrive on the doorstep of Sydney Dogs & Cats Home.

Munroe, a little Kelpie puppy, was picked up and brought in by the council ranger in mid-November 2020. A shy, timid boy, Munroe was extremely underweight and suffered from hair loss, likely the result of flea allergy dermatitis. The team estimated Munroe was about 10 weeks of age, and they immediately developed and implemented a treatment plan to help this weak little nugget turn into a thriving puppy.

Munroe was immediately treated with Advocate to kill any fleas and mites – the probable cause of his poor skin condition and hair loss. He was also put on a regime of twice-weekly colloidal oatmeal shampoos. Our vet Michelle also prescribed a special Hill’s Pet Nutrition diet to help with his weight and resolution of his skin issues.

The transformation was amazing. In as little as two weeks, Munroe’s skin condition resolved and we saw a healthy, shiny coat of fur emerging. He also began to grow, not only putting on much-needed weight but also shooting up several inches in size.

After just one month in our care, Munroe (now named Sunny) was adopted by Robert and his family, just in time for Christmas. Munroe now has a canine companion named Rosie, and we’re told they’re very happy together, especially when they’re exploring the bush. Robert said, “He is such a sweet boy, putting on weight, growing and [has] a really shiny coat.”

Sydney Dogs & Cats Home is only able to help transform the lives of abandoned and neglected pets like Munroe thanks to the generous support of our community and our partners.

Taking in nearly 3,000 pets each year, the Home needs the community’s support to continue its important, often life-saving work.

We invested well over $300 in Munroe’s treatment which included vet checks and vaccinations. Please donate now for pets like Munroe – every little bit helps.

Donate here: https://sydneydogsandcatshome.org/donate/

Paul’s Three White Deaf Cats

Paul had always loved cats. All his life, he had a cat in the family. He found himself drawn to them, enthralled by their ability to make you earn their trust.

Paul’s first cat was a rescue. When he was 13, his family took on a sick abandoned cat, who went on to become a much-loved member of the family for 24 years. To Paul, that cat was his best friend. So when he moved out of home, he needed a cat. His first came from a pet store after he saw the black beauty looking alone and unhappy in her enclosure. She went home with Paul, and a few months later, he was back for a second – the runt of the litter who hid in the back of the enclosure, trampled by her siblings. 

16 years later, Paul had to say goodbye to his special runt. Having had surgery a week earlier, he was in a bad place and felt incomplete with only one cat. His black beauty was also on the sad side, missing her sibling. 

A few months later in June 2019, Paul’s parents, who had been without a cat for a few years, were feeling it was time to get a new pet. Paul suggested looking at Sydney Dogs & Cats Home, as we’d recently helped reunite his daughter with her lost dog. His parents looked at our website and noticed Basil the cat, who they adopted that day.

Paul went with his mum to collect Basil. He always felt a need to take less-loved and under-appreciated animals under his wing, so seeing all the beautiful animals needing a home broke his heart. He asked if he could stay in the cattery and show the cats some love, where he noticed a gorgeous white cat watching his every move.

When Paul took his mother and her new cat home, he couldn’t keep the white cat out of his head, convinced he needed a second cat in his life. Paul’s mother asked what was wrong, and when he explained, his mother laughed. “Go get him,” she said.

Half an hour later, Paul was back at Sydney Dogs & Cats Home learning more about the curious white cat. The staff surprised him when they said he was deaf. But that didn’t matter. Paul took Hunter the cat home and he and his two children were blessed again with two cats. Hunter adjusted quickly to adopted life and soon became a valued member of the family. 

Some months later, Paul’s black beauty reached 18 years and her health declined, so the family had to say goodbye. Though Hunter had only known his adopted sibling for a few months, Paul noticed he felt the loss.

But with time, Hunter recovered and his true colours began to shine. He was cheeky, full or life and very affectionate, when he felt like it.

Shortly after he’d lost his black beauty, Paul received an unexpected phone call from Sydney Dogs & Cats Home. We had a gorgeous white female cat ready to be adopted into an indoor home. This cat was something special – just like Hunter, she was deaf. 

Paul grabbed the kids and whisked into the shelter. Before they knew it, they had a second white deaf cat. Already having Hunter, the family decided on the name Holly, and so the joke became that Paul had Holly Hunter at home.

Hunter was happy to have a friend again. Him and Holly were a great pair and very quickly made Paul’s life feel full again.

Having rescued two amazing cats from Sydney Dogs & Cats Home, Paul volunteered his IT services to help the Home and our furry residents. In October 2019, the internet went out for a few days, so he took a backup service to keep us up and running.

The internet was fixed and for a while, Paul forgot to pick up his loan equipment. So we gave him a call with an incentive. “It will be worth your while,” we said.

So Paul came into the Home, expecting to be rewarded with some playtime in the cattery. Instead, he was shown a dazzling white deaf cat named Nimbus with striking blue eyes. So as tradition told, cat number three was welcomed into Paul’s family. 

Nimbus ruined the Holly Hunter joke, so the family made clever use of alliteration to rename the new addition. So Nimbus became Hettie, and she settled in well with her new siblings.

While Paul notes that the cats’ inability to react to sound is challenging, they know hand gestures and body language, and each has their own quirky thing they respond to.

Paul said his experience with Holly, Hunter and Hettie has made his family appreciate the importance of adopting pets who need a loving home. 

“Even my children who are 14 and 8 understand that #AdoptDontShop is the right thing to do as it means that an animal who has lost all hope is given a chance again at being a loved family member,” he said.

 “I cannot recommend Sydney Dog & Cats home enough to everyone I know, and I encourage everyone to Adopt Not Shop with them.

If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have my three fur babies who mean the world to me and have made not only our lives – but our home – complete.”

Want to see more of Hunter, Hollie and Hettie? Follow their Instagram @hunter_holly_and_hettie.

Resolving Motley’s Ringworm

When cats arrive at the Home, they go through routine health checks and procedures to ensure they’re happy and healthy before going to their new homes. This is so we can identify issues like ringworm, which was affecting Motley when she came into our care in August.

Ringworm is a common fungal infection in cats that can cause hair loss and adverse reactions such as dermatitis. It’s also contagious and can be passed onto humans, which we thought would make it difficult to find a foster carer for Motley.

Fortunately, we have a community of foster carers who consistently go above and beyond for our cats, and Motley was in foster care within days of her diagnosis.

Not only did Motley’s foster carer commit to consistent ringworm treatment, personal protective equipment and all, she also helped Motley come out of her shell. Motley has started to approach her human for pats and playtime, and show her affectionate personality.

Motley will soon come back into the Home to check the progress of her treatment. If resolved, she’ll soon be desexed and become available for adoption!

Narla’s Year in Care Comes to a Happy End

After over one year in our care, we’re pleased to announce our gorgeous Narla has found her forever home! 

Narla arrived in August 2019 with a council ranger as a very curious young girl. It was clear she was very intelligent and friendly and would make a beautiful companion, but with a few behavioural quirks and such an active personality, it proved difficult to find her a suitable home.

While Narla waited for the right family to come along, she went into wonderful foster homes with our volunteers Robert, Sam and Stef, who went above and beyond to give Narla an exciting and active lifestyle, and help with her training.

As time went by, it became clear Narla just wasn’t meant to be a city girl, so we started investigating rescue options in more regional areas. 

Stef was integral in finding a rescue for Narla and got in touch with Albury Wodonga Animal Rescue (AWAR), who agreed to take Narla into their care. Both Stef and our volunteer Sandra drove her all the way to her new temporary home.

Just a few months on, Narla has already attracted a new family out in Albury and is on a trial adoption in what will hopefully be her forever home!

Thank you to Robert, Stef, Sam, Sandra, AWAR and all the committed volunteers who supported Narla’s long journey to find her happily ever after.

Congrats Narla! 👏 

The Stars Align for Aries

Aries appeared to be a happy, healthy cat when she was surrendered into our care in June. She passed standard health checks with ease and was sent to our adoption partner PETstock, where she could meet potential adopters and find a forever home.

Then, shortly after Aries left the Home, the PETstock team noticed changes in her urine. It was showing blood. We promptly organised to bring Aries back to the Home for an extra health check, when our vet noticed she’d developed a large, fluid-filled swelling on her neck. We tested the fluid and the results suggested she had a growth called a follicular cyst. This is a benign mass that wouldn’t normally cause harm, but given its size and location, we knew it could potentially interfere with important structures in the neck if it were to continue growing. Our vet team moved quickly to get Aries into surgery and remove the cyst, making sure not to damage important structures of the neck.

Lab tests confirmed the cyst was gone for good and Aries got the all clear. She recovered with ease at the Home, sporting the most majestic mullet, which had been skilfully shaved for her surgery.

With such a slick hairdo, it didn’t take Aries long to find a forever home. She was adopted in early August by Priyanka and Kishore and has taken very well to her new family.

Priyanka tells us:

“Aries is my husband’s first pet. I can’t even believe that he is taking care of Aries more than me. 

She was bit shy and scared at first, but she started becoming friendly after two weeks. When she wakes up, she needs cuddling. She starts rolling on carpet and asking me to pat her.

Aries loves tuna… Before feeding she starts rubbing her face against my hand (sometime it’s hard to give food!). She wants to play after her breakfast and it’s a must. She loves her birdie dongle & mouse.

She loves to chill with us on the sofa (but she prefers to keep some distance!). When I am taking a shower, she will sit outside near the bathroom door and start missing me. Sometimes she loves to play by herself.

Aries has her kneading pillow. She loves to do kneading on our body too! I wonder if she can make some donuts for us.”

Sounds like the stars have truly aligned for Aries!

Tips and Tricks for Fleas and Ticks

The weather is warming up and you know what that means, pet owners! Ticks and fleas… While they can be found all year round, these pesky and potentially deadly parasites thrive in the warm, humid weather of Spring and Summer, preying on all sorts of animals, including dogs, cats and humans.

Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your dog or cat is protected during the warmer months and throughout the year. Read on to learn more about ticks and fleas, how to identify them and how to prevent and treat a bite or infestation.

What are fleas?

Fleas are 1-2mm long, reddish brown insects that jump from one animal to another, living on their skin and feeding on their blood.

Fleas can pose all sorts of dangers to you and your pet, including:

  • irritation, ranging from mild discomfort to intense scratching, biting and restlessness
  • flea allergy dermatitis, an allergic reaction that can cause severe skin reactions and infection in pets
  • anaemia, especially in very young or old pets
  • spread of fatal myxomatosis to rabbits
  • transmission of a tapeworm infection to pets and humans
  • transmission of a bacteria that causes a potentially serious disease called ‘bartonellosis’ in humans.

How to tell if your pet has fleas

As behavioural responses to fleas can vary from pet to pet, the best way to recognise fleas is through regular grooming. As fleas can be difficult to see, it’s best to look for the presence of flea dirt on the surface of your pet’s skin. Flea dirt is flea faeces, and it looks just like tiny specks of dirt. To properly identify flea dirt, carefully remove some of the specks from your pet and place them on a wet paper towel. If after a few minutes they spread out like a bloodstain, you’ve got fleas. You should always wear gloves when checking your pet for flea dirt. Flea dirt coming into contact with small breaks in the skin is the most common route of infection for cat scratch disease in people.

Other symptoms that may indicate a flea infestation include itching, redness of the skin, scabs and bald patches.

What are ticks?

Ticks feed on the blood of your dog or cat for days at a time, with adult ticks engorging to become approximately pea-sized. There are several species of ticks in NSW that use cats and/or dogs as hosts, including bush tick, brown dog tick and paralysis tick. Paralysis ticks are generally found in bushland and high grass along the east coast of Australia, whereas brown dog ticks don’t stray far from dogs.

Ticks can be extremely dangerous for domestic pets, causing everything from irritation to severe illness and death. They can also carry diseases that pose a serious threat to pets and humans.

How to tell if your pet has a tick

It’s important to check your pet regularly for ticks, especially if they have ventured into bushland. We recommend checking your pet for ticks every day, by running your fingers through your pet’s fur to feel for small bumps. Ticks particularly like to hide around the ears, eyelids, tail, under the collar, under the front legs, between the back legs and between the toes.

If your pet has been bitten by a tick, their symptoms may include:

  • redness and swelling at the site of the bite
  • weakness or loss of coordination in the hind legs
  • changes in their voice
  • retching, coughing or vomiting
  • excessive salivation/drooling
  • loss of appetite
  • progressive paralysis
  • difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
  • other unusual behaviours/symptoms.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Unfortunately, fleas and ticks can be very difficult to avoid, so the best way to manage them is through prevention.

We recommend using Seresto Flea and Tick Collar, which is available for both dogs and cats*. The collars are a hassle-free, low maintenance way to kill and prevent fleas and ticks.

On dogs, the collar protects against fleas for up to 8 months, and repels and kills ticks and prevents the transmission of tick-born diseases for 4 months. On cats, the collar protects against fleas and flea-borne diseases, and repels and kills paralysis ticks for up to 8 months. Seresto repels ticks – to prevent them from attaching and biting, and kills fleas fast and on contact alone, so that there is no need for these parasites to bite your pet to be killed. This makes Seresto a good choice for controlling flea allergy dermatitis, and for preventing the transmission of fleas and tick-borne diseases. Seresto is odourless, water-resistant, and safe for pets and families.

Flea and Tick Treatment

If your pet has fleas, fitting a Seresto collar will kill them within 24-hours. After this time, fleas that jump onto a Seresto-treated pet will be killed within 2 hours.

If your pet has a tick, remove it as soon as possible. The best way to remove a tick is with a tick remover. Advantage Petcare has a great article that lists the steps for tick removal here.

Once you have removed a tick from your pet, we recommend taking the tick and your pet to the vet to identify whether it was a deadly paralysis tick and ensure your pet gets appropriate treatment.

Once you’ve checked and treated all household pets for fleas or ticks, it’s important to treat your home. Make sure to clean your pet’s bedding by washing it in hot water, and to vacuum any furniture/surfaces your pet has been in contact with. Some products, including Seresto, also help with this by killing flea larvae in your pet’s environment.

* Before starting any new flea/tick treatments, have a chat to your vet to ensure they are suitable for your pet.

Nemo and Dory: How to Care for Guinea Pigs

Nemo and Dory the female guinea pigs were brought to us in April after being abandoned on the side of the road. The poor girls were in a terrible state, living in a small, dirty cage.

The pair were both suffering from a major mite infestation, causing Dory to chew her back raw, so we swiftly gave them mite treatment. Nemo also had a fungal infection and dandruff, and both guinea pigs had cracked, dry and swollen skin on their feet.

The girls needed specialist care, so we reached out to Porsche from Porsches Rescue to see if she could help rehabilitate and rehome Nemo and Dory. Porsche’s Rescue always does an amazing job with pocket pets and has a great success rate of rehoming guinea pigs.

Porsche took Nemo and Dory on with open arms and was quick to get them back in good health. In her care, Nemo’s fungal infection and dandruff cleared up and Dory’s wounds healed, allowing her fur to grow out.

Before going up for adoption, Nemo and Dory were placed in quarantine to heal and ensure they weren’t pregnant. Turns out they’re just a bit chunky…

The girls both have the most calm and placid nature, so after a little bit of patience, they were adopted into their forever home!

Nemo and Dory’s situation highlights how important it is to provide guinea pigs with appropriate living conditions, to avoid stress and vulnerability to all sorts of illness. With the help of our Animal Care Manager & Veterinarian Dr Renae Jackson and a few tips from Porsches Rescue, we’ve put together a guide to guinea pig housing and enrichment, feeding, and health and veterinary care.

Housing and Enrichment 

A hutch/cage serves as the basis for guinea pig housing, but they are temporary enclosures only. It is important that guinea pigs are given an opportunity to exercise outside of their hutch/cage for a few hours every day in unfiltered natural sunlight. The hutch/cage needs to be safe and secure and provide protection from the elements and predators. For one guinea pig, the cage should be at least 7.5 square feet. For two guinea pigs, 10.5 square foot is recommended. 

Indoor enclosures should be secure and kept in a sun-free, low traffic area. Keeping them permanently outdoors is not recommended as they get hot in the warmer months. Guinea pigs can tolerate temperatures between 18C – 20C, anything more than 25C can lead to heat stroke. To help keep them cool in the warmer months, you can:

  • house them indoors
  • provide lots of fresh water, ice packs/frozen water bottles, damp towels, frozen ice treats
  • provide tiles inside the hutch/cage, fan or air conditioner, ice/gel packs.  

A hutch/cage needs to be easy to clean so that soiled bedding can be removed daily. As Porsche notes, keeping bedding fresh is important to keep your guinea pigs’ bums dry and clean. The entire hutch should be cleaned at least once or twice a week. Guinea pigs should be given suitable bedding such as hay, straw or shredded paper, which should be changed regularly. 

Porsche adds that surfaces like wire or hard flooring can lead to a condition called bumble foot, a very painful infection of the foot pad.

Naturally, guinea pigs live in groups and in burrows underground either dug by themselves or other animals. It’s a good idea to provide your guinea pig with a similar form of ‘safe’ place, so they can hide in their ‘burrow’ if they feel frightened. A burrow can be simulated in the form of an upturned box or a covered corner of the room. These safe holes help the guinea pig to feel more secure in their environment. Guinea pigs will also love some toys to play with; wooden toys, tunnels and balls can be great! 

Guinea pigs can be trained to use a litter tray or a particular toilet area. Suitable litter material includes hay, straw and some cat litters (avoid clay types). This will have to be changed regularly.

If your guinea pig is having a free play, ensure your home is guinea pig-proofed; they can chew electrical cords and hide well!

Feeding 

It is vital that your guinea pig has adequate nutrition that is high in fibre. Providing a good quality grass hay (timothy or oaten), and fruit and vegetables (one cup per day) will ensure your guinea pig is provided with enough minerals and nutrients. They like capsicum, coriander, kale, cos lettuce and leafy greens. Always check the nutritional content of any pellet/mixes.

Health and Disease Prevention 

While they don’t need regular vaccinations, routine veterinary examinations are a must for guinea pigs. Even if your guinea pig isn’t exhibiting signs of malaise or pain, it’s crucial to take them in for a veterinary examination at least once every 12 months. It’s also important to take your guinea pig to the vet if it’s injured or if anything else seems different in terms of behaviour or health. Some signs that may indicate illness or pain in your guinea pig include:

  • runny discharge of the nose or eyes
  • abnormal bleeding
  • changes in water consumption patterns
  • bloody urine
  • problems breathing
  • diarrhoea
  • rapid weight gain or loss
  • decreased body temperature
  • contact sensitivity
  • lethargy
  • decreased energy
  • irregularities with the skin
  • difficulty walking 
  • swelling.

It is recommended you take your guinea pig to a specialist vet for desexing and microchipping. Desexing reduces aggression, urine spraying and mammary cancers. It will prevent also prevent unwanted pregnancies as guinea pigs can start to breed at 4 weeks old.  

If you intend to keep more than one guinea pig (they are very social animals and love having companions), suitable mixes include:

  • one male and one female (only if they are desexed)
  • two desexed males or females. 

It is not advisable to mix guinea pigs with rabbits as they can bully each other and transfer diseases to each other. You should make an effort to bond your guinea pigs through slow introductions. Further research on this subject will start you off on the right track. 


As with any pet, owning a guinea pig is a commitment of love, energy, time and resources, and that involves everything from regular interaction, veterinary care and beyond. But as any guinea pig owner would know, when you give them the care they need, they pay you back tenfold with their fun, loveable personalities!

Senior Pet Project: Long Road to Recovery

14-year-old Primrose came into the Home in May as skin and bones with patchy fur and a severe live flea infestation. Her skin was irritated all over, so we immediately jumped to action, administering flea prevention to swiftly kill the fleas.

With her skin under control, Primrose then underwent a thorough health check, when we discovered she had a cyst on her lip, impacted anal sacs, matted fur around her back end and major dental disease, with a lot of her teeth already missing.

Treatment went underway, with our vet team emptying her anal sacs, giving her a bath, clipping our her matted fur and running blood tests to check for signs of underlying disease, which fortunately came back negative. The team suspected Primrose’s dental disease was so bad, she may have an infection extending to her jaw bone, so she started on a long course of antibiotics.

While we waited for her antibiotics to kick in, Primrose was placed into a foster home, where she could recover from her procedures and get ready for major dental surgery.

When Primrose came back in for a recheck in June, she was very itchy around her hind end. While she didn’t have any fleas, it appeared she was suffering from flea allergy dermatitis, an allergic reaction to her original flea bites.

The medication continued. Primrose was prescribed a steroid to suppress the inappropriate immune reaction and a new type of antibiotics suited to skin bacteria.

Two weeks later, Primrose was finally ready for her dental surgery. Her diseased teeth were removed, leaving onto one healthy tooth behind.

Primrose healed well and one week later, underwent desexing surgery and a procedure to remove her lip cyst. During the surgery, the team found a cyst on one of Primrose’s ovaries, so both her cysts were sent off to pathology. Luckily, they were both benign.

After over $1,100 worth of treatment, things were finally looking up for Primrose, and she went up for adoption.

Primrose was adopted in June by Elle and has been settling really well in to her forever home. She’s even made friends with her ex-battery hen housemate! Her fur has filled out, she’s gained weight and she has the most endearing gummy smile.

Primrose has gotten really close with her mum and despite only having one tooth, is loving all the new foods she’s been sampling. Elle told us: “She’s the most wonderful girl and I treasure every day that I have with her. I remind her daily that I love her and she simply MUST live forever.”

As Sydney’s only charity pound and community facility, we rely on donations to give senior pets a second chance in life. Donate today to the Senior Pet Project to give pets like Primrose the care and treatment they need to thrive in their twilight years.


ABOUT THE SENIOR PET PROJECT

In its second year, our Senior Pet Project was started as an initiative not only to put a spotlight on golden oldies to help with their rehoming, but also to raise the funds required for their much needed veterinary care and often prolonged stay at the Home.

With your support we are looking to raise $50,000 to help fund the Senior Pet Project in the months ahead, enabling us to give the seniors entering our care a new leash on life.

Senior Pet Project: Crumpet the Foster Fail

Crumpet came to us in April, made weary by his time on the streets. The 10-year-old gentleman had no ID and initially appeared to be suffering arthritis, a cyst on the back of his neck and dental disease.

To get to the bottom of his ailments, we did a blood test and x-rays, finding he had moderate dental disease, an area of resorbed bone in the lower jaw and arthritis of the spine, hips and elbows. Otherwise, he was a healthy cat.

Our vet team were concerned Crumpet’s jaw issue might indicate cancer, so a bone biopsy sample was sent to pathologists. Thankfully, no cancer was found, with his results indicating a bone infection, which was easily treated with antibiotics

Crumpet underwent a major dental procedure, complete with a scale and polish, in addition to cyst removal from his neck.

Crumpet was fortunate to have a wonderful foster carer Alicia, who helped him recover post-surgery, and monitored his arthritis for signs of improvement while on pain relief. Crumpet’s energy improved and his back legs stopped shaking, indicating major improvements in comfort and quality of life.

Meanwhile, Alicia was growing quite fond of Crumpet. She’d fostered several pets before and is normally a dog-person, so thought fostering cats would make it easier to let go. Crumpet proved her wrong!

Crumpet became a ‘foster fail’, meaning he was adopted by his foster carer. We’re told he’s doing really well in his forever home and loves cuddling and spending time with his people. What a wonderful way to retire!

Crumpet now has his very own Instagram, where you can follow his forever home adventures. Check it out @crumpelstiltskin_cat.

As Sydney’s only charity pound and community facility, we rely on donations to give senior pets a second chance in life. Donate today to the Senior Pet Project to give pets like Crumpet the care and treatment they need to thrive in their twilight years.


ABOUT THE SENIOR PET PROJECT

In its second year, our Senior Pet Project was started as an initiative not only to put a spotlight on golden oldies to help with their rehoming, but also to raise the funds required for their much needed veterinary care and often prolonged stay at the Home.

With your support we are looking to raise $50,000 to help fund the Senior Pet Project in the months ahead, enabling us to give the seniors entering our care a new leash on life.

Senior Pet Project: Buckley’s Big Surgeries

Buckley the 13-year-old Chinese Crested Powderpuff came to us looking a bit defeated. He had eye discharge crusted and matted into his fur, his ears were inflamed and full of discharge, his whole body was covered in dermatitis, he had a heart murmur and though his mouth was too painful to inspect, he appeared to have severe dental disease. It was desperate times for sweet Buckley.

Our vet team were very concerned for Buckley’s welfare and on his arrival, cleaned up his eyes and started him on medicated shampoo for his skin. He was so itchy he’d been chewing his hind end red raw, so we gave him a cream to sooth his sores.

Our vet team suspected Buckley’s heart murmur was due to mitral valve degeneration, which is common amongst older, small breed dogs. Buckley was booked in for an ultrasound to investigate further, and ensure it would be okay to anaesthetise him for surgery. This scan was done by a specialist, who found he did indeed have mitral valve disease, however there were no secondary changes to suggest he required medication at this stage. Eventually, this disease can lead to heart failure, but affected dogs can still live a good quality of life for several years after a heart murmur develops.

Buckley’s scans showed it was safe for him to receive anaesthesia, so he underwent surgery for his dental disease, which required multiple tooth extractions. His ears were also flushed and his prostate checked. He was found to have very full anal sacs, and a potential mass on his right sac. After a further investigative surgery, the mass was confirmed and sent to pathology, hoping it was simply a benign tumour. Unfortunately, the pathology results showed Buckley has anal sac adenocarcinoma, a locally invasive cancer, which will only give him six months to one year to live.

Even with mitral valve disease and cancer, with minimal symptoms present, Buckley can now enjoy a comfortable retirement and live up to 14 years old with proper monitoring and treatment. We are currently arranging a forever home where he can receive palliative care and retire in comfort.

Since Buckley arrived he’s had a safe place to rest, relax and receive around-the-clock care. It took a little searching, but we found the perfect foster carer Samantha, who had experience medicating and caring for an older dog, and a home environment where Buckley could be closely monitored.

Samatha tells us Buckley bounced back from his surgeries like a champ, and despite all the stitches in his gums, has a huge appetite. He’s gradually become more relaxed, happy and healthy in her family’s care, and has even been learning some new tricks, like sit and lie down.

Like many of the senior pets in our care, Buckley has required extra veterinary treatment and a prolonged stay at the time, costing us over $1,200. It’s only thanks to our wonderful donors we can afford to give Buckley this second chance at life.

Donate today to the Senior Pet Project to give pets like Buckley the care and treatment they need to thrive in their twilight years.


ABOUT THE SENIOR PET PROJECT

In its second year, our Senior Pet Project was started as an initiative not only to put a spotlight on golden oldies to help with their rehoming, but also to raise the funds required for their much needed veterinary care and often prolonged stay at the Home.

With your support we are looking to raise $50,000 to help fund the Senior Pet Project in the months ahead, enabling us to give the seniors entering our care a new leash on life.