Mount Pleasant Pet News 2018

Pleasant Pet News is our quarterly newsletter sharing articles on various medical conditions, new programmes, events and updates. Download soft copies below or pick up your free copy at any of our 9 clinics.

We welcome medical stories of your animal friends to educate and inspire others. Email us at and be part of Mount Pleasant community over at our Website and Facebook.

jan to mar 2018

Animals come to us with different kinds of medical conditions, some more debilitating than others. Even if our pets are diagnosed with cancer, it is not a death sentence. As a team, we accept the diagnosis, manage pain and provide the medical care required to help our animals maintain a good quality of life.

Rooibos is undergoing chemotherapy with Dr Jeenise Ng who works closely with Rooibos’s family to maximise his quality of life

Click to read => Pleasant Pet News Jan-Mar 2018

  • Cancer And Chemotherapy: Osteosarcoma
  • Canine Lymphoma
  • Septic Peritonitis
  • Heartworm Disease And Prevention
  • Puppy Socialisation
  • Mount Pleasant Gives Back 2017
Apr to Jun 2018

Since we launched our Mount Pleasant Blood Donor Programme in April 2016, we are encouraged by our blood donors and their big-hearted families who have been helping us save lives. We celebrate some of them in this issue. June is our Pet Dental Month. Regular home care and a 6-monthly dental check is the best way to maintain your pet’s dental health. Prevention is always better than cure.

Click to read => Pleasant Pet News Apr-Jun 2018

  • Blood Donation Saves Lives
  • What Happens On Donation Day
  • Meet Our Mount Pleasant Heroes
  • Pets Need Dental Care Too
  • 4 Steps To Brushing Your Pet’s Teeth
  • June Is Pet Dental Month

jul to sep 2018

Like us, senior pets require more medical attention for age-related health issues such as arthritis, dental disease, vision and hearing loss. Early detection of disease, appropriate treatment and pain management is crucial. Preventive veterinary care and regular health screens not only add years to your pet’s life, it also improves quality of life.

Click to read => Pleasant Pet News Jul-Sep 2018

  • Caring For Our Senior Pets
  • Pain Management For Pets
  • Caring for Parrots And Senior Birds
  • Cataracts Or Senile Nuclear Sclerosis
  • Why Is My Pet Drinking So Much?
  • Liver Shunt Surgery

We celebrate Pet Preventive Care in Nov and Dec. Health Screening is not just for senior pets – it is for pets of all life stages. Many animals do not display signs of pain or diseases that may have developed. Early detection and treatment through health screens can prolong the quality of your pet’s life. 

Click to read => Pleasant Pet News Oct to Dec 2018

  • Annual Health Screen
  • Congestive Heart Failure In Dogs
  • Diabetes Mellitus In Cats
  • Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears
  • Neutering And Scrotal Ablation
  • Urinary Obstruction And Perineal Urethrostomy
  • Hamster Testicular Abscess
  • Hemimandibulectomy
  • Double-Chambered Right Ventricle

More articles at:
Pleasant Pet News 2017
Pleasant Pet News 2016


3 Reasons Why Health Screening Is Important For Our Dogs & Cats

Health screening is not just for seniors – it is for dogs and cats of all life stages. Many animals do not display signs of diseases that may have developed. Early detection, pain control and treatment can prolong the quality of our pets’ life. Contact any of our Mount Pleasant clinics about our Annual Health Screen Programme.

some signs that your dog or cat may be ill:
  • Bad breath or drooling
  • Excessive drinking or urination
  • Excessive panting or laboured breathing
  • Frequent diarrhea or vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Change in attitude or activity level
  • Strange lumps or bumps
Annual health screening programme at mount pleasant INCLUDES:
  • Physical Examination
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Blood Chemistry Panel
  • SDMA Test
  • Urinalysis
  • Chest X-Ray (for dogs)
  • T4 Screen (for cats)


Complete Blood Count (CBC) can uncover hidden health problems such as anaemia (low red blood cell count), infection, inflammation, dehydration, autoimmune diseases, blood clotting problem (low platelet count).

Blood Chemistry Panel measures a variety of chemicals and enzymes in the blood to detect liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis and other hormonal diseases.


Heartworm disease is a serious, progressive and potentially fatal disease. It is caused by a parasite Dirofilaria immitis which is transmitted by mosquitoes. All dogs who are not on heartworm prevention are at risk of heartworm infection. Dogs living in landed properties and those who regularly walk in mosquito-prone areas are at higher risk.

Heartworm disease occurs mostly in dogs and less commonly in cats. Ref:

An adult heartworm can grow up to 30cm long.

Heartworms live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels where they mature and reproduce. In the early stage, your dog may not show any symptoms. As the number of worms increases, signs of heart failure develop. E.g. weakness, exercise intolerance, coughing, decreased appetite, weight loss.

The earlier the disease is detected, the better the chances of your dog’s recovery. Learn about prevention and treatment. 


Hyperthyroidism is a common disease in older cats over 10 years old. The most common cause is a non-cancerous change to the thyroid tissue (thyroid hyperplasia) causing excessive thyroid hormones to be produced. Cancer of the thyroid glands (thyroid carcinoma) is rare.

The thyroid hormone has multiple functions, primarily involving the metabolic system, e.g. regulation of heat production (a person with hyperthyroid perspires a lot) and the control and “burning” of fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Too much thyroid hormone results in increased metabolism & hyperthyroidism. Too little causes hypothyroidism. Ref

Blood tests can be done to check for elevated levels of thyroxine (T4) in bloodstream. In early stages, total T4 level may be within normal range. Retesting should be done in 3 to 6 weeks, especially when clinical signs are present. Read more about “Hyperthyroidism In Cats”.

Common clinical signs include weight loss despite increased appetite, increased thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity. The coat may appear matted and unkempt.


Our dogs and cats age much faster than we do and are usually considered seniors when they are 7 years old. As our pets enter their golden years, twice yearly health screenings are recommended to detect age-related diseases at an early stage. We can help our pets stay healthy and pain-free for as long as possible.

We welcome medical stories of your animal friends to educate and inspire others. Email us at and be part of Mount Pleasant community over at our Website and Facebook.

Urinary Incontinence In Our Senior Dogs

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urination, a common problem in ageing dogs. You may notice drops of urine on the floor, a wet dog bed, urine smell on your dog or wet inflamed skin around your dogs’ genitals.

Urinary incontinence can be frustrating but please do not punish your dog. This is a medical – not a behavioural – condition. No matter how well your dog has been potty trained, he may have an accident in the house if he is suffering from a bladder or urinary tract infection.

Consider using doggie diapers to prevent skin infections.

Frequent and painful attempts at urination can be due to:
  • hormonal imbalance
  • weak bladder sphincter
  • polyps or cancerous growths in the urinary tract or prostate
  • bladder infection
  • urinary tract infection
  • bladder stones
  • spinal injury or degeneration
  • diseases that cause excessive water consumption (e.g. diabetes, kidney disease)

If your dog has been diagnosed with bladder stones, the ultimate goal is to dissolve or surgically remove the stones via a procedure called cystotomy, and prevent them from recurring. Read more here.

Signs of Urinary Incontinence in Dogs
  • dribbling urine when walking around
  • leaking urine when resting
  • urinating in large amounts
  • excessive licking of the genitals
What Should I Do If My Dog Is Incontinent?

Consult your veterinarian to confirm a diagnosis. A urinalysis can be performed to check if your dog is suffering from a bladder infection. Other tests may include a urine culture, blood work, radiographs and ultrasound.

Most bladder stones are visible on X-ray. Stones or sediments that are not radiolucent can be detected by ultrasound.

How Is Urinary Incontinence Treated?

Treatment depends on the underlying cause. Medications can often manage the problem effectively. In cases of incontinence due to bladder stones or a protruding disc, surgery may be recommended.

How Can I Manage Urinary Incontinence in my dogs?
  • Take your dogs for more frequent walks: first thing in the morning and shortly after they wake up from naps.
  • Place clean towels or pee pads in your dog’s favourite sleeping areas.
  • Clean and dry the skin around your dog’s genital area, abdomen and legs more often to prevent skin infection.
  • Consider using doggie diapers.

Do not restrict your dog’s water intake without first consulting your vet.

  • Provide a quiet space with a comfortable but firm bed.
  • Divide a meal into smaller portions throughout the day.
  • Provide easy access to the garden for elimination (e.g. gently-sloped ramp).
  • Provide non-slip floor surfaces to help your senior dog get up and walk more easily.
  • Raise food and water bowls to a comfortable level.

preventive health care can add good years to our best friend’s life

Our dogs age much faster than us and also tend to hide their pain. Most of the time, we do not realise they are in discomfort or fighting an illness until it is too late. Some common age-related health problems are osteoarthritis, kidney/liver/heart diseases, tumours or cancers, hormonal disorders like diabetes or thyroid imbalance. Yearly health screening can help detect diseases in the early stages, giving our best friends the best chances of a full recovery.

We always welcome medical stories of your animal friends which can educate and inspire others. Email us at if you have a story to share. Meanwhile, be part of Mount Pleasant community over at our Website and Facebook.

Kennel Cough In Dogs

Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis, commonly known as kennel cough, is a contagious respiratory tract infection in dogs. It is actually a complex of infections. The chief agent is a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica and it is usually accompanied by at least one other infectious agent, commonly Canine Parainfluenza Virus or Canine Adenovirus Type 2.

A normal respiratory tract enables debris and infectious agents to be trapped and moved upwards towards the throat where they are coughed up and/or swallowed. Your dog can develop kennel cough when the defense mechanisms are damaged by factors such as:

  • crowding stress
  • poor ventilation
  • heavy dust exposuure
  • infectious agents

Kennel cough is characterised by a harsh, high-pitched hacking cough often described as a “goose honk”. The cough can be dry or productive and is followed by a gag, swallowing action and production of foamy mucus.

Kennel cough is diagnosed with a combination of history of exposure to areas crowded with dogs, a complete physical examination (e.g. coughing on tracheal palpation) as well as diagnostic tests (e.g. radiography).

Common risk areas of infections are boarding kennels, shelters, grooming centres, local parks & vet clinic waiting areas.

Kennel cough usually resolves without medication but severe cases may require antibiotics and cough suppressants to provide comfort during recovery. The dog will improve partially after a week of treatment. However, a failure of kennel cough to resolve suggests an underlying condition and a re-check examination is necessary.

An infected dog can shed the Bordetella organism to other dogs for 2 to 3 months post-recovery. Dogs who have recovered from the infection are usually immune to re-infection for 6 to 12 months.

Kennel cough is contagious. If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, isolate him from other dogs to prevent it from spreading. Vaccination is recommended at least 5 days prior to possible exposure to infection (e.g. if your dog is going to a boarding kennel). Speak with your vet about your dog’s individual needs.

Vaccination against kennel cough is not expected to completely prevent the risk of infection but will minimise the symptoms of illness. Some dogs may experience sneezing or nasal discharge following vaccination which should clear up on its own.

Contributed by Dr Jade Lim, Mount Pleasant Vet Centre (Mandai)