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Homevet is a veterinary housecall service ran by British vet Dr Matthew Murdoch. Matthew has worked in HK since 2005. The vision is to provide better home care for elderly or poorly pets, and aid recuperation (with the back-up of a fully equipped clinic). They believe that anything which can be done in the consultation room of a veterinary hospital can be done in the comfort of your own home. With the most flexible hours, and bilingual services, at an affordable cost, it’s convenient and incredibly caring.
Read more about them at or chat on 9860 5522

People ask veterinarians this very commonly-

why should I spay my pet?

With every operation, there are a combination of advantages and disadvantages to be carefully weighed up. The decision made must be an informed one.

For some operations, such as this one you mention, neutering a female dog, the advantages heavily hugely outweigh the disadvantages, but the choice to do an operation of course must still be a carefully considered one.

The advantages line up approximately as follows:

Rereduce risk of unwanted pregnancies.

Reduce or eliminate the risk of breast cancers in female dogs. Breast cancers are common in elderly female dogs who have not had this operation, and they can be life-threatening.

Eliminate the risk of testicular cancer in male dogs, which again can be life-threatening.

Reduce the risk of prostate disease (including prostate gland cancer) in male dogs

Reduce the aggressive behavior of male dogs.

Stop female dogs getting “false pregnancies” (=”pseudopregnancies”) where they believe they are pregnant but in fact they are not- although their breasts do swell up with milk.

Stop any chance of female dogs getting womb infections (a “pyometra”). This is a life-threatening disease which is common in older female dogs which have not had the neutering operation.

Stop animals running away (females when they are in heat, to find a mate, and males when they smell a female dog who is in heat/season).

There are also some negatives.

To see the whole discussion, and add any comments, please go to where this discussion originated, the Pet Doctor Forum, on this thread….

February is Pet Dental Month, in the US. Its organised by the The American Veterinary Medical Association who estimate more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have oral disease by the time they are three years old.

ive seen a lot worse than this

ive seen a lot worse than this

The message is “go to the vet and let them check you pet’s teeth.
When you see the vet in Pet Dental month, there are lots of things that the vet will look at, apart from just the teeth.
Here is a list of some things which the veterinarian may be assessing, when they look in your pet’s mouth.
Of course, there are many benefits apart from these for a check up, as the vet will always check the whole body and not just look in the mouth!

1) bad breath. Can be a sign of dental decay, but also if the Kidneys are not working, the breath occasionally becomes bad also and so thats one thing the vet will be trying to rule out.
2) rotten teeth. These can be painful, or even cause an abscess. Bacteria around rotten teeth which are neglected for a long time can get into the bloodstream and cause further complications in some circumstances also.
3) broken teeth- any broken teeth can be painful or perhaps decay more quickly so they need to be discovered and regularly assessed.
4) tongue- check for ulcerations which could be symptoms of a virus, or other disease.
5) soft palate- young dogs can in rare cases be born with problems with the roof of the mouth, so the vet will check here in a new/ young dog.
6) growths- its possible to get lumps and growths within the mouth, either on the gums or even on the tongue, so the vet would be able to see if this was the case.
7) pale gum colour- a sign of low blood concentration which could be a sign of a problem.
8) too many teeth- sometimes baby teeth don’t fall out, then the mouth is too crowded and more prone to food sticking between the teeth and then the teeth rotting. So if the teeth have not fallen out by 6-12 months of age, the vet usually recommends these to be removed.
9) holes in the teeth- at specialist clinics its possible to do fillings although this is very rare still due to the high cost, so big holes are normally an indication that the tooth must be removed to avoid pain.
10) gingivitis- vet will check for redness/inflammation along the gum line, meaning that the gums are sore due to bad mouth hygiene- normallly requiring a dental procedure at the clinic to clean the teeth.
11) tartar- lots of brown/yellow lumps on the teeth, basically its a more solid form of plaque, again the vet needs to remove it.
12) recessed gums- a sign of severe disease in the mouth.
13) bleeding gums- also a  sign of severe mouth disease.
I like lists. Want any more PET LISTS? let me know.

This list is not fully exhaustive… see the associated thread on the Pet Doctor Forum to see if it has been added to?


when pets have operations, they often are sent home with big collars on…

people often know that their friend’s pet has seen the vet, because they see them wandering around with a bandage on their leg, and a huge white collar around the top of their head.

“can your dog eat with that huge thing on?” you ask them? “it makes your dog look like an alien!”.

Well, what are they for, and why?

This recent thread on the Pet Doctor Forum explains in some detail what they are used for and why. But what do you think of them?

Would it be better to use something else to do this function instead of a collar? If so, what?!!

Feel free to comment on your thoughts- on the comments page of this blog. (Or see the thread link above, and get involved in the conversation there….)

so, whats all the fuss about?

Well its about this

I am a tub of peanut butter

I am a tub of peanut butter

and THESE…..

salmonella salmonella_bacteria

well Dr Matt, nice pictures, but what are they?!!

Ok, the pretty artistic things are not aliens, but are infact Salmonella bacteria. One factory in the US accidentally somehow contaminated the peanut butter with the latter! And it appears now that peanut butter is in many things, NOT just in your grandma’s sandwiches.

One thing its in is in PET FOOD.

If you have a pet, what to do? Well, check this online pet/veterinary forum discussion yesterday on the very same topical issue…what are the peanut butter recall implications on pet food? (If you post a few questions, perhaps someone will answer it if you have any further questions).

what do people think about fleas? Have you ever seen a flea?


Electron Micgrograph photo (courtesty Bayer) of a flea biting a pet

Electron Micgrograph photo (courtesty Bayer) of a flea biting a pet

There is an interesting discussion on a pet/veterinary forum here, where a member of the public asks if “flea control is just a big scam” or if its really needed.

What do you think? As a vet, I must say its essential against some different diseases (the posts on the forum above explain it well).

Anyway- I hope you like these images! Fleas are so small but they can jump about 30x higher than their body length…amazing eh… thats how they can jump quickly from one pet to another!!

117 views yesterday, not too bad if i say it myself…. just started on twitter… anyone here use that…. big experiment for me…

im using it to promote mynew forum

see here for my forum

and here for my twitter

Ive ambitiously decided I want to aim for a forum of 100k users, but am happy with 10k by the end of this year. Lets see what happens eh.

Keep an eye on the twitter feeds, if thats your thing!

But I will stick to the pets and art on this blog and not get too distracted, don’t be worried…!