Latest News

Ringworm in cats

Ringworm in cats
Patient: Daisy

This is Daisy. She came for a visit to the clinic for hair loss on her nose that was a bit itchy. Daisy’s nose was examined by the vet and then tested under a UV light (woods lamp) for ringworm. A positive ringworm test occurs when the hair follicles turn a bright yellow/apple green colour under the woods lamp. As you can see by the photos, Daisy’s ringworm test was positive.
Ringworm (despite its name) is not caused by a worm. It is caused by a fungus/dermatophyte called Microsporum canis (M canis). The dermatophyte grows in the hair and in the skin, using the superficial layers of the skin for nutrition. The infection is contagious to humans and causes characteristic skin lesions in young children and immunocompromised adults.
The appearance of ringworm can be quite varied. It can cause discrete areas of hair loss that may appear inflamed and scaly, to more severe skin disease.
It is diagnosed by an examination under UV (woods lamp) light. Only 50% of cases of M. canis will show fluorescence with the woodslamp, for this reason, your vet may do a fungal culture to diagnose the suspected infection.
Treatment is always advised because of the zoonotic risk to humans and the risk of infection spread to other animals in the household. Treatment often involves an antifungal tablet and a topical antifungal cream / shampoo.
Preventing spread to humans and other animals can be achieved by decontamination of the environment. This involves physical removal of infected hairs by regular vacuuming and chemical disinfection to kill the fungal spores. All areas should be cleaned as thoroughly as possible and ideally vacuum bags should be burned as this will destroy the spores. Disinfectants effective against dermatophyte spores are those containing hypochlorite or gluteraldehyde solutions.

If you or any of your family members have suspected ringworm lesions, please contact your GP for an appointment.

Kids Collective visit MVS

MVS recently had fun showing children from the Kids Collective around our small animal clinic and giving them a taste of some of the things our vets do each day. The tour was given by Dr Kylie and the children were lucky enough to view a rabbit in our hospital. The kids got to dress up with a mask and a gown and use sterile surgical tools to retrieve foreign bodies (aka lollies) out of our pretend patient Danny the Dogs abdomen. We also had a look at some of the different models of bones and teeth! The children were also able to pat our lovely gentle dog Bailey (a Golden Retriever owned by nurse Kristie).
Thank you to the children of Kids Collective for visiting us and showing your interest in what we do at Matamata Vets.

Arthritis and being overweight

This winter our focus in on helping our senior pets to be comfortable and healthy during the colder winter months. 2 big concerns for our older pets which often go hand in hand are being overweight and having painful arthritis.

ARTHRITIS is extremely common in pets and can affect 1 in 5 dogs and 3 in 10 cats!

We can’t cure osteoarthritis but we can help manage and treat it to improve quality of life.

Signs that arthritic cats may show:

  • Use a chair or stool to jump up on a table or couch
  • Play less frequently and spend more time sleeping
  • Hesitance or slow to climb stairs
  • Hesitance to jump off high surfaces

Signs that arthritic dogs may show:

  • Limp or show stiffness especially when getting up after resting
  • Reluctance to play and walk
  • Behavioural changes, reduced interaction with people or aggression
  • Have difficulty getting into the car or have trouble climbing the stairs


  1. Did you know that approximately 40% of dogs and 30% of cats in NZ are classified as overweight
  2. Did you know that a lean animal will live on average for 2 years longer than an obese animal
  3. 83% of obese dogs will have arthritis by 6 years old as compared to a lean dog who won’t get signs of arthritis until they are 12 years old
  4. Obese cats are:
  • 4 x more likely to develop diabetes
  • 5 x more likely to develop osteoarthritis
  • 2.5 x more likely to develop urinary problems

We can help your pet with both arthritis management and weight loss to help them have a happier winter.

Senior Pet Health – Winter Wellness

With the onset of winter our older pets may start to feel the cold and slow down a bit.  However don’t mistake this as ‘just old age’. There are many reasons for your pet to have changes to  their appetite, mobility and behaviour.

Early detection of these changes and investigation can mean we can make treatment and lifestyle modifications to ensure quality of life.

For the months of July and August we would like to bring back our Senior Pets Winter Wellness promo.   To support you in helping your older pets (over 8 years), this promotion offers a senior pet health screen at a 40% discount.  This health screen includes a full physical exam and screening bloods tests.
We will cover dental health, weight management, coat and skin health including lumps and bumps, mobility and osteoarthritis, and assess any possible changes to organ health.

Book your Winter Wellness senior pet health check now!

Be sure to mention you are booking in for the senior winter wellness promo to get your discount  (t & c’s apply).

Valid July/August 2020 Only

Patient: Fred

Young master Fred came to see us recently for his desexing surgery.
Unfortunately for Fred the surgery was a little more complex than most because he only had one testicle!
This is known as cryptorchidism. This term refers to the fact that one (sometimes both) of the testicles have failed to descend into the scrotum. The testicles develop near the kidneys in the abdomen, and normally descend into the scrotum by two months of age. In Freds case the testicle was stuck somewhere along the way.
The retained testicle tends to be much smaller than the normal testicle as it develops in a much warmer environment. The risk of developing testicular cancer is estimated to be at least ten times greater in dogs with cryptorchidism. It is also a trait that is passed on genetically and so affected dogs should never be bred from.
These factors mean that dogs with cryptorchidism should be desexed. But the next question is where is the retained testicle? These testicles can be difficult to find as they are quite small. At MVS we use ultrasound examination to locate the retained testicle which makes surgery to remove them much more precise.
Fred has had both his testicles removed and is now recovering well from surgery. We look forward to seeing him for cuddles again soon.

Covid-19 Level 1 – Back to Normality

We are very pleased to say that as from Tuesday 9th June we will be returning to a near normal small animal clinic.   It will take a few days to get the shop back to normal so bear with us.

We are excited that we can now allow you into the consult room with your pets.

Our late night Thursdays are back up and running again, and from this weekend Saturday 13th June our Small Animal Clinic will be open from 10am-12pm.

We will be continuing to focus on hygiene, hand washing and sanitising, and will be regularly sanitising shared surfaces.

If you are sick please stay home and follow the health department guidelines.

Although there are no restrictions to numbers in the shop area please be aware of others and be kind and patient, and help each other to continue to distance where possible.

To help improve efficiency if you could continue to use to order prescription medication and please give us at least 24 hours notice, it would be much appreciated.

We would like to thank you all for your support and patience as we have navigated our way through the challenges of the COVID pandemic.  We know it hasn’t been easy for you all to let your fur babies go behind closed doors with us as we examine and treat them.

COVID-19 Alert Level 2

From Thursday 14th May the MVS small animal shop will again be open for our clients.
However our services and shop will still look very different as we manage numbers of clients and pets in the clinic to ensure social distancing.

There will be restricted numbers of people in the store.
* Please fill in the contact register as you enter.
* Please follow the floor marks through the shop and to the counter to ensure distancing from other customers.

* Please phone ahead to make a booking for all veterinary appointments.
* When you arrive please phone us from the carpark.
* Please wait in your car until your appointment.
* We will call you when the vet is ready for your pet.
* Only one person allowed into the clinic with your pet.
* Owners will not be permitted to enter the consult room as we examine your pet to ensure social distancing for you and our staff.
* If you prefer to stay in your car, we can take your pet inside to examine and contact you by phone.

If you could please continue to use to request prescriptions we can then contact you to confirm pick up.

We appreciate your continued understanding in this challenging time. We understand this is also a difficult time for you, your pets and your family as well.
Stay Strong

Kia Kaha
The Small Animal Team

Lockdown protocols and information

As we all get used to life in lockdown, we thought we would give you some guidance if your pet becomes unwell.

All EMERGENCIES contact us as normal 24/7 on 07 888 8197
Any queries about unwell pets, injuries, repeat prescriptions or products
you can email us on,
or call the clinic on 07 888 8197

A few general First Aid hints for your pet: 

  • Breathing problems can be serious. Please phone us if your pet has a consistently increased rate of breathing, or a change in breathing pattern. Remember that dogs will pant if they are hot, stressed or excited. A cat panting is more serious.
  • Vomiting occurs from time to time in animals. They will eat stuff from the garden, bird poop etc, but if it occurs more than 3 times in a 12-hour period, or your pet is not eating, or is lethargic please phone us.
  • Diarrhoea is distressing and uncomfortable, but many cases can be dealt with at home as long as your pet is active and eating well.  Feed bland food  rice/egg white +/- chicken in small frequent meals throughout the day .  If diarrhoea persists, please phone us.
  • If you think your pet has a wound, cut the hair around it and clean the wound.  Water is good, and you can add ¼ teaspoon of salt to a cup of boiled water to make a rough saline solution – DO NOT USE Dettol, Savlon, or hand sanitiser on your dog or cat. Animal skin is different. Animal shampoo is an option if well diluted.
  • Any lumps or bumps can wait unless they are growing quickly (daily), or are otherwise causing your pet to be unwell
  • Missing the odd meal can be the norm for some pets but extended periods of inappetance, especially if they are quiet, or have vomiting and diarrhoea might suggest a possible issue. Please phone us. If your animal is not eating please monitor their water intake as it will help us if the situation continues.

DO NOT GIVE left overs!! In these difficult times we may be tempted to try and save on pet food by giving left overs, but many of these can be toxic or cause vomiting or diarrhoea for your pets.


Don’t be surprised if during the lock down period we meet you like this at the front door (Dr Susan Murray pictured right)

To protect ourselves and ensure we can continue to provide your pets with the care they need, we are taking every precaution we can.

Please don’t be offended if your pet needs to be seen and we ask you questions about possible COVID-19 exposure, if you are self isolating, or if you are unwell.

When you have a prearranged appointment we will meet you in the carpark and take your pet inside for their exam (you don’t even need to get out of the car).

This means we can all stay safely in our bubble.

Please be patient with our services and understand we are trying to do everything to help in these trying times.

Thank you


Patient: Pogo

Pogo is a Mini Lop rabbit. Pogo’s owner had noticed she wasn’t eating that day and was low in energy compared to normal. On closer inspection they noticed some wounds around Pogo’s bottom. Pogo is an extremely loved pet so was taken straight to the vets.
Pogo was flat and dehydrated on presentation and was found to be fly blown. Pogo was given pain relief and warm fluids under the skin. Her hair was carefully clipped away and the wounds were cleaned with sterile saline and a gentle antiseptic solution. This helped clear away the eggs and larvae.
Pogo was prescribed antibiotics, pain relief and a topical cream to help heal the wounds. Much to our delight, she started eating on her own 48-hours after she was discharged from hospital and has recovered very well.
Fly strike occurs when flies lay their eggs in open wounds or in fur that is soiled with faeces and urine. The larvae that emerge from the hatched eggs will immediately start burrowing themselves through the skin. If left untreated the consequence is septicemia and shock, which can be fatal.
It is important to ensure excellent cage hygiene for rabbits, plus checking the rear end of your rabbit regularly for faecal/urinary soiling that may attract flies and cause fly strike. The larvae can do a great deal of damage in a short period of time, so we suggest checking them daily, especially during the summer months.

Pets and Poisons

Every year we see many pets that have ingested poisons.  Depending on how a particular substance affects your pet’s body and how much was ingested or inhaled, pet poisoning symptoms can include tummy upsets, shaking, wobbliness, seizures, breathing difficulties, coma  and even death.
Some poisons we see more commonly are:
Rodenticides/rat bait
Symptoms depend on the nature of the poison and signs may not start for several days after consumption.  These signs include lethargy, weakness, increased breathing rate, a soft cough, pale gums and blood in the stools.

Slug  bait
Ingestion of slug bait very quickly causes neurological signs such as tremors and shaking and then can lead onto seizures.  Without treatment this will cause death in your pet – a true emergency.

Mould can be found in many places including old foods and rubbish bins. Ingestion of this mould can lead to a range of signs from slight tremors through to convulsions and seizures.  These signs can progress very quickly and again without treatment can cause death.

Human prescription medications
Drugs that might be beneficial or even lifesaving for people can have the opposite effect in pets.  It doesn’t always take a large dose to do major damage. Pain medications, antidepressants, blood pressure medication, creams and tablets.

Household products and cleaners

Just as cleaners like bleach can poison people, they are also a leading cause of pet poisoning, resulting in stomach and respiratory tract problems. Not surprisingly, chemicals contained in antifreeze, paint thinner and chemicals for pools can also be poisonous.

Overdose of pet medications
Pet medications, if taken at too high  a dose/doses, or repeated too frequently can lead to toxicity.  It is very important to stick to the label dosages.

People Food
Animals have different metabolisms than people.  Some foods that are perfectly safe for people are poisonous for pets.  Chocolate, coffee, caffeine, alcohol, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, avocado, grapes, raisins and xylitol (artificial sweetener).

Not all plants are pet friendly.  Some of the more toxic plants to dogs include: Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Lilies, Tulips, Azalea and Oleander.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any kind of poison please seek immediate veterinary attention.  It is important we know exactly what product your pet may have ingested so please bring the packaging where possible.

Desexing your Cat

Did you know that in 7 years an unspeyed female cat and unneutered male cat can produce up to 781,250 kittens.
During one season (spring/summer) one female cat is able to produce 3 litters of 4-5 kittens.  She can get pregnant while still feeding the last litter of kittens and is only pregnant for about 9 weeks. Each of these kittens can follow the same cycle the next season.
This time of the year we see many female cats that have become accidentally pregnant, and there are many, many unwanted kittens again this season.
We work to support the Matamata Animal Trust to desex all the kittens and mother cats that they assist, to try to prevent Matamata’s stray cat population getting out of control.
Female and male cats can come on heat by 5-6 months.   However, we do see some cats come into heat earlier than this.
When female cats come on heat they become more affectionate, crouch with their bottom in the air and can talk and meow a lot.  Male cats are less noticeable, but they may begin to spray urine on objects and roam more.
The desexing operation is well tolerated by kittens.  They stay with us for a day, have a short anaesthetic and head home in the afternoon. The female stitches are under the skin and  many types of pain relief are used so they are very comfortable and happy afterwards.
If you would like more information on when to desex your cat please contact us


Many of you may have had a cat that has been in a rumble with one of the neighborhood cats, either as the instigator or as an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The spring and summer months are the time of the year where we treat more cat bite abscesses.  This is because during these months we see our cats heading out and about more, especially at dusk and dawn.  This increased movement means cats are crossing each others territories more which causes fights.  We also see entire male cats roaming very big distances to try to find females, again entering other cats’ territories and fighting.
Cat fighting can be quite rough and noisy and the scratches and bites that occur can be quite serious given the amount of bacteria in a cat’s mouth and under their claws.  We see these wounds when they get infected and abscess. Because a cat’s teeth are so sharp, when they bite each other they deposit bacteria under the skin through a small pinprick wound. This wound can go unnoticed until the bacteria trapped under the skin start to multiply  This leads to swelling under the skin and becomes more and more painful as infectious material (pus) increases. This can take days to get to a size that is noticeable and in that time your cat will be very quiet, hide away and may eat less food.  Sometimes the first sign is when the abscess bursts, which gives the cat much relief but seems very unsightly to us.
Treatment includes locating the abscess and then ensuring there is good drainage.  Sometimes we need to sedate your cat to open the abscess and remove the affected material.  Other times if it is already burst we flush the area to make sure there is no  fluid still trapped inside and then give antibiotics.
Avoiding cat fighting can be very difficult, but desexing your cat at a young age is by far the most effective method to decrease roaming and fighting. Cats that have already learned to go out in the early evening or during the early hours of the morning can be very hard to train out of it, as if you lock them inside they can protests noisily. The best approach is to teach your kitten from a young age to come in for dinner late evening and then stay inside all night (with a locked cat door so they can’t get out).  They can then have breakfast and be let outside during the day.  Some cat fighting does happen during the day, but being locked in at night drastically reduces the risk .


We have had a number of Tick enquiries over the last week and we have had to remove a few ticks off dogs.
It is important that you remove ticks by the head at the bite site as their heads can easily detach and therefore remain in the animals skin. You can achieve this with tweezers or by pinching the base with your nails and pulling directly out.
Ticks in New Zealand do not pose an extreme risk to your pets but they should be prevented with Flea & Tick treatment such as Bravecto. They should be removed when noticed as they can cause irritation and in severe cases cause anaemia.
Photo Cred: Stuart Meek

Black Hawk – Voluntary Recall of 9 Batches for Product Manufactured Between August and November 2019


Black Hawk – Voluntary Recall of 9 Batches for Product Manufactured Between August and November 2019
The quality of our products and the health of pets is paramount. As part of our ongoing quality control processes, we have discovered an issue with specific batches of Black Hawk that were manufactured last year, resulting in mould developing in some batches of our products.
Our supply partner has informed us that during their manufacturing process there have been non-conforming products that are out of our manufacturing specifications. This breakdown in process allowed for a higher than normal moisture level to be present in the final kibble and after the product has been packaged this has allowed mould to develop in some bags.
We have identified the batches that have been affected and can confirm that it impacts the products and best before dates listed on the following page.
We have made the decision to VOLUNTARILY AND IMMEDIATELY RECALL all the listed products from the market to ensure that we can deliver on the quality expectations of our Black Hawk customers and their pets.
Required actions;
1. If your product matches the disclosed best before dates, stop feeding it to your pet immediately.
2. Return the product to your place of purchase, where your retailer will provide you with a replacement bag of food.
If your dog has consumed product from these batches, it is likely that they will not be impacted. However, should your dog show any signs of illness such as diarrhoea or vomiting, we recommend you contact your vet and notify us through our customer service team.
To date we have had no reports of illness in any animals and if product is affected the mould is obvious to consumers and pet parents. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact us by phone on 0800 738 546 or via email you can also visit our website where you will find further details at
We thank you for your support and understanding.
Kind regards,
Grant Viney
Executive General Manager

Food for Voluntary Recall:

Black Hawk Adult Chicken and Rice 3kg
Best Before Dates : 3/2/21, 4/2/21, 5/2/21, 6/2/21, 17/2/21, 17/4/21, 18/5/21

Black Hawk Adult Chicken and Rice 10kg
Best Before Dates: 2/2/21, 3/2/21, 4/2/21, 5/2/21, 6/2/21, 17/2/21, 18/2/21, 19/2/21, 20/2/21, 14/4/21, 15/4/21, 16/4/21, 18/5/21, 19/5/21

Black Hawk Adult Chicken and Rice 20kg
Best Before Dates: 2/2/21, 3/2/21, 4/2/21, 5/2/21, 6/2/21, 17/2/21, 18/2/21, 19/2/21, 20/2/21, 14/4/21, 15/4/21, 16/4/21, 17/4/21, 16/5/21, 17/5/21, 18/5/21, 19/5/21

Black Hawk Adult Lamb and Rice 3kg
Best Before Dates: 10/4/21

Black Hawk Adult Lamb and Rice 10kg
Best Before Dates: 5/4/21, 6/4/21, 7/4/21, 8/4/21, 9/4/21, 10/4/21, 11/4/21

Black Hawk Adult Lamb and Rice 20kg
Best Before Dates: 4/4/21, 5/4/21

Black Hawk Adult Large Breed Chicken and Rice 20kg
Best Before Dates: 3/3/21, 4/3/21, 1/4/21, 26/4/21, 27/4/21, 28/4/21,23/5/21,24/5/21, 25/5/21

Black Hawk Puppy Large Breed Chicken and Rice 20kg
Best Before Dates:13/2/21, 14/2/21, 15/2/21

Black Hawk Fish and Potato 20kg

Best Before Dates: 19.4.21, 6.5.21, 23.5.21

Black Hawk Fish and Potato 10kg
Best Before Dates: 21.4.21, 7.5.21

Black Hawk Fish and Potato 3kg
Best Before Dates: 11.5.21, 26.5.21

Patient: Romero

7 year old ‘Romero’ came to see us last month. He had been having difficulty eating for around 3 weeks! He had been choking and salivating, bringing up food and it looked like he was in pain every time he did manage to eat something.

Careful questioning and examination alerted us that Romero was actually regurgitating – when he brought up food, it was coming from his oesophagus – the tube that goes down to his stomach. Xrays and an ultrasound did not find any problems.

We were able to anaesthetise Romero and pass a special camera called an endoscope. With the endoscope we could see a large object wedged in his oesophagus and with careful manouvering were able to remove a large piece of bone!

Bones can have sharp and irregular edges and can get stuck anywhere along the way through the body – the throat, the oesophagus or along the intestines. This can lead to severe pain, vomiting, obstruction or constipation. Bones can also splinter and cause broken teeth and perforation to the intestines. Or just cause a tummy upset. Due to all these potential problems, at MVS we don’t recommend feeding bones. If you would like some advice around diet options or dental care, please get in touch with us for advice.

Poor Romero still had a rather sore throat for a few days, but with some special treatment he bounced back quickly and is back to his usual playful self!

Farewell Robert

After a year with our MVS Small Animal team we are sad to announce that Robert will finish his maternity cover position early January.
Robert has been a pleasure to work with and we know many of our furry patients will miss him. We wish him well in his future endeavours and hope we may see him back as a locum in the future.


With the hot weather approaching, us humans aren’t the only ones that are likely to be feeling the heat.  Our furry friends are at risk of overheating just as much if not more than we are.  Dogs, especially those with thick fur and brachycephalics (short nosed breeds) can find it hard to regulate their temperature which can lead to heat stroke.  Signs of this include panting, drooling, collapse and coma.  Heat stroke is an emergency and most animals that get hyperthermia need to be seen by a vet to help reduce their core temperature back to normal.

Helpful hints and tips:

  • Keep your pet inside or in the shade during the hottest part of the day.
  • Exercise your dog first thing in the morning.
  • Have lots of cool water available.
  • Long haired dogs can be clipped during summer to help with heat control.
  • Have a shallow paddling pool/sprinkler available for the dogs to cool themselves.
  • Gently hosing the dog down.
  • When the air temperature is 25 degrees celcius the asphalt can be as hot as 51.6 degrees celcius in the sun – this can cause second degree burns in less that 1 minute.
  • If you cannot hold the back of your hand on the ground comfortably for 7 seconds, your dog cannot walk on the ground.
  • Dogs in Cars – NEVER leave alone.  22 degrees outside can be 47 degrees inside a car in under an hour.  Even with the windows open there is not enough airflow for a dog to effectively cool down.  Leave them at home or take them OUT of the car with you (see video link below).
If you are worried about overheating visit your Veterinarian ASAP and remember to start cooling your pet before arriving at the vet clinic as heatstroke can be very serious and rapidly fatal.

The 12 Dangers of Christmas!

CHOCOLATE – Very toxic to dogs and cats.  Can cause signs ranging from vomiting and trembling to seizures and death.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING & MINCE PIES – Contain raisins which are toxic to dogs – kidney failure.

GRAPES – Also toxic, like raisins.

NUTS – Particularly Macadamia nuts.  Can be toxic in high doses.

ONIONS & GARLIC – Toxic and affects red blood cells.

CHRISTMAS LUNCH LEFTOVERS – Fatty foods like ham can cause tummy upsets and pancreatitis, spoiled foods cause tummy upsets or more serious illness.

COOKED BONES – Very brittle.  Best case – bad constipation.  Worst case – bone stuck in oesophagus or gut causing serious illness.

TREE DECORATIONS – Baubles and tinsel can cause intestinal obstruction.

CHRISTMAS TOYS – Small plastic pieces can be eaten, batteries can be highly toxic.

OTHER SWEETS & DESSERTS – Especially those with artificial or sugar free sweetener which is very toxic to dogs.


BBQ SCRAPS – Fatty ends are not good treats.  Keep skewers and meat packaging out of reach.

Farewell Judy

Many of you will know Judy who has been the instructor at our puppy and dog obedience classes over the years.  It is with great sadness we are letting you know that Judy has now retired.  Not only has Judy run our classes but she has been a great friend to MVS and we are very appreciative of her wonderful knowledge and guidance with puppy and dog training.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank Judy for all her years of service, we know many dogs and their owners will have benefited from her expertise over the years.


Merry Christmas

From the Matamata Vets Small Animal Team, we thank you for your Loyalty and support over the last year and would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

As a thank you we have stocked the clinic with loads of goodies.  Feel free to pop in and grab a free pet gift from our lucky dip! *

* To ensure every family gets a present please only one present per family – and only while stocks last.

Clinical Case: Jinx

Jinx has long been our friendly feline face at the Matamata Veterinary Services – Equine hospital. However early this year, aging Jinx found herself in a spot of bother (cause unknown), and was found after she had been missing for days hobbling on 3 legs.
And so Jinx started her journey with the MVS Small Animal team. After stabilisation with fluids and pain relief, xrays showed us that Jinx had severely fractured and damaged nerves in her left hind leg. Blood tests showed otherwise Jinx was a very healthy 19 year old, so, after much discussion the decision was made to amputate her injured leg.
Jinx handled the general anaesthetic and surgery like a trooper, and after a few days R & R headed back to the equine team for the rest of her recovery. Initially she did very well but after a few weeks Jinx began to become increasingly ‘spooked’ and scared, her behavior and temperament changed and she had episodes of running backwards in fright.
She was re-admitted to the Small Animal hospital, the wound was found to have healed well with no infection, and her blood tests were normal. It was thought she most likely had phantom limb pain so medications were started to try and help her manage this neurological pain. Jinx was kept in hospital on medication and became more settled and calmer. She then began the slow process of rehab giving her increasingly larger areas to move around in, all the while helping her walk forward and not get scared and run backwards. She was a regular visitor to the lunch room as many members of the staff helped her with her recovery.
3 weeks later she returned to the Equine hospital merrily getting around on her 3 legs with no signs of phantom limb pain. She was back to her old self, however now she was not only an outside stable cat, she had learned that the couch in the lunchroom is the best place to be. At 19, having survived this massive journey to recovery, we think she well deserves the best place on the couch.

Guy Fawkes and Fireworks

Its that time of year again where we get many loud fireworks being let off that can cause considerable anxiety in our pets.

Here are a few tips for making Guy Fawkes a little less terrifying for your pets this year:

  • Provide a den or hiding place where your pet can feel safe.
  • Walk your pet during the day and toilet them early in the evening to reduce the possibility of fireworks being set off while close by.
  • Make sure all windows, doors and cat flaps are closed during the fireworks, to reduce the chance of escape.
  • While fireworks are happening, try to ignore fearful behaviour, such as panting, shaking and whining.  If possible attempt to distract your dog with training tasks, new toys, play or delectable food treats or chews.  If petting calms your dog then that’s ok.  Do not punish your pet!
  • Draw the curtains and switch on the TV to mask the noise of fireworks.
  • Try not to leave your pets alone while fireworks are going off, as they are more relaxed with a familiar person around.
  • Make sure your dog or cat has a collar on with up to date contact details (or better yet, get your pet micro-chipped) just in case they get out and are panicked by the fireworks.

Some pets get so stressed at Guy Fawkes, that giving a calming medication is warranted.
Please contact us as we can discuss this with you and decide what is best for your pet.

Introducing myRover, FREE and online now!

Where’s my pet’s vaccination card?

You’ve received your reminder to say Fluffy is due a health check and vaccination, you’ve booked an appointment, got off work early, caught Fluffy, put her in the cage but……
Where is the vaccination card?……….
You are not alone in this battle.  We understand there are many factors that go into getting your pets safely to the vet, and the vaccination card just slips your mind, has grown legs and hidden itself since last year, or even more of a disaster it was the dog’s chew toy.

Introducing myRover, a new FREE online vaccination record that keeps this valuable information in a safe place accessible by yourself, your vet and your kennels, cattery or pet daycare to name but a few.

myRover provides owners with relevant information about their pets in one easily accessible secure cloud-based location.  Being based in the cloud means that owners or vets can access their information from any device or browser.  It also means a vet can update a pet’s record at any time.

Matamata Veterinary Services is one of the first clinics in New Zealand to sign up to this service as we can see the value it will provide to you and your pets.

Have a look now at   It’s very easy to register an account and load your pets before your next vaccination visit, but we are more than happy to help you in clinic if you require a

MVS looks after a Ruru

Recently, we had a rather unusual patient in to see us. A member of the public found a Ruru (morepork) injured on the road and brought it in to us for assessment.
Examination showed injury to one of the eyes and a small skin wound, but no broken bones. We suspected head trauma due to collision with a vehicle, which can be very serious – however, Ruru showed some promising signs of having a fighting chance. We discussed a care plan with the Department of Conservation.
Ruru stayed with us for medication and supportive care over the weekend and was then transferred to a DOC rehabilitator. Happily, he made a full recovery and was able to be released back into the wild, in a safer area of bush.
If you find a bird that appears injured, remember that they are very fragile. You can transport them carefully and quietly in a closed cardboard box lined with paper towels, to the vet for assessment. You do not need to offer any food or water.
If you find a native bird that is injured, it can be helpful to contact the Department of Conservation emergency hotline (0800 DOC HOT or 0800 362 468) also.
If you find a fledgling on the ground – remember – this may not be injured!
Young birds that have just left the nest can spend time on the ground as they strengthen their wings and muscles while learning to fly. If you find a fledgling, it is best to leave it where you found it and keep your pets away. Usually they fly away after some time. If it is in direct danger, gently place it a little distance away in a safer place. Birds do not have a great sense of smell so the parents are unlikely to reject it.

Patient: Freddie

Freddie is a 6 year old, male, neutered cat whose owner brought him into the clinic when he became very sick.
For the last couple of days the owner had noticed that Freddie had been in the litter tray more often than normal and seemed quite agitated while he was using it, sometimes making yowling noises and licking around his back end frequently.
When Freddie came into the hospital he was lethargic, weak on his feet and his heart was racing. When his abdomen was palpated he was uncomfortable and a large, rock hard bladder was felt. An x-ray was taken to confirm this finding and Freddie was diagnosed with urethral obstruction (a blocked bladder).
Several underlying issues can cause obstruction of the narrow urethra in male cats
• A hard plug made up primarily of crystals, cells and other debris from the bladder that accumulate and bind together.
• A small bladder stone that has left the bladder and passed down the urethra.
• Bacteria and inflammatory cells from a urinary tract infection
• Spasm and/or swelling of the urethra caused by inflammation.
A blocked bladder is a painful and life threatening condition and can lead to kidney failure and death within 24 – 48 hours if left untreated.
Freddie was anaesthetised and a urinary catheter was very carefully used to remove the obstruction and pass up the urethra into the bladder where we were able to flush the bladder of any remaining debris and crystals.
Freddie remained in the hospital for 2 days on IV fluids, after 24 hours he was back to his normal smoochy self but we still kept a close eye on him for another day to make sure he didn’t block again.
What caused the obstruction in this case was a mixture of crystals and debris formed in the bladder. The photo shows what crystals look like under the microscope.
Freddie made a full recovery and went home with appropriate medications and a special medicated food that will help dissolve any remaining crystals. He is a real lucky cat who has definitely used up one of his nine lives!
* Cat photo supplied by i-stock


The vaccination protocols we use here at MVS are guided by up to date scientific information collated by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.  We aim to ensure all of our pets are covered as best as possible against diseases they might come in contact with, but also minimize the amount of vaccines given.

Each and every pet has different risks based on where they go and what other animals they come in contact with and we take this into consideration with every vaccine we give.


PANLEUKOPAENIA is the cat equivalent of Parvovirus and is highly contagious.  This vaccination is very robust and after the kitten vaccine course, a vaccination every 3 years is  protective.


CAT FLU: The cat flu viruses that we vaccinate against are Calicivirus and the Herpes virus, which cause nasty infections in the eyes nose and mouth.  Depending on where your cat goes and how many other cats it contacts will determine how frequently we vaccinate for the cat flu.


PARVOVIRUS is a highly contagious viral infection in dogs is a highly contagious viral infection in dogs, especially young pups, which  causes vomiting and diarrhoea.  Even with hospital admission and aggressive treatment, the chances of survival and recovery are low.  Transmission is through contact with infected dogs, their faeces, or any surface or object that has been in contact with an infected dog.  Vaccination provides good protection.
We advise starting vaccinating pups from 6-8 weeks, with the puppy course ideally finishing at 16 weeks or older. A booster at a year old is needed, then we can vaccinate adults every 3 years.


LEPTOSPIROSIS is an extremely contagious, very severe life threatening bacterial disease which can infect many species including humans.  The clinical signs of leptospirosis are mainly related to the damage done to the dog’s muscles, kidneys and liver.
The strain usually contracted by dogs is spread by rats, mainly in their urine. Leptospirosis can also be spread by cattle, pigs, deer and wild animals.  Vaccinating dogs for lepto is highly recommended in the Waikato.

The vaccination for Lepto doesn’t last as long as some other vaccines, so we need to give 2 shots 4 weeks apart initially then every year thereafter to ensure your dog remains protected. 


CANINE COUGH is a highly contagious group of viruses and bacteria that cause respiratory signs including a nasty cough that lasts for weeks.  If complicated it can lead to a serious pneumonia.   The canine cough is spread from dog to dog so kennels are a high risk situation where vaccination is compulsory.

Clinical Case: Patient Rocco

Rocco is a handsome young man with loads of energy, particularly when he is around his mates. Unfortunately sometimes this exuberance with his friends can be quite excessive and can get him into some trouble.
One sunny afternoon Rocco was playing with his mates when his head came in contact at full speed with someone else. The outcome wasn’t pretty even though he wasn’t at all worried! However a trip to the vet was definitely required.
A general anaesthetic and some clever stitching by Dr Sue had the lower eye lid looking as good as new.
Now we just have to convince Rocco to leave his Cone of Shame on long enough for the wound to heal. Rocco just wants to get back out to play again. Hopefully next time with not so much force!

Clinical Case: Patient Charlie

A very sad looking Charlie came to see us recently with an upset tummy. He had been vomiting and did not want to eat anything. Medications and an IV drip made him feel a little bit better, but he was still feeling sick and was in pain. An xray was taken and showed some gas in his stomach, but no other problems. An ultrasound showed that he had an object lodged in his intestinal tract. Xrays are good at detecting thinks like stones or metal objects but are not very good for fabric, plastic, or wooden objects and this is where ultrasound is very useful.
Dogs and cats are notorious for eating things they shouldn’t and they never learn from their mistakes. We are constantly surprised by what they are able to swallow! The diameter of the small intestine is much smaller than the diameter of the throat and esophagus so this is the region where items get stuck. Unfortunately, the only way to remove them is to operate which is not without risks. The most common intestinal foreign objects we find in our patients include balls, bits of plastic, socks, corn cobs and underwear!
There are times when an owner will see their pet swallow an item that could be problematic and bring their pet to see us right away. If the item is still in the stomach, we can often induce vomiting to retrieve the item before it passes into the small intestine.
Once we knew something was stuck, Charlie was taken to surgery to have the object removed, and is now recovering well and feeling a lot better.
The only question that remains is ‘what is it?’.

Is that cat really a stray?

Cats are notorious wanderers and can often make themselves at home in a variety of situations (particularly if they are getting fed).
We have had many situations over the past few months where “stray cats” have been bought in which are actually owned (most commonly by someone living on the same street).

There are a number of options you can try to find out if your stray cat has an owner:
* Door knocking around the area where the stray cat hangs out/is found.
* Paper collars – These are simple and easy to use, by writing your phone number onto and attaching around the cats neck (ensure it is snug but leave 2-3 fingers between the collar and the cat’s neck).  Please click on  paper collar for the link to this.
* The public are welcome to take a photo of their “stray cat” and put it on our Facebook page.

Should the cats welfare be in question please don’t hesitate to call your local SPCA for more advice

If you require further advice please call our clinic and we can let you know the best course of action.

FREE Dental Checks

Due to popular demand we are again running our dental health focus for the months of August and September.
Dental disease is usually silent to begin with. Initially there are no outward signs and symptoms. Yet once it advances, gum disease can devastate your pet’s mouth, causing chronic pain, eroded gums, missing teeth and bone loss.  By the time we notice signs such as difficulty eating, a smelly mouth or excessive salivation, the dental disease can often be very bad and significant treatment is needed.
Gum disease occurs five times more often in pets than in people. Our pets have a more alkaline mouth than humans, which promotes plaque formation. Also, most pets don’t normally have their teeth brushed every day, giving plaque-forming bacteria the chance they need to multiply.  Smaller breeds are more susceptible due to having smaller mouths with big and sometimes crooked teeth.

  • Brushing teeth is the ultimate goal to prevent dental problems, but many pets don’t tolerate this unless started as a puppy or kitten.
  • Diet plays a big part in the onset of dental problems, with soft food increasing the likelihood of disease as it sticks to teeth.  There are special dental diets that are abrasive on the teeth to mechanically scratch the teeth and prevent plaque hardening to form tartar.
  • There are additives for water that can help prevent plaque hardening to tartar.
  • Some chew toys and treats can offer help, but often don’t suffice in severe cases.
  • Often a veterinary dental scale and polish is recommended and is the best way to treat problems and give your pet a comfortable mouth again.
Could your dog/cat be suffering from Dental Disease?
  • Does your pets’ breath smell?
  • Is your pet drooling?
  • Does your pet struggle with hard foods?
  • Is your pet head shy?
  • Have you noticed blood on toys/food?
  • Have you noticed the teeth browning?

If you answered YES to any of these questions your pet may be suffering from Dental Disease.

Call the clinic today to book a FREE dental check so we can flip their lip and deal with dental disease (promo ends 31.9.19).