South City Vet Clinic
in Walmer Port Elizabeth

South City Veterinary Clinic brings you the latest news from his Walmer animal hospital situated in Third Avenue.

Vaccination dog video

Two township dogs go to clinic for vaccinations

WATCH:
Residents bring two township dogs in for their vaccinations. This is part of a joint campaign to try stop deadly preventable viruses such as Parvovirus and Distemper from spreading.

hot to give a cat a pill

How to give your cat a pill – the easy way

WATCH:
Ever been scratched or bitten while trying to give you cat a pill?
Watch how South City Veterinary Clinic head vet Dr Dean Sim demonstrates how to give a pill to a cat

puppy lost dog

Flea Treatment – good or bad?

23 September 2019
Spring is in the air and Summer is on its way! The warmer weather is lovely for us but can mean more ticks and fleas on your pets! Read what South City Veterinarian Dr Sim has to say about tick and flea treatments!

South City Vet Dr Dean Sim with a patient

WATCH a dog getting a microchip

Microchipping is a painless procedure that can save you the heartache of losing a beloved pet. Watch this video to see how it is done!

dog stitches

WATCH stitches getting removed

Skin cancer in dogs, and some cats, is a real thing. This is a very quick video on how I quickly removed the stitches from one of my clients.

dog vet

Is grain free dog food safe linked to heart disease?

This question is one many people ask. Due to the recent alert that issued by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2019.

Making headlines in the local news

Two township dogs get vaccinations

Watch two Township dogs get their vaccinations – quick and easy
South City Veterinary Clinic, a Walmer animal clinic, is on a community outreach drive in an effort to curb various preventable viruses in Port Elizabeth and the Bay.
As part of the drive, sponsored vaccinations are given to township dogs who are highly susceptible to viruses such as parvovirus and distemper.
These two viruses kill hundreds of dogs in Port Elizabeth every year.
To stop the spread of these viruses we need to act.
Port Elizabeth veterinarian Dr Dean Sim explains:
These terrible viruses are rife in the poorer communities and are completely preventable.
We are assisting pet lovers in the poorer areas to vaccinate their animals as part of our contribution to stop the spread of the disease and viruses.
With the assistance of Non Profits such as Domestic Animal Care, SAVE A PET and the Nelson Mandela Bay Community Veterinary Clinic, we are able to boost our efforts in combating these viruses.

What is Canine parvovirus:
It is a highly contagious virus mainly affecting dogs. It is contagious and spreads by direct or indirect contact with their infected dogs faeces.
Signs of infection:
· The dog will show signs of the illness within 3 to 7 days.
· The signs may include vomiting, fever, loss of weight and appetite or diarrhoea followed by vomiting
· Infections occur from a weaken immune system.
· If untreated, the dog will go into shock and die

What is distemper :
The virus attacks the dogs respiratory and central nervous systems. Like parvovirus, the virus spreads from dog to dog through direct contact such as the smelling of fresh urine or saliva.
Sneezing, coughing and sharing food and water bowls are also methods of transfer.
Signs of infection:
· The dog will have a fever about within a week of being infected.
· The initial symptoms depend on the severity of the case
· The dog will have clear nasal and eye discharge coupled with diarrhoea
· Become lethargic, start coughing and vomiting

Flea Treatment – good or bad?

puppy scratching

The reality is that ticks carry biliary – a disease that kills thousands of dogs in South Africa every year.This comes after the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alerted to pet owners and veterinarians in September 2018 warning that pets could suffer “neurological adverse events” ,such as muscle tremors and seizures, when using some products.

Due to several posts and requests, Port Elizabeth based South City Vet Clinic  head, Dr Dean Sim, gives some clarity on the topic:

Tick and flea treatment has always been a topical issue; some believe preventative treatments benefit their dog or cat while a few believe it causes severe illness, and in extreme cases, death.
There is no silver bullet in the prevention of biliary or tick bite fever which occurs through transmission of the parasite from tick saliva.
The aim of this post is not to review a certain product, but to give pet owners the information needed to make an informed decision.

  • Facts
  • Basic background
  • Conclusion – risk vs benefit
  • Babesiosis, also known as Biliary, kills more dogs in South Africa than any other infectious disease.
  • Ticks carry Babesia, a tick borne parasite that causes babesiosis (commonly referred to as biliary) and Ehrlichia, which causes Ehrlichiosis  or tick fever.
  • There is a 24 hour window after finding a tick to remove it, reducing the chance of Babesiosis transmission
  • Most vets stick to FDA approved products as they are scrutinised, legally manufactured and tested prior to approval.
  • The FDA states (in September 20, 2018) that several products – which they endorse - continue to be safe and effective for the majority of animals
  • They however acknowledge that some dogs had shown neurological issues but this varied from pet-to-pet.
  • The agency has since asked manufacturers to adjust product labelling to provide veterinarians with the information needed for treatment
  • Veterinarians are encouraged to review their patients’ medical history to determine if the product is in the isoxazoline class
  • The FDA issued an alert in 2018 following incidents being reported them
  • While research into the various products is ongoing, one has to consider potential risks versus benefits.
  • Risk vs Benefit
  • The tick and flea control industry has come under fire in recent years with some owners claiming their pets showed side effects or adverse reactions.
  • In my view, we do not have enough research to form a concrete conclusion on the matter – which is why the FDA are still conducting tests.

We can however look into the aspect of risk versus benefit. Let us break it down. If you live on a farm swarming with ticks, as is the case in most parts of South Africa, do you risk no tick control? 

If your dog is a house dog and never leaves the yard or barely ventures into the veld, would you need to implement a tick control? 

This is what it boils down to, personal choice that only the owner would know based on their circumstances.

While causes and reasons are mostly speculative, here are facts to help you make an informed decision

If the treatment causes neurological symptoms in a fraction of dogs, does the small potential risk of an adverse reaction warrant foregoing the very real benefit of protection against such diseases? This is what you need to ask yourself. If you frequent areas where there are ticks, it would be an option to consider. If you do not, is it worth risking a deadly disease?Simply put, just as humans have adverse effects to some drugs, so do animals. In summary, research states that millions of dogs remain unaffected by using various approved products while a relatively tiny percentage have reacted negatively. Alternatively, homemade tick and flea methods are available on-line. However, they have not been scrutinised or subjected to the same level of testing. Consult your vet to discuss the best product based on prior medical history – this could save you a lot of headache and indicate if your pet will be affected.

Watch South City vet, Dr Dean Sim, demonstrate how to give a cat a pill.
Why do you need to know how to pill your cat, or dog?
A very common request I get from clients is to demonstrate how to give a cat a pill if their beloved pet does not want to take it.
It is not uncommon for someone to get scratched and bitten in an attempt to give their dog or cat a pill.
Simply put, some cats and dogs are just fussy and will not eat a tablet in their food.
When it comes to medication, particularly antibiotics, it is vital that the pet get the tablet – be it after or before food.
The success of treatment depends on the pet finishing the prescribed course.
When all other options and methods fail, pet owners are often left with no other option than to force feed their cat, or dog, the tablet. Over the years, I have demonstrated my method to thousands of cat, and dog owners. Obviously, over time people forget and need a quick reference to refer back to.
The video explains why and how to pill a cat – an option that can be used when all other easy pilling methods fail.
Hopefully this short video will show you a fairly easy method on how to pill your car.
In our next South City Vet video I will be demonstrating and explaining the different
methods on how to give your dog a pill.
Hopefully animal and pet lovers across Port Elizabeth, the Eastern Cape and world will be able to use these tips to ensure that their pet stays fit and healthy.

WATCH a dog getting a microchip implant

Watch Dr Sim in action as he explains why your pet should be microchipped and how painless it really is.

This is the first of a series of videos that will soon be launched by South City Vet.

The videos aim to assist and help pet owners with day-to-day answers on their dog or cat.

Watch this space as our new online booking system and website will soon be launched

Skin cancer in dogs, and some cats, is a real thing.

This is a very quick video on how I quickly removed the stiches from one of my clients. 

It is a fairly quick and easy process.

Not all dogs are this well behaved. Sometimes, particularly if the dog is in pain, removing stitches can be tricky business.

In these cases, I usually try use a muzzle as a last resort. 

I will do another video and blog in coming months on how to identify skin cancer in your pet. Stay tuned for the next South City Vet video.

Is grain free dog food safe linked to heart disease?

dog run

This follows an alert that issued by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2019.

In recent weeks, we have received several queries following an on-going debate regarding non-grain food products.

South City Vet, Dr Dean Sim, takes time to explain the topic.

Being a vet, we work with confirmed data and scientific reports to ensure that we are able to give clients, and pet owners, the best advice possible. 

The FDA is asking if there is there any link between the expensive grain-free food and animals developing a specific heart condition? 

Canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a heart disease that effects the cardiac muscle and decreases the ability to generate pressure to pump blood.

• The foods of concern are those containing legumes such as peas or lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes listed as primary ingredients.
• The FDA is still investigating if there is a link between DCM and range of grain-free pet food
• Most reports were for dry dog food, but raw, semi-moist and wet foods were all present in the findings.
• DCM is relatively common in the general dog population – many thousands of dogs have this condition and is proven to have genetic origin
• The reports span a wide range of breeds, including many without a known genetic predisposition.
• A variety of breeds in the report are covered
• The FDA is obligated to publish reports of adverse reactions, regardless of whether there is a link between substances in food or drugs and health issues.
• Some symptoms include decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse

• In July 2018, the FDA said that it had been investigating reports of DCM in dogs certain pet foods, many labelled as “grain-free”
• Based on the data collected and analysed, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and the disease in dogs is complex and involves multiple factors
• Between December 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019 (219 canine reports, 3 feline reports) were received by the FDA
• Some of these reports involved more than one affected animal from the same household.
• There are about 77 million pet dogs in America, many of which eat pet food without apparently developing the disease
• Many of these cases included a variety of breeds of dogs of which their genetic predisposition is unknown – in some cases

• On review of the report, I feel it has to be read within context and within reason – there is no finding yet and factual findings are very sketchy, pending further test results
• Is it possible that the disease manifests because the food caused them to grow to their maximum genetic potential?
• If this is the case, does it expose their genetically compromised hearts to the strain which resulted in onset of condition
We need to know the answers to just some of these questions to make an informed decision.

My conclusion:
• There is simply too little research to give a concrete answer on whether there is a link – at this stage
We will keep you posted the results come out

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