Guinea pigs come in all shapes and styles from short to long coated, with spots, stripes and solid colors. Their life span is approximately 6 years. They make a great pet for children if handled frequently and gently. They do not require vaccinations or routine worming and have minimal health problems if fed and cared for correctly. 

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Rabbits are a very popular pet and are easy to look after. There are many different breeds of rabbits available. Small breeds such as the Dwarf or Dutch may look the right size for children to handle but are often rather feisty. Larger breeds including the New Zealand White and Flemish are naturally more docile; however, all can be tamed with regular gentle handling.

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With curiosity and natural hunting instincts it is not uncommon for our pets to cross paths with a snake. Here in the northern suburbs we have the Plenty and Yarra Rivers and access to many dams and parks with water. This may be where snakes have hibernated during colder weather and will now become active in Summer months.

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Hip dysplasia is a deformity of the hip joint (coxofemoral joint) that occurs during an animal's growth period. Many large breed dog owners have heard of it, but the fact is that anyone owning a dog should become familiar with this condition.

In essence, the ball of the femur can’t fit properly into the hip socket. An affected dog may show absolutely no signs of this condition, whilst others may show severe signs.

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PennHIP is a scientific method to evaluate a dog for its susceptibility to develop hip dysplasia. The radiographic procedure involves a special positioning of the dog so that the dog's "passive hip laxity" can be accurately measured. In simple terms, passive hip laxity refers to the degree of looseness of the hip ball in the hip socket when the dog's muscles are completely relaxed.

Research has shown that the degree of passive hip laxity is an important factor in determining susceptibility to develop Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) later in life. Radiographic evidence of hip DJD, also known as osteoarthritis, is the universally accepted confirmation of CHD.

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Incidence
Mast cell tumours (MCT) in dogs are very common, accounting for approximately 20% of all skin tumours in dogs. For most dogs, the underlying cause promoting the development of the tumour is not known.

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The patella is the small ovoid shaped bone located at the front of the knee (stifle) joint. It is located within the tendon of the powerful quadriceps muscle and slides within a groove on the lower end of the femur, known as the femoral trochlea. Patella luxation occurs when the patella slips out of this groove.

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Itchy skin is a common problem for many dogs. It can range from the occasional scratch through to severe, debilitating, generalized irritation and infection. Some dogs may have localized skin problems such as just the ears, paws or belly, while other animals may suffer from an all over itch.

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The cruciate ligaments, the cranial and the caudal, of the stifle (knee) joint are cross shaped ligaments that connect the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone). They are located within the stifle joint itself. The cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is the most commonly injured cruciate ligament. Its role is to help maintain a normal relationship between the femur and the tibia in all angles of motion.

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