IMPORTANT NEWS ABOUT CAT DENTAL HEALTH – Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORL)

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Cats get a very different kind of dental disease to dogs.  Very small invisible holes in the tooth allow bacteria to enter and start to dissolve the tooth from the inside. Often there are no signs to see externally – maybe just a red blob of gum at the edge of the tooth and gum line. These teeth look normal from the outside but are completely dissolved on the inside with the roots involved in most cases as well. Often times the tooth appears normal to the casual cat observer but the entire root system has rotted and resorbed away leaving just the shell of a tooth to see. When the top, or crown of the tooth is involved – the lesions are painful. When just the roots of the tooth are involved pain may not be obvious – but we know from studies in humans with similar holes in their teeth  – they are definitely painful. 

 (FORL) are extremely common and only affect cats. The teeth dissolve from the inside.

The best way to check for these lesions is for the vet to use an explorer to check for small cracks or holes at the gum line. Ultimately xrays of the teeth are needed to discover hidden problems inside the tooth.

In the example below, you’ll see the affected tooth is the lower second premolar (cats don’t have a first premolar on the lower jaw) which has a red line across the base of it.

Signs and Symptoms of Tooth Resorption

Cats hide their pain very well, so signs can be subtle.

Cats will continue to eat with these painful dental problems. There are often no symptoms until we examine with a probe. Teeth chattering or broken food all around the food bowl can hint at dental pain. You may notice increased salivation or changes in your cat’s food preferences (for example a reluctance to eat hard foods such as kibble or biscuits.)

Other signs may include redness of the gums or holes in the teeth which may go unnoticed unless you regularly examine your cat’s mouth. For this reason, we offer free regular dental checks for all of our patients. 


The best treatment for tooth resorption is to remove the affected teeth. This helps to avoid infection and other complications. We always x-ray all the teeth before we make a decision as to which teeth need extraction or treatment.  

We use regional nerve blocks of a local anesthetic to ensure your cat’s mouth is pain-free at home time, and provide pain relief for home. Antibiotics are not needed as we remove all affected and infected tissue.


Cats who have had tooth resorption diagnosed previously will very likely develop additional lesions in the future, so it’s important to maintain regular dental check-ups.  

For more information about our free dental checks or to book an appointment, please call us on 9561 2438 or book online.


Snake Bite Prevention

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The two most common types of snake found in the Perth region are Brown Snakes (Dugites) and Tiger Snakes. During the warmer days of Spring, snakes become more active as they leave their winter retreats in search of a mate and food.

Tiger Snakes are found most commonly around wetland areas including the coastal plains, and the Swan and Canning Rivers and they are more tolerant of colder conditions.

Here at Yanchep Vet, the most common type of snake bites we see come from Brown Snakes. They can grow up to 2m long and are found in tree stumps, firewood, rubbish heaps and sheds. They prefer warmer weather and are often seen basking in sunny spots in bushland areas. 

Snakes prefer to eat frogs, mice, birds and lizards. However, if they are suddenly disturbed or cornered they will bite before trying to escape. 

For our inquisitive pups and curious kitties, an encounter with a snake can have potentially fatal consequences.

Taking Precautions

If you are walking your dog in bushland or grassy areas, take care to walk in cleared areas only such as bush trails and pathways.

Keep your dog on a lead and wear long trousers and enclosed footwear. 

Keep a lookout on the ground ahead of you where snakes may be sunning themselves. 

Hungry snakes will be attracted to sheds and outbuildings where mice and rats breed in rubbish and under building materials such as corrugated iron sheets.
Keep these areas free from debris and ensure that your pets do not have access.

If you find a snake in your house, you should search online and call your local snake catcher West Aussie Reptiles 0412 914537, Gary Davies, who will remove the snake and relocate it safely back to its natural habitat. 

What To Do If Your Pet Is Bitten By A Snake

If you suspect your pet has been bitten by a snake you should get your pet into the car and head straight to your nearest Vet. Call us once you are underway, and we will have everything ready to help your pet. 

Yanchep Vet 9561 2438

After-hours – Call Emergency Vet Hospital in Wangara on 9200 4460

Even if there are no symptoms, head to the vet. Animals can collapse or die very suddenly after appearing to be quite normal and displaying no symptoms. Antivenom is given only if there are symptoms, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Signs may include vomiting, weakness or walking like they are drunk, appearing spaced out, or suddenly stopping breathing.  Some dogs, especially Staffies will just start panting a lot more and seem overheated and a bit distressed. Some animals will collapse and stop breathing only minutes after a snake bite. You must act quickly

If you see a pet with a snake, have the pet checked, even if there are no immediate symptoms – they can take 8 hours to show signs in some cases. And some animals are bitten but don’t get any venom in the bite. So it’s not always straight forward. Observation and monitoring are the keys to a good outcome.

DO NOT put a tourniquet on, do not bandage, just get in the car and head to the vet. Keep your pet quiet and calm. Keep the airconditioning on to keep them as cool as possible. 

DO NOT try to catch or kill the snake.


If pets are showing no symptoms we just observe them for a few hours, usually with a cannula in their vein so we have rapid access should they suddenly collapse and need medication or treatment.

Antivenom is only given if there are symptoms. It is of no value and can be dangerous if there are no symptoms of snakebite.  Pets are usually given IV fluids on a drip, as well as oxygen therapy and antivenom if they show signs of snakebite. With rapid treatment, over 95% of pets will survive a snake bite and go on to lead normal happy lives.

Treatment may include oxygen therapy to assist your pet with breathing, as the snake venom causes paralysis of muscles, which can include the breathing muscles.

Snake Avoidance Training For Dogs

We recommend this quick, effective one-on-one training provided by Animal Ark to help protect your dog from snake bites. This course may save your dog’s life.

Our next class starts on Sunday 27th September.

The cost is only $195 per dog and the second dog is discounted.
If you have previously participated, the refresher course is only $95.

Bookings are essential! We only have limited places so please go to to secure your spot now.

Plants for happy cats

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We love our cats and our gardens, so why not help the two get along? There’s some fantastic, pet friendly plants out there, ideal for any sized garden and they are bound to keep your cat purring all day long.

Rusty at Snake Avoidance Training

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Check out these videos of Rusty at the Snake Avoidance Training session run by Animal Ark at Yanchep Veterinary Clinic & Animal Hospital in 2018.

For more information about this training visit

Watch Rusty with a live snake ! Rusty was an absolute superstar today. He quickly learnt to avoid snakes - here he is showing us how it’s done! #snakeavoidance #yanchepvethospital #yanchepvet

Posted by Yanchep Veterinary Clinic & Animal Hospital on Saturday, 12 January 2019

There’s a tiger snake and a dugite hidden in the bushes. Watch Rusty figure out where they are and avoid them! #snakebite #snakeavoidance #yanchepvet #yanchepvethospital

Posted by Yanchep Veterinary Clinic & Animal Hospital on Saturday, 12 January 2019

Festive season not so festive for pets

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Christmas is nearly here and as you start to decorate your house for the festive season, spare a thought for the deadly dangers posed to your pets by Christmas decorations, gifts and toys.

Christmas decorations, especially tinsel, baubles and ribbons can be potentially fatal for curious four-legged family members.

Dr Cymantha Sorensen who runs the Yanchep Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital treats many cats and dogs who are poisoned or injured after exposure to dangerous decorations, toxic foods and small toys over the Christmas/New Year period.

“Cats and dogs are attracted to sparkly tinsel, ribbons and string thinking they are toys. However, one nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.”

“Keep wires, batteries, lighted candles and glass or plastic ornaments out of reach. Wires can deliver electric shocks; punctured batteries can cause burns to the mouth and bits of broken ornaments can tear your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.”

It is also important to secure your real or artificial Christmas tree, so it doesn’t tip or fall and injure your pet. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea if they drink the water under the tree.

Dr Sorensen urges pet owners to also be vigilant about small toy parts strewn around the house. These parts are often too large to be defecated and can cause life-threatening intestinal obstructions.

“It is not uncommon for us to see one or two dogs each holiday season who have eaten decorations or part of a child’s toy and must undergo surgery to remove it,” she said.

Traditional Christmas foods and goodies are toxic to pets. Always remember to keep the ham, pork, chocolates, grapes, and raisins out of the reach of your pets.

An enterprising pet will go to any length to get to something yummy. Keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food and alcoholic drinks and be sure to secure the lids on all rubbish bins.

Dr Sorensen advises pet owners to refrain from using remedies and treatments suggested by friends, neighbours and internet sites.

“There is no substitute for a thorough examination and evaluation by a veterinarian who is trained to diagnose and treat poisonings and other emergency problems in dogs and cats.”