News & Advice

   Stay up to date with the latest news and advice for pets and farm animals from our team of dedicated vets.


Winter Kennelling

Winter is approaching and it is time to make sure you have stored enough firewood, put a woollen underlay back on your bed and dug out your raincoat from behind the seat in the ute. It is great to come home after a day out in the cold, perhaps out in the rain, to a […]


Putting them back together – fractures and other injuries in working dogs

Working dog herding sheep

Working dogs are rather unique in the type of injuries they sustain, but, for the Vetlife vets who enjoy orthopaedics, they provide wonderful and rewarding challenges. Most injuries are the results of: Falls off cliffs, motorbikes, utes High-impact injuries, eg kicks, crush injuries and vehicle accidents Hanging in gates or cattle stops – most commonly […]


Tooth Root Abscesses in Working Dogs and the Importance of Dental X-rays

Working dog and farmer

Tooth root abscesses are a relatively common occurrence in all dogs, and working dogs are no exception. Abscesses develop when a tooth or the tissues around a tooth become infected. Diseased teeth causing the abscess are usually fractured, but can also have wear, discolouration, severe periodontal disease (heavy tartar, gum recession, etc), or appear normal.The […]


Keeping your working dogs safe during transportation

Every now and again an incident occurs causing an accident requiring veterinary treatment with dogs where we, and the owners, think ‘if only….’ The injuries sustained from unrestrained dogs falling, or being thrown, from a moving vehicle can range from minor to severe with a long recovery time and, unfortunately, sometimes they can be fatal. […]


Canine cough – are your working dogs protected?

With events, summer activities and domestic travel in full swing across New Zealand, we are currently experiencing an epidemic of canine cough, also known as ‘kennel cough’. This may occur frequently in New Zealand and is caused by disease agents that are commonly present in the country (ie it is not an exotic disease agent). […]


Osteoarthritis in working dogs

  Around April/May, we begin seeing working dogs ‘slow up’. Common causes for early retirement of working dogs are cited as “slowing down, getting old, unable to jump on the back of the truck anymore…”. These behaviours of “slowing down” can be a sign of your dog being in pain and discomfort. Dogs with chronic […]


Dog worming

Worming, or “dosing “dogs for control of internal parasites, has been part of farming husbandry for years.   Control of roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms affects the health and wellbeing of our four-legged work mates, but the control of dog tapeworms is also important in meat hygiene and human disease. Hydatids disease, caused by the dog […]


TeamMate study published

Working dogs are an essential part of a sheep and beef farming operation. Vetlife partnered with Massey University to conduct a working dog study in New Zealand which collected data on: feeding, housing, general health practices, training and condition, disease and injury, career duration and risk factors for disease, injury and end of career. No […]


Body condition of working dogs over winter

The economic value of farm working dogs is hard to quantify. They are indispensable members of the staff on a farm (mainly sheep or beef, but sometimes dairy), and they take little pay in return. The cost of purchase, training and maintenance are set over a dog’s lifetime. The loss of a dog through illness […]



Get in touch with your local Vetlife Clinic today to discuss your animal’s health concerns.

With 18 clinics based throughout the South Island, we look forward to welcoming you into one of our Vetlife clinics.