Puppy Pointers

Night frights with new pups and getting some sleep, how do you do it? Do you ‘tough love’ the pup and force it to stay in the laundry or outside or do you ‘spoil the pup’ and let it sleep inside, knowing that’s not what you really want? Let’s look at it from the pup’s perspective. All it has known is its mum, its litter mates and the people who tenderly bred the little wriggler. As total strangers, you whisk the pup away from the comfort of its litter and throw it into hostile territory – and you expect it to be happy???

Spoil the pup and let it sleep inside!!! Worry not, as you can always get it to sleep outside later.

The first nights

The first priority is to get the pup acquainted with its new home and your new routines but, above all, to make it settled and happy. That’s why you let it sleep inside. Human company is the important ingredient, so let the pup sleep in your bedroom for the first few nights. Perhaps you can put the pup in a cage or crate beside your bed. Maybe you can barricade it into a corner of your bedroom or perhaps you can borrow a baby’s play pen to house the pup at night.

The pup will settle more quickly if it eats a meal just before bed and has a comfortable basket or box to sleep in. Use the ‘Sock-it-to-em’ principle. Mimic its mum’s heartbeat by placing a ticking clock (not easy to get nowadays) in its box and then make it a ‘virtual litter mate’. Get one of your smelly socks. Fill a second sock with a cup of raw rice that you have heated to a safe temperature in the microwave. Place it and several other old socks inside the smelly one and leave this virtual pup with your little buddy to mimic a litter mate. Make sure the rice-sock is not too hot and is seated deep inside the virtual pup. Alternatively, you can purchase plush toys that have a beating, ticking heart for your pup to snuggle up to.

Conditioning to it's night time abode

Having weathered the first few nights, now we need to move the pooch to its permanent night-time abode. This we do progressively and with a smattering of science to help the process. Say you want the pup to sleep in your laundry at night. The first task is to make the pup love the laundry. Let’s make the laundry into its ‘Den’. To do this, associate all the pup’s peak joys in life with the laundry. For instance, feed the pup in the laundry. As you will be feeding it four times a day, that gives the hair-ball plenty of practice to learn to love the laundry. While it is eating, lock the pup inside the laundry with its food so that the joy of the food is linked with being confined. Once this happy association has started, try putting the pup in the laundry for longer times during the day but don’t expect too much at the start.

If it is noisy, use the ‘Progressive Praise Technique’ to control the noise. At the very first squeak, tap the closed door of the laundry and instruct your pup to be QUIET, but don’t be too gruff. This should ‘buy’ you five seconds of silence. Praise the pup through the closed door and that should buy you a longer quiet time of, say, 15 seconds. Now reward this longer time with more praise by opening the door and giving the pup a brief cuddle. Close the door once more and if the pup is quiet for a further 15 seconds, then let it out as a reward. As the pup learns, make the confinement times longer. In no time at all, you should be able to put the pup in the laundry overnight.

Pheromone fun

Next, use the settling science of furry pheromones to help. The Dog Appeasing Pheromone is available from your vet and is a wonderful way of helping a pup to acclimatise to a new home. The Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) is a synthetic equivalent of the pheromones released from the pup’s mum. These pheromones bond the pup to the mum when the pup is only seven days old and the effect follows into adult life. The DAP is a convenient plug-in diffuser. Place it in a power-point where the pup sleeps and the pup should bond to that area quickly. Don’t forget to have your pup checked by your vet to ensure he or she is fit and healthy. You can also get the latest advice on worming, vaccination schedules, flea and tick treatments and join a puppy pre-school class as soon as the first vaccination is given. Here you will learn the tools to set your pup up for a happy, harmonious life with your family.

And finally, seriously think about insuring your new addition to the family. Pet insurance is a reality in these modern times, the level of veterinary care is now on a par with our own health care with new treatments, surgical procedures and specialists available for every medical problem. If your pet should be involved in an accident, or suffer a sudden illness, the medical costs could be several hundreds to thousands of dollars. Talk to the team at Vet Cross about pet insurance it’s private health for your pet and peace of mind for you.

Jade Switzer QVN

Jade Switzer QVN (Cert IV)

Veterinary Nurse

Jade has been with Vet Cross since August 2021 but her career in the veterinary industry started 24 years ago. In that time Jade has worked as an equine nurse and has experience with all large animals. Jade has a particular interest in working with anxious dogs and loves providing physiotherapy to small animals.

Bec Nicholson

Bec Nicholson     QVN (Cert IV)

Senior Nurse

Bec joined the Vet Cross team in 2015. She is most happy nursing for our bovine patients, with cattle medicine and surgery being one of her passions. She also enjoys being able to provide physiotherapy for our small animal orthopaedic patients. Bec has been in the veterinary industry for 9 years, having started as a kennel hand when she was 14 years old. Bec successfully completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2016. Outside of work she is kept busy with her hobby farm and dogs as well as her 2 sons Charlie and Tommie.

Andrew Marland

Dr Andrew Marland     BVSc (hons)

Practice Principal

Growing up on a local cattle property Andrew developed a love of animals and desire to become a veterinarian at an early age. After graduating in 2000 he entered mixed animal practice in western Queensland before working in the United Kingdom for 2 years.

Andrew is an Australian Cattle Vets accredited Bull tester and National Pregnancy Testing accredited examiner. Although spending much of his time working with cattle and horses Andrew enjoys all challenges of mixed animal practice.

Susan Carroll

Dr Susan Carroll     BVSc (hons)

Senior Veterinary Associate

Susan joined Vet Cross in Bundaberg in 2004. After graduating in 1998 Susan started her veterinary career in a country practice in regional Queensland later travelling overseas. After the birth of her 2 children she has continued studies and has now completed a course with the Centre for Veterinary Education in animal ultrasonography.

Kate Schroeder

Dr Kate Schroeder     BVSc (hons)

Veterinarian

Kate grew up in Bundaberg and studied at the University of Queensland, Gatton. Kate loves all aspects of mixed practice, in particular equine medicine & surgery. She has a passion for horse training, which comes in handy with her more fractious equine patients.

She enjoys spending time with her gorgeous Labrador, Walter, her many horses and accidentally-adopted cat, Gizmo.

Meghan Schibrowski

Dr Meghan Schibrowski     BVSc PhD

Veterinarian

Dr Meghan graduated from the University of Queensland in 2005 and started her career working in general practice and veterinary livestock consultancy. In 2015, Meghan completed a PhD investigating the epidemiology and pathological agents involved in the bovine respiratory disease complex in feedlot cattle and returned to her family’s property in Childers. Meghan joined the Vet Cross team in early 2020 after returning to general practice.

Meghan is an Australian Cattle Vets accredited Bull tester, holds PennHip certification, is a ParaBoss WEC QA Service Provider and is an Accredited Veterinarian with Animal Health Australia for provision of Market Assurance Programs including GoatMAP, SheepMAP and AlpacaMAP.

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Dr Jacqueline Greiner     BVSc

Veterinarian

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Dr Alanah Evans     BVSc

Veterinarian

Georgia Taylor

Dr Georgia Taylor     BVSc

Veterinarian

Dr Georgia studied at JCU in Townsville and moved to Bundaberg with her sister Kate and their cavoodle Spock.

Lilli Glass

Dr Lilli Glass     BVSc

Veterinarian

Doctor Lilli is from Harvey Bay and studied at JCU in Townsville. Dr Lilli has a keen interest in cattle reproduction and pretty much all aspects of the veterinary industry. In her spare time Lilli loves going to the beach with her beautiful boy Lenny who is pictured here with her.

Amy Cox

Dr Amy Cox     BVSc (Hons)

Veterinarian

Welcome Dr Amy. Dr Amy studied at UQ Gatton and graduated in 2017. Amy started working at a clinic in Maryborough before moving here in 2022. Dr Amys special interests are surgery and cattle.

Anna Logan

Anna Logan     QVN (Cert IV)

Senior Nurse

Anna has been working as a veterinary nurse for the Vet Cross team since 2008 graduating as a qualified veterinary nurse in 2011. Anna is a key team member being actively involved in training junior nurses, 2013 saw Anna take time off to start a family. Anna has a dog called Moose who is a rescue dog.

Amy Jensen

Amy Jensen     QVN (Cert IV)

Senior Nurse / Practice Manager

Amy has been working at Vet Cross since July 2009 and qualified as a Cert IV veterinary nurse in January 2014. Amy is a talented nurse and is often found helping clients on the phone or at the front desk. Amy is an asset to the Vet Cross team. She has a Shih Tzu called Penny and a Labrador called Norman.

Sarah Manderson

Sarah Manderson     QVN (Cert IV)

Senior Nurse

Sarah is our resident ‘Crazy Cat Lady’. She joined the Vet Cross team in 2016, having been a qualified vet nurse since 2012. Her special interests are radiography, orthopaedic nursing and anything feline, with a special ability to calm even our most anxious kitty patients. Sarah has two extra fluffy, extra lovable cats, Felix and Cooper, and enjoys playing the cello.

Chloe Hancock

Chloe Hancock

Receptionist

Chloe joined the Vet Cross team in 2018. Chloe and her now Husband Guy were married in May 2019, they moved here from Ballarat. Chloe has a Foxxy named Maggie and a ginger cat named Milo.

Courtney Milne

Courtney Milne     QVN (Cert IV)

Veterinary Nurse

2021 was a busy year for nurse Courtney, she finished her studies and became a qualified veterinary nurse (QVN) and gave birth to her and her partner Mat’s first child Hailey. Baz the cattle dog and Jax the Border Collie are very excited about their new sister.

Ashleigh Hendersen

Ashleigh Hendersen

Veterinary Nurse

Ash is one of our multi-skilled nurses, with a love for anything from horses to small animals. She enjoys the amazing variety of patients in our mixed practice clinics, and goes from anaesthetising a cat for surgery to wrangling a lame goat without skipping a beat.

She joined us in 2017 with a wealth of knowledge, having worked for Veterinary Specialist Services as an oncology nurse. Her dogs (Reeva and Ralph) and horses (Holly and Dolly) keep her busy outside of work.

Brooke Jackson

Brooke Jackson

Veterinary Nurse

Brooke is currently studying her certificate 3 in veterinary nursing is looking forward to starting her cert 4. Brooke has 2 very energetic dogs named Maloo and Maggie.

Sheridan Philips

Sheridan Philips

Veterinary Nurse

Sheridan started with Vet Cross in October 2020. Sheridan is born and bred in Bundy, her family have been living in the area for over 130 years. Growing up on a hobby farm Sheridan has had many different pets over the years and enjoys riding the family horses. Sheridan’s most treasured pet is Annabelle the 14 year old Mini Foxy.

Brooke Land

Brooke Land

Veterinary Nurse
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Sarah Boersch     QVN (Cert IV)

Veterinary Nurse
Leah White

Leah White

Nurse

Welcome Nurse Leah. Leah and her Husband Blake moved to Bundaberg from North Brisbane in 2022. Leah has been in the veterinary industry for 2 years and is currently studying her certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing. She is the loving fur mum of Cinders the Bull Arab X.

Rachel McGregor

Rachel McGregor

Veterinary Nurse
Rachel is a Bundy girl and her family have cattle properties out at Mt Perry. Having grown up with large animals Rachel has a keen interest in them and is looking forward to starting her studies in 2022.
Amanda Polizel QVN

Amanda Polizel

Nurse

Amanda Bickmore

Amanda Bickmore

Marketing / Receptionist

Amanda started her Vet Cross journey in 2013 as a receptionist. However, she soon demonstrated her creative talents and is now primarily our marketing manager. She loves the ability to tell the stories of our furry and feathered friends, as well as being able to inform and educate clients, both old and new.

She has a Labrador named Molly.

Jo Logan

Jo Logan

Gin Gin Receptionist

Jo is the face of Vet Cross Gin Gin. She loves being able to greet our clients and is always up for a chat. She joined us in 2011 and she has become a massive part of the Gin Gin family.

Jo is kept busy by her three big dogs Ruby, Zip and Zeus.

Jackie Sergiacomi

Jackie Sergiacomi

Receptionist

Jackie Joined the Vet Cross team in 2016. Jackie has over 24 years experience and says she couldn’t imagine her life without the excitement and satisfaction that comes from being in the veterinary industry. Jackie’s experience has ranged from a nurse right through to accounts and management. Jackie has been competing in endurance racing for the past 30 years and loves that the sport takes her to beautiful parts of Australia that otherwise she may have missed.

Tim Hill

Dr Tim Hill     BVSc MACVS

Practice Principal

Tim graduated from University of Queensland in 1993 and, because of his interest in soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery, gained Membership of Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Surgery in 2006.

Tim completed the PennHip certification in 2009 enabling accurate assessment and evaluation of hip screening, he also has a diploma in animal ophthalmology. Tim travelled throughout Australia and the United Kingdom and gained extensive experience in mixed and dairy practices.

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