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Physical therapy

Dr Miriam Has Completed Her CCRP Course!

Posted in Acupuncture, Animal Health, Cat, Dog, Kitten, News, Physical Therapy, Puppy, Rehabilitation, Uncategorized, Veterinary and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dr Miriam Has Completed Her Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) Course!


Dr Miriam has already completed her IVAS Veterinary Acupuncture Certification and just recently, has become the very first veterinarian in Tasmania to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) through the University of Tennessee.

To obtain this certification, Dr Miriam spent three years studying via correspondence, as well as attending rehabilitation hospitals all around the world to gain practical experience. Her most favourite place was her placement at a rehabilitation hospital in South Africa.

After submitting her 5, very in-depth case studies written about patients who she has been treating over the last three years, Dr Miriam flew to Brisbane to complete her final exam where she presented one of her case studies, as well as completed a written examination – she passed with flying colours!

Physical therapy











 – in this photo Dr Miriam is using the FitPaws peanut balls to aid this patient in recovering from orthopaedic surgery.

What does CCRP mean?

CCRP stands for ‘Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner’. Having this certification means that Dr Miriam is able to assess your pet, perform rehabilitation techniques on your pet and formulate a rehabilitation program to ensure your pet is living his or her best, pain free life.

At this stage, North Hobart Veterinary Hospital is the only veterinary hospital in Tasmania that is able to offer Certified Rehabilitation Programs for your pet.

What to expect from your consultation with Dr. Miriam?

Initially, Dr Miriam will ask you to tell her, in your own words, what you think you pet’s main issues are.

This could be anything from not being able to climb the stairs anymore or jump up in the car to slipping on the floor boards at home.

This will help her get an idea of the areas of your pet’s body that need the most attention and aid her in formulating a plan for treatment.

She will then perform a complete physical examination on your pet, where she will take note of particular areas that may be sore or tender.

From there, the possibilities are endless – Dr Miriam will use massage techniques, thermotherapy or cryotherapy, acupuncture, TENS therapy, FitPaws Rehabilitation equipment to name a few – whatever therapy she deems is best for your pet.

She will then make a plan that works for both you and your pet and send you off with clear and precise homework until your next visit.

Who needs Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation?

Anyone and everyone! Physical Therapy is not just for pets who have injuries, are arthritic or are recovering from surgery.

Dr Miriam can provide programs for agility and show ring dogs. Agility can be strenuous on your dog’s body. 

Proper warm up and cool down stretches are as important for pets as they are for humans, especially those who are performance pets, so Dr Miriam can provide exercises and massage techniques to aid in muscle healing before and after agility or show ring work is performed, as well as provide you with techniques that you can do at home.



Dr Miriam’s initial rehabilitation appointments are scheduled for 1 hour and follow up appointments are 40 minutes.


Contact us to schedule an appointment.

For further reading, you can find other articles on acupuncture and arthritis here.

ISFM Gold Standard Cat Friendly Clinic

Posted in Animal Health, Cat, Kitten, News, Veterinary and tagged , , , , , , ,

North Hobart Veterinary Hospital is a Gold Standard Cat Friendly Clinic


You may have seen this Cat Friendly Clinic logo on the front door of North Hobart Veterinary Hospital and wondered what it means – read on and you will find out!!

Cat Friendly Clinic

At North Hobart Veterinary Hospital we are very pleased to have achieved Gold Standard accreditation through ISFM (International Society Of Feline Medicine).

This means that all of our staff have promised to handle and treat cats that come into the clinic with understanding, gentleness and respect, and to make every effort to make the visit as stress free as possible for you and your cat.

All of our nursing and veterinary staff have completed additional training on Low Stress Handling of patients through Dr Sophia Yin’s ‘Low Stress Animal Handling’ course. This additional training helps us to recognise signs of fear and stress when animals come into the clinic, helping us to minimise and manage these stressful situations.

What does being a Cat Friendly Clinic entail?

To become an accredited practice, we have to adhere to certain criteria set by ISFM (International Society Of Feline Medicine).

This includes:

  • High level/high quality hospital and laboratory equipment
  • Additional facilities in the waiting room
  • Separate ward for cats and larger cages
  • A dedicated consulting room
  • A minimum of 15 minutes per consultation.

In certain, cat related areas of the hospital we have provided facilities to adhere to the ISFM guidelines, as well as minimise stress for cats visiting the clinic, whether it be for a consultation, hospital stay or boarding (holiday!). These include:

Cat Waiting Room

 Cat Friendly Waiting Area

 Cat “Parking” facilities to provide safety and security for cats

 Feliway diffusers


Cat Cat Ward

 Secluded cages where cats cannot see each other

 Warm temperature in the ward

 Feliway diffusers and spray

 Non-slip bedding

 An array of litter tray sizes for different sized & aged cats

                                        Igloos for hiding

                                        Sound proof window on the door


catCat Boarding

Warm temperature in the ward

Secluded cage where cats cannot see each other

Varying levels within the cages

                                           Sound proof window in the door

                                           Separate areas for toileting, feeding and sleeping

                                           Hidey Holes


catConsultation Rooms

Feliway – diffusers and spray

Non-slip mats for the consulting bench

Quiet rooms


For more information on International Society Of Feline Medicine, visit their website here or contact us anytime.

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Arthritis – How We Can Help

Posted in Animal Health, Cat, Dog, News, Uncategorized, Veterinary and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Arthritis Management

As with human arthritis, the degenerative process can be managed in several ways. Our aim is to maintain your pet’s quality of life and ability to exercise comfortably as long as possible. Treatment choices to achieve this include:


Products such as  Glyde, Joint Guard, Paws Osteocare & Megaderm are all quality supplements aimed to ultimately improve joint function and help with pain relief, and are available at North Hobart Veterinary Hospital.

Most arthritis patients can benefit from their use and they are considered a basic starting level for joint care. These products can be used in both dogs and cats, and often complement treatment with anti-inflammatory medications.  They do however take some time to build up their effectiveness.

 Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAID including Metacam, Carprofen, Onsior & Previcox are stocked at NHVH. Just as in people, individual pets may respond better to one medication than another, so finding the ideal drug can require trying several products at times.

Please be aware that these MUST be prescribed by a vet as some medications have contraindictions.  Also  human NSAIDs tend to be toxic to pets, especially cats, so safer medications developed specifically for pet use have become the standard for joint pain management. Never use a human medication of any kind in a pet without specific instructions on how to do so from your veterinarian.


Sometimes the combination of a cartilage-protecting agent and an anti-inflammatory drug is not adequate for pain control, or not appropriate due to other medical conditions. There are several alternate pain relievers which can be used in pets. These medications are strictly analgesics and do not modify the inflammation of the joint.

Tramadol & Gabapentin  has been found to have effects on chronic pain especially pain from pinched or inflamed nerves and when these medications are combined with NSAIDs, the combination of both drugs can produce a greater result.

Pentosan polysulfate Injections (Zydax or Cartrophen)

PPS stimulates the chondrocytes in joint cartilage to produce good quality glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) for cartilage health and joint fluid production. PPS has numerous beneficial effects for the arthritis patient including the inhibition of harmful enzymes involved in joint cartilage destruction, stimulation of cartilage repair and increased volume and viscosity of joint fluid. PPS also has an anti-inflammatory action. These injections are usually given over 4 weeks every 6 months.

Hills Prescription j/d & Hills Prescription Metabolic + Mobility Diets

Hills Prescription Diets are a complete nutritional approach to arthritis management. They utilise a unique level of the omega 3 fatty acid EPA which switches off the gene that causes cartilage degradation in the arthritic process. The particular balance of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in the diet also provides anti-inflammatory benefits, along with glucosamine, chondroitin and antioxidants to protect the joint against free radicals produced by inflammation. The weight loss component of the Meta Mobility helps pets achieve weight loss and sustain a more suitable weight therefore helping lessen their arthritic issues.

Both are fully balanced diets food and must be given as a sole source of diet, as other foods dilute the optimum fatty acid levels. They are an excellent low maintenance form of long term arthritis management.

Weight loss, exercise and lifestyle management.

These factors are essential to maximise mobility and muscle tone in the arthritic patient. Gentle regular walking pace exercise is all that is required to maintain muscle mass. Off lead exercise, running, ball chasing, frisbee catching etc all contribute to pressures on joints which will undo the good work you’ve commenced with the above programs and increase reliance on NSAID medications.

Alternative therapies

Although controlled clinical studies are lacking, there are many anecdotal reports on the use of acupuncture in treating musculoskeletal disorders in dogs. Pain from hip dysplasia and accompanying degenerative joint disease is a common reason for acupuncture referrals.  Dr Miriam Rustemeyer is available for acupuncture and physio appointments at NHVH.  Read more about acupuncture for pets here.


ArthritisContact us anytime if you would like to discuss arthritis management options for your pet.

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Acupuncture for Your Pet

Posted in Animal Health, Cat, Dog, News, Veterinary and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Did you know your pet can benefit from acupuncture the same way you do?



Many pets benefit from the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture. Acupuncture points (acupoints) are specific spots on the body surface where a veterinarian applies stimulation for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Thousands of years of clinic practice along with modern research have shown that each acupoint possesses special therapeutic effects.

Veterinary acupuncture can be used for a wide range of problems in your pet. Most frequently acupuncture may be used for the discomfort associated with joint disorders, such as arthritis or injury. Some also consider acupuncture the non-surgical treatment choice for some forms of spinal disc disease.

Did you know that there are other conditions that may benefit from acupuncture? These may include skin disease, ear infections, urinary tract problems, digestive upsets, nerve disorders, respiratory and behavioral concerns.

 What does acupuncture involve for your pet?

Treatment of your pet by acupuncture usually involves needling by traditional Chinese acupuncture needles.

Very fine stainless steel needles are inserted through the skin into the acupuncture point, and are commonly left in place for 1-20 minutes.

For small animals, the insertion of acupuncture needles is virtually painless. Once the needles are in place, there should be no pain. Most animals become very relaxed and may even become sleepy.


Dr. Miriam Rustemeyer BVSc is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and canine rehabilitation veterinarian with a keen interest in helping our older arthritic patients with the discomfort associated with ageing and arthritis. She will use a multi modal (multiple treatments) approach and make a plan that best suits you, your pet and your budget.

Initial acupuncture consultations are 60 minutes and follow up appointments are 40 minutes.


During the colder months, you may notice your pet becoming stiff and sore. Have a read of our ‘Signs of Arthritis’ post and if you are noticing some of these signs contact us for more information or to make an appointment.


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Winter Blues

Posted in Animal Health, Dog, News, Puppy, Training, Uncategorized, Veterinary and tagged , , , , , , , ,

Winter Boredom Busters

With the onset of the winter weather, it may become harder to keep on top of your dog’s energy requirements with more time spent inside and less outside braving the elements!  However there are a number of simple ways we can increase mental and physical stimulation to engage our dogs and create calmer housemates during the colder months.

WinterChallenge Their Nose

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell– getting them to really use their nose  can be even more tiring and rewarding  for your dog than physical exercise!   Change up your walk routine to take in new neighbourhoods and slow your pace to allow dogs to smell their surrounds – this provides fantastic mental stimulation.  There are sniff classes and activities run around Hobart such as K9 Nose Works – please let us know if you would like more information.



Play is good for your dog physical, mentally and emotionally. Choose games that are fun and rewarding for you both. Mix it up with different toys and games to keep their minds working.   Play hide & seek around the house, teach your dog to fetch, or engage in a fun game of tug with a good quality toy.  Teach your dog basic rules such as “take & release” to keep these games safe.  Interactive play & puzzle systems such as the Nina Ottoson range are fantastic for engaging in safe indoor play with your dog – this type of toy should only be used with supervision.

Read more about Nina Ottoson toys here.

WinterFood Time Fun

Most dogs are extremely food  motivated and feeding time is a fantastic opportunity to challenge and engage your pup   Food dispensing toys such as Kongs, Kong Wobblers and other products of this type are brilliant and you can up the levels of difficulty with different fillings and trickier  toys.  Products such as snuffle mats, slow feeder bowls and even feeding from a muffin tin can slow your dogs eating time and really make them think.  It’s great fun and very rewarding to watch your dog learn! Do ensure you account for any treats or extra food in your dogs daily intake so as not to overfeed.

Check out these great ideas for Kong Stuffings.


Invest in some really good quality toys of varying shapes, textures, sizes and interactivity -squeaking, crinkling etc.   Rotate your toys to keep them interesting and be sure to always initially supervise play with any new toy to ensure they are safe.  Longer lasting toys such as hard nylon bones (for example the Trio Tasty Bone) can provide a safe way to engage in chewing which is a natural stress reliever for dogs.  Ensure you seek advice to select appropriate toys for your dogs breed and chewing strength.


Learning new tricks and skills can really give your dogs brain a good workout!  Obedience and trick training gives a wonderful opportunity to build the bond between you and your pet, as well as being lots of fun for you both.  There are endless possibilities using positive reinforcement training methods – check out YouTube for some amazingly creative canines. Have a look below at what Jasmine can do!


We stock a great range of quality toys, treats and many interactive toys including Kong products and Nina Ottoson puzzle games here at North Hobart Veterinary Hospital.  Come in anytime or contact us to discuss ideas for keeping the winter blues away!


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