WELCOME The practice in Oosterzele was established in 1963 by Prosper Van der Cruyssen. There was in that period especially a need for proficient veterinary surgeons for the healthcare and medical support of livestock such as bovine animals, pigs and horses. But my father also had a specific interest in pigeon medicine which was sparked by the pigeon fancying hobby of his father. The practice of medicine and healthcare for these animals was at that time still at a relatively early stage. On advice of his father, my father at that time specialized in the healthcare for racing pigeons. Thus over the years he built up an excellent reputation. Also that of medicine with respect to pet animals always enthralled him. When as a small boy one grows up amidst the animals, it should therefore be no surprise that one also gravitates in the direction of animal welfare. I therefore also decided at an early stage that I wanted to become a vet. I was providential in having the great luxury to call upon a good teacher, namely my father. I met Greta Van de Sompel, who was later destined to become my wife, during my studies at Ghent University. She hails from a farming family. We have been working in the practice at Oosterzele since 1990. We mainly treat pet animals such as dogs, cats and small rodents such as rabbits and guinea pigs. We do each however have a specific interest. Greta specializes in the maladies and the healthcare of fish (especially Koi carp). I’m particularly interested in feathered animals such as pigeons, parrots, parakeets, raptors, poultry breeds etc. We took over the practice when my father retired in 2001. Sadly, my father died in April 2005. SERVICES Radiology Since 2008 we have digital radiology at our disposal. This technology has proved to be a great aid such as in vastly improved image quality, faster developing and a better storage capacity. No time is lost any longer in the developing process. We also do not any longer require to use developing and fixing agents. It is especially in the medical examination of birds that digital radiology is proving to be a great asset on account of its refined imaging technology. Laboratory investigation We have since 2007 a blood analysis device in our practice for biochemical examination. This serves to provide an early diagnosis of an illness, a so-called pre-anaesthetic examination. This device is also extremely useful by the follow-up of hospitalized patients. In that we require only a small amount of blood, this device is very handy by birds. As it often concerns small, stress-susceptible and ill animals, it will be obvious that one can not draw large quantities of blood. The device is also used as a blood test by fish. There are some blood parameters which we are unable to examine at our practice. For this, we collaborate with a laboratory. Bacterial examination is also carried out by this laboratory. Over the past years there has also been tremendous progress with respect to DNA technology. Via an examination of DNA we can search for possible virus carriers. This is very important by parrots and parakeets in the examination for PBFD (Psittacine beak and feather disease), Polyomavirus, Chlamydia (a bacterial parasite or so-called parrot fever) and Pacheco’s disease (PPD) (a herpes virus). By Koi carp, there can in this manner the Koi herpes virus be detected. We collaborate with various specialized laboratories for these examinations. A gender determination can also be effectuated using this DNA technology. Some fresh plumes or a few drops of blood are suffice to determine the gender. Microscopic examination External and internal parasites can be searched for and identified with the aid of a microscope. The owner of a pet can follow in real-time to what is happening via a monitor connected to a camera. Ultrasound examination A sonograph is a device which enables us to examine the bodily organs. It is a technology which makes use of ultrasonic sound waves. With the use of this we can gain an insight into the size, the structure and possible pathological abnormalities of organs. It generates a good image of the organs which are made up of soft tissue such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines, bladder, female womb etc. It is an excellent aid by a gestation diagnosis. Endoscopic examination Endoscopy (literally, a visual examination of the interior) is an example of what is termed minimally invasive surgery. One inserts a flexible tube with a video and light (endoscope) via a small opening in the body in order to assess the organs. In our practice we use this technology for the gender determination by birds. Some birds (mostly parrots) have namely no exterior gender features. Thus we have to examine the bird internally to locate its genital organs to determine its gender. In that birds have air sacks; this animal species is most suitable for this technology. Hospitalization Dogs, cats, birds and even large fish such as Koi carp can be hospitalized at our practice. Recently operated animals can best awake under an infrared lamp in order to prevent hypothermia. Animals that are gravely ill require more intensive treatment and can then better be hospitalized. Anaesthesia In our practice we use gas anaesthesia with isoflurane. During the anaesthetic the animals are closely monitored by a device that displays the heart beat, temperature, ECG (electrocardiogram), breathing and oxygen saturation. Gas anaesthesia is usually employed by lengthy operations. Surgery which is of a short duration can mostly be done via injection anaesthesia. http://prive.cylix.be/vdcvds/image.jpg PROFILE Johan Van der Cruyssen Graduated from Ghent University (RUG) in 1990 Directly started to work in the practice of Prosper Van der Cruyssen, father 3 years practical training with large pet animals, small pets, pigeons and exotic birds From 1993, small pets (dogs and cats) with a specific interest in pigeons, parrots, parakeets and poultry breeds Since 2001, the practice is run by Johan Van der Cruyssen and spouse Greta Van de Sompel Member of the “Association of Avian Veterinarians” Regular continuous training at home and abroad Greta Van de Sompel Graduated from the faculty of veterinary medicine of Ghent University in 1990 Wife of Johan Van der Cruyssen Directly started work in the practice of Prosper Van der Cruyssen Practical training with small animals with a specific interest in fish (amongst others, Koi carp) TOUR OF THE PRACTICE The practice is located at the side of the residential property. There is ample parking space. If you come for a consultation, you can wait with your animal in the waiting room. Consultations are at all times by appointment only. In this manner we avoid long waiting times. Medicines and animal feed can always be collected on working days between 08:30 and 12:00 hours or between 13:30 and 20:00 hours. We have a consultation area, an operating room and a hospitalization area for dogs, cats, birds and fish. There is storage area for animal feed and medicines. A good veterinary practice also entails a considerable amount of administrative work. Thus an office with a complemental library is certainly no superfluous luxury. ANIMALS Dogs When people acquire a dog, it is proper to first fully be informed as to the size, temperament and needs of the animal. It goes without saying that acquiring a dog entails a great deal of responsibility. Puppies are cute and sweet. But look also to the future. That little cutie will mature into an adult dog. A large dog requires more space. A German Shepherd will also require more feed than a Chihuahua. Veterinary care will often be more expensive for a large dog than for a smaller breed. Do you have sufficient time to take care of the upbringing of the animal? In short, many things are to be considered before one acquires a new housemate. When does one have to visit the vet? When you have acquired your pet it is important to know whether it has already been wormed and if it has already received the basic vaccinations. Your pet is required to be given adult vaccinations already from the age of 3 months. Against which diseases can it be vaccinated? Parvovirus (cat disease) One normally speaks of a cat disease due to the similar symptoms in cats. However, transmission is impossible between cats and dogs Viral disorders through serious stomach-gut inflammation with a high fever. One can often see a bloody unpleasant-smelling diarrhoea. The disease is fatal in most cases. The cardiac muscles can also be affected. Infectious liver disease (infectious hepatitis) Viral disorder which causes a serious enlargement of the liver with blood accumulation in the body cavities. This illness is not always fatal provided that intensive medical care is applied. Canine distemper (Carre’s disease) Viral disorder which cause eye and nose secretion which often accompanies a fever. Inflammation of the lungs and cerebral symptoms may accompany this disorder. Leptospirosis (Weil's disease, rat disease) Bacterial disorder transmitted through the urine of infected rodents (amongst others, rats). The disorder is usually fatal and is also infectious for humans. Tracheobronchitis (Kennel cough) Caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria. These are responsible for a persistent serious infectious windpipe inflammation. Vaccination is normally compulsory if one takes his/ her dog to a kennel or a dog show. Hydrophobia or rabies Infection occurs through the bite of an infected animal. Vaccination against this disease is compulsory when one travels with his/ her dog to south of the Flanders rivers the Samber and Maas, or when travels abroad. Each year one is automatically notified of the expiry of the vaccination of one’s housemate. One can then come to the practice for a repeat vaccination. Your pet will then again be subject to a health check. One sometimes, quite rightly, poses the question as to whether these repeat vaccinations are really necessary. Through vaccinating, these viruses will occur increasingly less frequent. When we stop vaccinating, these viruses will reoccur in large numbers and thus lead to a greater probability of infection of our pets. Worming Sterilization Travelling with your dog Cats House cats can usually be acquired free of charge. These kittens are best acquired from 6 weeks of age. These animals have often not yet been vaccinated or wormed. The basic vaccination, also termed a cocktail vaccination, will offer protection against cat disease and cat flu. This may be given from 6 weeks of age, but is then required to be repeated when 3 months old. After this, it is recommended to revaccinate on a yearly basis. Racing pigeons Medical care At the beginning of the 1960s there was but little pigeon medicine or pigeon medical care being practiced. At that time much use was made of herbal therapies. There was some knowledge of the diseases, but the use of medicines for this animal species was still at an early stage of development. Pigeon fanciers slowly came to understand that healthy animals had a tendency to perform better than pigeons which were less healthy. When in the past it concerned problems such as trichomoniasis [canker], Coccidiosis [parasitic infection], worms and paratyphus [abdominal bacterial infection] it is currently especially that of breathing disorders which form the primary cause of substandard performance. Many pigeon fanciers have to contend with these problems. There is consequently treated with only a temporary improvement. Sometime thereafter one gets a reflaring up with a resulting decrease in performance. Why is this? Many pigeons are carriers of viruses, bacteria and mycoplasms which cause “catarrhal fever”. External environment factors may promote the development of the disease. (draughts, insufficient insulation or overpopulation). During the competition season, stress can also give rise to ornithosis [respiratory tract bacterial infection]. Thus to get to grips with the catarrhal fever problem it is often also important to deal with any construction errors in the pigeonloft. In that pigeons are very sensitive to temperature fluctuations, it is of great importance to properly insulate the pigeonloft. One has however, during the summer, to also watch out that the temperature in the pigeonloft does not become unduly high. For high temperatures cause heat hyperpyrexia [heatstroke]. Also prevent abnormal capacity usage! Birds - Parakeets & Parrots Parrots are marvellous birds. They can pair for life if you keep an eye on several matters. Firstly, the feed given is extremely important. Still too many parrots are fed an unbalanced feed. Most of the traditional bird feed (grain and seed mixtures) are greatly deficient in vitamins, proteins and minerals and contain too much fat. Most of the usual preventable problems can be attributed to the feed. It mainly concerns here that of a calcium deficiency, vitamin A deficiency, obesity, iodine deficiency and gout [urethritis]. These often give more subtle symptoms such as feather loss and respiration problems. In short, an unbalanced seeds and fruits diet results in a lifespan of 5 to 10 years. Also the giving of sweets such as chocolate and biscuits or cake is harmful to parrots. However, pellets have been available for some 20 years now. These pellets provide all the necessary nutrients and trace elements which are necessary for a balanced healthy feed. By dogs and cats, these pellets have for some time now been established as a regular feed and pet owners are quite accustomed to giving this feed to these animals. Many ailments have been substantially reduced through this. Consider, for example, the past growth disorders by the growing up of dogs and the problems with the giving of bonemeal. The only problem by the feeding of pellets is that of the absorption. When one gives parrots a choice between pellets and sunflower seeds, the parrot will of course prefer to eat the fatty seeds. We also prefer to eat french fries than the usual cooked potatoes. One can immediately allow young birds to take grain feed as their staple diet. By older more ‘incorrigible’ sunflower seed gluttons, more difficulties may arise when switching to pellets. Although a 100% pellet diet will cause no harm, the feeding of seeds and grains is certainly not forbidden. It therefore always concerns a proportional manner of feeding. You can always feed 80% pellets without feelings of guilt. The remainder of the diet may comprise seeds, grains, fruits, greens, cooked peas, beans and dried egg. As far as fruit is concerned, several types of avocados are not permitted. The stone is poisonous for birds. How do you accustom your birds to pellets? The switching from seeds to pellets is not a simple matter. In the practice I often hear the remark:”My parrot won’t eat the pellets. He nibbles them to pieces, lets them fall on the floor or throws them into his water bowl”. When one wants to switch the feed of his/ her parrot, the owner is required to be sufficiently motivated to do so. The method which has to date been the most successful and reliable method is that of the “Nutribird Alternate Day Method”. During a visit with one’s parrot to the practice, I will explain how to do this with the best chance of a successful outcome. Trimming One can also bring his/ her pet to the practice for the snipping of the wings and the trimming of the beak or nails. Vaccinations I often hear owners of birds asking if the parrot needs vaccinations such as given to a dog or cat. But regretfully there are no commercial vaccines available for this animal species. Canaries European birds Poultry breeds, Birds of prey Fish Koi carp Koi carp are beautiful fish which are often kept in outside ponds. The foremost consideration by these fish is that of the water quality. Koi carp are real “ammonia machines”. When these fish are kept, it is of great importance to have a very good filter installation. When new fish have been purchased, it is very important to keep these fish in quarantine in a separate tank (for 14 days to 2 months). After all, new fish may introduce parasites, viruses or bacteria to the existing fish stock. When the water temperature of the pond rises, the water quality and the health of the fish can quickly deteriorate. There is then often nothing else one can do than change some of the water. Owners will often throw products into the water when they think that there is a problem. When however one does not know the exact cause of the problem, this is often harmful to the fish and for the water quality. When one has problems or possibly dead fish, one can best make an appointment. Put the dead fish into a plastic bag containing some water. Place the bag with the fish in the refrigerator (but certainly not in the freezer). Take also some pond water and pour this into a sturdy bottle and likewise keep this bottle cool. Rodents: Rabbits & Guinea pigs Sheep & goats OPENING HOURS: Consultations: are at all times by appointment only For: Small pets, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish Weekdays from 08:30 to 12:00 hours and from 13:30 to 20:00 hours Saturdays from 08:30 to 12:00 hours To make an appointment or for other matters, please phone 09/362 56 37 No appointment is required for the collection of animal feed and/or medicines. An examination of your pet can best be done at the practice. This as we have there more extensive facilities and equipment to examine and assist your pet . When it is however impossible to travel with your pet, a house visit can be requested.