Lola Update May 2017

Lola is dong superbly at the moment. I tested her kidney function a week ago and everything was well within normal limits.
She has just spent 3 weeks in Whangarei while we were on holiday and she enjoyed swims and long beach walks twice daily. We have a new ginger kitten “ Maximus” and the 2 of them play nonstop all evening, chasing and playing hide and seek.
She is still a regular attendant at the clinic and she loves all the attention she gets from everyone…and pigs ears of course.

Lola’s Blog May 2016

Glad to report Lola is going great guns – she is healthy, happy and her paws have been great. Her recent blood and urine tests have been normal. She’s been running up in the Port Hills with Steve and loving it.

Winter 2016 Newsletter

Hi to all our loyal supporters, feline and canine included. The wet, cold weather of Winter is upon us suddenly – I was getting used to the warm, pretty windless days of Autumn.

The past few weeks have been chaotic and busy, with many difficult challenging cases that require a lot of care and attention by everyone. Special mention goes to our nurses and vets who have gone beyond the call of duty in staying late, working so hard and helping with some very intensive tricky cases that required a whole team effort.

Steve has blood transfused 2 young dogs this week who were both trying to die ( a Hungarian Visla with rat bait poisoning and an Airedale with acute kidney disease among other things). Miraculously both have fully recovered – an outstanding end to the week and I think we all feel on a high because both seemed impossible cases to pull through, but we all did it.

Catherine is enjoying a long overdue 5 week holiday with her family touring Europe and the UK. She is greatly missed but we know she needs a holiday away where she can rest, relax, read, shop and forget about cases for a while. We will be ecstatic to see her back though.

Sara ( vet) and Dale welcomed a gorgeous little baby girl “Alexia” into their family in April. She just eats, sleeps and looks so content. She is a special sister to Riley and Xavier. Sara has a well deserved 4 month maternity leave break and will continue her hours with us from August 2016. Sara is doing the odd weekend so if any of her special clients want to see her, please ring for an appointment.

We are so fortunate to welcome a new vet “Kirsty” into the McMaster & Heap family. She has been outstanding, coming in on days off to save patients and Kirsty has picked up our ultrasound work while Catherine is away.

On the tennis front, our older boys are working hard and continuing to pursue their dreams on the tennis court. Connor starts at Berkeley, San Francisco in August and Dylan has just represented NZL in the Junior Davis Cup in New Delhi. Both headed to Amsterdam for a stint on clay. Im off to Fiji with Dylan soon for a couple of ITFs. Life doesn’t stop but its all good.

Wishing you all well. You k now where we are if you need us for anything. We are there always to help your four legged friends.

Stay healthy and happy.

Dr Michele McMaster

An Update on my beautiful girl

She recently had a follow up CT scan at St Georges and got the all clear. Her surviving Right kidney is functioning normally and there is no evidence of cancer spread. She has a few pulmonary ( lung) nodules but they were present on the first CT scan 8 months ago and look unchanged. I’m so pleased and thankful we got to her in time and hopefully she will live a long, healthy life with us all….in fact I’m hoping she’s still around when the boys have left the nest! ( gosh that could be in 7 years).

She is the perfect patient at St Georges and she’s loved by the staff in Radiology. Anyone that knows Lola knows how intelligent she is – she knows what we want her to do and where she needs to be! A CT scan is a quick and easy process and yields lots of results.

So for now we can all breathe easy knowing she’ll be OK. A huge relief for us all. Thanks so much to all the many thoughtful clients of the Practice who always ask after Lola and I know wish her well. It feels good to know she’s loved by many.

Dr Michele McMaster

Lola’s Bog – January 2016

Recently Lola enjoyed a summer holiday in Oakara, Bay of Islands. No family holiday is as good without our girl. Apart from 90 minutes of nervousness caged in cargo on the plane ( Lola is NEVER caged normally), and then a long wait at Auckland airport as Budget Rentals decided they didn’t want a dog travelling in their vehicle ( after we had already checked that they accepted dogs!), the 7 days of beach and family fun was so worth it.

Lola’s feet benefitted from continuous frolicking in salty water and her favourite pastime was jumping and riding in on the waves with her brothers, as well as feasting on fresh fish!

She is such a pleasure to have around and enhances all of our lives. Here’s to many more family holidays up in the far North. Only 7 days this year….not quite enough for Lola, thanks to the tennis.

Summer 2016



I must say it has been a busy start to the year with Steve and myself working right through. Our Bay of Islands holiday is looming nearer and Steve is currently in Wellington with Dylan, who is competing in the NZL 16’s tennis Nationals. So far so good! Dylan has 3 weeks of International ITF tournaments after the Nationals, so I think he’ll be pleased to start back in the classroom. Connor won the NZL 18’s nationals singles and doubles titles and the Wanaka Men’s Open. He’s having a month off now and then he’ll be back into competitions overseas, before starting his US College experience in August.

Fortunately this summer we haven’t seen many bone blockages or chocolate poisinings. A lot of sick patients though – I guess sickness doesn’t stop for Christmas. Many of our staff have also had no break and have been fabulous and reliable and have worked hard through this holiday period. A big thanks goes out to all of them.

Lola has been terrific – heaps of energy, ofcourse eating well and she looks magnificent as usual. She is coming up to the beach with us, although she hates flying. I dose her up with anti-nausea pills and Calmex ( which is a blend of B vitamins) and she’s loads better. She literally spends all day in the sea with the boys, rock jumps, rides in boats and sea kayaks and loves burying herself in the sand. The two flights are worth the fun she has up North.

Congratulations are in order for Sonya’s Labrador “Dart”, who gave birth to 7 healthy, utterly gorgeous little puppies on January 11th. Can’t wait for a cuddle. Apparently Dart isn’t a natural mamma and wants Sonya with her 24/7 to help out. It would be fair to say Sonya is exhausted!

Enjoy the rest of the holidays and our summer. Please feel free to call up anytime for advice. We are only too willing to help.

Best wishes

Michele, Steve and Lola

Spring 2015 Newsletter



Finally had to escape to Westport to get some much needed sun and rest. Left behind stormy weather, rain and temperatures below 10 degrees in September to head into sunshine, peace, bush and cloudless days in Westport. The boys have trained on the court and in the gym, Steve has tramped or mountain biked the ranges everyday, Lola has swam in the sea and explored the rugged beaches and walking tracks and Isaac and myself have read, visited family here and recovered after being unwell. I can definitely recommend Westport as a quiet, relaxing holiday spot with an action packed outdoors activities.


Lola has finished 4 rounds of chemotherapy, 3 weeks apart, and has handled these very potent drugs excellently. She knows exactly what happens and she just accepts the whole deal- lots of needles drawing bloods and giving drugs, oral medications that don’t taste too good, feeling not great for a short time, occasional diarrhoea….she knows we want to save her badly and she wants to live! Hopefully we have beaten this damn horrible disease.


Have had a busy few months recently with nurse engagements, new first home purchases, pregnancy’s on the horizon, and lots of challenging cases to keep us busy. We have a new vet Janine coming in weekly to handle our restorative dentistry cases ( ie Root canal therapy, fractured teeth etc). Janine will be able to assess your pet’s dental emergency in a consultation and recommend the desired therapy. Steve and I are very excited to be able to offer this service and have outlaid the equipment needed to repair and save teeth. You can go to the staff page and read Janine’s blurb.


Recently our sons Connor and Dylan have celebrated tennis success in NZL. Connor won the U18 ITF held in Auckland and Dylan just got 3rd in the U16 NZL Masters. Connor is playing Premier Interclub tennis in Auckland ( Carobowl), Wellington and Christchurch every weekend so is clocking up the air miles. Connor and Dylan will play the NZL Residentials and 18s Nationals and Connor will be hoping for a wildcard to the Heineken Open. Let the summer of tennis begin.


Just a reminder to get you pets Annual Health Examinations and Vaccinations up to date before they have to spend time in boarding facilities over the summer vacation. At this time of the year, flea and worm control being up to date is also of vital importance to keep your special friend parasite free.


Enjoy the lead up to Christmas.

Hope to be seeing many of you soon

Michele and Lola

Welcome to Winter

Welcome to Winter special clients of ours.

Steve and I have just arrived back from the Pan Pacific Vet conference in Brisbane where we had an exciting week of innovative lectures, looking at new equipment in the trade area, catching up with old university mates ( bit scary after 25 years) and just enjoying being somewhere warm and sunny. We both learnt a lot – in particular dentistry ( in particular performing root canal surgery, tooth extractions and facial reconstruction surgery), anaesthesia ( new drugs and monitoring equipment, radiography and canine and feline behaviour.

Our eldest son Connor has decided on Berkeley in San Francisco to pursue his tennis and academic career, starting July 2016. He is off to Europe in a week to play Open men grade tournaments on clay and train in an academy for 6 weeks. Dylan our 14 year old is leaving in a few days for New Caledonia and Fiji where he will play ITFs and then he heads to Brisbane to play the Australian Winter Nationals. We will be a small family of 3 for a while, with no tennis commitments. Quite looking forward to it, as is Isaac!

Just a few points of interest-

– It is important to keep up flea control over the winter months as we are still seeing many pets with evidence of live fleas and infestations.

– Keeping your pets gums and teeth clean is essential for continual great health and there are many things we can recommend so pop in and have a chat to us.

– We run awesome, informative Playschool classes for pups between 8-16 weeks of age. We feel this is extremely important to achieve a well socialised, happy wee pup. Call the clinic to find out more.

Take care, keep warm and well and know we are here if you need us.