Blog Archive


Feedback from Clients - Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Would like to say a big thank you to Bomaderry veterinary clinic for their care for our kelpie Max over the last 2 weeks . Also for the care they will continue to provide for Max in the long term future . They have been caring and affordable. Rang me through the day to keep us informed on Max 's condition. Explained how to care for him at home . We never had to wait for long when we turned up without an appointment. I would happily recommend them to anyone . It's a shame I can't take my family for treatment , hospitals never seem to treat humans as well as Max has been treated by Bomaderry veterinary clinic.
Thank you

Jenni Bartle 

Big shout out to Neil and the rest of the team at bomaderry vets. Can not fault them, Have had my Great Dane in twice now for two different reasons (as well as my previous dog) and has never been a problem for them, and always so helpful, not just with my gentle giant, but with my crazy 2 year old running around an my 5 month baby while mums in a panic!!
-Rachael Coleman

Thank you to the staff, our beautiful girl is home and on the mend thanks to you! Probably the nicest Vet we have ever been to, and we will be back if the need arises again, no hesitation! Highly recommended.
Megan Locke

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Work Experience Feedback - Thursday, 27 June 2013
Catlin R

I'm from Bomaderry High School and i recently completed one week of work experience at Bomaderry Veterinary Hospital. It was a fantastic experience learning about everything that goes on in the veterinary hospital, also everything that come with the career of being a vet/vet nurse. I watched surgeries,cleaned, met animals and clients and also cared and groomed animals as well. Not to mention the fantastic staff at Bomaderry Veterinary Hospital who taught and educated me as i watched them work. I've learn't so much from the experience and i appreciate the experience i recieved and allowing me to ask and learn as many things as i did.

Jade D

During my week of work experience at the Bomaderry Veterinary Hospital I took in a large amount of information regarding common health issues of cat, dogs and other species of animals. I also learn't how animals of all species are treated and monitored at the veterinary hospital. The overall experience was really enjoyable and has helped me with my furher interest toward a vet career path.

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Caring For Your Senior Cat - Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Modern veterinary medicine has made tremendous improvements in protecting the health of your family pets. Cats are now living longer than ever before some even reaching up to 15-16 years, which means that we now benefit for a longer lasting relationship with them.
Like people, pets go through life stages of growth, maturity and aging. The passing from one stage to the next is often blurred and before you know it you are caring for a cat in its senior years.
When is a cat considered a senior?
Old age comes at different times for different individual cats. Many factors can affect a cat’s aging process including breed, environment, quality of care, diet, vaccination status, and mental and physical health of the cat.
Each cat year is approximately 7 human years- therefore a cat is considered a senior when it is around 50 in human years or 7 in cat years.
The key to maintaining the best possible quality of life for a senior cat is to be aware of the health changes that may take place.
What signs to look for in your aging cat?
  • A general decrease in activity level
  • A tendency to sleep longer and more soundly
  • A decrease in mobility, especially in the colder months
  • Hearing may become impaired
  • Vision may become impaired
  • Reduced self grooming
  • Skin and coat may become dry, thin and brittle
  • An increase of plaque and tartar on your cats teeth, leading to ‘Periodontal disease’ and bad breath
  • An increase in water consumption
  • An increase in urinary output
  • A reduced appetite
  • Changes in weight
The importance of Annual Health Check-Ups
An Annual Health Check-up will help to detect early health changes in your pet. Our Veterinarians will complete a comprehensive health assessment on your cat. This includes a full physical examination, weight assessment and body score, joint function and skin examination.
To check the function of internal organs we recommend a simple blood test and urinalysis. Blood tests are very important as they can pick up any early changes in organ function.
Renal failure is a common disease in older cats. It is a disease that needs to be diagnosed early on before more damage is inflicted on the kidneys. Once diagnosed with kidney disease 75% of irreversible kidney function is lost. This means that the cat will only have 25% of its kidney function for the remaining part of its life. There are many things we can do to help prevent further kidney deterioration in your cat. Other common diseases include hyperthyroidism, cancer, periodontal disease, arthritis and diabetes. It is also not uncommon for cats to have more than one disorder at once.
Regular monitoring of any pet will provide a great deal of information about their wellbeing. Changes in appetite, drinking, urination and defecation are key areas that something is not right. Obvious signs of ill health such as coughing, vomiting and diarrhoea should be immediately investigated.
Remember that any problems detected early are more easily controlled, giving your cat a better chance in making a good recovery and improving its quality of life.
Health care management in the older cat
Preventative health care in your cat should be continued in the pet’s senior years. As your cat gets older its immune system begins to deteriorate making it more susceptible to disease, infection and parasites.
  • Vaccinations provide optimal resistance against the diseases Feline Enteritis, Cat Flu, Chlamydia, Calicivirus, Feline Aids and Leukemia.
  • Worming your cat every three months will protect it from developing a worm infestation.
  • Regular monthly application of a good flea prevention will keep your cat free of external parasites.
  • Feeding your cat a good quality premium food, specifically for the senior pet will provide your cat with an optimal balanced diet. Senior cat food contains all the nutrients that a cat needs in its senior years including reduced phosphorus to promote healthy kidneys and omega three fatty acids for joint function. It is also important to keep a close eye on your cat’s weight. Extra weight can place an added strain on your cats joints as well as internal organs.
  • Decreased mobility is a common sign that your cat may be suffering from Arthritis. You may notice that your cat has trouble jumping up on furniture and is reluctant to do so. Arthritis medication along with good management skills will help make your cat more comfortable in its last years. Keeping your cat warm will help to increase your cat’s mobility in the colder months. Provide your cat with a warm draught-free bed, preferably situated in a quiet area of the house. Giving your cat a hot water bottle at night will keep it warm and make it more cozy to sleep.
  • Make sure your cat has access to plenty of fresh water.
  • Provide easy access to indoor litter trays. This will prevent any mishaps as some older cats can have a reduced ability to control urination and bowel motions.
  • Check your cats coat and body for any unusual lumps or bumps.
  • Regularly check your cat’s teeth for any signs of tartar or plaque. There are numerous products available to keep your cats teeth clean and breath fresh.
  • Your cat’s nails may need regular trimming, as they become less active.
  • Most importantly enjoy the time you have with your pet.
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Parrot Feather Plucking - Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Feather plucking is a very common and yet often a very difficult problem to diagnose and treat.
Typically the bird has normal head feathers, with feather loss &/or damage only in areas that the bird can reach with its beak.
Anything from small patches, to the whole body may be affected.
Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Galahs, and Cockatiels are commonly affected but it may occur in any bird.
There are many causes of feather plucking, but the signs often look the same. So a thorough examination and detailed history are needed to get an accurate diagnosis. Without an accurate diagnosis, treatment is difficult.
There is no “quick easy fix”, nor a single “magic bullet” treatment that will cure all cases.
Some birds can be allergic to foods, eg certain seeds  such as sunflower or canary seed.
Some birds are allergic to household allergens such as House Dust or moulds, these cases are often worse during winter when the house is closed with minimal fresh ventilation.
These are often blamed for feather plucking but are rarely a real problem. Diagnosis and treatment is very easy.
Worms or intestinal Protozoa are a common cause of feather plucking in Budgies. And Cockatiels. Diagnosis and treatment is straightforward.
Tobacco smoke, gas heaters and Air Conditioning can all dry out the feathers and cause excessive preening. Treatments include regular light sprays with water.
Infectious dermatitis may cause feather plucking or may be caused by it. Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease is a viral infection that cause feather loss and plucking.
Usually causes respiratory or GI problems but may present as feather plucking.
Common in birds fed seed only diets. This can lead to mineral, vitamin and protein deficiencies. Often as the bird may preferentially eat only certain types of seed in the mix. Feeding your bird Parrot Crumbles instead of Seed mix is an easy remedy.
Cancerous lumps are common in Budgies, Galahs and Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. The skin overlying the tumour can become irritable and the bird responds be feather plucking or self-mutilation


When all medical causes have been ruled out, then it is possible that the feather plucking is due to psychological cause.
Parrots are very intelligent and get easily bored. This is one of the more common reasons for feather plucking.
Treatment revolves around “environmental enrichment” to stimulate and engage the bored bird. New scenery, people, food, music, TV, all helps to stimulate the bird.
Over stimulation or excessive change may be a cause of feather plucking, or may make things worse if used to treat a case.
Some birds need, and like routine. Too much change may upset them.
Although birds are social animals, overcrowding can in some individuals lead to stress and aggression.
May cause the bird to chew at the feathers and over preen
Many single feathers will over-groom only during the breeding season. Don’t assume that introducing a “mate” will help (read No.1 – Boredom, above)
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Shampoo Tips - Tuesday, 25 June 2013
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR SHAMPOOING DOGS                           
1.  Thoroughly wet your dog all over. The more water you get into the coat, the easier it is to shampoo.
2.  Use a sponge to wash the face. This gives you more control and most pets hate water sprayed on their face.
3.  Rub some of the excess water off, so the dog is wet but not dripping. Too much water will dilute the shampoo. You can always add some more water if there isn't enough to make a lather.
4.  Pour the shampoo in a line down your dog’s back - be generous, especially when using a medicated shampoo. Pour some onto your hands and apply to your dog’s legs and belly.
5.  Rub your dog all over until a lather has been created. Make sure you get under the tail, between the legs and around the muzzle, as these are all areas that can harbour bacteria and yeasts
6.  Be careful around the eyes. Apply some shampoo to your hand or a flannel and then use that to apply to the face.
7.  Give the shampoo time to work. Most medicated shampoos need to be left on for at least 10 minutes. Give your dog something to do to distract him, play a game or take him for a walk. And remember to use a clock to time yourself.
  1. Rinse thoroughly! Rinse for at least 5 minutes to help remove dirt and debris in the coat.
9.  Dry your doggie! No one likes a wet dog, not even the dog.
10. Use warm water if possible. It is more comfortable and will actually help the shampoo penetrate the oils on the coat.
11. If in doubt wear gloves and an apron. Some people will develop rashes even with the mildest shampoos.
If your dog has ITCHY skin simple hydration will help to soothe that irritation, some times for up to 24 hours.
We have some hypoallergenic, emollient shampoos that clean and soothe the skin and leave it moisturised.
Some are simple shampoos that leave the coat clean, soft and lustrous, others such as Aloveen have Oatmeal and Aloe Vera added, to soothe and calm the skin.
This can sometimes be the only necessary treatment or it can be used to dramatically reduce the need for Cortisone.
These shampoos are suitable for use with Flea products such as Frontline as they will not strip the oil from the skin.
Human shampoos are NOT suitable; our skin is different from dog’s skin, so the shampoo you use must be different.
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Noise Phobia - Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Noise phobias to thunderstorms, fireworks or gunshots are quite a common complaint from pet owners to veterinary staff. Given the dogs sensitive hearing it is no surprise that very few dogs enjoy loud noises. Some owners are unaware that there are different measures that they can take to help their pet cope during this stressful and sometimes destructive state.
Noise phobias are characterised by the exhibition of non-specific signs when the dog is presented with the stimulus or is anticipating the stimulus. The dog’s anticipation of the stimulus is a key aspect of these phobias and emphasis should be placed on helping owners to recognise subtle signs showing a noise that concerns them.
The many factors can be grouped as:
Genetic: The dog may have inherited a tendency to be fearful
Learnt: The dog could have had a bad experience to the noise either because of the severity or the dog’s tendency to be fearful. Animals can learn to fear associated stimuli eg the rain before a thunderstorm.
Environmental: A stimulus in the external environment elicits the fear. It may be the aversive stimulus itself (eg thunderclap) or an associated stimulus (eg rain). Other environmental factors may be predisposing the dog to fear. Eg  the owner’s absence causing separation anxiety, which could make thunderstorm phobia worse.
The individual reactions exhibited by dogs to thunderstorms can be highly variable but may include salivation, panting, increased vigilance and scanning, increased activity ( eg pacing ) or decreased activity (eg freezing), trembling, hiding, urination, defecation, vomiting, destruction, vocalization, self trauma and escape behaviours.
In extreme cases dogs exhibit true panic; they are insensitive to pain and social stimuli and react immediately in an extreme manner at the first sign of any impending noise. In such cases, escape behaviours can be sufficiently severe that dogs break their teeth, rip out their claws or throw themselves out of windows, regardless of height.
Treatment involves both pharmacological and behavioural intervention.
Options to help your pet during a thunderstorm;
  • Avoid Exposure (if possible)
Avoiding a thunderstorm will help prevent the pet from becoming anxious and even more noise phobic. The more an animal is exposed to a storm the more stressed it will become, as each exposure strengthens the reaction. It also makes any behaviour modification harder to do.
  • Stop inadvertently rewarding the behaviour
Owners may not be aware that they are rewarding the pet’s anxious response- they think they are reassuring the pet. When an owner reassures a pet that all is ok by patting it, hugging it or generally telling the dog that it is ‘Ok’ they do not realise that they are actually rewarding the dog’s anxious behaviour. The dog thinks that the owner is telling it that it is ‘Ok’ to be frightened and anxious of the thunder. Generally when owners reassure a dog that everything is ok the dogs’ anxiety and fear escalates and gets worse the next time it is exposed to the noise.
Owners need to calm the dog without trying to reassure it. Distraction with an invitation to play may help take the dogs mind off what is going on outside.
  • Stop trying to punish the behaviour
Trying to punish a pet for being fearful of thunder is ineffective, counterproductive and inhumane. The dog is likely to become more fearful of the next thunderstorm, as it thinks that it will get punished. Punishment is likely to increase the pets’ emotional state. The pet thought it was bad enough just to have a storm but now to have the owner punishing it- makes things even scarier.
  • Medication
Medication can help the dog cope with its anxious state at the time that a storm is present. To be effective any fear-reducing medication needs to be working before the stimulus is first perceived.
Behaviour medication should be prescribed by a veterinarian.
  • Provide a Protected Area
Some animals that are noise phobic will try and hide away. Provide a small dark covered area (a cubby) buffered as much as possible from the stimulus. You can also mask the sound of the thunder/fireworks by playing moderately loud rhythmic music on a hi-fi system.
  • Close confinement
The dog could be trained to sleep or spend short periods in a crate in which it could not damage itself. Many dogs show much less fear in them, especially if they are covered with blankets in a quiet area. The blankets on the crate help to block out the noise and the light associated with a thunderstorm.
  • Desensitisation to the stimulus via counter-conditioning
For those pets that are showing only mild symptoms of fear to loud noises, it may be possible to change their perception of the noise from one of fear to one of happiness or joy. This can be done by introducing activities that the animal likes such as games, treats and play during the exposure of the fearful stimulus. Whenever they hear the stimulating noise, a game begins, so soon they associate the noise with the onset of a pleasant experience.
You could give the dog a stuffed kong or chewtoy to help relieve his tension. However, do not be alarmed if he doesn’t seem interested
  • Desensitisation to the stimulus using recordings.
There are a number of recordings of noises available on the market which intend to simulate the sound of thunder, as well as other percussive noises such as gunshots, sirens and fireworks. The idea is to slowly expose the animal to the noise it is fearful of at a low volume, without elicitating any fearful response. Once the animal is responding calmly to the recording the volume is the gradually turned up. At all times care must be taken not to increase the volume to the next step before the animal is ready for it.
  • Teaching calm or passive behaviour on cue.    
Owners need to able to recognise signs of canine body language, especially signs of calm/relaxed behaviour and the early signs of anxiety and stress. As the owner becomes more aware of these calm signs they can work towards teaching the dog to relax on cue. Massage is a method of teaching calm behaviour, as the dog begins to calm after massage the dog can be cued and then rewarded for calm behaviour. Teaching the dog to relax and be less anxious on a daily basis, should be a part of the regular treatment for any dog affected by noise phobias.
In cases of severe noise phobia, especially in cases when the safety of the animal is compromised a referral to a qualified animal behaviourist is recommended.

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Managing Osteoarthritis - Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Managing Arthritis In Your Dog
Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative joint disease that affects the soft tissues and bones of a joint, in particular the wear and tear of cartilage.
This causes pain and stiffness in the affected joints.
Untreated pain increases the sensitivity to further pain and can produce profound effects on the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and renal system, as well as causing behavioural changes such as aggressive behaviour, thus severely impacting on the quality of life.
Osteoarthritis can be caused by many factors including previous trauma, inflammation or infection to a joint, obesity, congenital deformities, abnormal conformation as well as old age. Studies have estimated that osteoarthritis affects 1 out of 5 adult dogs. Dogs of any breed, size, weight or age can show signs of osteoarthritis but there is also a greater incidence of osteoarthritis in older dogs, as well as larger breeds such as Labradors, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Great Danes and St Bernards.

How To Recognise Osteoarthritis In Your Pet?

Dogs may be unable to speak but they can express signs of pain. An arthritic pet can show one or several of the following signs:
  • Decreased activity level and lethargy
  • Change in character
  • Difficulty getting into cars and onto furniture
  • Difficulty in climbing up stairs
  • Difficulty rising from a sitting/lying position
  • Stiffness or limping
  • Pain and vocalisation
  • Licking or pawing affected joints
  • Muscle shrinkage
Affected joints may swell up and feel warm to the touch. The dog may also resent being touched around the affected joints and may vocalize, snap or hide. Arthritis can affect one joint or multiple joints.

Management Strategies

  1. Diagnostic Tests
 The Vet may perform an orthopaedic examination and take radiographs to diagnose osteoarthritis. In some instances, the Vet may recommend and perform surgery to correct an abnormal joint conformation, which contributes to or causes arthritis in the joint.
  1. Weight Control
 Obesity aggravates osteoarthritis by placing excess weight on the affected joints, causing more pain and further damage. Keeping your dog in its ideal weight is the first step in preventing and controlling arthritis.
  1. Exercise
 Regular gentle exercise helps maintain mobility, as joints that do not have regular movement may stiffen up. Exercise also helps in maintaining the ideal weight in your pet, improving muscle strength and range of motion.
Frequent, short and gentle walks on even surfaces are recommended over excessively vigorous activities that can instead cause more damage to the joint. Swimming is suitable alternative as it is non-weight bearing on joints.
Choose activities that suit your pet’s health status and age.
Start at a low level of exercise as you track your dog’s progress.
Instead of one long extended exercise session of say an hour, divide it into three shorter sessions of 20min each with rest periods in between. This way you get the same level of exercise, but without ever over-tiring the muscles which support the joints.
  1.  Cartrophen Injections
 Cartrophen is a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD) that works to retard the progression of arthritis. It relieves pain and lameness and dramatically increases the range of pain free movement by treating the underlying disease processes.
Cartrophen is given as a once weekly injections for four weeks. Eight out of 10 pets respond favourably and quickly to the initial course with an increase in activity and wellbeing.
A full course of the four shots is recommended for full benefit.
Three months after the treatment, your vet should assess your dog’s progress again, as booster shots may be required. Your Vet will adjust these shots so that the frequency of treatment achieves the optimum results.

  1. Nutrition
The two main objectives of a nutritional program are to maintain a healthy weight and to provide the essential nutrients that promote healthy joints for a dog with arthritis.
There are commercial products such as Hills J/d diets, which are specifically tailored for dogs with arthritis.
They provide complete balanced nutrition and are safe to use long term, even for other dogs in the household without arthritis.
It is highly recommended to feed your dog with one of these products exclusively to control their arthritis.
Hills J/d contains natural cartilage nutrients glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate, which help promote healthy cartilage and keep joints flexible. It is also low in calories and contains L-carnitine for efficient fat burning and weight management as well as a high level of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA) to help promote healthy joints.
Hills J/d is also low in calories and contains a higher level of antioxidants with vitamins E and C, selenium and beta-carotene for a healthy immune system.
With arthritis, destructive enzymes are produced that destroy cartilage. By providing certain nutrients, you can help slow down the progression of arthritis and encourage healthy cartilage repair and replacement. Even if you opt to continue feeding your dog its usual diet, you can still supplement its food with the following nutrients.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid (EPA) blocks the genes that produce cartilage-destroying enzymes. Supplements such as Paws & Claws Fish Oil capsules and Nutricoat liquid are available.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulphate are major components of normal cartilage. They are the building blocks of healthy cartilage. Chondroitin sulphate also blocks the enzymes that break down cartilage. Flex Powder supplement or SeaFlex Chews available
These supplements may take some time before you notice an improvement in your dog’s condition. An initial treatment period of 4-6 weeks at the maximum dose is recommended to load up your dog’s joint with as much of the nutrients as possible. Some dogs may develop a mild gastrointestinal upset when started on these supplements.
Other feeding tips include
  • Feeding your dog the correct and recommended amount of food.
  • Divide the daily food allocation into several small meals and provide throughout the day. This will help reduce hunger and begging.
  • Avoid snacks or treats. When your pet begs, respond with play or praise, not a treat.
  • Feed all meals from your pet’s bowl.
  • Isolate your pet when the family eats, to reduce begging and the temptation to give your pet a treat.
  • Provide your dog with plenty of clean fresh water at all times.
  • Follow a routine feeding schedule.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products are used to reduce pain and inflammation.
Your vet may prescribe NSAIDS for a short period of time at the beginning of the treatment plan. Their main effect is analgesics ie painkillers.
As the disease progresses you will need to use these drugs more regularly.
There are several products, and several formulations such as tablets or liquids are available.
  1. Stem Cell Therapy
Stem Cell therapy is now available and is looking promising as a treatment for the pain associated with arthritis. Stem cells can be harvested from the fat cells of a dog and then injected into the arthritic joints. This is done as a day surgery procedure at our hospital. It is a safe non-drug therapy that gives s long lasting benefits.
General recommendations
Keep your dog as dry as possible and out of draughty areas.
Provide a warm comfortable place to sleep with plenty of bedding to protect sore joints. Deep cushion type beds are better than a trampoline type bed.
You may also like to provide a ramp with a gentle slope or a ‘step-up’ cushion to ease access of your dog to some areas.
Gentle massage and application of a warm compress to affected joints and surrounding muscles can prove beneficial in some instances.
Your Treatment Plan
Arthritis is a chronic degenerative disease, it does not happen overnight.
This means it takes time to develop and in general cannot be cured.
Rather treatment is designed to slow down its progression and make your pet more comfortable.
Often there is an acute flare-up episode that first alerts you to the condition.
Even after this has subsided, the chronic underlying condition is still present.
You need to treat the acute phase with immediate pain relief but also institute other strategies to deal with the chronic underlying condition.
Most of the Arthritis that we see in dogs has a Genetic basis. This includes Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia and Cruciate disease. By the time that you have purchased your dog this is already out of your control, it is in the dogs DNA. This is called the Genotype of the dog.
What you can control however is how that genetic information is expressed. This is called the Phenotype of the dog or the Phenotypic Expression.
By this we mean things like exercise, weight control and nutrition. Dogs that are kept lean throughout life are far less likely to develop arthritis than dogs that are overweight.
As a result we advise that you should try to treat the chronic underlying arthritis by using some combination of, or preferably all of the following:
  • Weight loss
  • Controlled Exercise
  • Fish Oil supplement
  • Glucosamine/Chondroitin supplement
  • Cartrophen injections
These treatments fundamentally improve the joints and as a result will help to relieve the pain. They do however take time to work.
Despite this there will be acute episodes that need immediate attention, and in these cases the only drugs that really work are the NSAIDs.
As the degree of arthritis progresses, the amount of time that NSAIDs are needed may increase.
The newer NSAID drugs are much safer than older type NSAIDs like Aspirin, and can be used everyday if that becomes necessary.
Discuss with the Vet a treatment plan that is most suitable for you and your pet.



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Our new Kid’s Corner ready to entertain. - Monday, 10 September 2012
The Kid’s Corner will provide hours of fun for kids of all ages. With so many options to choose from we are certain your children will be captured by the Kid’s Corner. With puzzles, games, interesting facts, quizzes and more the choice will satisfy everyone. Let them test their knowledge, solve a puzzle, learn some more or simply while away the time with our Pac-Man like maze and if you, as an adult, happen to spend a bit more time than you planned investigating the features of the Kid’s Corner, your time will not be boring. So, head over to the Kid’s Corner now to see what it is all about.
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