Most dog and cat owners understand the importance of keeping their pets safe from parasites such as ticks, fleas and intestinal worms. Here's a few common parasite control mistakes all pet owners should avoid to ensure their pets stay protected and safe!
#1 Don't Administer the Same Parasite Products to Cats and Dogs
Besides the obvious difference you’ll find in size, cats and dogs are two different species. Their differing physiology means, among other things, that medications you use on your dog should not be used on your cat, unless specifically instructed to by a veterinarian. This goes not only for internal medications, but external ones as well. Cats groom themselves by licking and ingesting loose fur; this puts felines at higher risk to accidentally ingest a poisonous product.
#2 Don't Over or Under Treat Your Pet
If you discover your pets have fleas or ticks, one of the best methods to quickly eradicate them is to treat the infestation with a spot-on remedy. While this is a very effective treatment, the wrong dosage can lead to continued parasite problems or adverse reactions that can be harmful or even fatal.
#3 No Visible Parasite Problem? No Problem!
Since intestinal parasites live in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, they are usually hidden from view. Unlike external parasites like fleas and ticks, most intestinal parasites are never seen. The only way to detect and identify intestinal parasites is by doing a fecal flotation. Fecals enable veterinarians to determine if your pet has intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Fecals are an important tool to ensure that your pet and your family members are not exposed or infected by intestinal parasites.
#4 Don't Mistake "indoor" for Safe
If you have a pet that mostly stays indoors, you may not have to worry as much about fleas, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore the possibility altogether, especially if your pet starts to show signs of infestation, such as chronic scratching or biting. After all, even though fleas don’t stay on humans, they can still hitch a ride. Once these parasites are inside your home, they are very difficult to get rid of.
#5 When Treating your Pet, Don't Ignore Their Favourite Hangout
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they discover their pet has contracted parasites is to immediately apply a spot treatment on their pet, but then ignore their pets’ favorite hangouts. This is especially true when it comes to fleas. If the spot-on or cleansing treatment you apply to your pet only kills adult fleas, guess what happens when they lay down in a flea egg -infested pet bed? Treat your entire home as well as your pet for pests to successfully get rid of them.
#6 Don't Let a Parasite Infestation Become Intolerable Before Treating It
Some simply decide to "wait out" a parasite infestation and hope that the cooler months will serve to eradicate the problem in and around the home. By choosing to ignore a parasite problem, you’ll only ensure that you won’t get rid of it. Cooler weather will not take care of the problem for you.
#7 Don't Assume a Holistic Product Won't Harm Your Pet
When it comes to combating parasite infestations, there are a lot of alternative methods to choose from. But you should always check with a veterinarian before administering holistic products, such as essentials oils, on your pet. Cats are especially prone to accidentally ingesting potentially harmful substances due to their grooming habits.
Dental X-rays have become a useful tool in veterinary dentistry because they allow us to see the area beneath the gumline where up to 75% of our pet's tooth structure lies. By taking full-mouth radiographs, we can more accurately diagnose very common diseases. In fact, recent studies have shown dental disease is incompletely diagnosed 70% of the time without X-rays. Common findings using dental radiography include: periodontal disease, tooth resorptions, impacted teeth, retained root fragments, dead teeth, broken tooth roots and abscessed teeth - all painful diagnoses that your pet
Will my pet be anesthetized for x-rays?
Because pet's need to be still for x-rays, oral assessments and treatments, they receive a general anesthesia. Without anesthesia, the x-ray sensor would not be accurately placed. Once the x-rays are completed, your pet's dental treatment will start immediately, which means they only require to be anaesthetized once. Because of our patient care protocols, anesthesia is tailored specifically for your dog and closely monitored during procedures – it’s considered to be very safe.
Should I be concerned about excessive radiation?
No. We use only a small amount of radiation to take dental x-rays. There are no reports of adverse radiation effects in dogs and cats from this very small amount of exposure.
We always diagnose first, plan the best treatment and perform the necessary treatment meticulously. Dental radiology replaces guesswork with a diagnosis, and allows for the correct treatment to be optimally performed.
Our pets are pros at hiding pain. Even a pet with abscessed teeth may continue to eat, drink, and play despite their dental discomfort. If your pet has browning teeth, inflamed gums and stinky breath, they're probably suffering from dental (periodontal) disease that could result in tooth loss and expensive oral surgery. Dental disease may also wreak havoc with other organs in the body as bacteria in the mouth can move into the bloodstream causing serious infections in the kidneys, liver, lungs, and heart.
Fortunately, most dental problems start out as very simple issues that can be resolved easily. As a pet owner, you can proactively manage your pet’s dental health and minimize the need for professional dental cleaning and treatments. Pets should “ideally” have their teeth brushed daily using pet-safe toothpaste. Realizing this is not going to be a reality for most of us, try to aim for at least once a week. While nothing beats regular brushing, oral rinses, dental diets and dental treats can help reduce the bacteria and plaque that lead to tartar formation.
What Happens If My Pet Needs a Dental Treatment (cleaning)?
A dental treatment involves an evaluation of the oral cavity and cleaning of the surface of the teeth and underneath the gumline where the majority of bacteria and tartar are found. After the teeth are cleaned, they are polished to smooth the rough surface created by the cleaning. Without polishing, these irregular surfaces allow bacteria and plaque to adhere more easily and accelerate the recurrence of dental disease. An antibacterial solution is used to remove any debris that collects from the scaling and polishing. Dental x-rays may also be used to assess the extent of the dental disease and the need for tooth extractions or additional work.
Will My Pet Require Anesthesia?
Unlike us humans, our pets will not remain motionless and hold their mouth open for scaling, polishing, drilling, and splashing water. A general anesthetic will eliminate any associated destress, pain, and best of all, your pet will have no memory of the experience. Rest assure, our anesthetic protocols are designed to minimize the risk for all pets.
These protocols have been formulated by experts in veterinary anesthesia and pain management. In general, we run pre-anesthetic blood work on all pets to make sure that they are healthy enough to handle anesthesia. After the blood work, the appropriate protocol for the procedure and pet is then chosen. During the procedure the pet has an IV catheter in place and is monitored constantly by our registered veterinarian technicians.
Be Part of a Team!
Studies show that by the age of 3 more than 80% percent of dogs and 70% of cats have some stage of periodontal disease. Just as we keep on top of our own health, we should stay informed about our pet's health, too. At home dental care combined with regular veterinarian dental exams is a team approach that can ultimately optimize our pets' dental health and happiness.
On December 10th from 11am to 1:30pm, we'll be hosting our first annual pet portrait fundraiser in support of Misfit Manor Dog Rescue. For a $25 cash donation, Stephanie Gale Photography will capture your pet's holiday spirit and email you a high resolution image of your furry family member. Perfect for holiday cards and framed gifts! You can reserve your pet's spot by emailing Wendy or by calling 902-798-4633.
In the meantime, We've put together some useful tips to get your pet photo session ready. As for the rest, just leave it to us! Your pet will have their photo taken in a quiet, private setting and our staff and volunteers will take care of detail.
1. Groom at least one to two days before the photo session. Don’t groom on the same day as the session as that may cause too much activity and stress for your pet.
2. Take your dog out to exercise before the session, that gets all those zoomies out they will be a little calmer for the session.
3. Only feed half breakfast if your pet is food motivated this way during the session you can give plenty of treats but not over feed him and still keep attention.
4. Keep safety in mind and bring your pet on a leash or in a crate.
5. If you’re going to be in the photos think about what you’re going to wear and create a bit of contrast with your pet's colour.
6. Bring a brush to tame last minute snarls.
7. Practicing basic commands is super helpful, so your dog will sit for at least a moment.
8. Consider props if your pet has a favourite toy or blanket. We'll also have some festive props on hand.
9. Prepare yourself. If you are in a good mood your pet will be in a good mood. Patience and positivity go a long ways.
Keeping your furry family members safe during the holidays can be a difficult task. There are the ornaments, plants, presents, lights -- oh, and who could forget the Christmas tree. Let’s take a look at some simple steps that will allow your pets to join in the holiday fun this year, while avoiding any trips to the veterinarian.
1. Tinsel can add a nice sparkling touch to the tree, but make sure you hang it up out of your pet's reach. Ingesting the tinsel can potentially block their intestines, which is generally only remedied through surgical means.
2. Do not put lights on the tree's lower branches. Not only can your pet get tangled up in the lights, they are a burning hazard. Additionally, your dog or cat may inadvertently get shocked by biting through the wire.
3. Ornaments need to be kept out of reach, too. In addition to being a choking and intestinal blockage hazard, shards from broken ornaments may injure paws, mouths, or other parts of your pet's body.
5. For those buying a live Christmas trees this year, keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the needles can puncture your pet's intestines if ingested.
6. Did you know holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs or cats? If you normally use these plants to decorate your home, they should be kept in an area your pet cannot reach.
7. Edible tree decorations -- whether they be ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings -- are like time bombs waiting to happen. These goodies are just too enticing and your pet will surely tug at them, knocking down your wonderfully decorated spruce.
8. Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pet's way -- there's no telling where a wagging tail may end up. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns.
9. To prevent any accidental electrocutions, any exposed indoor or outdoor wires should be taped to the wall or the sides of the house.
10. When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth could cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.
Ah, the holidays, reunions with friends, family traditions, and, of course, those delicious meals. If you have a dog, your canine pal will probably be paying very close attention to those yummy dishes, but with tempting human food comes pet risk. Here’s our naughty holiday food list you want to avoid feeding your dog, and some helpful tips to help avoid costly treatment.
1) Grapes & Raisins
Raisins are commonly found in stuffing, baked goods and as snacks. When ingested, these fruits from the Vitus sp. can result in severe acute kidney injury. Signs of poisoning often don’t show up for days, until kidney failure has already taken place.
If you have any calorie-counting chefs in the kitchen, you may want to verify that they haven’t used any xylitol in the baked goods. Xylitol, a natural sugar-free sweetener, is a sugar substitute used in many products nowadays: baked goods, certain brands of peanut butter, gums, mints, mouthwashes, nasal sprays, chewable vitamins, etc. When ingested by dogs, it can result in a massive insulin spike, causing a life-threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and even liver failure with higher doses.
3) Fatty table scraps
Fatty table scraps like gravy, turkey skin, etc. are potentially dangerous to your dog, as they can result in severe pancreatitis. Certain breeds are especially sensitive, including miniature schnauzers, Shetland sheepdogs, and Yorkshire terriers. Even a piece of bacon can trigger pancreatitis in dogs, so when in doubt, don’t feed it to your dog or cat!
Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats. The fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis in pets.
5) Bones and turkey legs
While you may think you’re giving your dog a treat, you’re actually putting him at risk for a possible foreign body obstruction. The bones can also get stuck in the stomach or intestines, potentially resulting in a perforation (or rupture) of the intestines.
6) Onions, leeks, chives and garlic
This toxic food is a bit overhyped, as it typically takes a large ingestion to result in poisoning in dogs. That said, when ingested, these common kitchen foods can result in oxidative damage to the red blood cells, making these cells more likely to rupture (e.g., hemolyze). Cats are especially sensitive, and can develop a severe anemia (low red blood cell count) from even small amounts. Thankfully, this is typically seen more with chronic ingestion (e.g., when they are eating it for days), but to be safe, keep these out of reach.
7) Chocolate, coffee and Caffeine
These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee, and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.
8) Unbaked yeast bread dough
About to throw some fresh bread in the oven? Make sure your dog doesn’t eat the raw yeast dough first. When this occurs, your dog’s stomach acts like an artificial oven, making the yeast rise and release carbon dioxide, causing a distended abdomen and potential life-threatening gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). Next, the yeast and sugar in the unbaked dough are metabolized to alcohol, which can result in secondary alcohol poisoning in your dog.
As mentioned above, we can see alcohol poisoning from strange sources (e.g., unbaked yeast bread dough, rum-soaked fruitcake, etc.). Likewise, dogs can be poisoned by ingesting alcoholic drinks, so keep the mixed drinks and beer away from your dog. Accidental ingestion can cause severe coma, slowed respiration, and a life-threateningly low blood sugar in your dog.
10) Salt and Salty Snack Foods
Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods, like potato chips and pretzels, include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death.
With all of these foods tempting our pets during the holidays, a few simple tips can help pet-proof your celebrations this holiday season:
Keep your dog out of the kitchen
Accidental counter-surfing can result in severe poisoning to your pet.
Don’t let friends and family feed your pets
Make sure your guests know the house rules: Don’t feed your pets. Your friends and family may not be aware of the common kitchen foods that are quite poisonous to pets. Politely ask your guests to keep their food out of reach.
Dump the trash
Somehow, your dog will find a way to get into it, and the leftover corn-on-the-cob, yummy string that goes around the turkey legs, turkey skin, bones, moldy food, and fatty grizzle all pose a threat to your pet. Potential problems from “garbage gut” include gastroenteritis (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain), pancreatitis (severe inflammation of the pancreas), a gastrointestinal obstruction, or even tremors or seizures.
If you think your dog or cat ingested something poisonous, contact your veterinarian immediately. When it comes to any poisoning situation, the sooner you diagnose it, the easier it is to potentially treat, less invasive it is to your pet, and less costly it is for you.
Animals will itch because of parasitic, infectious ( bacterial and or yeast ) or immunologic reasons. Frequently a pet will itch because of a combination of these causes which can make getting control of the itch difficult.
An itchy pet can be an extremely frustration condition for both the pet and owner. There is often loss of sleep for everyone in the home when animals are ” up all night scratching”; mild to severe damage to the skin; secondary infections; or there could be an underlying allergy ( food, atopy or flea allergy dermatitis ) which requires long term management for effective control. We cannot cure allergic dogs but we can work together to find the best combination of therapies which will minimize your pet’s discomfort.
Old thought – most pets ingest or breath in allergens ( food or inhalant ) that would then would then cause them to itch. The current research has shown that it is a defective skin barrier that is the prime route that allergens cause a pet to itch. If we can create a healthy skin barrier, we can minimize an allergens affect and reduce itching. When a pet itches less then there will be fewer secondary infections.
Flea control is essential in any pet that has allergies. Allergic pets have a reduced threshold to fleas that will induce an itch reaction. The less often and shortest duration the flea gets to bite your pet, the less reactive your pet will be.
Reminder to all that Indoor animals can also have fleas. This does not mean your house is dirty. Cats are fastidious groomers so you may not see a live flea on your cat.
There are many ways to help your pet. So before you start changing your pet’s food, adding things to their food and spending money on short term fixes, please come see us so we can help you design an effective approach that best suits you and your pet.
Dr. Josephine Grant, DVM
MONDAY - FRIDAY 8:00AM – 7:30PM
SATURDAY 8:00AM – 3:00PM
SUNDAY 9:00AM – 3:00PM