How to Build a shelter for your out door cats

This is an economic way to help out door cats stay warm this winter

Materials needed:

  • Two large plastic containers- one of the containers must be able to fit inside of the other with about a 2 inch clearance all the way around.
  • Straw or 1 inch ridged foam board that fits bottom of largest container
  • One roll of Duct tape
  • One large recyclable black plastic flower potout door cat 2
  • Sharpie

 

How to assemble:

  1. Cut bottom out of plastic flower pot.
  2. Trace entrance out using sharpie and flower pot onto largest rubber made containers.
  3. Cut out a round entrance in largest container.
  4. Place the 1 inch ridged foam or straw in the bottom of largest container.
  5. Place second smaller container on top of the foam or straw.
  6. Trace location of entrance onto smaller plastic container using the outer entrance as your guide.
  7. Remove smaller container from larger one and cut out the entrance.
  8. Replace the smaller container.
  9. Place black flower pot in both entrances.
  10. Secure Black flower pot with duck tape to both containers
  11. Fill remaining space between both containers with straw or foam board.
  12. Place lid on smaller container and cover remaining space with straw or foam board.
  13. Place the lid on the largest rubber made.
  14. Place finished cat shelter in an easily accessible area for cats to in joy.

out door cat 3

Feline Urinary Problems

Commonly we hear from clients that their cat is peeing outside the litter box. Many owners think this is a normal behaviour for cats, or the cat is mad, spiteful or stupid. This can go on for years before it is mentioned to us, or addressed! Urinary concerns in cats often have a combination of factors that are contributing to the issue. We strongly recommend contacting us as soon as your cat starts inappropriately urinating around the house.

Possible Causes:

  • Bladder infections
  • Inflammation of the bladder
  • Crystals and bladder stones
  • Stress
  • Litter box aversion
  • Cancer

 

What you might see:

  • Urinating in inappropriate places
  • Blood in the urine
  • Small amounts of urine in the litter box
  • Straining/vocalizing
  • Frequent visits to the litter box
  • Excessive grooming of genital area
  • Spraying (urinating on vertical surfaces)

If you notice any of these symptoms please call the clinic. Left untreated, some cats will get an obstruction which is an emergency and requires immediate treatment.

What to expect at your appointment:

  • The doctor will get a complete history. This will include the duration, frequency an
  • Buddyd location of elimination, recent changes to the household, number of litter boxes, litter box type, type of litter used, number of cats and other pets or children in the house
  • A physical exam
  • Urine collection and evaluation
  • Other diagnostics such as  (blood work, x-rays) if they are warranted

With this information our veterinarians will be able to evaluate the situation and prescribe the needed medications, household changes and behaviour modification techniques required to resolve the problem. Any questions please contact the clinic!

Dental Disease

dental 1Oral health can be a major concern that is often over looked or not noticed by owners. Many owners don’t think to look in their pet’s mouths, or their pet really detests it. A common complaint we hear is a foul smell from the pet’s mouth.

 

What is dental disease?

A build up of tartar that starts on the tooth, but quickly goes under the gum line causing gingivitis and bone loss. This process damages the health and viability of the tooth and surrounding gum tissue.

Who is at risk?

All dogs and cats are at risk. Depending on the size of the dog/cat, genetics, diet, type of food, luck, etc… will depend on the severity and seriousness of dental disease. Toy breeds, and dogs/ cats with crowded teeth tend to develop more severe dental disease.

Prevention

There are measures that can be taken to prevent, or reduce dental disease. There are several diets on the market that help by mechanically and enzymatically cleaning the teeth, mouth rinses, certain treats, brushing and providing bones. For a list of approved products by the Veterinary toy chewing 1Oral Health Council see the link below:

http://www.vohc.org/accepted_products.htm

My pet has dental disease now what?

The first step is to bring your pet in for an examination. Our veterinarians will be able to determine the severity of disease, and the next step to address it. Pets frequently require dental cleanings as well as removal of severely diseased or damaged teeth.

What if I ignore dental disease?

Some pets continue to eat and maintain their weight despite having severe dental disease. However, many are thin and have trouble eating. The consequences do not end there. Bacteria in the mouth can travel throughout the body and cause heart, kidney and liver problems. Also, dental disease can be very painful for your pet. Pain can cause pets not to act normal, and even to lash out.

If you think your pet may have dental disease please call the clinic to set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians for a dental assessment.

 

Canine Epilepsy

Overview

“Epilepsy” is a general term for neurological disorders that are characterized by recurrent seizures. In some cases, the seizures are caused by trauma, a toxin, a brain tumor, an infection, or an issue with your dog’s blood, kidneys, or other organs. At other times, the epilepsy is referred to as “idiopathic,” which simply means that there is no identifiable underlying cause.

Seizures commonly fall into two categories: generalized (grand mal) or partial (focal). BeagleGeneralized seizures commonly appear as involuntary jerking or twitching movements of all four limbs with loss of consciousness. Partial seizures may involve one limb, side of the body, or face. Partial seizures may progress to generalized seizures. Seizures may also result in abnormal behavior, vocalization, salivation, chomping/chewing, and involuntary urination and defecation.

Dogs with idiopathic epilepsy typically have their first seizures between the ages of 6 months to 6 years. Though idiopathic epilepsy can occur in any breed, it is considered an inheritable disease in many breeds and in some breeds a genetic basis has been identified. Therefore, dogs diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy should not be used for breeding.

Commonly affected breeds include:

Labrador retrievers
Golden retrievers
Poodles
Keeshonds
Beagles
German shepherds
Dachshunds
Irish setters
Cocker spaniels

Symptoms

Prolonged seizures lasting more than 5 minutes or two or more consecutive seizures without full recovery are referred to as status epilepticus. This is a true emergency and you should seek immediate veterinary care for your pet. Two or more seizures in 24 hours are referred to as cluster seizures and are an indication for beginning anti-seizure medication.

In dogs, seizures often occur in three distinct phases. The first is called the aural phase and the most common signs are behavioral changes. These changes may be subtle and include restlessness, attention seeking or anxious behavior.

The second phase, called the ictal phase, is when the seizure itself takes place. A seizure can last from just a few seconds to several minutes.

The final phase is called the postictal phase, which occurs after the seizure. During this phase, your dog may seem restless, incoordinated and/or disoriented. Occasionally, temporary blindness, deafness or other neurologic abnormalities may occur. It may be difficult to watch your pet have a seizure but most are of short duration and cause no permanent harm. Avoid being bitten by keeping your hands away from your pet’s mouth during a seizure. If it can be done safely, provide padding and move your pet away from stairs to prevent injury.

Diagnosis

Your veterinarian will take a complete history and perform a thorough physical and neurological exam to determine if there is an identifiable underlying cause of your dog’s seizure.

In order to do so, the following tests may be recommended:

  • Chemistry tests to evaluate kidney, liver, and pancreatic function, as well as sugar levels and electrolytes
  • A complete blood count to screen for infection, inflammation, anemia, and other blood-related conditions
  • Urinalysis
  • PCR testing and/or serology to evaluate for infectious diseases that may cause seizures
  • Referral to a neurologist for advanced testing including MRI and cerebrospinal fluid analysis
  • Cultures, PCR testing, and other specialized tests that can identify if specific parasites or diseases could be the cause

Treatment

Epilepsy cannot be cured, but it can usually be controlled with anticonvulsant drugs. If your veterinarian determines that your dog’s epilepsy is idiopathic, one or more of the following medications may be prescribed:

Phenobarbital helps reduce the frequency of your dog’s seizures and is the most prescribed medication for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. It is generally a well-tolerated drug.

Potassium bromide is another seizure medication that may be added to your dog’s treatment, if she does not respond well to phenobarbital alone.

With these medications, as with all drugs, some patients experience side effects. In order to make sure an adequate dose is being given, and to monitor for side effects, it is important that blood levels of each medication as well as complete blood counts and blood chemistry profiles be monitored periodically. Liver function tests may also be indicated. Your veterinarian will advise what monitoring needs to be done and how often. Medication dosages should not be changed without talking to your veterinarian.

Dogs diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy may require treatment for life, and sometimes more than one drug is needed for adequate seizure control. And while many dogs are well controlled, some are not despite multiple medications. In addition, adequate seizure control does not necessarily guarantee that a dog will be entirely seizure free. The degree of seizure control may need to be balanced against potential side effects of the medications.

Management

Besides medication, there are many ways for you yourself help manage your pet’s epilepsy:

  • Maintain a seizure log that lists date, time, length and severity of seizures as well as videotape and share this with your veterinarian
  • Do not change or discontinue medications without consulting your veterinarian
  • Have blood work and other lab work done when recommended by your veterinarian
  • Consult your veterinarian whenever you notice a change in your pet’s condition

Put a medical alert tag on your pet’s collar so that if they become lost whoever finds them will
be aware of their seizure disorder and need for medication.

Several treatments are available for pets with epilepsy. By working closely with your veterinarian, you can maximize the chances of controlling the disorder and giving your pet a long, happy, and comfortable life.

If you have any questions please contact the clinic!

 

Re-Printed with permission from Pet Health Network
http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/canine-epilepsy

More Than Just The Scale

More Than Just The Scale

When evaluating your pet’s weight you cannot determine whether your pet is thin, healthy or overweight with the number on the scale alone. Even with in breeds there can be great variance on what a normal or healthy weight should be. The best way to determine where your pet sits is to determine how they rank on the body condition scale.

For Dogs:

BCS Dog

For Cats:

Body Condition Score Chart For Cats

 

We commonly see overweight or obese pets. Many owners are not aware their pet is overweight. Weight loss in animals, like in people can be very challenging and often requires changes in the household. Cutting back on the amount of food, feeding a lower calorie food, cutting down and/or changing types of treats can all help. Monthly weigh ins, as well as frequent body condition scoring can track progress. We welcome our clients to come in just to weight their pets! For questions or to set up an individual weight loss plan please call the clinic!

**Visit our Weight Loss Success Page to see some of  our patient’s transformations!**

Fun Facts about Chickens!

  • Chickens form complex social structures known as “pecking orders,” and every chicken knows his or her place on the social ladder
  • Chickens experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means they dream just like we do
  • Hens defend their young from predators.
  • Chickens have more than 30 types of vocalizations to distinguish between threats
  • There are over 25 billion chickens in the world, that’s more than any other bird
  • A hen can lay more than 300 eggs a year
  • A mother hen turns her eggs about 50 times a day
  • Chickens don’t pee.  It is just mixed into the poop
  • A Chicken can run about 9 miles per hour
  • Chickens are able to remember and recognize over 100 individuals; they can also recognize humans
  • Chickens love having dust baths
  • Research has proven that not only have chickens evolved from dinosaurs and are the closest living relative to the T. rex
  • There are more than 150 varieties of domestic chickens
  • Chickens are becoming more popular as backyard pets
  • The longest living chicken was 22 years old
  • A hen does not need a rooster to lay eggs
    (although a rooster is needed to fertilize eggs)
  • The largest recorded egg laid by a chicken was 12 ounces
    and measured 12.25 inches around
  • The record number of yolks found in one egg was nine
  • Chickens are omnivores
  • The dance roosters perform for hens is called “tidbitting”
  • Egg cartons were invented in 1911 by a Canadian

 

Allergies!

allergy 3Coming spring it is not only allergy season for us, but our pets as well. Allergies can be very frustrating on many levels. Your pet may be very itchy, get ear infections, self-mutilating, get rashes, etc… Not only is this uncomfortable for your pet, it can be difficult and expensive to control or resolve.

What are allergies?
Allergy is a state of hypersensitivity in which exposure to a harmless substance known as an alergys 1allergen induces the body’s immune system to “overreact.” The allergen can be foods, pollen, grasses, detergents, dust, smoke, mosquitoes, etc… Sometimes symptoms are seasonal, other times they are a constant nuisance.

I think my pet has allergies…now what?
If your pet has signs of allergies it is best to start with an appointment with one of our vets. This is important as often there is secondary infections and other complication that come along with allergies. Our veterinarians will assess your pets overall health and prescribe medications to make them more comfortable and together with you will start a  treatment plan to help determine what your pet is bothered by, and how best to deal with the situation.  Some examples are antibiotics for secondary infections, antihistamines, diet trials, allergy 2steroids, shampoos, etc…

It is important to be patient! Allergies can be very difficult to control, and may require several
appointments and treatments to see results.  Food trials usually take between 8-12 weeks before a difference may be noted.

What about bugs?
Spring also brings our insects back. Your pet may have sensitivity to mosquitoes, fleas or other pests. Also your pet may get a reaction much like us to a bee or spider bite. Similar to humans,
your pet can have a small swelling from an insect bite, or can have a severe reaction with hives, swelling of the face, and anaphylaxis.

If you think your pet may be suffering from allergies please call the clinic to set up a consultation with one of our veterinarians. In case of more sudden severe allergic reactions please seek veterinarian care ASAP.

 

The Importance of Socializing Your Puppy

Congratulations! You have added a new puppy to your home. It is crucial your puppy gets socializing right away. The first 12-16 weeks is the most impressionable time in your puppy’s life. It is important to expose your puppy to as much as possible in that time frame, and ensure positive experiences occur. This phase requires a lot of work and time commitment, but will ensure your socilization1pup is better balanced and happier for the rest of their life. By not adequately socializing your puppy at this point in their life, they will be more likely to be fearful of new situations, people and objects. This means they will likely act inappropriately when these situations are encountered which can mean: fear based aggression, reactivity, lunging, and biting.

socilization 2Instead of a chore, think of socialization as a fun bonding experience for your family and puppy. There are many checklists online (see links below) that outline what your pup should encounter in the first stages of their life. Try to get as many done as possible. and involve the whole family! Use lots of treats and praise. Never force your pup if they are uncomfortable, instead be patient and work up to what is scary.

“But my puppy isn’t fully vaccinated yet”- unfortunately by the time your dog is fully vaccinated (about 16 weeks of age) the time window for socialization is passed.

There are precautions that can be taken to keep your pup as safe as possible:

  • Carry your puppy, or place them in a wagon or strollersocilization 3
  • Only let your pup socialize with healthy vaccinated dogs
  • Avoid dog parks until your puppy is fully vaccinated
  • Wait until your pup has had two sets of vaccines (about 12 weeks of age) before starting puppy classes
  • Use your discretion

Here are a few links with good information and checklists:

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/socializing-your-puppy

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/pets/dog-behavior/how-to-socialize-your-puppy

http://drsophiayin.com/images/uploads/ce/Socialization_Checklist.pdf

http://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/puppy-socialization-stop-fear-before-it-starts

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the clinic! The clinic offers puppy socialization classes-for more information please call

Common Indications That Your Cat May Need To See A Vet

Cats are much better at disguising when they are unwell compared to other species. Even the most attentive owners can over look subtle indications of a problem. Also, cats are not dogs, and certain symptoms are more serious requiring immediate medical attention. Here is a list of common signs your cat may have a problem.cat need to see vet 1

  1. Hiding: Often as owners we don’t think much of this, as sometimes we don’t feel social and keep to ourselves so we assume our cats are doing the same. However, this is a very common sign of ill cats, and should trigger a visit to the vet.
  2. Change in appetite- Eating more or less than normal could signify problems. It is important to note cats can NOT go more than 1-2 days without eating! Anorexia in cats is a medical emergency. If not addressed right away, potential irreversible liver failure can result.
  3. Unexplained weight loss- Weight loss can indicate many conditions. Some include: dental disease, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, intestinal blockages, endocrine disorders and more.
  4. Urinating or defecating outside the litter box- Many people think their cat is being bad or lazy when this happens. However the majority of the time there is a medical reason causing it. Bladder infections are common in cats and inappropriate elimination is often the first symptom. Another cause is arthritis. Arthritis in cats is often over looked, but it may physically hurt your cat to get into the litter box so they avoid it. Behaviour problems may also cause this. All of the above require a visit to the veterinarian.cat need to see vet 3
  5. Excessive vocalization or yowling- Some cats are naturally talkers, however when your quiet cat starts talking a lot or yowling, they need to see a veterinarian. This can indicate urinary problems/ blockages, pain and endocrine disorders.
  6. Change in grooming habits- Cats that either stop/slow down on grooming or begin excessively grooming can indicate a problem. Arthritis, endocrine disorders, allergies and parasites are a few causes of this. This warrants further investigation further by a veterinarian.cat need to see vet 4

These are just a few common signs your cat may need to see a veterinarian. If you feel your cat needs to see a veterinarian please call us and we can assist you.

Fun Facts About Goats!

  • There are over 200 different breeds
  • Specific breeds  can be used for one or multiple purposes (meat, fibre, dairy, miniature)
  • Great variance in ears depending on the breed. Ear size ranges from small nubbins, to very long. Ears can be floppy or stick out to the side.
  • The Myotonic goat breed (aka Fainting goat) suffers from a recessive trait called myotonia. when frightened this animal will “faint”
  • Can be born with horns or polled (no horns). Many producers de-horn their goats once they are born
  • They have 4 stomachsemma
  • Lifespan is 10-12 years
  • Gestation period is 5 months
  • Does can have 1 to 6 kids per litter, however, 4 to 6 kids are rare
  • Have rectangular pupils
  • They do not have any top incisors
  • Normally goats have two teats and cows have four
  • Both male and female goats can have beards
  • Wattles are those little tufts of hair that covers the skin that dangles from the throat of some goats. Wattles serve no function and are thought to be remnants of gill slits that mammals shared somewhere back down the evolutionary tree
  • The female goat is called a “doe” or “nanny
  • The male goat is called a “buck” or “billy.”
  • Baby goats are called “kids”
  • Neutered males are called “whethers”
  • They are very social and curious animals
  • They are escape artists!
  • They love to climb and jump
  • Goats rather browse than graze
  • Goats were the first animals to be used for milk by humans
  • Goat’s milk is easily digestible and less allergenic than cow’s milk
  • Goat meat is lower in fat and cholesterol compared to beef, pork, mutton and poultry