Category

Uncategorized

Puppy Socialization

By Uncategorized No Comments

Has anybody gotten a new family member recently? We have seen so many new puppies at the clinic lately that I thought we should talk a little bit about how important social interactions are for our furry friends.

The goal when socializing our puppies is to help them acclimate to all types of sights, sounds, and smells. By doing so, we can prevent our pets from being fearful of new situations or people, and help our puppy develop into a well-mannered, happy friend.

Here are a few things to keep in mind during the early stages of your puppy’s life:

  1. A whole new world: to a puppy, the world is a new, strange, and unusual place. The more places, people, sights, sounds and smells we expose our puppies to, the more familiarized they will be with these new things. You can find online a few comprehensive checklists for puppy socialization that you can use as a guide.
  2. Positive experiences: this is the most important aspect of any social interaction. Make sure you reward your friend for every single little accomplishment so they associate what they are being exposed to and the feeling of seeing something new as a fun rewarding experience.
  3. Involve family members and friends: the more people you have as part of the socialization process, the more comfortable your puppy will be with other people and experiences, no matter who they are with.
  4. Baby steps: make sure to not over-stimulate your puppy. Little positive interactions are much healthier than too many at once. Taking your puppy to a busy area to start the process may result in a fearful response.
  5. Vaccines, vaccines, vaccines: Remember to start the socialization process with other dogs once your puppy is vaccinated and dewormed to prevent infectious diseases! Always talk to you veterinarian for appropriate immunization protocols and the best time for dog park visits.

You know what’s a great option too? Bringing your furry friend for vaccines and deworming and making sure to mention to our sweet ladies at the front desk that your puppy needs some socialization time! I am sure I speak for all of us when I say that we won’t mind it at all!
Treats and cuddles on us!

COVID Restrictions

By Uncategorized No Comments

Summer seems to be winding down, with some leaves already turning color. The season is changing but COVID-19 remains with us and probably will for the future.

Despite our province lifting restrictions (and very recently reinstating some of them) most veterinary facilities have maintained some level of protective measures throughout. I really would like to stress that these measures are not meant to make it difficult for our clients, or to inhibit the liberties of the people we serve. Our goal is to provide care for your animals, and to maintain safety for our co-workers and for everyone coming into our facility. If we were to have to close our doors because of workplace safety issues (and workplace safety is something the government requires from us) we could not continue to serve you and your animals.

Somehow the stress on the veterinary community has been overwhelming. I don’t even know why the workload has increased as much as it has within the last 15 months. I am sure it is multifactorial. There is an abundance of new pets which have been adopted by a lot of people, as well as the way we are working has changed with all these extra measures for safety slowing down workflow. And I do understand that this can be frustrating, as much for us as for you, our clients.

For us in the veterinary field the situation has had very surprising consequences. The work-stress has become very intense, and for some people it has become too much. Did you know that the suicide rate in veterinary medicine is one of the highest of all professions? And why is this? I believe the root of it is because veterinary professionals are caught in between the desire to help animals to the best of their ability, and the expectations that we can and should do everything in our power to help, but also often in the light of a misunderstanding for the cost for “everything possible”. (This is where pet insurance can come in handy).

From my perspective I have been blessed in my workplace with most clients being very understanding for the situation we have to work in. I wish for all of us, veterinary professionals and clients, that we can work together to help our beloved pets live the best life possible, and that requires patience from all of us and understanding for situations which can be stressful.

I hope we can continue to work well together to make our world a better place!

Secondary Drowning

By Uncategorized No Comments

Summer is in full swing, and we all have been enjoying being outside and doing outside activities. We know not to expose our pets to extreme temperatures (e.g. heat), but another danger, which is not as common or well known, is secondary drowning or near drowning. It happens when a pet has been in water (pool, pond or river) and experienced distress, and came close to drowning (hence the name). The situation seems to be under control, the pet has been removed from the water, and has apparently recovered from the situation. Things have calmed down, and the pet is safe – or so we think.

Secondary drowning happens after water (from the pool or body of water) has entered the pets lungs, causing irritation and possibly infection to the lungs (pneumonia). This can happen well after the incident is over, even several days after the incident. This can be just as life threatening. Symptoms to watch for are lethargy, coughing, difficulty breathing, distress and anxiety. Lack of oxygen can lead to rapid progression of these symptoms, and it is important to seek medical help quickly, if symptoms like these are observed in an animal which has been in a dangerous situation in water.

Respiratory distress is a true emergency, and fortunately we have 24/7 emergency centres for pets if it is after hours at your regular veterinary office. Please do not wait to seek veterinary help in a situation like this! The quicker we get help, the better the outcome will be!

Just as important as knowing what to do in an emergency is to take measures to prevent a bad situation. A lot of dogs love to swim, and we have to know their ability as well as their limitations. For boating, life vests for pets are available. Pools can be covered or fenced off to avoid pets falling into them. Making sure we know where our pets are is also helpful, as well as knowing when the limits are reached. It is good to have fun, but it is also important to be aware of possible dangers.

Please contact us with any questions you might have! I hope summer will be enjoyable and safe!

Heat Stress

By Uncategorized No Comments

How’s everybody’s summer going so far? I hope you had the greatest adventures out there! But hey, it’s not over yet, let’s make sure to enjoy the last few weeks we have!

With the high temperatures, we’re always worrying about heat stress in our pets. We know to not leave them in the car for long periods of time, but did you know that there are many other conditions that could lead to heatstroke as well? Leaving our pets outdoors in hot/humid condition with inadequate shade, exercise in hot/humid weather, and even leaving in a car on a relatively cool day… What you’ll initially notice is a distressed pet, panting excessively and restless. As the body temperature increases, the pet may drool excessively, may become unsteady on its feet, and in severe cases you may see the gums turning purple/blue or bright red due to lack of oxygen.

If you notice any of these signs please call us for assistance, but here’s a few Do’s and Dont’s while you get ahold of us.

DO: Move your pet to a shaded and cool environment with a direct fan on it, if possible take a rectal temperature. You can also place some cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, armpits, and groin region.

DON’T: prevent overcooling the pet, do not force water into your pet’s mouth but have fresh cool water for when they show interesting in drinking, and do not leave your pet unattended.

I hope that helps you guys enjoy the summer without major concerns!

If you have any questions, please give us a call! We’re always here for you.

Cheers!

Animals and Heat Exposure

By Uncategorized No Comments

Summer is here, and with the summer hot temperatures are arriving. We already had our first heatwave of the summer and lots of reports of pets being exposed to and affected by the heat. There are even reports from BC that pets died because of heat exposure/heat stroke.

Now, we cannot change the weather (and to be honest, I enjoy the heat more than the deep freeze), but we can change the way we are helping our pets through the heat spells if needed.

The major considerations are to keep pets out of the heat. Walk them in the early morning or late at night, otherwise keep them indoors, in the coolest place possible. Not everyone has air conditioning, but shade and a fan go a long way. Misting with water also can help. Always make fresh water available. Especially short-nosed breeds like bulldogs, pugs, and relatives are heat sensitive. Because of their short noses and smaller airways, it is more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature (which in dogs is accomplished by panting, thus eliminating heat through the airways). Excessive panting in hot conditions indicates that the dog is too hot!

A lot of people will provide a kid’s pool for dogs to wade or swim in – excellent, a lot of dogs will enjoy this, but make sure the water is clean!

When walking, make sure that concrete or asphalt (or any other surface) is not hot to the touch. Our pets are barefoot, and even the toughest foot pads can be damaged by heat. Burns on the feet are no fun!

Sometimes it is better to leave your pet at home. Car rides can be especially challenging in these temperatures, and of course, we all know never to leave the pet in a car by themselves, not even for a very shortstop.

Signs of overheating are: panting, drooling, gums turning from pink to red, tiredness, unresponsiveness, even seizures. If in doubt, call your veterinarian. However, prevention is always better!

Have a safe summer everyone!

By Dr. Susanne Krägeloh

Camping With Your Pet

By Uncategorized No Comments

I don’t know about you, but I already have a few campsites booked for the summer! Looking forward to seeing you all out there with your pets as well. But, before booking your sites make sure you know if they are pet friendly, and if so, what are the rules!

First of all, make sure your four-legged friend is allowed on site. Most Provincial and National campgrounds allow pets, but better safe than sorry, so check the regulations of the specific campground you’re going to!

Understand your pet. Some campsites can be rather busy and may cause some anxious or aggressive behaviour. Make sure your pet can handle it well or look for more isolated campsites.

Bring all the supplies you may need for your pet, such as a leash, cable, and anchor, poop bags, extra food, treats, and bowls, as well as their favourite toys!

 Last but not least, please make sure tick and flea treatments are up to date! Ticks can transmit a number of diseases to our four-legged friends and us!

If you want more information on these diseases as well as flea and tick treatment options, make sure to come for a visit and talk with one of our Doctors at the Leduc Animal Clinic!

Happy camping everyone!

By Dr. Alysson Macedo

Emergencies

By Uncategorized No Comments

With all our Covid19 restrictions still in place, we are all getting impatient to return to a more normal, pre-Covid19 operating mode. Many of us have been spending more time at home than ever before, and a result of that is that we also keep a closer eye on our pets. We realize now how important health care is, for us as well as for our pets.

For us, as veterinary health professionals, this has some interesting consequences. People realize earlier when their pets are not doing well and thus seek help earlier. We appreciate this as it helps us address concerns earlier. The downside of the collective situation is that despite our best efforts to see all our patients, with all the policies in place to keep everyone safe and healthy, we are sometimes maxed out when it comes to squeezing in patients which need urgent care.

So: what is considered an emergency that needs to be seen right away? Certainly, any accidents resulting in trauma are high on the list, especially if it involves heavy bleeding or head trauma resulting in changes to consciousness, as well as loss of the ability to move. Seizures are another emergency that should be seen as soon as (safely) possible. Just as in human medicine, difficulty breathing is an emergency. The same applies to sudden, complete collapse. 

The ABC of emergency medicine is pretty much the same for human or veterinary medicine: we need an unobstructed Airway, Breathing has to happen, and the Cardiovascular (heart and blood circulation) system has to function. Valuable information to note is when it happened and what happened, essentially a timeline of events. Also, the last time the pet ate, drank, and acted normally. What medication the pet is regularly taking (this includes supplements and for example parasite control). If and how long a pet was unsupervised, and what it could have ingested (this is important if we suspect some toxin ingestion).

The stress of an emergency can be quite challenging, for you as the person owning an animal in distress, as well as for the staff of the facility who gets the call. The best-case scenario is if we can relay all the information needed accurately so that everyone involved can be prepared to do their best to help the affected pet. 

So, what in turn can wait to be seen until the next day or until an appointment is available to thoroughly assess your pet? If your pet is eating and drinking ok and can go to relieve themselves, it can wait. If your adult dog or cat has vomited once, or if there was a worm in its stools, it is certainly reason for concern, but it is not an emergency. Minor wounds need to be protected from dirt, as well as from the pet licking on them, but they often can wait to be seen. 

Some preparation can also help a lot: have the phone number of your veterinary office handy. Also, the information of an emergency veterinary clinic is valuable to shorten search times for phone numbers. Emergency kits for pets are available, and they contain besides some basic wound care supplies information pamphlets on what to do and who to call (with spaces you can fill in).

The list of true emergencies is not complete, and the list of non-emergencies is not either. The take-home message is we are here to help. We can counsel on what to do, and when, and where to go, but we need you to provide information to the best of your ability. Importantly, we all need to stay calm and listen to each other. Together we can achieve the best care possible. 

The first step is to be prepared, and we can help you with that too!  Hopefully, it never comes to it, but if it does, we know what to do!

By Dr. Susanne Krägeloh

Ear Infections

By Uncategorized No Comments

I see you! I see you there reading this and shaking your head thinking: “here we go again, this Doctor is going to talk about another problem I may face with my furry friend”. Well, I am sorry to disappoint you, but you are correct! I hope you bear with me so we can together prevent bigger problems.

Oh well, since we started with shaking our heads… how about we talk about ear infections this month?

Ear infections can be surprisingly common in dogs, and some may deal with it nearly constantly. Let’s try to keep it simple and divide those infections into 3 levels:

Level 1:  A simple ear infection that may clear up with professional cleaning and topical medication at home.

Level 2: On-going ear infection that is not controlled with medication or comes back once the medication is discontinued. In these cases, we may need further testing to determine why the infections are persisting. One of the most common reasons for recurrent ear problems is allergy but hormone imbalances can also be the underlying cause.

Level 3: Some ear infections simply cannot be controlled with the above steps as they have gone beyond medical management. Depending on how affected the ear canals are, the Doctors will discuss other options such as surgical correction of the ear canals.

Ear infections are common and can be challenging. Fortunately, most cases are simple and easy to clear up. So: at the very first sign of ear infection, please give us a call so we can help your furry friend.

Now I hope that shake turned into a nod instead! Pun intended.

Cheers!

By Dr. Alysson Macedo

Off Leash Park Manners

By Uncategorized No Comments

Wait, don’t go quite yet. I know you all want to be out there enjoying the dog parks and getting some exercise in today, but should we review some dog park etiquette before we go?

This month I thought I’d brush up on a few things we may be doing wrong when we bring our furry friends to dog parks. Bear with me and make sure you check all the boxes before you head out!

  • Entering the dog park: The dog park can be very exciting for some dogs, making them slightly more difficult to handle. So, a good tip is to exert a little control first and make sure your dog is calm before entering. That may require a little walk before going off-leash at the dog park.

 

  • Spotting aggressive behaviour: Funny enough, most dog fights at the park happen because of over-stimulation when the playing becomes a little too rough, territorial, or timid. Ideally, your dog will have a good recall in order to prevent any awkward situations.

 

  • Separating bigger dogs from small dogs: Due to differences in size, abilities, and temperaments, bigger dogs can be dangerous to the smaller ones, even if they have the best of intentions. Make sure to keep the little ones safe at the park.

 

  • Toy stealing: When we bring toys to play with our dogs at the park, it is natural that other dogs will show interest as well. If there’s some toy stealing at the park you may need to be patient, and don’t ever attempt to get the toy back from a dog you don’t know, or even your own. Be sure to teach your furry friend to answer to a solid drop.

 

  • Harmful behaviour: Remember that you’re always liable for your dog’s actions and behavior. Taking accountability is the most effective way to handle these situations.

 

So how do you feel about getting out there and enjoying the park?

Always bring tasty treats to reward your friend for their good behaviour!

Have fun everyone, and if you need anything, do not hesitate to contact us at Leduc and Beaumont Animal Clinics. We’re always here to help!

By Dr. Alysson Macedo

 

Toxic Plants

By Uncategorized No Comments

If you are anything like me you may have a house full of plants. Although they make our homes cozy and pretty, did you know that some of them can be dangerous to our furry family members?

Here are a few of the plants you may have at home and the troubles they can cause your pet:

1) Lilies: the Stargazer and Easter Lily could be fatal to cats if it goes untreated as it affects the animal’s appetite and kidneys. As for the Peace Lily, your dog or cat could start vomiting and have a problem swallowing due to irritated lips and tongue if it’s ingested.

2) Aloe Vera
: The leaves contain a type of gel substance which isn’t harmful to your pet if it’s ingested, but the other parts of the plant can harm a dog’s digestive system.

3) Ivy
: We’ve all heard of Poison Ivy, but even regular Ivy can be harmful to a dog even though it’s quite pretty. A dog may develop a rash and/or breathing problems if the plant is eaten, but things can become much worse as Ivy can also lead to a coma or paralysis.

4) Jade: Nobody really knows what the specific toxins are in this plant, but ingesting it can result in vomiting, incoordination (ataxia), a slow heart rate (bradycardia) and/or depression.

If you notice that your pet has ingested any of your plants and you are unsure if they are toxic or not, please contact us for immediate assistance. The doctors and staff at Leduc Animal Clinic are always happy to help!

Happy gardening everyone!

By Dr. Alysson Macedo