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Halloween Hazards

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It’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement at Halloween but we need to remember to be extra vigilant with our pets during this busy time. Whether it’s Trick or Treating, or parties at home it’s very important to avoid the following dangers:

1. Ingesting chocolate: Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine (a vasodilator and diuretic) which can cause life threatening seizures and/or increased heart rate. If your pet ingests chocolate call your veterinarian immediately. The type of chocolate (milk, dark) and the amount are important information that your vet will need. Depending on what was ingested, no treatment may be needed, or emergency treatment may be needed.

2. Ingesting Xylitol: Xylitol is a natural product derived from sugar and is used to sweeten things such as chewing gum. It is safe for humans but not for our pets. Even small amounts can be dangerous for dogs. It causes the pancreas to secrete more insulin than usual causing a dangerously low blood sugar which can be fatal. Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet ingests anything with xylitol in it.

2. Noise: Your pet may become very anxious or stressed with the sounds of children coming to your door, whether they knock, ring the door bell or yell “trick or treat”. Be prepared. Putting your pet in a quiet room may help, a Thunder shirt, or maybe spending some time at a friend’s house that will be quieter. In some cases some anti-anxiety medication may help.

3. Escape: When the door is constantly being opened for Trick or Treaters there is a chance that your pet may slip out unnoticed. Be vigilant. Put your pet in a room or in a crate to keep them safe.

4. Decorations: These can become a hazard if your pets eat them. They can become lodged in the intestines and cause a life threatening emergency. Keep your pet away from all decorations or small toys. Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet ingests something, or begins to show signs of being unwell.

 

♫ Summer Time, Summer Time, Sum-Sum-Summertime ♫♪♫

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Finally the weather is warming up. After what seemed like an eternity of rain we have sunshine and blue skies.

This is the time of year to remember that we need to take special care of our four-legged friends when it’s hot outside.

Leaving your pet in a hot car, even for a few minutes, can be life threatening. Researchers have studied how long it takes for a car to heat up on a hot day. The findings were alarming: in less than an hour the inside temperature of a car parked in the sun on a day that reached 35 degrees C or hotter, hit an average of 47 degrees C!

Cars parked in the shade on a hot day had lower – but still scorching – temperatures. After 1 hour, the interior temperature of these cars reached an average of 38 degrees C.

The dashboards of these cars averaged 48 degrees C, the steering wheel averaged 42 degrees C, and the seats averaged 41 degrees C. It is never safe to leave a pet unattended in a parked car, even with the windows rolled down.

If you see a pet left in a car you can call 310-SPCA (7722), your local SPCA or Humane Society, or your local police.

 

Another thing that we need to be careful of is the temperature of asphalt. Unless you’re walking around barefoot it’s easy to forget just how hot the pavement can be. Use the “5 second rule” to determine if it’s cool enough for your pet’s feet. Place the back of your hand on the pavement where you want to walk your dog. If it’s too hot to leave it there for 5 seconds it’s too hot for the pads of your dog’s feet. Serious burns can occur.

Stay safe and have a great summer! 

magnified Mosquito

Heartworm testing

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4DX Plus. This test shows a blue dot for a positive control only. The test is negative for heartworm and tick-borne diseases.

Each year starting April 15th we begin drawing blood samples from dogs 6 months of age or older. With the antigen test that we use we are actually looking for the presence of adult heartworms that your dog may have picked up the previous year. Heartworms need to be at least 6 months old for our test to detect them. The test also screens for exposure to 4 different tick-borne diseases., the most well known being Lyme disease. We use Idexx’s Snap 4DX Plus test and each dog is tested individually, usually while you wait. All we need is 3 drops of blood and 10 minutes.

Heartworm is an insidious disease that is spread by mosquitoes that carry the heartworm larvae. It can take upwards of 3-5 years for your dog to show any symptoms of the disease.

Immature heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) seen under microscope in our own lab using Difil method and stain.

We’ve had a few dogs this year that have tested positive for tick-borne diseases, and one dog that has tested positive for heartworm disease. Heartworm is very serious in our area, with pockets of it all along the Grand River all the way to Lake Erie. Heartworm disease can be easily prevented, but treatment for a positive dog can be very expensive and just as dangerous to the health of the dog as the disease itself. Untreated dogs will eventually succumb to the disease, as it will progress to pulmonary and cardiac failure.

If you have any questions about heartworm, or tick borne diseases such as Lyme, please let us know.

Snap reader shows results and saves them in patient file.

How Do I Bring My Cat to the Vet?

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Is bringing your kitty to the clinic a nightmare? Do you end up scratched and bleeding and still not have him in his carrier? This is an all too common problem for cat owners and the result is far too many kitties not receiving the veterinary care that they need.

We can make it easier for you and your kitty with a few simple steps:

  • Make your cat love his carrier.

Leave the carrier out and open so your cat can go in and out whenever he likes. Put blankets in the carrier. Use pheromone wipes or sprays such as Feliway in the carrier and on the blanket. Put food and treats in the carrier and after he starts going in on his own close the door for brief periods of time. Then start taking your kitty for short rides in the car. Remember to never leave him unattended in the car.

  • Choose the right type of carrier.

The carrier should be large enough for your cat to turn around in. It should have a door that locks and the top should be removable. You should not have to dump your kitty out of the carrier or stuff him into the carrier. Always use one carrier per cat.

  • On arrival at the veterinary clinic do not place your carrier on the floor. Cats do not like to be on the floor and do not like other animals peeking at them through the carrier door. Place your carrier on a table or on the chair beside you if you are not put into an exam room right away.
  • Let your cat explore the exam room if he likes. Offer him toys and treats and praise to help him relax.
  • Your veterinarian likely has a cat specific exam room and will offer your kitty a blanket to sit on rather than just the cold table. They will also have treats and toys and will have a pheromone diffuser in the room. Pheromones emit “friendly scents” that only your cat can smell. They tell them to relax, everything is good here, and have no fear. Some clinics will have cat videos, such as birds or fish playing, that will interest your cat as well.
  • If you are still having trouble, there are other products available such as Thundershirts for cats. These can sometimes make your cat feel more comfortable and secure. As a last resort you can ask your veterinarian for a prescription medication that you can administer at home previous to travel to help alleviate fear and anxiety.
  • For more information please give us a call or visit wwwcathealthy.ca. This is a great resource for cats and their “staff” for all things feline related.

Why Should I Bring My Cat to the Vet? He Never Goes Outside.

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Regular visits to the vet for our feline fur-babies are very important, even if they live indoors.

  • Indoor cats need to be vaccinated and dewormed. They should also be on a flea preventative and have a yearly physical exam.
  • A cat in Hamilton, Ontario that lived in a 5th floor apartment contracted rabies from a bat.
  • It is the law that you must vaccinate your cat for rabies.
  • Rabies can be transmitted to humans.
  • Every 9 minutes somewhere in the world someone dies from rabies. Vaccination is the main reason this is not a common occurrence in Canada.
  • You can come into contact with other preventable feline diseases such as distemper, carry them on your clothing or footwear, and transmit them to your indoor cat.
  • You can also carry parasites such as fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites home to your kitty this way.
  • Potting soil has been proven to carry parasite eggs which your cat can ingest.
  • Fleas are vectors for tapeworm.
  • A cat ages approximately 6 years for every one human year, therefore changes in their physical condition can progress very quickly but can be noted on an annual physical exam.
  • Other changes in behaviour, socialization, weight and activity should be addressed by your veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid possible distress, pain or disease for your kitty.

To find out more reasons to bring your kitty to the veterinarian please visit wwwcathealthy.ca.  This is a great resource for cat owners to enrich the life of their kitty cat.

Continuing Education

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Our technicians, Sue and Crystal, recently attended a conference in Niagara Falls hosted by the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians. This particular conference is unique, as it is a series of lectures and labs for veterinary technicians, and the event is put on by veterinary technicians. There are guest speakers from all over North America talking about the latest in anesthesia, nursing, internal medication, radiographs and nutrition, among others. Technology is constantly changing as well, so this is also a great way for us to see what’s new and gives us a “hands-on” chance to see how things work at the conference’s trade show.

The doctors attended a few major conferences this past year, too. Dr. Lee went to the NAVC (North American Veterinary Conference) in January which gives lectures in small and large animal medicine. She also went to ExoticsCon in September which was all about birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Dr. Mantle and Dr. Lee both attended the OVMA (Ontario Veterinary Medical Association) conference in January that took place in Toronto.

Lifelong learning is crucial to keep us up to date with ever-evolving medicine. There is constantly new and emerging science-based knowledge and information in medicine and surgery that can help to improve your pet’s health, life span, and of course, quality of life.

February is Pet Dental Health Month

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Although Pet Dental Health Month is recognized in February, your pet’s oral health is very important to us year round. February is the month where most veterinarians across Canada focus on promoting dental care and educating clients about how they can manage their pet’s dental health at home.

Can you imagine what it would be like if you didn’t brush your teeth for months? No flossing, no mouthwash? Unfortunately for our 4 legged friends they can’t do that, so we have a number of ways to manage their oral health at home. The best way is to brush your pet’s teeth daily. There are toothbrushes and toothpastes that are specially designed for animals that are easy to use. If daily brushing isn’t for you, or your pet won’t let you do it, there are dental diets that can be fed that work just like a toothbrush, oral rinse, and flossing, all in one. All you have to do is feed your pet! A daily brushing regime, or dental diet (or both) along with periodic cleaning by your veterinarian can keep your pet’s teeth tartar free.

Brushing and dental diets greatly reduce the amount of tartar that will accumulate on your pet’s teeth. Bacteria that remains in the mouth for more than 24 hours will turn into plaque which will attach to the teeth and build up on the teeth over time, turning into tartar. You can easily see tartar on your pet’s teeth; it’s the brown accumulation that’s usually near the gum line. Often it can cause bad breath, and if allowed to continue accumulating can eventually cause dental disease, such as gum recession, bone loss, loose teeth, and infections.

For years we called a dental cleaning a “prophy”, short for prophylactic which means disease prevention. Nowadays it is known as a “COHAT” (Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment). In order to do this safely and effectively the procedure is done with your pet under general anesthesia. It is NEVER acceptable to scrape tartar off an animal’s teeth when it is awake. It is dangerous as it can cause injury by accidental cutting or stabbing with the instrument if the animal were to suddenly move. Also, the inside of the mouth cannot be cleaned properly this way and a thorough examination of the mouth is impossible.  While it does add cost to cleaning the teeth, a general anesthetic is actually the safest way to thoroughly examine, clean, and x-ray your pet’s teeth.

Before we start cleaning the teeth, we take full-mouth radiographs to determine the health status of each tooth. Many teeth may look perfectly healthy to the naked eye, while an Xray will show bone loss around the roots, root resorption and other root abnormalities, which would indicate that the tooth needs to be extracted. After extractions we always take another radiograph to determine that the entire root has been removed.

After the X-rays are done, the teeth are cleaned with an ultrasonic scaler, very much like what your dentist uses, to remove tartar.  Each tooth is then carefully polished.  The teeth and gums are carefully examined and a chart is created to record gum recession, missing teeth and any other abnormalities. We also take before and after photographs!

 

A dental exam will give us an idea of how much time will be needed for your pet’s cleaning. COHAT’s are graded from 1 to 3, with 1 being the least amount of tartar, some or no gingivitis and no expected extractions. Cleaning the teeth when they’re like this helps to keep them healthier longer, and shortens the length of time under general anesthesia.

If you are interested in bringing your pet in for an oral exam and quote for dentistry please call us at 519-752-3431 anytime. We care about the health of your pet.

Happy Holidays!!

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Everyone here at Scott Veterinary Clinic would like to extend season’s greetings to you and your family!

What a year of growth and change we have had at the clinic since January! We have seen a huge increase in the number of avian and exotic pets that come through our doors. We love meeting new and exotic critters every day and helping to set them up for a lifetime of good health.

We have also seen a huge increase in the number of dental surgeries we are performing since upgrading our dental suite. We are able to complete much safer and more comprehensive dentistry, especially with the aid of the new dental x-ray.

This year we decided that we would like to use our skills and knowledge to give back to our community. We have developed a relationship with Hobbitstee Wildlife rescue. Hobbitstee is a registered wildlife custodian and a custodian of migratory birds. They rescue, treat, rehabilitate and release native Ontario wildlife of all sorts. Many of you have seen our posts on Facebook with some common and some not so common wildlife creatures. We help them by treating and caring for them as needed and hope with Hobbitstee’s skilled rehabilitation program they will one day be living wild again. This gives us great pleasure!

 

With all of this growth and change at the clinic we have decided that we needed more help. We gladly welcomed Dr. Justine Forbes to our clinic family in July.

Justine is a recent graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College and has a special interest in avian and exotic patients. She is very excited to begin getting to know all of our clients and patients. Sadly, Dr. Forbes had a motor vehicle accident in August which resulted in a badly fractured ankle. She has been off since then. She is recovering nicely at this point and you can expect to see her back in action early next year! We can’t wait!

 

 

You will also be seeing a new friendly face at the front desk over the next few weeks. We welcomed Laura to our clinic family just a few short weeks ago. Laura and her husband recently moved to Brantford. Laura gave up her veterinary receptionist position in Oakville to join us. Laura has 3 dogs Diego, Cash and Bailey and 4 cats Leonard, Sophie, Dexter and Manini. Laura is great with all types of pets and always has a smiling face to greet you. Please say hi to her the next time you visit.

 

The rest of the clinic family has all been doing well over the past year!

 

Dr. Lee’s twins, Aubrey and Colton turned 4 this year and have started Jr. Kindergarten. Her daughter Brooke has gone on to grade 4. Wow! Their puppy Max, that joined their family last year, has grown in leaps and bounds. He towers over all of the kids now and is especially adept at commandeering stuffed animals from them. (Santa is watching Max!) Dr. Lee attended the avian and exotic conference in Atlanta, Georgia this fall and brought back with her plenty of new knowledge and information that we will be able to use in our practice. She is also attending the North American Veterinary conference in Orlando in January which should be equally rewarding.

 

 

Dr. Mantle grew another beautiful flower and vegetable garden this year. Unfortunately, the deer that frequently visit her yard promptly ate most of it. Dr. Mantle still has her horse Victoria and her flock of chickens are doing well. All of her house felines keep her on her toes with their special needs. Dr. Mantle has also been to a conference this year. She attended the World Small Animal Conference in Singapore this fall. She plans to introduce some of the things that she learned to our practice next year.  

 

 

Holly spent the summer with her horse Frosty and her dogs Pepper and Willow. She kept busy practicing her riding skills and going to horse shows. She and Frosty worked hard and did very well. They are reserve champions in pole bending and dash for cash.  Holly has been very busy at the clinic developing new forms and charts for us to use with our patient care. She is so terrific at those things!

 

 

Sue has been doing a lot of work at home. She and her husband have been doing some renovations and home improvements. They also grew a beautiful garden this year that included a lot of Sue’s orchids that got to spend the summer outside. Sue’s cats Baxter and Rufous are constantly on the go. They are still young active cats and I suspect that they have something to do with all of these “home improvements”.

Sue is still the go to person for anything to do with surgery or dentistry. Sue has spent the last 25 years perfecting her skills in these areas and continues to learn new things every year.  Now if she would just give us a map to where she keeps everything!

 

Crystal is now settled into her new home. She and her husband Dave have been working on a few things too. Crystal has started doing some gardening and decorating and I think she’s got a knack for it! Everything always looks great! Crystal’s puppy Steve is all grown up now but continues to get into a lot of trouble. Her other dog, Tanner and cat, Baby just ignore him and go back to sleep.

Since Sue has been busy in surgery, Crystal has been in the lab and the radiology ward lately. Crystal always takes gentle care of your pets when getting a blood sample or taking a radiograph. She is a kind heart.

 

Kelly has been up to her usual stuff. She learned to surf in Hawaii this fall. Her pet family and human family are all well. Meadow is keeping Alejandro and Julian on their toes and Piper has been watching. Kelly’s chickens have cooped up for the winter. They are terrified of snow!  

Kelly continues to know all of your names and faces when you come in the door.   She has been working with the wellness plans as their numbers continue to grow. If you don’t have one yet, you should ask her about them the next time you are in.  

Our part time girls, Sam and Alyssa are still with us as well. Alyssa was married this summer to her fiancé Ryan. Alyssa and Ryan have a St Bernard named Nala, a Basset Hound named Willard and a cute kitty named Pickle. We are not sure when Nala is going to stop growing; the last time we saw her she was the size of a pony! 

 

Sam has also had an eventful year. She moved into a new place and adopted a crazy cat she named Chester to keep her other crazy cat Bandit busy. It worked out well-they are the best of friends, tearing up the house together! 

 

 

Spookie and Zeta have been keeping up their responsibilities around the clinic this year too. Zeta has been asking for a raise in her food rations because she feels her years of experience and her high skill level is deserving. That is debatable. The girls at the front think it would be a better idea to promote her to head technician so that she can work at the back and stay out of their paper work!

 

Spookie has entered her senior years, thus reducing her workload at the clinic. She is mostly in charge of monitoring the basement from a cozy stack of blankets. Occasionally Spookie makes a guest appearance in the exam rooms to do quality control of the cat treat (a job Zeta has been relieved of). 

 

Thank you for being part of our clinic family-we are so happy to have you.

We hope that we have served you well in the past year, and that we have in some small way made a difference in your life and the life of your pet. We truly care for each one of them as if they were our own. We wish you the happiest of holiday seasons and all the best for the New Year.

 

 

dog using a laptop computer

Our Webstore

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Did you know that you can buy all of your pet supplies including food, litter, toys, leashes and accessories through the Scott Veterinary clinic web store? And even better, you can have them delivered to your door! 

Our web store offers all veterinary approved products and it is a great option for busy lives. Once you have registered, you need only to log in and place your order. You can also opt for auto order so that you don’t even have to do that. The program will place the order for you, at an interval you have selected, then we will email you when your order is available for pick up at the clinic, or it will be delivered to your home. Delivery is free on orders of  $100.00 or more. We have several clients who do not live near the clinic using this service who find it very convenient.

   All of the products, prescriptions and approvals are strictly controlled by our clinic. You are ordering directly from us but with the convenience of ordering “on-line”.

Our Web Store uses secure transaction and encryption technology. Security is immediately activated when you log in. No one can access your personal information transmitted over the web. All names and personal information in our database is encrypted and unreadable without the proper security passwords and is not given out to anyone.

The web store will often have promotions as well. Right now Royal Canin is offering a 10% discount on all auto orders. 

Why not sign up and have a look around? You will be surprised at what is available!    

                                                                                                                                                       MyVetStore.ca  

♫♪Summer time…♫

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♪♪♫Summer time and the livin’ is easy…..♫♪♫

Once again the warm weather has arrived. Weather patterns in southern Ontario have changed so much in the last few years. One minute it’s winter and the next minute it’s summer. As we put our winter coats and boots away and get out our summer gear we need to remember that our four legged friends need to be protected from the heat.

Each summer we hear stories in the news about dogs that are left in hot cars. Don’t let your dog become a statistic. It take minutes for temperatures to rise to dangerous levels in a car, even parked in the shade with the windows cracked open and air conditioning running. Dogs that are housed outdoors need to be checked on a regular basis. Make sure they have lots of shade and lots of fresh water. Even a cool bath will help keep them comfortable. Trips to the vet or to the groomer on a super hot day should be avoided as well as stress can add to their body temperatures rising. Wait until the weather has cooled somewhat unless you absolutely have to go.

Dogs tend to be at higher risk than most other animals because we tend to take them with us wherever and whenever we can. Avoid exercise outdoors when temperatures are high. If you must, make sure you have plenty of water on hand and take frequent breaks for your pet to cool down.  When going for a walk remember that the pavement can be very hot and scorch your dog’s feet.

It’s important that you recognize the signs of heat exhaustion. Cats, birds and other small animals are at risk as well. Pet that suffer heat exhaustion may show the following signs:

  • Excessive panting
  • Pale gums
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drooling with thick, ropey saliva
  • Vomiting

If you notice any of these signs provide emergency care and seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

Move your pet to a cooler place, wrap him in wet towels, or wet him with cool (not cold) water.

Heat exhaustion is life threatening. Your veterinarian will provide life-saving measures such as intravenous fluids, and medications to improve breathing and stabilize shock.

If you discover a pet left unattended in a hot vehicle, call 310-SPCA (7722) in Ontario, call your local SPCA or Humane Society, or your local police department.

Everyone wants to have fun in the sun-just remember to be safe.