Behaviour Counselling at Upper Canada Animal Hospital
Upper Canada Animal Hospital is pleased to announce that Krystin, our RVT, has also taken on the role of Behaviour Counselor within our hospital, helping our clients and our patients.
Krystin has been a key part of our pet health care team for over a year now, has done extensive research, and attended seminars on animal behaviour, educating herself on how to deal with different behaviour types in our pets.
Krystin is available for complimentary consults if you have questions or concerns regarding your pet, either in our hospital or a phone call. She can meet with you to discuss the behaviour and work with you on a plan to implement proper training methods for your pet. She works with puppies, kittens and full-grown adults on reward-based training, tips for house training, dominant behaviour, etc.
Contact Krystin today at Upper Canada Animal Hospital if you have any questions or concerns regarding your pet’s behaviour. We are here to help!
Upper Canada Animal Hospital is pleased to offer nutrition counselling for our clients. Our RVT’s are all incredibly knowledgeable on pet nutrition and very happy to add this service for our patients.
They have a number of years experience in the veterinary field and and have each done a vast amount of research on canine and feline diets. Each staff member has completed a training course with Royal Canin and has worked with our veterinarians on a program that will work for clients. Whether you are concerned about oral health, weight loss, skin issues, or urinary tract health, our RVT’s will have the information you require. Prescription diets must always be prescribed by one of our veterinarians, but we are available to answer any questions, and offer more information on the diets.
They also oversee our “Weight Watchers” program for our overweight pet family members. They work with our doctors to set up a healthy and safe weight loss program and offers guidance and advice to our clients. Bi-weekly weigh-ins and constant encouragement are just the starts of this successful program.
If you would like more information or would like to book a complimentary consultation with one of our RVT’s, please feel free to give us a call at 905-468-4100, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help!
Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm Disease and Prevention
Both dogs and cats are typically infested with the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis), although other species do exist. They are acquired from the grass, ground or carpets where the immature flea larvae reside and grow. Fleas can also be acquired from other infested adult animals. They mature more quickly in high temperatures and humidity, which makes them especially prevalent in this region. Although fleas are more of a nuisance than a serious health threat, they can cause anemia (decreased red blood cells) or severe allergic skin disease if the pet is allergic to the flea’s saliva. Fleas can also carry one variety of tapeworm.
Fleas are best prevented or treated with a flea adulticide. These medications are available only through your veterinarian. Over the counter flea control products do not treat adult fleas, but instead, keep them from reproducing and are therefore far less effective overall. Some over the counter flea medications are also toxic to cats, so care is exceptionally important with this species.
There are three main varieties of tick found in the Niagara region, the American Dog tick, the Brown Dog tick and the Deer tick. We see ticks on our pets when they attach and feed on them. Feeding usually takes several days and the tick gradually increases in size as it engorges with blood. Once the tick is full, it drops off.
The American and Brown Dog ticks prefer to feed on dogs, however they can sometimes be found on other species including deer and people. They are generally acquired in grassy or wooded areas, as are all ticks locally. In addition, the Brown dog tick can set up an infestation in the home or kennel. In this region, these species of tick do not typically spread any infectious diseases of concern although there is some evidence that this may be changing.
The Deer (or Blacklegged) tick can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. With this species, young and adult ticks will feed on all sorts of animals, including dogs and people. Removing this tick within the first 24 hours of its attachment will prevent Lyme disease, which is why tick checks are so important for dogs and people. Even when infected with Lyme, the majority of dogs will not get sick, however when they do, illness can be severe and in occasional situations, fatal.
The best way to prevent the spread of Lyme disease is to prevent or kill the ticks before they spread the disease. Medications for this purpose are available from your veterinarian and work in a variety of ways. Some tick medications are toxic to cats, so it is always important to let your veterinarian know if there are cats in your household.
Heartworm disease is a parasite spread from dog to dog by mosquitoes. Adult heartworms live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of infected dogs. These heartworms mate and produce microfilaria (baby heartworms), which are then ingested by female mosquitoes during a blood meal. The microfilaria partially mature in the mosquito, a process that becomes more rapid the warmer it is outside. They can then be transmitted to another dog when the mosquito takes another blood meal.
Although adult heartworm disease can be successfully treated if caught early, it is expensive and complications, occasionally serious, can occur. Advanced heartworm disease, involving damage to the heart, is usually fatal. For these reasons, it is important that all dogs be heartworm tested annually and take preventive medications during mosquito season. Heartworm prevention medication is only available by prescription from your veterinarian.
Feeding Your Pet
Some of the most common questions we encounter as veterinarians involve feeding or food-related concerns. The sheer number of brands and diets available is truly mindboggling. These are made more confusing with inaccurate or misleading advertising and package wording, including words like holistic, human-grade and organic which have no legal meaning when referring to pet food. In addition, there is no requirement as to the quality of the ingredients in the food. Even paying a high price for the food does not guarantee quality or quality control.
When looking at a commercial food product, we have been taught that the first ingredient should be meat. The reality of the situation is that dry food needs carbohydrate in order to be manufactured and maintain shelf stability. Even grain free foods have carbohydrates (sweet potato, potato), so there is no such thing as a low carb or carbohydrate free dry food. Food labels should be read carefully. Ingredient lists ARE important, however, one must pay close attention to the listing. For example, some grains are sometimes listed by their component parts as opposed to the whole grain so that they appear lower on the ingredient list than they actually are. We know of one company that was listing corn on its ingredient list under its Latin name so that the word corn was not so readily apparent! Companies can also omit ingredients from the list, change ingredients without changing the list and add ingredients that are not on the list. There are no laws in place to protect the consumer in this regard.