Deworming protects your pet and your family
Dogs and cats can pick up a variety of parasites from the environment, fleas, and mosquitoes. Some of these parasites, such as roundworms and hookworms, can be transmitted to members of the family. Children are at greatest risk because they spend more time playing outside in areas where animals defecate, and also because they put dirty hands in their mouths. For ultimate protection of your pet and family it is important to administer deworming medication year-round. Your veterinarian can provide information on the type of dewormer that is best suited for your pet’s lifestyle.
Packing on the pounds over winter
The winter months are notorious for certain things; freezing cold days, hot beverages, cozy evenings, and WEIGHT GAIN. The majority of pets tend to be less active during the colder months of the year, spending more time indoors by a warm fireplace and perhaps enjoying extra treats from family members. Unfortunately this means that they also pack on a few extra pounds, some more than others. Obesity in pets is a major health concern in North America, with 54% of pets in the USA suffering from obesity. Obesity is linked to a variety of other diseases including diabetes, skin problems, increased cancer rates, constipation, and liver disease. Luckily, there are many things owners can do to prevent their pet from gaining excess weight:
Good nutrition – choose a balanced good quality diet and restrict feeding to a daily amount that is suitable for your pet’s needs. The number 1 cause of obesity is OVER-FEEDING. This means restricting treats too!
Adjust feeding during colder months – reduce the food quantity during the winter months if you know your pet will get less exercise
Monitor your pet’s body condition score – where does your pet fit on the chart? A 3/5 body condition score is the goal
Exercise – aim to provide a minimum of 30-40 minutes of activity for your pet each day. This can range from a brisk walk, swimming, or ball chasing
Your veterinarian can provide you with suggestions for a diet and feeding strategy that is optimum for your pet’s life-stage and weight goals.
Pet First Aid Kit – what items do you need?
KY jelly or lubricant
Sterile saline solution
List of phone numbers – your vet, animal control, ASPCA poison centre
3% hydrogen peroxide
Fighting bad breath
Does your pet’s bad breath make you run in the opposite direction? Many pet owners are faced with this problem. Luckily, there is an easy answer and it lies with dental care. Within 24 hours, food particles and bacteria will mix together to form a film (plaque) on your pet’s teeth. If not removed, this bacterial film will progress to a hard, yellow tartar which adheres tightly to the teeth and below the gum line. It is this bacteria that causes bad breath in pets. Here are some tips and tricks to kill this bad breath and keep your pet healthy:
Brushing teeth – this is the number 1 way to eliminate bad breath-causing bacteria. Aim to brush your pet’s teeth several times a week.
Water additive – these additives contain enzymatic substances that kill bacteria and freshen breath. They are safe for both cats and dogs.
Dental chews – like water additives, these chews contain enzymes that help to remove bacteria. The mechanical action of chewing also can help to keep those pearly whites gleaming.
Diet – scientifically proven dental diets are specially formulated to reduce bacterial load in the mouth and mechanically scrape plaque and tartar while chewing.
Dental checkups every 6 months – your veterinarian is also your pet’s dentist and can provide professional advice on ways to improve dental health. Panorama Animal Clinic offers free dental checks on all pets year-round!
Professional dental cleanings – while the above-listed items are fantastic for improving dental health and bad breath, they do not replace dental cleanings by your veterinarian. Nearly all pets will require several dental cleanings throughout their life to keep their breath, teeth, and overall health in tip-top shape. Your veterinarian can advise you on when a cleaning is required for your furry family member.
Spring poisons: what to watch out for!
Lilies – the Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Snow lilies are all highly toxic to cats and can result in severe kidney failure if ingested. Avoid these plants if you have feline friends and seek veterinary attention immediately if ingestion is suspected.
Pesticides – many of the spray pesticides contain substances that may cause skin/mouth and gastrointestinal irritation, but are not necessarily life-threatening. Others may contain organophosphates that can be very harmful when consumed in large quantities. Always speak to a professional to ensure the product you are using is safe.
Chocolate – every year around the Easter season dogs are treated for chocolate toxicity. Milk and dark chocolate contain theobromine, which when ingested in toxic amounts may cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, pancreatitis, cardiac arrhythmias, and seizures. If you suspect your pet has ingested chocolate seek veterinary advice immediately. Your veterinarian will determine whether the amount and type of chocolate ingested is at a level that warrants treatment.
Insect bites and stings – bees, spiders, ants and other insects are out in full force in the Spring. Like kids, pets are a curious bunch and are commonly bitten or stung by these critters. Signs of an insect sting may include facial swelling, pain, drooling, difficulty breathing, and anaphylactic shock. If any of these signs are noticed then it is important to bring your pet to your veterinarian so treatment can be started.
*This is a limited list of some common Spring hazards. If ever in doubt, contact your veterinary clinic for further advice.