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Recognizing Signs of Illness in Cats

Although cats are predators, in nature larger predators will prey upon them. Since sick or old animals make an easy target, any obvious sign of illness will alert other predators that the animal is ill. Therefore, cats have evolved to hide signs of illness. This means that in the early stages of illness, often the only thing that a cat owner may notice is that the cat has become quiet and withdrawn. Unfortunately, this also means a cat may be very sick before the owner realizes something is wrong.

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Quality-of-Life Scale

SUGGESTIONS ON USING THIS QUALITY-OF-LIFE SCALE:
1. Complete the scale at different times of day to note fluctuations, because most pets do better during the day and worse at night.
2. Ask multiple family members to complete the scale; compare their observations.
3. Take periodic photos of the pet to help remember his or her physical appearance.
 
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Fear of Noises and Places in Dogs

Why is my dog so frightened of loud noises such as thunder, firecrackers, and vehicles?

Fears and phobias can develop from a single experience (one event learning) or from continued exposure to the fearful stimulus. Although some dogs react with a mild fear response of panting and pacing, others get extremely agitated and may panic and/or become destructive. These dogs are experiencing a phobic response to the stimulus. These phobias may develop because of an inherent sensitivity to the stimulus (i.e., a genetic predisposition) or exposure to a highly traumatic experience associated with the stimulus (e.g., a carport collapsing on the dog in a windstorm). With multiple exposures to a fearful event, a dog may become more intensely reactive; receiving attention or affection by well-meaning owners who are trying to calm the dog down may actually intensify the response.

 

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Honouring Your Pet - Euthanasia - The most difficult decision you will ever make.

We are not trained to make euthanasia decisions. Most people have little or no experience even thinking about, or discussing the idea of letting an animal die by this process.

When a veterinarian brings up the idea of euthanasia for a very ill, elderly, or injured pet you might find yourself cringing, in an effort to "protect" yourself from even the thought of choosing to say goodbye to your beloved pet. The idea of actually planning a time and place for the death may throw you into a state of confusion, denial, shock, depression, or anger.

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Children and Pets

The birth of a baby or the adoption of a new child is associated with a great deal of anxiety, excitement, and stress for not only the family, but also the family pet. Some dogs and cats can have a difficult time adjusting to these changes, especially if this is your first child, but preparation and planning will help.

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Canine Communication – Interpreting Dog Language

Dog communication uses most of the senses, including smells, sounds and visual cues. Pheromones, glandular secretions, barks, whines, yips, growls, body postures, etc., all serve as effective means of communication between dogs. Unlike in people, canine body postures and olfactory (scent) cues are significant components of dog language and vocal communications are less significant. People are listeners; dogs are watchers. Another major difference between human and canine communication is the type of information communicated.

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What are oral tumors?

What are oral tumors?

Like us, cats can develop oral masses. Some will grow slowly and won’t spread to other locations (benign), while others will spread to different areas of the body causing great harm (malignant). Benign oral tumors generally start in the periodontal ligament, which is located in the tooth socket. The most common types of oral tumors are called peripheral odontogenic fibromas (POFs). The most commonly diagnosed malignant tumor is called squamous cell carcinoma.

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Behavior Counseling - Senior Pet Cognitive Dysfunction

What is cognitive dysfunction, and how is it diagnosed?

It is generally believed that a dog or cat’s cognitive function tends to decline with age, much as it does in people. If your dog or cat has one or more of the signs below and all potential physical or medical causes have been ruled out, it may be due to cognitive dysfunction. Of course, it is also possible that cognitive dysfunction can arise concurrently with other medical problems, so that it might be difficult to determine the exact cause of each sign.

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Obesity in Dogs

In North America, obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs. Approximately 25-30% of the general canine population is obese, with 40-45% of dogs aged 5-11 years old weighing in higher than normal.

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Veterinary Hospice & the Human-Animal Bond

Veterinary Hospice & the Human-Animal Bond

More clients are requesting hospice care for aging or terminally ill companion animals. Knowing what veterinary hospice care is, how to provide hospice care in the practice or home, and how to assist families in the mitigation of suffering helps ensure quality care. For clients, feeling prepared can help ease tension, strengthen the human–animal bond, and facilitate a peaceful end-of-life experience, helping them cope better with the loss—and possibly preparing them to get another pet in due time.

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