Meet Chelsea

ChelseaThis beautiful girl is named Chelsea. She is a sweet and gentle German Shepherd. Like most Shepherds, she is loyal and athletic. Looking at her, you would never guess that she is actually 8 years old! She is a great traveler, and enjoys spending time at the cottage. And she absolutely loves being free to explore the outdoors.

Unfortunately, she no longer gets to spend as much time outside as she used to. When her elderly owner passed away, she was surrendered to the Brampton Animal Shelter. When she arrived at the shelter, the staff immediately went to work providing her with the medical care that her previous owner was not able to. When she came to see us here at Snelgrove Vet Services, she cast her spell on our team of staff members. We fell in love with her.

She is one of the most courageous dogs we’ve ever met. She underwent a nearly 4 hour surgery! Our doctors performed three procedures on her – a lump removal on her abdomen (which was benign), an ovariohysterectomy (spay), and repaired an aural haematoma (fluid build up in the ear flap).  Her amazing recovery proved to everyone, Snelgrove and shelter staff alike, what a brave dog she truly is. Unfortunately, although the lump was benign, it is one that will grow back and potentially need to be removed again in the future.

While the staff at the Brampton Animal Shelter work tirelessly to provide the best care they can for this lovely girl, a kennel is no substitute for a home. After everything Chelsea has been through, she deserves a second chance at a happy life in a forever home, with a loving owner. Wouldn’t it be the perfect ending to Chelsea’s story if she was adopted for the long weekend, so she could run and play outside with her new family? If you, or anyone you know, is interested in learning more about Chelsea, please follow this link to contact the Brampton Animal Shelter.

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Water, water and more water!!

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Studies are constantly saying we need to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. It keeps us healthy. It keeps us hydrated. It replenished lost liquids. It keeps our skin looking young and our organs flushed of toxins.

So, water is good for us, right? Yes!!

Did you know that the average cat does not drink enough water?? Cats are known carnivores. Their main source of nutrition originally came from eating other animals, reptiles and insects. They do consume some vegetation by what their main meals consumed. All mammals are made up of approximately 60% water and this is how cats maintain their hydration. While you do see cats at water sources, their main source comes from their food. So, here’s the problem today! Pet food companies primarily make dry foods for cats and that is what is generally promoted. Why? Because it’s easier and healthier in many ways and far more economical for our pocket books than canned food. Canned food is approximately 70 – 80% water. Dry food, on average only contains 10% water. While, a good quality, (we’ll get to that in a later blog) dry food has all the nutritional requirements for cats, they still need water!!!!

So, how do we get them to drink more???

Cats are finicky and all are different. Pay attention to where your cat likes to drink. Does it come to the water dish only when it is freshly changed? Does it drink the leftover water in the bathroom or kitchen sink? Does it prefer glass dishes to stainless steel? (Plastic is never recommended)

Many/most cats prefer running water. Cool and fresh. Water fountains are extremely effective at getting cats to drink more (they are available on our webstore at  www.myvetstore.ca/snelgrovevs and at your local pet store). Try placing dishes in different areas and see where they seem to drink from. Some cats may prefer a sunny spot in the kitchen, while others, may prefer a dark, secluded area. If your cat still doesn’t seem to drink, consider adding water to your dry food occasionally or supplementing with some canned food.

Be aware, though! That while we are encouraging you to get your cat to drink more, a cat that seems to never be able to quench its thirst or is drinking more than usual without encouragement, may have an underlying medical condition. Please see your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Thanks for reading our blog. If you enjoyed it, you can always give us ideas of what you would like us to write about, but, be aware, we cannot give advice on this site. Thanks

Below are a few examples of water fountains available on our webstore at http://www.myvetstore.ca/snelgrovevs

Barney

 

My issues with an overweight cat

I adopted my cat Barney from Snelgrove Vet Services in 2012 and gave him a lovely retirement home. Most of you will know Barney from being the clinic’s cat. Many of you would come in and ask “Is she pregnant?”  Nope, just fat. Although the staff worked hard to try to bring his weight down with precisely measured restricted calorie foods, between his asthma making it that he didn’t have much energy and the fact that every time we forgot to put a lid on the treat jars he cleaned out the jar, it proved difficult to do.  When I took him home I had high hopes of getting him to shed some of this weight ht and never did I think that he would be any different then a regular cat besides being a little more lazy? That’s not the case and this is some of my experiences from owning an overweight cat compared to the many cats before him that were not. There is defiantly a big difference in health, living style and worries that you can have with them.

Barney doesn’t like to do much, he likes his morning, afternoon and evening naps, and the only way I can get him to exercise is by bringing him in my backyard where he just wanders around but mostly lies in the sun. Looking at the difference between cats that hang around my neighborhood or cats that come into the clinic, I can tell he doesn’t have the energy to be a regular cat. Playing with him can be quite amusing but not very eventful, it might just be my cat who is picky but he will only play with one certain toy and that toy only. You can throw it to him and he will throw it right back, but never chases it, he won’t even move from the spot he’s in! He just rolls his body around the floor without getting up. He has his good days when he will slide across the floor to chase it, and get up on his feet and play, this doesn’t last long though. Most of the time he stuffs it under somewhere and lies back down, or it will get stuck under his belly when he lays down and then were right back to him playing a game of catch.

We do let him outside occasionally for extra exercise but only when myself or another family member is watching him and only in our own backyard. Now, realistically, he probably couldn’t get far but he’s still that curious cat and I’m sure he can find himself in some sort of trouble. 

Barney likes to make sure that he’s fed right on time. He does not stop meowing until there is something in his food bowl. He is on Diet food which can get very costly compared to other foods. With cats, the healthy weight for them to lose monthly is half a pound! So if your cat is 10 pounds over weight, that’s going to take almost 2 years to lose that weight. In Barney’s case, he has lost a few pounds since I’ve had him, but also gained some. Its harder to lose weight then gain it and without even realizing it, he gained weight because I wasn’t careful. And now I’m back to square one. One problem that we have with him at home is that he can be a real trickster! Not saying all cats are like this, but I can understand now why he became so fat! We feed him in the morning around 6:30 am. Each of my family members have different schedules, so we all get up at different times. So what he does is, he will start meowing and following each one of us making us think that the person before forgot to feed him and he would get fed twice or even three times the feeding for breakfast! We eventually did catch onto this and have solved this problem by keeping a chart posted and marking off when we have fed him. 

Barney is on inhalers to help with his asthma and the added weight he carries around doesn’t help. He can’t run for a long time or he will start wheezing and huffing. Sounding like he’s been a smoker for years. It’s not nice and its hard for him to get very far without having an issue with his breathing. If he was slimmer I’m sure he’d get farther without doing this. 

Barns is almost 12 years old. Not old for a cat but being overweight makes him act like an older cat.  I sometimes see his back legs giving in. I’m sure he already has some arthritis and that’s why I’m pushing for him to lose that weight so that he doesn’t get the point where he gets too weak to even walk.

If you’re thinking about getting your cat a big play castle, or you have children that always want to run and play with your cat, or you have a high bed and you like your cat to cuddle at the end of that bed with you, this won’t be the case if you let them get overweight. Like I said, it is the easiest thing for them to gain weight!!! So, feed them a quality food in measured amounts and don’t let them trick you into feeding them twice! Always keep them active even if its playing with them for half an hour in a day. I love Barns all the same and could never replace him, but I’m still working on getting him down a few pounds so that he can live a happy and healthy life.

Thanks for reading, Samantha

 

The Importance of Pet Identification

 

Bringing home a new puppy or kitten is very exciting. Unfortunately, each year thousands of pets go missing. Whether it is a dog slipping out of a collar, or an indoor cat taking advantage of an open door, accidents can happen when you least expect them. Luckily, there are several forms of identification that can help ensure the safe return of your furry family member!

The most obvious (and stylish!) form of identification that you can provide for your pet is personalized collars and tags. Feel free to go crazy in this department. There are all kinds of tags that can be made to include important information, such as your pet’s name and a contact number where you can be reached. There are even collars that can be embroidered with the same information.

Of course, if your pet escapes and slips out of their collar in the process, those tags and information become a moot point. So, what else could you do that would provide a more “permanent” way of identifying your pet as yours? While tattooing used to be the norm, these can sometimes fade and become distorted, making them illegible. Not to mention, for a tiny pup or kitten, they could be quite painful!

Enter: The Microchip.

In order to permanently identify your pet, simply visit your veterinarian’s office, or local animal shelter, and get them microchipped. A microchip is exactly what it sounds like – a small “chip.” Using a hypodermic needle, this chip (which is smaller than a grain of rice) is implanted just under the skin, between the shoulder blades. The procedure itself is relatively painless, and feels similar to being vaccinated. Anesthetic is not required, although some pet owners do prefer to have their pet microchipped while they are under sedation for their spay or neuter. Once the microchip has been implanted, it will remain under the skin for your pet’s lifetime. It can be read using a scanner, which will provide a number that corresponds to the information you provide to the microchip company. It is important to keep this information up to date, so don’t forget to change or add any new addresses, phone numbers or emergency contacts.

Microchipping is very highly recommended by anyone working within the animal health industry. That is why most breeders will send their puppies home already microchipped, and why any pet adopted from a shelter or humane society is microchipped as well. If you are interested in having your pet microchipped, or if you have any questions about the procedure, please don’t hesitate to call us here at Snelgrove Vet Services! We can be reached at 905-846-3316.

The Demise of My Shoes

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It is a beautiful morning when I wake up. The sun is shining and I have the weekend to look forward to. I take a big stretch under the covers and lazily roll over, deciding whether or not I should get up now, or maybe sleep in a bit longer.

Then I hear it… That tell-tale sound of my cat heaving!!

If you are a cat owner, you understand that there is no mistaking this sound for anything but what it is – your cat vomiting all over your beautiful morning. My cat, however, is a bit of a drama queen and likes to take things to the next level.

Naturally, as most cats do, she will find a carpet to vomit on, not a hardwood or ceramic floor. No, that would be far too easy for her human to clean up, I’m sure she thinks to herself. So I lie there, all cozy, my dreamy thoughts punctuated by the echoing sound of my cat vomiting somewhere in my house.

I sigh and force myself out of bed to go investigate which carpet she has chosen this time.

And then I see it.

Seriously??

You’ve got to be kidding me!

Not only has she decided to vomit on the carpet, no no, she has decided to one-up herself and has seemingly aimed the entire contents of her stomach directly into my shoe! Into the garbage they go… Ugh, she’s lucky she’s so cute!

the demise of my shoes