Traveling with your dog.

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I have had my Vizsla, Floyd for 6 years now and I will admit there are not many places I will go without him. He started camping with me at 12 weeks of age and has been every summer since. He LOVES to travel,or just be with me, not sure which one. LOL

He knows that we are going somewhere as soon as I start packing a bag and then he does not leave me alone. Following me everywhere and watching my every move. I guess he remembers the few times I have left him!!

He is comical in the car. He likes to sit in the front seat (not very safe, I know) and look out the front window (as seen in the picture). My dog walker calls him “Captain Floyd”. Once he is finished watching the world go by he will typically curl up and sleep, still remaining in the front seat.

Before Floyd and I would leave on trips, whether just to my parents for the weekend or camping for a week, I would make sure I had enough food for a few days more than I planned on staying (you never know what might happen), a water dish, a few of his favorite toys (so he doesn’t get too homesick) and a first aid kit for him. I also always made sure that I knew where the closest veterinary and/or emergency hospital was to where I’d be staying.

Approximately 2 years ago, I purchased a large crate for him to be in when we went for long trips! He was not too pleased the first time we traveled to Ottawa this way. He wondered, first of all, why he was in the back seat and not up front and then, why he was in a box that confined him to a tight space. I tried to tell him that it was a lot safer for him to be in a crate while traveling, due to the fact that if we get into an accident, that he would be contained and somewhat safe. Not sure that he understood me!! 😉

He is now more comfortable in the crate and I feel so much better and safer all around that he is in it. I am not interrupted by him stretching and or resting his head on the gear shift etc……. It is safer for everyone involved!!

Being able to travel with your pet can be a pleasurable thing, as long as you take the right precautions prior to traveling. If you know that traveling with your pet is something you will want to do, then you will need to get them used to the car and traveling as early as possible.

Here are a few tips to help them get used to cars:

Start with the car parked in the driveway. Give them lots of praise and treats. Once they are comfortable with just being in the car, you can start working on them being in a seat belt or a crate, (the safest ways to travel) again, with lots of praise. From here, you can proceed to short drives around the block, extending them as your pet becomes more comfortable.

Always be sure to take them out to relieve themselves prior to any travel. No matter how short of a drive.

And of course, during those hot months, never, ever leave your dog/cat alone in the car even with the windows open.

 

Happy traveling!! 🙂

Kristy

 

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How do people and pets get Lyme Disease?

It seems there is some confusion over our previous post by Dr. Suzanne McQueen as to how can someone get Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is transmitted by the black-legged tick/deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). 

Most humans are infected through the bites of immature ticks called nymphs. Nymphs are tiny (less than 2 mm) approximately the size of a poppy-seed and are difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months. Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme disease bacteria, but they are much larger and may be more likely to be discovered and removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria. Adult Ixodes ticks are most active during the cooler months of the year.

Ticks tend to live in grassy areas, forests, beaches and overgrown gardens. Wooded areas are their favorite. Deer ticks DO NOT live indoors! There is no evidence that dogs can transmit Lyme to humans nor vice versa.

If you would like more information on Lyme disease and it’s transmission, click on this link to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website on Lyme disease. 

Thank you

Bubble Boy

I know everyone thinks that because my dog only weighs 5lbs that I am a crazy owner who chooses to walk him in a stroller and carry him everywhere. It’s quite the contrary though! My dog suffers from a rare condition called Ciliary Dyskinesia. To put that in “English”…his lungs don’t work properly 😦 The cilia hairs in his lungs are unable to move, thus, preventing normal movement of mucus.

I got him at 4 months old and he had Bordatella bronchiseptica aka kennel cough.  Kennel cough is a highly contagious and quite common occurrence in dogs. I assumed once he was treated for it there would be no issue. Unfortunately, for the first 8 months of his life he was treated with various medications to try to cure him of his cough and nothing worked for him.

He was referred to the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph after the many attempts and wonderful care he received from Dr. McQueen at Snelgrove Vet Services. He became a patient of the Chief of Medicine at the University because of his rare condition. It was at the University that they were able to perform the specialized tests needed to determine what was wrong with my boy. Due to his condition he is unable to ever be cured of his cough. He is constantly fighting an infection everyday of his life! The doctors also told me that since he is unable to rid his body of infectious agents and he is not allowed to be exposed to anything that could make the infection worse. If he is exposed to other infectious agents they could be fatal to him 😦

This is where the BUBBLE BOY term comes into play!

I was informed that he needs to pretty much live in a bubble! He is technically not allowed to touch the ground, hence why he takes his walks in a stroller and I carry him around when he is outside the house. He still needs to be a “DOG” and trust me he very much knows how to walk on the ground. He lives with 2 other dogs, his brother and sister, and is the smallest of the 3, but don’t tell him that! He lives a very normal life running around and playing with my other dogs. Are we limited in what we all can do? YES, especially my other dogs. They have to be limited in their activities due to the fact we have to be careful that they don’t bring anything home that could be harmful to his health. Yes, our lives are sometimes complicated and we have all had to adapt, BUT none of us would have it any other way 😉 Unfortunately, since his condition is so rare in dogs, the doctors assume it will shorten his lifespan to some degree, but that is just an assumption!

We celebrated his 6th birthday this year and are very hopeful that many, many, many more will come. He has to be on medication to control his infection for the rest of his life and he is under the best care from Dr. McQueen and Snelgrove Vet Services to make sure he stays as healthy as possible. Albert is my special boy with special needs.

I love my BUBBLE BOY with all my heart and can’t wait to see what other fun, complicated and challenging endeavors come my way with this energetic 5 pound Yorkshire Terrier!!!

Summer

So, you think you want a cat?

Are you sure??

Cats. Fascinating, beautiful creatures but not as easy as most people think.

Getting a cat or a kitten is a decision that should not be entered into lightly.

Are you prepared?

Did you know there is an estimated 600,000 homeless cats in Canada? Many of these are not fixed nor vaccinated causing disease and overpopulation problems to just continue.   Just one female cat can produce close to 100 kittens in her lifetime!! That’s a lot of cats. Shelters and private organizations do their best to take in as many cats as they can to fix, vaccinate and adopt out to loving homes but what can we do to help control these numbers?

So, how do you decide if you’re ready?

Easy. First off, be sure you want a cat and will be able to care for it for the next 20+ years. Second, spay or neuter your cat. There is absolutely no benefit to allowing your cat to have kittens prior to being fixed. And third, keep your cat indoors! Only 4% of cats that enter animal shelters are typically reclaimed by their owners.

The other thing that many people don’t realize is that cats need regular veterinary care. Cats are the best at hiding many illnesses and ailments. Yearly examinations help with early detection, treatment and recovery.

Next decision, cat or kitten??? Kittens are adorable. That round fluffy face, inquisitive personality and playful nature makes us fall in love with them quicker than an ice cube melting on hot pavement in the summer but they also come with a few more challenges and costs. Kittens need 3 sets of vaccines done within their first 4 months of life, they then also need to be spayed or neutered. Kittens are more likely to be destructive and are more likely to eat inappropriate objects, such as strings and toys. They are more likely to chew on electrical cords causing burns and jumping on to hot stoves. These are all things we see regularly at Snelgrove Veterinary Services.

Adult cats, on the other hand, may have underlying health or behavioural issues. Many shelters and rescue associations will already have had them examined, vaccinated and fixed. Which helps keep some of the costs down.

Don’t forget litter boxes. For some cats they need to be kept impeccably clean in order for them to use it.

So now that you have decided you want a cat!

Remember to treat your cat like the god he/she thinks they are. Fresh water and good quality food in stainless steel or porcelain/glass dishes. (Never use plastic with cats). Regular brushing of coat and teeth. Monthly pedicures. Clean litter boxes on each floor of your home.  And all the love and affection that they ask for. And they will ask!! LOL

Oh, and also watch the Simon`s cat videos to see all the fun and mishaps your cat may get into.