Fabulous Fall is Finally Here!

Fall Forest

As we begin to approach winter and our inevitable hibernation, it is important to take a moment to appreciate everything that this time of year has to offer. Our planners are no longer bursting at the seams with summer parties and we begin to find time to relax and get back into our routines. We trade shorts and sandals for comfy sweaters and boots, and our pitchers of slushy drinks crowned with paper umbrellas for delicious apple cider and hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. Fall is a time for togetherness, with our recent Thanksgiving celebrations, and for sharing in the beauty of the changing colours as nature begins to wind down as well.

We are lucky enough to live in an area that has some amazing sights to see this time of year. And guess who would love to enjoy these sights with you? That’s right, your canine companion! Whether you are looking for a leisurely walk or something a bit more challenging, Peel has trails for all skill levels. Check out these maps of trails in both Brampton and Caledon if you don’t believe me (or even if you do)!

I encourage everyone to take some time out of their upcoming weekends to call up some friends, grab their pooch and hit the trails! Go revel in the beauty that surrounds us before it’s too late and feel free to comment on any additional places you like to take your pet. Happy hiking! 🙂

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Got the itch???

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Does your dog suffer from itchiness, aka pruritus? Did you know they could be suffering from allergies?

While itching in itself is a normal sensation that exists to provide a stimulus for self-grooming and the removal of parasites and harmful objects or substances from the skin sometimes it doesn’t remove the inciting stimulus that caused the itching in the first place. In this case the itching would be considered abnormal. While there are many reasons for an animal to be itchy the discussion of potential allergies often arises.

So what are allergies?

Allergies are considered an abnormal response of the immune system. In animals with allergies the immune system reacts to a usually harmless substance in the environment, or allergen, as if it were harmful (even though it’s not) usually after often repeated exposure. In the case of dogs there are 3 major types of “allergies” we usually encounter that we will discuss.

  1. Atopic dermatitis (allergic dermatitis, canine atopy) is an inherited predisposition to develop allergic symptoms following repeated exposure allergens such as dust mites or pollen. Most dogs begin to show clinical signs between 1 and 3 years of age. Due to the hereditary nature of the disease some breeds are more commonly affected by this condition than others, however even mixed breeds can present with atopy. Atopic animals will usually rub, lick, chew, bite or scratch at their feet, muzzle, ears, armpits or groin, causing hair loss, and reddening and thickening of the skin. Atopy can be either seasonal or year round.
  2. Food allergy involves reaction to a particular antigen or allergen in the food. Most typically this is the protein source of the food however can be other nutrient sources in the diet. Signs are variable and food allergy dermatitis can present as simple irritated ears and rears however can also be very similar to that of atopy making diagnosis difficult. Clinical signs tend to show no seasonality and are less responsive to medications. Animals are most typically presented as older puppies or young adults.
  3. Flea allergy dermatitis involves development of allergic symptoms in response to the polypeptides found in the flea saliva. The most common age of onset is 10 months to 5 years of age and lesions usually involve papules and crusting. Flea allergy dermatitis symptoms can vary however in general it is extremely itchy and most lesions that the owners note are actually secondary, self-inflicted injuries due to scratching. Animals with atopy are predisposed to the development of flea allergy dermatitis and it is important to note even minimal exposure may be enough to elicit extreme clinical signs in a sensitive animal (i.e. there does not need to be a flea infestation). Signs are more commonly seen in the warmer months with flea season however can be year round if flea control is not achieved.

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In some cases several skin problems can add together to cause an animal to itch where just the allergy alone would not be enough to cause itching. Eliminating some of the problems may allow a patient’s itchiness to go away. Therefore it is important to treat any other problems that could be making your pet itch while dealing with allergy.

The diagnosis of allergies can be frustrating for veterinarian, patient, and owner as clinical signs can be similar for different types of allergies making diagnosis difficult. However, once the type of allergy is determined it can be managed and quality of life improved. It is important to realize that just like in us there is no cure for allergies in our pets.

Dr. Stephanie Gunsinger

 

 

 

 

 

This Thanksgiving weekend, we’d like to give thanks….

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Working within the animal health industry is not always easy. There are many days that our staff go home with bumps and bruises, smelling, er, not-so-fresh (it’s amazing how often we get peed and pooed on in a day), or feeling sad and defeated. Luckily, there are even more days that our staff go home smiling and laughing about that cute patient that licked their face, or came bounding in the waiting room after overcoming a major health issue or surgery. This is a career chosen from love. Working day in and day out with animals is a pleasure that most people don’t have, and for that experience we are grateful.

Veterinary medicine is a profession forged out of love for animals. It is our clients and patients that keeps us going and make all of our hard work and daily trials worth every second. We would like to take this opportunity to extend a heartfelt Thank You! to all of our wonderful clients and patients. Without you, our days wouldn’t be nearly as bright.

To show our clients how appreciative we are of their continued support, we are forever striving to make their experiences all the more pleasurable and make our patients our first and foremost priority. We try our best to keep phone call wait times short and have extended our appointment times to keep the waiting room less congested. For anxious or nervous patients, we offer our clients the option of waiting in the appointment room rather than the front reception area. However, there are times that we may experience delays – whether we need to address emergencies or allow our clients much-needed time when it comes to making difficult decisions, we do everything in the interest of our clients and patients.

If you, or someone you know, is looking for an outstanding veterinary clinic in the Brampton area, give Snelgrove Vet Services a call at 905-846-3316. We look forward to hearing from you!

Snelgrove Vet Services is a full service veterinary clinic that provides excellent care for all of your pet’s needs. In order to give your pet the best care available, we possess a complete laboratory, including on-site radiology and blood machines that can process and relay results within minutes. We have a pharmacy, fully stocked with medications developed exclusively for your pet’s metabolism and specific size, as well as a fully operational surgical suite that is packed with all the latest monitoring equipment. Our veterinarians and staff keep up-to-date on new procedures and products through continuing education courses so that we can always offer the best course of treatment for your pet.

So, once again, Thank you for entrusting us with your pets needs 🙂

 

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving and Pancreatitis!!

Yummy, yummy, gobble, gobble. It’s time to eat. Turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables and gravy, bread and butter and gravy, and more gravy and more gravy and more gravy and pumpkin pie. All these foods make our mouths water, our stomachs rumble and our waistlines grow. And as you well know, your dogs, cats and pets smell these yummy foods, and although these rich foods are not good for us they are especially not healthy for our pets. Imagine yourself after Thanksgiving dinner, completely full, completely lazy, thinking about undoing a button, well, picture that feeling ten-fold, with cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fever, and lethargy.

A dogs pancreas can become inflamed and spill digestive enzymes into the abdomen causing your pet to be extremely uncomfortable and can become quite costly to treat depending on the severity of the case.

 

We’ve all seen the puppy dog eyes, pleading and begging for just a little taste.

And the drooling and slobbering just waiting for one little morsel.

But hold strong!!! Don’t give in!! I know you feel you have to and it’s unbearable to watch that face, but please, for the sake of your dog’s health, don’t take a chance. Keep smart treats handy for your dog at the dinner table, so that when you feel the need to sneak something under the table, you don’t have to feel guilty.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Snelgrove Veterinary Services in Brampton.