Snelgrove Vet Services Spring Newsletter

 

Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitoes. OUCH!

What does warm weather, damp corners and dark shadows add up to? You guessed it. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. Lucky us.

Unfortunately for our pets, both ticks and mosquitoes can carry potentially fatal diseases that can be passed on. Ticks for example, can carry Lyme disease and mosquitoes can carry heartworms.

So, how do we deal with these insects?  That’s where we come in.

There are some wonderful products available for our pets to make sure that these diseases aren’t transferred from said insect to your pet. We have both chewable and topical medications to help control insects on your pet. The topicals we carry produce what is called a ‘Hot-foot’ effect. When a tick, flea or mosquito touches your pet’s skin it causes a burning sensation on the bottom of the insect’s feet causing them to hop off of your pet and not even have a chance to feed. This medication is then distributed through their body and kills them.

The chewables work by traveling through your pets blood stream and when an insect feeds, it is automatically ingesting this medication causing them to die. Both products work exceptionally well at controlling fleas and ticks. With regards to heartworm, transferred by mosquitoes, you do need a different medication.

Blood testing is strongly encouraged yearly for tick-borne diseases and mandatory for heartworm prevention. Many tick-borne diseases can be treated with a short course of antibiotics if detected early. Commonly symptoms of tick-borne diseases appear vague and often go unnoticed for long periods of time. Often many pet owners don’t know their dog is suffering from a debilitating tick disease until it is too late.

Symptoms of progressive tick-borne diseases can include but are not limited to;

  • joint pain and inflammation
  • low-grade persistent fever
  • swelling at bite site
  • loss of appetite
  • spontaneous and shifting lameness
  • reluctant to move
  • fatigue
  • lethargy
  • weight loss, may or may not, include muscle wasting
  • depression
  • neck pain
  • neurological signs
  • bruising on gums or belly
  • nosebleed
  • discharge from eyes
  • vomiting
  • generalized weakness

Where do ticks live?

Ticks are typically found in forested areas and any overgrown areas including our own backyards. They don’t typically like sunny short-grassed areas but that’s not to say they can’t be there.

Keep your lawn and outdoor play areas safe. Keep shrubs and grass trimmed. Clean up any leaves or debris, especially underneath bushes. Limit shrubs and plants from areas your children and/or pets frequent. i.e. swing-sets, outdoor dining areas, etc. Keep areas around sheds and other buildings free of debris especially in shady areas.

For more information and a map of tick disease in our area visit www.dogsandticks.com

Many people already know that fleas can live in our households, but did you know, so can the brown dog tick? These ticks will live and reproduce in our houses just like fleas and typically need an exterminator to get rid of. Topical preventives and checking your pets skin will help prevent these pesky creatures from moving into your home. We have also seen an increase of Deer Ticks in the Brampton area. These ticks are the carriers of Lyme disease.

Walk-in blood testing is available for your pets that do not need to see a veterinarian for any other reason.

AVAILABLE WALK IN TESTING

May 1st – May 31st

Mon. 9:00-12:00 2:00-8:00

Tues. 9:00-12:00 2:00-7:00

Wed. 9:00-12:00 2:00-8:00

Thurs. 9:00-12:00 2:00-7:00

Fri. 9:00-12:00 2:00-7:00

Please note: Walk-Ins are NOT available during 12:00-2:00 pm nor on Saturdays

 

 

Cats can also be tested and placed on preventative. Due to the life-cycle of Feline Heartworm, many cats may have the parasite without showing any symptoms. Consider treating any cats that go outdoors, travel to the USA and/or southern Ontario or that have a chronic cough or wheeze.

 

If you notice a tick on yourself, a family member or pet, please use extreme caution when removing it or ask a professional to remove it for you. Many times the head can be left in the skin if not done properly.

Here are some of the products that we carry;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ticks: Friend or Foe?

We’re sure everybody already knows the answer to this, but definitely foe!!

Ticks can carry all sorts of, what are called, tick-borne diseases. Not only do they carry diseases that can be passed to us, such as, Lyme, Granulocytic Anaplasmosis, Human Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis, just to name a few. LOL. But they also pass on diseases to our pets.  Lyme , Ehrlichia, Bartonella, Babesia and Anaplasmosis are becoming more common amongst our pets.

IMG_3129Ticks are most commonly found in forested, heavily brushed areas and overgrown fields. They are transferred to us and our pets when we brush up against them and they quickly attach themselves to the body by embedding their head in the skin. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada there are seven ‘known endemic’ areas: Pointe- Pelee National Park, Rondeau Provincial Park,Turkey Point Provincial Park, Long Point peninsula including Long Point Provincial Park and the National Wildlife area, Wainfleet bog near Welland on the Niagara peninsula, Prince Edward Point and parts of the Thousand Islands National Park. Risk areas are locations around Kingston and along the Saint Lawrence valley to the border with Quebec that extend north east towards Ottawa. Risk areas have also been identified in western Ontario in the region of Lake of the Woods and at Pinery Park on the shore of Lake Huron.

In 2013, Lyme disease was confirmed in 682 people in Ontario, where as, only 338 in 2012.

2014 numbers have not yet been posted. These numbers are expected to grow exponentially yearly.

The risk of Lyme disease occurs where ticks that carry the Lyme disease-causing agent B. burgdorferi are found.

Our pets are extremely at risk of picking up some of these pesky pets and potentially getting bitten by an infected one.

So, what can we do?

IMG_3572We can keep our grass trimmed, weeds to a minimum and clean up areas around sheds. Check ourselves and our pets thoroughly after going for walks in tall grass or wooded areas.

There are also products on the market that can help kill these ticks prior to them infecting your pet. For example, Nexgard is a new product brought out by the makers of Heartgard. It kills both fleas and ticks in a tasty beef flavoured treat. Advantix is another product we strongly believe in. Not only does it kill fleas and ticks but it causes something called “HOT FEET” which essentially stings the tick’s feet as soon as they land on your pet causing them to leap off immediately rather than having to bite first.

Talk to your vet about Tick and Flea preventive or take a look on our website at www.snelgrovevet.com for more information on our available products.

 

 

Truth of the matter

suz face

As many of you know, I have been at Snelgrove Veterinary Services in Brampton, Ontario since 1992. Over the last 22 years I have seen many changes in the veterinary world.  I have spent many hours practicing vet medicine from a solo practitioner to an associate of many.  I love my job. I can’t imagine ever doing anything else.

Recently I hear a lot of complaints, from ” Wow, you really cut your hours back.” , to “You’re not working very much anymore?”, to “You better not be leaving, or retiring any time soon.”.   I have joked around and replied with “I put my hours in, now it’s time to ease up a bit” to ” early retirement” LOL!!

So now for the ‘Truth of the Matter’.

For the last 5 years or so I have had a myriad of symptoms, varying in degree and consistency.  The doctors have placed titles on my symptoms from chronic fatigue syndrome,  vertigo, immune mediated to arthritis.  It was for these reasons and these reasons alone that I indeed ‘had’ to cut my hours back.  The fatigue was not just “Oh I’m tired.” but it was a crippling exhaustion where I could not hold my shoulders up or even hold a conversation. I could sleep 14 hours and still have a 3 hour nap and be exhausted.  The joint pain felt like broken glass and traveled from joint to joint and the back pain was excruciating.

I went to every naturopath, homeopath and energy healer around. As well, I  saw osteopaths, had acupuncture, Bowen treatment, Chinese medicine and massage.  I tried diets, EMF units, vitamins, supplements and everything in between.

It wasn’t until I went to a pain specialist and he looked at my file and said “I bet you have Lyme disease!!!”   I thought ‘yeah, right!’  As far as I know I’d never been bitten by a tick, never had a typical target lesion and really I didn’t think it was all that prevalent around here.  However, I appeased this doctor and did the California Igenex test and low and behold I was positive across all 3 tests!!!

Wow! Lyme disease!!!

Finally an answer for all my obscure symptoms, that was good, I guess? Now for the downside. Doctors in Canada are not allowed to treat people for Lyme. That’s right, I had to drive to Plattsburgh, NY to see a Lyme-literate doctor for treatment.  And wow, what a treatment!!! Multiple antibiotics, including an anti malarial drug, vitamins and a strict no sugar, no yeast diet.

And so the journey begins. So far I am 3 months into treatment and not feeling a whole lot different. But as my doctor said, I’ve had this for a long time and it will take time to heal.  The other issue is that ticks are like the sewers.  Not only do they carry Lyme but other exciting organisms like Babesia and Bartonella. Be sure to watch not only your pets for unsuspected ticks but yourself too!!!  This is quickly becoming a true problem in Ontario for us and our pets. And that is the ‘Truth of the Matter’!

Written by Dr. Suzanne McQueen