Foods To Share With Fido!

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With Christmas just around the corner, here are 5 suggestions if you feel the need to share

We’ve all heard about the human foods we should not be sharing with our canine companions: chocolate, avocado, grapes/raisins, onions… The list goes on and on. For your dog, these and many other foods can be dangerous or even toxic! But what about foods that you actually can share with your dog? Naturally, a veterinarian recommended diet is always the best option for your pet, but if you really want to share a special treat with your dog once in a while, here are our top 5 picks:

Carrots

Carrots are a fun, crunchy choice for your furry friend. They are an easy treat to prepare (just wash them!) as well as being low in calories and high in fiber.

Cooked Chicken

Chicken is a fantastic source of protein for your dog. Just be sure that it is thoroughly cooked and free of any bones. Raw meat can play host to all kinds of bacteria (including salmonella and e. coli) and chicken bones can actually splinter when chewed, which could result in a laceration or blockage within the digestive system.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is extremely palatable for your pup! It’s a great treat because it is full of nutrients. Just be careful to give it in small doses – peanut butter is also very high in calories.

Cheese

Cheese is another popular choice among dog owners. It is a great source of calcium and protein. Just be careful – some dogs can be lactose intolerant, and cheese could also hinder the absorption of some medications if they are given simultaneously. And again, keep portions small, cheese is also one of those high calorie choices!

Rice

Rice may not be the most exciting thing to give your dog, but it certainly has its benefits. Plain boiled rice is a very easily digestible carbohydrate, so it is often recommended when your dog is having tummy troubles. It can also provide a good source of energy for older dogs.

So, there you have it – our top 5 suggestions for human foods that you can share with your canine. Remember that moderation is key when it comes to treats. We don’t want to end up with an overweight, unhealthy pet! Extra food should be in addition to a balanced diet, and shouldn’t make up any more than about 25% of your dog’s daily food allowance. You should also be mindful of where and when you give treats. Tossing your pet a morsel off of your plate while seated at the dinner table will only encourage begging, and nobody wants that! Feed treats away from the table and only if your pet is eating his regular food on a consistent basis.

Bon Appétit!

– Kait.

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

How to Help Animals in Your Community, and Beyond (Part III)

The two previous segments of this multi-post blog have touched upon adoption and donation as possible methods to help animals in need. These are both fantastic ways to aid animals directly within the community, and are extremely fulfilling options as we are able to see the results of our efforts almost immediately. In the final posts of this series, we will begin to investigate how we can make a more widespread impact on the struggle to help our furry friends. We are going to delve a little deeper into some of the issues these animals in need are facing, and turn our attention toward animal rights and how we can help through animal advocacy.

To begin this discussion, it is important to understand exactly what an animal advocate is. In it’s simplest terms, an animal advocate is someone who supports the animal rights (or animal liberation) movement. The primary focus of the animal rights movement is that animals are currently viewed by many, especially in the eyes of the law, as property rather than living, breathing creatures. Animal advocates believe that animal lives should be afforded the same considerations as human lives – mainly the right to live without suffering.

I want to preface the posts to follow with a few warnings…

First, animal advocacy can be an extremely controversial topic. There are varying degrees of commitment: some people focus on the fight for basic animal welfare, while others may be a little more extreme and aim to eliminate all animal products from society in any way, shape or form. Period. The intention of this multi-post blog is not to direct anyone in what is the “correct” way to advocate on animals’ behalf, but rather to present the idea of advocacy as a whole and allow readers to make their own decisions. If we are to join the fight for animal rights, it needs to be in a way that we are comfortable doing so. Second, animal advocacy is not always pretty or glamourous. In fact, in researching for this post, I came across articles, pictures and documentaries that brought tears to my eyes (both of admiration and of horror), and some things even made me feel sick to my stomach and I had to take a break. There are a lot of emotions involved in advocacy, and while there are many highs, there are also many lows. Be prepared. Finally, my objective in writing this series is to raise awareness of something that is very near and dear to my heart. Everything discussed is meant to be informative and presented in a way that does not force any particular views on any of our readers. That being said, let’s get back to the focus of this blog…

The key to advocacy of any kind is education. In order to advocate for animals, there needs to be a clear understanding of the issues they are currently facing. As this is a many tiered topic, there will not be a chance to discuss all animal rights issues today. That is why self-education is so important in this struggle. As was mentioned previously in regards to choosing a charitable organization if one is interested in donation, so too should one research to find a branch of animal rights that speaks to them on a personal level. There are many different areas of animal rights that can be explored. A few examples are issues surrounding the companion animals that we accept into our homes, local or international wildlife and/or endangered species, farm animals raised for human consumption, or animals used for scientific research. The list is extensive, and within each of these categories are many sub-categories. For instance, in Part I we discussed adopting companion animals and touched on the business of puppy mills – which is just one of many concerns surrounding companion animals.

Animals in industry is another hot topic these days. In the media, there has been a recent focus on the treatment of elephants in zoos. Some stories have been successful (though not without their struggles), such as the relocation of three African elephants from the Toronto Zoo to the world-renowned Performing Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) ARK 2000 Sanctuary in California. Sadly, others have not been as successful, such as the story of Limba, Canada’s oldest elephant. Limba was euthanized at age 50 in December of 2013. Many critics claimed that her captivity was extremely cruel and demanded her retirement at a sanctuary, such as ARK 2000, after spending her years as a performance animal. Of course, there are always many sides to a story. Zoo officials maintained that she was happy, well taken care of and deeply loved. They insist that she was euthanized not due to her age or lack of ability to perform, but for humane reasons – there were large amounts of blood in her stool caused by tumors developing in her spleen and throughout her abdominal cavity. When I first came across Limba’s story, it was through an open letter of apology written to her and posted on C4P Animal Rescue. Intrigued, I began to look into the story further and came across archives of reports from well-known sources, such as the Toronto Star. No where in the letter of apology that I had read did the author discuss any of the health concerns that some of the articles I found indicated. However, in the same turn, the majority of the news articles and interviews that I read (which were primarily centered around the zoo officials) made no mention of the cruelty and humiliation that the author of the letter asserted were Limba’s reality.

Limba’s story is one with many points of view. That is why it is such a powerful example of the controversy that can arise when discussing issues of animal rights. It is sometimes hard to know what to believe, but it is essential to do your homework and look at multiple resources, not just one. Form your own opinions. Ask questions. Always keep in mind that well-known Latin aphorism that knowledge is power. In order to achieve what you are hoping for, make sure you are well-educated on a topic before you begin to act.

Of course, choosing a cause can be difficult, even overwhelming, as there are so many facets to animal rights. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to approach this, as long as you are acting from the heart. Be sure that you understand every angle of what you are advocating for, if not for a better insight personally, than at least for a clearer understanding of the opposition that you may be facing.

 

On behalf of the staff at Snelgrove Veterinary Services,

Thank you for reading,

Kait.

Have you ever had a bat in your house??

“Icon made by Freepik from Flaticon.com”

 

We recently had a client tell us the story of the day she had the pleasure of walking into a spare room of her house and came across a bat flying around. In her panic, she left the room quickly and closed the door behind her. She needed to devise a plan to get rid of the bat. She read on the Government of Canada website to open a window and let it fly away while making sure it did not come into contact with her. She put on a pair of gloves and entered the room to open the window. The bat was nowhere to be seen. She left the room with the window open and the lights out and closed the door behind her. The next day she went back into the room to be assured the bat had left and could find no trace of her little night-time friend. Phew, it must have left. Now the big question was “How did it get in?”.

On further research we found, bats can fit anywhere they can fit their head, so they can take advantage of small cracks and gaps in your home.  Any area larger than a penny is a potential entry point!  So even if you cannot see an entry point, they can find a way into your home.  Unfortunately, 3-5% of bats found in homes test positive for rabies.  More disturbingly, once one bat finds a way into your living space they leave a scent trail that other bats can follow.  

Last year there were 28 cases of confirmed Rabies in Ontario – 27 of which were in bats, 1 in a dog.  Bats have very small teeth so bites may go undetected – especially if they are biting your pet who is covered in fur.  At Snelgrove Veterinary Services we recommend cats get a Rabies vaccine yearly and dogs get their Rabies vaccine every 3 years.  In the region of Peel it is the law that all pets be vaccinated for rabies. Not having your pet up-to-date on vaccines can carry up to a $90 fine.

Fact – Bats can live for more than 20 years.

Various strains of bat rabies are found throughout Canada and the Americas. At least four strains have been identified in Ontario. Ontario bats are insectivores and will not eat vaccine baits. International research is being conducted to find effective vaccination methods for bats. Education and awareness are important aspects in the fight against the spread of bat rabies.

What should I do if I encounter a bat?

Any bats seen outdoors should be left alone.

If you find a bat in your home and are absolutely sure it has had NO human or animal contact, try to confine the bat to one room, turn out the lights and leave a window open. The bat should fly out in the early evening.

If you believe it may have come into contact with you in any way, contact your public health officials or your physician. In the case of pets, contact your veterinarian or local animal control.

If you see a bat during the daytime acting strange or crawling around contact your local Canadian Food Inspection agency.

If you find a dead bat, do not handle it. Immediately contact your local office of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency  http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/offices/eng/1300462382369/1300462438912

 

Heartworm 2014 from your friends at Snelgrove Vet in Brampton

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Mosquito season is fast approaching and although it doesn’t seem like the weather is co-operating, mosquitoes are coming out on a daily basis. All dogs should start their heartworm prvention on June 1st and carry through to November 1st or February 1st depending on the product that you use.

The 3 products we typically recommend at Snelgrove Veterinary Services are as follows:

Heartgard – covers heartworm, roundworms and hookworms.

Trifexis – covers heartworm, roundworms, hookworms and adult fleas.

Advatage Multi – covers heartworm, roundworms, hookworms, fleas, mange and ear mites.

Due to a new strain of heartworm that has been detected in the U.S. called MP3, Heartgard and Trifexis must be used for 9 months to completely protect your pet. Advantage Multi can be used safely for 6 months. This only applies to animals staying in our general vicinity or North of Brampton. Animals that travel to southern Ontario or to the U.S.A should use a preventive for the entire year.

Prior to putting your dog on a heartworm prevention, it is imperative to test your pet for heartworm disease. This requires a simple blood draw by your veterinarian. Many products may not be safe to be given to heartworm positive dogs.

Feel free to ask us what prevention is best for your pet.

 

Meet Odin!

Hi everyone. My name is Kelly and I am an employee at the Brampton Animal Shelter. This is the story about how I got my little friend Odin and how Snelgrove Vet Services in Brampton helped make him the awesome cat he is today. Odin the Cat, formally known as Elm, came in over the counter at the shelter at only 3 weeks of age. He was found by a concerned citizen, behind a shed, all by himself and crying in the middle of a thunder-storm. When he came in his eyes were sealed shut due to a severe infection. I asked the technician-on-staff  if I could foster him and see if I could improve his condition and bottle feed him to health. She said I could try.

The first day one eye opened but it wasn’t until the third day that the second eye opened. This is when we discovered it had ruptured. Being so little the technicians were hesitant to send him for surgery because the odds of him surviving anesthetic were so low. After much discussion it was decided to send Elm to Snelgrove Vet for emergency surgery to remove the ruptured eye.

The next morning I came into work and found out he had survived!!! The clinic did an amazing job and even had to create his own little cone so he wouldn’t scratch at the sutures.  He adjusted very well to his new line of sight. (at first it was kind of cute watching him walking on an angle.- but he figured it out.)

Elm was showcased at the Brampton Fair and introduced to many Brampton residents as a success story for the City of Brampton Hope Fund. The Hope Fund is funded by donations and pays for medical expenses not covered by the municipality.

Thanks to the Hope Fund and Snelgrove Vet, Odin has the chance for a long and happy life with his new family.

Parvovirus

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When you first bring home a puppy no one imagines that there is the potential for the puppy to get very sick. Puppies are like babies, they do not have a lot of fat stores to help them when they get sick. If a puppy begins to have diarrhea or vomiting, things can get serious very quickly. One of the things that puppies can contract is a virus called Parvovirus. Parvovirus attacks the lining in their intestines and causes malabsorption then diarrhea and vomiting. Puppies can get so sick that they can die from this virus.

Parvovirus has been around since the 1970s, it is hard to disinfect, and it is shed in extremely large numbers by infected dogs. This means that there is virus everywhere: on every carpet, on every floor, in every yard and park. The virus is shed in the stool for the first two weeks after the initial infection but only a tiny portion of infected stool – which could be months old depending on the environmental temperature and humidity – is needed to infect a non-immune dog. This is why we recommend that puppies be restricted from public outdoor areas until their vaccination series is completed at age 16 weeks. There is no treatment for a Parvovirus infection, we can only treat the symptoms and hope that the puppy will be able to survive. The treatment requires isolating the puppy (to limit contamination), IV fluids, anti-nausea medication and force feeding. This is why it is so important to bring a puppy to a veterinarian as soon as there are any signs of vomiting or diarrhea.

My two dogs Rudy, a Cockapoo and Oscar, a Rottweiler/Shepherd cross both contracted Parvovirus as puppies. Their owners were overwhelmed by the cost of the treatment and they chose to relinquish them. Both of them were very close to death and we thought we would lose them but they were able to pull through. They are now healthy happy dogs.

Dr. Jessica Ioannou DVM