Belmont Veterinary Services
Serving Belmont, Aylmer, Dorchester, Nilestown, London and all the surrounding areas!

Veterinarians Remind Pet Owners of the Importance of Vaccinations After Recent Outbreaks

Due to a recent outbreak of parvovirus in Ontario, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association has released this statement on the importance of vaccinating your pets.

In light of a recent increase in reported cases of parvovirus in dogs, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association reminds Ontario’s pet owners to ensure that their pets’ visit a veterinarian on a regular basis and receive regular vaccinations to help prevent illness.

Veterinarians and the media are reporting an increase in cases of parvovirus in areas across Ontario in all settings, including animals in humane societies and in private homes. Dr. Scott Weese, Chief of Infection Control and a professor in the Pathobiology department at the Ontario Veterinary College, believes these cases again support the importance of preventive veterinary treatments and the need for ongoing surveillance. “In recent years there has been some skepticism about the need for veterinary preventive care, ironically, this is partly because these treatments have been so successful in preventing the spread of disease, but this study shows that prevention only works if we stick with it. Pet owners need to believe in the importance of routine preventive medicine in order to control the spread of disease in our pets.”

Parvovirus is a serious and potentially fatal condition that attacks the gastrointestinal tract and immune system of puppies and dogs, causing severe vomiting and diarrhea. It can also attack the hearts of very young puppies. The virus is highly contagious and spread through direct contact with infected dogs or infected feces. It is easily carried on hands, food dishes, leashes, shoes, etc. The virus is very stable in the environment and can survive for years in feces and soil through extremes of heat, cold, drought, or humidity. Though 85 percent to 90 percent of treated dogs survive, the disease requires extensive supportive patient care and can be expensive to treat. In untreated dogs, the mortality rate can exceed 90 percent.

Although parvovirus can be a serious disease, it is easily prevented by a vaccination from a veterinarian. “It’s imperative that owners take their pets to their veterinarian on a regular basis to ensure that they remain happy and healthy,” said Dr. Weese.

– From the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association

Parvovirus Symptoms
If you see any of the following symptoms in your puppy or dog, contact us immediately.

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy or listlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal distention (pot belly) or discomfort
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Profuse diarrhea

Poison Awareness: Antifreeze

As the weather still remains cold, we will be sure to go through a lot of antifreeze in the car. Just make sure that you handle it with care, store it safely away from the reach of your beloved pets and dispose of it properly because antifreeze is highly poisonous to both cats and dogs. Due to its sweet aroma and sweet taste, pets often ingest it accidentally.

AntifreezePoisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Severe to fatal
Common signs to watch for:

  • Drunkenness
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Vomiting
  • Panting
  • Sedation
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Lethargy
  • Coma
  • Acute kidney failure
  • Death

Antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol (EG), is extremely dangerous to dogs and cats. Sources of ethylene glycol include automotive antifreeze (radiator coolant, which typically contains 95% ethylene glycol), windshield deicing agents, motor oils, hydraulic brake fluid, developing solutions for photography, paints, solvents, etc. As little as a tablespoon can result in severe acute kidney failure in dogs, while as little as 1 teaspoon can be fatal to cats. When dogs or cats are exposed to ethylene glycol, immediate treatment is necessary. Three stages of poisoning can be seen with ethylene glycol:

Stage 1: This occurs within 30 minutes to 12 hours, and looks similar to alcohol poisoning. Signs of walking drunk, drooling, vomiting, seizuring, and excessive thirst and urination may be seen.

Stage 2: This occurs within 12-24 hours post-exposure, and clinical signs seen to “resolve” when in fact more severe internal injury is still occurring.

Stage 3: In cats, this stage occurs 12-24 hours after ethylene glycol exposure. In dogs, this stage occurs 36-72 hours post-ingestion. During this stage, severe acute kidney failure is occuring. Signs of inappetance, lethargy, drooling, halitosis (secondary to kidney failure), coma, depression, vomiting, and seizures may be seen.

Treatment for ethylene glycol poisoning includes the antidote fompeizole (also known as 4-MP) or ethanol. The antidote, fomepizole (also known as 4-MP), is expensive but life-saving when administered to dogs within the first 8-12 hours of ingestion. In cats, the antidote must be administered within 3 hours of ingestion to be effective; after this time period, ethylene glycol poisoning is almost 100% fatal without hemodialysis. Aggressive therapy is necessary to survive.

How to keep your pets safe:

  1. Switch to a brand of antifreeze that contains propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol.
  2. Keep antifreeze sealed and away from animals; clean up spills completely, and fix any leaks immediately.
  3. Don’t allow your pet to wander unattended near driveways, roads, garages, or other places where she could come into contact with antifreeze.
  4. Keep other products that contain ethylene glycol—like paint, cosmetics and novelty snow globes—out of the reach of animals, as well as any product of which you are not certain of the ingredients.
  5. Monitor your pet for strange behavior. If you think she may have ingested antifreeze, take her to a veterinarian immediately.

Information courtesy of the Pet Poison Helpline and The Humane Society of the United States.

Poison Awareness: Spring bulb plants

Although it doesn’t feel like it, spring is coming. With springtime comes gardening and thawing of the frozen ground to reveal your spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. Though these flowers are beautiful in your yard, they can be toxic to your pets if they ingest them. The toxic principle of these plants is very concentrated in the bulbs (versus the leaf or flower), and when ingested in large amounts, can result in severe clinical signs. Ingestion of the bulb, plant or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even possible cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms) or respiratory depression. Severe poisoning from hyacinth or tulip poisoning is often seen when dogs dig up freshly planted bulbs or having access to a large bag of them. When the plant parts or bulbs are chewed or ingested, it can result in tissue irritation to the mouth and esophagus.

springbulbsPoisonous to: Cats, Dogs
Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate
Common signs to watch for:

  • Drooling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Difficulty breathing

Information courtesy of the Pet Poison Helpline.

Happy New Year!

If your new year’s resolution is to eat better, get fit and be healthier, you should consider including your pets in your new year’s resolution.

Pet obesity puts your loved one at risk of:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart and respiratory disease
  • Cranial cruciate ligament injury
  • Kidney disease
  • Many forms of cancer
  • Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)

Consider a good diet for your pet and increasing the amount of exercise and play your pet is getting!

If you need help with your pet’s weight loss plan, come visit us at Belmont Veterinary Services for some support and suggestions.

We wish you and your pets a happy and healthy new year!

Newer Entries →
Go BackRefreshGo ForwardHomeLog in
Powered by WordPressBeaver Creek Animal HospitalWest Lorne Animal Hospital • Designed by Autumn Sky Designs