Belmont Veterinary Services
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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.

Spay and Neuter promotion

If you book a spay or neuter for your cat or dog between March 11th and March 22nd, you can get 15% off on the cost of the spay/neuter!* Space is limited, so call now and book today!

Not sure why you should spay/neuter your pets?

Well, here are the top 10 reasons to spay or neuter your pet from the ASPCA

  1. Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.
    Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
  2. Neutering provides major health benefits for your male.
    Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
  3. Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
    While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
  4. Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home.
    An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.
  5. Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
    Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
  6. Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
    Don’t use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
  7. It is highly cost-effective.
    The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
  8. Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
    Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
  9. Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
    Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children—especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
  10. Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
    Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

*Excludes de-clawing, microchipping, pre-anesthetic blood work, IV fluids and additional medication

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month!

Just because Pet Dental Health Month has ended doesn’t mean you should forget about everything you’ve learned this month. Remember, brushing is best!

Infographic courtesy of VPI Insurance

Also, March marks the beginning of Poison Prevention Awareness Month. Every Monday and Thursday we will be featuring items which are poisonous to your pets. For more information on poisonous household items, you can visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center and The Pet Poison Hotline websites.

Towels and Blankets Wanted!

If you have old/extra towels or blankets lying around, we can help you with that! We are currently in need of towel and blanket donations, so if you have any that you don’t want/need, we’d love to take them off your hands! We would really appreciate anything that you can spare to make it more comfortable for our patients in the hospital. Just stop by with your donations. Thank you so much!

National Cupcake Day – Final Tally!

Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday to support National Cupcake Day! We raised $110.21 for the SPCAs and humane societies. We really appreciated all the donations and couldn’t have done it without your support. Hopefully next year it will be even bigger and better. Thanks again!

Dental product of the week: Dental Food!

In addition to brushing and regular dental check-ups, good oral health may require a pet food specially formulated to clean teeth such as Prescription Diet® t/d® or Royal Canin Dental. These dental diets are designed to assist in the prevention of accumulation of plaque and tartar in your pets’ mouth by combining a mechanical scrubbing action and tartar and plaque reducing ingredients to provide dual action dental care.

Dental kibble is specially designed not to crumble the way regular kibble does, but rather to hold together longer to scrub each tooth like a toothbrush. The larger kibble size also ensures that your pet’s teeth chew through each kibble, getting cleaned from the tip to the gumline.

Dental diets that we can order in for you:

And remember, just because February/Pet Dental Health month is over doesn’t mean you can’t come in and try any of the products mentioned in today’s and all previous posts. A healthy mouth is a healthy body. Emerging science suggests a strong link between good oral health and heart and kidney health. So, be sure to brush and take care of your pets’ oral health.

National Cupcake Day

National Cupcake Day

Join us for National Cupcake day, next Monday, February 25th! We will be participating in support of SPCAs and Humane Societies. If you would like to help, you can bake cupcakes for us to sell or just stop in and buy a cupcake. You can also make a donation through our team fundraising page. Any little bit would be greatly appreciated. It’s all for a great cause to support local SPCAs and humane societies.

Bake cupcakes, raise funds and save animals’ lives!

Dental product of the week: Chews/Treats!

So far we have discussed toothpaste and food/water additives. Today, were talking about chews and treats!

Chew toys help with dental health by removing soft tartar and massaging the gums while also satisfying your pets’ desire to chew and play. There are also rope bones for dogs and netted cat toys, like the ones by Petstages that act like floss, getting in between teeth.

Treats help to boost the natural defenses in your pets’ saliva by providing gentle abrasive action to help remove plaque and food debris while chewing.

We can order in these products for you:

Dental treats are a great way to entertain your pets while freshening their breaths. You can read more about dog dental treats at WebMD.

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