Back in 1999, the ASPCA APCC (Animal Poison Control Centre) first reported on the poisonous nature of grapes to dogs when they noticed a cluster of dogs that became seriously ill after eating grapes or raisins. In the ensuing two decades veterinarians have diagnosed many cases of grape and raisin toxicity in dogs, but the actual toxic agent was unknown. Was it the seeds, the skin, or pesticide on the skin? These were all eliminated as causes, and the reason for grape poisonings in dogs remained elusive. To deepen the mystery, the degree of illness was inconsistent between cases. In comparison, when we look at other substances that are toxic to dogs such as chocolate, antifreeze (ethylene glycol), or Ibuprofen, we find that the toxic doses per kilogram are consistent (although with chocolate we also have to factor in the concentration as well — i.e. 90% dark chocolate is more … Continue reading
Luna is a 2-year old cat that was presented to Canada West Veterinary Specialists on June 26, 2020, after being attacked by a coyote.
She was let outside around 4 am along with two other cats in her household. When the two other cats returned, Luna was nowhere to be found. Her owner went outside to look for her and saw a coyote on top of her. He was able to chase the coyote away and then brought Luna in for emergency care.
Luna was in shock and semi-comatose when she arrived. There was evidence of a crush injury to her head with several lacerations, including to the eye, the eyelid and the neck. There was concern that she might have severe brain damage but she was also in shock. We needed to stabilize that first in order to assess the extent of her injuries.
Once she … Continue reading
Sophie was a happy and healthy 4-year-old Great Pyrenees until she began urinating blood in December of 2019. She was initially seen by her family veterinarian, where several tests were performed to rule out more common causes of bloody urine such as a clotting disorder, urinary tract infection and urinary stones. When an obvious cause was not found, she was referred to the Internal Medicine department at Canada West Veterinary Specialists.
Sophie had a CT scan and cystoscopy (scoping of the urinary system) performed and was diagnosed with a rare condition called “Idiopathic Renal Hematuria” (IRH). IRH occurs when a blood vessel in one or both kidneys begins to bleed for no identifiable reason. Over time, this can lead to anemia requiring blood transfusions or obstructions from blood clots. Because these complications can be life-threatening, treatment is generally recommended. Historically, removal of the affected kidney was used to treat … Continue reading
We know that it is a very stressful time for you and your pets. There is a lot of information being shared online that may be causing you fear how COVID-19 may affect your furry family members. We appreciate that it can be difficult to know which sources of information to trust and would like to provide you with the resources you need to stay current. It is important to recognize that this is still an evolving area with many unknowns and so definitive statements about COVID-19 and pets are lacking. Recommendations may change as we continue to reassess the evidence. The following is the most up-to-date information currently available. It is a compilation of data from online resources that continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 and its impact on pets. Links to these resources are provided at the end of the article.
Origins of COVID-19
The exact source … Continue reading
This winter has been warmer than previous years, but the deep freeze is now upon us!! Antifreeze is a necessity at this time of year, but it is important to remember to protect our pets and wildlife from exposure to this deadly toxin.
Ethylene glycol affects the nervous system and causes severe injury to the kidneys. It only takes a small amount to be fatal and the initial signs can be as subtle as looking a bit wobbly, and can be easily missed. Because people may not know their pets have licked antifreeze, they miss these early signs. Pets die every year because by the time they look really sick it is too late to save them. If you suspect your pet may have ingested antifreeze, this is one of the few situations when it is a good idea to go directly to an emergency vet hospital, as they will … Continue reading
“Stella Beans”, a sweet and wiggly middle aged kitty, presented to the CWVS Oncology service in February 2019 for evaluation of a mass on the left side of her chest wall. Her family veterinarian suspected a feline injection site sarcoma, a rare type of cancer that can develop in cats at the site of a previous injection such as a vaccine or a microchip. A CT scan was performed to determine the extent of the mass. The external portion of the mass was just the “tip of the iceberg” as the internal portion of the mass extended into both the abdomen and chest and was resting against her lungs and liver. A needle core biopsy was performed and confirmed the suspected diagnosis of an injection site sarcoma.
Stella then had surgery to remove the mass where Dr. King removed a portion of the left chest wall including ribs 9 – … Continue reading