Parvovirus in Dogs

We have seen 3 cases of canine parvovirus (CPV) in the past few weeks.

Parvovirus is one of the most common causes of infectious diarrhea in puppies and young dogs. It is a highly contagious and often fatal disease.  Certain breeds are more susceptible, as are dogs with other concurrent issues (parasites or other intestinal disease-causing bacteria).

Prevention

Vaccination is effective but there can be complications with giving the vaccine too early (it may not be effective because of the maternal antibodies and there is a period of time where the pup may not be protected). Please speak to your family veterinarian about a particular vaccine regimen and the period of time to keep the pups with mom so that they can benefit from passive immunity

Until the full series of vaccine is complete, it is recommended to keep pups away from dog parks or socializing with unvaccinated dogs.

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(Un)healthy appetite

As the holiday season approaches, this is a bit of a cautionary tale and a reminder that dogs can be, at times, indiscriminate eaters…and that “dietary indiscretions” can sometimes result in a foreign body that gets lodged in the digestive tract and has to be removed by scoping or by surgery.

In Millan’s case, our adventurous 8-month-old labrador, surgery was required to remove a deflated football from his stomach!

We see him here with the usual “I’ve had the belly surgery haircut” and then further into his recovery, a beautiful picture of him on the beach.

Again, our best wishes for the holidays and reminding you to keep an eye out for our mischevious furry family members!

 

 

 

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Caring For An Aging Pet

I have learned a lot from my geriatric animal patients over the years. I’ve had that in my back pocket, and so when it came to looking after my own geriatric girl, Mini, I had the good fortune of having shared experience and knowledge from others in a similar situation of caring for an aging pet.

A first-hand perspective

While I was in the thick of caring for Mini I wanted to share the delights but also the reality of dealing with an aging and sick dog, but I somehow couldn’t do it.  Maybe I felt it would jinx how well she was doing; then, in the last few months when her care was fairly constant (I did not leave her more than 4 hours without someone checking in on her) the worry that I was not making the right decisions for her was almost overwhelming.  After I lost her, … Continue reading

“Severe Tummy Troubles” – Understanding Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS) in Dogs

May 2017 saw a surge in cases of this type at our hospital with six animals presenting with symptoms of this condition.

The signs are acute bloody malodorous diarrhea, sometimes associated with vomiting, and mentally dull patients with abdominal discomfort.  The onset can be very rapid and can be associated with severe fluid loss, which can lead to shock even before classic signs of dehydration are seen.

Typically, small breed dogs are affected most frequently; Miniature Schnauzers are reported to be particularly prone to it.  In our region, poodles or poodle crosses are represented more than the Schnauzers, but that may be reflective of local breed popularity.

AHDS used to be referred to as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). Unfortunately, despite a new name that better fits the description of the signs, we still don’t really understand what causes it.

In AHDS cases the gut becomes “leaky” and proteins can leak into … Continue reading

Our First Dialysis Patient: Bluebell

A few weeks ago Bluebell — a Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever — became our first dialysis patient when she suffered from acute kidney injury due to leptospirosis and arrived at our hospital less than 24 hours after our new dialysis machine was installed and became operational.

 

 

What is leptospirosis?

It is a bacterial infection that can affect a dog’s blood, liver and kidneys. The bacteria that cause the illness are primarily carried by rats, but dogs, livestock, raccoons and skunks infected with the disease can pass it on. There are 250 strains (“serovars”) worldwide; approximately 10 are important for dogs, and rarely, for cats.

How common is it?

Veterinarians in BC did not often diagnose this disease in the past. However, we have seen increase in cases in the past decade. This may be related to an increase or spread of the organism itself, or it may … Continue reading

BBQ Hazards

Although it doesn’t quite feel like summer yet here in the Lower Mainland, we are still playing outside.  Today’s blog is a reminder of the potential harm the seemingly innocuous BBQ can pose to the dogs in your family.

Corn cobs are very tasty yet poorly digestible and if eaten, will cause intestinal obstruction.  Over the years, we have removed more than our fair share of lodged corn cobs from the bowels of enterprising dogs.

Another hazard of family cookouts is skewer ingestion.  Even what looks like an empty skewer to us is a tempting treat to an animal with such a developed sense of smell.  Just like with sword swallowing, skewers can actually go down quite easily.  However, skewers can puncture the esophagus, intestines and other organs.

Recently, we saw a lovely 6 month old Golden Retriever pup who had been rushed to the emergency service at Twin Trees  … Continue reading