COVID-19 and Pets: Information Current to March 24, 2020

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

Baby It’s Cold Outside! (Antifreeze And Your Pet)

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

RVT Month – October 2019

October is Registered Veterinary Technicians month, a time of year when the veterinary community recognizes Veterinary Technicians and their contributions and commitment to compassionate, high-quality veterinary care. This is a valuable time to acknowledge our hard working support staff and to help you learn more about the important role Vet Techs play in veterinary medicine.

Vet Techs are important members of the veterinary health team providing technical support for all aspects of patient care. There are only two accredited programs in BC (19 in Canada), which provide intensive study of the skills and knowledge to work competently as a Vet Tech. These include anatomy and physiology, microbiology, clinical techniques, pharmacology, anesthesiology, surgical and medical nursing, radiology and clinical pathology education.

After graduation, it is important for Vet Techs to maintain certification and registration by successfully completing a national exam and participating in continuing education in the latest medical advances and … Continue reading

Pets And Travel During Holidays

As summertime approaches, so do holiday plans.  Whether you plan to bring your pet along on your vacation or leave your pet at home, we have some tips and thoughts for each option.

Travelling Together

What could be better than going on holidays with your pet? You are together with your fur-buddy, you don’t have to worry about how your pet is doing without you, and you’re making new memories.

The downside is that many pets don’t travel well.  There is always some stress associated with travel, and many pets are anxious in new situations. Most importantly, the logistics of keeping your pet physically safe while flying or driving must be addressed.

Flying

Different airlines have different requirements.  A flight for a dog that is larger than the allowed cabin kennel size (which differs depending on the airplane/airline) carries risks, especially if there are stops or transfers on the itinerary.  … Continue reading

Lily Toxicity in Cats

Easter is around the corner and we’ve already had two cases of lily toxicity here at Canada West. Now is the time to review how certain species of lilies cause kidney failure in our feline friends.

It has been pointed out that every time holidays roll around I’m doom and gloom about the possible hazards. Fair enough! There’s a reason we call them the “chocolate holidays”. But while most people now know to keep chocolate away from dogs, they may not know that the lily they were given might kill their cat.

Several species of lilies are toxic to cats, including Easter lilies, Stargazer, Tiger, Japanese, Asian and day lilies. The toxic species are either from the lilium family or the Hemerocallis family (true and day lilies)

It is important to note that all parts of the lily (the flowers, pollen, leaves and stems) are toxic in even very small … Continue reading

Mobility in Older Dogs

As promised in our previous post on living with geriatric pets, this is a look at modifying the environment for the aging dog and making sure they aren’t in pain. Pets that are in pain don’t get as much exercise as they would otherwise, and as with people are more likely to have other health issues including weight gain, skin problems, urinary tract infections, and muscle wasting. In other words, pain contributes to the overall frailty associated with old age. Pain can also hinder efforts to have a full bowel movement; a painful pet may defecate only enough to relieve the pressure in the colon but not enough to fully empty their bowels. As they sleep, the sphincter relaxes and then when they get up, the abdominal pressure/relaxed sphincter combination can result in fecal incontinence.

Diagnosis

If you’ve noticed a change in behaviour in your dog, is it “something” or … Continue reading