Change is never easy, especially for some of our pets (and us). Many of our pets have grown accustomed to having us around all the time, and have enjoyed the extra time. With workplaces opening back up, we all have to get back “into the groove” of going back to work like we did before the pandemic shut things down.
Although for us it only means a few days (or weeks) of dreary eyes and glaring at our business wear, for our pets it can cause a lot more disruption and anxiety to be left alone again. In some pets, the sudden change to their routine again may cause separation anxiety or increase existing anxieties.
To help ease your pet through the transition, you can follow these steps to slowly get back into the routine:
1. Go back to your regular morning routine. Wake up at the regular time, shower etc, have breakfast and leave at the usual time you would go. You don’t need to actually go away for 8+ hours, be gone for just a few minutes and then come back. The idea is to get your pet used to you doing this again.
2. Slowly, day by day increase your time away. Go for walks by yourself, go for groceries etc. If at any point your pet shows signs of distress – barking, scratching, peeing/ pooping where they do not usually, chewing inappropriately (couches, cords) stop and go back to a timeline that didn’t stress them out. The idea is to limit their stress while re-introducing them to being alone.
3. If you have been letting your pet out more often during the day to pee/poop, start limiting that time to get them used to it again. Same idea as leaving, slowly day by day limit the outside breaks / mid-day walks until they are back to where they were before.
Watch the video linked above from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Assosciation (OVMA) on how to help your pet with separation anxiety. They explain these tips and a few more on how to help your pet during this transition period.
Again, some pets will not have any issues and will adjust easily. Other pets may have a harder time coping. For those pets, we suggest using these tips, and if your pet still isn’t adjusting to the changes at all we have pheromone products as well as other medications that can help with the adjustment period (collars, plug in diffusers and sprays).
If your pet is having trouble adjusting to you going back to work, give us a call. We can schedule you in with the doctor who can go over all the options and discuss your pet’s specific case.
In Canada, flea populations usually peak early August to early October, but warm temperatures and high moisture can generate an ideal environment for fleas year-round.
Fleas are small (about 3 mm long), brown or reddish brown insects that have flat bodies and feed by sucking blood from animals and humans, causing itchy bites. Although fleas are tiny, they can make your dog or cat’s life miserable. These nasty little parasites can jump up to 30 cm high, which allows them to jump from the ground and onto pets with ease. Once on your pet, fleas can bite up to once every 5 minutes leaving your cat or dog itchy, sore and uncomfortable. Flea bites look like small red spots that often appear in clusters or lines.
Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), an allergy to flea saliva that creates a rash, is the most common skin disease of dogs and cats. Fleas also spread disease, they can transmit tapeworms. Pets can become infected with tapeworm if they accidentally ingest a flea while they are grooming.
There are four life stages of the flea. For effective flea control, it is important to know how to break this life cycle in more than one stage.
The flea life cycle consists of egg, larval, pupal, and adult stages. Eggs are laid in the hair coat and are designed to fall off your pet and into your home. Larvae hatch from the eggs and develop in a pet’s environment by feeding on adult flea feces (i.e. digested blood) that fall out of the hair coat of the pet. Larvae eventually spin cocoons, often within carpet fibers, for pupation. Pupae are resistant to freezing, drying, and insecticides, and can lie dormant for many months! New fleas develop from pupae and can begin feeding within hours of finding a dog or cat. The entire flea life cycle can be completed in as little as three weeks!
How to Tell if your Pet has Fleas
- Little dark spots that move in the fur
- Small black particles (flea droppings) or white specks (flea eggs) on the pet or bedding
- Reddened patches and irritation on your pet’s skin
- Excessive licking or scratching
- Hair loss
If you are not sure you have a flea problem, use a flea comb on your pet’s back, tail and haunches. The flea comb may catch fleas or flea dirt (feces). To distinguish flea dirt from other dirt, wet it with a little water. Flea dirt will dissolve into a red-brown colour.
What Can I Do?!
Treating your pet with a flea prevention monthly, according to the product label, can effectively kill fleas and treat a flea infestation. Always read and follow the label on any product you use.
While treatment of the environment is not needed when some topical products are used, you can put pet beds in the dryer on high heat to kill developing fleas. Vacuuming can encourage developing fleas to hatch. Pay attention to low traffic areas that pets may not frequent in your cleaning regime.
If you think your cat/ dog may be suffering from fleas, give us a call. We would be happy to discuss prevention options and set you up with a medication. If you are concerned about hair loss, a rash, and excessive licking we can schedule you in for a full exam with our doctor and she can then discuss with you all the options available.
You're not alone!
March and April begins the breeding season for many animals. Local skunks are moving around and are more likely to be seen out and about even during the day, looking for a mate or snooping around for a den.
Skunks are not an aggressive animal and will always try to retreat from a human or other large enemy (dog/ cat). An angry skunk will growl or hiss, stamp its front feet rapidly, or even walk a short distance on its front feet with its tail high in the air. The striped skunk cannot spray from this position, and will always try to scare you away before spraying!
In the event your dog/cat HAS been sprayed by a skunk - DON'T PANIC!
1. Keep your pet outside, to not spread the oil the skunk sprayed.
2. Rinse/ wipe off the excess spray as much as possible.
3. Use a safe odour eliminator to clean your pet.
- A common myth is to use tomato juice or vinegar - this will mask the smell but not completely eliminate it or clean your pet's fur
- The safest way to eliminate the smell is to use a specially formulated product such as the Skunk-Off we at IVS carry. These can be safely used around the face, where most dogs/ cats get sprayed. Put an e-collar (cone) on cats so they don't lick it off if leaving the product on. The Skunk-Off can also be used on household items such as carpets, couches, bedding etc
- Another commonly used method is to mix 1 litre of 3% hydrogen peroxide + 1/2 cup of Baking Soda and 1 tsp of liquid dish soap to form a paste. Sponge onto your pet's fur and let soak for 5 minutes. Beware, the "peroxide method" commonly dyes pet's fur in a similar way to bleaching hair and can cause skin irritation if not fully rinsed out.
Use any product with discretion, always read and follow the label for any product you use with your pets
We are lucky here in Oxford County to be host to two wonderful wildlife rehabs. Neither organization receives ministry funding, relying solely on donations and the owner's own pockets to help the animals.
Wayward Paws is the most known, and Shirley has done an amazing job at helping the local wildlife for over 15 years. For more information they can be contacted via her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WaywardPawsOntario/ .
Three Brown Ducks is a newly licensed rehab, specializing in waterfowl. They can be contacted via their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/threebrownducks/ .
Pets are really good at hiding pain and discomfort - including dental pain. Although your pet may still be eating and drinking, they could be suffering from a dental infection or painful tooth. Often the only indication anything was wrong is when they feel better after they’ve recovered from a dental procedure.
Dental disease has been shown to allow bacteria in to the system and potentially to cause infections elsewhere in the body. More obvious signs that a dental procedure needs to be done include chipped or fractured teeth, gum abscess, stopped eating.
Pets, like people, suffer from periodontal disease, which is responsible for oral inflammation and infection. Periodontal disease includes gingivitis (inflammation visible as reddening of the gums), and periodontitis (the loss of bone and soft tissue support from around the teeth). All of these things could make your pet a good candidate for a dental procedure.
Step 1: Dental Exam
If you suspect your pet needs a dental procedure, you can call and schedule an appointment with the doctor specifically to discuss their oral health. Our doctor also does an oral check during your annual wellness exam as part of the routine nose-to-tail exam they do. Then the doctor will discuss what your pet may or may not need, and will give you a cost estimate based on what they see during the exam. It can be very difficult to see everything, so there may be a change (more or less) that the doctor and technician find on day of the surgery.
Step 2: The Procedure
You will bring your pet in the day of surgery fasted - no food or drink from 11 pm the night before until your bring them in - unless the doctor or technician has told you otherwise. Your pet will be weighed, and placed in one of our kennels. Bloodwork (if requested) and a pre-anesthetic exam will be done by the Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) overseeing the surgery. Once safely under anesthetic, they will have a full dental examination looking at every tooth above and below the gumline (dental x-rays). Then any extractions, cleaning and polishing will be done. Your pet will be monitored by the RVT overseeing the procedure for the rest of the day until they go home. The doctor or RVT will call you once your pet is out of surgery to give you an update and confirm the pick up time.
Step 3: Home
When you arrive at the pick up time the doctor will go over everything done and answer any questions. This is when she will discuss with you feeding directions, medications and timelines as well as things to keep an eye out for. The doctor or technician will call you the next day to see how the first night at home went. Two weeks after the surgery, we will have you back for a quick recheck to make sure everything is healing well.
Below are photos of a mouth before and after a dental procedure done by our doctor. That dog's breath was so much better after their surgery!
We strongly suggest brushing daily, as it is the most effective way to help keep your pet's teeth clean. In our hectic lives however, most people don't have the time to sit and brush their pet's teeth - but we do have time to give them a treat.
Companies have been making pet dental treats for a while, so there are many available on the market. Popular brands like Greenies and C.E.T. have studies to back their claims of tartar control and reducing plaque and calculus. Daily chewing on a proper dental chew can substantially reduce plaque and tartar by up to 69%. Read the fine print as there are a lot of claims but not necessarily the studies.
Many people offer their dogs bones and deer antlers as popular chew items. There is a risk of broken teeth or swallowing small pieces that can get stuck and cause intestinal obstruction. An easy tip is to follow the Knee-Cap Rule: “If you would not want me to hit you in the knee cap with it, do not let your dog chew on it!”
For dogs, we have found C.E.T. dental chews to be the most palatable and effective way to reduce plaque and calculus on their dog's teeth. There are different sizes of chews, and it is important to ensure you are buying the correct size for your dog. Too large or too small chews may provide a hazard, as with any rawhide product. The C.E.T.® Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs feature an exclusive Dual-Enzyme System. Made from select beefhide, C.E.T.® Enzymatic Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs work with the dog's natural chewing action to loosen tartar and provide clinically proven plaque control Helping keep teeth clean and breath fresh.
For cats, we carry the Greenies Feline in both chicken and catnip flavours. They have been approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council USA to help control tartar in cats with daily use. They have a unique shape and crunchy texture that's proven to reduce tartar.
If you think a dental chew is right for your pet's oral health, you can give us a call or come in and discuss with one of our friendly staff what would be best. We try keep the different chews and sizes on hand so you can quickly pop in and pick some up.