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Another Successful Pet Food Drive

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We are very happy to say that we have had another successful pet food drive this year.  Thanks to your continued dontations and a generous donation from our friends at Hills today we have surpassed last years total!  As of Dec 18th we have raised 345.4 lbs of cat and dog food for hungry pets in our community!  The food is going to be delivered to the Neighbour-to-neighbour food bank tomorrow.

Thank-you to all our wonderful clients as well as our friends at Medical/Royal Canin and Hills Pet Food Company


Pet Food Drive Update

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Just a quick update on our pet food drive.  As of Dec 11th we have raised 75.4 lbs of cat and dog food for hungry pets in our community!  Thank-you to everyone who has donated so far.  The food is going to be delivered to the Neighbour-to-neighbour food bank this week.  This means our boxes will be empty again and ready to be refilled!  Any and all types of pet food and treats are accepted.

Thanks again for all your support!

Glaucoma in Dogs and Cats

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Last evening Doctors McKenzie, Lootsma and Laidlaw enjoyed a very informative lecture by a local veterinary ophthalmologist (eye specialist) on Glaucoma in dogs and cats.  Dr. Whelan is currently practicing at the Animal Eye Clinic of Waterloo region, located in Cambridge, Ontario.  Check out the website by clicking HERE.

Glaucoma means that there is increased pressure in the eye.  This results in damage to the nerves at the back of the eye and leads to blindness.  Glaucoma can be an inherited condition or it can be a result of some other disease in the eye like cataracts, uveitis (inflammation or swelling in the front part of the eye) or cancer.

The signs of glaucoma might include:

1. A red eye – meaning that the “white” of the eye becomes red from encourged blood vessels

2. A cloudy eye – meaning the surface of the eye looks hazy

3.  Blindness

4.  Pain – you may notice your pet hiding, not wanting to be touched or refusing to eat

We diagnose glaucoma by measuring the pressure in the eye with a device called a Tonopen.  It does not take long but since the surface of the instrument touches the surface of the eye we put some drops in to freeze the eye so your pet cannot feel anything.

There are many different kinds of medications that can be used to treat glaucoma which vary depending on the underlying cause.  Sometimes we need to refer your pet to a specialist for treatment.

As with all eye conditions, if you are concerned at all it is best to have your pet examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.  Diseases affecting the eye can become serious quite quickly so it’s best not to wait!

The 12 Hazards of the Holidays

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**This information is courtesy of the VEC (Veterinary Emergency Clinic) in Toronto, Ontario.  Click HERE to check out their website!**

1.  Ethylene Glycol (Antifreeze) – This common toxin can cause acute kidney failure with as small an amount as 4.2mL/kg in dogs and 1.5mL/kg in cats.  Usually the first signs seen are lethargy, wobbliness, increased drinking and increased urination.  If emergency treatment is not instituted this toxin is usually fatal.

2.  Chocolate – Seen more frequently during the holidays, symptoms can be variable depending on the “purity of the chocolate.” The darker the chocolate, the less your pet needs to consume to develop symptoms.  Symptoms include increased thirst, vomiting, restlessness, increased heart rate or arrhythmia (abnormal rhythm) and can progress to seizures.

3.  Prescription drugs – With the hustle and bustle of the holidays added to visiting family and friends, ingestion of our human medications can be a real hazard.  Dogs and cats do not react the same way as people do.  Consulting with your veterinarian or Poison Control can be a liver saver.

4.  Poinsettia – Commonly thought to be “the” toxin of the holidays the plant rarely causes more than gastric upset.  Having said that , it is best to keep these ornamental plants out of reach (or out of the house) to avoid vomiting and diarrhea in your pet.

5.  Raisins/Grapes – Because the mechanism of toxicity is not known, we do not know how much is too much with raisins so please be careful as this “treat” can cause renal failure and even death.

6.  Mistletoe – A rather infrequent toxin because of rarity and expense, mistletoe can cause vomiting, diarrhea, fluid loss and even death has been reported.

7.  Macadamia nuts – Although the chemical causing the toxin has not yet been identified, this ingestion can cause depression, inability to use the hind limbs or stand, in-coordination and vomiting   Fortunately, this toxicity is usually self limiting but unpleasant during the episode.

8.  Bulbs – The amaryllis is favorite for many this time of year but its bulb can cause vomiting and diarrhea in both dogs and cats.

9.  Road Salt – Rarely is this seen as an acute oral ingestion but road salt can cause significant discomfort in the pads of dogs.  Combine this with a small cut and that be become quite painful.

10.  Foreign bodies – Toys, ribbons, ornaments – is it any wonder that the occurrence of these accidents increases during the holiday season?  Just like you would with a baby in the house – pet proof the holidays and avoid an emergency trip to the veterinarian this holiday season.

11.  Table scraps/change in diet – Sure everyone enjoys a bit of turkey during the holidays but allowing your pets to ingest bones or letting Grandma feed the dog the leftovers could result in a trip to the veterinarian.  Try to avoid changes in your pet’s diet as much as possible.

12.  Hypothermia – During the winter months hypothermia can and does affect our furry friends.  Cats are especially prove to this and more so over the busy holiday season when they may choose to stay outdoors to avoid the hustle and bustle inside.

Pet Food Drive

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It’s back!  Mountain Animal Hospital will be hosting a pet food drive again for the upcoming holiday season.  Last year we raised just over 331 lbs of pet food!  During tough economic times, many families in our community are in need.  We often forget that these families may have furry members as well, and they are often forgotten when donating to a food drive.  We are hoping that generous donations will help alleviate some family stress and keep pets in their homes.

Any and all types of food would be greatly appreciated!  All donations will be delivered to the Neighbour to Neighbour food bank.  Check out their website by clicking HERE.

Please help us support pets in need this holiday season!

Keeping your Pet Safe this Halloween

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Since tomorrow is the big night for trick or treat-ers we thought we would offer a few tips on keeping pets safe.

– Keep pets indoors in a quiet room.  This way they won’t become frightened or become a target by Halloween pranksters.

– Keep Halloween candy away from your pet’s reach!  Remember that chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats and that candy wrappers can be quite dangerous if ingested.

– Some pets become very excited or anxious when the doorbell rings.  We recommend keeping your pet in a room located far from the door and putting a radio or the TV on to distract them from what is going on at the front door.

– If you choose to dress your pet in a costume for Halloween, make sure they are at ease with it.  If your pet seems comfortable with wearing a costume, make sure it is not too tight, especially around the neck area.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Caution Chicken Jerky Treats

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We would like to caution our clients about some jerky treats made in China that are causing dogs to become very ill.  Some dogs that have eaten these treats have become ill with kidney disease and in some cases the dogs have died.  The treats are still on the market because it has not been determined what ingredient or contaminant is causing the disease. The treats to avoid at dried jerky treats made in China.  They may be marketed as tenders, strips or treats. Please visit the marketplace website to view they episode “Fighting for Fido” to learn more.

Getting your cat to the Veterinarian

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Did you know that regular visits to the veterinarian for wellness examinations are very important, even for indoor cats?  The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends yearly wellness examinations for ALL cats.  We do understand that coming to the veterinarian can be a stressful experience for a lot of cats, and want to make these visits as easy as possible for you and your cat.

The type of carrier you use can make a big difference.   The best type of carrier is one made with hard plastic, and a top that is easily removable.  This way your cat can remain in the bottom portion of the carrier during the exam (on the blankets that smell like home!)

Here is an example:









For more details, check out the section on Getting You Cat to the Veterinarian on our Website under the PET HEALTH tab!

Welcome back Dr. Lootsma!

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Welcome to the Mountain Animal Hospital Blog!  We’ll use our first post to welcome back Dr. Christine Lootsma from her maternity leave!  Her first official day back is Tuesday, October 2nd.  She is excited to be coming back to care for our wonderful clients and their furry friends!