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November: Senior Wellness Month

By Monthly Programs

Senior pets have, like people, an increasing prominent array of problems that develop simply due to age factors.

 

Many illnesses, or disorders, of the body’s systems become more common in aged animals.  For example, kidney disease, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, cancer, eye diseases (glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye), congestive heart failure to name a few.

In November, we spend more time concentrating on our senior patients. We suggest doing more wellness screens in our seniors.

We believe cats over 10 years and dogs over 8 years are in the senior or geriatric period.  At this age we recommend annual wellness blood screens, blood pressure evaluations (especially cats) and at some time a screening lateral chest and abdominal x-ray. The latter helps us by both screening for hidden abnormalities we can’t see, or feel, during an examination, but also gives us a data base of what the normal x-rays look like for your particular pet (e.g. heart, liver, kidney size and lung detail). 

The wellness blood work gives us a good screen and data base for many organs in the body, as well as assessing the red and white blood cell numbers. Abnormalities could be developing for months to years before the pet gets either clinically ill or ill enough for the pet owner to notice.

Since pets can’t speak our language they may know they are ill well before we pick it up. The idea is to pick the abnormality up early, so that we can take early therapeutic or preventative measures such as simply switching to a medical diet.  We recommend twice yearly physical examinations on dogs over 8 years and cats over 10 years for similar reasons. 

Senior Cat Wellness Program
Senior Dog Wellness Program

Please call us at (613) 748-9820 for information on Senior Wellness promotions and to book an appointment during the month of November.

Heartworm

By Uncategorized

 

 

Heartworm disease in dogs

 

was first reported in the United States over 100 years ago and the first case in cats was in the 1920’s. Since then it has become a worldwide problem and has spread extensively throughout the USA and in specific areas in Canada: Okanoga Valley in BC, around Winnipeg and Montreal and throughout Southern Ontario (the biggest area in Canada). In May, we open up awareness specifically now, because the ‘heartworm season’ begins in June and lasts to approximately mid-October in Ontario. You can find out more about Heartworm disease in multiple areas in the Pet Care section of this website.

Basically our policy is a bit different than the current general guidelines in Ontario. We believe that as long as you test 2 years in a row we are sure, to a very high degree, your pet does not have heartworm. We can begin preventative medication after the first test is negative and we retreat with the chosen preventative monthly every year from June or July to mid-October or November (longer if you’re also trying to prevent fleas). We do not retest unless you have forgotten to treat one year or have missed key months.

Throughout March, April & May we remind, and educate, clients about heartworm disease. We retrain our staff to get them ready for the season, so that they are competent about the various kinds of preventatives that are available, and knowledgeable to answer your questions. We also begin testing or retesting patients to make sure they are free of this damaging parasite that causes congestive heart failure and pulmonary disease due to parasites lodged in arteries. Dogs are vastly the only ones affected in Canada, but there was one reported cat affected in Ottawa.

 

In addition the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) launches a tick awareness campaign “Tick Talk™”

Tick Talk Video

Professor Crusoe – The Celebrity Dachshund

For more information on Heartworm, Lyme and Leptospirosis disease in Ontario use the link below.

Pet Disease Map

Tick Disease Quick Quiz

 

February: Dental Month

By Monthly Programs

February is Pet Dental Health Month, at Beechwood Animal Hospital and across North America. This month our goal is to draw attention to the most commonly diagnosed condition in veterinary medicine, periodontal disease.

Tartar and gingivitis lead to periodontal disease, so don’t ignore your pet’s bad breath!! Regular dental care at home and in the hospital can help prevent periodontal disease, as well as the pain and discomfort associated with infection and inflammation in your pet’s mouth.

During the month of February, Beechwood Animal Hospital will be discounting all canine and feline dentals by 10%. This includes in-house preanesthetic bloodwork. We have recently acquired a digital dental x-ray unit which will help us to better diagnose and treat your pet. In addition, your pet will be given a goodie bag to take home, to help get him or her on the way to better oral health!

 

We use this month to clearly educate clients and staff on the…

importance of keeping their pets teeth clean

to avoid the oral and systemic illnesses that arise due to the progression of dental disease.  We want to encourage home care to prevent all dental problems ideally.  Check out the dental program information on specifics you can do to avoid dental problems. The easiest thing to do is not leave food down all the time for your animals, scale your pets teeth when needed and give your dogs lots of chew toys. Dental diets are available that help prevent tartar and gingivitis.  For more information visit our Dental Program There are also quick videos on how to brush your pet’s teeth.

 

Healthy pets are happy pets!

July & August: Allergy Awareness Month

By Monthly Programs

 

July is Allergy Awareness month at Beechwood Animal Hospital as part of our commitment to updating and educating staff and clients on focused topics.

Our main focus is Atopy because it’s seasonal and it’s NOW!

Much like humans, dogs and cats experience and develop contact, food and environmental allergies.

The symptoms vary and can be mildly to extremely unpleasant.

The following is a brief outline of the main allergies in our dogs and cats.

If your pet is showing any of these symptoms please contact the hospital for a vet office, or phone consult (charges may apply).

Atopy (Environmental / Inhalant):

  • Typically a seasonal allergy
  • MOST common

    -10 to 15% dogs affected, slightly less in cats

  • From pollen, mildew/mold, dust mites, ragweed, chemicals, etc.
  • The same allergies that affect people affect our pets.

o   Paw chewing, ear infections, itchy all over but primarily forelimbs, face and neck, skin rashes (recurring hot spots), eye discharge and sometimes sneezing.

Food Hypersensitivity:

  • An adverse reaction to a food or food additive.
  • Can occur at any age but it is common in the first year in particular. (30%)
  • Non-seasonal itchiness
  • Symptoms:

o   Regional or generalized itchiness involving ears (ear infections), belly, armpits, face, neck, paws and area under the tail (in particular), and skin lesions.

o   Dogs that ‘scoot’ their rears and have normal anal glands commonly have food allergies.

o   Additional concurrent gastro-intestinal signs, (diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence) is only reported in 20-30% of cases.

Contact allergies:

  • Requires prolonged contact on offending allergies such as plants, deodorizers
  • Uncommon

  • Caused by flea collars, plants, floor waxes, fabric cleaners, fertilizers, rawhide, rubber chew toys, plastic dishes and carpets.
  • Symptoms:

o   Itching, rashes, sores on skin, loss of fur in patches, paw biting.

o   Typically affects poor hair-covered areas, areas that contact the ground frequently, or around the lips and muzzle.

 

 

                                                       The Staff of Beechwood Animal Hospital

 

For more detailed information:

 

Beechwood Animal Hospital Pet Care Articles:

Allergies in Pets

Inhalant Allergies in Dogs:

Inhalant Allergies in Dogs

Veterinary Partner:  Airborne Allergies:

Allergies: Atopic Dermatitis (Airborne)

Ottawa Allergy Reports

 

June: Flea Prevention Month

By Monthly Programs

The flea season is starting!

This month we sort of combine with a continuation of heartworm awareness month(s). The flea season can be quite long pending from April- May to even January. The fleas can winter over in the house, and we tend to see more fleas on animals in the fall. In general flea eggs and larvae don’t survive winter but it’s possible that the pupae flea stage does (depends on how long winter lasts, how cold, how humid, etc).

In June we hi-light the flea life cycle and educate on how to prevent your home from being infected. 85% of the flea life cycle is in the home, not on your pet. We have medication to prevent fleas from reproducing (insect growth regulators) and others that are adulticides. Flea preventatives are commonly combined with, or are effective on their own as preventatives for heartworm, mange, ear mites, ticks and other internal and external parasites.

Click on the link below for more information.

Flea Prevention and Control