We focus our attention on something new each month for client education, staff re-education and to improve service and thoroughness in specific areas. By getting all the staff involved at weekly meetings, we think we can improve awareness and care in these areas throughout the year.
For specific details go to the ‘client only’ section please, or call our staff for more details.
January: Cat Weight loss Month
Focus this month is on promoting ideal body weight in our feline patients. Emails go out regarding our Weight Loss Program to cat owning clients. Almost the entire program is written up in this website, which we believe is a very comprehensive coverage of the issues around being overweight (OW) or obese, written in layman’s terms. Examples include diseases and conditions related to being OW; causes of obesity and the mechanism of which OW and Obesity leads to these problems; psychological and behavior issues; exercise suggestions and much more. We have medical diets that help us decrease the weight of an animal which are designed to improve satiety and prevent other dietary deficiencies as we decrease the caloric content of the food the kitty eats. Within the weight loss program area you will find graphs that help you determine the body condition score (BCS) of your pet. Any pet in 4 or 5 out of 5 BCS is a candidate for a special weight loss diet and enrollment in our Weight Loss Program
February: Dental Month
The focus this month is oral health. In this website we cover our dental program. We go over specifics on the progression of dental disease, how to prevent it and how to treat it. 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
March: Ontario Humane Society Support Month
Beechwood Animal Hospital has been a big supporter of the Ontario Humane Society (OHS) helping stray pets in Ottawa and surrounding areas find homes through adoption programs, and to prevent and respond to animal cruelty such as puppy mills and abusive treatment. Financially we’ve promised to give at least $30,000 towards the New Humane Society building, off Hunt Club road, over the next 5 years. We have already given $21,600 as of Nov. 2011. We have a plaque recognizing our contribution over the rabbit pens, in the reception area, at the OHS. Whenever a pet’s life is humanely put to an end to prevent ongoing suffering due to non-treatable or advancing diseases, we donate $15 as a pet memoriam in memory of the loved pet.
During March we re-focus on the mission of the OHS, increase awareness of this valuable service and help generate new funds for the success and advancement of this cause. We encourage everyone to donate as much as they can afford to help stray or abandoned animals who haven’t yet found someone to love them. If you could be so kind as to mention our hospital’s name with your contribution, so the OHS knows where their referrals are coming from. Thank you from all our team!
April: Dog Weight Loss Month
The focus this month is on promoting ideal body weight in our canine patients. Emails go out regarding our Weight Loss Program to dog owning clients. Almost the entire program is written up in this website, which we believe is a very comprehensive coverage of the issues around being overweight (OW) and obesity, written in layman’s terms. Examples include diseases and conditions related to being OW; causes of obesity and the mechanism of which OW and Obesity leads to these problems; psychological and behavior issues; exercise suggestions and much more. We have medical diets that help us decrease the weight of an animal, which are designed to improve satiety and prevent other dietary deficiencies as we decrease the caloric content of the food your dog eats. Within the weight loss program area you will find graphs that help you determine the body condition score (BCS) of your pet. Any pet in 4 or 5 out of 5 BCS is a candidate for a special weight loss diet and enrollment in our Weight Loss Program
May: Heartworm Prevention Month
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.
In 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.
June: Flea Prevention Month
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.
July: Allergy Awareness Month
Allergies are super common this time of the year. Pets get environmental allergies called Atopy that often starts to affect them now and continues to be a problem often through August to snow fall. Ragweed is a common allergen, but one of the most common allergens is dust mites. Dust mites and fungi are year round allergens, but seem more prominent often in the winter when the furnace is on and the windows closed with more time in doors. There are also food allergies that develop at any time in life, but commonly develop under 1-3 years of age.
In July we bring awareness to these common allergies and the many therapies that are available to help our little pets get relief, or prevent the allergies from bothering them all together. The newest approach as of Dec. 2011 is building the skin barrier with ceramides or similar agents to prevent allergens entering through the animal’s coat. Animals that don’t respond to medications well, or have too many side effects, can be treated by hyposensitization against specific allergens (like vaccinating). We can run tests for both environmental allergens and food allergens, although food tests are considered much less reliable to correspond to actual allergy. General Allergies in Dogs
Veterinary Partner – Airborne Allergies
August: Mobility / Regenerative Therapy Month
Arthritis is a really big problem in dogs especially, but old cats also get sore and arthritic despite their light weight and indoor, less active lifestyle. Often we don’t notice it in our cat friends because of their sedentary lives, but radiographically cats commonly have arthritis.
In August we try to concentrate on educating clients specifically on mobility problems and go over many of the therapeutic modalities and medical diets that are available to help our pets get up , down , jump and generally get around better. Common problems in our canine friends are elbow arthritis, hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament tears causing arthritis in their knees.
September: Pet Insurance Awareness Month
In September we review pet insurance programs currently available for pets. We make sure our employees are up to date and we make an extra effort at offering this to our clients. There are a number of companies offering pet insurance, and we advise that clients review them all to determine which is best for their needs and budgets. The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) offers a comparative look at many of them. You can potentially find it on-line, or please come in for a copy at our hospital. Call ahead and we can get it ready for you. You can find more information in the ‘client-only’ section in this website. When you are comparing, look specifically into the co-insurance, the deductible, the coverage and the exclusions.
October: Animal Health Celebration Month
Each year the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) promotes 1 week in October as ‘Animal Health Week’. Every year there is a different theme, but the emphasis is on the awareness on how animal health and welfare is important to us in many areas of our lives. The Human- Animal bond’s significance is becoming more and more apparent to industry, government and health organizations. We expand this awareness at Beechwood A.H. to include the whole month of October. People that have pets generally are healthier due to companionship and increased physical activity. There are programs like the ‘Brightening Lives’ program through the humane societies, to bring pets on visitations to senior homes, hospitals and specially challenged groups for their psychological benefit to people. There is an increasingly prominent emphasis on animal welfare in more and more groups, which is getting, thank goodness, popularity.
November: Senior Wellness Month
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 10 years and cats over 12 years for similar reasons.
Senior Cat Wellness Program
Senior Dog Wellness Program
December: Internal Parasite Prevention Month
Internal parasites (like round worms, hookworms, coccidia) are generally more common in young pets, but some adult animal’s especially senior animals, immune-suppressed patients, and outdoor cats are commonly affected if exposed. Some parasites (like giardia, tapeworms and whipworms are not age related). There is zoonotic (transmissible to people) concerns with some internal parasites (roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, giardia)
There are several links in this website for more information on the importance of parasite prevention in animals, but for now try www.capcvet.org.
In December we encourage pet owners to submit their pet’s first or second fecal sample of the year for analysis, and pass on information about the importance of monitoring and treating internal parasites. We chose December because the ground is freezing up and snow covered which will help prevent the re-infestation by these internal parasites. So, it is sort of a time to clear the intestinal track of parasites and keep it clear for at least several months.