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How to be pet poison safe!

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How to be pet poison safe!

The best way to keep our pets safe from poisonous plants is to simply not have them.  A good alternative is to be sure they are absolutely out of reach!

Here is a list of some poisonous plants to be cautious of:
Lilies – considered to be highly toxic to cats.  If even small amounts are ingested, severe kidney damage could result.
Marijuana – ingestion by a companion animal can result in depression of the central nervous system and incoordination, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, and even seizures and coma.
Tulip / Narcissus bulbs – the bulb portions contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.
 

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How can a MUTT help

How can a MUTT help you solve your dogs behaviour issues and training mishaps??

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This is a brainstorming MUTT and it stands for:

Manage

Set them up for success right from the start. Puppy-proof your home and yard, this means putting shoes and belongings out of puppies-reach and providing acceptable chewing toys.

When it comes to behavioural issues, try your best to manage the situation. What can you change right now that might make a difference in a given situation? Chewing on precious belongings? Put them out of reach. Peeing in the house? Make sure they have frequent trips to the yard(especially after napping or keep them in a puppy enclosure (see http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/Housetraining_3.pdf for useful tips) Jumping up on guests? Keep on leash when guests arrive to more easily interrupt the behaviour. This way guests can be free to say 'hello' once your pup is calmly sitting next to you.

Underlying

Brainstorm! Think about what is causing the problem… and change it. What is the underlying issue? Does your dog get a nice long walk everyday? Many dog trainers and behaviourists say "the only good dog, is a tired dog!". Please keep in mind appropriate exercise depending on your dogs age. Puppies under the age of one year should not be going for long runs.

Dogs who are under-exercised tend to build up a lot of energy and need to release it! A good long walk can prevent boredom-induced bad behaviours. A well-exercised dog will spend most of their indoor-time resting peacefully. It may be worth your while to invest in a dog-walker.

Spaying the girls and neutering the boys can greatly reduce unwelome advances, unwanted aggression and potentially harmful wandering.

Training

Training will ideally have been started right from day one. However, this can be implemented at any point and as long as you are consistent, a dog of any age CAN and WILL learn.

If bad behaviours can be learned, they can be unlearned too! Through exercise, positive reinforcement, and seeking help where necessary, behaviours can be re-directed.

Please check the following websites,

for excellent reading tips and weekly trainer write-ups see www.dogstardaily.com;

for helpful, straight-forward training videos see www.dogmantics.com;

and for local training classes see www.campbellriverdogfanciers.com/.

Time

Perseverance, patience, and time will be necessary to accomplish any goals that you have for your dog. You will likely be surprised at how little time it can take to teach your pup SIT, DOWN, and STAY.

(see http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/Come-Sit-Down-Stay.pdf)

Unwanted behaviours and bad habits are learned over a period of time. Dogs will eventually discover that they can get away with certain things if they are lacking boundaries and rules. These developed issues need to be UNlearned. Try not to expect results overnight, but over time and with consistency, they can be redirected and resolved!

Need more help or suggestions? Please don't hesitate to call us!

Written By:

Laura McCredie

Photo credit: "Henry"

 

Cat got your tongue

Cat got your tongue??

opal tongue

Is your cat leaving you speechless?

Here are 5 tips to get you started and to help you scratch out some of your feline faux "paws"!

Tip # 1 : Preparing for Kitty

Kitty-proof your home before the new addition arrives. This means keeping harmful electrical cords tucked away out of reach, removing toxic plants from the home, and providing acceptable alternatives.

Acceptable alternatives include a variety of toys and scratching posts. Toy balls with bells in them, fishing-rod lure toys, and ones that are free standing or hung from doors are great! Try to spread toys throughout the house, especially in areas where they may have curtains or other attractive objects you don't want them to play with.

Consider free-access crate-training to help avoid wrestling your cat into their carrier when its time to go to the vet. Starting from day one, keep the crate accessible where your kitty may go to it for rest and relaxation. You can also try periodically feeding treats or a portion of their meals inside the crate to create a positive association.

Deciding on kitties lifestyle – indoor vs. indoor/outdoor. There are many risks associated to letting kitty have an outdoor lifestyle. Environmental hazards (cars/wildlife/dogs etc) as well as infectious disease from other cats. An indoor cat generally has a longer, healthier lifespan!

Be sure to provide fresh water daily and an appropriate diet based on their life-stage, activity level and individual nutritional requirements (consult with your Veterinarian).

Tip #2: Just say NO to claws and teeth!

Some cats, especially kittens, love to attack and play with anything that moves! This can include fingers and toes. Try to take some time each day, approximately 10-20 minutes, to spend playing with your cat using toys or laser pointers for them to "hunt". This will encourage appropriate play sessions, enhance your relationship, and help fulfill their needs as a natural-born hunter.

Discourage play with hands and feet right from the day you bring kitty home. If your kitten is playful, and you want to engage him/her, use a toy! If you aren't able to play when they want to, simply stay still and ignore them, they will move on to something more fascinating. Reinforce this rule with children and your cat will have a better relationship with them too!

Tip #3: Putting a claw into Furniture Destruction

Scratching is a natural and necessary behaviour for our feline friends. Stretching out for a good scratch helps to condition their nails and provides a sign for any passersby. That's right, "Felix lives here"!

Because cat's like to show off their work, it is recommended to have at least two cat-appealing scratch posts or cat-tree's in high-traffic areas. Make sure the posts are sturdy and at least 32" inches high. If your cat has already started on the sofa, try positioning one of the scratch posts in front of this area. Praise your cat every time you notice them going to the scratch post instead of your furniture. A little positive reinforcement will go a long way!

Do not reprimand your cat for scratching the sofa. Attention is attention, be it positive or negative. If you pick up your cat and remove it from the sofa everytime they are scratching it, they will associate this as attention and will likely continue scratching in that area. Praise the good and try your best to redirect the bad. A temporary tin foil shield over the attractive area can help to deter them as well.

Tip #4: Soaking up the Urine issue

Cats can be finicky when it comes to bathroom habits. Prevention is the key! We recommend having one litter box per cat plus one. Some cats prefer to urinate in one litter box and defecate in another. Providing multiple litter boxes in different locations will reduce the chances of house-soiling.

If you are currently experiencing inappropriate elimination it is important to rule out any medical issues by having a visit with your Veterinarian. If kitty checks out healthy, there are a number of things to try.

Cleanliness is next to "catliness"! Keep the litter boxes clean and use an enzymatic cleaner when you are doing a complete litter change. Consider offering a variety of litter boxes, different styles and sizes, along with a variety of litter substrates. Try placing one of the accepted litter boxes in the accident-zone.

Is your cat spraying on vertical surfaces? This is likely an attempt at marking their territory and may be anxiety-related. Try to visualize what might be triggering it. It could be that something in the home has abruptly changed (new housemate, visitor, renovations, etc) or the neighbourhood tom-cat could be taunting your cat from outside the window. Manage the situation as best you can – gradually introduce new situations and close the blinds if that's what it takes to stop the neighbourhood distractions.

If you need further assistance, consult with a Veterinary Behaviourist and remember to NEVER punish your cat. Punishing your cat may make matters worse and will make resolving the issue much more difficult!

Tip #5: A time to Feed

Regulating meals allows us to judge more accurately the amount our cats are getting. Ideally feed half the daily ration in the morning and half in the evening. This also makes it more convenient if a diet change needs to happen in the future. Keep in mind that gradually transitioning between diets is easier on their system and decreases chances of gastric upset.

Cat's bodies are built to conserve water and in their natural environment would get most of their water-intake from their food (birds, mice, bugs, etc). Therefore, they tend to have a naturally weak thirst drive and if solely fed a kibble diet, they may not be getting enough water in their system. For this reason, it is recommended that a portion of their diet be canned to ensure proper hydration. As a bonus, increasing their water intake will help keep their urinary tract system healthy!

Websites:

http://www.dogstardaily.com/files/CatManners -cat manners for new kitten/adopted cat

http://indoorpet.osu.edu/cats/– general info

http://www.catsinternational.org/ – cat behaviour information along with numerous articles of interest

http://www.healthypet.com/PetCare/ List of potentially toxic plants and poisonous foods

http://www.mmilani.com/feline-crate-training.html – for free-access crate-training tips – VERY handy to avoid stressful car-rides and when you need to bring your kitty in to see us!

Need more help or suggestions? Please don't hesitate to call us!

By:

Laura McCredie

"Opal" in photo above

 

Shaking Paws With Dogs

Our blog entry for January 2012-

Happy New Year!

Shaking paws with Dogs

henry and shelby

Greeting dogs the dog-friendly way

Greeting dogs walking with their owners

  • ASK if you can interact first and approach slowly at a relaxed walk
  • if the answer is ‘no’, respect their space and move along
  • Check this out! There are MANY reasons some dogs shouldn’t interact with other dogs – watch this video to find out more: http://notesfromadogwalker.com/
  • With permission granted, approach sideways without giving direct eye-contact
  • Avoid looming over them (this is intimidating!)
  • Give the dog a little space (avoid reaching into their personal space) allowing them to approach you at their own rate
  • it’s OK to gently pet them if they are relaxed and asking for your attention by rubbing against you and wanting to be near you
  • Check this out! “How to Greet a Dog” poster by Dr Sophia Yin

http://info.drsophiayin.com/how-to-correctly-greet-a-dog-free-poster

  • If they are excitedly jumping up at you, stand like a tree and turn around – wait until they are calm before petting them

Greeting dogs on the loose (stray dogs)

  • NEVER approach a dog you are unsure of – watch their body language (are they relaxed and wanting to come to you? Or are they nervous and avoiding you or showing signs of aggression or fear?)
  • Check this out! “Body Language of Fear and Aggression” Poster by Dr Sophia Yin

http://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/dog-bite-prevention-week-poster-on-the-body-language-of-fear-and-aggression

  • If they seem receptive, make sure to follow the above steps – moving slowly, avoid direct eye-contact, approach sideways, allow them to come to you
  • If possible, gently get hold of their collar or fasten a leash
  • Call the SPCA if they are unapproachable – give them a detailed description, including time and location
  • Do not chase a dog at large – they can become frightened or cornered and feel they need to defend themselves or they could get hit by a car!

Greeting our dogs when returning home (Does your dog jump all over you with excitement when you get home? Follow these steps!)

  • Enter the home calmly and give NO attention or affection (this includes eye contact, petting, kneeling down etc)
  • If they are jumping at you, stand like a tree and turn the other way – IGNORE the behaviour – do not reprimand them for this as they will perceive this as attention and will likely increase the problem behaviour!
  • WAIT until they have calmed down and are sitting before giving ANY attention – you should expect this to take approx. 10-20 minutes for the first couple of weeks
  • If your canine spends alone time in their crate – wait until they are calmly sitting before letting them out AND once out of the crate – wait again until they have calmed down before giving any affection
  • By waiting until our dogs are calm and sitting before giving ANY affection we are rewarding them for being calm – if we give any affection while they are hyper and jumping on us then we are rewarding unwanted behaviour!
  • If you practice this ritual every day, you’ll witness your jumpy fido turn into a polite pup
  • This will also help reinforce how we want our dogs to greet guests in our home and will help to decrease separation anxiety
  • Be sure that ALL family members are on board with the new greeting ritual to increase your chances for success!
  • Check this out! Training ‘sit for petting’ video by Dr Sophia Yin http://drsophiayin.com/resources/video_full/stellah_sits_for_excited_petting

By

Laura McCredie

Shelby with canine pal “Henry” in photo above

 

A Time to Meow

Our blog entry for March 2012

A time to meow:

atimetomeow1

How to interpret Feline Body Language

In order to understand general body language we need to watch the ears, eyes, tails, posture, and fur.

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Relaxed: ears up but not directly focused on any one thing, soft eyes (slightly drooped), tails up and not bristled, and fur lying flat are all signs of a relaxed kitty

Attentive: ears up and focused, wide-open eyes with large pupils, tail up, and fur not necessarily bristled are all signs of an attentive kitty

Fearful: ears flatten against head, eyes fixated, hissing, tails high and bristled, and fur likely bristled over dorsal area are signs of a fearful feline (think Halloween cat!)

Defensive: similar to fearful, however, tail curved down, hair bristled, and body standing tall to appear larger are all signs of being defensive

Aggressive: ears rotate to show the backs of their ears, eyes are wide and pupils large, tail hangs straight down with bristled hair and usually standing tall are all signs of being aggressive

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Is Rita Defensive? Aggressive? Fearful??

Actually, none of the above! Note the ears are relaxed and forward, the eyes are soft and pupils are small, her fur is not bristled and she’s sitting down – Rita is simply asking for some lunch with a friendly “meow”.

By: Laura McCredie

atimetomeow5

"Opal" and “Rita” in photo’s above

 

Reading Between The Lines

Reading between the lines:

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Understanding the value of pre-anesthetic and annual blood work

We offer pre-anesthetic blood work for all surgeries, including spays and neuters for puppies and kittens.

But my puppy is so young, healthy and vibrant! I thought blood work was for seniors only.

Testing blood from a healthy pup will give us the ideal baseline levels for your puppy as an individual. Later in life, when blood work becomes an annual recommendation, we will have the perfect reference! We will be able to use your dog’s personalized blood work guidelines as opposed to relying on average guidelines for all dogs.

I can see your point but he seems fine to me and I’m just not sure it’s worth it.

Pre-anesthetic testing also screens for conditions that may not be detected upon physical exam alone. For example, your pup may have an infection brewing that should be treated with a course of antibiotics prior to going under an anesthetic. This gives all of us peace of mind!

Ok, and what happens if you do find something?

Depending on what we find with the blood work levels, this may give reason for us to modify our routine anesthetic protocol to suit their needs as an individual. Making their anesthetic experience as safe and worry-free as possible! The other thing to keep in mind is that some pets with certain conditions should avoid anesthetic procedures altogether.

This sounds pretty good! Now let me ask, what exactly do you look at with pre-anesthetic blood work?

A Pre-Anesthetic Panel looks at the CBC (Complete Blood Count) and the Chemistry Profile (organ function and electrolytes).

CBC is the Complete Blood Count which shows us the RBC (Red Blood Cell), WBC (White Blood Cell) and Platelet (clotting-factors) levels.

RBC’s (Red blood Cells) should fall within specific ranges and when high/low they indicate conditions that may require treatment. For instance, low RBC’s is a sign of anemia.

WBC’s (White Blood Cells) should also fall within specific ranges and when high/low indicate conditions that may require treatment. For instance, high WBC’s is a sign of infection.

Platelets are the clotting factors that play a vital role in healing. If the platelets are low, they will have problems clotting and we certainly don’t want this when we are doing a surgical procedure!

Chemistry Profile shows us organ function focusing primarily on the liver and kidneys. The liver is the organ in charge of breaking down the anesthetic drugs used during surgical procedures and kidneys filter wastes from the blood and transport them to the bladder for excretion. It is crucial that these organs be doing their jobs properly! We also look at electrolytes and protein levels, both of which are indicators of conditions/illness (such as diabetes, infection, cancers and dehydration to list a few). Electrolytes are critical to body function and must be maintained in very narrow limits.

Wow! That shows a lot more than I thought! So, what happens when my pooch enters his senior years? Why is annual blood work important?

A complete physical exam along with a detailed history can give good reason for annual blood work since it gives us a bigger picture of what is going on. Our four-legged family member ages a lot faster than we do and for that reason a LOT can change in one year.

Oh yes, they sure do, I wish they lived longer! I know I can feel my arthritis these days, do they feel pain the way we do? Is there anything we can do to be sure they are comfortable?

Yes, they certainly do feel pain the way we do but may not show it as readily as humans do. If something such as arthritis is found upon physical examination and medications are indicated to aid in the comfort level, blood work is essential! We want to be sure that all of your pet’s organs are functioning properly before we introduce a daily medication. This will also help your Veterinarian choose the ideal medication for your pet.

If other conditions arise that require daily medication, we need to do blood work at least annually to be sure we have their medications at the best dosage to keep levels where they should be.

This makes me feel better about pre-anesthetic screening and annual blood work. I didn’t realize how important this is and I want my pet to have the best for their entire life!

Need more help or suggestions? Please don't hesitate to call us! 250-926-0006

By:

Laura@coastlandvet.com

 

Have you considered PET INSURANCE?

Insurance provides coverage for unforseen accidents – such as a broken tooth, ligament injury, altercation with another animal, broken leg, etc. Or illnesses – such as ear infection, vomiting/diarrhea, diabetes, etc. There are policies that cover just accidents, and others that cover accidents as well as illnesses. See the websites below for a free quote. And remember – with an exam at our clinic we will happily give you a free trial of insurance from Petsecure or Trupanion. Ask reception about your free trial next time you are in!!

Trupanion – some features: covers 90% of your veterinary costs and covers alternative treatments such as accupuncture.*

Petsecure -some features: Premium plan covers annual dental cleaning and vaccines and even parasite prevention.*

PC Pet Insurancehttp://www.pcinsurance.ca/english/pet-insurance/pet -Presidents Choice- features: pet insurance that covers accident only starting at only

$9.95/mo for dog and $10.95/mo for cats.*

* depending on the policy you select.

There are many insurance companies out there, and no one pet insurance company is recommended over another. Ask reception next time you come in if you'd like some more information about the insurance companies we deal with on a daily basis.

We also accept PET CARD

We accept PetCard! If you are faced with an unexpected pet expense -and you don't have insurance, you can get approval for financing through PetCard within minutes! Click here to access their website. We also have applications in the clinic.

www.PetCard.ca

Stay tuned while we update our site

250-926-0006

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