Friday, December 16, 2011

Have a Pawsitively Safe and Happy Holiday!

Well the holidays are among us for cheer. Although as we look outside it looks more like early Novemeber instead of mid December. Things are underway here at the hospital.  The tropical Luxury boarding suite is completely done as well as our cabin suite. If your pet is boarding in one of our themed Luxury Boarding suites, in order to view your pet via internet you will be able to by the following way:

1. If using a pc- we will lend you a USB stick with the program already on it. You will also be  given a password for the room your pet is boarding in. The pasword will only be valid for  the amount of days you are using it. Log onto our website, click Pet Cam in the menu, then your password.
2. Our technical support is still working on the ability to use the program with mac products ( ipad, smartphones etc). We hope to resolve it soon.

Artist: Corrado Mallia
We recently finished our Rock N Roll suite, pictured here- is our Muralist ( artist Corrado Mallia) very talented artist!
To see more of Corrado's fantastic work you can log onto his website at the following address:

Enjoy Retirement Anita
In other news, we are sad to see Anita leave our team. Anita has been with us working alongside Dr. Lechten as her exam room technician for the  past 10 years. Anita has decided to retire. Anita's husband just recently retired and the two plan on spending time with their dogs" Boomer" and new addition to the family "Ryker".  Travel plans are near as the couple plan to spend some time in Arizona! You will be missed Anita!

Remember that as Christmas nears, keep the holiday chocolate out of the way of the pooches. White chocolate does not contain theobromine so it is not toxic, but the darker the chocolate the higher the theobromine levels area. So play it safe and hide it! IF your pet does come in contact and ingests chocolate but are unsure of the toxic level phone our office immediately! The longer you wait more damage can occur to your pet.

On Sat night we had our Annual Chritmas Party, held at Horseshoe Resort. The dinner was a buffet and as always-  very delicious. The desserts were even better ha ha! Here is a photo from the evening.

                                             From L-R: Melissa, Dr. Paquette, Lisa, Dr. Lechten, Carly and Dr. Rogers.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Time Flies

Wow, time is flying. It has been 3 weeks since we moved into our new location. In the meantime, we held an amazing Open House. It was overwhelming how many people showed up for it. Incredible to say the least. We were able to host some hydrotherapy demonstrations,  tours, prizes, cake and more.
We would like to sincerely thank each and every one of you that came out to our event. Pictured here is Dr. Lechten and Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

In the meantime, Dr. Rogers flew to Florida on a week long course at a Canine Rehabilitation center. Exciting. 2 of our Luxury Boarding suites are complete. We added in a few photos here as well. Corrado Mallia is an amazing muralist.
Please reserve early for Christmas if you are planning to travel. All of our Luxury Suites will be available by then. Each room will also have a video camera, where you will be given a passcode, log into the interenet, enter your code, and you can check in on your pet 24 hrs day while away.

On Dec 1, we are errecting of Memorial Tree. It will be in our hallway. It is dedicated as a memory tree. For a donation of a minimum of 2$ you can write the name of a loved one on our ornaments to hang on the tree. Feel free to bring in a poem or photo of your lost loved one. You can choose to donate to the Cancer Care Center and/or WE CARE fund. It's a geat cause. Of course all of our Barrie Food Bank donations are placed under the tree.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Well we did it!

Getting radiology intsalled
Ahhhh finally the move is done! We moved the entire hospital with lots of manpower and muscle. It was completed in 9 hours! WOW. Thank you all who helped with the gigantic haul! We will be sifting through boxes still for several weeks until we find the proper place for everything, but it was well worth it! Make sure you come and tour the facility at our open house this Saturday 2-5 pm. Our ribbon cutting ceremony is at 2pm sharp! Here are a few pics from the move!

sorting, sorting, sorting!
watch your back!
We are very proud to be in our new hospital, that will service everyone much better with more space. Thank you to everyone who supported us during this move. Anytime you are in to see us and would like a tour of the facility please do not hestitate, we would love to show you around! Hope to see you soon!

The Allandale Team

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Allandale Veterinary Hospital small animal division will be closing its doors at the 484 Essa Rd location on Sat Oct 29th. There is a contest going on for the last appointments booked on that day. See our facebook page for all the details. We will be moving over the weekend to our new location at 66 Caplan ave, and will be ready to take appointments on Oct 31st! We are excited! be sure to come to our Open House scheduled for Nov 5th 2-5 pm, to see our ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 pm with the Mayor of Barrie, along with contests, prizes, cake and demos. Tour our new hospital. Our luxury boarding suites are in the works with our muralist/artist and will be hopefully ready to board very soon! We took the top six voting suites as polled on  this page and facebook. Hope to see everyone at the open house! Wish us luck on the move!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

14 Common Disorders In Older Dogs...

Signs of aging are inevitable in older dogs. The body doesn't snap to quite as readily as it used to, and perhaps it may take Fido a little longer when called. Aging can also predispose dogs to certain illnesses. By being aware of some concerns regarding older dogs, you can be a more educated and prepared guardian for your aging companion.

Routine veterinary care is particularly important now. The following is an outline of some of the most commonly diagnosed illnesses known to afflict older dogs.

  • Nutritional Concerns.
    A proper diet is very important in the care of a geriatric dog. Obesity is a very common and serious concern because it directly correlates to a decreased longevity, and may contribute to other problems. Proper nutritional management is a very important part of the care for your geriatric dog, especially since it is something that you can control.

  • Dental Disease. Dental disease and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) are common findings in the older dog. Untreated dental disease usually leads to tooth loss, and may serve as a reservoir of infection for the rest of the body. In this manner, severe dental disease may pose a risk to other body systems.

  • Arthritis. Degenerative joint disease, also known as arthritis, is another very common issue affecting aging dogs. While it is to be expected that older animals will tend to slow down with age, animals with arthritis may feel much more comfortable if appropriately treated. Signs of arthritis in dogs include difficulty rising, trouble climbing stairs or jumping, falling on slippery floors, having difficulty getting comfortable or being restless at nights. There are many anti-inflammatory medications that your vet can prescribe that may improve your pet's quality of life and comfort level.

  • Eye Disorders. As dogs age, their vision worsens. Just as in people, cataracts can develop resulting in cloudy vision. Sometimes, tear production lessens and the surface of the eye is not properly lubricated. Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is a common problem affecting older dogs, especially small dogs with bulging eyes such as the shih tzu, pekingese and pug.

  • Kidney Disease. Kidney disease is one of the most common metabolic diseases of older dogs. With early diagnosis through blood tests, some dogs can do quite well on a special diet and medications. The biggest key is to diagnose kidney disease early. This is one primary reason veterinarians recommend routine screening blood tests in older dogs.

  • Bladder Stones. Older dogs tend to have an increased risk of developing bladder stones. Often, these stones cause little problems but can cause an obstruction if the dog attempts to pass a large stone that becomes stuck in the urethra. Periodic abdominal X-rays can help determine if bladder stones are developing in your dog and if treatment is necessary.

  • Endocrine Disorders. The two most common endocrine disorders affecting older dogs are hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's disease) and hypothyroidism. Cushing's disease is a disorder resulting in excessive secretion of cortisol resulting in illness. Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland, which also affects the health of your dog. Both disorders are treatable, and proper treatment may dramatically improve your dog's overall attitude and strength.

  • Heart Disease. The most common heart disease in the senior dog is chronic valvular heart disease. Thickening and irregularities of the valves of the heart may lead to abnormal blood flow within the heart chambers, eventually causing heart enlargement and heart failure. Early detection of this disease and proper therapy may slow the progression of the heart disease.

  • Diabetes. Aging dogs tend to have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Whether due to diet, poor insulin secretion or resistance to insulin, diabetic dogs can often be helped with medication.

  • Skin Tumors. Skin lumps and bumps are common findings on the elderly dog. On the basis of the size, location and aspiration results, your veterinarian may recommend removal of one or many skin masses. If not removed, monitor the lumps for changes in size or shape.

  • Urinary Incontinence. Older dogs may sometimes become incontinent, leaking small or even large amounts of urine when lying down or when sleeping. Medications can sometimes help.

  • Prostate Problems. If your dog is an intact male, he is at significant risk of prostatic disease. Prostatic infections, abnormal enlargement, abscesses, and cysts are all potential problems in the intact male. Tumors of the prostate occur with equal frequency in both neutered and intact males.

  • Cancer. Unfortunately, cancer is a significant problem facing the senior dog. Not all cancer needs to be fatal. Surgery, chemotherapy, even radiation therapy is available that can significantly extend your pet's quality time or produce a cure. The prognosis depends on the type and location of the cancer.

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Dysfunction. As dogs age they may become more "set in their ways," more inflexible, less patient and more irritable. Sometimes they will forget learned behaviors including normal urinary and defecation habits. Older dogs may sleep a lot more, and be less responsive to external stimuli. These signs may be related to underlying disease, or may be due to the gradual decline in their senses and cognition (thought process). Sometimes medication can help.

  • Other Concerns. As dogs age, their organs also age and do not function as well as they once did. Various liver diseases are common in aging dogs, including cirrhosis. Another concern with elderly dogs is the potential to develop anemia. Whether associated with kidney disease, cancer, chronic disease or primary bone marrow disorders, anemia can cause your dog to be profoundly weak and, without treatment, may even become so severe that emergency medical help is needed.

  • Monday, September 26, 2011

    It's coming, and you are invited!

    our front doors

    Adding the flooring in the front
     It may seem like all we are talking about is the construction of the new facilty and moving.  We are all eager including our patients! The flooring has just gone in, and the walls are painted.  Getting close to the end. We will be moving over the last weekend of October, and will be open and ready for appointments on the Monday morning of October 31st.  Our official
               OPEN HOUSE will be
               Saturday Nov 5th, from
                      2 pm - 5 pm.

    We will be having our Ribbon Cutting ceremony at 2pm sharp with Dr. Lechten and the Mayor of Barrie, Jeff Lehman. Following the ceremony, will be hospital tours, video slideshows, door prizes, contests, hydrotherapy demonstration, facepainting, cake and refreshments. Don't miss out on your chance of seeing behind the scene of our veterinary hospital! Hope to see you there!

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Community Events from the weekend...

    Melissa and Natalie down by the South Shore Center
    Sunday September 11, 2011, was the annual Ovarian Cancer walk in Barrie. They  started the walk-a thon at the South Shore Center and continued around the bay and back.  Allandale Veterinary Hospital was proud to sponsor the canine watering station. Here are a few pics from the day.

    On the same day we were also at Paws for a Cause Family Day.
    From 2004 to 2009, PAWS FOR A CAUSE raised over $52,000 for Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind.  Another $8,900 was dog-ear marked in 2010, support of The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guide Program.  In total:  10 Guide Dogs, and 2 Hearing-Ear dogs have now been sponsored and assist people in our community and from across the region.
    Ovarian Cancer Walk-A-Thon
    Organized by Pet Country Estate, together with the South Barrie, Thornton and Gilford Lions Clubs, and Pet Country Estate is  proud to support The Lions Foundation of Canada.  These very special dogs provide vital assistance to people living with physical or medical disabilities, vision or hearing impairment, or autism. Our Allandale Vet Team was out to help some a little face painting and answer any questions about our hospital!

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    An Itchy- Scratchy Time Of Year

    Atopy is a pruritic (itchy) skin disease of animals that is caused by an allergy to substances in the environment that are contacted through the air, either by absorption through the respiratory tract or contact through the skin. Atopy is thought to be an inherited disease. It is the second most common allergic skin condition in dogs.
    Symptoms of atopy usually begin relatively early in life, often by one year of age. Symptoms usually are seasonal at first, with most dogs showing clinical signs in the summer months when airborne allergens
    (such as plant pollens) are present in higher concentrations. As atopic dogs age, their symptoms tend to become less seasonal as they become allergic to more substances. Eventually, their itchiness can occur year-round.

    Dogs with atopy are usually itchy, particularly the hands and feet. The skin may be red and irritated due to scratching, and the ears may also be inflamed. The symptoms of food allergy are difficult to distinguish from those of atopy.

    What to Watch For

  • Chewing at the paws

  • Scratching the muzzle or rubbing it on the ground or with the paws

  • Scratching the ears

  • Shaking the head

    Diagnostic tests are necessary to rule out other skin diseases, as well as to support the diagnosis of atopy. These tests may include:

  • A complete medical history and perform a thorough physical examination, especially checking the ears and the skin of the face and paws. Often, abnormalities may not be detected on the physical examination of dogs with atopy. Occasionally, redness between the toes or around the muzzle of the face is the only finding.

  • Skin scrapings to eliminate other diagnoses such as demodectic or sarcoptic mange (caused by mites).

  • Fungal culture to rule out ringworm.

  • Skin testing (or occasionally blood testing) to determine specific allergens to which your pet may be allergic.
  • Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Career Fair!

    Allandale Veterinary Hospital Career Fair!

    Sept. 8th & Sept 13th

    3 pm - 7 pm

    Super 8, 441 Bryne Dr Barrie, ON L4N 6C8

    We are growing! If you have a passion for animals and possess a calm and caring demeanour, please drop by our Career Fair with your resume and cover letter. We are currently seeking several individuals to fill the following positions:

    -Exam Room Technicians
    -Registered Veterinary Technician
    -Pharmacy/Inventory Control Technician (part time)
    -Client Service Representatives
    -Kennel Staff

    If you have any questions, please email:

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Where did the summer go?

    Well, we only have approximately one month of summer left! It went by so  fast! I apologize that I haven't blogged sooner, but vacation got in the way! :) This week's blog is what has been happening here lately. We have been hustling and bustling and ensuring the construction is coming along nicely- I will post some photos from the Tuesday visit. A few topics that you will see in our next newsletter are:

    Dr. Laferrierre has been away on maternity leave, but in her hectic schedule, she has put together a fabulous presentation for our annual Client Education lecture on Small Animal First Aid that will debut Tuesday Nov. 29th, 7-9 pm, make sure to mark your calendars. It will be held in our new hospital that will be located on 66 Caplan Ave, in our "conference room". Space is limited so you will need to reserve soon.

    The other party we have been organizing is our OPEN HOUSE! It will be on Saturday Nov 5th, 2-5 pm, where the mayor of Barrie will be present for our ribbon cutting ceremony. There will be hospital tours, slideshows, face painting, demonstration of our new rehabilitation room using our hydrotherapy pool, and more. You won't want to miss this day!

    Hope to see you at our events! Enjoy the remainder of the summer!

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    An update on our new hospital!

    poking our heads and tools out of the
    luxury boarding suites.
    the walls are taking place

    Last week a few of us laced up our pink construction boots and headed over the the construction site of our new hospital located at 66 Caplan Ave. We chatted with the site supervisor, where he gave us a tour and showed us where rooms will be built. He (George) made it easy to understand the layout once explained. As of today July 25th, the walls were created so rooms are now easily seen. We have taken a montage of photos to show everyone the progress. The exam rooms look bright with large windows and much more spacious. Each kennel run and each luxury boarding room has its own window. There are now two surgical suites instead of just one with windows to allow natural light into  the surgery rooms. We proudly present some photos ( some are funny goofy as well!) of the progress. We hope to see everyone at our open house in the fall. Date to be determined based on the progress of the building.

    having some fun on the constuction site

    having a tour from the supervisor George
    Kim waving from the laboratory area

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Allergic Reactions to Insect Bites...

    Warm weather months often include run-ins with bees, wasps, and mosquitoes. Very often bites and stings produce an allergic reaction that adds to our misery. This is also true with our pets. Allergic reactions are just as common in our pets and can occur in dogs of any age, breed, or sex. It generally takes several exposures before a reaction occurs, and reactions can vary from mild to severe.

    Mild. Mild reactions include fever, sluggishness, and loss of appetite. Mild reactions are probably also related to an immune reaction from a vaccination. They usually resolve without treatment.

    Moderate.  Swelling of t he face is a moderate vascular reaction of the skin marked by hives or wheals and rapid swelling and redness of the lips, around the eyes, and in the neck region. It is usually extremely itchy. It may progress to anaphylaxis and is considered life-threatening. This is the most common reaction.

    Severe. The most severe reaction is anaphylaxis, a sudden, severe allergic reaction that produces breathing difficulties, collapse and possible death. Symptoms usually occur within minutes following an insect bite or sting and proceed rapidly. Symptoms usually include sudden onset of vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, rapid drop in blood pressure, swelling of the larynx leading to airway obstruction, seizures and cardiovascular collapse or death. This reaction is life-threatening for your dog.


    Anaphylaxis is an extreme emergency and it occurs soon after being stung. Your veterinarian will begin immediate emergency life support. This will include establishing an open airway, administering oxygen, and intravenous fluids to increase blood pressure. He will probably administer drugs such as epinephrine and corticosteroids. Animals that survive the first few minutes usually return to normal health.

    If your dog is known to be allergic to stinging insects, your veterinarian may recommend that you administer Benadryl®  in the early stages of the allergic reaction. Unfortunately, oral medication may not be sufficient, and you will have to take your dog in for examination and treatment.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    "Hot Spots" - All you need to know!

    Acute moist dermatitis, also known as hot spots, are localized, moist, reddened bacterial infection of the skin. A hot spot starts because something irritates the skin.  The body's response is either to itch or become inflamed. The itching then causes the dog to lick or chew the area, which further damages the skin, and creates a cycle of itching, scratching and chewing.

    Hot spots can be caused by anything that irritates the skin and initiates an itch-scratch cycle, but the most common irritants are fleas. Other causes are allergies (flea, inhalant, food), parasitic disease (sarcoptic and demodectic mange), anal gland disease, poor grooming, tick and mosquito bites, burrs, and summer heat. They are most common in long-haired and heavy-coated breeds, and are more prevalent during the summer months.

    Typical locations for "hot spots" are the side of the face and the flank areas.

    What to Watch For
    Typically, your pet will exhibit the following:

  • Areas of hair loss with very red skin that is moist and oozing

  • In some cases, the skin becomes crusty or scabbed

  • Intense scratching. Hot spots are extremely itchy and your dog will scratch without letup


    Diagnostic tests are needed to recognize acute moist dermatitis and exclude other diseases. However, your veterinarian can usually make a preliminary diagnosis based on a history of rapid onset and the clinical appearance of the lesions.

  • Monday, May 30, 2011

    Preparing Your Cat for a Veterinary Visit!

    A carrier with a removable top is best.

    1.Rehearse visits to the hospital. Use positive rewards. Avoid punishing as it can have unintended effects like redirected aggression.

    2. Adapt cats to carriers. Take kittens and cats on short rides. Try to begin as early in life as possible. Cats often feel safe and secure in their little transportable home.

    3. Bring items for the cat such as bedding or a toy.
    "Feliway" spray to help with anxiety.
     4. Notify the vet team in advance that the cat can easily get upset. This will allow us to prepare for the arrival(have them placed in a quiet room immediately or tailor the appointment differently). For example some cats do better with house calls, others do not.

    5. Understand the effect of your own anxiety or stress on the cat. Remain calm and reduce outward display of fear and anxiety.

    6. A removable top on the carrier is best carrier to get- especially for those fearful or fear aggressive cats, as well as for painful or limited-mobility cats.

    7. Consider spraying a synthetic feline facial pheromone spray at least 30 min prior to placing the cat in the carrier.

    8. Placing a towel over the carrier will prevent visual arousal. Try to secure the carrier while driving using the seatbelt to give some  added security.

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Sneezing? Coughing? Your kitty may need more than chicken soup!

    Most feline upper respiratory infections are caused by viruses, but some cats develop secondary bacterial infections. Signs of upper respiratory disease can also be linked to other serious problems, like allergies, dental disease, cancer or the presence of a foreign object in the nose or the back of the mouth.

    What causes feline upper respiratory infections?

    Approximately 90% of all upper respiratory infections in cats are caused by two common viruses: feline herpesvirus-1 and feline calicivirus. Feline herpesvirus is related to the virus that causes cold sores and chicken pox in people; however, people cannot get sick from the feline virus. Upper respiratory infections in cats can also be caused by fungi or bacteria. It is common for cats to be “co-infected” — infected with more than one agent (e.g., a virus and a bacteria) at the same time — which can make treatment and recovery longer and more difficult.

    How are these diseases spread?

    Feline upper respiratory infections are spread the same way as the common cold: a healthy cat comes in contact with an object that has been used by an infected cat — for example, a shared food bowl or toy. Disinfecting shared items on a regular basis can help cut down on the transmission risk. Feline calicivirus can also be spread when a healthy cat uses the same litter box as an infected cat. And, just like the common cold, your hands can play a role in spreading these viruses. Therefore, if you have or touch a sick cat, wash your hands before touching another cat! Also, one of the major ways these viruses are spread — like human respiratory pathogens — is through sneezing or coughing, aerosolizing the virus into droplets.
    Even after they are no longer sick, many cats that have been infected with feline herpesvirus and calicivirus can transmit these viruses to other cats. Therefore, seek professional veterinary advice before introducing a new cat with an unknown vaccination history into your house or before placing your cat in an unfamiliar setting with other cats, such as a boarding facility.

    What should I do if my cat is already sick?

    Diagnosing the exact cause of an upper respiratory infection can be difficult because many cats are co-infected. When you bring your cat in to the veterinary office, it helps if you can remember what vaccinations your cat has had, when your cat might have been exposed to an infected cat, and when your cat began to show signs of being sick.
    As in people, very few drugs can control viral infections, so treatment typically consists mostly of keeping your cat warm, comfortable, and eating and drinking properly. Many sick cats lose their appetite because nasal congestion affects their sense of smell; therefore, these cats may need to be tempted with baby food or another delicious treat. Discharge from the nose and eyes should be gently cleared away if the cat will allow it, and any lesions in the mouth or eyes should be treated. You may be given a prescription for a broad-spectrum antibiotic to help combat any secondary bacterial infections. Dehydration can be a problem in seriously

    How can I keep my cat healthy?

    Cats that are kept indoors are at a lower risk of contracting upper respiratory diseases. Cats that are allowed outside; have recently been in a shelter, boarding facility or cattery; or live in a multicat household are at higher risk of contracting these diseases. Kittens, because of their immature immune systems, are also at higher risk.
    Vaccines are available to help prevent or reduce the severity of the most common infections. Many vaccines may not be 100% effective in preventing a disease, but they do help limit how sick your cat becomes if it is infected. See the box about the current guidelines regarding which vaccinations cats should get and how often.
     ill cats, so fluid therapy may be called for in some cases.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Nail Trims Do Not Have to Be “Torture” for Dogs or You

    Nail trimming can be a dreaded task that many dog owners choose to defer to a professional. Some dogs are taken to a groomer, and some have their nails trimmed once or twice a year during their annual or biannual veterinary examinations. If a clinic does not have a groomer on staff, a veterinary technician often trims nails with the help of an assistant.

    The temperaments of patients during nail trims can range from “polite” dogs that tolerate or even enjoy the procedure to “Cujos” that would just as soon eat you as let you touch their feet. The upside to trimming the nails of Cujos is that their temperament often causes them to produce highly desired laboratory samples, such as feces and urine. However, nail trims should not be psychological “torture” for patients or veterinary staff. In addition, nail trims should not be painful for patients unless there is an underlying pathology.

    Our goal is for patients to think that only “wonderful things” happen at our animal hospital. We encourage owners especially with puppies to start regular touching or playing with their pets’ feet.  We also encourage clients to make “footwork” sessions fun, to carefully choose the timing of sessions, and to reward good behavior with lots of attention, play, and/or treats.

    So what should you do with a growling, anal-gland wielding “land shark” ironically named Princess or Sweetie? The answer is desensitization and counterconditioning. These simple techniques involve gradually introducing a pet to the feared stimulus (e.g., nail trimmers) in the presence of a valued reward (e.g., toys, treats, attention). When this method is used, the “evil” nail trimmer becomes a predictor of something good. However, timing is important; the pet must learn that the nail trimmer predicts something “good,” not that the “good thing” predicts the nail trimmer.

    Nail trims can be performed by almost anyone. Desensitization and counterconditioning are simple techniques that can be used to help patients overcome their fear of nail trimming. With some time and effort, clients can gain the confidence required to trim their pets’ nails on their own. If you do happen to cut the "Quick" or also known as the blood vessel within the nail, you can always try some cornstartch to apply to it, to control the bleeding.

    Shown above the yellow line indicated where you should trim the nail.

    Tuesday, April 26, 2011

    5 common myths about veterinary anesthesia

    Myth: Anesthesia complications are common.
    Fact: Don't let horror stories prevent your pet from recieving necessary vet care. Complications do occur but are rare. Studies suggest that for normal healthy cats and dogs the risk of death is 1 in 2000. For animals with pre-existing disease that number increases to about 1 in 500. Here at AVH we have a well trained veterinary staff that take every precuation. We even have a Registered Vet Technician with a specialty in Anesthesia. We have appropriate monitors to help minimize these risks.

    Lisa our RVT, VTS (Anesthesia) monitoring a patient while
    Dr. Neilan performs a surgical procedure.
     Myth: Most complications occur during a procedure while my pet is asleep.
    Fact: Almost half of anesthesia deaths occur after the delivery of anesthetic drugs during the recovery period. Ask the veterinarian of a rundown of how your pet will be cared for. Here at our hospital we actually have a designated recovery ward nurse dedicated to each patient in the recovery ward.

    Myth: Most veterinarians provide a similiar level of anesthetic care.
    Fact: Each veterinary clinic has a different way of doing things. Some may have boarded veterinary anesthesiologists while others rely on an in house team. If you have questions or concerns ask your veterinarian before your pet undergoes any anesthetic procedures.

    Myth: The internet is the most reliable sorce for information about potential risks.
    Fact: While some sites offer riliable information plenty can contain inconsistancies or flat out mislead you. So don't be fooled by misinformation which can spread quickly from website to website. Do your research, ask the veterinarian for the most accurate picture. This should help you get rid your mind of a few unfounded fears.

    Myth: Certain anesthetic drugs could harm my pet.
    Fact: In fact monitroing the pets condition (like anesthesia depth, blood oxygenation, respiration, blood pressure, body temperature and electrical activity of the heart) during a procedure is much more important than which drug protocol is used. Seldom is one drug better or worse than another since they all have benefits and risks. Certainly if the patient is compromised ( ie. liver or heart disease) then the selection of dugs that we are able to use,  decreases.

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Keep your pet safe this Easter!

    As Easter approaches, many of us look forward to the excitement of Easter festivities like Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, and parades. But the joys of Easter can mean danger for your pets. To keep your pet safe, you should be aware of some common Easter pet problems.

    Easter Lillies (and others such as the day lily and the tiger lily). For many, the beautiful trumpet-shaped white flowers symbolize purity, virtue, innocence, hope and life -- the spiritual essence of Easter. Cat owners, however, need to be especially careful with these beautiful flowers because their leaves contain toxins that can cause severe kidney damage. So far, toxicity has not been reported in dogs.

    Eating just one leaf of this toxic plant can result in severe poisoning and within a short time your cat will exhibit signs of toxicity.Minutes to hours after ingestion, your cat may stop eating and begin vomiting. As the toxins begin to affect the kidneys, your pet may become lethargic, and within five days, kidney failure will cause death.

    If you suspect your cat has eaten part of a lily plant, it is important that you contact your veterinarian immediately. If treatment is started early, chances for recovery are good, but once the kidneys have been severely affected, your cat may not survive.

    Obviously, the best prevention of lily toxicity is to keep the plants away from your kitty. If you bring Easter lilies into the house, keep them in a separate room where your nibbling cat cannot enter.

    Plastic Easter Grass and Other Goodies. Like children, cats and dogs love to nibble on goodies in the Easter basket. Unfortunately, our curious pets enjoy everything in the basket, even the colorful plastic grass, toys and foil-wrappers on candies.

    Take care to keep Easter baskets away from your dog and your cat. The plastic in Easter grass is non-digestible and can get caught in the intestines, leading to blockage and possible perforation. Cats love string-like objects and often play with the grass before eating it. Once ingested, the grass, as well as small plastic toys, can cause choking or become lodged in the stomach or intestines and create an obstruction.

    Your pet may also ingest ribbons, bows, streamers and other decorative items – even ribbons and bows tied around their necks. Don't be tempted to decorate your puppy or kitty; they don't enjoy it and it may result in choking or strangulation. Keep these items away from your pet and throw candy wrappers in a covered trash can.

    If you suspect that your pet has ingested something that may not pass through his intestinal tract, contact your veterinarian. Waiting until your dog or cat starts to vomit will make removal of the object more difficult and costly. Also, if you notice a sudden loss of appetite, vomiting, excessive drooling or abnormal bowel movements, consult with your veterinarian immediately.

    Chocolate Toxicity. Did you know that chocolate can poison your pet? Chocolate is toxic to both cats and dogs, and other candies and wrappers can become lodged in the stomach or cause your pet to choke.

    Chocolate has a high fat content and contains caffeine and theobromine, which stimulate the nervous system and can be toxic if taken in large amounts. Depending on the type of chocolate ingested and the amount eaten, various problems can occur.White chocolate has the least amount of stimulants and baking chocolate has the highest. Here is a list of the most common sources of chocolate and the amount leading to toxicity:
  • White Chocolate: Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 45 ounces per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe toxicity occurs when 90 ounces per pound of body weight is ingested. This means that a 20-pound dog would need to ingest at least 55 pounds of white chocolate to cause nervous system signs. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 27 pounds. These high amounts mean that theobromine toxicity from white chocolate is highly unlikely.

  • Milk Chocolate: Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 0.7 ounces per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when 2 ounces per pound of body weight is ingested. This means that a little less than one pound of milk chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound dog. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 1/2 pound.

  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate: Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 1/3 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when 1 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. This means that as little as 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound dog. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 3 ounces.

  • Instant Cocoa: Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 1/3 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when 1 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. This means that as little as 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound dog. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 3 ounces.

  • Baking Chocolate: Mild signs of toxicity can occur when 0.1 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Severe signs occur when 0.3 ounce per pound of body weight is ingested. Two small one-ounce squares of baking chocolate can be toxic to a 20-pound dog. A 10-pound cat would need to ingest 1 ounce of baking chocolate. This type of chocolate has the highest concentration of caffeine and theobromine and very little needs to be ingested before signs of illness become apparent.

    Once toxic levels are eaten, you may notice restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination, and excessive panting. The high fat content in chocolate can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.

    Make sure that chocolate is kept in a safe place. If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, consult your veterinarian immediately. Animals treated for chocolate toxicity generally recover and return to normal within 24 to 48 hours.

  • Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Spring is here, and so is thunderstorm season! Is your pet ready?

    Thundershirt's are an excellent treatment for most types of dog anxiety and fear issues. For many anxieties, we recommend just putting on a Thundershirt and observing the results (No training!). You very well may see significant improvement for noise, crate, travel, barking and others with absolutely no training. For more complicated anxiety cases, we recommend using Thundershirt as part of a behavior modification program.
    One thing is for certain, for a very large percentage of dogs, Thundershirt’s gentle, constant pressure has a terrific calming effect. This has obvious benefits for most types of anxiety. But Thundershirt is also a very useful tool for managing excitability or hyperactivity with strangers, on the leash, or in a training environment. Thundershirt’s calming effect helps a dog to focus (or refocus) her energies in a more constructive direction, allowing training to be more effective.

    Frequently Asked Questions               

    Why does Thundershirt work?

    Thundershirt’s patent-pending design is a pressure wrap that applies a gentle, constant pressure on a dog’s torso. A survey of Thundershirt users shows that over 80% of dogs show significant improvement in at least one anxiety symptom when using Thundershirt.
    Using pressure to relieve anxiety has been a common practice for years. For example:
    • dog trainers use pressure to address a variety of anxieties.
    • Veterinarians use pressure to relax cattle and cats when they are administering vaccinations.
    • Some autistic people use pressure to relieve their persistent anxiety.
    Until now, there just hasn’t been a well-designed, inexpensive pressure wrap commonly used for canine anxiety.

    What training is required for using Thundershirt for anxiety and fear issues?

    For many types of anxiety… none! Just put Thundershirt onto your dog and you will likely see results with the very first usage. However, for some dogs, it may take two to three usages to see results. For some more serious anxiety cases, such as severe separation anxiety, you should consult a good trainer for how to integrate Thundershirt into a training program.

    Can I wash and dry Thundershirt? Remove hair from Velcro hooks?

    Thundershirt is made with durable, washable fabric. When necessary, Thundershirt may be washed in a regular cycle using regular laundry detergent and warm water. Hang to dry.

    How long can I leave a Thundershirt on my dog?

    Thundershirt is designed to be safe to leave on your dog for extended periods of time when appropriate for the situation or issue that you are addressing.  Thundershirt is made out of light-weight, breathable fabric, so over-heating is very rarely an issue.  It is typically safe to leave a dog unsupervised while wearing a Thundershirt.

    How do I put Thundershirt onto my dog?

    The Thundershirt is designed to be easy to put on your dog, even if she/he is already in a state of anxiety.

    Is there any special sizing and fit considerations for male dogs?

    When fitting a Thundershirt on a male dog, the straps that go around the stomach area should not cover or push on the genitals or prepuce.  If the Thundershirt rubs against the genitals or prepuce, irritation may result.

    What size is right for my dog?

    Chest Size
    < 12 lbs.
    10-18 lbs.
    15-25 lbs.
    20-50 lbs.
    40-70 lbs.
    60-110 lbs.
    > 110 lbs.

    Measure “Chest Size” as illustrated by red arrow below

    Thundershirt comes in seven different sizes… XXL, XL, L, M, S, XS, and XXS. See the table to find the right size for your dog. Like people, dogs come in many different shapes and sizes, so if your dog has unusual proportions, you may need to go up or down a size versus the “standard” measurements. But the Thundershirt is designed to be very adjustable to accommodate different dog shapes and still be easy to put on.

    Is overheating a concern when using a Thundershirt?

    Except in extreme conditions (e.g. 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the sun), overheating is not typically a concern when using a Thundershirt. Dogs cool themselves primarily through their mouths and paws, and a Thundershirt is constructed of a thin, breathable fabric. The state of Florida is one of our biggest markets. But if you feel that overheating might be a problem for your particular circumstance, please monitor your dog for any signs of overheating such as heavy panting or tongue hanging out of the mouth. Remove the Thundershirt if you see any signs of overheating.

    Thundershirt is designed to be safe to leave on your dog for extended periods of time when appropriate for the situation or issue that you are addressing.  Thundershirt is made out of light-weight, breathable fabric, so over-heating is very rarely an issue.  It is typically safe to leave a dog unsupervised while wearing a Thundershirt.

    For many types of anxiety… none! Just put Thundershirt onto your dog and you will likely see results with the very first usage. However, for some dogs, it may take two to three usages to see results. For some more serious anxiety cases, such as severe separation anxiety, you should consult a good trainer for how to integrate Thundershirt into a training program.

    Call us today if your are interested about Thundershirts for your pet!

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Heartworm Season is Upon us....

    Canine heartworm disease is a common condition in many regions of the world. It is caused by the filarial (threadlike) worm Dirofilaria immitis that lives in the pulmonary arteries (blood vessels leading from the heart to the lungs) in most infected dogs. The name "heartworm" is a bit misleading because only in very heavy infections do the worms actually reside in the heart itself.

    Nonetheless, the presence of these worms causes strain to the heart and an intense reaction in the blood vessels, resulting in problems for the pooch as heartworm microfilaria (tiny larve)  is injected into the dog by infected mosquitoes.

    The most important predisposing factor is failure to receive heartworm preventative medication. All dogs living in an area where heartworm disease exists are at risk, even if they live entirely indoors.

    Transmission occurs when a mosquito bites an infected dog and ingests heartworm larvae (baby heartworms), which live in the bloodstream. When the insect bites another dog or cat, some of the larvae are injected under the skin. The larvae grow for 3 to 4 months and eventually make their way into the heart where they develop into adults, and the process is ready to repeat itself.

    What To Watch For

    Symptoms don't usually develop until damage has already occurred to the heart. Dogs can have a wide range of symptoms, with some dogs being completely asymptomatic (no symptoms at all). Symptoms usually occur because of heart failure. These include:

  • Coughing

  • Coughing up of blood (hemoptysis)

  • Heavy breathing

  • Unwillingness to exercise

  • Signs of right sided congestive heart failure, which include fluid distention of the belly, pulsation of the jugular veins in the neck when the dog is sitting or standing and heavy breathing.

    Here at AVH we use heartworm serology. This test checks for proteins in the bloodstream of the dog that are produced by the heartworms. These tests are very sensitive and accurate.

  • PreventionThe modern heartworm preventative medications are highly effective and, if religiously administered, should prevent heartworm infection. Look in our spring newsletter or call our office if you are unsure if you should test this year or next. All preventative medicine should be started June 1, 2011. Heartworm testing begins April 1st 2011.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Spring is here and so are the Porcupines!

    Porcupines are quiet, amusing little creatures who simply want to be left alone.  They do not shoot or eject their quills but will swipe their tails swiftly and leave a bunch of needle like quills in whatever the tail happens to touch.  When threatened  tiny erector muscles in the skin will make the  hundreds of quills over the back "stand up" in defense.  Any dog, that dives in thinking an easy meal awaits makes a startling discovery!  If the eyes or throat are affected by the quills, the canine is in real trouble.  Left untreated, as happens in the wild, the quills will eventually create festering and oozing and eventually the quill may be rubbed or scratched out,sometimes it  just may be a long drawn out affair.

    A quick trip with anesthesia to the veterinarian's office is the best solution for a quick and easy painless removal.  Porcupine quills do not have barbs at their ends, and have the possibilty of migrating through the dog's tissues if left in.  The points of the quills are extremely sharp and stiff and under the microscope actually appear as if they have scales or  shingles, not barbs, that point backward. Once imbedded into tissues they can be difficult to remove, especially the tiny ones that want to break before they are extracted. Antibiotics may be needed.

    Bottom line the sooner the better to remove these needles! Call our office as soon as possible if your pet tangles with a porcupine!A closeup look at the business end of a porky quill!

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Hello world....

    Each week we blog about diseases, but this week I decided to make it a bit more personal. Let me introduce myself, my name is Lisa. I have been an RVT here at this hospital since 1994 ( long time now !). I absolutely love the nursing aspect but have a particular interest in anesthesia. In 2009 I flew down to chicago and became a veterinary technician specialist in Anesthesia. Although it was hard work it was very rewarding! Dr. Lechten Anita and I also went t o Jamaica and volunteered at a stray (non kill) shelter and spayed and neutered Jamaican dogs. A definate highlight of my career! Ok enough about me, let's move on. Over the years we have done many wonderful things here at our hospital like complimentary client education seminars, pet fairs, open houses, BBQ's, golf tournaments, and more! If there are any topics that you would like to see on our blog please do not hestitate to contact me here at the hospital or email me at

    I will be keeping you informed as to our new hospital. We are all very excited to move to a new building that will be a state of the art facility. It will be well equipped with many more exam rooms! Yeah! We also will have a rehab area as well, with a hydrotherapy pool for pets. Our boarding area will also be upgraded to many more spaces, as well as "luxury" boarding which will include private themed rooms! We are looking for ideas on the themes and we will likely run a contest in the near future. Stay tuned.

    Our facebook site is up and running and we have had an enormous response to it! Right now we running a "Like Us" contest and giving away some fantastic gift certificates! Congrats to our recent winners! Gift certificates will be able for pick up after Mar 31st.

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Ear's to you!

    Otitis externa, commonly referred to as an "ear infection", is an ear condition characterized by inflammation of the external ear canal. It is particularly prevalent in dogs with long, floppy ears. Ear infections represent one of the top 10 reasons dogs present to veterinarians and may affect up to 20 percent of dogs.

    Infections are caused by fungus, bacteria or parasites. Laboratory tests can help to determine the underlying cause of the infection.
    Several factors may predispose dogs to ear infections, including:
  • Long floppy ears

  • Abnormal ear conformation or anatomy

  • Water or hair in the ears

  • Allergies

  • Trauma

  • Tumors

  • Foreign material in the ears

  • Parasites

  • Autoimmune disease

  • Generalized skin disease

    Ear infections can occur in dogs of any age breed or sex.

  • Dogs predisposed to otitis externa include those with genetic predispositions to abnormal ear canals, such as the Chinese shar-pei chow chows and English bulldogs; breeds with hair in the ears like poodles and terriers; dogs with pendulous pinnae such as the cocker spaniel and Springer spaniels; or outside and working dogs that are exposed to water or foreign bodies. Infections are most common in humid environments or during the summer months.

    What to Watch For

    Common signs of an infection include:
  • Scratching or rubbing the ears

  • Head shaking

  • An abnormal odor or discharge from the ear

  • Pain when you manipulate the ear

  • Redness and swelling of the external ear canal

  • Treatment

    Treatments for otitis externa may include the following:
  • Cleaning the ear. This can be accomplished by placing solutions in your pet's ear at home or by having the ears cleaned by your veterinarian or technician. Moderate to severe infections may require sedation and in-hospital flushing.

  • Topical therapy. It usually consists of an ear medication that you place in your pet's ear once or twice daily. The specific medicine and directions will depend on the cause of the infection. It is extremely important to follow your veterinarian's directions carefully.

  • Systemic therapy with glucocorticoids (steroids) to decrease pain and inflammation.

  • Antibiotic therapy in cases of severe bacterial infection or ulceration.

  • Antifungal therapy in cases of severe or recurrent yeast infections.

  • Anti-allergy therapy.

    Home Care and Prevention

    Optimal treatment requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Be sure to have your veterinarian or his/her staff show you how to place medication into your pet's ears.

  • Do not use cotton swabs in the ear; these may push infection and/or discharge deeper into the ear canal. Clean the ears before applying medication.

  • Return to your veterinarian for follow-up examinations as suggested.

    At home special care of your pet's ears can help to maintain healthy ears. Dry the ears after bathing or swimming and check ears for foreign matter.

    Also, at the first sign of scratching, head shaking, pain, swelling, odor, or discharge, have your pet's ears checked by your veterinarian.