Thursday, December 13, 2012

AVH's top 10 Christmas Gifts for your Pet

Just like Oprah's holiday special where she gives out ideas of her favorite Christmas gifts, we have compiled a list of our top ten favorite pet gifts you could give to your pet. Here they are....

10. A Backpack for your dog! Do you enjoy the outdoors more when you don't have to carry your pets water bottles, treats and bowls? Doggy backpacks are easy to put on, with multiple pockets where they can carry a mini first aid kit, collapsable water bowl, small canteen of water, and treats for your pet.  You can even add in freezer packs of ice into the backpack pockets during the warmer weather to help keep your pooch cool. Great for avid hikers or just wanting to take a stroll.

9. A new collar and leash. Tired of the old leash, they have so many funky kinds out there, it's easy to find something to suit your style.

8. Self warming pet bed. Beleive it or not they have self warming pet beds available. Great for the older pet that may have arthritis and achy joints or great for cats that love to curl up.

7. FroliCat Dart. This is an automatic laser toy for cats, how cool is that?

6. Seat Harness for car rides. Harnesses are easy to place on your pet, and clips into the seatbelt to keep them secure while driving.

5. Pet Fountain. Automatic drinking fountains with continous running water keeps it fresh and cool. Most fountains hold almost 1 L or water. Some cats prefer running water instead of  water in a bowl.

4. Automatic Pet Feeder. Fabulous idea! Great for cats and dogs especially if your pet is a wee bit on the chunky side. With some calorie reducing foods, using an automatic dispensing door, set the timer according to how many times you want the dispensing door to open and for how long and away you go. Ingenious!

3. Dental prophy. Can you imagine going all your life without going to the dentist? Pets cannot speak like we do, they can't tell us when they have a toothache or something is bothering them. Come on in and visit us with your pet for a complimentary dental quote.

2. Training. How about a training class? There is always room to learn a new trick or two. A great way for some social interaction for your pet as well.

1. Microchip. What if your pet becomes lost? Gets off a leash chasing a rabbit, or gets confused when outside and tries to find the wrong house to come home to? Microchipping is easy, affordable, and a quick procedure. Book your appointment by calling our office 705-733-1422.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The 12 days of Christmas is also the 12 hazards of Christmas....

Now that the holiday season is upon us, our pets are especially vulnerable to hazards sometimes we wouldn't even think were toxic or unsafe for them. Here is a quick list of what to watch out for put out by our friends at the Toronto Veterinary Emergency Clinic. They are:

1. Ethylene Glycol, this common toxin can cause renal failure with as small an amount as 4.2ml/kg in dogs and 1.5ml/kg in cats. Usually the first signs seens are lethargy, wobbliness, increased drinking and urination. If emergency treatment is not instituted this toxin is fatal.

2. Chocolate, seen mor efrequently during holidays, symptoms can be variable depending on the "purity" of the chocolate. Symptoms include increased thirst, vomiting, restlessness, increased heart rate or arrythmia and can progress to seizures.

3. prescription drugs, with the hustle and bustle of the holidays ingestion of our human medications can become a hazard. Animals do not react the same way as people do our human medications. Conculting with your veterinarian or Poison Control hotline can be a life saver.

4. Poinsettia. Commonly thought to be the "toxin of the holidays", this plant rarely causes more than gastric upset.  Avoid having diarrhea and vomiting in your pet and keep them out of reach.

5. Mistletoe, a rare toxin but none the less "out there" mistletoe can cause vomiting, diarrhea, fluid loss and even death has been reported.

6. Raisins/Grapes, because of the mechanism of toxicity is not knownm we do not know much about raisins so please be careful of this treat. It can often cause reanal failure and even death.

7. Macadamia nuts, like raisins the toxicty of this nut has not yet been identified but can cause vomiting, diarrhea and inability to use the hind limbs or stand.

8. Bulbs, amaryllis is a favorite around this time of year but also cause vomitting and diarrhea in both cats and dogs.

9. Road salt, rarely seen an an ingestion but road salt can cause significant discomfort on the pads of dogs. Combine this with a small crack or cut- ouch!

10. Hypothermia, beleive it or not this can happen even though they are built with fur coats.  Cats are prone to this.

11. Foreign bodies, Toys, ribbons, ornaments- is it any wonder why this is common around this time. Pet proofing is the only way to go to avoid an emergency trip to the vets.

12. Table scraps/Diet change, sure everyone enjoys a good turkey over the holidays, but allowing your pets  to ingest the bones or feeding left overs can result in a trip to the vets. Try to avoid changes in diet as much as possible.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Celebrate good times c'mon! National Vet Tech Week!

A Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) is essentially the "right hand man" for the veterinarian. Just like medical doctors work alongside with nurses, veterinarians count on RVT's to help them with a variety of procedures.
The type of work that you will do as a RVT varies depending on your experience, what type of setting you are working in and your specialties.  Despite the range of responsibilities, there are some general procedures that almost all vet techs will take care of during their careers. This list is by no means all of the duties or set in stone.

Common RVT Duties ( in no particular order):

lab analysis (blood, urine, fecal tests)
dental Care
preparation of samples
inducing and monitoring anesthesia
general nursing duties
client education
surgery preparation and assistance
patient restraint
wound care
office work

What RVT's don't do:

diagose patients

So as you can see the list is pretty lengthy. Anything the veterinarian needs help with  thats what the vet tech is there for. Many people confuse vet techs (RVT's) with vet assistants.  Vet assistants do not have RVT status, some have learned on the job or obtained certicates from online vet asistant programs.

Scooling and Training:

Certified veterinary technicians are individuals who have graduated from a two year vet tech accredited program. Veterinary technologists are students that have graduated from a three year program, where the third year is primarily conisiting of laboratory animals and research.  In most provinces graduates have also taken a passed a national registration board exam (VTNE). All provinces require technicians to pass this credentialing exam in order to obtain official licensure or certification. RVT's that have been out practicing in the field for a minimum of five years also hav ethe abilityy to upgrade their credentials by becoming certified in a veterinary technician specialty. There are many specialties available, Lisa one of our RVT's here  went through the task of becoming certified in small animal anesthesia. It took a few grueling years to complete but Lisa says "Although it was very challenging, it was one of the most rewarding moments inmy career." Here is a link to one of Lisa's interviews...

So if you are thinking of becoming an RVT, try volunteering at a local shelter, veterinary hospital or completeing a co op pplacement through school. If you truly like being with animals it can be a very rewarding career. October 14 - 20th, 2012 is deemed as National Vet Tech Week, so hug a tech today!

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Cost of Owning a Pet in 2012

It can be very rewarding owning a pet but it also creates financial responsibility as well.  The Ontario Veterinary Association created an approxiate cost of one's expense for the first year of owning a pet in 2012. This will help gain a better understanding  so that you are not caught offguard by the expenses incurred as a pet owner:

The fees shown are based on the OVMA's 2012 Suggested Fee Guide for Small Animal Procedures. As you also noticed no financial allowances like grooming was added in.  Food budgets were based on premium veterinary diet available only at a veterinary hospital.  A premium veterinary diet can save in the long run as it can help to prevent or manage a variety of health problems.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fighting Fleas?

Tis the season for the fight against the dreaded flea.....
Types of commercial products available for flea control include flea collars, shampoos, sprays, powders and dips. These types of products are considered old, and don't seem to work as well.  Other, newer, products include oral and systemic spot on insecticides which tend to work much better.
In the past, topical insecticide sprays, powders and dips were the most popular. However, the effect was often temporary. Battling infestations requires attacking areas where the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults all congregate. Because some stages of a flea's life can persist for months, chemicals with residual action are needed and should be repeated periodically.
Treating animals and their living areas thoroughly and at the same time is vital; otherwise some fleas will survive and re-infect your pet. You may even need to treat your yard or kennel with an insecticide, if the infestation is severe enough.

The vacuum cleaner can be a real aid in removing flea eggs and immature forms. Give special attention to cracks and corners. At the end of vacuuming, either vacuum up some flea powder into your vacuum bag, or throw the bag out. Otherwise, the cleaner will only serve as an incubator, releasing more fleas into the environment as they hatch.

Treatment & Prevention

As one might expect, flea control through these methods is very time consuming, expensive and difficult. The good news is that currently, with the newer flea products on the market, flea control is much safer, more effective and environmentally friendly. Current flea control efforts center on oral and topical systemic treatments. These products not only treat existing flea problems, they also are very useful for prevention. In fact, prevention is the most effective and easiest method of flea control.

  • One group of products works to control fleas by interrupting the development fleas by killing flea larva and eggs. These drugs are called insect growth regulators (IGRs). These products do not kill adult fleas, but they dramatically decrease the flea population by arresting their development. One common oral product used is lufenuron (Program®). Lufenuron is given monthly, and is combined with heartworm protection in the product Sentinel®. 

  • Other products kill the actual flea (adulticides) and work quite rapidly. These include both spot-on and oral products. Spot-on products are usually applied on your pet's skin between the shoulders. The medication is absorbed into your pet's skin and distributed throughout the body. Fleas are killed rapidly on contact with the skin. Spot-on products include  imidacloprid (Advantage®), and selamectin (Revolution®).

  • A recently developed oral adulticide also given monthly is nitenpyram (Capstar®), that when given begins to kill fleas in 30 minutes.

    All these products are safe, easy to use and, if used correctly, the most effective method of flea control. Additionally, some have the added benefit of efficacy against other parasites.

  • With all these choices it is best to consult your veterinarian as to the best flea control and prevention for your pet. The choice of flea control should depend on your pet's life-style and potential for exposure. Through faithful use of these systemic monthly flea products, the total flea burden on your pet and in the immediate environment can be dramatically reduced. Keeping your pet on monthly flea treatments especially in areas of high flea risk is an excellent preventive method of flea control. These products often eliminate the need for routine home insecticidal use, especially in the long run. Although it may still be prudent in heavy flea environments to treat the premises initially, the advent of these newer systemic flea products has dramatically simplified, and made flea control safer and more effective.
    "Flea Dirt" found in amongst the hair

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Well our pet fair organizing is well underway.  We have been very busy scheduling our demonstrations, vendors and more. Enjoy our delicios charity BBQ with jumbo hot dogs and backbacon sandwiches.

    This year we plan on having facepainting and a  bouncy castle with slide for the kids. A "Wet the Vet" dunk tank, you'll have a chance to buy 3 balls and try to dunk our veterinarians! The Chay 93.1Fm fun team will be here handing out prizes, but get ready to enter our contests to win great prizes!

    1. Best trick - start practicing
    2. Best Dressed Pet
    3. Happiest wag

    Contests will be judged by our "local celebrity " judging panel. We are very excited!

    This year we also will be hosting the Jungle Cat World. You will have an opportunity to learn about the amazing animals. The staff will educate on endangered species and how learning about these creatures actually help preserve them! A wonderful interactive safari experience!

    We also have a 16 G ipad WiFi +3G that we will be raffling off. Tickets are available at our check out counter(located in our hospital), come on in! Tickets are 2$ each or 3 for 5$. The ipad winner will be announced the day of the pet fair (You don't have to attend the pet fair to win the ipad), but we  hope to see you there!     

    Held at Allandale Veterinary Hospital
    66 Caplan Ave Barrie
    Sunday August 19th, 2012
    12- 4 pm

    Bring your furry friends!

    Friday, June 29, 2012

    It’s the time of year to be digging around in your garden—But if there are pets running around the yard, be cautious of what you plant because the flowers that make your garden pretty could be toxic to pets.

    We recommend the safest, pet-friendly plants:

    Bee Balm
    Butterfly flower
    Coral Bells
    Goat’s Beard
    New Guinea Impatiens
    Queen of the Meadow
    Spider flower
    Violet Yellow
    Corydalis Zinnia

    The non-plant concerns in the garden include fertilizers, pesticides, slug bait, mulch, and garden tools. Talk to your local nursery about the safest options, read labels carefully, and store everything safely in sealed containers or out of reach. Try natural products like vinegar for weeds, coffee grounds, beer, and salt for slugs, and soap and water as a natural pesticide. Avoid cocoa mulch as it comes from chocolate manufacturing and can contain substances that will cause minor chocolate poisoning (vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity) as well as general irritation to the mouth, stomach and intestines.

    Many mature dogs (and almost all cats) are discriminate. They might sniff, but they're not inclined to eat plants. Grass is often the exception and in small amounts, common grasses are safe. Ornamental grasses can be irritating to the mouth, throat, and nose so if you have a big grass eater, it is safest to avoid these plants.

    Remember that puppies and kittens are an exception. They will eat anything. It still makes most sense however to always pick the safest plants possible for flower gardens and deck pots.

    Thursday, June 14, 2012

    Two different doctors' offices

    Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement. The first patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day, and has time booked for surgery the following week.
    The second patient sees his family doctor after waiting three weeks for an appointment, then waits eight weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray which isn't reviewed for another week, and finally has his surgery scheduled for six months from then.
    Why the different treatment for the two patients?

    The first is a golden retriever. The second is a senior citizen.

    Wednesday, May 30, 2012

    Microchipping your pet =$70...Peace of mind =Priceless

    Losing a pet can be heartbreaking. Pets are part of our family! Implanting a chip is safe and easy and can be performed during a routine office visit. A small microchip is placed under the skin(almost the size of a grain of rice) injected by a needle. 
     It is activated when the scanner(wand) is waved over the area and identifies a number. Even the most diligent pet owner can have their pet slip out of its collar and run away or even get out the front door. Did you know that 75% of lost dogs and cats that were microschipped were returned to their owners because they had a microchip? Call our office today to ensure your pet is chipped!

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012

    Fire Safety!

    Last week here at the office, we had the Barrie Fire Department come in and give us a seminar on the types of fire extinguishers along with the types of fires associated with each extinguisher. Afterwards we headed outside, and actually put out a few fires (controlled of course) of our own! Here are a few pictures from the day.

    Nathan putting out his fire

    The staff testing fire extinguishers

    Don't forget the countdown is on, 95 days until PET FEST! We have an action pack line up for the day! We are excited to have the CHAY FM fun team out, we really hope the weather will co operate with us! Let it be nice and hot, so everyone can come out and play "Wet The Vet" in our dunk tank! More to come on Pet Fest 2012!
    Remember if you are planning on vacationing this year, and leaving your pets behind, we do board pets here. Be sure to reserve as soon as possible to avoid dissapointment, especially our Luxury Themed Boarding Suites- complete with internet video camera, so you can always check in at any time.

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    Continuing Education for Veterinarians

    On Saturday April 28th, we had the opportunity of having Dr. Nancy Brock visit us to demonstrate to veterinarians various anesthesia methods and protocols.

    Originally from Montreal, Dr. Nancy Brock obtained her DVM degree from the Ontario Veterinary College at the
    University of Guelph in 1982. She completed a residency in anesthesia and critical care at the University of California, Davis in 1988. In 1995, she was certified as a veterinary anesthesia specialist and as a Diplomate of the
    American College of Anestheliogists.
    Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Dr. Brock is actively involved in clinical practice, providing veterinarians and their staff with specialist anesthesia assistance: in-clinic anesthesia to high risk patients, in-clinic training in advanced techniques.
    Dr. Brock lectures extensively at regional veterinary association meetings as well as at larger forum and c
    onferences. She is the author of the Veterinary Anesthesia Update-  a practical anesthesia protocols and recipe book widely popular with practitioners.
    It was sponsored by Central Sales and Abbott Animal Health, and was a very informative afternoon.

    Thursday, March 29, 2012

    Putting on the pounds?

    It's an eye opener when a 12 pound Yorkie and a 218 pound human female comparatively weigh the same. The association of Pet Obesity offers a Pet Weight Translator that allows you to determine how much a pet weighs compared with a human male or female. You can find the translator at

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    National Contest

    Hill's Pet Nutrition - makers of the prescription food that we carry has a national contest every year. This year's contest is based on a point system. For every photo we upload points are credited. The winner will be featured in a national veterinary magazine! Here are a few photos that we wanted to share with you all... Wish us luck!

    Monday, January 30, 2012

    Keep 'em Healthy... February Is Pet Dental Health Month!

    Periodontal disease is the most common disease of small animals. Signs of periodontal disease are often not recognized, however, and some pets suffer until all of their teeth have become infected.

    Preventive dental care is one of the most neglected pet health needs. Yet it's just as important for pets as it is for people. Below are some answers to commonly asked questions about dental care for pets.

    What is Periodontal Disease?

    When food remains on the teeth it forms plaque, which continuously builds on the tooth and, if not removed, hardens and becomes what we call calculus. Periodontal disease, called gingivitis in its early stages, is caused by a buildup of plaque and calculus below the gum line. This painful and progressive gum disease causes inflammation and, finally, tooth loss.

    Warning signs include

  • Bad breath

  • Loose teeth

  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)

  • Chattering

  • Drooling

  • Lack of appetite

  • Bleeding gums

    Periodontal disease is painful. Animals cannot speak, so it is up to us to take responsibility for their care. If you think your pet may have periodontal disease, schedule an appointment to have your veterinarian perform an oral exam. He or she may inform you that you need to schedule a dental exam and cleaning.

    What happens in the dental exam?

    A dental exam and cleaning, called dental prophylaxis, is the standard treatment for periodontal disease. This includes manual and ultrasonic removal of plaque above and below the gum line. Polishing and fluoride treatment usually follow.

    A dental prophylaxis can alleviate your pet's discomfort and yearly oral exams should be performed to diagnose and treat dental problems in their early stages. However, veterinary care alone will not prevent periodontal disease. Good home care is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Most important, you should brush your dog's teeth daily.

    When should I start brushing my pet's teeth?

    The younger your pet is when he's introduced to tooth brushing, the more easily he will accept the procedure. Ideally, you should begin brushing when your puppy is 8 to 12 weeks old. But, like any good habit, it's never too late to start.

  • Immediately following your pet's dental prophylaxis, you should begin brushing his teeth every day. This is important not only because tartar begins to build six to eight hours after a meal, but because it gets your pet into a daily routine.

    It should not take longer than 30 seconds each day. A reward such as a dog cookie, is a great idea. Your pet will remember this treat more than the actual brushing. Remember, never use human toothpaste or baking soda on your pet's teeth.

    Why do my dog's gums look red?

    Some dogs develop red tissue around their gums that seems to grow over the tooth. Usually the tooth enamel under this red tissue is eroded and can be filled once the tissue is removed. If, however, the enamel has eroded to expose the tooth's pulp (nerve and blood supply), the tooth cannot be filled and must be extracted, since it causes pain for the animal. We do not yet know why this enamel erosion occurs, but weekly use of fluoride on the teeth may help prevent the lesions.

    My pet eats only dry food and plenty of dog biscuits. Do I still need to brush his teeth?

    A hard, dry diet will help keep the crowns or the teeth clean, but not below the gumline. Dog biscuits will remove some plaque, but again, they cannot clean below the gum-line and will not prevent periodontal disease. While feeding these foods is good for your pet's teeth, it is no substitute for daily brushing. Book your pet in today to receive 10% off of any dental done in the month of February!

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    Top paw tips for your pet!

    Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws.
    During the winter, products used as de-icers on sidewalks and other areas can lead to trouble for our animal companions, potentially causing problems ranging from sore feet to internal toxicity. Pet parents should take precautions to minimize their furry friends' exposure to such agents.
    To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s paws and skin, please heed the following advice from our experts:

    • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in between the toes.
    • Trim long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry on the skin. (Don’t neglect the hair between the toes!)
    • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
    • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
    • Dressing your pet in a sweater or coat will help to retain body heat and prevent skin from getting dry.
    • Booties help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents. They can also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes, causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
    • Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps to protect from salt and chemical agents. And moisturizing after a good toweling off helps to heal chapped paws.
    • Brushing your pet regularly not only gets rid of dead hair, but also stimulates blood circulation, improving the skin’s overall condition.

    • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime, sometimes causing dehydration. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help to keep her well-hydrated, and her skin less dry.
    • Remember, if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. Animal companions should remain indoors as much as possible during the winter months and never be left alone in vehicles when the mercury drops.