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Kinesiology Tape for Pets

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KINESIOLOGY TAPE FOR PETS

Dr. Julie Schell  BSc(Hons), DVM, CVA, ACVCHM, CVC

www.bowbottomvet.com

 

Veterinarians want your pet moving freely and painlessly.  Kinesiology Taping, also known as K-Taping, helps them help your pet regain function and pain-free motion.

The skin has many neuroreceptors.  Some are sensitive to pressure (mechanoreceptors), some are sensitive to pain (nociceptors), and some body movement and position (proprioceptors) and some temperature (thermoreceptors).  They are very sensitive and are the reason we can detect when even a tiny fly lands on our head.  They are vital at protecting our body from injury and they help us heal if we are injured.

Kinesiology tape stimulates all of these neuroreceptors, and thus improve circulation and therefore, helps decrease bruising and pain.  The tape helps body parts communicate with the brain.  This feedback helps the brain improve circulation and healing to that area.  The tape also helps create free glide between the layers of skin, subcutaneous tissue and muscle layers.

In a functional neurology view, K-Tape helps wake up a weak limb.  It helps the brain and whole body remember the neurological connections between that limb and the brain, and that limb and the rest of the body.

Kinesiology tape stimulates all of these neuroreceptors, and thus improve circulation and therefore helps decrease bruising and pain.

Indications for use:

  • Decrease bruising
  • Stiff leg
  • Not using leg
  • Muscle weakness
  • Painful limbs
  • Other reasons determined by your veterinarian

 

K-Taping should only be used after your veterinarian has assessed your pet.  It should not be used:

  • Over open wounds or tumors
  • If the pet has sensitivities to adhesives

 

Pets tolerate K-Tape very well.  Sometimes I will tape both the affected leg and the normal leg to prevent the pet from noticing or worrying too much about the tape.  Often, when both legs are taped, the pet does not mind as much as if only one leg was taped.  After the tape is applied, the pet may smell the tape, and take a few tentative steps, but after that completely ignore the tape.

K-Tape should be left on for as long as it will adhere to the fur. This may be only 30mins, or it may be for 2 days or longer.  It often even stays on if your pet goes swimming.  If it needs to be removed, you can gently ruffle up the fur around the K-Tape and the K-Tape will gently fall off.  Note that it will not damage hair follicles, thus, a show dog will still be able to perform in the show immediately after the K-Tape is removed.

I have never had a patient remove then eat the K-Tape, however you should monitor your pet while he or she is wearing the K-Tape, and report to your veterinarian if your pet has eaten the K-Tape. 

For more information, or if you have any questions, contact us at 403-278-1984 or via email at [email protected] Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook!

And check out Dr Wendy Coren’s book:  Canine Kinesiology Taping;  www.equalign.com  2019

 

 

 

 

 

Using Cookies to Hide Herbs

By Bow Bottom Custom Articles No Comments

 USING COOKIES TO HIDE HERBS INSIDE!

 

Dr Julie Schell BSc(Hons), DVM, CVA, ACVCHM, CVC

www.bowbottomvet.com

www.pawsionatechefsinc.com

 

 Sometimes pets will not eat their medicinal herbs if they are simply mixed into their food.  You can try these methods:  https://www.bowbottomvet.com/2016/02/25/how-to-give-chinese-herbal-medications/

 

Or, you can bake them into cookies!   Many dogs and cats love cookies.  Especially homemade ones!  I love making dog cookies- you can mix a combination of any cooked grain, legume, pulse, plus any cooked meat, any vegetable and/or fruit plus melted coconut oil and/or egg and/or almond milk and/or unsweetened low-fat yogurt.  Put it in a food processor to blend together.  

 

To determine how much wet ingredients to add to make the desired dough consistency, first add in the grains/legumes/veggies/fruit/meat into food processor and blend until the ingredients look “sandy”.  Then gradually mix in the liquids.

 

To add the herbs, you shape teaspoon or tablespoons sized pieces of dough into balls using your hands, or the spoon itself.  Then, with a straw, poke a hole and add in the herbs at the desired dose volume.  Then re-shape the ball to close the herbs inside.  Then bake at about 225 degrees Fahrenheit or 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Must bake on parchment paper so it will not stick to the cookie sheet.  Convection ovens allow faster cooking time.

 

This is what PAWsionate Chef cookies look like:

https://www.instagram.com/petmeals2018/  

 

Feel free to contact www.pawsionatechefs.com  if you would like us to bake your pet’s herbs into cookies!

Comprehensive Dental Assessment & Cleaning

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Comprehensive Dental Assessment & Cleaning

A Step By Step Guide to Dental Procedures at Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital

 

Why is this important?

This assessment and treatment is needed now in order to slow the progression of the current dental disease and to treat early infection. Our goal is to prevent periodontal disease from advancing in your pet and to prevent your pet from requiring tooth extractions.

 

Why this is more than “just a teeth cleaning”.

The complete dental exam and assessment under anesthesia is required to help obtain a thorough understanding of the oral health of your pet.  On awake patients we can identify issues with their gums, the exposed portion of the tooth and sometimes we can even note areas of possible bone involvement. However, the complete exam requires a sleeping patient to examine and probe every tooth looking for pockets and bone loss. Radiographs are required to assess root health. Most of the tooth itself is below the gum line and cannot be visualized without taking X-rays. Radiographs are needed to determine extensive bone loss, root abscesses and issues with re-absorption, just to name a few common things we are looking for.  Yes, the cleaning part is important, but we cannot ignore the exam and assessment portion.  This is the most important part to prevent tooth loss and advanced dental disease from affecting your pets’ overall health. Dental disease, if left untreated can lead to urinary tract infections, blood infections, organ disease and failure, anorexia and of course a lots of pain.

 

This hand-out explains step by step what you can expect for your pet on the day
that we schedule this dental procedure.

 

  • A thorough patient history is obtained, including an assessment of home care and your pet’s chewing habits. A thorough general physical examination and oral examination are performed.  This may have been done at your pet’s visit today with Dr. Schell.

 

  • Pre-anesthetic blood testing is performed if not already completed a few days prior to surgery. This is a safety screen we need to do before any pet undergoes anesthesia.  We run a Complete Blood Cell Count (looking for infections, inflammation, anemia, and platelets for blood clotting), chemistry tests (to check organ functions including liver and kidney function, pancreas, blood sugar), and electrolytes (to test hydration levels and balances).  We will include a thyroid test when indicated.  Other tests may be required based on your pet’s health status and age. Another recommendation for all ages and breeds is an ECG (electrocardiogram) to screen for any heart abnormalities.  These tests have been included on the estimate provided for you.  Blood work results may alter sedatives or anesthesia choices.  We want to be sure your pet is safe, so it is critical to see the lab results prior to medicating your pet. This is why you may be asked to bring your pet 3-5 days prior to surgery for pre-anesthesia labwork.

 

  • Once scheduled for the dental procedure, you will need to remember a few things starting the night before. It is important to fast your pet overnight.  This means NO FOOD after 8:00 pm.  They can have water overnight, but take it away first thing the morning of the procedure.  If they require medication the morning of their procedures, it is fine to give the meds with a small portion of food, as long as it is NOT with a full meal (1 tbsp in total).  A spoonful of canned food or peanut butter are just a few ideas. Please take your pet out for a walk that morning to ensure they urinate and have a bowel movement prior to the admission appointment.  It is important to arrive at your scheduled time in the morning, as there will be an admit appointment with a technician.  It will take about 10-15 minutes, so please budget your time if needed.

 

  • Once your pet is admitted, we will draw the blood sample to run the pre-anesthetic blood work if it hasn’t been done prior to your pets’ surgery date. They also receive a pre-surgical physical exam from Dr. Schell to check their vital signs to ensure everything is normal before proceeding with sedation or anesthesia. Dr Schell will check for fever and evaluate vital signs prior to sedation.  Sedatives are then given to your pet before their general anesthesia.  This allows your pet to become more relaxed and less stressed to allow ease of restraint, as well as allows us to use less anesthetic drugs.  An intravenous catheter will then be placed and an injectable anesthetic is given to allow us to intubate (using a special tube in their throat to administer a mixture of anesthetic gas and oxygen).  We then maintain them with the gas anesthesia.  We then hook IV fluids up to the IV catheter and administer fluids to your pet for the duration of the procedure. This will help maintain their blood pressure during anesthesia, replenish any blood loss and aid in a faster and smoother recovery.  It will also help flush the anesthesia from your pet and help them feel better.

 

  • Once under anesthesia, your pet is monitored by both the dental technologist and anesthesia technologist. We use up to date monitoring equipment and techniques.  Blood oxygen levels, electrocardiography, respiration monitors, blood pressure, and temperature are all aspects that are constantly checked.  Vitals are recorded every five minutes manually by the anesthesia technologist that is dedicated solely to your pet.  External warming is provided with our warm air circulating machine to prevent hypothermia, as the body temperature often decreases during anesthesia.

 

  • Oral treatment will start with a complete scaling and polishing. Scaling is performed above and below the gum line.  Below the gum line is very important and cannot be performed without anesthesia.  Most oral pathology is found under the gum line (Think of the tooth as an iceberg).  After cleaning, the dental technologist and Dr. Schell will complete the Dental assessment.  This is an extensive dental exam using visual assessment and periodontal probing and charting.  We have also started to include entire mouth dental radiographs. These X-rays are performed to ensure that there are no dental concerns, as we cannot see underneath the gumline.

 

  • Based on what is detected during the dental assessment, Dr. Schell may contact you with updated information if there are any changes from the original treatment plan. If surgical treatment is needed, oral nerve blocks are administered to allow very light levels of anesthesia and patient comfort.  This also allows your pet to wake up and remain pain-free for up to six to ten hours postoperatively.  Oral nerve blocks are essential for patient comfort and safety if extractions are required. Please provide us with a phone number where you can be reached at for these instances.

 

  • Schell will then perform the oral surgery based on the dental radiographs while the pet is monitored by the anesthesia technologist. It is important that the surgical extractions are performed by a licensed Veterinarian.  All diseased tissue, bone, and complete roots need to be removed and the socket needs special material inserted to aid in healing.  The extraction site is then sutured closed using a special dental suture. We take an additional x-ray after the extraction to ensure that the socket looks cleaned out and there is no root remaining.

 

  • Upon completion of the procedure, your pet’s mouth is thoroughly flushed and a fluoride treatment is recommended. This will be followed by a quick and uneventful recovery.  Pre-anesthetic medications and analgesics combined with nerve blocks aid in a rapid recovery by allowing your pet to stay at near waking levels during the procedure.  Schell will then call to inform you that your pet is comfortable once awake, as well as answer any questions you may have.  We like to keep the patient on IV fluids for most of the day to help flush out the body and replenish any blood loss.

 

  • Post-operative medication and instructions, home care, and recheck information are discussed thoroughly at the discharge appointment. A complimentary recheck appointment is needed in 7-10 days following your pet’s procedures.  Please be sure to ask us any questions or let us know of any concerns you may have, as we are here to help you as well as your pet!

If you have any questions or concerns about Dental assessments please contact our office at 403-278-1984, or email us at [email protected]

Your pets are our passion!

Chiropractic to Improve Your Pet’s Body and Mind

By Announcements, Bow Bottom Custom Articles No Comments

CHIROPRACTIC TO IMPROVE YOUR PET’S BODY AND MIND

Dr Julie Schell  BSc(Hons), DVM, CVA, ACVCHM, CVC

www.bowbottomvet.com

I had the pleasure of attending the 2019 American Veterinary Chiropractic Association’s annual conference.  It was excellent to learn from over 300 of my colleagues, practice new techniques and become aware of the latest advances in this great field.   

Improving a pet’s mobility is important.  A veterinarian’s goal is to have their patient moving pain free, with full range of motion in their joints.  Mobility and motion are so important in making your pet feel good and live healthier and longer.  Chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, proper nutrition, supplements, herbal medicines and essential oil therapy will help enable this.

Your veterinary chiropractor will palpate all of your pet’s joints to assess range of motion.  Joints that are not working well may have malalignment causing nerve or spinal cord compression.  The irritation may be local or distal.  For example, improper positioning of neck vertebrae can cause decreased mobility of the hind legs. 

The field of chiropractic believes that the body has an innate ability to heal.  If we can restore a pet’s joint mobility, then their immune system, circulation system and neuromuscular system should be able to restore the imbalances and help the pet regain health and comfort.

Many pet owners have seen the benefits of providing petting and massage to their pets- they feel better often instantly.  Some pets really enjoy bathing, which is a super powered massage as the warm water is also relaxing.  It is also exciting for owners to witness their pets improved feelings of well-being.

Use it or lose it.  Keeping your pet’s brain functioning well will help prevent degeneration.   This includes stimulating all of their senses including touch, smell, taste, vision, and hearing.  Chiropractors use these senses, especially touch, to assess the health of the nervous system using a system called Functional Neurology.  Using neuronal pathways, chiropractors stimulate the immune system in specific ways to help their patient’s healing systems to work better, sooner and faster.

Ways to help your pet remain mentally active and therefore improve their physical well-being include taking them on walks- there is an abundance in smells, sights and sounds on walks.

Bringing your pet for daycare visits and hiring a dog walker for them when you are at work is also stimulatory.   It is important not to overwhelm your pet, especially if they are older, therefore, sometime shorter walks and shorter periods at daycare are best. Hiding treats in your house for your pet to sniff out and find is also helpful.  Many professional training schools offer scent classes, often called nose work, which are great for all dogs, especially seniors who may not be able to keep up with prolonged walks at first. 

At Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital we often use Essential Oil therapy for pets.  The oils have amazing healing properties including aromatherapeutic properties including improving olfactory awareness and also decreasing anxiety.  Check out a video we made about essential oil therapy for pets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_BC649tRP8

Cookie stretches are excellent- hold a treat in front of your pet and move it left and right so that their eyes or nose tracks the sight and scent.

The simple act of petting, grooming and bathing your pet improves their brain health.  Many pets can be trained to truly enjoy bathing.  If trained well, pets may even learn to enjoy nail trimming.  Your veterinarian can help you find ways to prevent your pet from becoming overwhelmed or experience anxiety during nail trimming.

 

For more information about veterinary chiropractic and your pet’s total well-being, check out www.bowbottomvet.com and www.animalchiropractic.org and www.collegeofanimalchiropractors.org and www.ivca.de and www.veterinarychiropractic.ca and www.healingoasis.edu and www.optionsforanimals.com

Busting Myths About Parasites

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We’re here to bust some common myths about parasites and parasite prevention.

One of the main risk of parasites is the zoonotic transmission that may happen to your family. Children and immune-compromised family members are at the biggest risk. Please discuss your questions about prevention and treatment with one of our friendly staff. Annual testing ensures early and timely detection of a positive case.

 “My pet’s stool is normal (no diarrhea) – they must not have any parasites” – False

Diarrhea is not the only symptom of an internal parasite prevention! Often they will have normal stool production until the infestation is at a critical level. More common symptoms to be observant of is pale mucous membranes, failure to gain weight, dehydration, poor hair coat, coughing and that pot-bellied appearance.

Please remember most infections are asymptomatic (no signs).

I don’t see any “worms” in the stool – they don’t have any worms. False

Parasite’s live in the intestine, they are happy there and do not want to leave. The eggs they produce are what is passed in stool, these are microscopic! The only way you will see a parasitic infection is in tapeworm infections if severe/rare cases you may see little rice like bits moving in the stool. Also roundworm infections as patients often vomit large masses of worms that look like spaghetti. Gross right? Instead of letting your pet get to an overload of parasites before noticing/treating we recommended monthly preventive for everyone’s health.

 They are on a monthly dewormer – do I still need to test?Yes

Yes! The de-wormer we recommended at Bow Bottom is broad spectrum and generally covers most parasites. However there is concern that some worms are becoming super worms – therefore we still recommend testing annually. Also there are common parasites like giardia, coccidia and the new major concern is Echinococcus that are not covered under the deworming normally prescribed. Giardia is most common in puppies and coccidia in kittens. 

My puppy was dewormed by the breeder – that is sufficient.No

Sadly no, breeders often deworm with an over the counter medicine which is considered not adequate. Of course each breeder is different and we recommend bringing your puppy in for its first puppy visit as soon as possible, that way we can sign your pet up for insurance and discuss a proper vaccine schedule and deworming plan. Please bring any records your breeder has given you for us to place in your file. 

My cat is always indoor – no need for parasite preventionFalse

Yes! Your cat although indoors is still at risk. We leave the house daily and may walk around higher risk areas like farms, parks or other outdoor places and track in parasite eggs on our shoes. Also if you have an indoor cat but a dog as well, they can share parasites between species so highly recommended to keep your indoor kitty up to date on parasite prevention and vaccines!

Flea and parasite prevention is toxic for my pet. The pet store products are the same– False!

Veterinary products are by prescription as it is important to ensure your pet’s health before administering any medications. There are possible reactions to any medication and if you have concerns, please discuss with one of our technicians or with Dr. Schell. Pet store products are very risky as they are more based off pesticides and you are more at risk of selecting the wrong dose, they can be very toxic to cats if the wrong medication is given. It has been demonstrated that pet store products only affect approx. 50% of fleas due to resistance and lack of residual effect.

Ticks, Are those parasites too? – Yes

Yes. Ticks transmit a large variety of disease agents that can cause Lyme disease and many other harmful diseases. Ticks are very small and often overlooked therefore prevention is the best method of protection and not just removal.

Heartworm? Not here in CanadaFalse

Yes. Heartworm occurs in warmer regions, where summer temperatures are high enough for the worm larvae to survive inside the carrier mosquitoes. The high-risk areas in Canada are southern Ontario, southern Quebec Manitoba, and the Okanagan in British Columbia. Heartworm is also found in most states in the US. Although it is not absolutely certain, it appears that heartworms are unable to survive at prevailing temperatures in Alberta and Saskatchewan. A few cases are diagnosed in these provinces every year, but to date the dogs have visited or lived in heartworm risk areas. We recommend heartworm prevention as many of our patients travel and it is one less concern on the pre-packing list.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________
Did you know?!

Biggest areas of infection: Dog parks, farms/barns, daycare centers, puppies from mothers and exploring the environment, fleas, anywhere wild life is, even your own backyard!

A female roundworm can lay up to 85,000 eggs per day! These hard shelled eggs can survive in the environment for years. A whipworm female only produces about 2,000 eggs a day but they can still live for multiple years in the environment.

Hookworms have a very short growth period, even pets on a monthly dewormer may have adult worms in their intestines. This stresses the importance of minimally yearly stool testing. 

In puppies under 6 months studies have shown as many as 30% are infected with roundworm.

Just one flea can become 1,000 on your pet and in your home in only 21 days.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

Preventive measures

At least yearly stool testing at your annual exam.

Monthly parasite prevention with a broad spectrum medication.

Feeding a commercial or home cooked diet, raw diets are not recommended.

Limit access to areas where wildlife are (Stay on leash in parks, on hikes)

Do not let cats outside unsupervised, most cats take to a harness and leash walking very well or build a catio!

Do not handle animal feces or urine with bare hands.

Promptly and regularly clean your yard with proper stool disposal

Reduce tick habitat, such as leaf litter or long grasses in your yard.

We have teamed up with our Veterinary Reference Lab to help research parasites in our area, and to make sure our fur friends are parasite free!

For the next 4 weeks (ending November 30th at 12pm!) we are offering Annual Parasite Screens at no cost!  (** Conditions apply, see below)  The screen includes the routine fecal centrifuge (looking for pesky parasites and eggs), as well as a giardia test, and the brand new antigen screening looking for hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms.  This entire screen is normally in the realm of $100, but our charge to you is $0!  All we ask is that you make a donation to Tails of Help.

Why Tails of Help?

Tails of Help recently reached out to all clinics in Alberta with a sad message:

“……. Tails of Help is now on the verge of having allocated all our available charitable funds for providing pet treatment aid.  Effective immediately, as of September 11, 2019, Tails of Help will have to temporarily suspend accepting applications to aid pet owners in need.”

Click HERE to learn more about Tails of Help!

We wanted to help, and thought we would use this parasite data collection as an opportunity to collect some donations for Tails of Help. We have nominated our clients and patients for this charity and they have used them to help their pets. We are hoping to help them replenish some of the bank and aid more pets in need.

Please call our team if you have any questions! Samples can be brought in during office hours.  

 ** For research purposes the free testing is on “Healthy screens”, the No charge test cannot be completed on diarrhea or loose stool

PROTECTING PETS FROM POOR AIR QUALITY

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PROTECTING PETS FROM POOR AIR QUALITY

Dr. Julie Schell  BSc(Hons), DVM, CVA, ACVCHM, CVC

www.bowbottomvet.com

Calgary has very poor air quality due to forest fires up north sending severe amounts of smoke.

Protecting lung and nasal tissues is important.  When the air is this bad, keep pets indoors as much as possible and give them indoor rather than outdoor exercise.  Soft sponge-type balls and stuffies can be thrown indoors to play fetch.  Humans need to wear air pollution masks if outside.  There are even air pollution filtration masks for pets.  Check it out:

https://www.k9mask.com/

Pet owners should also keep their pets well hydrated so their lung’s cilia cells can filter better.  The cilia cells line the trachea (wind pipe) and help sweep particulate matter like smoke particles, dirt and mucus out of the lung. The immune system also works better when the body is properly nourished and hydrated.  Therefore, fresh water needs to be available at all times for pets and they need to be fed balanced, nutritious diets.

Keeping your pet’s body in shape is also important.  Excess fat cells release inflammatory mediators that decrease health and comfort of pets at many levels. They also insulate the pet, making them feel overheated, especially on hot, smoky summer days.

Here are some other interesting ways to help your pets stay healthy during smoky conditions:

  1. Provide a clean, healthy house for them. Hepa Filters are excellent ways to keep inside of your house free of excess dust.  Humidifying the home may be helpful to prevent the home from being too dry.  The lungs do not do well with environments that are too dry, too wet, too cold or too hot.
  2. Vacuum your house regularly to remove excess dirt, pet and human dander and fur. This decreases antigen exposure to your pets.
  3. Prevent excess drafts, fans and aggressive air conditioning. Drafts, especially along the back and the neck are challenging to the immune system.  In Chinese Medicine, they are felt to cause Wind and Cold Invasion.
  4. Energetically warming teas with cinnamon, ginger, clove, and green tea for detoxification can be fed to pets. Check out directions:  https://www.bowbottomvet.com/2015/06/12/new-article-how-to-make-green-tea-for-your-dog-or-cat/
  5. Diffusion of essential oils such as clove, cinnamon, lemon, eucalyptus, pine spruce, lavender, cypress, peppermint, marjoram, rosemary which help support and soothe the respiratory system.
  6. Keep your pets away from cigarette smoke, cannabis smoke, firewood smoke and vape smoke. Those are known carcinogens and very hard for their lungs to tolerate.
  7. Bath your dog weekly to remove particulate matter like dirt and smoke particles that cling to the skin and causes immune system stimulation and irritation.
  8. Bring your pet to your veterinarian for diagnosis, and treatment. Veterinarians trained in Herbal medicine, chiropractic and acupuncture may prescribe immune tonifiers such as echinacea larch, reishi and cordyceps mushroom, atragalus, n-aetyl-cystein, Lung Yin tonifiers, andrograpis and Xiao Chai Hu Tang.  Acupuncture, massage, chiropractic, topical essential oils and home cooked food can also help many pets.
  9. Asthmatic pets may require metered dose inhalers (puffers). Allergy testing can also be done by your veterinarian to help identify immune system needs and allergy desensitization therapy needs.

If you have any questions please contact us at www.bowbottomvet.com

 

 

Ticks

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Ticks

Dr. Julie Schell  BSc(Hons), DVM, CVA, ACVCHM, CVC
Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital
www.bowbottomvet.com

Fascinating facts about ticks include:

  • There are about 40 different species of ticks in Canada.
  • They are arachnids as they have 8 legs, whereas fleas are insects with 6 legs.
  • Some female ticks can live 3 years as they complete their life cycle.
  • Ticks can cause major, serious diseases such as Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, paralysis and anemia (blood deficiency).

They are very powerful creatures that can severely negatively impact pet’s lives, and therefore their owner’s lives.  For example, Lyme disease is a crippling illness and can have long lasting, devastating clinical signs such as arthritis, fever and decreased energy.

Ticks are very hardy and small.  Some species are only the size of a poppy seed and therefore, are very challenging to find hidden in the fur of your dog or cat.  They are also often painless when attached to skin, so your pet may not scratch them off themselves.  To help prevent your pet from being bitten from ticks, contact your veterinarian.  They will prescribe safe and effective tick protection in the form of a tasty chewable tablet given either monthly or every 3 months for dogs, or, topical medication applied to the neck area monthly or every 3 months for dogs and cats.  All dogs and cats who go outside should be treated as ticks can fall off birds flying overhead and land in your back yard, waiting in the grass or trees to attach to your pet as they walk past.

Dogs who travel or who live in areas of Canada that are heavily infested with ticks may also require a vaccination to protect against Lyme Disease.  Contact your veterinarian to discuss if vaccination is necessary.

In addition to the prevention medication, applying veterinary approved, pet friendly essential oil topical sprays that have peppermint and cedar are helpful.  The sprays may also have citronella and lemon which dispel mosquitoes:  https://www.bowbottomvet.com/2013/05/17/use-of-essential-oils-for-tick-and-bug-prevention/

You should also do a check of your pet’s coat each day to look for ticks.  Usually you will only find them in a larger adult life stage as the juvenile or non-engorged size is very small.                                

If you do find a tick on your pet, it needs to be removed as quickly as possible.  This is because within 48 hours of attachment, an adult tick can transfer the causative agent (Borrelia burgdorferi) into your pet or start injecting toxins that lead to paralysis.  You have two options for tick removal:

  1. Bring your pet to your veterinarian or to an emergency veterinary hospital if your regular veterinarian is closed. They will professionally remove the tick and send it for testing to the Government of Alberta.  The test will include tick species identification, and if the tick is the Ixodes genus, further testing for Lyme disease will be done.  Your pet’s skin will also be examined to determine if the tick’s attachment site is painful or infected.  Topical ointments, and possible oral antibiotics may be needed.
  1. If you cannot get your pet to a veterinarian (for example you are camping remotely), then try to remove the tick yourself. Wearing rubber gloves, remove the tick with proper equipment such as the commercially available “Tick Twister”:   Or tweezers.  You should always carry a Tick Twister or tweezers with you while camping.

Do not touch the tick with your bare hands as sometimes the saliva of the tick will have infectious agents such as Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.  Be sure to remove the whole tick including head and body.   The “Tick Twister” or tweezers will help you do that (pull the tick off at the base of the mouth parts are attached the skin).  Then, the tick should be placed in a secure hard plastic, glass or metal container (with a piece of wet tissue or cotton ball that is wet to keep the tick alive) and brought to your veterinarian.  Your veterinarian will then send the tick to the Alberta Government for identification.

For more information contact your veterinarian and check out:

Global News Ticks Segment

Bow Bottom Website Search on Ticks

Dog Owners and Ticks

Cat Owners and Ticks

 

Preparing Your Home and Family for a New Pet

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Preparing Your Home and Family for a New Pet
Dr Julie Schell BSc(Hons), DVM, CVA, ACVCHM, CVC
www.bowbottomvet.com

It takes a village to raise a puppy or kitten so it is important to be as prepared as possible.

1. It is important to determine what veterinarian you choose as your veterinary team will play an integral role in helping you choose your pet, giving pre-purchase examination, setting up pet health insurance and keeping your pet health and happy for a lifetime. Your veterinarian is an excellent resource for everything pet related including nutrition, behaviour, and medical health. Your veterinarian can even guide you about how and where to find a new pet and determining what species and breed best suits you and your family. Feel free to interview several veterinarians until you find the right match.

2. Pet Health Insurance will save you thousands of dollars throughout your pet’s lifetime. Register your pet for the best policy you can. Not only does it save you money, it saves you from making tough decisions about your pet’s care.

3. Ask your veterinarian what breed of dog would suit your and your family’s life style. Be sure everyone in your family is on board with having a pet and wanting to take responsibility caring for him/her. Cats can live 41 years! Dogs can live 29 years! They both need commitment both financially and through time and effort needed to train and raise them.

4. If you decide on a purebred, interview breeders until you find a helpful one who provides health guarantee and has healthy breeding stock who have been tested for the congenital mutations that may be common in that breed. A good breeder can also help you determine if their breed is a good match for you and your lifestyle.

5. If you buy from a rescue center, be sure you receive medical records and health notes so you know what vaccinations and tests the pet has had before purchase. You may be able to foster the pet to determine if he or she is the right match for you.

6. Prepare your home- pets need a safe environment. No poisonous plants for pets to chew, or access to railings or stairs that kittens can climb and fall from. Ensure there are safe toys, chews, games, scratching posts, windows to help keep your pets occupied. Your veterinarian will be very helpful in helping you ‘pet proof’ your home as well as improve the resources and environmental enrichment for your pets.

7. Consider adopting an older pet. Sometimes an older pet is easier to accommodate compared to a puppy or kitten because often they are already trained. Dog training classes are excellent ways to help you train you new dog or puppy and will give you helpful training advice, and a lot of fun!

8. Look into pet daycare facilities and over-night care/boarding centers and pet sitters for your pet. It is helpful to prepare in advance for trips. Also, if you work outside of your home more than 5 hours per day, you will probably need a dog walking service or a daycare. It is challenging to train puppies and is not fair to the puppy if they are left home all day long. This can set back potty-training with your puppy.

9. Also look into pet friendly hotels when planning holidays so you can enjoy your pet during your holiday.

10. If you have existing pets, have plans in place on how to introduce your new pets to them. For example if you are adopting a dog, introduce them to your existing dog in neutral and joyful territory such as a dog park or a green space that your current dog enjoys. Do not let two new pets together alone unattended until you are certain they accept each other and do not fight. If you are introducing a new cat to an existing cat, it is often best to keep your new cat/kitten in a spare room for a few days or weeks so that your existing cat can smell them under the door and get used to the sounds of the new cat. Then, you can swap spaces so that the new cat/kitten is allowed to explore the house and the existing cat can stay inside the room to acquaint itself with the scents of the new cat. If you own birds and are introducing a cat, be very cautious to protect your birds from being attacked by the cat. You may need to house the birds in a safe, protected room or keep them inside large, safe cages.

11. Litter box etiquette is important. Note that puppies and adult dogs will eat cat feces. Elevate your cat’s litter boxes onto a table, or place them in areas your new dog will not reach. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 1 more litter box than the number of cats you have in the house. So if you have two cats, have at least 3 litter boxes. And place them in different floors of the house. This will help if your cat accidentally gets trapped in the basement.

12. Ensure enough water is placed in the house, in many areas of the house there should be water bowls that are kept full. Adding more pets to your home will increase the water consumption stations and volumes.

13. Decrease stress of introductions of new pets with pheromone sprays such as Adaptil for dogs, and Feliway for cats. Thundershirts are helpful as well as essential oil sprays for pets. Oral anti-stress herbs and supplements that contain ingredients such as colostrum, valerian, L-theanine, Chinese herb formulas suited specifically to your pet, acupuncture, massage, are all often very helpful to your pets.
This is a video on Thundershirts-> click here!
This is a video on items and products that reduce stress in cats-> click here!

14. Monitor feeding times well. It is important that the new pet is eating and is not getting his/her food stolen by the existing pet. Watch them closely while eating or you have to separate them into different rooms during meal times. Leaving food out all day and not measuring meals can lead to obesity or starvation for the other pet. There are excellent technologies that help prevent pets from over eating including automatic feeders triggered by an individualized fob attached to each pet’s collar.

15. Children must be educated about how to properly and safely handle a pet. Never leave a child alone unattended with a pet, especially when you are still learning your pet’s personality and needs.

This is an article on decreasing stress in pets-> click here!

As well as behavior protocols to help relax pets-> click here!
and how to introduce a new pet-> click here!
and introducing a pet to children-> click here!

Thank you!

Dr. Julie Schell BSc(Hons), DVM, CVA, ACVCHM, CVC
Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital
1186 137 Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2J 6T6
403-278-1984
www.bowbottomvet.com
www.pawsionatechefsinc.com

Your pets are our passion!

Protecting Pets From Spring and Summer Hazards

By Announcements, Bow Bottom Custom Articles No Comments

Dr. Julie Schell BSc(Hons), DVM, CVA, ACVCHM, CVC

After seeing three different external parasites on three different patients all within three days, I was rudely awakened that spring has arrived!!!

These are some of the common spring and summer hazards that pets can be protected from:

1. Fleas – The first patient, a sweet 6 month old Australian Terrier puppy, presented with severe itchiness of her ears and head, shortly after poking her face into a badger hole while on a walk.  My team and I microscopically identified the military, brown, jumping bugs.  Fleas live on dogs and are quite species specific, meaning not many dog fleas will be able to survive on a human or a cat; however, dog fleas can live on badgers, coyotes, wolves, and dogs.  There are effective preventive medications from your veterinarian: either topical monthly products, or monthly or every 3 months chewable tablets to be eaten.  They can survive indoors year round on pets, but most pets are more likely to become infected during the spring and summer months.  This is because pets are more active at interacting with each other at off-leash parks where there are other dogs and wildlife, or at grooming facilities or daycare centres.

This is a good article about fleas: https://www.bowbottomvet.com/pet-health-resources/pet-health-articles/?article=22

2. Lice – I found lice on a dog last week who was itchy.  The owner thought she was just dirty from not having had a bath for a few weeks; however, during her chiropractic exam I found a single adult sucking lice, engorged full of her blood.  When one lice is found, there are usually others, in addition to lice eggs which will hatch and start sucking the pet’s blood.  They cause intense itchiness and usually live around the eyes and ears, but this lice was on her poor back!  Fortunately, your veterinarian also has shampoos and sprays and topical preventive mediations.

More information about lice: https://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2794

3. Ticks – These little spiders not only have the ability to suck your pet’s blood (and if present in large enough numbers cause anemia and weakness) but they also are notorious for harbouring dangerous parasites and bacterias that cause severe disease in pets, namely: Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  The great news is that your pet does not have to suffer from ticks, as there are many topical and oral medications to prevent them.  Calgary definitely has ticks now, as do most other cities in Canada. Thus, prevention is essential.  If you do see a tick on your pet, do not touch it with your bare hands, as their saliva can carry Lyme Disease organisms and infect you. Wear rubber gloves and remove the tick with a special tick remover system available from your veterinarian, or tweezers, or bring your pet to your veterinarian right away for removal.  The tick should be saved in a strong plastic container and brought to your veterinarian for species identification, and to be sent to the government for testing for Lyme Disease.

This is an interesting information article on ticks: https://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2311

4. Hot environments leading to heat stroke – A pet’s body temperature is warmer than humans. Normal core temperature is 37.5 to 39.5 for dogs and cats, and they only have 2 natural ways of releasing heat. They can pant or sweat to release excess heat, but they only have sweat glands on their feet.  There are special cooling bandanas your pet can wear around his or her neck, and also cooling beds that take away heat when your pet lays on them.  We also make a beautiful, cooling essential oil spray that has oils such as peppermint and lemon to swiftly and effectively cool your pet.  Offering a small children’s swimming pool for your dog outside is a great way for them to flop in water to cool off.  Always supervise if your pet is swimming, even in the backyard, to prevent drowning.

5. Swimming too far away from owner – Many dogs love swimming and it is great exercise; however, some get carried away by swimming in rapid currents or swimming clear to the opposite side of a large lake.  A safe way to keep your pet afloat and close to you, but still able to swim, is to put a pet life jacket on him or her, and attach a long leash that you can hold onto when you are in a boat or walking along the shore.

This is a video demonstration that we made about pet life jackets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eNgqNC9ntg

It is also important to wash your dog after swimming.

This is a video we made on bathing pets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6_Twhlzv10&t=92s

6. Mosquitoes – Not only are they uncomfortable to a pet when they bite to suck blood, but they can transfer Heartworm disease.  Monthly tablets or chewable medications can be given to protect pets from Heartworm disease.  We at Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital also make an effective, safe essential oil spray that help prevent mosquitoes from biting you and your pet.

Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNI9BjG_flg&t=74s

7. Dehydration – Always bring water with you when you are walking your pet or if your pet is outside in your backyard, definitely have fresh water available at all times.   Inside your house it is important to have many different water stations set up in many areas of the house. The more often your pet walks by a water station, the more likely he or she is to take a drink.  When the weather outside is hot and when a house is hot, or if the air conditioning is turned on, a pet’s water needs increase due to panting and sweating (releasing heat and moisture) or from convection losses (air conditioning currents).   When you are hiking or walking your dog, there are special back packs that can hold water bottles for pets, and there are lightweight compressible water bowls that your pet can also carry in his or her back pack.  Offer them water every 15 minutes, or more often if the weather is very hot.

This is an article on how to encourage your pet to drink water: https://www.bowbottomvet.com/2014/05/14/encouraging-your-pet-to-drink-water-2/

8. Plants – These are very abundant in the spring and summer months, and many pets can be allergic to them. Your veterinarian can test your pet for plant and other environmental allergies and work with you to prevent their immune systems from being so reactive.  Also, many toxic plants and mushrooms may be eaten by your pet. If you suspect that your pet has eaten a toxic plant or mushroom, bring him or her to your veterinarian right away.

This is a helpful list of dangerous plants: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants

9. Allergies – Pets are exposed to more allergens in the spring and summer, even if they stay indoors.  This is because as snow melts, snow mould develops, which can be tracked indoors to cats who stay indoors as well as pets who venture outside.  The spring and summer also provide excellent growing temperatures for plants which produce pollens that can cause hay fever-like symptoms or itchiness to sensitive pets.  Your veterinarian can help treat and prevent allergy symptoms in your pet including allergy serum injections, hypoallergenic food, herbal medicine, essential oil therapy, shampooing, topical sprays, acupuncture and chiropractic.

For more information contact us at www.bowbottomvet.com

Thank you!