Category Archives: Nutrition and care

FRUITS AND VEGGIES : WHAT IS SAFE AND WHAT ISN’T FOR OUR DOGS.

INTRODUCTION

Several foods that we found in our fridges and pantries should never be given to our dogs. On the other hand, many familiar foods can be offered to them. What are they? That’s what we’re going to see today.

This blog will mainly focus on dogs, as they are most likely to eat all sorts of things, not to say anything! But when that is indicated, we will make a note regarding the food that should not be given to our cats, rabbits and birds.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

WARNING!

Beware, it is not because we recommend a fruit or a vegetable, that one must exaggerate in the quantity to give.  We are talking here about small pieces, mainly given as treats.

In some cases, we can give a little more, we will see.

Moreover, not all dogs are equal. Some will not tolerate certain fruits or vegetables, as they will cause vomiting. If this is the case, please abstain from giving those to your pet.berries-blueberries-raspberries-fruit-122442

So if we do not cause an imbalance in the diet of our dogs, the amount of vegetables and fruits should be less than 10% of its total diet. Moreover, at this amount, the risks of causing urinary problems in certain dogs predisposed to make stones in the bladder are almost nonexistent.

However, there may be restrictions if your dog is suffering from certain diseases, so talk to your veterinarian.

Popular fruits and vegetables that do not present problems:

-FRUITS

APPLES

OK. Apples are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. They are low in protein and fat, making it a good treat for older dogs. Do not give the core because of the risk of suffocation.

BANANAS

Ok. But in very small quantities, because they are quite caloric.

Pieces of dried bananas can be given as treats for rabbits.

OK for birds, but in very small quantity.

WATERMELON

Ok. Very popular during summertime , small pieces can be given, but the bark and seeds must be removed.

OK for the birds.

SMALL FRUITS (Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

Ok. In moderation for raspberries and strawberries because of the sugar. It is essential to wash the berries well before offering them.

Dehydrated strawberries can be offered sparingly to rabbits as a treat.

ORANGES AND CLEMENTINES

Ok. Without the skin and seeds.

Citrus fruits are excellent fruits to offer your birds

KIWI

Ok. Without the skin.

This is the best fruit to offer to your birds and guinea pigs (because of high content in Vitamin C).

-VEGETABLES

BROCCOLI

Ok. But in small quantities, as they may cause vomiting due to the isothiocyanates they contain, which may cause gastric irritation.

CUCUMBER AND CELERY

Ok. Very low in calories.

CARROTS

Ok. With moderation because of their sugar content.

TOMATO

Ok. IF only the fruit is offered and not the stem that contains solanine, which can be toxic when ingested in large quantities.

GREEN BEANS

OK. In limited quantities. Some dogs prefer them al dente!

Popular fruits and vegetables that should be avoided:

-FRUITS

GRAPES (and red currants)

NO! Grapes can cause acute kidney failure.

All types of products containing grapes or raisins (including grape juice, mixtures of nuts and dry fruits, bagels, etc.) can cause kidney failure. Even organic, pesticide-free, grapes grown in domestic gardens can cause toxicity. Although the mechanism of action is not clearly understood, these fruits may lead to anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea and potentially severe acute renal failure (which develops several days later). Toxicity is not necessarily dose dependent, and symptoms may occur even with small ingestions.

CHERRIES

No. Even if the fruit itself is not toxic, the leaves, stems and pits are. They contain cyanide. However, the quantities are not high and the cores must be ground to release the toxic precursors.

Then, as a precaution, it is better to avoid them.

AVOCADO

No. The pit, skin and avocado leaves contain persin, a toxin that often causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The fruit itself, does not have as much persin as the rest of the plant, but it is still has too much for dogs.

Very toxic to birds and rabbits. So avoid at all cost.

-VEGETABLES

KALE

No.  because very small amounts can cause vomiting in some dogs and we do not know why …

MUSHROOMS

No. Avoid wild mushrooms, there are too many that are toxic. Unless you are an experienced mycologist, be sure to stay clear of them. As for mushrooms sold commercially, white mushrooms would be OK and according to several mycologists, are the only ones that can be eaten raw in a safe way.

Precautionary principle: do not give mushrooms.

ASPARAGUS

No. not because they are toxic. Raw, they are too woody and difficult to chew and cooked, they are soft and have little food interest. This is not the best vegetable.

ONION, GARLIC, LEEK AND CHIVE

No. They may cause gastrointestinal irritation and may lead to red blood cell lesions: anemia.

Although cats are more sensitive, dogs are also at risk if a large amount is consumed. A small occasional dose, such as what can be found in pet foods or treats, will probably not be a problem, but as a precaution, we should not give them to our pets.

MACADAM NUTS

No. Macadam nuts are commonly used in many cookies and sweets. However, they can cause problems for your dog. These nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and fever in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last about 12 to 48 hours.

Useful links:

Pet Poison Helpline Poison Control Center

http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/

If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the medical team of the Clinic (514-634-4190) who will be happy to assist you.

About the clinic: The Lachine Veterinary Clinic offers an unmatched and personalized service to pet owners from Lachine, LaSalle, Dorval and Pointe Claire, but also across the West Island of Montreal (West Island) and Laval, and has done so ,since 1982.

Rabbit dental care

 

Does your rabbit need orthodontic care? As curious as it may seem, dental malocclusion in rabbits is an important problem and is often under diagnosed.

The poor apposition of the teeth is one of the main causes of the loss of appetite in rabbits.

The origins of the malocclusion are multiple. We speak mainly of genetic causes, traumas and dental abscesses.animal-1846462_960_720

The diet of rabbits is very abrasive, which has the effect of wearing the teeth during chewing. To compensate for this wear, the teeth of rabbits grow continuously. The molars are aligned so that the wear surfaces are flat with sharp edges, allowing effective chewing of fibre. The teeth must be properly aligned to allow for proper wear of maxillary and mandibular teeth.

Rabbits with malocclusion usually exhibit excessive drooling, appetite and weight loss. Anorexia is frequently progressive. First, the animal stops eating its pellets, then its hay, then, finally its vegetables. Often the animal seems interested in its food. He even goes to put food in his mouth, to drop it shortly after. Owners often mention that these rabbits grind their teeth.

Loss of appetite should be addressed promptly in rabbits, because if it persists too long, it can become lethal.

To make a precise diagnosis, your veterinarian will often have to put your rabbit under anesthesia, especially if his mouth is full of saliva and a problem in the back teeth is suspected.

Depending on the type of problem, its origin and its location, treatments will be suggested. Some advanced cases can sometimes be relieved, but cannot be cured permanently. Some rabbits will require regular visits to their veterinarian.

So the best solution is prevention. Offer a rich fibre diet containing a large amount of hay, ideally Timothy as well as good leafy green vegetables.

Where possible, acquire the rabbit from a breeder who is known to produce animals free from malocclusion. And finally, after buying the rabbit, have it checked immediately by your veterinarian to make sure it is free from birth defects and infections.

If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the medical team of the Clinic (514-634-4190) who will be happy to assist you.

About the clinic: The Lachine Veterinary Clinic offers an unmatched and personalized service to pet owners from Lachine, LaSalle, Dorval and Pointe Claire, but also across the West Island of Montreal (West Island) and Laval, and has done so ,since 1982.

Inappropriate Elimination in cats

Inappropriate Elimination in cats according to the veterinarians of the Lachine Veterinary Clinic.

When a cat urinates or eliminates stools in the house and out of its litter box, it is never pleasant. This behavior is called inappropriate elimination. And the latter is the most common undesirable behavior encountered with cats.

Causes

The causes of an  inappropriate elimination can be divided in two: medical and non-medical .

Medical causes

In terms of medical causes, veterinarians at the Lachine veterinary clinic immediately think of urinary problems such as cystitis (bladder infection) or the presence of stones in the bladder. These conditions generate a lot of pain and  cats that have them tend to want to urinate very often, but in small amounts wherever they are, every time the pain becomes too intense.

Other diseases such as renal insufficiency, hyperthyroidism and diabetes, to name a few, cause excessive thirst and are associated naturally with frequent urination. Cats with these conditions find it difficult to hold back and sometimes, they urinate outside their tank when they cannot reach them in time.

Some geriatric diseases such as osteoarthritis can also cause inopportune elimination. If the tray is placed on a countertop or in a location that is not easily accessible, the arthritic cat will have greater  difficulty accessing it. Same thing if the walls of the litter box are very high, the cat can then have a lot of difficulty climbing up the litter box and will have no choice but to eliminate elsewhere.

Eventually, diseases of the digestive system such as colitis, intestinal parasites, constipation, blockage or infection of the anal bags, can result in the elimination of stools in the home.

Non-medical causes

Apart from medical causes, the major non-medical causes can be divided into three categories: aversion, preference and marking. In terms of aversion, a cat may not like its tray, the type of litter used, or where it is located. For example, if the tray is placed in the children’s playroom, it is quite possible that the cat hesitates to go to in his box.cat-336270_960_720

The strong odors that sometimes come out of the tank when it is not cleaned often enough, can sometimes discourage the cat from going there also.  Scented litters sometimes can cause the same problem. Finally, some ammonia-based detergents have the unfortunate property of leaving an unpleasant residual odor for cats, who ,let’s not forget, have a much more developed sense of smell than ours and will then avoid going into the box .

The type of litter used may also cause aversion in some cats, whether due to the texture or the inadequate amount of litter in the tray .

The height and style of the litter box can also cause undesirable aversion and elimination. Think of an inferior sized tray, too small for a big cat or conversely far too high for a kitten. Some bins are nowadays fitted with lids and this is not always adequate for some felines.

In terms of preference, it can be said that a cat may prefer one kind over another. It may prefer clumping litter to that made of traditional clay gravel. He may also prefer one place rather than another, especially if the box is in a busy place. In some cases, the texture and cleanliness of some places such as the carpet in the living room, the floor in the dining room, some fabrics such as clothes or plastic may seem more attractive to a cat.

Marking

Finally, marking is a normal behavior in cats, it is their way of leaving their business card, marking their territory or attracting a potential mate. It is however very unpleasant! Unsterilized cats  have a special way of marking: they mainly make it standing up, allowing small amounts of urine to escape on vertical surfaces. Some cats and sterilized cats will mark their territory by urinating on certain objects belonging to the owner. With these animals, this type of tagging is often associated with the presence of outside cats. It can also be a manifestation of anxiety in some cats . Note that the incidence of this type of marking increases with the number of cats living under one roof. One study reported a 100% chance in families with 10 or more cats.

Treatment

Let’s see how to fix the problem.

No punishment!

In the first place, you must make sure that your cat does not suffer from a medical problem. You should therefore consult the veterinarians of the Lachine Veterinary Clinic.

It is essential to clean the soiled areas. We strongly recommend using products that will completely neutralize odors ,not masking products like certain fragrances. For more information, please contact us. You can also cover the areas soiled with a thick plastic. This can have the effect of discouraging the cat from eliminating on the covered location.

If it is an inopportune elimination related to the aversion phenomenon, you must carry out an impeccable maintenance of the tank: remove urine and feces as they appear. If you choose clumping litter, in addition to removing stools, you should remove the agglomerated urine pellets daily and change the litter once a week. When cleaning the tray, do not forget to use ammonia or bleach cleaners.

It is important to provide the cat with an inopportune elimination problem,  a good variety of bins and litters. Offer different models of different sizes.

Another good idea is to place bins in the places chosen by the cat. You can then move these containers to a more convenient location very gradually.

In a family where several cats live, it is also important to identify the culprit: if necessary, you should isolate the cats ,one by one for a short period of time, in a room. Also, remember that you should have at least one litter box per cat living under one roof, plus another , and up to five. So, in a family where four cats live, we should find five clean litter boxes!

Sterilization is effective in 90% of males and 95% of females to regulate  inappropriate eliminations .

In regards to sterilized cats that are marking; attempts should be made to limit the ability of house cats to view outside cats and ,when possible, to get rid of these cats . You must block visual access through windows and doors. You can also lock the cat in a room where he cannot see the outside cats. In some cases, motion sensors or fences can keep some outdoor cats out of the yard and away from the windows.

A behavioral consultation with a veterinarian is always indicated. Sometimes some medication may be prescribed to correct the problem when environmental changes or sterilization have not been effective. Talk to veterinarians at the Lachine Veterinary Clinic.

If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the medical team of the Clinic (514-634-4190) who will be happy to assist you.

About the clinic: The Lachine Veterinary Clinic offers an unmatched and personalized service to pet owners from Lachine, LaSalle, Dorval and Pointe Claire, but also across the West Island of Montreal (West Island) and Laval, and has done so ,since 1982.

Feeding your guinea pig

Guinea pigs love to eat, when they are healthy , they have a big appetite. This is why, it is important to offer guinea pigs ,quality food.  Like us, they are unable to naturally produce their own vitamin C, so we must give them foods rich in vitamin c and even give them a supplement on a daily basis.

A guinea pig who does not receive a vitamin C supplement or a diet rich in vitamin C, rapidly depletes  its reserves and can develop scurvy, a disease directly related to this deficiency.

The Lachine veterinary clinic veterinarians recommend you to feed your guinea pig as follows:chickpea2

  1. Fiber is a very important part of their daily diet. Timothy hay of good quality should be offered at will.
  2. Pellets (extruded food) is not essential if you provide enough green and hay, but it can be given in moderate amounts, about 1/4 cup (~ 60 ml) per day. Avoid diets containing grains like; (corn, sunflower, etc.).
  3. Offer him a variety of quality green vegetables, such as carrots ,heads of romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, fresh parsley, fresh herbs, dandelion, pepper, fennel, etc. You can also offer him small quantities of fruits. He will like bananas, apples, strawberries and raspberries.
  4. Avoid vitamin supplement (except vitamin C of course) and minerals. As well as treats made from dairy products.
  5. Give vitamin C every day. You can dissolve 1/4 tablet of 1000 mg soluble vitamin C (Redoxon®) in a cup of water.
  6. If Your guinea pig refuses to drink by itself, offer 2.5 ml of this solution: dissolve 1/4 tablet of 1000 mg soluble vitamin C (Redoxon®) in 1/4 cup water . Do not forget to change the solution every day.
  7. You Can also offer him  tablets of vitamin C like the  Oxbow® brand. 1 tablet daily.

If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the medical team of the Clinic (514-634-4190) who will be happy to assist you.

About the clinic: The Lachine Veterinary Clinic offers an unmatched and personalized service to pet owners from Lachine, LaSalle, Dorval and Pointe Claire, but also across the West Island of Montreal (West Island) and Laval, and has done so ,since 1982.

Feeding your hedgehog

A balanced diet of good quality, especially made for hedgehog is the best choice. Alternatively the veterinarians of Lachine recommend the following on a daily basis:

-Depending on the animal weight give 1 or 2 tablespoons of less active, or light diet cat food (Royal Canin weight control or Hill’s W/D).

-For youngsters or gestating hedgehog provide the same diet ad lib.

Hedgehogs should be fed a diet that is low in fat and high in protein and fiber.

Hedgehogs should be fed a diet that is low in fat and high in protein and fiber.

 -Furthermore, you may feed 1 or 2 tablespoons of moist canned food (Royal Canin weight    control or Hill’s W/D), boiled meat, cottage cheese low in fat and eggs.

-Add to this diet 1/2 teaspoon of fruits (bananas, apples, pears, berries) or vegetables cooked carrots, squash, peas, tomatoes, greens).

-As treats you can give mealworms, crickets, earthworms. You can hide them under the bedding to encourage the searching behavior.

-You can give perishable foods in the evening to prevent loss.

-Hedgehogs can  be reluctant when new food is presented, so make sure the change is gradual. Don’t forget, fresh water has to be available at all times.

For more information, do not hesitate to ask the veterinarians of Lachine.

About the clinic: The Lachine Veterinary Clinic offers an unmatched and personalized service to pet owners from Lachine, LaSalle, Dorval and Pointe Claire, but also across the West Island of Montreal (West Island) and Laval, and has done so ,since 1982.

Feather picking in pet birds.

What is feather picking?

Feather picking is a behavior where the bird inflicts damage to itself by pulling  its own feathers thus creating skin wounds.

Why is my bird pulling its feathers?

 In all cases, food and living conditions should be modified when they are not optimal.

In all cases, food and living conditions should be modified when they are not optimal.

Pecking means the bird is uncomfortable, but it can also indicate a disease. There are a variety of causes for feather pecking, mostly all medical and/or  behavioral.

Medical causes Non-medical causes
– Inadequate environment (dust, smoke, etc) – Stressful environment
– Skin infection (bacteria, parasites, yeasts, viruses) – Lack of stimulation (boredom)
– Internal infection (bacteria, parasites, yeasts, viruses) -Lack of socialization
-Kyst -Anxiety
-Tumor -Lack if sleep
-Wound -Sexual behavior
-Abnormal feather growth -Molt
-Hypersensibility or irritation -Inadequate wing trim
-Other systemic problem
– Nutritional deficiency

 How to determine the cause?

The veterinarian should get as much information on the current and past living conditions of your bird to be able to discover the origins of the pecking condition. Often, tests are necessary to ensure that your bird is not fighting an infection or any other medical condition. X-rays, blood tests, droppings analysis and other tests may be needed.

How to eliminate this behavior?

If a medical problem is diagnosed, treatment will be prescribed to resolve the condition. In all cases, food and living conditions should be modified when they are not optimal. In some cases it will be necessary to install an Elizabethan collar around the neck of a bird to prevent it from continuing to hurt itself. Some birds suffering from anxiety can also receive medication. Recommendations adapted to the condition of your bird will be done.

How to stimulate my bird?

In nature, birds travel long hours every day and spend much of the day  foraging. They live in social groups and interact a lot with each other. It is when these natural needs to search and socialize are not met, that  a bird can redirect his energy on excessive grooming. For his psychological balance, you must keep the bird busy: it is enriching for him.

1- Make your bird work for his food: hide food in a ball of paper or in a cardboard box. Suspend food from a perch and keep inedible toys in his habitat.

2- Provide various toys. Offer alternate Toys: birds, like children,  get tired quickly of a toy they’ve had for a long time. Provide different colored toys,  with different textures and materials.

  1. Spend as much time as possible with your bird. Install the cage in a place where he will see you and you can talk to him (while avoiding the kitchen). Install a perch to your height so your bird can follow you. Avoid leaving it perched on your shoulder. Teach him basic commands (left, up, talking, etc.).

What to do if you ‘catch’ your bird pecking?

1- Ignore the  unwanted behavior. The fact of going to the bird when he pulls feathers tells him that he will have your attention if he keeps this pecking behavior. Reprimand is never a good option because it will increase the level of anxiety.

2- Divert his attention. Have him execute a command (e.g, rise, take an object, etc.).

3- Monitor his condition. If you notice the appearance of sores, promptly contact your veterinarian.

Pecking is a problem that can sometimes be frustrating for a bird owner. You must first be patient and optimistic. In some birds, it will take a long time to solve the problem. The more the situation is chronic, the harder it is to deal with, so it is important to consult your veterinarian promptly.

Ideas to enrich the environment of your bird can be found at http://foragingforparrots.com

A DVD (Captive foraging)  is available to rent at the clinic.

About the clinic: The Lachine Veterinary Clinic offers an unmatched and personalized service to pet owners from Lachine, LaSalle, Dorval and Pointe Claire, but also across the West Island of Montreal (West Island) and Laval, and has done so ,since 1982.

Feeding your rabbits

Recommendations of Lachine veterinay clinic about rabbits nutrition.

Rabbits have a delicate digestive system and unique dentition, so be sure to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet starting at a very young age. This will greatly help to prevent certain health problems such as urinary stones and dental and digestive problems. Here’s what the veterinarians Lachine veterinary clinic recommends:

Rabbits have a delicate digestive system and unique dentition, so be sure to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet starting at a very young age.

Rabbits have a delicate digestive system and unique dentition, so be sure to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet starting at a very young age.

A good quality hay should be offered at will. In addition to being an excellent source of fiber, which is essential to good digestive health, hay allows the rabbit’s teeth to wear properly. Remember to avoid sticks and branches of apple trees. Prefer millet hay and oat hay to alfalfa because they are lower in calories and calcium. Excess calcium can cause kidney and urinary problems (sand, pebbles and even calculations).

You can offer your pet a rich quality of fiber molded  pellets (25%), but in small quantities:

-For dwarf rabbits, you can offer them two ounces per day (60 ml).

-For standard rabbits, you can offer them 3-4 ounces per day (90-120 ml).

The rabbitt pellets are usually composed of extruded hay, which means that if your rabbit eats hay of good  quality and quantity,pellets can be excluded from the diet. Avoid any mixture of grains, dried fruits and colored grains.

Give your rabbit a variety of vegetables daily. Vegetables such as romaine, Boston lettuce, bok choy, endive, parsley, herbs, heads carrots, dandelion,  watercress, etc. Spinach should be given in small quantities given its high content of calcium. Same thing for broccoli. As for fruits, the amount of fruit  given should be very limited and occasional (1-2 times per week). As treats, you can give blueberries, bananas, strawberries, apples and raspberries.

Avoid dairy  treats ,dairy based supplements ,vitamins and minerals.

The veterinarians of Lachine veterinary clinic reminds you that any changes to your pet’s diet must be done very gradually. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.