Fleas

Let’s talk about fleas! All animals that go outside should receive monthly medication to prevent flea infestations  (one medication can be given every 3 months!). Our animals get fleas by frequenting places that are contaminated with flea eggs: your yard, under your balcony … in short, any place in which a stray cat, a skunk or a raccoon can go or get into. In addition to being a major nuisance, fleas can transmit to your pets and mainly to cats , the infamous tapeworm …yikes! Fleas can also transmit a blood parasite in cats called Mycoplasma haemofelis, which causes severe lethargy and anemia (low levels of red blood cells, the cells that carry oxygen throughout the body).friends-1149841_960_720

Fleas reproduce rather quickly, and they prefer to feed on animal blood. However, you are at risk to be bitten if your animal is infested. Flea eggs mature in dark, warm places, such as rugs or cracks in the floor. After maturing into adults, they jump onto your animal, feed, and then reproduce. After laying eggs, the eggs will fall back onto the floor and the cycle begins again. The best way to get rid of fleas is to treat your animal once a month for 6 months. There are many medications available. Once your animal is treated, the fleas start to die off and fall off your animal. The repeated treatments are necessary in order to eliminate all the immature fleas and eggs as well. It is a common myth to restrict your animal to one room in the house in order to contain the fleas. It is more efficient to let your animal roam free, that way the fleas (who are very good at hiding!) will jump on him or her and then die off. If you restrict your pet, the fleas that are hiding in other rooms in the house will have no animal to jump on but you!

If your home is infested with fleas, in addition to treating ALL your pets (if one pet is infested with fleas, then all your pets are considered infested), your home needs to be cleaned thoroughly as well. It is important to vacuum the whole house and wash everything the animal may have come in contact with.

Flea bites on humans tend to appear mostly on places where we touch our animals, and also on the lower legs and feet (fleas cannot jump very high). A good trick to test for fleas in your house is to walk around in white socks. The fleas can sometimes be seen on your socks.

To check your animal for fleas, simply part the fur and take a close look a the skin. The preferred site for fleas is the lower back, but they can be all over the body. An intact adult flea is difficult to catch, but very often we can see the flea’s excrement (flea dirt), which resembles little black dots shaped like a comma. You can rub your animals fur and see the flea dirt drop onto a white sheet of paper. Simply apply a few drops of water onto the dirt and rub it on the paper. If you notice a red streak of blood, this confirms that it is in fact flea dirt.

Prevention is always key. The Veterinarians at Lachine veterinary clinic recommend a monthly preventative for fleas. This can be combined with preventatives for ticks, heartworm and intestinal worms. The preventative is recommended for all dogs and outdoor cats, throughout the spring, summer and fall months from April-November.

Be careful! Certain flea/tick products with permethrin (applied to the skin), which are still on sale, are very toxic to cats and should not be used in a home where dogs and cats live together.

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.

Intestinal parasites

In the summer months, the most common intestinal worms for dogs are roundworms (Toxocara), hookworms (Ancylostoma), whipworms (Trichuris) and tapeworms (Taenia, Dipylidium). These worms tend to be found in feces that are not picked up and stay stagnant in the grass, allowing the eggs to develop. The most common clinical signs are soft stools, diarrhea and vomiting. In some cases, the worms can be seen with the naked eye. In severe cases with large infestations, the worms can form an embolus and cause an intestinal blockage. However, your dog may not present any clinical signs at all, and he or she may still be shedding the eggs. dog-410948_960_720

The most common intestinal worms for cats are roundworms (Toxocara) and tapeworm (Taenia, Dipylidium). The cats that are most likely affected are cats that go outside and hunt, bringing back mice, birds, squirrels, etc. However, any cat that goes outside, even for a short period of time, can be exposed to these worms. The most common clinical signs are soft stools, diarrhea, occasionally vomiting. In some instances, the worms can be seen with the naked eye. The tapeworm can sometimes be seen around the anus, resembling small grains of rice.

The veterinarians at Clinique Vétérinaire Lachine recommend a monthly preventative for intestinal worms during the warmer months, i.e. from May/June – November. These preventatives can be in pill form, or a liquid to apply on the skin. Occasionally, two preventatives need to be combined. However, since the universal drug that eliminates all parasites does not exist, CAPC also recommends testing the stool of your pet regularly. Four times the first year of life, then twice a year thereafter.

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.

Ticks

Today we want to talk to you about an arachnid, the tick. In the late 70s, these critters were virtually nonexistent in Quebec. Parasitologists mainly warned us that they did exist, particularly south of the border and on the West Coast. Things have changed! We now know that the tick is responsible for transmitting Lyme disease and can now complete its reproductive cycle in Quebec. More and more dogs are seen in consultation because of ticks.tick-482613_960_720

For those who do not know, the tick feeds on the blood of his victims (mammals, birds, reptiles …), but not like the mosquito. The mosquito bites its victim, gets engorged with blood and leave after the meal is complete. Instead, the tick bites his victim and remains there for a long period of time. Particularly females who need a lot of blood in order to lay up to 3,000 eggs. The mouth parts of the tick are inserted into the skin of the victim and firmly hold the arachnid in place… the tick will not fall easily.

So the big question is… What should you do if you find a tick on our dog?

There is now evidence that the rapid removal of the tick is probably the best way to prevent the transmission of diseases. But the tick has to me removed correctly. Several tools are available for tick removal. Whichever you use, it is important to grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin. Thereafter, pull up with firm pressure, but constant (do not jerk it!). Once removed, it is necessary to clean the wound with disinfectant soap. Chlorhexidine is a good choice. Keep the tick in a dry container for identification.

Do not jerk, crush the tick or use your fingers to remove it. If you use a small pliers, it must be fine enough to capture the mouthparts without crushing the tick. If the mouthparts remain stuck in the skin, infection can occur.

If you have any doubt, give your veterinarian a call.

There are now ,new and safer tablets that prevent tick infestations and fleas in dogs. If ever you live in an environment where ticks are present, we strongly recommend that you administer it to your dog during the tick season, i.e. from April to the end of November. But be careful! Products with permethrin (applied to the skin), which are still on sale, are very toxic to cats and should not be used in a home where dogs and cats live together. This is not the case for the new oral anti-tick and flea product.

Lyme disease is surging in Quebec, veterinarians of Lachine veterinary clinic recommend you test your dog for this disease. This can be done at the same time as its heart worm test.

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.

Heartworm

Heartworm is caused by a worm called Dirofilaria immitis. This worm is present during the warmer months (spring, summer and early fall). The larvae is transmitted by mosquitoes. The three endemic areas for this disease in Canada are Manitoba, southern Ontario and southern Quebec. Although the incidence of the disease is not dramatic, a recent study by Dr. Slocombe of the University of Guelph demonstrates that the disease has doubled in numbers of cases since 2002 .insects-820484_960_720

The worm tends to infest the large vessels surrounding the heart, and depending on the degree of infestation, can even enter in the heart chambers as well as the lungs. This can have very serious consequences on the health of your pet. The most common clinical signs are, once again depending on severity: cough, intolerance to exercise, difficulty breathing, lethargy, collapse. It is a difficult disease to treat, therefore the best way to deal with this disease is prevention.

Although the disease is not always fatal, treatment is very expensive and the risk of major side effects are possible. A way better alternative is to make sure your dogs, cats and ferrets stay protected from it altogether.

A blood test to verify the presence of heartworm in your pet is recommended yearly.  Veterinarians will prescribe your pet a preventive medicine for their specific needs, which will keep it safe from heartworm disease. There are a variety of products available on the market. The product needs to be administered monthly from May/June until November (the period where mosquitoes are more common). Some of these products have the advantage of preventing heartworm as well as common intestinal parasites and fleas. A three in one.  What more can we ask for ?

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.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON FELINE VACCINATION

The veterinarians of Lachine veterinary clinic demystify canine vaccination.

The basic vaccine (RCP): protects against the feline rhinotracheitis virus, calicivirus and panleukopenia.

These viruses are dangerous for your pet and are highly contagious between cats. Because these viruses can survive on objects, indoor cats can also catch these diseases.

Here are the main symptoms of these diseases:

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Rabies vaccine: This virus is transmitted by saliva (via bite wounds) of wildlife animals, such as raccoon, skunks, foxes and bats and rabid pets.

The rabies virus can be transmitted to humans. Affected pets can show two types of symptoms: furious or paralytic (most canine cases).

There are three principal symptoms to recognize in a rabid animal:

—The virus targets the central nervous system. Therefore, lameness can be noticed in the bitten limb and eventually, general ataxia (abnormal gait) is observed.

—During the paralytic form, the virus causes paralysis of the larynx, resulting in marked salivation.

—Whatever its form, the rabies virus causes behavior modifications in animals. It is important to be wary of aggressive animals, but also of those abnormally quiet or easily approachable.

Leukemia vaccine (FeLV): FeLV virus is transmitted by saliva via bites, mutual grooming, licking and food and water bowl sharing. The virus can also be found in milk, nasal discharge, urine and feces.

The infected cats often show no symptoms, although some non-specific symptoms could be seen, like weight loss, diarrhea, nasal and/or ocular discharge, general weakness, lethargy and loss of appetite.cat-1184931_960_720

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV): It is mainly transmitted by the saliva via bite wounds. There’s no particular symptom associated with this disease other than a weakness of the immune system, resulting in various infections.

Possible post-vaccination reactions: after getting vaccine shots, your cat may become slightly lethargic and you may notice light swelling and discomfort at the injection site.

However, some symptoms are abnormal and suggest an allergic reaction.

Watch for these signs:

  • Skin rash;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Swelling of the face;
  • Shivering.

If you notice one or more of these signs, please call us quickly.

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.

GENERAL INFORMATION ON CANINE VACCINATION

The veterinarians of Lachine veterinary clinic demystify canine vaccination.

The basic vaccine (DAPP): protects against distemper, infectious hepatitis (adenovirus), parainfluenza and parvovirus. These viruses are dangerous for your animal and are highly contagious between dogs.

Here are the principal symptoms of those diseases:

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Rabies vaccine: This virus is transmitted by saliva (via bite wounds) of wildlife animals, such as racoons, skunks, foxes and bats and rabid pets. The rabies virus can be transmitted to humans.

Affected pets can show two types of symptoms: furious or paralytic (most canine cases).

There are three principal symptoms to recognize in a rabid animal:

—The virus targets the central nervous system. Therefore, lameness can be noticed in the bitten limb and eventually, general ataxia (abnormal gait) is observed.

—During the paralytic form, the virus causes paralysis of the larynx, resulting in marked salivation.

—Whatever its form, the rabies virus causes behaviour modifications in animals. It is important to be wary of aggressive animals, but also of those abnormally quiet or easily approachable.

Leptospirosis vaccine: protects against Leptospira, a bacteria that is transmitted by the urine of wild animals or infected pets. Your pet can transmit the disease to you via direct contact.

Infected animals often show general weakness, reduced appetite, fever, jaundice, increased thirst and increased urination. Some animals can be asymptomatic, showing no signs of the disease. Vaccination is therefore really important.

Infected humans present flu-like symptoms.

Bordetella vaccine (kennel cough): Bordetella is highly contagious between dogs. The hot zones where your dog is more at risk of being infected by this bacteria include dog parks, grooming parlours, boarding facilities and pet stores.

Bordetella specifically targets upper airways, causing either dry or productive cough, and sometimes eye and nasal discharge. Occasionally the cough can be quite serious and may induce vomiting. In more severe cases, the bacteria can spread to the lungs and cause pneumonia.dogsniff

Lyme disease vaccine: protects against the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted by tick bites. Your pet cannot give you this disease. However, you may get this disease if you get bitten by a tick.

The main symptoms are fever, low appetite, lameness and septic arthritis.

In addition to the vaccine, you can protect your dog against this disease, by giving him or her, tick (and flea) control medication during the warmer months.

Possible post-vaccination reactions: after getting vaccine shots, your dog may become slightly lethargic and you may notice light swelling and discomfort at the injection site.

However, some symptoms are abnormal and suggest an allergic reaction.

 Watch for these signs:

  • Skin rash;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Swelling of the face;
  • Shivering

If you notice one or more of these signs, please call us quickly.

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.

Mean and scary Dogs. Is the banning of breeds justified?

Veterinarians of the Lachine Veterinary Clinic  give their opinion.

Some dog breeds are known to be dangerous. For example, several cities in Quebec prohibit pittbulls on their territories. Is it justified to ban breeds known to be dangerous? Are there any races that suffer from their bad reputation?

It’s really sad that there are so many bites each year. Approximately 45,000 children are bitten by dogs each year in Quebec (to qualify as a bite…the bite must have caused marks on the skin or generated lacerations). Total bites  amount to about 164,000 in Quebec alone! It’s way too much.

However, according to veterinarians of the Lachine Veterinary Clinic, banning breeds does not solve the problem. When ,in a given city, a race is prohibited, a new  breed becomes more popular, and statistically becomes more likely to be added to the list of biters. In the 70’s, it was the Dobermans, in the 80’s pittbulls and in the 90’s Rottweilers.

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Is it justified to ban breeds known to be dangerous?

Some breeds considered ‘sweet‘  can also be aggressive. Example, it is not impossible to see an aggressive Labrador. Should we, then, ban all Labradors? In the US, for a while, the dog that bit most was the Australian Shepherd (mistaken sometimes as a working dog ‘lapdog’ …).

So how do we  reduce bites?

Several things can be done. Here are some recommendations from the Association of Veterinary Medicine in Quebec physicians in practice for small animals (AMVQ).

  1. We must advocate a selection based not only on the physical, but also the psychological balance of the subject (genetic selection is an incorrect method).
  1. Choosing a dog must also be based on the experience of the owner as well as the harmonization of the character and distinctiveness of each race.
  1. It is very important to socialize the puppy between the 2nd and 4th months of life for an early detection of situations that create anxiety .
  1. Encourage owners to follow dog training oriented courses on positive reinforcement, not punishment.

Can a law on vicious dogs  be a good thing ?

Yes, provided it does not target specific breeds. It should be to promote safety and protect the public against the dogs judged wicked. This is also the position of the Canadian Association of veterinary medicine.

How can we point out a ‘mean’ dog ?

This is quite complex, but in the position of the Canadian veterinary medical association (CVMA), a dog is considered dangerous when:

A dog exhibits inappropriate and unprovoked aggression, a dog that bites or attacks a human or other animal, whether on public or private property. Dogs that show aggressive behavior or when inappropriate behavior is present in a  modified sequence ex : (no warning before biting; no relaxation of the bite, or a  bite without warning  in between events, etc.) (5). Here are other indications of aggressive behavior:

  • the dog’s aggressive behavior cannot be justified or explained by  circumstances (it is inappropriate, for example, for a dog to bite if that dog is NOT in a state of pain or fear(panic) or NOT acting out of self-defense caused by a threat by another human or animal);
  •  the frequency of events is excessive for the context;
  • the severity of the bite is excessive for the context.

Veterinarians that are trained in animal behavior and are best placed to assess how dangerous a dog is and determine if there is not a medical cause to the underlying aggression (e.g a painful ear infection …).

Last myth: We all heard that there are no bad dogs, there are only bad dog owners: that is not true at all ! Some dogs are aggressive, among other things, because of inadequate genetic selections. By cons, good dogs can become aggressive because of an unsuitable environment  and /or education

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.