Tag Archives: disease

Home dental care for Cats

The Lachine Veterinary Clinic veterinarians inform you on home dental cares for your cats.

Home oral hygiene can make a tremendous difference in your cat’s comfort and health. A wide variety of home oral hygiene options are available, but keep in mind that anything you can do to help prevent plaque and tartar accumulation will pay big dividends. What really matters is whether or not home oral hygiene was provided over the long haul – considerable effort applied only for a short period or only occasionally will be of no long-term benefit.

Below are listed some common forms of home oral hygiene that have been proven to be of benefit for cats. Combining several methods will achieve the best results. All methods of home oral hygiene share the goal of preventing or controlling periodontal disease by minimizing plaque (bacterial film) accumulation, and preventing the mineralization of the plaque to form dental tartar. Cats can be reluctant to accept home oral hygiene, and require a very gradual, gentle and patient approach to achieve success.cat teeth

Brushing your cat’s teeth is the single most effective means to maintain dental health between professional dental cleanings. This makes sense because the bacterial film known as “plaque” is the cause of periodontal disease. This film is easily disrupted by the simple mechanical effect of brushing the teeth. For brushing to be effective, it needs to be done several times each week – daily brushing is best. Most cats will allow their teeth to be brushed, but you need to take a very gradual and gentle approach. Start by letting your cat lick the dentifrice from your finger, then off the small feline toothbrush, then gradually place the brush in your cat’s mouth and add the brushing motions. Introduction of this process may require daily activity over 1-2 months. We recommend pet-specific dentifrice for cats; these products are safe for cats and come in flavors that cats accept, such as poultry and seafood. Avoid human toothpastes as they often contain abrasives and high-foaming detergents that should not be swallowed or inhaled. Small cat-specific toothbrushes are available. Some cats prefer finger brushes.

Chlorhexidine is the most effective anti-plaque antiseptic. Chlorhexidine binds to the oral tissues and tooth surfaces, and is gradually released into the oral cavity. Chlorhexidine oral rinses or gels are safe for pets and rarely cause problems. The rinse is applied by squirting a small amount inside the cheek on each side of the mouth. The gel is smeared onto the side of the teeth or applied as a tooth-paste on a tooth-brush or finger brush. Many cats object to the taste of this product, while others accept it with no difficulty.

Several dental-specific diets have been shown to be of benefit in retarding accumulation of dental plaque and tartar cats. Some employ a specific kibble design and others include a chemical anti-tartar poly-phosphate ingredient. Although they may be of value, there is little publicly-available information documenting the dental value of chew products for cats.

Unlike dogs, cats are very individualistic in their acceptance of home oral hygiene. Try several options (brushing, finger-brushing, dental rinses or gels, dental diets) to find those techniques and products that your cat best tolerates. Some cats are very particular about new flavors. Patience and a gentle approach will yield the best results.

The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance is awarded to products that meet or exceed the VOHC standard for retarding accumulation of dental plaque or tartar. A complete listing of products that have been granted the VOHC Seal of Acceptance is available at www.VOHC.org – click the Products Awarded the VOHC Seal link.

Questions? Call us now! 514-634-4190.

American Veterinary Dental College


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 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.

Chlamydophilosis in birds

This disease can affect both birds and humans . Not only bird flu that can be transmitted to humans by birds.

Chanzu the Senegal parrot

Chanzu the Senegal parrot

It is also called psittacosis , because initially , the disease was diagnosed in Psittaciforms (birds of the parrot family ) . Now we know that most birds can be affected. Formerly , the disease was known as chlamydia ( but not like the sexually transmitted infection ) , but recent research has led to better classification of this bacterium. It is now known under the name of Chlamydophila psittaci .

This is a fairly common disease in birds , mainly in parrots : from the little budgie, the cockatoo or the big macaw.

Signs demonstrated by a bird suffering from chlamydophilosis are not typical and can be confused with several avian diseases :

The bird will often be ruffled .

Sometimes it has nasal secretions.

It often has a greenish diarrhea.

It presents a generalized weakness.

It can even show neurological signs .

Untreated , this disease has a fairly high mortality rate.

Birds that are more likely to have this disease are especially recently imported or come from unclear origins. However, birds carrying Chlamydophila can be discovered in birds from local breeders .

Interestingly , some birds can carry the bacteria without showing any signs. Under certain conditions that could be described as stressful such as prolonged cool temperature, travel , overpopulation in an aviary , etc. . , These birds will begin to shed the bacteria intermittently in their respiratory secretions or their droppings.

The disease can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with feces and nasal secretions or even breathing dust from drying droppings.

Humans with this disease may be very ill. Between 1988 and 2002, the CDC ( Center for Disease Control ) in Atlanta has identified 923 human cases and the majority of these cases resulted from exposure to pet birds .

Although this disease is treatable for humans and birds, it is wise to follow preventative measures.

There are now very effective laboratory tests , which allow your veterinarian to detect carriers of this disease. All new birds should pass this test . In addition, any new bird that needs to be introduced in existing collection should always be quarantined for a period of at least 45 days and should be tested.

If ever this disease is diagnosed in your bird, do not panic! Treatment with antibiotics will be prescribed by your veterinarian. This treatment is usually longer ( about 45 days) than when treating routine bacterial infections in dogs and cats. Your vet will also advise you on hygiene measures to follow .

But in addition to taking care of your bird, without delay , you should also consult your family doctor.