Tag Archives: prevention

DIABETES MELLITUS IN PETS

INTRODUCTION

November is Diabetes Awareness Month for pets. Diabetes mellitus is a well-known disease in humans. Few people know that it can touch our four-legged friends too!

WHAT IS DIABETES MELLITUS?

Diabetes is a hormonal disease, due to a lack or insufficient action of insulin, which regulates the blood sugar level.

Glucose, a vital source of energy for the body

Dogs and cats find in their diet , sugars  which are transformed into glucose during the digestion. Glucose then passes in the bloodstream and  used as an essential energy source for all organs. Normally, this  is allowed by insulin, a hormone that passes glucose from the blood to the cells that make up the organs.

When insulin fails or does not work properly, glucose can not get into the cells, which then denies, those same cells, access to their main fuel. Glucose then accumulates in the blood, which is at the origin of various health disorders for  diabetic animals.

WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF DIABETES IN PETS?insulin-syringe-2129490_960_720

In humans, diabetes is divided into two forms: Type I and Type II.

These are also called juvenile diabetes and adult diabetes, or insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

In short, type 1 is the type where the pancreas produces no insulin (dogs), and in type 2, the pancreas produces insulin, but not enough  or there is interference with its effectiveness (cats).

Certain endocrine conditions such as Cushing’s disease ( where the adrenal glands  secrete too much cortisol) and certain medications (cortisone) can promote the onset of diabetes.

RISK FACTORS

While diabetes has been diagnosed in dogs and cats of all ages, sexes and breeds, some animals are more at risk of developing the disease.

RISK FACTORS IN DOGS

  • Age (middle to older dogs are most affected)
  • Unsterilized females
  • Genetics
  • Obesity
  • Specific breeds : These breeds present a higher risk of developing diabetes:
  1. Cocker Spaniels
  2. Dachshunds
  3. Doberman Pinschers
  4. German Shepherds
  5. Golden Retrievers
  6. Labrador Retrievers
  7. Pomeranians
  8. Terriers
  9. Toy poodles

RISK FACTOR IN CATS

  • Age (older cats are more sensitive)
  • Sterilized males
  • Genetics
  • Other conditions or conditions that may cause insulin reduction or resistance such as chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones)
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF DIABETES IN DOGS AND CATS?

Thus, the main clinical signs of diabetes mellitus are:

  • Eating excessively
  • Drinking excessively
  • Excessive urination
  • Weight loss (over an extended period of time …)

The signs are sometimes subtle in cats.

A plantigrade walk  (compared to a normal swift walk)  is sometimes observed in cats.

DO DIABETES HAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE HEALTH AND LONGEVITY OF MY ANIMAL? (In short, are we obligated to treat?)

Without proper treatment, diabetes mellitus can cause serious complications. Let’s mention the most common ones:

  • Cataracts (can lead to blindness)
  • Urinary tract infections (recurrent)
  • Coma and even death

TREATMENT

First thing to know, oral hypoglycemic agents are not very effective in animals. So very little are used in veterinary medicine.

The main treatment is insulin, which must be injected every 12 hours, sometimes for the life of the animal (although cures are possible in cats).

Glucose curves should be performed regularly, ideally by the owner at home, or at the clinic.

Exercise (dog).

FOOD CHANGES MUST ME MADE:

Dogs: diets  low in calories and high in fiber

Cats: diets rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.

PREVENTION

Considering that obesity is a significant risk factor for the onset of diabetes, keeping your pet at a healthy weight is a simple and very effective procedure.

CONCLUSION

Managing your dog’s or cat’s diabetes will require effort, but the rewards are worth it. Once controlled, thirst urination, appetite, and activity level return to normal and they are less likely to develop complications related to this disease.

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.
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Dental Cleaning for your Pet

Professional dental cleaning is often indicated when periodontal disease is present. The veterinarians from the Lachine Veterinary Clinic are pleased to provide you with the appropriate information concerning the procedure.

Our own teeth are scaled by a dentist or hygienist – we sit in the chair and open our mouth when requested, letting the professional do their work. While the principles of good oral hygiene and dental health are the same for dogs and cats as for people, there are some significant differences. We understand why the procedure is important, and we typically do not need sedation or restraint. Neither is true for our pets. Another important difference between human and veterinary dental practice is that we tell the dentist when there is discomfort; to ensure that nothing is missed in dogs or cats, our patients require a thorough oral examination as part of a dental scaling procedure. Your veterinary dentist may recommend dental radiographs.animal-dog-pet-dangerous-large

Professional dental cleaning includes scaling and other steps described below.

Every professional dental cleaning starts with a review of the patient’s general health and any previous dental history. For a thorough, safe dental cleaning in veterinary patients, anesthesia is essential, as this permits a comprehensive assessment of the tissues, allows dental radiographs to be made when indicated, followed by the cleaning (scaling and polishing procedure) itself above and below the gum-line.

Non-anesthetic or Anesthesia-free dental scaling” is not recommended by AVDC

http://avdc.org/AFD/

If the extent of the abnormality is limited to accumulation of plaque and dental tartar with gingivitis or only mild periodontitis (bone loss around the tooth), professional dental cleaning is indicated. The veterinary dentist will call the owner if additional abnormalities requiring attention are found.

Professional dental cleaning removes dental plaque and tartar that cause periodontal disease. The dental deposits are removed by power (ultrasonic) and hand dental scalers. Following scaling, the teeth are polished to remove residual plaque and to smooth the tooth surface (which delays deposition of plaque and tartar subsequently). The mouth is rinsed to remove debris prior to a final inspection. The pet owner will be provided with recommendations for daily home oral hygiene specific for dogs or cats, and a recommendation made for a follow-up examination.

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

American Veterinary Dental College

http://www.avdc.org/careforcats.html

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.

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

http://www.avdc.org/careforcats.html

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.

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.