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Clinique Vétérinaire de la Montérégie

Your pet is a member of your family and ours; it is a best friend, and even a confidant!

That's why our dedicated team of veterinarians, technicians, assistant technicians and receptionists is always there, ready to care for your pet and give you the most appropriate advice to ensure its well-being and health.

Hôpital Vétérinaire de la Montérégie

Your pet is a member of your family and ours; it is a best friend, and even a confidant!

That's why our dedicated team of veterinarians, technicians, assistant technicians and receptionists is always there, ready to care for your pet and give you the most appropriate advice to ensure its well-being and health.

The Holidays Are Fast Approaching!

Decorations, guests, and good food will be on the agenda for your holiday celebrations!

In order for everything to go smoothly for your pets, here are some precautions you should take:

  • Never leave dishes unattended, as cooked turkey bones, desserts, chocolate or even bread dough could cause serious harm to your pet.
  • Tell your guests and children not to give table food to your pets.
  • The poinsettia, Jerusalem cherry and Christmas cactus are poisonous plants for your pets. Keep them out of their reach.
  • Watch out for icicles, garlands and breakable balls in your tree. In addition, if you have a natural tree, hide the base to prevent your pets from drinking water. Your tree’s needles are toxic to rabbits.
  • Put gifts in a safe place. Discard all bows and decorative ribbons quickly.
  • If your pet is stressed, bring him to a quiet place. The use of Féliway or Adaptil helps reduce stress in cats and dogs.
  • When your guests leave, watch out for runaways!

Clinique Vétérinaire Cimon • Vanier

Your pet is a member of your family and ours; it is a best friend, and even a confidant!

That's why our dedicated team of veterinarians, technicians and support team is always there, ready to care for your pet and give you the most appropriate advice to ensure its well-being and health.

Clinique Vétérinaire Cimon • Loretteville

Your pet is a member of your family and ours; it is a best friend, and even a confidant!

That's why our dedicated team of veterinarians, technicians and support team is always there, ready to care for your pet and give you the most appropriate advice to ensure its well-being and health.

Help! My Pet Doesn’t Feel So Well…Is This an Emergency?

As with humans, an emergency with your pet can happen very quickly! But how do you know when a visit to the veterinarian is necessary? Here is a handy little guide to keep that contains all the answers you will need if the situation were to happen.

“Classic” Emergencies

Here is a list of recurring emergencies for which you can start treatment at home, and do not always require a visit to your veterinarian, depending on the case.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of apetite
  • Lameness
  • Eye Redness
  • Otitis
  • Hyper salivation
  • Itching

My Pet Has Diarrhea

The first question to ask yourself: could my animal have eaten something unusual such as a toy, a plant, a bone, grass, etc.? If the answer is yes, then a veterinarian must be consulted, since consumption of a foreign body could be the cause.

If the answer is no:

  • Give him easily digestible food sold by your veterinarian, or a homemade diet of white rice and cooked ground beef for at least 48 hours.
  • You can also add probiotics (sold over the counter) to his food for at least 7 days.

When is it time to consult?

  • No improvement after 48 hours
  • Blood in stool
  • General condition is deteriorating
  • Puppy less than 4 months old

My Pet Is Vomiting

Could my pet have eaten anything unusual such as a toy, plant, bone, grass, etc.? If the answer is yes, then a veterinarian must be consulted, since consumption of a foreign body could be the cause.

If the answer is no:

  • A complete fast of 8 to 12 hours is recommended.
  • If after fasting your animal has not vomited again, you can start introducing small amounts of water.
  • If he keeps the water down, you can introduce small amounts of easily digestible food.
  • If there is no change, you can go back to normal portions the next day.

Warning: prolonged fasting is not recommended for very small breeds of dogs, puppies, and kittens, as there is a risk of hypoglycemia. If you must fast them, apply corn syrup to their gums every 2 hours.

When to consult?

  • No improvement after 48 hours
  • Presence of blood
  • General condition is deteriorating
  • Puppy less than 4 months old

My Pet Isn’t Eating

The first question to ask yourself: is my animal interested in anything other than its food (treats, table food, etc.)?

Before consulting:

  • Offer him a “buffet” including 2-3 kinds of kibble, canned food, treats, small pieces of cooked chicken, cooked ground beef and cooked or canned fish.
  • Try heating the food to see what he likes best.
  • You can try to encourage him to eat by petting him or presenting the food in your hand.
  • Try to open its mouth and check if there is anything abnormal (broken tooth, wound, redness, etc.)

When to consult?

If the loss of appetite lasts more than 24-48 hours.

My Pet Limps

Did you see him make a wrong move, fall, hurt his paw? Have you noticed if he has a broken claw?

If so, apply hot and cold alternately and keep the animal at complete rest for at least 24-48 hours.

Caution: Never give Tylenol, Advil, Motrin or Aspirin, as these products are toxic to animals.

When to consult?

  • No improvement after 24 hours of complete rest
  • Your pet is panting, moaning or showing sharp pain
  • You see a wound and there is blood present

My Pet Salivates a Lot

Excessive saliva is called hypersalivation and can be a sign of nausea, mouth injury, toothache, or rabies.

When you notice that your pet is salivating a lot, has he just eaten something that tastes bad (plant, medication, etc.)?

Start by wiping his mouth and offering him some water.

Is his rabies vaccine up to date? Despite the sharp decrease in cases in Quebec, the disease is still present and unvaccinated animals are more at risk.

When to consult?

  • Hypersalivation persists for more than one hour
  • You notice a mouth sore or a broken tooth
  • Your pet refuses to eat
  • His rabies vaccine is not up to date

My Pet Has Red Eyes

Any eye problem deserves a visit to your veterinarian without delay.

Caution: Never administer drops purchased from a human pharmacy. Some products can cause severe allergic reactions.

If you have an Elizabethan collar in your home, put it on your pet as soon as possible. It will prevent him from scratching his eyes and making his problem worse.

My Pet Seems to Have An Ear Infection

Does your pet frequently shake his head? Does he constantly scratch his ears?

Start by cleaning his ears once a day for three days with a drying and antibacterial ear cleaner (available over the counter).

When to consult?

  • No improvement despite 3 days of treatment.
  • You notice blood or sores in his ear.
  • Redness intensifies after
  • It is a cat

My Pet Scratches A Lot

First step:

  • Put an Elizabethan collar on him to prevent further injury.
  • Check for fleas or ticks.
  • If there are no sores, you can try washing it with a soothing oatmeal shampoo every second day.

When to consult?

  • If you notice the presence of sores, pimples, scabs, or patchy hair loss.
  • The itching persists despite home care.

If you are unsure about the severity of your pet's symptoms, contact your veterinarian directly. Outside opening hours, you can communicate with one of our teams available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week:

Centre Vétérinaire Laval

Centre Vétérinaire Rive-Sud

Centre Vétérinaire Montréal

Please note that the advice in this article is provided for guidance only. Nothing beats the diagnosis of a veterinary examination as well as the treatments that will be offered to you.


Decontamination of a Poisoned Patient

In veterinary medicine, the primary treatment for exposure to a toxic substance is decontamination. The purpose of decontamination is to prevent further absorption and to remove the toxic substance from the animal's body. In most exposures, there is only a very short window of time to act. Providing a detailed account of events to the veterinarian is important, so that they can determine the type of exposure and substance. The timeline of events also allows the veterinarian to gauge whether decontamination is safe for the patient and whether it will be effective.


Ocular decontamination
Ocular decontamination usually involves flushing the patient's eye extensively to remove the toxic substance. This is often very difficult for the owner to do, as it involves restraining the animal in addition to handling a potentially painful and/or injured eye. Recommended eye rinses are lukewarm water and/or physiological saline (e.g., contact lens solution). In the case of exposure to a corrosive substance, the owner should attempt to rinse the eye before transporting the animal to the veterinary hospital. Rinsing for 15 to 20 minutes with warm water or a contact lens solution will reduce the damage from prolonged contact. The animal should also be prevented from rubbing its eye, either by restraining it or by fitting an Elizabethan collar, and then go immediately to the clinic for an ophthalmologic examination. If in doubt, contact a poison control centre to determine if the substance is corrosive or not. Corrosive injuries can be very serious and can lead to blindness.

If the exposure was to an irritating but non-corrosive substance, the owner can simply rinse the eye for 10 to 15 minutes. No ointment or ophthalmic medication should be applied. The eye should be closely monitored for signs of corneal abrasion or ulceration, including itching, redness, discharge, squinting and blepharospasm (eye held shut). Check with your veterinary clinic if any of these signs appear.


Skin decontamination
Skin decontamination is performed to prevent transcutaneous absorption and oral re-exposure to the contaminant (when the animal licks itself). It is essential that the owner and all veterinary personnel be physically protected with rubber gloves, waterproof aprons and face shields. It is important to inform clients of these precautions as soon as they contact the clinic. They should also be instructed to prevent the animal from licking itself during bathing and/or transport to the hospital. For oil-based substances (e.g., "Spot on" products), the animal should be washed with warm water and degreasing dishwashing detergent; it is important to lather and rinse thoroughly and repeatedly.

Animal shampoos, as well as the human kind, are not effective against oil-based substances.  

In addition, shampoos with added ingredients (e.g., insecticides, dandruff tar, antibiotics, antifungals, etc.) should not be used to avoid the accumulation of possible toxic effects. A cat exposed to pyrethrins may be treated for uncontrollable tremors before bathing, to prevent worsening of clinical signs and to facilitate bathing (sedation) for staff. For exposure to a caustic or corrosive substance, a gentle rinse with warm water for 15 to 20 minutes prior to the veterinary examination is recommended. The use of pressurized water jets, aggressive scrubbing of the skin, or the application of neutralizing agents should be avoided, as these may cause traumatic tissue damage or severe chemical reactions.


Gastrointestinal decontamination

In veterinary medicine, gastrointestinal decontamination (including induction of vomiting and/or administration of activated charcoal with a laxative) is considered the best practice to limit absorption and prevent extended exposure to potential toxins. However, it is important to consider the risks inherent in inducing vomiting as there are potential contraindications. It is also important to assess whether the benefits outweigh the risks. In all cases, always contact a veterinarian.


By Jo Marshall, TSAC et Justine A. Lee, DMV

Kennel Cough

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough in dogs is very similar to the common cold in humans; it’s an infection of the upper respiratory tract. The main symptom is a dry, hacking cough that produces phlegm. This disease is highly contagious between dogs.

What does kennel cough sound like? It is very similar to the sound your dog makes when he is coughing and about to throw up. The cough is also very common and can be almost constant in severe cases. Your dog may also have extra secretions in the nose or eyes, or sneeze more often. Most dogs live quite well with kennel cough and would maintain their usual activities and appetite throughout their recovery.

Kennel cough can be caused by several types of viruses and bacteria. The most common cause is the Bordetella bronchiseptica strain of bacteria. However, kennel cough can be caused by other microorganisms, and your dog is more likely to be infected by the bacteria when his immune system is weakened by an existing viral infection.

Kennel cough has an incubation period of 2 to 14 days, during which time the dog will not show any obvious symptoms but will still be contagious and can spread it to other dogs. Once symptoms begin, kennel cough usually lasts 2 to 3 weeks, although some dogs with medical conditions or older dogs may take up to 6 weeks to recover. There are rare cases where kennel cough can develop into pneumonia, which can be very serious.


How did my dog catch kennel cough?  

Dogs can catch kennel cough anytime they are exposed to viruses or bacteria. However, because of its highly contagious nature, it is especially prevalent in kennels, which is why it is commonly called kennel cough.

Kennel cough is airborne, just like the human cold. When an infected dog coughs, droplets containing the bacteria or virus are dispersed into the air and spread to other animals nearby. The disease can also be spread by sharing toys, bowls or other objects with an infected dog. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to keep your dog quarantined if you think that he’s showing signs of kennel cough.


What should I do if my dog has kennel cough symptoms?

In most cases, kennel cough gets better with time, just like the common cold! No specific treatment is needed. You can take steps to make your dog more comfortable, such as removing his collar and using a humidifier to relieve the cough. The cough is usually more of an annoyance to the family than the dog itself.

Her are a few guidelines:

  • If your dog is in good overall condition and eating well, treatments are often not necessary. Before taking your dog to your veterinarian, assess the severity of his symptoms and contact the clinic if required. Your veterinarian will decide if your dog needs to be examined or not.
  • If your dog shows signs of breathing difficulties, is not eating normally, is elderly or immunosuppressed, a visit to the veterinarian may be necessary. Chest X-rays are often recommended, and an antibiotic may be prescribed.
  • Your dog should be considered contagious for 2 weeks after the end of symptoms. He should not go to dog parks or dog daycare centres during that time.


Preventing kennel cough

Make sure your dog is up to date on all vaccinations. If your dog is not properly vaccinated or if you are unsure, contact your veterinarian today.


Vaccine prevention remains your best choice!  




Common Foods That Are Toxic for Your Cats and Dogs

Chocolate is probably the best known of toxic foods - its toxicity comes from an alkaloid called theobromine. This substance is toxic in cats and dogs with a dose of 100-150 mg / kg; the darker the chocolate, the richer in theobromine, so don’t take any chances and never give chocolate to your pets. The effects of theobromine affect the nervous system and the heart of your cat or dog.

Caffeine is also very toxic at very low doses. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include hyperactivity, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle tremors, fever and even convulsions.

Grapes and raisins are also toxic, which means that a bunch of fresh grapes can be fatal for a dog weighing ten kilos. As raisins have a higher concentration of the toxic agent, the toxic dose is smaller. Each animal’s sensitivity to toxic agents will be different. Grape poisoning can cause kidney failure in your pets.

Because cats and dogs metabolize alcohol poorly, it can cause gastric problems (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) and nervous system disorders (reduced coordination, convulsions, etc.). Ethylic coma can lead to death. Never allow your pet to consume alcohol or food containing alcohol.

Human medication is also toxic to animals and can be one of the causes of emergency consultations. Make sure to store all your medicines out of reach of not only children, but also your pets. Some medications can cause ulcers while others kidney failure.

All pesticides and some shampoos are neurologically toxic to animals. The main ingredient in many poisons for rats and mice, Coumarin (D-Con), disrupts blood’s coagulation abilities and can therefore affect your pet in the same way, even if it eats a mouse that was poisoned. Antifreeze is also dangerous for your cats and dogs. Many animals like the smell and taste of antifreeze, but as this product is very toxic it becomes deadly, even ingested in small amounts.

If your pet has ingested a toxic agent, whether it’s food, medical or other, contact your vet as soon as possible. Make sure you have the following information ready:

  • The species, breed, gender, weight and age of your pet
  • Symptoms of your pet
  • The name of the toxic agent (if known), the amount consumed and the time
  • elapsed since exposure
  • Packaging of the toxic agent

If you suspect that your dog or cat has ingested toxic foods or products, contact our teams as soon as possible. A single visit can help you get the best treatments for your pet's recovery.


Here is a non-exhaustive list of common foods that can be toxic or even fatal to your pet:

  • Garlic
  • Alcohol (beer, spirits, wine, food containing alcohol)
  • Fat foods (fast food leftovers, junk food or food cooked in fats)
  • Mouldy foods
  • Avocados
  • Candy (especially those containing xylitol, a toxic sweetener)
  • Caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, diet pills or anything that contains caffeine)
  • Mushrooms
  • Chocolate
  • Chives
  • Compost
  • Hop cones (used to make homemade beer)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Leaves and stems of potatoes and tomatoes (green parts)
  • Liver (small amounts of liver are acceptable, but an excessive consumption can cause vitamin A toxicity)
  • Mustard seeds
  • Currants
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Nutmeg
  • Walnuts and Macadamia nuts
  • Fruit pits (apricot, cherry, and peach)
  • Raw eggs, meat or fish (may be contaminated by different pathogens including
  • Salmonella and E. coli bacteria, which are responsible for a large proportion of food poisoning cases)
  • Onions (in any form - powdered, raw, cooked or dehydrated)
  • Uncooked bread or yeast dough
  • Apple seeds
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Salt
  • Tea (contains caffeine)
  • Xylitol (an artificial sweetener that’s toxic to animals - may be found in candy, gum, toothpaste, pastries, and certain diet foods)




Let’s Talk Rabies

We are often asked how important is vaccination against rabies, or if vaccination is required or still necessary. Rabies is an infectious disease of viral origin, which is usually transmitted when the saliva of an infected animal comes into contact with blood, following a bite or a scratch. The virus can also come into contact with a mucous membrane (eye, mouth, nose) or skin wound by licking.

Rabies is a fatal and incurable disease to both animals and humans, in 100% of cases. The virus attacks the central nervous system of mammals, causing two presentations:

Paralytic or dumb: pets often go hide and are more lethargic, while wild animals become less fearful and will approach humans. In both cases, they will eventually be affected by paralysis and die.

Furious: Affected animals will be extremely agitated, excited, or aggressive. They can bite and attack objects or other animals indiscriminately.

As rabies is an incurable disease, the only effective prevention is vaccination. The vaccine is safe and effective when used according to manufacturers’ recommendations. Thus, a vaccinated pet won’t have a risk of infecting family members if attacked by a potentially rabid animal.

Some precautions can also reduce the risk.

-Limit your contacts with unidentified wild and domestic animals.
-Keep your dogs close to you when walking outside or in high-risk areas.
-If you see an animal acting strangely, report it here.

If bitten, clean the wound with soap and water and quickly contact a doctor. Rabies is a reportable disease: this means that any suspicious bite or animal must be reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada. In humans, treatment is possible if care is undertaken very quickly and before symptoms appear. Otherwise, survival is very unlikely.

As you can see, vaccination is an essential tool in the prevention of this deadly disease. Through the vaccination of domestic and wild animals, we can effectively reduce the incidence of infections.


Marie-Christine Hamelin, Animal Health Technician




Gardens or Flower Bouquets: How to Recognize Toxic Plants for Cats and Dogs

Whether you receive a bouquet of flowers as a gift, you have plants at home, or are gardening, if you have a cat or a dog (or even both!), you need to know which plants are dangerous and which ones you can keep!


According to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, here are the plants that are poisonous to your furry friends:

  • Amaryllis
  • Autumn crocus
  • Castor plant
  • Christmas cactus
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • English Ivy and Devil’s Ivy
  • Holly
  • Hydrangea
  • Kalanchoe
  • Lily: regardless of its variety (Asiatic Lily, Daylily, Peace Lily or Lily of the Valley), they are all dangerous
  • Marijuana: especially the seeds, but the leaves as well
  • Oleander
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron and Philodendron
  • Sago Palm
  • Schefflera
  • Tulip
  • Yew Wood


What plants are safe to have?

  • Aster
  • Calamagrostis
  • Carnation
  • Caryopteris
  • Daisy
  • Grass Fountain
  • Orchid
  • Pansy
  • Rose
  • Russian Sage
  • Sunflower

If you are unsure about a plant ingested by your pet, visit the Animal Poison Control Center website or call them at 1-888-426-4435.


Ingesting a poisonous plant can bring its share of problems, such as

  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal irritation
  • Seizures
  • Heart problems
  • Weakness
  • Hypothermia


The most extreme cases can lead to the death of the animal, which is why you should never underestimate the quantity ingested and go to the emergency quickly if you think you have seen your animal eat some.

You can go to the emergency department of our three following hospitals at any time:


Do not hesitate to research each of these plants to be able to recognize them visually.


 Cindy Rosa-Boisvert, TSA

Hôpital Vétérinaire Ste-Thérèse


Xylitol – A Threat to Buddy Over the Holidays!

The holidays provides pets with several opportunities to steal some food left unattended in the home. Vigilance is key!

Xylitol is a natural sweetener extracted from birch bark. It is used in the manufacturing of numerous food products and other items. Consumption of xylitol can be very dangerous for dogs, especially when the ingested product contains a lot of it (within the first 3 ingredients). It only causes mild issues for cats and ferrets.

It is easy to identify xylitol in ingredient lists of food products, but it can be invisible on the label of other products…. Here are a few examples:

-     Food: ketchup, peanut butter, chocolate, candy, chewing gum, BBQ sauce, bakery & pastry items, drink crystals, etc.

-     Cosmetics: makeup, lip gloss, lip balm

-     Pharmaceuticals: medications, vitamins, electrolytes

-     Personal care & hygiene products: face wipes, baby wipes, diapers, sunscreen

-     Dental care products: toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, lozenges

In dogs, xylitol causes severe and rapid hypoglycemia (15 min to 2 hours after eating) and severe liver damage (12-72 hours after eating).

Here are a few observable clinical signs:

  • Hypoglycemia: weakness, loss of balance, walking “drunk”, trembling, convulsions, loss of consciousness, even death if not treated!
  • Hepatic damage: decreased appetite, lethargy, yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes, vomiting, and diarrhea.

To protect your pet from xylitol, avoid buying foods that contain it and avoid cooking with it, or store these products out of reach.

Make it a habit to take your medications/vitamins in a closed room, in case something falls on the floor; so you have time to pick up the dropped medication before your pet eats it.

In the event that your pet ingests something containing xylitol, go immediately to your nearest emergency centre to be seen by a veterinarian.

Be sure to have the ingested product or recipe on hand and tell the veterinarian how much your pet has ingested. This information will be crucial to your pet's treatment.


Danielle P.  TSA
Hôpital Vétérinaire Blainville