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Clinique Vétérinaire Féline de Ste-Foy

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.

Is Your Pet Well Protected in Winter?

It’s no secret that as soon as the temperature begins to fall below freezing, it’s necessary to exercise caution to avoid frostbite. What about your pet? Despite their thick coat, animals are very sensitive to winter temperatures – it is therefore necessary to take extra precautions. Read the advice below to learn how to protect your pet during the cold season.

The most fragile animals

Small sized juveniles and senior (geriatric) pets, and those with short hair, are more susceptible to cold; the use of a coat designed for this purpose is often necessary during winter outings. In addition, animals that are used to living indoors are generally much more affected by low temperatures than those living outdoors. It is therefore recommended to place their cushion near a source of heat and, above all, away from drafts!

Take care of their paws

Several potential issues await your dog during a winter walk, but it is possible to prevent some of them. For example, trimming the long hair between his pads will prevent the formation of ice clumps that can cause frostbite under his feet. In addition, frequent trimming of your pet's nails will maximize their stability on the ice.

Upon your return home, completely dry your dog. Also take the time to thoroughly rinse their paws to dislodge any salt stuck between their toes, which will prevent any burns. Know that there are boots/slippers specifically designed to protect fragile animals from cold and chemicals. For dogs who don’t tolerate these boots, it is possible to apply a protective balm on their paw pads.

Beware of snow

Even if ingesting snow may seem innocuous, it can cause certain gastric problems in your pet. As well, make sure their belly is not in prolonged contact with the snow during the walk, because it could cause frostbite.

Avoid grooming

Your animal's hair is naturally covered with sebum, a fatty substance that acts as an insulator. Grooming your dog would only result in the disappearance of this layer of sebum as well as a large amount of hair, its two best allies against winter cold. However, weekly brushings are recommended.

Adapt your winter habits

In winter, if your cat or dog lives outdoors, you should give them 20% extra food daily to offset the energy required to maintain their temperature. (This practice of leaving animals outdoors is rare these days; we usually see owners and some good Samaritans bring their pets and sometimes even stray animals inside). It is also essential to provide protection against wind and snow; to properly insulate the shelter, place straw or dead leaves at the bottom to absorb moisture. Finally, remember that it is essential to keep your pet indoors during extreme cold snaps.

 

 

Winter Tips & Advice

Some dogs will have a harder time tolerating the cold. The same is true for cats. Don't forget that major temperature changes are less well tolerated by younger and older dogs. To help them get through the cold season, there are a few precautions to take. Naturally, dogs with thicker coats will be less cold than short-haired dogs. However, it is important to remember that snow can freeze under the dog's paws or belly. If your dog has just been groomed, he must be protected from the cold for about ten days, because the wash has removed his natural protection. To help them enjoy their outings more, you can get them a jacket and boots. There is a wide selection of warm and waterproof coats that protect the chest and belly. The best thing to do is to bring your dog along for a shopping spree!

Did you know that de-icing salt can cause irritation between your dog's toes and paw pads?  To avoid injuries, you can apply a balm like Dermoscent Bio Balm or Pawguard. After a walk, it is recommended to rinse his paws well and dry them. This will prevent him from licking himself and aggravating the lesions. Additionally, for dogs with thick coats, remember to dry them well to avoid skin issues.

Note that it is possible to choose a salt- and chloride free de-icing product such as Windsor® Safe-T-PetTM. When using a de-icing salt, make sure your pet does not ingest it. This product could lead to poisoning.

If you practice winter sports, you should be aware of the sun's reflection on the snow. Over time, this can cause eye damage for your dog. Ideally, your dog should wear a pair of dog glasses. If your dog has never practiced winter sports with you, get him accustomed gradually.

If you let your cat go outside, it is imperative that he has a thick undercoat to protect him from the cold. Cats that don't go outside will shed less. Therefore, if you want to let your cat explore the outdoors during the winter, you'll have to get him used to it gradually and under supervision.

You should provide access for him to get warm. Using a cat flap might be a good option. Did you know that there are magnetic cat flaps on the market? Only your cat can use it. If a little door is new to him, don't force him. Use his favourite treat to make the experience enjoyable. Another option is to prepare a small shelter with a cushion or pillow, and place it where the snow can't get in. When he comes home, pay special attention to his paws and belly. Just like a dog, dry him off well!

Remember that your kitty's energy requirements will be greater. Leave a ration of kibble at their disposal. This way, he can come and have a little snack even if you are not present.

Happy winter, everyone!

Clinique Vétérinaire Saint-Sacrement

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 • 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.

November : Geriatrics Month

You have decided to adopt him, to love him and to provide him with the best care until the end of his life. But did you know that on average, animals are considered geriatric from the age of 7 years old?

To help you better care for your aging animal, we recommend the following:

  • Providing food adapted to senior cats and dogs.
  • Ensuring your animal remains active to prevent obesity.
  • Setting up a cozy spot for him, to help him with morning stiffness.
  • Paying special attention to his gait and his playing time, which can diminish over the years.
  • Making an appointment with your veterinarian for a health check-up and blood work if you notice any changes in his coat, appetite, water intake, urination, breathing, etc.
  • Maintaining good oral health.

Food for older animals includes specific amounts of nutrients. It is important to provide an adequate diet so that the animal can maintain muscle mass and joint mobility, and keep sufficient energy levels while staying at a healthy weight.

Remember that mature dogs and cats become less tolerant of heat and cold. In addition, their vision, sense of smell and hearing can be impaired with age. Certain changes in the household may seem trivial to you, but for them, it can cause enormous stress.

If you are concerned about your pet's general health, if you think your pet has osteoarthritis, or if he seems disoriented, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

Hôpital Vétérinaire des Laurentides

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.

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Because our pets are such integral parts of our families, it is important to recognize some signs of pain that they may be experiencing.

In certain cases, the animal’s quality of life can be affected in a gradual and insidious way, such as with dental issues or arthritis in older animals.

It’s not always easy to identify the signs of animal pain. Some animals, like cats, show little to no signs of pain. Animals are incredibly adaptable and can easily hide their symptoms.

 

Here are some clues that your companion could present if they are in pain:

  • Decreasing activity levels;
  • Apathy following some physical effort;
  • Hesitation to jump on a surface (cat), or to go up or down stairs;
  • Difficulty getting up or settling down;
  • Decrease or cessation of grooming;
  • Excessive licking or chewing of a part of his body;
  • Decreased to no appetite;
  • Behavioural changes (less tolerant of handling, hiding, routine changes, irritability);
  • Increased sleep periods;
  • Visible nictitating (3rd eyelid);
  • Difficulty finding a comfortable position or frequent changes in position;
  • Increased vocalizations.

In small mammals, a slowing down or stopping of the digestive transit can also be observed. In birds, a swollen plumage and lowered wings may be noticed. For cats, the positioning of their eyes, head, whiskers and ears is a useful way to determine their condition. Their facial expression can tell us a lot! In dogs, their posture can tell us more: they will have a round back, low ears and low tail.

Keep in mind that some medications may not be appropriate for your pet’s problem and may actually make it worse. In addition, several human medications are toxic to our pets. Therefore, before starting any treatment, check with our team!

 

Danielle Castilloux, Hôpital Vétérinaire de l'Ormière

Vaccine Reactions

Vaccination is the best way to protect your pet from infectious diseases. The principle of vaccination is to administer to the animal a small dose of disease-causing organisms (viruses or bacteria) that have been either "killed" or modified. This will cause a specific reaction of the immune system, which will develop cells with a memory of the diseases against which the animal has been vaccinated.  Consequently, if the animal comes into contact with one of these diseases later on, the immune system will be ready and able to fight the disease quickly and effectively. It is common for a booster vaccination to be necessary to maintain good immune memory.

Although most animals will tolerate the vaccination perfectly well, some may experience a change in their general condition. Fatigue, decreased appetite, low-grade fever or mild pain at the vaccination site may be observed. These symptoms are normal and can be relieved with cuddling and affection. However, if these symptoms persist 48 hours after vaccination, please contact your veterinarian.

Allergic reactions may sometimes occur. This type of reaction usually occurs within 6 hours of vaccination. Symptoms to watch for include vomiting, itching (especially on the face), facial swelling and redness, diarrhea and, rarely, difficulty breathing. If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. Allergic reactions must be treated with medication and fortunately, response to treatment is quick and effective in the vast majority of cases.  Your veterinarian will prescribe the best treatment to cure your pet.

If your pet has had a previous allergic reaction in the past, your veterinarian will discuss with you the advisability of continuing the vaccination. A decision may be made to discontinue all or part of the vaccines. Sometimes the vaccination is continued, but medication must be given in the days leading up to the vaccination.

By vaccinating your pet, you are protecting them from serious and sometimes fatal diseases. You can rest assured that vaccination is a wise decision!

 

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!  

 

 

 

Does Your Pet Suffer from Itching?

Your pet scratches, chews and licks himself all the time? Canine and feline itching is often a symptom of an allergy. But an allergy to what? That is the question… If you notice signs of intense itching, better consult your veterinarian, and read below.

There are four major causes of possible allergies in dogs and cats. Indeed, there are allergies to flea bites, atopic dermatitis (including seasonal allergies), food allergies, and contact allergy (skin reaction following contact, with a chemical product, for example). All these causes lead to several symptoms, one of which is common to them; i.e. pruritus.

In dogs, itching results in scratching, licking and excessive biting, most often directed at the ears, face, paws, stomach and perineum. In cats, excessive grooming is mainly noticed on the face, belly and groin. Unfortunately, this excessive scratching will, in most cases, lead to self-inflicted traumatic skin damage. Thus, we can observe areas of hair loss, redness, scabs, red and oozing raised patches, ulcers, etc.

When the animal creates lesions due to excessive scratching, the skin becomes more fragile and therefore more susceptible to secondary bacterial and fungal infections. It is possible that your veterinarian administers antibiotics or antifungals to your animal to cure these infections before attacking the cause of the allergies.

 

The diagnostic

Only a veterinarian is able to make an accurate diagnosis about excessive itching.

There are three types of allergies:

  • Food allergies: this allergy occurs when the animal’s immune system reacts to a specific ingredient. Your pet may develop a food allergy overnight, no matter if you’ve given him the same food for a long time. You can see that the animal is scratching excessively, especially around the ears and legs.
  • Dermatitis: it only takes one flea bite to trigger allergy dermatitis (FAD). Your pet does not need to be infested with fleas to suffer from extreme itching in the back, legs, belly, and tail. To make a diagnosis, the veterinarian checks for fleas or flea feces, redness, sores or skin infections.
  • Atopy: Just like humans, your pet may be allergic to pollen, dust mites, dust and mould. Atopy may be seasonal or annual; it causes itching in the head, stomach, elbows and on the legs.

The ultimate test to diagnose atopic dermatitis is a skin allergy test or allergy intradermal test (TAID); this test being carried out by a veterinarian who specializes in dermatology. A small patch of hair is shaved from your pet's side and a very small amount of an allergen-containing solution is injected. In total, about 50 allergens are injected. These allergens are selected based on their presence in the geographic region where you live. Afterwards, each injection site is analyzed 15 to 30 minutes later to determine which allergen(s) reacted on your animal. If the reaction is positive, then swelling will be present at the injection site.

The skin allergy test is generally carried out at least around 2 ½-3 years of age in order to allow the animal to develop all of its allergies. Indeed, an animal allergic to only a few allergens at around 1 year old may become allergic to a range of others a few years later. This saves us from repeating the test, which can be quite expensive! It is also best to perform this test in the fall or winter so that environmental allergens such as pollen do not interfere with the test.

Treatment

Itching caused by allergy can be treated in several ways:

  • antihistamines;
  • cortisone;
  • pest control;
  • specialized shampoo;
  • immunotherapy.

However, be aware that nutrition can play a major role in controlling allergies. Some dog food formulas specifically designed to protect healthy skin may be effective against itching. Acting as a skin barrier, these therapeutic nutrient formulas prevent the penetration of allergens in the dog's body and promotes optimum hydration, which considerably reduces itching.

The only treatment that will allow your animal to recover from its allergies is hyposensitization or immunotherapy. On the other hand, to have access to this treatment, it is necessary to perform the skin allergy test beforehand. Subsequently, once the allergens have been isolated, a solution is made and then periodically injected into your pet. Generally, this treatment is effective in 75% of animals and it takes a period of 3 to 12 months before the itching subsides. The injections should be continued for life, but once the itching is well controlled, the intervals between injections may increase.

As previously mentioned, the skin allergy test is relatively expensive. Thus, it is sometimes possible to control allergies with alternative solutions before having the famous skin test performed. In animals whose signs of allergies are seasonal and mild, a symptomatic treatment can be attempted before moving onto the allergy test, with the agreement of the owner. Indeed, some medications such as cortisone, essential fatty acids and antihistamines are effective in controlling symptoms, but it is important to mention that these do not cure allergies! Some of these drugs, especially cortisone, can lead to side effects if administered over a long period. It is therefore very important to weigh the pros and cons before choosing this option.

 

Advice

You can help your veterinarian to determine the causes of your pet’s itching by noting your observations:

  • Is the itching regular or occasional? When does it occur?
  • Which dog food do you use? Do you give him treats?
  • Have you moved recently?
  • Do you have new furniture?
  • Have you used new household cleaning products?
  • Do you have a new pet?