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lisamarchuk

Outdoor risks for our Pets

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SkunkThe warmer weather is just around the corner but so are 2 nocturnal creatures, the skunk and porcupine.  These animals pose a threat to our pets. Skunk spray can be harmful depending on where our pets are sprayed, but porcupines have a more serious weapon, their quills.

Skunks by nature are a docile creature but will defend themselves.  Initially a skunk will hiss, stamp its feet and raise its tail as a warning and when these warning signs are ignored the skunk will spray their anal sac secretions. These secretions contain a mixture of sulfur containing thiols which give the characteristic odour of rotten eggs, garlic and burnt rubber.  This foul smelling spray is meant to ward off predators.  Skunks can spray these secretions up to 7-15 ft and have very accurate aim. Getting sprayed by a skunk is commonly referred to as being “skunked”.

Most times our pets are sprayed on their faces causing them to rub their faces, roll, sneeze and sometimes vomit. Occasionally, the spray makes contact with the pets eyes causing ocular edema (swelling), conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers which requires veterinary attention.

Treatment is aimed at converting the thiols, which are not water soluble into nonodourous compounds. Bathing dogs and cats in a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will accomplish this ( see attached recipe ).

Krebaum skunk odour removal formula

1 quart fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide

1/4 cup baking soda

1-2 tsp of liquid dish washing detergents

For large dogs, add 1 quart of tepid water to ensure complete coverage. Mix the above ingredients together. Bathe the animals outdoors. Apply the formula to the pet, working deeply into the fur and allow it to set for 5 minutes. Rinse with a large amount of water. Repeat if necessary.

Dangers of the porcupine to follow in next blog

 

 

 

 

What’s Bugging My Pet

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130632863_d3d2641cc3Fleas: There are more than 1900 flea species worldwide but only 1 species is of concern in companion animal medicine. Ctenocephalides Felis, the cat flea, is the most common flea found on our cats and dogs. Successful control of a flea problem requires understanding the flea life cycle.

1) The Egg: At any given time, about 1/3 of the flea population in your home is in the egg stage. These eggs are laid on our pets and then fall off to hatch in the house. Hatching occurs when conditions are ideal – high humidity and temperatures between 18-26 C.

2) Larva: Eggs hatch to release the larva, a caterpillar like creature which crawls around the environment eating “flea dirt” that has fallen off our pets. The larval stage makes up about 57% of the flea population in our house. The larvae are found near areas that animals frequent and in areas of relatively low traffic such as under couches. The larva is capable of spinning a cocoon and pupating.

3) Pupae: Once the larva has spun a cocoon, they are nearly invincible. Inside the cocoon, the pupa is turning into a flea. This stage can last for several months, even up to a year, waiting for the right time to emerge.

4) Unfed Adult Flea: The adult flea will emerge from its pupa when it senses the conditions are favourable. It can detect vibrations of an approaching host, carbon dioxide gradients as well as sound and light patterns. The newly emerged flea is hungry and eager to find a host however, an unfed flea may live for months in the environment without a blood meal.

5) Fed Flea: Fleas need to ingest blood to continue their life cycle and they target your pets as their source of food. The female flea will begin to produce eggs within 24-48 hours after her first blood meal and will lay eggs continually until she dies. If separated from its host the flea will die in a few weeks without a blood meal.

Average lifespan of adult flea is 4-6 weeks and on the average, it can take about 3 weeks from egg to adult.

The Good News: There are many flea control products available for all situations from a licensed veterinary hospital. The staff at Scholl Animal hospital would be pleased to answer all your questions regarding choosing the right product for your cat and dog. Further information regarding flea products at Veterinary Partner: 1) Fleas know your enemy 2) Flea product comparison

Puppy socialization

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 The extended Scholl Animal Hospital family has grown again with the addition of Mya, a yellow Labrador Retriever puppy. Recently Mya has been visiting the clinic, where she has encountered Marlo, as well as other staff members. These are the types of social interactions that will help to shape her future behaviour.

Proper socialization helps puppies to learn how to interact with other animals and people. The cognitive development of puppies can be divided up into a series of periods, called sensitive periods, that are crucial times for shaping learned adult behaviours. Two important sensitive periods occur between 3-12 weeks and 16-20 weeks of age. Puppies learn best how to interact with other puppies during 3-8 weeks of age which corresponds with the time that a puppy normally spends with its litter mates and mother. Therefore, it is recommended that puppies should stay with their litter until at least 7 weeks of age.

Socialization with people has the greatest impact on learned behaviours from 5-12 weeks of age. At this time it is also important to encourage the puppy to explore new environments. Unfortunately, this period coincides with the fear stage ( 8-12 weeks of age and 4-6 months of age) and exposure to new environments need to be positive.

Puppy socialization classes are available and puppies can attend after they have received their 1st vaccination and deworming. These classes are intended to teach the puppy how to accept other puppies, people and different situations. Dogs that attend puppy classes have increased responsiveness to commands and increased retention in the home later in life.

Socialization – 3 to 12 weeks

  • Imprinting – dog identification and learning social limits
  • 5-8 weeks optimum for socialization
  • 8-14weeks stranger danger develops and peaks, also parallel fear of object
Juvenile period – 12 weeks to maturity
  • Reinforcement  of socialization and environmental complexity is necessary
  • Often secondary fear period at 4-6 months

More information regarding puppy socialization and training can be found below
AVSAB position statement on puppy socialization
Sophia Yin Puppy Socialization – Stop fear before it starts 

Lyme Disease

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Spring appears to be here and hopefully with it, warmer temperatures.  Spring is also a time when our pets will be exposed to the threats of fleas, mosquitoes  and ticks.
The deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, is the main carrier of the bacterium Borrelia burgdoferi which causes Lyme disease in dogs and humans.  This tick is endemic along the Lake Erie shoreline as well as the Kingston and Belleville area, but appears to be spreading. Cases of Lyme positive dogs have started to show up in the London area.
For transmission of Borellia burgdorferi to occur the tick must remain attached for a minimum of 24 hours. This allows for the tick to become fully fed. Following transmission of the bacteria it takes 3-5 weeks for a change to be noted screening tests. This is due to the time the body requires to develop detectable levels of antibodies to the foreign bacteria. Symptoms associated with lyme disease may not appear until up to 5 months following infection.
The most common signs of lyme disease in dogs are transient and shifting lameness, fever and anorexia. Lyme disease may also be asymptomatic, but fortunately it is detected by the same test for heartworm disease. It is possible for lyme disease to result in kidney damage in dogs. Therefore, it is important that cases of lyme disease are further investigated even if the dog has no clinical signs.
We encourage all pet owners to educate themselves about the risks and methods of prevention of Lyme disease. We are excited to announce that Scholl Animal Hospital is now carrying Nexgard, a new tick and flea control product. It contains the most effective drug class for the prevention of deer tick infestation and also prevents infestation with all other regionally important ticks. Please call our office to book your dog’s annual testing for heart worm, Lyme disease and other tick borne diseases today.
Click on the links below to find further information for you and your dog.

Easter and Your Pets

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Greetings to everyone in the Great White North! Looking outside Scholl Animal Hospital, it may not seem like spring is sprung, but Easter is right around the corner. We would like to take this opportunity to discuss some possible household dangers for your pets during this holiday.

A major concern for our feline friends is lily toxicity in cats. Following ingestion of as little as one or two plant pieces your cat may experience the following signs: vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, tremors and possibly seizures. Beyond the unpleasant immediate effects it is possible that your cat may also experience renal failure. Plants that are toxic to cats are not limited to the lily family and a comprehensive list can be found on the ASPCA’s website. The best way to avoid health problems in your cat is to limit their exposure. This means banning the plants from the house or at the very least keeping them out of reach.

Easter is also a time when we like to show our affection for our loved ones with gifts of chocolate. Although appealing to our tastebuds this sweet treat is not canine friendly. Chocolate contains several compounds that are harmful to dogs. Theobromine and caffeine, contained in chocolate, act as stimulants for the central nervous and cardiovascular system. When ingested in sufficient quantities your dog may experience increased heart rate, hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, and ataxia. Here is a helpful client education sheet that outlines toxic levels of different forms of chocolate.

We encourage you to contact the clinic if you are concerned about a substance consumed by your pet.

Scholl Animal Hospital Team

Welcome

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Greetings from Scholl Animal Hospital!

This is our first blog entry on the new website. We are very excited to be moving forward in our communication with our clients and the community. We hope that you enjoy the website and find it informative. The purpose of this blog is to discuss topics pertaining to veterinary medicine and companion animal care that we feel are relevant to our clients. On occasion you might also find posts here relating to interesting events in the news or other media. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome and we love to hear from you. If there is any content you would like to see or if you have any questions please send us e-mail.

The Scholl AH Team