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Westward Animal Hospital

Happy Holidays!

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   December 7, 2015 12:06
With the holidays approaching we just want to make sure everyone keeps safe and happy. Christmas trees can present a problem with pets wanting to investigate it, especially cats who may try and climb it. Be careful with breakable ornaments and decorations that can be swatted off and broken. Also watch out for those edible treats that may not agree with our pet family members. Chocolate especially, but also other things like garlic, onions,raisins, caffeine (which can be poisonous and /or can affect internal organs), candy with Xylitol (or that can get stuck in throats), raw bread dough with yeast which can cause bloating that will lead to other problems. Nuts in general contain high phosphorus so can cause bladder stones, but macadamia nuts in particular are toxic to animals. Also if you are determined to share some of your Christmas dinner make sure not to give very much since high fatty foods can cause upset stomachs which can lead to diarrhea and vomiting, (this also includes milk and dairy products). Table scraps are also usually pretty high in calories which can lead to overweight pets too, so make sure not to over do it. Definitely avoid alcohol since it can cause disorientation, sickness and if they get enough, alcohol poisoning. Sometimes those holiday drinks can smell pretty good to our furry friends so make sure they are high enough that they can't get to them. Overall we just want to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday!

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Bloodwork

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   July 22, 2015 10:04

Why should pet owners get bloodwork done on their pets?  There are several reasons.  The most obvious one is when your pet is sick and we do diagnostic testing to try and figure out what is going on.  There are several different blood tests that tell us various things such as how the internal organs are functioning and if there is an infection somewhere.  Unfortunately, these tests are not always going to tell us what is wrong so we have to move onto different types of testing.  Another reason to do bloodwork is when your pet becomes a senior.  Even if they seem completely fine there might be some underlying disease that hasn't shown any symptoms yet.  By doing the bloodwork we can catch these diseases early and either prevent or slow down their progression.  A third reason to do bloodwork is when your pet is going to have surgery.  It is important to know if there are any problems before putting your pet under anesthetic. Like the senior bloodwork, sometimes these problems do not present themselves on the outside and we don't find them until we run the bloodwork.  If the bloodwork shows no problems, it is also a good reference for future problems.  We can use this bloodwork as a baseline telling us what is normal for your pet, and compare it to any future bloodwork.  A fourth reason is for screening purposes.  An example of this would be our heartworm test which tests for Heartworm and three of the tick borne diseases.  As with the presurgical bloodwork it can help us find any possible diseases early, but also lets us know the prevelance of the disease in our city.  Now that the ticks are getting worse it is important to know so we can prevent these diseases before they happen.

 

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Pets and Heat

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   June 24, 2015 14:42

With summer here remember to watch your pets for heat stroke.  The signs of Heat Stroke include excessive panting, thick saliva, dark tongue, lack of coordination as well as possible vomiting or diarrhea.  If you see any of these symptoms try to cool them down gradually.  If you cool them too quickly, it actually restricts blood flow which will inhibit cooling.  Take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as you can for further treatment.  They may require some IV fluids or other therapy.  Do NOT leave a pet in a car during the summer, even if it is just for a few minutes it could be too long.  In just 10 minutes the temperature in a vehicle can raise by 10 degrees.  If the temperature outside is 25 degrees, the car can reach 38-50 degrees celcius.  Studies have shown that rolling down the windows does not make a big enough difference in the temperature to help your pet.  It is just better to leave them at home where they are safe.  Also be careful when taking dogs out for a walk when it is really hot.  In the middle of the day when it is 30 degrees out the ashphalt can reach temperatures of 57 degrees.  That is hot enough to fry an egg on!  Just think what that could do to the sensitive pads on your dog's feet!  Try taking them out in the evening or early morning before the roads and sidewalks get too hot.  Also make sure to bring lots of water for them so they don't get dehydrated.  They cannot get rid of excess heat by sweating like we do so it takes them a longer time to cool down and they can become dehydrated much faster than us.  If it is hot enough heat stroke can cause brain damage and even death in less than 15 minutes so please take care out there!  Have a great time outdoors, just remember to look after your furry friend and be aware of how they are feeling.

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Ticks

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   April 22, 2015 12:09

The ticks are out!  Watch out for them and make sure to check your pets after they come in from outside.  Sometimes they are hard to find but they can transmit some pretty bad diseases such as Lyme, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis.  If you are concerned or just want more information please phone our clinic or come and talk to one of our staff members.  We will be happy to help you out!

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Happy Easter

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   April 2, 2015 12:47
Happy Easter! We hope everyone has a great holiday. Just remember to keep your pets away from all the delicious chocolate and candy. Chocolate can cause diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, hyperactivity, irregular heartbeat and seizures. If enough is consumed it can even cause Death. Sometimes the pet won't show any signs illness but that does not mean they are not affected. Sugerless candies contain xylitol and can cause liver damage and in high enough doses also can cause death. So just remember to be safe and have a great holiday!

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Pet Dental Health Month

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   February 18, 2015 10:08
Dental and Periodontal Disease Periodontal disease (an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth), gingivitis and tartar build up all contribute to dental disease. Dental disease can be severely painful, even if your pet is not showing any signs of pain. If left untreated, dental disease can result in loss teeth and surrounding bone. The infection can damage organs such as the heart, kidneys, pancreas and lungs. Bad breath is not normal for cats and dogs and is the first sign of dental disease. Imagine if you never brushed your teeth or went to the dentist! I don’t think my pet needs a dental because… He is still eating so his teeth are not bothering him. • Dogs and cats will find a way to eat even if they are in pain. They are hungry so they adapt to the pain and figure out a way to eat even though it hurts. Some signs are so subtle that we may miss them or assume it is age related. Your dog or cat will probably eat more enthusiastically after a dental because it doesn’t hurt to chew anymore! He is too old to go under general anesthetic. • There are several things we do in order to make going under anesthetic as safe as possible for your pet. Preanesthetic bloodwork checks for normal organ function. IV fluids keep your pet hydrated, blood pressure normal and aid in an easier recovery. Temperature, blood pressure and heart function are monitored continualy throughout the procedure, as well as a warming blanket and socks are put on his/her feet to prevent heat loss. If you have any other concernes, feel free to discuss them with your veterinary care team! 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have periodontal disease by the time they are three years of age. At Home Dental Care Tips Brush your pet’s teeth daily. Ask your veterinary team for tips on how to successfully brush your cat or dogs teeth. Always use toothpaste formulated for pets. Never use human products. A high quality dental food and veterinarian recommended dental chews can help reduce plaque and tartar build up. There are several toys and chews that can help with dental care but consult your veterinarian about safety and ingredients. Maxiguard Oral spray and Gel work on plaque and help freshen breath. Don’t get discouraged, positive reinforcement will make brushing easier and something your pet will look forward to everyday. During the months of February and March we are offering either $75 or 15% (whichever is greater) off a dental cleaning for your pet! We are also offering a senior wellness checkup that includes bloodwork for your older pets for 20% off the regular price! Call today to book in your pet!

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Happy New Year

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   January 13, 2015 10:25

We hope everyone had a great holiday and a Happy New Year!  As the year begins, we wish everyone a happy healthy year for you and your pets!

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Ixodes scapularis

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   September 9, 2014 15:46

The Ixodes scapularis tick is out!  Also known as the deer tick, ixodes is the carrier of Lyme disease which can affect many species including humans.  It is about the size of a sunflower seed when it has not fed so is pretty hard to see.  Once it has fed it is bigger and easier to find, however, the longer it stays attached the higher the chance of disease transmission. If your pet is at risk or you are concerned please call us or send us a email and we can figure out what is best for your pet!

      

                                                  

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Prize Basket

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   August 11, 2014 16:19

Like our new facebook page and share the photo of our prize basket to get your name put into the draw to win our prize basket! Just click on the facbook link at the top of this page to head over there!

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Baylisascaris Procyonis (Raccoon Worm)

posted by Westward Animal Hospital    |   July 17, 2014 14:38

The roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis is found in raccoons. People become infected by ingesting/inhaling worm eggs which cannot be seen by the naked eye. Signs and symptoms include nausea, tiredness, liver enlargement, loss of coordination, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of muscle control, blindness, and coma. The roundworm can affect the brain, spinal cord, eye, and/or other organs depending on where the larvae migrate. Unlike humans, an infected raccoon rarely shows any sign of infection, so you cannot tell if it is infected. Prevent the transmission of this infection by avoiding contact with raccoons and removing any feces by burning, or burying. The eggs located in the feces are only visible through a microscope and are resistant to most environmental conditions and can survive for years!

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