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General Pet Care

Leptospirosis – Concerns to be aware of in the HRM

By | General Pet Care, Safety (Pet & Family) Concerns, Uncategorized | No Comments

UPDATE

There has been an unusual increase of Leptospirosis-positive dogs being diagnosed since May, 2o17 – AND, this appears to be localized to the HRM only, and not the rest of Nova Scotia as of this update.

Currently, Sunnyview Animal Care does not recommend annual vaccination for this bacterial disease, but we are reviewing this disease with our clients on a regular basis with each examination – but we encourage you to contact us with your concerns anytime.

With the recent freezing cold temperatures – the transmission of this bacteria in stagnant water/puddles, or other water sources has been eliminated for this year, and for early 2018 until the temperatures rise above 10 Degrees Celsius.

Leptospirosis may be a risk for you and your pet if you hike in the Annapolis valley, the area north & west of Truro, and possibly in the Pictou area. Dogs can contract this disease by drinking out of any water source – fresh or just a puddle. It causes Kidney &/or Liver Damage – and it can be quite severe, even fatal if not treated for. One Symptom that is sometimes seen is blood in the urine. Please click here for more information.

Leptospirosis can be in water contaminated by other wildlife such as Raccoons, coyotes, rodents, skunks, and foxes. The water might look okay to drink – but it is a risk to your pet AND US! The mammals that carry this disease spread it by urination into water sources.

Therefore – Sunnyview Vet recommends that pet owners take fresh water for their pets on walks, hikes AND trips with you & your pets. Also – don’t forget to wash your hands after picking up after your pets!

Proper Ear Cleaning Can be the KEY to preventing ear infections!

By | General Pet Care, Puppy & Kitten Care | No Comments

Proper Ear Care Can Be The Key to Preventing Ear Infections.

Inflammation of the outer ear canal in dogs and cats can be one of the more frequent reasons that a pet is brought into the clinic for veterinary care.  While cats seem to be less frequently affected by ear troubles, up to 20% of dogs can be affected by ear infections at any one time.  Unlike our ear canal, the ear canals of our pets are actually “L”-shaped which allows water and dirt to sit deep in the ear for extended lengths of time.  The primary cause of any ear infection can actually be very complicated and may involve a combination of the following:  the ear’s physical characteristics (upright vs. floppy, having hairs in the canal), the activities of the animal (swimming, digging, hunting), the presence of parasites, foreign objects, improper cleaning, or allergic conditions.  Even the weather can affect the ear and lead to an infection.

As with any infection, it is important to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible, to limit the secondary problems that may occur when a problem is left too long.  When an infection is allowed to continue untreated, the upper ear canal can swell in response to the problem, just as our skin swells when it is irritated.  This swelling can actually worsen the ear condition, by preventing medication from getting down to the base of the ear where most conditions begin.  Also, this swelling stops air from reaching the area of infection, contributing to the severity of the condition.

 Steps to Caring for Your Pet’s Ears:

  1. With your pet standing and head in a vertical position apply enough ear cleaner to fill the ear canal, then gently massage at the base of the ear for about 5-10 seconds (Fig. 1 – Fig. 2)
  2. Allow pet to shake head to loosen debris in the horizontal part of the ear canal, then use cotton balls to wipe out and dry the accessible portion of the ear canal & ear flap (Fig. 3 – Fig. 4) Avoid use of cotton tipped applicators.
  3. Check your pet’s ears regularly – normal ears appear pale pink, dry and clean.

Ear1 (from a Scan from EpiOtic Cleaning information 2001)