Leptospirosis – Concerns to be aware of in the HRM

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


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!

Marijuana Medication Toxicity & Your Pet

By First Aid for Your Pet, Uncategorized No Comments

If you believe your pet has ingested Marijuana/cannabis/THC, please take them to the closest veterinary practice as soon as you can – place your pet in a carrier or have a friend restrain them if at all possible.

Lets be very clear – THC in dogs & cats is NOT metabolized in the same manner as people, and small doses in our pets can lead to significant, and serious illness – fatalities are being reported more often. The toxic amount for dogs & cats is a fraction of the human dose and, unlike people – dogs & cats become scared & very sick with THC ingestion.

The symptoms are variable – but typically your pet will be lethargic for no reason, be unsteady on their feet (‘ataxia’), vomit, or have urinary incontinence (urinate in the house/acting like they don’t know they are even going), and have a slow/low heart beat. Some pets may have seizures too.

We are not here to judge, and at Sunnyview – we really don’t care how an illness or injury happened – let us do our best to help your pet. You can be concerned about the ‘how’ later. If you suspect medication toxicity – let us know, the more we know the better, as we are here to help.

Treatment involves IV fluids and hospitalization after some basic blood work, and usually we administer activated charcoal, and occasionally anti-seizure medication as well.

For those readers who can prepare themselves – puppy-proof (same in many ways to ‘child-proofing) your home – keep cannabis products & plants safely out of reach and, prevent their accidental ingestion. There are THC & Hemp creams & oils that in the prescribed/recommended dose for people appear to help many ailments (like pain) – but a pet ingesting the entire container can lead to serious veterinary medical concerns requiring urgent attention. Just please put them away & out of reach.

Treat chocolate, onion ingestion, Tylenol or Acetaminophen ingestion, or any medication(s) – recreational or otherwise as toxic for your pets.

Some helpful web information –

Video – Dangers of THC in Pets

Sunnyview Animal Care Centre

36 Duke Street, Unit #6

Bedford, Nova Scotia B4A 2Z5

Phone: (902) 835-2223 Fax: (902) 835-8837 /

Planning any Late Summer Beach Swimming with your dog?

By Uncategorized No Comments

A great exercise for your dog is swimming, and what a great thing to do with your pet for yourself as well!

Also, swimming is a great way to keep your pet cool this summer too – but as the news has been telling us, in the latter part of August and September the bacteria counts of many of our lakes begin to climb to levels that could make your pet ill.

Plan Ahead – look for website information on the beach you are going to, pack lots of water & a bowl, towels, a long leash or rope, tie out, beach umbrella (if you can), & a life jacket.

Before you take your dog for a swim – check online for local parks & recreation bulletins on the lake you are going to first. Also, some ocean beaches can get high bacteria counts with our August heat ‘blasts’ – so check them out as well.

Don’t forget to consider a life jacket for your pet – it acts to not only increase their buoyancy, BUT also lets you see them if they get beyond your reach, and if you are ocean beach swimming can save their lives if there is a rip tide.

While your pet is swimming – have fresh water and a bowl nearby to help them slake their thirst without drinking the water, in case the bacteria counts are high. You will be surprised at how much water your pet will need – so pack extra.

After you get home, it is never a bad idea to rinse off any dog after swimming to reduce the contamination of bacteria – then use a few drops of straight white vinegar in the ears after you clean them too with a good quality ear cleaner. (Don’t forget to clean the ears after any bath too!)

You can always use a 1/2 & 1/2 vinegar water rinse on your pets coat after rinsing them off if they have a history of skin issues – as long as there is no active infection or open wounds, and of course, avoid the eyes and mouth!

Have a great few weeks of summer!

Submitted by Dr. Jeff W. Goodall
Sunnyview Animal Care /