by Shelagh Hislop | Jan 26, 2020 | news
Vaccinations for Dogs & Cats:
For Dogs & Cats: Rabies vaccine:
Rabies vaccination is highly recommended. In this way, it is considered a “core vaccine”. It should be given at around 16 weeks of age, then a booster given in a year, then every 3 years thereafter.
Puppies/Dogs: DAP = distemper, adenovirus & parvo virus:
This core (recommended) vaccine combination should be given at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and again at 16 weeks of age. There should be a booster in 1 year then every 3 years.
Puppies/Dogs: Kennel Cough (Bordetella):
This is non-core (optional) vaccine and is given particularly to dogs that will be exposed to large numbers of other dogs in close quarters – such as boarding facilities, dog shows, obedience classes, daily regulars at the off-leash dog park, doggy daycare, flyball/agility dogs and frequent trips to the groomers (more than 6x in a year). This can be discussed with your veterinarian. This vaccine is given annually when needed.
This is a non-core (optional) vaccination that is applicable in situations where dogs are exposed to wildlife (especially rats’ & raccoons’) urine. It requires 2 inoculations 1 month apart, then once/year thereafter when needed.
Puppies/Dogs: Lyme disease:
Again, individual situations will dictate what is appropriate, but the Lyme disease vaccine is considered non-core (or optional) and may be used on dogs who are exposed regularly to ticks. This is an annual vaccine when it is applicable.
Kittens/Cats: HCP = Herpes & Calici viruses & Panleukopenia viruses:
This core (recommended) vaccine combination is given at 8 weeks, then 12 and then 16 weeks, and boosted a year later, then every 3 years.
Kittens/Cats: FeLV = Feline Leukemia virus:
Feline Leukemia is a non-core (optional) vaccine and is recommended for specific patients. These patients are usually young cats and those going outdoors or living in multi-cat households. Necessity regarding vaccinating mid-age and older cats is yet unknown, but you can discuss the need for this vaccine and any questions about it with your veterinarian.
by Shelagh Hislop | Jan 17, 2020 | news
ARTHRITIS is a degenerative disease of joints that usually results through time and from chronic wear and tear. Arthritis is the number one cause of chronic pain in dogs and cats.
A few questions you might think about if you have an older dog:
- Is your pet having difficulty getting up and down stairs or in and out of the car?
- Is he/she stiff when getting up after lying down?
- Is your pet more irritable than usual or restless when sleeping?
If you have a cat:
- Is he/she reluctant to jump up on to furniture?
- Does your cat avoid being picked up?
- Has there been a change in response to grooming?
These are all potential signs of arthritis.
FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
- Weight Management – nothing earth-shattering here; keeping your pet’s body weight lean alleviates excess pressure on their joints.
- Routine Controlled Exercise – this helps maintain as much muscle mass to help support the joints. Swimming is an excellent low impact exercise.
- Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate – cartilage components harvested from sea mollusks provide basic building blocks helpful to repair damaged cartilage. Expect 1-2 months before noticeable improvement.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – typically from fish oils; these have great anti-inflammatory properties. Diets that contain Omega 3’s tend to be more effective than oral supplements. A good example of a diet rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acid is the J/D diet from Hills.
THE NEXT STEP (more advanced arthritis):
- Cartrophen Injections – typically this is a series of 4 subcutaneous injections given at weekly intervals. Cartrophen is a drug in its own class (disease modifying osteoarthritis drug). It is an injectable source of the cartilage component polysulfated glycosamino glycan (PSGAG). Not only do PSGAGs provide a building block for cartilage they also inhibit harmful enzymes involving joint cartilage, stimulate cartilage repair, and increase joint lubrication.
- NSAIDS – included in this group are Metacam, Rimadyl, Deramaxx. They act by suppressing inflammatory biochemicals that lead to pain and also cartilage damage. NSAIDs are not without potential side effects but risk versus benefits will be discussed with you if they are a consideration in improving your pet’s quality of life. DO NOT USE HUMAN NSAIDS ON PETS
- Analgesics – other analgesics that are strictly analgesics and do not modify inflammation in the joint include Tramadol and Gabapentin.
- Acupuncture, Chiropractic Adjustments, Message and Physiotherapy – can also be helpful