Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic

604-858-8198

Articles

 

Rabbits Can Be Great Pets!

                                                      By Dr. Leslie Ross D.V.M.  B.Sc.

 

 

            Rabbits as pets are becoming increasingly popular in Canada, as more people become aware of how they have distinctive personalities, intelligence, and are relatively easy to care for.   In addition to being affordable pets, they are interactive and entertaining house companions who can bond very closely to people they trust.   Rabbits generally can get along well with other household cats or dogs.  They enjoy life to their fullest if allowed time to hop about the home but do need to be supervised at these times since they have an innate tendency to chew on objects such as electrical cords, some wood objects and other items of interest to them.  

 

           Rabbits have very different basic needs from cats and dogs so it is important for new owners to be well informed about their rather unique nutritional and overall wellness requirements.  Also, because of their well-known fertility capabilities along with the quite high risk of intact females developing uterine cancers and male rabbits developing male-oriented behaviours such as territorial marking and dominance behaviours, it is very important for them to be spayed or neutered at an appropriate age.  

 

            Please feel very welcome to phone our office to set up an appointment to have us provide your pet with a wellness assessment and to offer you further suggestions and tips to assist you to maintain your adorable rabbit-friend as a healthy and happy pet for many rewarding years of companionship together.                           
                                                             IMPLANTED MICROCHIPS FOR PETS AS WELL AS HUMANS ARE HERE......TO STAY!

 

        For people, this technology can provide long-reaching benefits such as access by health care professionals to an individual’s health database, and provision of identification security as well as financial fraud prevention. 

       Implanted microchips for pet identification are steadily increasing in popularity all over the globe. A microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted by an almost painless injection under the skin of a pet.

      Unlike a GPS, microchips run off of a short radio wave that can be read by a scanner. This is called radio-frequency identification (RFID).

     It is important to be aware that an alarming one in three pets will become lost at some point in their lifetime. Registered microchips ensure that lost pets have the best chance of being returned home. However, to be effective, client identification such as address or name changes must be kept current on a microchip registration database.

     Unfortunately, statistics show that only 58% of owners of microchipped pets have kept their registered data current with a microchip database.

     The microchip process in its entirety costs about the same, if not less, than a month’s supply of pet food. While no anesthesia is required to perform the microchipping process, some pet owners prefer to have the process done at the time of spay or neutering.

     With the return to owner rate being 20 times higher if your pet is microchipped, this is an efficient, safe and permanent source of pet identification.

     To learn more about our microchipping process and fees, please contact Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic by e-mail at veddermountainvetclinic@hotmail.com, by phone at (604) 858-8198, website at www.veddermounatainvetclinic.com or contact us on our Facebook page. 

Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic Ltd.

5434 Vedder Rd.

Chilliwack, B.C

V2R 3M4

Tel: (604) 858-8198; Fax: (604) 858-8101

M-F 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Sat 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Sun & Stats - CLOSED

 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vedder-Mountain-Veterinary-Clinic-Ltd-538048696217788/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/veddervetross

Website: http://www.veddermountainvetclinic.com/

 

                                                               BIG  DOG LITTLE DOG ATTACKS:  ALWAYS EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!

                                                                             By Dr. Leslie Ross   D.V.M.  B.Sc

 

     As Emma’s story unfolds I sincerely hope that it can speak volumes to the importance of never underestimating the potential damage of seemingly non-threatening superficial injuries suffered by dog attack victims of any size, breed or gender.

 

     To set the stage, Emma is a cute as a button ten-year-old reddish-buff Cockapoo.  One late afternoon she and her owners were out walking along a walkway at Cultus Lake, Chilliwack, B.C. when a large Bull Mastiff chased her down and attacked her.  The Bull Mastiff had been with his owner who was sitting on a park bench at the time and he had powerfully pulled the owner’s leash out of his hand to bolt towards Emma.   Emma was lifted right off the ground by the flesh of the top of her right thigh. The owners immediately tried to rescue her and ward off the large dog and in the process, Emma’s dad lost his balance and badly scraped and bruised a large part of his elbow and arm as he fell to the ground in the scuffle. 

 

    The owner of the Bull Mastiff immediately came over and regained control of his dog apologized and offered to pay for any injury treatment costs.

 

   When I examined Emma she seemed to be quite bright and alert and was moving well but she was obviously a little jumpy and shaken-up from her recent experience. There was no evidence of any puncture wounds or broken skin on her body, just some minor bruising over the top of her right hip.

 

   I put her on a broad-spectrum antibiotic and administered an injection of pain medication then I released her to the care of her owners with instructions that they continue with the medication in oral form for the next week.  I also advised that she be brought back the day following to be re-examined and reassessed.  

 

     On follow-up day, Emma seemed to be improved although the area over the top of her right hip was still quite sensitive when touched and the bruising was moderately increased with no evidence of underlying puffiness or fluid build-up.

 

     Two weeks later, Emma was brought back to the clinic because she had been licking at her right hip for about five days and now had a large sore over the area.  It was immediately apparent that something was happening underneath the superficial tissues of her hip, which warranted surgical exploration.  Sure enough, once Emma was given an anesthetic and the area of her sore was opened up it was evident that her body had developed a scar tissue fistula (channel) to barricade off a deeper- tissue bacterial infection.  I obtained a culture sample of the dying infected tissue to send off to the lab prior to thoroughly cleansing the wound and removing the dying (necrotic) tissues and then only partially closed the wound to allow it to slowly fill in by the process of natural granulation. After a therapeutic cold laser session I then applied a latex-free bandage pad soaked in a sugar solution and sutured it to her skin.

    The owners were advised to insert under the bandage a wound healing spray and some unpasteurized honey daily to accelerate the rate of healing of the open wound.

 

    Interestingly, the culture results from the wound that were e-mailed to us a few days later indicated two different kinds of bacterial invaders, one of which was resistant to our original antibiotic.  This caused us to switch to a different choice of antibiotic.

 

  Emma’s recent recheck visits have been very encouraging and I am confident that Emma is well on her way to total recovery.

 

      Hopefully, Emma and her owners will be out soon walking along the Cultus Lake walkway and enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. 

 

    I am very appreciative of their willingness to share their story with all animal lovers.  They fully recognize how important it is to expect the unexpected when dog attack events occur and are happy to pass this message on to others.  A superficial wound or bruise is often just the tip of the iceberg.  Crushed, torn or devitalized tissue may be what is hidden underneath.

 

 

Recently, like iron filings attracted to a magnet, my attention focused on a very interesting article written by the mother of a young son with food allergies. Dr. Amy Goulart, the writer is a managing veterinarian of a clinic located in Mipitas, California.

In the article Dr. Goulart described her toddler’s elusive health problems, which were eventually attributed to be caused from a variety of food allergies. This diagnosis imposed a restriction of her son’s access to numerous foods containing allergenic ingredients. Very astutely, she then realized that the family’s dog food and treats sometimes contained these ingredients and that although her dog was not food allergic, the close proximity of her toddler to the dog as well as the dog’s food bowl was potentially a source of these substances.

She writes

“My toddler loves the dog. He loves to feed and train the dog. Handling pet food and forgetting to wash his hands, or even letting the dog lick him with food particles in her mouth, and yes, even sneaking a taste from the dog’s food bowl could be enough to cause a reaction”.

She points out that:

Although it is sometimes an easy matter to avoid obvious ingredient concerns such as milk or soy, sometimes it is not so easy. She took as examples milk-based products such as whey or casein that may be found in some dental rawhide chews; dog treats and some pet foods. Two other examples of sources of concern for egg-sensitized and peanut sensitized children are the ingredients albumin, which is egg derived and peanut-based ingredients that may be found in pill wrap-a-round treats.

Dr. Goulart also points out that adding to the complexity of ingredient descriptions, many allergenic substances are currently exempt from a requirement for documentation such as in spices, flavorings and colorings in pet and well as human foods.

( Although not mentioned in her article, I should add another source of concern for shellfish sensitive children which would be oral contact with shellfish exoskeleton based glucosamine products).

As Dr. Goulart points out in her article, until more stringent legislation is put into place to ensure that pet food and treat suppliers clearly define and list all ingredients of their products it is very important for parents of food-sensitized young children to stay informed and vigilant to their potential exposure to these items to protect them from mild to possibly very serious food-related reactions.

( Dr. Amy Goulart's original article was published 
March 8, 2016 
For The VIN News Service).

  

                                     A GOLDENDOODLE MOMMA WITH A PILE OF PUPS!      By Dr. Leslie Ross   D.V.M. B.Sc.

 

   A most interesting case last month involved a very sweet two-year-old Goldendoodle called Bailey, who at the time of presentation to us mid-December was nursing twelve young pups. She had been meeting their nursing demands very successfully until a short time before she was brought to us because she had started to experience some painful discomfort nursing and was developing some ominously discolored mammary gland swellings.

 

    Before I set the stage to describe her medical problem, I would like to first explain some general characteristics of this popular breed for those unfamiliar with this “designer dog”. 

 

     Goldendoodles are not a recognized breed by Canadian breed standards because they are not purebred dogs although they come from the mating of two kinds of purebred dogs, a poodle (Standard or Miniature and a Golden Retriever).

 

      They can give one the visual impression of being a rough- and tumble- kids- type dog in “ sweat pants and hanging out mode”, however, they can also look attractively eye-catching when they are professionally groomed. The Goldendoodle’s

coat texture and degree of curliness can vary considerably and it is characteristically less heavily shed from season to season than with many other breed types. Although there can be some exceptions, the commonest Goldendoodle’s personality type is one that is laid back so they generally fit right in with the lifestyle of families with kids. Additionally, they have an athleticism that more than adequately measures up to any needs when occasions of long evening walks and weekend runs are underway.        

              

   Bailey was presented to us because she was very uncomfortable nursing her twelve pups and most of her mammary glands, especially her back ones, were very hot, painful swollen and scabby. 

 

  Her problem was an inflammation and infection of her glands called mastitis. This condition may be caused by numerous factors including:  ascending infection up the teat canal, direct trauma to the mammary glands, (such as might occur if a nursing dog is is jumping in or out of an enclosure causing her pendulous glands to be traumatized), from reduced milk release from the breasts, (such as at weaning time), or from direct spread from the blood stream.

 

  In Baileys case, her condition was very likely associated with a dozen four week old pups hungrily and vigorously clamping onto and pulling at her teats all the while clawing away with sharp little claws at her exposed belly causing her teats to become infected.    

 

    It was very important to initiate Bailey’s treatments as soon as possible because ulceration of the breasts and even gangrene can occur in severe cases.

 

  (Spoiler alert: as it turned out, although we were able to avoid surgery on many of her glands by implementing the treatments described below, a single gland did in fact start to develop some ominous indications of gangrene so surgical resection of half this affected gland became necessary later).

 

    Very shortly after Bailey was brought to us we collected some milk samples from her teats for the lab and started her on medications including one to cause her breasts to shrink, an antibiotic and a medication to help with her pain.   Additionally we applied cold laser therapy to help decrease her pain and facilitate more rapid healing. Bailey was then discharged to the care of her owners that day.

 

 The owners were advised to keep Bailey away as much as possible from the pups, who were already capable of eating softened dog kibble on their own, to avoid them nursing her much at all.  Additionally, raw cabbage leaf belly wraps were recommended to help reduce her breast tissue swelling and to facilitate healing.

 

     As mentioned briefly above, only one back gland remained swollen and infected and in fact started to develop an ominous blue appearance so partial resection of this tissue was performed five days after the initial treatments had been started.

     

     Bailey’s surgery went well and she bounced back very quickly.

 

       Future breeding are likely to be planned because of Bailey's  sweet temperament and excellent overall health. There is a moderate element of risk involved that she may develop this condition again but the owners may be able to reduce this risk by ensuring that her belly is kept clipped of hair and regularly cleaned and that they keep the nails very short of any future pup families.   

 

  In closing, I would like to point out how so much of the successful outcome of Bailey’s medical problem was dependent on Bailey’s family members devoting hours of  dedicated attention to  the pups and to her needs at their home between her daily clinic visits. 



 

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