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Kyle Long

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Don’t weight for summer

Posted by Kyle Long on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

Written by Dr. Eamon Draper.

DogPets need to watch their weight just like people. Unfortunately there is an increasing trend for obesity in our pets. The National Pet Obesity Survey in 2012 revealed that 52.5% of dogs and 58.3% of cats examined by veterinarians were overweight or obese. This survey was reported from veterinarians in the U.S. and it is likely that the figures are actually worse for the general population as weight is often not considered a major health risk by many owners.

“In this survey, approximately 45 percent of cat and dog owners assessed their pet as having a normal body weight when the veterinarian assessed the pet to be overweight,” said Dr. Joe Bartges, from the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

These pets are vulnerable to serious health conditions such as osteoarthritis, insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, cranial cruciate ligament injury, kidney disease, many forms of cancer, and a decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years).

Like all of us we should consider weight control to be an important part of our pet’s life and our lives. Now that the weather is improving it will get easier to get out and exercise. Avoiding the treats and table scraps is also vital.

You can find more information in pet obesity online by clicking here.

At our clinics, we have a weight machine that you are free to use as you please. We encourage you to come in on a monthly basis and record your pet’s weight. There is always front desk staff available that look forward to helping you when you get here!

Never been to any of our three clinics before? Why not take a tour of one of our clinics and see what we have to offer. We can’t wait to meet you!

Schedule a Tour

Topics: veterinary hospital, dog care, cat care, vet halifax, pet nutrition

Early detection packages at Halifax Vets

Posted by Kyle Long on Fri, Apr 18, 2014 @ 02:30 PM

describe the imageAt Halifax Veterinary Hospitals, we focus much of our attention on preventative and exceptional health care for your pets. As the saying goes “things are not always as they seem” and could prove to be true for your furry friend.

Although health complications normally carry along visible symptoms to our eyes, the preliminary stages of some conditions and diseases can go unnoticed and untreated until it’s almost, if not already, too late. Pet health care has come a long way, and as such, early detection technologies are now readily available.

Routine preventative care (like getting an annual early detection exam) can help your veterinarian understand the normal baseline laboratory values for your pet while they’re young, happy and healthy. Identifying diseases is easiest when you have values to compare to when running tests for certain health ailments. 

Even if your pet has not had an early detection exam before, senior pets can benefit from going for these exams as they will help detect diseases in their early stages and help make sure your pet will be more likely to respond positively to medical treatment. As well, early detection can also help you avoid significant medical expenses and risks to your pet’s health.

With these early detection packages, several health conditions and diseases can be detected in their infancy stages. The three top-level tests check blood chemistries and hematology, urinalyses and urine protein/ creatinine ratio.

  • Blood chemistries and hematology looks for signs of kidney, liver, pancreatic and other systemic diseases including anemia and signs of infection
  • Urinalysis looks for bacteria, crystals or abnormal cells in the urine and helps to determine how well the kidneys are able to concentrate your pet’s urine
  • Urine protein/creatinine ratios are checked to see a more accurate measurement of how well the kidneys are able to manage their workload

Not only will all of these results be kept on file for each time you bring your pet in, you will be provided a copy of your pet’s results that is colour coded to help you recognize abnormal values. By being proactive and taking your pet for annual detection examinations, your pet will be much better off. Pets are prone to many diseases through out their lives, much like humans. The technologies are out there to help you keep your pet happy and healthy, why not take advantage of them today?

If you’d like more information on early detection packages and specifics on what can be detected, click here. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian, click below!

Contact Us

Topics: Halifax vet, veterinary hospital, animal hospital, dog care, cat care, early detection

Handy pet apps to have on your smartphone

Posted by Kyle Long on Sun, Apr 13, 2014 @ 10:30 AM

describe the imageTechnology, technology. Most of us are glued to our phones most of the day, from posting on Facebook and Twitter, to catching up on the latest Vines and Instagram selfys. With so much focus on social media with smart phones, we think it’s important to mention some of the helpful applications for smart phone users in regards to their furry friends.

Here are a few for you to take a look at: 

Pet Master Pro: Remembering all kinds of important information about your pet can be a daunting task. Remembering all of their appointments, what vaccinations they’ve already had, or even when they’re due for their next vaccination or even check-up. This great app, Pet Master Pro, can be found on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store for iPhones and Android phones. You can try it for free, or upgrade to the pro version for $2.99. With this app, you can track all the important personal details of your pet or pets like their name, birthday, registration, type/breed, etc. There are no limits on the amount of pets you can put into the app. You’ll be able to track medications, allergies and appointments (and even set up notification reminders of upcoming appointments!).

Pet First Aid: for your dog, cat, puppy or kitten: This is another great application you can find on the Apple App Store that will run you $3.99. This app is quite diverse, and also gives you a plethora of information on different medical emergencies. The articles found in the application features videos and illustrations to help with the treatment of your pet for anything from cuts and impalements, to choking and CPR. The step-by-step illustrations will help you in an emergency situation, however do keep in mind there is no better alternative care to proper veterinary care.

PupTox: Have you ever found yourself wondering if something is toxic for your pet or not? PupTox is a handy app found on the Apple App Store for $0.99 and has an easy to read list of over 250 things that are toxic to dogs and cats. This handy app will help you make sure that those leftovers from supper won’t be harmful to your pet, or even make sure those flowers you’re buying for your neighbour are pet friendly in case they get ahold of them!

Although these are just a few of the handy applications out there for pet owners, we’re sure there are many more. What are some of your favourite pet-friendly applications? 

Some of these applications prove to be very helpful, and some even imperative in an emergency situation, always remember there is no better alternative care to that of a veterinarian. If you’re looking for a new veterinarian or would like to see what we have to offer, click below and contact us. We’d love to get in touch!

Contact Us


Topics: Halifax vet, veterinary hospital, animal hospital

Bring on the spring weather but beware!

Posted by Kyle Long on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 @ 09:30 AM

Written by Dr. Eamon Draper BVSc, CertSAS, MRCVS Orthopaedic and soft tissue procedures.

Dr. Eamon DraperBelieve it or not but we are meant to be in springtime. This is the time of year we and our canine companions have been waiting for. At last we can get out in the yard and tear things up!

But beware!

In the early spring we see a marked increase in the number of cruciate ligament injuries in dogs. The cruciate ligament is a part of the knee joint and is involved in stabilizing the leg when it bends and turns. It is a vital part of the dog’s knee, and when it is damaged it can have serious consequences. Unfortunately, damage to the cruciate ligament will not show up on a standard x-ray, and so in the case of partial tears the diagnosis may be difficult to confirm.

Most dogs that tear a cruciate ligament will do so because they overload a normal ligament. They do this by over doing things when they get out exercising. After a long hard winter many canine companions are not in good physical shape. They are going to run as hard as possible at the first opportunity, to make up for being restricted due to the bad weather. As with humans if you go into an exercise regime to quickly when you are not in good condition you can easily damage yourself. Combine this risk with the fact that there is still ice about and there are lots of holes in the ground to catch your foot in and you have a recipe for damaging your cruciate ligaments!

The treatments for a torn cruciate ligament vary depending on the individual but can include surgery and medical management. The outcomes are often good, but as always, prevention is better than cure.

Looking for more information on the cruciate ligament and options for repair? Click below.

Click here for more info!

Topics: Halifax vet, veterinary hospital, animal hospital, dog care, vet halifax

Fleas and ticks once again

Posted by Kyle Long on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 @ 04:00 PM

Dog ScratchingIt’s almost that time of year again when we’ll see lush green grass, beautiful trees and sparkling water… and not to mention warm temperatures and sunshine! Unfortunately, however, this beautiful spring will also bring out some of the dormant creatures we’d probably prefer stay hidden away...

Fleas and ticks make their way onto many pets every year. Although this is so common, it’s still an extreme health hazard. If your pet is burdened with fleas or ticks, your pet is at risk for Lyme disease, anemia, allergic dermatitis and even tapeworms. Because these two little creatures can cause such turmoil to our pets, we feel it’s imperative we educate pet owners on the risks and preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the ailments of fleas and ticks.

Fleas, the lesser of the two evils, are a small parasite that feeds on the blood of animals… and even us humans! Fleas are more annoying than anything else, but have been known to be irritating and painful to their host, and can in some cases, transmit flea-borne diseases that lead to other serious health complications. Two very prominent warning signs of fleas on your pet are your pet constantly scratching or biting at their skin, or you see spots on their skin similar to a mosquito bite. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, and can jump upwards of 18 cm vertically and 33 cm horizontally. With this unique skill, fleas can make their way onto your furniture, other fixtures in your home and even onto you.

Another parasite that feeds on the blood of animals (including your pets!) are ticks. Ticks are mean little creatures, which attach themselves to their host and feed off their blood. Tick bites not only cause discomfort and irritation, but can also transmit canine vector-borne diseases like Lyme disease. There are 16 different types of ticks in Nova Scotia, however there are only two you should be wary of: the dog tick and the blacklegged tick. Ticks may cause fever, paralysis, weakness and in some extreme cases, may cause dogs to swell and become lame.

Although fleas are found both in dogs and cats, ticks are more commonly found in dogs. If your pet spends time outside, a good habit to get into is checking your pet or pets daily for either of these parasites. Although there is no complete way to avoid the risk of fleas and ticks, there is preventative treatment you can give your dog or cat. Remember, flea and tick prevention is much easier than elimination or after care later.

Available at our clinics are two forms of treatments, advantage® and K9 advantix®.

advantage® can be given to both cats and dogs, and is a topical formula that is applied to the skin at the back of the neck. The formula remains locked in the oil of your pet’s skin for up to 28 days, and breaks the lifecycle of adult fleas before they lay eggs and cause further infestation.

K9 advantix® is a similar topical formula, but is only for dogs. The formula works the same as the advantage® formula, but as well as protecting against fleas, also protects against ticks. While breaking the lifecycle of adult fleas, K9 advantix® also prevents tick attachment, reducing the risk of a tick transmitting a disease to your pet.

Both formulas result in rapid paralysis and death of fleas, while K9 advantix® also has the same effect on ticks.

Both the advantage® and K9 advantix® treatments can be found at any one of our three clinics. If you would like more information, read our blog post from last year about what to do if your pet gets bit by a tick.

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment with a veterinarian, please click below to contact us.

Contact Us

 

Topics: Halifax vet, veterinary hospital, animal hospital, dog care, cat care

Tips for getting your cat to the vet

Posted by Kyle Long on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 @ 03:17 PM

Keeping up with your regular veterinary visits are an important part of cat care. However,Cat and Vet those few kilometers that you need to travel to get to the veterinary hospital can seem a lot longer if your cat doesn't travel very well or hates the ride. You might even be tempted to skip your appointment just to avoid the stress that you and your cat experience.

Missed Vet Appointments Aren't Good For Your Cat 

Skipping a vet appointment is not a very good idea, especially when vaccines are due. Even an indoor cat needs to have annual exams to look for age related changes and may require vaccines for upper respiratory tract infections that are very common in even single cat households. Vaccinations against feline leukemia and rabies are also necessary for cats who venture outdoors – did you know feral cat populations are found near many Canadian cities, and these potentially fatal viruses are carried in some of those populations?  Regular veterinary appointments allow your veterinarian to catch any serious health issues before they get worse.

Make Your Appointment Time Easier

You can make appointment time less stressful – happier for your cat and easier for you!

  • Invest in a comfortable carrier
  • Ask your vet about products like pheromones that can reduce your cat’s anxiety while travelling
  • Help your cat have positive associations with the carrier by leaving it accessible at home and offering a treat or reward when they go in it on their own
  • Do not feed your cat for 1-2 hours before travel to avoid motion sickness and vomiting
  • Make the wait as stress-free as possible 

Choosing a Cat Carrier

Your cat should always be transported in a carrier, even if he or she will walk on a leash. This eliminates the possibility of the cat being loose in the car while you're driving, or panicking and getting away from you outside. Some helpful things to keep in mind:

  • Stores that specialize in pet products, including cat care, generally have better carriers
  • Choose one that allows your cat to stand, turn around and stretch, and lie down comfortably 
  • The carrier should have good ventilation, but also be escape-proof
  • If possible, it should open from the top for easier, less stressful access to your cat – it is often a struggle when they get to the vet's office to get them out of the carrier.

Establish Positive Associations

If a cat's first introduction to a carrier is when it's taken to the vet, he or she will generally fear being put inside. Buy your new carrier ahead of time so that your cat has a chance to see, smell and otherwise get used to it. Keep it open so that the cat can go in and out freely, and consider putting in a cozy blanket so that the cat will be comfortable sleeping there. Give your cat a treat each time she or he goes in, and continue this practice when the cat enters the carrier for a vet visit.

Dealing with Anxiety and Motion Sickness

Many animals fear visiting the vet because of vaccines or other procedures. Cats that spend most of their time in the house may fear being handled by strangers. We suggest some easy ways to reduce stress before an appointment:

  • Use natural remedies from cat care providers that help calm your cat, provided they don't interact with medications – your vet will let you know which ones are safe
  • If your cat gets especially anxious, ask your vet in advance if you can obtain a prescription for a mild tranquilizer
  • Don't feed your cat right before the appointment

What to Do While Waiting

Your vet tries their best not to keep you waiting. If you do find yourself having to wait, sit some distance away from dogs or clients with children. Both of these situations often make cats anxious. Ask the hospital staff if there is a quiet room where you and your cat can wait for the doctor. Make sure your cat stays in the carrier until you're in the examining room. The less your cat is exposed to things that scare him or her, the better your visit will be.

Preventative Care Makes Your Cat Happier

Ultimately, the care your cat receives at every vet appointment will make your pet healthier and happier. Your vet gets a chance to identify early health issues, offer you current advice and tips for home care, and you get a chance to ask any questions that have been on your mind. Don’t skip appointments – help your cat through them and enjoy the health rewards!

Need to set up an appointment for your cat? Contact us!

Contact Us 

Topics: animal hospital, cat care, vet halifax, pet travel

Possible Salmonella Contamination. Pet Food Recall

Posted by Kyle Long on Fri, Feb 07, 2014 @ 01:21 PM

 

Pro-Pet

The FDA has sent out a press release stating a voluntary recall on dry pet food from Pro-Pet. This voluntary recall of dry dog and cat food is due to a possible Salmonella contamination.

Below is a list of the products included in the recall.

Product

Best By

Lot Code

UPC Number

40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food

05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 2A

1219033878

40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food

05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 1A

1219033878

18 lb Hubbard Life Cat Stars Cat Food

05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 1A

1219033873

40 lb Hubbard Life Maintenance Dog Food

05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 2A

1219033875

15 lb Joy Combo Cat Food

05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 1A

7065407721

40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food

05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 1A

7065407713

40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food

05 06 14

096 13 SM L2 2A

7065407713

20 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food

05 07 14

097 13 SM L2 2A

2351780103

40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food

05 07 14

097 13 SM L2 2A

2351780104

40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food

05 07 14

097 13 SM L2 1A

2351780104

 

As of right now, there have been no reports of illnesses but officials are still cautioning pet owners. These products were distributed through select retailers, distributers and online consumer purchases throughout the United States. 

If you or your pet(s) have come into contact with any of the foods listed above, it is recommended to keep a close eye on you and your pet(s) for any symptoms. Symptoms that are normally associated with Salmonella poisoning include diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain. If you or your pet(s) experience any of these symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately.

Is your pet experiencing one or more of these symptoms? 

Contact Us

Topics: pet food recall

February is Dental Health Month!

Posted by Kyle Long on Wed, Feb 05, 2014 @ 04:36 PM

We are firm believers in proactive care for your pets. Taking the time to be proactive with your pet’s care is key to helping them live healthy and fruitful lives. We want nothing more than to help you make sure your pet gets the best care and best treatments available when something goes wrong. This includes dental care.

pet dental monthIt is very common for pet owners to not take dental care into consideration when thinking about their pet’s overall health. Dental disease and periodontal disease affects approximately 85 per cent of dogs and cats over the age of one. If you’re not taking the time to recognize the signs and symptoms of dental disease, or taking your pet for regular dental checkups, your pet may be at risk.

February is Dental Health Month, and we want to stress the importance of proper dental care. There are many at-home things you can do to help prevent the turmoil your pet would have to suffer through with the onset of dental disease.

Selecting the proper dog foods and treats with a focus on dental health are a good place to start. Following a proper diet and brushing your pet’s teeth daily also has great benefits. Although this may be a bit too intrusive of an option for some pet owners, there are alternatives. There are products available as chewable treats, or water additives. However, there is no better alternative to brushing and having regular dental checkups with your pet’s veterinarian. 

We have put together a download to help familiarize you with the signs of dental disease, and the four stages. As well, you’ll learn what dental disease looks like with diagrams as well as detailed explanations. 

Interested in learning more? Click below to download the FREE dental download.

Click here to download the "Dental Disease" PDF

Topics: veterinary hospital, animal hospital, dog care, cat care, vet halifax, pet nutrition

International travelling with your pets

Posted by Kyle Long on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 @ 09:01 AM

Pets on ChairsAs your other family doctor, we at Halifax Veterinary Hospital Inc. strive to help you and your furry family members face the challenges of pet ownership by being fully informed and prepared. This includes helping you navigate the confusing process of preparing your pet to travel internationally.

We know how important it is to keep your furry friend near you wherever you may go, so we want to provide you with the following information.

When you travel internationally with your pet there are many rules and regulations in place by border authorities. The process can be tricky, but hopefully this will help your travelling go as smooth and as easy as possible.

Firstly, it’s important for you to know exactly what will be required in terms of paperwork and vaccinations to get your pet into other countries. Most countries have their own specific requirements in this area, so keeping track of them all is nearly impossible - unless it’s your job to do exactly that. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency employs Dr. Shane Hood as the veterinarian who oversees the international pet travel process. As well as knowing the general process, he’s well versed in the associated rules and regulations when travelling with pets, depending on the country. When you decide to travel with your pet, make Dr. Hood your first call. He will be able to provide you with a list of all the information and documentation you will need to provide us with to help us prepare your pet for travel. He can be reached by phone at 902-679-5586.

Cat being checked out by vet

Secondly, once you have all the steps identified, please contact any one of our offices: Fairview Animal Hospital, Halifax Veterinary Hospital or Spryfield Animal Hospital, to book an International Travel Exam. This exam is a 30-minute consultation with a veterinarian to review your pet’s vaccination status and if need be, administer the required vaccines. As well, this time allows for the veterinarian to fill out the documents you need to travel with your pet. Thecost of this consultation depends on whether or not your pet requires vaccinations prior to leaving Canada. The costs vary depending on what is required for your pet's consultation, including any vaccinations or laboratory work. Please contact one of our clinics today, and we would be more than happy to assess the costs for you!

Don’t let forms and processes stand in the way of taking your cherished pet on the road - or plane! Being prepared makes all the difference.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Contact Us

Topics: Halifax vet, veterinary hospital, animal hospital, vet halifax

DEFENSOR® rabies tags revolutionize pet safety

Posted by Kyle Long on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 @ 03:05 PM

As pet owners, we take pride in making informed decisions about the care of our furry friends. Proactive care is important to ensuring your loved ones live long and happy lives, and part of this care is getting necessary vaccinations. Your pets are just as important to us as they are to you, and ensuring that we provide exceptional health care is part of how we make sure you make the best of your years.

describe the imageAt Halifax Veterinarian Hospital, Fairview Animal Hospital and Spryfield Animal Hospital we offer the DEFENSOR® 3 rabies vaccine. Annual physical exams and vaccine risk assessments are an important part to keeping you and your loved ones safe from the dangers of contracted illnesses. We offer this vaccination to all pets that may be at risk for contracting the disease. Now, with every DEFENSOR® 3 rabies vaccine given to our patients, our clinic is issuing a free DEFENSOR® industry-exclusive and innovative rabies tag.

These tags have two sides. One side of the tag will have our contact information, and the other side will have a QR code, easily scanned by most smartphones, and a uniquedescribe the image identification number. Once you have registered these tags online, you will be able to store all pertinentinformation about your pet like their breed, age and behaviour, as well as all your contact information. When your lost pet is found, anyone can call the toll-free number, scan the QR code, or even enter the unique ID online to find where your pet belongs. With this tag, we look to facilitate a reunion should they get lost. 

Want more information on this exciting new rabies tag?

Click here for more info!

Topics: veterinary hospital, animal hospital, dog care