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Stenotic Nares - A concern for Brachycephalic (Short-nosed) Pets

Posted by Kyle Stewart on Sat, Oct 14, 2017 @ 01:01 PM

What are Stenotic Nares?

This is a condition where the openings of the nose or nasal passages are too narrow. These dogs will snore when inhaling or mouth breathing. When inhaling it creates a vacuum that causes the soft palate to be sucked back to the opening of the trachea. Repeated strain on the respiratory system creates an elongated palate that can interfere with normal breathing even at rest. With normal breathing now restricted these dogs cannot normally expel air, dissipate heat from their body and if the condition is severe enough it can lead to aspiration pneumonia.

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What breeds are more at risk?

Brachycephalic breeds such as French bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Pugs, Etc. Stenotic nares are rarely seen in cats but breeds such as persians are more at risk.

What can be done?

A brief surgery called a nasal resection can be done early in life to open up the nasal passages. By just slightly broadening the nasal passage it quadruples the air flow. This removes the suction in the back of the throat and helps the soft palate heal. Owners will hear less snoring as the dogs recover. Severe cases will need soft palate resection, however if done early in life the mild to moderate cases should not require the procedure.

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Who performs the procedure?

Currently Dr. Paul Kendall is performing the procedure out of the Quinpool Road location. If you believe your pet would benefit from the procedure please contact us at 902-422-8595 to setup a consult.

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Ask Dr. Kendall: Grumbly Stomach in Dogs

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Thu, Jul 06, 2017 @ 10:09 AM

bored dog.jpgIf you have questions about pet health or pet care send them to us and we'll have Dr. Kendall answer. This week Bernice asks:

Q. Over the past couple of months, my 17 month old shepperd/beagle mix often has a very loud grumbly stomach. I haven't changed his diet, and he is eating normally. I can't tell if he has any pain/cramps, but it does bother him because he tries to crawl on my lap when it happens. Is it something to worry about? Could there be a blockage of some sort? 

A. Thank you for your question Bernice.

Your young lad with the gassy, rumbling stomach can have several issues. I will discuss each briefly and you can determine which fits your scenario. Firstly your dog maybe swallowing air when he eats. Try elevating his food bowl on a platform when he eats. Next see if his food expands when wet. Put the food in a jar and add warm water.  Does the food expand ? If it does the food maybe fermenting in his stomach. This can lead to bloat. Lastly your pet maybe sensitive to the diet you are feeding. Does he pass a lot of gas/flatulence?  Does he burp a lot?  Is his stool normal in consistency ?  Some pets are sensitive/allergic to certain ingredients. My own dog can't eat foods with lamb or pork, this causes him a major tummy upset. You may need to change your diet, but please consult your Veterinarian first to determine what will work best for you. Too many clients bounce from diet to diet with poor results because they have no set plan.   

I hope this helps,

Dr.Paul Kendall

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Topics: dog care, Dr. Kendall

Ask Dr. Kendall: Dog Insurance Costs

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Wed, Jul 05, 2017 @ 02:43 PM

dog-at-vet-775592.jpgIf you have questions about pet health or pet care send them to us and we'll have Dr. Kendall answer. This week Selina asks:

Q. I was wondering how much is insurance for my dog, Cookie because I would love to save money.

A. Thank you for your question Selina.

You can apply for insurance after you have Cookie examined by a Veterinarian. The Veterinarian will determine if there are any underlying problems that may affect your coverage. I should state that Veterinarians do not sell insurance, we only make recommendations.  The insurance company that you apply to will offer difference types of coverage with different deductibles. Most policies will request a medical history from the Veterinary clinic you take Cookie for health services. It maybe best to discuss insurance coverage with the staff of the Veterinary clinic you currently visit. 

I hope this helps, 

Dr. Paul Kendall

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Topics: Dr. Kendall, dog care, pet care, pet insurance

Ask Dr. Kendall: Cataracts in Dogs

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 @ 01:11 PM

dog-owners.jpgIf you have questions about pet health or pet care send them to us and we'll have Dr. Kendall answer. This week Jodi asks:

Q. How do I tell if my 12 year old dog is developing cataracts? What can be done to help him if he does have cataracts? He is in excellent health otherwise and still has the vigor of a puppy.

A. Thank you for the question Jodi,

I would recommend that you take your senior friend to your Veterinarian for an examination. If there are cataracts present, your Veterinarian can determine their stage of development.  If the cataracts are mature and are interfering with the quality of life/vision then you can be referred to a Board Certified Ophthalmologist for assessment and possible surgery for their removal.  

I should note that there are several unscrupulous vendors on the internet that claim their remedy will cure cataracts. These products do not work. If they did, why are they not used in the human field?

I hope this helps answer your question,

Dr. Paul Kendall   

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Topics: Halifax vet, Dr. Kendall, dog care, pet care

Ask Dr. Kendall: Diagnosing dental or sinus issues in dogs

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Thu, Jun 15, 2017 @ 08:02 AM

kamila-wk-2989.jpgIf you have questions about pet health or pet care send them to us and we'll have Dr. Kendall answer. This week Nell asks:

Q. Can an ultrasound be conducted to examine and assess the dental and sinus areas? If so what is the cost for such work on a small dog? Thank you.

A.  Unfortunately we cannot use an ultrasound to diagnose dental or sinus issues in your pet. The dense bone of the skull and palate does not allow sound waves to penetrate thus making  this diagnostic tool useless for your purpose. Only radiography or perhaps a CT scan can be used to diagnose dental or sinus issues.

I hope this helps. 

Dr. Paul Kendall  

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Ask Dr. Kendall: Stuvite stones in dogs

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Mon, May 29, 2017 @ 10:37 AM

dog-food-recall-320.jpgIf you have questions about pet health or pet care send them to us and we'll have Dr. Kendall answer. This week Jane asks:

Q. My dog has stuvite stones. Can you recommend a special food or suggestions on how to keep crystals from coming back all the time?

A. Thank you for your question Jane.

The prevention of struvite stones can be difficult in your dog. The three main areas to concentrate on involve the diet which is pH balanced to give acidic urine so the stones can not form. Your veterinarian has several to choose from. These diets are NOT sold in pet or grocery stores.  Water consumption so the urine is more dilute, in some areas with water that is high in iron, bottled water maybe suitable. And finally a bladder that is free from infection as an infection alters the pH of the urine and crystals/stones may form. Some veterinarians may keep the patient on an approved Cranberry Extract long term if your pet is susceptible to bladder infections. In all incidences you need to work closely with your veterinarian to keep this situation under control.

I hope this helps,

 Dr. Kendall

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Ask Dr. Kendall: Cats Obsessively Scratching Themselves

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Tue, Apr 25, 2017 @ 06:27 AM

298x232-flea_proof_pet.jpgIf you have questions about pet health or pet care send them to us and we'll have Dr. Kendall answer. This week Sarah asks:

Q. In July, 2015, I dog sat a relative's dog in my house for a week. While the dog was in my house my two cats began to scratch themselves. Since then I gave them two types of flea control products and I sprayed the house with a flea control product. On three occasions since August one of my cats was checked for fleas or ear mites with none being seen. My other cat was checked once with none being seen. They were given drops in their ears in case of a yeast overgrowth. My cats have been scratching and shaking their heads frequently since July. They focus on their chins, faces but mostly their ears. One of them has noticeable bald spots. Do you have any idea with the problem could be? Thank you.

A. Thank you Sarah for the question. The answer to this problem could be very simple or very involved depending on the final diagnosis. Since we have two cats affected with the same clinical signs we maybe safe assuming that the problem is contagious in nature. For external parasites like fleas and/or ear mites, two to three sequential treatments with Revolution should clear this problem. As for the bald spots, these could be due to a fungal infection, bacterial infection and/or self trauma. Your veterinarian can examine hair and skin scrapings under a microscope and send samples to the laboratory for Fungal cultures. Skin scrapings by your veterinarian could reveal the cause of the itching. Occasionally skin biopsies sent to a Pathologist maybe necessary to get a diagnosis. You may notice that the diagnostics are building as we eliminate one possibility after another. Working closely with your veterinary team should lead to a successful conclusion to this itchy problem. 

A final thought regarding your itchy kittys that may unconventional is a food intolerance that typically affects the face /neck and ears in cats.  Food bowl sensitivities can occur (plastics or dye) but tend to be individual in nature. Environmental issues usually affect the whole cat especially the contact areas of the body.  

Good luck with solving your itchy issue,

Dr. Kendall 

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Ask Dr. Kendall: Managing Feline IBS

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 @ 01:45 PM

BWCat_012716_article.jpgIf you have questions about pet health or pet care send them to us and we'll have Dr. Kendall answer. This week Carol asks:

Q. My feline suffers from IBS and must take Predisolone, which she has for the past 8 years. There many new products for humans, i.e., probiotics. Are there any new products to help her manage this disease? 

A. Thank you for your question Carol.

IBD or idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease is a terrible problem for your cat. I take from the question her symptoms are under control at this stage and that the only medication currently being prescribed is prednisolone. Doing a literature review for this complex disease lead me to the conclusion that prednisolone and strict dietary control using novel proteins and/or hydrolyzed proteins is the hallmark treatment protocol. All other drugs, probiotics and prebiotics can aid with treatment but not cure this ailment as there is no cure only treatment to keep the inflammation of the bowel under control. Your veterinarian may need to add subsequent medications if there is a flare up of symptoms. For the most part the least amount of medications needed to control the clinical signs the better off your feline friend will be. 

I hope this answer helps,

Dr. Kendall

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Ask Dr. Kendall: Treatment for Cats with Fleas

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Tue, Apr 11, 2017 @ 11:15 AM

2326.jpgIf you have questions about pet health or pet care send them to us and we'll have Dr. Kendall answer. This week Barbara W. asks:

Q. My question is regarding fleas. Our cat acquired fleas from a weekend visit to friends and their cats who were infested. We didn't know until the end of our visit, otherwise we wouldn't have taken the cat. Anyway, we are now in our third month of treatment and the fleas seem very difficult to get rid of. We are combing daily, using Advantage every month but just before the next dose is due, we are finding fleas. Any suggestions?

A. Thank you for your question, Barbara.

Treating and controlling a flea infestation can be a difficult task. To start, I would be applying the Advantage flea treatment every 2 to 3 weeks for a total of 3 treatments. This change will not hurt your Kitty. Next I would look to your environment. The adult flea represents 5% of the total flea population. So if you see 1 flea on your pet there are 20 in the environment in the form of eggs, larvae and pupae. It take about 21 days for a flea to hatch from an egg so this could be the reason why you see fleas towards the end of the month. The flea larvae are photophobic (don't like light) so vacuum under the beds, sofa, baseboards and around appliances. The eggs are like icing sugar so they spread everywhere. There are excellent, safe premise sprays available at your veterinarian's clinic.

Finally you maybe bringing fleas home from visiting your friends. Fleas and or eggs could be on your clothes when you come home. If you are living in an apartment building, your neighbours fleas maybe hitching a ride on you and coming into your living space.

I hope this helps to rid you of your problem with the fleas.

Best of luck,

Dr. Kendall

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Ask Dr. Kendall: Fur Balls in Cats

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Sat, Jan 28, 2017 @ 09:09 AM

05-31-hal6-cats-declawed-file.jpgIf you have questions about pet health or pet care send them to us and we'll have Dr. Kendal answer. This week James asks:

Q. When a cat brings up a fur ball is it better if it is thrown up or pass in a bowel movement or does it make any difference?

A. Thanks for the question, James. Hair balls and cats and answering the age old problem is it better to vomit them up or pass them in the stool. The best answer is to prevent hair balls period.

Last week I spent three and a half hours removing a hair ball mass from a cats oesophagus who will probably have difficulties the rest of her life from this and several times a year, I need to surgically remove hair ball masses from intestines due to obstructions. 

This problem of hairballs can be reduced by brushing your cats fur regularly to remove loose and excess fur. There are several brands of cat food formulated to reduce hair ball production. You can go to your Veterinarians office and purchase formulated laxatives for hair balls and recently there are treats specifically designed to relieve hair balls in your feline friend.

Given that there are multiple solutions to help alleviate hair balls in your kitty you should not need to worry about whether is it better to vomit them up or pass them in the stool.  As always consult your Veterinarian for a solution that will work for you and your pet.

I hope this helps,
Dr. Kendall

Do you have a question for Dr. Kendall? Of course, if you have an urgent health concern, don't wait to be featured in our blogs, but rather contact us right away.

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Topics: cat care, Dr. Kendall