What to Do if Your Pet Has Fleas or Ticks

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Mon, May 21, 2018 @ 01:47 PM

joseph-pearson-378031-unsplashFew things are worse than fleas and ticks! Not only can they make your furry friend miserable, but they can also become a health risk too! So what should you do if you find out they have fleas or ticks? Chances are your first reaction might be to freak out, but as with most other problems in life, this too has a resolution to it!


First and foremost, make sure that its actual fleas that your pet is having issues with. For example, if your pet is itching his ears it could be a sign of mites - or an ear infection. If they are, however, licking other parts of their body this could be a food allergy or another irritation. Fleas are usually pretty easy to see but even the evidence of flea dirt will be a sign that you will want to look out for on your furry friends.

Secondly, after you've established your furry friend has fleas you will want to delouse your pet and take them to the vets. The veterinarian will be able to provide suggestions and recommendations on products you can use, not only for your pet but to safeguard your home. Fleas are already a pain as is, but because fleas can tapeworms its a good idea to get them checked out by a local vet!

Lastly, you will want to clean your home. If you have a smaller infestation it is easier to "clean up" yourself but if you have a major infestation you might need to call in a flea removal company to help rid you of any fleas. Fleas can easily hide in furniture and between carpet fibers so it's better to make sure they are completely gone! Vacuum well, especially edges, seams etc and empty the bag immediately and a premise spray.


Ticks are a little scarier because they pose an obvious health risk. Not only can ticks transmit Lyme disease to your pets, but to humans as well. Ticks can also cause blood loss, skin irritation and anemia.

Ticks are more active in the spring through fall and they tend to live in grassy areas, brush, and bushes. They attach themselves when your pet wonders through these areas. They can however survive in temperatures anywhere from 4 C and above so be on the lookout year round.


Why A Vet Is Important

Not only will a vet remove the tick the right way, but they will also give you tips on how to protect your pet in the future. They also may need to give your dog antibiotics if the tick has caused any damage and they can offer treatments to help keep ticks off of your pet.

Ticks tend to be easier to see than fleas but they are also harder to get rid of. Not only can ticks spread disease while on your pet, but if you try to remove the tick and do so improperly, the body or blood left behind by the tick can cause even more problems!

One of the best ways to keep fleas and ticks away is to prevent infestations from even starting. You should have your pet on flea and tick control throughout the year. These treatments will protect you and your pet from fleas and ticks! Early detection is incredibly important which is why it's important to pay attention to your animal’s signs that something might be going on. Look for excessive itching, biting or nibbling of the paws, ears, and skin.

Flea and Tick Product Guide

Topics: pet care, dog care, veterinary hospital

Pet Diabetes

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Thu, Mar 02, 2017 @ 09:19 AM

Special_needs_pets--Sophie.jpgJust as diabetes in humans seems to be on the increase - so does diabetes in pets. Diabetes is a complex disease that can be caused by a lack of insulin - or an inadequate response to insulin.

About diabetes

When an animal has diabetes, insufficient amounts of insulin are produced, or the insulin is not utilized normally - causing the animal's blood sugar levels to elevate. This results in hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).

Diabetes is classified into two types.

  • Type 1 - Lack of insulin production
  • Type 2 - Inability to respond to insulin

Type 1 diabetes is the type that is the most common form of diabetes found in dogs. Insulin is formed in the pancreas. When there is not enough insulin produced, insulin therapy is needed in order for your pet to remain healthy.

Type 2 diabetes is most commonly found in cats. In this condition, sufficient amounts of insulin are produced, but the cat does not have a normal response to it.

Symptoms to watch for

There are several signs you can watch for that may lead to a diagnosis of diabetes in your pet.

  • Change in appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive thirst - increased water consumption
  • Increased urination
  • Lethargy
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting

Change in appetite. Any time your pet has a change in appetite it should be checked out by your vet. Not only is this a sign of diabetes, but it is also a symptom of many other medical conditions that may be affecting your pet.

Dehydration and Excessive thirst. Even though your pet may be exhibiting excessive thirst and drinking more water than usual they still may become dehydrated. In fact, excessive thirst is a signal that your pet may be dehydrated. Dehydration is a serious condition in pets and needs to be treated as soon as it is noticed. There are many signs of dehydration.

  • Loose or wrinkled skin
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Dry gums

Lethargy. Lethargy in your pet is also a symptom that should not be ignored or go untreated, as it can be a red flag that something is not right with your pet.

Frequent urination and UTIs. If your pet has more frequent urination than usual or frequent urinary tract infections - make sure your vet checks for diabetes.

Overweight and older pets

Diabetes seems to be more common in pets that are overweight and as they get older. It can also be brought on by the pet's lifestyle.

Diabetes treatment for your pet

If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes - it is important to get the right treatment.

  • Oral medication
  • Diet
  • Insulin injections
  • Life-style change

Depending on the type and severity of diabetes - your pet may need oral insulin or insulin injections. Your veterinarian will give you detailed instructions on administrating the insulin.

It is important that your pet lead an active life and that his or her diet is a healthy one. Keep your pet active by play or taking walks.

A diet that is higher in protein and lower in carbs has shown to be a conservative treatment for pets with diabetes.

Keeping your pet healthy

As important as it is to watch for any unusual signs or symptoms in your pet - the best thing you can do to keep your pet healthy is to make sure he or she has regular checkups.

The professionals at Halifax Veterinary Hospital care for each and every pet patient that comes through our doors. Call us with any concerns you may have about the health of your beloved pet.

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

Resources for Pet Care

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 @ 09:23 AM

petgallery.jpgThe Internet is a wonderful resource and you can learn endless things when you search topics that interest you. The problem is, you don't always know if the information you get is from a valid source. When it comes to pet care, it's important to rely only on credible sources. There's information from every angle out there and you can waste a lot of time and effort finding the right options or worse yet – find incorrect information that may be harmful to your pet. Instead of wasting time and possibly going down the wrong path because of misinformation, use the Halifax Veterinary Hospitals Resource page.

We work with animals on a daily basis. We know the topics revolving around animal care extremely well. We have put the necessary time and effort into finding the right information for you so all you have to do is visit the resource page and look for the topic you need help with.

If you are a first-time pet owner, you might be concerned about every detail from top to bottom. How do you clean your home with a pet around? What do they need and what should you think about as a pet owner in terms of cleanliness? Take those worries off your mind by doing a little reading. The resource page has outlets for you to learn everything you need to know from a valid source endorsed by veterinarians.

We are also open to your ideas and suggestions on resources we should include here. Or if you have a specific question please send us your questions and we’ll answer it here on our blog. If you have a health concern that is more urgent in nature, don't wait for an answer on the blog. Contact your local veterinarian right away and find out what you need to know sooner rather than later.

Learn More

Topics: pet care, dog care, cat care, veterinary hospital, Halifax vet, pet resources

Finding Chance – A Reunion Story

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 @ 01:13 PM

Chance.jpgHalifax Animal Hospitals always encourage pet owners to tag their animals with their latest vaccination information. This is not only advisable when boarding pets and frequenting dog parks, but tags are also great tools to reunite lost pets with their worried owners. 

Such a case occurred a few weeks ago when the Spryfield Animal Hospital received a call from a concerned citizen who had found a lost dog roaming the streets of Savannah, Georgia. The neighbour called the toll free number on the dog’s rabies tag, which in turn directed her to the Spryfield Animal Hospital where the dog’s vaccination was given. We then looked up the rabies tag’s record and called the associated phone number.

The dog’s owner was also in Savannah, and she and her son Michael thought their dog, Chance, was playing in the backyard with his beloved dog-friend, a bullmastiff named Chief, when he went missing. The two dogs love one another and Chance had spent the night there. Michael loves the dogs so much that he leaves his doors open for the dogs to come and go as they please because he has a fenced in back yard. 

Michael had left to pick up his family for breakfast when Rosemarie, the person associated with the rabies tag, received a call from Spryfield Animal Hospital – they called to see if she had Chance, who she thought was safe and sound at Michael’s house.

When Michael arrived, Rosemarie asked Michael where Chance was and he said at home, but little did they know that Chance had gone outside in his back yard and found a tiny space in the fence and wormed his way out. 

The office gave Rosemarie the neighbour’s phone number and Michael called it as he drove back to his home to be reunited with Chance (which Chance thought was great as he was so excited to see Michael). 

Michael has since fixed the fence and Chance and Chief are enjoying a wonderful life together coming and going outside as they please. 

Chance is very happy living in Savannah and Rosemarie now knows he is safe because he is wearing his tag and if he gets loose she knows he can be located. Chance is a big part of Rosemarie’s family and we are happy we could help keep it that way. 

When the neighbour called the 1-800 number on the tag they were redirected back to the Spryfield Animal Clinic. Using the number on the tag we were able to contact the owner in Savannah to let them know their dog had escaped but was safe! Luckily this ended well! Imagine if Chance was not wearing his tag. If your dog has lost or broken his tags, use the link below to connect with us and make sure your dog is up to date on his or her vaccinations.

Click here for more info!


Topics: dog care, Halifax vet, veterinary hospital

Certified Feline Friendly

Posted by Halifax Veterinary Hospital Blogging Team on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 @ 07:41 AM

download_5.jpgAs a valued member of your family, your cat deserves to be treated with the knowledge, respect, and compassion that you would expect from your own doctor. At Halifax Veterinary Hospital, we take great pride in the fact that we are a certified cat friendly practice. When you visit a pet care facility that is certified feline friendly, you can expect to see that pride from beginning to end.

Cat-Friendly Facilities

Between the ride to the facility, being confined in a carrier, and the multitude of scents they smell in a short period of time, cats are easily stressed and on edge by the time they see a veterinarian. Visiting a certified feline friendly facility will help ease this stress. Staff members are aware of these emotional states and should help calm your pet upon arrival. The facility should have comfortable waiting areas separate from other animals, exam rooms cleaned of scents and smells, and treats and toys made especially for cats.

Specialized Care and Procedures

Cats don't always travel easily, and most of them hate being confined to a carrier and riding in a car. Veterinarians understand this and should offer a multitude of services for your cat in one place. In addition to routine check-ups and vaccinations, certified cat friendly facilities offer dental cleanings and surgical procedures in house. This allows you to visit just one facility for all your cat care needs, making the environment somewhat familiar for your cat on each visit.

Long-Term and Follow-Up Care

Cats need different types of care depending on their age and breed. Cat friendly facilities will frequently have care plans and packages geared toward the unique needs of cats. They will also encourage follow-up appointments and ongoing care that is specific to the needs of your cat. Many facilities lump dogs and cats together in care methods, leaving cats without the specialized attention they need. A cat friendly facility will ensure that your cat is treated individually.

Veterinary facilities that are certified as cat friendly provide the best possible care for cats and a great deal of relief for their owners. Halifax Veterinary Hospital is proud to be certified as a cat friendly practice.

Interested in learning more about our Cat Friendly Practice, click below

Cat friendly practice

Topics: Halifax vet, cat care, veterinary hospital

Pocket Pets

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 @ 07:27 AM

When you think of pets, it's likely that cats and dogs come to mind. While these pets certainlyshutterstock 12481081 make great companions, they are far from the only animals who can do so. Smaller mammals, which are often described as "pocket pets", make great companions for pet owners of all stripes. Pocket pets can include familiar critters like rabbits, gerbils and hamsters, as well as newly popular animals like sugar gliders and hedgehogs. 

Why Choose a Pocket Pet?

Pocket pets make great companions and friends, for both experienced and first-time pet owners. They are a particularly good option for people living in small homes, apartments, or in living situations which don't allow larger pets such as cats and dogs.  While pocket pets deserve the same level of love and care as their larger cousins, their small size often makes them cheaper to do so. Caring for and feeding your pocket pet can be much more affordable than a cat or dog, making them great for pet owners on a budget.(Vet care for exotics is often more costly due to the nature of their rarity and the need to send most diagnostic samples to referral labs for analysis) Pocket pets are often given to children as a first pet.  While this can be a positive experience, make sure your child is capable of caring for their animal. Neglect can cause serious health problems for your pet, and their small size makes them more prone to injury than other animals.

Caring For Your Pocket Pet

These animals need the same annual checkups that cats and dogs receive, as well as any special attention their species may require. Additionally, they require adequate food, water, and living space for a happy and healthy life. Pocket pets are living, breathing creatures; not novelty items. 

If you're looking to bring a new friend into your life, a pocket pet might just be the perfect companion for you. Their small size makes them perfect for a wide variety of living situations, and they are often cheaper to feed and than other animals. However, while smaller and cheaper than dogs or cats, pocket pets still deserve the same level of care and love. These lovable pets need access to annual checkups and veterinary care, same as any other. As long as they receive this care, your pocket pet can be a great friend for years to come.

Learn More

Topics: Halifax vet, veterinary hospital, exotic pet care

What parents need to know about cats and children

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 06:34 AM

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If you are thinking of adding a cat to your household, you should give some consideration to how your kids will interact with their new furry friend. While cats mix with kids well, there can be some stumbling blocks.

Before introducing a cat to your home, sit down with your children and explain to them that all animals have to be treated with respect. Cats don't require much in terms of responsibility but they must be treated kindly. 

While many say that it is prudent to let your small child grow up with a kitten, this is not always the best choice. Kittens and kids don't always mix. Kittens are extremely sensitive and some children play quite rough.  Sometimes young kids just don't understand how fragile a kitten is. As a result, an adult cat is oftentimes the better decision for families with young children.

It is critical that you teach your children how to handle cats. They should be picked up infrequently and with great care. Teach your children that they have the capability of harming the cat if they pick him up inappropriately. Demonstrate the proper method to pick up the cat in front of your kids and then have them practice it to make sure that they can do it safely. If they haphazardly pick up their cat in a rough manner, it could cause the cat to be anti-social and withdraw from the family. The cat might even act out by hissing and scratching at the kids.

When you first introduce the cat to your family, watch your children closely. Observe how they interact with each other to see how each behaves. If you observe your child playing too roughly with your new cat or kitten, put a stop to the behavior before it becomes common place. If the cat or kitten shows signs of stress or fear, terminate the interaction calmly and try again at a later time.

While cats are sensitive creatures that must be handled with care, they can also help kids learn responsibility and how to treat animals properly. Your child will become much more compassionate toward animals when he has the chance to care for a cat. Just be sure to teach him the right lessons. 

Talk to your kids about treating the cat with love and how to respect the cat's space. Discuss proper handling of the cat before you actually bring him into the home and again before letting them interact together.

And of course involve them in cat care, your children are always welcome at your veterinary appointments and also welcome to tour the hospital at any time.

Schedule a Tour

Topics: veterinary hospital, cat care, vet halifax

Supporting Co-op Education

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Wed, Nov 05, 2014 @ 06:08 PM

On Monday of this week, we attended the Eastern Business College graduation ceremony as partners in education for their Veterinary Assistant Program.  

Partnering with educators to provide hands on work experience is a priority and pleasure for our three clinics.  Each year we have several Co-op students from three HRM high schools and many  college and university students as well.

Here are a couple of pictures with recent co-op students, both with Charlene Gallo (Fairview Animal Hospital).  Later this month Charlene is being recognized by the students and teachers of Halifax Regional School Board through their appreciation breakfast for partners on Nov 26th. The students and teachers of Halifax West speak highly of Charlene's support. 

Gallo and Kayla Comeau



Pictured above, Charlene Gallo with Kayla Comeau, who is a Vet Tech student from Maritime Business College

C Gallo and Kelly2

Pictured above Charlene Gallo and Kiley Edmund from Halifax West High school

Topics: Halifax vet, veterinary hospital, best vet

Diesel in Recovery -- what a trooper!

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 @ 03:38 PM

Diesel is out of surgery and it went really well! 

Here is an after pictures. 

after photo

The company that his dad works for, Troy Life & Fire Safety, has come together and donated the group's 'Summer Fun Fund' to Diesel, in the amount of $600!! What an amazing donation, they are so grateful.  They are getting close but still have a way to go. 

If you would like more info or to donate to Diesel's  cause, please contact the Fairview Animal hospital at tel 443-9385

Topics: veterinary hospital, animal hospital, dog care

Diesel's Surgery -- Ligament repair.

Posted by Melanie Taljaard on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 @ 10:48 AM

Diesel has a torn knee ligament, which basically means that the angle of his knee joint needs to be surgically altered to improve comfort and mobility. 

He had been pre-medicated and intubated, and was just wheeled into surgery...

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Here is Diesel's shaved knee, before any incisions have happened. Our technicians even shaved his toe fluffs off so he'll have more traction on his laminate floor at home :)

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