Archive for the ‘Vet’s Corner’ Category

Annual Vaccinations?


Vaccinations administered annually are not doing your dog or cat any favours.

In fact, you may be creating irreparable harm.

Have your fur friend’s blood checked for antibody levels against Parvo and Distemper, called a titre, and if they have sufficient levels, there is no need to vaccinate.

P.S. download the free DOGALIZE app from your app store or online at and get instant access to vet and trainer tips and so much more!

What is Chelation?

What is Chelation?
Chelation acts like a powerful magnet for toxic metals and is great to treat conditions like Congestive Heart Failure.
Toxic metals act like festering slivers. Once they are pulled out with Chelation, the body then heals itself.
Also useful for many cases are intravenous treatments of hydrogen peroxide and Vitamin C. Glutathione injections work wonders for cats with kidney disease.
(This Vet Tip sponsored by Dogalize, the free dog lovers app)
Dr. Moira's Vet Tips

Dr. Moira’s Vet Tips

Ten Foods That are Harmful or Even Lethal to Your Dog or Cat

Many common foods that we cook with every day are not good for our furry friends, some of them fatal, while others cause terrible side effects.  Every year many of our fur friends suffer because us humans are not careful enough to keep these foods out of reach of our curious and hungry friends.

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in products such as gum, candy, mints, toothpaste, and mouthwash. Xylitol is harmful to dogs because it causes a sudden release of insulin in the body that leads to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Xylitol can also cause liver damage in dogs. Within 30 minutes after eating, the dog may vomit, be lethargic (tired), and/or be uncoordinated.  However, some signs of toxicity can also be delayed for hours or even for a few days. Xylitol toxicity in dogs can be fatal if untreated. It is unknown whether xylitol is toxic to cats.

Chocolate, Coffee, and Caffeine
Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that is toxic to dogs in large enough quantities. Chocolate also contains caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, and certain soft drinks. Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine and caffeine. For example, dark chocolate and baking chocolate contain more of these compounds than milk chocolate does, so a dog would need to eat more milk chocolate in order to become ill. However, even a few ounces of chocolate can be enough to cause illness in a small dog, so no amount or type of chocolate should be considered “safe” for a dog to eat. Chocolate toxicity can cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid or irregular heart rate, restlessness, muscle tremors, and seizures. Death can occur within 24 hours of ingestion.

Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and Raisins can cause acute (sudden) kidney failure in cats and dogs. It is unknown what the toxic agent is in these fruits. However, clinical signs can occur within 24 hours of eating and include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy (tiredness). Other signs of illness relate to the eventual shutdown of kidney functioning.

The Avocado tree leaves, pits, fruit, and plant bark are likely all toxic. Clinical signs in dogs and cats include vomiting and diarrhea.

Garlic and Onions
Garlic and Onions contain chemicals that damage red blood cells in cats and dogs. Affected red blood cells can rupture or lose their ability to carry oxygen effectively. Cooking these foods does not reduce their potential toxicity. Fresh, cooked, and/or powdered garlic and/or onions are commonly found in baby food, which is sometimes given to animals when they are sick, so be sure to read food labels carefully.

Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia Nuts are common in candies and chocolates. The mechanism of macadamia nut toxicity is not well understood, but clinical signs in dogs include depression, weakness, vomiting, tremors, joint pain, and pale gums. Clinical signs can occur within 12 hours after eating. In some cases, signs can resolve without treatment in 24 to 48 hours, however, patient monitoring is strongly recommended.” –

Nobody wants their best fur friend to suffer like this, so make sure that none of these foods are left around where your dog or cat might accidentally gain access to them.
Sponsored by Dog Whispering
© 2012 – All rights reserved.

How Can I Help My Dog With Reverse Sneezing?


Ask a Vet Question: What should I do when my Shih Tzu or short-nosed dog starts that frightening wheezing noise? Why does it happen? Should people get worried when this happens and is there a definitive method for helping the dog when this occurs?

Thanks to Dr. Geoff Gaunt of Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital for providing us with the following expert answer to this small animal question that has many dog owners wondering what to do.

“This experience can be very frightening when first encountered and can cause a  lot of anxiety for the dog and the owner, however, this is almost never life-threatening.  When it happens, it may be useful to gently massage the throat and neck and offer the dog a small amount of water to drink to stimulate swallowing.  This may help shorten or even end an episode.  You should have your dog examined by your veterinarian to evaluate the causes and possible therapy for this syndrome.

Your veterinarian will likely want to determine if the event was sneezing, reverse sneezing or gagging.  All of these actions are normal protective reflexes to remove irritants from the sensitive tissues in the throat.  These sensitive tissues can include the various airway structures as well as the mouth and esophagus.  Regardless of whether it is sneezing, reverse sneezing or gagging, the usual causes include anything that can cause irritation in the throat.  Common causes include dental disease, excessive dryness and dust, any foreign material (like grass seeds), allergies and parasites.  There are several other less common causes that your veterinarian may identify.

For most dogs it is helpful to remember that these actions can be normal protective reflexes.  If the symptoms are more severe than this, or do not lessen with gentle massage, then a visit to your veterinarian is crucial.  Incidentally, this syndrome can be seen in any breed of dog and in cats, too.  Any age of dog can be involved, although the causes may be very different in older compared to younger animals.” – Dr. Geoff Gaunt, Elk Lake Vet Hospital

Although this reverse sneezing seems to occur more often in short-nosed breeds, such as Shih Tzu’s, as Dr. Gaunt advises, if your dog is experiencing these sorts of episodes on a regular basis, make sure you take your best friend to visit a quality, full service, trusted hospital or clinic that specializes in the care of our precious, small companion animals, such as Elk Lake Veterinary Hospital.

© – 2010 – All rights reserved.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Anti-freeze?

Thanks to everyone who sent in their questions (keep them coming). The most asked Vet-related question for the month of October 2009 was:

“What should I do if I think my dog may have ingested anti-freeze?” and thanks to Vet Tech, Nicolle Lejeune at McKenzie Veterinary Services for providing us with the following  expert and helpful answer.

“If you think your dog has ingested anti-freeze the first and only thing an owner should do is get your dog to a veterinary hospital as soon as possible. YOUR DOG WILL NOT RECOVER ON THEIR OWN IF A POISONING HAS OCCURRED. If you suspect any kind of toxin has been ingested please bring the container of the substance with you so the veterinarian knows what they are dealing with. Through a thorough exam, diagnostic blood work and sometime an analysis of your dogs’ urine it can be determined whether or not an ethylene glycol/anti-freeze poisoning has occurred. If it has, the appropriate course of treatment for your dog can begin.

There are now pet friendly anti-freezes on the market. Now instead of ethylene glycol you can pick up anti-freeze made of propylene glycol. This can be purchased at any automotive supply store. As of April 1st, 2009 British Columbia became the first province to mandate that a bitter agent be added to all anti-freeze sold at a consumer level to deter ingestion of this highly poisonous substance.”

*The information in this column is not meant to serve as a diagnosis but rather a starting point for understanding and investigating concerns related to your dog. A physical exam and assessment of your dog by a veterinarian is essential.*

© – 2009 – All rights reserved.