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Antibiotics and Your Pet:

Published by in Antibiotic Resistance ·
Tags: PetsandAntibioticResistance
 Antibiotics and Your Pet: What You Need to Know
Antibiotic resistance is a growing concern in human medicine. But did you know that antibiotic resistance is also a rising issue in animal medicine? While the subject is often discussed with food producing animals, this global health issue is also affecting how veterinarians are able to treat our furry companions.
Antibiotics are used to treat various bacterial infections. Prior to the introduction of penicillin, many of these bacterial infections could have proven fatal. While antibiotics are an important part of human and animal medicine, the bacteria once susceptible to antibiotics is now evolving to resist treatment, proving more challenging to treat. Anytime antibiotics are used, this is contributing to the development of resistance, so it is important they are used carefully.
In order to ensure the longevity of effective antibiotic treatment for our furry loved ones, here are some tips to keep in mind if your pet is prescribed antibiotics.

Do Not Share Antibiotics with Your Pet
In an attempt to cut costs, it may be tempting to share your antibiotic prescription with your pet, if you happen to be taking the same antibiotic. Amoxicillin, Penicillin, Tetracycline and many other antibiotics can be used for treatment for both people and pets, however, the required dose to treat you versus your pet is vastly different. Antibiotic dosage is calculated by a healthcare professional based on weight, the type of infection and medical history. Likely, the prescribed dosage you have of antibiotics for yourself will be far too high for your pet, which can lead to serious health risks. Even sharing antibiotics between pets is not a good idea, as various factors, other than weight or size, will be considered before calculating the proper dose for a pet. This type of misuse of antibiotics can lead to the formation of antibiotic resistance.

Trying to Identify Underlying Health Problems Can Reduce the Use of Antibiotics
Similar to human doctors, veterinarians want to avoid overusing antibiotics with our pets, in order to reduce the risk of resistance forming. If your pet is frequently susceptible to infection, further diagnostics may be recommended to identify an underlying problem that is leading to perpetual infection. For example, if your pet develops persistent skin infections, they may have allergies. If the underlying condition is treated and managed accordingly, it will avoid the incidence of infection, and therefore avoid the need for excessive antibiotic use.
Do Not Stop Antibiotic Treatment Early
Often times you may notice that your pet’s infection has subsided during the course of antibiotic treatment- that’s great! BUT it is important to continue the treatment through to the end as directed by your veterinarian. This is because although the infection may appear to be gone, the infectious bacteria may still be unknowingly present, and can cause the symptoms to return. Failing to finish the course of antibiotics may lead to further trips to your veterinarian, additional costs for commencing treatment again and also increase antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotics are not Cure-Alls
Antibiotics are used exclusively to treat bacterial infections. If your pet has a fungal infection, they will need antifungal treatment, or if they have a viral infection they will require antiviral medications. Antibiotics for your pet need to be specially prescribed by a veterinarian, who can use their expertise to decipher their use is the best course of treatment for your pet.
Like any medication, antibiotics have some side effects, and work differently depending on the animal. Antibiotics can cause stomach upset and vomiting. If your pet does not show improvement, or symptoms worsen on antibiotic treatment after two to three days, call your veterinarian. If your pet has adverse side effects such as difficulty breathing, seizures, severe weakness or hives seek emergency veterinary care. These adverse reactions could be the sign of an allergic reaction to the antibiotic treatment, and can be potentially life threatening if not addressed immediately.  
It is important to discuss what other medications your pet is on when your veterinarian is prescribing antibiotics. Prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter or herbal medicines can have unfavourable interactions with your pet’s antibiotics. This can cause negative side effects or decrease the effectiveness of the antibiotic treatment.
Antibiotics are an important part of veterinary medicine, and it is crucial everyone is mindful with the use of antibiotics, in order to ensure they can be an effective course of treatment for our furry companions. If you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s antibiotics please call our vet in Newmarket.
Looking for a vet clinic in Newmarket Aurora area? Call us to book an appointment; 905 898 1010

Holiday Hazards

Published by in Harmful food ·
Tags: HolidayHazardsforPets
Holiday Hazards for Pets

For many people, winter is a time of holidays, parties and family get-togethers.  It’s only fair to include your pet.  There are some unique challenges that come with the cold weather, and a holiday party can create hazards for your pet.

Many holiday food items are potentially dangerous to pets.  Chocolate is frequently a feature of celebrations, and it can be deadly to your pet.  Other foods can have dangerous ingredients too.  As a general rule, don’t share human food with your pet.  Make sure guests know not to feed them.  Some pets, mainly dogs, are accomplished beggars, and can wheedle tidbits out of almost anyone.  If you aren’t sure about your pet’s ability to restrain their vacuum tendencies, it may be safer to exclude them from parties and gatherings. See more.

Many holiday plants are toxic to pets, some more than others.  Some examples include poinsettia (slightly toxic), holly, and mistletoe (European mistletoe is particularly bad).  The level of toxicity depends on the size of your pet and the amount ingested, but it’s always safest to consult your veterinarian if your pet eats any plants.  Some plants can even be fatal if ingested.  Lilies can cause kidney failure and death in cats.  If your pet likes to browse on houseplants, it’s a good idea to research what plants are ok and which ones to avoid.
Be careful what ornaments and decorations you use, and supervise your pet around potential hazards.  Glass ornaments can break, power cords can cause shocks and burns if chewed, ribbons, string and strands of tinsel can cause a potentially dangerous obstruction if ingested.  Candles can be knocked over, and if something isn’t kid-safe, it’s also not pet-safe.

A common winter poison is antifreeze.  It has a very sweet taste, and many animals will happily drink it.  Keep containers closed up tight, and clean up spills promptly.  If you think your pet may have consumed antifreeze, you should seek veterinary attention immediately.  Another problem is the cold.  Some dogs love the cold and snow, but it can be rough on older pets and those who don’t have heavy undercoats.  Make sure your snow-loving dog has a warm shelter if they like to spend a lot of time outside, but bring all pets inside during severe cold or bad weather whether they like it or not.  Frail pets should spend minimal time outdoors, and even some dogs could benefit from being litter trained.

If you are looking for a vet in Newmarket, call us at 905-898-1010.


Brushing Pets Teeth

Published by in Teeth Brushing ·
Tags: BrushingPetsTeethlooseteeth

Teeth Brushing
Brush your pet’s teeth every day if possible. It is easier to start brushing when your pet is young slowly and gradually.
Gently rub along your pet's gums and teeth. Dip your finger in tuna water, chicken broth, or other liquid your cat may like. The most important area to focus on is the gum line, where the gums meet the teeth bacteria and food mix to form plaque. Start at the front of the mouth, then move to the back upper and lower.
Gradually introduce gauze over your finger and rub the teeth and gums in a circular fashion.
When your pet can handle the gauze, try brushing with a toothbrush specially designed for pets or ultra-sensitive toothbrush designed for people.
Gradually add pet toothpaste, but never use people toothpaste or baking soda, as both will upset your pet’s stomach.
Use the following process to clean the inside surfaces of your pet’s teeth:
1. Place your hand over your pet’s muzzle from the top
2. Gently squeeze and push his lips on one side between the back teeth (to keep his mouth open)
3. Pull his head back gently so his mouth opens
4. Brush his teeth on the opposite side
5. Repeat this process for the other side
Avoid stress and keep sessions short and positive. If your dog continues to resist, try gently wrapping him in a large bath towel with only his head sticking out.
Dental care is necessary to provide optimum health and quality of life. Diseases of the oral cavity, if left untreated, are often painful and can lead to more serious health problems including heart, lung and kidney disease.
Tak your pet regularly to your vet for oral exam for signs of periodontal disease, such as dental tartar; red, swollen, or bleeding gums; bad breath; loose teeth or loss of teeth; pus between the gums and teeth and any unusual growth in the mouth.
Common signs of dental disease include:
  1. Yellow or brown build up (tartar) on the teeth
  2. Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  3. Bad breath
  4. Excessive drooling
  5. Changes in eating or chewing habits
  6. Loose teeth
  7. Depression
Even if your pet doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Intestinal Parasites

Published by in Intestinal Parasites ·
Tags: PetsIntestinalParasitesroundwormstapewormspuppydewormingkittendiarrhea

Giardia Organism picture Roundworm Parasites picture
Intestinal parasites are one of the most common problems veterinarians see in dogs and cats affecting pets of any age, they are a health a problem primarily in young dogs, dogs whose life style increases their risk of exposure, dogs living in sub-standard conditions and dogs with other health issues.
What are symptoms of parasites infestation ?
Parasites are often “silent” and you will not know you pet has them, particularly in adult animals.
The most common early signs of intestinal parasites in puppies or kittens are poor growth, dull hair coat, lack of playful energy, diarrhea, flatulence and anemia. Many of these puppies have bony bodies but potbellied, big tummies. Many are anemia. In some cases worms can be seen either in stool, vomit, or on the hair  around anus. Sometimes, Heavily infested young animal can show symptoms of obstruction such as acute vomiting and dehydration. Puppies and kitten may still have the appetite until they become seriously ill.
Some parasites migrate through the lungs, some of these pets have a soft cough and can be mistaken for kennel cough.

What are the most common intestinal parasites affecting gods and cats?
Many parasites can be found in stool but the following are common
Roundworms =Ascaridiasis, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina
Tapeworms= dipylidium caninum, Taenia taeniaeformis
Coccidia = coccidiosis, Isospora species
Giardia = Giardia duodenalis, G. intestinalis, G. lamblia
Whipworms = Trichuris vulpis
Hookworms= Ancylostoma caninum is a species infects dogs, while  Ancylostoma tubaeforme for cats
Strongyloides = Strongyloides stercoralis, threadworms

What to do to know my pet have worms or intestinal parasites?
Some of them can be seen by the naked eye like roundworms and tapeworms, but most of these internal parasites are microscopic and pets may shed eggs in their poop.
If you recognize or see worms in stool, take some stool including worms you suspect to vet at Brooker Ridge Anima Hospital, they can help you identifying the parasites found. In most cases stool needed to be microscopically examined for the parasites, their eggs or cysts. Call now at 905-898-1010 to schedule a visit.

Pet Dental Health

Published by in Dentistry ·
Tags: PetsdentalHealthdentistryperiodontaldiseasetartarBadbreathmissingteeth

Pet Dentistry
Many people don’t realize how important their pet’s dental hygiene is. Aside from having more pleasant breath, keeping your pet’s mouth healthy helps maintain their overall health. Periodontal disease can be linked to heart problems, and chronic pain can make it difficult for your pet to maintain a normal diet. The Veterinary Dental Society states that 70% of cats and 80% of dogs, over the age of three suffer from periodontal disease. Providing the necessary dental care for your cat or dog can even increase their lifespan by 2-5 years.
Retained baby teeth can also cause dental problems in pets too!. The baby teeth have to fall out. Sometimes, not all of the baby teeth want to come out. This can lead to problems like gum irritation and tartar buildup.
Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital is focusing on the prevention of periodontal disease by educating the pet owners, on how to achieve good oral care at home. Dogs and cats can be experts at hiding their discomfort. There are signs that you can look for that could indicate that you want to get your pet’s teeth examined at their next visit to the veterinarian.
  • Excessive drooling and difficulty keeping food/water in their mouths
  • Any bleeding of the gums or around the mouth area
  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight
  • Bad breath
  • Discoloured or missing teeth
  • Any sensitivity when you touch the mouth area
Dental health problems can be a difficult and costly conditions to treat. Early treatment of any signs of gum disease are the best way to keep your vet costs low, and to keep your pet happy, healthy, and smiling. You can discuss the best food and treat options for dental care, as well as how to properly brush your pet’s teeth with your veterinarian. Book your pet for a dental exam now.  

Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital - 107-525 Brooker Ridge, Newmarket, ON - T: 905-898-1010
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