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Dog Allergies

Published by in Pet Allergies ·
Tags: DogAllergiesfleafoodallergyatopysneezingwheezingscratchingitchingbreathingproblems
Allergies in Dogs
Food Allergy
Did you know that animals suffer from allergies, just like humans? And just like with us, the cases of allergies in pets appears to be increasing in recent years. Some pets, like people, will just experience sneezing, wheezing, or other breathing problems which can develop into serious respiratory difficulties. The most common primary symptom of allergies in pets is scratching and itching. There are different categories for dog allergies: flea allergy dermatitis, atopy, and food allergies. Some pets may suffer from more than one kind of allergy.

What are the symptoms of food allergies?
Your dog may be allergic to one or more ingredients in his food. The most common food allergies for dogs are beef and milk products, cereals (wheat, corn, soya), chicken, and eggs. Although the exact cause of food allergies are not known, it could be that a change in the animal’s immune system is causing certain ingredients to be perceived as “foreign” and therefore the body protects itself.
The most common symptoms of food allergies are licking, itching, and chewing on different parts of the body. Ear infections and other skin problems can also occur in conjunction with food hypersensitivity. Some pets will develop diarrhea and other digestive problems. Symptoms can appear at any age, regardless of whether it is a new food, or they have been eating it for years. Allergies can develop over time.

How do you diagnose food allergies?
The best effective way to diagnose a food allergy is to put your pet on a “hypoallergenic” or “exclusion” diet for a minimum of 8-12 weeks. This diet will include ingredients that the animal has not been exposed to before. Because it is often the source of protein that causes the allergic reaction, “exclusion” diets will contain a protein not normally found in regular pet food, such as venison, fish, or duck. You can also prepare home-cooked hypoallergenic meals for your pet. Also consult our veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.
If your pet has a food allergy, you should notice a significant improvement on their symptoms after the 8-12 week period, unless your pet is also allergic to an ingredient in the new food. To identify all food allergens, it is best to add a single protein for 1-2 weeks at a time, and monitor the condition. You may be able to identify an allergy by how they respond to a new food. Also consult with our veterinarian to get clear instruction on the procedure to follow.
How to treat food allergies
The best way to treat this kind of allergy is to completely avoid the causes of flare ups. Usually, these allergies can be controlled by carefully monitoring his or her diet. In rare, severe cases, your vet may also prescribe an antihistamine and steroids.

What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis?
Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is a skin condition caused by an allergy to flea saliva. A single bite can trigger intense itching. Because of this, FAD is sometimes called “flea bite hypersensivity”. Dogs with this condition chew and bite their backs, legs, tails, and stomach, leading to hot spots and localized skin infections. You may find some fleas and flea dirt (flea feces that looks like black flakes) on your pet, but animals with FAD often have very few fleas because of their constant chewing and licking.

How is flea allergy dermatitis diagnosed?
Your vet will look for the usual signs, such as the presence of fleas, scratching, and sores. There is also an intradermal, or skin test, that can be performed. FAD symptoms can sometimes resemble that of other conditions, such as parasites, infections, and other allergies.

How is flea allergy dermatitis treated?
The best way to treat this allergy is to prevent fleas from biting your pet. The flea cycle can be difficult to break, because you need to treat not only your pet, but their environment, including your house and possibly your yard. Various insecticides and insect growth regulators are available. Your veterinarian can recommend the best product to use for your pet. Daily vacuuming and regular washing of animal bedding will also help reduce the overall flea population.
Sometimes, because of the severity of the itching, your pet may actually cause harm to itself, leading to infection. In these situations, your vet may prescribe steroids, antihistamines, and essential fatty acides to help reduce the irritation. There are also anti-itching shampoos and conditions, and warm baths may help soothe their skin.
**Please note: Some products, such as flea shampoo and some flea treatments cannot be given to young animals. If you have a puppy, kitten, or an immune
There is no cure for FAD. The only thing that can be done is maintaining a good prevention routine to keep on guard from future infestations.

Seasonal Allergy
What is atopy, and what are the symptoms?
Atopy, also known as environmental allergy, is an allergic reaction to airborne substances, including pollen, dust mites, moulds, etc. This allergy will depend on your both your pet’s genetic susceptibility, and how often they are exposed to the allergen. Although more common in dogs, cats have been known to suffer from Atopy. Among the most common canine breeds to suffer from this condition are Retrievers, Shar-Pei, Setters, Terriers, and Dalmatians.
The most common symptom of atopy is itching, usually around the face, feet, chest, and belly. The allergen affecting your pet may be seasonally (such as pollen) or year round (such as dander, dust mites, and mould). “Hot spots” can also develop, and frequent scratching can lead to other skin and ear infections. Hair loss is also common. Symptoms are usually first noticed between the ages of 1-3, but signs of an allergy may be seen from 4 months to 7 years of age.

How will my vet diagnose Atopy?
The diagnosis for this condition is elimination of other possible causes. Other causes of itching, such as fleas, mites, bacterial and yeast infections, and food allergies must be ruled out. Your veterinarian will request a detailed history of your pet’s itching problems. Skin or serum testing can be done to try to pinpoint the exact cause of an allergy.

How is Atopy treated?
Although atopy is a life-long condition with no known cure, There are numerous therapies for canine atopy  that you can help manage the problem for your pet.
  1. Anti-itch therapy, including medicated shampoos and conditioners, as well as the use of drugs
  2. Removal of the source of the allergy from your pet’s environment, as much as possible
  3. Hyposensitization therapy (Allergen-specific immunotherapy) is a long term therapy that directly addresses the patient’s hypersensitivities, a series of injections that will help your pet gradually adjust to the allergen. (Effectiveness of this treatment varies, but usually provides at least some relief for around 75% of animals with atopy
  4. For relatively mild atopy, such as occasional itching due to a seasonal allergy to pollen, you can use an Elizabethan collar (e-collar), socks, or t-shirts to help reduce the irritation but preventing your pet from further aggravating by biting or scratching the location.
  5. There are non-specific, symptomatic treatments, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids

If your pet has one or more of the allergy symptoms contact your veterinarian or call our pet clinic in Newmarket Aurora area at 905-898-1010

Food to Avoid

Published by in Harmful food ·
Tags: toxicfoodpetpoisoningdogsdiarrheacatscatsvomitingdogs
Human food sometimes is harmful to your pet. Make sure your pet does not get any of the following foods: Alcohol, Avocado, Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine, Citrus, Coconut and Coconut Oil, Grapes, Raisins, Macadamia Nuts, Milk and Dairy products, Nuts, Fat trimmings, Onions, Garlic, Chives, Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones, Fish (raw, canned or cooked), Salt and Salty Snack Foods, Xylitol, Yeast Dough, Marijuana, Moldy or spoiled food, garbage, Mushrooms, Rhubarb leaves, String, Sugary foods, Tobacco, Apple Seeds, Corn on the cob, Hops, Persimmons, peaches, Plums, Rhubarb, and tomato leaves.

Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, low blood sugar, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol.

Avocados contain Persin, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and heart congestion.

Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine:
These products all contain substances called methylxanthines. The severity of toxicity depends on the type and the amount of ingested chocolate, and the size of dog. Dark & baking chocolate are more dangerous than White & milk chocolate. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death

The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation, vomiting and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Small amounts, such as eating the fruit, are not likely to present problems beyond minor stomach upset.

Coconut and Coconut Oil:
When ingested in small amounts, coconut and coconut-based products are not likely to cause serious harm to your pet. The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that may cause vomiting, loose stools or diarrhea.

Grapes and Raisins:
Contain an unknown toxic substance that can cause kidney damage or even kidney failure. It is best to avoid feeding your dog any grapes or raisins.

Macadamia Nuts:
Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, panting, swollen limbs, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Milk and Dairy products:
Pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase to properly digest dairy foods. Milk and Dairy products can cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Nuts & Fat trimmings:
Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats. The fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis in pets.

Onions, Garlic, Chives:
These vegetables and herbs contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate), both of which can cause damage red blood cells, anemia, and gastrointestinal irritation. Cats are more susceptible than dogs.
Onion Garlic

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones:
Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets and humans. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (vitamin B7), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Bones can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

Fish (raw, canned or cooked):
If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.

Salt and Salty Snack Foods:
Large amounts of salt can produce electrolyte imbalance, excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. If eaten in large quantities it may cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. This is why we encourage you to avoid feeding salt-heavy snacks like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn to your pets.

Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species. Even small amounts can cause hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels) and can lead to liver failure. Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy, weakness and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures and collapse. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Yeast Dough:
Yeast produce ethanol and gas as by-product and a dog ingesting raw bread dough can become drunk. Make sure they don’t get any. While mild cases will cause gas, flatulence, and discomfort, too much of it could be painful and can cause bloat, and potentially stomach twist and possible rupture of the stomach becoming a life threatening emergency.

Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, urinary incontinence, hind legs weakness and changes in the heart rate.

Moldy or spoiled food, garbage:
Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.

Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.

Rhubarb leaves:
Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.

Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body." cause complications.

Sugary foods:
Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.

Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.

Apple Seeds:
The casing of apple seeds are toxic to a dog as they contain a natural chemical (amygdlin) that releases cyanide when digested.

Corn on the cob:
This is a sure way to get your dog’s intestine blocked. The corn is digested, but the cob gets lodged in the small intestine, and if it’s not removed surgically, can prove fatal to your dog.

An ingredient in beer that can be toxic to your dog. The consumption of hops by your dog can cause panting, an increased heart rate, fever, seizures, and even death.

Persimmons, peaches, and plums:
Persimmon seeds and peach and plum pits can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Peaches Plums

Rhubarb, and tomato leaves:
These contain oxalates, which can adversely affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.

If your pet ingested one of these food contact your veterinarian or call our veterinary clinic in Newmarket Aurora area at 905-898-1010

Planning Vacation

Published by in Client Education ·
Tags: catfoodgroomingveterinarianscathide
Planning to go on vacation and leaving your lovely cat with a cat sitter, remember to:
Cat image
if you are planning to go on vacation, few steps you take to ensure your cat is safe & comfortable
1. Tell your cat sitter where you store your pet food, how much and how often they eat and drink.
2. Show your cat sitter where the food and water dishes and the litter boxes are located.
3. Show them which are your cat’s favorite toys, where you store any grooming items (brush/comb/nail trimmers etc.), and where your beloved kitty tends to like to sleep.
4. Show your cat sitter the places where your cat usually hides and also where your cat likes to sleep
5. Leave the contact information information of your regular veterinarian, set up payment arrangements with them just in case of any health issue.

Keep your Dog or Cat Safe If your are planning to travel with your pet:
For many people, traveling with pets is more than a luxury – it’s a necessity. Pets are part of the family, and as such, they deserve special consideration when making travel plans, either travelling by car or plane. The travel method you choose will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of pet, their weight, and their temperament while traveling. After determining the most comfortable method of travel for your pet, you will probably need to carefully plan ahead to ensure a spot in a pet-friendly hotel.
Taking your dog or cat along for a family trip can be fun for everyone, but it requires careful planning. Pet-friendly hotels tend to fill up fast, so be sure to book your reservation as soon as possible. Check with the hotel about any pet restrictions or specific rules so that everything goes smoothly on check-in day. It’s a great idea to take your pet for a checkup at the veterinarian before leaving on a trip. Make sure that all vaccinations are up to date, and ask for vaccination certificate to keep with you. It’s also important for pets to wear their rabies tags at all times, so make sure you have an up-to-date tag fastened securely on their collar. Pack plenty of food, treats, and water, as well as a travel-friendly food and water bowl for frequent stops.
Remember that pets should always be kept in the backseat of a vehicle: Front-seat airbags can be deadly to pets, so the backseat is a much safer choice. Also, even if your dog enjoys the wind in its face, make sure to keep its head inside the vehicle at all times. Another quick tip is to never leave your pets alone in the car on hot days, cats should always be confined in carriers for their own safety, and dogs should never be free to roam around the backseat. Loose dogs are very dangerous to themselves and you – in the event of an accident, an 80-pound dog could really do some damage! The safest way for dogs to travel in vehicles is in a crate that has been securely fastened with a seatbelt. If this isn’t an option, or if your dog becomes extremely nervous in crates, you can find bucket-like pet seats with secure buckles for smaller dogs. For large dog breed with crate anxiety, a zipline-like contraption is a great choice – this fastens to the inside roof of your car and hooks onto your dog’s harness, so the dog can walk freely from window to window in the backseat while still being secure.

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