Hello everybody and welcome to our website! On this page we will be periodically putting up information regarding things we feel you should be aware of.
Traveling With Your Pet in Your Vehicle The summer weather is upon us and most of us are doing a lot of traveling around our beautiful province. Naturally we want to bring our canine (and sometimes feline or other) companions with us. We would like to just talk a little bit about doing this as safely as possible and bring a few of the dangers to light so that we may avoid an unfortunate accident.
Open Car Windows I'm not sure if there is anything a dog enjoys more than sticking their head out of the window of a moving vehicle. It seems to bring them an inordinate amount of joy. We need to be cautious however as dogs are not particularly wise about their own safety and will occasionally jump out. This can be for any number of reasons and can be when the vehicle is stopped or moving quickly down the highway. Very small dogs can be injured significantly from a fall onto pavement from the height of a car window and any animal can sustain life threatening injuries if they jump from a moving vehicle.
When traveling with your pet inside of the vehicle please ensure that they are secured with an appropriate restraint device and make sure the windows are not open enough to allow your animal to get through Heat Stress Dogs and cats do not have the same tolerance for hot conditions as we do and their ability to cool themselves is limited. Dogs and cats do not sweat like we do. They dissipate heat by evaporation from their mouths and through the pads of their feet. When inside a vehicle (which can reach dangerous temperatures quickly and even if the outside temperature is not that hot) there is no airflow to help with evaporation and there is nowhere to escape the heat. Dogs and cats can overheat very quickly under these circumstances. Heat stroke and severe heat stress can be fatal and we should not take it lightly. Heat stress can occur outside of the vehicle as well including traveling with your dog in the box of the truck. On those days that are hot and with a dog that is exposed to the sun, they can become severely affected by heat stress.
Please do not leave you animal in your vehicle as the weather starts to warm up. If it is possible leave your animal at home or take them with you when you leave your vehicle. If leaving your animal in the vehicle is absolutely unavoidable take all available precautions to ensure they do not become overheated. Leave windows down as far as is safe to keep them secure, park in a shaded area that is going to stay shaded as the sun moves during the day, have plenty of water available to them and don't leave them any longer than is absolutely necessary.
Traveling in the Box of the Truck Many people transport their dogs in the box of the truck and most dogs love to travel this way. As with open windows they are not always wise about their own safety or can slip or stumble with unexpected movements of the vehicle or bumps in the road. This can lead to the animal falling from the box of the truck and can result in life threatening injuries or death. Tying your dog into the box of the truck with only one rope is risky and can still result in severe injury or death if the dog is still able to fall from the truck but is now tied to the truck and dragged.
If you are traveling with your dog in the box of the truck please be sure to use a system of restraint that will not allow them to leave the truck box intentionally or accidentally. Also be cognizant of the heat and ensure that they have some form of cover to escape the direct rays of the sun.
Vehicular Accidents Most dogs love car rides (and most cats hate them...) but it is important to ensure that your animal is safe while traveling with you inside the cab of the vehicle. An animal that has the freedom to roam the vehicle is a serious safety concern both as a distraction to the driver and as a danger to the animal in the event of an accident. Airbags have been known to kill small breed dogs when they go off during an accident.
It is best to travel with your small dog in a crate and have lager dogs retrained with an appropriate device that will keep them from being a distraction and to keep them as safe as possible in the event of a crash.
We want you to enjoy traveling with your pet and have them be with you to enjoy the summer and everything the Okanagan has to offer. We can help ensure that these experiences have happy endings as long as we think ahead and take the appropriate precautions. Enjoy the weather and the Okanagan!!
March 2018 THE TAPEWORM TALK… Now that the weather has been warmer and the days longer, our pets are likely spending more time outdoors. In their environment, they may come into contact with a variety of creatures such as mice, moles, birds etc. They may also come into contact with fleas. These exposures can lead to a tapeworm infection… let us explain.
What is a tapeworm? They are long, flat worms that attach themselves to your cat or dogs’ intestines. The worm is unique in that it is segmented and each segment has its own reproductive organs. Like all endoparasites, they use your pet as a host to live and complete its lifecycle.
Life Cycle of tapeworms
How does my pet get tapeworm? Your pet needs to eat the intermediate host to become infected. Each type of tapeworm uses a specific ‘host’ to complete its lifecycle. This is why your pet can get different types of tapeworms, depending on which ‘intermediate host’ it eats. For instance, Dipylidium caninum is the tapeworm which uses fleas as its intermediate host, whereas Taenia tapeworms use small rodents as their intermediate hosts.
How will I know if my pet has tapeworms? The most common sign that your pet has tapeworms is by visualizing the small white worm segments which resemble grains of rice, found around the anus of your pet. These segments may be found in your pets’ feces or bedding as well. Most of the time your pet may not act sick or show any symptoms but if they do it can include: * Increased hunger, dull coat, weight loss, scooting. If your pet seems lethargic, or has experienced significant weight loss and other physical changes, do not deworm your pet until consulting your vet.
Can tapeworm be passed to my other pets if one pet has it? No, even if your pets are best friends and sleep in the same bedding, they cannot contract tapeworm from each other, they MUST eat an intermediate host to become infected.
Can humans get tapeworms from dogs and cats? Yes, depending on the species of tapeworm and the stage of the lifecycle, certain infections can occur. For instance, the Echinococcus species of dogs can infect humans at the larval stages and cause cystic or tumorous growths in the liver and other organs. Another mode of contracting tapeworm is when a person (usually a young child) accidentally ingests a flea (the intermediate host) that is carrying the larval stage of the tapeworm. This infection can cause diarrhea and pruritus. You may see tapeworm segments in the stool as well.
How can I prevent my pet from acquiring tapeworms? You cannot prevent your pet from contracting tapeworm if they have access to infected mice, fleas, moles etc. However, by routinely deworming your pet, you are treating tapeworms often enough that your pet will likely not show any signs of having tapeworms. Using a flea prevention medication is also helpful in preventing these infections. There are many different products available so contact your Vet to help decide which one is best for your pets.
Hope this explains some of the mysteries of why and how your pet can get tapeworms. Never hesitate to call us as we can answer any questions you may have.
April 2017 Spring has finally arrived! Longer days and warmer weather is what the Okanagan is all about. However with its arrival comes several ectoparasites that have the potential to irritate and harm your pets. In the North Okanagan, the external parasites most often encountered are ticks, fleas, mites, lice and flying Insects. Let’s examine each one a little closer….
Ticks: In our area, the types of ticks found are
1.The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick
2.The Western Blacklegged Tick
3.The Brown Dog Tick
Ticks will attach themselves to your pet by burrowing their heads into your pet to feed on its blood. You may mistake it as a ‘new’ skin tag or wart. Sometimes, you may not see a tick on your pet but rather notice your pet has hind end weakness or even some paralysis. Often people may think their pet has had a stroke but upon examination, a tick is found. They can be very dangerous. They can also infect your pet with tapeworm. If you do find a tick and are going to remove it at home, it is very important to make sure you remove the entire head piece of the tick. You can use tweezers, or pick up a special tool from Armstrong Vet Clinic. The best way to deal with ticks is to prevent your pet from being susceptible to them. You can do this by using a prevention medication. (Sold at Veterinary Clinics) There are a variety of choices depending on your pets lifestyle, and are usually given once monthly during tick season.
Fleas can be very irritating to those affected by them as well as to those trying to get rid of them. With both of these varieties, the majority of the lifecycle is spent in the environment so treating the environment is part of the solution to prevent outbreaks of fleas. Just like with ticks, it is best to have your pet on a preventative medication during the months fleas are present.
Mites are common and can cause a variety of issues including itchiness, dermatitis and even secondary infections. Depending on what type of mite your pet has will determine which type of mediation will be used.
Both of these ectoparasites are contracted from other infested animals. If left untreated these guys can cause many problems such as itchiness, hair loss and even anemia.
2.Bot Flies or Cuterebra
In our area, we definitely see mosquitoes and bot flies. Mosquitoes are found everywhere, especially in damp areas. Although there is no medication that can prevent mosquito bites, it is still important to have you pet on a preventative medication because mosquitoes are carriers of heartworm infection, which can be fatal. Bot flies or cuterebra and found wherever there are flies and rodents. These infections are not as common but still seen from time to time, and can cause serious complications if not treated.
Feel free to drop by the Armstrong Vet Clinic where we can give you more advice and information regarding these parasites and how you can help protect your pet from being affected.
February 27th 2017 NATIONAL CUPCAKE DAY!!! We invite everyone to join us to help show your support for animals in need of help. The Armstrong Veterinary Staff are baking up a storm and will have delicious treats to offer in exchange for a donation towards your SPCA or Humane Society of choice. We hope to see everyone there!
Nov 20th, 2016 The Holiday season is just around the corner and we are sure everyone is busy getting ready for all of the festivities. There are several topics we would like to discuss to help keep your pets safe during this time of year.
Food As we all know, most of us gain a few pounds over the Christmas season with all of the rich cooking and desserts that are around us. Although it is nice to try to include our pets, some foods can cause gastrointestinal upset and even more serious problems. We recommend not feeding your pets rich, fatty or spicy foods. This type of stuff includes poultry skins, gravies and/or drippings. In some cases, fatty foods can cause the animal to develop serious and possibly life threatening problems. (Such as pancreatitis) Feeding poultry bones can also cause major problems as they tend to splinter when cooked, potentially causing an intestinal blockage and/or other complications. If you want to treat your pet, a bully stick or oxtail bone is safe IF supervised while chewing. Chocolate is another common treat that is often around (and may even be given as a gift under the tree). Dogs and cats should not eat chocolate. Best practice is to ensure that they do not have access to any types of chocolate (wrapped or not). If they do somehow ingest chocolate, it is always best to phone your Vet ASAP so advice and treatment can be given promptly.
Decorations Decorating is a huge part of the Holiday tradition and although it is beautiful, we need to stay aware of possible hazards for our pets. Animals, (especially kittens) are really attracted to tinsel and although it may be entertaining to watch them play (or eat) the tinsel, it can cause many problems, such as twisting of the intestines which can potentially be fatal. Ornaments and strings of lights are also attractions to some pets and they should be prevented from having access to these things. Some animals attempt to chew the cords and can cause electrical burns or damage to the lungs.
Plants There are a variety of seasonal plants in our homes at this time of year. A few plants that are hazardous to our pets are lilies (certain species cause renal failure in cats), Mistletoe (gastrointestinal upset), poinsettias (local irritation to mucosal surfaces and gastrointestinal upset) and holly (can cause gastrointestinal upset). If you pet chews or ingests these plants (or parts of them) please call you Vet ASAP for advice and prompt treatment. For more information on poisonous plants, visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website at www.aspca.org/apcc .
We wish everyone a very happy and safe Holiday Season and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!
May 16th, 2016 Great news!! We were nominated for an award from the Chamber of Commerce for Mid Sized Business of the Year earlier in the month. We were awarded the prize on Saturday May 14th at the award night (which was a vintage Vegas theme). Many thanks to the community for the nomination and to the Chamber and judges that made the final decision. We are all honored!!
February 25, 2016 Happy belated New Year everyone :) Seems that spring has hit us early this year and the ground is nearly thawed in most places in our region. Its time to start thinking about parasites again. The enemy is round worms, hook worms, whip worms and tape worms on the inside and fleas and ticks primarily on the outside. We've already had a tick found on a dog this year so it would be a good idea to search your pet daily if you are in areas with long grasses. Also it would be a good idea to use an anti parasite medication that will reliably kill fleas and ticks as a back up. For those internal parasites it would be advisable to use a reliable product to keep those creepy crawlies from establishing themselves in your pet. Come on in to the clinic and the friendly girls at the front would be happy to answer any of your parasite questions!
December 21, 2015 Hi everyone, well Christmas is almost here and while we are all looking forward to enjoying the holidays it would be wise to keep our pets safety in mind. There are many potential hazards around this time of year and I'm going to put up a website that will help to outline them for you. http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=463 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!!
September 30, 2015 Please note that there is a change to the date for the Nutrition lecture that was scheduled for November 25th. It has been rescheduled to December 2nd. Hope to see you there!!
July 31, 2015 Hello everybody! Just wanted to say thanks to those of you that came out to our most recent lecture on "Learning how to handle your dog successfully". Thanks so much to Bev that gave a terrific talk :). We had a great turn out and Bev gave us all a lot to think about and to start integrating into our daily management of our animals. Have a look at the Lecture tab to see what the next talk will be and how to get on the list. Hope to see you there!!
June 26, 2015 Boy! Is it going to be hot this weekend!! Because of the impending heat wave we need to be extra aware of how the heat can affect our animal companions. We've all heard of hot dogs in cars and I can assure you that this is no urban myth. It only takes a matter of minutes for the interior of a vehicle to reach extraordinary temperatures when the weather is hot and especially if the sun is out. Dogs and cats can't sweat like we can and rely on other methods to moderate their body temperature. Panting and some minimal sweating from the pads of the paws is the best they can do. As their body temperature rises they will start to become agitated which will then progress to lethargy and further to coma and possibly death. Please do not leave animals in your vehicle through the summer. Exercising in the heat and even travelling with your dog in the back of the truck on a hot day can lead to heat stroke if they have no way of escaping the heat and sun. Make sure your pets have plenty of water and access to shade.
June 3, 2015 Please be aware that while it is BBQ season and it is great to have the family and pets enjoying the beautiful weather, there are dangers that can cause serious harm to your pets. Overfeeding your dog with high fat foods puts them at risk of developing pancreatitis. Corn cobs are an especially high risk item for getting stuck in the intestines of dogs. Please do not give your dog corn cobs (no matter how much they beg!!). Cooked bones such as chicken, steak or ribs can be risky and result in damage to the stomach or intestines and should not be fed to your dog. Items like onions in enough quantity can cause a form of anemia so should not be fed to your dog.
Stay tuned to this page for further announcements and information!!