Pet Health Information

This section is devoted to information about cat and dog health. If you would like information on RABBITS, please see Rabbit Health Information below.

House Training

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Kittens

Most cats are very easy to house-train because they have a tendency to defecate and urinate in areas that have a sand or dirt-like texture. They love to “bury their business”. If the only pile of sand or dirt in your house is the litter box…. the kitten will want to use it. It’s a great idea when introducing a new kitten to the house to keep it in a small or restricted room until they develop the habit of using a litter box.

Other common behaviors that a kitten may develop:

  1. scratching – trees, furniture
  2. hunting
  3. scent marking – cheek rubbing
  4. grooming

It should be known that some of the above behaviors are genetic so not all cats will develop each specific trait. For example, it is less likely for a kitten that was born from an indoor cat to possess the same hunting instinct of that from a kitten that was born from a farm cat.

Puppies

One of the most common questions asked when obtaining a new puppy is, “How do I housetrain my puppy?” The first thing that you need to decide is what type of training method would you like your puppy to learn. There are several options from crate/kennel, newspaper, or house-training. This decision will depend on your lifestyle, environment, and patience.

Any of these methods when used consistently, can be one of the first stepping stones towards a happy puppy in a happy family.

For any further information regarding these training procedures, please contact us and ask to speak to out of our registered animal health technologists.

Deworming

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A standard protocol of the vet community is to deworm your puppy or kitten because they can carry several different parasites. They can receive these parasites from their mother, the environment, or from other animals.

Puppies should be dewormed

  1. every two weeks until 3 months of age
  2. once a month between 3 to 6 months of age
  3. 4 times a year after 6 months of age

Kittens should be dewormed

  1. every 2 weeks until 3 months of age
  2. once a month between 3 to 6 months of age
  3. Retreat at recommended intervals, depending on the parasitic prevalence in the area

Kitten Vaccines

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  1. Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR) – This is the virus that causes upper respiratory-tract infection, and is very easily transmitted from one cat to another through contact. Its symptoms include moderate fever, loss of appetite, sneezing, eye and nasal discharge and coughing. Kittens are easily affected; and even if a cat recovers, it can remain a carrier for life.
  2. Feline Calicivirus (C) – This virus also causes upper respiratory infections in cats. Its symptoms include fever, ulcers and blisters on the tongue, and pneumonia. Treatment can be difficult. Even if the cat recovers, it can continue to infect other animals, and can experience chronic sneezing and runny eyes.
  3. Feline Chlamydiosis (C) – This extremely contagious bacterial disease is responsible for 15 to 20% of all feline respiratory diseases. It causes a local infection of the mucous membranes of the eyes but may also involve the lungs. Chlamydiosis can be transmitted to humans by direct contact.
  4. Feline Panleukopenia – This potentially fatal viral disease, sometimes known as feline distemper, causes listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, severe dehydration and fever, and sudden death. This virus is so resistant; it can survive up to 1 year outside a cat’s body. Kittens born to infected queens may suffer permanent brain damage. This disease is easily prevented through vaccination.
  5. Feline Leukemia (FeLV) – If a cat becomes infected with this virus, a multitude of serious health problems can occur, including cancerous conditions (leukemia) to secondary infections from destruction of the immune system. This is the leading cause of death in North American catss. Symptoms may not be present for months to years from infection, but the cat will be able to infect others. A simple blood test can determine if the cat is infected. Vaccination is highly recommended for cats who may come in contact with other cats of unknown vaccination status.
  6. Rabies – same as for dog

Indoor Cat

6 to 8 weeks old FVRCC + exam
10 to 12 weeks old FVRCC + exam

Outdoor Cat

6 to 8 weeks old FVRRC, FIV, exam
8 to 10 weeks old FIV vaccine
10 to 12 weeks old FVRCC, FIV, FeLV, exam
16 weeks old rabies, FIV, FeLV, exam

Puppy Vaccines

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  1. Canine Distemper (D in DHPP) – This disease is spread by discharges from the nose and eyes of infected dogs. Symptoms can include listlessness, fever, coughing, diarrhea and vomiting, convulsions and paralysis. The distemper virus attacks many organs, including the nervous system, which may be permanently damaged, even if the dog recovers.
  2. Infectious Canine Hepatitis (H in DHPP) – This disease is caused by Canine Adenovirus Type I, and is transmitted by contact with secretions (saliva), infected urine or feces. The symptoms are similar to distemper, causing liver failure, eye damage and breathing problems; infection can be mild to fatal.
  3. Canine Parvovirus (P in DHPP) – This disease is very contagious and is spread through infected feces. The virus is highly resistant and can remain in the environment for many months. Symptoms include high fever, listlessness, vomiting and diarrhea with blood. Vaccination is the only method of preventing this potentially fatal disease (can lead to death in 48 to 72 hours), which is most severe in young pups, elderly dogs, and certain breeds.
  4. Canine Parainfluenza Virus (P in DHPP) – One of the causes of kennel cough, this respiratory disease is most commonly caused by a virus. Characteristic features of kennel cough are a hacking cough, discharge from the nose, and occasional fever.
  5. Rabies – This incurable viral disease affects the central nervous system of almost all mammals, including humans. It is spread through contact with the saliva of infected animals, usually wild animals such as skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats, through bites or any break in the skin. Vaccination will provide your pet with much greater resistance to rabies if he/she is exposed. Most municipalities require all dogs be vaccinated for rabies on a regular basis, and you will required prove of vaccination to cross the border with your dog

Puppy Vaccine Schedule:

6 to 8 weeks old 1st vaccine DHPP + exam
12 weeks old booster DHPP + exam
16 weeks booster DHPP + rabies + exam

The Importance of Vaccination

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When obtaining a new pet, it is very important to have them examined by a veterinarian and started on a vaccine program to protect them against fatal infections and diseases.

Vaccines contain small quantities of altered or “killed” viruses, bacteria or other disease-causing organisms. When administered, they stimulate your pets immune system to produce disease fighting cells and proteins – or antibodies – to protect against disease.

Vaccinations cannot be 100% guaranteed, like any other treatment. But when combined with proper nutrition and acceptable sanitary living environment, vaccination is your pet’s best defense against disease. Plus, the cost of vaccinating your pet is very minimal compared to what treating a serious illness can cost you and your treasured pet in terms of both money and distress.