Monthly Archives

June 2021


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With all our Covid19 restrictions still in place, we are all getting impatient to return to a more normal, pre-Covid19 operating mode. Many of us have been spending more time at home than ever before, and a result of that is that we also keep a closer eye on our pets. We realize now how important health care is, for us as well as for our pets.

For us, as veterinary health professionals, this has some interesting consequences. People realize earlier when their pets are not doing well and thus seek help earlier. We appreciate this as it helps us address concerns earlier. The downside of the collective situation is that despite our best efforts to see all our patients, with all the policies in place to keep everyone safe and healthy, we are sometimes maxed out when it comes to squeezing in patients which need urgent care.

So: what is considered an emergency that needs to be seen right away? Certainly, any accidents resulting in trauma are high on the list, especially if it involves heavy bleeding or head trauma resulting in changes to consciousness, as well as loss of the ability to move. Seizures are another emergency that should be seen as soon as (safely) possible. Just as in human medicine, difficulty breathing is an emergency. The same applies to sudden, complete collapse. 

The ABC of emergency medicine is pretty much the same for human or veterinary medicine: we need an unobstructed Airway, Breathing has to happen, and the Cardiovascular (heart and blood circulation) system has to function. Valuable information to note is when it happened and what happened, essentially a timeline of events. Also, the last time the pet ate, drank, and acted normally. What medication the pet is regularly taking (this includes supplements and for example parasite control). If and how long a pet was unsupervised, and what it could have ingested (this is important if we suspect some toxin ingestion).

The stress of an emergency can be quite challenging, for you as the person owning an animal in distress, as well as for the staff of the facility who gets the call. The best-case scenario is if we can relay all the information needed accurately so that everyone involved can be prepared to do their best to help the affected pet. 

So, what in turn can wait to be seen until the next day or until an appointment is available to thoroughly assess your pet? If your pet is eating and drinking ok and can go to relieve themselves, it can wait. If your adult dog or cat has vomited once, or if there was a worm in its stools, it is certainly reason for concern, but it is not an emergency. Minor wounds need to be protected from dirt, as well as from the pet licking on them, but they often can wait to be seen. 

Some preparation can also help a lot: have the phone number of your veterinary office handy. Also, the information of an emergency veterinary clinic is valuable to shorten search times for phone numbers. Emergency kits for pets are available, and they contain besides some basic wound care supplies information pamphlets on what to do and who to call (with spaces you can fill in).

The list of true emergencies is not complete, and the list of non-emergencies is not either. The take-home message is we are here to help. We can counsel on what to do, and when, and where to go, but we need you to provide information to the best of your ability. Importantly, we all need to stay calm and listen to each other. Together we can achieve the best care possible. 

The first step is to be prepared, and we can help you with that too!  Hopefully, it never comes to it, but if it does, we know what to do! 

By Dr. Susanne Krägeloh

Ear Infections

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I see you! I see you there reading this and shaking your head thinking: “here we go again, this Doctor is going to talk about another problem I may face with my furry friend”. Well, I am sorry to disappoint you, but you are correct! I hope you bear with me so we can together prevent bigger problems.

Oh well, since we started with shaking our heads… how about we talk about ear infections this month?

Ear infections can be surprisingly common in dogs, and some may deal with it nearly constantly. Let’s try to keep it simple and divide those infections into 3 levels:

Level 1:  A simple ear infection that may clear up with professional cleaning and topical medication at home.

Level 2: On-going ear infection that is not controlled with medication or comes back once the medication is discontinued. In these cases, we may need further testing to determine why the infections are persisting. One of the most common reasons for recurrent ear problems is allergy but hormone imbalances can also be the underlying cause.

Level 3: Some ear infections simply cannot be controlled with the above steps as they have gone beyond medical management. Depending on how affected the ear canals are, the Doctors will discuss other options such as surgical correction of the ear canals.

Ear infections are common and can be challenging. Fortunately, most cases are simple and easy to clear up. So: at the very first sign of ear infection, please give us a call so we can help your furry friend.

Now I hope that shake turned into a nod instead! Pun intended.


By Dr. Alysson Macedo

Off Leash Park Manners

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Wait, don’t go quite yet. I know you all want to be out there enjoying the dog parks and getting some exercise in today, but should we review some dog park etiquette before we go?

This month I thought I’d brush up on a few things we may be doing wrong when we bring our furry friends to dog parks. Bear with me and make sure you check all the boxes before you head out!

  • Entering the dog park: The dog park can be very exciting for some dogs, making them slightly more difficult to handle. So, a good tip is to exert a little control first and make sure your dog is calm before entering. That may require a little walk before going off-leash at the dog park.


  • Spotting aggressive behavior: Funny enough, most dog fights at the park happen because of over-stimulation when the playing becomes a little too rough, territorial, or timid. Ideally, your dog will have a good recall in order to prevent any awkward situations.


  • Separating bigger dogs from small dogs: Due to differences in size, abilities, and temperaments, bigger dogs can be dangerous to the smaller ones, even if they have the best of intentions. Make sure to keep the little ones safe at the park.


  • Toy stealing: When we bring toys to play with our dogs at the park, it is natural that other dogs will show interest as well. If there’s some toy stealing at the park you may need to be patient, and don’t ever attempt to get the toy back from a dog you don’t know, or even your own. Be sure to teach your furry friend to answer to a solid drop.


  • Harmful behavior: Remember that you’re always liable for your dog’s actions and behavior. Taking accountability is the most effective way to handle these situations.


So how do you feel about getting out there and enjoying the park?

Always bring tasty treats to reward your friend for their good behavior!

Have fun everyone, and if you need anything, do not hesitate to contact us at Leduc and Beaumont Animal Clinics. We’re always here to help!

By Dr. Alysson Macedo