Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Parasite Profile: GIARDIA

Over the past few months, we at Royal City Animal Hospital have seen many pets in Guelph who have been infected with an intestinal parasite called Giardia. Some of these cases have been detected through routine fecal testing as done as part of the pets annual health examination. Other cases have come to us presenting with a complaint of diarrhea in the dog or cat. 

What is Giardia?
Giardia is a single celled parasitic organism (protozoan) that affects the gastro-intestinal tract of animals and people. It is not a worm, bacteria, or virus.
Giardiasis is the name of the diarrheal disease caused by this parasite.

Canada Geese in Guelph's Speed River
A dog or cat can become infected with Giardia when it swallows the cyst stage of the parasites through any of the following ways: 
Contaminated water such as ponds, puddles, standing water, and streams are the most common sources of Giardia infection. 
Geese, beavers, deer, cattle, and other wildlife are also carriers of this parasite and pass the cysts off into their stools
Giardiasis is also a common occurrence in environments that are densely populated such as kennels, pet stores, animal shelters, and puppy mills.

Giardia LifeCycle 
What are the Symptoms of Giardiasis?
Giardia infection can cause a variety of intestinal symptoms, such as 
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach or abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Flatulence (Gas)
  • Greasy stool that can float
  • Dehydration 
  • These symptoms may also lead to weight loss

How is Giardia Diagnosed?
Giardia is diagnosed through routine fecal testing as done through your veterinary clinic. Giardia is a microscopic organism so will not be detected with the naked eye. Routine fecal testing may fail to detect tiny cysts which are shed inconsistently in the feces. If your veterinarian suspects Giardia to be the causative agent of your pet’s diarrhea, a specific test which tests for the presence of the Giardia antigen (cell protein) may be requested to help detect the presence of Giardia.

How Is Giardia Treated?
Your veterinarian has several treatment options for Giardia, and the prognosis is very good in most cases. 

Can My Dog or Cat Give Giardia to me or my family?
If your dog or cat is diagnosed with Giardia, good personal hand hygiene and environmental disinfection are very important to prevent the spread to humans. Immediately pick up and dispose of all fecal matter that your pet produces to help limit potential reinfection, or the spread to other pets. Any surfaces that can be safely treated with bleach, should be disinfected with a diluted bleach solution (approximately 1/4 cup bleach to 1 litre water), Lysol and other common household disinfectants may also be effective. 
Wipe your dog's or cat's hind end after a bowel movement to ensure any cysts that are shed do not get to stick to the fur. 

If you have any questions about Giardia or other intestinal parasites, please contact us at 519-763-4992 for more information. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More than Just a Heartworm Test.

Did you know that when you bring your dog to Royal City Animal Hospital in Guelph for their Heartworm test, your dog is now tested for 3 important tick-borne diseases in addition to Heartworm each spring?
These diseases are Lyme Disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis.

As the climate continues to change, the prevalence of many vector-borne diseases is rapidly increasing throughout Canada, not only in pets and wildlife, but in people as well. In 2011 the prevalence of positive tests have increased greatly with 49 dogs in Guelph testing positive for Lyme Disease.
Migratory birds and songbirds are helping to spread Lyme disease into areas further north than ever before.

Symptoms of lyme disease can range from mild joint stiffness to severe kidney disease and bleeding disorders.. Animals can  carry a low grade infection for years before they become ill. It is this sub-clinical stage that makes yearly screening so important.

Treatment is simple and effective as long as we catch it early. Speak with your veterinarian or Veterinary Technician today to learn more about Heartworm, Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Engorged Tick 

Many species of ticks

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms living in the arteries of the lungs and occasionally in the right side of the heart of dogs, cats and other species of mammals, including wolves, foxes, ferrets, sea lions and (in rare instances) humans. Dogs and cats of any age or breed are susceptible to infection.
Despite increased awareness and yearly testing, heartworm infection rates remain unchanged over the past 10 years. 
This video explains how Heartworm disease is transmitted to your dog by mosquitoes. 

Have you had your Dog tested for Heartworm Disease yet this season? Call us today to book an appointment and we can discuss testing, prevention, and treatment or other parasites. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Pet Food Recall - update

There have been more diets added to the list of Petfood recalls due to Salmonella contamination

This time, Solid Gold Pet food.

If you feed any of the affected diets, check into this website to learn more about the recall.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Pet Food Recall

Our goal here at Royal City Animal Hospital, is to keep you up to date on important pet related issues and topics. One such issue has come up in the past week, that we feel all pet owner's need to be aware of:
 a pet food recall.

Diamond Pet Foods, the manufacturers of many well-known brands of pet food have recently issued a voluntary recall of many of their products due to a potential Salmonella contamination. The recall does include many brands sold in Canada as well as the United states.

Salmonella is a group of bacteria that can severely affect pets fed the following foods, as well as potentially affecting their owners. Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

States and Provinces affected by the recall.
Brands affected include:

If you feed your pet any of these products, please check out the link below for further information.


Are you looking for a Dog Trainer in the Guelph area?

At Royal City Animal Hospital, we always emphasize the importance of professional dog training to our clients.
There are several very qualified and reputable dog trainers within the city of Guelph and surrounding areas, but today we are spotlighting Jason Shute.

His biography as copied directly from his website: 
Jason is a certified master dog trainer and dog behaviorist based in Guelph, Ontario and has trained dogs internationally including a recent contract in Cebu, Philippines. He has attended dog psychology seminars with Cesar Millan and Stanley Coren, apprenticed with master dog trainer Dave McMahon in Niagara Falls and is a registered trainer with the International Association of Canine Professionals, and theCanadian Association of Professional Pet Dog TrainersHe has also attended k9 detection seminars with ATS K9 services, Search and Rescue Ontario, and FireK9, and arson detection unit based in California. Jason won the gold award for "Best Dog Trainer" by Guelph Tribune's Readers Choice Awards 2011.

Check out this video of Jason showing off a dog that knows how to do an out of sight "Down-Stay".
More videos can be seen on his YouTube channel.