Thursday, August 30, 2012

Charity Dog Wash Sept 9th ways to help

Charity Dog Wash
Sunday Sept 9th

If you are unable to attend the dog wash on September 9th, but would like to donate to Autism Dog Services here are some options for you: 

You can give cash or a cheque (made out to Royal City Animal Hospital) to any staff member or mailed in; or, call Martha or Lisa at 519-763-4992 with your Visa or MasterCard payment.  

At the conclusion of the dog wash all donations will be forwarded to Autism Dog Services.

There will be a representative from Autism Dog Services (with a service dog!) at the dog wash who will be available to answer any questions you have about the organization.

Any donation will be gratefully accepted. 

These service dogs literally change the lives of autistic children and their families.  Please consider supporting them!!
Barbara Drewry

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guess Who is Celebrating a Birthday?

Someone very special to the staff and clients at Royal City Animal Hospital is having a Birthday. 

Teya will be 4 years old on August 30th. 
We wish her a very happy birthday. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

10 Life-threatening Behaviour Myths in Dogs: #4

Myth # 4: I want that new medication I heard about to treat my pet’s {insert behaviour problem here}

Medications alone rarely solve a behaviour problem.  Behaviour modification and environmental modification are usually necessary to achieve long-term, lasting improvement.  Some medications have been shown to increase the speed with which the behavior modification takes effect and can be considered another useful tool in treating behavior problems, but they are not the sole remedy.

FACT:  Medication can play an important role in the treatment of a behaviour problem but only if used appropriately as a part of a complete treatment plan.   

                                                                                                                                                Stay tuned for another myth....coming soon

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"What food do you feed your own dog?"

What do you feed YOUR dog?

I am often asked this question by clients.  As a veterinary hospital we have access to all of the many the therapeutic diets that are available.  Several years ago, the staff and I decided that we wanted to try and simplify choices for ourselves and our clients and we made a conscious decision to carry the Medi-Cal brand (soon to be Royal Canin Veterinary Diets).  

We made this decision for several reasons:  
1. The company is Canadian
2. The product is guaranteed i.e. if your pet doesn’t like the diet, you get your money back
3. We receive phenomenal support from the company in terms of continuing education seminars, and consultations with specialists such as nutritionists and specialists in internal medicine
4. Only the highest quality ingredients are used.  If a shipment is rejected at the plant it is returned and purchased by another company with lower standards

Most of you know I own “Teya”, a 3 year old Golden Retriever.   I fed her Development Puppy formula as soon as I got her at 7 weeks.  Unfortunately, she had a “sensitive stomach” and had diarrhea several times a week.  After doing multiple checks for internal parasites and doing blood work to make sure there were no underlying problems, she was switched to the Puppy Gastro formula.  She did very well on this diet: normal stools with only 2 bowel movements per day and a lovely coat.  At about 20 weeks she transitioned to Adolescent formula (now Puppy Large Breed) and stayed on that diet until she was 14 months.

Dental disease is a huge problem that we frequently encounter in veterinary medicine.  Pets are living longer lives and sometimes their teeth are not well cared for.  I do not have time to brush Teya’s teeth, so I wanted her on a diet that would do that for me!  Dental Diet works in 2 ways: (1) it has a mechanical scrubbing action; (2) each piece of kibble is coated in an enzyme that helps to reduce plaque as it mixes with saliva.  I have been extremely pleased with this diet: Teya is now 4 years old and her teeth are perfect!  I also know that the diet is highly digestible and is supplemented with Vitamin A, biotin and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a luxurious coat, both of which are important to me.
Barbara Drewry 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

10 Life-threatening Behaviour Myths in Dogs: #3

click image to enlarge
Myth # 3: My dog is aggressive/fearful/shy because he/she was abused as a puppy.

While this may be a possibility in the case of some re-homed dogs whose exact histories are unknown, the most common cause of fearful behaviour in dogs is inadequate or inappropriate early socialization. Fearful behavior is also heritable, so some dogs are born with a predisposition to shyness or fearfulness.  Proper socialization is even more critical in these animals.

FACT:  No matter the cause, dogs that exhibit fearful or anxious behaviour may be suffering and should be evaluated by us.  These pets can be helped in many different ways. Ask your veterinarian for advice and a good Dog Trainer in your area that may be able to help. 
click image to enlarge
images from Dr SophiaYin can be found at her website
Stay tuned for another myth....coming soon

Friday, August 17, 2012

Charity Dog Wash Sun. September 9th

This is our third annual charity dog wash. This year we are supporting the organization that supplies and trains service dogs for children with autism. It costs roughly $30,000 to train each service dog and they receive no public funding. Barbara Drewry

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

10 Life-threatening Behaviour Myths in Dogs: #2

Puppies Socializing
Myth # 2:  "Puppies shouldn’t go to puppy classes until they have had all of their vaccinations or they will get sick"

The critical period for socialization in dogs lasts from the fourth to the fourteenth week of life.  During this time, puppies learn about their environment, other dogs, and people. Poorly socialized dogs are more likely to exhibit behaviours that make them unsuitable as a pet and result in relinquishment to an animal shelter or euthanasia. Therefore, the likelihood of death due to poor socialization is greater than the likelihood of illness or death due to contagious diseases.  Of course, this is only true if the puppy class is managed properly.  All puppy classes should:
·        Only mix puppies of similar age
·        Require that all puppies have their first vaccination several days before the beginning of classes
·        Be held on an indoor surface that can be sanitized
·        Clean all puppy waste immediately and disinfect the soiled area
·        Not allow any puppies into the class that show signs of illness

FACT: Proper early socialization can save a dog’s life and is the best way to ensure that you end up with a pet that is well adjusted and a joy to live with for many years.

click to open

Monday, August 13, 2012

Finnegan...begin again

Bob and Finnegan

Norfolk Terrier
Katherine and I visited our friends, Bob and Erica on the weekend.  They have a new Norfolk terrier puppy called Finnegan who is a going concern!  Bob has considerable experience as a dog owner:  h3we has trained dogs for hunting and has bred dogs.  (If you check our blog post for January 6, 2012 you’ll see a posting about his lovely dog “Nike”.)  Bob brought Finnegan in to see us last week; I examined Finn and administered his vaccines and Greg met with Bob and Finn to discuss puppy issues, such as house training, diet and behaviour.

During our visit on the weekend, Bob told us that he had visited 3 of the puppy trainers Greg had recommended so that he could observe a class before he signed up with Finn.  Of the three classes he observed, there was one in particular that he felt would be suitable for Finn.

I was so impressed that someone with Bob’s experience with dogs would enroll his puppy in classes, let alone take the time to investigate 3 different trainers.  All of the trainers are ones that we recommend but not every trainer will necessarily be a good fit with you and your puppy.  I meet so many clients who say to me:  “I’m not taking my dog to classes; I’ve had dogs before.”  As Bob knows, every pup is different and each one requires an individual approach.

We also know that pups who are taking to training classes have a 90% chance of becoming good canine citizens and only a small chance of being surrendered or euthanized because of undesirable behaviour.  We will be running a series of short articles on “Early Puppy Socialization Classes” in the next little while which will outline some of the benefits.  Puppy classes are also be a great introduction to various dog sports such as obedience, agility, tracking, and retrieving.
Have fun Bob and Finn; you’ll make a great team!!
Barbara Drewry

Thursday, August 09, 2012

10 Life-threatening Behaviour Myths in Dogs

Starting today we will be running a series of short articles addressing some of the common myths about dog behaviour.  Please check back frequently!

Myth # 1:  
"I’m embarrassed to talk to my veterinarian about my dog’s behaviour.  I’m afraid that I am the cause of the problem!"

Many factors play a role in the development of behaviour problems, including genetics, early experiences and environment.  While you can worsen a pet’s behavior with inappropriate training methods, it is highly unlikely that you caused your pet’s behaviour problem.  Some medical conditions and medications can also contribute to behaviour changes, so please consult us when you pet exhibits worrisome behaviours,

FACT: Don’t hesitate to ask us about any problem that may affect your pet’s well being and his relationship with you and your family. Most behaviour problems are at least manageable – if not curable.  The sooner you seek advice, the higher the likelihood we can successfully treat the problem.

stay tuned for another myth...coming soon

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Is your Dog a Picky Eater?

Do you have a dog that doesn’t eat his/her dog food? If so – you may need to look at what have you done to contribute to this problem.
Do you give your dog a lot of table scraps, treats, or rewards? He is likely to turn up his nose at his dinner of just regular food if that is the case.  Imagine asking your child would they prefer grilled chicken and broccoli or ice cream – the answer will undoubtedly be ice cream.

If your dog is a picky eater – there are ways to encourage healthier eating.

Before you bring your dog home, have a feeding plan in place. Everyone in the family should be following the same rules all the time or else it won’t work. Decide what food to feed, how much they need per day, time of day for meals, and when treats or snacks will be used and for what purpose (i.e.: training).

Changing diets frequently for flavour, or to give your dog variety is not helpful. The best thing to do is provide your dog with the best quality of dog food you can, and maintain consistency. Too much change only teaches the dog to hold out for something better until you have exhausted most options and nothing is ever good enough. When you do transition your dog’s food – do so slowly over a period of 7-10 days – start with about 20% new food added to 80% of the old food for a couple of days and then gradually increase the new food and decrease the old food in small increments until you are feeding the new diet exclusively. This will help prevent any diet change related diarrhea or intolerance.

Do not feed from the table or offer table scraps. This will cause your dog to hold out for tastier (and less healthy) options other than his own dog food. This will also reinforce begging behaviours, and increase him to health concerns such as diarrhea and pancreatitis.

Do not let the dog associate your food with theirs. Avoid “top dressing” with pieces of your food to encourage them to eat. This will give the dog the belief that there is tastier food they could be getting and thus they will hold out for that instead. Dogs should never see food as coming from your plate.