The health of your dog

Dogs are not small humans or even less so, children - They are dogs, a very distinct species!

Dogs may well be man's best friend, but the reciprocal isn't always so true! Too often we love them badly/wrongly; we over-indulge them; we humanize them; we do not meet their needs as a « species »! An important fact to keep in mind.


‘Better safe than sorry!’

The saying ‘Better safe than sorry’ has its true significance when applied to health. And that is why vaccination is so important!

The core vaccine ( distemper, parvovirus and canine infectious hepatitis) is important to all dogs since it offers protection against dangerous contagious diseases easily transmitted from dog to dog , or from environment to dog.

The leptospirosis vaccine protects dogs in contact with contaminated soil/water by wild animals. This bacteria is shed by skunks, racoons and rodents and can be present in any environment, often more prevalent in cities than in rural areas!

Dogs coming in frequent contact with other dogs and puppies, should be vaccinated against kennel cough, also called Bordetella. Dogs that visit a dog park, go to a kennel, dog grooming or training sessions benefit from this vaccine. Also, establishments offering these services commonly require this vaccine.

Rabies should be administered to all dogs. It is a deadly human disease, transmitted by the saliva of an infected animal, to which no treatment exists. It is also a legally declarable disease for which the government issues specific interventions.

Vaccination remains an important part of preventative health medicine in order to ensure a longer life for your pets.


Hypothyroidsm: hair loss, obesity, lethargy...

Thyroid hormones, produced by the thyroid gland, play an important role in an animal's overall well-being and health. They are essential to development and growth and regulate the metabolism as well. Hypothyroidism is a disease caused by a lack of thyroid hormone production, usually due to antibodies that destroy the thyroid gland. The disease has a hereditary tendency and certain breeds are predisposed (Golden retrievers, Doberman pinscher, Pomeranian...). This condition causes several symptoms like obesity, lethargy, weakness and hair loss, and can predispose your pet to infections or heart disease. The disease is diagnosed more easily today through new and more precise blood testing capabilities. The treatment consists of replacing thyroid hormones by a synthetic oral hormone that must be given throughout the dog's life. This disease is easily controlled with this medication but blood tests must be performed occasionally to evaluate de efficacy of therapy.

Pain in older dogs

...sometimes hard to detect!

Pain in animals can be difficult to detect. Not only can they not talk to us to complain about their aches and pains, but chronic pain can come about gradually, insidiously, without radical physical changes. If one is looking for them, however, small changes in behaviour or habits usually can be detected. 
The most frequent cause if pain in older dogs is osteoarthritis (joint pain). Often these chronically painful pets will be alert, and still be eating and playing. However, they may be hesitant to climb stairs or on furniture, or they may be less active and resist long walks. They can take more time to sit or to rise in the morning. These changes don’t appear du to old age alone! Talk to your veterinarian about these changes so that you can discuss ways to prevent the progression of disease and help control and alleviate pain in your pet. 
The quality of life in your pets is our priority.

Heartwoem disease (Dirofilariasis)

Prevention...the best method of therapy!

Dirofilariasis (or heartworm disease) is a disease caused by a blood parasite (Dirofilaria immitis) that is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. This parasite is present in all regions of Quebec south of Quebec City and infects primarily dogs, although cats can also acquire the disease. Its name comes from the fact that the adult heartworm lives in the heart and surrounding large vessels causing signs of cardiac insufficiency such as coughing and exercise intolerance, but can also cause sudden death. Du to the severity and 'contagiousness' of the disease, testing and prevention remain the best method of treatment. Testing is by a simple blood test (often combined with testing for Lyme disease, an emerging disease in Quebec). Several products exist to adequately and securely prevent heartworm, and many also add a protection for fleas and other external parasites.