Periodontal disease in pets is entirely preventable yet usually untreated, affecting most cats and dogs by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental College. At Grah Kingston, we are providing quality Pet Dental Care Service. We are known as one of the best dog and cat dentistry clinics in Kingston.
Why should a pet owner care? A broken tooth can put your pet in pain.
Pet owners need to be on the lookout for tooth decay because there are few signs of gum disease, which can cause multiple problems in a pet’s mouth and spread to internal organs.
A broken tooth is incredibly common in dogs and cats. Teeth are tools for cats and dogs. Dogs can fracture a tooth in play biting chew toys, bones, rocks, or other hard objects. Cats often break fang teeth when slipping while jumping on and off of things.
“The problem is that animals don’t always tell us they’re in pain. They’re tough,” Delmain said.
The most obvious sign of a tooth problem is bad breath. It could be a sign of periodontal or another oral disease. Brown or discolored teeth and bleeding gums are also dental-health warning signs.
At the vet
Pets’ teeth are hard bone shells around a core of nerves and blood vessels, just like human teeth. If an infection is left untreated it can lead to an abscess forming. A fractured tooth can be sealed if it’s shallow, but if the fracture reaches the tooth’s pulpit needs to be removed.
A broken tooth requires a visit to the veterinarian, who can assess the situation. While human dentistry is about saving a tooth, pet dentistry is about the comfort of the tooth. If a veterinarian has to remove a pet’s tooth, the animal can do well afterward.
“A nicely healed area of gum is nothing to worry about,” she said.
Because two-thirds of a tooth is under the gum line, dentistry with anesthesia is necessary to get rid of plaque and tartar, for teeth cleaning and X-rays. Without it, cat and dog dental care can be scary.
Brushing at home
Regular dental checkups by a veterinarian should be augmented by brushing at home, Delmain. Be sure to use products approved for pets. Just like learning a new skill, getting a pet used to toothbrushing may take time. Start by letting your pet sniff the toothbrush and paste and try to work your way up to about 30 seconds of brushing on both sides.
Pet owners concerned about their pet’s oral health can look for products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council, which have undergone research and testing to back up claims for home dental care for pets, look for a square label the says “VOHC Accepted” on products that help control tartar and plaque build-up.
Pet owners are welcome to visit our Animal Hospital in Kingston. At our pet dental clinic, we have Pet Dentists with years of experience who have done their jobs in Pet Dentistry Service incredibly.
Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in cats and dogs. Obesity is the accumulation of excessive amounts of adipose tissue in the body. There have been many studies done that show obesity can have damaging effects on the health and longevity of cats and dogs.
At Grah Kingston, we are providing quality Cat & Dog Nutrition Services. We are known as one of the best dog & cat Nutrition vet clinics in Kingston.
There a few reasons why our companions are overweight; it is up to us to be able to identify when it becomes a problem. Food is probably the most obvious reason. We like to give our pet treats for coming inside, before bed, while they are in their crate, etc. However, we tend to forget our ‘treats’ are extra calories and empty calories with no nutritional value in them. Many treats also have more calories in them then what your pet needs in total for one day.
In which case, with these additional calories is where the accumulation starts. Treats are an important part of the training, but treats need to be limited and carefully picked for each pet. For my pets whose breeds are prone to becoming obese, I carefully choose their food and treats by choosing lower-calorie treats and also treats that beneficial to them.
By beneficial I mean helping combat problems such as dental and joint problems. I also know a lot of people feel the need to give their dog’s human food; this is ‘okay’ in moderation. If you would like to give your dog human food, stick to acceptable fruits and vegetables which are much lower in calories.
Another reason is when your pet is spayed or neutered, their metabolism changes due to the lack of estrogen and testosterone. We always recommend you switch their food to a weight management diet after surgery. Very few spayed/neutered pets can tolerate high-calorie foods. After switching foods, we recommend you monitor their weight in case you need to increase or decrease the amounts or switch to a lower calorie food.
Lack of exercise could also contribute to weight gain, and I do hear this quite a bit. I usually hear this a lot right around this time when people blame it on ‘winter.’ I do agree winter can sometimes interfere with our outdoor activities especially when it is icy or minus 40 outside. It is a pretty good excuse. However, there are plenty of indoor games you can play with your dog. For cats, there are plenty of games we can do with them too, to get them moving.
Unfortunately, there are consequences when we overfeed our pets. The added weight on their joints is hard on them. They can suffer from arthritis earlier than normal; in a sense, they are aging faster. Also, some cancers are more prevalent in obese pets. Some things we may not consider are our pets being clinically depressed because they are overweight and are unable to do some of their natural behaviors such as cats grooming themselves or dogs exercising and running around.
These activities take a lot more effort when they are carrying extra weight. A couple of diseases we also want to try and avoid are diabetes and hypothyroidism. If you are concerned about your pets’ weight, we are always here to help guide you and educate you. A good thing to remember is, if you can see your pets’ ribs or spine, they are too lean and if you can’t palpate their ribs or spine with a slight fat cover, then they are overweight.
Pet owners are welcome to visit our Animal Hospital in Kingston. Ongoing proper nutrition, leading to optimum health and performance is an important goal for every pet owner.
Spring is in the air! The sun is (somewhat) shining and we all couldn’t be happier to arise from our cold weather hibernation and habits. Now that the temperatures are changing its time to face reality – creepy-crawly season is back and it’s time to get your pet protected!
Heartworm disease is spread through mosquito. For us in Ontario, this is a concern throughout the summer months and why we use prevention from June through to November. The life cycle of the heartworm begins when a female mosquito bites an infected dog and ingests the microfilariae (consider them the baby heartworms) during a blood meal. The microfilariae grow further for 10 – 30 days in the mosquito’s gut and then enter its mouth parts.
At this stage, they are infectious larvae and can complete their maturation when they enter a dog. The ineffective larvae enter the dog’s body when the mosquito bites a dog. They journey into the bloodstream and move to the heart and adjacent blood vessels, maturing to adults, mating and reproducing microfilariae within 6 – 7 months.
Here at the Usher Animal Hospital, we test all dogs for heartworm disease before starting them on any sort of preventative. As long as compliance has been met giving the medication for the required amount of time (typically June – November), we do not require subsequent testing to be done.
Heartworm testing requires a small blood sample to be taken with one of our technicians. The sample is sent out to our reference laboratory and results are reported by the next day. Our heartworm tests not only screen for heartworm disease, but we also screen for common tick-borne diseases as well.
Fleas can be a year-round issue, depending on where you live. However, in Ontario, the summer tends to be our typical flea season. There are four stages to the flea life cycle:
Flea eggs are whitish and about 0.5 millimetres (mm) (1/32″) in length. They are unlikely to be seen without a magnifying glass. The eggs are primarily laid on the dog’s skin but fall off into the environment to continue their life cycle. Flea eggs establish approximately 50% of the total flea population. Eggs may hatch in as little as 14 to 28 days, depending on environmental circumstances. High humidity and temperature favor rapid hatching.
Flea larvae are about 2-5 mm (1/8″ to 1/4″) in length. They have a white body and a blackhead. They dislike cheerful light and move deep into carpet fibers or under furniture, organic debris, grass, branches, leaves, and soil. Flea larvae prefer warm, dark, and moist areas. Outdoors, larval development happens only in shaded, moist areas where flea-infested pets spend a significant amount of time. Our climate-controlled homes offer an ideal environment for the flea larvae to thrive.
The flea pupae produce a defensive silk-like cocoon that is sticky. It rapidly becomes coated with grime and debris, which acts as a useful camouflage. With warmth and humidity, pupae become adult fleas in 5-10 days. The adults do not appear from the cocoon unless stimulated by physical pressure, vibrations, carbon dioxide, or heat. This is important since once fleas emerge from the cocoon they can only happen for a few days unless they can feed.
Pre-emergent adult fleas can live within the cocoon for up to 9 months. During this time, they are resistant to insecticides applied to the environment. This is important to remember because adult fleas may emerge from their pupae into the environment a considerable time after you apply insecticides in your home.
Once it emerges, the flea adult, unlike the larvae, is concerned with light and heads to the surface to encounter a passing host to feed upon. Two days after the first blood meal, female fleas begin egg making. In normal conditions the adult female will live up to three weeks, laying approximately 40 eggs per day. The whole life cycle, from egg to adult flea can be completed in as little as 14-28 days depending on environmental situations.
Ticks are not only a concern in the four-legged community but for us as humans as well. We are all fully aware of Lyme disease and the health concerns involved.
The tick lifecycle involves four distinct life stages: egg, six-legged larvae, eight-legged nymph, and adult. Females sum from 3,000 to 6,000 eggs on the ground. Adult ticks pursue host animals and after engorgement on blood, they quickly mate. Male ticks typically die after mating with one or more females, although some may continue to live for several months. Females die soon after laying their eggs in protected habitats on the ground.
The life cycle needs from as little as 2 months to more than 2 years, depending on the species. After the egg hatches, the tiny larva (sometimes called a “seed tick”) feeds on a suitable host. The larva then develops (“molts”) into the larger nymph. The nymph feeds on a host and then molts into an even larger adult. Male and female adults feed and mate on the host; the female falls to the ground to lay her eggs, continuing the life cycle.
Here at the Usher Animal Hospital, we provide an abundance of heartworm, flea, and tick preventative medications. Which product you choose will all depend on the lifestyle of your pet and their risk factors. Most pets that stay within the City of Toronto use a heartworm and flea combination product as Ticks aren’t as prevalent within the city itself. Pets that travel to northern parts of Ontario and visit cottages will often use a preventative that takes care of heartworm, fleas, and ticks since the prevalence is much higher.
Pet owners are welcome to visit our Animal Hospital in Kingston. Our veterinarians can carry out specific testing to diagnose the parasites effecting the health of your pet.
The word anesthesia comes from the Greek meaning “lack of sensation”. Anesthesia is accomplished by administering drugs that depress nerve function. With general anesthesia, the patient is made unconscious for a short period. During this insensible state, there is muscular relaxation and a complete loss of pain sensation. Other categories of anesthesia include local anesthesia such as numbing a contained area of skin or a tooth, and spinal anesthesia, such as an epidural block, that results in anesthesia of a particular part of the body.
There is always a risk of an opposing reaction when we use any anesthetic agent, no matter whether it is for minor, short-term sedation or complete general anesthesia lasting several hours. It is generally estimated that approximately 1 in 100,000 animals will have some sort of reaction to an anesthetic agent. These reactions may range from slight swelling at the site of injection or a mild decrease in cardiac output, to a full-blown incident of anaphylactic shock or death.
Another possible danger associated with anesthesia arises if the cat is not properly fasted before anesthesia. Anesthetized patients lose the normal reflex capability to swallow; during swallowing, the epiglottis, a cartilage flap that closes over the entrance to the windpipe, avoids food or water from entering the lungs. If there is food in the stomach, the cat could vomit while under anesthesia or in the early post-anesthetic dated.
If vomiting occurs before the swallowing reflex occurs, the vomited material can be aspirated or enter into the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia, a potentially life-threatening condition. Other rare difficulties of anesthesia include organ system failures such as kidney liver or heart failure, visual injury, clotting disorders, and seizures. Every precaution will be taken to minimize these risks when anesthesia is a necessary part of treatment.
What can be done to minimize the risks?
Pre-surgical physical examination, preoperative blood, and urine tests, and radiographic examination may reveal clinical or sub-clinical problems. Certain medical situations will increase the risk of having an anesthetic complication. These conditions include heart, liver or kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, anemia, dehydration, and certain infectious diseases such as heartworm disease. Blood tests will rise the chance of detecting a hidden problem that could prove to be life-threatening. In older animals, chest radiographs and electrocardiogram (ECG) are often recommended to ensure there is no pre-existing pathology in the heart or lungs that might increase the risk of an adverse reaction.
Immediate intravenous access for emergency drug administration is one of the most important factors in the successful treatment of cardiovascular or respiratory letdown in either the conscious or the anesthetized patient. By placing an intravenous (IV) catheter and line before anesthesia, your veterinarian can ensure that this lifeline is already in place, should the necessity arise. Anesthetics, fluids, and emergency drugs can be managed through the IV line.
Intravenous fluids help sustain blood force in the anesthetized patient and will change lost fluids (during surgery, fluids are lost through evaporation from body cavity surfaces, through bleeding, and in any tissues that are being removed). Upon accomplishment of the process, intravenous fluid therapy speeds the recovery procedure by diluting the anesthetic agents circulating in the bloodstream and by improving their metabolism and elimination through the liver and kidneys.
Patients that receive IV fluid therapy generally wake up quicker than those that do not. Moreover, studies have shown that 0.9 – 2% of all patients that receive general anesthesia will grow kidney dysfunction or failure 7-14 days after anesthesia. This risk is significantly reduced in patients that obtain peri-operative intravenous fluid therapy. Although 98% of all pets will have no problem, your veterinarian’s goal is to remove that unknown 2%. For these reasons, all general anesthesia patients should receive intravenous catheterization and fluid therapy.
You should confirm that your pet’s complete medical history is available to your veterinarian, particularly if your pet has been seen at another veterinary clinic. Earlier anesthetizing your cat, your veterinarian wants to know about any medications or supplements that your cat has received in the past few weeks, any pre-existing medical conditions, any known drug reactions, the results of previous diagnostic tests, and whether the cat has undergone any anesthetic or surgical events in the past. Other useful information includes the pet’s vaccine status and reproductive status (i.e. when was its last estrus or heat cycle).
Can you describe a typical anesthesia?
All anesthesia patients are weighed on admission and are given a thorough pre-anesthetic examination, which includes an examination of the chest, palpation of the abdomen, and assessment of the gums checking for hydration status and an indication of good circulatory status. After reviewing the medical history, additional diagnostics such as blood or urine testing, blood pressure, electrocardiogram (ECG), or x-rays of the chest or abdomen may be performed before administration of any anesthetic drugs.
In the mainstream of cases, a technique called ‘balanced anesthesia’ is used. With balanced anesthesia, the patient receives a combination of sedatives and anesthetic agents that is suited to its individual needs. The most common combination is a pre-anesthetic sedative and analgesic combination that is administered by injection, followed by an induction agent that is also administered by injection; the anesthetized state is maintained with an anesthetic gas mixed with oxygen.
Pet owners are welcome to visit our Animal Hospital in Kingston. Elective surgery for your pet may become necessary when it is suffering from a disease or comorbidity that cannot be treated using topical creams, or medications alone. Any surgical treatment requires the services of a professional.
It’s something that we hope never happens to our pet – they accidentally get out of our house or yard, and they go missing. Have you increased the likelihood of being reunited with your pet? According to EIDAP1, a well-liked microchip company, pets are 20 times more likely to be reunited with their family if they have a microchip.
At Grah Kingston we are providing quality Cat & Dog Micro Chip Services. We known as one of the best dog and cat Micro Chip vet clinics in Kingston.
A microchip can be an extra source of recognition for your pet. Often, indoor cats don’t wear collars with identification, and our dog’s tags can fall off. Tattoos are no longer a reliable source for recognition, as there is no database to track tattoos to a particular pet or owner.
They may also become illegible over time. A microchip can be positioned while your pet is awake. It is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. Microchips are commonly mistaken for GPS tracking devices. They are a small chip the size of one grain of rice that communicates a unique number when scanned.
A pet with a microchip will still necessity to be brought in to a local veterinary clinic or shelter to be scanned, as a microchip does not emit your personal information. Once a lost pet’s microchip has been scanned, the finder can call the microchip company to report the lost pet.
It’s important to call the microchip company as soon as possible if there is a change in address, phone number, or email. People often forget that our pets may look non-identical after they have been lost for long periods. The microchip company will contact you to let you know that your pet has been found. It is important to remain your contact information up to date.
They may have lost an important amount of weight, their hair coat may have changed to protect from the outdoor elements, and they may even have a change in their personality. A microchip number will give assurance that a found pet is the correct pet.
If you have any questions regarding microchipping or wish to make an appointment for your pet visit our Animal Hospital in Kingston. At GRAH, we routinely provide microchipping service to pets in an easy and relatively painless manner.