For Your Dog

We offer a full range of services.

We offer a full range of services for you and your canine companion. See the links below for detailed information. New puppy? See the Puppy Wellness Centre for everything you need to know. Long in the tooth? The Senior Wellness is for you! If you are new to the practice, please visit our contact center, meet the team, or request an appointment.

CANINE SERVICES

Puppy Centre

Senior Pet Wellness

Canine Services

Time for a check-up?

Routine “wellness” examinations, even on our healthy pets, is highly recommended. Often these exams are recommended once yearly or more frequently for our senior animals. These visits to the hospital are important for caregivers to bring up any concerns they may have about their pet. A thorough history of how your pet has been doing is taken, and our veterinarians perform a tip of the nose to tip of the tail hands-on full-body exam to check for any abnormalities. Other important components of wellness, such as nutrition and behaviour, are also addressed (check out our nutritional consultation and behavioural consultation services). This allows us to make any recommendations that will help achieve the utmost health for your pet. Vaccinations and parasite control are other important components of our yearly visits with your pet – we aim to build individualized vaccine and anti-parasitic protocols depending on each pet’s lifestyle.

Sick animal exams are needed whenever an unexpected illness or problem arises. If you feel like your pet is not acting like itself, our team is always happy to help. We will ask pertinent questions about the problem and thoroughly examine your pet. After an exam, we can then discuss recommendations and options for diagnostic testing and treatment to devise a plan of action that works best for you and your pet.

At Central Veterinary Services, we aim to make every visit for your pet as stress-free and pleasant as possible. We always offer compassion and patience to our clients and their pets as we know a visit to the vet is not always enjoyable. Furthermore, any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health and wellness are always more than welcome. Records of these check-ups are always available to you so that any information covered during your appointment is accessible to you at your convenience.

The veterinarian typically administers vaccinations during a wellness exam. They are the BEST way to protect your pet from potentially fatal diseases that can be prevented.  Certain vaccine protocols may be recommended depending on your dog’s lifestyle.  For dogs with previous reactions to vaccines, precautionary pre-treatments to prevent a reaction are offered. Another option is antibody titer checks against our common viruses for those who would prefer to avoid vaccination as much as possible.

The following vaccines (DA2PPv and Rabies) are considered ‘core’ vaccines and are always recommended to be kept up to date because infection with these viruses is often fatal. Many of these viruses are considered ubiquitous in the environment – this means that every dog will likely come in contact with these viruses at some point in their life. Luckily, vaccination is very effective in preventing these diseases from developing if your pet should be exposed.

1)DA2PPv – Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza – combination 4-way vaccine

Distemper is a viral disease that attacks the respiratory system and nervous system, among others (eyes, footpads, teeth, etc.), and is very often fatal or causes life-long problems.

Adenovirus – There are two types of this virus- type 1 can cause life-threatening hepatitis (liver disease) and hemorrhagic diarrhea. Type 2 can cause ocular and respiratory disease.

Parvovirus is a virus that attacks rapidly growing cells, resulting in life-threatening vomiting, diarrhea and bacteremia (bacteria in the bloodstream) that can cause multiorgan failure. An infection with parvovirus is usually fatal unless treated aggressively, and even then, many will still succumb to the disease.

Parainfluenza – this virus can cause respiratory disease and is often a component of canine kennel cough.

2) Rabies Vaccine – Rabies is a viral disease that is always fatal. It attacks the central nervous system and poses a dangerous public health risk, as this virus is also fatal to humans. Keeping this vaccine up to date is very important – if your dog is not up to date on their Rabies vaccine and happens to bite a human, a mandatory quarantine period is required.

 

The following vaccines are considered ‘non-core’ vaccinations. The diseases these vaccines can prevent are typically not fatal but are debilitating. Both Lyme disease and Kennel Cough are frequently seen in our area; therefore, most dogs would benefit from having been vaccinated to these increasingly common diseases.

1) Lyme Vaccine – Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete that is transmitted via certain ticks (deer ticks).  It is endemic in this area. Dogs that may be at increased risk of contracting this disease are dogs that have times where they roam in wooded or grassy areas (i.e. dog parks) or dogs that are in close contact with dogs that do this (tick can be carried into the house on humans and other animals).  Vaccination is recommended in most dogs but even more strongly recommended in those that often get ticks, even a few, a year.

2) Kennel Cough – This is a highly contagious disease that can have several contributing bacteria and viruses (mainly Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria and Parainfluenza virus) and causes respiratory disease. Most dogs experience coughing and fever. Some get a nasal discharge, and others can progress to pneumonia, in which case the disease can become life-threatening. There are two types of vaccinations available to choose from – intranasal spray or injectable.

Vacci-Chek Titer Test:
We are excited to now offer a convenient in-clinic titer check for commonly vaccinated for viruses causing severe and life-threatening illness: Parvovirus, Distemper virus and Adenovirus. These diseases are vaccinated for, usually using a combination vaccine, routinely starting at 8 weeks old. Recently, studies have shown that many dogs do not need to be vaccinated for these diseases as often as was previously thought, with some dogs maintaining protective antibody titers for more than one year after their initial puppy vaccines or more than 3 years after their last ‘puppy’ booster at one year of age. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are some puppies that are considered ‘non-responders’ that are shown to NOT hold protective antibodies against these serious diseases even after receiving their puppy shots on schedule. For these reasons, the Vacci-Chek Titer Test is valuable – it greatly allows us to individualize each dog’s vaccine protocol, giving only the vaccine for these diseases when blood antibody titers are shown to be non-protective!

We’ve all seen the unique variety of things dogs will put in their mouths, making it easy to see why parasite treatment and prevention are necessary.  In Manitoba, we have plenty of ticks and mosquitoes, making diseases like Heartworm disease and Lyme a danger to our dogs. With the increased number of dogs travelling with their humans and puppies brought home from afar, we are also seeing some parasites not typically found in Manitoba.

Read below for some information on the parasites we commonly find in our pets.

Intestinal Worms

There are several intestinal worms that we worry about infecting our dogs – Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms and Tapeworms.  These intestinal parasites can affect growth and development in our puppies, cause decreased health in adult dogs, and can also be a dangerous zoonotic risk if passed on to humans (especially children)!  Most infections can be picked up through routine fecal analysis looking for worm eggs. Treatment of intestinal worms often involves multiple treatments of medication spaced several weeks apart in order to ensure all adult worms are removed from the intestines. Below is some information on the most common intestinal worms we see in our dogs.

Roundworms – Infection occurs through ingestion of infective eggs from the environment – either from contaminated soil, from ingesting an infected rodent, or through the mother’s placenta and/or milk in newborn puppies. Once ingested, the larvae migrate throughout the dog’s intestines, liver and lungs (depending on species) before growing into an adult and laying eggs that pass in the dog’s feces. These worms can grow up to 7 inches in the intestines.  This worm does pose a risk to humans! If a human ingests an infective egg, the larvae travel randomly throughout the body before dying, and in many cases, end up in the eye, causing blindness. Eggs are fairly hardy in the environment and can survive freezing temperatures.

Hookworms – Infective larvae found in the environment can infect its host in several ways – either directly by penetrating the animal’s skin through the feet or belly or any skin touching the ground (these little guys have teeth!), or by the dog self-grooming after contact with infected soil, or by ingestion of an infected animal or insect. These worms can also be passed onto a newborn litter of puppies via an infected mother’s placenta and milk. Hookworms actually suck blood from their host, which can cause anemia in severe infections. These infective larvae can also burrow into human skin if contact occurs with contaminated soil. Direct ingestion of contaminated dirt will also cause infections in humans.

Whipworms – These worms are also ingested from contaminated soil. They live in the dog’s intestines, sucking blood and producing more eggs. Treatment for these worms is especially lengthy, considering it takes almost 3 months for the life cycle to be completed. Furthermore, the eggs are VERY difficult to remove from the environment, leaving soil where an infected dog has defecated contaminated for years. These worms can not readily infect humans.

Tapeworms – There are several types of tapeworms that can infect our dogs. All tapeworms go through a cycle that includes an intermediate host (that is, the dog sheds the tapeworm eggs, which are ingested by either a flea, a grazing mammal, or a rodent, for example, where the tapeworm develops further. The dogs must then ingest the immature tapeworms from the intermediate host to finish the life cycle). Luckily tapeworms are easily treated, but care must be taken to treat flea infestations and/or to prevent re-infection from occurring. Tapeworms can also infect humans through the same mechanisms, but not directly from our dogs.

Heartworms

Heartworm disease is a real risk in our area. It is literally a worm, transmitted by mosquitos, that grows into an adult in a dog’s heart. This results in an inflammatory response and can lead to heart failure and death. Luckily we have a simple blood test that can detect heartworm disease before heart failure develops, leading to a better prognosis (the 4Dx “heartworm/Lyme” test). And if a dog does contract heartworm disease, the treatment to get rid of the worms can be life-threatening in itself, and it can be quite expensive. Therefore, we always aim to prevent it from occurring in the first place with monthly heartworm prevention. It is important to remember that the heartworm parasite lingers in the area mainly due to dogs who are not on prevention and in our wild animals such as foxes and coyotes. Also, because mosquitos often make it indoors, it is still important for dogs (and cats!) who mostly live indoors to be on prevention as well.

External Parasites

Often, we can visualize external parasites on our dogs (ticks, fleas and lice) if we look closely enough. However, parasites such as mites (which can burrow under the skin and hide) and even some cases of flea infections (they can jump on and off of our dogs) can be almost impossible to visualize. Diagnosis often requires skin scrapings to look under the skin and, in some cases, medication trials. There are also several options for treatment that will prevent infection of fleas and ticks.

Ticks – We see several types of ticks in Manitoba, including the common dog tick and deer ticks, which can transmit the parasite responsible for Lyme disease. Tick bites themselves can cause an inflammatory reaction that can predispose to the formation of hot spots (a very uncomfortable/painful rash)

Mites – There are many different types of mites that can infect our dogs. Ear mites, Sarcoptic mites (causing Scabies or “Mange”), Demodex mites and so on. Some of these infections cause extreme itchiness and secondary infections.  Some are transmissible to humans.

Lice – These little guys can cause itchiness and secondary bacterial infections in dogs. Luckily, dog lice are species specific so will not be passed to humans or other animals.

Fleas – these little guys are often dropped off by infected wildlife and can quickly infect entire homes. Flea bites can cause allergic reaction in our dogs leading to intense itchiness. Furthermore, fleas are the intermediate host in one type of tapeworm infection. These guys will bite humans too and can give tapeworms to humans if ingested.

Other Parasites

Giardia – this protozoan parasite is picked up from a contaminated environment (often dirty water), similar to other intestinal parasites that are passed in the feces. It typically causes diarrhea and can readily infect humans. This parasite is hardy in the environment.

Coccidia – this small parasite infects the intestine, causing diarrhea (sometimes bloody). Small infections will not always cause diarrhea, but will act as a source of infection for other animals by contaminating the environment. Some species of coccidia can infect humans (cryptosporidium is a particularly unpleasant example). Routine fecal analysis often will lead to detection of these little oocysts.

We understand that when your dog or cat is in for surgery, even a routine procedure, it can be a stressful time. All of our patients receive the utmost care and attention during their big day, and we always maintain an open line of communication with their families. It is our goal to make sure they have a fast and smooth recovery from any procedure.  We offer pre-anesthetic blood screening and intravenous fluids for all procedures (optional or required depending on the procedure, history, and age).

Below is a list of some of the routine surgeries that we perform (please call for prices):

  • Spay
  • Neuter
  • Orthopedics, including cruciate repair by TPLO
  • Abdominal laparotomy (cystocentesis, gastropexy, intestinal foreign body, etc.)
  • Ophthalmic (cherry eye, enucleation, entropion, etc.)
  • Cesarean section
  • Emergency procedures (GDV, traumatic wounds, etc.)
  • Lump removal

Does your pet need a surgery that is not listed? Call and ask one of our veterinarians. If we handle that surgery, we will provide a consult and always give you an estimate. If we cannot perform the procedure at our clinic, we will refer you to a facility that can. 

PRE-ANESTHETIC SCREENING AND IV FLUIDS

  • Pre-anesthetic blood work is an option that is offered with every procedure for extra safety when going under anesthetic for a routine or complicated procedure. This is screening blood work designed to detect problems that may compromise an animal going under anesthesia or undergoing surgery. Possible issues include:
    • Elevated liver enzymes
    • Elevated kidney enzymes
    • Dehydration
    • Low platelets
    • Infection
    • Low red blood cells
  • Depending on these results, the anesthetic drugs used may be modified, pre-treatments may be performed, or the surgery postponed for further testing.
  • Most blood work comes back as normal.
  • For some older animals or pets with pre-existing medical conditions we may ask for mandatory screening for safety purposes.
  • IV fluids are optional for some procedures and included for others. IV fluids help maintain blood pressure, which often decreases when under anesthesia, maintains proper tissue perfusion/hydration, and organ function.  We recommend IV fluids for all procedures.
  • These options will be reviewed by a technician the morning of surgery.
Dental Health Decision Tree
Dental Health Decision Tree

Dental care is an extremely important part of the health of your pet. Good oral hygiene not only greatly improves a dog’s life quality, but may also promote longevity. Furthermore, poor dental health can contribute to very serious conditions such as heart disease and kidney disease and causes every day discomfort to affected animals. For this reason, a dental consult is complimentary to our clients and allows us to examine your pet and recommend appropriate dental care. 

Common signs of dental disease include:

  • Yellow or brown buildup (tartar) on the teeth
  • Sensitivity around the mouth
  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Changes in eating or chewing habits
  • Pawing at the face
  • Loose teeth
  • Depressions in teeth

Even if your dog or cat doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. We can show you how to brush your pet’s teeth and recommend foods, treats, and water additives that will help combat plaque and tartar buildup.

Unfortunately, unlike people, pets aren’t able to sit still and say ‘aah’ while we explore and examine the mouth with sharp instruments, so dental procedures including cleaning/scaling/polishing and tooth extractions are performed under a general anesthetic. We take the same necessary precautions prior to any planned dental work, just like any other procedure that requires an anesthetic. We are progressive with pain management and dental techniques, aiming to make any dental work as painless as possible and recovery time minimal for our patients.

Advances in technology have greatly increased our ability and accuracy when diagnosing and treating disease.  Digital imaging allows us to share information and opinions with experts in the field worldwide and also share the images with you as an owner.

Digital Radiology – X-rays at a glance, images are clear concise and immediately available. X-rays can be used to detect foreign bodies in the abdomen, changes in heart size and shape, changes in lung patterns, fractured bones, inflammation in joints….. and the list goes on. X-rays are one of the most versatile tools we have to help detect problems in many different body systems.

Digital Ultrasound – We are pleased to offer abdominal, cardiac, pregnancy and regional ultrasound services for our clients and by referral. Ultrasound is more precise in detecting changes in soft tissue and organs that we cannot visualize otherwise. Ultrasound can be used on its own or in conjunction with other testing to improve diagnosing and treating disease.

DIAGNOSTIC TESTING

When investigating a disease or condition, we often need to run tests to get more information on what may be causing the problem. At Central Veterinary Services, we run most of our testing “in-house,” which means that we have the necessary equipment to diagnose and treat your pets faster. This is also very important in emergency situations and after hours.  The following diagnostics are run in the clinic:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Serum Biochemistry Panels
  • T4 and TSH (Thyroid) Testing
  • Bile Acids Testing
  • Phenobarbital Level Testing
  • SDMA Testing
  • Cortisol Testing
  • UPC Testing
  • Progesterone Testing
  • Snap 4Dx Testing (Heartworm, Lyme disease, Anaplasma and Ehrlichia)
  • Snap Parvo Testing (Canine Parvovirus)
  • Snap* Combo Testing (Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus)
  • Digital Radiology
  • Ultrasonography (Abdominal, Cardiac, Pregnancy or Regional)
  • Blood Pressure
  • SPO2
  • ECG
  • Blood Glucose (Curve or Spot Check)
  • Microscopic Cytology (Fecal, Skin, Blood Smear, Fine Needle Aspirate, etc.)

Certain conditions require very specific testing and specialized equipment. For these tests we refer to different laboratories depending on the test required.

The role of diet and nutrition is often overlooked in our pets, each animal is unique, and there is no “one size fits all” diet that can accommodate the broad and varied requirements of our beloved companions.  Diets will differ based on the life stage of the animal (development, adult, senior), dietary restrictions, medical conditions, and financial considerations. Often overlooked when we are considering environmental enrichment, diet can absolutely play a part in keeping your pet’s life interesting (unless contraindicated because of disease, feel free to throw in some “human” food such as veggies that are safe for your dog!). Understanding the importance of diet is the key to a long and happy life.

Analyzing the diet is also important when we are looking to manage and treat many diseases in our pets. Ongoing research and development allows us to better treat a variety of medical conditions with specific diets, including obesity, kidney disease, urinary disease, allergies, and arthritis.

The market for diets is often driven by labelling and advertising. It is important to educate yourself on how to look past the marketing ploys, understand what information should be included on a dog food bag, and make sure the information describing a diet that is right for your pet. The WSAVA Global Nutrition Committee has put together an important list of questions that the manufacturer of a brand of dog food should be able to answer. If they cannot or will not answer these questions, it is a huge red flag about their manufacturing process and potentially the quality of their diets. You can find these questions here.

We will routinely discuss your pet’s diet during wellness exams. We will recommend any changes that may be indicated based on your pet’s health (more or less calorie dense, higher or lower protein for example).  This is also the perfect time to bring up any questions you may have about your dog’s diet! We will always do our best to give you unbiased and truthful information regarding the variety of diets available to your pet.

Click below for additional resources:

 

  1. Body Condition Scoring

Has your beloved pet ever chewed your favorite pair of sneakers? Barked incessantly while in the backyard? Urinated or defecated in the house?

Behaviour issues can be extremely frustrating to deal with and can significantly impact your household, family, and friends. Once a behaviour has been found to be independent of a medical condition (a thorough history looking for signs of potential medical problems, as well as a physical exam, is always part of a behavioural consult), we can begin to move forward with therapy. Behaviour problems often start young and get progressively worse with age or can be set off by a single event. Our goal in a behavioural consultation is to identify the problem and set up a program to get results. Issues can be resolved in a variety of ways and, depending on the severity, include training, avoidance, changes in routine, and medication. Common conditions include:

  • Dog to dog aggression
  • Fear aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Biting
  • Inappropriate voiding

For certain conditions and unique cases, we work with North Toronto Veterinary Behavior Specialists (http://www.northtorontovets.com/) to get optimum results. This specialized consultation is available to all of our clients and is preferred over simply working with a trainer due to the ability for the veterinary behaviourist to prescribe medication that may help, as well as developing a training plan that can then be implemented. Give us a call if you are interested in pursuing a behavioural consultation.

Resources:

http://drsophiayin.com/resources/dog_behavior

AAHA (https://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/dog_care/behavior/default.aspx)

We are available to our clients for emergencies 24/7, 365 days a year. If you have an emergency after hours, please contact the clinic at (204) 275 – 2038 for the emergency number.

At Central Veterinary Services, we take pride in our mixed animal practise dedicated to your animals’ well-being. As our community grows and our Central Veterinary Services family expands, we continue to ensure that you and your animal receive the utmost in veterinary care. Some changes include upgrades to our large and small animal facilities, as well as the addition of doctors, veterinary technologists and assistants to our team.

As a member of our family and as a valued client, we would like to alert you to a change you may have noticed in our on-call service: After-hours emergencies for our small animal patients (cats and dogs) are referred to an emergency veterinary hospital. Please note that our after-hours emergency services will remain unchanged for our large animal/livestock patients.

After significant discussion and years of experience, we made this decision in order to ensure that our companion animal patients receive the best care, without delay, in case of an after-hours emergency. As our clinic is not staffed after hours, we feel that it is important that emergencies be seen at a 24-hour care facility that can address your pet’s needs with an entire veterinary team available. This is also to ensure that urgent care can be delivered in a timely manner, as there are occasions when emergencies arise and our doctor is unavailable due to another on-farm emergency.

As a courtesy to our clients, we will still be available by phone outside of business hours for urgent questions and advice. We realize that there are times when the simple question will arise of whether your animal is truly experiencing an emergency. And we realize that it can be scary to go to a new clinic, especially during an emergency. We want to assure you that we will listen, as we always have, to your concerns and advise you on your next best course of action. If we deem that it is truly an emergency, we will then refer you to the closest 24hr care facility to ensure your animal’s comfort, health and wellness. If however we find the issue to be non-urgent in nature, we will advise you on when your animal can be examined at our clinic on the next business day.

We thank you kindly for your understanding in this matter, and we look forward to continuing to provide your animals with the best care, as your family veterinarian.

Puppy Centre

Vaccinating your puppy is the BEST way to protect them from potentially fatal diseases that can be prevented! It is also important to understand that giving your puppy its vaccinations on the schedule recommended by your veterinarian is important for obtaining protective immunity. Many vaccines need one or more ‘boosters’ in order to be effective as the first shot ‘primes’ the immune system for the next shots. If the booster vaccines are not performed in a timely manner (usually within 4 weeks), that ‘priming’ effect is lost, and we must start over.

The following vaccines are considered ‘core’ vaccines and are always recommended, to EVERY puppy, because infection with these viruses is often fatal.

1) DA2PPv – Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza

Distemper – a viral disease that attacks the respiratory system and nervous system, among others (eyes, footpads, teeth etc.), and is very often fatal or causes life-long problems.

Adenovirus – There are two types of this virus- type 1 can cause a life-threatening hepatitis. Type 2 can cause ocular and respiratory disease.

Parvovirus – a virus that attacks rapidly growing cells, resulting in life-threatening vomiting and diarrhea. An infection with parvovirus is usually fatal unless treated aggressively, and even then, many will still succumb to the disease.

Parainfluenza – this virus can cause respiratory disease and is often a component of canine kennel cough.

2) Rabies – this is a viral disease that is always fatal. It attacks the central nervous system and poses a dangerous public health risk, as this virus is also fatal to humans.

Puppies are typically considered protected, with adequate immunity, against these diseases 2 weeks after the last vaccine booster is given – usually around 4 months of age if following the recommended schedule. This is the general guideline of when it is safe to begin allowing your puppy to explore the outside world, where it may come into contact with these 5 viruses.

The following vaccines are considered ‘non-core’ vaccinations. The diseases these vaccines can prevent are typically not fatal but are debilitating. Both Lyme’s disease and Kennel Cough are frequently seen in our area; therefore, most dogs would benefit from having been vaccinated to these increasingly common diseases.

1) Lyme – Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete that is transmitted via certain ticks (deer ticks). It is endemic in this area. Dogs that may be at increased risk of contracting this disease are dogs that have times where they roam in wooded or grassy areas (i.e. dog parks) or dogs that are in close contact with dogs that do this (tick can be carried into the house on humans and other animals). Vaccination is recommended in all dogs but even more strongly recommended in those that often get ticks, even a few, a year.

2) Kennel Cough – this is a highly contagious disease that can have several contributing bacteria and viruses (mainly Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria and Parainfluenza virus) and causes respiratory disease. Most dogs experience coughing and fever. Some get a nasal discharge, and others can progress to pneumonia, in which case the disease can become life-threatening. There are two types of vaccinations available to choose from – intranasal spray or injectable. The intranasal form is generally the preferred form if the puppy will tolerate it!

Vaccine Titers

Vaccine titers are now more available and cost-efficient than ever before. ‘Vaccicheck’ a simple blood test done in the clinic that checks for adequate immunity (circulating antibodies) to Distemper, Adenovirus and Parvovirus. We can use vaccine titers before booster vaccines in adult dogs to see if vaccination is necessary at that time. Also, you can test your puppy’s vaccine titers as soon as 2 weeks after the last boosters are given (around 18 weeks old) so that you know how well your puppy responded to the vaccines. There are two reasons why your puppy may not have mounted an immune response despite having been vaccinated:

A small percentage of puppies are considered ‘non-responders.’ This means they are unable to mount an immune response to the vaccines given and will NOT be protected against these fatal diseases. We do our best to make sure a puppy is healthy at the time of vaccines and that the vaccine is administered properly. However, if your puppy is even slightly sick at the time of vaccination, it can result in an immune system’s inability to respond to the vaccination. Furthermore, there can rarely be a problem with the administration of the vaccine or with the vaccine itself (for example, if it was not kept in the refrigerator somewhere in transport to our clinic), your puppy would not even have had a chance to respond properly.

Core Puppy Vaccination Protocol at CVS

  • DA2PPv vaccinations should be given subcutaneously, starting as young as 8 weeks (+/-1 week) and ending at 16+ weeks of age. They will require a booster in 1 year from the time the last dose is given.
  • Rabies vaccinations should be given subcutaneously once at 12+ weeks of age (ideally 16+ weeks of age) in dogs which will require a booster in 1 year.

Non-Core Puppy Vaccination Protocol at CVS:

  • Bordetella vaccinations should be given intranasally at 8+ weeks of age in dogs. They will require a booster in 1 year (subcutaneous vaccine available but intranasal for initial vaccination is gold standard).
  • Lyme vaccinations should be given subcutaneously at 8+ weeks of age in dogs, they will require a booster in 3-4 weeks and then annually thereafter.

Vacci-Chek Titer Test

We are excited to now offer a convenient in-clinic titer check for commonly vaccinated for viruses causing severe and life-threatening illness: Parvovirus, Distemper virus and Adenovirus. These diseases are vaccinated for, usually using a combination vaccine, routinely starting at 8 weeks old. Recently, studies have shown that many dogs do not need to be vaccinated for these diseases as often as was previously thought, with some dogs maintaining protective antibody titers for more than one year after their initial puppy vaccines or more than 3 years after their last ‘puppy’ booster at one year of age. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are some puppies that are considered ‘non-responders’ that are shown to NOT hold protective antibodies against these serious diseases even after receiving their puppy shots on schedule. For these reasons, the Vacci-Chek Titer Test is valuable – it greatly allows us to individualize each dog’s vaccine protocol, giving only the vaccine for these diseases when blood antibody titers are shown to be non-protective!

Here are the fast facts about this new service:

WHEN SHOULD MY DOG HAVE THEIR TITER’S TESTED?

1)      It is now our recommendation that every dog coming in as a 1-year-old, after having received their puppy vaccines on schedule, would have their blood titer levels tested. This allows us to determine whether your dog responded well to their puppy vaccines and does not need an additional vaccine at this time, OR if protective antibodies are low and an additional booster vaccine is needed.

2)      Titer testing will also be recommended whenever vaccination is considered ‘due’ for this disease – so for dogs who had received the Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus combo vaccine 2-3 years prior.

3)      Titer testing will also be valuable for dogs coming into rescue or with unknown histories to determine if they may or may not have been vaccinated in the past. It helps us determine whether a vaccine is needed or not.

4)      The option to titer test will be very important for our patients who have responded poorly to vaccination (vaccine reactions) or have developed conditions (allergies, autoimmune disease, endocrine disease, etc.) where minimal vaccination is ideal.

Titer testing can even be done as young as 2 weeks after your puppy has received their final 16-week puppy vaccinations – a test at this time will give you peace of mind that your puppy’s immune system has responded well to the vaccines and that they are indeed protected against these dangerous diseases.

WHAT WILL BE THE COST?

Unfortunately, titer testing should not be considered a cost-saving measure when it comes to vaccinating your dog. Although this in-clinic test is much more cost-effective than our previous option of sending to an outside lab, it will still be more expensive to perform the test plus vaccinate (if needed) than to simply give the vaccine. The cost of this test is $53.80 plus tax.

WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT TO DO THE TITER TEST?

That’s ok! We understand that even though our recommendation to begin titer testing at one year old will be made as a ‘best medicine’ recommendation, this choice is not the most cost-effective. Furthermore, some dogs are very averse to having a blood sample taken, so many of our clients will decline and opt to simply opt to give the vaccine without the knowledge of the titer test.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DOG SHOWS ‘GOOD’ TITERS (PROTECTIVE LEVELS OF ANTIBODIES FOUND)?

1)      If adequate titers are found, your dog would not receive the Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus vaccine that day. Testing would then be repeated once yearly to check if titer levels are adequate and if vaccination is needed. Some dogs will go 7 years or more before titer testing reveals a booster vaccine is needed!

2)       When adequate titers are found, a certificate similar to a vaccine certificate can be issued that should allow the dog to be recognized as having an up-to-date vaccine status that can be used for kennels or grooming facilities.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DOG SHOWS ‘LOW’ TITERS (ANTIBODY LEVELS ARE FOUND BE BELOW THE PROTECTIVE LEVEL)?

1)      If inadequate antibody titers are found, we are prompted to give the booster vaccine for patients healthy enough to receive it! After giving the vaccine, we would resume titer testing 3 years after this vaccine is given.

2)      For animals not healthy enough to receive vaccination (autoimmune disease or severe allergy, for example), knowing that antibody levels are inadequate for protection is valuable information to have, even if it is decided that vaccination on any level is not safe. Adjustments to lifestyle can be made to ensure the risk of exposure is extremely low or other precautions that would not have to be taken if antibody levels were known to be adequate.

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER VACCINES MY DOG RECEIVES (IE RABIES, LYME OR BORDETELLA/KENNEL COUGH)?

1)      The Vacci-chek test checks titers for the Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus only and will not give us any information on antibody levels against Rabies virus, Lyme or Bordetella/Parainfluenza.

There are titer tests available for Rabies. However they are send-out tests to outside labs, and are more expensive to run. The titer test for Rabies is also not considered the equivalent of having actually received the vaccine, so it is not our standard recommendation to perform Rabies titers instead of vaccinating unless there are extenuating circumstances. Because Rabies is a considerable public health risk, the prevention of the disease is highly regulated, with special rules we are obliged to follow.

Parasite Control and an Introduction to the 4Dx Test

Intestinal Worms

There are several intestinal worms that we worry about infecting our puppies – Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms and Tapeworms. Puppies can pick up these parasites from their environment, from ingesting infected rodents or other wildlife, and also from their mothers before they are born or while nursing.  These intestinal parasites can affect growth and development in our puppies but can also be a dangerous zoonotic risk if passed on to humans (especially children)! Therefore we strive to treat and protect puppies from infections through fecal analysis and scheduled deworming. With heavy infections, puppies are generally very sick. However, in mild infections, the puppy may be asymptomatic but still passing on worm eggs in their feces and contaminating the environment, leaving other animals (including humans!) potentially exposed.

Options for treatment and prevention include a combination of:

1) Fecal Analysis – By analyzing your puppy’s feces, we can often see signs of a worm infection by finding eggs or larvae in the sample under the microscope. By pinpointing which type of worms may be present, we can assure we are treating with a product that is effective against that particular worm. Drop off a fecal sample at the clinic at any time if you would like us to check your dog’s worm status!

2) Treatment with a broad-spectrum deworming product – We can treat puppies (especially those where we do not know the history of the mother and environment) as often as every 2 to 4 weeks for the first 6 months of life. Some worm eggs can be very difficult to find under the microscope, and special tests are sometimes needed. Therefore, even if a fecal analysis yields no worm eggs, we often recommend treating anyway, just to be safe.

Heartworm Protection

Heartworm disease is a real risk in our area. It is literally a worm, transmitted by mosquitos, that grows into an adult in a dog’s heart. This results in an inflammatory response and can lead to heart failure and death. If a dog gets heartworm disease, the treatment to get rid of the worms can be life-threatening in itself, and it can be quite expensive. Therefore, we always aim to prevent it from occurring in the first place. It is important to remember that the heartworm parasite lingers in the area mainly due to dogs who are not on prevention and on our wild animals such as foxes and coyotes. Also, because mosquitos often make it indoors, it is still important for dogs who mostly live indoors to be on prevention as well.

Options for prevention include:

  1. Heartguard (Ivermectin) –Available for dogs, this drug kills immature worms that are present in the bloodstream. It is given monthly, starting at the end of May, up to the end of October (6 months). If a dose is missed, it leaves the dog very vulnerable to getting heartworm disease is exposed.
  2. Pro-heart (moxidectin) – this is a depo drug for dogs. It is slowly released from the injection site over 6 months, killing the immature worms present in the bloodstream – it ‘reaches back’ approx. one month. We allow the administration of Proheart starting April 15th. To cover the entire season (May to November), it should ideally be administered by May 30th.
  3. Revolution – Can be used for both cats and dogs as heartworm prevention. It also kills immature heartworms, administered once monthly, starting end of May, for 6 months.

 

Tick and Flea Protection

Ticks and Fleas infestation prevention is important to prevent the spread of debilitating diseases such as Lyme’s disease and tapeworm infections. Many of these diseases can also affect humans. Fleas and ticks can be present year-round but are more common during the warm spring/summer/fall months. Ticks can be very small (especially immature nymph stages) and difficult to see even on close examination. Therefore prevention during these months is always recommended, even if it appears that your dog ‘never’ gets ticks.

Recommended options for protection include:

  1. Advantix – a monthly spot-on treatment for dogs only that ‘repels’ ticks. It is a pesticide and is not suitable for dogs that are in close contact with cats or children. It is toxic to cats, even in small amounts. Puppies should be at least 8 weeks old before use.
  2. Revolution – a spot-on treatment for dogs and cats that kills ticks and fleas when they take a blood meal. That means ticks will still bite and be attached for a short amount of time. Revolution is generally very safe. Puppies should be 6 weeks old before use. For best protection against ticks, Revolution should be applied, starting when ticks first start emerging, every 2 weeks for three treatments, then once monthly.

We do not recommend the use of tick collars, as they are not as effective as the above options, and can result in allergic reactions that need medical attention, and can be very harmful if pieces are ingested.

4Dx test

This is a simple blood test that tests for:

  1. Heartworm disease
  2. Exposure to the causative agent of Lyme’s disease
  3. Exposure to the causative agent of Anaplosmosis
  4. Exposure to the causative agent of Erlichiosis

In the first year of a puppy’s life, this test may not be needed for heartworm diseases testing depending on when the puppy was born – It is generally recommended that it be done approx. 6 months after the end of heartworm season (which co-incides with the beginning of every heartworm season) for detecting heartworm disease. However, the test can be performed at any age if we are worried about potential exposure and infection with Lyme’s, Anaplasma or Erlichia organisms.

What Should I be Feeding my New Puppy?

Statistics show that for the first time, our newest generation of puppies will live shorter lives than their predecessors and nutrition and obesity play a huge role in this! Investing some time in learning what and how your new puppy should be eating is very important! It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with how to read a pet food label so that you can look past the extensive marketing gimmicks to chose a diet that is best for your little friend – check out our Nutrition page for more information on this.

Puppies need growth diets designed specifically for puppies.  Every organ, including the brain, is growing rapidly in a puppy, and therefore, they have higher requirements in many areas: They need more energy (more energy-dense foods) for growth and keeping their body temperature regulated; higher levels of protein to allow the rapid growth; increased fat (essential fatty acids for brain development and fat to allow specific vitamin uptake); and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus for muscles and skeleton development. Furthermore, large breed puppies benefit greatly from large-breed puppy-specific diets. The chosen diet may be a combination of dry food, wet/canned food or home-made food.

What is an “All life stages” diet?

These diets are marketed as being suitable for animals young and old, including lactating and pregnant animals. So, these diets are typically quite energy-dense and will meet a growing animal’s needs. However, these diets are often formulated to meet minimum requirements only and added components such as essential fatty acids are often not included in these diets. This is why diets specifically designed for growth and development are still ideal. Also, because these diets are so energy-dense, they are often NOT best for grown adult animals who have much lower energy requirements and can result in obesity.

Most nutritionists do NOT recommend raw food diets for growing animals.

This has mainly to do with food safety issues as puppies and kittens are more susceptible to disease caused by harmful bacteria that can be present due to contamination and improper handling and storage of the raw diets. Furthermore, many raw food diets are not properly balanced and will not meet the nutritional requirements of a growing animal.

Once the growth phase is complete, there are some pets with individual food sensitivities and/or gastrointestinal issues that can do very well on these foods, BUT there are some dogs and cats that do not tolerate raw food.  We recommend that people using raw food diets are very cautious with handling these foods, especially if there are very young or very old family members or household members with chronic illnesses or are immunosuppressed (including other pets!) in contact with the dog eating the raw food diet.

General Guidelines

Your puppy’s nutrition will routinely be assessed during your visit with the vet, considering it is such an important aspect of their health and wellness. If your kitten is neither underweight nor overweight, is having approximately 2 solid bowel movements a day, has a lot of energy, and has a shiny hair coat, it is likely on a diet that is meeting his or her demands! If your pup has loose stools or more than 2-3 bm’s per day, flatulence, vomiting, dry, flakey skin and haircoat, is overweight or underweight, has behavioural issues and has not been diagnosed with an underlying medical condition, you should strongly consider making a change to their diet, as these are all signs that they may not be getting enough nutrients from their current diet, or may not be tolerating their diet for other reasons, leading to health and/or behavioural problems.

If you have any questions, please let us know!  We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your puppy’s diet and help you chose a diet that is right for both of you.

How can I best socialize and train my new puppy?

Many older puppies and dogs end up in shelters or euthanized because of behavioural problems that can be prevented as puppies. If you are ever concerned or have questions (What is normal? Should you be worried? What can I do? Am I doing something wrong?) about your puppy’s behaviour, please do not hesitate to ask!

Socialization

Why is this important? Puppies that are well socialized to people tend to be more confident and friendly. Unsocialized dogs have a more difficult time in life and suffer stress from being handled by strangers. And although genetics play an important role in behaviour, environmental influences and training exert a far greater influence on the overall temperament of a dog. The first 3-4 months of a puppy’s life will have the greatest impact on his/her development!

‘Socialization’ is a broad category that involves getting your puppy used to and behaving appropriately in a variety of situations. Examples include socializing your puppy with regards to:

  1.  other animal species,
  2. new surfaces,
  3. scary sounds,
  4. unfamiliar people,
  5. unfamiliar dogs,
  6. handling (hugging, examining the mouth, squeezing feet, etc.),
  7. objects with wheels,
  8. man-made objects (brooms, balloons, etc.), and
  9. new environments in general (inside buildings, residential city streets, etc.).

This aspect of your puppies care is VERY IMPORTANT! It will set the stage for his adaptation into our human world, allowing your puppy to feel as comfortable as possible in many different situations, and it will definitely allow for a stronger bond between puppy and caregiver. By considering the list above, it may also bring to light potential problems early on, when the prognosis for treating potential behavioural problems is best (for example, thunderstorm phobias and aggression).

Please check out and download a copy of an excellent puppy socialization checklist at www.drsophiayin.com, and begin keeping track of your puppies progress!!!

Housetraining

Puppies can be housetrained easily and successfully if you dedicate the necessary time and patience to the task. This requires constant supervision or appropriate confinement when not supervised, as well as rewards (treats!) to reinforce good behaviour.  The entire process can take several weeks – and you should consider your puppy housetrained only when he or she has gone at least 4 consecutive weeks without an accident in the house. Crate training comes in handy when you are unable to closely supervise your puppy.

It is important to understand what cues your puppy to eliminate – these include eating, drinking, playing and waking up from a nap. Next, it is important to be clear and consistent about where your puppy needs to go to the bathroom. Also, puppies do best with schedules – by controlling your puppy’s feeding schedule, you can somewhat control when they need to use the restroom.

In the beginning, mistakes will be made by both you and your puppy! It is important not to get frustrated and harshly discipline your puppy. The only time it makes sense to discipline is if you catch your puppy in the act, and then a short, firm reprimand may be useful to stop the behaviour. Remember that if the punishment is too harsh, the only thing that the puppy may learn is to not eliminate in front of you, even outdoors. In the end, consistency is key! If you give your puppy clear guidelines to follow and reward them when they eliminate appropriately, they should learn quickly. If you feel you are having a lot of trouble, despite following a consistent approach, consult with your veterinarian. Sometimes an underlying medical problem, such as a bladder infection (common in puppies!), must be addressed before we can expect a puppy to be housetrained.

 

Obedience

Teaching simple commands to promote obedience can begin as soon as you get your puppy home. Starting early will help you communicate with your puppy and stop unwanted behaviours from the start. Puppy classes are an excellent idea, even as early as 8 weeks of age. The most important aspect to training and shaping desirable behaviours is to use positive reinforcement – food, a favourite toy, affection and attention – when your puppy is exhibiting desirable behaviours. A common mistake is to give your puppy attention only when they are behaving badly or in an undesirable way (Do you tend to ignore your puppy when they are quiet and ‘good’ but start to give your puppy attention, even in the form of scolding, when it begins jumping up on you or barking? Your puppy may see this as a desirable response, and the attention and reprimand may actually reinforce the behaviour). You should be paying close attention to your puppy at all times and reward even simple desirable behaviour (Is your puppy sitting beside you and staying calm even though the doorbell just rang? Reward this with a ‘Good Dog!’ and a treat!)

Simple commands that are a good place to start are “come”, “sit”, “lie down” and “stay”. Always use the same cues for each command and teach only one command at a time so that your puppy does not get confused. Start training in a quiet area and use both hand and verbal signals to relay a command for best results. Remember that puppies are going to fidgety and have a short attention span at times, so keep training sessions short. As always, remember to be consistent and patient! Puppies love the challenge of learning, seem to have a sense of fulfilment when completing tricks or tasks and always enjoy pleasing their caregivers. Having an obedient and well-trained puppy is good for everybody involved!

Behavioural Problems

Other issues that often come up with puppies are:

  • Puppies that are pushy and unruly
  • Difficulty crate training
  • Unwanted barking
  • Anxieties and fearful behaviour
  • Introducing your puppy to a baby, children
  • Introducing your other animals to a new puppy
  • Puppies who dig, chew and destroy
  • Puppies who ‘mouth’ / bite excessively

If you are worried about any of these behaviours with your puppy, please ask one of our Veterinarians or Animal Health Technicians, even before your next appointment (give us a call!). The best time to correct unwanted behaviours is when your puppy is young and most impressionable!

Exercising Your New Puppy

Beginning to think about physical activity with your puppy is an excellent start to promoting a long and healthy life for your dog! Exercise has many advantages, similar to those in humans, such as helping control weight, and dogs love it! However, we must always be careful when exercising a puppy – they have not yet fully developed, and we can actually harm them with too much exercise and the wrong kinds of exercise.

What is ‘forced exercise’?  Forced exercise is anything beyond what the puppy would do when playing with dogs of the same age. For example, a 4-month-old dog running for a mile (or less!) with adult dogs would be considered forced exercise. Similarly, running with people is forced exercise, as is excessive stick/ball-chasing. Puppies that are several months old have enough energy to keep up with a person that is jogging, but do not yet have the brains to know when to stop! They will often keep going until they drop.  Let the puppy set the pace and the distance – avoid forced exercise in puppies.

Why do we avoid forced exercise in puppies? Puppy’s bones and joints are developing rapidly. Excessive force on these structures can result in damage, often irreversible with repercussions leading into their adult lives. For puppies that may already have underlying orthopedic problems (such as hip dysplasia), forced exercise as a puppy will make the conditions worse and the disease more severe. Large and giant breeds typically continue to develop past one year old, whereas smaller breed dogs are often skeletally mature by 8 months old. A good rule of thumb is to avoid forced exercise for the first 8 months, and perhaps the first 12 months in large breed dogs.

Swimming and walking are good low-impact exercises that are typically very good exercise for puppies.Remember to make sure your puppy has all of his or her recommended vaccines before taking it to the dog park, or for a walk around the neighbourhood, where it can potentially pick up viruses or bacteria from other dogs or the environment! 

Dental Care

It is never too early to start thinking about dental care with your puppy. Getting into routines such as teeth brushing early is the best way to prevent problems in the future. Routinely looking into your dog’s mouth will also allow you to see problems as they arise, such as retained teeth or cracked teeth. Good oral hygiene not only greatly improves a dog’s life quality, but may also promote longevity.

Your puppy is going to start to lose his/her baby teeth at about 4 months old, and he/she should have a whole new set of adult teeth at 6 months old.

BUT

The health of your puppy’s baby teeth has an impact on your puppy’s adult teeth. So start to care for your puppy’s teeth now!

Daily teeth-brushing is the BEST way to remove plaque and slow the progress of tooth decay. There are adult diets, toys and water additives that can be helpful as well, but nothing beats the brush! We would be more than happy to help you make brushing your puppy’s teeth a positive experience for you both – we can give you tips and help you get started if you are interested!

Also, be very careful with choosing appropriate chew-toys as injured baby teeth can affect the adult teeth. Once the adult teeth come in, they will look really bright and shiny, but they do not yet have a fully developed root. So, they are still quite fragile. Avoid aggressive chewing, rough pulling and tug-of-war games to protect your puppy’s baby and newly erupted adult teeth!

If you see a “double” set of teeth showing up between 4-6 months of age, let us know right away. If the baby teeth do not fall out before the adult teeth come in, this can cause crowding and pushing of the adult teeth into an abnormal position, and this should be addressed as soon as possible.

Spaying and Neutering – FAQ’s, pros and cons

Pet overpopulation is a real problem, with unwanted puppies and dogs being euthanized every day. Although there are always pros and cons to any procedure, spaying or neutering your new puppy is always recommended. It is one of the most responsible choices you can make as a pet owner. The health benefits of spaying or neutering your puppy are also important to consider.

What is involved with ‘Spaying’ or ‘Neutering’? We use the term ‘Spay’ when we remove the ovaries and uterus of the female dog. We use the term ‘Neuter’ when we remove both testicles from a male dog. For any surgical procedure, optional blood work can be performed (to screen for abnormalities in the blood that could indicate organ dysfunction) at an additional fee. Pain medication is used, and the puppy is given intravenous fluid therapy, then placed under general anesthesia for the procedure. Once the ovaries/uterus or testicles are removed, the incision is closed using sutures that are under the skin and absorb over time. We monitor our surgical patients very carefully throughout their stay to make sure they are recovering without complications.  Usually, your puppy will be able to go home the same day so that he or she can spend the evening in the comfort of their own home. We recommend that the puppy be given several days to recover (a week for a spay), with leash walks only and no jumping or stairs. Your puppy should wear a cone so that it cannot lick at its incision as it heals as this can cause infection and dehiscence.

Pros to Spaying and Neutering – There are many advantages including avoiding unwanted heat cycles and puppies, minimizing roaming behaviour, and the great reduction in several kinds of cancers including mammary (if spayed before first heat cycle), uterine and ovarian cancers for female dogs and testicular cancer for male dogs. Neutered male dogs are also a lot less likely to have problems with their prostate gland as they get older. Spayed female dogs will not get dangerous uterine infections (pyometras) that can be life-threatening.

Preparing Yourself Financially

It is very important to consider the cost of caring for your new puppy and to formulate a plan. The food they will need to eat, the toys and utensils they will need (dog bed, food bowls), the veterinary visits they will need, and puppy classes that are always recommended should all be considered. If your new puppy ends up having any life-long conditions, such as allergies or has an emergency situation (some puppies like to swallow their toys!), costs can keep adding up.

Options to aid with finances –

  1. Pet Insurance – Pet insurance options continue to improve. This is the best way to cover yourself in case of emergency or if your puppy develops a condition that needs continued therapy. Certain packages even cover yearly exams and vaccines as well as therapeutic diets if needed.  It is definitely something to consider if your new puppy is a breed that is highly predisposed to having problems requiring veterinary attention. Some breed examples include: Bulldogs, Boxers, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels. An excellent website, although American based, can help you decide if pet insurance is right for you: www.pet-insurance-university.com
  2. Setting up a savings account for your pet – Every month, you could put aside a pre-determined amount of money, $50, even $20 monthly can help. If you happen to have a pet emergency, you will have a place to pull money from to cover the costs.
  3. Financial Assistance Programs

 

Why pet insurance?

Many people think about getting pet insurance because they think it will save them money.

Pet Insurance should not be thought of as a way to save money. It should be thought of as a way to soften an unexpected economic hit.

When you purchase pet insurance, you are putting yourself in a position so that if something unexpected and costly comes along, you will be able to deal with it without it putting you in a bad situation financially.

Saving’s Accounts

Putting away a set amount of money every month for the care of your pet is another approach to budgeting for pet care. This works best for expected veterinary procedures like annual exams and vaccines, routine surgeries such as spaying and neutering, routine dental care and so on, BUT it will not necessarily work well for unexpected events such as accidents/emergencies or illnesses that can be costly. For example, an emergency surgery to remove a foreign object from the intestine, along with the hospitalization and aftercare can be as much as, or even more than, $2000 depending on the veterinary hospital. If you are unable to afford or borrow money for, an unforeseen bill such as this, it is a good idea to consider pet insurance. The $50 you had been putting away monthly for your 6-month-old puppy (a total of $200 saved), won’t make it very far in some emergency situations.

Ideally you could implement both of the above – keep a chunk of money saved to pay off a deductible, for example – to be absolutely prepared.

Financial Assistance Programs – There are also alternative options such as PetCard, which is a financial assistance program that is basically a loan that needs to be paid back. This can also help with unexpected bills, however should not be relied on solely for paying for your pet’s care.

We are available to our clients for emergencies 24/7 365 days a year. If you have an emergency after hours, please contact the clinic at (204) 275 – 2038 for the emergency number.

At Central Veterinary Services, we take pride in our mixed animal practice dedicated to the well-being of your animals. As our community grows, and our Central Vet family expands, we continue to ensure that you and your animal receive the utmost in veterinary care. Some changes include upgrades to our large and small animal facilities, as well as the addition of doctors, veterinary technologists and assistants to our team.

As a member of our family and as a valued client, we would like to alert you to a change you may have noticed in our on-call service: After-hours emergencies for our small animal patients (cats and dogs) are referred to an emergency veterinary hospital. Please note that our after-hours emergency services will remain unchanged for our large animal/livestock patients.

After significant discussion and years of experience, we made this decision in order to ensure that our companion animal patients receive the best care, without delay, in case of an after-hours emergency. As our clinic is not staffed after hours, we feel that it is important that emergencies be seen at a 24-hour care facility that can address your pet’s needs with an entire veterinary team available. This is also to ensure that urgent care can be delivered in a timely manner, as there are occasions when emergencies arise, and our doctor is unavailable to due another on-farm emergency.

As a courtesy to our clients, we will still be available by phone outside of business hours for urgent questions and advice. We realize that there are times when the simple question will arise of whether your animal is truly experiencing an emergency. And we realize that it can be scary to go to a new clinic, especially during an emergency. We want to assure you that we will listen, as we always have, to your concerns and advise you on your next best course of action. If we deem that it is truly an emergency, we will then refer you to the closest 24hr care facility to ensure your animal’s comfort, health and wellness. If however we find the issue to be non-urgent in nature, we will advise you on when your animal can be examined at our clinic on the next business day.

We thank you kindly for your understanding in this matter, and we look forward to continuing to provide your animals with the best care, as your family veterinarian.

Senior Care

WHEN IS MY DOG OR CAT A “SENIOR”?

It can be difficult to pinpoint when a pet has entered his or her “senior years”, but on average, around the age of 8 years old depending on breed/size. It is often around this age that we start to see a change in physical health in our pets, and when recommended screening and wellness checks are brought up. 

Why do we care about promoting optimal care and providing preventative and therapeutic medicine for our senior pets?

For starters, we are our animal’s caregivers. Therefore we are responsible for providing our pets with a life that is as close to free from pain and discomfort as possible. Our best chance at achieving this is through preventative medicine (preventing serious problems before they start) as well as early detection of problems, allowing us to come up with effective treatment plans. As your veterinary providers, it is up to us to carefully examine your pet, ask in-depth questions about how your animal is doing at home, and go over options for tests that can give us insight into your pet’s body systems. We also recommend activities, medications, supplements and diet changes that may make a big difference in your senior pet’s health and comfort.

In some cases, it is easy to get frustrated and feel disconnected with an ageing pet that is beginning to have health problems that take time to manage at home and require frequent veterinary care. It can be hard to understand what is going on with your once healthy, happy pet, and guilt can set in, wondering if you’re providing your pet with what it needs. As a veterinary team, we aim to keep the human-animal bond strong by taking away the frustration, guilt, and confusion that can come with caring for a senior pet.