News and Events

Getting to the Heart of the Matter Heart Health for Your Pet

September 10, 2014
Dufferin Veterinary Hospital

You can’t see your pet’s heart. Is it healthy, or not?
Let’s take a listen!

You can tell a lot about your pet by looking at them. But one thing you can’t see is
their heart. Is it healthy, or not? A pet may have heart disease and even the most
observant owners may not realize it.
Heart disease affects pets of all ages. For example, certain breeds of dogs and cats
are at a higher risk of heart disease at a young age. In contrast, some pets develop
heart disease later in life, concurrent with another illness. And then there are those
pets who randomly develop heart disease at any age without any noticeable signs
to the owner.
If your pet’s heart is not checked regularly, your pet may be at risk for heart disease
and in some cases, a shortened lifespan. The good news is, if caught early, most
illnesses can be treated or managed successfully for years. And if your pet already
has moderate heart disease but is regularly monitored by our practice, often we can
slow its progression.
An important part of your pets annual examination is the cardiac examination. During the exam,
we’ll listen with our stethoscopes to make sure your pet’s heart sounds right. We’ll also perform
a few other easy tests if needed to keep your pet’s ticker in tiptop shape!
When we think of love, we think of hearts;  and we love your pet!

Parasite Trivia What you may not know-or want to know...

July 9, 2014
Dufferin Veterinary HospitalOrangeville
Did you know???
·         One adult flea can bite your pet up to 400 times in a day!
·         Your pet can also be allergic to that bite!    < ITCHY! >
·         Fleas can jump 200 times their size and 30,000 times without stopping!
·         One flea can become 1,000 fleas in just 21 days!
·         One female flea can lay 50 eggs in a day and 2,000 in a lifetime!
·         Heartworm Disease is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito – over 70 different species!
·         If not detected and treated early – heartworm can lead to heart failure; and even death!
·         Ticks can live more than a year without a meal!
·         If you find a tick on your pet – be sure to check yourself too!
Tick can carry diseases that are 80 % more likely to affect you than your pet! Ticks have anesthetic in their bite so you will not feel it!
·         1 out of 4 backyards will have roundworm eggs present (a study in Montreal) even if the household does not have pets!

Kids and Pets

March 24, 2014
AAHAPetsMatter News

Kids and pets: Bringing your child to the veterinarian

by Larry Kay

Children are often curious, and sometimes anxious or fearful, about what happens when their pets visit the veterinarian. If done well, demystifying the veterinary visit can be healthy for a child’s development, possibly even introducing her to career possibilities in the veterinary field. The successful experience can also awaken and inspire a child to become aware of her own health care, as well as increase her empathy, compassion, and sense of responsibility to do right by her pets. After all, when kids discover pets, they discover themselves.

Steps to take before the veterinary visit
Before packing up both your furry kid and your human one and heading to the veterinarian, it’s important to prepare your child for what might occur. Start by asking some of the following questions:

  • Why is it important for our pet to go to the veterinarian?
  • What do you think will happen at the veterinarian’s office?
  • How are you feeling about the veterinary visit?
  • Do you have any questions you’d like to ask the veterinarian?

Help your child to write down any questions he may have, and bring that list with you for your pet’s appointment.

Some children, especially those who have experienced their own health issues in the past, experience high anxiety when it comes to medical appointments, even if the appointment isn’t for them. It may be helpful to take your child to the veterinarian first, without your pet in tow, for a brief socialization visit. Some veterinarians offer open houses for kids, giving them an opportunity to see the facility, meet some of the staff, and learn about veterinary careers. This will help him to see that the office isn’t such a scary place, after all. If anxiety is too high during that initial visit, it may be best to leave him home while your pet receives her preventive care checkup. A child’s high anxiety could be counterproductive to your pet’s comfort level during the exam.

My child is ready to attend a veterinary visit; now what?
Once you determine your child is ready to accompany you and your pet to the veterinarian, it is important to notify the veterinary staff that you will be bringing your child with you for the first time and that he has some questions he’d like to ask the veterinarian. This will prepare the staff to be ready to spend some extra time answering questions and explaining procedures.

On the day of the exam, invite your child to choose your pet’s favorite toy to bring. That will increase the comfort level, giving both your child and your pet something to focus on other than the exam. Review with your child what to expect during the exam and the importance of preventive care exams for your pet’s health. Remember to bring the list of questions your child created, and help him ask them during the visit.

It is generally not recommended to bring a child into the back room where medical procedures take place or where pets recover from anesthesia. It is also not typical for a young child to attend a beloved pet’s euthanasia. Older children may be able to witness this sad event, but only with emotional preparation and an explanation of what exactly to expect. If possible, prepare your children for that sad moment with a final day to share memories and your pet’s favorite likes. Once a pet is gone, encourage expressions of feelings (and share your own) through discussions or by drawing pictures, writing stories, or making a photo album.

If your child is adequately prepared for what to expect, all should go smoothly during the veterinary visit. But remember, if something becomes too stressful during the visit, you can always take your child to the reception area to wait while the veterinarian and other staff continue their work to keep your furry friend healthy.

Larry Kay is an award-winning pet author. His next book, Life’s a Bark: What Dogs Teach Us About Life and Love, will be published in June 2014 by Sourcebooks. Find Larry online.

Why do Dogs Case Their Tails?

February 19, 2014

An age old question - many people wonder - why DO dogs chase their tails?

Most puppies will chase anything, including thier own tail.  This behaviour usually stops when they get older, but if your canine continues to whirl into adulthood - they may be doing it for attention.  When their people react; either by laughing, praising or even by attempting to physically stop the spinning with a hug - the spinning behaviour is reinforced into a learned pattern.  Although it may seem funny to watch, the spinning may result in back injury!  To put the brakes on your dog's perfomrance;  ignore it completely; or distract with a sudden noise or by offering up a ball to play - and then reward for stoppping the behaviour.

In some cases, a medical issue may cause the spinning and a visit to your veterinarian may be required. If you notice that your pet is gnawing or scratching at his hindlegs - a skin infection, wound or an irritant like fleas could be to blame.  Easily treated, these ailments may be quickly addressed and bring comfort to your dog rapidly. Very rarely, a serious psychological issue such as a compulsive disorder may present as obsessive tail chasing.  Often, behavioural therapy can help - it is no quick fix, but the well being of your companion is worth it.  If ever concerned - always ask your veterinarian!

Emergency Pet Care Be Prepared!

January 10, 2014
Dufferin Veterinary Hospital in Orangeville

Pets & Your Family Emergency Plan

Plan to be prepared!


In the event of a major emergency, evacuation or natural disaster the safety and welfare of your pet depends on you. Advance planning and preparation is the best way to protect your pet in the event of an emergency situation. 

Depending on the nature of the emergency, reception centres and family shelters may be established in Dufferin to provide assistance to the affected public. Pets (except for service animals) will not be permitted at reception centres or family shelters in Dufferin County due to health regulations.

Develop a plan of action for the care of your pets and be sure to include:

·         A list of places to take your pet for boarding or care (beyond average evacuation limits- available 24/7).

·         A neighbour or alternate person to evacuate your pet if you are away from the home during the emergency.

·         A portable pet emergency kit.

Helpful Tips:

Keep pets safe by keeping dogs on leashes and cats in carriers to prevent them from bolting in panic while transporting them during an emergency.

Reduce your pet’s stress levels by covering carriers or offering them a favorite toy or blanket to cuddle.

Keep collars and identification tags on pets at all times in case they become lost during transport or while being evacuated or cared for by someone else.

Responsibility for the safety and survival of pets rests with the pet owners throughout the entire duration of an emergency in Dufferin County.

If you must evacuate your home and leave your pet behind, ensure they have ready access to several days of food and water. If it is safe to do so, consider giving access to water in a tub or toilet. Place a sign on an outside window or door indicating that a pet is inside. Place a date on the sign to indicate when the pet was last looked after, and provide both your contact information and that of your veterinarian.

In the case of livestock, keep a seven day supply of food and water on hand at all times.

Portable Pet Emergency Kit:         

A portable pet emergency kit should be assembled and left with the family’s emergency survival kit in a readily accessible area of the home. Store any documentation regarding vaccination history and your pet's veterinary provider in water proof containers. Rotate pet food every two or three months. Your pet’s kit should include;

*        Several days of food and water for each pet

*        Bowls

*        Manual can opener

*        Pet toy, blanket

*        Leash

*        Muzzle (if required)

*        ID tags with 24 hour owner contact information

*        Medications and medical records

*        Recent photos of pet (with family if possible)

*        Contact information for pet friendly hotels, relatives, kennels, and personal veterinarian

*        Licence and microchip documentation

*        Carrier for small pets

*        Hand sanitizer, stoop and scoop bags

*        Litter box, litter, scoop (if required)

It is always best to be preapred, especially because we know you love your animal companions!  We hope that you never need to use an emergency plan. If the unfortunate need ever does arise - now you will be ready!


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