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Pet Weight Loss…FAQ

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My pet’s body Condition Score is a 7/9, now what?

Now that you have accessed your pet’s Body Condition Score (BCS) and determined they can benefit from weight loss, what’s the next step? Well we can help! Based on your pet’s medical history and diet preferences we can develop a tailored plan unique to your pet. 

Bloor Animal Hospital Weight Loss Program:

  • Based on your pet’s physical exam and medical history, a diet formulated for weight loss would be prescribed.
  • Using your pet’s current weight, we will calculate exactly how much food your pet would need to eat every day, we can even include the occasional treat.
  • Increasing exercise. We will provide tips to try to increase your pet’s activity level. The amount of activity will be determined based on how overweight your pet is. Avoiding injuries is paramount.
  • Tracking: Once your pet is on the program it is important that we track their progress. Rechecking their weight at least every 4 weeks is crucial. This allows us to tweak their meal calculations or even the type of food they are eating. Not every diet works for every pet, it is not uncommon to have to try a couple different types to find the one that works best with their metabolism.

Weight Loss FAQ:

  • Can’t I just feed less of my pet’s current food?

This is a common question. For successful weight loss we have to decrease the number of calories they are consuming. If we were to use a regular diet and just feed less, we would also be feeding less nutrience.  This can lead to malnutrition and is a very unhealthy method of weight loss.

  • How do weight loss foods work?

The Veterinary weight loss formulas we recommend work by lowering the calories, have increased fiber to help them feel full. Some formulas have increased protein or added supplements to maintain muscle mass. All are nutritionally balanced and proven to be effective if fed appropriately.

  • Can’t I just feed the ‘Light’ version of their current food?

‘Light’ means there are less calories than the original formula.  This is similar to a light cream cheese, although it has slightly less calories than the original, it is still high in fat and calories and not effective for weight loss.

  • Can I still give treats?

Absolutely! During your consult we will discuss what treats you are currently giving and we will either incorporate those calories into their plan, or we can recommend an alternative.

If you would like to get started on your pets weight loss journey, we can help! Call us to schedule their weight consultation. 

What’s your Pet’s Body Condition Score?

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How do you know if your pet needs to loose weight?  One way is the number on the scale. For most pets, if they are at a healthy weight at 1 year of age, that is the weight they should maintain throughout their lives. We can look back through their weight history and monitor their changes. This will also give us a weight loss target when we are setting their goals.

Although the scale is a good place to start, it is just a number. During your pet’s physical exam we assess their Body Condition Score (BCS). This is a scale from 1-9, 1 being too thin all the way to 9 being obese. Checking your pet’s body condition is something that you can easily do at home, here’s how:

  1. Run your hand along your pet’s rib cage: you should be able to feel their ribs under a thin layer of flesh but not see them.
  2. While standing over your pet: run your hands down their sides from their shoulders to their hips. They should have a nice hour glass figure.
  3. When looking at your pet from the side, their stomach should be tucked up under their rib cage. *cats can develop ‘fat aprons’. This is a fat pad on their bellies. This is very difficult area to trim down…unless you can teach your kitty to do crunches, they will probably have that for life.

Using the chart below, you can gauge your pet’s BCS:

Using their BCS we can tailor a weight loss or maintenance program for your pet.  Monthly weigh in’s will help track your pets progress and allow us to tweak their plan.

If you would like to discuss your pet’s weight, contact us to schedule a consult with one of our medical team members.  We can help get your pet on the right track to a healthy weight.

When Was Your Cat’s Last Check-Up?

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Owners are sometimes reluctant to bring their cat to the veterinarian for wellness checkups. This can be for many reasons: sometimes they feel their cat is healthy or they don’t have any current medical concerns, or they believe the process is just too stressful for them and their feline companion.

You may ask why cats need routine wellness care. The primary reason is that cats are notorious for hiding their illnesses. They can hide symptoms until they are very, very ill, limiting treatment options for their owners. There are many issues that can be found or prevented during a physical examination and consultation with our Veterinary Team, most commonly:

  • Obesity: About 80% of the cats we see in the clinic are overweight. Excess weight can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. All of these conditions can be costly and will shorten your cat’s life. By addressing their weight early, we can avoid these health concerns and lengthen your cat’s lifespan.
  • Dental Disease: Severe dental disease is painful and leads to heart and kidney disease. Lack of prevention will cause pain and irreversible organ damage. By preforming routine wellness checks, we can diagnose oral disease in the early stages. With this early intervention, we can eliminate the effects of dental disease by providing easy tips on dental care that owners can provide at home, or dental cleaning options here at Bloor Animal Hospital.
  • Longevity issues including heart disease, thyroid disease, kidney disease: These are all medical conditions that, without treatment, will decrease your cat’s quality and length of life. Routine wellness care and early diagnosis can provide the best treatment options to deal with the progression of these conditions.
  • Nutritional Requirements: As a cat ages, their body changes and their nutritional requirements also change. Together with our Veterinary Team, the best nutritional plan for your cat can be can determined. Proper nutrition at each life stage is the easiest and most cost-effective way to prevent health problems in our pets.
  • Behavioural Problems: Let’s face it, sometimes cats can be a handful! Their mischievous ways are partly why we love them so much. However, sometimes these behaviours can make them difficult to live with. There are many resources for feline behaviour. By discussing any issues promptly with our Veterinary Team, we can help decrease or eliminate these issues, making everyone in the house happier.

REMOVING THE STRESS FROM YOUR CAT’S APPOINTMENTS     

Here are some great tips to help take the stress out of your cat’s appointment!

BEFORE YOU COME IN:

  • Always transport your cat in a cat carrier.
  • If you have multiple cats, each should have their own carrier.
  • The best carriers open from the top or front, and can be taken apart so that the cat can remain in the bottom for most of the exam if they wish.
  • Help the cat become accustomed to the carrier by leaving it open in the house and placing toys, treats, or food inside.
  • Place a soft, clean towel or familiar bedding in the bottom of the carrier.
  • Spray the carrier with facial pheromone (e.g., Feliway TM ) 10-15 minutes before traveling.
  • For very anxious cats, we recommend using a supplement called Zylkene (you will start the day before their appointment).
  • Secure the carrier in the foot well of the back seat of the car to avoid movement during transportation and airbag injuries.
  • When carrying the carrier, keep it stable and horizontal.
  • When you arrive, place the carrier on the seat beside you vs on the ground. This will help your cat feel safe and will help prevent any sniffing pooches from sticking their snout where it doesn’t belong.
  • Place a towel over the top of the carrier to help calm your cat and prevent other pets in the waiting room from making direct eye contact. You can spray this towel with the Feliway spray also!
  • At Bloor Animal Hospital, we are sensitive to feline anxiety. We use Feliway diffusers in the exam room as well as in the treatment room. Our staff are well-trained professionals and they strive to make our feline patients and their treatments as comfortable and quick as possible.

Ultimately, routine wellness examinations will improve your cat’s quality-of-life and increase their life-span. Prevention is also much easier and less expensive than treatment. Trips to Bloor Animal Hospital do not need to be stressful for either you or your cat!

If you have any questions about your cat’s health or would like to book a wellness check-up for your feline friend, please contact us today.

 

 

Source: cathealthy.ca

Deactivating Petly…New Exciting Changes!

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Discontinuation of Petly.

For the last few years we have used Petly to distribute your pet’s reminders for their medical care. We are grateful for the service they have provided us; however, technology has advanced and we have found a new provider that will be able to offer us more flexibility with our medical reminders and communication.

The new program is called Rapport! With this program, you will still have a pet portal where you can view your pet’s vaccine status and print vaccine certificates. With Rapport, you will have the added ability to schedule your own appointments online and allows us to communicate via text messaging.

Effective June 1st, your Petly account will be disabled. We will be sending out an email with a link to the new site and your login information.  Our staff will be happy to help answer any of your questions and we appreciate your understanding and patience during this transition.

Thank you,

Bloor Animal Hospital.

Let’s Talk! Pets and Our Mental Health

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Anyone who has had the pleasure of having a furry family member can certainly appreciate the love and joy that they bring to our lives. They can even help our to improve our mental health. How many of us would take a walk outside after coming home exhausted from a long day at work if not for our dog? How many of us have been comforted at times by a warm furry being when we really didn’t feel like being with any other human at all?

Pets increase our physical activity, provide companionship, add structure and routine to our day, help us to meet people, help to decrease our stress level and providing us with a sense of purpose. The tactile stimulation provided by stroking a pet can ease loneliness, provide unconditional love and help to decrease agitation, anxiety and depression. Pet therapy, or animal-assisted therapy, is recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health as a method of treatment for depression, and other mood disorders.

Enter my very own furry family member Louie. Louie was four years old when the OSPCA removed him and his puppies from an abusive home. His puppies were adopted out quickly, but not Louie. He was shy and skittish, and didn’t make a great first impression. Through a colleague, I learned of Louie and thought he would be a perfect addition to our family.

Louie took to our family immediately, especially to our children. He seeks them out when they are upset and allows them to hold him and pet him. At bed time, he will come racing from wherever he is to lay on his side, nose to nose with each child while they fall asleep – sometimes even resting his paws on their heads.

Through life and battles with depression and anxiety Louie has provided unconditional love and support for our family in a way I don’t think we ever could.

Pet ownership isn’t for everyone and I would never suggest anyone adopt a pet without being prepared for the responsibilities that come with it. In the spirit of Mental Health week, along with bringing awareness to our own mental health, it is important to give credit to our pets and the help they provide for us in so many unexpected ways. 

 

Written by Dr. Suzanne Lyons 

 

Leptospirosis: An Update From Bloor Animal Hospital

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Many dog owners have heard of Leptospirosis and know that it has something to do with raccoons, they also know that raccoons are no strangers to Bloor West.  Leptospirosis is not a new disease, nor is the vaccine for it.  What is new is the number of cases we have seen over the past couple of months.  We have had three confirmed cases in the last few months.  Two of these were fatal, and one dog has been left with kidney failure after a long stay at a local specialty hospital.

Here is what all dog owners need to know.  Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease which is spread through the urine of infected animals, with raccoons being the most common.  Dogs can catch this disease through contact with the urine directly or from water or soil that has been urine contaminated.   This could include drinking, swimming or walking through contaminated water (ex puddles or wet grass).  Signs of Leptospirosis often occur 2 to 14 days after exposure and include vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, fever and muscle pain.

Leptospirosis affects the kidneys and liver and hits them quickly and aggressively.  Diagnosis can be made through blood and urine testing.  Treatment consists of intravenous fluids and antibiotics, but due to the fierce nature of this disease, these poor animals are truly fighting for their lives and often end up succumbing to the disease or ending up with permanent kidney failure.  This disease can also affect humans in a similar way.

Each case we have seen has been a local dog with no travel history.  Therefore, we know that raccoons in Bloor West are carrying this disease.  Fortunately, a vaccine is available.  Based on this, we are recommending the vaccine to dogs in the area.  If your dog has not been vaccinated, we encourage you to visit your regular veterinarian and discuss it with them.  The recent cases of this disease have been devastating on pet owners.  As medical caregivers, we share in this sadness and hope that we can help avoid any more cases of Leptospirosis in Bloor West.

Check Out Our Webstore: Order Online & Save 5%!

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On our webstore you can:

 

  • Search over 2500 pet supplies and food

  • Arrange delivery to anywhere in Ontario, have your food waiting for you at the cottage, no more waiting in line or lugging large bags!

  • Set up automatic shipping: never run out of food and supplies. Set the frequency of your order and change it anytime.

  • Save 5% on all online orders!

  • For the month of June, enjoy free shipping on orders over $75!

  • Pick up at the clinic for free!

Register today! www.myvetstore.ca/blooranimalhospital

As of July 1st we will no longer be stocking bags of food greater than 4kg. All large bag orders will need to be ordered through the webstore or as a special order through the clinic. 

Travelling With Your Pet This Summer? Check Out These Tips!

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Summer is here, the last day of school is fast approaching and we are getting into vacation mode! Booking a summer get away for the family? Or maybe a romantic trip for two? It’s really easy to get caught up in the fun of planning that we can forget about our pets.  Will they come with? Should we board them at a facility? These decisions can quickly take the fun out of planning. Here are some tips to help keep you summer vacation planning just as exciting as the final school bell.

  1. Plan ahead! Everyone is thinking vacations right now. The sooner you discuss your plans, the more options you will have to choose from.
  2. Get your pet’s vaccinations up to date: All good boarding facilities will require your pet to be up to date on vaccines. Some cottage rentals and hotels may ask for this as well. Ideally, you want to get your pets vaccines caught up no sooner than 7 days before you leave, so the sooner the better.
  3. Parasite prevention! Regardless if you are taking your pet with you or if you are sending them on their own vacation, there is a good chance they will be exposed to more parasites than they usually are.  Speak to your vet about what preventives would be best suited for your pet.
  4. Planning on driving? Map out your route, consider pre-planning stops to stretch their legs and get some air.
  5. Can you even take your pet? When considering bringing your pet along, be sure this is allowed. Many rentals are pet friendly, some are not. Is there an additional cost for pets? What are the rules? Some require your pet to be with you at all times, this might not work for your plans.  If you are going to a family cottage be sure to ask if your furry companion is welcome too. Best to ask before you arrive.
  6. Thinking of a boarding facility? Ask for references and check the place out first! Leaving your pet can be stressful, being confident and comfortable with where they are staying will help. Pop by for a tour. Is it clean? Do they require vaccines? Are the pets housed separately or together? What happens if your pet gets sick? Do they require a trial stay first? Write down all your questions before you get there…a concentration of many cute animals is very distracting, believe me!
  7. Notify your vet! If you are leaving your pet under the care of a boarding facility or a friend, be sure to update your animal hospital. We need your permission to give out information about your pet. Let us know who is caring for your pet and for how long. If you are unreachable during your time away, communicate with us what your plan is if one of your pets gets injured or ill. Be sure to let the people caring for your pet who your vet is in case they have any problems while you are away.
  8. First Aid Kit: if you are taking your pet with you, bringing along a first aid kit is always a good idea. Be sure to include emergency clinic numbers in the area you are going, antihistamine and dose for your pet. If your pet is on medications, be sure to get a refill so you have enough. Keeping a small supply at home is great too, just in case you forget to pack them up for the trip home.
  9. Special Requirements: If you are travelling out of the country with your pet be sure to contact the embassy for the country and airline as soon as possible. There could special requirements, paperwork, vaccines needed to cross the border or board the flight. Often these are time sensitive and need to be scheduled with your vet so you don’t want to put this off.

So whether you choose to take your four legged pal with you or book them into a 5 star pet resort, we hope these tips help make the choice a smooth one. Happy planning!

carlos on the beach

 

Written by Ashley Docherty, R.V.T Practice Manager at Bloor Animal Hospital

Feature pictures courtesy of Pugsley and Carlos.

Nail Trims for Guide Dogs!

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Join us on Saturday May 13th to raise awareness & money for the Guide Dogs.

 

*Bake Sale

 

*Basket Raffle

 

*Nail Trim-a-Thon

 

….Meet upcoming Guide Dog Puppies!!

 

All proceeds go to the Lions Foundation of Canada in support of the Guide Dog Association

 

Call us today to book your pet in for their nail trim or pop by for a treat and meet the puppies!

 

guide pup