Hospital News and Views

Kittens Looking for Loving Home

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Meet Whelan and Olive. Both of these precious kittens are currently at our clinic and we are trying to find loving homes for them.

Whelan is the Orange and white kitten. He is 5 months old. He has been vaccinated, dewormed and neutered.

Olive is the Black kitten with splashes of white. She is 10 weeks old. She has received her first set of vaccinations and deworming.

Both are playful, curious and love lying around.

Please let us know if you are interested in bringing one of these little darlings into your home!

Ticks can be active starting at 4 degrees!

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March 1st 2017 Elmira’s daytime high reached 12 degrees Celcius! Yes I was excited I didn’t have to endure the battle of the snowsuits for my two young girls but another thing it brings up is new recommendations regarding Tick prevention. Over the last few years, Dr. Hirzer and I have been seeing an increase in Tick cases and are encouraging using prevention against them for dogs that live an active outdoor lifestyle. Ticks can become active at temperatures starting at 4 degrees and with predicted day time highs of 10 degrees again next week we are recommending starting prevention now in March and continuing until November.

Dr. Julie Fell

Tick Attack

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EngorgedTick ticks on finger ticks_on_dogs_2

Drop by the hospital to see Dr. Linda’s tick collection. She estimates that over the past 2 decades she encountered ticks on pets about a dozen times. Then, last summer alone she matched this, collecting over a dozen ticks from patients. Ticks are in the news as their populations seem to be growing and spreading.

Ticks are mysterious little creatures. They are lurking on the ground and vegetation waiting for their next meal to come along. The meal they are waiting for could be you or your pet. The following links provide current and accurate information about ticks and our pets.

This website provides a general overview of ticks and pets.

See live action video of various tick species.

The following link provides instructions on how to remove ticks.

A video of how to remove a tick.

Prepare yourself and your furry family for this season’s tick attack.

When you think of ticks think T I C K=TEST+INSPECT+CLAW+KILL


Test your pet for exposure to diseases that are spread by ticks. These include Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia. With a few drops of blood we can test your pet for antibodies to these diseases. The presence of antibodies indicates your pet has been bitten by a tick and has been infected by one of the above diseases. Pets that test positive can then be further assessed for evidence of ongoing infection and can be treated. Many pets with antibodies will have eliminated the infection but the fact that they were exposed is important information for their human companions. Evidence that your pet has been bitten by a tick means you were and may continue to be at risk.


Tick season begins as early as March so we are well into tick season now. Inspect your pet for ticks after outdoor activity.


Check out this video on how to remove a tick from your pet. We have a supply of Claws to help you with the process. Drop by the clinic for your free tick removing claw.


The apparent increase of ticks in our area has resulted in the licensing of several new products that can help control ticks on your pets. Nexgard and Bravecto are chewable treats that will kill ticks on your pet for 1 to several months. Revolution is applied topically and will prevent heartworm, ticks and fleas. Call or visit us and we will customize a parasite control program for the individual needs of your pet(s).

There was nothing wrong with this sick dog.

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 sick shi tzu

Keya is a long term patient of the North Waterloo Vet Hospital. We have been taking care of her for most of her 15 years. This summer, she was travelling with her owners, and had to visit a vet in the U.S. because she was limping. An exam and x-rays found nothing wrong with Keya. She was treated with antiinflammatory medication and her lameness improved. In September Keya came to see me becaue she had a poor appetite and was losing weight. She had a complete physical exam and blood testing and I could find nothing wrong with Keya. Even her occasionaly sore leg seemed to be fine. I decided she might have stomach irritation from taking the medication for her lameness and began treatment for an upset gut. She came back 2 weeks later. Now she was not eating at all and was very weak.  She could walk, was willing to eat treats and was alert but she seemed to have no energy. She had another physical exam and xrays and once again there was nothing wrong with Keya.

Keya was sick, but no one could find anything wrong with her.

I reviewed Keya’s health over the past few months with her pet parents and the topic of ticks emerged. They had had to remove several ticks from Keya over the past year. We collected another blood sample and sent it to the lab to be screened for tick borne diseases. Keya tested positive for Lyme disease. The signs of Lyme disease include lameness and loss of appetite and in dogs it can cause serious kidney disease.

Keya is currently being treated for Lyme disease and is responding.

Dogs that have had exposure to areas where ticks are present can be easily and inexpensively tested for tick transmitted diseases. Consider having your dog tested yearly.

For more about tick borne diseases:


When a Dog’s World Ends-Thunderstorms & Fireworks

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This is the time of year thunderstorms and fireworks can make some pets’ lives a living nightmare. Fears and phobias intensify over time. When dogs are young and their reaction to frightening things is mild the problem is easily overlooked or, at least, easy to live with. But when the fear intensifies and their reaction becomes destructive or dangerous, suddenly the pet parent is faced with a problem.

scared dog


The following articles will help you monitor and support your pet if they are developing a fear of thunderstorms and/or fireworks or are already terrified by these events.

This is a general article about fears and phobias:

This article is more specific to storm and fireworks phobias:

And this last article discusses treatment of these fears:

Please contact us if you think your pet is developing or is suffering from loud noise phobia.

Summer Teeth

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Meet Zoe, another one of North Waterloo Vet Hospital’s super cute patients. When I was checking her mouth, during her annual wellness visit,  her owner told me she had summer teeth. I looked at her a bit bewildered. She explained as I looked at Zoe’s teeth, “some are here, and some are there!”. It was a good description. It’s a good thing dog’s don’t smile.

Head Cones are so last year.

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This is Beans recovering from surgery. He needed something to protect the surgery site (protect it from his tongue) so his pet parent got him a Medi-shirt. The Pet Medi-shirt is what we recommend to keep wounds and incisions clean and protected. It is so much more comfortable for a dog or cat to wear than the plastic cone collars we used to use. The Medi-shirt is also quite stylish and costs the same as those awful cone shaped collars.

Zeus, a true Canadian dog.

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North Waterloo Veterinary Hospital would like to introduce you to one of our very special patients. Meet Zeus. He likes to watch Hockey Night in Canada. His favourite part of Hockey Night in Canada is Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry. As soon as he hears the music that introduces this segment of the show he comes racing to the T.V. In that familiar theme is a clip of Don Cherry’s dog, Blue, barking and that is Zeus’s most favourite part of the show. We haven’t told him that he has about 11 weeks of quiet Saturday nights before he gets to see and hear Blue again.

Zeus, a good old Canadian boy, eh?

Name the Lesion

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe posted this photo on our Facebook page and asked our friends to guess what it is.  We had one correct entry. This is an engorged tick on a dog. Tick season peaks in spring and fall so now is tick season. Pets can pick up ticks almost anywhere outdoors.  We have clients, right here in Elmira, who find several ticks on their dog every spring, often as early as March.  This pet spends most of its time in their yard and this is where he is getting ticks.  It doesn’t take a trip north or an off road adventure to find these tiny monsters.  Ticks attach to pets, and people, with their mouth apparatus and feed on their host’s blood. It can take a week for a tick to fill up and when full they let go and drop off.  When empty they are quite tiny but when engorged with blood they can more than triple in size.  This is usually when they are noticed but by this time they have already been on the pet for a week. Depending on the colour and length of your pet’s fur you may never see the attached tick.  The tick’s bite is not a concern but they can transmit organisms that cause serious illness in pets and people.  An example of such a disease is Lyme disease.  There are  currently no tick repellents or killers that will get rid of the parasite fast enough to prevent it transmitting disease.  If you find a tick on your pet we can help you remove it and we can send it for testing to determine if it is a carrier of any infectious organisms.  If you are unsure about your pet and exposure to ticks we have an in-clinic test that can be done on a very small blood sample which will tell us if your pet has been exposed to 3 of the most common tick transmitted diseases.

Search under Pet Health for more information about ticks and pets or go to the link below.