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Trim Tuesdays for Cancer

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On Tuesday afternoons, from 2 to 5 pm we are offering nail trims for $5. The money collected will be donated to local charities. On April 26 we participated in the Great Ride N Stride for Cancer. From our Tuesday Trims and various sponsors we raised $690. One of the ways the Cancer Society uses this money is to fund the cost of volunteer drivers who help cancer patients travel to medical appointments. Dr. Linda’s mother benefitted from this program last year when she needed rides to her daily radiation treatments. Although Dr. Linda took her to most of these appointments, the cancer volunteer drivers helped so Dr. Linda could be here for her clients and patients. Our Trim Tuesday fund raising continues with the next charity to be announced in June. Any suggestions?


Tick Attack

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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).

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How to give a cat a pill.
By Dr. Linda
Deciding to go on vacation starts with me arranging cat care, dog care, horse care and house care. One of the extra chores added to cat care this year was giving our cat, Oliver, his medication. Oliver has lymphoma and is on medication to temporarily control the problem. He requires a pill every day.
I have no problem opening a cat’s mouth and poking a pill down the throat but I didn’t want Ollie to have a pill forced down his throat every day of his last days so I have been using Pill Pockets to give him his medication. These are little cylinder shaped soft treats for cats. A pill can be placed into the cylinder and then the treat can be molded into a little ball and the cat eats the treat without knowing there is a pill inside. To make sure Ollie didn’t detect the pill I would give him 1 or 2 treats without a pill, then the pill loaded treat and then a few more empty pill pockets. This was successful and so easy that my 10 year old daughter assumed the task of giving Ollie his daily medication.
The cat care team was shown the technique and off we went for a two week vacation.
This is a summary of the cat care team’s email updates.
Day 3: Ollie was no longer eating his pill pockets. What should they do? I suggested giving the pill in vanilla yogurt which he loves.
Day 5: The yogurt worked until today. I suggested coating the pill in cream cheese.
Day 6: Ollie doesn’t like cream cheese. The cat care team had found a veterinary technician that was available to give the pill but she was only available for the next 3 days.
Day 9: Last day of the professional help. I suggested canned cat food. The cat care team went shopping.
Day 10: canned food working well.
Day 11: Ollie was no longer eating the canned food so the team tried a different flavour and had success.
Day14: Ollie ate his pill in canned food every day as long as the flavour changed.
Lessons learned:
1. Cats are super tasters. Once a food is associated with the taste or smell of medication it is on the never eat again list so be creative with pill disguises.
2. If you might need a pet sitter, be nice to everyone and make sure there are always a few friends who owe you a big favour. (Thanks Janet)
3. Our website and You Tube have lots of tips on giving cats medication.
From our website:
Useful Tips From You Tube:

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?

A sad week at the clinic

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fluffyThis is a sad story but I hope it makes pets’ lives safer.

On Monday morning I spayed a very sweet puppy named Fluffy. The surgery was routine and Fluffy recovered well from the procedure. By mid afternoon, she was alert, her tail was wagging and she was hungry.  The only slightly unusual thing was a bit of bloody fluid seeping from her incision throughout the afternoon.  This is not an entirely unusual occurrence. She was discharged that afternoon. Tuesday, the day after surgery, we called to check on Fluffy. She was active, alert and eating well. Her incision was still oozing and she was also bleeding from her vulva. This is not normal. The owner was unable to bring her to the clinic that day. The next day Fluffy was still bleeding and she was becoming weak and inactive. She was admitted to the clinic. She had a very low red blood cell count and was bleeding from the spay incision and from her vulva. Her blood was not clotting. This can be caused by ingestion of rodent poison but there was no such poison at her home and she was closely supervised when outdoors. Another possible cause was an inherited clotting defect. In this case she needed a blood transfusion and this was not available. We treated her for all possible causes within the owners financial means. She continued to bleed. Wednesday evening we got a message from the owner that rat poison had been put out in the home a week ago. We had our diagnosis. We had already started treatment for this possibility. Sadly, everyone’s efforts were just a bit too late and dear little Fuffy passed that evening.

I tell this very sad story to remind everyone that rodent poison ie. rat bait is extremely toxic to pets. It is made to attract rodents with a good smell and taste. It also smells and tastes good to dogs and cats. Your pet will look for it and dig it out of its hiding place. These poisons are very potent and work quickly so immediate treatment is needed and can be very successful. Do not put rodent poison anywhere that a pet can get it and if a pet is exposed contact your veterinarian immediately.