Wednesday, 2 March 2016

What a day for a haircut

Hello friends!

Well I've been told it's been a mild winter.  Still chilly on these little paws if  you want my opinion.  But when do I have do go for a haircut?  The day before the biggest snowstorm of the season!  Now I definitely need both my sweater and my jacket!  Good thing I had a little more fuzz when I was in the country last week.

As you can see this weather really tuckered me out.

I don't have the energy to write much today, but I am hoping the pictures of me and Ozzy in the country last week will inspire my friends.  So please get your humans to snap a picture of you out braving this snow and we'll post it on our Facebook page!  I can't be the only pretty face up there :>)  Just have your human e-mail the picture to

xo Bailey

Friday, 26 February 2016

Home at Last

Well who would have thought that on one of the coldest weeks of the year I would be hanging out in the country!  My family decided to take off and go skiing so that means a country adventure for me!  You all know how I feel about skiing - waaaay too slippery and scary.  I prefer a light jog or a cozy bed, actually let's be honest, a cozy bed is where it's at.

It's always nice to have a change of scenery, but there is nothing better than getting back home.  Plus I missed all my friends at the clinic!  It is a lot of effort sometimes for me to lift my head when I am in a deep sleep and greet all your smiling faces but it's totally worth it :>) The day my mommy was supposed to come and pick me up it was terrible weather and I thought she might not make it!  She arrived around lunchtime though - whew!  I spent the rest of the afternoon snuggled up in my cozy bed behind the front desk at the clinic.

I thought you might like to see some pictures of me enjoying country life.

xoxo Bailey

Friday, 19 February 2016

When do the ticks come out?

Hello friends!

My family is away on vacation this week so I am hanging out in the country!  It therefore seems appropriate for me to talk about ticks!  Not that they are only found out here, we see lots in the city too but I always make sure I am up to date on my tick medication when I visit my family in the country.

We have had lots of questions at the clinic about ticks and when to start tick preventive medications.  We've had such a funny warm winter and a few dogs come in with ticks in January!  Not that they are active now, Mother Nature took care of that with the most recent cold spell, but the question we are getting is "when do we start tick medication?"

It's a good question and it seems to change every year.  What's important to remember is that ticks are active when the temperature rises above 4 degrees Celsius.  The deer tick, that transmits Lyme disease is active throughout the season but more so in the Spring and the Fall when the temperatures are cooler.  So when the temperatures are consistently over 4 degrees we should start thinking about starting our medication for ticks!  This year that may be as early as March.

There are three different kinds of tick preventive medication:

1. Advantix - applied on the skin over the back once monthly.  This product has the ability to kill ticks before they attach and start feeding.

2. Nexgard - a monthly chewable designed to kill ticks quickly once they start feeding (I've tried them - they are delicious!)

3. Bravecto - an every 3 month chewable (I've tried this one too !!)

If you are interested in starting a tick preventive, someone here at the clinic can help decide which is right for your furry friend!  And as an added bonus - they are kill fleas too.

Remember tick prevention is separate from heartworm prevention.  No need to worry about the heartworm test until after March 31st.  Heartworm prevention starts in the summer - June 1st to November 1st.  But feel free to give us a call about ticks before this!

I am off for a run down the lane!  It's warmer out today but I still think I'll wear my sweater and my coat.  Maybe my mummy will take a picture when she picks me up in a few days that I can share with you all!

Despite the fact that we need to worry about ticks, I can't wait for the warmer weather!

xoxo Bailey

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Friday, 29 January 2016

Yeasty Beasties

Good morning friends!

Poor me, this morning I had to get my lepto vaccine :>(  I dislike this vaccine so much I think I even blogged about it last year and called the post the "skunk bug".  But I should stop being so self absorbed and talk about something that might be useful to my furry friends!

The doctors here at the clinic have been away at the OVMA Conference in Toronto learning all sorts of new and interesting things!  (Don't worry - one of them always stays back to hold down the fort at the clinic.)  Yesterday they learned about Malassezia - say what?  I know, who names these things?  Basically it's just yeast, no, not the kind you would make bread with but the kind that makes us dogs itchy and crazy!

There can be a very small amount of yeast in the ears and even less so on the skin all the time, but if the numbers get too high it makes us very uncomfortable.  Our skin tends to get greasy, red, flaky and stinky - yuck!  Apparently some dogs are more likely to get it than others, like dashunds (they love to grow it in their armpits!), Bassett Hounds, Cocker Spaniels and Shih Tzus.  Some dogs are actually allergic to yeast and it only takes a few extra on their skin to make them really itchy and uncomfortable!

So how do we figure out if yeast is the problem?  Usually these little beasties can be found on what is called skin cytology.  A piece of clear tape is stuck on the skin then when it is lifted up all those little yeast bugs stay with it.  Then it is stained and examined under a microscope.  Yeast actually look like little snowmen under a microscope so they are fun to look for!

Fortunately there are a few ways we can deal with too many yeast on the skin.  A medicated bath is one way, or medication in the form of a cream on the skin or a pill is another way.  

This is very important news for our allergic friends!  Whether they have food allergy, an allergy to something in the air or some other skin disease, they are at higher risk of also having yeast on their skin.  If we don't treat the yeast then we won't really be scratching the itch!  Something else the skin specialist mentioned that needs to be kept in mind:  yeast usually grows out of control because of another problem, so we need to work hard to find out what that might be.  Otherwise, you guessed it, the yeast comes back.

Well, I think I need a nap now, I am starting to feel a little sleepy after my vaccine, and am starting to feel a little itchy myself talking about this yeasty stuff.

I included a picture of a more delicious form of yeast :>)  Now I'm hungry.  Picutre courtesy of Pixabay.

xoxo Bailey

Friday, 15 January 2016

Stay Warm Friends!


With this recent cold spell I feel the need to remind all my furry friends to stay inside and stay warm!  Yes, our little paws were made for walking, but not for a long time when it gets this cold!  Remember we can get frostbite too.

To my fellow dog friends:  Please don't be embarrassed about wearing a coat.  I have a sweater and a coat!  And actually I find it usually results in more snuggles from our human friends because for some reason they think we look super cute in them.  I don't think my human friends look more adorable in their coats, but oh well, for now I'll just enjoy the extra hugs.  I don't know about you, but I also find all that salty stuff they sprinkle on the roads so annoying on my feet!  I wish I could get used to my boots but it feels like I'm stuck in the mud!  I saw a little dog prancing happily down the street the other day with his very stylish boots on and it made me a little envious.  I should go home and practice, trouble is I can't get them on myself.  For now I just put up with the salt and my mommy kindly wipes my feet when we get home.  Sometimes I also just flat out refuse to walk.  Fortunately I am small enough that I can do this, and my mommy carries me the rest of the way home.  So keep your walks short in this cold weather!

To my cat friends:  I know you are all too embarrassed to wear a coat and you consider it beneath your dignity so I won't even try.  There is no need to be a hero and get out there to defend your territory in this weather.  Step outside if you need a breath of fresh air and to make sure everything is in order, but that squirrel can be chased another day.  Head back inside and find a cozy bed or blanket.  Just because your crazy human goes outside doesn't mean you have to!

I thought you might like to see a picture of my in my nice cozy sweater:

Hugs from Bailey xoxo

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Lumps and Bumps

Hello all!  I am going to take a break from spreading holiday cheer and talk a little bit about lumps and bumps.  No not the lumps and bumps that are appearing on my hips from all these delicious dog treats I am getting this Christmas.  I am talking about the lumps and bumps that don't go away with a few extra runs around the block.  If you find a lump on your furry friend sometimes it's hard to know what to do about it!  So here are some things to think about...

Small lumps and bumps found on your pet may seem insignificant, and sometimes they are, but in many cases they can become quite large and troublesome.  We often are asked the question, if it’s just small, why would we need to biopsy (sample) or remove it?

Some lumps are totally benign.  Examples of benign masses are cysts or warts that remain only a few millimeters or a centimeter and never become a problem.  We don’t need to worry about them spreading to other areas of the body.  Some of these lumps on certain breeds, like Cocker Spaniels or Poodles have a distinctive appearance and we can be confident enough based on their appearance to tell pet owners that they are very unlikely to ever be an issue.

Then there are the benign lumps that don’t necessarily pose a health risk as far as spread to distant areas of the body, but can become quite large and cumbersome over time.  A few examples would be lipomas (fatty masses) or soft tissue sarcomas.  These can start out just a few centimeters but grow to 15cm or larger.  If they are found in areas like a leg or near the face they can interfere with vision or movement.

The lumps that are the most concerning are ones that grow quickly, bleed, are irritating for the pet or appear in an unwell animal.

So why would we want to sample a mass first?  Why not just take it off?  It all boils down to knowing what we are dealing with before surgery.  Some masses can be removed easily with small “margins.”  This means that we only need to take a half centimeter of normal looking skin around the mass to remove the whole thing and our pets go home with small incisions.  Some other masses however, like soft tissue sarcomas require several centimeters of “normal” looking tissue to prevent them from coming back.  This can be a problem if it’s a large mass in an area where there is not a lot of extra normal skin, like the face or a paw.  In these cases sometimes follow up treatments like radiation therapy are required to get rid of the little bits of mass that didn’t get removed at surgery. 

The bottom line is that small lumps are much more easily removed.  Smaller lumps require a smaller incision which means an easier recovery from surgery for our patients.  We also have more anesthetic concerns in older patients.  The 2cm mass in a 5 year old dog is a lot less risky to remove than the now 12 cm bleeding mass in a 13 year old dog that has to be removed because it’s getting in the way.  Just some food for thought!

And speaking of dinner is calling.  I'll try to make my next post a more festive one! 

Happy Holidays friends!!

xoxo Bailey

Friday, 23 October 2015

Urinary problems

Some of you may think that I am running out of topics to blog about since I have resorted to talk about pee.  On the contrary, the vets at my clinic went to a whole lecture on the stuff earlier this week.  Who would have thought you could talk about such a thing for hours?  While eating supper.  Anyways, the topic was "urological emergencies."  So basically emergencies of the urinary tract.  Something I don't really think about on a daily basis, I take for granted that I go out and do my buisness in the morning without pain or discomfort, little did I realized how lucky I am.  The speaker was an emergency specialist from the Ontario Veterinary College and she talked (among other things) about blocked cats.  Blocked?  That sounds horrible.  This can happen to dogs too but more often to cats, when they just can't pee, usually because small stone or some crystals are stuck in their urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside world).  I know what it feels like when I am just waiting for my mom at the end of the day to hurry up and take me outside and I am dancing around and crossing my little back legs to hold it in.  Imagine how it would feel to not be able to go?  Well apparently there are some simple things we can do to help prevent cats and dogs from suffering from this awful situation!  There are some foods that can help stones and crystals from forming in the first place!  There is a new one for cats that is a weight loss food and a urinary food all in one!  Trouble is overweight cats are more likely to develop urinary problems so Hill's Pet Nutrition decided to combine their Metabolic weight loss diet and their Multicare urinary diet into one - how smart is that?

Here is a picture:

No pictures of me today, I'm afraid.  I took the day off so I am home catching up on my blog and trying to decide what I am going to be for Halloween!  Stay tuned!

xoxo Bailey