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Mitchell Veterinary Services Discusses Considering Euthanasia of Your Pet

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How do you know when it’s time?

This is a very sensitive topic and a difficult one to address. We all hope that our pet will grow to an extremely old age and pass away in its sleep, but that is not something that is in our control.  What is in our control is making sure that our pet is comfortable and has a good quality of life while it is under our care.

You want to look at the big picture – is your pet having more good day or bad? Is your pet having more good parts to the day than bad?  Compare your pet today to your pet at their best.

Here are some questions to ask when measuring your pets quality of life:

1)      Is he mobile? Can your dog get outside to urinate and defecate and go for walks?  Can your cat posture in the litter box?  Do you need to carry your pet?

2)      Does she have an appetite? Do you have to coax it with lots of different temptations?  Are they eating enough calories to maintain a healthy body weight?

3)      Is he happy to see you? Is he interactive or do they prefer to hide?  Is he grumpy or disoriented?

4)      Is she vomiting? Do they have diarrhea or difficulty eating?

5)      Is he sore? This is a challenging one to answer correctly because cats and dogs hide their pain, a survival technique that their ancestors use in the wild.  Here are some signs to look for:

  1. Limping, stiffness, reluctance to be handled
  2. Bad odour – from the breath or skin or genital region
  3. Lack of grooming (dull, oily or flaky coat)
  4. Vocalizing – crying, whimpering or hissing or panting
  5. Unexplained weight loss
  6. Open wounds or trauma

The questions above are meant to provide a checklist that can help you assess your pet’s current quality of life. The next question then becomes – what are the options available to control my pet’s pain and what can be done to improve its quality of life? After consulting with a veterinarian, pain management can be instituted if appropriate.  Sometimes humane euthanasia is an appropriate option.

Many people experience a sense of grief when their companion animal’s health has declined and they are faced with the overwhelming task of considering medically-assisted death for their pet. The Mitchell Veterinary Services team can help you assess your pet’s comfort and offer recommendations, as well as support during this difficult time.  We are pet owners ourselves and want to listen to your concerns regarding your pet’s welfare.

 

Happy New Year from Mitchell Veterinary Services

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As we leave 2015 behind and look forward to a brand new year, we just wanted to take a moment to appreciate our pets and also thank you, our clients, for your patronage.

At the risk of sounding nostalgic, for “auld lang syne” (which is old Scottish for “old times” sake), we remember our patients that are no longer with us. Part of the beauty of having an animal companion is their unconditional affection. Despite their shorter lifespan, the impact a pet can have on your life cannot be overstated.

As we see puppies and kittens during their first appointment that grow into adulthood and then become seniors, our hearts are touched by them, knowing they hold such an important role in their families’ lives, for whatever length of time they are with them.

We are blessed to have our clients share this special human-animal bond with us. We just wanted to say thanks!

May the New Year bring joy, good health and prosperity to you and your loved-ones, from the staff at Mitchell Veterinary Services.

Farm Dog Hazards as Seen by Mitchell Vet Services

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 Many of our clients’ dogs spend a lot of time on the farm.  These wonderful and hard-working dogs rarely leave the property and provide companionship year-round.  Here are some common yet potentially fatal hazards that farm dog owners should be aware of:

 Poisons

1) Eating rat poison causes blood to stop clotting and the dog can die from blood loss. 

2) Anti-freeze from a car is a sweet liquid that can cause fatal kidney failure if ingested. 

3) The slow-release coccidiostat bolus is a product intended for the stomach of dairy cows – if a dog chews on this plastic device, it could receive a lethal dose of drug that will paralyze them.

 Vehicles

We at Mitchell Vet Services don’t recommend that you let your dog ride in the bed of your truck or on four-wheelers.  We have seen trauma, including broken bones, as a result of dogs falling out or jumping out of a moving vehicle.  Farm dogs are also at a higher risk of being hit by a car, especially if they are free-roaming.  Male dogs are sexually mature by 6 months of age and desperately want to find a mate.  Spaying and neutering can discourage your dog from roaming behaviour.  Consider a fencing system or kennel to keep your dog away from the road as well.

 Extreme weather

Farm dogs need access to shelter from extreme weather.  Hypothermia can occur in very cold or windy temperatures and these pets may require heating pads or heating lamps.  On the other extreme, in the summer with hot weather, farm dogs with thick coats may need to be groomed to prevent heat stroke.  Having a small kid pool with cool water would allow your pet to jump in to cool down as well.

Diseases

Rabies, Distemper and Leptospirosis are higher risk diseases for farm dogs as they are exposed to wildlife.  Proper vaccinations can provide protection from these diseases.

 Farm dogs deserve the best care we can give them. Prevent potential hazards so they can enjoy farm life and all the fun that comes with it!

 

 

Some Fun Facts about Animal Genetics offered by Mitchell Veterinary Services

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1)    Are tortoiseshell cats always female?

 Yes.  Tortoiseshell and calico cats are the result of a sex-linked gene and require two X chromosomes to appear. Generally, these colour patterns will only be seen in females.  Very rarely, these colour patterns may be seen in male cats, but these males are genetically abnormal and are almost always infertile.

Lil Thalheimer Snickers 6233sni062813

2)     Are white cats always deaf?

No.  Some white cats are deaf and some are not.  When a white cat has blue eyes, it’s more likely to be deaf than a white cat with gold or green eyes.  Deaf cats make perfectly good house pets, although they should not be allowed outside because they can’t hear cars coming.

 

Daphne has green eyes, so she can hear, but like many cats, sometimes chooses not too!

3)  Siamese cats, Himalayans and Ragdolls (cats with “points”), are born white and gradually darken with age.  A young pointed cat will have a much lighter body colour than an older pointed cat.

 KateHickmott Meisha 6154mei013013

4)   Dalmatians are also born white and gradually develop dark spots with age. 

5)   What is a free-martin?

A free-martin is a female calf that grew in the uterus with a male twin.  The twins exchange genetic material with each other through their placentas.  As a result, the female calf has some male cells.  She will look normal on the outside, but her internal reproductive organs are altered and she is infertile.  This phenomenon also occurs sometimes in other mammals, including sheep, goats and pigs.

 

Mitchell Veterinary Services Provides Stress Reducing Tips for Travelling with Your Cat

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Transporting cats can often be a stressful event for both you and your cat.  Here at Mitchell Veterinary Services, we can offer some tips for reducing your cat’s stress and create a pleasant visit for you and your cat.

The first tip is to understand your cat’s behaviour.  Cats need time to scope out new situations, people, carriers, and their surroundings.  Stay calm and move slowly while they are becoming familiar with new things.  Use tasty treats, petting and play to encourage your cat to come near the carrier.  Place familiar soft bedding in the carrier prior to the veterinary visit so your cat can sleep there in the quietness of its own home. 

To make your cat’s trip pleasant and safe, use a carrier.  Put the carrier in a small room with few hiding places and then bring the cat into the room and close the door.  Hard-sided carriers that open from the top are best because the top half can be removed.  You can offer treats or toys to entice your cat to walk into the carrier or your cat can be simply cradled and lowered into the carrier.

Some cats get anxious for the car ride.  A blanket placed over the carrier for privacy can help with the adventure.  The carrier should be secured with a seat belt.  In the rare case that the previous tips have not been successful then contact your Mitchell Veterinary Services Team and we can continue to help you create at pleasant experience for you and your cat.