Getting a new pet?  Purebred or mixed-breed? Tips and traps

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Getting a new pet? Purebred or mixed-breed? Tips and traps

Purebred dogs and cats- A 'purebred' means that the genetic history of a domestic animal's ancestors has been tracked, recorded, and registered. This record is called a pedigree.  If a pet is being sold as a purebred but does not have a pedigree from a recognized registry (Canadian Kennel Club, Cat Fanciers Association) then it is technically not a purebred.  It is fradulent under the Canadian Pedigree Act to sell a pet as a "purebred" and not have a pedigree. It may look like a purebred, but without a pedigree you really don't know.

  Purebred dogs and cats have well known physical and behavioral characteristics.  This is an advantage if you desire specific physical or behavioral traits.  On the other hand, purebred pet's may be predisposed to certain genetic diseases.  Reputable breeders should be able to show that the pet's parents have been screened or tested for these defects as much as possible. Reputable breeders are more interested in promoting the health and welfare of the breed than generating income.  

  Mixed-breed pets are usually not just a generation away from purebreds but may be the result of several generations of outbreeding.  They often get described as the result of a 2-purebred cross like a "Shepherd-Collie"  for example,  but may have the genetics of many breeds.  This can reduce the chance of genetic diseases but also makes it more difficult to predict physical and behavioral characteristics.  Mixed-breed cats are much more common than purebreds.  You can help provide a home for shelter and rescue/abandoned pets by adopting a mixed-breed pet.  Be cautious of internet rescue purchases from foreign countries.  Most are legitimate, but some have the main purpose of taking your money. Get some references.

There are reliable internet kits to test the DNA of your mixed-breed dog.  This helps you and your veterinarian understand your dog's health better.

 

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Lumps and Bumps

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Lumps and Bumps

At least once a week, run your hands all over your pet's body.  You will usually feel a lump, bump, or rash before it is visible, especially in long-haired dogs and cats.  This can be a time to groom your pet and they will enjoy the physical contact.  Check all those hard to see places- armpits, underbelly, and under the tail.

 Any new lumps that you find should be checked by your veterinarian.  It may be a harmless swelling, but if not, treatment is always more successful when started early.

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Positive Rabies case in Parksville

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Positive Rabies case in Parksville

We have been notified by a veterinary practice in the Parksville area that a bat has tested positive for Rabies virus.

Please make sure your dog or cat is vaccinated against Rabies. 

Fortunately, this disease is rare on Vancouver Island, but it is a potentially fatal disease that humans can acquire if bitten by a rabid animal.  Bats are the main vector for the disease in our area, but any animal can become infected and transmit the virus.

Our pets are curious and are attracted to a sick, weakened bat that could bite them. 

 

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Itchy skin!!  Licking and chewing.

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Itchy skin!! Licking and chewing.

Itchy skin in pets is common year round but is worse in the summer. Dogs and cats can be miserable from chronic skin irritation.  People stay awake at night stressed by their pet's restlessness.  Here are some tips to help your pet's skin health:

Grooming- Daily brushing for medium and long coat breeds.  Regular clipping and grooming for continuously growing coats. This includes cats.  It is more difficult for older cats to effectively groom so they benefit from grooming and clipping.

Diet- many pets with itchy skin will benefit from natural supplements in high quality veterinary diets.  Some pets need hypoallergenic diets to help with their itchy skin.  See your veterinarian for adivice on this.

Parasite control-  our temperate climate means that fleas, ticks, lice and mites may be the source of your pet's itch.  We have many safe and effective parasite control products.

Bathing-  This reduces allergen exposure, flushes follicles, and decreases the bacterial and yeast numbers on skin.  Please ask us about our medicated baths.  Make sure to bathe your pet in cool water and towel dry.  Some cats will be happy to be bathed. 

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Beat the Heat!

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Beat the Heat!

The sunshine is great, especially on the west coast, but we have seen an increase in heat-related illnesses in our patients.  If your pet has one of these risk factors, you should take extra caution for him/her on these hot days:

Senior/geriatric pets

Respiratory disease or flat-faced breeds  

Heart Problems

Obesity/large breeds

Thick coat or skin problems

Hormonal diseases- Addisons, Cushings, Thyroid

  Avoid travel or exercise mid-day, never leave your pet in a parked car, have plenty of water (even when travelling), seek shade, use a sponge bath or water spray bottle especially on head/paws/ears, have a wading pool/go swimming, and use fans. 

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Why Microchip your pet?

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Why Microchip your pet?

Microchips are about the size of a rice grain and can be injected under your pet's skin in the shoulder region.  They transmit a digital signal when 'scanned'.  Each pet has a unique number that is registered in a database and can be searched to find your contact information in case your pet goes missing.  Almost all veterinarians, animal shelters, and SPCA's have scanners.

Microchips are more successful than tattoos for returning lost pets to their owners.  They are permanent and cannot be altered.  They can be injected into any breed or size of dogs and cats. Our veterinarians or animal health technologists can inject the chip.  Please call us for any questions you may have.

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