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So, You’re Thinking About Getting a Puppy ?

puppy

Things to consider before adding a new puppy to the family:

The purchase price is only the first investment in a happy, healthy family member. It is very important to consider many other questions before taking home the puppy you saw advertised.

Most humane societies or rescue organizations have a calculated estimate, and should be able to provide you with a list of expected expenses for the first year. Additional veterinary exams and vaccine costs, fees for spaying/neutering if not already completed, licensing fees, toys and food should also be considered. Larger breeds will eat more food and may also need multiple sized toys as they grow to ensure they are not likely to ingest toys that become too small. If it is a breed that is likely to develop allergies, specialty diets may be needed and these may incur more expense.

If you are purchasing from a breeder or individual pet owner, be sure to get documentation of previous vaccines. Unfortunately, some individuals may say the puppies has vaccines completed, but one set of vaccines is not adequate protection against Parvo virus or distemper. The puppy needs additional vaccines at specific time intervals to have the best protection, similar to human vaccinations.

Consider pet insurance as soon as purchasing or before you get your puppy. Purebred puppies may already have insurance and you only need to continue this. Most pet insurance companies offer a 30 day free trial. Many people are unaware of the costs involved if your puppy becomes ill, or has an accident . Treating for Parvo virus or a broken leg can easily cost more than a thousand dollars and this can be cost prohibitive for many people.

Have your puppy examined by a veterinarian within a few days of arrival to ensure he or she does not have any congenital or health issues you were not aware of such as heart murmurs, hernias, skin or joint issues.  Many breeders request you to do this for their own health guarantees, if they provide one.

Find out what food the puppy is eating and make sure you have some of this food on hand when you bring your puppy home. Diet changes of any type can cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset and diarrhea if done too rapidly. We recommend transitioning to a new diet over a weeks time. This means mixing 3/4 of old food with 1/4 new food for a few days, then feed 1/2 and 1/2 for a few days, then finally 3/4 new food to 1/4 old food, and lastly to 100% new food.

Plan where you are going to keep your puppy, get a crate or puppy pen before you bring him home. Find out if the puppy has been crate trained by the breeder. This may only consist of being separated from it’s siblings for short periods of time and placed in a crate with a toy. This may not seem like much, but it is very helpful in making the puppies first few nights away from the rest of the litter less stressful for both you and your new puppy.

Have a puppy Kong or toy at home for the first night. All puppies chew, so having something available can be helpful from day one. Again the breeder may send the puppy with a familiar object (toy or blanket) to help the transition.

Traveling with your puppy in a crate or carrier is recommended, especially when they are small. It keeps them safe and contained and can minimize mess if the puppy vomits or has diarrhea during the car ride. You can take baby wipes, additional towels or bedding with you for the trip home. Many puppies will get car sick, and will need to be exposed to short, frequent car rides to ‘grow out ‘ of being car sick.

Ask the breeder about the schedule the puppy is on. When does he get up? how often does he eat?  Have they started house training? Trying to mimic the same schedule will help when adapting to the new routine.

All puppies can benefit from puppy classes. These can be socialization classes (where they learn impulse control) and manners when playing with other puppies. This can be very beneficial for shy puppies, or very small breeds. This is also beneficial for puppies that have had limited contact with strangers (basically non family members) as most classes have owners interacting with all puppies. Some classes focus more on basic obedience such as walking on leash, and commands such as sit and down etc. It is important that you ask when enrolling to make sure to understand what will be covered.

It is rare for puppies to learn everything expected of them by taking just one set of classes. Many facilities have multiple class levels available.

When considering puppy ownership, be sure you plan to spend the time needed for training either in a class setting or on your own. Well behaved dogs have spent time learning how to be well behaved. They do not know intuitively know how to become a terrific pet, and may develop bad habits when left without training.

Puppies require time and monetary investment to bloom or grow into the best family pet they can be!

Written by Susan Herbert, Registered Veterinary Technologist.

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Rabies – Vaccinate to Save Lives

rabies

Think rabies is a thing of the past or only found in undeveloped countries? Think again! Even in Alberta in 2018, rabies infections occur. The virus is typically found in wildlife such as bats, skunks, raccoons, coyotes and foxes. These wild animals can come into contact with pets and humans.

Rabies positive cases in Alberta:

2018 – indoor/outdoor cat in Longview, AB, infected by a bat. 9 bats also tested positive.

2013 – puppy from Nunavut, infected by an arctic fox

2010 – cat

2006 – cat

Rabies is 100% preventable through vaccination. Vaccinating your pets not only protects them, but all of the people they come in contact with.

Transmission of the virus occurs through the saliva, typically through a bite or possibly a scratch. The virus attacks the central nervous system and brain and can lead to death within days of symptoms becoming apparent. Rabies is fatal once symptoms appear. There is no cure. Early symptoms include fever, headache, weakness and discomfort escalating to insomnia, anxiety, confusion, paralysis, excitation, hallucinations, agitation, hyper salivation, difficulty swallowing and fear of water.

If you or your pet is bitten by an animal, wild or domestic, wash the wounds and seek immediate care to assess for potential rabies concerns and treatment. To find out if your pet is up to date on their rabies vaccine, or to book an appointment to have them vaccinated call Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573.

Sources:

ABMVA Alberta Veterinary Medical Association. Rabies Positive Cat. November 22, 2018. https://abvma.in1touch.org/uploaded/web/ABVMA%20ENEWS/2018/Nov%2021,%202018/Rabies%20notification_AAF.pdf.

CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rabies. November 22, 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.

WHO World Health Organization. Rabies. November 22, 2018. http://www.who.int/rabies/en/.

 

Celebrating Veterinarians on World Veterinary Day – Meet Our Veterinarian!

Dr. Gabby Rotaru

Gabby

Dr. Gabby Rotaru believes she has the best job in the world: if you think about it, what other job fills your heart with so much joy that it really brings tears to your eyes, makes you laugh and wonder, discover and create, is never boring and so uplifting? And in what other job can you feel that you truly make lives better (pets and owners alike) and learn every day from each and every pet you meet? There is this invisible bond that forms between you and all animal lovers that come through the door: owners and pets are a second family to her, they get to know each other, trust and respect each other and for this she is so grateful!

Dr. Gabby moved to Canada in 2001 with two cats and two dogs. She feels it was definitely one of the best decisions she ever made! She graduated in 1997 in Romania, Europe and has worked in the small animal field ever since.

Dr. Gabby truly enjoys the combination of internal medicine, surgery, dentistry, radiology and laboratory, which make her job so interesting. She also enjoys educating people how to prevent disease in their pets, this is where the true challenge is! Working emergencies for about 5 years before becoming the practice owner at Chestermere made her realize that some things can be prevented and it is up to us to help our pets stay out of trouble and stay healthy!

In her spare time she loves going biking and hiking with her dog Moxie, or cuddling on the sofa with her two cats Ziggy and Felix. She also enjoys spending time with friends and participating in different activities with them. Yoga, gardening and feng shui are other ways Dr. Gabby uses to relax and appreciate all the blessings in her life.

5 Tips to Help an Overweight Pet

Just like humans, pets can become overweight and experience a wide range of health concerns related to the extra pounds. Not only does the extra weight exert extra stress to bones, joints and ligaments, but an overweight pet is also more at risk of developing diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, increased blood pressure, thyroid problems, heat intolerance, difficulty breathing, lower stamina, decreased liver function, increased surgical/anesthetic risk, reproductive problems, digestive disorders, decreased immune system, increased cancer risk, skin and hair problems and decreased life span and quality of life.

How do you know if your pet is overweight? Ask your veterinarian, they will examine your pet and give your pet a body condition score on a scale of 1 – 5, with 3 being ideal, 1 too thin and 5 obese.

Here are 5 tips to help an overweight pet:

1) Mind the calories – know your pets daily caloric requirement. A veterinarian can help you to determine this amount more accurately than the feeding guides on your bag of pet food. Factors such as whether your pet is spayed/neutered can significantly change the caloric requirement of your pet.

2) Portion control – change to a smaller food dish and get an accurate food scoop to measure out the food. It is easier to overfill a larger dish because it looks close to empty. No more free feeding as you have no way to keep track of how many calories your pet is ingesting. Meals must be precisely measured to ensure your pet is not overeating. Several smaller meals instead of one or two larger ones, may work for the pet that seems hungry all the time.

3) Try a weight loss food – ask your veterinary team to recommend a good high quality weight loss food for your pet. These foods are specially designed to meet all of your pets needs while having reduced calories and fat, and often have increased fiber to help your pet feel full for longer.

4) Watch the treats – if you give your pets bones, biscuits or any other treats, these also contribute to that daily caloric requirement. Which means you will need to cut back on the food according to how many treats you give your pet. Some good lower calorie high fiber options for treats include carrot sticks!

5) Get Moving – a daily dose of exercise is good for your pets health and will help them to expend some calories. Try to aim for a daily 30 minute walk.

The goal is to get your pet to their ideal weight over time. A rapid weight loss is not healthy for your pet. Stop in at your veterinary clinic every 2 weeks for a weigh in and some encouragement! The process can take some time, but remember your pet did not gain all of that weight overnight! Putting in the work to help your pet lose weight or prevent excess weight gain is well worth the effort as you will be rewarded with a happier healthier pet!

Call us at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic to ask us for a food recommendation or to find out more on how to help your pet 403-272-3573, or visit us at http://www.chestermerevet.com.

Source:
Drs. Foster & Smith. Pet Education.com. Health risks in overweight or obese dogs. Web Sept 10, 2015. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=694

That Pet Blog. 5 Simple Steps to Prevent Pet Obesity. Web Sept 10, 2015. http://www.thatpetblog.com/page/2/#.VfGhKpfdeRk

10 Summer Pet Care Tips

By following some summer pet safety tips, you can ensure to enjoy those hot summer days with your family and pets!

1. Never leave your pet in the car – even on a cooler day with the windows rolled down, the temperature inside the car can rise and become too hot for a pet in a matter of minutes.

2. Always have fresh drinking water available – bring a bottle of water and a dish or cup for your pet to drink out of. Offer water to your pet frequently.

3. Watch out for sunburn – pets can get sunburn too, especially on areas of their body with less fur such as tips of the ears and nose. It’s best to try to limit your pets sun exposure between the hours of 10 am – 4 pm. If you do need to go out, try to stick to shady areas, or rub a little sunblock into those unprotected bits!

4. Watch out for heat stroke – especially in elderly, young, overweight or sick pets, or short-nosed breeds such as bulldogs and boxers. Signs of heat stroke include: panting, staring, anxious expression, warm dry skin, high fever, rapid heartbeat, vomiting, or collapse. Heat stroke is a medical emergency, so contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has signs.

5. ID – make sure your pets identification (ID) is updated. Have your pet wear a collar with an ID tag with a current address or phone number. They could also have a microchip or tattoo. It is especially important if you are traveling or camping or hiking with your pet.

6. Parasite Prevention – Talk to your veterinarian about getting some parasite prevention products to keep your pets safe from parasites like tape worms, heart worm, and ticks.

7. Wasp or Bee stings – Contact your veterinarian if you see vomiting, itching, hives, swelling or diarrhea following a wasp or bee sting.

8. Clean up your picnic areas – keep you pet from getting into picnic leftovers which can create gastrointestinal distress or create a foreign body if something like a bone gets stuck in your pets stomach or intestines.

9. Vaccines – Get your pet up to date on their vaccines, this will not only keep them safe while meeting other dogs on walks or at the park, but may be required by a kennel if you plan to have them boarded while you go on vacation.

10. Fireworks & Thunderstorms – Loud noises can be frightening for your pet. Try to find a safe confined space your pet can be during these events. Some pets have broken through glass windows trying to escape such noise. Try some white noise, like a radio or TV. Stroke your pet gently and speak low. Try to reassure them that they are safe. If your pet is very bothered, speak with your veterinarian about whether anti-anxiety medication may be a good choice for your pet.

For more information or to book an appointment, contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 or visit us at http://www.chestermerevet.com.

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Sources:
AAHA. NewStat “10 Summer Safety Tips for Clients.” June 27, 2012. Web June 30, 2015. http://www.aaha.org/blog/NewStat/post/2012/06/27/661512/10-summer-safety-tips.aspx

Johnson, Terri CVT. Pets Matter “Prevention is Key to Enjoying the Outdoors with your Pet this Summer.” May 20, 2014. Web June 30, 2015. http://www.aaha.org/blog/petsmatter/post/2014/05/20/990624/Prevention-is-key-to-enjoying-the-outdoors-with-your-pet-this-summer.aspx

Germinder, L. Good News for Pets “Summer Pet Care Tips from AAHA.” June 29, 2011. Web June 30, 2015. http://goodnewsforpets.com/summer-pet-care-tips-from-aaha/

All about Ticks and Keeping Your Pets Safe

Ticks are present in Alberta, even in the cities, and may be in your own backyard!

What are Ticks?
Small external parasites that are members of the arachnid (spider family). They have 8 legs and their bodies are commonly a sunflower seed shape. They may be hard or soft. The picture shows a tick before and after a feed.

Why are Ticks dangerous?
They can carry many different diseases that can make you and your pets very ill, such as lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Babesiosis and Erlichiosis.

What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease can cause severe pain, swelling, fever, limping and a loss of appetite. Unlike people bitten by Lyme infected ticks, pets do not get the characteristic “bull’s-eye” rash at the site of the bite within three to thirty days. People can only get Lyme disease from infected ticks.

How is Lyme disease treated?
Lyme disease can be controlled by antibiotics. However, a lengthy course of treatment is necessary. Sometimes the initial antibiotic chosen may not be effective, and a number of other types may need to be trialed before finding the right one.

What can you do to protect your pets?
The key is prevention. Keep your pets from being exposed to ticks. Ticks wait on the tips of grasses and shrubs and are not commonly found in trees. When brushed by a moving animal or person, they quickly climb onto the host. Ticks can only crawl; they cannot fly or jump. Keeping pets from thick underbrush reduces their exposure to ticks. Dogs should be kept on trails when walked near wooded or tall grass areas.

Prevent ticks from attaching. K9 Advantix offers proven protection against ticks. It repels and kills ticks before they can attach. With K9 Advantix, ticks are repelled and killed before they can bite, reducing the potential risk of a tick-transmitted disease. K9 Advantix is a liquid that is applied to the skin of your dog and is absorbed only at the skin level. One application lasts approximately 1 month.

A vaccine is available for protecting dogs against Lyme disease. This vaccine initially requires a booster. Annual revaccination depending on the risk of your pet may be necessary to maintain immunity. The vaccine is safe and effective. Be sure to discuss any questions you may have regarding the type and frequency of vaccination with your veterinarian. To book an appointment for the vaccine call Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at (403) 272-3573. Note that this vaccine does not protect your pet against the other diseases that ticks can transmit, therefore it is still important to limit tick exposure and to prevent them from attaching.

How can you protect yourself?
Cover up as much skin as you can when you’re going to be in wooded or grassy areas. Wear a hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and long pants with the legs tucked into your socks. It’s a good idea to wear light-colored clothes so ticks are easier to identify. Check yourself for ticks after you’ve been outside. Use a bug spray that contains the chemical DEET to repel ticks.

What should you do if you find a tick?
Check your pet immediately after it has been in a tick-infected area. Some ticks are about pinhead size in juvenile stage, but a little more obvious in adult phase and after feeding. If you find a tick moving on your pet, the tick has not fed. Remove the tick promptly. If you find a tick attached to your pet, grasp the tick with blunt tweezers near the pet’s skin and firmly pull it straight out (this reduces the possibility of the head detaching from the body upon removal). Do not twist or jerk the tick as this may cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin, increasing the chances of infection. Continue applying steady pressure even if the tick does not release immediately. It may take a minute or two of constant, slow pulling to cause the tick to release. You may need another person to help restrain your pet. Removing the tick quickly is important since the disease is not transmitted until the tick has fed for approximately twelve hours. If you crush the tick, do not get the tick’s contents, including blood, on your skin. The disease can pass through a wound or cut in your skin. Use blunt tweezers or disposable gloves to handle the tick. If your fingers must be used, shield them with a tissue or paper towel.

After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite area and wash your hands with soap and water. Home remedies such as applying petroleum jelly, grease, or a hot match to the rear of the tick are not recommended and do not work. These practices cause the tick to salivate and can actually increase the chance of transmitting disease.

After removing the tick, put it into a small container with a piece of moistened cloth. Be sure to label the container with information about the time and place where the tick bite occurred. This activity will help you to remember details of the incident if symptoms associated with tick transmitted diseases appear later. This information will also be of help to a veterinarian or physician diagnosing an illness. Bring the tick to your veterinarian (if you found the tick on yourself, take it to your doctor) so it can be submitted for testing (this test is no charge). If you do not think you are able to remove the tick yourself, bring your pet into their veterinarian as soon as possible, the earlier a tick is removed, the better chance your pet has against disease.

Erlichiosis – Symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, respiratory distress, weight loss, bleeding disorders, and occasionally neurological disturbances. Dogs experiencing severe anemia or bleeding problems may require a blood transfusion. However, this does nothing to treat the underlying disease. Certain antibiotics are quite effective, but a long course of treatment may be needed.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever – Symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, painful muscles and joints, dizziness, depression, stupor, seizures swollen lymph nodes, bleeding in the eyes, nose or stool, and fluid accumulation in the face and legs. Some animals develop pneumonia or heart problems, which can lead to sudden death. Renal failure can occur. The disease is treated with antibiotics. Dogs who have severe damage to their nervous systems may not recover completely.

Babesiosis – Symptoms include a wide variety of symptoms ranging in severity all the way from a sudden collapse to an infection with no apparent symptoms. The prognosis for a dog diagnosed with babesiosis is guarded. Owners should be aware that dogs that have survived babesiosis often remain infected. These dogs may suffer a relapse of disease in the future or may serve as a source for the further spread of disease as babesiosis can be transmitted to other dogs through scrapes or wounds.

For these diseases, the only prevention is limiting tick exposure and repelling ticks with a product like K9 Advantix. There are no effective vaccines available.

If your pet is not already on a tick prevention program, please call Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at (403) 272-3573 to discuss how we can help you protect your pets.

This blog is based on material written by Ernest Ward, DVM © Copyright 2005 Lifelearn Inc. Used with permission under license. June 13, 2010

Keep your Pets Egg-stra Safe : 4 Easter Dangers to Avoid

While you are enjoying Easter this weekend with your family, please remember to keep these popular Easter items away from your pets:

1) Easter Lilies – Highly toxic to cats (yet only causing minor gastrointestinal upset in dogs), all parts of the Easter Lily are toxic; leaves, stem and even pollen. As little as 1 leaf or a small amount of pollen is enough to cause serious problems including kidney failure or death. Symptoms begin around 6 – 12 hours after ingestion and include: vomiting, inappetence, lethargy, dehydration, disorientation, staggering and seizures. There is no antidote so immediate treatment by a veterinarian is absolutely necessary. Other toxic Lilies include: Tiger Lilies, Asiatic Lilies, and Day Lilies.

2) Easter Grass – The stringy paper or plastic grass that often lines Easter baskets can create an obstruction in a pets intestines if ingested, and can potentially be a choking hazard. The grass tends to be particularly inviting to cats to play with. If an obstruction were to occur, a pet would likely require an expensive foreign body abdominal surgery. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, abdominal pain, and straining to defecate or constipation.

3) Chocolate – The darker and more bitter the chocolate, the more dangerous it is. For small pets the effects can be even stronger. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity from ingestion include: hyperactivity, restlessness, vomiting, elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, tremors, increased body temperature, seizures and collapsing. Chocolate toxicity can be fatal, so always call your veterinarian to check, even if you think your pet is fine.

4) Candy sweetened with Xylitol – A natural sugar free sweetener, most commonly found in chewing gum, but also found in some candies, mints, jello or pudding. Symptoms of toxicity from ingestion include: weakness, lethargy, collapsing, vomiting, tremoring, seizures, jaundice, malaise, black-tarry stool, and coma. Xylitol toxicity can be fatal, so seek veterinary care if you think your pet has ingested something containing xylitol.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items, contact your veterinarian immediately. You can also call the pet poison helpline: 1-800-213-6680 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or check out http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com for more information.

For more information on things that are toxic to pets, contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 or visit us at http://www.chestermerevet.com.

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Source:

Pet Poison Helpline. “Easter Pet Poisons” Web April 4, 2015. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/easter/.

Meet Your Veterinarians!

At Chestermere Veterinary Clinic we are always accepting new patients and look forward to meeting you and your cats and dogs. We also welcome you to take a tour of our clinic, just ask!

We love getting to know our clients and being involved in the community. We support Chestermere’s Listening Tails program, and frequently present to children at schools. Look for us at Chestermere’s community events such as the Mind Body & Spirit Expo, Pet Fest, the Country Fair, Bark for Life (Canadian Cancer Society) and fall parade. We have also put on a clinic open house and pictures with Santa in the winter!

Like our Facebook page or check our website http://www.chestermerevet.com for updates on our next community event!

Now let’s get to know your veterinarian a little bit better!

Dr. Gabby Rotaru believes she has the best job in the world: if you think about it, what other job fills your heart with so much joy that it really brings tears to your eyes, makes you laugh and wonder, discover and create, is never boring and so uplifting? And in what other job can you feel that you truly make lives better (pets and owners alike) and learn every day from each and every pet you meet? There is this invisible bond that forms between you and all animal lovers that come through the door: owners and pets are a second family to her, they get to know each other, trust and respect each other and for this she is so grateful!

Dr. Gabby moved to Canada in 2001 with two cats and two dogs. She feels it was definitely one of the best decisions she ever made! She graduated in 1997 in Romania, Europe and has worked in the small animal field ever since.

Dr. Gabby truly enjoys the combination of internal medicine, surgery, dentistry, radiology and laboratory, which make her job so interesting. She also enjoys educating people how to prevent disease in their pets, this is where the true challenge is! Working emergencies for about 5 years before becoming the practice owner at Chestermere made her realize that some things can be prevented and it is up to us to help our pets stay out of trouble and stay healthy!

In her spare time she loves going biking and hiking with her dog Moxie, or cuddling on the sofa with her two cats Ziggy and Felix. Yoga, gardening and feng shui are other ways Dr. Gabby uses to relax and appreciate all the blessings in her life.

Call us to book your pets next appointment at 403-272-3573.

Pet CPR

CPR can be used on pets that have no pulse or have stopped breathing. Just like with human CPR, pet CPR involves chest compressions and mouth to nose breathing (instead of mouth to mouth). You may be able to save your pets life, so print out these instructions and stick them on the fridge or with your first aid supplies, in case of emergency! Remember, CPR even in the hands of professionals, does not always revive an individual.

The steps of pet CPR:

If you find your pet with no pulse or not breathing, always place a call for help or have someone else call for help while you begin CPR. Call your veterinarian at Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573. Have your veterinarians number with your other emergency numbers listed near a phone in your home.

Remember your ABC’s, Airway, Breathing and Circulation.

First ensure your pet has an open airway. Try to see if there is an obstruction in your pets mouth, be very careful as pets may try to bite in reflex. Hold the upper jaw with one hand and push down on the lower jaw with the other hand. If you can see an object, try to remove it. If you cannot remove the object and have a small dog or a cat, hold them with their face toward the ground and your arms around their lower abdomen and gently sway them. If the object is still stuck, lay them on a hard surface on their side, with one hand stabilizing their back, use your other hand to press in and up under the center of the rib cage in a thrusting motion (essentially performing the heimlich maneuver). For a large dog you will likely need to use both hands to press with. You can also stand or kneel behind a large pet and wrap your arms around them to perform the maneuver.

If your pet is not breathing, but still has a pulse, you can begin mouth to nose breathing. For large pets, hold the muzzle closed and seal your mouth over their nose. For small pets, form a seal with your mouth over their mouth and nose at the same time. Be careful to not blow too much air into your pet, especially with a small pet, you may cause lung damage if you over inflate. Watch their chest rise to ensure you are getting air in. Give 4-5 quick breaths then check for breathing. Pets should receive around 20 – 30 breaths a minute.

Check for a heartbeat or circulation. At your pets next physical exam with a veterinarian, ask to be shown how to check your pet for a pulse. It is a good time to practice while your pet is healthy and active. It is typically checked on the femoral artery, in the inner rear leg about half way from the body to the knee. If there is no pulse begin chest compressions. Place the pet on a hard surface lying on their right side. For small pets you will squeeze the chest with both hands, by placing one hand over the ribs where the pets elbows would touch the chest if they were standing, and the other beneath the right chest wall. Perform 5 compressions to 1 breath. For medium to large pets, compress with both hands cupped over the ribs where the pets elbows would touch the chest if they were standing, ensure your arms are straight, elbows locked, and that your body is squarely over your hands. Again, compress at a rate of 5 compressions to 1 breath.

We hope you never have to use CPR on your pet, but it is a good skill to know how just in case! For more information on pet CPR, or for help finding your pets pulse, contact Chestermere Veterinary Clinic at 403-272-3573 or visit us at http://www.chestermerevet.com.

You can also take a course in pet first aid, which covers pet CPR by visiting http://www.prairietrainingservices.ca/pet-first-aid.html.

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Sources:
SPCA of Texas. “Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs.” Web March 2, 2015. http://www.spca.org/document.doc?id=100.

Hill’s Pet Tales Monthly Newsletter. “CPR Can Save a Dog’s Life – Information from the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.” January 2010. Web March 2, 2015. http://www.hillspet.ca/newsletters/Canada/Assets/2010/January/Dog/CPR_Can_Save_a_Dogs_Life_Hills_Pet_January_eNewsletter_English.pdf.

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