Beausejour Animal Hospital Farm and Companion Animal Care in Manitoba Thu, 13 Apr 2017 22:24:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Beausejour/Whiteshell Dogs and Lyme Disease Risk Tue, 31 Jul 2012 10:12:54 +0000 Lyme disease in dogs is common and a potentially debilitating disease.  Pet owners need to be aware of this disease and what preventative measures you can take to decrease the risk to your dogs.

Lyme disease (Borrelliosis) is a bacterial infection that is transmitted by the deer tick (Ixodes).  It can infect humans, dogs, and many wildlife species.  Lyme disease is passed to humans and other animals when a tick infected with the bacterium (Borrelia burgdefori) bites the person or animal and stays attached long enough to take a blood meal.  In recent years, the number of cases of Lyme disease in both humans and animals in certain parts of Canada has been increasing.  This is a growing concern for both the medical and veterinary professions alike.  Cases of Lyme disease occur in areas where there are high numbers of deer ticks and wildlife species carrying the bacteria.  Most cases of Lyme disease in Manitoba have been associated with the eastern and southeastern regions.

The deer tick

Dogs that spend time in wooded areas and long grass are at increased risk of exposure. Deer ticks in the nymph or immature stage are active from mid-May to mid-August. Adult deer ticks are most active in mid- to late fall and early spring.  The larger, brown wood and dog ticks that are commonly found on dogs and cattle do not carry the Lyme disease bacterium.

Advances in laboratory technology have made it easier and less expensive to routinely test for Lyme disease in dogs.  Did you know that the in clinic “heartworm test” we are now using actually screen for four different diseases?  In one quick and simple blood test we can check for heartworm disease, Lyme disease, Erhlichia canis, and anaplasmosis.   Lyme, erhlichia, and anaplasmosis are all diseases that are transmitted by ticks.  Of these four diseases, it is not uncommon to have heartworm, Lyme, or Anaplasmosis in positives canine patients in this area!

Deer ticks have a 2 – 4 year life cycle. That is, it takes 2 -4 years for one egg-adult-egg generation to evolve. Therefore, deer ticks can be found all year long, including in winter.

A tick bite is required to transmit the disease as the bacterium is injected into the skin via tick saliva as the tick sucks blood. The infection is therefore not transmitted from pet to pet nor from pet to owner only via an infected tick bite, and not all ticks are infected with Borrelia. If the tick is not removed properly you may force the infection into your skin.


The most common symptoms of Lyme disease are sore joints, fever, and lack of appetite, fatigue, depression, and swollen lymph nodes.  In severe cases the infection can cause severe arthritis, heart disease, or kidney disease.  However, in many cases the symptoms are very subtle and unrecognizable to the owner.

Vaccination can help prevent the disease however the vaccine is not 100%.  Lyme disease is a complex disease but when diagnosed, can be treated with specific antibiotics. When returning from tick-infested areas do a thorough search for ticks on both yourself and your animals. Ticks should be removed carefully. There are also many highly effective veterinary products that will repel and/or kill ticks on your dog before the tick can transmit the bacteria.  Early removal of ticks reduces the chance that the tick will transmit Lyme disease.

The Beausejour/Whiteshell area is endemic for this problem.  For more information about tick control products and Lyme disease, contact us.

Dental Health Month during February! Wed, 25 Jan 2012 21:52:16 +0000 During the month of February we run various dental promotions!

Call for details.

Preventing Distemper in Your Dog Tue, 06 Sep 2011 17:08:39 +0000 Many dog owners have heard of distemper and how their dogs should be vaccinated against this potentially dangerous, sometimes fatal disease. Distemper is a highly contagious virus found in domestic dogs. A dog that has distemper can pass this disease to another dog through its breath and nasal secretions. An unvaccinated dog is also capable of getting the distemper virus from raccoons, skunks, foxes, ferrets and other carnivores.

Signs that you may see may include loss of appetite, loss of energy, coughing, fever, discharge from the dog’s nose and eyes, hardening of the nose and foot pads, possibly seizures and sometimes paralysis of the limbs. Some dogs will successfully fight off the virus using their immune systems and not get sick. Other dogs might only be able to fight off a portion of the disease, and sick/weak or dogs with compromised immune systems might not be able to combat the disease at all. A blood test and/or other lab tests can be performed by your veterinarian to confirm a diagnosis of distemper. If your dog is diagnosed with distemper, you should know that unfortunately there is no cure. Antibiotics can be used to help fight off secondary infections and your vet can prescribe other medications to help control coughing and seizures. Most otherwise healthy dogs that get veterinary treatment do tend to recover from distemper but sometimes seizures and/or twitching can be a lasting consequence of having had the disease.

The best solution for prevention is to vaccinate your puppy or dog against the distemper virus.  It has proven to be extremely effective in combating the disease. The distemper vaccination like other vaccinations can cause allergic reactions, but it is generally regarded as a very safe vaccine. Puppies can receive the vaccine which comes in the form of a series of injections as early as 6 weeks of age. Adult dogs that have never received the vaccine and do not currently have distemper should also be vaccinated as soon as possible due to how contagious the disease is. Distemper is still a huge problem and was at one time the leading cause of death in puppies that never received the vaccine.

Facts About Rabies Tue, 06 Sep 2011 17:02:10 +0000 What is rabies?

It is a vaccine preventable disease caused by a virus.  It is usually transmitted through saliva, usually from an animal bit.  This disease affects the nervous system (including the brain) of human beings and animals.  Symptoms include headache, fever, increasing difficulty in swallowing, excessive drooling, spasm or weakness, and strange behavior.  If not treated immediately, rabies kills almost all victims.

How do people get infected?

Most humans get infected after being bitten by an affected animal.  The infected animal may or may not show symptoms of rabies.  Wild and farm animals, bats and pets can carry the disease and infect people.  In Manitoba, the striped skunk is often known to carry the disease and infect farm animals and pets.

Animals with rabies often act strangely.  They may attack without cause.  Symptoms of rabies in animals include paralysis (muscle weakness), especially muscles of the hind legs and the throat.  Some animals may become aggressive.  Rabid bats may appear normal except for a gradual weakness and loss of flying ability.  Individuals should avoid contact with wild or unfamiliar animals.

Is there a cure for rabies?

No.  If rabies develops, there is no cure.  There is a rabies vaccine and a medication called rabies immune globulin (RIG) that must be administered early (following an exposure to a rabid or possibly rabid animal) to prevent the disease from developing.  The public health nurse or health care provider will provide you with information about these treatments if they are recommended to you or your family members.

Think you may have been exposed to rabies?

It is very important that you seek medical attention right away! Rabies in humans may take from 3 – 8 weeks to develop but symptoms may appear as early as 5 days to more than one year after exposure.  If you wait until the symptoms appear, it will be too late to start effective medical treatment.

If you are bitten by an animal, that animal may be needed for testing.  If rabies is suspected, the tests of the brain tissues will determine if the animal was infected with the rabies virus.  If the suspected animal is a pet, public health officials will make recommendations as to what to do with the animal.  For example, they may recommend the pet to be placed in isolation (quarantine) for 10 days.  The animal would be destroyed and tested after quarantine.

How do I avoid getting the disease?

  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies and keep its rabies immunization up to date.  Otherwise, your pet could be infected by a rabid animal and your pet could in turn infect you.
  • If you are bitten or scratched by any animal, seek medical attention.  Your health provider will determine the risks if infection and rabies exposure and treat you accordingly.
  • If you are bitten scratched or licked by an animal that may have rabies or an animal that may have been exposed to the rabies virus, you should wash the wound immediately with soap and water for several minutes.  This will reduce the chance of the virus entering your body.  Seek medical attention right away!
  • If you do find a bat, dead or alive, do not touch it and do not let anyone around you touch it!  Just pick it up with a shovel and bury it.  Wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.  If you can not bury the bat, pick it up with a stick (wear disposable gloves and put it in a plastic bag.) then put the plastic bag in the garbage. Wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.

Think your pet may have been exposed to rabies from another animal?

  • Limit the contact between the pet and humans.
  • Contact your pet’s veterinarian or advise for the situation or contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Animal Division during weekdays at 204-983-2200.

For additional information about rabies call 1-888-315-9257 or 788-8200 or your local public Health Office.

Bloat – A serious health risk! Wed, 06 Jul 2011 16:31:19 +0000 If you have a deep- and narrow-chested dog, it’s important to know the signs of bloat and torsion, otherwise known as Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus, or GDV.  Due to an accumulation of air, fluid, and/or foam in the stomach (“gastric dilatation”), the dog’s stomach swells.  As the stomach swells, it may rotate 90° to 360°, twisting between its fixed attachments at the esophagus (food tube) and at the duodenum (the upper intestine).  The twisting stomach traps air, food, and water in the stomach.  The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs.  The combined effect can quickly kill a dog.

A few days ago, one of our clients called our emergency line late at night. Her Great Dane was showing some of the classic symptoms of GDV:

  • Attempts to vomit that were unsuccessful (dry heaves)
  • Hunched appearance
  • Anxiety
  • Drooling and foaming

Denver - feeling better!

The dog also had a slightly bloated abdomen that felt tight, but this was not the most obvious symptom.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of bloat, the client wasted no time in bringing the dog in to see us. An x-ray quickly confirmed the diagnosis, and the dog was rushed in for surgery. Happily, the surgery was successful and Denver the Dane is back at home where he is expected to make a full recovery.
Talk to us for more information about GDV.