Treat dispensing toys are great for extra enrichment for cats and dogs. The pictured toys are filled with frozen, mashed banana, dog food, and then sealed with peanut butter. Our dogs love them!
The great thing about these treat toys is they can be filled with many different things like spray cheese, frozen vegetables, and liver paste, just to mention a few. Some pet owners will bring their own treat dispensing toys to their appointment for vaccines or nail trims. This is a great way to distract the animal for the procedures being done.
Apple Pie Toy Filling Recipe
• 1 apple (cored and diced)
• Cornstarch to thicken
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/3 cup apple juice
Combine ingredients and heat in microwave or on stove top until liquid is gone. Then stuff the toy.
If your pet is overweight you can put their regular kibble in a treat ball to encourage more activity to get the food out. There are also treat mazes and puzzles to occupy your cat or dog.
These enrichment toys are great for dogs that are kennelled or when you’re not around. This is helpful for preventing or dealing with separation anxiety.
Any other year, owners would be able to be with their pets when they come in to the veterinary clinic but Covid has changed that. I realize it might be hard to not be there when your puppy or kitten gets their first vaccines, although I want to assure you that our staff is taking excellent care of your pets. Our clinic has a good understanding of Fear Free and we use that knowledge to make your pet feel comfortable even when their owner is not present.
When your pet comes in we offer many treats and have a variety for them to choose from. We even have treats for dogs with allergies!
We put a towel on our exam table to make the surface less slippery for your pet. If your cat comes in a carrier that is top loading or the top easily comes off we can even do a full physical examination with them laying in the bottom of their carrier where they feel less nervous. We give lots of pets and belly rubs as well.
It is important to us to make sure your pet is treated like part of the family because we know they are an important part of yours.
If you do not look in your pet's mouth you are not the only one but you should definitely start. You can notice not only what a normal mouth looks like but you can also start to recognise the first stages of dental disease before it gets worse and becomes expensive to treat.
This appears to be a healthy mouth above the gum line. This is what we, as pet owners, strive to keep our pets mouth's looking like.
Mild gingivitis is shown on both canine teeth and tartar is forming on all circled teeth. Red gums are an inflammatory response to the bacteria from the tartar that is close to the gum line. We want to prevent this stage of dental disease with home care like tooth brushing, oral rinses, and dental chews. If no home care is done it will lead to the next stage of dental disease.
In this case, more tartar is covering that back tooth. The gums are black so it is difficult to determine the amount of gingivitis. In this stage of dental disease less than 50% of the teeth have tartar on them. Tartar can not be brushed off so at this point it is important to insure that the other teeth and gums are getting some TLC.
This stage of dental disease is extremely dangerous for your pet. This amount of bacteria in your pet's mouth can increase their risk of heart, liver, and kidney infection from bacteria getting in to the bloodstream. At this point treatment would be a Comprehensive Oral Health Assessment and Treatment (COHAT). This would include: dental xrays which will determine the integrity of the teeth, tooth scaling, tooth polishing, and likely tooth extractions.
This all looks a little "Doom and Gloom", If we are able to continue to look in our pet's mouth, do basic cleanings, and maintain general oral care we can be assured that we are helping!
Dental disease is a diagnosis made by a Veterinarian. There are different stages that vary from mild to severe. Dental disease in your pets is something to not take lightly. There is lots of bacteria in the oral cavity that can get into the pets blood stream and this can lead to a compromised immune system, organ infection, shorter lifespan, and unimaginable pain. Signs of dental disease consist of bad breath, sore mouth, difficulty eating, loose teeth or tooth loss, pawing or rubbing the mouth, bleeding gums, tartar on the teeth, discoloured teeth, and red inflamed gums.
February is dental month and it would be beneficial to bring your pet in for a Tech Consult. During this consult, I will talk more about dental disease and go over affordable and realistic ways you can help your pet feel, look, and smell better! You will also go home with a swag bag that is specifically customised for you and your pet to help with proper dental home care.
February 2019, I had come home from college and the first thing I realized was Luna had terrible foul smelling breath. I opened her mouth to look inside, as any good pet owner would, and found a pink mass between her front teeth. I remember thinking, "how could I have missed this". I was very worried and did not want my dog to be in pain. I called the Vet to book an appointment to get this looked at. The Vet did a biopsy and sent that away. The results came back as Plasmacytoma which is a benign tumour that is very fast growing and had the possibility of impacting the bone. This news was very scary. I wanted the best for Luna especially because she was only five years old. I got referred to a dental specialty clinic for a consultation and the treatment of choice was to remove her top right and left canines and all teeth in between. The teeth and surrounding tissue was sent to a histopathologist and Luna was diagnosed with gingival hyperplasia and lymphoplasmacytic gingivitis. That means that her gums (gingiva) were swollen and red because of a reaction to the tartar on her teeth.
After the surgery Luna was sent home with some pain medication, soft food, and oral rinse. She had to eat soft food for a few days so that her stitches would not rip out. After Luna's stitches dissolved I was instructed to brush her teeth using the oral rinse they gave me. Luna did not enjoy this process but she never growled and I knew it was going to help prevent this happening again. She got used to me brushing her teeth faster then I would have thought. It is a good idea to start brushing your pet's teeth early in life so then they get used to it. It also prevents dental disease which is extremely painful. Having your pet used to it's mouth being handled helps the Veterinarian when they need to look inside their mouth during any regular physical exam and if your pet ever needs to take pills.
In 2014, my family went on a vacation to Mexico to visit my Grandpa. When we were there, we saw so many stray dogs and I could not help but want to bring one home. When our vacation was over my Grandpa called a few weeks later and said he had found a dog. This was the photo he sent to us. How could anyone say no to this amount of cuteness. Luna was found in a ditch with no mom or litter mates around. She was covered in ticks and in very poor health. She was approximately six weeks old. Luna became a part of my family in June 2014.
Luna came everywhere with my family because we wanted her to be well socialized with people and other dogs. She excelled at watching my brothers baseball practices! Socialization is very important at a young age to help prevent unwanted behavioural issues such as food or toy aggressions and fear and anxiety towards other dogs. Because we made socialization a focus with Luna, she is a very well mannered dog that is able to go many places easily and without worry with her family.
My name is Ashlyn and ever since I was a kid, I wanted to work with animals. I grew up on a small farm north of Edmonton with my two brothers. We raised cattle for a while but moved into purebred breeding meat goats. I have three small dogs, that I love dearly, we also have some cats, horses, and larger dogs on the farm.
I graduated from the Animal Health Technology program at Lakeland College in the spring of 2020. The end of my college career didn't go quite as planned when Covid hit the world. I finished the last week of classes online and took my final exams at home. The benefit of finishing up that way was that I was ready for the workforce sooner. When Stone Ridge Veterinary Services was in need of an AHT I was able to start working while studying for my Veterinary Technology National Exam. The Edmonton testing facilities were closed due to Covid so I had to travel to Calgary to take my exam. I proudly passed with flying colours in September and became a Registered Veterinary Technologist.
In the field of veterinary medicine, my interests, so far, consist of Fear Free, small animal dentistry, nutrition, and rehabilitation. I am committed to learning more on all these topics as I develop my skills and look forward to sharing some things I learn along the way.
Outside of work, I like kayaking, skiing, and fishing. My favourite dish is shrimp alfredo pasta. I strongly dislike spiders and orange flavoured candies.
Join me to learn more!
Fear Free is a certificate program that teaches the participants to recognize the signs of fear and anxiety in animals and how to make them more at ease to create a positive experience out of something that could potentially be frightening.
I would like to share with you some tips that I have found helpful.