Reverse sneezing is a condition where the pet most commonly dogs, rapidly pull air into the nose, unlike a regular sneeze where air is rapidly pushed through the nose. The dog makes a snorting sound and seems to be trying to inhale while sneezing.
To owners, reverse sneezing can sound very alarming. As an owner you may even think your pet is choking, gagging, or that they are not breathing during the episodes. It is not a harmful condition and there are no ill effects.
The exact cause of reverse sneezing is unknown. Any irritation to the nose, sinuses, or back of the throat can cause an episode. Irritants can include nasal mites, secretions, seeds, pollens, grasses, allergies, smoke, odors, masses, elongated soft palate, excitement, eating too quickly or cold air. Reverse sneezing is diagnosed only after ruling out other causes of abnormal breathing and snorting like upper respiratory tract infection, collapsing trachea, nasal tumors or polyps. Once diagnosed this will be a part of your life with your dog moving forward.
Episodes generally last between seconds up to a minute. Reverse sneezing is more common in Beagles, Terriers, Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs, Perkingese, Lhasa Apso, and Shih Tzu.
There are a few things that owners can try to do for their pets when they are having an episode. Occasionally, stimulating your pet to swallow can stop the reverse sneezing. This can be done by either massaging the throat, taping on the nose, opening your pets mouth, blow softly in their face, or offering them some food and water. If the reverse sneezing episodes are quite often then various medications may be needed to keep your pet comfortable.
The veterinarian may prescribe antihistamines if it is related to allergies, cough suppressants or a parasitic treatment if there are nasal mites. Most of the time if the cause is unknown there is not much that a veterinary team can do other than rule out more severe causes of the abnormal noise.
Some things to prevent reverse sneezing are minimize fragrances, smoke and aerosols, change furnace filters, use vaporizers in a dry environment, dust and vacuum often, wash bedding often, use a harness rather than a collar, bathe or wipe your pet regularly in allergy season. Owners can also take note of anything that may have led to their pet having an episode and that will hopefully bring up the cause of the reverse sneezing.
Rosie is my family's blue heeler and she was getting older and definitely showing some signs of age. We first brought her into the Vet because she was limping on one of her back legs. When she was at the clinic the Veterinarian also let us know that her muscles in her back legs had atrophied and weren’t as strong. Rosie would sit on one hip which an owner might think is no big deal, although there is usually a reason for dogs sitting like this.
Rosie’s front end was still very strong and that helped her get around. We started Rosie on a joint supplement called green lipped mussel. These fishy smelling capsules can reduce swelling, inflammation and pain by limiting further cartilage degeneration and support damaged joints. It is a cost effective option with no side effects that did, in fact, help Rosie. With supplements, there is always a trial period that is usually 6-8 weeks before owners can really tell if it is helping.
There are exercises that can be done to help strengthen the muscles in the back legs or all muscles throughout the body. Let us know if you want our take home exercises emailed to you.
As her aging progressed, we tried a different joint supplement called 4Cyte. It does the same thing as green lipped mussel but in granules. Rosie didn't really enjoy taking the green lipped mussel capsules, but that is just her. There are other dogs on the capsules and they eat them right out of their owners hand like a treat. But she loved the 4cyte!
If your pet has stiff joints or limping after walks, has difficulty getting up from their bed in the morning, or difficulty going up and down stairs or getting in the car, joint supplements are able to help your pet.
Pulpitis is inflammation of the tooth pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels, nerve endings, lymphatics, and connective tissues.
The most common cause of pulpitis is traumatic force to the tooth. These are a few things that will fracture the tooth exposing the pulp cavity.
Antlers and bones are too hard for your pets teeth. If you were to take the item and you hit it against your knee and it hurts you, it will hurt your pet too. Tooth on tooth contact is called attrition and this can wear down the enamel and dentin exposing the pulp. Tennis balls are another culprit that can wear down the teeth. Dogs who chew on rocks are also at risk. These are what I would recommend for alternatives.
Pet owners can look at their cat and dogs teeth and if you see a red or black dot on the tooth shown by the green arrow, your pets pulp is exposed. Once the pulp is exposed it is only a matter of time for bacteria to go into the dot and cause lots of inflammation and potentially infection. That can cause a root abscess which is extremely painful. The inflammation in the pulp chamber increases pressure and restricts blood flow essentially causing the tooth to painfully die. If the core of the tooth is damaged and the tissues are dead it will turn purple which is seen by the red circle and that is a for sure sign of pulpitis.
We would recommend this tooth be removed. There is often an inclination to tell owners to simply “keep an eye on it.” But because these pets are often in pain, a wait-and-see approach won't cut it because we strive to provide high-quality patient care.
Lily came in for a COHAT which is a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment because she had bad breath and started to eat slower than before. We did full mouth X-rays, scaling and polishing for her. She did not need any of her teeth removed thankfully. Some indications that you should book your pet in for a dental are bad breath, tartar, bleeding gums, loose teeth or discoloured ones, difficulty eating and a sore mouth. Dental disease can be very painful for our pets and of course they are going to continue eating because they have to in order to survive. By age three 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some form of dental disease and we are able help keep your pets mouth healthy.
If you book a dental for February, you will receive 10% off your pets dental exam and charting, full mouth X-rays, scaling and polishing. We only have eight available appointments.
Pros of neutering your dog
Cons of neutering your dog
An 8yr old male intact dog presented to the clinic with not being able to urinate. On exam it was diagnosed that he had an enlarged prostate. The prostate is a small gland located near the neck of the urinary bladder of male dogs. The urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) passes through the prostate shortly after leaving the bladder. Because the prostate was enlarged it was kinking off the urethra and that is the reason why this dog could not urinate. This can happen in 80% of non neutered dogs.
Having an enlarged prostate comes with many other problems such as extreme amounts of pain, unable to urinate, dehydration, vomiting, can stop eating, blood in the urine, inflamed urinary tract, infected testicles, and infection in the urinary tract.
To treat this dog, we had to put a urinary catheter in to drain the bladder. The urine had a large amount of blood in it. There were also some urinary stones that looked like sand. We put the ultrasound on the bladder to see the size and also found some of the stones. To get a better idea of the size of stones we took a quick X-ray.
A lot of these symptoms can be prevented, so the answer to the question "Should I Neuter" is, yes, you should! Contact your vet to discuss what age is the best for your individual pet to book them in for a neuter.
The owner's permission was granted for the use of these photos.
Human/Animal Bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and other animals that is influenced by behaviours that are essential to the health and well-being of both.
Did you know?
58% of Canadian households report they own at least one dog or cat
The Canadian dog population is at 7.7 million
The Canadian cat population is at 8.1 million
95% of Canadians consider their pets family
Pet owners over the age of 65 make 30% fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets
There are many health benefits of owning a pet. They can increase the opportunity to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Regular walking and playing with your pets can decrease stress, anxiety, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels which improves cardiovascular health. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship. People with pets are more calm and relaxed.
The benefits of pets for older adults is that they can find meaning and joy in their life, they maintain a social network, and it can also boost their vitality. Pets can also help adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by decreasing stress, a source of positive nonverbal communication that leads to decreased aggressive behaviour.
There are also benefits of pets for children. Children who grow up with pets have less risk of allergies and asthma. They learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy. Pets can also ease separation anxiety for the child when the parents aren’t around. Kids who are emotionally attached to their pets are better able to build relationships with other people. Having a pet can also stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity.
Animals are becoming apart of our lives more than they ever have been and it is really good to know that humans and animals are both benefitting from the interactions of Human/Animal bonding.
I recently got a new kitten, her name is Velvet. She is so cute with her giant eyes!
Before I got Velvet, I had to plan what all she needs and how much it will cost so that I could be prepared. I also thought about medical expenses like vaccines, dewormer, and spaying. Puppies and kittens should be dewormed each month when they get their first round of vaccines and at least twice annually after that. Deworm your pets more often if they are outside, mousing, or have not been dewormed in a while. It is not uncommon for kittens and puppies to have worms passed from their mom.
Velvet is a long haired cat so I knew I needed to get some brushes to discourage matting and I will probably want to give her some preventative hairball treats. I made sure to get her a large litter box that will be one and a half to two times the size she will be full grown. Right now she eats Purina Essential Care Kitten food which is a food and company I trust, and that is really important to me as a pet owner. Velvet will be fully vaccinated and dewormed because it is my obligation to ensure she stays safe and the necessary preventatives be taken.
Velvet is a crazy little kitten. She has learnt that she can climb up the back of the couch. This is something I do not want to encourage. It is important that I keep her nails trimmed and also know how to trim nails. If you don’t know how to trim your pet’s nails let me know, I will help you.
It is important to provide enrichment for Velvet so she doesn’t get destructive when I am at work so I got her a cat tree and plenty of toys. I also want to get her a window seat so then she has her own spot in the house. Did you know that animals feel anxiety when they don’t have a designated spot just for them?
When Velvet is about 6 months old, she will be spayed and will also be switched to the Purina Dental Health food to help reduce plaque and tartar on her teeth. Let’s be honest this is better than trying to brush your cat’s teeth!
There is a lot to think about when getting a new puppy or kitten. It is easy to get wrapped up in the cuteness of a new baby but it is important to remember the great responsibility that you are taking on being a pet parent. A good way to save on some costs is to look on Buy and Sell sites for gently used or free items. It is always good to potentially reuse items that other people don't need anymore but you cannot rely on others to give you everything you will need and there are other expenses like vaccines, deworming, and neutering/spaying to be planned for as well. A kitten or puppy won't cost you as much as a baby but they are still pretty expensive cuties.
1. Puppies and kittens need to be dewormed more often than adult animals. We recommend once a month for three consecutive months at the same time as their vaccine series.
2. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Fecal flotations can be done to check for eggs.
3. Some factors that increase exposure are being outdoors, in contact with other cats or dogs, and travelling.
4. Children, the elderly, pregnant woman, cancer patients, diabetics, and anyone else with a suppressed immune system are at greater risk of contracting worms from their pets.
5. Some species can survive in temperatures below -30°C. Intestinal roundworms produce 10,000 eggs every day. These eggs have a thick crust which protects them from the elements.
6. The more common intestinal parasites in Alberta are ascarids (roundworms), tapeworms, and giardia, intestinal protozoa which causes “beaver fever” in humans. 25-75% of cats have roundworms and higher percentage in kittens. Roundworms and tapeworms are infectious to humans as well.
When dogs and cats are heavily infested with internal parasites they may vomit them up or can expel them through feces. Diarrhea may be seen as well. Owners usually remember to deworm their dogs, but cats can sometimes get overlooked. If they are indoor cats they still need to be dewormed.
There are easy steps to take to lower the risk of infection of your pets, your family and yourself:
Keeping your pet's nails trimmed is part of their regular care and grooming. Many pets don't like this task but because it is necessary, we have to get it done. If your pet has a hard time with nail trims, give some of these techniques a try.
Pairing a neutral stimulus (nail trimmers) with an unconditioned stimulus (treats) will eventually produce a conditioned stimulus (nail trimmers) causing a conditioned response (happiness and excitement).
Is a way for pets to consent and let us know they would like to participate. It is taught using positive reinforcement. The pet can ALWAYS leave. Treats are often tossed off the station (yoga mat) throughout sessions to ensure the pet chooses to come back. Tricks are not taught on the mat because the mat is used so the pet associates it with treats. Eventually they will also associate you getting the nail clippers and preforming the task with a good quality treat.
This is a visual guide on where to cut your pet’s nails to help you out.
Here is a great video demonstrating how to make trimming nails a positive experience.
Here are some nail trimming tips.
It may take some time to get your pet conditioned to getting their paws touched and their nails trimmed. Here at the clinic we try our best to use a Fear Free approach and give plenty of treats along the way. We also have started a nail trim reward card, get five nail trims and get the sixth one free!
If you have a cat or dog that gets stressed this is a post you will need to read! I wanted to share these products with pet owners because they are like Pepto-Bismol, everybody should have them in their medicine cabinet. In each feline stress pack there will be a 1/2 cup of Platinum Performance Bio-Sponge, 3 packets of Purina FortiFlora SA, and 2 packets of Purina Hydra Care. In each canine stress pack there will be a 1/2 cup of Platinum Performance Bio-Sponge and 3 packets of Purina FortiFlora SA. We have kept these packages very affordable so owners can have them on hand when needed.
It is good to use Bio-Sponge when your cats or dogs or other animals have diarrhea because it can easily cause dehydration. FortiFlora is a good product to use to prevent diarrhea or vomiting which is seen with gastric upset.
FortiFlora SA Synbiotic Action is a supplement that contains a powerful prebiotic and probiotic combination to support your pet’s GI health, with probiotics to nourish your pet’s gut and prebiotics (psyllium) to support a healthy microbiome. In college we used this product once a day for the first 3 days upon arrival to the clinic for the SPCA cats and dogs. This product can be used during a time of stress where we may see diarrhea or used preemptively for stressful times. It also can be added to food to increase palatability when your pet may not want to eat a meal.
Hydra Care is a nutrient-enriched water that promotes hydration in cats. It contains nutritional osmolytes, which aid in the absorption of water at a cellular level and helps cats get the hydration they need. With an easy-to-feed pouch and an enticing liver flavour, simply pour it in a third bowl and let your cat enjoy! This product also is shown to decrease your cats urine specific gravity which would be high if the urine is concentrated. Concentrated urine can lead to urinary crystals and stone formation. Sometimes when cats are very scared and have been moved to a new household they may not want to eat or drink. Hydra Care has been well liked by the shelter cats that we house.
These products are great to have on hand because you never know when your pet is going to have stress diarrhea or other gastric upset symptoms.
Join me in learning a few tips about being the best owner that you possibly can be.