Open at Last!
August 2nd 2011 - After 6 months of planning and more than quite a few sleepless nights our dream has become a reality. Our brand new clinic is now open and welcoming clients both old and new. We would like to offer our sincere gratitude to all the friends and family who encouraged us to take the step in opening our own practice. We would also like to thank those loyal clients who have kept up with our progress and followed us to Lewis Estates. Loyalty like yours is second to none and makes us proud to serve both you and your furry friends. Once again on behalf of us all, thank you!
Sharon, Andrea and Lorna.
October 24th 2011 - Charwick Hill Animal Hospital was proud to announce that after 11 weeks of business they have broken the 100 client barrier. Tanya Best and her lovable Yorkie Harley were given a warm welcome and to celebrate the occasion Harley was given a special goodie bag for being so special.
January 5th 2013- Yes, that's what I said. 500. We could not be happier to welcome Blue and his people to our "family" here at Charwick Hill Animal Hospital. My how time flies. Seems like just yesterday we were welcoming Harley.
Spring Has Sprung!!! Well sort of.
April 10th 2013-
Spring has sprung. At least that is what the calender tells us. The weather however has something else to say (we seem to have an alternating sunshine/snowstorm thing going on lately). It is at this time of year, regardless of weather, that we need to be aware of certain seasonal problems that our pets may encounter. One problem is an increase in incidence and severity of allergies, the other is a different group of parasites to be on the look out for.
First let us discuss allergies (in a very broad, non-specific, hopefully non-mind numbing way). Our pets are like us in that they can have allergies. Some pets have allergies to components of their diet, some to inhaled allergies and some to substances they come into contact with. Seasonal allergies are primarily of the inhaled variety with some contact allergies as well. A few of the most common inhaled allergies are pollens and snow moulds. This time of year is especially bad for snow moulds. Pollen allergies follow closely in the wake of snow mould, and become a bother with the blooming of flowers and the emergence of grass and leaves (known as frondescence-whoop, whoop, big word). The signs of these allergies are usually sneezing, possibly with hives etc. There are certain medications which can ease our pets through these seasonal episodes. Treatment is not always required. Occasionally we find our pet's allergies improve with springtime. This is likely because the pet has an allergy to something in the home, such as dust mites, smoke, air fresheners etc. With warmer weather, the pets spend more time outside away from the source of the allergy. Warmer weather also leads to the windows of the home being open to ventilate the home and thus diluting the effects of the allergens (causing the allergy).
Now let us turn our attention to the cast members in the spring/summer parasite collection. With spring comes an increase in cats going outside to hunt (very dangerous to be an outdoor cat, but some cats do go outside). Cats that hunt, especially rodents, are at risk of tapeworm infection (among other things such as rodenticide poisoning etc). Not only is the rodent a source of the worm infection, but so are the fleas that live on the rodent. It is possible therefore for a cat to get worms even if they do not consume the rodent. Spring is also a time when families go camping (Yay!). Camping provides our pets, usually dogs, with great opportunities to run, play, sniff around and investigate. Our pets can become infected with parasites during camping as well. Worm infections can be aquired from the ingestion of rabbit, deer, etc. feces. Other diseases like Giardia can be contracted by drinking contaminated water (ponds or standing water are worse than flowing rivers). If your camping or travel plans take you outside of Alberta, it is a very good idea to investigate what disease concerns exist along the way to and at your destination. For example, if you are planning a trip to B.C., Manitoba, eastern Canada or into the U.S. you should have your pet heartworm tested and on preventive medication prior to leaving. Heartworm is a specific type of worm, completely different from the usual gastrointestinal worms, requiring different types of tests and medication.
The last seasonal parasite to discuss are ticks. Tick season was traditionally thought to be about April through August. It would appear that Alberta ticks are a hardy bunch. We have seen ticks as early as mid March and as late as November some years. Ticks are not just repulsive (and they are!), but are a common vector (means of transmisson) for several diseases. The most well known(but not the only )tick borne disease in Alberta is Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be very serious causing, among others, kidney disease and severe arthritis. Lyme disease can be treated but can be difficult to diagnose. As with all diseases, it is a much better idea to attempt to prevent rather than treat Lyme disease. Preventative measures include topical medications to stop the tick from attaching and taking a blood meal (these medications are toxic to cats and can not be used on cats or dogs in close contact with cats), and vaccinations to help prevent the disease should your pet be exposed to the disease.
In conclusion I would also like to point out that the above mentioned diseases (with the exception of heartworm) are zoonotic. This means that people can also contract these diseases. Do take care out there. Have fun camping!!