Lyme Disease and your Dog

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Lyme disease is transmitted from ticks to your dog (and potentially you) through a bite from an infected bug. Ticks are a common occurrence in Manitoba, and can be picked up by your dog almost anywhere! Last year there were 577 diagnosed cases of Lyme disease in Winnipeg dogs. Ticks are unable to fly or jump, so they lay in wait on long blades of grass (almost like a silent ninja!) for your dog to rub up against and then attach themselves to the host. It is very important to make sure you check your dog thoroughly after they have been outside in long grass for any ticks that may have latched on. Ticks enjoy hanging out in certain “hot spots” on your dog, such as right inside their ears, in their armpit area and on their chests.

Tick Removal

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When removing a tick from your dog, make sure that you have a couple of things handy and ready to go beforehand: tweezers and a container filled with alcohol or peroxide to put the ticks in. Grasp the tick close to the skin with tweezers and pull slowly upward with steady pressure. Try to avoid twisting or crushing the tick and make sure that you don’t accidentally leave the head still attached to your dog. After the tick has been removed, cleanse the skin around the tick bite with soap/water or disinfectant. If the bite starts to scab over and your dog is uncomfortable, you can break open a Vitamin E tablet (purchased at any pharmacy or health store) and rub the liquid on the wound site.

Signs and Symptoms

Many pet owners will take to the internet to do research regarding Lyme disease in dogs, but won’t find a lot of literature that doesn’t focus on what the disease does in humans. The symptoms in dogs are quite different. For example, it is rare that a dog will develop the heart and neurological issues that Lyme disease causes for humans. Common symptoms include joint pain and fever, which won’t normally present until 2-5 months after the initial bite. Dogs with Lyme disease will sometimes exhibit lameness. Their joints may swell, causing tenderness and limping. Sometimes it is constant, sometimes it will go away and come back.

Other symptoms a dog may have the disease are swollen lymph nodes, walking stiff with an arched back, lethargy, being sensitive to touch, having difficulty breathing, and depression. Lyme-positive dogs can also develop kidney issues in the later stages of infection.

While many dogs live with this disease undetected, it is best to take your dog to the vet if you think they may be infected. Your vet will start your dog on a course of antibiotics to clear the disease from his body.

Prevention

Tick control is essential to the prevention of Lyme disease. Try to limit the amount of time your dog spends in tall grasses during the months of April-November (tick season) and check them regularly when they come inside from a walk. D.R.E.A.M. also recommends spraying your dog with an Eco-Friendly preventative spray such as our Rosemary-Lemon mix to help ward off uninvited visitors.

Your vet can recommend various preventative measures, such as sprays, collars and topical products for repelling and killing ticks. You must be careful when using such products if you have cats as they may be deadly to them. Vaccines are also available, although they are controversial due to a high number of side effects. In any case, a vet should be consulted for recommendation of an appropriate method and product.

D.R.E.A.M. can’t stress enough that prevention is the key to keeping your dog safe from Lyme Disease. A simple check of your dog before coming in from a romp in the park is a simple and effective way to search out ticks and remove them quickly before they cause any additional issues!

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DREAM in the City: Dr. Bhupinder Singh, Henderson Group Vet Clinics

Dr. Bhupinder (Tony) Singh of Henderson Group Vet Clinics will be joining DREAM in the City both as a vendor and as a keynote speaker. Dr. Singh will be taking questions from the audience to make the most of your time! Are you curious why your pet requires heartworm prevention every year? Or what tick borne diseases your pet might be susceptible to? Bring your questions on Saturday for a free opportunity for vetting advice!

Since April 2000, Dr. Singh has worked mostly out of Henderson Animal Hospital. He is a part of six veterinary clinics called “Henderson Group” who offer top of the line veterinary services to pet owners across Winnipeg. Henderson, Alpine, Sage Creek, Southglen, Fort Garry and Stonewall Animal Hospitals provide professional and loving health care to all their clients. With six clinics across Winnipeg and one in Stonewall MB, Henderson Group has a clinic you can trust and count on.

ImageDr. Singh grew up on a farm in a village in Northern India, where he was exposed to a variety of animals such as cows, buffaloes, sheep goats, dogs, cats and more. He worked for three years in a mixed animal practice doing preventative and therapeutic medicine.

Dr. Singh’s love for animals also includes his 13 year old cat, Annie. Outside veterinary medicine, he enjoys traveling, meeting people around the globe and is keen on religious studies.

We are thrilled to offer this Q&A session with Dr. Tony SIngh. What a great opportunity to ask your pet’s health care questions and learn more about the importance of basic pet care!

Visit DREAM in the City: Manitoba Canine Expo on Saturday, June 22nd from 11:00am to 4:00pm, located at Four Points Sheraton South (2935 Pembina Hwy), where Dr. Singh will be among five keynote speakers, including Neil Sedlacek and Asmara Polcyn! More information at www.dreamrescue.ca.

DREAM in the City: Neil Sedlacek, Pawstruck Pet Nutrition

Neil Sedlacek, owner of Pawstruck Pet Nutrition will be joining DREAM in the City both as a vendor and as a keynote speaker. Neil will be sharing his knowledge on pet nutrition, exploring the connection between what we feed our dogs and their health. He will be discussing the different types of diets available (home cooked, raw, kibble, canned) and their respective merits and drawbacks, as well as what to look for in a commercially prepared diet. Join us for this informative session, and have the opportunity for one on one time with Neil during the day!

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Growing up with three cats and two dogs, Neil has spent his life surrounded by animals. His first four-legged sidekick was a little grey and white kittenfrom The Winnipeg Humane Society. Who would’ve known that little kitten would cause a major change in direction for Neil.

When Neil took his new kitty to the vet for a checkup, he asked “what is the best food I can feed my cat?” Armed with a list of vet-recommended foods, he selected the most expensive brand assuming that cost would equate to quality. Shortly thereafter the pet industry was rocked by a massive recall which affected over 100 brands of cat and dog food. Thousands of pets across North America died from tainted ingredients. What hit home hardest was that every single item on the vet’s list was also on the recall list. Luckily Neil’s kitten wasn’t affected, but from there on out, he decided that he had to educate himself. The more informed he became about the pet food industry, the more he realized that the odds are stacked against the consumer. Conflicting information, misinformation, and massive marketing campaigns all work to undo even the best intentions.

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Nuno, Neil’s White German Shepherd

After four years of research and countless consultations with industry insiders, Neil now owns and operates Pawstruck Pet Nutrition, a business committed entirely to providing pet parents with a selection of the best food available for their cats and dogs. Everything we do is focused towards the well being of cats and dogs. Every line of food stocked at Pawstruck is researched to determine if the diet is species appropriate, the nature of the preservatives used, the source of the ingredients, and the company’s history of recalls. “If there is anything we don’t like about a food, we simply will not sell it,” Neil states proudly. Of his many rules set when selecting what lines to carry, the most important is that he will only sell food that he is willing to feed to his four-legged family.

Visit DREAM in the City: Manitoba Canine Expo on Saturday, June 22nd from 11:00am to 4:00pm, located at Four Points Sheraton South (2935 Pembina Hwy), where Neil will be among five keynote speakers, including Asmara Polcyn! More information at www.dreamrescue.ca.

DREAM in the City: Manitoba Canine Expo

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Our big kickoff event is almost here! On Saturday, June 22nd, D.R.E.A.M. will be hosting DREAM in the City: Manitoba Canine Expo at the Four Points Sheraton South located at 2935 Pembina Hwy. The event features 15 vendors and four keynote speakers from 11:00am to 4:00pm.

Featuring the following keynote speakers:

11:45am: Asmara Polcyn, The Winnipeg Woof Pack
12:30pm: Dr. Tony Singh, Henderson Group Vet Clinics
1:00pm: DREAM Presentation
1:30pm: Ainsley McSorley, Revive Fitness
2:15pm: Neil Sedlacek, Pawstruck Pet Nutrition
2:45pm: Kilcona, Maple Grove & Little Mountain Dog Parks
3:30pm: Silent auction winners will be announced!

And the following vendors:
Planet Pup
– Sprockett’s Doggy Day Camp
– The Noble Hound, Dog Training and Obedience
– Happy Tails Pet Photography
Pawstruck Pet Nutrition
Kilcona & Maple Grove Dog Park Clubs
Winnipeg Pet Sitting
Blueberry Hill Books
Waldenway Kennels
– Manitoba Underdogs Rescue
– Sagkeeng Spay/Neuter Initiative Program (SSNIP)
– Earthdog Terrier Rescue of Manitoba
– Henderson Group Vet Clinics

We are planning an action packed day including an amazing assortment of silent auction prizes, education on dog care and products and some great presentations from our vendors.  Our goal is to create awareness around D.R.E.A.M, promote our education and advocacy programs, promote adoptable dogs and raise money for our spay and neuter program.

Visit our event on Facebook for up to date information on this great event!

Heartworm

Heartworm is spread to cats and dogs by mosquitoes. The larva travels to the animal’s lungs then heart where they grow to be up 15 to 30 cm in length. They can produce and release thousands of larva into the blood stream where mosquitoes can pick them back up to spread to other animals.

The worms can cause serious damage to internal organs, including swelling of the heart, and can be fatal. Dogs who are infested with many worms may have worms in the large vein between their heart and liver, which will result in death in two to three days if they are not surgically removed.

There are no symptoms of heartworm during early infection, but as it progresses the dog will develop a cough and laboured breathing, and may not be interested in exercise. Abnormal lung and heart sounds will also become apparent and the dog may faint from poor blood flow to their brain.

Dogs showing symptoms of heartworm, even if they’ve been given preventative medication, should be taken to the vet for diagnostic testing immediately as symptoms do not show up until awhile after the worms have gotten into the dog. When caught in time, heartworm can be killed with two waves of medications, the first to kill the adult worms and the second to kill the larva in the bloodstream.

While receiving medication to kill heartworm, it is very important that dogs do not exercise. This can be very difficult for some dogs, such as Naomi.

Naomi is only a year old and has already had a litter of puppies. Manitoba Mutts picked her and two of her puppies up from Scanterbury and brought them to Winnipeg April 7. Naomi was sent to live with a foster family while getting heartworm treatment and waiting for adoption.

She loved to run and play with the 1 1/2 year old girl and the small dog in her first foster family. Because of this she had to be moved to a quieter home even though the family was sad to see her go.

She is very smart and learned “sit” and “up”, which makes it easier for her new foster mom can get her to be still to get her leash on and pick her up to carry her down the apartment building stairs so she doesn’t get too much activity. Even though she only goes for short walks around the building she already knows not to pull too hard on the leash and politely visits with other dogs even when they growl and bark at her.

Imagine all the things she could do and learn though if she had never gotten heartworms and was allowed to run at the park with other pups. Instead of whimpering in her kennel while her foster mom goes for runs she could be joining. Instead of chewing through her leash and on the coffee table out of boredom from having her toys taken away she would be outside in the sun learning to fetch.

What’s so unfortunate about this is that heartworm is so easily prevented by a pill or applying a solution to their skin. There are daily, monthly, and six month options. With mosquito season on the way, talk to your vet today about how to best prevent heartworms in your pup.