Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Came Early

Last Friday, we had a very sick cat come in to the hospital. Blackie was very dehydrated, had a fever and could barely lift his head. His owners said he had been loosing weight lately and his appetite was poor.

We admitted him for ICU treatment. In Blackie’s case, this meant radiographs (normal), taking blood for analysis, starting antibiotics and fluids. When cats stop eating well, they are at greater risk of developing hepatic lipidosis. This means their liver gets clogged with the fat their body is trying to break down for energy. I was very worried. I warned his owners the prognosis wasn’t very good but since he was only 5 years old it was worth a fight.

The next day we got his bloodwork results. The hepatic lipidosis was confirmed and his muscle enzymes were elevated. We started force feeding him small amounts of a special canned food that can be mixed into a slurry. He wasn’t exactly appreciative but his life depended on it.

Blackie was also lucky that his owners could visit every day. It really helps to keep the animal’s spirits up. He purred for us during his massages but his motor really roared when they came in. They brought him a plush animal that he routinely curled up with for naps.

It took five days, but we finally got Blackie back on his feet so he could go home for Christmas. He has masticatory myositis (inflammation of the cheek muscles - an autoimmune disease). I received an email update today saying he was starting to eat on his own. He even gets to go visiting over the holidays as he needs multiple medications and must be monitored carefully. Blackie is our Christmas miracle!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Proud Daughter

I am going to let you know about the work my mother, Heather A Logan, has been doing for the past fifteen years. She developed and facilitated the Pawsitive Directions Canine Program at Nova Institution for Women. This is a Federal Prison for women inmates. She teaches the women how to train rescued dogs as assistance dogs.

All the training is done using operant conditioning behaviour analysis (known to many as clicker training). This allows the women to train the dogs using non-punitive methods. They also learn how to give back to the community. These women get to see functional families doing the absolute best they can for their family members. This would not be something the majority of the women grew up seeing. The profound effect on the inmates is amazing. Their hard work allows disabled children and adults alike to have a new found sense of purpose and independence.

At the end of the month, my mother will be retiring from the job. It is one that is often frustrating and thankless. She stands up for her women (a number of them I consider to be adopted sisters) and is often the only true mother figure they have ever had. Her program has garnered many awards both in North America and abroad. The Pawsitive Directions Canine Program has the lowest rate of inmates re-offending. More than 50 service dogs have been placed and a number of my “sisters” have gone on to work in the dog industry; whether it be dog trainers, kennel operators, veterinary assistants or dog walkers.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to let everybody know how incredibly proud I am to be this woman’s daughter. Her strength and determination are an absolute inspiration. Because of her, I became a veterinarian and started my own hospital. I will never be able to thank her enough.

For more information about this program, you can visit her website

Surgical Surprises

This week we had a couple of surprises when it came to our surgeries. The first one had the owners, staff and I laughing. A new client brought in the families new 16 week old kitten to be neutered. They had been told it was a male but the kids wanted to call him Dolly. When we are admitting for surgery we always double check just to be sure. Well…..turns out he was actually a she and the kids had found the perfect name!

The other neat find was when we were getting ready to do a spay on a 6 month old small breed dog. My AHT, Kelly, asked me to take a quick peak at the mouth as there were some retained baby teeth. There were five upper baby incisors that needed to come out but the bottom teeth were the most intriguing. There were only three adult incisors (supposed to have six) and the baby canine teeth hadn’t fallen out which was causing the adult teeth to erupt to the inside of the mouth.

This can become a major problem. If we did not remove the baby teeth, the adult teeth would continue to erupt improperly and would end up damaging the hard palate. My mouth hurt just thinking about what could happen. I took a quick dental radiograph to make sure nothing else was going on in the lower jaw.

Once I was done with the routine spay, I extracted the baby teeth. This is the one time we do not suture the incisions closed. We want to give the adult teeth every chance to move outward to their normal position.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Finally Foiled!!!

My youngest dog, Cardinal, is your typical goofy Labrador retriever. If he weren’t so cute it would be very difficult to overlook some of his transgressions. The third time I walked into the phone store for a new Blackberry in a one week period, I could barely believe it.

About a year and a half ago he went through a period where nothing on any counter, whether at home or in the staff room, was safe. What he can do in a split second to a plastic container would make your mind reel. Catching him was basically impossible so we made sure the counter was always clear. He quit counter-surfing in a month at home and two months at work.

Over the past few months, Cardinal has discovered the game of “open the closet door”. The goal is to find something to chew, preferably treats in coat pockets or leather in any form. His tastes are getting expensive. We have tried a variety of ways to keep him out of the closet. This week, my receptionist, Sarena, asked her boyfriend, Caulder to work on one of my ideas. He took it and made it impossible for Cardinal to break into the closet. My hero!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rainbow Bridge

I am in a unique position as a veterinarian. Part of my oath is to relieve suffering. This includes humane euthanasia. It is certainly not an easy part of my job but certainly a necessary one.

I am also getting to a point in my 10 year career where I have known many of my patients since they were young. There is great joy in watching as they grow and play. The aspect I am dealing with now is that these same patients are now old and developing a variety of diseases, some manageable, some terminal.

Today, I had to perform a euthanasia on a patient with hemangiosarcoma of the liver. We had known for the past few weeks she had this dreadful cancer. She was monitored closely for quality of life. I received the call this morning that it was time. I was able to say goodbye as she passed.

The stunning part was that the client's other dog was euthanized for the same disease approximately 1 month ago. I was not able to say goodbye to that dog as I had sent her to the specialist centre thinking she was having side effects to the chemo. Ultrasound found a mass on the liver which had started to bleed. It had to be performed immediately.

It is a privilege and an honor to have known these two dogs. My favorite memories of the two of them are when they came to the hospital for routine exams. I could not start the physical until I had gotten onto the floor for their hug. They were so loving and trusting. I shall miss them terribly and my heart breaks for their owners who have lost such loved members of their family.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Spinal Fusion

I had a really neat case a couple weeks ago. A sweet old Border Collie, Daisy, came in because she was a bit stiff when getting up. As her physical was normal, I discussed performing radiographs on her hips to see if she was developing hip dysplasia.

Her pelvic radiograph showed mild arthritis, the surprise was her spine. Daisy’s entire lumbar spine was fused together! This is the first time I have seen this extensive a case of spondylosis deformans. It is normally an incidental finding on radiographs.

Spondylosis occurs when osteophytic (bony) bridges form between the vertebrae. Most are age-related and are painless. So far, I have only seen one case where it caused an issue – a police dog that had partially fractured an osteophyte after jumping over a 6 foot fence.

The amazing thing about Daisy is that she regularly has “puppy” bouts and herds the cows. We started her on anti-inflammatories so she will have more days to comfortably herd her cows without her hips bothering her.

Picture: Upper spine is normal so compare it to the lower spine in the picture.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just when I thought the itching was over......

Today, I had a 7 month old German Shepherd come in because she was loosing hair over her face. She was doing so much scratching she would keep her owners up at night.

When I walked into the room, our happy Gemma, looked rather pathetic. Her entire face was bald with scaly flakes of irritated skin. We proceeded to do skin cytology and skin scrapings. The diagnosis literally waved its legs at us through the microscope. Demodectic mange (aka Demodicosis).

All dogs get these mites from their mothers but if the dog’s immune system becomes compromised, they can start to multiply and cause disease. Generally, this mange cannot be spread to other dogs (unless other dogs are immunocompromised). The two most common forms of Demodicosis are localized (small scaly bald patches on the face) and generalized (involves large sections of the animal and the secondary bacterial infections are itchy).

Gemma is lucky because young dogs are more likely to naturally gain control of the disease. To help her fight this disease we started her on antibiotics and Ivermectin. We were able to start the Ivermectin today as there is a very low risk she will be sensitive to it. It cannot be used in Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Australian Shepherds and Sheepdogs unless a specific blood test is performed to check for ivermectin sensitivity. To determine when we stop treating, we will need to get two skin scrapings two weeks apart that are negative and then one more skin scraping a month later to make sure there won’t be a relapse.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Holy Ouch!!!

I had one of the neatest dental surgeries that I’ve had in ages. I’ve known Morris, a 10 year old DSH cat for the past few years. He has never been a “white smock” fan and since I tend to wear them…….. On his last physical exam, I noticed that he had fractured one of his upper canine teeth. The pulp was black so we needed to go forward with dental surgery.

Before removing teeth, I almost always take a radiograph. I want to see what shape the roots and bones are in. I was more than a little confused when I saw the radiograph for this tooth. Normally, the pulp of a mature cat or dog becomes a very narrow. The pulp on this one got so large the root basically disappeared.

I carefully elevated and drilled around the tooth root. I tried to be even more delicate than usual removing the root. I was astounded as the tooth was completely full of abscessed material. Then I had to use a special tool to scrape the rest of the abscess out of the pocket. The gums were sutured closed and my AHT, Kelly, finished the charting, cleaning and polishing.

I know that Morris will feel much better having that abscessed tooth out of his mouth. I wish that he would associate that feeling with the white smock.

Picture: the red line represents where the pulp should be and the green lines represent where the tooth root should be.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Itch Factor

When I arrive at work in the morning, I will often have a quick peak at the day’s appointments. This week, I noticed one appointment with a note saying the dog was itchy. No problem. I’ve seen quite a few itchy dogs lately (food allergies, canine atopy, ear infections) so I wasn’t surprised. Well, that was going to change!!!!

I entered the room and found a dog that couldn’t stop scratching and twitching its skin. His owner mentioned that he had been quite itchy for a week and had taken him to the groomers two days ago. She had not seen any improvement after the bathing.

For kicks, I grabbed my flea comb and used it down his back before starting my physical exam. I pretty much became instantly itchy myself. Off came oodles of lice. Then I excused myself from the room and ran for the topical medication to kill them off. The sooner we got rid of them, the sooner he would be comfortable.

Now why am I still feeling itchy?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sometimes Dr. Google Isn’t Right

We are dealing with a rather unfortunate case right now. Last Tuesday, one of our one year old 55lb Heinz 57s decided that eating some Ibuprofen tablets would be a good idea. When Patches’ owners went online, the website told them that if the dog had vomited, then they shouldn’t have to worry.

Friday morning we got a call from her owners saying she was lethargic, had a poor appetite and was drinking so much she was having accidents in the house. They thought she’d had 10 to 12 of the 400mg tablets. When a dog the size of Patches eats 4000mg of Ibuprofen it causes renal (kidney) failure, GI ulcers, vomiting and abdominal pain. We sent bloodwork to the lab and sure enough, she had acute renal failure.

She had to stay in our ICU for the weekend. High doses of IV fluids, an antibiotic and three medications to help with ulcers of the stomach and intestines. Repeat bloodwork showed some improvement. By the time I sent her home, she had a wonderful case of cabin fever (I love this cause it means they are feeling much better!). We won’t know for 2 weeks whether or not this has caused long term kidney damage. I will keep you posted.

So, if your animal gets into your pain medication, please call your veterinarian immediately!!! Playing the wait and see game can potentially have a devastating outcome.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Revenge on the Ranula

As a student, I discovered my first ranula when my Magic, a female black Lab, woke up and was salivating all over the apartment. Luckily I lived over a veterinary hospital and I was waiting downstairs for one of the vets to arrive. A ranula is a collection of saliva that has leaked from a salivary gland that has become damaged. The most common causes are chewing on foreign materials, choke collars or bite wounds. In her case, a stick was not her friend. Dr. Prowse lanced it and all was well.

Over the past couple of months, I had a patient, Britt, whose ranula kept reoccurring. The first time I lanced it with a very sharp pair of small scissors and out poured the bloody saliva. Of course, I thought it was cool but the reaction by others in the room was more along the line of “oh gross!”

The second time it became enlarged, I attempted to lance it but nothing came out. The lining of the gland was significantly thickened. I warned the owner there was a chance we would need to do a surgical procedure called marsupialization.

Sure enough, it grew again so we went to surgery. Not going to lie, it was pretty neat. Basically I cut out the balloon and sutured the lining of the ranula to itself. Britt woke up pretty happy not to have the saggy balloon hanging out of her mouth.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Joyous Miracles

Last week, one of my clients came in to have a radiograph done on her pregnant dog, Joy. This breeder is very responsible, she makes sure to have all of the appropriate tests done prior to breeding (OFA certification of hips, Optigen test for PRA, eye certification and Baer testing for hearing). Her dogs have their championships and has litters maybe once per year or every other year. We were very happy to see four cute little puppies.

Right before surgery this morning, I received a call saying that Joy had started whelping (having pups) at 4:30 am. Her owner found that she was having weak, inconsistent uterine contractions. The second puppy arrived just after 6:30am. Since it was now almost 9am, I told her to bring Joy right in. Surgery was going to have to wait.

While waiting for her to arrive, I prepared the staff. We needed to have the exam room set up with blankets, small towels (for drying the puppies off), suture (tying off the umbilical cord and betadine to clean the end of the cord. The surgery room was also set up in case we needed to do an emergency caesarian section.

Upon arrival, both the owner and Joy appeared very tired. The two newborns looked strong. I did an internal vaginal exam but only got a mild Ferguson’s reflex (when the uterus is palpated, it should contract). Oxytocin was given to stimulate contractions and the last two finally arrived. Sighs of relief were heard all around when the squeals started up and the best part was watching the babies starting to suckle.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This weekend I did a presentation for the Foothills Humane Society. The topic I was given was “Canine Aggression, Fears and Phobias: Treatment and Prevention”. A slightly daunting task to talk about for only 1 ½ hours. To a captive audience I could talk forever about behaviour. To keep it interesting, I added as many pictures and videos as I could. What I hadn’t expected was the effect of talking about a certain case.

This summer I took in one of my behaviour patients. Coal was an American Cocker Spaniel who had impulse control aggression and fear aggression. I had worked with his dedicated owners for almost two years but when their son first began to crawl, it was evident he would bite their son, given the right situation.

After saying I would never do it again about 13 years ago, I took Coal into my home. We needed to see if he would respond to more training in a safe place. As I do not have 2 legged children and have been training for so long, I decided to take him in. One of my thoughts at the time was that if it worked better for Coal, I could keep him and they could visit whenever they wanted.

When he was in training mode, I could not ask for a more motivated dog. He loved to make me click him. The problems occurred at random times and twice I was bitten. It was crushing to know that we would not be able to get the control we needed. Liability wise, I could not keep him as I could not guarantee he wouldn’t be put in a situation where he felt he needed to bite. I couldn’t stop the tears the day we sent Coal to Rainbow Bridge.

Coming back to the presentation, there I stood in front of a room full of people. One of the pictures I had taken of him was up and the tears started. I wanted the group to know how hard we tried but there are some cases that no matter what we do, we will not be successful. In the future I will share more of Coal’s legacy.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Owl of a Day

I may have one of the least boring jobs you could possibly imagine. This week we received a call regarding an owl that was caught on a barbed wire fence. My tech student, Lindsay, has worked with wildlife at the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre so she went to get it. In order to bring it in, the wire had to be cut on either side of the owl.

This was a very lucky owl. Generally when they get caught in barbed wire they will often twist so much that they will also cut tendons and ligaments. The wire was only caught in the skin of one of the wings. The area was cleaned, pain medication given and fluids injected under the skin.

After everything we did, it was still not a happy camper. Whenever we checked on it, hissing was heard from inside the carrier. Hopefully it will be happier at the rehab centre.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Medications have needs too

Recently I saw one of my patients because he was suffering from a relapse. This cat has an ulcer on his upper lip called an indolent ulcer. Basically, he started having an allergic reaction to something (unknown at this time) and it caused his body to attack the tissue of his upper lip. Over the past year we have been able to control the ulcer with periodic antibiotics and oral steroids.

You can imagine my surprise when I entered the room to find the ulcer had eaten away approximately 3-5mm of tissue from the upper lip. At the first sign of a flare up, his owner grabs the medication to prevent this sort of thing from occurring. His owner couldn’t understand why the medication wasn’t working this time.

Luckily, his owner brought the medication with her. The antibiotic that helped in the past was out of its foil packaging. There are certain medications that must be vacuum packed and protected from light in order to keep them stable. Unfortunately, once they’ve been exposed for 24 hours, they are unusable. In this instance, humidity in the air breaks the medication down so it will not work and potentially be unsafe.

We will be doing a recheck in the next week to see how he is responding to the new medication. I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, September 6, 2010

It is NOT spite!!

Here is a conversation I have many days of the week.

Me: So, Rover is here for his annual physical and vaccinations. Do you have any concerns about him?
Owner: He’s a really great dog but he hates it when we leave him alone in the evening.
Me: Why do you say that?
Owner: He always picks one of the kid’s beds to urinate (or some rendition of that word!) on to spite us.
Me: Have you considered that most cases of inappropriate urination are caused by a medical condition?

We then continue the chat while I do a physical exam. In most cases I recommend a urinalysis. However, there was one case where I didn’t bother doing a urinalysis and went straight to a radiograph because I could actually feel the stones in the bladder. We postponed the vaccines and scheduled surgery for the next morning. The bladder literally “popped” out of the incision for me to fish out seven stones. One of the coolest bladder surgeries I have ever done!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doing the best we can with nutrition

One of the most confusing yet important topics I discuss on a daily basis is nutrition. Clients get such an influx of information from friends, family, the internet, books and so on. All they want to do is to pick the best possible food for their beloved pet.

So many people rely on the labels and try to compare ingredients. This is so frustrating for them since there are so few regulations. Any pet food company can label ingredients however they want. For example, one company’s definition of by-product will be vastly different from another’s.

One of my favorite pieces of advice to owners is to look for “AAFCO clinical feeding trial” printed on the bag. If they can’t find it, contact the company to find out what kind of feeding trials have been performed. There are a few companies that have run the proper trials but haven’t advertised it on the bag.

All that is involved in a clinical feeding trial is sending a portion of the food to a laboratory. Then ALL the feces from the dogs/cats being fed that food in a six week period is sent to the lab so the digestibility can be definitively determined. As an undergraduate student I did a digestibility study using wolves and coyotes and I can attest to the fact that it is only inhumane to the human involved.

By knowing that a diet is properly balanced (not only for protein, fat and carbohydrates, but vitamins and minerals as well) it allows us to make the choices for our pets that are in their best interest.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

School/Group Tours

Something that I really enjoy doing is school or group tours at the hospital. We periodically schedule these tours and we generally start with a viewing of the surgery room through the staff room observation window. If the groups aren't too big I may even take them right into the surgery suite. After that we go back to the treatment room where we all gather round to do show and tell.

What I have found that gets the most fun reactions from both kids and parents/teachers alike are the worms. Grossed-out fascination is visible all around when I show the samples of tapeworms and roundworms I have collected over the years.

Roundworms are a zoonotic disease (people can become infected) and one study has shown that 17% of children have antibodies to this parasite, meaning that they have been exposed to the worm at some point in their lives. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends we deworm our pets approximately four times yearly. This significantly decreases the risk to our children and immuno-compromised human family members.

The tour continues with obedience and trick demonstrations with my dogs and the rescue cat, Jasper. Needless to say, after the tour everyone is more than eager to wash their hands – always a good habit to get into after any interactions with pets.

If you are interested in having a tour of our clinic, please feel free to contact us.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eva's input in dental surgery

When I invest in certain “toys” for my hospital, I tend to name them. Eva is my digital dental radiograph machine. I can have a radiograph (x-ray) within seconds and determine whether the tooth (or teeth) can be salvaged or need to be removed.

Many people assume that animals will always show pain and stop eating when they have a sore mouth. If only that were so. I am always amazed how “normal” they act even when there are slab fractures of the teeth, loose teeth or even abscesses of the tooth root. What gives me satisfaction are the phone calls from owners who are amazed because their dog or cat is acting happier once the dental surgery has been performed.

Bud is one of my more recent cases. Over the years, he has had a few dental procedures. During his biannual senior exam, I found that he had progressed to stage 2 out of 4 dental disease. This means he has moderate tartar and gingivitis. His family and I decided it would be a good idea to schedule bloodwork, then a thorough cleaning and polishing.

It turned out to be an excellent day to have Eva around. While one of my AHTs was charting and probing his teeth, she found a pocket around one of the teeth of the lower jaw. I decided to take a radiograph. It turned out that two teeth needed to be extracted. There was both bone loss and abscesses at the tooth roots. Without Eva, I would not have known how extensive the dental disease actually was in the mouth.

According to his owners, he was back to better than his normal self in just a few days. Bud also wanted to play fetch again, which they hadn't realized he'd stopped playing a number of months ago.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It has to be a full moon…

A couple brought their dog in because her stomach was getting larger. As I did my physical exam, I asked certain questions, such as “Is she spayed?” (No), “When was her last heat cycle?” (Two months ago), “Was she around any intact males while unsupervised?” (Yes). As you can probably guess, the top differential (aka “possible cause”) would be pregnancy. This was confirmed when I palpated her abdomen and felt puppies moving. Upon further discussion with her owners, we decided our plan of action would be to do a radiograph (x-ray) to see how many puppies she would be having and get them information on how to deliver a litter of puppies. The owners left her with us so they could run some errands.

The radiograph was both cute (little babies) and a bit alarming – one of the puppies was already in the pelvic canal! We then took her temperature, which was 37.5’C. Normal is 38.5’C. This is important, because after a pregnant female’s temperature drops one degree, we generally have puppies within 12 to 24 hours. As my staff was setting up an area for her, in case she started to whelp, the first strong contraction came. During the next hour, out came five perfect little healthy puppies. In my line of work, we usually see the cases with problems, not the naturally occurring miracle, so we were all a little excited.

Now, you need to imagine yourself as the owners. You have just been told your dog is pregnant; you go do errands and then return to the hospital to look at a radiograph that will tell you how many puppies to expect. Instead, you enter the clinic, and are greeted with “ “Congratulations, you are the proud grandparents of five puppies, here they are!” Your vet isn’t pointing at a radiograph, she is pointing to your dog with puppies suckling from her. To this day, I wish I had a picture of the looks on their faces when we gave them the news.

This is a compilation of a few cases and I have been thrilled with the miracle of each one.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Missing Jewels

Many people who know me have figured out that I like jewelry, especially the kind that includes diamonds. When I was thinking about topics, this case just popped into mind.

A couple of years ago, my staff booked an appointment for a dog that may have eaten a foreign body. I entered the room to find Horatio, a wiggling spaniel, happily waiting to see me. His owner, on the other hand, was upset because she was afraid he had once again eaten something he shouldn’t have. Horatio is not a picky eater and had recently decided that shiny things were his new snack of choice. The item that was missing today was his owner’s brand new engagement ring.

Knowing Horatio, we decided to do a radiograph to see if he’d actually eaten it and if so, where it was in his abdomen. You can imagine my surprise to see not just any ring, but a huge 2 carat diamond ring in his colon. Since the colon is wider than the small intestines I knew there would be no risk to Horatio and he would be able to pass it very easily.

I sent him home to be closely observed. The next morning, we received a call from the owners to say the ring had been retrieved without incident. Apparently Horatio watched his humans with a bit of puzzlement as they “dissected his feces” instead of just bagging it. After some extensive cleaning, the ring was brought in for me to see. It looked much better on his owner’s hand than in Horatio’s abdomen!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Animal Behaviour

One of my greatest passions in veterinary medicine (other than smelling sweet puppy breath and watching playful kittens) is animal behaviour. I have always been intrigued by why animals do what they do, how they use their body language to talk to one another, and how can I help the animals who have difficulties such as anxiety and aggression. In the future, I plan to become board certified in animal behaviour so I can be a behaviour specialist.

As my blogging continues, I will introduce you to some of my “special needs cases”. I will start with Max (yes, I have changed his name to protect his identity), who is now a 5 year old, male neutered, Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier. His folks brought him to me because he had multiple aggression issues. The first consultation was an interesting one, to say the least. When I entered the room, he barked, growled, and snarled while showing other signals (lip licking, yawning, paw up) to say he was very nervous and wanted to leave. During the two hour appointment, he was not happy when I moved at any time. Any of you who know me know that I tend to use my hands a lot, especially to reach for my Tim Horton’s coffee. Max was not a happy camper. We went over the behaviour modifying exercises we could use to help him relax.

In most cases, and this one especially, using any form of punishment will make the behaviour worse. Unfortunately, many dog owners do not know that the punishment and “dominance” based methods used on popular TV were scientifically disproven over 15 years ago! Using only positive behaviour-modifying exercises, Max’s dedicated owners now have him under excellent control It is not reasonable or possible to “cure” behaviour problems – the goal is good management. Two years later, Max has been able to attend obedience classes and was the happiest and most relaxed dog there. Max also thinks I am a treat dispenser and will do almost anything, including hitting the Staples easy button, to make me click and treat him. Max can now ignore the types of people who used to make him very anxious, which allows him and his owners to have much more pleasant walks around Calgary.

Positive training methods and behaviour modification can be successfully used with most pets with behaviour issues, along with obedience classes and adequate exercise. Please let us know any issues you may be having with your pet, either at your annual check-ups, or call us at any time. We will be pleased to work with you to develop the best possible relationship with your best friend.