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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today's show

Thank you to all the callers tonight on Animal House Calls as well as City TV for having me as a guest. Thank you, Ann Roehmer, for being a superb mediator between the viewers and me. I wanted to add a few things to what was discussed on the show.
First of all, it is important to understand that puppies that have not received all their shots are not fully protected from infectious disease, especially parvovirus (even those puppies that HAVE indeed received their full series of vaccines are still susceptible, though less so - thank you Dr. Webhill for having me add this). The reasons for which I advocate puppies going outside before their full series of shots is this: all too often I meet clients who have never brought their dogs outside until 4, 5, or even 6 months of age. And why? Because they didn't have their shots. This is wrong, in my opinion. The severe problem this poses is that these dogs have never met another dog! This is when serious behavioural problems arise, and this is when these pets are given up for these very problems! So you see, we need to expose these puppies to other dogs lest we end up with a dog that is severely unsocialized. We also need to understand the risks, and assume them. Again, I recommend that puppies be vaccinated at 8, 12, and 16 weeks, and that they receive a "kennel-cough" shot at 8 or 12 weeks. This should be followed by puppy classes after 10-12 weeks. I think it's reasonable to start letting these puppies outside, under close supervision, on a leash, about 1-2 weeks after the 2nd shots, if not earlier.
Any puppy that is vomiting, has diarrhea, and is lethargic, I would consult with a vet immediately for fear of parvovirus, a dangerous infectious disease that can cause fatal vomiting and diarrhea.

A sick little "parvo puppy."


AC ROB said...

Hello Torontovet,

I'm a regular Animalhouse call viewer, though I don't have a puppy or a kitten, however, I find that listening to all those great suggestions on the show makes me understand our man's best friends even more. It makes me realize how much energy and financial means that go into taking care of these little creatures. I think the show really reinforces the idea of pet is INDEED a family member.
You did a wonderful job on the show today. I think you are the ever first vet on the show that tells the viewers your blog. By doing that, i think you make the show more hip and young.
I have a question for you, Mr. Torontovet. I've been wanting to become a volunteer for an animal clinic for a while, i just don't know how to get my foot in, do you have any suggestion? Maybe, i can help u out in your clinic once a week if that's possible?

AC Rob

Greg said...

Hey there, I just watched your Animalhouse call spot, and I just wanted to say that I think this blog is a great idea- it is nice that you put the personal touch on it as well, it makes it much easier for people to approach you with their questions. I used to be a vet tech with the University Health Network (I am an elementary teacher with the Toronto Board now), so I have seen a very different side of animal care, but it was a pretty rewarding experience.
My question is a more general one: I have an appartment that is on the smaller side and I was wondering what would be a good dog breed to acclimate to those surroundings, ofcourse taken into account that I would try to give that dog as much excercise as possible in the neighbourhood park? Again, thanks for putting up the blog and I hope to hear back from you.


Thank ACROB and Greg for your wonderful feedback.
To ACROB, a place like the Toronto Human Society would benefit enormously from your generosity to do volunteer work. They also have a clinic there but I don't know what their policy is regarding volunteer work in the hospital per se. I'd like you to walk in there and tell them exactly what you told me.
I also encourage you to send my practice manager an email: and let her know what you're looking for. I promise to let her know about your request.
Greg, it's not so much the size of the apartment then the amount of time you're willing to devote to a dog. Do you work much? Do you like your free time? Can you take the dog out three times daily for an hour each time? These are all important questions that you and others should ask themselves before getting a dog. Would a cat be a more appropriate pet for you? If you've made a sound decision to get a dog based on these and other criteria, then I applaud you.
There are so many breeds out there and many may be appropriate. Go to the park, ask around, and visit this site:
Hope this helps!

TONurse said...

Hello TorontoVet!
Loved seeing you on Housecalls yesterday, and love that you've made the decision to "advertise" your blog!
I do have a question, but first a little history!
My 9 month old cat is a polydactyl (bilateral front "mitten paws") with an extra digit between the extended dew claws and the first toe on each paw.
On my last visit to the vet with him, I questioned my vet about declawing JUST the extra digit as I was worried that the extra claw would grow into his pads (these claws seem to grow faster and thicker then all the other claws!). Let me tell you, my jaw nearly hit the floor when my vet suggested that I have the toes amputated!
And now my question: Is it normal practice to amputate extra toes in polydactyl cats when it comes to declawing?
I made the decision NOT to amputate the toes, and have become very vigilant about clipping his nails.


ToNurse, thank you so much for your kind feedback.
Your request to have just these digits declawed is PERFECTLY reasonable! I find no problems with this whatsoever.
It's important to understand that 1) the nails from ANY of the digits can grow into the pads and 2) that a declaw IS an amputation, but just of P3 (the distal phalanx), or the last little bone to which the nail is attached - similar to our own.
Find a vet that is BIG on peri-operative pain management and your kitty should do great with just a "partial" declaw! (if there a few digits very close together you MAY wish to have 1-2 removed per paw, but I'd have to see it before making any further recommendation). Not to be a salesman here, but a laser declaw is exponentially less painful than the traditional scalpel technique, and we at The Animal Clinic indeed use a laser for our declaws. Take care!

webhill said...

Hey there, Torontovet. Greetings from a vet near Philadelphia, PA!

You wrote "...puppies that have not received all their shots are not 100% protected from infectious disease...", and while I completely understand your point, to me that reads as if you mean to state that puppies who HAVE received all of their shots ARE 100% protected. I'm sure you didn't mean that, but that is what it probably sounds like to a layperson. So I thought you might consider clarifying that that is not the case.

Best wishes,
webhill, VMD


Dear Webhill,

You are absolutely correct. Thank you for that advice! I will amend that post.
Take care and thank you again.

Jason Merling( said...

Hi, thank you for such interesting blogs, I do have a question I rescued a 4 year old shitzu and was told that they had no record of any shots for the dog. What do I do? Can I bring her to get shots not knowing when or if she had any shots proir in her life?
Thank you
Jason Merling
Toronto, Ontario