We are SO EXCITED to announce that our very own RVT, Tessa, is now certified in Low-Stress Handling!!! This is as exciting for our patients as it is for us because we now have even more ways to make sure your pet's vet visit is as easy as can be! Tessa wanted to tell you all about it, so without furr-ther ado...
Hey guys! My name is Tessa, I’m a Registered Technician here at the Elmsdale Animal Hospital. I love learning about new and improved ways to care for not only our hospitalized patients, but for every pet that comes through our door! I recently had the opportunity to become certified in Low Stress Handling, a course that was taught by the late Dr. Sophia Yin, a pioneer in reducing stress at the vet. Low stress handling in the hospital setting can be difficult to achieve but is a useful tool to make you and your pet’s experience with us much more enjoyable.
Low-stress appointments can begin before you walk through our doors. There are anti-anxiety supplements and medications that you can pick up for your pet if you think they are going to be stressed. We encourage you to bring your pets to the vet hungry because if we can get them to eat, we can get their mind set to a happy place which in turn will begin to lower their anxiety.
Next, we work on making your dog comfortable in the clinic. This includes finding what your dog considers to be a reward and using that when we can; for example: treats, petting or something as little as saying “good boy!”.
Why is low stress handling important? We want the vet clinic to be a safe place for your pet. If your pet is comfortable, the veterinarians will be able to do their job more efficiently and safely. Likewise, we want you as an owner to be able to relax knowing your fur babies are being cared for and handled in the least stressful way possible. Almost all animals need to visit the veterinarian at some point in their lives. This is when low stress handling can be helpful in making the decision to bring your pet in a little bit easier. We want to do everything we can to make your pet feel more comfortable and relaxed because when they are happy so are we!
With the topic of this years Animal Health Week being vaccines, we thought we’d give an overview of what vaccines actually are and how they work!
This allows the immune system to “see” the disease without you having to contract it. In human medicine the use of vaccines has been very successful in preventing disease, helping to essentially eradicate illnesses like smallpox and polio. The same principles apply to veterinary medicine. Vaccines are used to help protect our pets from potentially fatal illnesses.
That’s where boosters come in. The booster is like the chief giving the officers weapons to fight the disease. Once the vaccine is boostered, the immunity from that disease can last for years.
For example, we know that the vaccine for Lyme Disease doesn’t usually provide immunity for longer than a year so we booster it annually. Some vaccines, however, can provide immunity for much longer for certain patients. Titer testing is a way we can assess how immune a dog is to an illness and decide if a booster is needed at that point in time.
We can test Titres in the core vaccines to see when boosters are needed. Rabies Titers have to be sent to an outside lab, but the others can be done here in clinic. Vaccines for Bordatella (kennel cough), Leptosporosis and Lyme Disease are also available depending on your dog’s risk factors.
For cats, the core vaccine protects against Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Chlamydia and Panleukopenia. This vaccine should be boostered annually, even if your cat never steps foot outside. If kitty spends any time out of the house, they should also be protected against Feline Leukemia and Rabies.
**CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE VACCINES WE OFFER AT ELMSDALE ANIMAL HOSPITAL OR TITRE TESTING**
With our pets, as in human medicine, preventing disease is preferable to treating a potentially fatal illness. If you would like to discuss your pet’s risk factors and work on a prevention routine, please call the Elmsdale Animal Hospital at (902)883-7080.
Dr. Juanita Ashton, BSc, DVM, ACDBC-IAABC is a certified Canine Behavioural Consultant, and one of the owners of the Elmsdale Animal Hospital