As many of you know, veterinary medicine is not just a job for Dr. Mac, but her passion and her life long dream. We are so proud to announce Dr. Mac was also nominated for the Oakville Reader's Choice "Best Veterinarian" category!
Please take an extra moment to support Dr. Mac and vote here.
Thank you to our M.A.C family for all of your support.
Your pet can't tell you when something hurts.
Learn the signs so you can help.
Pain caused by osteoarthritis affects many dogs and cats. The sooner your pet is diagnosed, the sooner you can find the help your dog or cat needs.
Some signs of osteoarthritis pain in dogs and cats are:
If you are beginning to notice your pet has less pep in their step or are unsure how to identify signs of discomfort, our team is here to support your family. Please call our hospital, 905 844 6786, to book your consultation to help keep your pet happy and comfortable.
Our feline friends are unique. They don't usually leave the house unless it is to visit the vet. This means during these visits they experience a lot of things that are not part of their daily routine such as the carrier, the car ride and the clinic which can result in increased fear, anxiety and stress.
Our goal is to help our feline patients feel as comfortable as possible once they reach the clinic.
The Feline Fear Free experience at Mac Animal Clinic
To have your pet experience the Fear Free Difference call us at 905-844-6786.
Click here for our post on tips for making the journey to the vet a Fear Free experience.
With thousands of pet food choices, it is confusing for pet owners and the veterinary healthcare team to make informed decisions about the best pet food for an individual pet.
Our team is here to help their pet owners navigate the sea of pet nutrition information (and misinformation) to provide optimal nutrition for every pet which is why we are so excited to hear about the Dare to Ask resource from the Pet Nutrition Alliance (PNA).
“Most pet owners base food decisions on ingredient lists, and we want them to understand the decision should be more focused on quality control, nutritional expertise, and other important factors surrounding the pet food manufacturer,” said Julie Churchill, DVM, PhD, DACVN and Pet Nutrition Alliance President.
PNA ‘dared to ask’ by contacting more than 200 manufacturers selling pet food in the United States and Canada and asked them questions based on the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) criteria. The results answer critical questions including details on the manufacturers’ nutritional expertise, where their foods are manufactured, and whether they can provide information on a requested nutrient (and if that nutrient meets the Association of American Feed Control Officials profiles).
Check it out! https://petnutritionalliance.org/site/pnatool/dare-to-ask-we-did/
Key recommendations from the WSAVA for selecting the best diet for your pet
The pet food label’s nutritional adequacy statement provides important factual information and is required on every pet food label in the United States and Canada, so it is readily available to pet owners to evaluate. This statement confirms three important facts:
The other most important information needed to make an informed decision about a pet food is not on the label and must be obtained from the manufacturer. Important facts that can help select a pet’s food include:
For more information, we recommend the following trusted resources:
Myth: Dogs are related to wolves, therefore a raw diet is more natural.
Truth: Domesticated dogs are not directly related to current Wolf species. Dogs and wolves are “canids”, they share a common ancestor. Also remember, wolves only live for up to 5 years in the wild, out dogs will hopefully live for 10-15 years.
Myth: Dogs should eat an only meat based diet as they are carnivores.
Truth: Through evolution domesticated dogs are significantly genetically different to wolves – including 3 gene changes that facilitate the digestion and utilization of starches. The ability of domesticated dogs to digest and utilize grains (including starch) has been demonstrated in several studies. Grain / gluten allergies in dogs is actually extremely uncommon, your dog is more likely to be allergic to chicken than to grains.
Myth: The “nutritionist” at the pet store informed me that raw diets are nutritionally complete.
Truth: Nutrition is a very complex topic A high quality pet food requires a precise blend of ingredients to meet a specific nutrient profile based on a pet's life stage, lifestyle of disease condition. Unfortunately, there are several people who claim to be pet nutritionists despite having minimal training. Veterinary nutritionists are veterinarians who have undergone a medical specialization in all things related to your pet's dietary needs. Surprisingly, veterinary nutritionists are few and far between. Research the company making your dog’s food, and find out who has formulated the recipes. Make sure that a veterinary nutritionist is the one formulating all recipes, so you know your dog will be receiving an optimal diet. The American College of Veterinary Nutrition provides a directory of all board certified veterinary nutritionists. They ensure that these nutrients are delivered to your pet in the right ratios for their stage of life. Analysis of raw food diets has shown significant nutritional deficiency (eg Calcium), imbalance (eg Calcium to Phosphorus ratio) and in some cases toxicity (eg Vitamin A). Raw diets have been linked to Dilated Cardiomyopathy in both dogs and cats.
Myth: There is no increased risk in feeding raw, commercial kibble has been recalled for pathogens as well.
Truth: When food-bourne infections are contracted from commercially cooked foods it is due to accidental contamination, whereas raw meats are known to carry pathogenic organisms. Feeding raw increases exposure to potentially poses potentially life threatening risks to pets and people.
Myth: By freezing the raw diet it makes it safe to eat.
Truth: Freezing raw food does not kill pathogens. Freezing does NOT kill Escherichia Coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridia, Norovirus, Bird Flu Virus. The FDA has issued public health warnings for handling raw diets. “To prevent infection with Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes, it is best if you do not feed your pet a raw diet.”
Myth: I practice the same hygiene for when I prepare raw food for myself, why is it different for my dog?
Truth: Your pet lives a very different lifestyle from you. They groom themselves using their tongue which then contaminates their coat with the pathogens in raw diets. They also toilet on your lawn or sandbox where your children play. Your pet handles toys with their mouths, they drool, they lick your face all of these things can spread potentially life threatening pathogens around the environment. Confirmed transmission between humans and pets in families has been reported.
A big part of choosing the right diet for your pet is being able to accurately interpret the label on the back of the bag. You can't assume a pet food is right for your pet by simply reading the ingredient list, because the nutrients are just as important as the ingredients! Click here to read our article on how to interpret the dog food label and to learn the answer to some commonly asked questions about kibble.
We understand there is a lot of information available and all our clients want is the best for your pets. Pet nutrition is a very complex topic but it forms the foundation of your pet’s medical wellbeing. We are here to help you be an active and informed part of your pet’s medical health care. If you have questions about finding the correct diet for your pet, talk to us at 905 844 6786.
Evidence-based Clinical Nutrition – Feeding RAW to Pets by Mike Davies BVetMed Cert VR Cert SAO FRCVS. RCVS Specialist in Veterinary Clinical Nutrition (Small Animal) www.webinarvet.com
The humans have been in quarantine but our resident wildlife certainly has not!
There have been an increase in wildlife sightings in urban areas as the normally busy city is much quieter. While it is very cute to see Bambi and Wile E Coyote on the street it does represent an increased risk to our pets.
Wildlife can carry a variety of infectious diseases such as Distemper, Rabies, Leptospirosis and parasites such as ticks and tapeworms.
Please make sure your dog is:
1) Is up to date on with their Rabies vaccination
2) Is up to date with their Distemper vaccination
3) ** Has had their Leptospriosis vaccination and is up to date. **
Leptospirosis used to be a vaccine reserved for outdoor/ farm dogs so not all dogs have this vaccine. At Mac Animal Clinic we strongly consider Leptospirosis a CORE vaccination. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease shed in the urine of wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, beavers and rodents, which can cause fatal kidney and liver failure. It is also a disease that can be spread from dogs to humans.
4) Has tick prevention
For more information, contact the clinic at 905 844 6786 or visit our website https://www.macvets.com/canine-vaccinations.html. Stay safe our two and four legged friends!
Do you have a pet that hates having their nails trimmed? Or maybe your pet is fine at the vet EXCEPT when it comes to taking their temperature. One way to deal with these fears is to utilize the concept of "desensitization" and "classical conditioning".
Desensitization is the process of teaching the learner that a specific stimulus is non-threatening over time, through repeated controlled gentle exposures.
Classical conditioning links emotional responses with a stimulus over time through predictions.
The goal is to link stimuli such as having your pet's tail lifted or having their nails trimmed, with a yummy treat to create a positive emotional response.
Make sure your pet likes the treat you are offering and knows how to use the treat delivery method. For example, not all pets are used to eating off a spoon or tongue depressor.
Go slow - Listen to your pet and only increase the intensity when your pet is comfortable
These videos fast forward the training process for learning purposes.
Some pets are not used to be restrained. It is not common that we hear that pets "like to do things on their own terms". However, restraint for procedures is an essential part of training. For example, all dogs need an annual heartworm test which requires restraint for a blood draw.
Remember, your pet will be more open to learning when they are not in a stressful environment, such as at home with their owner. Getting your pet used to being restrained at home in a familiar environment will help them be much more comfortable when they are being restrained at the veterinary clinic.
Please give Loki and Lette a round of applaws!
These small training sessions can go a long way at making your pet much more comfortable at the vet.
Remember to keep training sessions short and fun!
If you would like to start working with your pet at home or have any questions about how to apply these concepts please contact us at 905 844 6786 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be more than happy to help you utilize these training methods.
**Veterinary services are essential but urgent care only**
The province has made revisions to the list of essential workplaces. Veterinary medicine remains an essential service, permitted to deliver URGENT CARE only, as indicated in the list of essential workplaces provided by the Province of Ontario on April 3, 2020.
The list also provides permission for services including the sale of medication and pet supplies only through an alternative method of sale such as curb side pick-up or delivery, except in exceptional circumstances.
Therefore, we will only be accepting payment over the phone by visa card or e-transfer. Please call the clinic ahead of time to place your order at 905 844 6786. When you arrive, please call us again and we will bring your delivery to your car.
We will continue to provide urgent veterinary medical care for illnesses and injuries requiring prompt medication attention. Whenever possible we will continue to use telemedicine to keep our pets and clients safe. If your pet does need to be seen at the clinic, a member of our team will collect your pet from your car and communicate with you over the phone.
Please note under the government directive we have been instructed to not perform elective procedures, this includes spays and neuters. Preventative medicine may be necessary in specific cases and will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Please understand that ancillary services, such as grooming and nail trims are not essential services.
As pet owners we all want the same thing: to feed our pet a healthy, complete diet to promote a long and happy life.
A big part of choosing the right diet for your pet is being able to accurately interpret the label on the back of the bag. You can't assume a pet food is right for your pet by simply reading the ingredient list, because the nutrients are just as important as the ingredients!
Key tip: Consider nutrients as well as ingredients!
Now, lets compare the following two labels.
At a glance, the pet store diet definitely looks much more appealing, whole foods, vegetables ... it looks better than some of us eat! But remember, the pet food industry is not as regulated as it appears. Few pet food companies actually have a licensed veterinary nutritionist on their team, which is likely the reason why we are now seeing the emergence of nutritional based illnesses such as Dilated Cardiomyopathy which is linked to grain free, raw and exotic protein diets (visit this blog post on DCM).
A high quality pet food requires a precise blend of ingredients to meet a specific nutrient profile based on a pet's life stage, lifestyle of disease condition. This is the advantage to choosing a diet that has been formulated by a licensed veterinary nutritionist. They ensure that these nutrients are delivered to your pet in the right ratios for their stage of life.
That being said we still need to understand the ingredients list.
Here are the most common questions we hear pet owners ask:
Diet B contains pumpkin, herbs and berries, doesn't that make it a better diet?
Marketing based companies are good at coming up with "feel good" names. Remember that ingredients are listed in the order of highest weight to lowest weight, in most cases those "berries" amount to one berry per bag.
What exactly is "by-product meal"?
The term "by-product" has been created because they are the parts of the animal our society does not typically consume, such as the animal's organs. These parts of the animal are still nutritious. Various parts of the animal such as their meat, liver and internal organs are ground into meal, much of the fat is extracted, and the bone residue (ash) is reduced. This results in a high quality, concentrated source of protein which is also very tasty to both dogs and cats.
Chicken by-product meal consists of ground, rendered, wholesome parts of the chicken. It includes white meat, dark meat, liver and internal organs.
Meat by-product consists of the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat from slaughtered mammals that do not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. These diets specifically use beef or pork lungs, spleens, or livers in their diets for consistency and optimal nutrient profile.
Poultry by-product meal includes white meat, dark meat, liver and organs from turkey, duck and chicken.
Do they put inferior parts of the animals in by product meal?
Do not worry! By-product meal does not use chicken feet, beaks, hair, hooves, teeth, nails etc as these are very low in nutritional quality. An indicator of this can be the mineral content of any commercial food (it should be lower vs higher which would indicate bone content of the diet). The ingredients that are used are organ meat such as lungs, heart, liver etc. These are high quality by products that are bone free and lower in mineral content.
The pet store assured me this is a very high quality diet. It is also very expensive. Don't they have a veterinary nutritionist formulating the diet?
Veterinary nutritionists are veterinarians who have undergone a medical specialization in all things related to your pet's dietary needs. Surprisingly, veterinary nutritionists are few and far between. Research the company making your dog’s food, and find out who has formulated the recipes. Make sure that a veterinary nutritionist is the one formulating all recipes, so you know your dog will be receiving an optimal diet. The American College of Veterinary Nutrition provides a directory of all board certified veterinary nutritionists.
Veterinary nutritionists focus on the nutrients derived from the ingredients used and how these benefit your pet. For example carrots and blueberries are healthy, but if we only ate these two things all the time, we would not be able to get the proper nutrients to fuel our bodies or help disease states. This is why we need to think about nutrients as well as ingredients when selecting a dog food.
Nutrients and high quality ingredients are both important in a pet food. But nutrients are what your pet's body absorbs, not ingredients. The optimum food is made of quality ingredients selected for nutrients, quality and taste precisely formulated to deliver the correct amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals to meet the pet's nutritional needs. A pet food is a sum of it's parts.
As your pet's primary health care provider, we are here to help you choose the right diet for your pet. If you have any questions about your pet's diet. Please contact us at 905 844 6786 or email email@example.com
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