Good to know-

New service: acupuncture

Acupuncture is now a therapeutic option that we can offer to our beloved pets.

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Well tolerated in cats and dogs, acupuncture can be used as an excellent complimentary treatment in different acute or chronic, health problems.

The possibilities are endless and we have the chance to have Dr Brigitte Rochette veterinarian, who graduated from the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine of Florida, that can offer those treatments at our clinic. Call us for an appointment!

Have a Merry and Safe Christmas with your Pets

To help make the holiday season festive as well as safe, here are some helpful tips:

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  • Angel hair tinsel: Most of these decorations are made of spun glass. They can irritate your pet’s skin and eyes and, if ingested, can cause intestinal blockage.
  • Artificial snow: Certain formulas can be toxic for your pets if ingested. They can cause indigestion or respiratory problems. It is therefore recommended to spray only the upper parts of the windows where pets cannot reach.
  • Candles: Certain formulas can be very irritating for your pet’s respiratory airways. It is recommended to burn them only for a short period of time or use 100% soy candles.
  • Toxic Holiday Plants: Although not all holiday plants are considered toxic, several can cause digestive issues for your pets. For example:
    • Christmas tree pine needlescan produce oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and trembling. Do not allow your dog to drink the water of your Christmas tree.
    • Holly can cause intense vomiting, diarrhea and depression.
    • Mistletoe can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea, difficulty breathing, collapse, erratic behavior, hallucinations and death when ingested.
    • Poinsettia may cause irritation to the mouth and stomach. Sometimes vomiting if a large quantity has been consumed.
  • Decorations: Try to keep them out of reach for your pets. Should they be ingested, (especially if they are electric like lights, extension cords, etc) they can cause serious injuries such as electric shocks, oral burns, pulmonary hemorrhaging or intestinal blockage. Ribbons are especially dangerous if ingested and cats seem to be very attracted to them.
  • Bones, fat trims, and chocolate: It is understandable to want to spoil our furry loved ones during this season, but remember that fat trims may cause indigestion and pancreatitis in certain pets. Bones may also cause dental fractures, peritonitis, and intestinal perforations. Certain chocolates can cause neurological disorders, digestive upset and heart failure. Keep these treats out of reach and continue with your pet’s regular diet.

Canine heartworm

Dirofilariasis, commonly referred to as heartworm, is a parasitic disease that primarily targets dogs, as well as other species (foxes, wolves, coyotes, and raccoons) and sometimes even cats. The microscopic parasite, called Dirofilaria immitis, can be found all over the world.

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Mosquitoes transmit the parasite. When a mosquito bites an infected dog, the mosquito feeds on the dog’s blood and becomes a carrier of heartworm larvae, called microfilaria. When this same mosquito bites another animal, it transmits the larvae. The larvae lodge in the animal’s tissues, where they develop, and then make their way to the animal’s heart and lungs. The process can take seven to nine months, interfering with the proper functioning of the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.

To diagnose these parasites, veterinary clinics most often use SNAP 4DX, a simple blood test that detects not only heartworm, but also three types of tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease.

Screening is important, as it helps ensure your dog is not infected before preventive medication is administered. Administering heartworm medications to dogs that already have the disease can be harmful, even fatal.

It’s always better to prevent than to treat when it comes to heartworm. You can protect your pet by giving a preventive medication at home, once a month during mosquito season. Most heartworm medications also prevent intestinal parasites; some prevent fleas and other skin parasites as well.

We will be happy to discuss the various options with you and determine the best one for your pet.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease, sometimes referred to as Borreliosis, is an infection caused by a bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) that is transmitted to animals via a tick bite. It is carried by the deer tick, Ixodes scapularis.

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Until recently, Lyme disease was rarely found in Quebec. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. It can now be found in all regions of the province, from Montérégie to the Laurentians, including Montreal. The risk of contracting the disease is greater in southern Quebec, southern Ontario, and New England.

How does a tick transmit Lyme disease? By feeding on the blood of an animal. The tick inserts its head into an animal’s skin and remains in place for an average of 36 to 72 hours. During this time it feeds on blood and gradually increases in size until it resembles a dark mass about 1 cm in diameter that may be confused with a skin mass. Once the tick has finished feeding, it lets go and falls off the animal. Ticks can also attach to humans and feed on them, causing redness and irritation of the affected skin.


Many tick-borne diseases that can be transmitted to dogs can also be transmitted to humans. However, it is important to note that these diseases can only be transmitted via a direct tick bite and not through contact with an infected animal.

Lyme disease is an inflammatory condition that can cause a variety of symptoms in dogs, such as intermittent limping (which is secondary to arthritis and joint inflammation), fever, and lethargy. These symptoms are only apparent in 5–10% of cases and are often only noted 2–5 months after a tick bite.

In order to diagnose Lyme disease, a simple blood test called SNAP 4DX is used. It is a routine test in most veterinary clinics, and it also detects heartworms.

How can Lyme disease be prevented?

The best way is to prevent a tick from ever biting your animal by using a topical or oral treatment. It will be our pleasure to discuss these products with you. We also recommend:

  • Inspecting your animal every day, especially if they frequent areas that are more at risk
  • Remove ticks immediately
  • Avoid at-risk areas as much as possible. Since ticks are often found in wooded areas, high grasses, and near water, it is advisable to stay on well-maintained trails with your dog on leash.
  • Humans venturing into at-risk areas should wear long-sleeve shirts and pants tucked into their socks.
  • Vaccinating your dog against Lyme disease is another method of prevention for those who live in or visit at-risk areas.