Well everybody, Spring is here!

That’s right – after another frigid Ottawa Winter and many long weeks waiting for the cold weather to finally pack up its things and hit the road, Spring has finally arrived! But as you and your pets are gearing up for the warm weather, it’s important to remember that with the beginning of Spring also comes increased risk for ticks, fleas, heartworm and intestinal parasites. Now is the time to think about prevention treatments to protect your pups and yourself during the coming months!

Ticks, Fleas, Heartworm and Intestinal Worms: The Facts

When thinking about parasites, it’s important to remember that these things are much more than just a nuisance. The effects of heartworm can be debilitating and even fatal to your dogs. Not only can intestinal parasites cause premature death in canines, these worms can be contagious to humans as well. This can have potentially devastating consequences, including blindness. Flea and tick bites may carry with them a host of nasty diseases. Many of these can be transmitted to both you and your pet, including the bacteria which causes lyme disease.

Furthermore, warmer winters have seen the tick population on the rise in Ontario, with many areas including Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa all considered to be in the estimated risk areas. That means getting your pets tested for heartworm and tick exposure is vital to protect your pets’ wellbeing. But more than that, timely testing can also act as an early warning sign for human health, catching lyme disease exposure as early as possible. More than ever, it is absolutely vital to include annual blood screenings for heartworm and tick exposure as well as timely prevention treatments in your pet’s healthcare plan.

Prevention in One Pill

Here at Fisher Glen, we get asked all the time what are the best tick, flea, intestinal parasite and heartworm medications for dogs. Furthermore, for years now we have listened as our clients articulated the need for a single all in one treatment, rather than having to constantly remember multiple pills. And you know what? We agree!

That’s why Fisher Glen Animal Hospital is excited to announce we now offer the new NexGard Spectra! NexGard Spectra offers your dogs complete protection from heartworm, intestinal worms, fleas and ticks – all in a single tablet! Now you can forget about sprays, tick collars, or separate monthly or 3-monthly tablets for parasite protection. Just one chew, once a month protects against fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm and intestinal worms. And the best part is it comes in a tasty beef-flavoured chew that dogs love! So no more hiding pills in peanut butter or struggling to get your puppy to take their medicine, only to have them spit it out on the floor a second later. 100% of dog owners surveyed said that NexGard Spectra was well received by their four legged friends!

Call or come in to pick yours up today!

PS: Did you know that here at Fisher Glen Animal Hospital, annual blood screenings and treatments for prevention of heartworm, fleas and ticks and intestinal worms are all covered in our animal wellness plans? You even get a discount on pet foods and one free exam at any time! Contact Us Today to learn more, or read on about our Complete Wellness Plans


two chocolate cupcakes with pink icing and red hearts for Valentine's Day

Every Valentine’s Day, we see a huge spike in chocolate related appointments, calls, and incidents here at Fisher Glen Animal Hospital. When it comes to chocolate and dogs, it’s just a busy time. So in addition to wishing all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day this year, we thought we’d write a little reminder to keep your chocolate bars, candies, and cakes well out of harm’s way this February 14th.

And here are a few answers to some of your most common questions about chocolate and pets!

Chocolate and Dogs – The Facts

Who doesn’t love chocolate? From cakes to ice creams to fudge, it’s got to be one of the world’s most favourite flavours! But while we are enjoying our best chocolate recipes, care should always be taken to keep these treats well away from our furry little friends. That’s because in large enough amounts, chocolate and cocoa products can harm or even kill your dog or cat.

The toxic component of chocolate is theobromine. Theobromine is a naturally occuring bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. It is found in chocolate, as well as in a number of other foods, including the leaves of the tea plant, and the kola nut. Humans easily metabolize theobromine, allowing us to enjoy the tasty benefits of chocolate. However cats and dogs process theobromine much more slowly, allowing it to build up to toxic levels in their system.

Can Cats Eat Chocolate?

In a word, no! Chocolate and cats are much less talked about – (this is probably because they are simply far less likely to jump up and dig into a giant chocolate cake left unattended on the counter.) However, chocolate can indeed be lethal for cats. And it is not unheard of for a cat to test out a chocolate chip or two, especially if they’re about the same size as their treats. You’re going to want to take care to keep all chocolate chips, bars, ice creams and syrups well away from curious kitties.

What Are The Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning?

The symptoms of chocolate/theobromine poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, racing heart progressing to abnormal rhythms, and even death in severe cases. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms!

How Much Chocolate Will Harm My Pet?

More than just how much chocolate will harm your pet, another important consideration is what type of chocolate your dog or cat ate. The more chocolate liquor there is in a product, the more theobromine is present. This makes chocolate flavoured cakes or cookies the least harmful, followed by milk chocolate based recipes. Semisweet and dark chocolate is much more dangerous for your cat or dog. Cocoa powder and baking chocolate are the worst of all.

Toxic doses of theobromine are 9 mg per pound of dog for mild signs, up to 18 mg per pound of dog for severe signs. Milk chocolate contains 44 mg / ounce of theobromine while semisweet chocolate contains 150 mg per ounce, and baking chocolate contains 390 mg per ounce. It takes nearly 4 days for the effects of chocolate to work its way out of a dog’s system. If the chocolate was only just eaten, it is possible to induce vomiting. Otherwise, hospitalization and support are needed until the chocolate has worked its way out of the system.

You can visit PetMD.com for a handy Chocolate Toxicity Meter, which takes into account your pet’s weight, amount consumed, plus the different types of chocolate that could potentially be eaten, to give you a fuller picture of how to best assess potential dangers when it comes to chocolate and dogs.

Help – My Dog Just Ate A Chocolate Cake!

If you think your pet may have consumed chocolate, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us right away! We will always make the time to fit you in if your pet is ill. And if you are having an after hours emergency, please visit the Ottawa Animal Emergency & Specialty Hospital, our sister clinic open 24 hours a day.

And if all is well, why not check out our Blog for all the latest in news, articles, and pet health tips from Fisher Glen Animal Hospital! Also, did you know that when you sign up for one of our wellness plans you get one free extra visit to the vet every year? You can read all about it in Complete Animal Wellness Plans! Finally if you have any questions at all or you would like to make an appointment with Fisher Glen Animal Hospital, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us Today!


close up of orange tabby cat's face

Is It Time For A Cat Checkup?

Unfortunately our feline friends sometimes get a bum deal when it comes to veterinary care. Many owners find it stressful to wrassle them into the carrier with gardening gloves on, listen to them howl the entire care ride, and then try to cause bodily harm to their doctor (well, not all of them!). And besides, they seem so healthy. . . So how do you know if it’s time for a cat checkup?

Bring Us Your Cats!

Well let’s clear up some misconceptions. First of all, cats need and deserve medical care just as much as dogs do. Furthermore, cats are very, very good at hiding illness from others. Consequently, many pet owners fail to notice symptoms of illness until problems become very advanced. The importance of getting a cat checkup and/or an annual wellness screening truly can not be overstated.

Even if they do not leave the house they should be vaccinated. Cats can contract/develop numerous parasitic and other illnesses even in the relative safety of your home. For example, many cats wander around for years with painful lesions on their teeth, and many cats nowadays are obese, leading to type II diabetes.

We know that you love your cats. You want to keep them purring and chasing mice and sitting on your laptop while you’re trying to work for many years to come. Show them that you love them by providing them with health care that will allow them to be happy and healthy for a long full life. We can even give you some tips to make the trip less stressful too!

Contact Us if you have any questions, or you’d like to book an appointment with us today!