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Pet Friendly Newsletter - April 2008

Pet Quotes

"Every dog should have a man of his own. There is nothing like a well-behaved person around the house to spread the dog's blanket for him, or bring him his supper when he comes home man-tired at night." (Corey Ford)

"There is, incidently, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person." (Dan Greenberg)


"I love your newsletter, and it's thanks to we discovered the Tulip Inn in Huntsville. We love it there!

This is Jackie (or by her 'full' name Jackie Gingersnap!). We adopted her from the Toronto Humane Society in October 2003 after a television appearance on CP24. She was just so beautiful, and her story of being abandoned in an apartment after her original owners moved broke our hearts. We knew then we just had to have her! She was 8 years old at that time, and she also had had cancerous tumors removed from her front legs, with a 50/50 chance of it returning. That did not deter us in the least! We took her home, gave her all the love & attention we could pour out, and she fell in love with us too. Her cancer did come back - in both legs - but thanks to the great folks at the Ontario Vet College in Guelph, we had the tumors removed and radiation done. She has been cancer free ever since! I've always believed in fate, and we were meant to see that TV interview that day. She chose us, as much as we chose her and she has brought far more to our lives than we can ever give her!"
- Laura L. of Whitby, Ontario, Canada

"Cassiopee is a wonderful friendly female collie of 8 years old... She likes to "speak" to her mother!"
- Francine G.

"Our 2 Yorkies, Max and Minnie."
- Michael L.


Pets often have minor illnesses or injuries that don't cause any lasting harm. Naturally you don't need to run to the vet every time your pet sneezes, but how do you know when it's time to go see your vet?

It can be hard to tell if your pet is suffering since so many animals hide signs of distress. Warning signs that all is not well with your pet include:

  • Changes in appetite, such as refusing to eat for a couple of days or showing no interest in food. While it's not uncommon for dogs to skip a meal here and there, but repeated refusal to eat could indicate something more serious. Likewise, if you notice that your pet is eating much more than usual (or stealing food when it's not something they would normally do), then bring it to your vet's attention.

  • Drinking a lot more water than usual. This could be a sign of diabetes or kidney disease. It's hard to tell how much your pet drinks - especially if you live in a multi-pet household - but you may notice that your pet has to urinate more frequently, or he may start to have accidents in the house.

  • Changes in body weight or appearance. You might notice that your pet has lost weight even though he continues to eat well... or perhaps he looks a fair bit heavier even though his appetite seems to be the same.

    Also pay attention to your pet's coat. His fur should be shiny and healthy-looking. A dull, dry, rough, or patchy coat might indicate allergies or other skin problems.

  • Lethargy - no interest in walks, toys, games, or anything else that usually interests your pet. Your pet may seem overly tired. Of course, everyone can have an "off" day when they're not feeling 100% - even pets! But if your pet is lethargic for more than a day or two, contact your vet.

  • Shortness of breath, coughing, excessive panting, or whimpering when touched.

  • Lumps that "suddenly" appear. It's not always easy detecting lumps under your pet's furry coat, but large lumps, lumps that appear painful, or lumps that seem to be changing or growing should be examined by your vet.

  • A protruding or bloated abdomen could indicate a serious problem and should be examined by a vet immediately.

  • Dogs and cats often vomit, but repeated vomiting, or vomiting that is prolonged, strained, bloody, or painful should be brought to your vet's attention.

  • Excessive drooling could indicate mouth problems or even poison.

  • Fever is a cause for concern, especially when found combined with another sign of illness.

  • Difficulty urinating or straining when defecating. And - unpleasant though it may be - check your pet's poop for signs of bloodiness or mucous.

Other more obvious signs of illness in your pet include fainting or collapse, seizures, or paralysis.

If in doubt, it's always best to err on the side of caution. A visit to the vet, even if it turns out to be unnecessary, will at least give you peace of mind that your pet is okay.

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