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Welcome to Gorham Animal Hospital

A Message from Dr. Sheri Sime

Welcome to the New Gorham Animal Hospital. I look forward to working with Dr. Niki Low and the Staff at Gorham to provide compassionate and consistent care to our current clients as well as returning and new patients.  Please feel free to email me with any questions regarding your pet, and I will be happy to respond to your concerns.       

Just a reminder it is time for Heartworm tests. Please make an appointment to bring your dog in for a heartworm test and pick up your heartworm, flea and parasite prevention medication.

 -Dr. Sheri Sime

Spring has sprung and with it all our pesky little parasitic friends

Mosquitos make us itch, they bring the threat of West Nile Virus, but more threatening to dogs and sometimes cats, is Heartworm. As the name suggests it is a parasitic worm that lodges in the heart. Mosquitos transmit heartworm eggs to our unsuspecting pets when they draw blood. These eggs travel through the blood stream and settle in the heart. There the worms begin to grow congesting the heart and impairing cardiac function. It is very hard and costly to treat heartworm infections, however it is extremely easy and economical to prevent.
Most heartworm preventatives also protect against common parasites including fleas Fleas aren’t just annoying, they can cause significant health problems in our pets. Infestations can cause anemia in cats, skin infections in pets, as well as infect your pets (or in some cases people) with tapeworm.
Fleas can lay up to 4000 eggs EACH, and lay dormant in flooring and carpets for many months. The life cycle of a flea is 3-4 weeks - If you have an outbreak it will often take a full year to completely ‘get rid‘ of the fleas. Monthly preventatives are a simple and cost effective way to keep our pets safe. Not all flea medication is created equal.  Please consult your vet for a safe product  recommendation.

Rise in Fatty Liver Syndrome

Please be advised that we have seen a rise in the number of felines coming to us with Fatty Liver Syndrome.  Cats often exhibit subtle changes when they are ill that are easily missed. Symptoms to be Symptoms to be aware of include: inappetence, changes in behaviour, hiding, increased drinking habits, or weight loss. Felines are the only species that periods of anorexia, or insufficient caloric intake, results in a fat conversion in the liver leading to potentially fatal liver disfunction.
Jaundice, or yellow skin may also be a sign of Fatty Liver Syndrome.  The presence of these symptoms may lead your Veterinarian to use blood tests to accurately diagnose your pet. If your pet has  Fatty Liver Syndrome an aggressive nutritional support is required, possibly force feeding or using a stomach tube. The recovery rate is 90% with a dedicated nutritional regimen.
Without adequate caloric intake your cat may be at risk. Of course the other side of the coin is excessive caloric intake leading to obesity and related health conditions. Obese cats are particularly prone to this condition and it is advised they be carefully monitored by a veterinarian until they have reached an ideal body condition score.

While on any vet prescribed diet our technicians carefully calculate the appropriate  amount to feed your feline  ensuring proper caloric intake for maintaining a healthy weight, a safe weight loss program, or effective transitioning to a new food. If you have any concerns contact your Veterinarian immediately.

Q & A With Dr. Sheri

Is it ok to feed my pet Schnauzer table scrapes? He really loves bacon?

As much as our precious pooches love bacon, gravy and our meaty table scraps, it is not a healthy option for them. These fatty foods are notorious for causing a potentially painful and life-threatening condition called Pancreatitis. Unfortunately schnauzers are particularly susceptible to this condition. The pancreas is responsible for producing enzymes that help digest food as well as producing insulin required for proper blood sugar control.  Signs that your dog may need veterinary attention: appetite loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and a painful abdomen. Blood tests may be done to confirm the diagnosis. Once a pet has been diagnosed with this condition a low fat diet will be prescribed, and it is imperative your dog remain on that diet throughout their life to prevent a dangerous flare-up.

I recently adopted a dog, what vaccinations are recommended?

Congratulations on your new family addition!  The core vaccines for canines include Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Rabies.  At Gorham we advocate for a minimal vaccination protocol, individualized to best suit our pet’s lifestyle. Dogs that attend groomers, kennels, day care or dog parks are recommended to also be protected annually from kennel-cough (Bordetella) and Leptospirosis. The risk for Leptospirosis (transmitted by raccoons) is particularly high in the Newmarket area, and therefore more often recommended for pets spending a lot of time outdoors.   

Have a question for Dr. Sheri?