Top Veterinary Articles of the Week:

Canine Non-Core Vaccines

Core vaccines are those that are recommended for all dogs because the diseasse they protect from are widely spread, have no treatment (other than supportive), and are deadly more often than not. These include rabies, canine parvovirus, canine distemper and canine adenovirus. The issue of how often to booster or not aside, I believe that every dog should be vaccinated against these things.

Situation is different with non-core vaccines.

Should one vaccinate against leptospirosis? Or lyme? The answer to that is that it depends. It depends on your area and your dog's lifestyle. While down in Kitchener, we vaccinated against lepto. Yes, I was conflicted about it every year, but eventually we did vaccinate every year. Why? Because lepto is fairly wide spread in the area, our vet did get cases, and our dogs spent a lot of time in the bush and at the farm.

Up here we're told that the two strains present are not included in the vaccine and that the vet hasn't see any cases. They regularly test racoons to get fresh information.

Check out Dr. Dodds' thoughts on the subject.

Bee and Wasp Stings - Be(e) Prepared

Bee, wasp, and yellow jacket season is coming. We've already seen some buzzing around. Cookie already tried chasing some of them, though I'm trying to explain to her that she definitely doesn't want to catch one. To Cookie, the rules are simple. It moves, it begs to be chased. Last thing I want is for her to get stung.

While I hope it will never happen, it is important to know what to do if it did.

Watch out for itchiness, hives or welts, swelling. Mild reactions can be treated at home but know when you need to see a vet right away. With intense reaction such as severe itching, swelling, digestive signs, breathing problems or even collapse, your dog needs veterinary care immediately.

5 Common Pet Allergens

Every other post on my Dog Health Issues group is about likely allergic reactions. Dogs are affected by many of the same allergies we are. Jasmine's list of things she was allergic to was quite impressive, though it changed over time.

The most common allergens affecting dogs are fleas, house dust mites, pollens, molds, and insect bites.

Allergic reactions in dogs

While on the topic of allergies, don't miss out on Dr. Justine Lee's article on the subject. Severe allergic reactions are a common cause for emergency room visits.

Allergic reaction can be triggered by bug bites, vaccines, medications, chemicals, natural allergens such as pollens or molds or anything else under the sun. Sometimes the reaction can be life-threatening.

Collapse, difficulty breathing, shock, and abnormal heart rhythm, require emergency care right away.

Biopsy, biopsy, biopsy!

In order to treat any disease successfully, you need to know exactly what you're treating. This is even more important when it comes to cancer. When there is a lump or bump, there is no point of guessing. Physical examination won't cut it. Somebody needs to look at the cells. This is vitally important. Don't go for the "wait and see" approach and don't accept any, however educated, guesses on what it might be. There is only one way to know for sure and that is by looking at the actual cells.

Fine needle aspirate sample. Photo oncodvm.


  1. We just got the Lyme vaccination last week for Laika thank goodness; living in Michigan it's one of the vaccinations that I consider a must have - there are just far too many ticks around here. And I love the Biopsy article; my last dog was an Aussie mix that ended up having quite a few lumps and bumps over his lifetime - luckily they were always benign but I couldn't imagine not getting them checked.

    1. Yeah, in some areas the ticks are just insane. Our daughter purchased a land which is totally infested too.

      The biopsies are so important. And if there are multiple lumps, checking every single one. Dr. Sue started the "See Something, Do Something," campaign because they missed cancer in their own vet tech's dog. The dog had so many lumps, they always checked them ... when another one cropped up they assumed it was the same as the rest - it wasn't.


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