Pet Treatment

The facts about Kennel Cough (Bordetella) and Kennel Cough Protection

By Pet Treatment, Pet Vaccination

The Facts about Kennel Cough Protection

Our veterinarians have seen an increase in cases of kennel cough in dogs during October and the first part of November.

At Royal York Animal Hospital, we include immunization for kennel cough (Bordetella Bronchiseptica) as a part of our core set of vaccines for all of our canine patients.  So, at times when there is a surge in the number of dogs with kennel cough, the question arises……..: “If my pet has been vaccinated for kennel cough, then why did he/she get sick?”….

Kennel Cough Protection for Pets


The answer lies in the nature of the disease itself, and in some situations the timing of vaccination can also be an important factor.

  • Kennel cough is a SYNDROME – this means it can be caused by numerous  complex combinations of different bacteria and viruses. Every case is different. The Bordetella vaccine is specifically targeting the Bordetella bacteria which is a very important and highly-probable component of this disease, but it is not the ONLY cause.
  •  Being vaccinated each year does not mean that a pet will never get kennel cough – depending on what specific combination of  organisms are involved in their particular infection their level of protection may not be adequate to fend it off completely. Also keep in mind that some animals just inherently produce a better response to a given vaccine compared to others.
  • Timing can also be very important especially when dogs are coming in for boarding, as it impacts how effective the vaccine will be for protection. The intranasal kennel cough vaccine requires 3-5 days to be effective, and the injectible form can take a week or longer. Keep this in mind when planning your boarding visits.

We all want to do our best to prevent disease, and these are just a few important things to keep in mind when trying to keep our animals healthy and safe – especially for dogs who frequent doggy day cares or public dog parks or other places where dogs are together.

The Facts about Kennel Cough Protection

Kennel cough is very contagious between dogs.


For more information about Kennel Cough please check out Dr. Lilla Yan’s blog “Why did my Dog get Kennel Cough

Dr. Annelle Valentin

Royal York Animal Hospital, 4222 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke, Ontario L6J 3Y1 416-231-9293

reception desk

The Advantages of A Multi-Vet Veterinary Hospital in Etobicoke

By Dog Teeth Cleaning, Pet Boarding, Pet Grooming, Pet Safety, Pet Treatment, Pet Vaccination, Toronto Cats, Toronto Dogs, Toronto Pet

* Compassionate * Responsive * Proactive * Skilled *



You may think that a small veterinary practice with one veterinarian and few staff will be able provide more personal care for you and your pet. THINK AGAIN.

Royal York Animal Hospital - Etobicoke Vet Hospital

1.At Royal York Animal Hospital in Etobicoke, we encourage you to see ONE Veterinarian for CHECKUPS, VACCINATIONS and any other WELL PROCEDURES. We recognize that it is important to have a trusting relationship and your pet to bond with an individual doctor. (we can help you choose the best fit). This veterinarian is your “ Pet’s family doctor”. It is simple to book all your appointments with this veterinarian and there is lots of choice of times as all our veterinarians work varying shifts to allow morning, afternoon, evening or weekend choices.
Pet exams in Etobicoke

2. EXTENDED VETERINARY HOURS mean that WE ARE HERE WHEN YOU NEED US.  It isthe most stressful for you when your pet is ill or injured. We are open seven days a week (Monday to Friday 7am -9pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am to 5pm) Over a decade ago, we gave careful consideration to extending our hours. Our clients simply wanted us to be there when their pets were sick and injured. We wanted that too. In the year 2000 we built and moved into our new state of the art hospital (which is located behind where the old building was). We are fully staffed and open every day except statutory holidays. Longer hours require more staff to fill those hours!

3. WE KNOW YOUR PET no matter when you bring him in. If you pet is ill or injured you can be bring your pet to a familiar hospital where all your pet’s medical records are at our staff’s fingertips. The staff will recognize and welcome you and your pet will be less traumatized……even if it is Sunday afternoon or Thursday evening or 7am on Monday morning. We have been told that it is extremely comforting when a pet is ill to see a familiar face and to know that treatment and care is seamless between doctors and staff.

Best Vets in Etobicoke

4. NEED A SECOND OPINION FROM A VET? Two (or three!) heads are better than one. Our Etobicoke veterinarians and technicians are always eager to lend a hand to each other and to offer advice to benefit the pets in our care. Each day during “rounds” the doctors discuss the plan of each hospitalized patient in our care with the other doctors. Pet x-rays, blood work and all diagnostics are reviewed and discussed. The original treatment plan is  agreed to by all or amended after the discussion. We believe that this communal approach to medicine offers your pet the very best in veterinary care and keeps our veterinarians learning and sharing with each other all the time.

pet xrays in etobicoke

5. EVERYTHING UNDER ONE ROOF. We recognize all our clients lead busy lives. That is why we “PROVIDE ALL THE SERVICES YOU NEED FOR THE LIFE OF YOUR PET

6. Boarding and Professional Grooming for dogs and cats available 7 days a week.

We are Your Veterinary Medical Health Care Team!

Hot Spots, Itchy Skin And Allergies, It Must Be Summer!

By Dog Hot Spots, Pet Grooming, Pet Treatment

Hot Spot, Moist Pyoderma, Summer excema, Pyotraumatic dermatitis….its all the same!

I can tell summer is here. At Royal York Animal Hospital, Golden Retrievers and other thick coated dogs are flocking in for their summer grooming  and trimming. Why trim a golden retriever?? To detour a Hot Spot!!  Hot Spots are an area of localized skin irritation that can appear quite superficial or go deep into the skin layers. It is itchy and uncomfortable for your pet and gets worse, very, very quickly.

99 % of Hot Spots are due to allergies.
Itches and Allergies with Pets

Has the pet had skin or ear problems before? Is the Hot Spot seasonal? Are fleas present?? The affected areas will appear red and  wet. It can be the size of a dime to the size of a basketball depending on how much self mutilization has occurred. Usually hairloss is noted and can be very painful for your pet.

How To Treat  Your Pet When Threatened With Hot Spots and Itchy Skin in Toronto

The area needs to be shaved  to stop the spreading…….like a forest fire, a trench is made to stop the flames from spreading hence shaving the area larger than the wound, stops the wet skin discharge from spreading  to the surrounding areas. The affected area is then washed and disinfected and sometimes washed with an Iodine based liquid. We may dispense a topical antibiotic/steroid to apply to the area twice daily as well as an accompanying antibiotic to dry the lesions.  A head collar , T-shirt or light wrap may be recommended to detour the aggressive licking/scratching that may ensue.  The skin wounds take about 2 weeks to heal and hair growth is complete in 12 – 16 weeks. Once your dog has had hot spot they can get it again.

It is thought that dogs who don’t completely dry after swimming or bathing may be predisposed to hot spots but we also usually see a run of hot spots with the dramatic weather change.  The temperatures cools and rises quickly and the dog hasn’t had time to acclimatize. At the first sign of your pet itching/scratching or excessive licking of an area..please contact your Veterinarian ASAP to stop it getting larger. The sooner the hot spot is diagnosed and treated, the sooner your pet will be comfortable again.

Dr. John Allen

Dr. John and Remy

Heartworm, Tick and Flea Prevention Animal Hospital in Etobicoke

By Dog Fleas, Pet Grooming, Pet Safety, Pet Treatment, Ticks

It’s Time For Your Dog’s Heartworm, Tick and Flea Prevention !!


Royal York Animal Hospital has been testing dogs for Heartworm and the Tick Borne Diseases with a “4DX” blood test for several months now.

As of May 1 we have had 5 dogs test positive for Tick Borne Diseases — 4 with Lyme disease and 1 with Ehrlichia.

Ticks are Different Than Fleas

It is very important to know that ticks are very difficult to kill and remove. Unlike fleas, ticks actually attach to your dog.  The sooner the tick is removed from the dog, the less likely your pet will contract disease. Below you can see a photo of what a tick looks like when it lands on your dog and then what it looks like when it becomes engorged with blood.  Many times people bring their dog in to be checked because they think they want a “new growth or lump” to be examined only for us to find that it is an attached TICK.


The Migration of Ticks to the Toronto Area

Hot spots for ticks for the last several yearshas been Kingston through an arc to Belleville , Haliburton and Barrie northwards and moving southwest to the Toronto area.   We know from our own client’s whose dogs, in increasing numbers,  have come in with ticks attached and have only been in our own High Park or grasslands on the Lakeshore or their own backyards.

Use this great tool to check out where Ticks are by postal code:

Ticks in the Toronto Area 2015

 When is tick prevention recommended?

At any point that you’re seeing an area on the ground without snow cover and the temperature is greater than 4°C (let’s say above freezing to be safe), ticks will be out questing for a meal. In our part of Ontario, people and their pets need protection from March through November. Adult ticks are active in the spring and fall. Nymphs are active during the summer. Nymphs pose the greater risk to people because they’re around at a time when people are wearing shorts & tee-shirts & have more skin exposed, and nymphs are so tiny (1-2 mm in diameter!) they’re hard to spot.

How can I protect myself and my dog?

There is no “one product fits all” to treat and prevent where these parasites are concerned.  The Veterinarians at Royal York Animal Hospital have thoroughly reviewed all the products on the market

For 2015 we recommend two products:

1.   Bravecto™ which is a chewable preventive with the added bonus of lasting for 12 weeks (three months)

2. Revolution which is the product most are familiar with.  This is a once a month topical (put on the fur at the back of the neck) and protects your dog from Heartworm, fleas, internal parasites and has some tick protection

Bravecto Tick Prevention

Bravecto Tick Prevention



Other ideas to limit tick exposure:

1. Stay on trails

2. Keep your dog on a leash

3.Do tick checks after you’ve been outdoors.

It can take as little as 24 hours for the black-legged tick to transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease if it’s carrying it, so the sooner you remove any ticks, the better. If you find a tick on your dog, we can run a blood test to check for exposure to disease.

Below are links to Royal York Animal Hospital’s own videos showing how to apply Revolution.

No need for a video for giving Bravecto as we have found almost all dogs will take this as a TREAT!

How Apply Your Dogs Revolution

If your dog has not had his Heartworm “4DX” test yet this spring please do not delay any longer!

Contact us today  to schedule this blood test and to pick up your supply of Tick, flea and Heartworm prevention.

Also, if there is only one other article you are going to read about Ticks it should be this one written by my co-worker  Dr. Iz Jakubowski

Protecting you and your Dog from Ticks 2015

 Dr. John

Dr. Lilla Yan

Why Did My Dog Get Kennel Cough?

By Pet Treatment, Pet Vaccination

Have you ever wondered why your dog got kennel cough but may have already had the Kennel Cough Vaccination (Bordatella)? Royal York Animal Hospital sees Kennel Cough pretty commonly these days.  This increase is most likely because dogs are increasingly more “social”  often congregating with their owners at dog parks or doggy day care centres. We often even hear of and can pinpoint “outbreaks”  in certain Etobicoke dog parks or communities as they are happening.


The question that we hear the most is  “Why did my dog get kennel cough even though he/she had the kennel cough vaccine?”  I will try to explain this!

What is Kennel Cough (bronchotracheitis)

Kennel cough (bronchotracheitis) is a group of diseases caused by 12-15 pathogens. Most of these are viruses while a few of them are bacteria. All of these pathogens can cause bronchotracheitis, i.e. upper respiratory infection, and many of them make dogs cough. Some of these pathogens are quite contagious, and therefore dogs that go to day care, groomers, boarding kennels may contract them if another dog is carrying it.

How to Prevent Kennel Cough

The difficult part about preventing kennel cough is that there are only vaccines for two of these pathogens. No vaccines are available for the other pathogens. This is similar to flu shots in people, where only certain strains are in the protective vaccine and therefore the vaccine doesn’t prevent people from getting other strains. However, dogs can get multiple pathogens during a kennel cough episode, so dogs that are vaccinated tend to get milder symptoms as they are protected against the strains they’re vaccinated for.  This is why we recommend vaccinating.

Get Your Pet Examined for Kennel Cough

If your dog is coughing excessively, the first step is to have them examined by a veterinarian, as kennel cough is not the only cause of coughing. If Kennel Cough is diagnosed it often can be managed with just cough suppressants that make them feel better and more comfortable. Most of the causes of kennel cough are viruses and antibiotics do not kill viruses so that is why antibiotics may not be prescribed.  However, in some cases antibiotics would be indicated if the doctor felt there was another concern or individual need for that dog.

It’s common that Kennel Cough takes 2-3 weeks for dogs to recover from.  Because Kennel Cough is contagious it is recommended that they don’t meet other dogs during this period of time.

Dr. Lilla Yan

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