The animal health team from the Winnipeg-based Tuxedo Animal Hospital just travelled to Rankin Inlet for its annual pet clinic in the community.
While all was reported well with the health of the Rankin pet population by veterinarian Dr. Jonas Watson, the team did have to set up a hospital zone when one furry patient arrived with a menace known well to dog lovers.
Watson said the team comes to Rankin and does a lot of vaccination to prevent diseases like parvo virus.
In fact, he said, this is the first trip during which they actually had to treat a case of parvo virus.
“An owned puppy was presented to us very ill with vomiting and diarrhea,” said Watson.
“A test confirmed the dog had parvo virus, so we immediately hospitalized it, placed it on intravenous fluids and began administering medications.
“Slowly, but surely, through the week she got better and we were happy to send her home with her very grateful family.”
Watson said the team did about 30 surgeries while in Rankin and had about 50 medical appointments booked.
He said the vast majority of the surgeries were spays and neuters, but they also did a couple of eyelid surgeries on some dogs that had problems with eyelids rolling-in against their corneas.
“With most of the vaccinations we did the animals had already been spayed or neutered, in most cases by us in previous years.
“I’m always impressed with how fit and in-shape the dogs are up here. They have fairly active outdoor lifestyles and, as such, they tend to be leaner than their counterparts down south.
“Similarly, a lot of dogs up here have very clean teeth, which is probably due to some nutritional differences in the way dogs are fed up here versus in the city.
“I was impressed this trip by generally how healthy most of the animals were that we saw, and, in those ways, it was a fairly typical visit.”
During the year before the next clinic in Rankin, Watson reminds owners to keep feeding their pets well, make sure they get plenty of exercise, de-worm appropriately, and make sure they’re booked every year the animal health team comes to visit.
He said the facility in Rankin provided by John Hicks and Page Burt meets every need the team has.
“It’s extremely convenient, there’s lots of space and we’re able to set-up a full surgical suite on one side and a full exam room on the other.
“It meets our needs as well as any. It’s comparable to many vet clinics I’ve worked at down south, so we’re very happy, and feel very fortunate, that Page and John are able to afford us that space.”
When it comes to possible pet owners, Watson said they need to be committed to a dog or cat for 10 or 15 years.
He said they need to understand medical issues could arise that may require veterinarian attention, which could mean an unscheduled trip down south.
“The basic needs for a pet include vaccination, de-worming, basic grooming and good food, and there are costs associated with pet ownership in order to ensure that they lead good, healthy lives.
“It’s not something to enter into lightly. Puppies are not toys. They become dogs, and dogs require years and years of love and attention.”