Canine Breed Spotlight: Pug

A quick look at the Pug!

Dog breed group: Toy breed

Average life expectancy: 12-15 years


The Pug breed originated in China a long time ago (B.C. 206 to A.D. 200). They were bred to be companion animals for the ruling families of China. They lived a life of luxury and were even guarded by soldiers. When China began trading with European countries, the Pug made it’s way to Europe. They were a popular dog in Europe. They rode in private carriages and were dressed up by their owners. They were also used by the military to track animals and people. The breed made it to North America in the 1800s. They started out as a very popular breed, but then the interest in them faded away. Thanks to a few dedicated breeders the Pug was saved and has recently regained its popularity.



Lyme Disease

What is Lyme disease and how would my pet get it?

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria species of the Borrelia burgdorferi group. This is a spirochete (spiral shaped) bacteria that can be carried by black-legged ticks. A tick bite from a black-legged tick carrying the disease has the potential to infect your pet. If one bites your pet the bacteria enters the bloodstream and can travel to different parts of the body and can cause overall illness or problems in specific organs or locations in the body.


In Alberta, ticks found on pets can be submitted to the government lab to be checked to see if they are black-legged ticks. From there, all black-legged ticks will be further tested to see if they carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Based on current evidence from Alberta Health black-legged ticks are not reproducing and are not well established in Alberta. The risk of being bitten by a black-legged tick is low in Alberta, and  the risk of being bitten by a black-legged tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, is even lower.


Feline Breed Spotlight: Bombay

Let’s look at the Bombay!


The Bombay breed was developed in Kentucky in the 1950s, but named after the city in India. The breeder wanted to create a breed that resembled a miniature black leopard like the black leopards she saw in India. The breed was created by breeding the sable Burmese with black American Shorthairs, creating a sleek, shiny black cat.

Compared to a black domestic cat the Bombay has a distinctive look of it’s own. The Bombay has a jet black “patent-leather” coat, wide set copper-gold eyes, rounded head and a sleek, muscular body. They have a very characteristic walk- they tend to sway as they walk, just like the Indian black leopard.



Liver Disease

What is liver disease/chronic liver failure?

Liver disease is caused by damage to the liver. Chronic liver failure is due to long term damage to the liver, causing the liver no longer to work properly. Liver disease is far more common than liver failure, as the liver has the ability to regenerate, even if the initial damage was severe. Liver failure only occurs when more than 70-75% of the liver is irreparably damaged (cirrhosis) and the liver begins to fail as it is no longer able to repair itself.



Canine Breed Spotlight: Papillon

Here’s a quick look at the Papillon!

Dog breed group: Toy breed

Average life expectancy: 12-15 years


The Papillon derives its name from the characteristic butterfly look of the long fringed fur on the ears and the symmetrical pattern on their face. The French word for butterfly is papillon. This dog is also known as the Continental Toy Spaniel. This is a very old breed of dog, it has been portrayed in portraits dating all the way back to the 16th century.



Heart Disease and Congestive Heart Failure

What is heart disease and congestive heart failure?

Congestive heart failure occurs as a result of progressive heart disease. Heart disease is when the heart starts to fail in its ability to pump blood properly, but in the early stages the body is still able to compensate and the blood and tissues still receives the oxygen they need. When the heart is unable to pump blood properly though your pet’s body and there is not enough oxygen getting around it causes an increase in pressure and fluid that eventually leaks out of the heart to the lungs, around the lungs or into the abdomen. This causes congestion of the lungs and the heart will begin to fail.


Chronic Kidney Disease

What is chronic kidney disease?

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Chronic kidney disease is a common health condition in cats and dogs, especially those who are in their senior and geriatric years. The onset of chronic kidney disease is usually slow and the signs are usually generalized and non-specific, usually your pet is “just not doing well”. Some symptoms may also not be noticed until your pet has progressed to a later stage of kidney disease. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to:

  • increased water consumption
  • changes in urination habits (increased, decreased, blood in the urine)
  • weight loss
  • not eating
  • poor hair coat
  • vomiting

Medical Pet Shirts

The medical pet shirt is an alternative to the Elizabethan collar (the cone of shame). It can also be used to protect wounds and bandages on your pet. The medical pet shirts are made specifically for both dogs and cats in various sizes. They are made from a cotton/lycra material, this gives them 4-way stretch and allows for good air circulation. They are machine washable and therefore reusable. The hind part of the shirt can easily be unsnapped and rolled up for your dog’s bathroom breaks. Cats can use the litter box at anytime without having to open the snaps on the shirt. If your pet is hospitalized and is using the medical pet shirt there is a small buttonhole to facilitate an IV line. The dog medical pet shirts have a light blue liner on the inside, this can be used to hold a sanitary napkin or ice pack inside the shirt for cases of incontinence, during heat cycles or if the belly area requires icing.


Canine Breed Spotlight: Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier!

Dog breed group: Non-sporting

Average life expectancy: 11-13 years


The Boston Terrier originated in the United States in the 1870s in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past this breed of dog was primarily bred as a pit fighting dog. The original Boston Terrier was a dog named “Judge”, he was Bulldog/English Terrier cross- a sturdy dog with a blocky head. “Judge” and his offspring were bred with the smaller French Bulldog until the Boston Terrier we know today was created; a small, compact dog with a short tail and erect ears.



These dogs have left their fighting days behind and are now known for their friendly and happy temperament. Each Boston Terrier is different, some are stubborn, some are very high spirited and excitable, other can be calm and gentle. These dogs love to play games! Fetch, dock diving, flyball and agility are all favorites. Because of their sweet and charming personalities Boston Terriers are also popular therapy dogs.

Is this breed right for you?


  • Boston Terriers have a short face, this makes them prone to snorting, snuffling, wheezing, snoring, so they can be noisy sleepers.
  • They are highly active and need exercise and will do better when the owners are at home for the majority of the day.
  • They are slow to house train. This is due to their stubborn streak. Expect to put a lot of time and effort into crate training and housebreaking your Boston Terrier.

Health concerns

Both pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs have varying kinds of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors. Here is a look at some health concerns that are commonly seen in the Boston Terrier.

This breed is brachycephalic (short faced) and this can lead to some health problems. This is what makes them snort and snore. It can also cause episodes of reverse sneezing. The short face also makes them “bug-eyed” which can lead to eye problems such as cataracts, corneal ulcers and glaucoma. Brachycephalic breeds also at a slightly higher anesthetic risk than dogs with long faces.

Boston Terriers can be prone to luxating patelllas (loose knee caps). Patellar luxation is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) slides out of its normal place. If this occurs in your pet, surgical correction may be needed. If your Boston Terrier has problems with their rear legs it may cause them to lean forward and stand more onto the forelegs. This can cause a curvature of the back called roaching.