Wellness & Vaccination Programs
Our wellness and vaccination programs are designed to prevent disease and prolong the life of your pet. Disease prevention is always less costly than dealing with the treatment of a disease once your pet has developed it. An example would be the treatment of parvovirus. Parvovirus treatment can frequently cost $1,000 or more while a single parvovirus vaccination will usually cost less than $100. Early diagnosis of a disease process can lead your pet to a longer healthier life. There are many other conditions to which an early diagnosis is advantageous.
Microchip Pet ID
Microchipping is a very safe way to permanently identify your pet and you as the owner in the unfortunate case that your pet is lost. Microchipping involves placement of a small electronic chip the size and shape of a piece of rice just under the skin in the neck area. A needle is used to inject the chip but this is not a painful procedure.
If your pet becomes lost and is transported to a humane society or veterinary clinic they should be able to scan your pet for the chip and contact you. Our recommendation is to use this system of identification as well as a collar identification system on your pet.
One of the most quickly advancing fields of veterinary medicine is care for older (senior) pets. In fact, many pets are now living longer, healthier lives than ever before. This is not entirely surprising since with yearly physical examinations, annual vaccinations, dental care, improved nutrition and regular blood and urine testing, we are better able to prevent or control disease.
Here is our checklist for success:
1. Annual physical and dental examinations to help detect underlying problems. At the time of the annual examination we will also give any vaccinations that might also be due. As pets age, twice yearly checkups may be advisable
2. Be certain to advise us of any changes in behavior or health as your pet ages, no matter how subtle, since these signs might be an indication of early underlying problems.
3. Annual blood and urine tests to determine whether there is any change from the previous year. Abnormalities in these tests may even arise before any signs are noticeable. In fact, in one study, over 25% of healthy older dogs and over 15% of healthy older cats had abnormalities on their tests ranging from bladder disease and Cushing’s syndrome in dogs, to thyroid problems, diabetes and kidney disease in cats, even though there were no outward signs.
4. As pets age their health and immune systems gradually decline so that the foods that maintained adequate nutrition in the young adult, may not be ideal for the older pet. As your pets age, you should be increasingly concerned about feeding a premium quality diet with just the right mix of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for your pet. In addition, weight control is one of the best ways to maintain a long and healthy life.
Based on the history you provide and the findings of our examination and blood tests we will then be able to advise whether there are any emerging health problems that might require treatment and what diet might be most suited to the needs of your pet.
What can be done if we do find problems?
With more pets now living longer lives, the field of canine and feline geriatric care is constantly evolving and advancing.
1. We now have a wide range of therapeutic diets designed for pets with diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, heart disease, bladder stones, obesity, cancer and even senility. There is also a senior diet that most suits the needs of the healthy senior pet.
2. Early detection of diseases such as thyroid or kidney disease, allow us to begin treatment before complications arise. In some cases we can even slow the progress of disease and prevent further damage with early intervention.
3. New advances in veterinary care have also provided us with better ability to control two problems that may eventually arise in a majority of older pets. Drugs for the long term control of arthritis that are more potent but at the same time safer for the stomach and kidneys are now available. We also have drugs and a new diet to help improve the signs of cognitive decline (senility) and perhaps even slow the damage. In short, we may not only be able to help you provide a longer life, but also a more comfortable transition into old age for your pet.
We provide many surgical services at our clinic including routine spay and neuters, soft-tissue and orthopedic surgeries. Occasionally, we refer our patients to specialists (board certified veterinary surgeons) to perform complex procedures.
Pain Management & Control
Whenever your pet requires surgery or hospitalization rest assured that we closely monitor your pet’s level of pain and discomfort so that we can provide the most appropriate form of pain management. If your pet does require surgery, we will schedule a pre-operative visit to discuss not only pain management options but also other issues such as fluid therapy and pre-surgical laboratory tests which might further reduce any risk associated with these procedures. And finally, since you, the pet owner, is most aware of your pet normally acts and reacts, please be certain to call us to discuss pain management if you should suspect any pain or discomfort.
Ultrasound & Cardiology
Ultrasound is a valuable diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine. It can help to evaluate abdominal organs such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys for various diseases including cancer. It can also be used as an aid to biopsy organs. Ultrasound is one of the best tools to look at the heart and diagnose cardiac disease. If your pet requires an ultrasound we will schedule a board certified internist to come to our clinic and provide the services and interpretation for your pet.
Our EKG service also uses state of the art technology. This means that your pet’s EKG can be immediately transmitted by phone to a veterinary specialty center, where results are evaluated by a board certified cardiologist who will then provide us with a treatment plan for your pet.
Radiology & Diagnostic Imaging
Taking an x-ray of a pet is not quite as simple as taking an x-ray of a human. Pets cannot be asked to remain perfectly still at a variety of different angles, or hold their breath while we take our pictures. For the most part pets that require radiographs are admitted to the hospital for a few hours and given sedation or anesthesia so that they can be placed in the best diagnostic position without any discomfort. By the time your pet is ready for discharge later that day, we will be able to show you the radiographs and review the results. On rare occasions we may also wish to send the X-rays to a board certified radiologist for interpretation.
All veterinary hospitals in Ontario must provide basic radiology services on their premises. In addition to standard radiographs we are also equipped to perform contrast studies of organs and body systems such as the gastrointestinal tract and bladder. We also have an automatic processing unit and we also provide ultrasound services.
Other specialty radiographic services such as MRI, CT scans and myelograms are available for pets by referral to one of the specialty referral centres in the surrounding area.
Our technical staff would be happy to show you the proper way to clean your pet’s ears. Choosing the most appropriate ear medicines requires a thorough evaluation and history taking. In some cases there is an underlying cause that must cured. In others, the underlying cause can only be controlled (just as hayfever in people is controlled but not cured). Ear disease can be quite severe and debilitating and in some cases of dogs with chronic ear infections there can be a ruptured ear drum. These cases require extra care, a thorough diagnostic plan and intensive treatment are required.