Medical Care

Annual Health Assessments

Bringing your pet in for their annual visit is still one of the most important things you can do for his or her preventative healthcare.  You can bring any questions or concerns about your pet for the veterinarian to answer.  The veterinarian will ask you several questions to find out how your pet is doing, behaviour issues, and about your pet’s lifestyle.  Since he or she can’t talk, this questionnaire is the only way for the veterinarian to find out about any changes or signs of a health or behaviour issues, and to determine the kinds of health problems that your pet may be at risk for.

Your pet will receive a thorough physical examination, from nose to tail.  This includes checking your pet’s eyes, ears, nose, mouth and teeth.  Their skin will be checked for lumps or growths, overall health and quality as well as any lesions.  The heart and lungs are auscultated to check for heart rate, heart murmur or abnormal lung sounds.  The abdomen is palpated to feel the major organs like kidneys, liver, spleen, intestines and bladder, and evaluate for any pain, mass, or fluid accumulation.  Your pet’s lymph nodes will be checked for enlargement that could indicate infection or cancer.  The anus and external urogenital organs will be checked.  An orthopedic exam is often done to check for abnormalities of the joints and limbs.  A rectal exam may be done if your dog is a senior, to evaluate the prostate (males) and anal glands.  Your pet’s weight and body condition will be assessed.  Any specific areas of concern will be evaluated in more detail.

A lot of information can be gleaned from the physical examination, and veterinarians often discover minor or sometimes major problems or changes that pet owners were not aware of.  This way, the problem can be dealt with earlier than it otherwise would have, which usually means a better outcome for your pet.

Usually this is a fun process and your pet will receive lots of petting, reassurance and treats!  If you have a nervous pet, we will do our best to make him or her feel comfortable (ie extra treats, doing your pet’s exam on the floor instead of the table, etc.).  Often for cats, this means letting him hide under a towel, taking the ‘roof’ off the carrier and letting him stay in the bottom part, and completing the examination and any procedures as quickly as possible.  The veterinarian will highlight any concerns they have about your pet’s health and explain what you might need to do (grooming needs, medication, vaccination, diagnostic tests, a change in diet or lifestyle).  Even if your pet has an A+ health report, the veterinarian can give you some information about health conditions to watch for or things you can do to help keep your pet healthy such as oral care, nutrition or exercise.

What if my Pet is afraid to go to the Vet?

If your pet is nervous at the veterinary clinic, there are a variety of things we can do to make it easier on him or her:

Favourite treat

For dogs, bring them hungry and bring along a supply of their favourite treats (if they don’t like our treats).  Food works well for many dogs to distract them and give them some positive associations about the vet visit. Bring him/her to the clinic at times when they do not have an appointment so that they can just have treats and not have treatments.

Let us know

When scheduling an appointment, let the staff know your pet is nervous, and also any special accommodations that make them more relaxed such as using a certain exam room, staying on the floor rather than on the examination table. In some cases we can have your help us with the examination and in other situations it can be bests for your pet if you are not with the pet during the examination. We will work with you and your pet to find the best approach to make the visit as comfortable as possible while allowing the veterinarian to get the information that is needed to advise on medical care.

Happy visits

Bring your dog in several times before their appointment for ‘happy visits’.  Have him or her weighed and give them lots of treats and praise for calm behaviour.  If available, go into the examination room with your pet and reward him or her for just being there.  This way your dog will begin to expect positive things about the vet clinic, and visits will become more routine.

Practice!

You can also do mock physical examinations at home, running your hands over every inch of your pet to get them used to this in a trusted environment.

Natural remedies

Ask us about safe natural remedies to help reduce anxiety – there are herbal supplements as well as pheromone collars and sprays that can be helpful in reducing stress during the car ride, confinement and the visit in the hospital.

COVID-19 Message to our Clients

To Our Valued Clients,

Our top priority is to provide exceptional care to our patients while safeguarding our staff and our community.  We continue to maintain our regular business hours and we are available to see you and your pets for essential veterinary health care services.

We have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and want to notify you of changes we are making at for the welfare of our staff, clients and patients. We have taken great care to implement safeguards to help reduce the spread of this virus.

Amended Procedures:

  • The doors to the hospital will be closed to the public
  • Visitors to the hospital must remain outside the hospital. This includes walk-ins, appointments and food/prescription purchases.
  • We will not be performing fit-n-fury, birthday exams, nail trims, routine dentals and non-essential surgeries until further advised.
  • We will no longer accept cash or in-person payment.

https://hollybankanimalhospital.ca/online-payments

https://avonleaanimalhospital.ca/online-payments

Admittance:

  • A copy of our admittance and discharge instructions and patient history forms will be sent to you prior to the scheduled appointment.
  • Please remain in your vehicle and call us when you arrive in the parking lot.
  • We will assess your Covid-19 risk using the "patient screening pathway”.
  • When we are ready, we will motion for you to bring your pet from your vehicle to the clinic door. All dogs must be on leash and cats must be in carriers.
  • The veterinarian will call at the end of the examination or video conference you during the examination to discuss examination findings and recommendations.

Discharge:

  • You will be emailed a copy of the invoice including home notes.
  • Payment will be taken over the phone, via Interac e-Transfer, or online.
  • Any medication or items to be picked up will be given in a plastic bag at the time of discharge.
  • We will call you when we are ready for discharge at which time you will collect your pet outside of the clinic.

Food, inventory and medication pickup:

  • All items can be ordered over the phone or purchased using our online shop https://shop.avonleaanimalhospital.ca
  • For pickup, we will bring the items to you outside the clinic.

Product availability:

We have been in constant contact with the suppliers and manufacturers responsible for ensuring our hospitals have sufficient supply of veterinary diets and over the counter products, and we do not anticipate any disruption to this supply. However, instances of buying large quantities of these products have strained the supply chain. We respectfully request that our clients limit their purchases of these products to immediate need plus one month’s supply to ensure all clients and patients have access to these products.

Our goal is to keep our essential services available to the communities we serve and to be there for you and your pets. Thank you for your cooperation and for doing your part in helping to keep pets and people safe. Please do not hesitate to call with questions. We anticipate our phone lines will be busier than usual and we thank you in advance for your patience!

Our new hours of operation are as follows:

  • Monday: 9a-7p
  • Tuesday: 9a-7p
  • Wednesday: 9a-7p
  • Thursday: 9a-7p
  • Friday: 9a-7p
  • Saturday: 9a-3p
  • Sunday: closed

Call us if you have questions or need to schedule an appointment.