Our Blog

Travelling With Your Pet This Summer? Check Out These Tips!

By Our Blog No Comments

Summer is here, the last day of school is fast approaching and we are getting into vacation mode! Booking a summer get away for the family? Or maybe a romantic trip for two? It’s really easy to get caught up in the fun of planning that we can forget about our pets.  Will they come with? Should we board them at a facility? These decisions can quickly take the fun out of planning. Here are some tips to help keep you summer vacation planning just as exciting as the final school bell.

  1. Plan ahead! Everyone is thinking vacations right now. The sooner you discuss your plans, the more options you will have to choose from.
  2. Get your pet’s vaccinations up to date: All good boarding facilities will require your pet to be up to date on vaccines. Some cottage rentals and hotels may ask for this as well. Ideally, you want to get your pets vaccines caught up no sooner than 7 days before you leave, so the sooner the better.
  3. Parasite prevention! Regardless if you are taking your pet with you or if you are sending them on their own vacation, there is a good chance they will be exposed to more parasites than they usually are.  Speak to your vet about what preventives would be best suited for your pet.
  4. Planning on driving? Map out your route, consider pre-planning stops to stretch their legs and get some air.
  5. Can you even take your pet? When considering bringing your pet along, be sure this is allowed. Many rentals are pet friendly, some are not. Is there an additional cost for pets? What are the rules? Some require your pet to be with you at all times, this might not work for your plans.  If you are going to a family cottage be sure to ask if your furry companion is welcome too. Best to ask before you arrive.
  6. Thinking of a boarding facility? Ask for references and check the place out first! Leaving your pet can be stressful, being confident and comfortable with where they are staying will help. Pop by for a tour. Is it clean? Do they require vaccines? Are the pets housed separately or together? What happens if your pet gets sick? Do they require a trial stay first? Write down all your questions before you get there…a concentration of many cute animals is very distracting, believe me!
  7. Notify your vet! If you are leaving your pet under the care of a boarding facility or a friend, be sure to update your animal hospital. We need your permission to give out information about your pet. Let us know who is caring for your pet and for how long. If you are unreachable during your time away, communicate with us what your plan is if one of your pets gets injured or ill. Be sure to let the people caring for your pet who your vet is in case they have any problems while you are away.
  8. First Aid Kit: if you are taking your pet with you, bringing along a first aid kit is always a good idea. Be sure to include emergency clinic numbers in the area you are going, antihistamine and dose for your pet. If your pet is on medications, be sure to get a refill so you have enough. Keeping a small supply at home is great too, just in case you forget to pack them up for the trip home.
  9. Special Requirements: If you are travelling out of the country with your pet be sure to contact the embassy for the country and airline as soon as possible. There could special requirements, paperwork, vaccines needed to cross the border or board the flight. Often these are time sensitive and need to be scheduled with your vet so you don’t want to put this off.

So whether you choose to take your four legged pal with you or book them into a 5 star pet resort, we hope these tips help make the choice a smooth one. Happy planning!

carlos on the beach


Written by Ashley Docherty, R.V.T Practice Manager at Bloor Animal Hospital

Feature pictures courtesy of Pugsley and Carlos.

Nail Trims for Guide Dogs!

By Our Blog No Comments

Join us on Saturday May 13th to raise awareness & money for the Guide Dogs.


*Bake Sale


*Basket Raffle


*Nail Trim-a-Thon


….Meet upcoming Guide Dog Puppies!!


All proceeds go to the Lions Foundation of Canada in support of the Guide Dog Association


Call us today to book your pet in for their nail trim or pop by for a treat and meet the puppies!


guide pup

Putting Our Feline Patients First

By Our Blog No Comments

It has been just over a year since the Bloor Animal Hospital decided that we wouldn’t no longer be performing elective declaws in cats.  The support from our clients and the general public has been overwhelming. We received praise not just from our clientele, from all over North America and Europe too!
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has recently published a position statement against elective declaws in cats.  Our own Dr. Suzanne Lyons was on CBC’s “Here and Now” last week answering questions on this subject.
If you have any questions regarding your cat’s scratching behaviour, please don’t hesitate to call to discuss this further with one of our knowledgeable staff members!

Listen here to Dr.Lyons on CBC Radio

You can read more about the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s position here

The Important, Almighty Teeth!

By Our Blog No Comments
Time and again in the exam room we are asked if a particular teeth cleaning chew is appropriate for dogs.  Clients describe anything from bones, to particular products marketed exclusively for teeth to other chew toys commonly found in pet stores.  There are too many products out there to be familiar with all, but we can offer some helpful hints in order to choose safe options for your pets.  Careful selection of appropriate chews is very important to your pet’s oral health, not just for the purpose of cleaning their teeth, but to not cause damage to your pet’s teeth as well.  When dog’s chew a chew toy, they do so with great strength using the large 4th premolar, also known as the Carnassial tooth.  It is the largest tooth in their mouths and is the main tooth used for chewing and grinding up food.  Dogs that chew hard chews may fracture the exterior part of the tooth.  This is called a slab fracture.  This type of fracture exposes the sensitive “pulp chamber” inside the tooth which contains the blood vessel and nerve.  It is a painful lesion and places the tooth at high risk for abscess/infection.
slab fx
X rays of the tooth are required to determine if the pulp chamber is exposed, giving bacteria access to the root and other sensitive structures of the tooth and to ensure that surrounding teeth have not been damaged as well.  Treatment options include a root canal if the tooth meets criteria or surgical extraction of the tooth.  This tooth contains 3 roots which extend deeply into the jaw bone.  It is a painful lesion and requires extraction.  Dental fractures caused by hard chews are one of the most common reasons for extractions in dogs.
Obviously we want to try to avoid these injuries and extractions at all costs.  Although most people feel hard chews will help clean their pets teeth, they will likely fracture them as well. The Veterinary Oral Health Care Specialists (VOHC) is a group of board certified veterinary dental specialists.  They have a “kneecap” rule.  If you wouldn’t want to be hit in the kneecap by a chew you are contemplating giving your dog, then it is too hard and should not be given to them, as it can fracture their teeth.  Bones, antlers and other synthetic hard chews are good examples of this. CET chews are a good example of a safe chew.  You can look for the VOHC seal on any dental product to see if they have approved it as a safe and effective part of your pets health care routine.
If you have any questions regarding safe chew toys or fractured teeth please call or make an appointment to speak to one of our veterinarians or veterinary technicians.  Happy chewing!

You hear us say RVT, but what is a RVT?

By Our Blog No Comments

You hear us say RVT, but what the heck is a RVT?  In a veterinary practice, there are many different roles and jobs that are needed to help the clinic function. We have Veterinary Receptionists, Veterinary Assistants, Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVT) and Veterinarians (DVM).

Each role plays a crucial part of our team and helps to make our days run smoothly. RVT’s start out as Veterinary Technicians. They have completed post-secondary education and graduated with a diploma to go on to become a RVT.  Once graduated the technician must complete and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and must also complete a professionalism and ethics course. Once completed and passed, the technician is now a RVT. As a RVT it is mandatory to complete and maintain your qualifications.  This is done by completing continuing education each and every year, to ensure that the RVT is keeping up with the ever changing veterinary medicine and techniques. The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT) monitors the RVT and ensures they are keeping up with their education to maintain their RVT status.

The Veterinarian will see the patient in the appointment and get a full history and perform a through physical exam.  Next, the Veterinarian will determine what necessary treatment is and present the patient and the treatment plan to the RVT.  The RVT will typically see the treatments through. The RVT can do an array of treatments, here are a list of most of them: collect blood and urine samples, wound management, anesthesia, pain management, triage and emergency care, intravenous catheters, urinary catheters, radiographs, pre and post-surgical care, medication administration, nail trims, ear cleaning, cytology (looking at cells under a microscope to help determine diagnosis), urinalysis. This list goes on. This only covers what RVT’s can do for their patients, their role continues for our clients.

RVT’s are often first line of communication regarding medical issues and guidance when our clients need help. They are a shoulder to lean on and a valued member of our team. It goes without saying how we cannot function without our RVT’s and we can’t say enough how much we appreciate them. Next time you meet with your RVT, you’ll know you are speaking with a well-educated individual!

What is The Farley Foundation?

By Our Blog No Comments

The Farley Foundation was established in 2001 by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) to help low income pet owners by subsidizing the cost of urgent veterinary care. The foundation relies on donations to provide funding for those in need.

Donations to the Farley Foundation are made by the veterinary community and generous pet owners. The OVMA and veterinary clinics team together to educate and promote awareness to pet owners on the Farley Foundation and how their involvement can help owners in need. Funding from the Farley Foundation is only distributed in Ontario, but sees donations from all over North America.

The Farley Foundation reviews their eligibility criteria annually and to be able to provide the most funding available to the greatest number of people in need.

The Farley Foundation has helped over 7200 pet owners and pets since its funding was available in 2002. They have helped a variety of pets from cats and dog to ferrets and guinea pigs. Helping with diagnostics, surgery, hospitalization and necessary medications.

With the OVMA heading up this foundation and corporate sponsors supporting fundraising, they are able to keep costs very low allowing the majority of the donations to be used towards pets and pet owners in need. Over 75% of donations have been allocated to be used towards veterinary care for pets.

You can help support the Farley Foundation by donating anytime through the Farley Foundation website, or by participating in any of their ongoing fundraising event.  October is Fundraise for Farley Month, you can come in and support Farley by donating to the registered charity and have paw prints displayed with your support. In October of 2015 Farley raised over $260,000 with dedicated partnerships between veterinary health care teams and support of their corporate partner Royal Canin.

For the entire month of October we will be accepting donations towards Farley. We will be holding a bake sale October 29th and 30th, and for a donation your pet can take part in Halloween photo shoot on October 30th ! All proceeds will go to the Farley Foundation.

Come join us in our efforts to help support low income pet owners and pets with urgent medical care needs!

Is Pet Insurance All it’s Cracked Up to Be?

By Our Blog No Comments

Many clients come in with their new puppy and kittens asking us, what’s the deal with pet insurance?

Insurance for your pets is not a new concept, just the same as your car insurance or your own personal critical illness insurance. It is not a scam and can be very beneficial. We encourage everyone to do their research to find what works best for them.

There are a handful of pet insurance companies and they offer similar plans with deductibles and monthly premiums. Your monthly premium depends on what kind of coverage you choose, breed of your pet, area that you are in and any pre-existing conditions your pet may have. You can adjust your premiums and deductible to balance how you would like to pay. A low monthly premium and have a high deductible, vice-versa or somewhere in the middle.

I encourage pet owners to get insurance while their pet is young, before any pre-existing issues occur. This way the entire pet is covered without exclusions. You may be offered a free trial, take it! If your pet does not get sick in this time you don’t get the opportunity to try it out but it does give you 4-6 weeks of free insurance in case something does happen. This time can be used to research companies and have peace of mind you are covered.

There are countless stories of clients who have taken their free trial and their pet did unfortunately get very ill in that time of the trial. The insurance company they had the trial with paid for those bills no questions asked, no money out of the client’s pocket. We have seen upwards of tens of thousands of dollars paid for by an insurance company that the client has not even paid yet. That to me is a pretty good deal!

What if I just save the money I would pay for my premium with? This is an alternative, however, if your premium is $50 dollars a month, which is only $600 dollars a year. Should your pet have an emergency or unexpected illness you could expect to pay hundreds or thousands. As an example, if your pet were to develop vomiting and diarrhea it could be anywhere from $200-$400 or break their leg jumping off the bed, it could cost anywhere from $2000 to $4000. Having pet insurance may alleviate the stress of the vet bills. If your pet was insured you may only need to pay your deductible, saving you money and stress.

Not everything is covered under every insurance policy, preventative care and pre-existing conditions can be excluded. You’ll pay for the annual visit and vaccines but you are covered if your pet acquired an illness. Talking to the insurance companies and getting an understanding of what you are paying for, when do you need to pay your deductible and what they would be paying for is an important part of your research.

Pet insurance is not for everyone and some people choose to go other routes. When faced with an emergency, it is nice to not have to make the all too common decision between money and your pet.

Who and What is AAHA?

By Our Blog No Comments

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only organization in the United States and Canada that accredits companion animal hospitals based on standards that meet or exceed state and provincial regulations. Only 5% of all Canadian practices are AAHA Accredited. Established in 1993, the Association is well known among veterinarians for its leadership in the profession, high standards for veterinary practices and pet health care, and most importantly, its accreditation of campion animal practices.

Did you know that accreditation for animal hospitals is voluntary? Surprising, isn’t it? Nearly 60 percent of pet owners believe that their pet’s veterinary hospital is accredited when it is not. In actuality, only 5% of Canadian animal hospitals have gone through the accreditation evaluation process by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). We are proud to call ourselves an AAHA-accredited hospital.

Accreditation by AAHA means that an animal hospital has been evaluated on approximately 900 standards of veterinary excellence. To maintain their accreditation, hospitals undergo a rigorous review by veterinary experts every three years. State and provincial regulations can vary widely – in fact, some states don’t routinely inspect hospitals, only going in for an inspection when a complaint is filed by a pet owner. AAHA accreditation is considered the standard for veterinary excellence, and does not vary between states or provinces (AAHA accredits hospitals in both the U.S. and Canada).

We are an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital. That means we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Pets are our passion. And keeping them healthy is our #1 priority. Here, we strive to deliver excellent care for pets. Because your pets deserve nothing less.

July 22 is AAHA Accredited Hospital Day. A day where we can celebrate holding ourselves to a higher standard!

Learn more about AAHA accreditation and why our accreditation is important to you and your pet. Visit

Oops, My Pet Ate Pot!

By Our Blog No Comments

Medical and recreational use of Marijuana in humans is common these days, making it all too accessible to our pets. It begs the question, should we be using marijuana therapeutically in our veterinary patients? The answer is no.

Marijuana in pets does not have a therapeutic dose at this time and can easily cause toxicity. We cannot tell you how much to use without causing toxicity, so it could end up causing another problem while we were trying to fix the first one.

Marijuana toxicity can be easily treated if we know that’s what the pet got into, so it is very important to let your veterinarian know if you know your dog or cat ate marijuana or a snack with marijuana in it.

Diagnosing the toxicity is done on clinical sings and/or the client’s information that their pet has ingested the toxin. The toxicity can worsen if the pet has eaten marijuana in a chocolatey snack. Now this patient has potentially 2 toxicities to treat and Marijuana is also a potent anti-vomiting drug so making the pet vomit it up is not always a feasible option.

Patients often present in a somewhat sedated state and can be easily agitated.  Other signs of toxicity can include:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Stumbling
  • Urine dribbling
  • Profound sedation

If we suspect or know that your pet got into Marijuana, your veterinarian can provide them with supportive care, IV fluids and time, however without treatment it can be very serious and even fatal for your pet. There is no antidote to this toxicity. Patients can recover in a matter of hours to days, depending on the amount ingested and if there was anything else ingested with it.

Don’t be afraid to tell your veterinarian what your pet ate, it could help save Fido or Fluffy and save you unnecessary tests performed on your pet.

To hear more on marijuana ingestion in pets, you can check out Dr. Morris on CBC Fresh Air