We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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Pet Diagnostic Imaging – Endoscopy / Arthroscopy

We are thrilled to have recently added medical scopes to our diagnostic imaging equipment. While the various potential uses for these scopes will be discussed in detail below, the overall benefit is that in many cases, we may be able to avoid invasive surgical procedures. This often results in decreased pain and faster recovery, with patients often going home within hours of the procedure.

 

What Gastrointestinal Procedures do you offer for pets?

Endoscopy and colonoscopy are two major uses for the medical scopes. As mentioned above, they allow us to noninvasively perform procedures, including:

Biopsies
With the use of the endoscope, we are able to thoroughly investigate the entire upper gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, and the first portion of the small intestine. This allows us to identify abnormal regions, and obtain biopsy samples using a device that is passed through the scope. Without the use of the endoscope, traditionally samples were either taken blindly, potentially missing important localized lesions, or required major abdominal surgery. The scopes can be used similarly throughout the entire length of the colon. This can help to diagnose such conditions as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cancer, both of which can have similar clinical signs with very different treatments.

Foreign Bodies
Loop instrument grasping battery.We all know that our pets unfortunately may eat some silly things. Some common items are plastic bags, batteries, elastics and coins. These “foreign bodies” can cause obstruction of the small intestine requiring potentially extensive abdominal surgery. (ie. They get stuck in the gut!) If caught early enough when the object is still in the stomach or at the very beginning of the small intestine, an endoscope may be used to visualize and extract the foreign object. (Unfortunately, not all objects are retrievable.) A specialized instrument is passed through the scope such as the one in the image shown here (left). Traditionally this surgery would require a large incision to remove the object from the stomach. When endoscopy is successful, there is no incision required and the patient can return home, happily eating, within a few hours.

What Arthroscopic (Joint) Procedures do you offer for pets?

Arthroscopic (Joint) Procedures
Arthroscopy is a hugely beneficial part of our use of medical scopes. These scopes can be used to both aid in surgical procedures, such as cruciate ligament repair, and to diagnose joint and skeletal deformations, such as OCD (osteochondritis dissecans) . OCD is a condition common in large breed dogs in which there are cracks in the cartilage, causing pain and degenerative changes such as arthritis.

Cruciate Procedures
An arthroscopic view of the canine meniscus.Arthroscopy will greatly improve the comfort of our patients undergoing ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) repair. With the full or partial tear of a cruciate ligament, an important part of the corrective surgery is not only repairing the tear, but inspecting the knee joint for other changes. Previously, this involved making a large incision in the capsule to allow visualization of the torn cruciate pieces, and to locate the meniscus – a special cartilage band that prevents the femur and the tibia from rubbing against each other. The pieces of torn cruciate ligament must be removed, otherwise they will calcify and eventually contribute to arthritis of the knee. The meniscus must be inspected for tears, as this could cause poor recovery without treatment. Endoscopy allows this inspection using a much smaller incision than traditional surgery and, in many cases, a faster return to normal function.

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Westbridge Veterinary Hospital has received reports of leptospirosis cases from other veterinary hospitals in the GTA.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

We are all aware of the concerns and rapidly changing situation with COVID-19. Due to the close public contact that our work requires, we have taken necessary measures to protect our clients, our staff and work hard to ensure we can continue to provide excellent care for our patients.

The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

1. If you have travelled outside Canada or come in contact with anyone who has travelled outside Canada in the past 3 weeks, or if you are feeling unwell, (coughing, fever, fatigue, etc.), please contact our clinic. We will be more than happy to reschedule your appointment or help arrange to see your pet safely.

2. We are currently operating a "closed-door" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 905-285-0002. We will take a history by phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet and you will get another call from the Doctor to discuss our recommended treatment plan.

3. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

4. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm & Saturday from 8:00 am - 1:00 pm.

5. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 4-6 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the clinic. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment from your vehicle.

6. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid, and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

Your dedicated team at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital