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.
Darwin and Sam (fictitious names) are two young dogs owned by two different families with very different histories. One was a young pup just adopted from a “farm” in Ontario, the other came from a rescue in the southern United States. Both appear healthy and happy.
Just weeks apart, both Sam and Darwin presented to Westbridge Veterinary Hospital for their routine check-ups. Our doctors and staff recommended testing for Heartworm disease. The owners understood the potential for the disease in Ontario and agreed that it would be wise to know whether their pets carried the parasite. Unfortunately, both these little dogs tested positive for the disease.
Heartworm is a disease that is carried by mosquitoes. Cats can be affected, but it is a far greater problem in dogs. It made its appearance in Ontario several decades ago, and seems to be here to stay. Small larva are carried in the blood stream, and adult worms grow to maturity in the heart. In the early course of the disease, most dogs don’t show any signs. It may take years, but ultimately affected dogs start to show heart failure as worms literally pack the heart. This interferes with cardiac function and tragically, if undetected, these dogs may die.
Thankfully for the vast majority of our pets, there is something to prevent this. At this time of year we recommend a blood test to detect the condition, and then a medication can be given once a month to help prevent Heartworm, as well as, fleas, mites and many intestinal worms. It is simple, and usually highly effective.
For Darwin and Sam, once they are infected, the treatment is unfortunately more prolonged and serious. It involves several stages of medication, strict rest and constant monitoring. The staff and doctors at Westbridge will be helping them with this over the next year. We look forward to a time when both young dogs will make a full recovery, and wish them both luck.
Consider Heartworm prevention as a kinder alternative to the disease.
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