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There is a Difference

We tend to trust our human medical system in Ontario. Yes, we complain about wait times, but the quality of care is second to none in the world. When we are admitted to hospital we receive treatment from qualified physicians, nurses and attendants. Similarly, human dentists are professionally trained, inspected and licensed to practice in the province of Ontario.

It is the same on the veterinary side. Facilities are inspected regularly. Veterinary medical training in Canada is outstanding. Continuing education is on-going. Veterinarians and technicians generally provide world renowned, compassionate service when taking care of your pets.

We expect, and should receive treatment in each of the above facilities with equipment that is clean, sterilized and inspected. We have recourse if we have concerns about how we, or our animals, are treated.

So, why is it that there are non veterinarians in the province of Ontario that scrape dogs teeth and call it a dentistry? Although we love our hair salons, would we want our hair stylists to clean our teeth? Mechanics are crucial to caring for our cars, but would we ask our mechanic to assess our dental disease? Unsuspecting owners thinking that they are doing a service for their pets are doing just that. A proper dentistry requires dental radiographs to look below the gum at what we cannot see. Broken roots and abscessed teeth cause pain, but if we just clean off the surface tartar because we can see it, we are not treating the disease. A proper dental prophylaxis requires general anesthetic which should be performed with monitors and trained personnel. Scrapping teeth while your pet is awake can potentially damage the teeth and completely ignores underlying disease. Often, after years of this kind of treatment pets are presented with serious, painful dental disease requiring multiple tooth extractions.

It is important for all of us to become informed about proper professional care and expect the best for our pets. See the American Veterinary Dental College for further information.

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Dog thinking about ticks and fleas

Year-round protection means more peace of mind!

“Tick season” used to mean spring/summer/fall, with a break over the winter – the colder weather meant that we could take a break from worrying about these pesky bugs and the diseases they can transmit. But in the last few years, we’ve seen a change creeping up on us, with the weather staying warm later into the season, and spring arriving earlier each year – and the bugs are loving it! You may have already heard us talking about how any day that the temperature is above the freezing point, ticks are potentially active. This past year, we had days above 0°C in all 12 months! Ticks aren’t killed by the cold, they simply go dormant, waiting until it’s warm enough to come back out – so last year, even January and February had days warm enough for ticks to be active! This means that we are now recommending that all dogs (and cats that go outdoors) take advantage of year-round flea and tick protection. There are several options, our first choice being an all-in-one that protects against fleas, ticks, and heartworm, as well as providing regular deworming against roundworms. One pill, once a month – what could be simpler? If your pet is already on a monthly preventative, all you need to do is pick up a refill and continue throughout the winter months. If your pet hasn’t yet started on comprehensive parasite prevention, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have and set you up with the best option for your pet. What does this mean for testing? The 4DX test that we recommend most commonly screens for heartworm disease, Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes (so every dog in Ontario is potentially at risk – at Westbridge we treat a few cases every year!), and the others are all transmitted via tick bites. We have seen an increase in Lyme-positive dogs in the last few years, one of the reasons we are recommending some of these changes. For better early detection and the safety of your pet, we are recommending annual 4DX testing for all dogs. This simple blood test can be done at any time, although the optimal time is in the spring. Catching disease early is key to successful treatment – and no matter how careful you are with preventative medications, there is always some risk of infection. As always, our veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians are available to answer any questions you may have about the best options for your pet. Email us at info@westbridgevet.com, or call us at 905-285-0002

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Last updated: December 17, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 19, 2020 some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

Your dedicated team at Westbridge Veterinary Hospital