Animals age faster than their human counterparts, but experience many of the same diseases that may go unnoticed at home in their early stages. We recommend that young and middle-aged animals be examined once a year and senior and geriatric animals be examined twice a year. After gathering a detailed history from you, the doctor will perform a full physical examination where he will check everything - from your pet’s nose, ears, mouth, skin and coat to their lymph nodes, neurological responses, chest, abdomen, and musculoskeletal system. For older pets, the doctor may recommend blood work to better understand the way that your pet’s internal organs are functioning and to create a baseline in the event of a medical emergency. Giving adequate time for physical examinations and owner involvement are two key factors for a successful physical exam. Vaccinations are very important to an animal’s health to maintain immunity against infectious diseases that are relevant to our environment.
When you bring home your new furry friend, it is always recommended to have them checked as soon as possible (or within 72 hours). Ideally, animals should be checked out before bringing them into your home. Vaccines are given every 3-4 weeks starting at 7-8 weeks of age until they are 16 weeks old and will provide your pet with their initial immunity against infectious diseases that they are otherwise unprotected against after whelping/weaning. A routine de-wormer is given at all appointments to treat the most common parasite, roundworms, which can be passed onto people. Fecal testing is also recommended to make sure your pet isn’t a carrier of more stubborn parasites such as Giardia. A technician will check for external parasites and treat them accordingly to avoid an infestation in the home. The staff is always happy to answer any questions you may have regarding house training/litterbox introduction, diet, basic training and more!
We have a surgery suite where Dr. Gill performs all the soft-tissue surgeries. Spays, neuters, cystotomies and mass excisions are just a fraction of the surgeries that Dr. Gill does on a regular basis. During the surgery, a technician is monitoring your pet’s heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate and will alert the doctor if any changes occur while your pet is under anesthesia so that the appropriate changes can be made. Pain management is especially important and is administered throughout the procedure to ensure a more comfortable recovery.
Oral health is as important in pets as it is in humans. This can be tricky, though, as some patients do not allow owners to brush their teeth, will not eat diets that are made specifically for teeth cleaning, and will not show any signs of discomfort at home. This makes it difficult for owners to know if there is a problem. During your pet’s physical examination, all efforts will be made to check your pet’s teeth; however, there are limitations. Foul breath, excessive drooling, chattering of the jaw or a decrease in appetite are some of the signs of discomfort that your pet may show at home. We promote annual and bi-annual cleanings to limit the effects of dental disease in pets, which ultimately affect the internal organs. During the procedure all suspicious teeth are X-rayed using our digital dental X-ray machine and treated accordingly.
PVPH has a fully equipped in-house lab where we can obtain sometimes lifesaving results fast. We also use this service for the purpose of pre-anesthetic testing prior to any surgery to ensure that there are no underlying diseases or abnormalities that may affect the anesthetic protocol. In some cases, the doctor may send your pet’s sample to a reference lab, where they can perform more comprehensive tests. These results usually take 24-48 hours to get back. Allergy testing and immunotherapy are also available to appropriate candidates. Fecal and urine samples are more commonly sent to our reference laboratory.
PVPH has an en-suite X-ray room so that we can quickly determine foreign body ingestion, bladder stones, fractures or dislocated bones and more. We also offer dental X-rays, which help the doctor assess the teeth not only above, but also below the gum line.
We have access to some of the best ultrasound technicians in the area, and appointments can usually be made the same day.
The end of a pet’s life is a difficult conversation to have at any veterinary facility. If your pet does not have a good quality of life or is suffering from incurable disease, we can help by providing them with a peaceful, painless transition. These appointments are always very emotional for everyone involved, so we try our best to book them when the clients can have the privacy of the clinic. We offer group and private cremation for all pets.
PVPH is not a 24-hour hospital. We will do our absolute best to try to accommodate patients within our regular business hours; however, depending on the urgency or complexity of the situation, we may refer you to Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Scarborough (416-247-8387), or the Animal Emergency Clinic of Durham Region (905-576-3031).