Thoughts for a new year

Welcome to 2012! We are now one week into January, and it only seems fitting to use this space to reflect on the past year at Eglinton Vet and how this may shape some of the information that you see from us over the next year.  

2011 was full of cases that lifted our team’s spirit, and cases that broke our hearts. The disease trends that we have seen this year are likely to continue into 2012. On reflection, the following were notable:

  • For the second year in a row, all dogs who visited us for a heartworm test in 2011 were also screened for tick-borne diseases, and we had a surprising number of dogs who tested positive for Lyme Disease. We have been seeing ticks on animals from cottage country along with pets which have never left Toronto.  Many of these pets were treated and vaccinated against Lyme disease, and it is an issue that we will be discussing as spring approaches again.
  • We have also seen a rise in the number of pets being diagnosed with gastrointestinal parasites, especially giardia. This parasite (known as ‘beaver fever’ in humans) is prevalent in Toronto due to the interactions between our pets and wildlife. We will continue to recommend that all pets who are spending time outdoors be tested or treated for gastrointestinal parasites at least once per year, and your pet’s lifestyle may dictate that this be done multiple times per year.
  • As always, we continue to see too many pets suffering or dying from cancer and pets struggling with chronic conditions such as thyroid disease, kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, arthritis, Cushing’s disease, allergies… the list goes on and on. We will continue to do our best to help these pets in 2012. Our doctors all participate in regular continuing education and are always looking to research findings that may help your pets.

There were a numbers of ways that we embraced the use of technology in 2011 and we are excited to be using these tools to help reach and educate our clients better. For example:

  • Early in the year, we brought in an updated in-clinic laboratory system, which allows us to immediately do extensive blood testing on pets that are critically ill. This augments our normal laboratory services, digital x-ray system and ability to do on-site ultrasounds.
  • In the spring of 2011, Dr. Paul Hodges introduced the use of laparoscopy to the practice, using a camera for certain surgical procedures, particularly spays. We have been thrilled with how our patients recover following a laparoscopic spay (back in the park in less than 3 days!).
  • We finally ‘took the plunge’ and computerized all of our medical records through the fall of 2011. This means that we are able to respond to questions and treat your sick pets more efficiently.
  • The most recent step in improving our use of technology has been an update to our clinic website, the creation of a Facebook page and the introduction of a quarterly newsletter. We welcome any suggestions that you might have for the newsletter or website, and ask that if you are a Facebook user, please “like” our Facebook page here.

 The past year has seen the introduction of new medications for use in dogs and cats, along with updated medical protocols which increase our ability to help your pets.

  • One of highlights of 2011 was the introduction of new pain medications, especially for cats. Our clients often struggle to recognize the signs that an animal is in pain, whether it be following an accident, after surgery, or due to a chronic health condition, such as arthritis. The more tools that we have to help animals in pain, the better!
  • Our team has continued to stress the importance of nutrition in maintaining health, using special diets to help pets with chronic health conditions such as kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies and arthritis.
  • As always, we will be stressing the importance of good dental health, proper body weight, appropriate vaccinations and wellness testing.

We pledge in 2012 to help those pets who need us, building on a history of more than 80 years in the neighbourhood. All the best to all of our two-legged and four-legged friends in 2012!