Veterinary FAQ: Your Top Questions Answered

Do you accept Walk-In?

No Walk-ins accepted, appointments only.

Is It Your Vet's Job to Keep the Cost of Care Down?

Communicate and Consider

When it comes to the veterinarian’s role in controlling the cost of medical care, there’s no clear-cut answer. Unfortunately, we doctors can’t change the cost of medicine, and some treatments require quite a financial stretch on the part of the pet owner (while others ultimately may turn out to be simply unaffordable). But it would be wise for doctors and pet owners to take all factors into consideration together when making decisions like these. Honest input from all sides goes a long way toward crafting the best — and yes, most realistically affordable — treatment plan possible.

Are Pet vaccines really necessary in Pickering Ontario?

The answer is a definitive YES.

For puppies, vaccines against Distemper virus, Hepatitis virus, Parvovirus and Kennel Cough are crucial. If your dog will be drinking from puddles or ponds then vaccination against Leptospirosis is equally as important, as the occurrence of this infection is increasing.

For kittens, keeping them protected from Upper Respiratory Viruses and Feline Leukemia is definitely the right choice as these infections are encountered all too often. If your cat will be going outside then protection against these infections are a must.

Rabies vaccination is imperative and it’s the law, even for indoor animals. Not having an up-to-date Rabies Vaccine not only puts dogs and cats at risk but also poses multiple human health issues because humans can get Rabies.

At Forestbrook Pet Hospital, your pet’s lifestyle will be assessed by the Veterinarian and an individualized vaccine plan will be implemented to increase its benefits.

Is it really necessary to spay and neuter my pet?

Is it necessary?…no. Is it recommended…DEFINITELY.

The reasons to neuter your dog or cat:

To help prevent against cancer and other diseases of the reproductive system.

To help prevent aggressive behavior and urinating around the house.

Neutered dogs and cats are less likely to “run away from home”.

To prevent unwanted pregnancies and unwanted animals.

The reasons to spay your dog or cat:

To help prevent against ovarian, uterine and breast cancer. It is important to note that spaying dogs and cats before their first heat cycle is very important. As dogs and cats go through multiple heat cycles they become more prone to breast cancer. This can be a serious health problem, especially for cats, as the majority of these cancers are malignant and life-threatening.

Spayed dogs and cats are less likely to “run away from home”.

To prevent unwanted pregnancies and unwanted animals.

Are dental cleanings necessary?

Depending on the degree of disease in the mouth, a dental cleaning could be very necessary. Any dental specialist would tell you that even with Grade 1 Periodontal Disease (mild tartar accumulation) a dental cleaning would be recommended. When severe dental disease is encountered on a physical exam, such as severe tartar accumulation, tooth loosening, infection and bad breath, a dental procedure is highly recommended and should be performed for the safety of the animal.

Not only is periodontal disease painful but it poses great risk to all body systems. Bacteria from the mouth can get into the bloodstream and attack the heart valves, liver and kidneys.

Once the mouth is clean and healthy after a dental cleaning, measures can be taken to prevent dental disease from recurring.

Does my dog need to be tested for Heartworm Disease every year?

The answer is an absolute YES.

It is very important that your dog has a NEGATIVE test every year before starting prevention.

A lot of the medications given to prevent Heartworm Disease can harm your dog if they have the infection, therefore a NEGATIVE test prior to giving the prevention is very important. Also, there is no reason to prevent Heartworm Disease with a once-a-month preventative if your dog already has the infection. If your dog has Heartworm Disease then they need to be treated , not given a prevention.

What is pre-anesthetic blood testing?

If your pet will be sedated or placed under general anesthesia then blood testing prior to these procedures is highly recommended.

A small amount of your pet’s blood is taken prior to the procedure. The major organs of the body, such as the liver and kidneys, are evaluated. This provides information on your pet’s health that may influence the safety of the anesthesia or procedure.

Is pre-anesthetic blood testing required?

Testing your pet’s blood prior to sedation or general anesthesia is not required but highly recommended. Along with a thorough physical exam, it is the easiest way to assess your animal’s ability to tolerate general anesthesia.

The liver and kidneys are the major organs that will eliminate anesthetics from the body, therefore it is important to make sure their levels are normal prior to any procedure requiring sedatives or general anesthetics.

What happens to my beloved pet once the decision has been made that he/she has to be euthanized?

Euthanasia is an incredibly difficult and emotional decision.  Once you and your veterinarian have decided that the time has come to end your pet's suffering you will have several options to consider.   Do you want to be present during those final moments when your pet passes on, or would you prefer to say goodbye before hand?  The euthanasia procedure itself is painless and quick, but many people elect not to stay with their pet out of fear that it will be frightening.  We can assure you that at our clinic we will make every effort to ensure that this is a peaceful visit for both you and your pet.  Depending on your choices, your pet will be brought to a treatment area  to have an intravenous catheter placed in their front leg and secured with a light bandage.  Your pet is then given a mild sedative to help him/her relax.  If you have chosen to be with your pet in those final moments the veterinarian will then return with your pet and offer you some time alone.  When you are ready, the veterinarian will give your pet an overdose of an anesthetic.  Your pet will peacefully fall asleep, at which point their heart will stop beating.  Once the veterinarian has checked your pet's heart and confirmed that they have passed on, you can again have the option of some final private moments.  After you have said your last goodbyes your pet is then prepared for what ever your final wishes are for them.  Most often a pet's remains are sent away for a communal or private cremation.  If you have chosen a private cremation, your pet will be cremated alone and your pet's ashes are returned to you.  If you have chosen the communal cremation, your pet will be cremated and the ashes will be buried in the pet cemetery in the park at Gateway Pet Memorial.  There are many different urns and memorial options available for all pets that you can see either prior to, or after the decision of euthanasia has been made.  Dealing with the death of a beloved pet is a very difficult and heartbreaking process for most people.  Whenever possible, having most of your decisions made ahead of time often makes the process just a little bit easier.  In addition to contacting any of our staff members for more information, we have also created a complimentary "Pet Loss Support" package that you can pick up at any time that offers information on your various options, as well as contacts for grief guidance and support that may help you during this difficult time.

* www.gatewaypetmemorial.com


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Read What Our Clients Say

  • "I love Dr. Raj! I have recommended him to many of my friends and they all thank me for the referral. He has a very special way about him and he is one of the kindest people I have ever met. He cares for my pups like they are his own."
    - Nancy Sinclair
  • "Dr. Raj is truly the best vet I have ever known. He cares deeply for all his clients as well as their owners. I just had to put down my Rosie and he helped make an incredibly hard and sad time, one of respect and true compassion. I am forever grateful for the care he gave my Rosie girl as well as myself! I would recommend him to all who love their animals!
    Thank you, Dr. Raj!!"
    - Laura Stacey
  • "I totally recommend Dr. Raj and his team...they are awesome with the animals...thanks Dr. Raj"
    - Barbra Cole-Sheridan