The Fergus Veterinary Hospital is one of the few veterinary hospitals in the world to have a Mission Statement and Statement of Ethics based on Animal Welfare. (See information in our library about animal welfare, mission statements etc.)
Making Lives Better: The tools we employ:
- Since 2007 we have used the Vetport Medical Records system (third veterinarians in the world to adopt the system) that allows seamless communication between the pet caregiver and the hospital via the internet. Better communication between the health care team members allows the spread of critical information that enhances your pet’s life.
- Since 2008 Stem Cell Therapy has been available here for arthritis therapy.
- Since 1981 we have used the most recent research on nutrition to prevent and mitigate disease.
- Since 1989 we have employed an air powered dental unit that allows us to prevent and treat periodontal disease and remove damaged teeth to provide a disease free and comfortable mouth.
- Since 2005 cold laser units have been used to reduce post operative pain and swelling.
- Since 2009 examination tables have been converted to hydraulic lifts with customised surfaces that have better grip and are not shiny, as research has shown animals fear shiny surfaces.
- Our surgery and anesthesia suite receives continual upgrades so that now it contains 2 isoflurane anesthesia machines, 4 fluid pumps, 2 types of patient warmers, capnograph, pulse oximeter, electrocardiogram, breathing monitors, blood pressure monitor, radiofrequency surgical instrument, cold laser, emergency lighting, and upgraded surgical instruments. Anesthesia protocols are upgraded against the latest information for safety and effectiveness and we are proud of using pain pumps during surgery since 2004.
- Making Lives Better requires that we employ the best vaccines, best medicines, best husbandry practices, and provide to you the best information to keep your pet well. Some general wellness tips are provided below.
Pet Longevity and Maximum Wellness: Top 10 list of ideas to keep your pet with you for the longest and happiest amount of time possible!
#10 Grooming: Enjoy the time you spend grooming your pet. Grooming helps prevent mats, hairballs, and skin infections. Some pets require shampooing as well to keep them comfortable. Regular nail trimming and ear care may also be appropriate.
#9 Identification: ID is important if your pet is stolen or lost. Collars and tags are very convenient. Permanent ID via a microchip is better as it cannot be lost or removed like a collar.
#8 Social behaviour: Many pets unfortunately do not stay with their families because of problems with their social skills. If your pet has been trained correctly the risk of inappropriate behavior is reduced and this leads to a lengthy and enjoyable relationship with your pet.
#7 Spaying and Neutering: Any pet not intended to be bred should be spayed or neutered. This helps with the pet over-population problem. It also helps protect your pet from certain tumors, and reproductive tract infections. It also reduces behavioral problems like fighting, roaming and incorrect bathroom habits.
#6 Parasite control: All pets are at risk from the presence of certain parasites. This list includes Heartworm, Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm, Fleas, Ticks, Mange, Coccidia, Lungworm, Toxoplasmosis, Giardia, Tapeworm, and others. Some parasites on this list can affect people as well. Fortunately, there are several gentle and effective preventatives or treatments for these problems. Your pet’s lifestyle dictates which of these parasites they need to be protected from.
#5 Nutrition: Proper nutrition involves providing water, food and treats that are in the correct amount and of the right type for the age, breed, body type, and lifestyle for your pet. The number one disease associated with food is OBESITY. Fortunately, diets that are completely deficient in nutrients are rare today . However, diets that overdo certain nutrients are common. Optimum healthy living involves avoiding excesses as much as deficiencies. Also, we expect that we are going to have our pets living well into their late teens to early twenties. That means two things; 1- no one diet is going to be the right food for your pet for the next 20 years, and 2- better diets are easier on the body’s metabolism over 20 years than poor quality diets. Rely on people who know your pet’s health and needs to help select a quality diet for your pet, and be ready to change that food based on health or age concerns. Remember, a pet food label basically tells you NOTHING about the quality of the product inside the package! Please do not rely on it to select your pet’s food.
#4 Dental care: Pets are living longer and that means that the chronic mouth infections that 85% of the pet population experiences have a dramatic impact on the quantity and quality of their life. It is universally accepted that the germs in the mouth will escape into the blood stream and end up in such distant organs as the kidneys, liver, heart and lungs. The other fact we notice is that bad hearts, bad lungs, bad livers, and bad kidneys are common diseases of the aged. Chronic exposure to germs from the mouth damage these other organs. As well, if you have a mouth infection, it causes sore gums, loose teeth, rotten breath and painful chewing. It is extremely rare for a pet to stop eating because of sore teeth. If an animal stops eating, it starves and they will therefore endure incredible pain to avoid this. We know they are in pain because when we treat the mouth disease they will act anything from 2 to 8 years younger.
To help avoid these circumstances from arising, the Fergus Veterinary Hospital suggests routine preventative dental care. Along with daily tooth brushing, this involves cleaning teeth under anesthesia to remove damage to the mouth that is beyond teeth brushing. Once normalized, teeth are expected to be healthy and gums to heal, thereby alleviating any discomfort your pet may be experiencing. If daily brushing is not undertaken, plaque tarter left unchecked invades the tissues under the gum, eventually affecting bone, teeth roots and the periodontal ligament. Depending on the severity, treatment may require extraction. Similarly, in addition to this routine maintenance, pets frequently get holes in their teeth due to resorptive lesions, and breaking teeth on bones, stones, sticks and toys these. As a result, these teeth will require extractions or root canals.
#3 Vaccination: A regular vaccine series starting at 6 weeks for puppies and kittens (and boostered yearly thereafter) gives your pet the best opportunity to be protected against certain common, preventable diseases. In Ontario, all pets need to be vaccinated against RABIES. Other vaccines required will depend on your pet’s lifestyle. Antibody titers may be an alternative to annual vaccination for some diseases. Remember vaccines are usually used to prevent potentially lethal viral infections like Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo, and Rabies. There are no anti-viral “antibiotics” to treat these diseases!
#2 Routine Physical Check-ups: Dogs and cats age more rapidly than people and they also cannot tell a person when they do not feel well. That is where your veterinarian comes in. Routine check-ups allow the early detection of disease or evaluation of risk factors before disease develops. Small problems often only need small measures to correct them, whereas big problems always need big measures to reverse them. Remember age by itself is not a disease, it is just a number!
#1 Confinement or Control: This means that I as an owner have a safe place for my pet. The big wide world is a dangerous place with vehicles to hit my pet, other animals to attack my pet, and bad people to hurt or steal my pet. A safe, supervised space allows you to control and prevent these tragedies.
P.S. Pet Health Insurance is a useful tool to help budget for pet health care. Please consult the “Pet Insurance” portion of this website (located under “Preventative Medicine” in the top menu), or speak to our our reception desk for more information on this if you wish.