Medical Services

Our knowledgeable staff and our facilities allow us to deal with a variety of medical conditions your pet may experience. We hope we do not have to see you or your pet for an emergency but if we do, we are equipped to handle the situation. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization and further diagnostic tests. Our website describes the medical services we offer in more detail.

Euthanasia

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HOW WILL WE KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME?

Maybe we learned most of what we know in kindergarten, but some adult dilemmas seem to have no answers. In fact, I think that’s the very definition of an adult-sized problem-the quandary with no apparent solution. And the one that presents itself in my world over and over again is one that sounds like this: “Dr. Riley, how will we know when it’s the right time to have ‘Justine’ put to sleep?”

The angst reverberates through the words, the tone of voice. Justine may be a venerable old mare, a beloved kitty, a nice elderly Labrador Retriever, or a young pup with cancer. While nobody wants to make the decision, equally so they don’t want to decide and get it wrong.

Recently my fading lady Irish Wolfhound; ‘Alice,’ went to heaven. Each morning I dreaded finding her gone is her sleep, yet yearned not to have to make the decision. How would I know when it was time? Would it be the day she couldn’t keep anything down and felt sick as hell? Or the day her hind legs just didn’t seem to work?

I could only tell myself what I’d told my clients through the years- that one day you’ll wake up, look at Justine and know without a doubt that today is the day. If you have doubts, then today isn’t the day. I reminded myself of this bit of advice that had held up through the years for so many others. People would tell me, “Dr. Riley, I never really understood what you meant but then one day I just knew that I couldn’t let my dog suffer another minute. The loving thing to do was to send her along to heaven that day.”

And so, a couple of weeks ago, after Alice had suffered two days of not eating and scarcely leaving her mattress except for necessity (and she was so ill she didn’t consider drinking a necessity), I awoke to the reality that Friday was the day to say goodbye.

I had a bit of doubt so we took a walk, ate luscious food and had a long ride in the car…all her favourite activities. She couldn’t hold up or enjoy her favourite things, so off to Dr. Lisa we went and she was kind enough to do the deed. Alice’s exit was as smooth as silk. I take that as a sign that she was ready to go. I miss her dearly.

I am grateful we veterinarians have this gift, this awesome power to relieve the suffering of critters. It’s profound responsibility and one I treat with the same respect and care I would give to somebody’s infant. It’s a gift to be nurtured and never abused.

When somebody who is dithering over what to do about their Justine asks, “Dr. Riley, what would you do if Justine were your pet?” I always tell them that Justine isn’t my pet and they are the ones who will have to sleep at night with the decision. However, if they did make the decision to send Justine on to join our Alice, I would be able to sleep with the role I played in getting her there.

And in a sort of toast to Miss Alice Ann the Wolfhound, here is to all the dogs who have gone on before her – and all the dogs to come. As my friend Patty would say, “So many dogs…so little time.”

Unfortunately there comes a time when the decision must be made to euthanize a beloved pet. We can provide you with that service. Whether you accompany your pet on that final journey or not, we leave up to you the owner. Options for after euthanasia include private cremation with the ashes back in a standard or special urn (www.gatewaypetmem.com) , cremation with other pets or you may take the body back home with you for a private burial.

OVC Pet Loss Support Hotline is a telephone hotline manned by a group of veterinary students at the Ontario Veterinary College who are trained to listen and support you through your grief. They provide a non-judgemental forum in which you can express your feelings and concerns surrounding the loss of your pet. They are a resource you can use for information regarding pet loss, euthanasia and the memoralization of your pet. The hotline is actively manned Tuesday through Thursday 6 -9pm. You may also leave a message and your call will be returned. Call 519-824-4120 X 53694 or reach them at www.ovc.uoguelph.ca/petloss

Pharmacy

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Mono Veterinary Clinic can provide your pet with most standard antibiotics, topicals, anticonvulsants and hormonal therapies. We also use a compounding pharmacy in Guelph that can change some drugs into a format that makes it easier to administer such as transdermally or as a tasty suspension. For some of the very small pets, we like to get the drug formulated so that we are not in danger of inadvertently administering an overdose. We stock a variety of flea and heartworm prevention products. Ask us which one would work best for you and your pet

Treatments

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Mono Veterinary Clinic is able to provide your pet with a variety of standard therpeutic regimes including antibiotic therapy, hormonal therapy, anticonvulsant therapy, topical therapy and surgical solutions. Some simple chemotherapies can be done here but the more involved cases are referred to oncologists either in Toronto, in Oakville (www.vetemergency.ca) or at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at OVC. Dr. Thomas does not do orthopedic surgery and is able to refer you to one of the many board certified specialists in the area or in some cases have Dr. Joe Rousseau, a travelling surgeon perform the procedure right here at the clinic. Routine dental prophylactic procedures including simple extractions are done here with an ultrasonic dental scaler and polisher. Unusual dental disease including developmental problems are referred to Dr. Fraser Hale (www.toothvet.ca) a world renowned specialist who is located in Guelph.

Some pets are so ill that they require more intensive therapy. We can provide intravenous fluid and drug therapy and overnight unattended stays. If your pet needs intensive care, then we would send you to one of the 24 hour hospitals in the area.

Diagnostics

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At Mono Veterinary Clinic we can perform a variety of laboratory tests in house. These include fecal floatations to look for parasite eggs, fecal smears to look for Clostridial bacteria, and urinalysis if there are issues with urination. We will also do ear swabs if your pet has a smelly ear to check for ear mites, yeast and bacteria. A complete blood count to assess whether your pet has anemia or an active infection can be done here at the clinic, whereas the chemistry blood tests that check organ function such as kidney, liver, adrenals, thyroid and pancreas are sent to Vita-Tech. This large lab which is located in Don Mills, provides us with twice a day sample pickup. If we have a sample ready for our 11 am pickup we often have the test results the same day, otherwise the test results are available to us the next morning. Vita-Tech provides us with a wide variety of blood tests including DNA testing and vaccine titers. If there is something special you need please inquire and we will do our best to help.

If your pet has a growth that we remove surgically, it is strongly recommended to send it off to have it looked at under the microscope by a clinical pathologist. This will give us an accurate diagnosis and allow us to prognosticate more accurately. The sample preparation is done by Vita-Tech but the tissue is actually looked at by a pathologist in Guelph. Because of the work involved in sample preparation, it may take up to 5 days to receive the results.

Mono Veterinary Clinic is also able to radiograph your pet. Most pets can be x-rayed without sedation but in some situations your pet may need sedation. For hip certification, radiographs can be sent either to the Ontario Veterinary College or to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals in the United States.

Ultrasonography,or ultrasound, is a diagnostic imaging technique similar to radiography (X-rays) and is usually used in conjunction with radiography and other diagnostic measures. It allows visualization of the deep structures of the body. Ultrasound can be used for a variety of purposes including examination of the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, bladder etc. Ultrasound is a painless procedure with no known side effects. Most pets can be ultrasounded without sedation. For an accurate ultrasound, the pet needs to be fasted for at least 12 hours and the hair over the area to be ultrasounded will need to be shaved. Our ultrasounds are performed and interpreted by Dr. Ryan de Langley a specialist who provides this service all around southern Ontario.

Endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows veterinarians to visualize and biopsy (obtaining samples of tissue for testing) your pet’s gastrointestinal tract without the need for invasive surgery. It can also allow a doctor to retrieve an accidentally swallowed item without the need for surgery. In order to use the endoscope your pet will need to have a general anesthetic. Mono Veterinary Clinic does not have an endoscope but is happy to refer you to a hospital that offers that service.

Referrals

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If your pet requires more advanced care than Dr. Thomas can be provide at Mono Veterinary Clinic, she is more than happy to refer you to one of the many specialists in the area. We are blessed by being in close proximity to the Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Toronto, the Mississauga-Oakville Emergency Veterinary Hospital (www.vetemergency.ca), and the Ontario Veterinary Hospital. There are board certified ophthalmologists in Midland, Stouffville, London and Toronto.

If you are looking for more information about your pet’s condition online, we highly recommend www.veterinarypartner.com. This is the website associated with an exclusive website for veterinarians called VIN that is run out of Davis, California. Dr. Thomas subscribes to VIN and uses it to help her formulate treatment plans for difficult cases.

Microchipping

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We would be happy to microchip your pet for you. We are using M4S ID (www.microchipsolutions.com) Iso B chips which conform to the new Canadian standard. However if you are travelling to the United States frequently with your pet we would advise you to use the Iso A chips. We can do that for you but need advance notice. All pounds and virtually all veterinary clinics own scanners with which to scan a found pet. It is one of the best ways to ensure your pet gets returned to you.