We are in this together. Please Note the Following Changes: *updated June 2021 on our Home Page
In order for us to be able to help your pets we need to keep our staff and our clients healthy so we have successfully implemented specific social distancing protocols. These changes have continually evolved and may change again without notice.
Our staff members are working hard to serve each client's needs during busy periods of the day. We appreciate your patience if we are not able to address you immediately upon arrival.
Services - Fraser Valley Animal Hospital - Abbotsford, BC
Wellness and Vaccination Programs Help us keep your pet healthy by bringing him or her in for regular exams and vaccinations. Dogs and cats (and other pets) age far faster than people, so significant changes in your pet’s health can happen in a short time. Wellness programs allow us to diagnose diseases and conditions early, when they’re easier to treat or manage. Often, we can help prevent diseases entirely, just by ensuring that your pet has received appropriate vaccinations and preventives. We recommend that healthy adult dogs and cats visit us once a year. Puppies, kittens, senior pets, and pets with health issues or illnesses need more frequent checkups. All puppies and kittens do require a physical exam at every vaccine booster, which is usually around 4 weeks apart. We’ll work with you to create a wellness program, including a vaccination and prevention protocol, for your pet. Call us today to schedule your pet’s wellness exam.
Lame, vomiting, heart disease, urinary issues, pregnancy? Located within our animal hospital we have digital radiology so that we are usually able to take radiographs of areas of concern immediately.
Pet Vaccination Program
We believe all pets need annual physical examinations as many diseases and problems can go undetected by owners. Remember that 1 year is like 5 to 7 years to our pets and a lot can change in that amount of time so annual exams are very important. We have often found “cavities” in cat mouths or heart murmurs which owners were not aware of. As for vaccines at the Fraser Valley Animal Hospital we believe in vaccinating an animal based on their age, health status and life style. Is your dog an urban warrior, or a rural free spirit? What about your cat, a homebody, or a social butterfly? During your pet’s examination we will find out about you and your pet’s lifestyle and will discuss our best recommendation to keep Fido and Fifi healthy. We also offer vaccine titres for those owners who prefer to check antibody levels prior to vaccinating.
Indoor Cat Wellness
Indoor Cat Wellness Care We are finding in the Abbotsford area that more and more cats are staying indoors. This does keep them safe from cars, dogs and other cats, but the indoor cat is prone to its own problems including sterile cystitis and obesity. Would you know if your cat had a “cavity” or a new heart murmur? At the Fraser Valley Animal Hospital we believe all pets need annual physical examinations as many diseases and problems can go undetected by owners. Cats are masters of disguise and are so very good at hiding issues that they may have. Dr Horvat’s own cat was diagnosed with kidney disease at 12 years of age only because of her annual exam and blood work. Because of this Dr Horvat was able to put Madison on a special diet and despite her medical condition she lived to be 23! Preventative medicine is our goal!
Pet Parasite Control
A round worm lays between 20 000 to 200 000 eggs a day and these eggs last in the environment for FIVE years! So as your pet walks across the grass bare foot he/she can be picking up microscopic eggs. They go home and lick their feet and now they have intestinal parasites. As intestinal parasites are a zoonotic issue (ie they can affect human health as well). Children are at highest risk for picking up these zoonotic pests as they are the ones who tumble in the grass and put their fingers in their mouths, so regular de-worming just makes sense for your pet’s health and your family’s well-being.
Senior Pet Wellness
Click HERE to fill out our Senior Health Questionnaire!
Do you have a cat or small dog who is 10 or older, or a large dog 8 or older? Well then you are the proud owner of a senior who needs a little extra care. Your pet may appear healthy and still youthful but there can be hidden problems and if dealt with early can add years to your pet’s life.
We recommend a senior screen every 12 months, which includes blood pressure, ECG (for the heart) and an annual chemistry and CBC screen.
Did you know senior pets need to have their nails trimmed more frequently. We commonly see our senior pets with overgrown nails or nails grown into pads. If you are uncomfortable trimming nails we can teach you or do them for you. Every 11th nail trim is free – pick up your nail trim card today!
We are equipped to handle a wide variety of medical conditions, including emergencies. Because we can perform many diagnostic procedures in-house, we can often give you immediate answers and start treating your pet faster. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization and further diagnostic tests. Please take a look at the more detailed descriptions of medical services we offer, or call us to discuss your pet’s needs.
Microchip Pet Identification
Check out our Facebook page and you will find a number of stories of animals finding their way home because of a microchip even many years later. In fact here in Abbotsford we had a dog brought to us who had been missing for 3 years and found his way home to Comox all because of his microchip! Microchips can be given as an outpatient procedure and only takes 5 minutes. A small capsule is injected under the skin which when scanned gives your pet his/her unique number. Microchips have the advantage of not fading, like a tattoo, and being recognized worldwide. They are such a great method of reuniting owners with their pets that in England they have made it mandatory for all pets!
Though we do recommend microchip here at the Fraser Valley Animal Hospital we think pet identification is such an important part of your pet’s care that we included with all our spays and neuters. The first thing Dr Horvat does when she rescues a new dog is tattoo and microchip them!
Your pet doesn’t have a tattoo? That can easily be fixed! Contact us to find out details.
Did you know that high blood pressure is a serious problem in both cats and dogs. Just like people it can be a silent killer. There are no clinical signs to warn you that your pet has high blood pressure but if it is not dealt with it can cause damage to your pet’s kidneys, eyes and heart. Monitoring a pet’s blood pressure is easy and non-painful, and only takes about10 minutes.
If you have a cat who is 10 or older or a dog who is 8 or older, you should have your pet’s blood pressure checked on an annual basis. We also use blood pressure as a routine measurement during all our surgeries. This is a vital measurement to help us ensure we are keeping our patients healthy while they are under anesthetic.
Bringing your pet to see our Abbotsford veterinarian?
Did you know you the easiest way to add two years to your pet’s life is to keep their teeth clean and their mouth healthy?
Why take your pet to the dentist/veterinarian? Pets, like us, suffer from periodontal disease, which, if untreated, will cause loss of teeth. We also now know that chronic dental disease can cause damage to kidneys, liver, and heart valves. Dental disease rarely makes the patient “sick” but it can shorten their life span.
Diet, brushing their teeth at home, and regular dental care will all help your pet to have a healthy mouth and thus a healthy body! At the Fraser Valley Animal Hospital we can help you pick a great diet and teach you how to brush your pet’s teeth. We also do complete dental cleanings as required. As it can be difficult to have a good look in your pet’s mouth and you may be unaware of the condition of your pet’s teeth. We have FREE tech exams to see if your pet needs a dental cleaning and can give you an estimate on a complete dental cleaning and treatment. And while you are in we can show you how to care for your pet’s mouth at home!
When we need to figure out what’s wrong with your pet, we routinely use x-rays to help identify the cause of the problem, rule out possible problems, or provide a list of possible causes. We may also use x-rays during a wellness exam to diagnose potential problems before they become serious.
X-rays provide valuable information about a pet’s bones, gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, colon), respiratory tract (lungs), heart, and genitourinary system (bladder, prostate). We use radiology alone or in conjunction with other diagnostic tools. Interpretation of radiographs requires great skill on the part of the veterinarian.
We offer digital radiology (x-rays that are captured digitally rather than on film). This technology allows us to provide you with a quicker diagnosis for your pet. Plus, it uses less radiation than traditional x-rays.
To avoid a blurry image, pets need to remain completely still while an x-ray is taken. In some cases, we may need to sedate your pet or use short-acting general anesthesia.
If you have any questions about our radiology service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please don’t hesitate to ask.
PennHIP is the most accurate hip screening method available and can be safely performed on dogs as young as 16 weeks of age. An early estimate of a dog’s hip integrity is invaluable, whether the dog’s intended purpose is for breeding, for working, or as a family pet. For More Information - Click HERE
Here at the Fraser Valley Animal Hospital we have spent a lot of time training in minimally invasive surgery. When your pet is ill our scopes allow us to examine small areas such as the nose or bladder and get diagnostic samples without having to use a scalpel blade. Occasionally some pets need to have their esophagus, stomach, trachea, or nose examined and/or biopsied. With our flexible camera (endoscope) or rigid scopes we are able to collect many samples instead of having to do surgery. As well endoscopy allows us to put in short term feeding tubes for our chronically ill cats. Note that this procedure is not appropriate for all medical cases.
*New* Endoscopic Transcervical Insemination - TCI
- Allows for catheterization of the cervix and deposition of semen directly into the uterus
-Intrauterine semen deposition increases the success rate of breeding both by increasing the number of pregnancies but also litter size
-Allows for the use of frozen thawed semen, fresh chilled semen, and fresh semen even from stud dogs with reduced fertility
-Non-surgical, non anesthetic approach that can also be used to evaluate the vagina for abnormal growths, foreign bodies, trauma and vaginitis
-Both Veterinarians and clients can observe and confirm the intrauterine deposition of semen
-An opportunity to breed multiple times during one estrus cycle
-With improved conception rates this modality will extend a stud dogs life in the face of declining semen quality
-Your dog has a shorter stay in the hospital, less stress, lower cost than surgical AI, and without the ethical implications that come with surgical insemination
Dr Horvat has taken extensive continuing education courses to be able to offer this service to the pets in the Abbotsford / Mission / Chilliwack and surrounding areas. This is a great diagnostic tool to have a look inside our pets in a non-stressful manner. Radiographs and ultrasound are two ways the veterinarian can look inside your pet and help find some of the pieces of the puzzle. Pets losing weight, having urinary problems, with elevated liver enzymes, or with chronic diarrhea are all great candidates for an abdominal ultrasound. Ultrasound is also the earliest way we can detect pregnancy in our pets.
Well here goes year TWO!!!! January 2019 we started our new Slim Pet Program to help pets carrying a few (or perhaps a few more extra) extra pounds lose weight.
Meet Cara our weight loss specialist.
In 2019 Cara helped our pets shed 87 lbs., including my own Maggie. Cara spent the end of 2018 in training learning all about weight loss in dogs and cats, and together with Dr. Horvat they created a program to help get our pets back into shape.
It seems that it should be straightforward: cut calories to lose 0.5 to 1% of body weight each week.
Except our pets are complex and we hit plateaus and bumps in the road. That is where Cara comes in. She spends time with each client monitoring their weight loss and body score, making adjustments to their diet as needed. This is to ensure the weigh loss is done in a slow and healthy manner.
FVAH is here to help owners and pets get through the bumps and help them succeed. Make a complimentary appointment with her today. Call and ask for Cara.
Since 1 out of 2 pets are over weight there is a good possibility your pet may be carrying a little more weight than he or she should. An overweight pet is one who has 10 to 20% more body weight than is ideal; So that is 0.5 kg to 1 kg (1 to 2 lbs.) in a cat or 5kg (10lbs) in a large dog.
So what is the problem with a few extra pounds?
Yes anyone interested in health and fitness can’t go a week without hearing about the detrimental effects of inflammation leads to illness such as cancer. Increase risk of cancer should be motivation as it is significantly easier to try and prevent than it is to treat. But if you are still not convinced that it is worth the effort to help your pet lose weight look at the results of a number of veterinary studies…
• Dogs fed 25% fewer calories lived 2 years longer. • Overweight large breed dogs had a 4% chance of seeing their 13th birthday whereas lean dogs had a 50% chance of seeing their 13th • Overweight dogs needed treatment for arthritis at age 6 vs. age 12 for lean dogs. That is a whole lot of financial savings not having to pay for a NSAID (pain medication for 6 years). • Though not as many studies have been done in cats, we know that a cat with a Body Condition Score (BCS) of 6 or greater have a significant risk of living with a chronic disease (such as diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, cancer)
2020 is just around the corner and perhaps now is the time to make a new years resolution to make your pet fit again.
If your pet needs to lose 1lb or 10 lbs. and you want some help, contact Cara at the Fraser Valley Animal Hospital 604-854-2313 and we will enroll your dog or cat and together we can keep them healthy.
Spays, neuters, entropion, foreign body removal, lump removal, lacerations, abscesses, bladder stone removal, enucleation, cruciate stenotic nares, orthopedic surgery with a board certified surgeons and elongated soft palates, just to name a few.
-Laparoscopy -Laser Surgery -Spaying -Neutering
Providing minimally invasive pet surgery (laparoscopy) to Abbotsford, and the greater Vancouver area since 2007.
Minimal Invasive Laparoscopic Surgery
Serving the Fraser Valley and the entire greater Vancouver area we are one of two practices who are able to offer laparoscopic surgery. Here at the Fraser Valley Animal Hospital we pride ourselves on trying to always offer the best for our patients. If we personally have to have surgery wouldn’t we would all prefer minimally invasive surgery, so why wouldn’t our pets? So after extensive training we are one of very few practices in B.C. who are able to offer laparoscopic surgery for a number of procedures. What does this mean? Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique for viewing the internal organs of the abdomen. A laparoscope (camera) is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen and magnifies the organs for a more thorough examination.
Most commonly this procedure is used to obtain biopsies but is also used as an alternative to a traditional, spay, cryptorchid (retained testicles), and/or gastropexy for a less traumatic surgery (up to 65% less pain). The down side to laparoscopy is a funky hair cut (but fur grows back), the positive is that this is now an outpatient procedure so patients recovery is at home, smaller incisions means less pain and faster recovery time, as the controlled incisions eliminates pain and bruising patients need less pain medication, there is also less licking at surgical sites and best of all these patients do not need the same exercise restriction as there is a minimal recovery time than a traditional surgery. These dogs wake up not even knowing they had a major surgery!
We are proud to be able to offer laser surgery as a progressive new option for our patients. Long used in human healthcare, laser technology is a proven service with multiple applications. Laser is an intense beam of light that can replace a traditional scalpel. Laser energy seals nerve endings and blood vessels as it moves through tissue resulting in less pain and less bleeding.
Recommended procedures for laser surgery include spays, neuters, overgrown nails, oral mass removal, entropion and gingival overgrowth.
Using the laser we can remove small warts and skin tags using only a local block and without needing to suture there is less complication with pets licking open their incision.
Do you have a Boston, Pug, Bull dog or Persian? These pets with the flat face (brachycephalic) tend to have obstructed nostrils and elongated a soft palate that adds to their difficulty in breathing and can lead to respiratory collapse. With a laser these problems can easily be corrected.
Spaying your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents female animals from becoming pregnant and reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Spaying will not change your pet’s personality.
By spaying your female pet, you’re protecting her against potentially deadly diseases, including bacterial infections, reproductive tract diseases, and several types of cancer. You also won’t have to worry about her going into heat. This means avoiding the mess that often accompanies the heat cycle in female dogs and the pacing and crying that happens with female cats. In addition, spaying your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.
Spaying, which involves removing the ovaries and uterus, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure her safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.
To set up an appointment to have your pet spayed or to learn more about this procedure, call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to spay your pet, please call us so we can discuss your concerns.
Neutering your pet has many benefits. The procedure, which prevents male animals from reproducing, can help your dog or cat live a longer, healthier life. Neutering will not change your pet’s personality.
By neutering your pet, you’re reducing or eliminating his risk for prostate and testicular cancer, as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Neutering will also reduce or eliminate undesirable and embarrassing behaviour, including roaming, fighting, humping, and spraying. In addition, neutering your pet will help control the dog and cat overpopulation problem, keeping more animals out of shelters.
Neutering, which involves removing the testicles, is a surgical procedure and does need to be performed with the pet under anesthesia. We follow strict protocols and continually monitor your pet’s vital signs to help ensure his safety. Please see the descriptions under Anesthesia and Patient Monitoring for more information on what we do to keep your pet safe.
To set up an appointment to have your pet neutered or to learn more about this procedure, please call or visit our clinic. If you are struggling with the decision of whether to neuter your pet, please call us so we can discuss your concerns.
During surgery and other medical procedures, our team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians monitors all patients to ensure their safety. We monitor every procedure, regardless of whether it’s routine or more advanced. The type of anesthesia we use depends on the procedure. Some require general anesthesia, while others may only call for local anesthesia. For more specific information on our protocols, please see the individual descriptions or contact us with any questions.
-Heated Pet Beds -Tranquilization/Sedation -Patient Monitoring -General Anesthesia
Heated Pet Beds
Hypothermia (low body temperature) is a common problem during and after surgery. As well sick animals often have issues regulating their core body temperature. For this reason here at the Fraser Valley Animal Hospital we have invested in heated floors for our dog runs, padded thermal beds for sick and recovering patients and Bair huggers, which blow warm air into cloth blankets, to keep our patients warm while under anesthetic.
We monitor our patients to keep them as safe as possible during procedures that require general anesthesia. A veterinary technician will continually assess your pet’s heart and respiratory rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs to help prevent any anesthetic risk.
Please feel free to ask us about our patient monitoring protocol or any concerns you might have about your pet’s procedure.
Having to put your pet under general anesthetic always makes an owner nervous and understandably so! We take the responsibility of keeping your pet safe under general anesthetic seriously and have a qualified person monitoring your pet during the entire procedure. In order to keep your pet safe, we monitor your pet’s heart and respiration as well as their temperature and blood pressure. All pets are kept warm during surgery with a Bair hugger, which uses warm air and thus will not result in thermal burns.
It is strongly recommended that prior to anesthetic blood work is done on your pet. Though pets may appear healthy, minor changes in the kidneys or liver may only show up in blood tests, and these results can help us choose appropriate drugs when administering anesthetic.
What You Need to Know Before Surgery
Many people have questions about various aspects of their pet's surgery, and we hope this information will help. It also explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery.
Is the anesthetic safe?
Today's modern anesthetic monitors have made surgery much safer than in the past. Here at Fraser Valley Animal Hospital, we do a thorough physical exam on your pet before administering anesthetics, to ensure that a fever or other illness won't be a problem. We also adjust the amount and type of anesthetic used depending on the health of your pet. The handout on anesthesia explains this in greater detail. Pre-anesthetic blood testing is important in reducing the risk of anesthesia. Every pet needs blood testing before surgery to ensure that the liver and kidneys can handle the anesthetic. Even apparently healthy animals can have serious organ system problems that cannot be detected without blood testing. If there is a problem, it is much better to find it before it causes anesthetic or surgical complications. Animals that have minor dysfunction will handle the anesthetic better if they receive IV fluids during surgery. If serious problems are detected, surgery can be postponed until the problem is corrected. We offer three levels of in-house blood testing before surgery, which we will go over with you when you bring your pet in. Our doctors prefer the more comprehensive screen, because it gives them the most information to ensure the safety of your pet. For geriatric or ill pets, additional blood tests, electrocardiograms, or x-rays may be required before surgery as well. It is important that surgery be done on an empty stomach to reduce the risk of vomiting during and after anesthesia. You will need to withhold food for at least 8 to 10 hours before surgery. Water can be left down for the pet until the morning of surgery.
Will my pet have stitches?
For many surgeries, we use absorbable sutures underneath the skin. These will dissolve on their own, and do not need to be removed later. Some surgeries, especially tumor removals, do require skin stitches. With either type of suture, you will need to keep an eye on the incision for swelling or discharge. Most dogs and cats do not lick excessively or chew at the incision, but this is an occasional problem you will also need to watch for. If there are skin sutures, these will usually be removed 10 to 14 days after surgery. You will also need to limit your pet's activity level for a time and no baths are allowed for the first 10 days after surgery.
Will my pet be in pain?
Anything that causes pain in people can be expected to cause pain in animals. Pets may not show the same symptoms of pain as people do; they usually don't whine or cry, but you can be sure they feel it. Pain medications needed will depend on the surgery performed. Major procedures require more pain relief than things like minor lacerations. For dogs, we may recommend an oral anti-inflammatory the day after surgery and several days after to lessen the risk of discomfort and swelling. We use newer medications, which are less likely to cause stomach upset and can be given even the morning of surgery. Because cats do not tolerate standard pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol, we are limited in what we can give them. Recent advances in pain medications have allowed for better pain control in cats than ever before. We administer a pain injection 10 minutes prior to surgery. After surgery, pain medication is given on a case by case basis. Any animal that appears painful will receive additional pain medication. We use narcotic patches for some surgeries in dogs as well. The cost will depend on the size of the dog. Injectable pain medications may also be used after surgery on both dogs and cats. Providing whatever pain relief is appropriate is a humane and caring thing to do for your pet.
What other decisions do I need to make?
While your pet is under anesthesia, it is the ideal time to perform other minor procedures, such as dentistry, ear cleaning, or implanting an identification microchip. If you would like an estimate for these extra services, please call ahead of time. This is especially important if the person dropping the pet off for surgery is not the primary decision maker for the pet's care. When you bring your pet in for surgery, we will need to 5 to 10 minutes of time to fill out paperwork and make decisions on the blood testing and other options available. When you pick up your pet after surgery you can also plan to spend about 10 minutes to go over your pet's home care needs. We will call you the night before your scheduled surgery appointment, to confirm the time you will be dropping your pet off and to answer any questions you might have. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions about your pet's health or surgery.
I often hear the statement “I would rather put my pet down than allow him/her to suffer.” A statement that I agree with, but what happens when a diagnosis is made and yet your pet still seems to be enjoying life? How do you know when it is enough? When do you know it is the right time? Sometimes it is obvious; but, other times it can be very difficult having to make end of life decisions for one you love.
Many of us are familiar with hospice care as it relates to end-of-life care facilities for people. Unlike the human healthcare system, Veterinary Hospice isn’t a place, but rather a compassionate care plan. The focus in veterinary hospice is to ensure that a beloved pet remains comfortable and enjoys a positive quality of life until it’s time to say goodbye, rather than trying to cure an illness.
Jordan my own beautiful standard poodle was diagnosed with a kidney tumor during a routine ultrasound. She had no clinical signs. Her blood work was perfect. Her exam was perfect. So what now? My girl entered Fraser Valley Animal Hospital’s Hospice Care Program. I knew I was not going to cure her but I was not going to let her suffer;and, though she still bounced on her now short walks and nudged me for affection, I knew she had or would soon have pain. So we monitored her urine for infections, put her on nutritional supplements, monitored her appetite and prevented her pain. She did great for about 8 months and then she started to deteriorate rapidly as the cancer had spread to her nervous system, she no longer had quality of life and it was time for me to let her go.
Pet owners will often seek out Veterinary Hospice care after being told that their pet has a medical condition that cannot be cured. There are few relationships in our lives as unique as the ones we have with our pets. Our pets have an extraordinary ability to love us unconditionally and provide us with a sense that we are important and needed, and so when we hear those words… “There is nothing more that can be done to treat your pet” we can feel physically crushed and heartbroken. In many cases, elderly pets or those with a terminal diagnosis may still be happy and full of life, but need a customized care plan that can evolve with their changing needs as their condition progresses.
Some of the situations where hospice-care may be helpful to you…
- You feel it may be time to say goodbye to your pet but are uncomfortable with the decision and may be feeling a sense of guilt or anxiety. - Your veterinarian has told you that there is nothing more that can be done to treat your pet’s condition. - You have made the difficult decision to stop treatment of a terminal illness such as cancer or chronic renal or liver failure. - You have a very old pet and worry if he/she could be in pain and suffering. - You have a geriatric pet that may show signs of an inability to rest comfortably, loss of appetite, pacing, not interacting with the family as much, or perhaps having accidents in the house. - You are not yet ready to say goodbye but you are committed to keeping your pet comfortable and continue making their life as peaceful as possible.
At the Abbotsford’s Pawsitive Wellness Centre (The PAW Centre) we will be opening a unique centre that is dedicated solely to helping pets and owners who maybe struggling with these and other issues surrounding pain, geriatric care and end of life care. Fraser Valley Animal Hospital’s Comfort & Compassion Clinic is a separate area of the PAW Centre so that you can have privacy during this difficult time; and, so you are not in the middle of the hustle and bustle of an animal hospital. Here we are focused on providing alternative care plans for you to consider for your pet so that you can help your pet maintain a good quality of life during their remaining time with you. For some it may only be a few weeks but for others like my Jordan it may be a few months.
In medicine there is no “one size fits all” and that is true when it comes to end of life care as well. Given the highly individualized nature of FVAH’s Hospice Care Plans, and treatment options, the frequency of visits and contact may vary widely for an individual pet. Our hospice care team will work closely with an owner to create and change a pet’s hospice care plan depending on each pet’s own needs and requirement.
During this time besides having to deal with a sick and dying pet you may also have the difficult job of supporting your children and explaining the loss of a pet that has always been in their life. You yourself may need support with the grieving process. Every pet I have lost has left a footprint on my heart. They were all special to me in different ways. Madison who lived to be 23 was my cat I adopted the first day of veterinary school and her loss was different than when I lost either Jake or Kye who were my mom’s dogs. These two dogs I inherited when I was 26 as my mom had passed away. Having to euthanize my mom’s dogs was very different to my recent loss of Jordan. Everybody’s story is different and each person has different ways of grieving, so for those who are looking for additional support we have a grief counselor as part of our hospice care team. We are here to help you with not only your pet’s medical needs but also to help and support you the pet parent during this difficult time and can offer you resources and information.
What Are FVAH’s Hospice Care Services?
- Quality of Life Exams - Pain Management Consultations - Hospice Care Plan - Individualized Comfort Care Box for your - Training on your pet’s needs so you can care for him/her at home such as fluid therapy or massage therapy - Nutritional Counseling - In Home Euthanasia or Euthanasia in our private Comfort Room - In home visits by a hospice care team member and or veterinarian. - Environment Assessments - Phone or Email Support - Grief Support for you and your children - Medical aids to help make the care of your pet easier - Memorabilia
Unlike routine veterinary appointments, a hospice appointment is more involved and typically lasts about 40 minutes. During this appointment we will do a quality of life assessment, a full physical exam, an environmental evaluation, a pain assessment, review your pet’s nutritional needs and review present medications your pet maybe taking. We will be there to discuss your options and spend the time to answer any of your questions and concerns. Then together we will come up with a hospice care plan that works for both you and your pet.
I graduated from veterinary school in 1992 and even in that short time veterinary medicine has changed and evolved and we now have a lot to offer when it comes to helping reduce the pain and suffering in animals. Recent innovations and research have provided more alternatives and options for taking care of our pets during the last stages of their lives. Often we can increase a pet’s quality of life by customizing a care plan and finding the right combination of medicine, alternative treatments and environmental modifications.
If you feel that Veterinary Hospice care is the right choice for you and your pet, please fill out an online Hospice Questionnaire. The information provided will allow our hospice care team time to review your pet’s heath care to date and know the medical treatments and tests have been done to serve as a guide during your pet’s visit.
We know this is a difficult time in a family’s life and we are honored to help each family and pet through this time. Our goal is to help a family explore all options so that each family can make the decision that is best for their pet and their family. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to reach out and contact us to see if you feel FVAH’s hospice care may be right for you and your beloved pet.
If you have any questions regarding if hospice care is right for you, or to book a Veterinary Hospice appointment, simply call us at 604.854.2313 or please email us at FVAH@live.ca with Hospice Care as the title.
Signs of Pain in Your Cat or Dog
Cats and dogs manifest pain in different ways. Dogs tend to be restless when in pain. They tend to pant, pace and are generally unsettled. Here is a list of signs to watch for if you are unsure if your dog is in pain.
- Almond shaped eyes caused by pain facial tension - Droopy head - Droopy ears - Tucked tail - Does not want to play - Lack of social interaction with owners, visitors, other pets - Does not enjoy playing with toys or usual activities - Subtle lack of alertness (early) gradually increasing to a deep apathy - Diminished appetite - Body tension - Facial tension - Accepting treats or food gingerly - Lack of interest in walks, swimming, chasing the ball - Doesn’t respond when called - Worried or sad facial expression - Ears pulled back or flattened - Eyes wide open to expose “whites of eyes” - Avoidance of direct eye contact, when talking to them - Lips slightly retracted in a “grin” - Whiskers pulled back against cheeks caused by facial tension - Uncomfortable when resting - Shifts frequently while resting - Difficulty getting up - Excessive panting (particularly when not hot) - Head held abnormally low - Shivering/trembling/shaking - Unsettled - Pacing - Difficulty moving after a long rest - Difficulty laying down - Slow or abnormal gait - Limping - Hunched back - Compulsive licking or rubbing of certain body part - Looking at sides or other body part suddenly and/or worriedly - Suddenly running away from “nothing in particular” - Can’t jump on bed or couch - Reluctance to lie down - Sleeps in a position that avoids a certain body part from touching ground or bed - Purplish tongue colour (not gums) - “Guards” a certain part of body - Reluctance to touch - Reluctance to be picked up - Isolating themselves from other family members - Disinterested in surroundings - Unusual attention seeking - Flinching when touched a certain area - Unusual aggressive behaviour in an otherwise docile pet - Moaning or whimpering - Refusal to eat - Unable to get up - Crying out in pain - Clenching of teeth, biting down on an object - Howling - Urinating or defecating in house, where normally would not happen
If you are seeing these signs, or have concerns of other symptoms, please call 604-854-2313 or please EMAIL US and we will help you with your dog’s comfort.
For your convenience, we offer both an in-house pharmacy and an online service so we can meet all your pet’s needs. We provide medications, flea and tick control products, and heartworm preventives—all at competitive prices. We’ll also pass along any discounts or rebates from drug manufacturers.
When you order from us, you’ll know that the products you’re purchasing have been stored properly and are approved for use in Canada. And if you have any questions, you can ask your veterinarian.
Feel free to pick up your pet’s prescriptions at our clinic or order refills online.
Pet Visitation Room
It is hard when your pet is ill to be separated and we know when people are sick they like visitors so here at our animal hospital we built a small room with leather chairs so that you can visit your pet in comfort.
End of Life - Pet Euthanasia
This is the most difficult time of pet ownership and the hardest decision an owner must make. Here at the Fraser Valley Animal Hospital we take the time to help owners decide when it is the right time. We offer house call euthanasia in the Abbotsford and surrounding area in the Fraser Valley, as well as in clinic euthanasia. Owners may sit with their pets in a comfortable room, that does not have a hospital atmosphere, and if owners would like, they are able to hold their pet during the procedure. It is our belief and desire to make this very hard and yet kind thing we do to end our pet’s pain, as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Arthritis? Surgery? Lame? Sore Back? Sport injury? These pets can all benefit from physiotherapy. Therapy for our pets has come a long way and we have learned the benefits of proper recovery from injury. Did you know that 80% of cats over the age of 8 have some form of arthritis but show minimal clinical signs? Your dog slowing down? Not running through the Abbotsford dog parks the way he/she used to? Many people contribute this just to age but arthritis is a common culprit. Now with physiotherapy we have so many new options to keep our patients be more comfortable with chronic pain due to arthritis. We can do laser, heated ultrasound and muscle stimulation. We also can teach you what exercises, such as figure eights or pole walking, you need to do with your pet at home for a smooth recovery.
Pain Management and Control
We now know that animals experience pain in much the same way as people. We use our knowledge of pain medication and pain relief strategies to prevent and manage pain in pets, both before and after surgery and in the event of an injury or infection. We can also ease pain caused by chronic disease, such as arthritis.
Ask us about our pain management options and plans, which we will tailor to your pet’s medical condition and individual needs. We also offer acupuncture and chiropractic services, which can help control pain in some pets.
Veterinary Specialist Referrals
Our team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians provides many services at our clinic, ranging from routine to advanced procedures. Although we handle the majority of your pet’s medical and surgical needs in-house, we occasionally refer patients to veterinary specialists or specialty clinics when advanced training or equipment will be beneficial.
Board-certified specialists, such as oncologists, ophthalmologists, and neurologists, have extensive experience and training in a particular area of veterinary medicine or surgery. Specialty clinics and university-affiliated referral centres have specialized equipment to perform procedures that are not routinely performed by general veterinary practitioners.
We make referral decisions because we want to ensure that our patients receive a high standard of care and the best possible outcome. Be assured that when we refer a patient to another hospital, we continue to stay involved with his or her care, consulting with the treating specialist and often providing any needed follow-up care and rehabilitation.
Visit us at: 2633 Ware Street Abbotsford British Columbia, V2S 3E2