Monthly Archives

December 2022

Greetings for the 2022 Holiday Season

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The year is quickly coming to a close and we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for your continued support. We are so happy that we were finally able to open the doors to allow you in.  Since the initial lockdown in 2020 there were so many changes as to how we cared for our patients and interacted with our clients. Curbside brought a whole new set of challenges and we’re glad that all of that is finally behind us. You are all rock stars for being patient with us. It’s been wonderful to finally meet our new clients face to face.

Dr. Shannon Lee is our clinic owner and has been since 2014. She graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2004 and subsequently decided to pursue additional training in working with exotic animals which have always been her passion.  Following graduation she completed a 1-year internship in avian and exotic medicine and surgery at OVC.  When not busy in the clinic Dr. Lee and her husband, Matt are kept busy with their three children, 13-year-old Brooklyn, and 8-year-old twins, Colton and Aubrey. With the children enrolled in dance, karate and horseback riding their schedule is quite full! They also share their home with a bouncy mastiff cross named Max and a turtle named Franklin.

Dr. Lee and Zeta

Dr. Lorna Mantle graduated from OVC in 1981 and has been associated with us on a full and part-time basis since then. She shares her time away from the clinic with her husband Tom, 4 house cats, her horse Victoria and numerous heritage chickens on a small farm. She also has a cat and an opossum that have taken up residence in the barn.  Dr. Mantle plays the cello, loves gardening, reading and travelling. She and her husband took a trip this past summer to Nova Scotia.

Dr. Kristen Gleiser is here 1-2 days a week keeping busy in surgery and seeing patients in appointments.  She graduated from OVC in 2001 and has a special interest in dental health for all her patients.  She has three young daughters at home who keep her very busy. They have one very cuddly cat named Cinnamon.

Dr. Gleiser and Rufous

Dr. Emily Blake has been working with us on Thursdays and Fridays. She graduated recently from the Ontario Veterinary College and has a keen interest in birds and other exotics.  She is working with us and at our after-hours clinic, Brant Norfolk Veterinary Clinic, as part of a mentorship program.

Dr. Mike Bondar has been helping out on Thursdays. He graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1993. He opened a veterinary hospital in Toronto back in 1997, where he practiced small animal medicine and surgery. Nowadays he works with veterinary telemedicine services and pet owner education via social media.

Dr. Michelle Tome is currently here 1-2 days a week in surgery. She has a special interest in internal medicine and critical care. At home, she and her husband and their three children share their house with a labradoodle named Marshall and five cats: Dylan, Barak, Jackson, Seashell and Oyster. When she is not at work Dr. Tome can be found skiing, swimming or gardening.

Kate Young has joined our team as practice manager. She comes to us with a wealth of experience managing all aspects of a busy veterinary clinic. She oversees staff, doctors, patients, inventory, and as an RVT she also helps out on the floor monitoring surgery, placing iv catheters and taking x-rays. You will also see her helping out on the front desk when needed.  She has been an invaluable addition to our team. Kate has spent several years competing in national fly ball competitions with her dogs.  Chips was the fastest dog in Canada in 2019!!

Kate and Chips

Our reception team has grown again. Holly has been here for 6 years now, and you mostly know her from her work in the reception area. She has recently started to work at the back with the technicians with a goal of becoming an RVT. She already has some formal training and has lots of hands-on experience with exotics, being the owner of 3 bunnies of her own.  We even call her our “bunny guru”! When not at the clinic she is busy with her horse, Frosty competing in local horse shows in Western speed events, and keeps active with hiking and rock climbing.

Holly and Ben

Lisa started out with us in February 2021 when we needed someone to fill a maternity leave. She fit in so well that asked her to stay.  She spends her time away from the clinic with her Blue Heeler, Nina, and her two cats Hank and Waylon.  She enjoys hiking with Nina and photography.

Santa Clause (aka Lisa) and Nina

Grace started out in 2021 as an Animal Care Attendant and changed the course of her career when a position opened up in reception. She’s a natural! She’s doing a wonderful job and loves helping everyone.  When she’s not manning the phones here she spends her time horseback riding, hiking, reading and drawing.

Grace and Zeta

Melissa is a PhD student who is currently studying bovine nutrition at the University of Guelph. She’s working with us for one year while she completes her studies. She has experience working in all aspects of the clinic so not only does she work in reception, but she often helps the technicians with surgery patients.  In her spare time Melissa enjoys hiking and travelling.

Melissa

Our veterinary technicians work primarily in the back. They are responsible for taking blood samples, taking x-rays, running blood and urine tests in our lab, anesthesia, monitoring patients before, during and after surgery, and taking care of sick patients that are in hospital.

Sue is our senior technician and has been with us since 1994. She spends most of her time assisting in surgery and working in the lab. When not busy working here she enjoys spending most of her time at home gardening in the nicer weather, travelling when possible, and hibernating this time of year. She and her husband Ed share their home with their 2 cats Rufous and Baxter. This past June Sue and Ed were able to hit the road in their 35-year old Roadtrek van and visit Nova Scotia. It was quite the whirlwind trip: over 5000km in 13 days. They absolutely loved it and can’t wait to do it again!

Sue and Rufous

Emily’s family grew by one when she adopted Annie, her Jack Russel puppy. Annie has been a great addition and is currently enrolled in puppy obedience classes. She is doing great!  Her older brother Gibson loves playing with her. Emily enjoys reading and golfing in the summer.  Emily got engaged this summer while on vacation in Newfoundland. Congratulations, Emily and Dawson!

Emily and Annie

Crystal is currently on maternity leave. She and her husband Dave welcomed Abigail Everly Nicholls to their family in September. Abigail is their first child and their two dogs, Archie and Steve, are totally in love with her.  We are too!

Nikita is the newest addition to our RVT team. She joined us a few months ago. She can be seen working in just about every aspect of the clinic: surgery, patient care, appointments and reception. In her spare time Nikita likes to garden and has over 100 plants at her house. This year she got a new border collie puppy named “Goose”. He is learning to herd and will soon be starting agility classes.

We also have two part-time staff members who help us on weekends. Megan and Emily (yes, we have 3 Emilies on staff!) look after our clinic cats on the weekends. Emily also helps out 3 afternoons after school.

Santa and Emily

Speaking of clinic cats, Zeta is doing well and still keeps busy supervising everyone.  She has slowed down a bit but still provides a lot of laughs every day.  She is the best when it comes to taking pictures. She’s very photogenic and she knows it. Our other clinic cat, Tommy, likes to keep a lower profile. It’s very unlikely that you’ve seen him.  He’s very shy and spends most of his time in the back or the staff room downstairs. He gets extra spoiled with cuddles during lunch hour.

Santa and Tommy

Continuing education has been very challenging since the start of the pandemic.  For the past two years we have been keeping up with continuing-ed online.  We have finally been able to attend conferences in person for the first time since early 2020.  Dr Lee attended a conference on exotics this past summer. Our technicians are anxiously awaiting their annual conference that takes place in March. There’s nothing like experiencing the lectures in person. Guest speakers from all over North America attend these conferences to lecture about internal medicine, surgery, anesthesia, cardiology and more.

We are still working closely with Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge.  Chantal Theijn works tirelessly helping injured wildlife and we are proud to be an integral part of her team.  It’s very rewarding to help get these creatures returned to their home in the wild after being treated for minor to life-threatening injuries and illnesses.  Over the past few years with Chantal’s help we have examined and treated a wide range of  species –  from snakes to eagles and everything in between. There’s never a dull moment whenever Chantal shows up with a new patient.

So, in closing we would like to thank you for choosing us and entrusting us with pet’s care.  We wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.   Remember to stay safe.  All the best for 2023!

Holiday Hazards

By Clinic Renovations No Comments
The holidays always bring lots of cheer but there can be hidden hazards everywhere. We need to be vigilant to have a safe holiday, especially for our pets.
Who doesn’t love a beautifully decorated tree? We cannot stress enough to be very careful with choosing decorations. Garland and tinsel can he hazardous to cats and dogs. Cats and dogs love to play with ribbon, tinsel or garland and may chew and swallow it. If they consume it, it can become deadly trying to wind it’s way through the intestines. Glass ornaments can be a hazard if cats bat at them and they fall and break, or if dogs bite them and they break. They can cause cuts and potentially be a problem if ingested. The watering container for trees should be covered so your pets can’t drink from it. The water could contain fertilizer from the tree, or germs that may cause illness. Trees should be well anchored to prevent a rambunctious puppy or climbing kitty from knocking it over causing injury.
Chocolate can be hazardous as well. Milk chocolate contains “theobromine” which works very much like caffeine. Unsweetened or baker’s chocolate has approximately 8 times the amount. Too much caffeine can have detrimental effects on the heart. Even if your pet eats a non-toxic amount of chocolate it may cause diarrhea, vomiting and possible pancreatitis. If you put a wrapped box of chocolates under the tree be very careful that your dog can’t sniff them out and get into them.
If you think your pet has ingested chocolate, or anything else that could potentially be toxic, call your veterinarian right away, or Pet Poison Control at 1-855-764-7661.  This is an American website.  Fees apply. 
Food: Small amounts of turkey or ham are usually not a problem, but can be if ingested in large amounts. Vomiting and diarrhea can results, and in some cases can turn into a nasty case of pancreatitis. The turkey carcass and/or bones discarded in the trash are always a danger so be sure to dispose of them safely. Cooked bones splinter easily and can cause an obstruction or perforation of the intestines.
Electrical cords for Christmas lights are always a concern, too. Pets biting them can receive a nasty shock or burn. Be sure they aren’t hanging loose anywhere that your pet may get a hold of them.
Poinsettia plants, contrary to popular belief are not toxic to cats and dogs. They can, however, cause irritation to the mouth and stomach if eaten. Mistletoe can be toxic, depending on the type. Some are similar to the Poinsettia in nature while some can cause severe illness. It’s difficult to know which type is which so it’s best to avoid mistletoe altogether.
Having guests over can be stressful for our pets, too. If you have cats that never go outside you may want to make all your guests aware of this, and to watch for escapees if the doors are opened frequently. Putting cats in a safe, quiet room is a good idea. Dogs may need a quiet spot away from guests where they can feel safe. If your dog is extra nervous with the activities there are a number of different remedies to help calm your pet during this potentially stressful time. Let us know if you think your pet may benefit from a little help.
If you have any questions about possible hazards don’t hesitate to call us. We want everyone’s holiday time to be safe and happy!