Coyote Attack on Luna The Cat

Luna is a 2-year old cat that was presented to Canada West Veterinary Specialists on June 26, 2020, after being attacked by a coyote.


She was let outside around 4 am along with two other cats in her household. When the two other cats returned, Luna was nowhere to be found. Her owner went outside to look for her and saw a coyote on top of her. He was able to chase the coyote away and then brought Luna in for emergency care.

Luna was in shock and semi-comatose when she arrived. There was evidence of a crush injury to her head with several lacerations, including to the eye, the eyelid and the neck. There was concern that she might have severe brain damage but she was also in shock. We needed to stabilize that first in order to assess the extent of her injuries.


Luna the cat following the incident with the coyote.


Once she … Continue reading

COVID-19 and Pets: Information Current to March 24, 2020

We know that it is a very stressful time for you and your pets. There is a lot of information being shared online that may be causing you fear how COVID-19 may affect your furry family members. We appreciate that it can be difficult to know which sources of information to trust and would like to provide you with the resources you need to stay current. It is important to recognize that this is still an evolving area with many unknowns and so definitive statements about COVID-19 and pets are lacking. Recommendations may change as we continue to reassess the evidence. The following is the most up-to-date information currently available. It is a compilation of data from online resources that continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 and its impact on pets. Links to these resources are provided at the end of the article.

Origins of COVID-19

The exact source … Continue reading

Canada’s Marijuana Laws Have Changed. What Does It Mean For Pets?

Given Canada’s new status as the second country worldwide to legalize recreational use of marijuana, it is important for veterinarians to weigh in on the risks that marijuana can pose to our pet patients.  While the change in legislation may be welcome on the human front, our concern is that people may be more prone to thinking that it is harmless or even beneficial to give marijuana to their pets.


The 24/7 Animal Poison Control Center cites a study from Colorado (where marijuana has been legal for medical use since 2005) and describes their increase in case load:

A veterinary study from Colorado published recently by the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care reported a four-fold increase in the number of dogs treated for marijuana intoxication between 2005 and 2010, following the legalization of medical marijuana in that state. Similarly, over the past five years Pet Poison HelplineContinue reading

Success Story Inspires

At Canada West Veterinary Specialists, we are always inspired whenever one of our patients recovers. However, the exuberant and determined efforts of the animals that are guided through long processes of rehabilitation, following the development of life-altering conditions, are always particularly uplifting.  Though the process of recovery can be arduous, the spirits of the animals that triumph consistently remind us of the incalculable potential of the will to recover.

Recently, we were exceptionally proud to see this indelible spirit highlighted on the website of Cesar Milan (the renowned dog-trainer and host of the popular television series “The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan”). Milan’s website hosts a series of videos posted by proud pet owners and recently, fans were asked to vote for their favourite video. It was an immense pleasure for the staff of Canada West to discover that a video featuring a patient of ours, a grey and white … Continue reading

Breakfast Television Visits Canada West

Breakfast Television Vancouver came to the hospital today for a live  on-camera visit to show their viewers some of the work we do.  Today’s segments included:

  • Wilma – a cat who received a stent for a blocked kidney  (described by Dr. Marylin Dunn);
  • Wally – a dog with arthritic knees who receives stem cell injections (harvested from his own body) to treat his arthritis (described by Dr. Alan Kuzma);
  • Vinny – a dog who recently underwent hip replacement surgery for the insertion of an artificial hip (described by Dr. Teresa Schiller); and
  • Mango – a siamese cat suffering from pancreatitis that is being treated in the ICU (described by Dr. Laurence Braun)

BTV has visited us last fall and based on the positive viewer reaction to that show they were interested in coming back for a return visit.… Continue reading

Update on Palm

We had been concerned that Palm’s large thoracic wound would not heal easily with the first surgery.

The size, the depth and the contamination of the wound which would have occurred at the time of her trauma made it very likely that some of the skin would not be viable.

About 25% of her wound opened up and a sample taken from the wound showed large amount of bacterial growth which meant that simply going back to surgery to repair the wound would likely lead to further break down.

We have opted to treat the wound with honey bandages prior to attempting a final repair.

The use of honey in the management of wounds enhances healing and eliminates invading bacteria.  This often works better than oral antibiotics and is also less likely to lead to the creation of “superbugs”.

While the use of honey to treat infected wounds dates back … Continue reading