(Un)healthy appetite

As the holiday season approaches, this is a bit of a cautionary tale and a reminder that dogs can be, at times, indiscriminate eaters…and that “dietary indiscretions” can sometimes result in a foreign body that gets lodged in the digestive tract and has to be removed by scoping or by surgery.

In Millan’s case, our adventurous 8-month-old labrador, surgery was required to remove a deflated football from his stomach!

We see him here with the usual “I’ve had the belly surgery haircut” and then further into his recovery, a beautiful picture of him on the beach.

Again, our best wishes for the holidays and reminding you to keep an eye out for our mischevious furry family members!




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BBQ Hazards

Although it doesn’t quite feel like summer yet here in the Lower Mainland, we are still playing outside.  Today’s blog is a reminder of the potential harm the seemingly innocuous BBQ can pose to the dogs in your family.

Corn cobs are very tasty yet poorly digestible and if eaten, will cause intestinal obstruction.  Over the years, we have removed more than our fair share of lodged corn cobs from the bowels of enterprising dogs.

Another hazard of family cookouts is skewer ingestion.  Even what looks like an empty skewer to us is a tempting treat to an animal with such a developed sense of smell.  Just like with sword swallowing, skewers can actually go down quite easily.  However, skewers can puncture the esophagus, intestines and other organs.

Recently, we saw a lovely 6 month old Golden Retriever pup who had been rushed to the emergency service at Twin Trees  … Continue reading

Neurology Case Profile: Mija The Terrier Puppy Suffers A Brain Injury After Bites To The Head From Larger Dog

Our case reports series discusses actual cases treated at Canada West Veterinary Specialists to help pet owners better understand our work and some of the processes and stages involved.

 This profile features Mija, an 8-month old terrier pup who recently underwent brain surgery at our hospital.

Mija 2 hours post surgery

 A Small Puppy Badly Injured By A Larger Dog

No one knows exactly what happened to Mija.  All her owners know is that they found their tiny (1.5 kg) terrier pup with a big dog standing over her, clearly in distress.

At The Family Vet

Mija was rushed to her family vet, who examined her carefully.  There were bite marks over the back of her neck.  She couldn’t stand but would just roll over and over; her head and neck were severely tilted to the left.  Her left pupil was also smaller than her right, her eyes were constantly flicking from side to side, … Continue reading

Teaching an Old Dog’s Knees a New Trick

We all know the adage that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick.  However, advances in treatment for canine knee injuries in recent years have shown that rethinking – and reshaping – how the knee works actually results in better outcomes than the older approach of trying to restore the same movements in the knee that existed prior to the injury.

Knee injuries are pretty common amongst sportspeople, and we often hear about athletes tearing their ACL – the Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Damage to the same ligament happens in dogs, but because they walk on all fours the injured ligament is described as the Cranial Cruciate Ligament – CCL. Following a CCL tear the knee is swollen, painful, and somewhat unstable. It is one of the most common orthopedic conditions we see in dogs at Canada West.

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Patient with a cruciate injury before surgery

There … Continue reading

An unusual Saturday night at our hospital

We recently worked on a Serval Cat!

Serval cats are medium size cats from Africa.  The cheetah is thought to descend from them.  Like so many other animals in the wild, their numbers have dwindled.  Their population has been in decline largerly due to human population encroaching on their habitats or being hunted for their beautiful pelts.  Servals can also be preyed upon by other large cats.Their introduction as pets in North America is recent but the ancient Egyptians worshipped the serval as gods, and kept them as pets.

Servals  are known to develop an intense emotional bond with their original owners and this lovely girl was no different. We could not have approached her easily on our own (servals have unusual long legs and proportionally small heads but she showed us her teeth were definitely full size!) without stressing her and possibly causing her harm,  but she was completely … Continue reading