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

Caring For An Aging Pet

I have learned a lot from my geriatric animal patients over the years. I’ve had that in my back pocket, and so when it came to looking after my own geriatric girl, Mini, I had the good fortune of having shared experience and knowledge from others in a similar situation of caring for an aging pet.

A first-hand perspective

While I was in the thick of caring for Mini I wanted to share the delights but also the reality of dealing with an aging and sick dog, but I somehow couldn’t do it.  Maybe I felt it would jinx how well she was doing; then, in the last few months when her care was fairly constant (I did not leave her more than 4 hours without someone checking in on her) the worry that I was not making the right decisions for her was almost overwhelming.  After I lost her, … Continue reading “Caring For An Aging Pet”

3 Top Holiday Hazards For Your Pets

‘Tis the season to fill your stockings with stories of holiday hazards. Most of us know to keep the chocolates and tinsel away from our pets; these safety tips serve as a friendly reminder and will also help you recognize some of the other things that might land your furry friend in the emergency room over the holidays.

1. People Food

I can tell you from my own experience that a tempting panettone, well wrapped and in a festive cardboard container is no match for a determined little dog (and off to the clinic we went to make her vomit…).

Although they love to eat it, rich “people” food spells trouble for dogs for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons is that some dogs don’t tolerate sudden changes in their diets; in addition, pancreatitis in dogs can be triggered by food high in the fat, butter and cream … Continue reading “3 Top Holiday Hazards For Your Pets”

Blood transfusions in cats and dogs

In this blog, you may have noticed that there have been cases where a pet either received a blood transfusion or donated blood. Did you wonder where the blood comes from for a donation? You’re not alone. Not many people think about this until the need arises.

So where do we get blood?

While the donors are “volunteered” by their guardians, the dogs who are typically selected to become donors are calm dogs who are not bothered about the prospect of sitting still (or lying down) for the 20 minute procedure. For our feline friends the process is a bit more complicated as it requires heavy sedation; most cats don’t tolerate holding still that long!

We usually obtain the blood from an animal blood bank, but sometimes we need to collect fresh whole blood ourselves, either from guardians who have let us know they could be called should we require … Continue reading “Blood transfusions in cats and dogs”

“Severe Tummy Troubles” – Understanding Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS) in Dogs

May 2017 saw a surge in cases of this type at our hospital with six animals presenting with symptoms of this condition.

The signs are acute bloody malodorous diarrhea, sometimes associated with vomiting, and mentally dull patients with abdominal discomfort.  The onset can be very rapid and can be associated with severe fluid loss, which can lead to shock even before classic signs of dehydration are seen.

Typically, small breed dogs are affected most frequently; Miniature Schnauzers are reported to be particularly prone to it.  In our region, poodles or poodle crosses are represented more than the Schnauzers, but that may be reflective of local breed popularity.

AHDS used to be referred to as hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE). Unfortunately, despite a new name that better fits the description of the signs, we still don’t really understand what causes it.

In AHDS cases the gut becomes “leaky” and proteins can leak into … Continue reading ““Severe Tummy Troubles” – Understanding Acute Hemorrhagic Diarrhea Syndrome (AHDS) in Dogs”

Our Cardiology service will be closed as of April 13, 2017

Dr. Margiocco is taking a personal leave of absence in Italy with an anticipated return date of March 2018.

As of April 13, 2017, all prescription refills and monitoring will need to be performed by the family veterinarians.

During his leave, Dr. Margiocco will be doing telemedicine via Idexx.

We appreciate all of your support over the past 7 years and, as you all know, Dr. Margiocco is extremely dedicated to the care of your patients, and I’m sure we all look forward to his return.… Continue reading “Our Cardiology service will be closed as of April 13, 2017”