We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.
One of the most common conditions that our pets can develop is called osteoarthritis, otherwise known as arthritis. Various factors can contribute to this condition. Commonly, it comes with age, as it does with humans. However, it can arise from old injuries, genetics and obesity as well. Arthritis is a general term for abnormal changes in the joint. Upon examination, your veterinarian will likely manipulate the affected joint listening and feeling for cracking, grating and thickening along with a decreased range of motion. Radiographs are best to diagnose arthritis as x-rays allow us to see any visible changes in the joint. Signs your pet may be experiencing arthritis are as followed:
Intermittent limping/stiffness (especially after vigorous exercise and prolonged periods of rest)
Difficulty moving (can be reluctant to do things that were previously easy to accomplish, such as jumping in the car or going downstairs)
Licking/Chewing at the joint (often indicative of pain which can leave to inflamed skin and/or hair loss over time)
Fatigue (lack of interest in activity, tires more easily)
Behavioural Changes (withdraw from touch, aggression, irritability)
Signs can be more difficult in cats as they are very stoic animals. They often get less active.
As there is no cure for osteoarthritis, the primary goal is to control and increase the movement and function of the joint. Ultimately, we are trying to slow the progression of the disease. There are many supportive treatments such as:
Physical therapy (exercises, swimming, massage)
Joint Supplements (oral or injections)
Therapeutic diets (balanced diets with added nutraceuticals specific to mobility)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (long-term use of NSAIDs requires bloodwork every six months to ensure no negative impact on liver and kidneys)
Keeping a lean weight (takes added stress off joints)
If you are noticing any signs or have any further questions about treatment and support options, please feel free to contact us anytime!
Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.
The following changes are effective as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020:
1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 905-857-5057. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.
2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.
3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.
4. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Instead, we are taking payments over the phone.
5. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.
Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.
Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.
- Your dedicated team at North Hill Animal Hospital