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.

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Diets and Dog’s Hearts

Recently there has been a suggestion of a link with some dogs developing heart disease while eating some foods.  That’s a lot of variables at play. So let’s look at what we do know.

In the last year there have been reports of some dogs developing dilated cardiomyopathy while exclusively eating some brands of grain- free diets. Apparently it’s a combination of their genetics and the non-grain carbohydrates at play. The diets have legumes (peas, lentils, chickpeas) or potatoes and sweet potatoes listed as their first 5 ingredients (meaning these ingredients make up a large portion of the diet as ingredients are listed in order of amount in diet). Other dogs eat these foods with no issue – hence the unknown “dog specific” factor.

The experts aren’t even particularly sure what it is about these foods that is causing the problem. A taurine (amino acid) deficiency has been linked to this type of heart disease in the past so it is assumed this is the problem. But dogs don’t have a dietary requirement for taurine -they create their own from building blocks in the diet. So how can a diet be deficient? Perhaps there is something in the diet that blocks the taurine metabolism or perhaps it is due to the presence of exotic proteins (kangaroo etc) creating a negative interaction.

The experts agree that there is enough evidence to warrant switching dogs away from this type of diet especially if they are in a genetic high risk category (i.e Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, Great Danes, Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers and Labradors).

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a heart condition where the heart becomes enlarged and weakened. Dogs often become tired, unable to exercise or cough as the heart weakens.  If your dog develops these clinical signs, a trip to the veterinary office immediately is recommended. It is possible to do blood taurine levels to see if your dog is deficient. And X-rays can allow the outline of the heart to be evaluated. If you would like more information, please speak to your veterinarian about what diet is right for your pet.

For further information on diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy, click here.

Written by Dr. Jennifer Merry

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

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.

Last updated: Tuesday, May 19, 2020

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” and "drop off" policy to protect our clients and staff. We ask that you follow these steps:
a. When you arrive, please remain outside and use your cell phone to call us at 905.689.8005. Please ensure your pet is either in a carrier or has a collar so that we can attach our leash.
b. Once an exam room is ready, we will come to take your pet from you and into an exam room and call you to take a history and talk about any concerns.
c. Once the exam is over we call you with our recommended treatment plan, we can then arrange to take payment over the phone.
d. We will then bring your pet out to you.

2. We can now see all cases by appointment only.

3. The animal hospital is still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday- Friday: 8:00am - 6pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Sunday: Closed

4. Country Tails Doggie Daycare and our Grooming Salon reopen on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

5. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 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.

6. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

7. 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.

8. 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 Clappison Animal Hospital