Cat returned to owner after 8 years!!!

This is an incredible story about a cat that went missing 8 years ago and was returned to its owners thanks to a microchip and the staff at the Brampton Animal Shelter!!

All of the staff at Snelgrove Veterinary Services are so touched by this story and would like to stress the importance of permanent identification for all pets. Even strictly indoor cats can slip outside on occasion and easily get disoriented and lost.  A microchip is an affordable permanent solution to the lost pet problem. It is easily inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades of both dogs and cats and can be done in the appointment room in a matter of minutes.

Feel free to call our veterinary hospital in Brampton to inquire further or to schedule an appointment to have your pets microchipped.

After wandering away 8 years ago, Angus the cat returns to owners.


Thanks for reading 🙂

10 Things New Puppy Owners Will Come to Learn

I have always been a huge animal lover. I’ve grown up with cats, but always wanted a dog. Unfortunately, I was never in a position to own one until last year when my fiance and I bought our first home. One of our top priorities after signing on the dotted line was to find the best breeder we could for our new addition! We had decided on our breed of choice years ago (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever), and we were very excited when the breeder we chose e-mailed us late one night in January to say that our puppy had entered the world, along with 4 other brothers and sisters! It was a long 8 weeks waiting to take him home, but we finally did at the end of March. As I said, I’ve never owned a dog before. It is now four weeks later, and this is what I have so far learned that I will share with all new puppy owners:

1. Your floors will never be clean again. Whether it’s pawprints or tongue marks from licking up non-existent crumbs, your floors will forever be marked, no matter how often you wash them.

2. Puppies are dumb, or maybe just slightly blind. In the most loving way possible, I have to say that my puppy is not the brightest crayon in the box when it comes to spacial awareness. He runs into walls and tables and the glass door and chair legs and our legs…

3. Crate training takes time. Natural “denning instinct” or not, you will be in for many sleepless nights full of crying puppy. And I don’t mean 15 minutes of crying and then settling down, I mean hours of puppy style freak out.

4. Dogs don’t purr. I know, it’s an obvious one, but I found this strangely off-putting at first. Having only owned cats my entire life, I’m used to purring during cuddle time.

5. You will learn what nose prints are. Your puppy will decorate your car windows with lovely personalized artwork consisting of nose smudges and slobber marks.

6. It takes time for puppies to “find their feet.” Sometimes it can take up to a year or more for puppies to stop running awkwardly sideways – but it’s pretty darn cute while it lasts!

7. Everything is very exciting, all the time! Whether it’s meeting a new “friend,” meal time, a leaf blowing across the lawn, or a new toy, everything is just so exciting for a puppy. They go nuts over the oddest things.

8. Poop bags are an integral part of life. You will learn that you need to carry them with you wherever you go, and you’ll also find that they are suddenly stashed in every coat pocket, purse, and vehicle you own.

9. Silence is not golden. Silence means mischief is afoot.

10. Puppy ownership is an extremely rewarding experience. Teaching your puppy commands and seeing in their little face how excited they are when you walk through the door – there is nothing better!

We love our boy to pieces, and we are very excited for our first summer together. He is currently attending puppy classes, and doing very well! We couldn’t be happier 🙂

– Kait.

On behalf of Snelgrove Vet Services, Thanks for reading 🙂

How to Help Animals in Your Community, and Beyond (Part II)

Audrey, Rennik and Dakota

Audrey, Rennik and Dakota – Puppy Play Date

In the first segment of this multi-post blog, we covered how to help animals in need through adoption. The best places to adopt from are shelters, rescues and reputable breeders. However, not everyone has the ability to provide a forever home for an animal, which is completely understandable. Today, we will continue our discussion on helping animals by exploring some alternative options.

Beyond adoption, another fulfilling opportunity to aid animals in your community is through donation. The most common form of donation is monetary, and most registered charities will provide tax credits for money received. There are many deserving organizations out there, so if this is the route you are interested in, do some research to find a group that speaks to you on a personal level. One example of a commendable charity that we here at Snelgrove Vet Services lend our support to is the Brampton Animal Service’s HOPE Fund. Click here to read about the history of the fund and stories of some of the hundreds of animals it has helped.

While monetary donations to a worthy cause are always appreciated, there are a variety of other things that can be donated and appreciated just as well. Used blankets, bowls, leashes, brushes, etc. are all examples of excellent resources that can be given to shelters or rescues. If you are unsure of what items would be appropriate to donate, you can always call the shelter or rescue in question and ask if they are in need of anything in particular.

If you are unable to donate supplies, there is one thing that all of us have that costs nothing to give: our time! There is no greater feeling than knowing that you’ve given your time to help an animal on their road to recovery. Volunteers can do many things at shelters and rescues; from walking the dogs to playing with the cats, providing transportation to or from veterinary clinics or rehab facilities, helping out with fundraising or awareness events… The list can go on and on! In addition to making a difference and helping an animal in need, a lot can be gained through the volunteer experience. Not only will you feel wonderful afterwards, but you can also gain a whole new set of skills. And who wouldn’t love spending an afternoon with a new furry friend?

If you find that spending time with animals is rewarding, you could always take it one step further and foster an animal while they are being rehabilitated or waiting for their forever home! Many shelters and rescues are overrun with animals in need, so they are always looking for volunteers willing to accept them short-term into their homes. Foster experiences can last anywhere from just a few short days, to a few weeks or even months if you are so inclined. Some worthwhile organizations that are always looking for foster homes are the Toronto Cat Rescue (TRC) and Brampton Animal Services. If you are feeling particularly ambitious, you could even look into a training apprenticeship for the Lions Foundation of Canada Guide Dogs or the Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind (CGDB), which can last up to over a year and a half! These are just a few examples of potential foster options, but there are many more available.

No matter what level of commitment you are able to provide, there is an opportunity right for you. Whether you are able to contribute money or supplies to a deserving cause, or donate your time, any and all gifts are very much appreciated. Support within our community is so important, and helping animals in need is certainly worth the effort. But what about beyond our community? Stay tuned to learn about how to make a provincial, national or even global impact in the ongoing fight for our furry friends!


On behalf of the staff at Snelgrove Veterinary Services,

Thank you for reading,


Spring is finally here in Brampton!


Here is a list of some common springtime products that we just wanted you to be aware of:

Fertilizers: Some organic fertilizers are made from bone, blood, iron or feather meal and can seem quite appetizing to some dogs. Although the fertilizer itself is extremely safe, it can cause severe obstructions in some dogs that ingest large quantities and cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Spring bulbs: Tulips, daffodils, Narcissus and hyacinth bulbs are dangerous to dogs. Ingesting these bulbs can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and large quantities of these bulbs can cause an increased heart and respiratory rate. Spring crocuses can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats.

Slug, snail bait, insecticides and pesticides: Slug and snail bait is highly poisonous to both dogs and cats. Many insecticides and pesticides are skin irritants. Please be sure to read all labels carefully when using them around your home.

Compost: Keep well away from pets. Compost is decomposed foods that encourage natural mold growth but ingesting it can cause extreme illness in your pet in less than 30 minutes. Symptoms include agitation, panting, drooling, vomiting, tremors and seizures.

By:  Snelgrove Vet Services

“Keeping pets healthy and happy for over 30 years”

Don’t forget to read last weeks blog about Lilies!

How to Help Animals in Your Community, and Beyond (Part I)


There is nothing more heartbreaking than opening up a newspaper, reading an online article, or watching a newscast detailing the latest case of animal cruelty or neglect. Oftentimes, we read or watch these reports, feel sympathy for all involved, then move on to the next story. But what if we replaced our sympathy with true empathy? Rather than simply extending our compassion towards others, what if we really took the time to sit back, imagine ourselves in a similar situation and understand the pain involved? To quote Stephen M.R. Covey:

“We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behaviour.”

What would happen if we instead judged ourselves based purely on our actions? Would we be as good of a person as our neglected intentions would lead us to believe we are? It is so easy to have the best intentions, but it is entirely different to execute them. While this concept can be extended to many facets of our lives, the focus of this multi-part blog will be how we can put these good intentions to use in order to help animals in need. Here, we will outline some ways that you can make an impact within your community, and even globally. Making a difference is easier than you think!

The first (and most obvious) way to help an animal in need is through adoption. Undoubtedly, the best place to adopt an animal would be from a shelter or rescue. These types of organizations work tirelessly to help and home stray, abandoned, surrendered or seized animals. By providing proper medical care and living conditions, shelters and rescues allow these animals a second chance at life, in hopes that they will be adopted into a loving home. The Brampton Animal Shelter is one of many examples.

If you are looking for a certain breed of dog or cat, there are also many breed-specific rescues that extend a wide network, so do a little investigative work. Of course, if you want the true “puppy or kitten experience,” that’s fine too. Just make sure you are adopting your future family member from a reputable breeder. The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) provides excellent information on how to find such a breeder, just click here to check out their “Golden Rules.”

It is best to avoid adopting from any source other than a shelter, rescue or reputable breeder. Issues begin to arise when pets are adopted from alternative sources, namely pet stores and “backyard breeders.” Please, make sure you do your homework if this is the avenue you are planning to take. In 2010, the public was shocked by the HBO documentary, “Madonna of the Mills,” which chronicles a young woman’s struggle to save dogs from puppy mills. It is not a film for the faint of heart, and exposes a previously unconsidered world of puppy mills. The documentary was later followed up by a Forbes magazine article in 2012 called “Where Not to Buy a Dog: The Pet Store Connection to the Business of Puppy Mills,” which uses an interview with the documentary’s director to elaborate on the puppy mill industry and the goal to raise awareness through public education. While these examples are based in America, the puppy mill industry thrives in Canada as well. According to the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS):

“Over the past decade the puppy mill industry has increased in Canada. Before 1995 most puppies in Canadian pet stores were imported from the United States, but in 1995 new legislation was implemented by Agriculture Canada to regulate the import of puppies from the United States. The […] new law was successful in reducing the number of puppies being shipped to Canada. Unfortunately, the decrease in imported puppies from the U.S. created a demand that was met by an increase in Canadian mills.”

Unfortunately, puppy mills exist because a demand for cheap and easily accessible puppies exists. While recent Ontario legislation has prohibited pet stores from selling puppies, the puppy mill business is supported by a public that continues to purchase puppies online, from newspaper ads, or through puppy “brokers.” Until there is an end to the economic support of puppy mills, they will remain prevalent within our society. Only after the profitability of this market is gone, will we start to see a decline in the puppy mill industry. This, however, is a topic that will be explored in future blog posts – the focus of this blog is aiding animals through adoption.

Of course, not everyone is in the position to adopt a needy animal into their home. However, those people could always consider a symbolic adoption. The concept here is that you give a small, one-time donation to “adopt” an at-risk species of your choice, and that money goes towards supporting the conservation efforts of the organization from which you are adopting. A few examples of organizations that offer this type of program are the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), but there are many others.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it is within your means. Some people may not be able to provide adequate space, attention or care to an animal in need, and that’s okay. It just means that those people can take their good intentions and put them to work elsewhere. Stay tuned for the next segment in this multi-part blog to read about other avenues that can be employed in the ongoing struggle to help our furry friends.


On behalf of the staff at Snelgrove Veterinary Services,

Thank you for reading,


Warning : Lilies. Beautiful yet deadly to cats!


With the arrival of spring, after a long winter, many of us are looking for anything to signify the fact that winter is finally over and what better way than flowers? Although beautiful for us, many pet owners are not aware of the potential dangers associated with these pretty arrangements and bulbs we bring into our house particularly during the spring and Easter holiday season when Easter lilies are readily available everywhere.

Did you know that lilies are toxic to cats?

All members of the Lilium and Hermerocallis genera (true lilies) are toxic to cats. This includes Easter lilies, day lilies, tiger lilies, and stargazer lilies. All parts of the lily are considered toxic including the pollen. Even minor exposures can be fatal and a cat does not necessarily need to have eaten the lily to be poisoned. Although the exact toxin is still unknown, cats who are not treated promptly develop acute renal failure and generally die within 3-6 days after exposure.

Cats who are suspected to have been exposed to lilies should be seen by a veterinarian immediately. Cats who are treated within 18 hours of exposure to a toxic lily generally recover. Cats require aggressive treatment by a veterinarian in situations of presumed or known exposure to lilies. They will need to be hospitalized for at least 2 days. There is no treatment that can be done at home for lily poisoning. If you think your cat has been exposed to lilies do not wait for your cat to get sick before seeking medical attention. Prognosis is very poor if treatment is delayed and most cats are euthanized in this case.

To help prevent lily poisoning:

Probably the most important and easiest thing to prevent lily poisoning in your cat is:

If you receive a floral arrangement with lilies in it either throw the lilies out or take the arrangement to a location where there are no cats (for example work office, friend/relative who doesn’t have cats). It is important to be aware that many cats have been poisoned by lilies that the family mistakenly thinks have been put “off-limits” or “out of reach” within the home. It only takes 1 second to be exposed, do not take the chance.

When you order flowers for yourself or someone whom you know has cats you can ask that lilies not be included in the arrangement.

Refer people to the “No Lilies for Cats” campaign website for more information (by Dr. Gaspar a feline specialist in the US):

If you think your animal has been exposed to any toxin contact us at Snelgrove Veterinary Services.

ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control website also has links to toxic plants, foods,and household products:

By Dr. Stephanie Gunsinger


Meet Charlie


Meet Charlie. Charlie is a 10 month old Bichon Frise X who came in on a Tuesday morning because his owners noticed he was vomiting, feeling down in the dumps and had stopped eating.

Typically a happy-go-lucky puppy, Charlie would just lay down in the backyard instead of running around like he normally would. His pet parents knew there was something wrong. Upon examination by Dr. Judy da Costa, it was found that he seemed painful in his abdomen. We proceeded to run some bloodwork and take some x-rays.

Here is what we found:

char3                                    char1

Charlie had definitely swallowed something he shouldn’t have, but most surprising was what his bloodwork showed. Charlie had a condition called pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas.

Pancreatitis is an extremely painful condition that is usually caused by eating fatty meals. Aside from doing renovations on their home and possibly being exposed to that, Charlie’s owners couldn’t think of anything else he could have gotten into.

Based on a combination of the results of our testing and the history we received from Charlie’s owners, a decision was made that surgical intervention was necessary to remove the object, in case of perforation, and that the pancreatitis would be treated with supportive care.

Charlie made it through surgery with flying colours  and the retrieval of an earring was successful!



Next, we proceeded to treat him on a day-to-day basis using intravenous fluids and antibiotics, as well as medications to ease his stomach and to control his pain.

Charlie has recovered beautifully and is back to being his happy-go-lucky self.

From all the staff at Snelgrove Veterinary Services, we couldn’t be happier.