Where does my money go?

When donating money to local charities, where does it really go?

Here is an example of where the Brampton Animal Shelter’s Hope Fund donations go;


















These two little kittens were found in the parking lot at Trinity Common shopping mall.  One with a ruptured eye and the other with an extreme congenital defect of the same eye. Due to the severity of these conditions both needed to have one eye removed. This is where the Hope Fund comes into play. Helping hundreds of stray, abandoned and abused animals yearly get the medical attention they require.

This little brother and sister will be coming up for adoption this week at our facility, Snelgrove Veterinary Services in Brampton.

So to all of you Hope Fund donors out there, thank you  so much from the very bottom of these two little kitten’s hearts 🙂

Mamma’s Fight

It was 1998, the May long weekend, when we first saw a beautiful German Shepherd wandering our Brampton farm property. For days we tried to get near her, coaxing gently and within the week, we were finally able to catch her. Tired, scared, hungry and pregnant we set her up in a large fenced area. Grateful for food, fresh water and a nice dog house, she eventually gave birth to 9 healthy black puppies. Shortly thereafter, we had her spayed and she would gladly roll onto her back when my mother would say to her, “Show me your stitches!” She loved us and we loved her.

That winter the weather dropped to 40 below Celsius. All the puppies had a home and my brother brought “Mamma” into his heated garage, in fear that she would freeze to death.  She spent a week in there until the weather resumed to normal and on January 1, 1999, he decided it was time to put her back outside. I was mortified! 

How could he put her back out in the freezing cold after a week in a heated and sheltered garage? 

Needless to say, my New Year’s resolution was to have “Mamma” move in with me that very day.

Time progressed and Mamma and I had grown very close. Every morning Mamma would sit on the couch, waiting patiently until it was time for us to leave for work. Then one day, a few years later, as I called her to come with me, she slowly tried to get up and then let out a horrific cry. With considerable effort she was able to make herself stand up, but whimpered in the process and got off the couch.  I immediately called the vet and scheduled an appointment .

The whole drive over I was worried sick. Upon arriving at the vets office, the doctor gave Mamma a thorough exam and 2 x-rays later, we had a diagnosis.   Without truly knowing what I was looking at when the doctor put the x-rays on the screen, even I knew it wasn’t good.   The diagnosis – hip dysplasia, a form of degenerative arthritis common in dogs.   The doctor put her on an anti-inflammatory pain medication.

A few months later it was time to check her bloodwork and make sure the pain medications weren’t affecting her liver enzymes.  Sadly, they were and we discontinued the pain medication after weighing the pros and cons.  I couldn’t give up hope though.  She still had so much life in her eyes and a perk in her step. I felt as long as she was willing to fight, I was going to fight with her.  

My life was greater for having her in it, I owed it to her.

I spent much of my time researching alternative therapies and eventually found Mamma a canine chiropractor.  I remember my dad laughing at me when I told him where we were going. Amazingly, after her very first treatment, she came bounding into my parents’ house, up the stairs, and launched herself into my father’s lap – something she hadn’t done in ages.   He was shocked and speechless. A feat in itself.

As the years went by, I experimented with both natural and prescription medications for her pain management and along the way found her an excellent therapist that specialized in hydrotherapy. The indoor salt water pool was a great way to build up muscle strength in her legs without putting stress on her joints.  For three years, we went every week.    It made such a drastic improvement.   The muscles in her legs became much stronger and she was able to walk and run with minimal pain. After every session in the salt water pool, she received a soak in the hot tub, and then a bath.   She loved it.  When we returned home after her treatment, she would lie on her orthopedic bed and my cat would come and lie down on her hips, and the two of them would sleep soundly.

Unfortunately all the treatments and medications can only fight so long against age and on March 8, 2010, Mamma passed away.

She put up a great fight.  She had fight in her eyes and a perky step up until the day before we laid her to rest. My parents had gone to Florida and before they left, my mother said to Mamma “Don’t you leave us while I’m gone.”   I think Mamma must have taken her seriously. On March 7th my parents returned from their trip and stopped by to say hello on their way home.  Mamma was so happy to see them, but shortly after they left, she began panting and pacing.  This behaviour continued through the night and she just couldn’t settle down.  The next morning, I could see the fight was gone from her eyes.  My family and I called Snelgrove Veterinary Services to let them know we were on our way.  Mamma didn’t fight it, she just laid there, and for the first time in almost 24 hours, seemed at peace.   It was over quickly.

We estimated Mamma was almost 15 years old when she passed, an amazing feat for a German Shepherd. I am so glad I made the choices I did along the way and that Mamma had the strength and positive attitude to endure it. With all that modern medicine, holistic, natural therapies and treatments available today, we can keep our pets feeling well for a long time. The moral of my story is this – if your pet still has fight left in him, you can fight with him. 



Show the Love!

You love your dog, right? Of course you do! How could you not? And I bet you tell him all the time how much you love him. Funny thing though, dogs don’t speak English. While I’m sure he’s figured out what you mean by the tone of your voice, and how often you tell him that you love him, it is also incredibly important that you show him how much you love him too! This may sound simple enough, but sometimes it can be easy to forget that your dog needs you to show him these kinds of things. Sometimes, after a long, tiring day of work, it can be easy to take his unconditional love for granted. Not that you mean to, but it can happen. Here are a few important ways that you can be sure you are showing your dog how much you love him!

Daily Huggles

Okay, this is an obvious one! Set aside some time each day to hug and snuggle and rub and love your dog. Loving physical contact – whether gentle or playful – goes a long way to making your furry family member feel like a priority.

Sam taking some time out of her day to make sure Phelix gets is loves!

Sam taking some time out of her day to make sure Phelix gets his loves!

Quality Nutrition

Food is a big deal to dogs. So are treats! Make sure you are feeding your dog nutritionally balanced meals. It will keep him feeling good, and support important aspects of his health, such as growth and development, skin and coat condition, satiety and good digestion, etc., etc. It is also crucial to feed him good quality treats. If you need any help picking a top quality food or treats, talk to one of our staff members.


Rennik eating his favourite treat – a Veggiedent! These are very popular with a lot of our patients!

Going Out

Another obvious one, but I bet you didn’t realize how much of a bonding experience it can be for you and your dog! Going for walks, playing fetch or other fun games are probably the highlight of his day, and guess what? You get to share that with him! You get to be that person that takes him out and he loves you so much for that. Next time you come home and don’t feel like going for a walk or playing, remember how much those activities mean to your dog. I promise once you get out there and moving around, you’ll have just as big a smile on your face as he would have on his, if he could.


Pattie and Kristy on a hike with Rennik, Dakota and Floyd!


How would you feel if you had to walk around with matted hair, unbrushed teeth or dirty nails? Not great, I bet. Well, it’s the same for your dog! He requires regular grooming, whether it’s a bath and brush, ear cleaning or nail trim. Show him how much you care by tending to the things he can’t!


Dr. Jessica cleaning her dog Rudy’s teeth! What a handsome boy!

Toys, Toys & More Toys

Let’s face it, buying toys for your dog is fun! They come in all colours, shapes and sizes, it’s hard not to spend a million dollars on them. A great way to show your dog how much you love him is with interactive toys that you two can play with together. You can get tug-toys, balls, kongs, stuffies… I’m sure he won’t discriminate! It’s also a good idea to cycle through toys to keep him interested. I’m sure you have 50 toys you could give him, but try only keeping a few out at a time and rotating them. If you’re looking for some fun new toys, check out our Webstore!

Water Dog

Rennik playing fetch with his Kong Aqua! It was a great find on the Webstore, he loves it!


When you think love, you might not think discipline, but I assure you, it is an imperative element when it comes to your dog’s happiness. Dogs are natural pack animals, and guess who should be the pack leader? That’s right, you! Without a pack leader, your dog may feel lost or insecure, or, even worse, he may try to take on the role himself. Be sure to establish clear boundaries and stick to them! Your dog needs consistency in his life. Show him you love him by correcting the misbehaviours and rewarding the good behaviours.

Donna discipling Billie for her poor choice in chew toy!

Donna letting Billie know that socks are not for chewing. Next, she will give her a proper chew toy and reward!

A Place to Call His Own

Although this may not the most interactive way to show your love, providing a comfortable place in your home that is just for him goes a long way in making your dog feel safe and secure. It is important to maintain a clean and relaxing safe haven for your dog, a place that is just his. It is best if people or other animals do not disturb him while he is in his “spot.”

Dakota enjoying a nap on "her" couch!

Dakota enjoying a nap on “her” couch! (Or maybe just taking a break from baby Isabella!)


So there you have it!  Whether it is through physical affection, providing balanced nutrition, having daily adventures together, practicing proper grooming, cycling through fun toys, correcting and rewarding behaviour, or allowing your dog to have his own space, these are seven great ways you can show your dog how much you love him. Of course, don’t stop telling him either! 🙂

On behalf of everyone here at Snelgrove Vet Services, thank you for reading,

And thank you for showing your dog how much you love him!


Protecting Our Feline Friends!

Spring and summer time are often synonymous with dogs and heartworm prevention. But what about our feline friends – did you know that they can be affected by internal and external parasites as well? 

This time of year, worms and other parasites are more easily transmittable and cats are just as susceptible as dogs

Whether your cat is strictly indoors, or if they spend some time outside as well, there are many ways that they can contract these pesky little parasites, which can wreak havoc on their skin, intestinal tract and more. Some are even transmittable to humans!

The most common parasites that we deal with here at Snelgrove Vet Services are:


Fleas are probably the most easily identifiable parasite that you can find on your cat. If your cat goes outside, they can come into contact with fleas if they visit an area where another animal with fleas has been. If your cat stays indoors, fleas can also make their way inside by hitching a ride on the back of another pet and then jumping onto yours. In any case, fleas are not something that most people enjoy dealing with, as treatment involves both your animals and your home. Luckily, only animals can be hosts to fleas, not humans.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are much harder to spot, although not impossible, since they are so tiny. They typically live within the ear canal, but can also be found on the surface of the skin. They present as a dark, crusty discharge seen in or around the ear, with your cat shaking its head and scratching excessively at the affected area. Ear mites can be passed through direct contact, although again, they cannot live on humans, only animals.


Tapeworms are a type of internal parasite that are ingested and then attach themselves to the wall of the small intestine of your cat. Once the tapeworm becomes an adult, they can also travel to the stomach. Segments of the tapeworm can sometimes break off and be spotted in the stool (they look like bits of white rice), or if the infestation is large enough, your cat may vomit them up. Most often, your cat will become infected with tapeworms from eating mice or being bitten by fleas. These nasty little creatures can also be transmitted to humans. Yuck!


Roundworms are another type of internal parasite. While they can infect your cat at any age, they are most harmful to kittens and senior cats. Clinical signs include a distended abdomen, vomiting and/or diarrhea, as well as a decreased appetite. Again, this is a type of worm that is transmitted through ingestion – either from eating a smaller host (like a mouse or bird), picking it up off of the ground after walking through an area where infected stool has been, or even through the milk from the kitten’s mother. Roundworms also pose a risk to humans, especially young children.

Luckily, we have an arsenal of tablets and topical medications in our pharmacy that can combat these unwanted visitors!

Of course, prevention is always preferred to treatment

The doctors here at Snelgrove Vet recommend a monthly dose of either a tablet dewormer called Milbemax and/or a liquid medication applied directly to the skin called Advantage Multi. Contact our office today to learn more or if you suspect that your feline friend may be affected by parasites. We are always here to help!

For additional information on these, and other, parasites, visit the Pet Health section on our website – it has loads of great articles, all written by veterinary professionals.