Surprise Diagnosis – Importance of Early Disease Detection Screening

Autumn, a 12 year old dog came to see us because she seemed to have problems with her hind end. Her owner was worried about her hips because she was having trouble walking and especially on the stairs. Sure enough in the exam room, she seemed to be crouching as she walked and was uncomfortable. We were suspicious of arthritis due to her age and decided to go ahead with Early Disease Detection.

This is labwork that we use in older pets to screen for multiple diseases that are more common in our seniors. This can include kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes, cushings disease, anemia, infection and abnormalities with minerals and electrolytes. A urinalysis is also included for our senior animals.

Animals cannot communicate with us to let us know how they are feeling or where it hurts. The labwork we checked at Autumns visit was also going to provide us with baseline values before starting her on an anti-inflammatory for arthritis.

Much to our surprise, Autumn had a severe urinary tract infection. She uses a doggy door into her backyard at home so during the summer months her owner does not see her bathroom habits. Once we started her on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for the infection and discomfort, Autumn improved tremendously. Her mobility is back to normal.

We rely on labwork in addition to a good patient history and complete exam to help us treat our patients that cannot speak!

To learn more about our Early Disease Detection in senior pets, please call us at (902) 893-2341


Edith’s Story – Orthotics To The Rescue

Meet Edith Anne and her very noble and tolerant big brother, Bishop. Edith Anne is  9 1/2 years old and has always played the pleasant but somewhat annoying loving little sister to Bishop (11 1/2 years).

Over the last year, poor Edith’s arthritis in her carpi (wrists) have caused a significant deformity to her front legs making it very difficult to walk, let alone run and play. She looked like a little stubborn old women hobbling about but still refusing to give up.

We took X-rays and her condition had gotten much worse. The deformity to her wrist joints was putting more strain on her damaged joints, making the degeneration escalate and creating more pain.

Her Dad, Earle, wanted her to have an active life to enjoy; so we called in Jeff Collins of K9 Orthotics. Jeff is a trained registered prosthetic technician and has a prosthetic limb himself. He personally understands what’s it like to be on the receiving end of a prosthetic device.

Edith Anne visited Jeff in early March. Jeff and his team designed and built braces for Edith Anne’s front legs. During the two weeks it took to get the braces made, Earle started wrapping Edith Anne’s legs with a bandage material to get her used to the feeling of a brace.

Once Earle got the braces, he started to apply the braces for hour or so three times a day. Jeff showed Earl how to adjust the tension on the strap to make it comfortable for her and what to watch for if there were problems. 

Earl said: “It takes a while to get the tension correct on the velcro straps – the blend between too tight (blood flow)  and too loose (chafing and lack of support ). She flops on the couch every morning and night to get braces on and off. This makes her dad’s back feel a little better. ”

Within a week Edith wore them up to 10 hours a day. It didn’t take long for little Edith to start pestering brother, Bishop although there was still an obvious lameness to her gait, her attitude was back!

Now, a month later, Edith can wear the braces for a full day. She is back in true form with Bishop enjoying playing with her again and she doesn’t look lame … just happy … really really happy!

Thanks Jeff of K9 Orthotics! You made Edith young again and gave Bishop back a play mate.



Brenley – The Super Dog

Written By: Ashley Weatherbee, Vet Assistant

In 2012 my partner and I added to our family. We drove to Springfield, Massachusetts and picked up our new 9 week old Bullmastiff puppy.  She was perfect and we fell in love immediately!  She has stolen the hearts of everyone she’s met, including all my co-workers here at the Truro Veterinary Hospital.  From the very beginning, we had plans for her.  She’s graduated obedience classes, been to rally-o classes, and we still have hopes of her, one day, becoming a therapy dog.  Her personality is amazing!



Working in the veterinary industry, I know how challenging and important it is to have blood donors. Truro Veterinary Hospital looks for dogs who weigh 23 kg or more but are not overweight, are aged between 1-8 years, are up to date on vaccines, are in general good health, and possess a good temperament. Females must be spayed and have never whelped a litter of puppies.  Brenley fit these criteria perfectly!

The procedure of being a blood donor is short and not very painful. In preparation for blood collection, a small amount of hair is shaved from the donor’s neck and the area is cleaned well with a disinfectant.  The blood is collected from the donor’s jugular vein.  The collection takes about 5 minutes, with 1 unit of blood (approximately 450 mL) collected.  Dogs need to remain calm for the procedure and in some cases, mild sedation may be necessary.

Being a parent of a donor participant comes with a commitment. We have agreed to be contacted any time, including the middle of the night in the event of an emergency.  Brenley is kept up to date with her vaccinations, dewormed monthly and has routine bloodwork yearly.  We also had her blood typed, but that is not necessary to become a donor.



In veterinary hospitals, like any human hospital, we come across cases where a patient needs a blood transfusion. Truro Veterinary Hospital has a Canine Blood Donor Program in place to aid in these emergency situations.  Blood transfusions are needed for various reasons.  These include trauma from motor vehicle accidents, supportive therapy during and after surgery, supporting dogs with bleeding disorders, and treating conditions such as parvovirus, anemia, and poison ingestion.

In June 2014, Brenley was called upon to help Bully.  Bully is an American Bulldog and at the time he was 7 years old.  His mom got a call from Doggie Day Care; he was not himself!  They believed his abdomen seemed big and he was drooling more then normal.  The Day Care brought him to us immediately where his mom was here waiting on his arrival.

Doctor Melissa assessed him upon his arrival. He was retching (non-productive vomiting), and his abdomen did indeed look distended.  Radiographs confirmed his stomach was bloated (filled with gas). A stomach tube was inserted, removing liquid and some gas.  Although this made him more comfortable, he was still retching.  Blood was drawn, we repeated radiographs, and his stomach was now twisted, a dangerous condition called Gastric Distention and Volvulus, or GDV.  He needed emergency surgery.  His life was in danger!

Doctor Gwen performed a gastrotomy procedure. She removed lots of food and hotdog pieces, and could correct the torsion and secure his stomach with a gastropexy.  Bully’s surgery was a success, but he was not out of the woods yet. Doctor Gwen was checking on Bully throughout the night.  He became weak, able to stand and walk but was unsteady.  His breathing was heavy and shallow, unlike his normal deep slow breaths.  He was monitored very closely!  Doctor Gwen requested repeat bloodwork to see if anything had changed.  The results showed his packed cell volume or PCV (the amount of red blood cells in his system) was low.  Before surgery, it was at 40% (normal 37% to 55%) and after surgery it had dropped to 24% with all other blood work normal.  Brenley was needed!


I brought Brenley with me to work that day. Because this was her first time donating, we decided to sedate her and she donated 1 unit of blood to aid in Bully’s surgery recovery.  Throughout the day, Bully’s transfusion ran and Brenley recovered from her sedation.  A post transfusion PCV was run, and it was now 28%.  Still not in the normal range, but an improvement! Brenley came home with me after my work day.  She slept most of the evening, getting up to eat her supper and go outside for bathroom breaks.  The following morning, she got up as if nothing happened.  The only sign she had from donating blood was a shaved mark on her neck.

Doctor Gwen monitored Bully though the night and morning. His PCV the following day remained at 28% and he seemed to be feeling better.  Happy that his PCV maintained, he was started on medications to help with his stomach, fed small frequent meals, and he was slowly weaned off his intravenous fluids during the day.

The following day and three days after surgery, Bully was stable enough to be discharged into the care of his owner. This year, 2017, is three years after Bully’s blood transfusion.  He will also be celebrating his 10th birthday.



If you are interested in having your pet become a blood donor or you would like more information on Truro Veterinary Hospital’s Canine Blood Donor Program, please call our office at 902-893-2341.








Farewell To Victor – Gone But Not Forgotten (1996-2015)

13707_946812785370969_1910837291283439170_nOn April 10th, 2015 the staff of the Truro Vet Hospital had to say our goodbyes to our friend of almost 18 years. Victor had become quite ill at the end of March and his blood work revealed his kidneys were failing. They had served him well for 18+ years. We collectively made the decision to say goodbye to Victor (after trying everything we could to keep him comfortable) knowing the choice even thought extremely hard was the best one to make for Victor.

In the summer of 1997 Victor came to Truro Vet as an adult stray brought in by Juanita. His easy going nature won him the love of Cecelia and other staff. Soon it was decided he was a keeper.

Victor benefited Truro Vet immensely. He donated blood to other sick cats in need. He let us demonstrate how to trim nails and give a cat a pill. He was a ball of fur to cry into on a really heartbreaking day. While not always happy about his job, he made the best of it and enjoyed his ‘thank you’ cuddle afterwards.

Walking on keyboards, calling other phone extensions in the building, befriending rodent and bird patients were just a few of his quirky qualities. If you poured your milk/cream before adding your coffee, do it quick or Victor would be lapping up the dairy. The day he was diagnosed with a dairy allergy was probably the worst day of his life!

Victor, words cannot express how much we will miss you. Your curiosity and affectionate nature made you a credit to all cats. Rest easy and we will see you at Rainbow Bridge.

Here are some words from the ladies who loved him the most:

“There are so many things I loved about Victor, it is hard to pick one. But I did love giving him Vitalax and the way he chewed or smacked his lips while eating. “

  • Cecelia

“I will miss coming in after hours while on call and spending quality time with Victor.”

  • Dr. Michelle

“I will miss our cuddles and belly rubs and how you would drool while you purred.”

  • Juanita

“I will miss your “stealth” like run as you tried to get to the treatment room without being caught. I’m sure you were always thinking “the slower I go maybe they won’t see me.”

  • Ashley

“There are many things I will miss about Victor but mainly the way he would head butt me at the desk, and his demand for morning snuggles along with his talent of giving clients discounts on their accounts as he “assisted” at the desk.”

  • Colette

“I will miss how he stood at the top of the desk waiting patiently to be fed, and how he would walk back and forth in front of the computer while I was trying to work. But I think we will always miss (no matter how frustrating it was) when Victor would hang up on people by walking across the phone and we would have to call back and explain that is really was Victor!”

  • Kerry

“I miss how innocent he would look when he would knock your papers or files on the floor if you were busy and not giving him the attention he felt he deserved at that instant. I also miss his squawking meow when you would pick him up.”

  • Kaila

“I miss his distinguished face. And his love of food, we shared that.”

  • Valerie

I miss his phone calls to outback, I am sure it was because we were late on getting him supper.”

  • Charity

“I miss his swagger.”

  • Dr. Melissa

I miss his head butts, his charm, walking on clients food for quality checks, correcting my typing, putting clients on hold or hanging up on them he had great customer service, hisd demand for food and cuddling with sick or scared pets especially kittens.”

  • Cara

“​I miss Victor’s quiet calmness that he seemed to always have – except when he wanted to bug all his girlfriends at the front desk. Victor seemed to naturally know not to sweat the small stuff. Victor was very Zen.”

  • Dr. Gwen

“I’ll miss the smiles he brought to everyone and the character he bestowed upon the hospital.”

  • Angela

“What does one say about a dear friend you’ve known most of his life? That he will be missed. That he left a bit of himself with everyone who has met him. Victor was one of a kind. I remember when he as allowed outback with us. He would sit in front of kennels and watch the dogs and cats. Needless to say that did not go over very well with our patients. So Victor was banned from the back to remain in the reception area. He became our welcoming committee and made many friends in the process. I’m sure that he continues this work at the gates of heaven.”

  • Carmen

“I miss cleaning him (because lets face it he never really was very good at cleaning his own head) and then sneaking in a few bites just to spice things up a bit. And I really miss stealing his food because the girls have me on this cruel torture called a “diet” so no extra tidbits for me anymore. Most of all I miss snuggling in with him in the baskets on the front desk – he was great at keeping them warm and cozy even on the coldest of days. Miss you Victor.”

  • Wiggles

Even thought Victor might be gone in body, we know he is still with us in spirit sitting at the front desk making sure we are all doing our jobs up to his expectations. We miss you Victor and will never forget you. We encourage others to share their thoughts and memories of Victor below in comments.


CANDi + Mexico = A Great Adventure!

Courtesy of: Joye

On November 30, 2013 I headed off to Cancun, Mexico for the trip of a lifetime.  Over the next week, working with over 50 other volunteers organized by Cats and Dogs International, we spayed and neutered over 900 dogs and cats!  But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself…

Cats and Dogs International (CANDi) is an organization dedicated to promoting the humane treatment of animals through tourism.  CANDi partners with tourist destinations (such as Cancun, Mexico) to raise funds for sterilization clinics in poor communities in the surrounding areas.  Pet and stray population control is a huge issue, since many people have little or no access to (or funds to support) veterinary care.  CANDi recruits international volunteers (veterinarians, technicians and non-medical personnel) to travel to these communities to provide free spay/neuter services.  For more information, please see my previous blog “Truro Vet Gives Back – In Mexico” and visit

As I was saying, on November 30th I traveled to Cancun to take part in this amazing event.  We stayed at the lovely all-inclusive RIU Cancun, a beautiful resort that is a proud sponsor of CANDi.  Although we were each responsible for paying for our stay, the cost was greatly reduced and we all appreciated their hospitality.  Our team had a meet-and-greet that evening, where we got our first look at the folks we would be spending lots of time with over the next week!

Morning 1 at RIU Cancun

The clinic ran for a total of 5 days, with one free day in the middle to recuperate.  Each day we spent 12-13 hours at the clinic, catching the shuttle over early and returning late in the evening.  I’m sure the hotel staff were thrilled to see us all trooping in to the buffet at the end of a long, hot, tiring day.  We quickly adopted the concept of “dirty dinner”, which meant heading to the buffet before going to our rooms to clean up.  Somehow, our little section of the restaurant always seemed to have lots of space for us…certainly couldn’t have been because we smelled bad? 🙂

As a technician, I knew before I headed out that I would be assigned to one of three areas: induction/intubation, surgery monitoring, or patient recovery.  All three areas are extremely valuable and present different challenges.  When I learned I would be assigned to surgery monitoring, I was nervous, but excited.  All patients were kept asleep for surgery using injectable anesthetic drugs, with no access to supplemental oxygen or anesthetic gas.  This is hugely different from the normal procedures I am used to, and adds a higher level of risk for the patient.  If they began to wake up during surgery, an alert technician had to deliver the correct dose of anesthetic (based on weight and species) intravenously before the patient became too alert.  It was a tough but rewarding learning curve for the techs involved…but after all my careful planning and preparation…I wasn’t one of them!

A surgery technician all ready to go!  Surgery techs in action

When we opened for the day on the first morning (late, of course…there are always bugs to work out on the first day), I happened to be sitting at the reception table drawing up drugs for sedating the dogs.  This is the “induction” portion of the day, where the awake dogs are given an injection in the muscle to send them to sleep for the surgery.  Since no one else was available, I began greeting people and sedating dogs…a job I continued right until the very end of the clinic.

Drawing up drugs

Induction presents its own level of challenge that is very different from surgery monitoring, however.  The number one concern is that the patients are awake when you meet them.  Some of these dogs are beloved house pets, friendly and happy to meet a new face.  Many, however, were frightened by the noises, strange dogs, funny smells and overwhelming environment they had arrived in, often waiting many hours outside for their turn.  I was the last person they wanted to see.  We also did surgery on “street” dogs, stray/feral dogs who had been captured by volunteers and brought to us in kennels.  These dogs were also frightened and aggressive and required special care.  I had fantastic volunteers helping me with dog restraint and I hardly got a scratch all week long!

Restraint for induction  Street dogs arriving

Determining the right amount of drug for each dog was sometimes a challenge as well.  Sedatives work very differently in happy, relaxed dogs than in terrified, aggressive dogs.  There are also some breeds that are more sensitive to sedatives than others, which was also a factor in calculations.  We also did surgery on very small puppies, who have different drug needs from older puppies or adults.  The most difficult aspect of induction for me, however, was managing the surgical flow.

Puppy induction

After dogs were sedated, they would head to the intubation table where two technicians placed endotracheal (breathing) tubes and IV catheters.  From there they would travel to the surgical prep area, where volunteers would clip and scrub the surgical site.

Intubation  Surgical prep

The next step was surgery, assuming that I had done my job well and there was a table (well, an ironing board) available for them.  If I sedated too many animals, or perhaps too many females in a row (spays take longer than neuters), there might not be a veterinarian available right away.  If I sedated too few animals, there were vets standing idle with nothing to do!

Oops..all backed up!

To add to this mix, another team was busy sedating cats for surgery as well.  Cats present their own special challenges, since they come with many built-in weapons and a very strong instinct to flee.  Many came to us in shopping bags, allowing us to deliver their injections through the bag and reducing the chance of injury (to anyone, pets or people) or loss of the pet.

Cat in a bag

Some other carriers were more creative!

Cats in a bird cage

After sedating, cats headed over to the same intubation/prep team used by my dogs, so it was easy to miscalculate the number of animals waiting for surgery.  Thankfully, by Day 2 I had a pretty good handle on that aspect and we didn’t have many issues after that.

After surgery, patients were carried to recovery by local volunteers (or anyone with free hands).  The recovery team, headed up by Sherrill MacKeigan (who you may remember from her days as a technician student at TVH), had a lot of work to do.  They had to ensure a safe and rapid recovery from anesthesia, monitoring patient temperature, heart rate and respiration rate. They gave injections of antibiotics and pain medication.  They also gave each pet an ear tattoo, trimmed toenails, clipped fur mats, cleaned ears, picked ticks, and any other grooming care needed by the pet.

Sherrill in recovery  The recovery table Ticks!

The pet owners played a huge role in caring for their animals throughout the day.  They helped restrain their pets for induction, waited with them until they went to sleep, and then headed over to recovery with them to help wake them up after.  This was a real bonding experience, and often the whole family was present.  Once the pet was up and walking, the owners would take them home, filled with smiles and gratitude.

Recovering pets  Checking a heart rate

One of the aspects of the clinic that surprised and impressed me most was how quickly the volunteers came together as a team.  Despite the heat, the long days, the aching feet and sore backs, there were no complaints and everyone worked hard all day long.  When you are united by a common purpose of helping others, it’s easier to set aside conflicts and work together to achieve your goals.

The team

Special thanks to all of the industry representatives who donated products to support my trip and the sterilization program.  Thanks go as well to Hector Navarro, professional photographer who took most of these beautiful images.  Please visit his website at to see many more great images.  Huge thanks to Dr. Gwen and Juanita for supporting me in this endeavor, and to all of our clients who donated through the complimentary nail trim donation program in November.  The success of these programs depends heavily on all the generous donations of time, money and supplies.

CANDi’s next sterilization program will be held in the Dominican Republic from April 25-28, 2014.  If you are interested in helping dogs and cats in the DR, please visit CANDi’s website at  There are currently positions open for volunteers, or you can choose to donate to help out.

If you would like more information about my trip with CANDi or have any questions, please call 893-2341 and ask for me (Joye) or email



Truro Vet Gives Back – In Mexico!

Courtesy of: Joye

Who doesn’t love a winter trip down south?  Many people in our area travel once a year (or more) to visit sunny climates during the depths of our stormy season.  There’s nothing quite like the feeling of checking into an all-inclusive resort for a week of soaking up the sun.  Not a care in the world!

But frequently, travellers like to take some trips outside of their little piece of tropical heaven.  They want to experience the local culture, see how the residents really live.  What they see isn’t always heavenly.  The people often live in poor conditions we would consider unacceptable…and they share these conditions with their pets.  There are also huge populations of stray dogs and cats unlike any that exist back home.

dog in Mexico

These holiday-ers will sometimes return to their resorts full of concern.  They express to the management that they are upset over the large numbers of stray animals and the poor conditions they live in.  The management will then report these concerns to the local government, as they are worried that tourists will no longer want to visit their resort if they see sights that are upsetting to them.  The local government then feels it must take action to preserve tourism…by carrying out large scale executions of dogs and cats to try to reduce their numbers.

In addition to being extremely inhumane, these mass killings of dogs and cats do little to address the problem of overpopulation.  It has been shown that the most effective way to handle these problems is through cooperative efforts between rescue groups, local government and members of the community to establish low or no cost spay/neuter programs.

mom with pups

That’s where Cats and Dogs International (CANDi) comes in.  CANDi is an organization that brings tourism businesses together with local animal welfare groups to implement programs that humanely address the issue of cat and dog overpopulation in destination communities.  They organize spay/neuter clinics in poor areas of resort communities and use international volunteers to staff them.

You may be wondering what all of this has to do with Truro Vet.  On November 30, 2013, I will be flying to Cancun, Mexico, to participate in CANDi’s next spay/neuter clinic.  It will be a whirlwind trip of 5 (long) days carrying out as many spays and neuters of both owned and stray dogs and cats as we can possibly accomplish with a team of 30 people!

surgery in Mexico

All of the volunteers for CANDi’s clinics pay their own way to participate, and also try to take as many necessary supplies (such as surgical masks and gloves, IV catheters, medications, dewormers, etc) as possible down with them.  If you would like to support my trip to help pets in Mexico, please call us at 893-2341 or drop by.  All money raised will be used to offset the cost of travel and to purchase supplies for the clinics.  For those clients up to date on annual vaccinations with us, our nail trim donations for November will also be going to support this cause.  I am truly grateful for any donations and I’m happy to answer any further questions you might have.

For more information about how Truro Vet also gives back to pets and stray animals locally, please visit our blog, or call us with any questions.

My next blog will be coming up in December, after I return from this amazing experience.  I can’t wait to share our many success stories with everyone!

Recovering pets in Mexico



I Am A Veterinary Technician

Courtesy of: Charity

A wagging tail or a soft purr has the ability to melt my heart in an instant.  I am a sucker for a cute, furry face and because of this, every day I wear a smile from ear to ear (and of course a layer of fur on my scrubs). I can be a nurse, anesthesiologist, radiology technician, surgery assistant and a pharmacist within a matter of minutes and for this I certainly will always be a veterinarian’s closest sidekick.  I speak dog, cat, and even cow and can be found conversing with patients during any down time.  I enjoy a good cuddle and as a result become a companion, playmate, and parent many times a day.  I can be creative and clever, because every patient tests my wits.  Every single day I speak for those who speak with their eyes, and advocate for their every need right down to the blanket they want to curl up on.

I am a teacher to every animal`s human and, more importantly, a student to every four-legged friend.  I take lessons on having an appreciation for the little things in life.  I am a shoulder to cry on in a time of need.  I make a special connection with all patients and as a result, sometimes I need a shoulder to cry on as I shed a few tears. I take my work home with me, figuratively and occasionally literally. I work seven days a week, because even on my days off I am visiting or calling to check up on a certain patient that has touched my heart.

All of this I would not trade for the world, because I am a Veterinary Technician.

Charity enjoying her job!


Nothing Brightens A Day Quite Like A Kitten!

Courtesy of: Joye

Before you ask, no, we don’t take strays!  That sounds like a rather tough rule, but as a Veterinary Hospital we handle requests from overwhelmed folks almost daily, asking us to take in a stray cat (often pregnant or a new mom with many kittens) or rehome a kitty who just isn’t working out any longer.  Sadly, we just don’t have the space or resources to help all the animals in need.  That means that we have a rule of only seeing stray cats who need medical assistance.

That first paragraph is very important.  I will refer back to it several times during this blog.

Because sometimes…rules just get bent.  Take Pineapple and Papaya.  No, we aren’t specializing in tropical fruits these days.  Instead, we have two little visitors hanging out with us, looking for forever homes.  This is their story.

Meet Pineapple.


Pineapple is a male short-haired orange tabby kitten brought to us a couple of weeks ago.  When he arrived, he was about 4 weeks old with a belly full of worms and a bad attitude.  Well, a fearful attitude anyway.  Pineapple was brought in by a caring lady who found him and felt he had been abandoned and was doing poorly.  One look at that little face and we just had to take him in.

Remember…we don’t take strays!

Meet Papaya.


Papaya is a female short-haired calico kitten who arrived just a few days after Pineapple.  She’s a little older (about 16 weeks when she arrived) and she was brought in by some folks who were worried she seemed sick or injured.  Luckily, her main issues were fleas, worms and ear mites, all of which we treated with Revolution.  Papaya is a super groomer and within a couple of days her fur was sparkling.  Her personality is sparkling too, and she loves to cuddle and be petted.

So, within three days we had accumulated 2 kittens.  (Remember, we don’t take strays!)  The SPCA is already overrun, so we decided to hang on to these guys until we could test them for Feline Leukemia and get them vaccinated.  Once they both passed their test (with flying colours) we introduced them and they became fast friends instantly.

Now, I mentioned that Pineapple didn’t have the best attitude when he arrived.  We don’t think he had had much interaction with people before he arrived with us.  We have never been put off by a cranky cat, however, and a little ½ pound ball of fur was no match for us.  With a lot of patience and care, soon Pineapple came to see people as an essential source of comfort and (very importantly) food!  In fact, as you can see in this photo, he’s sleeping on my arm as I write this very blog!

Snuggly Pineapple :)

Remember – we don’t take strays!

One universal fact about Veterinary Hospital staff is that we love kittens!  Having kittens in the clinic is a fantastic morale booster.  Having a bad day?  Go cuddle a kitten.  Need a laugh?  Watch tiny Pineapple wrestle Papaya to the ground.  Even the busiest day is made a little easier when we can pause for moment and watch kittens playing…or eating…or sleeping…or heck even using the litterbox is adorable when kittens do it!  Having kittens is great, but there are two major drawbacks.

The first is quality of life for the kittens.  While we handle them as much as possible, and these kittens are each lucky enough to have each other, the treatment room of a Veterinary Hospital is really no place for a cat to live.  On slow days, the kittens can come out and socialize with us and each other, but on busy days they can spend almost 24 hours confined to a kennel.  While we make sure they are fed and have clean litter, they don’t always get the attention and exercise they deserve.  They are also missing out on some important bonding time with their new parents in a forever home.

The second drawback to having kittens is the expense.  There are several costs associated with having kittens in the clinic, including Feline Leukemia Testing, deworming and flea control, vaccines, food and cat litter.  A conservative estimate of costs for each kitten so far is about $250 and it keeps growing daily.  This doesn’t even include the time that staff members volunteer on the weekends to care for the kittens when we are closed.  Our clinic has established the Lost Souls Fund to help provide for the care of strays like these, but every nickel spent on kitten care takes a little away from other pets that may need help.

So, as you may remember, we don’t take strays.  Well, we try really hard not to.  Once we have them, however, it becomes our number one priority to find them a new, loving forever home.  If you have room in your heart and household for one (or both) of our little kittens, please give us a call at 893-2341 to get more information.  We also accept donations to the Lost Souls Fund to provide for their care and that of other needy strays.  We regret that we cannot issue tax receipts for donations, but we do appreciate every dollar we receive.

Papaya says "Come pick me up soon!" :)

Both Pineapple and Papaya have found wonderful forever homes and settled in perfectly.


Guest Post: A Volunteer’s Experience

Courtesy of: Kaitlyn – Veterinary Administrative Assistant Student Volunteer

Volunteering at Truro Vet was a very good experience.  All the people I met were amazing and helpful, and all the animals I met I fell in love with.  I will never forget them.  I wish I could stay with their team forever but I need to spread my wings.  They helped me grow and move on.  Working at an animal hospital you need to have compassion for every animal that comes in the hospital as well as the owner.  You need to think of it as your pet and how you would feel in the owner’s shoes.

Working at this hospital for 6 weeks, I thought it was going to be the longest 6 weeks of my life and to tell you the truth I didn’t even want to go there in the first place, because I thought I would do nothing but clean kennels!  Now that I only have 2 days left I don’t ever want it to end!  The 14 people I met while I was there, you couldn’t ask for better co-workers; they are an awesome team of people.  There are 3 Technicians (#1 – the youngest, #2 – always has the chair sitting on the ground, #3 – ask her anything and she will give you the definition);  3 Doctors (#1 – you can ask her if she needs help but she never does, #2 – she’s the shortest, #3 – she will answer any questions you have); 4 Assistants (#1 – she’s very emotional, #2 – always cleaning, #3 – very tall,  #4 – always laughing and making jokes); and 4 Receptionists (#1 – always asks about my dog, #2 – went school with her, #3 – she never gets mad, #4 – she hates if you ring the bell more than once).  What the heck…why don’t we just make it 5 Assistants!?!

The things people do for their animals are the same things they do for their kids, and for some owners, their pet is their kid and they want them to be the happiest little cat or dog.  Sometimes, that means their kid is a little rounder then others, but that’s why they go to Truro Vet so they can get help with any problems.  The people at Truro Vet will never forget your animal because they all have so much compassion for their job.  Something I was told from one of the other assistants when I was there was “Never stop caring “and I will never forget that.

One of my favourite memories volunteering happened on a Friday afternoon around 3pm.  A beautiful dog came in that wasn’t in very good shape and needed our help.  I fell in love with him at first sight, all I wanted to do is cuddle him (but at the same time I didn’t because he didn’t smell too good) but that didn’t stop me.  I sat with him for 2 hours and then it was my time to go home .  I didn’t want to, but at the same time I knew he was going to be in good hands.  Monday came and all I could think about all weekend was that cute dog I met on Friday and I hoped he went to a good home, but there he was still at the hospital at 9am Monday morning.  The first thing I did was ask about him and then I jumped in the cage with him and started to cuddle him like I did Friday.  Then one of the Technicians came over and told me the bad news, and it was that he wasn’t doing so good, his kidneys were failing and there was nothing else they could do for him.  All I could do is cry and smile, and now you are probably wondering why I was smiling?  That’s because I knew he didn’t have to suffer any longer.  That dog was a strong dog, a loving dog, a dog I will never forget, he’s the reason I want to help animals.

Kaitlyn loving her dog, Duke


I Love Old Dogs!

Courtesy of: Amanda

I have 2 old dogs.

Lyle and Tomar

They couldn’t be more opposite of each other, but I love them both the same. I love the grey around the muzzle, and the slowness of their gait. I love their patience. I love the fact that they think they can get away with the world. I love the sad puppy dog eyes they pull when they want up on the couch. I love old dogs.

I love that relationship people build over 10, 12, even 18 years. I love the bad breath that wakes me in the morning. I love the thumping tail, and the playful spirit that still springs up when it snows. I love the way they know who will give them treats, and who is always game for belly rubs. I love how easy they are – so quiet and happy just to be around you. I love the ears flapping out the window. I love the “can I?” look when they try to sneak on my bed. I love how excited they get to see my grandparents. I love the way they find the “sun spots” in the room. I love old dogs.

I love looking back at old pictures and seeing how young they once were. I love telling stories about how bad they used to be (remember that time?). I love taking them out to pee in a snowstorm, or at 2 am, or never being able to sleep in – because they are old dogs. I love the vet telling me how great they look for 18. I love the devotion they have for me, which sometimes I feel I’m not worthy of. I love old dogs.

I love trying a new medication for them, and finding how much more comfortable it can make them. I love their voracious appetites, despite their old-dog teeth. I love when I call and they ignore me, because they are now deaf. I love when they sleep at my feet. I love when they sleep in the sun. I love when they sleep all day. I love old dogs.

I love content old dogs. I love cranky old dogs. I love quiet old dogs, and loud old dogs who can’t hear themselves bark. I love old dog smiles. I love it when they steal food. I love it when they prove me wrong. I love watching them teach puppies manners. I love that sparkle in an owner’s eye when they talk about their old dogs. I love old dogs who are so attached to their owners. I love how so many years of love can shape a dog. I love how so many years of love can shape me. I love old dogs.


I love everything about old dogs, because someday they will be gone. I’ll miss that old dog smile, the thump of the tail, the 2 am wake-up, the puppy dog eyes, the greying muzzle, the moments of foolishness, the tufts of old dog dust bunnies, the simple contentment. But I’ll remember how much they taught me about why I love old dogs.