House Calls – General Information

We realize that for many people taking their pet(s) to the veterinarian stressful, or next to impossible. We want all pets to have access to veterinary care.

Why chose a House Call for your pet(s)? Oh so many reasons!

• they don’t like to go to travel. They are stressed by the car ride to the vet or they are stressed by all the strange sounds/smells/people and other animals at the veterinary hospital
• you don’t like to take them to the vet – hospitals stress you
• your pet doesn’t like other animals
• your pet acts badly at the vets! How embarrassing! Don’t be embarrassed we are very aware that many pets are lovely at home but not so much at the vets. We understand! Owners are usually pleasantly surprised at their pet’s behaviour during a house call. We can usually perform a much more comprehensive examination of your pet when they are at home than we can at the hospital. That’s why we like house calls too.
• you have multiple pets and it is a chore to take them all at once or make multiple trips to the vet
• you don’t like to drive in the winter
• you can’t get them to the vet (no vehicle, can’t load them into the vehicle)
• they are having trouble at home but don’t show it at the hospital
• you want an “in home” evaluation of your pet’s quality of life to see if you can make changes to improve their life
• you simply think it would be nicer for you and your pet to have a house call
• You have made that very difficult decision that your pet is suffering, and you and your family would rather your beloved furry family member die in the comfort of their own home

How Long is the House Call?

A typical House Call takes 30 – 60 minutes, depending if your pet has a health concern.
If additional time is required, then there are additional charges If we must travel a long distance then there are additional travel charges.

What Can Be Done at a House Call?

This is based the time we have booked for the appointment, which depends on what you have told us about your pet and of course, on your pet’s cooperation!

Routine Health Care

• A full head to tail comprehensive exam. Your veterinarian will observe your pet to look for signs of ill health, lameness or behavioural concerns. Your pet’s body condition and their muscle condition will be noted. Your veterinarian will check your pet’s vital signs (temperature, pulse, and respiration) and record your pet’s current weight. Then your veterinarian will use special equipment, including a stethoscope to listen to the heart and lungs, an otoscope to view the inside of the ears, and an ophthalmoscope to examine the eyes. Your pet’s mouth will be examined for signs of dental disease, or masses inside their mouth. Your pet’s skin and hair coat will be examined as they can be an important indicator of overall health. Your veterinarian will feel all over your pet’s body for lumps and bumps. Your veterinarian will palpate your pet’s abdomen, feeling for enlarged/small organs and any abnormal masses inside their abdomen. Once this information has been gathered your veterinarian will discuss your pet’s examination with you and make recommendations for your pet.

Why Take My Pet’s Blood Pressure and Eye Pressure?

•Your pet’s blood pressure, and intraocular pressure will be taken. Intra ocular pressure means taking the pressure inside the eyes to determine if your pet’s eyes are normal. Increased pressures can indicate glaucoma and low pressures can indicate uveitis, which is inflammation inside the eye. Although both conditions are painful and can lead to blindness, your pet can hide their pain well and the use of a machine that measures the eye pressure is the only way to accurately determine the pressure inside the eye. Often changes in eye pressures are associated with underlying health problems and further diagnostic testing many be recommended. Abnormal blood pressure can be an earlier indicator of health concerns such as heart disease and kidney disease.
Usually the earlier a health problem is found, the faster we can relieve pain and, in most cases, the better the outcome.

My Pet Had A Comprehensive Examination, So Why Should My Pet Have Blood/Urine/Fecal Testing?

Owners understand that such testing is important when their pet is sick, however, many do not see the value in performing routine wellness testing.
In order to completely evaluate your pet’s health your veterinarian needs to “see” inside your pet’s body. By performing testing on samples of blood, urine, and stool your veterinarian gets a much more in-depth look at your pet’s internal organ’s current health. The blood test may include a complete blood cell count (CBC) and a chemistry (organ function) panel. These tests can help determine if your pet has problems such as anemia, infection, or organ disease. Other tests, such as a thyroid evaluation, may be helpful, depending on the physical examination results and patient history. Certain testing may be recommended for your pet based on their breed or age.
Parasite tests are usually performed during wellness examinations. Your veterinarian may request that you supply a sample of your pet’s stool for analysis. A fresh stool sample can be tested using special procedures (staining and microscopic examination) to identify parasites that are usually not visual to the human eye. However, not all parasites are detected through stool samples. Your veterinarian may recommend testing your pet for heartworm disease, and tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. This type of parasite test involves taking a blood sample. Some testing is done at our hospital and other testing is sent to an outside laboratory for analysis.

Your veterinarian may also recommend checking your pet’s urine by performing a urinalysis. This helps determine whether your pet’s kidneys are working correctly and may also help diagnose certain conditions, such as diabetes, urinary tract infection, bladder crystals and inflammation of the kidneys.

What Else Can I Do to Help My Pet Stay Happy and Healthy?

• Your veterinarian can perform routine wellness procedures including vaccinations, nail trims, and prescribe preventative medications such as flea/tick/heartworm, and routine internal parasite control.
• Your veterinarian can draw blood samples, collect urine and feces for routine wellness testing such as vaccine titres, testing for heartworm (a mosquito transmitted disease and for 3 tick transmitted diseases found in Ontario (Lyme Ehrlichia and Anaplasmosis) and screening for common internal parasites.
• Your veterinarian can microchip your pet for permanent identification.
• Your veterinarian will consult with you to help develop disease prevention plans and help your pet enjoy a healthier and happier life.

Pets With Health Concerns

• Your pet will receive a comprehensive physical examination which was discussed above and then your veterinarian will focus on the health issues found and discuss your concerns.
• Blood, urine and feces can be collected for diagnostic testing
• Your veterinarian can perform small surgeries. In many instances small masses/warts can be treated cryosurgically (freezing) during the house call. In some instances, masses can be biopsied and further diagnostic testing can be performed.
• Senior Pets are special, and Wellness Programmes can improve your pet’s quality of life – getting old is unavoidable but much can be done to make your pet’s “golden years” good! Arthritis treatment. pain management and palliative care has come a long way in the last few years!
• If you are concerned about your pet’s Quality of Life. Your veterinarian will perform a Quality of Life Assessment and discuss ways to improve your pet’s quality of life

What if My Pet Needs More Care Than Can Be Provided at the House Call?

If necessary, we can transport your pet to our hospital, or you can arrange transport for your pet to our hospital. Please be aware that transportation to/from our hospital has an associated fee.

What if My Pet Needs Medication or Special Food?

We carry many medications, if we do not have the medication with us then you have several options.
• you can pick up the medication/food from our hospital
• you can order through our on-line store and select home delivery. There are associated fees with home delivery. You can even select auto-ship so you won’t have to worry about running out of food. we can arrange for home delivery (associated fees)
• Please be aware automatic home shipping directly from the on-line store is unavailable for some products, however, home delivery can often be arranged directly through the clinic.

End of Life House Calls

It is always so difficult to say goodbye to your beloved pet and many people know their pet would be more comfortable in their own homes, surrounded by their loved ones.

We can provide your pet with a comfortable, pain free passing in their own home.

Every pet is comfortably sedated before the procedure so they can relax and find comfort in their family’s presence. Once your pet is very sedated many people leave us to give the remaining drug and others chose to stay with their pet.

We will accommodate whatever makes you and your pet the most comfortable. We have been there too and understand and empathize with this extremely difficult but compassionate decision you have made.

If you wish we can take care of your pet afterwards. We can send your pet for cremation and you have the option of having a pawprint of your pet. You also have the option of private or semi-private cremation if you desire your pet’s ashes returned to you. If you choose not to have your pet’s ashes returned, and you can have peace of mind knowing your pet’s remains will be sprinkled in a memorial park area.

How Much Does A House Call Cost?

Pricing of a house call is based on several factors, travel distance and time and the veterinarian’s and assistant’s time. There is a base fee which covers a 30 km radius around our base hospital. Outside of the radius mileage charges are added. Please call the hospital for up to date pricing.

Ways to Reduce House Call Costs

For healthy pets, sharing the cost of a house call can be done by holding a “Friends and Family House Call”. Held in one home or in a common room, each pet is given an appointment time. Each pet’s appointment is scheduled for 30 minutes and each pet is charged the same veterinary fees that would apply at our base hospital.
You can even host a “neighbourhood” or ” apartment building” event as long as there is one designated exam room that is large enough for us to set up our required equipment and safely handle pets. Condos, apartment buildings and retirement buildings usually have common rooms that can be used for community house calls.
Please note the area must be safely enclosed room and have enough room for the pet, owners and the veterinarian and their assistant to work comfortably. A sturdy table is required for small dogs and cats. Access to power for our computer is also required.

Who is responsible for pay for the house call fees at a group house call?

The “host” of the veterinary visit is responsible for paying for the house call and mileage fee for the event. They can then collect the fees from the participants in the house call.

How Do I Pay for a House Call?

We accept Mastercard, Visa, E-transfer and Cash for House Calls. Payment is due at time of service.

If You Want To Ensure Your Pet(s) Ongoing Veterinary Care

Purchasing a Veterinary Care Package is one way to Supply your pet(s) with Regularly Scheduled Veterinary Care. We have Packages for both Healthy Pets and for Pets with Health Problems. Payments can be spread over the year to help you plan for routine veterinary care. Please note that for payment programmed a valid credit card is required.