Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic





     Should a dog walk into the clinic peeing on the floors here and there and with out inhibition, drooling, appearing to be a little spacey, a bit wobbly and staring at me with wide pupils I would be thinking right away of marijuana intoxication.  A cat that has ingested marijuana may appear sedated or hyperexcited, often would be shivering or twitchy and may be vomiting. 


     The most common source of exposure is through the owner’s own cache of “Mary Jane”. Other sources include laced cookies, brownies and “fortified” candies and remnants of joints left on sidewalks or tossed into garbage cans.  Second hand smoke is also a possible but less common cause. (Studies have shown that second hand smoke from tobacco as well as marijuana can increase the risk of nasal cancer in dogs).



  Many cases of marijuana intoxication are relatively mild and result in no lasting effects.  However, clinical signs and recovery periods may very depending on numerous factors such as the amount of substance ingested, the health status and age of the pet and the quality and components of the marijuana   Higher concentration or combinations with other drugs can lead to “bad trips” and even more serious lasting complications and sometimes even coma or death!


Unfortunately, rapid diagnostic tests are not yet available to confirm pot poisoning. 

Marijuana tests of urine as used in the human field are not useful since dogs excrete the toxin differently then do humans. Laboratory diagnosis can confirm the diagnosis but takes too much time to be of much value in emergency cases. Of course, open admission by the clients (or the smell of marijuana on their clothes) can make the diagnosis much easier to make and expeditiously treat.


    Treatment of marijuana ingestion in animals is largely supportive; it can involve hospitalization for electrolyte fluid administration and administration of treatments that allow for rapid excretion from the patient’s digestive tract of any unabsorbed toxin.


      With the legalization of marijuana for public recreational use in Canada inadvertent ingestion or inhalation of pot is going to be a much more common problem for both pet owners and well as for families with young children.


    Increased public awareness of the dangers of marijuana to pets is very important since it is too easy for users to assume that no harm can come to a stoned pet and that “ waiting it out” is an acceptable approach.  Involve your veterinarian for professional guidance.  You may be very glad you did!  


     Does your cat often convince you to allow him access outdoors? Are you aware that this opportunity significantly increases the risk of him or her being hit by a vehicle or attacked by a raccoon, stray cat or of him pouncing on a songbird to methodically play with it and eventually savagely kill it?

        Are you aware that cats are the number one killer of many billions of songbirds in Canada and the U.S?  


     Further, are you aware that cats can acquire a serious disease called “Songbird Fever” ( Salmonellosis) from consumption of living and dead birds?

     Does it surprise you that even well-fed cats will still prey on birds because their hunting instincts are so strong that even if they don’t feel like eating them they will still greatly enjoy the excitement of their " capture- play- with- and- then- kill game"?

     Very unfortunately, fledglings, young birds just out of their nests, are often the easiest targets for cats since they are still learning how to fly and to exist in their world fraught with dangers.

     If any of these points disturb you enough to want to take action here are a few suggestions:

1)     Provide enough enrichment indoors to keep your cat entertained and active. (Laser light play between commercial breaks can keep you entertained too! A helpful hint to avoid your furry friend from becoming bored with this game is to have a pre-placed reward for him at the end to reinforce his prey instincts).


 2)    Buy a bell for your cat’s collar or take him with you outdoors on a leash.


   3)   If he is allowed access onto a patio deck be sure to put decals on any patio side-windows to avoid small birds accidentally flying into the glass panes and becoming dazed and fair game for your cat.


   4)  Not quite convinced yet? Well, how about the benefit of not being presented with a decapitated bird head delivered to the doorstep or hauled into the kitchen by your proud hunter?


     Historically, songbirds have inspired poets, novelists, songwriters and researchers as well as nature lovers all over the world. It is very sad that globally songbird species are on a decline of population at an alarming rate. Pollution, loss of habitat and especially predators such as cats are largely responsible for this appalling loss.

Let’s strive to reduce such devastating losses of many songbird species so that future generations can enjoy what we take so much for granted; the melodious song of birds heralding the onset of spring and summer.



Rabbits Can Be Great Pets!

                                                      By Dr. Leslie Ross D.V.M.  B.Sc.



            Rabbits as pets are becoming increasingly popular in Canada, as more people become aware of how they have distinctive personalities, intelligence, and are relatively easy to care for.   In addition to being affordable pets, they are interactive and entertaining house companions who can bond very closely to people they trust.   Rabbits generally can get along well with other household cats or dogs.  They enjoy life to their fullest if allowed time to hop about the home but do need to be supervised at these times since they have an innate tendency to chew on objects such as electrical cords, some wood objects and other items of interest to them.  


           Rabbits have very different basic needs from cats and dogs so it is important for new owners to be well informed about their rather unique nutritional and overall wellness requirements.  Also, because of their well-known fertility capabilities along with the quite high risk of intact females developing uterine cancers and male rabbits developing male-oriented behaviours such as territorial marking and dominance behaviours, it is very important for them to be spayed or neutered at an appropriate age.  


            Please feel very welcome to phone our office to set up an appointment to have us provide your pet with a wellness assessment and to offer you further suggestions and tips to assist you to maintain your adorable rabbit-friend as a healthy and happy pet for many rewarding years of companionship together.                           
                                                             IMPLANTED MICROCHIPS FOR PETS AS WELL AS HUMANS ARE HERE......TO STAY!


        For people, this technology can provide long-reaching benefits such as access by health care professionals to an individual’s health database, and provision of identification security as well as financial fraud prevention. 

       Implanted microchips for pet identification are steadily increasing in popularity all over the globe. A microchip is a tiny computer chip, about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted by an almost painless injection under the skin of a pet.

      Unlike a GPS, microchips run off of a short radio wave that can be read by a scanner. This is called radio-frequency identification (RFID).

     It is important to be aware that an alarming one in three pets will become lost at some point in their lifetime. Registered microchips ensure that lost pets have the best chance of being returned home. However, to be effective, client identification such as address or name changes must be kept current on a microchip registration database.

     Unfortunately, statistics show that only 58% of owners of microchipped pets have kept their registered data current with a microchip database.

     The microchip process in its entirety costs about the same, if not less, than a month’s supply of pet food. While no anesthesia is required to perform the microchipping process, some pet owners prefer to have the process done at the time of spay or neutering.

     With the return to owner rate being 20 times higher if your pet is microchipped, this is an efficient, safe and permanent source of pet identification.

     To learn more about our microchipping process and fees, please contact Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic by e-mail at, by phone at (604) 858-8198, website at or contact us on our Facebook page. 

Vedder Mountain Veterinary Clinic Ltd.

5434 Vedder Rd.

Chilliwack, B.C

V2R 3M4

Tel: (604) 858-8198; Fax: (604) 858-8101

M-F 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

Sat 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

Sun & Stats - CLOSED







                                                               BIG  DOG LITTLE DOG ATTACKS:  ALWAYS EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED!

                                                                             By Dr. Leslie Ross   D.V.M.  B.Sc


     As Emma’s story unfolds I sincerely hope that it can speak volumes to the importance of never underestimating the potential damage of seemingly non-threatening superficial injuries suffered by dog attack victims of any size, breed or gender.


     To set the stage, Emma is a cute as a button ten-year-old reddish-buff Cockapoo.  One late afternoon she and her owners were out walking along a walkway at Cultus Lake, Chilliwack, B.C. when a large Bull Mastiff chased her down and attacked her.  The Bull Mastiff had been with his owner who was sitting on a park bench at the time and he had powerfully pulled the owner’s leash out of his hand to bolt towards Emma.   Emma was lifted right off the ground by the flesh of the top of her right thigh. The owners immediately tried to rescue her and ward off the large dog and in the process, Emma’s dad lost his balance and badly scraped and bruised a large part of his elbow and arm as he fell to the ground in the scuffle. 


    The owner of the Bull Mastiff immediately came over and regained control of his dog apologized and offered to pay for any injury treatment costs.


   When I examined Emma she seemed to be quite bright and alert and was moving well but she was obviously a little jumpy and shaken-up from her recent experience. There was no evidence of any puncture wounds or broken skin on her body, just some minor bruising over the top of her right hip.


   I put her on a broad-spectrum antibiotic and administered an injection of pain medication then I released her to the care of her owners with instructions that they continue with the medication in oral form for the next week.  I also advised that she be brought back the day following to be re-examined and reassessed.  


     On follow-up day, Emma seemed to be improved although the area over the top of her right hip was still quite sensitive when touched and the bruising was moderately increased with no evidence of underlying puffiness or fluid build-up.


     Two weeks later, Emma was brought back to the clinic because she had been licking at her right hip for about five days and now had a large sore over the area.  It was immediately apparent that something was happening underneath the superficial tissues of her hip, which warranted surgical exploration.  Sure enough, once Emma was given an anesthetic and the area of her sore was opened up it was evident that her body had developed a scar tissue fistula (channel) to barricade off a deeper- tissue bacterial infection.  I obtained a culture sample of the dying infected tissue to send off to the lab prior to thoroughly cleansing the wound and removing the dying (necrotic) tissues and then only partially closed the wound to allow it to slowly fill in by the process of natural granulation. After a therapeutic cold laser session I then applied a latex-free bandage pad soaked in a sugar solution and sutured it to her skin.

    The owners were advised to insert under the bandage a wound healing spray and some unpasteurized honey daily to accelerate the rate of healing of the open wound.


    Interestingly, the culture results from the wound that were e-mailed to us a few days later indicated two different kinds of bacterial invaders, one of which was resistant to our original antibiotic.  This caused us to switch to a different choice of antibiotic.


  Emma’s recent recheck visits have been very encouraging and I am confident that Emma is well on her way to total recovery.


      Hopefully, Emma and her owners will be out soon walking along the Cultus Lake walkway and enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. 


    I am very appreciative of their willingness to share their story with all animal lovers.  They fully recognize how important it is to expect the unexpected when dog attack events occur and are happy to pass this message on to others.  A superficial wound or bruise is often just the tip of the iceberg.  Crushed, torn or devitalized tissue may be what is hidden underneath.



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