We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.


Cognitive Dysfunction

Cognitive dysfunction is quite prevalent in our senior pets and often goes unnoticed. In dog’s age 11-12 yrs, 28% had at least one of the following clinical signs of cognitive decline. In cats, it is even higher, and 55% had at least one clinical sign. It is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions because people often consider these changes to be due to normal ageing. They may not think it’s important to mention it to their veterinarian. There is no test that we can use to diagnose cognitive decline, and we must question the patient’s history and look for these clinical signs.

Disorientation – this includes confusion, staring at the walls and staring off into space. Getting stuck in corners and having a hard time maneuvering around doors. They also may not know how to respond to basic commands anymore.

Social interactions are affected. They may not recognize family members or may want more time alone or the opposite. They may not be interested in playing or receiving attention. Aggression towards other pets or people in the household may also arise.

Sleep-wake cycles change – you may notice that your pet spends the majority of the day sleeping and then is wide awake at night. They may experience restlessness or vocalizing at night.

House soiling is common with older pets due to your pet no longer signalling to go outside. They have both urine and bowel movement accidents because they forget their basic house training.

Activity and anxiety levels may be affected. They may develop new phobias to things that didn’t bother them in the past and may not adjust to new situations as easily. They may become more reactive or display repetitive behaviours, such as circling, wandering, pacing, and lip licking.

Treatment for this condition is aimed at slowing down progression and supporting the brain’s chemical levels through specialized diets, supplements, antioxidants and possibly antianxiety medications. Behaviour modification and environmental enrichment are important as it helps slow progression. It may include creating a structured routine that offers more exercise and daily walks, as well as play time. Teaching them new tricks and giving them food puzzles is also beneficial to provide stimulation.

Talk to your veterinarian if you are concerned your pet may be affected and please don’t assume this is normal ageing. It is a treatable condition that can significantly improve your pet’s quality of life.

Written by: Niki Low, DVM



Winter Hazards & Your Pets

The winter season is a wonderful time of year for everyone, but can also be a stressful time as well. With lots of time spent outside in the snow, and preparing for those pesky winter storms!

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 416-752-5114. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time. We are also no longer taking grooming appointments as of Monday, March 30, until further notice.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Friday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 7-10 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

7. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at McLean Animal Hospital