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End of Life Care


Byron Animal Clinic understands the incredible power of the human animal bond. Our pets are like children or family to most of our clients. One of the hardest things we face as pet owners is end of life care. Owning a pet is a tremendous honour but also a tremendous responsibility. We take on the task of caring for, nurturing, protecting and providing for our pets. We decide what they eat, how much they exercise, what toys they have, how they are groomed, what veterinary care they receive and – ultimately – we must decide when age, injury, or disease cause diminished quality of life. Few pets die naturally or if they do – that type of death is rarely as peaceful as we would imagine or hope. Humane euthanasia, however, provides a peaceful and dignified death. It allows a pet owner to decide when, where, and how to say goodbye to their beloved pet and to ensure that goodbye is as gentle and peaceful as possible.

At Byron Animal Clinic, we have a special room dedicated to end of life care. Dr. Connie can even offer an at home euthanasia if that is preferred. We do everything we can to minimize the stress of this decision. The procedure itself uses a combination of powerful sedatives and pain medications that cause reduce anxiety, cause intense relaxation, ease pain, and gently send our beloved pets over the rainbow bridge.

We work with Gateway Pet Memorial to provide options for aftercare – like paw prints, photo frames, individual cremation with ashes returned in urns or cedar boxes, or even pet burial services.

If you have questions about end of life care, please do not hesitate to contact us at (519) 472-3770.

Here is a very special video by a fantastic veterinarian who gives an incredibly eloquent description of why euthanasia is such an essential part of animal care.

The Rainbow Bridge.

A special tribute to dogs we lost.

A dog’s will.

All cats go to heaven.

The last battle.

God made dog.

Nutritional Counselling


Studies show that most pet owners recognize that veterinarians are experts on canine and feline nutritions. However, polls also show that most people buy their pet food from pets stores, grocery stores, big box stores, or online.

Dr. Will grew up with a job in a local pet store. It was a fun experience and a good job for a teenager. However, it did not come with much on the job training or nutritional expertise. I was instructed what pet foods to promote to pet owners by other uneducated and untrained staff. This was not done maliciously, it is simply the nature of that industry. Similarly, most grocery stores, big box stores, or online pet sales firms do not hire people trained or certified in pet nutrition. They hire salespeople who are good at sales.

The pet food industry is a MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR industry in North America. People love their pets. And treat them like family. They want what is best for their pets. And rightly so. They also want to be cost effective. Which is fair. This is hard when the pet food industry is so saturated with marketing.

Pet food marketing is designed to tug at your heart strings. They know you care for your pet and want to take advantage of that. They use buzz words like:

  • all natural
  • organic
  • human grade
  • no fillers
  • no by-products
  • no preservatives
  • all meat

Many of these terms are meaningless and/or poorly defined. They sound good but are not regulated.

In the wild, most cats and dogs hunt and eat their prey in its entirety. They eat – not only meat – but fur, bones, organs, including things like intestines or eyeballs. Things we would discard as “by-products”. They do this because they are seeking complete and balanced nutrition and they are not squeamish or picky like we are.

This is the basis for the “raw food” movement. At Byron, we don’t promote the feeding of “raw food” diets because of possible health concerns for both pets and people. Raw food can contain parasitic organisms and.or bacterial infections that can make both pets and humans sick. This is why people do not eat raw food. The same issues apply to pets.

Most commercial pet food is cooked and processed. “Processed” is a word that scares many people. In the case of pet food, I encourage people to think of “processed” as a good thing. Processed food is cooked and prepared safely to prevent infectious diseases. It is processed to increase shelf-life and make the food easier for us to handle and feed. It is made into Total Mixed Rations (TMRs) – which is designed to have all the daily nutritional requirements for the animal being fed. This makes it easy for us to provide quality and balanced nutrition to our pets.

A.A.F.C.O. is an organization that sets MINIMUM standards for pet food. If a food does not even meet this standard, run away. That said, not all food that meets this standard is “good food”.

Many people distrust large corporations and we can understand that. However, large corporations have taken control of the pet food industry and this is NOT entirely a bad thing. Large corporations have money to hire Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists to formulate and to TEST their diets. They understand that pet owners love their pets and want to make happy customers. With all honesty, these companies do a very good job at providing quality pet food. We at Byron have researched this extensively as well as toured the manufacturing facilities and research facilities for these companies. They are experts. Unlike many of the smaller companies that sound good because they are locally owned and are trying to make food with more love and care, that simply cannot afford to do the research and development, formulation, or testing involved to ensure a quality product.

At Byron Animal Clinic, we strongly advocate for and recommend the following pet food manufacturers:

For healthy pets, it doesn’t matter to us if you buy food from us or not. But we do ask that you strongly consider buying form one of these established companies.

In fact, if your pet likes its food and seems healthy, we would be hard pressed to recommend a diet change. Pets can have individual reactions to food and some that eat what we would consider “substandard” actually look very vibrant and healthy. They have goo body weight, nice coats, good energy, nice coat, regular BMs, and few health concerns. In that case, keep them on whatever you are feeding.

However, if your pet has any health concerns whatsoever, nutrition is a powerful way to improve general health and well being. At Byron Animal Clinic we carry Veterinary Exclusive “Prescription Diets”. These are diets made specifically to prevent and or treat certain health conditions.  These are NOT available in any retail store. Retail stores do NOT sell anything that is equivalent  to these diets.

Please contact us at – (519) 472-3770 – if you have questions regarding veterinary nutrition or if you wish to purchase pet food. Alternatively, you can explore our online store.





Health Screening Tests


Byron Animal Clinic offers both on-site laboratory tests as well as referral laboratory testing.

On-site testing allows us to get quick answers for urgent or emergent cases.

Referral testing has a slight delay but is often more accurate and advanced than on-site testing.

Health screening tests are essential in keeping your pet happy and healthy. These tests allow us the chance to catch health problems early and gives us a better chance at treating them proactively.

For dogs, there is often a seasonal discount if you package your dogs health screening or Wellness Testing with the 4Dx test which tests for Heartworm Disease, Lyme Disease, Erhlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. This happens in the spring and can result in substantial savings.

For cats, we have negotiated some special prices from our lab on your behalf. For years, dogs owners got discounts but cats did not. We asked our lab to fix this and they agreed.

Screening tests can include:

Ay Byron Animal Clinic we are proud to partner with Idexx and Zoetis for your diagnostic testing needs.

Health screening can also involve diagnostic imaging like x-rays, dental x-rays, ultrasound, endoscopy, CT scans, MRI, and more. Byron Animal Clinic offers some of these but can refer your pet for any we do not offer on-site. Please continue searching our site for more details.

If you have questions about health screening for your pet, please call (519) 472-3770.

Point of Care Ultrasound (P.O.C.U.S.)


Point of care Ultrasound (P.O.C.U.S.) is a very specific type of ultrasound diagnosis. It is used by regular veterinarians to attempt to solve specific diagnostic questions with fast, but targeted scans. It uses ultrasound technology – sound waves – to create images using a small, hand held probe. It takes less time to do, costs less, but has the advantage of providing diagnostic answers on the spot. Sometimes those answers are sufficient to make treatment decisions but, in some cases, the P.O.C.U.S. scan is simply one step in the diagnostic process and results in the need for more complex tests (including a full diagnostic ultrasound).

P.O.C.U.S. is NOT a full diagnostic ultrasound. A full diagnostic ultrasound uses more complex equipment and is performed (ideally) by a Board Certified Veterinary Radiologist or (in some cases) by a Board Certified Internal Medicine Specialist. These specialists have years of educational training and experience specifically using ultrasonography. They do complete scans that often take 45 minutes or more and provide detailed answers on anatomy and physiology. This is a referral procedure that costs $600 (or more). Thankfully, we have options in London that we can refer our patients to – for this valuable service. However, this service is rarely available the same day and must be booked.

If you are interested in learning more about P.O.C.U.S. or wish to book an appointment for a scan today, please call (519) 472-3770.



Going to the veterinary clinic should be a fun and fear-free experience. Talk to our staff about how to prepare your pet for veterinary visits. This may even include treatment with pheromones or even sedative medication that can implemented at home, prior to your visit at the clinic.

If travel, thunder, or fireworks upset your pet, he or she may benefit from tranquilization or sedation. While sedated, the animal will stay awake or sleep lightly but can be roused when stimulated. To minimize any potential risk associated with tranquilization or sedation, we need to assess each animal individually before we dispense these medications.

Please contact us at (519) 472-3770 if you would like to set up an assessment or discuss sedation with us.

Pain Management and Control


We now know that animals experience pain in much the same way as people. However, pets cannot speak and often are quite adept at hiding signs of pain. In nature, pain is a sign of weakness and – even though dogs and cats have been domesticated for millennia – these animals are reluctant to display overt signs of pain.

Many dogs will wag their tails and maintain a happy composure even in the face of great pain. They seem more interested in the happiness of their owner than in their own pain. Others are stoic and brave. Some will be comfortable enough to whine, cry, or whimper. Many will simply hold their head down and their tail between their legs. Others will simply stop doing things you know that they enjoy. They will stop asking to play with toys or to go for walks. They will go shorter distances on walks. They will sleep more and do less. They will avoid stairs or jumping up on high furniture. They will stop following you as you move about the house. They will eat less or stop eating. They will seek out isolation and hide in strange places. Some, might even become more grumpy, ornery, or even aggressive.

Cats can be even more difficult to diagnose with pain than dogs. Cats are very stoic and proud. They will rarely cry out or whimper. It is important to note that PURRING DOES NOT MEAN A CAT IS HAPPY OR PAIN FREE. Even cats in severe pain will and do purr. Cat pain is again most often diagnosed more by what they don’t do, than what they do do. Cats in pain will stop grooming themselves, they will stop playing or exploring, they will stop following you or seeking out attention, they will hide, they will sleep more, they will stop using stairs or jumping up as much, they will eat less or stop eating, they will start refusing to use their litter box. Cats in pain may become more moody, grumpy, or even aggressive. They will not enjoy being pet or touched in certain areas (even places they used to enjoy being pet or touched). They will fight more with other pets in the house.

We use our knowledge of pain to help you diagnose it in your pets. Pain is NOT a normal part of aging. Living pain free is an important factor in quality of life and our goal as veterinary professionals is to prevent, eliminate, or  minimize pain in pets. We use many strategies to achieve this:

  • optimizing body weight and conditioning
  • promoting exercise and nutrition
  • promoting ant–inflamatory supplements
  • promoting physical therapy and chiropractic care
  • promoting orthopaedic surgery
  • promoting alternative therapies like soft laser or acupuncture
  • promoting pharmaceutical pain medications
  • promoting biologic treatments including monoclonal antibodies

We use pain relief strategies to prevent and manage pain in pets, both before and after surgery and in the event of an injury or infection. We can also ease pain caused by chronic disease, such as cancer or arthritis.

Ask us about our pain management options and plans, which we will tailor to your pet’s medical condition and individual needs. Please call (519) 472-3770 to discuss today.

Veterinary Specialist Referrals


If we at Byron Animal Clinic cannot provide the service your furry family member needs, we will find the right place that does. Just like your Family Doctor, our Veterinarians are trained to identify medical needs and to find the best possible care available – even if that care is provided by another veterinary professional, often a Board-Certified Veterinary Specialist.

Board-Certified Veterinary Specialists exist in almost any field of medicine that exists in the human medical field. These specialties include but are not limited to:
Alternative or Complimentary Medicine
Avian and Exotics Medicine
Dentistry and Dental Surgery
Internal Medicine
Ophthalmology (including Ocular Surgery)
Physical Therapy
Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging
Surgery (including Orthopaedics or Thoracic surgery)
… and many more

In London, we are blessed to have several of these specialists within our city limits and/or surrounding communities. We also are not far from major centres of veterinary specialty like Guelph, Mississauga, or Toronto. We have even referred some of our patients to specialists in the United States.
Byron Animal Clinic works closely with an extensive network of Veterinary Specialists to meet your pets needs. Most of these specialists require a referral from a Veterinarian and will not book direct appointments from pet owners seeking care.

If you have any questions about referral to Veterinary Specialists, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (519) 472-3770.

Flea Prevention and Control


Fleas can cause problems for pets ranging from minor to life-threatening. Not only can these parasites cause severe itching, irritation, and allergies, but they can also transmit tapeworms and diseases. Fleas can infest dogs, cats, ferrets, mice, and rats. And fleas don’t just stay on pets; they can bite people, too. For more information, contact us or see the flea article in the Pet Health Library on our site.

Please remember – even dogs who only walk on leash can get fleas. Even indoor house cats can get fleas.

***WARNING: many flea preventatives sold in pet stores are classified as pesticides NOT veterinary approved pharmaceutical drugs. This means they go through less vigorous safety studies and are considerably more toxic to pets and people. Any cost savings are not worth the risk to your pet. The veterinary-approved products we use are BOTH safer and more effective.***

***EXTRA WARNING: many over the counter flea and tick medications sold in pet stores, departments stores, or country stores are TOXIC TO CATS. Despite warning labels on these products we treat cats who get seizures and tremors from these products every year. Please do not use products that contain pyrethrins, permethrin, or organophosphates. ZODIAC is one of the most common products people mistakingly use on cats.***

You don’t want these blood-sucking parasites on your pet or in your home. We can help keep them away or help you get rid of them if they’ve already found their way inside. Call us at (519) 472-3770 to find out how to eliminate and control fleas or to start your pet on a SAFE, veterinary-approved preventive today.

Heartworm Prevention


When they bite, mosquitoes can transmit heartworm infection. And those heartworms can wreak havoc on your dog or cat. These parasites can severely and sometimes fatally damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Some pets may not show any signs of infection; in those that do, symptoms can vary widely.

In dogs, signs of heartworm disease can range from coughing, fatigue, and weight loss to difficulty breathing and a swollen abdomen (caused by fluid accumulation from heart failure). Canine heartworm infection can also lead to a life-threatening complication called “caval syndrome” (a form of liver failure); without prompt surgical intervention, this condition usually causes death.

Although often thought to not be susceptible to heartworm infection, cats can indeed get heartworms. Cats can suffer from a syndrome referred to as heartworm-associated respiratory disease (HARD); the symptoms can be subtle and may mimic those of asthma or allergic bronchitis. Signs of respiratory distress, such as rapid or difficult breathing, wheezing, and panting, are common. Other symptoms include coughing, vomiting (typically unrelated to eating), and loss of appetite or weight. Heartworm infection is more difficult to diagnose in cats than it is in dogs.

Treatment for heartworm infection is far more expensive than prevention—and this is a serious disease that can actually kill your dog. We recommend yearly testing for heartworm disease. This test can be combined with tests for tick-bourne diseases and with routine wellness screening. Since heartworm disease takes 6 months from mosquito bite to infection, we test each year to see if your dog contracted the disease the previous warm season. We do this because many owners admit to missing or forgetting to give the preventative and because no preventative is 100% effective. They are nearly 100% effective but few things in life are 100%.

There is no approved treatment for cats but many of our feline products do, in fact, prevent feline heartworm infection. Even one or two adult heartworms in a cat can cause serious problems.

Fortunately, there’s a way to keep your dog or cat safe: by administering monthly heartworm preventives. Most heartworm medications also protect your pet against other parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, ear mites, fleas, and ticks. We can recommend a regimen of prevention for your pet.

Please call us now at (519) 472-3770 to set up your pets preventative program.

Tick Prevention


Ticks are becoming more and more prevalent in North America, and they’re now being found in areas where people and pets didn’t previously encounter ticks. These parasites aren’t just a nuisance; they can cause serious—and sometimes deadly—diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and tick paralysis. Contact us immediately if your pet starts coughing or has joint pain, trouble breathing, fever, weakness, or loss of appetite, weight, energy, or coordination.

Keep ticks off your pet by keeping your dog or cat on a SAFE, veterinary-approved tick preventive. Even indoor-only pets are at risk because ticks can hitch a ride inside on your clothing or shoes. Tick preventives are safe and effective at controlling ticks and the diseases they carry. Call us to get your pet protected today!

Tick disease are also – ZOONOTIC – which means they can affect people and make them sick. Contact your doctor if you have been exposed to ticks – especially if you have been bitten.

Don’t panic if you find a tick on your dog or cat, even if your pet is on a preventive. Some preventives kill ticks after they’ve come in contact with your pet. Ticks can hide under your pet’s fur, so as an added measure of protection, we recommend checking your pet for ticks every time your pet comes in from outside. And don’t hesitate to call (519) 472-3770 and ask us any questions you might have.