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How Important Your Pet’s dental Health is?

Many people don’t realize how important their pet’s dental hygiene is. Aside from having more pleasant breath, keeping your pet’s mouth healthy helps maintain their overall health. Periodontal disease can be linked to heart problems, and chronic pain can make it difficult for your pet to maintain a normal diet. The Veterinary Dental Society states that 70% of cats and 80% of dogs, over the age of three suffer from periodontal disease. Providing the necessary dental care for your cat or dog can even increase their lifespan by 2-5 years.
Retained baby teeth can also cause dental problems in pets too!. The baby teeth have to fall out. Sometimes, not all of the baby teeth want to come out. This can lead to problems like gum irritation and tartar buildup.
Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital is focusing on the prevention of periodontal disease by educating the pet owners, on how to achieve good oral care at home. Dogs and cats can be experts at hiding their discomfort. There are signs that you can look for that could indicate that you want to get your pet’s teeth examined at their next visit to the veterinarian.
• Excessive drooling and difficulty keeping food/water in their mouths
• Any bleeding of the gums or around the mouth area
• Loss of appetite or loss of weight
• Bad breath
• Discoloured or missing teeth
• Any sensitivity when you touch the mouth area
Dental health problems can be a difficult and costly conditions to treat. Early treatment of any signs of gum disease are the best way to keep your vet costs low, and to keep your pet happy, healthy, and smiling. You can discuss the best food and treat options for dental care, as well as how to properly brush your pet’s teeth with your veterinarian. Book your pet for a dental exam now.  

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Signs of pain in cats
It can be extremely challenging to know when cats are in pain. certainly, sometimes it’s quite obvious. You know your cat is in pain when you see a large wound, noticeable limp, or observe an accident. In general, most cats do an excellent of hiding their pain. Fortunately, there are many signs that could indicate possible pain in cats.
• Behavior changes: Resistance to touch and wanting to be left alone. Be very cautious when handling a cats in pain, they are more likely to bite & scratch.
• Breathing Pattern: is very indicative when cats in pain and may have a faster and more shallow breathing
• Heart rate increases.
• Eye Changes: The cat eyes can be strong indicators of pain causing dilated pupils, and be constricted pupils or Squinting if the pain in the eye
• Food and Water Changes: Cats in pain often eat less or even stop eating if pain is severe.
• Lethargy & hiding: Most cats in pain will be less active and hiding
• Grooming More or Less: in general grooming less but if cat able to determine the source of pain on their body such as wound, skin inflammation they well lick continuously.
• Mobility Changes: Cats in pain move around less, particularly if they have problem in their joints or bone such as arthritis. They may limp, or go more slowly up or down the stairs.
• Bathroom Changes: Cats who have back pain, or anal sac disease, may have difficulty with the posture needed to defecate and can be constipated.
• Body Contour Changes: Swellings, be they on your cat’s legs, body, or face, could be an indication of a painful condition, such as cat bite or tooth root abscess, inflammation, cancer, or something else.
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Dog Tick-Borne Diseases

Ticks are external parasites that feed on the blood of host animals such as dogs. Ticks are 8 legged parasites that belong to the spider family arachnids like mites and spiders. Rhipicephalus sanguineus  (The brown dog tick), Dermacentor variabilis ( the American dog tick)  and, Ixodes scapularis (deer tick or black legged tick): examples of ticks that commonly affect dogs, require  three feedings to complete their life cycles.
Ticks are visible to the naked eye and are most active in warm climates from spring through fall, they are living in grass and  wooded areas where they may attach to dogs playing on their turf. Tick infestations can be anywhere on a dog’s body, but commonly close to the head, neck, feet and ear area. It’s a good idea to check your dog regularly for these parasites particularly during the warmer months. Since it may only take a few hours for disease to be transmitted from an attached tick, take your dog to be evaluated by a veterinarian if you find any tick
life cycle of ticks includes  several stages – larva, nymph, and adult.  Species such as the Deer Tick can transmit diseases in their larval and nymph stages.
Ticks can transfer many disease to their host animal such as,
•  Lyme disease, transmitted by black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick, dog may not show signs of the disease until several months after infected. Symptoms can be lameness, stiffness, swollen joints, loss of appetite, fever and fatigue.
•  Canine Ehrlichiosis,, found worldwide, infection caused by the brown dog tick. Symptoms may be noticed months after transmission, and can include loss of appetite, fever, weight loss, depression, nose bleeds,  runny eyes and nose and swollen limbs.
•  Canine Anaplasmosis, also called dog tick fever, is transmitted from the deer tick. Symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, lethargy, stiff joints, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe  cases, dogs may suffer seizures.
•  Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever cause by Rickettsia rickettsii  and transmitted by the American dog tick and  the wood tick. Symptoms include stiffness, fever, skin lesions and neurological problems
•  Canine Babesiosis is commonly transmitted by the brown dog tick and the American dog tick. Causing anemia, pale gums, and weakness.
•  Canine Bartonellosis comes from the brown dog tick. Symptoms are intermittent lameness and fever.
•  Canine Hepatozoonosis is thought to be transmitted by the brown dog tick. Symptoms are fever, muscle pain, runny eyes and nose and bloody diarrhea.
In addition to all abovementioned tick borne diseases, ticks can also cause anemia, tick paralysis, Skin irritation and inflammation.
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Intestinal Parasites In Your Dog And What To Do

Intestinal parasites are one of the most common problems veterinarians see in dogs and cats affecting pets of any age, they are a health a problem primarily in young dogs, dogs whose life style increases their risk of exposure, dogs living in sub-standard conditions and dogs with other health issues.

What are symptoms of parasites infestation ?
Parasites are often “silent” and you will not know you pet has them, particularly in adult animals.
The most common early signs of intestinal parasites in puppies or kittens are poor growth, dull hair coat, lack of playful energy, diarrhea, flatulence and anemia. Many of these puppies have bony bodies but potbellied, big tummies. Many are anemia. In some cases worms can be seen either in stool, vomit, or on the hair  around anus. Sometimes, Heavily infested young animal can show symptoms of obstruction such as acute vomiting and dehydration. Puppies and kitten may still have the appetite until they become seriously ill.
Some parasites migrate through the lungs, some of these pets have a soft cough and can be mistaken for kennel cough.

What are the most common intestinal parasites affecting dogs and cats?
Many parasites can be found in stool but the following are common
Roundworms =Ascaridiasis, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina
Tapeworms= dipylidium caninum, Taenia taeniaeformis
Coccidia = coccidiosis, Isospora species
Giardia = Giardia duodenalis, G. intestinalis, G. lamblia
Whipworms = Trichuris vulpis
Hookworms= Ancylostoma caninum is a species infects dogs, while  Ancylostoma tubaeforme for cats
Strongyloides = Strongyloides stercoralis, threadworms

What to do to know my pet have worms or intestinal parasites?
Some of them can be seen by the naked eye like roundworms and tapeworms, but most of these internal parasites are microscopic and pets may shed eggs in their poop.
If you recognize or see worms in stool, take some stool including worms you suspect to the veterinarians at Brooker Ridge Anima Hospital, they can help you identifying the parasites found. In most cases stool needed to be microscopically examined for the parasites, their eggs or cysts. Call now at 905-898-1010 to schedule a visit.

Intestinal parasites are one of the most common problems veterinarians see in dogs and cats affecting pets of any age, they are a health a problem primarily in young dogs, dogs whose life style increases their risk of exposure, dogs living in sub-standard conditions and dogs with other health issues.

What are symptoms of parasites infestation ?
Parasites are often “silent” and you will not know you pet has them, particularly in adult animals.
The most common early signs of intestinal parasites in puppies or kittens are poor growth, dull hair coat, lack of playful energy, diarrhea, flatulence and anemia. Many of these puppies have bony bodies but potbellied, big tummies. Many are anemia. In some cases worms can be seen either in stool, vomit, or on the hair  around anus. Sometimes, Heavily infested young animal can show symptoms of obstruction such as acute vomiting and dehydration. Puppies and kitten may still have the appetite until they become seriously ill.
Some parasites migrate through the lungs, some of these pets have a soft cough and can be mistaken for kennel cough.

What are the most common intestinal parasites affecting gods and cats?
Many parasites can be found in stool but the following are common
Roundworms =Ascaridiasis, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina
Tapeworms= dipylidium caninum, Taenia taeniaeformis
Coccidia = coccidiosis, Isospora species
Giardia = Giardia duodenalis, G. intestinalis, G. lamblia
Whipworms = Trichuris vulpis
Hookworms= Ancylostoma caninum is a species infects dogs, while  Ancylostoma tubaeforme for cats
Strongyloides = Strongyloides stercoralis, threadworms

What to do to know my pet have worms or intestinal parasites?
Some of them can be seen by the naked eye like roundworms and tapeworms, but most of these internal parasites are microscopic and pets may shed eggs in their poop.
If you recognize or see worms in stool, take some stool including worms you suspect to the veterinarians at Brooker Ridge Anima Hospital, they can help you identifying the parasites found. In most cases stool needed to be microscopically examined for the parasites, their eggs or cysts. Call now at 905-898-1010 to schedule a visit.
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How to Brush Your Pet's Teeth

Brush your pet’s teeth every day if possible. It is easier to start brushing when your pet is young slowly and gradually.
Gently rub along your pet's gums and teeth. Dip your finger in tuna water, chicken broth, or other liquid your cat may like. The most important area to focus on is the gum line, where the gums meet the teeth bacteria and food mix to form plaque. Start at the front of the mouth, then move to the back upper and lower.
Gradually introduce gauze over your finger and rub the teeth and gums in a circular fashion.
When your pet can handle the gauze, try brushing with a toothbrush specially designed for pets or ultra-sensitive toothbrush designed for people.
Gradually add pet toothpaste, but never use people toothpaste or baking soda, as both will upset your pet’s stomach.
Use the following process to clean the inside surfaces of your pet’s teeth:
1. Place your hand over your pet’s muzzle from the top
2. Gently squeeze and push his lips on one side between the back teeth (to keep his mouth open)
3. Pull his head back gently so his mouth opens
4. Brush his teeth on the opposite side
5. Repeat this process for the other side
Avoid stress and keep sessions short and positive. If your dog continues to resist, try gently wrapping him in a large bath towel with only his head sticking out.
Dental care is necessary to provide optimum health and quality of life. Diseases of the oral cavity, if left untreated, are often painful and can lead to more serious health problems including heart, lung and kidney disease.
Regularly examine your pet’s teeth for signs of periodontal disease, such as dental tartar; red, swollen, or bleeding gums; bad breath; loose teeth or loss of teeth; pus between the gums and teeth and any unusual growth in the mouth.
Common signs of dental disease include:
•Yellow or brown build up (tartar) on the teeth
•Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
•Bad breath
•Excessive drooling
•Changes in eating or chewing habits
•Loose teeth
•Depression
Even if your pet doesn’t have these symptoms, we recommend that you have a veterinarian evaluate your pet’s dental health at least once a year. Bacteria and food debris accumulate around the teeth and, if left unchecked, will lead to deterioration of the soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. This decay can result in irreversible periodontal disease and tooth loss.
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Planning to go on vacation and leaving your lovely cat with a cat sitter, remember to:
1. Tell your cat sitter where you store your pet food, how much and how often they eat and drink.
2. Show your cat sitter where the food and water dishes and the litter boxes are located.
3. Show them which are your cat’s favorite toys, where you store any grooming items (brush/comb/nail trimmers etc.), and where your beloved kitty tends to like to sleep.
4. Show your cat sitter the places where your cat usually hides and also where your cat likes to sleep
5. Leave the contact information information of your regular veterinarian, set up payment arrangements with them just in case of any health issue.
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Allergies in Dogs
Did you know that animals suffer from allergies, just like humans? And just like with us, the cases of allergies in pets appears to be increasing in recent years. Some pets, like people, will just experience sneezing, wheezing, or other breathing problems which can develop into serious respiratory difficulties. The most common primary symptom of allergies in pets is scratching and itching. There are different categories for dog allergies: flea allergy dermatitis, atopy, and food allergies. Some pets may suffer from more than one kind of allergy.

What are the symptoms of food allergies?
Your dog may be allergic to one or more ingredients in his food. The most common food allergies for dogs are beef and milk products, cereals (wheat, corn, soya), chicken, and eggs. Although the exact cause of food allergies are not known, it could be that a change in the animal’s immune system is causing certain ingredients to be perceived as “foreign” and therefore the body protects itself.
The most common symptoms of food allergies are licking, itching, and chewing on different parts of the body. Ear infections and other skin problems can also occur in conjunction with food hypersensitivity. Some pets will develop diarrhea and other digestive problems. Symptoms can appear at any age, regardless of whether it is a new food, or they have been eating it for years. Allergies can develop over time.

How do you diagnose food allergies?
The best effective way to diagnose a food allergy is to put your pet on a “hypoallergenic” or “exclusion” diet for a minimum of 8-12 weeks. This diet will include ingredients that the animal has not been exposed to before. Because it is often the source of protein that causes the allergic reaction, “exclusion” diets will contain a protein not normally found in regular pet food, such as venison, fish, or duck. You can also prepare home-cooked hypoallergenic meals for your pet. Also consult our veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet.
If your pet has a food allergy, you should notice a significant improvement on their symptoms after the 8-12 week period, unless your pet is also allergic to an ingredient in the new food. To identify all food allergens, it is best to add a single protein for 1-2 weeks at a time, and monitor the condition. You may be able to identify an allergy by how they respond to a new food. Also consult with our veterinarian to get clear instruction on the procedure to follow.

How to treat food allergies?
The best way to treat this kind of allergy is to completely avoid the causes of flare ups. Usually, these allergies can be controlled by carefully monitoring his or her diet. In rare, severe cases, your vet may also prescribe an antihistamine and steroids.

What is Flea Allergy Dermatitis?
Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is a skin condition caused by an allergy to flea saliva. A single bite can trigger intense itching. Because of this, FAD is sometimes called “flea bite hypersensivity”. Dogs with this condition chew and bite their backs, legs, tails, and stomach, leading to hot spots and localized skin infections. You may find some fleas and flea dirt (flea feces that looks like black flakes) on your pet, but animals with FAD often have very few fleas because of their constant chewing and licking.

How is flea allergy dermatitis diagnosed?
Your vet will look for the usual signs, such as the presence of fleas, scratching, and sores. There is also an intradermal, or skin test, that can be performed. FAD symptoms can sometimes resemble that of other conditions, such as parasites, infections, and other allergies.

How is flea allergy dermatitis treated?
The best way to treat this allergy is to prevent fleas from biting your pet. The flea cycle can be difficult to break, because you need to treat not only your pet, but their environment, including your house and possibly your yard. Various insecticides and insect growth regulators are available. Your veterinarian can recommend the best product to use for your pet. Daily vacuuming and regular washing of animal bedding will also help reduce the overall flea population.
Sometimes, because of the severity of the itching, your pet may actually cause harm to itself, leading to infection. In these situations, your vet may prescribe steroids, antihistamines, and essential fatty acides to help reduce the irritation. There are also anti-itching shampoos and conditions, and warm baths may help soothe their skin.
**Please note: Some products, such as flea shampoo and some flea treatments cannot be given to young animals. If you have a puppy, kitten, or an immune
There is no cure for FAD. The only thing that can be done is maintaining a good prevention routine to keep on guard from future infestations.

Atopy
What is atopy, and what are the symptoms?
Atopy, also known as environmental allergy, is an allergic reaction to airborne substances, including pollen, dust mites, moulds, etc. This allergy will depend on your both your pet’s genetic susceptibility, and how often they are exposed to the allergen. Although more common in dogs, cats have been known to suffer from Atopy. Among the most common canine breeds to suffer from this condition are Retrievers, Shar-Pei, Setters, Terriers, and Dalmatians.
The most common symptom of atopy is itching, usually around the face, feet, chest, and belly. The allergen affecting your pet may be seasonally (such as pollen) or year round (such as dander, dust mites, and mould). “Hot spots” can also develop, and frequent scratching can lead to other skin and ear infections. Hair loss is also common. Symptoms are usually first noticed between the ages of 1-3, but signs of an allergy may be seen from 4 months to 7 years of age.

How will my vet diagnose Atopy?
The diagnosis for this condition is elimination of other possible causes. Other causes of itching, such as fleas, mites, bacterial and yeast infections, and food allergies must be ruled out. Your veterinarian will request a detailed history of your pet’s itching problems. Skin or serum testing can be done to try to pinpoint the exact cause of an allergy.

How is Atopy treated?
Although atopy is a life-long condition with no known cure, There are numerous therapies for canine atopy  that you can help manage the problem for your pet.
• Anti-itch therapy, including medicated shampoos and conditioners, as well as the use of drugs
• Removal of the source of the allergy from your pet’s environment, as much as possible
• Hyposensitization therapy (Allergen-specific immunotherapy) is a long term therapy that directly addresses the patient’s hypersensitivities, a series of injections that will help your pet gradually adjust to the allergen. (Effectiveness of this treatment varies, but usually provides at least some relief for around 75% of animals with atopy
• For relatively mild atopy, such as occasional itching due to a seasonal allergy to pollen, you can use an Elizabethan collar (e-collar), socks, or t-shirts to help reduce the irritation but preventing your pet from further aggravating by biting or scratching the location.
• There are non-specific, symptomatic treatments, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids
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What your pet should not eat

Alcohol:
Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, low blood sugar, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol.

Avocado:
Avocados contain Persin, which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and heart congestion.

Chocolate, Coffee and Caffeine:
These products all contain substances called methylxanthines. The severity of toxicity depends on the type and the amount of ingested chocolate, and the size of dog. Dark & baking chocolate are more dangerous than White & milk chocolate. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death

Citrus:
The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation, vomiting and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Small amounts, such as eating the fruit, are not likely to present problems beyond minor stomach upset.

Coconut and Coconut Oil:
When ingested in small amounts, coconut and coconut-based products are not likely to cause serious harm to your pet. The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts contain oils that may cause vomiting, loose stools or diarrhea.

Grapes and Raisins:
Contain an unknown toxic substance that can cause kidney damage or even kidney failure. It is best to avoid feeding your dog any grapes or raisins.

Macadamia Nuts:
Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, panting, swollen limbs, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and can last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

Milk and Dairy products:
Pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase to properly digest dairy foods. Milk and Dairy products can cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Nuts & Fat trimmings:
Nuts, including almonds, pecans, and walnuts, contain high amounts of oils and fats. The fats can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and potentially pancreatitis in pets.

Onions, Garlic, Chives:
These vegetables and herbs contain disulfides and sulfoxides (thiosulphate), both of which can cause damage red blood cells, anemia, and gastrointestinal irritation. Cats are more susceptible than dogs.

Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones:
Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to pets and humans. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (vitamin B7), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Bones can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.

Fish (raw, canned or cooked):
If fed exclusively or in high amounts can result in a thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death.

Salt and Salty Snack Foods:
Large amounts of salt can produce electrolyte imbalance, excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. If eaten in large quantities it may cause vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. This is why we encourage you to avoid feeding salt-heavy snacks like potato chips, pretzels, and salted popcorn to your pets.

Xylitol:
Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species. Even small amounts can cause hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels) and can lead to liver failure. Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy, weakness and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures and collapse. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

Yeast Dough:
Yeast produce ethanol and gas as by-product and a dog ingesting raw bread dough can become drunk. Make sure they don’t get any. While mild cases will cause gas, flatulence, and discomfort, too much of it could be painful and can cause bloat, and potentially stomach twist and possible rupture of the stomach becoming a life threatening emergency.

Marijuana:
Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, urinary incontinence, hind legs weakness and changes in the heart rate.

Moldy or spoiled food, garbage:
Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.

Mushrooms:
Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.

Rhubarb leaves:
Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.

String:
Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body." cause complications.

Sugary foods:
Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.

Tobacco:
Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.

Apple Seeds:
The casing of apple seeds are toxic to a dog as they contain a natural chemical (amygdlin) that releases cyanide when digested.

Corn on the cob:
This is a sure way to get your dog’s intestine blocked. The corn is digested, but the cob gets lodged in the small intestine, and if it’s not removed surgically, can prove fatal to your dog.

Hops:
An ingredient in beer that can be toxic to your dog. The consumption of hops by your dog can cause panting, an increased heart rate, fever, seizures, and even death.

Persimmons, peaches, and plums:
Persimmon seeds and peach and plum pits can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.

Rhubarb, and tomato leaves:
These contain oxalates, which can adversely affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems.
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Mammary Gland Tumors - Dogs
About one-half of mammary gland tumors are malignant, and half are benign. Spaying dogs at early age decreases the risk of having this type of cancer to 0.5% if dogs spayed before the first heat, second to 8.0% if Spayed before second heat compared to intact bitch.
Benign Mammary tumors are usually noticed as small slow-growing masses. Malignant tumors are usually growing faster, single or multiple masses, sometimes ulcerated. Metastasis is a sign of the aggressive tumors and can spread to any organs particularly lung, the adjacent mammary glands, and lymph nodes.
The definite diagnosis can be achieved by histopathology. However veterinarians always request chest & abdominal X-ray for further assessment and before starting any treatment.
This cancer can be surgically removed by different methods depends on size, location, single or multiple, number of mammary gland & lymph nodes invaded. For example, vets can choose between simple lumpectomy, removing one or two mammary glands, all chain mammary glands in one or both sides. A radical mastectomy means all the breasts, the skin covering them, and the lymph nodes are all removed at one time.
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Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital

Veterinary Hospital Newmarket and Aurora

525 Brooker Ridge #107
Newmarket, ON L3X-2M2
T: 905-898-1010
E: vetsnewmarket@gmail.com

Hours:
Mon-Fri 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sun Closed

 


 
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Brooker Ridge Animal Hospital - 525 Brooker Ridge #107, Newmarket, ON - T: 905-898-1010
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