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.


Cannabis and Your Pet

There has been much controversy around whether or not marijuana is safe to use on pets. With the recent legalization and marijuana use at a new “high” owners have been more likely to treat their pet’s ailments with CBD oil. So the question is, is marijuana safe and effective to use in companion animals?

Preclinical studies in rodents suggest potential therapeutic effects, but because our medical research is limited. There is no concrete scientific evidence proven that CBD oil can be used to treat conditions effectively. CBD is a non-psychoactive derivative from marijuana that has been reported in humans to treat anxiety, pain, nausea and epilepsy. It is unclear if they produce the same effects in animals. Pet owners tend to move towards using CBD oil when they think a prescribed medication isn’t working or that there are better, more natural alternatives. The problem with this is the medication prescribed by the veterinarian is prescribed for a reason. Unlike CBD, there are well-documented drugs, and we know the correct doses to administer so that toxicities do not occur. Due to our lack of knowledge on CBD, veterinarians are unable to prescribe or recommend doses. Here are some ideas to discuss with your veterinarian if you’re having trouble with medications:

  1. For Anxiety: Focus on training such as agility or behaviour. There is also a canine pheromone spray called Adaptil that is known to calm your dog and is available at your veterinary clinic.
  2. For Decreased Appetite: If your pet loses weight or stops eating for 24 hours, see a vet. However, if appetite is slightly decreased, try offering plain rice, boiled chicken or hamburger, or probiotic supplements designed for animals such as Fortiflora.
  3. For Arthritis: Prescription joint diets, physical therapy, and acupuncture are great ways to help ease the pain.

Medical marijuana, in itself, is harmful because it has psychoactive properties such as THC. Animals have a difficult time metabolizing THC and can cause the animals to present symptoms of toxicity. These signs include lethargy, seizures/tremoring, difficulty walking, vomiting, and in severe cases, it can result in a coma or death. The onset of these signs occur within minutes to hours and can last for days, depending on the dose. Usually, the more severe cases are when animals ingest edibles that include additional toxic ingredients such as chocolate or artificial sugars like xylitol. These can lead to worsening toxic conditions. It is important to inform your veterinarian if you suspected that your pet has ingested of the drug, this will help your veterinarian to provide the supportive care needed.

Keep pets safe from marijuana toxicity; it is imperative not to make the drug easily accessible. All cannabis products should be placed in a secure container and kept out of reach. It is best to not smoke around your pets because they are more sensitive and can be affected by the second-hand smoke. It is also recommended that owners get a certificate of analysis which clearly states how much CBD is in the product and to ensure it is not tainted with THC or other harmful substances. Most importantly, being able to recognize the signs of toxicity (as discussed in the paragraph above) will increase the chance of your pet receiving treatment sooner and in turn, a better prognosis.

Here’s a step-by-step guide that can be used to treat marijuana poisoning in your dog:

  1. Call your veterinarian, explain your situation and follow their advice.
  2. Induce vomiting based on veterinarian’s recommendations.
  3. Try to relax your dog and observe all symptoms present during this process.
  4. Go to the vet.

If you find yourself in a medical emergency, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with poison emergencies.

Written by: Sabrina Fagan, RVT



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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 Wednesday, March 18, 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 780-539-0636. We will bring your pet into the hospital for an examination with the veterinarian. The veterinarian will then call you to discuss our recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a technician will return your pet to your car and take care of any needed medications and payment.

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. However, if you're unsure whether your pet needs medical attention, please call us to discuss your situation.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Saturday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 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. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, please 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. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this disease.

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 Animal Medical Centre North