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.

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Poisonous Plant Hazards

Almost any wild or cultivated plant can cause stomach upset in dogs and cats when a large enough volume is consumed. There are many plants that can produce far more serious signs and can even be deadly.

Lilies
Many cat owners are now aware that true lilies (Lilium genus- including Asiatic, tiger, Easter, stargazer, rubrum and red lilies) and daylilies (Hemerocallis genus) are very toxic to cats when ingested. All parts of the lily plant are poisonous to cats, but the flowers are the most toxic. Lily toxicosis usually causes acute kidney failure within 12-36 hours and death within 3-5 days. It is still not known exactly how lily ingestion causes kidney failure, or why it occurs only in cats and not in other species.

Cats who are treated quickly and aggressively within a short time of exposure have a good chance of survival. If the ingestion occurred within a few hours and signs are not yet observed, a veterinarian can induce vomiting and hopefully prevent absorption of some or all of the toxin. Vomiting should never be induced at home in cats. Hospitalization, intravenous fluid therapy, and supportive care are usually also required.

Oleander
The sap of this ornamental plant contains a compound that is very toxic to the heart. The toxin is a cardiac glycoside that affects dogs, cats, and humans. Even a small amount can cause cardiac arrhythmias and death. It is not recommended to have this plant on the property where pets or children reside. Other plants that contain cardiac toxins include kalanchoe (mission bells), lily of the valley, yew, and foxglove. Yew more commonly causes severe gastrointestinal irritation and neurological signs such as seizures in dogs and cats.

Autumn crocus
This type of crocus has extremely toxic seeds and bulbs. The toxin targets rapidly dividing cells, leading to severe gastrointestinal damage and bone marrow suppression.

Castor bean
The castor bean plant contains a very potent toxin called ricin in its seeds. The degree of toxicity depends on whether the bean (seed) is chewed and to what degree. Severe gastrointestinal signs, seizures, blood clotting issues, and multi-organ failure are possible.

Others
Common plants that can cause significant vomiting and diarrhea include — rhododendron, cyclamen, amaryllis, chrysanthemum, and daffodils. The bulbs of daffodils are the most toxic, and consumption can result in depression and heart issues. Amaryllis bulbs can cause low blood pressure, tremors, and seizures. Gastrointestinal upset can also occur when pets ingest tulip bulbs.

It is helpful to make sure you know all of the common names of the plants in your yard and house and keep them recorded in your pet’s file in case of ingestion. It can help your veterinarian determine a possible cause for non-specific clinical signs. If in doubt about the toxicity of a particular plant, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) website has helpful resources about poisonous plants.

If you have any questions about toxic plants in your home, please give us a call at 613.544.7387.

Written by: Dr. Edwards, DVM

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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 613-544-7387. 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.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 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 Barriefield Animal Hospital