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The Advantages of A Multi-Vet Veterinary Hospital in Etobicoke

By Dog Teeth Cleaning, Pet Boarding, Pet Grooming, Pet Safety, Pet Treatment, Pet Vaccination, Toronto Cats, Toronto Dogs, Toronto Pet

* Compassionate * Responsive * Proactive * Skilled *



You may think that a small veterinary practice with one veterinarian and few staff will be able provide more personal care for you and your pet. THINK AGAIN.

Royal York Animal Hospital - Etobicoke Vet Hospital

1.At Royal York Animal Hospital in Etobicoke, we encourage you to see ONE Veterinarian for CHECKUPS, VACCINATIONS and any other WELL PROCEDURES. We recognize that it is important to have a trusting relationship and your pet to bond with an individual doctor. (we can help you choose the best fit). This veterinarian is your “ Pet’s family doctor”. It is simple to book all your appointments with this veterinarian and there is lots of choice of times as all our veterinarians work varying shifts to allow morning, afternoon, evening or weekend choices.
Pet exams in Etobicoke

2. EXTENDED VETERINARY HOURS mean that WE ARE HERE WHEN YOU NEED US.  It isthe most stressful for you when your pet is ill or injured. We are open seven days a week (Monday to Friday 7am -9pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am to 5pm) Over a decade ago, we gave careful consideration to extending our hours. Our clients simply wanted us to be there when their pets were sick and injured. We wanted that too. In the year 2000 we built and moved into our new state of the art hospital (which is located behind where the old building was). We are fully staffed and open every day except statutory holidays. Longer hours require more staff to fill those hours!

3. WE KNOW YOUR PET no matter when you bring him in. If you pet is ill or injured you can be bring your pet to a familiar hospital where all your pet’s medical records are at our staff’s fingertips. The staff will recognize and welcome you and your pet will be less traumatized……even if it is Sunday afternoon or Thursday evening or 7am on Monday morning. We have been told that it is extremely comforting when a pet is ill to see a familiar face and to know that treatment and care is seamless between doctors and staff.

Best Vets in Etobicoke

4. NEED A SECOND OPINION FROM A VET? Two (or three!) heads are better than one. Our Etobicoke veterinarians and technicians are always eager to lend a hand to each other and to offer advice to benefit the pets in our care. Each day during “rounds” the doctors discuss the plan of each hospitalized patient in our care with the other doctors. Pet x-rays, blood work and all diagnostics are reviewed and discussed. The original treatment plan is  agreed to by all or amended after the discussion. We believe that this communal approach to medicine offers your pet the very best in veterinary care and keeps our veterinarians learning and sharing with each other all the time.

pet xrays in etobicoke

5. EVERYTHING UNDER ONE ROOF. We recognize all our clients lead busy lives. That is why we “PROVIDE ALL THE SERVICES YOU NEED FOR THE LIFE OF YOUR PET

6. Boarding and Professional Grooming for dogs and cats available 7 days a week.

We are Your Veterinary Medical Health Care Team!

Going on Vacation and Leaving Fido or Fluffy at Home? Here are some tips worth considering:

By Pet Boarding, Toronto Cats, Toronto Dogs, Toronto Pet

It has been a long, cold winter in Toronto and it seems like everyone is planning an “escape” either to somewhere warm for a week or two or further north for more fun in the snow.  Whatever your plans, it is always a major consideration to decide if your pet can coming along or staying behind in someone else’s care.

I am a veterinarian, an avid traveler and a pet owner so I hope I can offer a unique perspective and also some practical advice.

If you have decided to bring your pet along very thoughtful consideration needs to be given to where you are going, the purpose of your trip (i.e. visiting friends as opposed to sightseeing),  where your pet will be when you are not with him and your accommodations.   Many times I hear from pet owners who have not thought this through thoroughly and the vacation ends up being very stressful for the pet and not very enjoyable for the owner.  However, if proper consideration has been given, traveling with your pet can be an amazing experience.   I have found that this website, , is a very good resource when planning a trip with my Labrador Retriever, Sam.

For many vacation destinations bringing your pet along is not an option.  So what do you need to consider you are leaving your pet at home? 

cat suit case



It is important to make arrangements well in advance to make sure that your pet has a safe and comfortable place to stay.

Should your pet  stay with a friend or a family member, a pet sitter or a boarding facility in Etobicoke?

When Hiring A Pet Sitter:

It is important to ask other pet owners or your veterinary hospital for recommendations. I would recommend that you meet the pet sitter in advance and call several references.  Make sure you leave your contact information, hotel phone number, veterinarian phone number and closest veterinary emergency number and specific instructions as to what you want the sitter to do in an emergency.   Make sure your pet has enough of his own food and medication to last until you are back.

Pet Boarding in Etobicoke

When leaving your pet in a boarding facility  Again, ask us for recommendations.  Remember that different boarding facilities cater to different types of pets.  If you have a large, young dog that requires lots of exersize and socialization she has different requirements than a small (or large) elderly pet who has several medical conditions, requires daily medication and prefers lazy afternoons in his bed.  Ask lots of questions.

Royal York Animal Hospital has separate boarding facilities for both Dogs and Cats.  We are pleased to offer tours of our  veterinary hospital facilities at any time.   We also have three full time Animal Care Attendants who are dedicated to caring for our Boarding Pets only.   RYAH has facilities and can accommodate all sizes of dogs.  A discussion of your pet’s individual needs would help us determine if our facilities were a good fit for your pet.

What to look for when you tour a boarding facility:

  • Cleanliness
  • Size of cages and runs, is there enough space to move around?


  • Ask how often your dog go  ” out”
  • Is there a play time or one on one time?  How will your pet be exercised?
  • Observe how the staff interacts with pets already in their care
  • What will your pet eat, can you bring your own food?


Interaction with Other Dogs (or cats)

Pet owners like the idea of pets interacting and being social with each other (especially dogs).  It sounds like fun and maybe makes you feel a little less guilty leaving him for fun in the sun.


Many dogs do NOT like this environment and find it very stressful.  We  also have seen many injuries as the result of poor supervision and it can be risky psychologically and physically.  If you choose this type of care you must ensure that the pets are always supervised when interacting.

Make sure you clearly understand what happens if dog becomes sick or injured.

The bottom line is that there are many type of boarding facilities and which one is best for your dog depends on YOUR dog.  In my opinion, generally young, friendly, larger dogs do best in a kennel free facility where they can play and interact with other dogs.  Older, sick, smaller, shy or nervous dogs do best at  veterinary boarding facilities, so that proper attention can be given if necessary.

Special considerations for CATS to REDUCE STRESS in a Boarding Facility:

  •  The # 1 question to ask (and to make sure you SEE)  Are they separate from the dogs?  Loud and insistent barking can be very stressful for our feline friends.
  • Is there enough space in the kennel for food and water to be away from litter box?  RYAH has wonderful cat condos that provide a separate area for sleeping, eating and the litter box.
  • Do cats get a play time or socialization time?
Cat Condos at Royal York Animal Hospital

Cat Condos at Royal York Animal Hospital


Kitty Condos allow cats to access multiple cages through "port holes"

Kitty Condos allow cats to access multiple cages through “port holes”


Once you have chosen the boarding facility make sure you make the reservation as well in advance as possible. If you wait too long, the facility may become fully booked and then you will have to start the process again which may result in more stress for you as your vacation has now been planned and possibly not the most ideal place for your pet.

What to bring and what not to bring:

  • Bring your own food & medications (in their original containers)
  • Special Toy or blanket
  • Write out any special instructions
  • Do not bring items that you absolutely need to get back, as they could become lost or damaged. Bear in mind that many facilities limit personal items for this reason.
  • Make sure the boarding facility has contact numbers for you on your trip, plus local emergency contacts in case you cannot be reached.  ASK QUESTIONS.

What to remember to do when on the day you are admitting your pet to a Boarding Facility:

  • Allow some time when you arrive to go over details
  • Remind the staff about any medical or behavior problems your pet has, such as a history of epilepsy or fear of thunder.  This is often the biggest mistake pet owner’s make.  Many leave taking their pet to the boarding facility to the last possible minute which causes owners to be in a major hurry to catch a plane or get on their way.  This results in miscommunications, forgotten items/instructions and incorrect contact information.
  • After the check-in process,  say good-bye to your pet and leave. Avoid long, emotional partings, which may upset your pet!
  • You should feel comfortable calling the facility at any time for an update on how your pet is doing while you are away.

We are proud of our pet boarding facilities at Royal York Animal Hospital and are happy to accommodate a personal tour at any time for you to see our Dog boarding area and our Kitty condos!

Happy Travels!

Dr. Luisa Alvarez

Sam in Boston!

Sam in Boston!


Dr. Lilla Yan

Darwin’s story and Ticks and Lyme Disease in Etobicoke

By Ticks, Toronto Dogs, Toronto Pet, Uncategorized

At the beginning of January,  Darwin, a 4 year old Old English Sheepdog was brought in for an exam for limping and lethargy. His limping was progressing very fast and  within 24 hours he could barely walk!

Our pet X-rays revealed no fractures or signs of bone cancer or any other abnormality.  However, his dog blood work, surprisingly, showed that the dog had Lyme disease.  Since he had been tested for Lyme disease (along with his Heartworm test) in March of 2013 we were able to figure out that sometime  between then and December 2013, Darwin had contracted the disease.  The ONLY way for him to have contracted Lyme disease was from a tick.  But his owners had not found any ticks on him but he is a pretty hairy guy as most dogs are so it is not that unusual to miss.  The scary part is that Darwin had not traveled anywhere and had  stayed in Urban Etobicoke the entire time.

Darwin was so sick.  He could barely even lift his head when he was diagnosed.  Amazingly he responded extremely well to treatment for Lyme disease and  after about 3 days of medication he was almost back to his normal self.


Getting Treatment for Pet with Ticks and Lyme Disease

Ticks and Lyme disease are becoming more and more common in the GTA. We are seeing more dogs coming in for tick removal every year. Here’s a map published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal on the distribution of the Ixodes tick (deer tick that can carry Lyme disease) between 1990-2003. It’s predicted that they will be come more prevalent in the next 20 years. For more information you can view this website

As many of you know, at Royal York Animal Hospital in 2013 we started to include tests for Tick-borne diseases when your dog came in for his yearly Heartworm test.  Along with Darwin there were also  24 additional dogs who test positive for Tick-borne diseases at our hospital.


Here’s a picture of some ticks.  Ticks tend to attach onto a dog (or a person) and not move around like fleas do. The smallest ticks are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. After sucking blood from a dog they tend to get bigger and look more like the ones in the right of the picture below.

Protect Your Pet During Tick Season

Ticks tend to be out in the spring, summer and the fall. As long as the overnight temperature goes above 3C ticks start to emerge.  They do not need longer than that so they can fool us when the temperature is about 3C for only a day and then plunges again.  They tend to hide in tall grass or brushes, and when a dog walks by they grab onto them and attach. It’s important to check your dog daily, especially after they have been to wooded areas. Because it takes some time for a tick to give a dog the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease and other tick-borne disease, the earlier the tick is removed the less likely the dog will contract the disease.

Our 4Dx test for heartworm now include screening for Lyme disease, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma which are the most common diseases transmitted by ticks. So your dog will automatically get screened for these every year when they get their heartworm test done.

This year, because we have had so many dogs test positive, we are educating people about PREVENTION as well as testing .Even if they haven’t had a tick before and only stay locally, tick prevention should be a consideration; because as you’ve seen in Darwin, all it takes is one tick for a dog to contract tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease

If your dog has had ticks in the past, or if they will be going to cottages / wooded areas / Eastern Ontario eg. Kingston/Thousand Islands area, then FOR SURE they should go on tick prevention along with their regular flea and heartworm preventions.

Dr. Lilla Yan

Source and Photos courtesy of :






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