Medical Services

We are equipped to handle a wide variety of medical conditions from routine wellness to complex emergencies. Because we can perform many diagnostic procedures in-house, we can often give you immediate answers and start treating your pet faster. In some cases, your pet may require hospitalization and further diagnostic tests . Our hospital is equipped with the services you need and our team is ready to care for your pet when the need arises. Please take a look at the more detailed descriptions of medical services we offer, or call us to discuss your pet’s needs.

Medical Assessment

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When you bring your pet to Muskoka Animal Hospital with a concern other than a regular Wellness Visit you we will begin with a comprehensive medical assessment. A comprehensive medical assessment at Muskoka Animal Hospital involves a physical examination whereby your pet’s eyes, ears,dental health, skin, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal and skeletal system are examined for any abnormalities. Blood tests can be performed as necessary to assess the proper functioning of your pet’s kidneys, liver, pancreas, and endocrine system including the thyroid gland and adrenal glands. Urine tests can detect similar problems. These diagnostic procedures are performed in house and results are immediately available so that a proper diagnosis of your pet’s illness can be made and treatment can commence.

Depending on your pet’s condition, we may recommend further diagnostic tests such as radiography (X-rays), endoscopy (internal scoping), ultrasound or surgery. A Care Plan will be presented if further diagnostic testing is needed so that you are able to prepare financially.

Diagnostic Laboratory

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Our Veterinarians work together with our Registered Veterinary Technicians to complete blood, urine, and other interpretive test in our on site laboratory. Our fully equipped lab allows us to perform many tests expediting the treatment and relief for your pet!

Why Are Blood Tests Important?

Blood work is a simple and inexpensive way to help us monitor your pet’s health in areas we cannot see during an external examination. At Muskoka Animal Hospital we see everyday the benefits of routine blood work as part of your pet’s Preventive Care Exam.                                Blood screening helps us to detect underlying disease, or disease processes, that may be present in your pets that are not detectable with a general physical exam.                                                                                                                                                                         Blood testing helps us to ensure that organ function, particularly liver and kidney function is adequate to filter and breakdown the medications and/or anesthetics used with your pet during treatment or surgery.  Routine blood testing acts as a baseline for future reference if blood work is again indicated- such as with changes to health status, future surgeries, monitoring of disease and long term medication use)

Pre anaesthetic blood testing allows us to eliminate some of the risks associated with anaesthesia by tailoring our protocols to your pet’s needs based on his/her metabolic profile.


Most blood and urine testing is completed and reported back to you on the same day. We understand that you are anxious to hear the results of your pet’s diagnostic testing !. We are capable of culturing bacteria right in our lab so that we can prescribe the most effective medications to treat your pet’s infection quickly and safely. Ask our technicians to show you our lab during your next visit!

Digital Radiography

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We have recently upgraded our main radiography (x-ray) suite to digital xray . This new system integrates the most technological advances in veterinary radiology right to Muskoka Animal Hospital. We are very excited about the benefits of digital radiography to our patients and clients. With digital radiography, xray images are captured on a digital screen similar to your own digital camera. We are able to experience improved image quality resulting in a higher degree of diagnostic capability for our doctors when interpreting the results. Our images are clearer and more precise.

Digital radiography allows us to take the necessary images quickly and concisely which means less time for your pet on the xray table.  With digital radiographs we can easily transfer the images to your pet’s electronic medical file, or send them to a specialist for more interpretation.  Going digital has also allowed us to continue our practice wide initiative of environmental awareness by eliminating our need for chemical processors!


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High-tech fibre optics permits direct visual examination and biopsies of your pet’s gastrointestinal system. This allows for more accurate diagnosis and treatment of oral, esophageal, stomach, colon and even upper intestinal tract disease. In some cases, foreign objects can also be removed from the GI tract without the need for surgery!  Endoscopy provides us with digitized pictures of everything the scope views. These images are saved on the database for future use or comparison, to send electronically to a specialist for a referral, or we can print copies of the image for the owner to keep.


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Ultrasonography, or ultrasound, is a diagnostic imaging technique similar to radiography (x rays) and is usually used in conjunction with radiography or other diagnostic measures. It allows visualization of the deep structures of the body.

Ultrasound can be used for a variety of purposes including examination of the animal’s heart, lungs, kidneys, gallbladder, bladder, etc. It can be used to determine pregnancy and to monitor ongoing pregnancy. Ultrasound can detect fluid, cysts, tumour or abscesses.

A ‘transducer’ (a small handheld tool) is applied to the surface of the body to which an ultrasound image is desired. Gel is used to help the transducer slide over the skin surface and create a more accurate visual image.

Sound waves are emitted from the transducer and directed into the body where they are bounced off the various organs to different degrees depending on the density of the tissues and amount of fluid present. The sounds are then fed back through the transducer and are reflected on a viewing monitor. Ultrasound is a painless procedure and no known side effects. It does not involve radiation.

At Muskoka Animal Hospital we use also use the ultrasound as a guiding tool during biopsy procedures, allowing us to obtain samples for pathology testing.

We are happy to accept referrals from other practices for ultrasound at our clinic.

This ultrasound shows bladder stones in a cat


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At Muskoka Animal Hospital we have invested in the most up to date veterinary dental equipment in an effort to provide quality services to you and your pets. Dr.Wurdell is a member of the American Veterinary Dental Society and attends regular continuing education in the area of veterinary dentistry. Our technicians have been specially trained and continue to update their dental training on a regular basis.

Why is dental care so important for your pet?

Periodontal disease is the number one diagnosed problem in pets – by the age of two, more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have periodontal disease in one form or another. The build-up of plaque and tartar on your pet’s teeth leads to bacterial infections that can enter the bloodstream and infect other parts of your pet’s body. Periodontal disease has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, osteoporosis and other problems.

The good news is that periodontal disease is easily prevented. Routine dental cleanings and a home dental care regimen can eliminate the plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease and oral infections. During a dental cleaning, your veterinarian also performs a complete oral examination of your pet. This includes screening for oral cancer, broken teeth and cavities. Spotting these problems early on makes them easier to treat and improves your pet’s overall oral health.

Your pet’s dental cleaning is more involved than the same process you go through at the dentist’s office. Anaesthesia is required to keep your pet still and comfortable during the procedure. Because of this, your pet undergoes a thorough physical examination before each dental cleaning. Laboratory blood tests, as well as other diagnostic procedures are also used to screen for potential problems and risks before anaesthesia is administered. Using these results, we develop a safe aesthetic protocol specifically for your pet.

During a dental cleaning, tartar is removed from your pet’s teeth with a hand scaler. Next, a periodontal probe is used to check for pockets under the gumline – where periodontal disease and bad breath start. An ultrasonic scaler is used to clean above the gumline and a curette is used to clean and smooth the teeth under the gumline and in the crevices. Finally, the teeth are polished and an anti-bacterial solution is used to help delay future tartar build-up.

Digital Dental Radiography

Our dental suite is fully equipped with a digital radiography unit similar to that in your own dentist’s office! Dental radiographs are important because they give us an image of the health of the tooth below the gum line and help us to diagnose pain and suffering that may be occurring due to bone loss, abscess or disease that we cannot see during a routine examination. After your pet’s dental visit we will share the radiographs with you during your discharge appointment – you will be amazed at what you see!

Dental care doesn’t end in your veterinarian’s office. Brushing your pet’s teeth at home is an added level of protection against gum disease. In order to be most effective, brushing must be done at least three times a week; however, daily brushing is ideal. Brushing your pet’s teeth can be supplemented with antiseptic rinses. Some pet foods and treats are also effective in preventing plaque and tartar buildup. However, there is no substitute for regular brushing and professional dental cleanings. We can help you to initiate an at home dental program to help improve the dental health of your pet!

Contact us today to schedule a dental examination and cleaning for your pet. Your best friend will thank you!

Pain Management and Control

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Pain management techniques have advanced greatly in recent years. The focus has changed from wondering how pets experience pain to anticipating and preventing pain and discomfort for our furry friends.

Many animals, especially cats, naturally disguise signs of pain to protect themselves from predators. However, the lack of obvious signs does not mean they aren’t experiencing pain. If the injury, illness or experience is one that sounds painful to you, go with the assumption that it may also hurt your pet and get to your veterinarian.


Other signs that your pet may be experiencing pain include:

  • Being unusually quiet, listless, restless, or unresponsive

  • Whining, whimpering, howling, or constantly meowing

  • Biting

  • Constantly licking or chewing at a particular part of the body

  • Acting funny and out of character, either aggressively or submissively

  • Flattening ears against the head Having trouble sleeping or eating

  • Seeking a lot more affection than usual

  • Unable to get comfortable (constantly changes positions to find the most comfortable position)

  • Panting

There are different types and causes of pain:

Acute pain comes on suddenly as a result of an injury, surgery, inflammation or infection. It can be extremely uncomfortable for your pet and it may limit her mobility. The good news is that it’s usually temporary. It generally goes away when the condition that causes it is treated. Medications and non pharmaceutical approaches to pain management can be discussed.

Chronic pain is long lasting and usually slow to develop. Some of the more common sources of chronic pain are age-related disorders such as arthritis, but it can also result from illnesses such as cancer or bone disease. This pain may be the hardest to deal with, because it can go on for years, or for an animal’s entire lifetime. Also, because it develops slowly, some animals may gradually learn to tolerate the pain and live with it. This can make chronic pain difficult to detect. Neglected dental disease is often a source of chronic pain and suffering for our pets.

Treatment :

We know the issue of pain management is of great concern to pet owners today. As in human medicine, we have a variety of nutritional choices, medications and alternative therapies available to manage your pet’s pain . We would be pleased to discuss the options available to you and your pet and create a Care Plan for your pet’s specific needs. . Many of our patients are experiencing the benefits of the laser therapy approach to pain relief. Ask us if this would be appropriate for your pet.

Laser Therapy/ Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation

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Muskoka Animal Hospital is pleased to announce the addition of the Companion Therapy Laser® to our practice. We are the first Veterinary practice in the region to add the Companion therapeutic laser. With the addition of the laser, companion animals will receive instant relief of pain, inflammation and swelling associated with soft tissue injuries, trauma, surgery and chronic everyday disorders. A relatively new branch of medicine, the Class IV laser delivers a large amount of light energy into the companion’s body. When it interacts with damaged cells, healing is accelerated and pain virtually eliminated. As our best friends age, recover from trauma or surgery, or simply need relief from everyday aches and pains, this advanced technology offers drug free, surgery free pain relief.

These Are Some Of The Disorders That Respond Well To Laser Therapy:

  • Arthritis

  • Degenerative Joint Disease

  • Post-Surgical

  • Pain Relief Wound Healing

  • Numerous Skin Conditions

  • Lacerations and Abrasions

  • Otitis

  • Hip Dysplasia

  • Cystitis and many more….

Therapeutic Laser has been a wonderful additon to our Rehabilitation program for patients diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and those recovering from Orthopaedic Surgeries such as Cruciate repair, Patellar Luxation surgery or Fracture repair and Neurological illnesses.  Working together with  our specially trained  Osteoarthritis Case Manager and Rehab RVT , we will coach you and your pet in weight management , pain management and  Nutritional care to faciliate a speedy and comfortable recovery. A  physical therapy program will be designed for your pet’s specific needs. It will include stretching, range of motion exercises and physical exercises to improve strength and movement that can be done with simple equipment at your home.  Exercises are introduced in a step by tep process to build on your pet’s progress.

Our Rehabilitation Program involves an initial  consult and program design appointment and a few follow up visits to evalutate how your pet is doing and make any necessary program adjustments to ensure optimal results. Please call to schedule a consultation if you feel  your pet may benefit from our Rehabilitation Program.kane physio

Euthanasia and After Care Services

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At Muskoka Animal Hospital it is our privilege to partner with you in the healthcare of your pet through all life stages from puppy hood to end of life.  Saying goodbye to our loved ones is never easy. At Muskoka Animal Hospital we make a point of helping you through the entire process of saying goodbye when that time comes. By using our Comfort Room, a more home like area of our hospital, you are given all the time and privacy you need during your last moments here together. Euthanasia  is scheduled during the quieter time of day at our clinic and we have a dedicated staff member available to help you through the process during your appointment.

We are happy to look after aftercare arrangements to suit your needs and wishes. Communal and Private Cremation is available through our service provider Gateway Pet Memorials. Some clients prefer a home or cottage burial, and we will provide you with an appropriate burial casket for transfer from the clinic.

Coping with pet loss is a difficult thing for grieving pet owners. We have resources available to help you through the process and we would be pleased to direct you to Pet Loss Support Counsellors through the Ontario Veterinary College Pet Trust Program.