Veterinarians open emergency care centre

There is good news for those people who consider their pets as part of the family. Now little Rover and Fluffy can receive high caliber medical care fit for a human

The Toronto Veterinary Emergency Hospital and Referral opened its doors on Monday, October 5.

The newly-completed hospital boasts floor plan of 16,000 sq. ft. fit to hold a CT scanner, two digital radiotherapy suites, a chemotherapy ward, state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment, x-ray machines and an in-house lab with emergency capabilities.

Sandra Kent, the hospital manager, points out that the clinic uses its resources but is well suited for emergency situations.

“Most of our blood work we do send out,” Kent said. “For those emergency cases, we can do the testing ourselves, here.”

The lab overlooks a spacious and well-equipped emergency triage centre and holding facility for animals that aren’t medically stable.  Adjoining to the lab is the critical care ward and isolation area for animals that may be carrying a contagion. All of those facilities are walled on one side with glass.

In addition to the emergency services the hospital offers, they also have extensive referral facilities for critically or chronically ill pets requiring treatment.

“Our hospital has two components: emergency, which also encompasses ICU or critical care, and then we also have referral services such as Surgery, Internal Medicine, Critical Care and Diagnostic Imaging” Kent said.

The hospital focuses on more than just medical treatment. The hospital hopes to host in house lectures for continuing education students and fellow veterinarians.

“We’ll be offering continuing education to our referring veterinarians, so from time to time our specialists will offer talks on topics that will be of interest to them,” Kent said. “One of our desires is to give back to the community and the veterinary community as well.”

Mitchell Gillick, one of the clinic’s surgeons, has more than just his career invested in the development of this new clinic.

“The current [veterinarian] base started with my father, who started the practice 30 some-odd years ago. He started as a general practice and referral medicine and that slowly grew, the clinic’s previous location was at the Morningside Animal Clinic,” Gillick said Mitchell Gillick.

The specialists that are all here were at the Morningside Referral Service previous to working at this facility.”

“They were all working as a core group before we moved into the new facility and once we moved…they all came with us,” Gillick said. “Because they knew what we were building and our philosophy.

“We’re not like other referral hospitals around as far as a very, very team oriented approach to our cases. So it was really that idealism of how we want to run the practice and how we want to treat our patients, of why they came.”

The treatment of the animals takes top priority here, with an emergency room that’s staffed all day, every day. Even holidays.

“We didn’t want there to be a different standard of care if you brought your pet in at 2 a.m., than if you brought your pet in a 2 p.m.” Gillick said. “A lot of emergency clinics are only open in the evenings …We wanted to take that stress away with providing a full care facility.”

Though the facility took a mere two years to construct, the hospital partners had it on the drawing board for quite a while.

“It started as a vision seven years ago,” Gillick said. “It took us a good five years to finalize and get a location. And then probably two years from getting the location to finishing…we spent half a year just going over the construction plans so the partners, we know every square inch of this hospital – we don’t know where everything’s kept, but we know every room, doorknob and handle.”

The hospital is located at 21 Rolark Dr., just east of Birchmount and Ellesmere roads, and is open for emergency care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can also be reached by phone (416) 247-VETS (8387).