Medical Services

We are equipped to handle a wide variety of medical conditions, including 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. Please take a look at the more detailed descriptions of medical services we offer, or call us to discuss your pet’s needs.

Blood Pressure Monitoring

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Our clinic is equipped with a blood pressure monitoring machine that allows us to screen your pet for low/high blood pressure. This can help us monitor kidney, heart and thyroid diseases.

In-House Laboratory

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With many medical conditions, time is of the essence. Our convenient in-house laboratory is equipped to perform a variety of diagnostic testing procedures. The ability to test your pet’s blood, urine and fecal samples in our lab allows us to treat your pet more quickly and efficiently. Cytology from ear swabs and fine needle aspirates of certain skin masses also allow us to help develop a treatment plan very quickly. The sooner we can reach a definitive diagnosis, the better the outcome for your pet.


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Dental disease is by far the most common ailment to affect adult cats and dogs. Dental disease is always painful and frequently leads to other, much more serious health problems. Common signs of oral disease include tartar buildup, red and swollen gums, bad breath and changes in eating or chewing habits. The good news is dental disease is preventable through a combination of veterinary dental care and home dental care.

At Headon Forest Animal Hospital, we offer a wide range of comprehensive dental procedures to help keep your pet’s mouth clean and healthy. We employ the most modern equipment available and use dental x-rays to determine if your pet has disease beneath the gumline. Our veterinarians have had extra training by a Board Certified Veterinary Dentist, so we’re well equipped to handle all of your pet’s oral healthcare needs.

In addition to the dental services provided in our clinic, our knowledgeable staff will also work with you to provide advice and guidance on ways that you can help keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy at home, in between vet visits. Together we will work hard to ensure that your pet enjoys a lifetime of good oral health.

Radiology (X-rays)

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Our modern veterinary facility is equipped with a radiology suite containing a digital x-ray unit. Digital radiography provides a high quality image that allows visualization of bones and soft tissue in great detail. After being taken, a digital radiograph can be enhanced, magnified and manipulated in a number of different ways allowing visualization of images in ways that are not possible with film x-ray. These images are captured on a computer and can be shown to a pet owner on any screen throughout the hospital. They can also be sent immediately to a specialist if needed or burned to a CD for future use. Since digital images require no “film processing”, the doctors can spend more time interpreting your pet’s results.

To avoid a blurry image, pets need to remain completely still while an xray is taken. In some cases, we may need to sedate your pet or use a short acting anesthesia.

If you have nay questions about our radiology service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Flea/Heartworm/Tick Prevention

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Heartworm disease is a blood parasite transmitted by mosquitoes. Yearly heartworm testing and prevention are recommended for all dogs in Ontario. Heartworm preventatives are given once monthly from June to November and many products also now combine flea and internal parasite control. Similar products are also available to protect our outdoor cats. Tick borne diseases such as Lyme disease, are becoming more common in Ontario as well. We carry products that are very effective and safe at preventing ticks for your dog. Internal parasites such as hookworm or roundworm can cause diarrhea and ill health in your dog or cat and are very common in the environment. We will work with you to develop a specific parasite prevention plan for your pet based on their unique lifestyle.

Dermatology (Skin)

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Skin problems are common in dogs and cats and can be caused by hormonal disorders, allergies, infections, or parasites such as fleas and mites. These issues can be particularly difficult to treat and should be addressed promptly.

We can often diagnose a skin problem by simply examining your pet. Some dermatologic diseases or conditions do require additional diagnostic procedures to ensure a correct diagnosis. Depending on your pet’s symptoms and the results of our physical exam, we may run blood work or perform a urinalysis, skin scraping, or biopsies.

Contact us if you notice your dog or cat scratching excessively or if he or she develops any bare patches, scabs, scaling, redness, inflammation, lumps, or bumps.

Cardiology (Heart)

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Cardiology is the study of the heart and its function. At Headon Forest Animal Hospital we use x-ray and EKG to help diagnose heart problems and disease. We can also provide a referral or request an in-house cardiac ultrasound as needed.


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The tonometer is an instrument to measure the fluid pressure within the eye. It is most helpful in evaluating the eyes in breeds of pets genetically prone to glaucoma and certainly very important in all cases when glaucoma or infection within the eye is suspected. The eye is first anesthetized with a drop and then the tonometer pen is gently touched to the eye. This is very painless and takes only seconds to perform, but it provides us with a wealth of information to help manage your pet’s health.


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Ultrasonography (also called ultrasound or sonography) is a noninvasive, pain-free procedure that uses sound waves to examine a pet’s internal organs and other structures inside the body. It can be used to evaluate the animal’s heart, kidneys, liver, gallbladder, and bladder; to detect fluid, cysts, tumors, or abscesses; and to confirm pregnancy or monitor an ongoing pregnancy.

We may use this imaging technique in conjunction with radiography (x-rays) and other diagnostic methods to ensure a proper diagnosis. Interpretation of ultrasound images requires great skill on the part of the clinician.

The ultrasonographer applies gel to the surface of the body and then methodically moves a transducer (a small handheld tool) across the skin to record images of the area of interest. The gel helps the transducer slide more easily and create a more accurate visual image.

The transducer emits ultrasonic sound waves, which are directed into the body toward the structures to be examined. The waves create echoes of varying degrees depending on the density of the tissue and amount of fluid present. Those waves create detailed images of the structures, which are shown on a monitor and recorded for evaluation.

Ultrasound does not involve radiation, has no known side effects, and doesn’t typically require pets to be sedated or anesthetized.

If your pet needs an ultrasound, we will have our travelling internal medicine specialist come to our clinic to perform the diagnostic ultrasound.

If you have any questions about our ultrasonography service or what to expect during your pet’s procedure, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Endocrinology (Hormones)

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Identifying endocrine problems as early as possible is important in dogs and cats. These serious, potentially life-threatening conditions are much more manageable when caught early, allowing us to begin proper treatment.

The endocrine system is made up of a group of tissues (mostly glands) that release hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones regulate metabolism, growth, development, and reproduction and are dispersed to different areas of the body, depending on the hormone’s function. When a hormonal balance is disturbed (by a tumor or autoimmune disease, for instance), an endocrine disorder can develop. “Hyper” refers to an excess of hormone, and “hypo” refers to a deficiency in a hormone. Treatment varies depending on the disease.

There are several common endocrine disorders found in dogs and cats:

  • Diabetes mellitus is caused by a deficiency in or resistance to the hormone insulin.
  • Hypothyroidism, which is often diagnosed in dogs, indicates that the animal has low levels of thyroid hormone.
  • Hyperthyroidism, which frequently affects cats, indicates that the animal has high levels of thyroid hormones.
  • Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) and Cushing’s disease (hyperadrenocorticism) can also affect both species, although Cushing’s disease is rare in cats.

Contact us if your pet begins panting excessively, develops any skin issues (such as hair loss or dull coat), or shows any changes in behavior, energy levels, appetite, weight, water consumption, or urination.