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.


Unwanted Acupuncture – What to Do If Your Pet Is Attacked by a Porcupine

Fall is on its way! With fall comes a lot of wonderful things like the fall harvest, pumpkin spiced latte’s, crisp fall air, all the colours and so much more! But there is one thing that we see a lot of this time of year, and that’s porcupine quills. For whatever reason, some animals feel that these creatures that are covered in sharp pointy things are a chew toy or playmate. They find out fairly quickly that it probably was not a good idea to go after these guys.

That being said, there is a lot of information online on how to remove these suckers, and a lot of this information can be very wrong. Two of the most common things found are:

  1. Cutting the ends off the quills for easier removal.
  2. Remove them yourself with pliers while someone holds them down (OUCH!!)

These means of removal are not recommended. Cutting the ends off of quills will not help with removal; in fact, it can make removing them more difficult. A lot of the time, owners will cut the ends off quite close to the pet, which leads to the tips having to be surgically removed. Trying to remove them on your own can be extremely painful for the pet because quills are barbed, making them difficult to remove. Also, if you try to remove them on your own, you risk breaking off the tips which can migrate to different parts of your pet’s body. Did we mention that it hurts?

If your pet decides that a porcupine would be a great playmate and ends up with quills as an accessory, it is recommended that you call your veterinarian immediately as this is considered an emergency. They must be removed promptly because as mentioned above, they can migrate and cause a lot of issues. After your pet has had quills removed, you should be checking them over daily for any quills that may have migrated and are working their way out. If you happen to find any, then contact your veterinarian for further information on what they would like you to do.

Happy Fall!

If you have any questions, give us a call at 902.422.8595.

Written by: Halifax Veterinary Hospital

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Does your feline have extra toes? The history behind Polydactyl Cats

Most cats have 18 toes; five toes on each of their front feet, and four on the back.  My cat, Mandy Pawtinkin, is blessed with 22 toes.  She has a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyly (Greek for ‘many digits’).  It is a genetic mutation that causes cats to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of its paws.

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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 902.422.8595. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, we will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone and then return to your vehicle with your pet. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team.

2. We are still OPEN but are now working in two shifts with reduced hours, reduced staff numbers and a need to close for extensive cleaning between shifts.
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.

3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 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.

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. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.

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 Halifax Veterinary Hospital