During Animal Health Week, the Wetaskiwin Animal Clinic held an Open House to highlight preventive veterinary care and to provide greater insight into the maintenance of animal health and prevention of health problems in animals. It was an excellent opportunity to gain accurate information in any and every aspect of animal health and to ask questions.
The examination rooms were set up to highlight different aspects of animal health with displays, informative posters, and a staff member present to expand on information and to answer questions. One topic was parasites, with specimens preserved in jars, and a wealth of information about how they are contracted, their effects on their host animals, which ones can also spread to humans and their effects on humans, and treatment and prevention. Another dealt with vaccinations, the diseases which vaccines prevent, and the criteria for giving or omitting some of the vaccines for a particular animal at a particular time and place. The common myths about nutrition and the facts involved in good nutrition were another focus. The dental care suite was on display, with the same equipment found in any dentist's office plus anaesthesia equipment. Of course, there was information on spaying and neutering. There was also information about laser surgery and the use of anaesthesia. It was an excellent time to get acquainted with the caring staff at the clinic, to learn more about animal health in general, and to get knowledgeable answers to any questions.
The Wetaskiwin Animal Clinic also runs the Animal Shelter for dogs from the City and County of Wetaskiwin and Millet, and for cats from the City of Wetaskiwin. On the day of the Open House, there were three puppies, three adult dogs, and two cats in the shelter. During the day, the dogs are outside for a large part of the time, especially in good weather. The cats get to play in their whole room. The shelter keeps animals for three days after which those with no identification on them are spayed or neutered and prepared for adoption. Efforts are made to contact the owners of those with identification, but after ten days these animals are also prepared for adoption.
The Wetaskiwin Animal Clinic also boards pets, giving them individual attention and opportunities for outside play. The boarding area is also kept very clean, no “kennel” smell.
For the Open House there was coffee, juice and yummy cookies, and an activity book for children. This was the first year for the Open House, and the clinic is looking forward to expanding and improving it each year so that it becomes information central for pet lovers, owners and seekers.