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.


Dental Nerve Blocks

If you have ever been to the dentist to have a tooth removed, you are likely familiar with the local anesthetic (or freezing) that is done prior to extraction. Despite being under general anesthetic, we use a similar practice in veterinary medicine, commonly referred to as a dental nerve block.

Dental nerve blocks are part of a multi-modal pain control approach that we use when doing a tooth extraction. Multi-modal means using multiple forms of analgesia, before, during and after the procedure. Typically for dental extractions, an opioid is given prior to anesthetic induction, followed by a local anesthetic and lastly an injection of pain relief upon wakeup. Of course, no two patients are the same, and the drugs we choose and the category of drugs do vary on a patient to patient basis.

There are multiple benefits to performing a dental nerve block, one of which is being able to maintain the patient on a lower dose of inhalant anesthetic. A lower dose is better for their cardiac output and heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and more. Not only does the dental nerve block make for a safer anesthetic, but it also provides pain control when the pet wakes up from the anesthetic. The drug we use for the block is called Bupivacaine (0.5%), while it does have a delayed onset (4-8 minutes), it can last up to 10 hours after injection. This means the pain control is still on board long after the patient wakes up.

There are a few different injection locations when it comes to the nerve blocks, choosing which one to perform is dependent on which teeth the veterinarian is going to extract. The block is done by injecting a small volume of Bupivacaine with a small gauge needle to the area in question. This procedure is to be done by a veterinarian or technician as it does require a great deal of precision. There are four main blocks that are performed in veterinary dentistry:

Maxillary Infraorbital Block – blocks the upper canines and incisors

Rostral Maxillary Nerve Block – blocks the upper molars and premolars

Middle Mental Nerve Block – blocks the lower canines and incisors

Mandibular Nerve Block – blocks all lower teeth, this is typically the best
block for the lower teeth in cats and small dogs

If you have any questions regarding your pet’s teeth, West Hill Animal Clinic is offering complimentary dental examinations with our technicians until March 31st!

Written by: Zoe, RVT



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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.

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective Tuesday, May 19, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted.

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 416-282-6621 (appointments ONLY at this number). We will take a history of your pet from outside of your car, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. The veterinarian will then call you to discuss our recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a technician will return your pet using social distancing methods. We will be taking payments over the phone, we are no longer taking cash at this time.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets.

This means we can now see all cases by appointment only including pets in need of:
· Vaccines
· Wellness exams
· Blood work
· Heartworm testing
· Spays and neuters
· Dental services
· and more!

Over the next few weeks, a member of our team will contact you to reschedule any services that were postponed. We kindly ask that you be patient and allow us time to catch up. .

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday to Thursday 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

4. 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 at 416-282-8516 to pick up your order, but do not enter the clinic. Our staff will take payment over the phone by VISA or Mastercard only. So we can ensure social distancing, we will then bring your order out to our green bin in the parking lot. We do have our online store available, which can be accessed from our website by clicking the online store button.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. VISA and Mastercard payments are still available.

Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

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 West Hill Animal Clinic