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2595 Portage Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba R3J 0P5
(204) 832-1368

Birchwood Animal Hospital offers our patient care information online for your convenience.

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Physical Examination

Annual physical examinations are recommended as changes to your pet’s health can occur rapidly. Since the aging process in pets occurs at an increased pace compared to humans, these annual visits are important for disease prevention and early detection.

A physical examination appointment includes a comprehensive assessment of:

  • current weight
  • overall body condition
  • skin and hair coat
  • abdomen
  • ears
  • eyes
  • urinary system
  • rectum
  • nose and throat
  • lymph nodes
  • mouth, teeth and gums
  • legs, paws and spine
  • heart and lungs
  • nervous system

A discussion of your pet's recent physical, behavioural and nutritional history reveals further insight. Evaluations and recommendations are provided in written form for your personal records.

Pets having been assessed and determined to be in good health may receive vaccination for potential contagious disease. The vaccine required may vary depending upon your pet's history, age and exposure.

Vaccination and Health Certificates

Please retain a copy of the Vaccination and Health Certificate issued by our veterinarians at the time of your pet's physical examination.  This provides proof of your pet's health status and most recent vaccinations.  You may require this document when traveling, boarding or for various pet-related activities.  It is often handy to keep an extra current copy in your vehicle.

Medical Evaluation (Illness or injury, infections etc.)

A medical evaluation consists of an extensive analysis of any illness, injury or irregularity relating to a specific portion of the body or systemic function. Once the health status is determined, a treatment plan is recommended and discussed, outlining further diagnostic services, treatments and/or medications if required. This plan may be provided in printed form as well.

Each case is unique and medical care requirements vary.

Prescription Medication and Therapeutic Blood Monitoring

Certain prescription drugs require monitoring to ensure maximum effectiveness and safety. A blood test gives your veterinarian information on the level of medication in your pet's body and any effects on your pet's internal organs and body systems.

Testing allows your veterinarian to make any necessary medication adjustments and ensures your pet is receiving the proper dose. Each pet will metabolize a drug differently.

  • It is strongly recommended that a blood test be performed at determined intervals while your pet is receiving prescription medication.
  • An annual comprehensive physical examination is required to provide continuing medical care and ensures ongoing medication refills as required.
  • Further care may be necessary depending upon your pet's medical condition and his/her response to the provided treatment.

Routine Anesthetic Procedures

Routine Anesthetic Procedure Details (Please read prior to surgical or dental procedures)
Anesthesia and Your Pet


Post-Operative Instructions

Post Surgical Pain Management

Sample Analysis

How To Collect Samples 

  Urine Collection


  • Approximately 1 tablespoon (minimum) is ideal.

  • As fresh as possible is best.

  • Samples collected and stored 4 hours or longer should be refrigerated prior to submission at earliest convenience.

  • All samples over 20 hours old will not provide accurate results and are therefore considered unacceptable.

  • Do not freeze sample.

  • Sample must be free of debris or any other contaminant (including snow and other fluids).


  • Approximately 1 tablespoon (minimum) is ideal.

  • NoSorb or Kit 4 Cat can be used in place of regular litter while obtaining the sample for submission.

  • If at-home collection is not possible, we can hospitalize the cat for a short period if the bladder does not present an ideal capacity upon palpation.

  • As fresh as possible is best.Animated image of a cat desperately hoping to relieve himself looking at a young girl playing in a sandbox

  • Samples collected and stored 4 hours or longer should be refrigerated prior to submission at earliest convenience.

  • All samples over 20 hours old will not provide accurate results and are therefore considered unacceptable.

  • Do not freeze sample.

  • Sample must be free of debris or any other contaminant.

  Fecal Collection
  • Approximately 1 tablespoon (minimum) is ideal.

  • AS FRESH AS POSSIBLE for accurate results!  This is especially important if your pet is experiencing diarrhea or if mucous is apparent in the stool.Animated image of a litterbox with flies hovering

  • All samples over 20 hours old will not provide accurate results and are therefore considered unacceptable.

  • Do not freeze samples!

  • Small amounts of debris (litter, grass) may be acceptable in most cases.

  • Refrigerate only if both of the following conditions apply:Animated image of a covered litterbox being discreetly used by a cat who is handed a sheet of toilet paper by an attendant

  1. Suspected exposure to parasites (Hookworm, Roundworm-Cats/Kittens Dogs/Puppies, Whipworm, Tapeworm, Giardia) 

  2. ....AND the sample is over 4 hours old.  This also applies to samples sent to an outside laboratory to test for Giardia/Cryptosporidium/Clostridium ("Triple Test").

  Blood Collection

  • Please do not feed your pet 8 hours prior to blood collection for planned tests (Including wellness profiles, complete blood count, chemistry profile, thyroid function panel & bile acids).

  • Fasting is not necessary for diagnostic testing such as parvovirus, feline leukemia & fiv, heartworm/tick-bourne diseases and cortisol response cases.

    Animated image of a medical professional making notations on a clipboard

Diabetic pets

  • Blood glucose tests are conducted 4 to 6 hours after insulin is administered for optimal results.  Feed according to normal routine.

  • Fasting for bloodwork differs by case, your veterinarian will advise you accordingly.

General Care & Behaviour

Environmental Enrichment

  Rabbit Care
  Oxbow Animal Health - All About Enrichment  (Rabbits,Guinea Pigs, Rodents)
  Oxbow Animal Health   Superior small animal nutrition

Medical Conditions and Treatment




Gauging Wellness

Quality of Life
How Are You Today?
Caring For An Older Pet - FAQ
Caring For Older Cat

Pet Loss

End of Life Care and Preparing for Euthanasia
Dealing with the Loss of a Pet 
Winnipeg Humane Society Pet Loss
Do Companion Animal Grieve?
When Cats Grieve
What To Do If My Pet Dies At Home?

Euthanasia:  When is it Time?
Quality of Life Scale
Grief Management in Children
Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement


Hazards, Toxicity & Emergency Care

Household Hazards and Emergency Care   
Plants (Toxic and Non-Toxic)
Household Hazards Aventix
Pet-Friendly / Non Pet-Friendly Plants Aventix



Veterinary Topics