Brown dog laying down looking sad

Pet Health FAQ

DMS Veterinary Group has compiled a list of our most frequently asked pet health-related questions. For more information on any and all questions, kindly give us a call at one of our three locations, and one of our team members will be happy to assist you!

My dog has eaten chocolate. Do we need to see a vet?

YES, and time is of the essence! Do not wait for symptoms to appear. If your dog has eaten chocolate, contact us immediately by calling 519.360.4508.

Please take note of the type of chocolate (bakers chocolate, semi-sweet, milk chocolate or white chocolate) and the amount consumed. It is best if you can bring the packaging with you when you arrive at our clinic.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning:
– Nervous energy & excitement
– Extreme thirst/frequent urination
– Vomiting and/or diarrhea
– Spasms or seizures

I think my pet is in pain. Can I give him/her Aspirin or Tylenol?

While Aspirin is occasionally used for arthritis in dogs, it must be carefully monitored by a vet. Dog’s intestines are very sensitive to Aspirin. Tylenol is toxic to pets and should never be administered.

While it’s difficult to know your pet is in pain, there are much better and safer pain management options available, just give us a call.

My pet has trouble urinating. Is there something wrong?

Difficulty urinating may be a sign of a urinary tract blockage or infection. Time is of the essence if you notice symptoms of a urinary tract infection or blockage as they can quickly turn deadly. Contact us IMMEDIATELY for help and call 519.360.4508.

Possible symptoms of a urinary tract infection or blockage:
– Difficulty urinating
– Painful urination (wincing or whining)
– Foul-smelling urine
– Blood in urine
– Cloudy urine
– Drinking and urinating more frequently
– Accidents, dribbling or leaking
– Decreased appetite
– Vomiting or diarrhea

Why is my dog inhaling air forcefully (reverse sneezing)?

Reverse sneezing is fairly common in dogs and is not usually cause for alarm. It is caused by an irritation in the throat or respiratory system. Common causes include pulling on a leash, over-excitement, dripping nose, inhalation of an irritant or smelling a strong smell. Most of the time, the situation corrects itself and the dog returns to normal. However, if the reverse sneezing is persistent or is accompanied by bleeding or discharge, please book your dog in for an examination.

My dog has bad breath. Is this normal?

No, persistent bad breath in a dog is not normal. In fact, bad breath in a dog may be a signal of a very serious health problem. Diseased gums and oral cavity can easily spread infections through the bloodstream directly to your pet’s vital organs.

Possible symptoms of dental illness in a dog (many of which can easily go unnoticed):
– Plaque or tartar build-up
– Drooling with bad-smelling saliva
– Reluctance while eating
– Loss of teeth
– Broken teeth
– Discolouration of teeth
– Swollen areas below the eyes

If your pet has any of these symptoms, we recommend having a dental exam done to safeguard against serious health consequences.


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Last updated: October 25, 2021

Dear Clients,

We are all aware of the concerns and rapidly changing situation with COVID-19. Due to the close public contact that our work requires, we have taken necessary measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members. As part of our due diligence, we have decided to consolidate our staff by maintaining all operations at Merritt Animal Hospital and Dresden Veterinary Clinic with a closed door policy and have our Sydenham River location open for medication/food pickup ONLY. 

The safety of our team members and clients is very important to us. As such, we will continue to follow all provincial health standards by having extensive cleaning protocols, wearing masks and gloves, and practicing physical distancing as much as possible within our teams.

Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.



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


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.


Merritt Animal Hospital:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Dresden Veterinary Clinic:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Sydenham River Veterinary Office:
Thursday - Friday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Monday - Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your D.M.S Group Veterinary Team