The One-Eyed Bandit!

Meet Bandit! The one-eyed Bandit!

Bandit came in to see me to have her eye examined. The white part (sclera) of her eye had been discoloured for some time but was not bothering her. Recently the discoloured portion had become swollen and was gradually increasing in size. After performing several diagnostic tests, it was determined that Bandit had an eye tumour, and the best course of action was enucleation.

Enucleation is the surgical removal of an eye and is undertaken to prevent pain or spread of disease. The most common reason I see dogs for enucleation is medically non-responsive glaucoma (elevated ocular pressure) in dogs. In Bandit’s case, we were concerned about local and possibly systemic damage caused by cancer.

Enucleation in dogs is considered a treatment of last resort, when all previous attempts to salvage a comfortable visual eye have failed or if maintaining the eye serves greater risk than removing it. The procedure is carried out under full general anesthetic, and there is a high chance of a successful outcome. In Bandit’s case, the risk of ocular cancer-causing further localized tissue damage or spreading elsewhere throughout the body was deemed too high to maintain the presence of the eye.

From my perspective, clients initially have a hard time making this decision. The loss of an eye or partial vision to a person is seen as terrible. Not to take away from the seriousness of this in dogs, but I find my patients don’t care. They don’t have to drive; they don’t read the newspaper or watch TV. They don’t dwell on things beyond their control, nor do they internalize the sympathies from their friends/family. They depend upon so many other senses to gather information THEY NEED that the loss of an eye is…well… not so bad. That is their reality.

I enucleated Bandits eye, and the cancer is gone. For the One-Eyed Bandit – life is the same. She can still do the things that she loves to do, and thanks to enucleation, she can do these things painlessly for a long time.

If you have any questions about your pet’s health, give us a call at 902.826.1933 to make an appointment.

Written by: Dr. Rob Doucette, DVM



The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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Last updated: March 22, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Our top priority here at Westwood Hills is the ongoing health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our dedicated team members that serve you and the community.

NEW: We kindly request that clients continue wearing facemasks during their visits to our hospital. Our staff will continue to wear masks, as they remain one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
* *Facemasks are no longer mandatory in veterinary clinics (but still highly recommended) as per recent provincial guidelines.

Here is what you can expect during your next visit:

  • We ask that all clients keep their distance / practice social distancing.
  • Continue the use of debit / credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • For those interested we will still offer curbside pickup. Please place your food and medication order 48 hours in advance.
  • We are constantly analyzing our day to day actions and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to implement procedures that are in the best interest of both you, our clients and our staff.

    If you are not feeling well in any way, or if you have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you stay isolated and do not visit us at the clinic. If your pet needs medical attention please have a family member or friend bring in your pet or pick up prescriptions / food.


    Monday - Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
    Sunday: Closed


    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.

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

    - Your dedicated team at Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital