My Story – Alex

My son Alex and I would like to thank the staff at Southampton Pet Hospital for their excellent service during our recent road trip. We had travelled from Ottawa to London to pick up Alex’s 9-month-old medical alert service dog in training (Apex), for a week of bonding, further training, and vacation time in the area. After a few days into our holiday, we had an unfortunate event (when Apex ate a toothpick that had accidentally fallen onto the floor from a takeout food order). Apex was struggling to expel the wooden toothpick which was lodged deep in his throat, so we immediately looked for assistance.

When we called the Southampton Pet Hospital, we were greeted by Joan whom was sympathetic to our situation and told us to bring him in immediately. When we arrived, my son was very distressed, and the staff quickly looked to get us a private room. Joan had also been in touch with the training center to coordinate with them accordingly.

Although the toothpick no longer seemed to be lodged, having his service dog in distress was overwhelming for my son and resulted in him having a medical episode, and he collapsed. Paula stepped in and took Apex for me to attend to my son. Dr. Albright quickly followed to start the exam on our dog. When Alex was well enough, we joined the staff in the examination room. Both ladies were very calm and friendly and made a special effort to help Alex relax. Everything that was done during the examination of our dog was explained step by step to my son. He was given instructions on what to do as a follow-up, and the care options were provided to both ourselves and the training facility. As Alex started to feel better, they even were able to make light of the situation and get a laugh or two out of my son. It put him at ease and made a bad experience better. Fortunately, it seemed the toothpick was likely chewed and swallowed, so we were to feed Apex lots of bread, observe any changes in him for 3-5 days, and monitor/examine his output.

It is noteworthy that additional expensive and/or invasive measures could have been taken such as x-rays, scopes, etc., but were deemed to be something that was not immediately required. I appreciated the “wait and see” approach for the next steps. We were provided with care options that would be cost effective also. In the past, I have left other veterinarian offices feeling that the service was very expensive, as costs quickly racked up. Our visit to the Southampton Pet Hospital resulted in a simple examination fee, which was a pleasant surprise.

I am very pleased to report that a return visit was not required, as Apex is doing very well, with no further issues. We did, however, make a return visit per Alex’s request. He was so impressed with Joan, Paula and Dr. Albright for their excellent care, he wanted to thank them personally. I would highly recommend the Southampton Pet Hospital to anyone. All the staff were very kind, and understanding of our situation and made an effort to not only care for our dog but to provide care and reassurance to my son as well. Keep up the great work!


Laurie, Alex and his service dog in training (Apex)
Ottawa, Ontario

Submitted by Southampton Pet Hospital