The impact of nutrition on health and disease is an important area of veterinary medicine, and is considered the 5th vital assessment which means it should be assessed in every patient at every visit. The collaboration between veterinary nutritionists and fellow veterinary specialists in the treatment and care of pets can maximize their health, performance, and longevity. Integrating therapeutic nutritional intervention in the treatment of medical conditions such as kidney disease, orthopedic conditions, gastrointestinal disease, obesity, urinary disorders, or skin disease can improve patient quality of life and outcome of care.

Our Team

Service Chief and Assistant Professor: Dr. Caitlin Grant, BSc, DVM, DVSc., Res. ECVCN

Associate Professor: Dr. Adronie Verbrugghe, DVM, PhD, Dip ECVCN

Registered Veterinary Technician:
Alicia Lorch, RVT, CCRVN

Dr. Erico Ribeiro MV, MSc, PhD, DVSc Candidate (Department of Clinical Studies), ECVCN Resident

Dr. Francisco Poblanno DVM, DVSc Candidate (Department of Clinical Studies), ECVCN Resident

Dr. Manuela Fischer

For more information on our team,

The Nutrition team works closely with other clinical services at the Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Centre (OVC HSC) to assess the nutritional needs of patients, as well as to develop appropriate diet plans for patients during hospitalization and/or recovery at home.


The Clinical Nutrition Service provides support to existing patients of the Ontario Veterinary College’s primary specialty services and OVC’s Smith Lane Animal Hospital. At this time, we are unable to accept direct referral from family, outside specialty or emergency veterinarians.

 What does the Service offer for OVC clients?

  • Optimal commercial diet selection for patients with complex conditions and/or multiple medical conditions
  • Nutrition support for critically ill patients, including tube feeding and parenteral nutrition (i.e. intravenous nutrition)
  • Evaluation and formulation of homemade diets
  • Assessment of and recommendations of appropriate supplements
  • Customized weight loss plans
  • Customized nutrition programs for different life stages, reproduction, performance, etc.

What can you expect during your consultation?

Consultations are currently conducted via a secure telehealth platform. The initial appointment will take approximately 60 minutes, and includes:

  • Review of the pet’s dietary history
  • Review of the pet’s medical history
  • Body condition and muscle condition scoring (when available)
  • Discussion of pet owner concerns and goals
  • Establishing nutrients of concern for the patient
  • Determining energy requirements
  • Discussion of dietary options for the patient
  • Recommendations for feeding management strategies
  • Written summary of the consultation with our assessment and recommendations

What can you expect after your consultation?

If a diet plan is discussed and recommended, you can expect the following:

  • Detailed diet plan including specific diet (if commercial diet plan) or recipe (if homemade diet) with exact amounts to feed
  • Guide on how to transition your pet to the new diet
  • Additional supplements that are recommended
  • Recommendations for feeding management strategies
  • Guidelines on parameters to monitor and when to have the pet reassessed
  • Follow up support for 3 months

How can I request a consultation?

Is your pet a current patient of the OVC HSC or OVC Smith Lane Animal Hospital?

  • Yes: Ask your veterinarian for a referral and we will contact you to set up an appointment
  • No; Please email the Clinical Nutrition Service for additional resources,