Young and Hungry: Our 2019 Shelter Guide on Neonatology

Room: St Laurent 6

Dr. Allen Corber, Technical Services Veterinarian, Royal Canin Canada

It’s a reality: it is not uncommon for shelter staff and foster parents to deal with orphaned kittens and puppies.  However, how many of us are really prepared? Very often, kittens and puppies are considered – and treated – as “smaller” adults. We tend to use the same approaches, the same logic – while, in fact, they are very different!

Did you know for instance that newborn puppies and kittens cannot regulate their body temperature during their first three weeks of life? And that this body temperature is below what we usually find in adults?  Did you know they have nearly no immunity right after birth? And that they cannot digest starch?

We developed this lecture a couple of years ago and started giving it in different shelters across the country. Since then, thanks to the advances in the field of small animal neonatology and the feedback and questions we regularly receive, its content keeps evolving. The 2018 version will provide you with all the most important answers you need to have when dealing with newborn kittens and puppies.


  1. How to evaluate a newborn kitten/puppy.
  2. How to properly address their needs during the first 3 weeks of life.
  3. What tools you absolutely need to ensure they thrive.

Dr. Allan Corber was born and raised in Montreal. He began his university studies at McGill and then continued on at Université de Montréal and completed his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Guelph in 1991. He then went on to graduate from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1993. Following graduation, Dr. Al moved to Toronto and began practicing as an associate with his mentor and eventual practice partner in the Ontario Veterinary Group, Dr. Mark Spiegle. In 2000, Dr. Corber purchased Davisville Pet Clinic and, that same year, joined the ranks of a small number of veterinarians in Canada becoming  a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners specializing in general Canine and Feline Practice.

From 2004 to 2014, Dr. Al was part of a group of 7 veterinarians owning 6 hospitals across Ontario in what was known as the Ontario Veterinary Group. He then continued to be the VCA Medical Director at the same location, while splitting his time working in the industry world of veterinary medicine for the last two years until October of this year when he made the decision to join the wonderful team(s) that make up Royal Canin full time.

Dr. Al enjoys all aspects of veterinary medicine but he is particularly interested in endocrinology, gastrointestinal diseases and dentistry. Dr. Al recognizes the importance of excellent client communication and has always been passionate about wishing to help, support and impart the information and experience he has been blessed to learn with his colleagues, students and clients. He fully believes that we grow much more from giving of ourselves to those around us.

Dr. Al is a past chair and long standing member of the Veterinary Emergency Clinic board in Toronto, a two-time past president of the Toronto Academy of Veterinary Medicine and has written questions for the NAVLE – the licensing examination for graduating veterinarians across North America for more than ten years. He is part of the FearFree practice certification for Canadian veterinary practices.

Outside of veterinary medicine, his interests and joys include cycling, spinning, skiing, hockey, baseball, basketball, food and, of course, his two adult children Emma and Warren, as well as his Black Lab Teva and his cat Marley.