Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.
The health of your cat can change quickly as he or she ages. Diseases, such as diabetes and kidney disease, can go unnoticed in their early stages; therefore, knowing how to care for your senior cat is crucial when it comes to proper preventive care and treatment. Early detection can help in disease prevention and minimize suffering. Regular check-ups with your cat’s veterinarian are important to catch early signs of disease, discuss nutrition and exercise recommendations and help develop a treatment plan if diagnosed with any medical conditions.
The two stages of a senior cat’s life are senior, age 10-13, and geriatric, age 14 and up. There are many different signs of ageing to be aware of. You may notice your cat having difficulty on stairs or jumping up to places they used to reach with ease; they may not be as playful as they once were; and, their appetite, mentality or elimination routine might change. Any time you notice something out of the ordinary, it could be a sign of their body and therefore lifestyle changing due to age.
My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?
It would be best to meet with a veterinarian, so they can do a physical exam and likely some diagnostics to find out the cause of the issue. Things like hyperthyroidism, pancreatitis, diabetes and other medical conditions can have weight loss as a symptom. Sometimes it comes down to diet as well – as pets age, you may need to adjust their feeding amounts. Speak to your veterinarian so they can establish the best plan for taking care of your feline friend.
How can I care for my senior cat?
Early intervention is important for a more positive prognosis when it comes to medical issues. Scheduling regular checkups with your vet, performing annual screenings like blood work or urinalyses and speaking up any time you notice any changes with your pet are just a few of the things you can do to take care of your senior cat.
What are some common health issues?
Common health issues in senior cats can be arthritis, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, heart disease and kidney disease. If you notice your cat acting differently from their routine or appearing painful in any way, you should contact your veterinarian. Routine wellness checkups are helpful for detecting issues before they become too advanced.
Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?
Behavioral issues can be a sign of something more serious going on internally. Cats who suddenly start hiding away, showing signs of aggression, becoming vocal, not eating/drinking or eating/drinking excessively, not going to the bathroom regularly (outside of litter box or going more or less frequently) or anything out of the ordinary may be a symptom of a medical condition. If you have any concerns, you should contact your veterinarian.
Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.
The following policies were updated Monday, June 1, 2020:
1. We are currently operating a "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.434.0700. We will confirm your information and a receptionist will come out to bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. If you have an iPhone, we have set up our clinic iPad for you to FaceTime with the vet during the exam or we have the capability of doing Skype for video-calling during the exam as well. If you do not have either of these as options, once the examination is finished, the veterinarian will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone while you remain outside. A staff member will then return to your vehicle with your pet and bring any items to go home with you. Please ensure your pet has a properly fitted collar or is in a secure carrier. Please remove any additional clothing or blankets prior to our staff handling our patients to minimize risk to our team. We will either ring you through at your vehicle with our portable debit/credit machine or we accept credit card payments over the phone. We are not taking cash at this time.
2. We are still OPEN but are working with limited staff and trying to limit human exposure, including staff-to-staff, as much as possible with deep disinfecting occurring after we close for the day. Monday, Thursday: 7:15 am - 9:00 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:15 am - 8:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Sunday: CLOSED
3. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone or via our portable debit/credit machine at your vehicle. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home or order and pay via the website and pick up at the clinic. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.
4. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.
5. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus. You may see our team members wearing additional protective gear when interacting with our clients and patients.
Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.
- Your dedicated team at Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital