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.

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Senior Cat Care

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.

What are the stages of a senior cat’s life?

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.

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Last updated: June 30, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective June 5, 2020, some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. We are now allowing our clients entry into the building for appointments as of July 2nd, 2020 for those who wish to accompany their pet into the clinic.

Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. As of Monday, June 8, 2020, WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, bloodwork, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

  • Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. For those wishing to come into the clinic, once the veterinarian and the spacious exam room is ready, a staff member will then meet you outside to bring one client (required to wear a facial covering to enter the building) and the pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will discuss the patient's history with you in the exam room, any concerns you have, and will then take your pet to the treatment area to perform the physical portion of the exam with the assistance of a support staff member. This is to limit close human contact for both our clients and our staff's safety. Once the physical exam is done and any recommended treatments were given, the Veterinarian will return to the exam room with your pet and answer any remaining questions. After your appointment, a support staff member will meet you in the exam room to take care of any needed medications and payment before escorting you back out of the clinic.
  • Continue offering clients to remain in their vehicle for the duration of the exam and have the Veterinarian provide the consult over the phone for those who prefer this option. A staff member will escort your pet into and out of the building for the appointment and will take care of any payment over the phone or using our portable machine at your vehicle. They will bring any items going home to you at your vehicle.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method. We do have a portable debit machine if necessary. We are still trying to limit the intake of cash at this time.
  • Continue with solely curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
  • 3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

    If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone, or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link. Please note that due to the high demand for appointments we are now seeing in the clinic, telemedicine options are very limited.

    4. OPERATING HOURS

    We are back to our previous regular business hours and are OPEN with the following hours:

    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


    NEW PET OWNERS

    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!

    - Your dedicated team at Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital