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 pet can change quickly as he or she ages, and the older they get, the more likely they are to develop diseases common to aging humans, such as diabetes and heart disease. Regular check-ups with your pet’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.
There are many different factors that go into classifying your dog as senior. Age seven is the common number used to classify a senior dog, but factors such as a dog’s size or breed can have an influence on when they can be considered a senior dog. Larger breeds tend to have a shorter lifespan or overweight animals can have their longevity reduced if it is not controlled, making their senior age sooner than seven. Your veterinarian can help you determine which age your pet falls into the senior category.
What are common senior dog health issues?
Diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, dental disease, and cancer are just a few of the many diseases your pet can develop as they age. Early prevention is key to a lifetime of good health – detecting early can prevent disease and minimize suffering.
How should I care for my senior dog?
You know your pet better than anyone else and can alert us of any changes before they become serious. Many of the diseases can have minor symptoms or show no symptoms at all until they become more advanced. If you notice any changes in your pet’s weight, appetite or elimination, behaviour, skin and coat, or mobility, contact your vet. Early intervention is important, so it is best to schedule routine check-ups and preventive diagnostics such as blood work to establish a baseline for down the road when any abnormalities occur. Nutrition and exercise can also play a key role in keeping your senior pet’s health.
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