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.
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