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.
Imagine how you would feel if someone suddenly picked you up, put you in a box, took you for a ride in a strange vehicle, and then let an unknown person in a white coat probe your most delicate areas and stick needles in you! That is what the experience of going to the veterinarian seems like to cats. There are steps you can take to make this a less frightening experience for your cat.
Get your cat used to their cat carrier well before their veterinary appointment. Leave the open carrier sitting out so that they can explore it on their own. Place catnip or treats in the carrier to get them to look inside. You can even leave the carrier out permanently as a bed or hiding place for your cat.
Get your cat used to going for rides in the carrier. Put them into the carrier with a special treat and drive around the block a few times. Your cat will be less fearful if they see that a ride in the carrier does not always end at the vet’s office. They will also get more accustomed to riding in the car. When your cat is riding in your car, turn the stereo down to a low volume, roll up the windows and turn on the air vents. Too much noise from the stereo or the road can frighten the cat. Never put your cat into a hot car or leave her there unattended for any length of time!
Attempt to make the trip to the vet a positive experience. Give your cat special treats or toys at the vet’s office. Schedule appointments at the least busy time of day and call ahead to make sure the vet is running on time. Sitting in a crowded waiting room with barking dogs and crying children will only create more anxiety for your cat. If your cat is very fearful of dogs, you can go to a clinic that only sees cats or a cat-friendly practice (did you know that we are a cat-friendly practice here at Westwood Hills?!).
When you bring the cat home, make sure that the cat’s refuge is available. Cats recognize one another by smell. When your cat returns home, other cats may treat her as an outsider because they smell like the vet’s office. You may need to reintroduce them slowly to avoid conflict.
Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event. It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof. Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds
One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime
Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home
When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number. It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin. The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets. Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it. A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip. With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info. It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date. If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information. Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended. Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT
Our clinic hours are changing! Until further notice our hours are:
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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.
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 902.826.1933. We will take a history of your pet over the phone, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. Once the examination is finished, we will call to discuss our recommended treatment plan over the phone and then return to your vehicle with your pet. 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.
2. 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. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.
3. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.
Online consultations are now available! If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.
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 Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital