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Cat Life Stresses (Vet Visits)

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.

Written by: Chris MacDonald, DVM

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The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

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

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Last updated: March 22, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Our top priority here at Westwood Hills is the ongoing health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our dedicated team members that serve you and the community.

NEW: We kindly request that clients continue wearing facemasks during their visits to our hospital. Our staff will continue to wear masks, as they remain one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
* *Facemasks are no longer mandatory in veterinary clinics (but still highly recommended) as per recent provincial guidelines.

Here is what you can expect during your next visit:

  • We ask that all clients keep their distance / practice social distancing.
  • Continue the use of debit / credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • For those interested we will still offer curbside pickup. Please place your food and medication order 48 hours in advance.
  • We are constantly analyzing our day to day actions and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to implement procedures that are in the best interest of both you, our clients and our staff.

    If you are not feeling well in any way, or if you have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you stay isolated and do not visit us at the clinic. If your pet needs medical attention please have a family member or friend bring in your pet or pick up prescriptions / food.

    OPERATING HOURS

    Monday - Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 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 again!

    - Your dedicated team at Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital