I grew up on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, eventually moving to Halifax, then Truro to go to school. During my time at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (Now Dal Ag), I fell in love with working with animals and wanted to be a bigger part of their care. This led me to the DVM program at the Atlantic Veterinary College. After obtaining my degree, I spent 5 years working in small animal practice in South Florida. Now back in Nova Scotia, I am very happy to be working with a great team and providing care for our local pets.
Fun fact: Covid-19 forced me to learn to sew; so now, in my free time, I can do my own alterations while my cat watches the sewing machine with great interest.
Is your furry friend over the age of 7 years? Well, it might be time to switch some things to continue making sure they stay as healthy as can be. Below you will find some steps to help you do just that! You may want to start seeing your veterinarian twice a year instead of annually.
It might be time to switch diets to a senior formulated diet.
Yearly blood work is something you would also want to look into.
Make sure exercise is appropriate for your pet's age for many different reasons.
You may have to make some environmental changes to help with mobility or mental stimulation. Now you may be wondering why we have to change so many things for our beloved mature and senior pets. Well, let’s talk about that for just a little bit. Why would we want to see the vet twice a year instead of the regular once a year that we have done for so long? The reason for this change is so that we can pick up on things much quicker so that we have less time to possibly get worse to a point of not being able to do anything. Ok so we understand why increasing checkups might be helpful but why would we need to change the food we have been using for so long? Simple, each stage of life has a different nutritional requirement. As our pets age, they require different things in their diets to help them. This is something you would want to talk with your veterinarian about during an annual/biannual exam because there are so many different diets and each pet may require something different based on breed, size, medical conditions ( i.e.: diabetes, kidney disease, etc..) or even just a switch to a senior food as they are now older. That makes sense now. So, is this the same idea for annual blood work? Yes, it is. When your furry friend is younger they do not always need blood work as they are generally healthy. However, as they get older we like to have annual blood work so we can keep track of anything beginning to increase or decline such as kidneys, liver, and thyroid. This kind of goes hand in hand with our annuals as the more often we check the quicker we can find any problems that could be occurring. Fluffy is getting older, isn’t it normal for them to be slowing down? Why would I need to change their exercise or environment? That's just old age. Yes, that is true, however, because they may be getting older it may become more difficult to use things like stairs so you would want to make sure that their things are more accessible to them. Maybe even have everything on the same floor they use the most so they are not having to climb for their needs. They also may begin to sleep more but you still want to make sure that they can get the proper exercise needed so they do not become overweight as their energy requirements lessen. This can lead to many more problems caused such as arthritis or stiffness. What things should I look for when bringing my friend in for senior checkups? There are a few things you would want to keep an eye on when going for your annuals/bi-annuals. Below you will find a list of the things to watch for any changes in: Change in water consumption
Change in appetite
Lethargic or depressed (listless behaviour)
Change in urine production (amount and/or colour)
Change in attitude (irritability)
Change in sleeping patterns
Noticeable decrease in vision
Bad breath or drooling
Lumps and bumps on the skin
Breathing heavily or rapidly at rest
Increased stiffness, trouble jumping, or walking In short, make sure to take knowledge of any new things happening with your pet, change things to help them around, and try to been seen more regularly because as we may not be able to stop the ageing process we can at least help slow it down and help our pets get the best and longest life we can. References:
AVMA – https://www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/petcare/senior-pet-care-faq
Heartland Veterinary Clinic – https://www.laservet.ca/senior-pets.html
VCA Animal Hospital – https://vcacanada.com/know-your-pet/helping-our-senior-dogs-age-gracefully By: Ashley Goss, Veterinary Technician
With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we can continue providing our full range of services, under certain restrictions.
We are continuing to see all cases by appointment only including pets in need of: vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, parasite prevention, and more.
SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE
A maximum of 4 clients will be allowed into the reception area at a time.
Only 1 client per pet appointment.
Face masks are required to enter the hospital.
Upon entering, please use the hand sanitizer loacted at the front door.
Continue the use of credit/debit cards and etransfers as the preferred payment methods.
Continue with 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".
Please allow 24-48 hours for medication orders to be ready for pick up.
For food and retail purchases, please call ahead or email us to confirm if the product is in stock.
Beginning on Monday, September 21, we are available to serve you and your pets during the following hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm Tuesday, Thursday: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm Saturday: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm Sunday: CLOSED
Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!
- Your dedicated team at Companion Animal Hospital