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. Open 7 days a week
Senior cats are your affectionate, long time companions that have won your heart over! Over the years, you have learned their ins and outs and what makes them unique. In turn, they know how to make you smile. Although cats can age differently depending on breed, activity level and diet, cats generally begin their senior years around the age of 7 or 8. At Van Isle Veterinary Hospital we recommend annual senior wellness exams starting around 7 years of age. The health of your cat can rapidly change with age and often times these changes go unnoticed. Cats will often hide signs of pain or illness in its early stages and by time owners notice their cat seems “off,” the illness has significantly progressed. With regular annual exams, preventative blood screens and senior dietary consults, together we can help your senior cat enjoy a lifetime of good health. The most important thing to remember is to cherish your pet’s senior years; they come too suddenly and pass too quickly. These will be some of the best years and moments you will have with your old, loyal and loving friend. So let’s make every day count!
One of the most common and most underdiagnosed conditions in senior cats is arthritis. About 90% of cats over the age of 12 are suffering from some form of arthritis, yet their owners are unaware of this. Cats are small and quite agile therefore they can often cover up mobility difficulties and pain due to arthritis. Unlike dogs, cats generally do not limp from arthritis but will show subtle changes in their lifestyle and behavior. These changes can include a reluctance to jump up or down from surfaces, urinating/defecating outside of the litter box, scruffy coat from lack of grooming and less tolerance of people or a withdrawn attitude. PU/PD (increased drinking and increased urination) is another sign of aging and is often related to renal disease or diabetes. A dramatic weight loss is also an indicator of an age related illness and should be addressed by your veterinarian.
My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?
If you notice your senior cat losing weight, the best thing to do is book a consult with your veterinarian for a physical exam. Dropping weight could be an indicator of a wide variety of illnesses varying from a simple parasitic infection to dental disease, diabetes, renal disease or a thyroid condition. Your veterinarian may recommend some diagnostics such as a senior blood panel including a urinalysis or fecalanalysis or an x-ray to rule out any of these potential underlying, age related illnesses.
What are some common health issues in senior cats?
Common health issues in senior cats include obesity, dental disease, renal disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes and arthritis.
Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?
It is quite common for your senior cat to develop behavioral issues during the senior years. This is most often related to pain and discomfort due to arthritis or another age related diseases as well as cognitive dysfunction.
How to care for your Senior cat?
Caring for your senior cat starts at home with lots of TLC and being aware of your feline companion’s changing environmental needs. Making sure litter boxes and perches are easily accessible, as well as having access to plenty of fresh water is important. Annual wellness exams as well as regular senior blood screens play a key role in early detection, treatment and management of age related conditions.
Van Isle Veterinary Hospital is super excited to be hosting our 4th annual cupcake day fundraiser! BCSPCA celebrates “Treat Week” across the Province from Feb 24th – March 1st 2020 where business, pet owners and animal lovers can bake up a storm and sell treats with the proceeds going to BC animals in need.
With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.
1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!
As you can imagine, we have a significant backlog of surgeries and wellness/vaccine exams to catch up on and we will be working hard over the next several weeks to do just that. We want to thank everyone in advance for your patience while we work through this. Although restrictions have been lifted, our health and safety protocols have not. It is important we continue to follow the guidelines set out by Worksafe BC and social distance our large team as much as possible. This means although we can offer these elective services, we are doing much fewer during the day then we were pre-COVID.
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. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.
Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
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".
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.
4. OPERATING HOURS
During the first 8 weeks of COVID, we were operating as a 24-hour facility to better serve our community and to maintain social distancing within our team. However, as the COVID-19 situation changes, so do we!
Our team of doctors felt it was important to get back to performing your pet’s much needed regular services. In order to do so safely, we had to once again change the way we do business.
We are OPEN with the following hours:
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm Saturday & Sunday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
We are continuing to expand our hours to better serve our clients and social distance our team with 1 vet and 1 tech here until 11:00 pm, 7 days a week.
Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!
- Your dedicated team at Van Isle Veterinary Hospital