We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.


Signs of Stress

Stress – it’s one of those things that is unavoidable, even in our pets. One of the questions I get asked most often from clients is, “how do I know if my dog is stressed/anxious/in pain?” Well, unfortunately, it’s always a tough question to answer because just like with people, stress isn’t a one size fits all. I will, however, go over some of the more common signs of stress for dogs and cats.

When a dog is stressed, you may see some obvious signs like panting, whining, barking, pacing and drooling. Some dogs may be more prone to gastrointestinal problems, or what we like to call “stress diarrhea” (that’s never a fun one!). Some signs of stress could seem contradictory such as sleeping more vs. restlessness, isolating themselves vs. needing to be around you, or refusing to eat vs excessively eating, but if any of those are a change from usual behaviour, your dog could be stressed.

In cats, you may see behaviour such as vocalizations, excessive grooming, excessive scratching (scratching posts, furniture, etc.) and shedding more than usual. Cats can also be prone to digestive issues (that stress diarrhea again!) and urinary issues – they may urinate outside of their litterbox. You may also see some of those contradicting behaviours that we talked about with our dog friends – isolation, dependency, inappetence, excessive eating, sleeping more, or sleeping less. 

Another sign of stress in both dogs and cats that I wanted to touch on that is a bit scarier than the others, and that one is aggression. Growling, hissing, scratching and biting are all signs of stress as well. 

So you’ve identified that your animal is stressed, now what? 

Well, now it’s time to figure out why your pet is stressed out. Sometimes this is easy – a stranger just knocked on your door, or they get stressed out during car rides – and an easy fix is to take your pet away from the stressor or take the stressor away from the pet. Sometimes it’s easy to figure out why your pet is stressed, but the solution is not as easy as taking away the stressor (newborn babies can be very stressful to long-time family pets). Or sometimes you can’t figure out the reason why your dog or cat is acting so differently and unfortunately, they can’t use words to tell you (it would make our job so much easier though!). For both of those last two situations, it’s okay not to have the answers, that’s what we’re here for! 

Your veterinarian can help you figure out what could be causing your pet so much stress, sometimes it’s a medical reason and it’s important to rule that out. They can also help come up with a solution that fits your lifestyle and your needs. As long as you’re willing to work with your veterinary team, we can do the best we can to reduce the amount of stress in your pet’s lives.

Written by: Sarah Miller, Registered Veterinary Technician

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There are a lot of pets that are not getting the veterinary care they should be due to fear, anxiety and stress (FAS).

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

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 door" policy to protect our clients and staff. This means that clients will not be allowed to enter the building. When you arrive in our parking lot, please remain in your vehicle and call us at 403-948-2733. Our staff will come to you to collect your animal for their appointment. If you do not have a phone, or if your animal is experiencing an emergency, please knock on the door to alert our staff.

2. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 9:30 am - 4:00 pm and Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.

3. At this time, appointments will only be booked when medically necessary. Any non-urgent appointment requests will be temporarily postponed. If you have an emergency that requires immediate attention, please proceed directly to McKnight 24 Hour Veterinary Hospital at 5010 – 4th Street NE, Calgary, AB and call 403-457-0911 to alert them of your arrival.

4. 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. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the Online Store, please visit our website.

5. For the time being, credit cards are the preferred payment method. Debit cannot be accepted over the phone, but is available at time of pick up if ABSOLUTELY necessary. We will not be able to accept cash.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our jobs. We have taken these measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

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 Airdrie Animal Health Centre