What Does Pain Look like in your Cat?

You are in the best position to look for subtle changes of behaviours that indicate your cat is in pain. If your kitty is showing one or more of these behaviours he/she maybe hurting. By completing this assessment, you are helping us to identify possible painful conditions

Please check all that apply:



  • _____ Meowing more then usual
  • _____ Purring that seems to be associated with pain
  • _____ Hissing
  • _____ Growling
  • _____ Vocalizes differently, makes noises that are not normal for him/her

Daily Habits:


  • _____ Decreased Appetite
  • _____ Withdraws from social interaction with family members or other animals
  • _____ Changes in sleeping (more or less); sleeps in unusual positions, not curled up; sleeps in abnormal locations (that may be easier to get to, avoiding jumping)
  • _____ Changes in drinking habits
  • _____ Urinates or defecates outside the litter box, has difficulty getting into and out of the box, unable to squat
  • _____ Constipated
  • _____ Won’t groom or grooms less, fur looks unkempt
  • _____ Licking, biting or over grooming a particular body part

Activity Level:


  • _____ Restless
  • _____ Reluctant to move or moves slowly or stiffly
  • _____ Trembles or shakes
  • _____ Limps
  • _____ Less active; play or hunts less
  • _____ Avoids jumping; can’t jump as high as previously
  • _____ Avoids or has difficulty on stairs
  • _____ Seeks more affection
  • _____ Hides



  • _____ Generally lays with feet underneath
  • _____ Crouches for long periods and doesn’t move
  • _____ Reluctant to sharpen claws or stretch
  • _____ Walks stiffly with back arched
  • _____ Overgrown nails, doesn’t sharpen them

Facial Expressions:


  • _____ Glazed, wide eyed or sleepy
  • _____ Enlarged pupils
  • _____ Squints eyes



Self Protection:


  • _____ Protects a body part
  • _____ Doesn’t put weight on a leg
  • _____ Doesn’t want or avoids being held or picked up or patted





Especially in a previous friendly cat

  • _____ Acts out of character
  • _____ Growls, hisses or bites
  • _____ Pins ears back
  • _____ Is aggressive to humans or other cats

Please list any other changes that are note listed above:


For a Printable Copy: Pain in cats


Pets and Parasites: The Pet Owner Resource

Courtesy of Dr. Michelle

38717981707304716We know that choosing the right parasite prevention product for your pet can be overwhelming. These days, there are so many products to choose from.. pills and topicals.. products that get fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites, and any combination of those! We are always happy to help you make an informed decision on which product is best for your furry family based on your lifestyle, risk, and desired method of administration. Here is a very simplified chart of the major products we carry and their main features. There are a few other products left off of this chart for simplicity sake, but may be mentioned to you in our office if we feel like it is the best product for your pet. Please give us a call (902)893-2341 if you have any questions about these products or would like one of our knowledgeable staff members to help make a recommendation for you.



Seasonal Allergies – Our Pets Can Suffer With Them Too!

Courtesy of: Dr. Melissa



As much as we all love to feel the warmer weather every Spring, those of us with seasonal allergies can dread pollen season.  Did you know our pets can be affected as well? Dogs and cats exposed to airborne allergens from grasses/weeds/trees can get inflammation affecting their skin. This inflamed skin gets itchy and is prone to bacterial and yeast infections. If your pet is especially chewing at its feet, shaking its head, or scratching its belly, allergies are a possibility. The skin can look red, raw and moist when it is inflamed and/or infected. There can be a dark discharge in the ears or pustules/scabs on the skin. Pets can also be allergic to parasites like fleas, which are very common in the summer months. Effective flea control is very important in these animals.

The technical term for sensitivity to airborne allergies is Atopy. For the most part atopy is managed, not cured. There are many therapies used to control allergies, including antihistamines, topical shampoos and ointments, anti-inflammatories, supplements to enhance the skin barrier and diet trials. Medications like antibiotics and anti-fungals may be needed to control secondary infections. In chronic cases we can do allergy testing to find out what is making your pet react and use medication to de-sensitize them to those allergens.

144334862-giving-cat-bath-632x475If your pet is itchy, make an appointment with your veterinarian. If the problem is recurrent, keep a log of flare-ups. Sometimes these patterns can help us narrow down the causes. We will get a full history and complete a thorough physical exam to help identify what the problem is and make a plan to get your pet more comfortable. Follow up is also very important to keep flare ups under control. Please call us with your questions/concerns at (902)893-2341!

Here are some great resources on Seasonal Allergies:




Vaccinations – Why Are They So Important?


Courtesy of: Dr. Melissa

A very important part of preventive care for your pet is keeping them up to date on their vaccines. Many people ask us whey their pets need yearly vaccines when people get boosters much less frequently. At our hospital we follow the American Veterinary Association Vaccination Guidelines. These are based on studies to determine how long vaccinations are protective to our pets.  Puppies and kittens generally get three vaccines between 8-16 weeks of age, with a booster on all of these one year later. Core vaccinations are then given to all pets  separately on a rotating 3-year schedule. These vaccines protect against Rabies, Distemper, Parvo, Panleukopenia, Herpes and Calicivirus. Some of our vaccines are given only to those pets whose lifestyle puts them at risk for specific disease, like cats that go outside, or dogs that live in rural areas. These are given yearly and include Feline Leukemia, Leptospirosis, Bordetella (kennel cough) and Lyme.

The diseases we vaccinate for can be very serious, even life threatening. Some of these diseases can infect humans as well. For each pet at each visit, we do a complete exam. Along with their medical history, we determine the best vaccination protocol for them. For animals with serious vaccine reactions, or those that have other medical problems, we may adjust the protocol or even consider checking their antibody levels (titers) to help determine if vaccination is necessary. Although titer testing has historically only been available at specialized laboratories, we can now check some of these antibody levels in-clinic after a simple blood draw.

Serious side effects to getting vaccinated are extremely rare. Most commonly we see mild lethargy, low-grade fever and soreness at the injection site.  If your pet is due for an exam and vaccinations, or if you have any questions regarding vaccination or titer testing, please call us at (902) 893-2341!

Here are some great resources for you to check out:




Farewell To Victor – Gone But Not Forgotten (1996-2015)

13707_946812785370969_1910837291283439170_nOn April 10th, 2015 the staff of the Truro Vet Hospital had to say our goodbyes to our friend of almost 18 years. Victor had become quite ill at the end of March and his blood work revealed his kidneys were failing. They had served him well for 18+ years. We collectively made the decision to say goodbye to Victor (after trying everything we could to keep him comfortable) knowing the choice even thought extremely hard was the best one to make for Victor.

In the summer of 1997 Victor came to Truro Vet as an adult stray brought in by Juanita. His easy going nature won him the love of Cecelia and other staff. Soon it was decided he was a keeper.

Victor benefited Truro Vet immensely. He donated blood to other sick cats in need. He let us demonstrate how to trim nails and give a cat a pill. He was a ball of fur to cry into on a really heartbreaking day. While not always happy about his job, he made the best of it and enjoyed his ‘thank you’ cuddle afterwards.

Walking on keyboards, calling other phone extensions in the building, befriending rodent and bird patients were just a few of his quirky qualities. If you poured your milk/cream before adding your coffee, do it quick or Victor would be lapping up the dairy. The day he was diagnosed with a dairy allergy was probably the worst day of his life!

Victor, words cannot express how much we will miss you. Your curiosity and affectionate nature made you a credit to all cats. Rest easy and we will see you at Rainbow Bridge.

Here are some words from the ladies who loved him the most:

“There are so many things I loved about Victor, it is hard to pick one. But I did love giving him Vitalax and the way he chewed or smacked his lips while eating. “

  • Cecelia

“I will miss coming in after hours while on call and spending quality time with Victor.”

  • Dr. Michelle

“I will miss our cuddles and belly rubs and how you would drool while you purred.”

  • Juanita

“I will miss your “stealth” like run as you tried to get to the treatment room without being caught. I’m sure you were always thinking “the slower I go maybe they won’t see me.”

  • Ashley

“There are many things I will miss about Victor but mainly the way he would head butt me at the desk, and his demand for morning snuggles along with his talent of giving clients discounts on their accounts as he “assisted” at the desk.”

  • Colette

“I will miss how he stood at the top of the desk waiting patiently to be fed, and how he would walk back and forth in front of the computer while I was trying to work. But I think we will always miss (no matter how frustrating it was) when Victor would hang up on people by walking across the phone and we would have to call back and explain that is really was Victor!”

  • Kerry

“I miss how innocent he would look when he would knock your papers or files on the floor if you were busy and not giving him the attention he felt he deserved at that instant. I also miss his squawking meow when you would pick him up.”

  • Kaila

“I miss his distinguished face. And his love of food, we shared that.”

  • Valerie

I miss his phone calls to outback, I am sure it was because we were late on getting him supper.”

  • Charity

“I miss his swagger.”

  • Dr. Melissa

I miss his head butts, his charm, walking on clients food for quality checks, correcting my typing, putting clients on hold or hanging up on them he had great customer service, hisd demand for food and cuddling with sick or scared pets especially kittens.”

  • Cara

“​I miss Victor’s quiet calmness that he seemed to always have – except when he wanted to bug all his girlfriends at the front desk. Victor seemed to naturally know not to sweat the small stuff. Victor was very Zen.”

  • Dr. Gwen

“I’ll miss the smiles he brought to everyone and the character he bestowed upon the hospital.”

  • Angela

“What does one say about a dear friend you’ve known most of his life? That he will be missed. That he left a bit of himself with everyone who has met him. Victor was one of a kind. I remember when he as allowed outback with us. He would sit in front of kennels and watch the dogs and cats. Needless to say that did not go over very well with our patients. So Victor was banned from the back to remain in the reception area. He became our welcoming committee and made many friends in the process. I’m sure that he continues this work at the gates of heaven.”

  • Carmen

“I miss cleaning him (because lets face it he never really was very good at cleaning his own head) and then sneaking in a few bites just to spice things up a bit. And I really miss stealing his food because the girls have me on this cruel torture called a “diet” so no extra tidbits for me anymore. Most of all I miss snuggling in with him in the baskets on the front desk – he was great at keeping them warm and cozy even on the coldest of days. Miss you Victor.”

  • Wiggles

Even thought Victor might be gone in body, we know he is still with us in spirit sitting at the front desk making sure we are all doing our jobs up to his expectations. We miss you Victor and will never forget you. We encourage others to share their thoughts and memories of Victor below in comments.