Look­ing af­ter our el­derly pets

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - PET CARE -

One im­por­tant as­pect of pet own­er­ship is that our loved pets age so quickly – about seven times faster than we do! In no time that cute kit­ten or puppy is an adult, then time flies, and sud­denly they en­ter old age. It’s not un­com­mon for pets to start look­ing older at eight or ten years of age.

Not only do they look older, but their bod­ily func­tions age too. It’s for this rea­son that se­nior pets – those eight years and older – need a vet­eri­nary check up once every six months.

Dur­ing this check, your vet will ask ques­tions about the pet’s level of ac­tiv­ity, mo­bil­ity, ap­petite and nu­tri­tion. A phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion of the pet’s teeth, eyes, heart and lungs, glands, their ab­domen and skin is per­formed.

There are also as­pects of a pet’s health that can­not be De­voted Vets can help you with a pet health plan to max­imise your pets qual­ity of life as they age.

ex­am­ined ex­ter­nally – for ex­am­ple, liver and kid­ney func­tion, and red and white blood cell counts, so a blood test is com­bined with the phys­i­cal ex­am­i­na­tion.

A health plan is then for­mu­lated by the vet to­gether with the owner to max­imise the pet’s qual­ity of life as they age.

Some dis­eases of

older pets can start with­out own­ers de­tect­ing their pres­ence – for ex­am­ple, den­tal dis­ease, heart and kid­ney fail­ure, and some forms of can­cer.

An im­por­tant as­pect of a se­nior pet check-up is de­tec­tion of th­ese dis­eases, with treat­ment started be­fore they be­come ap­par­ent. Re­sponse

to treat­ment is so much bet­ter if started early.

So if you have a pet eight years of age or older, an an­nual vac­ci­na­tion, plus a se­nior check and blood test six months later is a great way to keep your pet health­ier and hap­pier well into old age. That’s what they want – and what we want!

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