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Care for Aging Pets

Sunday, October 27, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

OLDER PETSDid you know that there is an entire class of veterinary medicine for older pets? It’s called ¬†“geriatric” wellness for middle and old age pets. The aging process differs according to the size and breed of the pet. Larger dogs normally have shorter life spans than smaller dogs. For example, a Great Dane has an average life span of eight years while a Toy Poodle may live to 15. Cats can live to 20 or beyond. It’s important to know your pet and it’s life expectancy. It’s also helpful to know about the breed and some of the disease related traits that may go along with it. Different types of diseases such as arthritis of certain types of cancers can be associated with specific breeds.

Older pets should be examined by their vet about twice per year. Your pet’s doctor may wish to perform blood screening, urine or fecal tests. These tests are important because they can detect early changes in liver or kidney function and well as certain endocrine diseases. ¬†Discuss changes to your senior pets diet with your vet. There are certain diets that are actually higher in fat content than adult maintenance diets. Always look at the caloric content of the diet.

Finally, your vet may want to put your pet on supplements or anti-inflammatory medications to ease your pets comfort. Older pets become stiff and battle with arthritis, so it’s important that you make them as comfortable as possible and improve the quality of your pets life.

Remember, your pets count!


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