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Age Is Not a Disease

As our pets age and transition into their golden years, it’s important to make the most of that time and keep them comfortable. Our pets age much faster than we do and it’s easy to forget that, especially when they still act like they did when they were younger. By the time our dogs and cats are 2, they are approximately 25 years old in human years! So now, when they are in their senior years, pets that are 10 years old, are approximately 56-60 years old! It helps to be able to recognize the signs of pain in the early stages so we can catch it before our pets are uncomfortable for too long. Many times the signs are slow and subtle. Have you noticed any of the following changes in your pet’s behaviour?

Cats

  • No longer jumping on the counter
  • Grooming less, poor hair coat
  • Sleeping more frequently
  • Change in attitude (hissing, irritability)
  • Defecating beside the litter box
  • Muscle atrophy (wasting)
  • Pain when touched

Dogs

  • Sleeping more frequently
  • Getting up more slowly from rest
  • Avoiding going up or down stairs
  • Slow gait
  • Muscle atrophy (wasting)
  • Stiffness
  • Pain when touched

If you have noted any of these changes in your pet, call us to book a free senior pet consult with a technician. We would be happy to have a conversation about your pet and what kinds of things we can do to help them feel more comfortable. When they are comfortable, then they will feel more like doing their regular activities. It’s important to remember that age is not a disease! Just because your pet is a senior doesn’t mean that they should be slowing down or be stiff and sore. There are many different things that we can do to help keep your senior pet on the move. We can discuss things like different joint supplements, nutrition suggestions, possible weight loss tips, at home physiotherapy exercises, and proper exercise routines. In some cases, a physical exam with a veterinarian may be the best suggestion in order to prescribe stronger prescription medications. Often times blood work will be recommended to make sure that there are no concerns with your pet’s liver or kidneys before proceeding with strong medications.

If you have questions or concerns about your ageing pet, write them down and bring them with you to your appointment. It will help us to make sure that we cover all the things that you wanted to address without missing anything. Depending on how many questions you have, these senior consults usually take about 20 minutes on average. If you have more questions and it takes more time, that’s okay! We are here for you and your pet, so we want to make sure that you get the most out of your time with us.

I hope we can provide you with lots of helpful information during our appointment together. There is so much we can do for our seniors so don’t be afraid to ask any questions you may have about your pet. If there’s only one thing that you take away from this blog or your senior pet consultation, I hope it’s this. Say it with me one last time…. “Age is not a disease!”

Written by: Kelsey Hewgill, RVT

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