So many ways are available to help maintain the quality of life for our geriatric patients.
Just like human advances in medicine are lengthening our lives the same can be said for our pets. Our pets are now living longer, more full lives because we have more options in foods, medication and supplementation to treat their many ailments. As your pet ages it's important not to forget about them. As they age and begin to slow down they need your help more then ever.
Their diets should be reviewed to ensure their needs are being met. Advances in nutrition means we can now offer our pets food that will help with their brain function, dental and joint care. As they advance further into their senior years there is a food that will cover many of the diseases that come with an ageing body. Speak with your veterinary team to see what would best suit your pet.
Exercise and calorie modification
You may need to modify your pets exercise as they advance in years. Switching from one long walk to two shorter walks a day will make it easier for them to manage. Even if your pet suffers from arthritis it's still important to keep them moving as it will actual help with their joints and mental health. Less exercise means less calories needed. Obesity in a older pet magnifies any other age related illness. So make sure to discuss this with your vet.
Seek professional help rather then ignoring the smell coming from their mouth. Dental disease is painful and places an increased bacterial load on ageing organs.
Instead of just saying "oh it's just old age" get your pets mobility checked. There are plenty of diets and medication that will give your pet an new lease on life.
Excessive eating in an older cat
Those older cats that seem to be eating you out of house and home but are still losing weight needs a vet visit. A simple blood test might show up a very treatable illness called hyperthyroidism. Left untreated could lead to high blood pressure, retina detachment, causing blindness and potential heart failure.
These are the pets that drink heaps and urinate heaps. They get the feeling of needing to drink heaps, they also suffer from anaemia and mouth ulcers due to increased urea in the blood. While kidney disease can't be cured it can be well managed with special diets and in some cases medication.
Take home message
Your elderly pet needs extra help as they age. Many of these diseases can't be cured but they be managed well when caught early. It's our responsibility to make them as comfortable and happy as we can for as long as we can. Put your self in their silver paws- it's the simple things that are going to make a huge difference in their lives.