Are you starting to notice your pets are ageing?

Caring for a senior pet can become a difficult and challenging experience. Since our dogs and cats are quite resilient in their nature, it often seems as if ageing is very rapid. But this is not the case, according to Dr Trish. She explains that your pet may often exhibit very subtle changes in behaviour that may sometimes go unnoticed. Here she discusses 5 common ailments of ageing, and what we can do to help:

  1. Weight gain, often linked to a reduction in activity, but it brings it’s own problems with it. Senior pets can benefit from appropriate food and exercise.
  2. Osteoarthritis. Our pets can really cover up the early signs of arthritis but look out for difficulty getting up or lying down, and tiring more easily when exercising. Much can be done to alleviate the chronic pain of arthritis, including good bedding, joint supplements, supportive diet and pain medication.
  3. Organ failure: Kidney and liver disease goes unnoticed until the late stages unless we look for it. Screening blood tests can detect disease at a much earlier stage and preventative measures can extend quality of life, sometimes by years!
  4. Lumps and bumps. We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And age brings with it a different kind of beauty. But knowing what lump to worry about? A simple test can differentiate between them. Monitoring size, feel and location helps to know what to remove and what to leave alone.
  5. Dental disease is one that causes pain and disease in many an older pet. Watch for more on this in a future issue, but a thorough physical examination will quickly give you an idea of your pet’s oral health.

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To make an appointment, call us on +27 21 794 1522. Emergencies never need an appointment. We will respond to emails by the following working day. Veterinary Emergency After Hours support is available until 9:30pm on most evenings on +27 82 781 8810. Alternatively, contact the Cape Animal Medical Centre, which operates 24 hours a day