Senior Wellness
Optimum health care can add years to the life of your pet as well
as substantially decrease your cost of treating medical problems
associated with aging.  Comprehensive physical examinations
are important for senior pets since pets age 5-7 times faster than
humans.

Your pets
nutrition is even more important as your pet gets
older.  Feed the highest quality food you can afford.  Read labels
carefully.  Ideal diets for senior pets would have less sodium and
fat, and more fiber than regular adult foods.  Higher quality and
premium foods are more digestible and result in less stool
volume.  Vitamin supplements help keep the skin healthy and
may enhance the pet’s immune system.  Fatty acid supplements
may be useful for skin problems, arthritis, and inflammatory
bowel disease.  
We highly recommend purchasing a Senior Plan during your annual
well pet visit once your pet reaches the age of 7.  This Plan includes
running a chemistry profile and complete blood count.  These tests
will provide a normal baseline for your pet, which will allow us to find
a diagnoses faster in the event of an illness.  Call our office today for
pricing.  763-689-0095
As your pet gets older, water consumption becomes much more
important.  Be sure to notify us if you see changes in water
consumption.
Depression of the immune system occurs in older pets making
them more susceptible to the common infectious diseases.  
Maintaining vaccinations is very important because of this
potential for decreased resistance to disease.

Extra pounds burden the heart, kidneys, muscles and joints,
which decreases your pets life expectancy 30-50%. It is much
harder to lose weight than to prevent the weight gain.  If your pet
is prone to weight gains, feeding diets made to maintain weight
and limited access to food is important for control.

Periodontitis is a very serious problem in senior pets.  Tartar
buildup is a result of bacterial infection in the mouth.  Once this
bacteria becomes attached to the teeth below the gum line, it
becomes a seed of infection that spreads from the mouth.  It is
important to note that the “real” problem is what you don’t see.  
This can cause respiratory, kidney, liver and heart infections.

Maintaining healthy skin & toenails makes your pet more
comfortable, prevents odor, and makes your pet “shine.”  Notify
the clinic if you observe excessive scratching, flaking, fleas,
ticks, sores, or bald spots.  Skin growths are also more common
in senior pets.  Early removal decreases pain, your costs, and
chances of spreading.

Never give human medications or medications prescribed for
other pets to your senior pets.  The liver and/or kidneys once
administered must break down most drugs.  There can be very
serious complications if a medication is given to a pet that has
compromised internal organs.
Maintaining a constant environment is very important since senior
pets have a lower tolerance to heat and cold.  Also, warmth
lessens the signs of arthritis.
We should see your pet if you notice any of these:

  • Sustained, significant increase in water consumption. (more
    than 1.5 cups/day{ equal to 12 ounces} for the average cat or
    more than 1.5 cups/10# body weight for dogs
  • Sustained, significant increase in urination.
  • Weight loss
  • Significant decrease in appetite or failure to eat for more than
    2 consecutive days.
  • Significant increase in appetite.
  • Repeated vomiting.
  • Diarrhea that lasts over 3 days.
  • Difficulty in passing stool or urine or prolonged sitting in the
    litter box.
  • Elimination accidents in the house or general changes in
    bowel habits.
  • Lameness that lasts more than 3 days, or lameness in more
    than one leg.
  • Noticeable decrease in vision, especially if sudden in onset
    or pupils that do not constrict in bright light.
  • Masses, ulcerations (open sores), or multiple scabs on the
    skin that persists more than 1 week.
  • Foul mouth odor or drooling that lasts more than 2 days.
  • Increased size of the abdomen.
  • Increasing inactivity, especially time spent sleeping.
  • Persistent coughing, gagging, or panting.
  • Hair loss, especially if accompanied by scratching or if in
    specific areas.
  • Seizures (convulsions).
  • Reluctance or inability to chew dry food.
763-689-0095
Cambridge VetCare
Animal Clinic, PA
Cambridge, MN