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Behavioral changes can serve as important indicators that something is changing with your older pet. Diseases have a period where they are nearly undetectable to the owner, or at least the owner may notice some abnormalities but not know they might be related to a disease process at work.
Please read on so that you will learn how to recognize issues that may need attention so that you can describe them to your veterinarian.
Until December 31st 2016, save $60-$200 on your senior pet appointment at Animal Hospital of Cambridge. Senior specials are run each November and December at our hospital. We are open 7 days a week until 10 pm. Call today 519-624-9760.
Since you interact and care for your pet on a daily basis chances are you will be familiar with their regular behaviour and routines. You as the owner will play a vital role in detecting early signs of disease or discomfort. If your pet is showing any change in behaviour or other warning signs and symptoms of disease, contact your veterinarian and provide them with a list of the changes you have observed in your pet.
Looking Good, Staying Healthy, Aging Gracefully
Possible Behavior Changes in Older Pets – Cognitive Dysfunction (Dementia)
• Increased reaction to sounds
• Increased vocalization, sometimes at weird hours
• Decreased interaction with humans or other family pets
• Increased irritability
• Decreased response to commands
• Increased aggressive/protective behavior
• Increased anxiety
• House soiling, not using the litter box
• Decreased self-hygiene/grooming
• Repetitive activity
• Increased wandering, getting lost
• Change in sleep cycles
Cognitive Dysfunction can be noted in both dogs and cats and result in symptoms of dementia. This dysfunction creates pathological changes in the brain that slow their mental functioning, resulting in loss of memory, motor function, loss of training, indifference to food/water, cats may have unprompted episodes of loud vocalizing middle of night, and altered sleep cycles or staring into space. If you feel your pet is showing signs of becoming senile, or displaying signs of illness/disease, discuss it with your veterinarian. There are veterinary diets that have been specifically formulated to address the cognitive changes your pet may be experiencing.
Animal Hospital of Cambridge , YP
Signs of Arthritis in Pets
• Favoring a limb
• Difficulty sitting or standing
• Sleeping more
• Seeming to have stiff or sore joints
• Hesitates or avoids jumping up, running or climbing stairs
• Weight gain
• Decreased activity or interest in play
• Attitude or behavior changes, possibly increased irritability
Veterinary diets are designed for the changing needs of your older pet, supplemented with ingredients such as glucosamine, green-lipped muscle, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants to help address common age-related issues. There are also supplements that can be added to aide our senior pets in their aging process.
Common Signs of Cancer in Pets
• Abdominal swelling
• Bleeding from the mouth, nose or other body openings
• Difficulty breathing
• Difficulty eating
• Lumps, bumps or discolored skin
• Non-healing wounds
• Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
• Sudden changes in weight, especially rapid weight loss
• Unexplained swelling, heat, pain or lameness
• Visible mass/tumor
Oral Health - Does Your Senior Pet Need Dental Care?
Another issue you may notice is your pets ability to chew their hard kibble or that they have stopped eating altogether because it hurts to chew. If you are unsure if your pet needs dental care, we invite you to book a FREE DENTAL EXAM at Animal Hospital of Cambridge.
During this appointment we will address concerns with oral issues and provide you an estimate for dental care. For a limited time only you can save $50 off the cost of a level 1 dental and $100 off a level 2 or greater. Call for details 519-624-9760.
Common Signs of Dental Disease in Pets
• Gingivitis, Tartar build up
• Bleeding from the mouth
• Bad breath
• Difficulty eating
• Facial swelling
• Growths inside the mouth
• Loose teeth, missing teeth
• Lack of play with toys / chewing
Pet Dental Care
What Can You Do To Help Your Pet Live Longer ?
If you notice symptoms for more than one to two weeks, the best thing to do is to have your veterinarian examine them, and then advise you as to what treatment plan would be best to help your pet deal with their issues. Running some lab work is a great way to screen for changes to your pets internal organs that may be involved in disease processes affecting the kidneys, liver, or endocrine system (glands that produce hormones that regulate metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, reproduction, sleep, and mood, among other things). This lab work can help the doctor to diagnose what is going on and make a treatment plan with you specifically tailored to your pet.
LIMITED TIME OFFER AVAILABLE: SENIOR PET SAVINGS RUNS UNTIL DEC 31ST 2016 SAVE $60 - $200 ON YOUR SENIOR PET APPOINTMENT BY CALLING US TO BOOK AN APPOINTMENT AT ANIMAL HOSPITAL OF CAMBRIDGE AT 519-624-9760
Tips For Keeping Your Senior Pet Healthy & Comfortable
• Have your senior pet examined twice per year to catch things early
• Provide a comfy bed
• Provide a ramp or steps so your pet can get on your bed or couch
• Provide a senior pet food recommended by your veterinarian, perhaps add in some canned food
• Feed smaller measured meals 3-4 times per day
• Keep a food diary of how much was eaten so your vet can advise you if your pet is eating too much or not enough
• Report any new lumps, bumps or behaviours to your veterinarian
• Monitor your pet for sudden changes in weight, especially rapid weight loss
• Provide joint health supplements like Glucosamine HCL, Sasha’s Blend, Flexadin or suggested product as directed by your veterinarian
• Provide Omega Fatty Acids to help with skin, coat, and help reduce inflammation
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): the most common treatment for arthritis. These drugs are similar to ibuprofen, aspirin, and other human pain relievers. Never give a NSAID for people (over-the-counter or prescription) to your pet unless instructed to do so by your veterinarian; some of these types of drugs (such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen) can be toxic for pets
• Use dental home care products after a dental exam and on the advise of your veterinarian (Healthy Mouth, Enzymatic Toothpaste, Dental Diets)
• Provide a raised platform for your pets food dishes to reduce strain on arthritic joints
• Provide a litter box with a lower instep for easy access
• Provide a litter box on all levels of your home to help prevent accidents
• Adjust the length of your walk to your pets ability
• If your pet becomes blind, keep your furniture in the same layout to prevent bumping into things
• Provide access to fresh , clean water on all levels of the home
• Provide lots of TLC Our senior pets deserve the same loyalty they have always shown us. Let us help you provide your pet with the care they need and deserve.
Dr. Kathy Hrinivich Animal Hospital of Cambridge, 600 Hespeler Road, Cambridge, N1R 8H2