We’re here to help you keep your pet healthy and active for as long as possible.
Our pets reach a much greater age than they used to, so they can develop conditions comparable to human conditions, due to advancing age.
Watch out for changes! Any changes you see, hear, smell or feel with your pet could be important and are worth sharing with the veterinary team. Changes can be as simple as your pet being a bit stiff when getting up, developing lumps and bumps on their body to more serious changes such as organ problems.
Remember six months to a dog or cat = two years to a human so noticing symptoms early and seeking advice from the veterinary team will greatly benefit your pet. We can work with you to understand the changes and what they mean.
Common signs of age-related illnesses:
- Change in appetite/weight gain or loss
- Increased or decreased thirst
- Uncharacteristic, antisocial behaviour
- Difficulty getting up from resting or increased sleeping
- Difficulty climbing stairs, jumping onto surfaces or getting in/out of car
- Reluctance to exercise or lagging behind on walks
- Appearance of lumps and bumps
- Increased vocalisation or seperation anxiety
- Disorientation, staring at walls, looking vacant
- Change in toileting habits
- Bad breath
- Make sure everything your pet needs is easily accessible, so they don’t have to go too far to find their water, food, toys and bed.
- Ensure your cat’s bedding, scratching posts and toys are at lower levels to avoid the stress of jumping.
- Smooth, slippery floors can be difficult for older dogs to walk on, so put a rug or carpet down to give them something to grip and make them feel safe, secure and comfortable.
- Monitor how much your pet is eating and drinking - mention any changes in their eating habits or weight to the veterinary team.
- Older dogs still need regular exercise and mental stimulation - walking them little and often will help keep their weight down and toys and puzzle feeders can keep them entertained.
- In general, gentle grooming can help you spend quality time with your pet, which also gives you the chance to check for lumps and bumps, aches and pains.
To help support our senior patients and their owners, we are offering Senior Wellness Clinics with our experienced, knowledgeable veterinary nurses.
These consultations are aimed at healthy dogs and cats over the age of 7, in order to ensure that we can identify any problems at an earlier stage and thus treat them more effectively.
Many conditions are slow in their onset and easily missed until later stages. These clinics will provide a means of recognising any changes at an earlier point, ensuring that your pet gets any treatment required. Our RVNs can give a range of advice on general health, diet and any signs to watch out for. These nurse consultations are free of charge and will include a comprehensive health check. You will have the option of screening tests at a reduced rate. Any medications or further investigations will be chargeable. If you are concerned that your pet is unwell then please book a vet appointment as normal.
Ask at Reception now to book an appointment or call 01858 462 839.
Advice for Older Pets
Uncharacteristic Antisocial Behaviour
- As your pet gets older they may want more time resting
- Give your pet plenty of time away from younger pets and family members
- Your older pet may seem to be ignoring you but it could be due to hearing problems
- Always mention any changes you see to your vet
Weight Gain or Loss
- As pets get older their dietary needs may change, you can cater for this using nutritionally balanced food for senior pets
- Give smaller, more frequent meals
- If you change their diet do so gradually to avoid stomach upset
Appearance of Lumps and Bumps
- Regular grooming can help you identify lumps and bumps quickly
- Make a note and tell your vet if you find anything unusual
- Your pet will most likely have bad breath due to their ageing teeth
- Take your pet to the vet to get their teeth checked
- Have a good dental routine in place i.e. brushing their teeth
Change in Toileting Habits
- As your pet gets older they may need the toilet more frequently so make sure they have the opportunity to do so
- Allow your dog access to the outdoors more often
- Have more than one litter tray incase your cat needs to use one quickly
Increased or Decreased Thirst
- Always be aware of how much water your pet is drinking
- Never restrict water intake as you could make any condition worse
- Never ignore a problem, always consult your vet with your pet's water intake
Reluctance to Exercise
- Consider shorter, more frequent walks
- Provide your pet with mental stimulation, even if they are inactive, with puzzle toys and feeders
- If your pet is struggling to walk on slippery floors, try placing down rugs or mats to help them grip