Popular Subjects: healthy

Ageing and our pets

This month we will be looking at some of the health problems that can affect our pets as they become older.

Pets over the age of 8 years old are generally considered to be ‘senior’, and require particular care. This may seem quite young, but consider this; our pets’ fast metabolism means that they age approximately 7 years for every calendar year, so an eight year old pet will have the physical condition equivalent to that of a fifty six year old person.old-dog-sitting-1545519-1279x1705

Common problems seen in older pets include-

  • Arthritis
  • Kidney disease
  • Tumours
  • Heart disease
  • Eyesight problems
  • Dental problems
  • Senility
  • Liver disease
  • Overactive thyroid (in cats only)

Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and some of the problems can occur in younger animals too.

Advances in modern veterinary medicine mean that many predominantly age related illnesses can be managed successfully to maintain a good quality of life for your pet when they are diagnosed early and treated effectively.

As changes in condition can happen relatively quickly we recommend that older pets have a physical examination every six months and that some diagnostic screening of urine and/or blood is considered to establish any early signs of deterioration of internal organs, such as the heart and kidneys.

Appropriate medication, regular health monitoring, supportive therapies and understanding care from a vet who sees you and your pet regularly can help to prolong a full and active lifestyle.

 

 

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Leptospirosis

We have recently seen and treated two dogs with leptospirosis infections. Both dogs are thankfully doing very well but these cases highlight the importance of awareness of this disease.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease with several strains causing severe liver and kidney damage. It can be spread by rats, dogs, horses and pigs in their urine and is common around water courses both in towns and countryside alike. Leptospirosis can be transmitted to people, sometimes with fatal consequences. The signs of leptospirosis in dogs can be very variable, and in some cases dogs don’t show any obvious signs at all. When symptoms do occur they can include fever, muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhoea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and jaundice (yellow tinged gums).

Leptospirosis is treatable, but it is much safer to ensure your dog is vaccinated to give protection. This year we have introduced a new and more advanced dog vaccine. This provides broader protection for Leptospirosis covering four, rather than the usual two, strains of this widespread disease. To upgrade the Leptospirosis protection your pet will need an L4 Upgrade injection 3-4 weeks after the usual booster to establish immunity. After this a single combined booster each year will maintain the complete protection. You will be offered the choice to do this at your booster appointment. If you have any questions about our new vaccination protocol please don’t hesitate to ask a member of staff.

Posted in General News, Pet health care advice | Tagged , , ,