Morley Vetcentre
20 Rudloc Rd
Morley, WA, 6062

info@vetcentre.com.au
www.vetcentre.com.au
Phone: 08 9275 3000
Contents of this newsletter

01  Why our senior citizens need extra special care

02  Top tips to help your senior pet

03  Is your pet losing his mind?

04  Old dog, new tricks

05  The oldest cat ever

01 Why our senior citizens need extra special care
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Our ageing pets require a little bit of extra attention to help keep them on all four paws for longer. 

A check up at least once a year is essential for your ageing friend. Much can change over this time and we aim to pick up on any problems and act quickly.

Some changes may be obvious such as accidents around the house, hearing problems or stiff legs. Beyond the visible changes, there can be much more going on internally, such as a slowing metabolism and changing of nutritional requirements.

Here are a few things you might notice at home:

  • Changes in appetite or thirst
  • Increasing or decreasing weight
  • Loss of housetraining
  • Difficulty climbing stairs or getting into the car
  • A cough
  • New lumps
  • Occasional vomiting or diarrhoea

Blood and urine tests, blood pressure checks, eye checks, arthritis checks and weight checks are all necessary for a senior pet. We look for changes over the senior years and adjust treatment programs and nutrition as necessary.

Ask for our advice to help your senior pet age gracefully - our aim is to give your friend a longer and healthier life. 

02 Top tips to help your senior pet
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We have compiled a list of the top things you can do at home to help improve your senior pet's quality of life:

  • Diet: Older animals may be less able to cope with nutrient excesses or deficiencies, or changes in nutrient intake and quality. A top recommendation is for your senior pet to be fed a complete and balanced premium food suitable for mature pet - we will be able to give you the best advice when it comes to diet. 
  • Exercise: Senior pets must maintain mobility and muscle mass in their later years. Dogs should have consistent levels of daily exercise - slow and steady is the key. 
  • Routine: Our senior pets can become a little rattled if their routine is changed, especially if they are showing signs of dementia. Keep to a routine with exercise and feeding times. Too many changes can lead to anxiety problems. 
  • Sleeping: As our pets grow older, they are less tolerant of very hot or very cold weather. Always provide a soft and warm bed away from cold drafts. A mattress style bed allows arthritic pets to sleep comfortably. Cats may prefer their bedding closer to the floor for easier access.
  • Grooming: It is not uncommon for our senior pets to forget how to groom themselves. Look out for mats - especially under the arm pits and around the bottom. Nails can become long and painfully ingrown; check these regularly.

    We can help you with any of the above, just ask us for more information.

03 Is your pet losing his mind?
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Ageing affects our entire body including our brain and the same goes for our pets. If you think your elderly pet may be acting a little senile - you are probably right!

Research confirms that our pets suffer from dementia too and the disease that affects dogs (known as Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) has many similarities to Alzheimer's disease in humans.

The signs of canine dementia can be classified by the acronym DISHA:

Disorientation: dogs often end up stuck in a corner or go to the hinge side of the door to be let out 
Interaction: lack or decreased levels of interaction with family members or other pets
Sleep pattern is disturbed
House training is lost
Activity levels decreased

Cats can suffer from senility too. Signs commonly include:

  • vocalising more or in an odd manner
  • failure to groom themselves
  • forgetting how to use a litter tray
  • appearing agitated particularly when they should be sleeping

Before we diagnose dementia, we must eliminate other problems as there are many other diseases that can lead to any of the signs of dementia. 

Thankfully we have prescription diets available and medication that may help improve brain function - just ask us for more information. 

04 Old dog, new tricks

Here's a video that is sure to brighten your day - teaching an old dog new tricks never looked so easy!

05 The oldest cat ever
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According to The Guinness Book of Records, the oldest cat that ever lived was Creme Puff, who was born on 3 August 1967 and lived until 6 August 2005 - an amazing 38 years and 3 days! Creme Puff lived with her owner, Jake Perry, in Austin, Texas, USA.

Amazingly, Jake Perry was also the owner of Grandpa Rex Allen, the previous record holder. 

Do you have a old pet? Post a picture on the My Pet Stories Facebook page and let us know the age of your senior citizen!