FEEDING YOUR SENIOR PET
There are a selection of diets available for senior pets at Morningside Veterinary Clinic. Kidney support is very important for cats as they age, as there is a high prevalence of renal failure in senior cats. Joint support is very important for dogs as they age, specifically larger breeds as there is a high prevalence of joint disease in them. Combination diets are also available and often are the answer in a lot of our senior patients.
We stock a range of Royal canine and Hills senior feline and canine diets as well as all prescription diets that may be of value to your pet.
We are also able to order in any additional foods that may be required.
Ask our friendly nurses or Veterinarians how we can assist with this transition and for recommendations for the best diet for your pet.
SENIOR WELLNESS TESTING
Why do I need to have my healthy senior pet tested? What are we looking for?
Although some age related diseases in your pet cannot be treated, the early
detection of others can delay or at least minimize their effect on your pet's quality of life. Other diseases can be very effectively treated.
It can be very difficult for us to detect the early sub-clinical signs of age-related disease in our pets, as many treatable or preventable diseases may have no obvious early signs. This is why physicians often suggest routine laboratory tests during our own physical exams. Early diagnosis is an important key in the preventative health care of pets and is possible only through routine laboratory testing of apparently 'healthy' animals.
The following is a description of the most commonly suggested diagnostic screening tests, together with the most frequent abnormalities discovered:
Complete Blood Count (CBC) - Blood test to evaluate the number and type of red, white, and clotting cells. Abnormal values can be associated with bacterial or viral infection, anemia, clotting diseases, and certain types of cancers.
Chemistry Profile (chem) - Blood test to evaluate the function of many internal organs. Abnormalities can indicate systemic disorders including diabetes, kidney or liver disease, and electrolyte abnormalities.
Urinalysis (U/A) - urine samples provide valuable information about kidney function as well as screening for infections and diabetes.
Thyroid Hormone Level (T4) - Blood test to measure the amount of circulating thyroid hormone. Deficiency is common in dogs resulting in lethargy, weight gain, and dermatological problems. Increased levels are common in senior cats resulting in weight loss, increased appetite/thirst and heart problems.
For patients over seven years of age, we recommend testing every 12 months. This allows us not only to spot when something is abnormal, but also to track changes in values which may be a concern.