Living with an older pet – by our RVN Sara Pratt

September is senior pet month at Blythwood!  While pets can become unwell at any time in their lives older pets need that little more tlc to keep them fit and healthy. We asked our newly qualified RVN Sara Pratt about living with her ‘little old lady’, Candy.

candy

Candy is 19 & a half and her behaviour has changed as she has aged. If you have an older pet it is important to notice both behavioural changes and any apparent health problems. By adapting the care you provide for elderly pets you can help them live a long and happy life.

As Candy has renal (kidney) issues, I make sure she has a water source at all times, I use a measuring jug as her water bowl so I can measure her intake – if there are major changes it may be necessary to recheck her kidney values . I also ensure she has two litter trays; as she doesn’t venture outside much any longer it provides her with comfortable facilities at all times!

Due to her her age Candy is very particular about having a routine; if anything changes in the house it takes longer for her to adapt. We try and stick to her routine so she doesn’t become unsettled. Candy does not like to be by herself for too long and likes to be cuddled so within our family we will coordinate who is home to make sure she does not become lonely. Candy also sleeps a lot, she has a very comfy, padded bed to prevent any pressure sores and to keep her arthritic joints as comfortable as possible.

Animals can become senile as their brains age. We try and reassure Candy when we can. She has been deaf for a few years now and can become a bit disorientated at times and very, very vocal. A ten minute cuddle and she is back in the room with us!

I’ve learnt that looking after an elderly pet is as big a commitment as a kitten or puppy.  Your home may need to be adapted slightly to help your pet get around and it is important to have your pet checked by a vet regularly as health problems are best caught early, especially at an advancing age when they can become serious quickly. It is always worth considering medications that can help arthritic joints or improve brain function as these may help improve your pet’s quality of life.

Elderly pets need your love and attention more then ever and I recognise how dependent Candy is on me. We love her very much though and are grateful for every day that we get to spend with our wonderful old lady!

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During September we have a special offer on our senior pet wellness packages, enabling you to give your ageing pet an MOT to make sure everything is well and to give us an early warning of any potential problems. For more information and to book please give our reception team a call at your clinic.

 

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