August News Letter 2019
Is fall around the corner? I hope so. August is a kind of slow month. The weather is trying to transition to fall but there is still many 100 degree days. It is still vital to keep your outside pets hydrated and cool. The heat and humidity is brutal for everyone. If you want to go for a walk with your dog, please test the pavement for temperature. Take your shoes off and stand on the pavement with your bare feet and see how long you can tolerate the heat. That is the how long your pet can stand the heat. August is National Immunization Awareness Month. The 4th -10 th is International Assistance Dog Week, the 8th is International Cat Day, the 15th is National Check the Chip Day, the 22nd is National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day, and the 26th is National Dog Day. Lots of things going on this month. Have a good month and keep cool. The fall it is a coming...yeah!
When the brain ages in senior pets, changes can occur. Here are some signs to watch for:
- Changes in sleeping habits and waking patterns
- Aimless wandering, pacing or circling
- Uncharacteristic house soiling
- Changes in relationships with family
- Whining or inappropriate barking
- Getting lost in familiar surroundings
- Unresponsiveness to known commands
- Unusual restlessness
- Uncharacteristic anxiety (separation anxiety, fearfulness)
These signs are often called "doggie dementia" or cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). Diagnosis can be made only by the process of elimination. Your veterinarian can't test specifically for this condition. The veterinarian can eliminate other reasons for these symptoms. There are medications that can reduce the symptoms of CDS, ask your veterinarian if you suspect CDS.
One of the best things to do at home with a senior pet is to follow a strict routine, regular age-appropriate exercises, and keep him involved in life. You, as his provider, may have to make some changes in your life style to help him be more comfortable.
10 Common Disorders of Senior Cats Someone once said that cats don't age; they grow more refined. Either way, as time progresses certain illnesses can develop. By being aware of some concerns regarding older cats, you can be a more educated and prepared guardian for your aging companion. It's important that your elderly cat receive routine veterinary care and periodic exams, preferably every 6 months. Here are some of the most commonly diagnosed illnesses known to afflict older cats:
Nutritional Concerns. Obesity is a very common and serious concern in the older cat. It directly correlates to a decreased longevity, and may contribute to other problems. Overweight cats are more likely to become diabetic, suffer from liver disease (hepatic lipidosis) or feline lower urinary tract disease. Proper nutrition management is an important part of the care for your senior cat, especially since it is something that you can control. Ask your veterinarian which food he would recommend.
Dental Disease. Dental disease and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) are common findings in the elderly cat. Untreated dental disease leads to tooth loss, and may serve as a reservoir of infection for the rest of the body, posing a risk to other body systems
Kidney Disease. Kidney disease is a very common finding in the older cat. With early detection, special diet and treatment, many cats can do well. Kidney disease is one of the primary reasons veterinarians recommend regular screening blood tests in older cats.
Hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is another common disease of older cats. The thyroid gland becomes overactive, often due to a tumor, and the cat becomes quite ill. There are several treatment options available that can help your cat regain his health and live longer. Ask your veterinarian about testing for this disease and the treatments available.
Diabetes. Unlike people, most diabetic cats cannot be maintained on diet changes alone. Daily insulin injections are typically necessary. Occasionally, oral medications and diet can improve the blood sugar level, without the need for injections.
Hypertension. Cats with untreated hypertension (high blood pressure) can develop serious signs of illness such as sudden blindness or heart disease. Sometimes, underlying kidney disease or hyperthyroidism is the cause of the hypertension. Treatment is available and can help improve your cat's health.
Heart Disease. The most common heart disease in the senior cat is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (enlargement and weakening of the heart muscle). This is often associated with hyperthyroidism or hypertension. Early detection of heart disease, treating underlying disorders and proper therapy may slow the progression of the heart disease.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with vomiting and diarrhea. Sometimes IBD is associated with liver inflammation or inflammation of the pancreas. Treatment is available and most cats can do well on proper diet and medication.
Skin Tumors. Lumps and bumps are common findings on the elderly cat. On the basis of the size, location and aspiration results, your veterinarian may recommend removal of one or many skin masses. If not removed, the lumps should be monitored closely for any changes in size, shape or texture.
Cancer. Unfortunately, cancer is a significant problem facing the senior cat. Lymphosarcoma is the most common type of cancer in the cat. Not all cancer needs to be fatal. Surgery, and other options are available that can significantly extend your cat's quality time, or produce a cure. The prognosis depends on the type and location of the cancer.
Other Concerns. As cats age, their organs also age and do not function as well as they once did. Various liver diseases are common in aging cats, including fatty liver syndrome and cirrhosis. Another concern with elderly cats is the potential to develop anemia. Whether associated with kidney disease, cancer, chronic disease or primary bone marrow disorders, anemia can cause your cat to be profoundly weak and, without treatment, may even become so severe that emergency medical help is needed.
If your pet is showing any signs of distress or you suspect your pet is seriously ill, CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN IMMEDIATELY. If it is after hours, contact an emergency veterinary clinic in your area.
This is just a reminder that September is our Dental Month. We offer 20% discount on the actual cleaning, not including bloodwork, extractions, x-rays, or other dental procedures. We prefer that pets have a blood test before we give an anesthetic. Many of our clients have already scheduled their pets. Call soon to get the day or doctor you prefer. Don’t miss out on this saving. Remember your pet can ‘t tell you if it is pain.