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Caring for older pets continued

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LAST week we looked at some questions and answers concerning the care for your older pet. I will like to continue with the following:

Q: What are the common signs of disease in an older pet?

A: The signs you might see will vary with the disease or problem affecting your pet, and some signs can be seen with more than one problem.{{more}} As the pet’s owner, you can provide your veterinarian with valuable information that can help them determine what is going on with your pet.

Common warning signs of disease in older pets;

  • Kidney Disease
  • Urinary Tract Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Decreased appetite Increased urination/spotting or “accidents” in the house or his pen. l Coughing
  • Increased thirst l Straining to urinate l Difficulty breathing l Blood in urine
  • Decreased tolerance to exercise
  • Decreased or no urination
  • Weakness l Poor hair coat l Decreased appetite l Vomiting
  • Sore mouth

Q: How common is cancer in older pets?

A: In pets the rate of cancer increases with age. Cancer is responsible for approximately half the deaths of pets over 10 years of age. Dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans, while cats tend to have lower rates of cancer. Some cancers, such as breast or testicular cancer, are largely preventable by spaying or neutering. A diagnosis of cancer may be based on X-rays, blood tests, physical appearance of tumors, and other physical signs. The ultimate test for cancer is through confirmation via a biopsy.

Top 10 signs of cancer in pets:

  • Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow.
  • Sores that do not heal, weight loss, loss of appetite.
  • Bleeding or discharge from any body opening.
  • Difficulty eating/swallowing, hesitation to exercise, loss of stamina.
  • Persistent lameness/ stiffness.
  • Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating.

Q: My pet seems to be in pain, and isn’t as active as he should be. What should I do?

A: First, talk to your veterinarian and have them examine your pet. Your pet might have arthritis. Older pets, especially large dogs, are vulnerable to arthritis and other joint diseases, and the signs you see can vary.

Some of these signs are:

  •  Favoring a limb, seeming to have stiff or sore joints, decreased activity or less interest in play.
  • Difficulty sitting or standing, hesitancy to jump, run or climb stairs.
  • Sleeping more, weight gain, being less alert.

Signs of arthritis often are similar to signs of normal aging, so that if your pet seems to have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, the best thing to do is to have your veterinarian examine them, and then advise you as to what treatment plan would be best to help your pet deal with the pain.

For further information, contact: Dr. Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tel: 456 4981