Our animal companions provide us with friendship, unconditional love and constant support. Like their human companions, they too age and can struggle with the effect growing older has on our body.
Once cats and dogs reach the age of 7 years they are considered seniors. The veterinarians at Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital believe the best gift that we can give them in their golden years is understanding, comfort and good medical care.
You may start to notice your once agile feline now has some difficulty jumping onto her favorite cat post, or that your energetic border collie (that was for 8 years always ahead of you and happy to see others) is now walking behind you and not interested in making friends.
Many senior pets start experiencing changes in behavior, which can include different types of anxiety and even aggression. The team at Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital is here to help and they recognize that this is no time to give up on your close friend; we know you have always been there for each other!
Slowing down and changes in behavior are often a result of discomfort from things such as arthritis or internal disease processes. Providing regular checkups with Dr Lisa Lomsnes, Dr Rebecca Jackson or Dr Monica Nagy and including senior blood work, urinalysis, ultrasound and dentistry (if required) we know we can treat the discomfort and add valued years to their lives.
A few helpful tips in caring for a senior pet include; controlling the amount of exercise in the heat of our Central Alberta summers – senior dogs can succumb to heat intolerance very quickly. Likewise beware of overexertion in the extreme Red Deer winters. Allow many rests in the shade when out on a summer day and a warm place to relax in the winter.
The veterinary team believes that all cats should be kept indoors, but senior cats especially. They are unable to run jump and climb as well as a younger version of themselves and we would hate to see them become a target for predators and vehicles.
Both senior cats and dogs with arthritis may find it painful to eat from bowls on the floor; a simple solution is to raise the dishes so that they don’t have to bend as low to the ground.
Making sure they have a soft bed to lie in, regular exercise and high quality senior diets (available at Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital) are also very important.
These are the last years of their lives and it’s up to the ones that love them the most to make sure they are comfortable. Looking back we can feel confident in knowing that we did indeed love them as much as they loved us and we did our very best to pay them back for all that they’ve given us.