Last updated 1 year ago
Being a cat owner is such a joy; you always have someone to cuddle with and to listen to all the woes of the day. Unfortunately, our feline friends cannot stay young forever. As they age, we as owners have a greater responsibility to keep them comfortable and healthy. For all of us, our health becomes more of a concern as we get older; this is no different for our cat. It would be much easier if pets could talk and tell us that they are not feeling well. Since they cannot, we have to be good monitors to know if something is different with our pet and know when our pet needs to go to the vet. To do so, you should monitor your cat's behavior, food and water intake and trips to the bathroom. Since cats are very adept at hiding illnesses until the illness has progressed, we have to pay very close attention.
One of the first things you need to do for your senior cat is give him or her a high quality diet. It is very important that the food you feed has plenty of moisture, fat, and essential nutrients and minerals. Avoid feeding your cat a brand of food just because it is the cheapest, since this often means you will be sacrificing quality in the process. Elderly cats need the best quality food you can provide to keep their kidneys, liver, and heart in top function.
It is also very important for you to provide your senior cat with plenty of water. Cats can easily become dehydrated as they age and may also be less willing to try to find their own water when they need it. Keeping multiple water bowls around the house can help as well as a water bowl that fills automatically or runs like a faucet. For my 11 year old tabby, I often will turn on a bathroom sink, as he loves drinking right from the tap.
Exercise is also very important for our aging cats. Older cats that do not exercise can easily start packing on the pounds and become obese. This will increase the risk of developing a wide range of conditions such as heart disease, liver problems, and arthritis. While most cats do not have a strong drive for exercising, we can help them maintain a healthy weight with the help from your veterinarian and a good diet.
Senior cats may stop grooming themselves properly also. Often, you will need to brush or comb the hair yourself. This will keep them cleaner as well as eliminate the chance for your cat to throw up hairballs. You may also have to keep the length of their nails under control by trimming them on a weekly basis or whenever they need it. Sometimes, deterioration in their grooming habits can indicate dental pain from dental disease. This is something your veterinarian can help determine.
Whatever you do, it is critical to watch your senior cat for any changes to their normal habits and behaviors. Extra trips to the litter box, sleeping more often, or hiding can be signs that your cat is not feeling well. In any case having a veterinarian do a physical exam and lab work every 6 months is one of the best ways to catch problem areas early and keep your furry friend living a healthy and happy long life. Give us a call if you think your senior cat is showing any of these symptoms or to schedule your next appoitment at Murrayhill Vet.
Last updated 1 year ago
Project: Pet Slim Down
Concerned about your pet's weight gain? According to a 2010 study 54% of dogs and 55% of cats in the US are overweight or obese. Carrying this extra weight can cause joint problems, diabetes, heart problems, hip dysplasia, slow wound healing, increased risk under anesthetic, and a shorter life span. Enroll your pet in Project: Pet Slim Down and receive $20 off your first bag of OM or JM* and other offers. Help make your pet's life more comfortable, make an appointment today!
*Food must be prescribed by veterinarian
Last updated 1 year ago
Common Health Problems that Can Afflict Dogs Later in Life
Much like humans, dogs can develop more health issues the older they get. Unfortunately, unlike humans, they can’t tell us directly when they are not feeling well— which means we have to look for the signals in their appearance and behavior that their health could be at risk. Any time your dog acts strange, they should be taken to a veterinary hospital to find out what’s wrong. Check for these warning signs before things get serious and your dog needs emergency pet care!
If you notice your dog walking differently or acting more tired than usual, arthritis could be the culprit. This is very common among older dogs and is often easily treatable.
Your dog’s teeth are very important to overall health and your dog’s comfort. Bad breath, painful mouth or issues like bloody gums can indicate severe dental disease or other problems like kidney disease. If your dog has any dental issues or areas of concern, they should be taken to a veterinary hospital immediately. Take a look at this video of Dr. Hall going over dental care.
Hair and Skin Problems
Patchy skin or hair loss can indicate a number of diseases or skin infections. Parasites can also create skin damage and should be treated as soon as possible.
Change in Weight or Mood
Our dog’s can tell us a great deal about how they are feeling by their appetite and mood. It is important to monitor how much your dog is eating and when, as changes in this behavior can be signs of trouble. Also keep an eye out for vision and hearing problems. Dementia can occur in dogs, so if you notice any confusion or personality changes, you should talk to a veterinarian immediately for advice.
Accidents or a change in urination frequency can also be indicators of health problems. These symptoms can be caused by kidney disease or diabetes and should be evaluated by a veterinarian right away.
Early detection of problem areas can give your pet a longer and happier life. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms or other health problems, please schedule an appointment today at Murrayhill Veterinary Hospital. We are a full-service, AAHA-certified dog and cat care facility that offers preventative pet care. For more information, call (971) 238-0231 today.
Last updated 1 year ago
With Halloween right around the corner, here is some interesting information to help keep your pets safe. Did you know that “Glow” sticks and other glow in the dark objects like necklaces and bracelets can be toxic to pets if ingested? “Glow” sticks, necklaces and bracelets can be a ton of fun and make a great addition to any Halloween costume, especially for younger children. Just keep in mind what looks great in the dark can be very enticing to our four legged friends as well. Often cats find these glow sticks irresistible and unfortunately the chemicals inside are extremely bitter tasting and can cause excessive foaming at the mouth and salivation. Ingestion of the “Glow” stick can also cause vomiting.
If your pet has ingested or bitten into a “Glow” stick you will notice these symptoms within seconds. Thankfully, ingestion of is not life threatening and usually cats will start feeling better once the taste is out of their mouth. You can help move the process along by giving them some highly palatable foods like milk, just be sure the food does not contain very much fat.
If your pet is showing any of these symptoms but has not had exposure to any glow in the dark objects you should take them to your veterinarian immediately. Please call and talk to one of our friendly staff at Murrayhill Veterinary Hospital for more information. Also, check out this link to see Dr. Chea Hall discussing household hazards and other items to watch for to keep your pets safe.