August is Oldies Month

Like all of us, as we get older we need different things in life and we need to take better care of ourselves.

It can be difficult to tell with our animals how much any change of behaviour is due to aging and how much is due to disease.

It is very important with all our animals that we understand that they do not show pain well. They will cry out if you step on their toe, this is because it is an acute pain and a shock. With pain that is even vaguely chronic they don’t complain. The changes of behaviour that you can see can be very subtle:

  • Difficulty jumping into car/chair
  • Hesitation to climb or descend stairs
  • Difficulty getting up
  • No longer jumping up at you
  • Not playing as much or being as naughty?
  • Difficulty settling and lying down
  • Circling a lot before lying down
  • Licking themselves or furniture etc.
  • Less tolerant towards other dogs/children
  • Less sociable with you/the family
  • Increased clinginess
  • Less obedient – doing what is asked of you is harder if it hurts!

There are other changes that can occur, which if caught early can be slowed down or treated. Both cats and dogs suffer from brain ageing. There are various signs:

  • ‘Vacant periods’
  • Sleeping all day and then being unsettled all night
  • More fearful/clingy
  • Forgetfulness – asking to go out but then standing with no apparent idea why they are outside or asking for dinner repeatedly as forgotten they’ve been fed.
  • Losing their ‘manners’ and reverting to puppy like misbehaviour
  • Yowling in the middle of the night (cats mainly)
  • Pacing aimlessly
  • Getting stuck in corners

By running geriatric clinics free of charge , we are aiming to give you more information about what treatments there are available for old age changes from acupuncture & hydrotherapy to supplements/drugs to help your pet’s brain function. We also aim to make it easier for you as an owner to spot some of these changes in the future even if your animal isn’t suffering from the changes now.

We are also carrying out,  ‘6 essentials’ blood tests that test basic liver and kidney function for just £26.00 and the ‘6 essentials’ blood test plus a measurement of urine specific gravity for £30.00

If you would like to arrange an appointment for our geriatric clinics then just give the surgery a ring on 01245 807518

Hot dogs!

Most of our pets struggle to cope with high temperatures and humidity.

Most of our animals are hairy and can only sweat through their feet which is a tiny percentage of their bodies surface area.

Dogs also use panting to cool down but this relies heavily upon evaporation of saliva. This does not happen efficiently if the air is already full of moisture (eg Humid) and not moving, this is exactly what happens in a hot car or conservatory.

All animals should have the ability to get into shade and have constant access to fresh cold water.

Exercise your dogs when it is cool, this means very early in the morning or late at night. Never take your dog out between 11am and 1pm.

It is incredibly easy for your dog to get heat-stroke and it can be fatal.

The signs are:

  • Excessive panting
  • Heavy salivation
  • Rapid pulse
  • Very red gums and tongue
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of co-ordination
  • Collapse
  • Vomiting
  • And in the end their eyes roll back and they may seizure

REMEMBER: under the animal welfare act you have a legal duty to care for your animal and if you put your pet at risk you could face prosecution.

If you see a dog in a hot car RING 999

Remember also that as well as the sun being harmful to us, it is also harmful to animals, especially those with a white coat. There are safe High SPF sun screens especially useful for cats with white ear tips or any animals with pink noses!

Please ring the surgery for more information