Vasse Vets have seniors under the spotlight

Much-loved oldies are under the spotlight this month at Vasse Vets as they take a closer look at senior pets living in their twilight years.

The veterinarians have designated September to seniors which have just lived through a cold winter as it was a good time for them to have a health checkup.

Vet Helen Fitzpatrick said as pets got older they were more susceptible to diseases which affected the kidneys and liver as well as dental disease.

She said most pet owners did not brush their pet’s teeth and as they aged there was more wear and tear by the time pets got into adulthood.

“Dental disease is probably the most common then things like diabetes and thyroid disease,” she said.

Ms Fitzpatrick said people should look out for any changes in their animal and if they were concerned to contact their vet.

“Animals usually get a full health check every year when they come in for vaccinations, and as they get older their immune system may not be so good,” she said.

“During senior’s month we are doing added value by giving pets a blood test and checking their urine to make sure their kidneys are concentrating and doing what they should.

“This helps us pick up lots of other things, we had a dog in on Friday having a dental which came in for a senior’s consult.

“It had bad dental disease which can lead to kidney and heart disease – it is really important for their general health – a lot of owners do not look in their animal’s mouth.”

As pets moved into their twilight years, owners should keep their older pets warm on cold nights and cool in summer when they were less heat tolerant and exercise intolerant.

“If your dog wants to exercise less, or does not want to get up or is stiff, short of breath or coughing, weeing or drinking more, then those are the sorts of things that should get checked out,” she said.

“In summer, if an old dog does not want to get up for a drink because they have sore arthritic legs then they might not drink enough which can have knock on effects.”

This story In the twilight years first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.