May 27, 2010

Surprising seniors!

Our cats are living longer lives than ever before because of desexing, better diet and improved health care. Many of Hall Veterinary Surgery’s feline patients live well into their teens and your cat could too.

Cats are very good at hiding illness and discomfort. It is easy to overlook subtle changes in appetite and behaviour. Changes in bodyweight are often the first sign of disease. Regular examinations of the mouth, joints and eyes pick up some signs of disease. Increased blood pressure warns of kidney or thyroid disease. Many serious health problems in cats are only picked up with blood and urine tests.
Diseases commonly seen in older cats include arthritis, dental disease, kidney insufficiency, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus and bowel disease. Often cats have several of them at a time. If we detect problems early and manage them appropriately then our feline friends can enjoy longer, happier and more comfortable lives.
The key to detecting and managing most of these diseases is regular monitoring of body weight, body condition and blood pressure. Urine and blood tests are important in kidney and thyroid disease while serial examination of joints, eyes and teeth triggers early preventative strategies.

Annual checkups are adequate until 10 years of age. Because cats age four times more rapidly than humans we recommend twice a year checks from 10 years of age on.

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