You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can make sure he enjoys a comfortable old age thanks to our experienced veterinary nurses offering free health checks for older pets.
At Calder Vets we believe regular check-ups are important for all pets. In order to keep our pets happy and healthy, we have a duty of care to ensure they receive veterinary check-ups which can help identify any health issues, big or small, and also provides a basis of preventative care.
A free pet health check for older cats and dogs
Older people often dread the onset of winter and the colder weather it brings. But we also need to keep an eye on our older pets to make sure that advancing years don’t mean advancing health problems.
Calder Vets offers a free pet health check-up every six months with one of our experienced veterinary nurses, who can keep a close eye on your pet’s progress and offer advice to owners.
Sometimes even a small lifestyle change can make a huge difference so please don’t feel you’re over-reacting if you’re concerned about your pet.
Common Issues to Look Out For
One obvious sign that your dog or cat might be feeling their age is stiffness and slowing down. This can be down to joint pain, muscle wastage or arthritis. It is estimated that one in five cats in the UK suffers from this painful condition which causes bones to rub together, bringing pain, loss of movement and stiffness.
Observe them carefully and note whether they struggle to jump or run around as they used to; if they hide away more; or cry or become aggressive when they are lifted up, as these are all indicators that they could have arthritis.
A vicious circle can develop – exercise can ease the effects of arthritis but discomfort means the animal is reluctant to move around, which then leads to weight gain, making the condition worse.
Special foods are available that promote good joint health, and your veterinary nurse will be able to make a diet plan for you and monitor your pet’s weight and progress.
It is vital that you consult your vet if you suspect the onset of arthritis, as it can be confirmed through imaging and pain relief may need to be administered.
Diabetes and Kidney Problems in Pets
Take note if your pet is drinking more as this can be a sign of various issues including kidney problems, diabetes and, in dogs, Cushing’s Disease. An increase in thirst or urination, or both, or a sudden increase or reduction in appetite are signs that all may not be well.
Dental Health Check
Bad breath can by a symptom of dental problems such as rotten, broken or unhealthy teeth, sore or bleeding gums, or abnormal tissue inside the mouth.
Poor Vision in Pets
Poor vision can be explained by a natural deterioration as your cat or dog gets older; equally it may be down to illnesses such as cataracts or glaucoma so it is always best to have this assessed.
How can you help?
Shorter, more frequent walks on the lead rather than off it may suit an older dog who has less energy or failing eyesight. One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to keep a close eye on him or her and monitor for any changes. Always consult your vet if you are concerned – there is no such thing as over-reacting.
And, of course, your pet is entitled to a free six-monthly ‘MOT’ health check with your favourite veterinary nurse. Just give a member of the Calder Vets team a call on 01924 465592, visit www.caldervets.co.uk or drop us a line at [email protected]