This is Mel with her mum and Dr Andrea at her recent senior check at our clinic. Mel is a female Domestic shorthair and is the ripe old age of 21! Mel has been coming and seeing Dr Andrea at Reservoir since 1999. Mel comes in regularly for a visit to make sure as she gets older we are keeping up with her changing needs. It is great to see such a long relationship between a vet and a patient!
As our pets start getting older we recommend visiting the vet every 6 months for a thorough check. Because animals don't live as long as humans do, they age at a faster rate, meaning a lot can change with their health in 6 months.
As well as regular vet checks, some things to look out for that may need our attention as your pet ages could be:
- Losing or gaining weight
- Difficulty getting up or down stairs etc (or for cats jumping onto things) or even just in and out of bed
- Bad breath
- Eating or drinking excessively
- Inappropriate toileting
- Lumps and bumps
There are also ways in day to day life we need to be mindful of as our pets age. For example, as the weather gets warmer it is important to keep in mind that our senior pets can be more sensitive to the heat as they grow older, so making sure they have always have access to fresh clean water, shade or inside with the air conditioning, and leaving exercise for the cooler times of the day, either early morning or evening, are simple things to keep in mind as the weather heats up.
It can sometimes be a little sad as our pets get older. They get a little greyer, nap a little more, and can need that little extra TLC. But it’s great that after all the years of love and energy they have given us, we can help them live a comfortable and happy retirement.