So there are a few final pieces of advice I would give to end this series concentrating on keeping elderly pets as healthy and comfortable as possible.
Observation is Key
If you are advised by your vet that there are some changes going on with your pet that may need monitoring over time, please actually monitor this and keep them posted. Don’t just cast that information aside.
Ask them when would be a good time to review your pet’s situation regarding their concerns.
Ask them what signs or changes you would be looking for to tell you it may be getting worse, so if you see signs, you can contact them straight away to manage or deal with the changes.
What Signs or Changes Do I Need to Look For?
If you are advised by your vet that there are conditions that may occur now your pet is elderly, and that you might need to look out for, then please ask your vet what signs or changes you would be looking for to tell this may be happening, so that if you see signs, you can contact them straight away to manage or deal with the changes/conditions.
Common conditions include: kidney disease; hyperthyroidism; cognitive deficit; arthritis or joint issues; weight loss; teeth troubles
Veterinary Tests e.g. Bloods, Urine Sample
From the information of a veterinary nurse, bloodwork will tell a vet whether the kidneys are functioning and how well (amongst other things of course), but the urine sample will tell them, through how concentrated it is or isn’t, what stage of kidney disease or kidney failure your pet is in. This is important for them and you in order to be able to manage the condition. Vets are not trying to make a quick buck.
You can always ask your vet the reason for the test and how it will help them diagnose or assist your pet.
Medications – Praise Your Pet for Their Co-Operation
With aging often comes medication, and I often use little treats to praise them for having medications, and remember to break them up for them if they struggle to chew (and it is not detrimental to your pet or their medication, for that to be done – check with your vet). My go-to’s are Nature’s Menu natural treats or True Instinct Freeze Dried Natural Treats. It’s just a little something to ease the distress of having to have meds. Just a couple, not many.
The Little Accidents or Mishaps: Be Respectful
Lastly, please do not laugh at your elderly pet’s antics, or shout at them for mishaps or accidents. You will get elderly one day, and how would you like someone to laugh at you for not being able to climb into bed, or eat your food properly, or being confused as to how you wet yourself.
Always treat your pet with respect, love, compassion and empathy and reflect on what you can put in place to help them and make their life/end days a little easier, happier and more comfortable.
Always with love.
The final words…
The advice I have given is not a definitive list of what to do for an elderly pet, but as I am a detailed person it is just things I have been able to tune in with pets on, or see for myself and wish to pass on to you, my readers.
Disclaimer: I am not a vet or vet nurse, so again, please consult them if you have concerns over your pet’s health.
There are holistic vets available as well as traditional vets: go to the website for the British Association of Holistic Vets for more information.
There are some great articles on elderly cats and other topics on the Feline Advisory Bureau website.
Thank you for investing your time and energy to give you elderly pet the best quality of life possible, from reading these articles and many more, through to working closely with your vet or pet care team to help them in the best way you can.