Pet Pause: Dealing with an aging pet - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Pet Pause: Dealing with an aging pet

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by Natalie Sparacio & Dolores Glytas

WAKE UP WISCONSIN (WAOW)-- This week's Pet Pause segment focuses on how to deal with an aging pet and cat.

According to Dolores Glytas, with Wisconsin Federated:

Life expectancy of a cat is usually about 15 years, although many live much longer. 

A dog's life expectancy varies greatly between breeds and the size of a dog. 

Signs are both similar graying around the muzzle, sleeping more, weight loss or weight gain, hearing and eye lose, over all slowing down.

At about the age of seven it is a good time to increase the veterinary check ups to twice a year, as ageing pets have a lower resistance to infectious diseases.

Elderly dogs may tend to lose weight mainly of a failing liver and kidneys.

Elderly dogs also are often bothered by general stiffness associated with arthritis.

Some old male dogs become quite constipated - often due to prostrate problems.

In elderly cats the eyes often become cloudy.

Most elderly pets have a weight lose - if your pet is gaining weight due to over eating and lack of exercise, this can lead to diabetes.

Your Veterinarian will give your pets the necessary medication, vitamins and diet plan for your aging pet to live comfortably.

More easily digested food is recommended with more fish and poultry.

More things to do:

Make sure you keep fresh drinking water available

Use bran and or mineral oil to help combat constipation.  

Provide more cushioned and warm bedding for those achy bones.

Make sure the teeth are cleaned to prevent tartar.

Smaller meals fed more often might be better on digestion

Shorter more often walks and playtime

Handle your pet more gently

Take care not to startle it with sudden loud noises

With a pet's shorter life expectancy the day may come when you and your Vet need to make a decision about the quality of your pet's life.

Dolores also recommends soft, cushy beds for your aging pet.

Online Reporter: Natalie Sparacio

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