Hoogland Dierekliniek August 2016 Newsletter
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Age-related changes - fact or fiction?

It has been my experience that many of my clients find themselves in the position where they see no ONE major issue with their geriatric pet, only that the pet is slowing down. The owner is unsure if and how their pet will communicate to them what discomforts it may be experiencing. Of course, nobody can be on top of the world ALL the time, and aren’t they just slowing down because they are getting old?

The changes that occur in an ageing body do cause all the little things that make your pet feel and seem “older”. Since many of these things can be supported, treated or managed, ageing could be graceful rather than ugly.

Our aim is just that - improving quality of life by focussing on some key areas. Often, a clinical exam and short chat about your pet can help us guide you as to how to make life a little easier for them – and sometimes you. So let’s tune in to your ageing pets’ voice.
Just like we sometimes get up in the mornings with aches, stiffness and pains, so do our ageing pets. Although it may not be necessary to use pain killers daily, using supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties and protect and maintain the joints often helps revive the spring in your little geriatrics’ step.

A dicky ticker contributes greatly to your fluffy slowing down. A large proportion of small breed dogs in particular, will develop heart valve abnormalities which could greatly affect heart function. We pick this up by listening to the chest with a stethoscope. Once investigated, should there be functional deficit, we can support the heart with daily medication, extending your geriatrics’ life.
Just like ageing humans, ageing pets’ digestive systems don’t always work as efficiently as they used to. Their gut cannot tolerate what it used to and what would previously have been a small dietary indiscretion may now cause major tummy upsets. They often don’t bounce back from this as easily as they used to and may require supportive care. Many elderly pets struggle with constipation, usually related to diet or pain. We can advise you on a diet that to improve their gut feeling.

Over time it might dawn on you that Fluffy has forgotten his house training, gets lost in the house and garden, might walk constantly and aimlessly at night but sleep like a baby all day. All these symptoms are related to ageing of the brain, plainly called senility - the more recent PC term being Cognitive Dysfunction. According to vets specializing in behavioural changes, at this stage Fluffy’s brain function is equal to that of an institutionalized Alzheimer patient. Rather than trying to deal with this once nothing can be done, we can help retard this process.

There are many other faculties that start changing and failing, for example, the eyes, ears, skin, teeth and sometimes something lurking on the inside. For all of these we are here to diagnose, guide and advise you.
So, Pick Fluffy up, run your hands over his body and put some thought into what he is trying to tell you. Make an appointment with us for a free Geriatric evaluation and Vitamin B Co injection and we will help you unravel the mystery of your ageing pet. (Dogs over 9 years of age)
Remember, even older dogs get lost! Make sure your geriatric pet is identified! 

The aim of Geriatric month is to try and help you improve your ageing pets' quality of life by looking at their day-to-day needs, rather than just treating sickness and injury! 

Soft-Bake treats for older doggies!

You will need:

250g Smooth Peanut butter
¾ cup low fat milk
1 large egg
⅔ cup finely grated carrot
2 ¼ cup whole-wheat or rice flour
1 tbsp baking powder
⅓ cup rolled oats
Preheat oven to 165°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Mix peanut butter, egg, carrot and milk then add the flour and baking powder and knead in on a floured work surface. This dough will be very dense.
Roll dough out about 7mm thick.
Use cookie cutters to cut shapes and arrange on baking tray.
Bake for 15 minutes or till they brown lightly, then turn the treats over and bake a further 10 minutes (make it 15 min to make them a little more crunchy).
Cool and serve!
Hidey holes, complexes and mazes!
These ideas apply not only to bunnies and other small fluffies, but they are also great fun for cats and even enjoyed by some parrots!
For a fun box hidey hole, cut a few holes big enough for your pet to fit through in the top and/or sides of a large, sturdy cardboard box. Your pets will enjoy popping in one hole and out the other, or trying to catch their friend through the holes.

For a complex, Do the same but join a number of boxes, making different adjoining levels and tunnels!

 Mazes are more challenging, but also so very fun for your fluffies! They tend to be most stable when secured by cutting opposing slots that interlock where 2 boards cross. While tape and glue might be easier, they are not really safe!

By Appointment?

Yes please! 
Call 012 661 0346 / 2256

Consulting Hours

Weekdays 8am-12:30pm
           & 16:00-18:30pm
Saturdays 8am-12:00pm
Public holidays: 9-11am

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Hoogland Dierekliniek
6 Panorama rd Rooihuiskraal Centurion
Centurion, Gauteng 1058
South Africa

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Hoogland Dierekliniek · 6 Panorama rd Rooihuiskraal Centurion · Centurion, Gauteng 1058 · South Africa

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