Affordable Veterinary Clinic
Payment Options: American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, Debit Cards or Cash
At Affordable Veterinary Clinic we believe in preventative health care. We work hard to educate
our clients to help your animal friends lead the happiest, healthiest, and best lives possible.
We hope that you will benefit from some of the following pet care tips.
How To Care For Older Pets
Although we never want to see our pets get older, acknowledging our pet’s rising age will allow us to share many more loving memories with our beloved animal friends. Regular vet checkups need to be scheduled.
Here are a few things to consider if your pet is reaching its senior years.
Watch those chompers: Without regular brushing, chunks of hardened tartar accumulate along the gum line, requiring professional cleaning. Like their human companions, dogs also run the risk of developing gingivitis. Gum disease can lead to serious health issues because bacteria travel from a dog’s mouth to its heart.
Get a thorough veterinary exam: To detect and monitor age-related health conditions, your veterinarian may recommend additional blood work and other tests. Older pets should undergo a senior profile to check their kidney, liver, pancreas and thyroid function, also blood work to monitor white and red blood cell counts.
Consider a different diet: Since older pets tend to be less active, we advise pet
owners look for low-fat options that contain high-quality proteins and beneficial
supplements like glucosamine for joint health. Make sure that the diet is on point and you are not feeding them calorie laden food like a 50-pound bag for five dollars. It’s also important to monitor the amount of treats you offer to older pets. Those calories add up, and extra pounds on a slow-moving pet can exacerbate joint issues.
Encourage pets to move: People think dogs that get older shouldn’t exercise. Even with older people, it’s important to move. You don’t have to run a triathlon, but it is important to move.
Some pets may need additional tools: ramps, diapers or steps to make life easier as they become as they become older.
Watch for signs of aging in dogs — and cats: As dogs age, they are prone to thyroid issues, which can cause hair loss. Cataracts, cloudy eyes and hearing loss also are common, along with longer naps. And, yes, some dogs become a bit senile, but medications can help.
Not surprisingly, cats are much better at hiding health issues. If your cat isn’t as active or misses more jumps than it lands, arthritis rather than clumsiness may be the cause. You also may notice that the cat has changed its gait. A thorough exam — complete with blood work, a dental cleaning and heart scan — help determine more serious problems.
Don't wait to get your pet's health in order,
call Affordable Veterinary Clinic at 480-830-7729 to schedule an appointment.
Want to make your pet’s trip to the veterinarian easier on you, your pet
and the entire staff of the veterinary hospital? My advice for you is simple: Relax!
Though there are a lot of other things you can do, I find that a change of attitude
can have the most dramatic effect. A cheerful, optimistic outlook is contagious,
not only by animals but also by the folks at the veterinary hospital. Adopting a more
relaxed attitude may be the easiest thing you can do, but it’s not the only strategy to
help get your pet through a veterinary visit with minimal anxiety. Here are a few more:
Car Tripping: For many pets, especially cats, car trips seem to end poorly
(in the pet’s opinion). If the only time you got in a car you were going to get a shot
or have a stranger poke a thermometer somewhere you’d rather he didn’t, you’d have
a bad attitude about travel, too. Mix it up. Take your pet for rides he’ll enjoy. For dogs,
head for a place to hike or to a store where pets are welcome. Though your cat likely
won’t enjoy visiting, just getting out for a ride with treats and praise can help make
him less nervous about future journeys.
Carrier Comfort: Like the car, for many animals a carrier means a trip to the veterinarian because that’s the only time they’re in one. That’s why many pets make themselves scarce the moment the carrier comes up from the basement or down from the garage rafters. Change the script: Make the carrier part of the household furnishings. Though you may not want it as part of your formal living room, make space for it in an area your pet sees daily, such as the laundry room. Pets who are familiar with their carriers are more comfortable in them when it comes time to get on the road.
Hungry Is Better: Bring treats but make sure your pet is hungry enough to want them. It won’t kill your pet to skip the meal before a veterinary visit, but it will make the treats you’ll have at the hospital seem even more delicious.
Some pets really need a little more help than a loving owner can provide. If your pet is one of these, ask your veterinarian to prescribe a mild antianxiety medication for your next visit.
Obviously, you’ll need to work out the details with your veterinarian before you put some of these strategies into place, but I doubt you’ll have any problem doing so. We veterinarians love animals, and we don’t like seeing them scared of us. Anything that can change a scaredy cat into a happy pet is something we can get behind – so much so that you shouldn’t be at all surprised to see your veterinarian also working to make visits more pleasant for all.
How To Make Trips To The Veterinarian Easier