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Help them live happier, healthier lives in their later years with regular check ups!

As our pets in Sutton get older they are prone to certain health conditions that are linked with age, just like us humans.

Senior Pets - An image of a mature dog out for a healthy walk

The main difference is that they are not able to tell us when they feel unwell, and they can also be really good at hiding the signs too.

As we face the colder months, some conditions can be more prevalent during this time. It’s especially important to ensure your senior pet has regular check-ups with the vet so we can spot the signs of any concerns sooner.

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Do you know how to spot the signs of some of the most common diseases affecting older pets?

At Maven Vets, we’ve pulled together some advice and a few things to look out for below. We’re here to help your pets live their happiest, healthiest lives, whatever their age.

Arthritis in dogs

Older pets often have inflammation in their joints to to year of wear and tear, resulting in movement becoming sore and difficult. Osteoarthritis, or arthritis as it is more commonly know, effects the hips, elbows and knees more predominantly, but it can appear in any joint. 

Spot the signs:

  • General slowing down, especially on walks
  • Reluctance to play, jump or go upstairs
  • Limping/lameness
  • Muscle wastage
  • Licking or chewing the skin over affected joints
  • Stiff walking motion (especially when waking up or after exercise)

Heart disease in dogs

You dog can be affected by many different heart diseases; mirtal valve disease (MVD) is by far the most common of these heart disease. What is it and how can we know if our dog is effected?

Also referred to as degenerative valve disease, MVD is a chronic, progressive disease that involves the degeneration of the heart valve separating the two chambers on the left side of the heart. It will worsen over time. 

Symptoms of MVD do not display easily; in some cases dogs can be affected all their lives and not show any signs of the disease. The main symptoms in MVD diagnosis is the presence of a heart murmur which will only be picked up during a routine examiniation where a vet listens to your dog's heart. 

Spot the signs:

  • Coughing (after lying down or sleeping, and often worse at night)
  • Slowing down on walks or displaying low energy in general
  • Breathing quicker than usual, with breathlessness and/or panting
  • Weight loss
  • Fainting or collapsing.

If in any doubt, it is always best to get your dog seen by us. On detection of a heart murmur, further tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis.

There are a number of heart diseases that can also affect cats; cardiomyopathy is the most common of these. What is this and how do we know if it is affecting our cats? Cardiomyopathy is a term that covers any disease affecting the heart muscle. There are different types of cardiomyopathy that are classified according to effects they have on the function of the heart muscle. 

Spot the signs:

  • Breathing difficulties/rapid breathing
  • Cold extremities, suggesting poor circulation
  • Signs of fainting (although relatively uncommon).

Symptoms of heart disease may not be evident, meaning it is important to ensure your cat is booked in for regular check-ups with us. Some signs of heart disease can be detected early and treated by our team.

  • A heart murmur (listening to your cat’s heart using a stethoscope)
  • A gallop rhythm (where an additional third beat is heard with each contraction cycle)
  • Increase or decrease in heart rate.

It is always best if there is any doubt to get your cat checked by one of our team. Any detection of heart murmurs may require further testing. 

Kidney disease in cats and dogs

Pets rely on their kidneys to perform important bodily task such as removing toxins from the blood, regulate blood pressure and acidity levels, and prevents water loss. When these tasks are incorrectly performed, kidney failure (or renal disease) may occur. Age can also be a factor in kidney failure, causing differences in the severity and symptoms of the disease quite significantly. 

Spot the signs:

  • Excessive drinking leading to frequent urinating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ulcers in the mouth
  • Sudden blindness due to high blood pressure

High blood pressure in cats

Although high blood pressure can occur on its own, some common causes also include kidney, thyroid or heart disease. As the circulation of blood becomes harder, complications may occur in the kidneys, heart, eyes or brain. 

Spot the signs:

  • Blindness
  • Weight loss
  • Noticeable changes inside the eye, including bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Disorientation
  • Change in personality

Cushings disease in dogs

Dogs with Cushing’s syndrome produce excessive amounts of cortisol. This can have harmful effects on other organs and on the ability of the body to regulate itself. Cushing’s occurs in dogs who are producing excessive amounts of cortisol, an important hormone that helps to regulate the body’s metabolism.

Spot the signs:

  • Large water intake
  • Frequent urination and possible incontinence
  • Ravenous appetite
  • Pot belly
  • Thin skin
  • Hair loss or recurrent skin diseases
  • Muscle wastage
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive panting

In all cases it’s important to ensure that your pet has regular check-ups with us at Maven Vets in Sutton. If you are concerned that your pet may be showing any signs or symptoms mentioned above, then please contact us for a health check.

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Spread the cost of essential healthcare for your pet

Logo - Pet Health for Life

To spread the cost of routine and essential healthcare for your pet, we offer our Pet Health for Life plan, which includes an annual health check.

Click here to find out more and to sign up online


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