Watch for Weight Changes in Your Pet

It is not unusual for one of my clients to be utterly surprised when they discover that their dog or cat’s weight has topped the scale either up or down. Why didn’t they notice the change? It’s because it often happens slowly and gradually, day by day, right before their eyes.

A rise in weight may be as a result obvious. Just too many treats in but not adequate physical exercise. Although you may believe that you are practicing good portion control, over eating may easily occur. A cup of food to one person just isn’t adequate for the next. So they really offer a tad bit more. You merely give `a’ treat, while the next overly generous family member gives two or three. Additional calories add up very quickly. Are you aware that a one pound weight gain for a Chihuahua is just like a one hundred and twenty five pound woman gaining thirty one pounds?

There are also many fewer evident explanations for an expansion in your pet’s waist-line. Hormonal problems for instance an underactive thyroid,( hypothyroidism) or an overactive adrenal gland causing hyperadrenocorticisim,( Cushing’s disease), can impact metabolic rate. Neutering likewise has metabolic repercussions. Studies have revealed that when a pet undergoes a castration or an ovariohysterectomy (spay), the rate at which they expend energy is decreased by nearly a third A neutered pet still incurs much more beneficial effects than the unfavorable so I remain a solid proponent of these procedures.

Advancing age can also be responsible for your four-legged friend packing on the pounds. As we age many of us start to drop lean body mass. Muscle demands significant amounts of energy levels in order to work properly. Less muscle usually means less requirement for calories. Don’t be misled into feeding your pet the same quantity you did when it was younger and toted the same weight. Its energy needs have scaled downwards.

An increase in weight can create significant health threats to your pet. An pet might have breathing difficulties, a compromised immune system, be at elevated danger with regard to anesthesia, grapple with skin disorders, and experience with pain from overburdened joints or spinal disc disease. Research has demonstrated that fat pets age faster and have a reduced quality of life.

Weight reduction can be equally as significant. You might believe that your cat has discovered the fountain of youth. It is consuming more, running around like a kitten and is losing weight. Actually, your feline might be a victim of an overactive thyroid. If left without treatment ,, high blood pressure, sudden blindness and cardiac problems may manifest.

Problems such as diabetes mellitus, digestive problems, liver malfunction, cancer and even dental disease may cause a pet to suddenly lose weight and condition.

How could you tell if your furry friend is fit? While your pet is standing, you ought to notice an indentation after it’s ribcage. Position your hand on the side of its chest and with light pressure, you should be able to feel the ribcage. If you are pinching an inch, your pal is obese. In the event the ribs are very overly notable, your pet may be under weight. Which diet and just how much is correct for your pet’s phase of life? Your veterinarian is best proficient expert to help with making these kinds of determinations with your assistance. However requirements can change. Make a twice yearly wellness assessment for your pet. This very simple deed can improve the probabilities that your dog or cat will grow older successfully.

Caring for Our Senior Pets

Caring for the Older Dog

If your dog is seven years or older, he has entered his golden years. In middle and old age, metabolism slows, their digestive system has more difficulty absorbing nutrients and joints and muscles become weaker. Diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, renal failure, hypothyroidism, heart disease and various cancers are more common. The good news is that many diseases respond to treatment if detected early. Here are some simple steps to keep your senior dog healthy and happy.

Routine veterinary visits
Even if the dog seems fine, he should go to the vet at least twice a year. Remember that dogs age the equivalent of seven or more years for each calendar year. Your veterinarian will perform a comprehensive physical exam and listen to your dogs heart and lungs. He will check for signs of disease, especially conditions that occur commonly in older dogs. Your vet visit is also a great opportunity to ask questions.

Diagnostic Tests
When people reach middle age, there  are routine tests such as blood tests, cancer screening and evaluation of the heart that doctor’s recommend to maintain good health. Same goes for older dogs. The reason, in both dogs and humans is that some diseases are not visible during a physical examination, but can be detected in other ways. Tests recommended for dogs seven years or older are listed below.

Comprehensive Blood Panel :Each type of blood cells are counted and the chemical components of blood plasma is measured. This gives information about the health of the bone marrow, kidney, liver, pancreas and thyroid, and can help to detect infections.

Complete Urinalysis concentration and chemical constituents of the urine measured. Cells and other solids in the urine examined microscopically. The urinalysis provides information about the health of the kidneys and bladder, and is also useful in the diagnosis of diabetes.

Chest X-ray – radiographs allow visualization of the internal organs of the body. Chest x-rays are recommended to assess the state of the heart and lungs and to detect tumors.

Abdominal X-Rays –  X-ray of the abdomen is useful to detect tumors and to assess the state of the kidneys, bladder, intestines and spleen.

Electrocardiogram –  This test measures electrical impulses in the heart, using sensors placed on the skin. ECG is useful in detecting heart disease.

Vaccinations
As he did when he was younger, your dog will benefit from the protection of regular vaccination against infectious diseases. Your veterinarian will recommend a vaccine program tailored to your dogs age, lifestyle and health.

Nutrition
Healthy older dogs require a diet that is lower in calories, yet rich in important nutrients such as high-quality protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Special diets are available to address the more specific requirements in dogs with medical conditions. Your veterinarian is your best guide in choosing a diet that will keep your dogs tail wagging.

Musculoskeletal
Your dog may be slowing, but he needs exercise. Regular exercise can help keep him supple and prevent obesity. Remember to tell your veterinarian if your dog has pain when he stands up, walks or goes up and down stairs. Medications can be available to him more comfortable.

Dental
Keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy are essential to his well being. Dental disease is painful and can cause an infection in internal organs such as kidneys and heart. Your veterinarian should check your dogs teeth regularly. He’ll let you know when your dog needs a professional dental cleaning. Under general anesthesia, all of the plaque, tartar and bacteria are removed from the teeth. Once  your dog’s teeth are clean, it’s your job to keep them healthy. Brushing, dental diets and soft chew toys are very effective.